PhoenixEnvy's VC Blog

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Phoenixenvy
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PhoenixEnvy's VC Blog

Postby Phoenixenvy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:26 pm

Alrighty, I've learned a bit more about getting nice photos, and even though my light cube hasn't arrived, I'm going to post the better pics of the two things I am currently working on. Please feel free to comment, if you at least think you're being constructive. :twisted:


To begin, I've been working on a diorama element for my Grave Guard, a funeral procession for the Old Master. It seems he didn't necessarily go peacfully in the night, and might be a bit ticked if he wakes back up, hence the chains.

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I realize the hands holding the casket aren't perfectly aligned yet, but once everything is painted they will be fixed in place with glue to solve that problem.

If anyone can explain why the picture quality suddenly went crap when I added the casket, I'd appreciate it. I assume it has something to do with the greater contrast, but I'm new to this photography business.
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:34 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:30 pm

The other project I'm working on is a slightly re-posed Zombie Dragon with the addition of some scenic elements including a lovely broken column cast in resin by our friends at Forge World. As of now, the only finished element is the shading of the wings.

By the time I'm done, the base will be overgrown and muddied and a vine will have overtaken the column, at least in some part. And, of course, there will be a rider or riders. I'm considering the option for magnetized riders, one with a more castery look and one with the quintessential lance and platemail of the blood dragons.

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Pjschard

plaza

Postby Pjschard » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:35 pm

I really like the look of the the centerpiece...
It almost look like they're walking through a plaza with the movement tray base...

psecody

Postby psecody » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:24 pm

Well in the second to last picture of the grave guard I think its because you're too close to the subject. Even if you're using a macro lens on your camera you still have to be a ways back, maybe try 16" or more away from the subject also if you're using a digital camera some of them have a "digital zoom" as well as the zoom on the lens itself. The digital zoom is basically like a zoom button on the computer and the pictures tend to lose a little bit of quality when its used (for me anyway).

By the look of the pictures I'm assuming your camera has auto focus and in the last picture it was trying to focus on the casket and not the grave guard. I'm not very experienced with newer digital cameras but most newer ones do show you what they're trying to focus on (usually by putting brackets around what it thinks is the subject. Try making the camera focus more on the grave guard to get them in focus.

But to get both more in focus if you can try to slow the shutter speed down a little bit and use a smaller aperture (the higher the f number the smaller the aperature)

edit: OT: the 16" thing made me wonder. If Warhammer was created and initially sold in Britian then why is the measurements all in inches and not cm or mm?

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Postby thomasthefinch » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:07 pm

I absolutely love your grave guard. I'm actually in love with them.

But if I'm going to be honest, I think you should lose the chain.

It's a bit too big for the scale of the cofin. If you imagine it in real life, you wouldnt be able to get your hand around loop of chain.

Also I think it takes away from the Vampire Counts theme. Why would it be chained?

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:25 pm

thomasthefinch wrote:I absolutely love your grave guard. I'm actually in love with them.

But if I'm going to be honest, I think you should lose the chain.

It's a bit too big for the scale of the cofin. If you imagine it in real life, you wouldnt be able to get your hand around loop of chain.

Also I think it takes away from the Vampire Counts theme. Why would it be chained?


Thanks for the compliments.. The chain is overly large because it's meant to contain a very angry vampire lord, should he regenerate from the overthrowing he's just received from the now-general of the horde. I figured chain with links the size of your fist was probably best for containing the preternatural. Perhaps no one would buy this? It's easy enough to take off.

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Postby thomasthefinch » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:22 pm

I'm not sure.

I'd love to see it painted, to see what it looks like.

I think you either have to go the whole 9 yards or none at all. Not bother chaining it at all, or completely overdo it. With lots and lots of little chains.

But I'm very very excited to see this entire army finished.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:42 am

thomasthefinch wrote:But I'm very very excited to see this entire army finished.


Me too, since I started collecting it 10 years ago >.> Then again, I'm a much better painter now than I was then, so that could be a procrastinator's bonus!

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:43 pm

After long deliberation, the chain is off! In the end, it had chains because I like chains.. >.> It reads more clearly without it, and a respectful funeral procession is a bit more class I think. Who knows, maybe it's your general's coffin, not mine? So nice of us to bring one along for you. ;)

I need to assemble the last 4 GG with GW that will round out the unit and then painting can commence. Should have made some decent progress by the end of the week.

I've also assembled both of my mounted BSBs (one wight using the Bret BSB and one vamp using the Red Duke with a scratch built standard), Mannfred VonCarstein (the new, uber version), and 40 ghouls, all waiting for primer. I'll post the BSB once he's pretty and white.

Painting wise, I've finished my Zombies, so I'll post them, my Wraiths & Banshee, and once the Black Coach comes out of the shop from its detailing, that as well.

That just leaves the varghulf, 2 corpse carts, 2 fell bats (out of 6), 15 Black Knights, 5 Blood Knights, 10 GG with sword & board, 40 skeletons (being retouched from being painted when I was 16), the finishing of that zombie dragon, an abyssal terror, a repaint on my spirit host (snotling) herds and.. well.. all of the characters really.. and a Hellsteed if I decide to build one.

