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Monday, January 22, 2018

The Walking Dead - Andrea Complete!

Hey internet people!

So on Saturday I managed to paint my first survivor for the Walking Dead miniatures game, and I'm very very very happy with how she turned out, especially for the time I spent.

I knew since the game arrived that this model would be the first survivor I'd paint. Andrea was my absolute favorite character from the comic (who was given a disservice in the television series, yet her character was still enjoyable). She was a person who didn't want to be a victim and took training into her own hands, and managed to become one of the most reliable soldiers of the group and the best shot.

It didn't hurt that she had the best sculpt of the game in my opinion. Very rarely do we see sculpts of characters squared up for shooting. There's a possibility of this pose being a difficult sculpt or something, or perhaps it's not a dynamic pose, but I find myself wanting to see more of this in miniatures. It's also great to see a female character not cheesed up with skimpy outfits or over-emphasized body shapes. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy these models, but they permeate every game I have or look at and we need less emphasis on games overall. I like a good cheesy model, especially in anime based games, but it's not needed everywhere, and in this game it would betray the character anyway.

So I started out with my mantra in mind (get it table ready) but wanted to spend a little more effort on the survivors as they are the stars of the show. With this in mind I thought of quick techniques to utilize that still look professional - smooth textures for the shirt and leather, but drybrush for the jeans for speed. Lighter washes throughout the clothing to give smoothness and speed.

So with a light grey basecoat I sprayed 50/50 VGA Wolf Grey/VGA Shadow Grey for a lighter blue gray base. I then zenithal sprayed Wolf Grey then a light spray of Wolf Grey/White for the final highlights. I took SWM Storm Cloud Wash, which is a close color to the blue greys of Shadow and Wolf, mixed it with a few drops of GW Lahmian Medium to give more matte to the finish while keeping the wash viscosity properties, and a drop or two of water to make it more runny. I took this wash and heavily washed the shirt to tone down the white/lightness and provide soft shading throughout. Secret Weapon washes are excellent for this, as they're one of the only companies I know of that make light toned washes. They even have one that is a bright yellow green called Fallout. Having light washes is a good way to shade really bright tones and maintain its lightness, and most companies make very dark washes because it works most of the time.

With the jeans I based it with a few layers of GW Shadow for a solid opaque coating. I heavily washed with GW Nuln Oil, then drybrushed with GW Shadow and GW Space Wolf Grey (forgot the new name of this) to build up the highlights lightly and create that rough texture. Drybrushing has been a nice relief of a technique to use lately. Although I don't like the messiness of it (I like a lot of control for my blends) it's been nice to accept it as a valid technique for speed.

I used my usual Vallejo/Angel Giraldez recipe for the red leather on her straps and boots. For the hair I based with VGC Goldbrown, washed with GW Agrax Earthshade, and highlighted with VGC Goldbrown mixed with successive additions of VMC Dark Sand. I think I successfully reenacted Andrea's dirty blonde hair!

I was really proud of her eyes, as I tried a different technique for painting them. I'm getting much more accurate with these, although it is a frustrating element of painting. It's one of those details that is just so annoying to do, and I always have to redo eyes for every model which risks parts of the paint drying thicker in different areas and affecting the dot of the eye's application. But when you get this right it unlocks a higher level in your miniature and draws the attention to the face even more.

Of course, I had to include a picture of playing around with my toys!

Pretty soon I'll have a demo set up fully painted! I'm concentrating on getting two crews of equal level survivors painted, which means I have to figure out what combinations are good for demoing the game first. I am not much of a fan of having Rick/Carl going against the generic scavenger gang, as it doesn't inspire much enthusiasm in me. I was thinking of having Rick/Carl go against Andrea and her sister as an even match, and maybe including one more beater on each side. Fans of the Walking Dead may not like Andrea going against Rick, but I think they are better models to display the game's range - Rick and Andrea both reflect strong characters with support models like Carl & her sister Amy that need protection give the leaders some synergy.

Anyway, let me know what you think! See you next time.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Walking Dead WIP & Other Stuff...

Paints... Paaaaaaaaaaaaints...

Howdy folks!

Long time no post, as usual!

So I did quite a bit of hobby stuff recently and thought a good update was in order.

