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Monday, October 26, 2015

Hannah Complete!

Here's my completed Hannah of the Freikorps!

I finally took the time to finish her this weekend, I hadn't touched her since my last update. I finished her skin, hair, and vest as well as the book she's holding. I decided to add some variation in the back so I painted the cables red with caution striping where it plugs into the suit - I thought it was pretty nifty looking afterward. I also painted the canister in the back to look gold/brassy to break up the grey but in the back it seems a bit flat so I'll have to touch up on that later on. Overall though she was fun to paint and now is one of my favorites on the crew!

Now onto my thoughts of her in game:

She is a complete workhorse for me now, and a must have for my Viktoria crew. Essentially she has armor 1 with a counterspell and nether flux aura - this strips models of their built in suits when targeting her or if the attack originates from within 4". This is huge as models with lure essentially are rendered useless unless they can use soul stones, and for masters who need triggers they'll have to be spending precious resources to accommodate this if they can't flip the suit they need. This is huge as with my Vik crew I try to soak up as many resources as possible in the turn they strike so that the rest of the crew has an easy job of dismantling them.

The other main reason I use her for with the Viks is her size. I mean, she's a huge model in terms of physical area. But in the game she's also a height 3 50mm base. This means she can do a great job at blocing LOS to parts of the crew, namely the Viktorias themselves. Lately what I've done is on turn one she walks twice up 10" toward the center of the board. Then the student of conflict and Viktorias walk directly behind her and get blocked LOS for the most part from shooting. Anyone trying to do blasts on Hannah will lose suits so hopefully won't get triggers, but in the end any damage that gets through to the sisters will get healed up once Blood goes on her rampage. On turn two essentially anything important will be in range of the Viks' swords and Blood goes nuts. That one turn of denial is crucial, as well as the fact that she's no slouch in combat and can camp on an objective like Turf War or Squatter's Rights.

I've also utilized her to hug onto models with her 3" reach. In one game I had her set up next to an objective with the Student about 3" behind her and Vik of Ashes next to her. Hannah had a hard target engaged with her. Ashes would just charge in with her 3AP and put some hurt on a model or kill it, then the Student would teleport her back to safety. Hannah remained there to make sure that anyone trying to go after the Master would have to go through her first, all while in the Aura of her denial game. If Vik of Ashes needed to go do something elsewhere, the Student was there to hand out Fast.

Her other attributes aren't as useful in the Viktoria crew, but definitely handy for certain situations. With my current build of the list her (0) ability isn't used as often as there aren't any (1)AP CA actions that she can use from her own crew. It all depends on what the opponent brings to the table for her to utilize them, although it's usually something handy that they don't want to be used against them. At one game I used Jack Daw's own attack and flipped the Red Joker for 6 damage! All with a (0) ability!

Her Ghost Censor attack also isn't used as well as it could in my Vik crew. I tend to bring about 5 SS to a game, and lately I've lowered it to 4. 5 Tends to be the sweet spot, but when I have 4 I gain an extra model to the crew, so it's situational but 4 SS seems really light in the game. It's crucial when I bring 4 that I get the alpha strike to diminish my handicap as much as possible. But with a smaller SS pool I have to depend on my control hand for any cards I want to use, and I tend to use most of my resources for the Vik of Blood Whirlwind on turn 2, so using a SS for a tome doesn't go very high in priority, and any high tome will get used on Vik of Blood for severe damage or Defense Duels. I have realized however that I can have the same number of models in my crew (8) with 5 SS in the pool if I switch out the Ronin for the Freikorpsmann, then Hannah can use his "Reference the Field Guide" ability for Tomes if I have a low Tome card. He's a solid model for both Melee and Shooting, I just like the Ronin's model as well as her ability to hit and run models with Armor, not to mention having more wounds and Hard to Kill. Really though the resources used for Ghost Censor to get the trigger aren't worth it most of the time just to make a model or two take Horror Duels. If I flip the tome then it's good, as it may absorb the opponent's control hand by one or two cards at most, but usually in the turn she's going after the Viks and doesn't need to soak those resources by then as much, and the SS or card used doesn't come out with a net gain if they flip what they need.

I also no longer buy her Ancient Tomes upgrade when she's with the Viks, as it also requires a resource for the spell to take place. While burying a potential threat does come in handy, I've found that spending the resource for the ability tends to get wasted as that is something the opponent will definitely use their control hand to prevent for, so I'd have to luck out and drain all their resources and hope for a bad flip if I need for it to work out. This tends to not be worth the 2 SS for the upgrade, as I'd have to do it almost every turn for it to work out and I'd rather just kill the model with my AP rather than risk the chance of it not doing anything.

