Tuesday, 24 March 2015

He's a Big Boy

That dragon really is. I've never taken quite so long to get a model fully assembled before, but after a month and a half after I bought him, Smaug is finally assembled, the putty still curing. Partly that time is due to having full time work, and now that I'm only working part time (training as a lab technician with the rest of my time now) I can work a bit more on model stuffs.

I haven't glued him to his base, but otherwise everything is stuck there until the end of time. I've got no idea when I'll start painting him, but I'd like to at least get him undercoated in the next two weeks. That's a task which will have to battle for priority with this lot though:

The above being
x2 Winged Nazgul
a Balrog
a Mumak (I really wanted to compare Smaug to one)
Eomer (foot and mounted)
Thranduil (foot and mounted and stretching his legs)
Bard, Bolg and Yazneg (foot and mounted)
Bard with the Windlance
Actually, I'm too tired right now to bother finishing the list because it's a long one that literally covers half my bed.

Until next time, wind, wings, et cetera, sleep.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Time is 'Dragon' on

The one time that I actually hope for a replacement model when I ask for just the component, and it's the one time they send just the component... t'was a long shot anyway.

After three days of fairly solid work, I've assembled most of him. Still a bit to go, but there's so much I want to do before I finish the assembly stage.

I decided to do him with his wings glued on as I can't figure out how I would paint him and then attach the wings neatly. A feeling of vindication in this resulted when I dry-fitted the wings to find that serious bending was in order. After all, his feet must line up with the footprints on the base, his wings must line up with the body, and his hands must line up with the pillars. Lining all that up will be much easier if his wings are already attached. I won't glue him to the base though until after painting - not totally insane. It's a pity though that his wings are posed as they are. I'd really like to see the detail they cover up on the final model.

Lots of gap-filling is required before I progress much further. Some gaps around the ridge of spines on his lower back are particularly frustrating me where the detail was supposed to line up, but realistically no amount of hot water will fix. Seeing as my sculpting tool box currently only contains a loop of wire, a compass point, and my fingers, I might need to invest in some real tools in order to finish up. Some silicon-tipped instruments would be perfect, just for smoothing over tighter areas where liquid green stuff isn't an option. I'll go as far as I can without them, simply because I have no idea when I'll be able to find some. Putty time is the time that's going to bore me on this model, already the prospect of several sessions to be spent on the spikes on his back is putting me off doing anything, especially as I still have every model from the previous post to fill gaps on too, but I'll chip away at it over the next few weeks and hope for good results. Damn work, always getting in the way.

Bilbo will probably end up on the 25mm base. I prefer models to be on their own bases, even when intended for display. Maybe I'll find a way to make him removable from both bases. 

Until next time, may the wind under your (dragon's) wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Go Left! No, Your Other Left!

Got my Smaug model today, well, most of him. There were two wings included in the kit, but...

...yeah I need the wing for the other left side. Contacted GW, and they said they'll send me a replacement. Normally when they say "replacement", I end up with a whole new model so here's hoping!

In other model news, I'm gonna need to assemble a lot of minis to make space for Smaug:

Pictured are:
Tom, Bert, and William (second hand, on sprue for only $50, plus $8 for the bases from GW, usually $165)
Gwaihir (second hand, on sprue for $60, usually $80)
The new White Council (will detail them when I assemble all this stuff)
Fimbul and Narzug (got for 15% off the RRP)
Riddles in the Dark
Elrond foot and mounted
Legolas foot and mounted
Gothmog (Pelennor)
Master of Laktown
Gandalf the Grey mounted (Only $30 - that's less than he was when he was in production)
4 metal Nazgul
Weathertop Hobbits
Warg Attack Theoden who needs a new arm
All the Beorns
Paladin Took
Fredegar Bolger
Thorin (Erebor)
Bilbo (Burgulator)

When I get some time off work, I'll post about the assembly of these models, and when I get Smaug's wing I will put up pics of him.

Until next time, may the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks (as long as you have both your wings)!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Finishing in Bits and Pieces.

After exactly a month, the four Eowyns that I started in November are painted. The mounted one still needs to have the horse painted, but Eowyn herself still counts as done.

During this time, I have decided that to address the issue of unpainted models in my collection, I will not assemble any more models until such time as I paint a number of models equal to the number I intend to assemble. I've started off this by painting Arod from Legolas and Gimli mounted which I started over two years ago and haven't worked on since until three days ago.

