Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I'm Bad at This (and a Bunch of Guild Ball Models)

I've had a bit of games lately.

I've played a bunch of the Pathfinder card game. Five scenarios, to be a bit precise.

I've played Eldritch Horror. Just the one.

And I've played four games of Guild Ball.

All in the last three weeks.

I have, however, also managed to paint quite a few minis.

Since the beginning of March, I've been on a bit of a Guild Ball spree. The beginning of the month saw me finish out my Union and Morticians teams, with Bonesaw, Veteran Rage, Harry the Hat, Snakeskin and Decimate.

So, in order:
This is what my camera does to miniatures...
...and this is what it looks like after the white balance is adjusted in GIMP. I'll do this to all the photos.

This is Bonesaw. He might be one of the best paintjobs I've ever done. Maybe not compositionally, and maybe not on the base, but I'm very happy with the highlights, both on the skin and the orange trousers. And, actually, I'm quite happy with the composition, too.

Veteran Rage. Still a little shiny. Will have to give him another go with the Purity Seal.
Veteran Rage was, just like his rookie incarnation, unexpectedly pleasant to paint. That said, I'm not entirely happy with how his face turned out. This is partly because my camera is better than my brushwork (though my camera skills are still much worse than my camera...) and partly because the moustache was tricky.

Howdy, ma'm.
Harry 'the Hat' Hallahan falls firmly in one of the two Warmachine areas of the Model-Attractiveness - Model-Playability grid. It is a very pretty model that is very disappointing on the field. The other Warmachine area is obviously a very strong in-game model that looks like a piece of used gum in the middle of a busy street. Luckily Steamforged doesn't really have that second category of models (though Mist moves in that direction).

The deeper models are really tricky to photograph; the parts further away or closer are difficult to get in focus.

 Snakeskin. What is there to say about Snakeskin? She's still a bit shiny in the chest area, and I'm really not happy with the face. And unholy frack she's on a tiny piece of foot!

Decimate - (obsolete) to take a tenth of or from.
 Decimate stabs things. I have still to get her to work on the field, but the model turned out better than I expected, although the dip pooled weirdly in a couple of places.

After that, I found myself bereft of Guild Ball miniatures, but with two teams entirely complete (at least until Salute). I also had a pile of models for other systems to paint, so it was obvious what I had to do.

Get another Guild Ball team!

What with my Union playing like a steamroller of barely contained violence and the Morticians being weird (and also violent), I settled for the opposite end of the scale and ordered a bunch of Fishermen (meaning all of them) form Steamforged. A few days later, I had myself a new project.

I haven't got pictures of all of them. They're all finished, but the last three (Shark, Siren and Sakana) were done on Friday, and I didn't have time to take out the camera, and then I've been away, so...

Say hello to Corsair.

Remember what I said about deep models? This will be true for several of the Fish.

 Corsair is another of the models that turned out better than expected, especially in his photo. In real life, he looks like he's wearing a onesie because I messed up the composition, but the face came out well and the net over his shoulder worked out well.

This is Kraken. Say hello to Kraken.
Kraken was the first Fish I actually painted. He looks good in natural size, but the closer you get, the worse the highlights on his skin look. Apart from that, I'm happy with the paintwork on this fellow. He's one of my first ever models with actual painted-on eyebrows.

This lady does not photograph well.
Angel is a lovely model, whom I don't feel I entirely did justice. She's the first miniature in a long time I've been tempted to paint the eyes on (I didn't, which may actually be a shame). The face looks much better in real life than in the photo, but not as good as I'd like. Also, her legs have a net pattern on them that's presumably meant to be fishnet stockings. I ignored this entirely.

As you may ntice, this fellow is in a different level of zoom than the others. He's on the same 30mm size base as most of the others...
Salt. The game's de-facto first goalkeeper (since he's better off just hanging around the goal, where he might not be stabbed) and allegedly Steamforged's most popular (by way of shenanigans) model, Salt is a mascot that does very little. I'm happy with the paintjob, though.

This is one of six angles I tried to photograph this fellow in.
Greyscales is possibly the paintjob that turned out best of the Fishermen. His face actually bears zooming in on, even though there's a hint of blue at the tip of his beard. I only realized now that I haven't painted his eyebrows, which I may or may not fix in the future.

Come here. I won't punch you in the face with my trident. Probably.
Last is Jac. While I love the expression on his face, the rest of this model saw my motivation flagging. There's nothing actually wrong with it; I just couldn't get as excited by it as by the others, which shows in the paintjob. He still looks passable in real life, but I can do better.

And that's that. Eleven miniatures in three weeks. Well, fourteen actually. Unless you count the Helldorado Lemure I experimented on. So fifteen really.

See, I've been using Army Painter's Quicks Shade to varnish my models ever since I started with Warmachine in 2011. It has served me well in that capacity, but I have always said that if there was a version without pigments, I'd be using that. The 'shade' part of Quick Shade is simply not what I'm using it for, which means I don't paint for that. Most of the time, it's fine, at worst making the minis a bit darker than I expected - which is a price I've been willing to pay for invulnerable models. Sometimes, though, the Quick Shade has actually made paint jobs much worse, by pooling strangely, or making vibrant colours drab.

So, I started experimenting a while ago, first with terrain, and then with a Lemure, and now with actual models. Instead of the pigmented Quick Shade, I've been using watered out furniture varnish (water-based: it has to be water-based to be watered out) painted on in a relatively indiscriminate layer and then gone over with GW's Purity Seal, just as I did with the Quick Shade.

It probably doesn't protect quite as well (I haven't had any accidents yet, so it's hard to tell) but it does much less harm to the paint scheme. Also, since the varnish is half-matte, it doesn't leave me with shiny models.

From the models above, the Union are Quick Shaded (hence the shiny Rage and Snakeskin), the Fishermen are furniture-varnished and Bonesaw (who I was trying to keep bright before I'd gone through initial testing of the varnish) is only Purity Sealed. In future, I think I'll stick with the varnish for Guild Ball (though for other games, barring maybe Malifaux, I think the Quick Shade will remain).

And that's all for today, folks. If trends continue, I'll be back in three weeks, though I'll make an honest try to make it sooner.

Ta, and DFTBA.

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