She does however come into her own even more when fielded with other casters, notably with Von Schill. Normally she can't use her "Make a New Entry" (0) ability with friendly Masters unless they have the Freikorps characteristic. When used with Von Schill she can not only use his (1) CA abilities she can also use his (0) abilities, making her utility much more useful. With his upgrade allowing models in his aura to use two different (0) abilities she becomes a tool box for a lot of situations and can even heal up all her damage at the same time (when the Librarian or Steam Trunk are in play). This is why I've recently purchased the Freikorps box as another Outcast crew I can use. They seem to be a simple box to play, and can fill a gap for when my Vik crew isn't suited for the Strats/Schemes flipped - for example, if I need a crew with high WP or resilience over damage output.

All in all she's been a welcome addition to the crew. I've had a lot more success since I've substituted her over Killjoy. She's cheaper and does more for the crew than he did, along with adding an activation for me since Killjoy starts out buried. Due to her flexibility she tends to go well with any master and is one of the few models I'd pay the Mercenary tax for with other masters.

Plus she has a frickin' steampunk robot suit, who wouldn't want to field that?!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Competitive vs. Casual

In any hobby there seems to be a rift between those who are entry-level participants and those who take it to the next level.

One of my other hobbies is (or rather, was...) paintball. I love the sport and have played it on and off all the way back to my first year of high school. I've never met anyone who played it and didn't love it, it's just one of those primal games that gets you pumped on a whole different level. But there was a definite split between those who casually played it - commonly referred to as "Walk-Ons" - to those who played it damn near every weekend. On the field you could see the stark contrast before the game even begins. The casuals are using rentals, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, maybe some old fatigues thinking it's crucial to camouflaging themselves on the field or something. The hardcore players wore brightly colored speedball jerseys, had alien technology for markers and a harness full of pods. Then on the field the elite players are zipping all over the field, firing off ropes of paint at ridiculous speeds and simply demolishing the opposition.

This division happens in almost any hobby, at least for every one that I've come across. In video games there's the casual who owns a Wii, or plays on their phone, or even online. Then there's the neckbeards who chastise you for feeding the opponents or pull off ridiculous feats in PvP. In art there's the pinterest painter against the modern artist. Weight lifters joke about if you even lift, hipsters say you've probably never heard of their band, etc.

There's a common thread that occurs when there's an interest that is pursued there are always those who dedicate themselves entirely to the cause for their obsession and love. Techniques are scrutinized, purity is evaluated and its philosophy is discussed at length.

This all leads to our little corner in the hobby-verse, which is no different. Within our community exists a rift, one that is blurry and defining simultaneously. It seethes beneath all aspects of this wonderful escape of ours, and tends to separate or unite participants without even truly being understood - the difference between the competitive and casual player.

When I refer to these broad categories I'm mainly thinking of two aspects: the player as a strategist and one as a painter. These categories actually differ greatly to me in my experience as to their levels of difference, and I'll try to identify them when speaking on them.

Let's start with this: we were all casual players once. When being introduced to the world of hobby gaming we were all noobs. We didn't know or understand everything presented to us. That is a given. So we'll start with that!

Earlier I discussed my entry into the hobby. It was magical, it opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities that I could control. I didn't have to understand it to know that this has been what I've wanted to do for the rest of my life - it was love at first sight.

I won't go into what it feels like any further, I'm strictly sticking to two aspects: gaming and painting.

Noobs at gaming tend to make similar mistakes to one another. It comes with the territory, as these games tend to be a bit more complicated than Risk. It takes a while before it all sinks in! So I'm going to skip ahead of that part and get into around maybe the first year or two, once you've gotten all the nuances down.

There's a certain point in most of our gaming careers where we realize how our pieces interacted within the game, and what tends to be the most efficient and effective pieces in actual game experience as opposed to what we thought would be a kick-ass dude based on his picture or fluff. For me this was min-maxing in Warhammer and realizing that my play style was much more effective once there were no Marines on foot and I brought as much cheap AP weapons to the table as possible (melta guns FTW!). This was the turning point for me where I shifted from casual to competitive, and it was all a grey area for the next year but I clearly abandoned fluff for rules. Granted, I still ate up the fluff, but it took a back seat to what the stats to a model was. Great fluff to what I want to field? Icing on the cake!

