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    by Published on 12-02-2011 12:04 AM
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    Guild of Harmony have released a new 32mm figure for their Steampunk Range: Steampunk Tinker Belle

    So-named for her famed combination of mechanical ...
    by Published on 07-05-2011 07:08 AM
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    The metal version of Steampunk Dorothy is finally here! Newly released from Guild of Harmony.

    For those who missed the resins, want something ...
    by Published on 06-25-2010 04:06 AM  Number of Views: 306 

    Hi everyone, two more new releases this week for Guild of Harmony!

    First off we've got Eilwyn, Enchantress, now available at the
    http://www.guildofharmony.com/shop_GOH_pg1.php ...
    by Published on 06-11-2010 03:32 AM  Number of Views: 308 

    Guild of Harmony has a new release: Qing long, Cyan Dragon - another Chinese-themed warrior for your collection.

    This is a 30mm metal miniature, sculpted ...
    by Published on 12-22-2009 04:03 AM  Number of Views: 47446 

    Telcharion Article




    Painting the Flesh, Robes, Textured Apron, and Base Construction






    Introduction




    For this article, I have painted Telcharion from Enigma’s ‘Massive Darkness’ range. I thought it might make a good article figure, because it is fairly simple, with clearly defined parts – I chose to focus on the painting of the flesh, the robes, and the apron. I also recorded and explained the construction of the base.













    Preparation




    As I have mentioned in previous articles, I think it is worth putting a little time into the preparation of a figure, before the painting begins. Creating a nice, smooth surface with which to work makes life a lot easier, and less frustrating, when it comes to painting, meaning a little extra time at this prep stage can save a lot of headaches later.




    After removing the mould lines carefully by scraping with a scalpel, and filing any particularly rough bits with an assortment of needle files, I used sandpaper (400-800 grade works well) to gently smooth out any other areas that remained rough. After this, I scrubbed the figure with a wire brush – be careful the bristles are not too hard; mine has brass bristles I think, but if you use one with bristles that are too hard, they will scratch the figure and ruin it. Test a new brush on something unimportant first! After this, you can use a toothbrush and wash the figure in warm soapy water, to remove any oil or dust from the surface before paint is applied. This scrubbing with the brushes is what makes the figure shiny and gleaming (sort of!).




    If there is any pitting or cracks in the cast, these can be filled in with a liquid putty, or with milliput mixed with water to create a sort of 'wash'. This wash can be painted liberally over the figure, allowing the milliput to settle in any depressions or marks, resulting in a smoother surface. It can also be gently sanded once dry, if necessary. I find that milliput standard (yellow-grey) works best; I find it a lot easier to work with, than the superfine versions, with which I have encountered problems.




    You can see the figure is standing on a champagne cork in all the following WIP photos. I always paint my figures like this, because I find it a lot easier to hold this way. I drill a hole into the bottom of each foot usually about a centimetre deep, and insert metal wire into each with superglue. Leaving 2 or 3 centimetres protruding from each foot allows the wires to be stuck into the cork to hold the figure, and later, they are used to attach it securely to the base.




    For this figure, I also made a few little adjustments to the face, using a putty mix of greenstuff (a.k.a. duro or kneadatite) and milliput. I mix milliput with the greenstuff, because I find it easier to create a smooth transition between the metal and sculpted areas; also, it means you can sand the putty once dry to be sure it is smooth. These little changes to the face weren’t strictly necessary, merely a personal thing – I just wanted to slightly reposition the brows, mainly. It was a small adjustment to sharpen the facial features a little.











    [pagebreak]


    Base coats, Colour Selection and Contrast




    After undercoating (I used Tamiya Surface Primer spray, which is a mid-grey colour – you can see it on the hammers in the following photos), I painted the base colours onto the main areas of the figure. I find it helpful to paint the bulk of the base colours first, because it lets me get a preview of how the various colours might work together, and helps me make decisions about the main colour scheme. I usually work out the basic colour scheme I want to use before I start painting, but after painting on the base colours like this, I often change my mind about a particular colour once I see it against the other colours in reality, on the figure.












    I like to use quite high colour contrast when painting fantasy figures, because I think that exaggerated colour, lighting and contrast suits the ‘hyper-reality’ of the fantasy world. I think it is worth pushing beyond what might be ‘realistic’; realism has its place, and certainly, when painting historical figures a realistic style might be more appropriate. But the whole point of fantasy lies in its exaggeration of reality, so in my view, it is good to take this opportunity to create a figure with a bit more ‘impact’. I think fantasy is more about strong visual ideas, rather than creating something that looks real.




