Monday, March 31, 2014

Do Not Miss: March 2014

Another month filled with hobby awesomeness. Check the most interesting things I've seen around the internet in March 2014:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Understanding OSL (Oriented Source Lighting) with watermelons

I found this picture on a newsletter email sent by Photobucket. I don't think they realized how useful this is for me...

It's basically a .gif of a watermelon explosion. Cool right?!

Yep, the aftermath must have been messy. Well the purpose of this post is not to share the coolness of the animation (EDITED: Captain Cid has shown us that the animation comes from this video). I realized that it is very useful to use it to study the interesting light effects that are happening here.

And to do that, all I'm going to do is open the animation in GIMP (an opensource Photoshop) and save some of the frames separately. Let's pay attention to these:

The previous moment to the explosion.

In miniature painting, OSL effects (Oriented Source Lighting) are very cool and quite difficult to achieve. This exercise will help us understand them better. Taking the above photo as our "base", check out how the colours change with the light coming from the watermelon (the explosion):

The explosion starts inside the watermelon.

See how the reds start to bathe some specific parts of the table and clothes of the guy. Pay especial attention to the intensity of the red in each area! It's really interesting!

It's getting hot in here!

Interesting to see that the white of the guy becomes even more white, while the face becomes completely orange!

Man, that watermelon!

This pic is great to show how the light glows from within the watermelon, and shows from the cracks. Very bright yellows and oranges glow from within, and the watermelon is no longer green, but quite red actually (complementary of green, very discordant).

The explosion at its maximum

And the brighter it gets inside the watermelon, the more red its skin becomes, but in contrast with the light, and some areas that are brown, we can still see that its a green watermelon.

Fire in the hall!

At this point, the effect of the orange light in the guy begins to fade.

Watch out man!

The pieces of the watermelon spread away, and become more green as they escape from the light area.

Incoming watermelon!

At this point, the guy has no orange light on him.

My eye! My eye!

Man, this guy is corageous!

Well, I find this absolutely amazing. Studying this effect certainly opened my mind to a new world of possibilities. I was very surprised to see the white becoming even whiter instead of orange. Cool stuff.

I hope you enjoyed it! (and got something out of it of course)

Many watermelons died to bring us this information.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Trying the new Metal and Alchemy Steel Series paints from Scale75

The death of the old Citadel range was a very sad moment in the history of miniature painting. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Blood Red, Goblin Green, Skull White, and many more. Those names would always live in our collective memory. It was really sad, yes, but not the end of the world, since there are many other paint companies that produce colours as good as Citadel's. The new range promised a broader range of colours with new names. Not bad, of course, but the quality of the paints finally was not as high. The problem was especially severe when talking about metallic paints, the subject of today's post.

Oh, the good old Citadel Metallics... snif...

The old Citadel Metallic paints are basic on my painting table. I tried some of the new Citadel range but they are not as good as them. I also tried other companies (Vallejo in their different ranges), but they didn't come close to being as good as Citadel. Because of this, I started to keep my metallic Citadel pots as little treasures. Something similar happened with the old inks, so it was worth cherishing them. I knew that at some point some company would create some good replacement, something worth of my attention. The same thing Andrea did with the inks, someone would do with metallics, that's what I thought.

Well, that day has finally come. Scale75 released not very long ago a very interesting set of metallic paints, and they called it Metal N' Alchemy Steel Series.

The new set of silver metallic paints from Scale75

I really liked their NMM sets, so I was very curious. The day they released them, I went to Alfonso Giraldes' demonstration on the new paints and they seemed really cool.

Alfonso Giraldes and Roberto Sánchez, in the presentation of the new paints in Goblintrader, Madrid

Everything he said sounded absolutely wonderful, but I wanted to try it for myself. So I got one set and took it home. It was time to try them on some minis!

Remember the Ellyrian Reavers? Well, most of the metallic work was already started with old Citadel paints, but not all. So I decided to try the new Scale75 on some parts, and then compare results. The following photos are extracted from a future WIP article of the Reavers, which will be published very soon! ;)

So, let's see how they work on the armours that the horses have on their heads. I wanted them painted in a very polished silver elven armour. So, first a simple basecoat of a dark silver metal, in this case Dark Metal from the new set of Scale75.

I start highlighthing progressively with lighter metallic paints. First, Heavy Metal (Scale75) and then Speed Metal (Scale75). [DAMN, those are cool names, indeed! And there is one Thrash Metal too, I'm loving it!!!]. What I notice is that they blend surprisingly well, very clean and fast.

The lightest spots are done with White Alchemy (Scale75). This colour is very similar to the Metallic Medium from Vallejo Model Color that I used in the past for this purposes, but again, this one just blends better. The texture is not so much of a thick paste as before, this one feels like regular matte colours, easier to work with.

Now it's time for the blue elven look of the metals, shading down with glazes of turquoise, and to follow these Scale75 paint tests, I'm using Adriatic Blue, part of another of their paint sets (NMM Gold I believe).

And further with Abyssal Blue (from NMM Silver paint set, again Scale75).

It's important to have a clear outline of the elements so that everything is clean, I go over the recesses with dark inks (Green, Blue inks, from Andrea this time).

Let's see another shot of the finished head, it's difficult to photograph metals on work in progress articles!

Result with Steel Series from Scale75

And now, let's compare it with a head I painted previously, with the old Citadel metallic paints (Boltgun Metal, Mithril Silver), using Metallic Medium (Vallejo Model Color) for final lightspots and shadowing with Hawk Turquoise (old Citadel) and Dark Sea Blue (Vallejo Model Color).