Now there was a magical time before this. Just imagining my marines just tearing up fools on the battlefield would keep me up at night. Thinking of how my paint jobs related to the Silver Shadows' - my home brewed chapter - history was exhilarating. I'd read books on how Uriel Ventris, a mere captain of the Ultramarines would just wreck shop and think "That's what I'm going to do," was epic.

Then I met others, played them, and had the sickening realization that I just got pwnd. It kind of got me down, I hit the valley most do when getting into a new hobby where you think that you just wasted your time, or you'll never get good enough. But being the great hobby it was I stuck with it and vowed to get better.

There's an excitement that just can't truly be captured when you first enter the hobby. This is something that the casuals have over others. They aren't disillusioned with the rules set, or the meta, or the models. These physical representations aren't just vessels for stats and rules. They were a character, a personality that seemed as real as having a pet. They'd fawn over these little guys, know exactly how many miniatures they had in our collection, and relish over their new box that they'd wrack their brains over exactly which pieces they'd want to use to make them look awesome.

Then, well, we want to learn how to win.

We all like winning, right? At least I do. And our games condition us a certain way on how to think. Strategy isn't some general term that is utilized here, no no no. The way to be able to make strategic moves is knowing your rules set and statistics inside and out.

This meant poring over every detail, every new codex, every new box and knowing exactly what it did. Over time this saturation and studying slowly chokes the magic out. I'm not saying that it will entirely, nor am I alluding that this happens to everyone. But on a level it does, because knowledge takes away mystery, for better or worse. It's like a magic trick. When it first happens you're confused and in awe, once you know the trick you're disappointed.

And this leads to our counterpart, the competitive player. This is the one that knows the technicalities of the rules, the wording and difference between key words. They pore over FAQs, they study the differences of armies and their efficiency, they see the numbers, and they attend all the tournaments. They get a new type of excitement now, the rush from a clean win against a tough opponent, knowing they got the better of another. And if they're not careful, they'll look down on the casual.

There's a feeling of superiority once you reach a certain level of playing. This power of being better at the game than another can really take hold in our community. There's a feeling of elitism that couples with being a better player that you can't help but feel, and that's fine, you've worked hard to get where you're at and took a lot of crap on the way. But when it transforms to snubbery it gets dangerous.

I see it a lot, and I won't lie and say I haven't been a part of it. Arrogance, sore losing, arguments, trash talking, it's all a part of our competitive player scene.

It can be vitriolic, I know that I flat out refuse to play some people due to this since that behavior makes a game simply not fun. And I don't dedicate time, money and effort to go out and not have fun. It's a reason why I've taken a break from attending tournaments for a while now.

But the interesting thing about that competitive player is the challenge. Steel sharpens steel after all, and playing others at that level is what has made me a better player throughout the years. Some days I'm not interested in playing a beginner at all and can have just as little fun teaching someone to play as getting stomped by someone. It's not to say I don't have fun teaching or getting stomped, like all things in life it just depends.

But I do miss that mystery and awe from when I was more casual... and games tend to be more fun than business-like.

This divide seems to be a lot less grating when it comes to painting however. While there is a competitive aspect to it, it is a lot more relaxed as it is a much more natural skill than gaming. There is also an accepted aspect to it as most people who play claim themselves to be "not that good at it," so there's a mutual acceptance if your work is sub-par. It is quite an intimidating aspect of the hobby and usually takes a while for it to kick in, if it does at all.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I just thought it would be interesting to put these ideas to digital paper.

Monday, October 12, 2015

WIP Hannah for Malifaux

Hey guys!

I thought I'd share my work-in-progress. This is Hannah, a sweet model for Malifaux. She's ginormous.

Ever since this model came out I've been dying to get my hands on her. She's super dynamic, the model is a really cool concept, and it gives me a lot of opportunities to use techniques I'm now getting good at. Plus in game she's great at denial and can take a beating!

So let me go over a few caveats on her model. She's definitely a challenging model to put together. Figuring out which finger belongs where was certainly a hassle but not impossible. Then there was a difficult "translation" part for the arms compared to the instructions but not indecipherable. The toughest part was doing the order of assembly, topped with putting the suit's legs with the body and making sure the feet lined up to be level with the ground. Well, they didn't for me. In fact, I've seen a lot of other people's pictures of her online and it doesn't seem to match well for others either.

