Saturday, 25 July 2015

Full Warlord Concept

Just a quick Photoshop sketch to work out what colours are going where. Still not sure about the ratio of blue or if I'll be using the fleur de lis as the pattern, might just use diamonds. Something simple either way. Want the complex stuff on the heraldry to stand out.

So here it is. God they better release a power claw soon.

Hats off to the Forgeworld team for doing such a cracking job painting, photographing and sculpting this monster. Made stealing your pictures and changing them a pleasure :)

Happy painting!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

How I learned to love marble

After nearly a month of building, planning, and practice. I have finally placed brush to resin. And low, it was good!

Measure twice cut once, as someone probably always used to say, the practice and concept phases are really paying off now. So here is a run down of how I did it. First off I asked the community a harassing amount of questions and got some fantastic ideas, then watched a load of the Painting Buddha videos, and car painting videos (turns out the cling film effect doesn't work as well as I had hoped, simply too small a surface. Eventually I settled on a couple of pieces of reference and just decided to copy them with a combination of techniques.

 If I'm feeling particularly brave I might put some green and blue streaks into it later. Terrified of this technique falling apart at the last moment.

Stage one was a zenithal highlight. Didn't think I would go this route as there are so many layers but looking at marble it tends to come out kind of flat. So the more depth the better in these initial stages.

Next was laying down my rough thin colour pallet. Mainly Vallejo colours and plenty of water.

First that went down was a thin Sand colour, followed by a couple of drips of the Flat Tan into the dirty airbrush to lighten it with what was left of the Sand colour. (Horrible sentence, change before publish.)

Next was sponging. Held in tweezers chunks of sponge were dipped into mixtures of the base colour and HEAVILY watered Mahogany. The Mahogany colour is so dark there was a chance this step could go horribly wrong. The key to this stage, after much trial and error is keeping your colours varied but within your colour range. Green blue cream to deep red is a huge pallet to choose from.

After touching the surface with the sponge, a clean wet brush was quickly skimmed over the surface to break up the coffee stain edges. I wanted to keep some but not all. Thats the real trick to marble, knowing that combination of perfect fading blend and hard jarring lines.

Finally some cracks begin to show!
Veeeery vvvveeeery softly with a mechanical pencil the cracks are sketched into the marble. This not only gives you a guide but adds an extra layer of detail to the final result.

Then roughly trace with thick lines and a thin Seraphim Sepia wash over the pencil marks. A little of the pencil should show through.
Varying the thickness and colour a little will make it look more organic.

Next step was switching out the colours and stepping back down to the thinnest lines and tiniest dots I can do. Picking out small intersections of cracks to darken with nearly pure Mahogany.

Next up is the ground work for my weathering. Through looking at marble reference and "in the wild", when metal is attached or bolted into it it behaves in an odd way. Reacting amazingly with brass and iron, rust degrades it, rain stains it, verdigris destroys it. So going around the edges of the plates with a heavier filter of wash increases the contrast and gives me a nice dark recess to work with when the oil washes and dripping rust come out later.

Finally you can see, if you squint, in the center of the plate I've picked out a single crack in nearly pure white. As if there are impuritys in the marble. a vein of quartz or salt. I'll dot these around in places that seem a bit empty.

Finally the gold. This was a challenge as I had my concept planned and have specific reasons for keeping the colours in this way. Darker old gold around the marble to frame it. Not too much detail to draw the eye, touch of red in its weathering to draw a little more pink and rose from the marble itself. And the right tone to maximise the contrast. Thankfully I managed it with two layers of Viking gold from scale 75 and a shitload of nuln oil. :D


Now to plan exactly how much of this im going to put on the beast.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Carved from stone

As soon as the build was finished I press moulded several heads and bits of the warlord to practice and use on bases for projects in the future. Really didn't want to mess up a chunk of this and have to strip it back down so it seemed the best way. The press mould technique is very rough but great for throw away bits. 

Studying reference is the key here. 

Looking at real marble and seeing how its formed makes a huge difference.

And of course going back into my painting Buddha catalogue and watching their incredible marble tutorial. 

You can subscribe to them here for less than a cup of coffee a month.

Thanks for reading! 
Any suggestions or comments welcome
Happy painting! 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Warlord concept: Detailed Mock up

Starting to rethink some of my filigree patterns now I look at the shapes and lay down details in the concept. I thought I had a lot more room, but this may end up looking more messy than detailed. 

The build is finished, baring a couple of small bits that FW are kindly re-casting for me, and the base layer is down. With something this size and with what I have planned there was no point in subtlety of base-coat, there will be so many layers over it, any lighting information I put in at this stage would be lost instantly.

The next stage is to mock up the entire titan and see how it looks, with the colour scheme and freehand. And any minor alterations in pose.

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Warlord: Build Post 1 of 2

There'll only be one or two build posts. It's an epic undertaking building this beast but there are so many sites out there that document it I'll only be doing this for the sake of people doing their own big projects and as an idea of scale.

Step one, Jigsaw and stanly knife and scalpul the hell out of the 6 carrier bags of excess resin that was clinging to the warlord. I would usually use this time to clean mold lines and sand down but this sculpt was practically perfect. Really could not have asked for a better mold. Sharp and clean, what few mold lines were hidden inside the model. This still took me about 16hours to sand, cut, clean and test. 