Result with the old Citadel metallic paints

As you can see the difference is pretty evident. The grain of the old Citadel metallic paints is way thicker, so the result is not as smooth. From using them both, I felt that it was way faster to obtain a better result with Scale75 thanks to the thinness of the grain, which favours easier and faster blending between metallics, also ending in a cleaner and more polished finish. And I used brush! Normally to get that kind of smoothness with Citadel I had to use airbrush, but with Scale75 I could get similar results without turning to the airbrush. I was inmensely surprised to see the results. Finally good metallic paint to replace the old Citadel range!!!

Other things that I noticed when using the set is that they mix very well with regular matte colours, to get a metallic look but without losing the metal shiny aspect. I've tried this with other paints and it's nowhere near as good. Also, I find that there is no problem in using the same water pot to clean my brush for both regular and metallic colors. The pigments tend to go to the bottom of the pot instead of float, and they are so thin that they don't show if they mix with regular paint. No more purpurin look! :D

To continue with the good news, Scale75 has just released the Metal and Alchemy Golden metallic set. If they are as good as these ones... I need to get one of those too!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Retrospecter: The Ork Nob

It's Friday! What a good day for a good old...


Let's go back into the past and dig up some old classic from my gallery! The Ork Nob!

It was the year 2008. I wanted to try entering a single category in Golden Demon for the first time (I had entered only squads previously). I've always loved Orks (WHO DOESN'T!) and I thought it could be a cool theme for a single mini. So I picked up some Ork plastic pieces, a metal Ork Nob from a GW blister pack, and I started experimenting with no fixed idea, just looking for something cool! Check out what I did!

Inspired by the previous work of one of my favourite painters and friend Sebastian Archer (automaton), and with the invaluable help of my master Alfonso Giraldes (Banshee) on the night before the contest, I managed to get silver sharing podium with my other two beloved artists, Jeremie Bonamant (Eldar Harlequin) and Juan Carlos Ávila (Nurgle Chaos Space Marine). Oh, the great days of the Raspura Oscura!


This miniature is now part of the MuMi collection, a future museum initiative which I can't wait to see come true!

Until our next Retrospecter, enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Using miniatures for pick up lines

Last week, my good Australian friend Kyle Morgan (cheers Kyle!) pointed me to this absolutely wonderful video, an excerpt from the TV Show of Conan O'Brien:

Watch at least the first minute and a half!

If you paint miniatures, you will have probably found this video absolutely hilarious! Because, seriously, I DO IDENTIFY MYSELF WITH THAT CONVERSTATION. XD

    Let's say you're dating.
    Are you up front about the miniature figurines?
    Do you come out with that right away?

Hilarious as this is (I love Conan O'Brien), it really is a very common thing in our lives (nerd painter's lives), and very funny if you think about it. How many of you have hidden your nerdy hobby/addiction to your dates/girlfriends/boyfriends? Are you totally upfront like Ansel or do you wait until a second or third date to confess? :D

Ansel Elgort is a very young american actor who really happens to paint miniatures, it wasn't anything prepared for the show. Actually, he paints very well! I did some digging into this, and found (some of you may know this already) that he is a Golden Demon winner! He has won no less than 3 Golden Demons in the US (that we have record of)! Check them out!

Click on the image to check his Demonwinner page

He really is a very cool guy, promising actor and miniature painter? Wonderful combination!

I hope he has time to continue painting! Keep up Ansel! :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Selfies in Leganés 2014

Leganés was quite a blast, I have to admit. A very interesting event, with a growing community around it, massive contest and great commercial area.

But the day for me was not the typical of what one would expect of a contest. I didn't bring any miniatures so I didn't pay much attention to the competition. Actually, I didn't even take a look at the minis (this was a first timer for me, I didn't even have the time). So obviously, I can't share any photos of the miniatures with you guys, I'm very sorry about that. So... if I didn't see the contest, what did I do instead?


With Diego Esteban, dieguete

With sculptor master Pedro Fernández

With Lord Jasegev (my good friend Tupperware)

With Jose Luis Diez, Porta

With Iván Hortal, arsenus_kaligar

With Toni Nieto

With the two Antonio Fernández's from the Cursed Monkeys (A. Fernández and Piquifl)

With Sergiete (yes, the one who painted that awesome Space Wolf Bust!) ;)

With Pablo López, Paloji

With Asier Aranzábal

With Rafa Coll (Rafa Coll Blog) and Luis Gómez Pradal

With legends Elías Alonso (Morsi) and Julio Cabos

With Fernando Ruiz (H&V CEO) and Jonatan Monerris

With Enrique Velasco (emuse)

With a Stormtrooper!

With the old and the new, Raspuro legend Kike, Berek and Nils

With Jesús Martín (Nocturna CEO)

With David Rodríguez (Karaikal) and son, little Nicolás Polomir

With Roberto Sánchez (Scale75 CEO)

With the master Alfonso Giraldes (Banshee)

With Adrián Prado, illustrator at Scale75 and brand new roomate! (behind Banshee)

With Adrián Prado again, if Banshee lets us this time

With Raspuro legend Sergio Córdoba, master_of_puppets

With sculptor Hugo Gómez, vindicare (Bigchild Creatives)

With master Jose Palomares, JMPN

With Victor, el Peanas

With sculptor master Joaquín Palacios (Freeman)

And with them! o.O The most famous! XD

Lots of selfies, lots of friends and celebrities. I'm sure you recognise a lot of them right? The best of the best in Spain gathered here this weekend! Only a few of them missing who I didn't have the chance to talk to, here's me wishing for neverending time!

I definitely enjoyed the few hours I spent on Saturday! ;)

And you? What were you doing in the meantime? :P