Her standard pose with both feet on the ground lends her to have some weight shifted as if she's winding up for a punch. This looked pretty cool but definitely has a "lower" feel to it.

An example from the excellent blog of GMort

No doubt, still an awesome pose. Note how the toes point in different vertical directions, this makes it difficult to have a completely flat footing and placed flat on the base, even with a marginal difference. 

With mine, though, it was a huge difference and didn't line up at all. I decided to alter the base so that her right leg was level and the left foot was slightly coming off the ground, with only the toe making contact. This in turn also made the pose look more heroic rather than dynamic, with a slight angle adjustment she looks more like she's anticipating her next move. Or maybe she looks the exact same, what do I know?

I took cork and placed it in half the base, with additional cork ripped for another level of rubble in front of her. I then used super glue and varying grades of sand to add texture to the "ground" floor and hide the seams of the cork levels. 

I base coated her black and using the airbrush I sprayed on black/stone grey, blocked in highlights with stone grey and light highlights with white.

I probably redid her left shoulder pad 12 times to get it right....

It's important when doing Non-Metallic Metal to get the highlights right. The colors are not what makes NMM work - you can make NMM with any color really. The colors I used for Hannah are the exact same colors I use when painting stones or buildings. The difference that really makes NMM work is where you place those highlights, and where you emphasize your light sources. You need to change how light reacts on your surface, since metal reflects light differently than say cloth or leather, or even painted metal. On a curves surface you'll place the highlight right where the curve occurs, where light would be reflected the most. The same principle can be applied to hair as well, as it behaves much like NMM.

The next step I took was really emphasizing the contrast by black-lining between each plate and join with a 50/50 mix of black/midnight blue. Once that was done I added stone grey and white highlights on each edge. These take it to the next level and really makes the contrast pop.

Now we're cooking with gas!

I also began working on the base colors. I really didn't want to make it grey, as the model itself is predominantly grey and makes the model get lost. But I wanted it to fit in with the other models of the crew, so sacrifices were made. I added some blues and browns to differentiate but overall it looks very grey. I'm not hung up on it though, and it looks good on its own. Hopefully when I paint the ring of the base green it will look different.

She's getting there...

And this is where I stand with her now. I added a tuft of grass to break up the grey on the base, and some flock in the back. I painted some red leather and olive cloth and blocked in the skin and wrappings. I feel like she's coming out a bit flat when compared to the suit, so I may go back and add more contrast to the leathers and clothing. But really all my other Malifaux models are muted in tone so she'd fit in with them, it's just that when she's sitting with a suit with colors that pop it's hard not to feel underwhelmed by her current colors. I won't revisit those colors though until I finish up the rest and see where she stands.

Anyway, that's my current work in progress. I'll post up more pics once she's complete!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My life in hobby gaming...

So being that this is a blog about my favorite hobby I decided to just go on a tangent about my experience as a miniature gamer.

I remember my first experience being exposed to the hobby. When I was a kid I used to go to the mall a lot with my folks. As a child there was only a few things in my life I cared about: comics and video games. So back when malls had arcades I'd always plop my happy butt in them for hours at a time while my mom went shopping. This was also back when parents left their tiny children alone in malls with no fear.

So on a trip to Toronto we decided to stop at a huge mall. I do what I naturally always did and looked at the directory for the arcade's location. By a happenstance of fate I see "Games Workshop" and head straight for it.

Instead of an arcade, I had found destiny.

I remember a brightly lit store with all manners of models that were impressively painted. The shelves were lined with boxes and paints. Tables were set up with terrain and demo models for bystanders to try. A very enthusiastic employee described everything to me in detail and allowed me to play with him using the (3rd edition) starter box - which included 10 marines and a landspeeder (painted as Ravenwing) against 20 Dark Eldar. Before then I only knew of model cars, which I had extensive experience with as my uncle and I did a million of along with rockets and pinewood derby. But little dudes with guns fighting over a battlefield before your eyes?!

When it was time to go my dad found me at the would-be arcade. I showed him how cool everything was and begged him to buy me a starter. My dad was definitely more than willing to get me a new toy (ha!), then saw the price tag for the starter to be a whopping $75 and politely turned the GW employee down. I know, $75 for a GW starter is nothing anymore.

I left defeated, but I was determined to get my hands on it one day. That was in the 4th grade.