Next... The romantic bath.
 You gotta treat your warlord right. Although there didnt look like there was any mold release on the parts, you can never be too careful. Imagaine half way through painting you realise that no paint sticks to a big section. or a huge bit of freehand just peels off when you touch it. That is the stuff of nightmares. So put the lot in a fairy liquid, washing up liquid and medium hot water bath for a few hours and scrub the hell out of every piece with a soft nail brush.

Starting at the top, this is where the build really begins. Wireless Dremel with multiple drill bits, super-glue, thick wire for pins, screws of various sizes, paperclips for stability pins, quick-grip clamps, green-stuff, and JB weld epoxy steel to set things in stone.

I test every pin to make sure it lines up and doesn't look wonky before adding the JB weld to the model. Might add some brittle superglue to test fit then snap off if the pin doesn't hold. Then once the JB weld is mixed and applied to the surface, clamp in place and leave over night.

To see where I need to drill for each pin, ill drill and glue one end, then dip the other exposed end in bright orange paint. lining up and pushing the two pieces together will give me an orange dot where the next hole needs to go.

 once the upper body is set I pushed 3 large rods all the way through the sholder sections to make doubly sure nothing would move. And to allow the sholders to rest on the pins rather than rely on the glue to hold it. Each weapons system weights an absolute ton so NO risks were taken.

 The Warlord takes first blood...

Clamps arnt going to work for every part of this project, every part of these sholders are curved or too delicate to clamp. So a spare bit of rope to  tie it together until the JB weld is set worked perfectly.

 As you can see no matter how careful you are, there may well be gaps. (Top left piston housing), not too worried about this, greenstuff will be added and sculpted once its 100% dried. (This will be detailed in part 2)

 And there it was, the upper structure is done! Time for my Titan princepter lord to chill out on his balcony. Notice no armor plates are even attempted in this stage. I wont be glueing them on until they are painted and sealed. Even then I may well just magnetise them for ease of transport.

The next part is the legs. God damn this was hard enough with the Forgeworld knights to get a dynamic pose, let alone something big enough to be a child in a costume!

Deciding on the angle of the hips is the start of any dynamic pose, and suspending the hips from a bit of rope that I could tilt while keeping it level was the easiest way to do it. I needed to keep the pose quite wide to support the upper half and weapons, while at the same time, keep the feet at angled to let it stand comfortably.

Setting the screws and pins in the leg is mind bendingly difficult. There aren't enough hands in the world. My lovely wife spent longer than she wanted holding parts in place while I pinned and sanded. Find a partner that both hates and supports your hobby.

 As you can see once the pose was decided I painted little lines of orange to allow me to quickly see where it needs to line up to achive the same pose. By keeping these lines straight the same pose is easy to achieve again.

In theory. Best laid plans etc. 

 You can see all the pins that went into this sticking out while it drys, I've lost count of the total so far. But it must be getting to about 60-100 now. There are a total of 6 large screws in the legs as well. To allow me a little wiggle room to lock the pose before I put the final stability pins in coated with JB weld. The actual sections of the legs arnt glued at all just the pins.

And there you have it. Two sections solid as a rock. Still not quite sure how im going to secure the upper half yet but magnets, horizontal and virtical pins and faith will be involved somehow.

Thank you for reading! Part two will be the magnets and greenstuff.

Happy painting!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Warlord: Belicosa Volcano Cannon Design

The cannon is beast. Its flipping huge. And it needs no help to look intimidating. So its really turned into a very easy canvas. Five patches of open armor, and the rest in various shades of gold, bronze, brass and Iron.

The only part of the mock up I really don't like are the kill markings in the top right. The checker works but the skulls look a bit ... obvious. Maybe small Fleur de lis or something like that.

This wont be turning into a build blog, and there will only be one big post on pinning, glueing, cleaning etc. to keep it practical. I really wanted this to be purely design and process.
But.. well.. yeah.

Thanks for reading!
And happy painting!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The princeps rises!

Its decided! I'm going for a Louis the 14th style old gold, cream white marble, and rich saturated blue. Proper titanic royalty. The Gilded war balloon of the 41st millenium. Filigree, wings, wigs, and powder. I had 20mins to myself to doodle so thought I would get some ideas out of my head for the princeps himself. The Marquise! 

Not based on any known legion, this will be from a smaller Forgeworld. Maybe one that supply's the gold for the golden throne. With mad princepts who believe themselves gods. Often called forth to single handedly bring feudal worlds into the Imperial fold. Unfortunately the ever madder and inbred princepts of the legion, more often than not, will take the world as their own. Ruling from their Warlord as a walking castle! ... or something like that.

I'll do some proper drawings once I get my colours sorted. And when I've given my giant a bath :)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Warlord lands

I'm sitting in Bugmans right now doing some sketches for some fancy molding I'm planning on the beast. 

The open day weekend was fantastic. Dinner with Blanche, John Ashton and Tim Malloy. Followed by a night of drinking and chatting about how the 41st millennium is probably a lot darker than we first thought. The words "baby farms planet" cropped up a lot. Hotel was shitting awful, but none of that mattered when I picked up Jessica. My warlord. I did end up with the triple lasers and one bellicose cannon. Only because I want to end up with all the weapon options eventually and those triple lasers look the tits. Turns out I bought the perfect size luggage too :)