Okay, so I'm nowhere near done.. but at least now it's all laid out there to see. It's still a long road before the High Elves can march to war.

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Postby thomasthefinch » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:44 pm

Phoenixenvy wrote:After long deliberation, the chain is off! In the end, it had chains because I like chains.. >.> It reads more clearly without it, and a respectful funeral procession is a bit more class I think. Who knows, maybe it's your general's coffin, not mine? So nice of us to bring one along for you. ;)

I need to assemble the last 4 GG with GW that will round out the unit and then painting can commence. Should have made some decent progress by the end of the week.

I've also assembled both of my mounted BSBs (one wight using the Bret BSB and one vamp using the Red Duke with a scratch built standard), Mannfred VonCarstein (the new, uber version), and 40 ghouls, all waiting for primer. I'll post the BSB once he's pretty and white.

Painting wise, I've finished my Zombies, so I'll post them, my Wraiths & Banshee, and once the Black Coach comes out of the shop from its detailing, that as well.

That just leaves the varghulf, 2 corpse carts, 2 fell bats (out of 6), 15 Black Knights, 5 Blood Knights, 10 GG with sword & board, 40 skeletons (being retouched from being painted when I was 16), the finishing of that zombie dragon, an abyssal terror, a repaint on my spirit host (snotling) herds and.. well.. all of the characters really.. and a Hellsteed if I decide to build one.

Okay, so I'm nowhere near done.. but at least now it's all laid out there to see. It's still a long road before the High Elves can march to war.



Looking forward to seeing this a lot. I think you have made the right decision with the chain though, definately.

I'm curious as to how you are going to paint it. I find it is often hard to unify a VC army with a paint scheme, as all the models are so different. Obviously the blood red is going to be a theme throughout, but I think the Grave Guard, as a centrepiece, are going to be spectacular.

I'm doing a TK at the minute and I'm finding it very easy, as most things have a sheild, they can all be the same colour haha.

curse of beers

Postby curse of beers » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:11 pm

Don't hide the dragon behind the column. The scenic base should be built UP for the dragon, not in front. For example:

Big
Evil
Dragon

Bloodytooth

Postby Bloodytooth » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:13 pm

Phoenixenvy wrote:. Who knows, maybe it's your general's coffin, not mine? So nice of us to bring one along for you. ;)


I love this idea, simply because it's so presumptuous. Imagine seeing a giant unit of undead knights bring an enormous coffin into battle for no apparent, reason, then as the general charges into the unit he sees that his own name is on the coffin. Then he runs like hell.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:07 am

curse of beers wrote:Don't hide the dragon behind the column. The scenic base should be built UP for the dragon, not in front. For example:

Big
Evil
Dragon


The front of the model is the shot with the column on the right hand side, so only his tail is really hidden. I really like the way the tail interacts in space with the column, and I thought the pose naturally lent itself to this.. I think it makes the dragon look a bit more cunning, which I like.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:08 am

Bloodytooth wrote:
Phoenixenvy wrote:. Who knows, maybe it's your general's coffin, not mine? So nice of us to bring one along for you. ;)


I love this idea, simply because it's so presumptuous. Imagine seeing a giant unit of undead knights bring an enormous coffin into battle for no apparent, reason, then as the general charges into the unit he sees that his own name is on the coffin. Then he runs like hell.


Definitely an air of creepiness, eh?

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:53 pm

My photo fu is in development, but that light cube I've been harping on arrived today. At present I'm using one flood light with a daylight bulb and one (much weaker) halogen on the other side with daylight tubes above (my usual desk light.) I intend to get at least one more flood light for another daylight bulb, which should help the brightness, but I think these aren't bad for now.

Behold, Direwolves..

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How are the size of these pics? Should they be bigger? I don't want to make them huge, but a little detail is getting lost.
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:10 pm

Here are my wraiths.. they are not photogenic, it seems.. it may have to do with them having a pearlized finish. I used a different white balance setting on these, which I think gave truer colors than when I shot them with the same settings as the Wolves. I thought them finished, but they may be due for a little more work. I am undecided about the eyes.. I want them to look lost, especially the banshee, but also a bit malevolent which might not be reading.

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ironick

Postby ironick » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:57 pm

I really like the dragon, it's dynamic and original. I think it should be getting more credit!

Dire wolves are excellently done as well.

Dropping the chain was a good decision on the GG.

I like the banshees, the glowing eye effect came off well... but I think the bases let them down a little, the green/brown colours don't seem to go with the minis.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:42 pm

ironick wrote:I really like the dragon, it's dynamic and original. I think it should be getting more credit!

Dire wolves are excellently done as well.

Dropping the chain was a good decision on the GG.

I like the banshees, the glowing eye effect came off well... but I think the bases let them down a little, the green/brown colours don't seem to go with the minis.