Being that we lived in Germany at the time I didn't think I'd have the opportunity to obtain the game, but I always kept it in my head as something I just knew I had to have one day. For a 4th grader to have that type of focus, it should indicate how determined I was for it. Granted, these were the days before the internet's boom, online shopping didn't exist, you didn't have a website to do research, and if you did it was very crude. I thought about it almost every day until we moved back to the US in 7th grade. When we moved to New York I still sought after finding a "Games Workshop" at a mall like I had done before. It was a good while until we went to the Syracuse Mall and I found one!

This time I managed to get my parents to buy a White Dwarf magazine and order the old Citadel Catalog. This gave me all the info I needed to further pursue the hobby - a book full of pictures of cool toys and articles on painting, a list of GW retailers, a Sears-catalog-like list of available models, and the number to their hotline! Yes, kids, they used to have a 1-800 number to call, and this is how you used to settle rules disputes or ask general questions about the game. I remember my first phone call to them asking what the rules were on painting your guys - and the confused voice on the other end saying "however you want" and blowing a kid's mind.

I showed this to my friends at school and found out that one of them actually knew about the game and had a few models for it! When I say a few, I mean like 3 space marines. We had about 3 other guys who wanted to get into it as well, but in hindsight only Brennan and I absolutely wanted to go through with it. We actually changed plans to get into Epic 40k as it was cheaper, but we really didn't an idea of what we actually wanted, just some Space Marines. I didn't even realize/remember that there was a rulebook lol.

A little further down the road we met up with a friend of his who actually had some Space Wolf models and they were painted. We were going to play a game together with what he had. I expected it to be like my first experience with the GW employee, but it turned out to be how you'd expect 3 kids to play with toy soldiers. A lot of sound effects being made and overall a recreation of a scene from Andy playing in Toy Story.

We had fun, but I sought that true experience. Fast forward to moving back to Germany. I was still hungry for the game, but hormones and high school made it take a back seat for a while. I still made model cars and military craft, but I had gotten into a lot of other hobbies along the way, like skating, playing drums, and girls (haha!). I still kept it in the back of my mind though. Around that time I found the internet, it was still a crude form of it - it was slow, you dialed-up to get on, and chat rooms were the thing. On a whim I searched for Games Workshop's website and found it! I begged my parents to help me order it. Five weeks later - shipping was also not as good back then for some reason - I had gotten my first models! I put it all together with PVA glue (for some reason I thought that was the special glue needed for the models) and read the rules. I hadn't had anyone to play it with for about a year since none of my friends knew about it.

During my sophomore year I visited my sister in New York for the summer. Didn't bring my models with me, but I did bring my rule book to read on the plane along with some comics. When I visited her she would drive me to the Syracuse mall periodically (a 3 hour drive, bless her heart) so I could visit the GW store. It had been years, but they remembered me from before! This time I came with the most important thing: money! I had bought a space marine starter box, paints, the codex, and the old SM Commander with the Storm Bolter. I didn't play any, but watched as others did and spent a lot of time with them learning how to paint, and the importance of primer. Also, to use super glue.

I remember asking what inks did (back when they sold inks) and being told that it gives definition, and having no idea what that meant and nodding.

Well I came back with tons of stuff in a GW case and got to work on it back home. I painted up my force to be all Black with Silver trim. And gold eagles. And red in random places. It was quite hodgepodge, as some newbies are prone to do lol.

As it turns out, I met a new friend who also knew about Warhammer and had some Tyranids. We would get together periodically and play 500 point games together. We still talk to this day, and he still plays Warhammer.

The next year I visited New York again, this time I had a lot more stuff and got to play a few games. I was also learning how to drive, so my sister and I took several road trips to a few different stores.

After I graduated high school I moved to Texas to go to college in a small town. I had all my Warhammer stuff with me in the dorm, but being such a small town I didn't expect to find anywhere to play locally. One day I went with a friend to pick up Domino's Pizza and on the way in the store out of the corner of my eye I saw a Warhammer 40k poster. My heart stopped and I walked inside. There I saw people playing Warhammer and a few of my now lifelong friends playing different games. I couldn't contain my excitement and started going there almost daily.

This is where a lot of my most fond memories occurred. I just so happened to have discovered the place the week they were doing a huge game event for Warhammer, involving no less than 12 players in a huge free-for-all game. I also discovered there was a new edition to the game I didn't know about that just recently released. I met a lot of people who I still play with to this day.