    With this in mind, I used a few different methods to create contrast within the colour scheme chosen for this figure. First of all, there is a contrast between warm and cool colours: the ‘coldest’ colour present on the figure is the strong cyan colour of the pants, belt and arm straps. This cyan is balanced against the warm, light orange tones of the flesh, and the warm, dark-orange-brown of the apron – cyan and orange are opposites on the colour wheel. The yellow-green of the robes, and the dark red-purple of the boots and other little leather components, are also opposites, both colours lying in-between the warm and cold ‘poles’ of the cyan and orange, and thus perform the role of supporting colours, balanced against each other. In combination, these colours create a sort of ‘quadratic’ colour scheme, with all 4 hues creating an even spread of hues around the colour wheel, and hopefully a balanced scheme which is pleasing to the eye.




    Here’s a little pictorial representation of what I am talking about, with the basic colour palette spaced around a circle representing a colour wheel. Please excuse the roughness of the pic – it's just a quick one to try to show you the main ideas, so excuse the inaccuracies. The cyan is opposite in hue to red-orange, so they are on opposite sides of the circle. The yellow-green and red-purple hues are a little closer in hue to the orange than the cyan, which is why they are spaced a little further towards the orange on the circle. This is compensated for by the fact that the cyan is the brightest, or most ‘saturated’ of all the colours in the palette, and this extra brightness means it has more ‘weight’ in the scheme – it can balance against all the other colours.









    Another way by which contrast is created with the colour scheme, is the balance between light and dark areas on the figure. I tried to make a conscious effort to have a wide range of colour ‘value’ across the figure; that is, rather than using colour that all lie within a mid range of light-dark value, I used areas of very dark colour, such as the apron, hair and purple leather parts, against much lighter areas, such as the flesh. This created a more dynamic look for the figure, with the added value contrast.




    Contrast can also be created by using a wide range of ‘saturation’ or brightness between colours. So, for example, on this figure, there are some very saturated colours, such as the cyan pants, belt and arms straps, and parts of the green robes. Setting these colours against much less saturated, more neutral parts, such as the apron, hair, hammers, and most of the base makes them seem even brighter. If too many strong colours are used in a colour scheme, I think their impact is reduced – saturated colours will compete against each other for attention, and maybe cause a bit of a ‘colour clash’. So I think it is important to remember to have some fairly neutral areas, even when painting in fantasy style.






    [pagebreak]


    The Flesh




    After the base coat, which was a mix of P3 Midlund Flesh, P3 Rucksack Tan and GW Fortress Grey, with a touch of P3 Menoth White Highlight, the first step was to begin identifying the shadows. Using a red-orange colour, I painted a series of thin glazes in the shadows, giving the flesh some colour.







    Then, I continued the shading, using a darker red-brown colour to further emphasise the volumes. It is important to always keep in mind the direction of the light source – you need to have made a clear decision on the direction from which the light is falling, in order to maintain coherence with your shadows and highlights. In this case, I am using top-down or (‘zenithal’) lighting, which is the most common and the easiest to visualise. Just imagine the light falling onto the figure from directly above, as if someone was shining a torch down onto the figure.









    Next, I emphasised the shadows even further, introducing a little dark green-blue into the darkest areas. Because it is applied in thin glazes, the colour does not show up as anything too obvious, but it does add some depth to the overall colour and appearance, in my opinion.










    At this point, I started to apply some highlights. First, I neatened any rough-looking areas with some glazes of the original base colour to blur the blending a little. Then, I mixed P3 Menoth White Highlight with the base colour for the first stage of highlighting, and some touches of pure Menoth White Highlight. I also added a touch more of the dark green-blue in the deepest shadows.




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    by Published on 09-27-2009 09:06 PM  Number of Views: 194 

    There are 5 new figures now available in the Guild of Harmony range: Yi Ling, Cathayan Warrior; Asheara, Elf Ranger; Shin Kyi, Burmese Priestess; Jian ...
    by Published on 04-03-2009 11:54 PM  Number of Views: 28119 

    Ujahu: part II - painting the figure





    For this article, I decided not to go into too much detail about the specific colours used and technical aspects of the paintwork, but more just document the basic process, and try to give some more broad insights into the general painting method.