First up: my Novus building that you may recall from waaaay back in the day.

I took entirely too long to actually slap paint on this bad boy

I kept it simple like the other building. I under coated it with blank, then highlighted VGA Cold Grey and VMA Light Grey, then came back over with VMA Scarlet Red, an excellent vibrant red. Lastly I painted the interior walls with VMA Khaki or something. I still have work to do on it, like paint the debris and machines, but I've held myself to my 2018 mantra:

Get your crap at least table ready.

The flood in Houston forced me to consolidate all my hobby stuff and move them around the house, which when all piled together really became overwhelming when seeing all the stuff I have, and how none of it is completely painted.

So I'm going to try to get things at least presentable when I can, meaning actually painting rather than just thinking of painting. An hour here, and hour there, it all adds up and gets crap done.

So when I saw this building again I decided that's what I'll do, starting with this building, and did it.

Which transitioned into the next project:

The Walking Dead: All Out War Miniatures Game

I Kickstarted this game a while back, and even though I was hesitant when it first came out by the end of the campaign I was really excited to back it and get it on the table. When it arrived I played a few solo games but nothing serious, I mostly used the cars for terrain for other games and even the supply token pieces. I never really tried to get it on the table for our regular gaming group, though, as we usually played Malifaux and it just collected dust.

Recently, though, one of our regulars expressed interest in other games as Malifaux is starting to feel tired - this will happen when it's what your main game is (in our group) and it's played multiple times a week since 2013, which is when at least I joined the group so it's even longer for this player. When I thought about my catalog of games that might be interesting to introduce during this opportunity I brushed by my copy of TWD and figured why not.

I got really motivated to get this table ready and started on two of the walkers:

These were my test models for quick-painting concepts. I figured I'd rely heavily on washes and drybrushing (I hardly drybrush ever, so this shows that I really want to get these done lol) and came up with a recipe/paint order that may very well get the job done, and it's similar to how I painted my old horde Vampire army in Warhammer Fantasy.

For the skin, it's 50/50 VMA IDF Green/VGC Dead Flesh airbrushed on, then zenithal with VGC Dead Flesh, then a heavy wash of SWM Stone wash, then a drybrush of VGC Dead Flesh and a bit of white, followed by a spot wash of GW Green for shading and tone. A few dashes of GW Blood stuff adds contrast to the overall green tone.

For any other elements like clothing I just base, wash, drybrush, repeat as needed. As I said, really trying to get this done fast and not get held up on details like I normally do, and I feel like this recipe is a good balance between speed and aesthetics.

While I painted those I got started on the trucks that come with the game (for the KS version). I knew I wanted a red and a blue truck, as my wife used to own a cool red Chevy and when we first met we drove around in her blue Chevy, so I undercoated one with Black/Cold Grey/Light Grey then hit it with Scarlet Red like the Novus building. Then I washed it with GW Agrax Earthshade for quick weathering and did a few other elements like the windows.

Where it's at so far, these walkers are a breeze and fun to paint

The vehicles aren't done fully, as I need to pick out elements like the grill and hubcaps, and weather it even further with stippling and paint chipping, but as I said earlier - just get my crap table ready, so I did.

Speaking of table ready:

I couldn't help myself! I recently bought a Walking Dead mouse pad mat from our FLGS in anticipation of my recent motivation to get TWD table ready. So I plopped on some Battle Systems terrain, a few trees, etc. and before you know it I've got a pretty sweet table ready to rock this game! With its small model count I may actually get a game fully painted and ready for demos!

I have to admit I really like the small table size and model count, but when you have about 10 or so zombies on this set up you can see exactly the claustrophobia that this game meant to induce in players! It's going to be fun and intense.

And as a side project:

I started and almost completed Rosamu from the board game Yashima. I've always liked this game and its miniatures, and thought it could double as a model in A Fistful of Kung Fu. I painted it mostly by brush, so it felt like painting with one hand tied behind me as I've heavily airbrushed for the last few years, but it's nice to get back to your roots - I just shouldn't have done so after picking orange and yellow as my colors, because man I forgot how tedious and painful those colors are when painting by hand! The difficulty and disappointment actually led me to stop painting this guy for now, but - and this is my new mantra - he's table ready!

That's it for now, I'll keep in touch when I can!