A really good friend of mine taught me how to play the game correctly and how to think differently when it comes to list composition and gameplay. He also taught me about painting, and I remember how he blew my mind when he showed me how to layer paint with red up to orange (a lot of things got a treatment of red after that haha). We played almost religiously and went to dozens of tournaments around Texas. I had moved from successfully playing vanilla Space Marines to Slaanesh Chaos Marines - which I actually did very well with - to my Ravenwing, which won several tournaments consistently. I vastly improved my painting abilities and discovered that it is one of my favorite aspects to the hobby by far, even winning several painting competitions and usually coming out with Best Painted in most of the tournaments we attended. After several years we took the plunge for Warhammer Fantasy and quickly discovered that it was even better!

After a few years of that we moved on to Warmachine (Mark 1) for a change of pace. Our group got somewhat smaller but we still met up weekly for gaming. During these years I was opened up to a lot more than miniature gaming. We played lots of board games - Battlestar Galactica was probably one of my favorite moments. We played Star Wars Miniatures extensively (a great game that went the way of the dodo), I was shoved into Versus and discovered why they called CCGs "Cardboard Crack," and plenty more that I wouldn't be able to recall.

After I graduated college I got married and we planned on moving to El Paso to be closer to my family, along with the pursuit of a career of some sort. Warmachine MkII just came out and we were knee-deep in the game, but when I moved to El Paso I had a hard time finding opportunities to game. There was only one shop I found over there, and they were more into Magic the Gathering than miniatures. Although I played Magic, the scene wasn't very welcoming (I find a lot of Magic stores to be less forgiving, but that's painting with a broad brush) and I quickly lost any drive to make the effort to go there. So for about two years I didn't do any table top gaming, and hardly any painting at all. I did try to get some friends of mine into it, but nothing ever came out of it.

It wasn't anything to complain about, I rediscovered one of my other hobbies I did in high school - paintball. But that's a whole other story, all that needs to be said is this - that hobby can be even more expensive lol.

My family had moved away from El Paso after two years. Being that my wife missed living near her parents and most of mine had moved we decided to come back to the Houston area. When we moved back here one of the first things I did was search for a local shop to play at. I knew Houston was a hotbed for miniature gaming and that there should be several stores nearby. I discovered my local gaming store and got right back in to the swing of things. I even met some people who I've gamed with since then.

I not only discovered my local store, I found a lot others including visiting the new location of one of my old regular places, Fat Ogre. If you're ever in that area of Houston you should definitely visit.

I got a great job and have since been rediscovering my love of painting and playing. I've probably grown more in the last two years as a painter than I have my entire painting career! I'm also into more games now than I can count, mostly due to the renaissance of miniature gaming that's occurring thanks to YouTube, Kickstarter and other internet influences. I'm closer now than ever to having one of my dreams since I first saw miniatures in having terrain and a full table to be proud of.

So we come to today. It's a day of hobby reflection for me, where I pause and take stock as to my growth as a person in this wonderful distraction of ours. Miniature gaming has taken me to become a better person, helped me meet incredible lifelong friends, and pushed the boundaries of my creativity. It really is a large chunk of my identity and I've dedicated a good portion of my life toward it. It may not be something like a career or lifetime achievement, but it is something that is of value. Gaming may not save any lives other than the pretend soldiers on the table, but it's been a driving and guiding force consistently throughout my short existence.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Statue of Morr!

I worked on some terrain last night and thought I'd post some WIP pics. Earlier last week I airbrushed this piece using the zenithal technique. Overall I left it rather light grey and decided to try my first attempt at using the dry pigments I acquired about a month or two ago. I mostly used it on the ground stones to get a feel for how they behave. Overall they're a very easy product to use and produces a very smooth blend. I used black pigment between the cracks of the stone and some of the edges. These areas needed shading but were too small to use the airbrush for. Overall a very cool effect and easy to use, it's definitely another tool in my arsenal for future projects that I plan on using often. I've also got them in white, light blue and khaki. I plan on trying to use the white/blue for OSL glows and the khaki for dirt so if I use it again I'll post up progress!

Another thing of note: I tried a slight change in how I painted skulls for this piece. Normally I have a bleached bone look but decided to make it a little more stained for this one. It appears more brown than it really is since it's placed next to a light gray but I really like it. If I can remember it I think this is how I'll do bones in the future.

Anyway, it was a fun and quick piece. I'm thinking of just doing one piece of the terrain at a time (it comes with several items like this statue) in between other models to keep my interest without burning out and slowly getting one of my favorite terrain purchases done.