This new rule excludes the models that I currently have in various states or preparedness from before Christmas (being Treebeard, Merry, Pippin, Paladin Took, Fatty Bolger, all three Beorn models, the new Thorin and Bilbo, unarmoured Celeborn, Elrond foot and mounted, and the new Legolas). I will only allow myself to finish preparing these models once I've finished painting all partially painted models I've got (Eowyn's horse, two Gollums, Gandalf, Galadriel and Saruman from the White Council set, and Merry and the Witch-king to go with Eowyn on the diorama base.

This means that when I get new models, they'll be sitting around in their box for quite a while, except for a quick check for casting defects. The only exception to this will be Smaug, who deserves to be worked on straight away.

Photo time now. I've been playing around again with my set up, so not all photos were created equally.

First up, more on my Nazgul and Prey diorama.

Armoured Eowyns. The faces look a bit derp because the lighting messed with the camera detecting lighter colours.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Finally, after making their debut here in late 2012, I give you Legolas and Gimli on Arod!

Next time I hope to have completed images of the partially done models mentioned earlier, but until then, may the wind under your wings bear you to where the sun sails and the moon walks!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

I'm still here.

Alive, not really kicking. But with rumors of Smaug gracing the internet the last few days, and some lovely character models over the last two weeks, I thought I should paint something in the lead up.

Mounted Thranduil is an exciting model for me, and I'm particularly chuffed that he's not on his goddamned Elk, because I really hate that thing. Smaug will be the deciding factor in my next round of purchases. Should he be confirmed, I'll buy him straight away, maybe with the new Thorin, Fili and Kili (and whatever other members of the company come with them given their funny set arrangement). If Smaug doesn't happen, then I'll get all the characters to have come out so far in this wave.

I'm breaking my own rule of not batch painting a bit here by doing the skin, mail, and hair of 4 Eowyns at once, but I need to feel like I'm getting something done, and these areas are simple enough that batch painting won't look too bad. I do feel that the Perry's dropped to ball a bit when they did mtd Eowyn's face as the nose is rather squashes and there's no definition for the lips. Perhaps the dropped ball landed on her face. I'm also plagued by the fact that the notes I took when painting my last Eowyn's face and hair have gone missing. At least the gist of the skin is simple - Elf Flesh, washes of Ogryn Flesh, add white, more washes.

But hey, it's something, right? After this batch section, I'll bring Eowyn with shield to completion, and do Merry and the Witch-king to complete the diorama. I'll be really happy to see that finished and on display.

Picture isn't great, but it illustrates the point of this posting that I'm at least doing things.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

And I Never Sculpted Fire Again

Unless I somehow end up with a second Denethor... maybe... I kinda hope not...

Anyway, I'm done with these guys until I get to painting them. I have two particular favourites that I look forward to painting, the other three will be a bit of a grind for the sake of getting them all done.

Undercoated Aragorn for the sake of completeness (if I didn't know about that arm....) :

Now that I've got all this puttying out of my system, I'm at a crossroads for what to paint next. On one hand, I've got the Fate of the Witch-king to finish up, but on the other hand, getting the Ringwraiths and Aragorn done would be good too. Maybe I'll hold off on painting this Aragorn because his garb is very similar to the Aragorn I painted a few weeks back - I could to Weathertop Aragorn instead. Hardly solves my problem though....

Until next time, may the wind under your wings bear you to where the sun sails and the moon walks!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Learning as I go

Aragorn's done. As far as sculpting goes anyway. He's undercoated and on the shelf with all the other ready-for-painting models to be done when time allows. I don't have pictures yet, and didn't think to take any before writing up this post.

I've also begun on the other four Ringwraiths. On them, I bulked out the flames first, and allowed the putty to set before moving on. I've only sculpted a couple of flames on each one, so that I don't interfere with the work while working... if that makes any sense.

Whilst doing this, I noted that they looked a lot better than the wraith I posted yesterday. I think the reason yesterday's wraith looked so poor is because of the height of the flames, and their distance apart. The fires on the others aren't as tall, and there's more closer together. They look significantly more natural. In an effort to fix the first one, I've tried to fill gaps between some of the fires, but there's only so much that can be done.

As can be seen, this one looks a lot better than the previous, even though he's far from done and most of the spikes are just cones of putty waiting to be covered later. It will take me several sessions spread across as many days to get them all finished.

I did have a moment this morning where I was absolutely kicking myself - yesterday I stripped two Balrogs - a plastic one, and a metal one, both in the same pose. In my desire to have one of every pose, the plastic one is somewhat surplus to my needs (whereas the metal one with whip wouldn't be when I find one of those). This means that sitting on my shelf are some plastic fires that I could have cut up and used as the basis of these conversions. Sculpting to join bits of those flames to the Nazgul would have been a hell of a lot easier. Oh well!

Until next time, may the wind under your wings bear you to where the sun sails and the moon walks!