Thanks for the kind words.. I agree, the bases "stick out" alone, but that is the basing I will be using for the entire army.. With such amazingly varied units, I have to cling to similar basing, and throwing in at least a little red everywhere I can to make the army cohesive. I plan to make them a movement tray, so I may incorporate some more ghostly elements into that to give the unit itself its own character.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:26 am

Here's an update of the grave guard procession that gave birth to this blog...

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I'm interested in all comments, particularly about the centre piece and the command models, of course. I noticed in this photo that in two places similar models are ranked beside one another. That will be fixed in the final product.
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MuscleGamer

Postby MuscleGamer » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:15 am

Wow. Just wow. Those grave guard and the dragon and fantastic, specially the unit filler centre piece. look forward to seeing your next minis

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:17 am

With Zombies being of ultimate importance in the new rules, I finally found a reason to buy more and paint the ones I'd been harboring for years.

My goal with these figs was to give a grimey/slimey/bloaty/nasty appearance, and also to practice highlighting metals. I think I managed both.. I'm pretty happy with the way the light appears on the weapons (that's not from the photo lighting) and the bloody guts. There are definitely better guts on this forum, but I was pretty okay with mine. They need a banner yet, but other than that, these fellas are done.


Image

Image
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:24 am

Here's the vamp BSB I've been working on. This was the result of the thread about modelling cloth out of G/S. The cloth of the banner is totally from scratch, and the pole features a Bretonnian knight's helmet, and the unfortunate knight who once occupied it! And a bell.. I'm not sure why, but all the Bret BSBs have a bell, so we got one too.. not to be shown up.

This isn't the horse he will be riding, but as his is modelled as rearing up in the air, I couldn't get him to sit still on it without being

Image

Image
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:18 pm

In spite of all the nice primed projects, I'm moving onto more RnF, my 40 ghouls. I'm working on making them similar without being identical.. My scheme so far is to start all of them with rotting flesh, and then wash them with green and another wash (I'm using sepia, mud, and flesh) and then go back and highlight again with rotting flesh. It's producing varied but similar skin tones.

Does anyone else do something like this, or do you just paint all of your skin the same color? It seemed to me that if painting 40 identical minis was boring to do, it was probably boring to look at.

Bloodytooth

Postby Bloodytooth » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:55 pm

Well what I did was basically experimentation that turned to look actually pretty damn good. I basically layered on different mixes of Bleached Bone and Tanned Flesh until I was happy with the colour, then highlighted with Tanned Flesh+Blood Red, and then blooodied them up a bit. I more or less painted them all the same tone, though (as I made 15 that didn't have any spikey bits and 15 that did) I painted the ones with the spikey bits with a mix that was a little stronger on the tanned flesh side.

boosterburn

Postby boosterburn » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:17 pm

I've been painting my ghouls up in with with green and purple washes, but using different amounts of layers of the 2 on each mini. So far it is providing a variable skin tone that remains coherent enough to look good as a unit.
As far as your army it looks great! Love the zombie dragon.

BellRinger

Postby BellRinger » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:18 pm

I think your dragon base looks great. I'm not crazy about GW dragons, but that's hardly your fault ;-)

The grave guard is also very well done.

The reason I wrote this comment, though, is to warn you about the mold lines on the BSB. They're really prominent on the horses' front legs - make sure you don't miss those before painting! It would be a shame.

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:06 pm

So they are! Fortunately his actual horse doesn't have that problem.. but I'll be sure to clean that up on the wight king's horse. I am, admittedly, horrible about mould lines.

Thanks for the compliments though. :)

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Postby Phoenixenvy » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:17 am

Okay, so I'm assembling the official last model of my VC army, my vampire BSB on foot.. (stupid army with 4 BSB variations!) Quite obviously, I'm working from bits from the Empire hero/bsb box.. I've replaced with a more suitable head, a more fun weapon, and traded out that nasty runefang replica for a nice pointy bit.

A few things I'm looking at:

The shield on the banner - I think I want to file off that weird comet-horned hart thinger.

The kneepads - I think those comety things, again, are weird, and should go.

Beyond that, I think the model is really exciting from the shoulders up and boring as hell the rest of the way down. The pose is so static, and nothing really good is going on down there. I keep thinking he needs a cocked capelet or something over one shoulder to hang down.. or.. something... any ideas welcome!

Image
Last edited by Phoenixenvy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CrazyOrc88

Postby CrazyOrc88 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:04 am

Watch out for the twin tailed comets on his knee pads too, unless you don't mind empire symbols on your guy (since he probably fought for the empire in life anyways).

Ravage

Postby Ravage » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:25 am

Looks very good so far :shock:

I wasnt too sold on the Grave guard coffin at first but seeing it as a part of the whole unit really gives the unit a cool feel.

As for the Ghouls, that is probaly why most people make unit fillers in order not to make units look boring or is boring to paint. As long as the base is tied in with the rest of the army and there is some chohency between the models you should do fine.

That BSB looks very nice too, cant wait to see it all painted :)


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