    Stage 1: Just a quick pic of the mini after preparation, and ready for undercoating. As I have mentioned in other articles, I always spend some real time preparing figures properly: after removing mould lines ...
    by Published on 04-03-2009 11:22 PM  Number of Views: 29060 

    Ujahu – part I: creating the base




    I have been asked a few times recently about making bases, so I thought I would document the general process this time. It is a fairly simple base – I mean, it is nothing too inventive or original, nothing ground-breaking – but perhaps the basic process I went through might interest some of you!





    Stage 1: Here you can see that I have taken a block of hardwood, and attacked it with a saw on the front corners, to create a more interesting, contoured shape. After roughly cutting chunks from the corners with the saw, I used rough files to smooth the surface and shapes a little, and round off any sharp edges. ...
    by Published on 03-09-2009 03:54 AM  Number of Views: 225 

    Hi everyone, after a bit of a delay I'm finally ready to release the second wave of figures for my little Guild of Harmony range.

    You can see the whole range in the online store, here

    All the figures are white metal, and between 30/32mm scale.
    ...
    by Published on 10-27-2008 05:28 AM  Number of Views: 71949 

    Urmuth Painting Article

    painting flesh and using colour


           Hello
    again everyone, it's been a long time since I wrote my last article,
    so I am afraid this new one is a long time overdue. First off, let
    me mention that the techniques and theories I discuss here are not
    the 'right' way to paint, only one particular way to paint. The
    object of the article is not so much to teach anyone how to paint in
    a specific manner, but more to give some insight into the processes
    and thoughts that I personally go through when I am painting my own
    figures. Hopefully this is interesting to somebody out there!


           Everyone
    has their own way of painting, and that is how it should be – you
    should never feel like you need to copy someone exactly. In my
    opinion, you are better off if you listen and watch a variety of
    other painters, and take on board the elements of their technique
    which appeal and work for you, yourself. Not everything works for
    everyone, and when it comes to high-level painting, personal taste
    plays an ever increasing role in the way painting is approached. I
    think one of the most important things to do when painting is to
    simply think about what you are trying to achieve when you set
    out to paint a figure, before you even begin.

           The
    figure I have chosen to use for this article is Urmuth, Scars of War,
    from the Andrea 'Warlord Saga' 54mm range. This figure was a
    commission painting job, so many thanks to the client for allowing me
    to use it for this article.


    Preparing the figure


           First,
    a quick look at the figure before undercoating. I spend a lot of time
    cleaning and preparing my figures for painting. After the mould lines
    have been removed, I gently file rough areas, and then use very fine
    grade sandpaper to ensure a smooth surface. The sandpaper I use on
    most metal figures ranges from grade 600, up to 1200. Little
    rectangles of sandpaper stuck on the end of a small stick-like
    instrument (I used a piece of brass rod flattened at one end) can
    help to reach the smallest areas of the figure.



           Following
    this, I scrub the figure all over with a stiff-bristled brush, like a
    black synthetic dremmel brush. If your figure is of a harder metal,
    such as the GW figures, you can even use a rougher brush – I have a
    brass bristled one that I use carefully on a lot of metal figures.
    But be sure to test it first on something unimportant – you don't
    want to be overzealous and use a brush that will leave your figure
    scratched to oblivion and ruined! After
    this, I give the figure another scrub in hot water with some
    dish-washing liquid, using an old toothbrush. This makes sure that
    any oils from your hands etc. are removed from the surface before the
    undercoat is applied.

           Once
    the figure is dry, if there are still some rough or pitted areas, I
    use some very thin washes of Milliput dissolved in water to fill in
    the rough texture on the surface. In my opinion, the best Milliput to
    use for this ...
    by Published on 12-16-2007 02:38 AM  Number of Views: 97777 

    MetalsAlmost since the day I found the online community, I have been a huge admirer of the amazing metallics seen from minis by painters like Allan C, Cyril, Mathieu_l, and of course the metal master himself, NANO   I have been trying to emulate their excellent results for a long time, and I have had some questions about my own metallics technique recently, so I thought it might be time to write a bit of an article about some of the things I have learned about using metallics.
    Metallics or NMM? A bit of discussion.
    A lot of painters seem to have a strong preference for either metallics or NMM, but the more I think about it, the less logical it seems to favour ...
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