Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do Not Miss: April 2013

These are the most interesting things I've seen in April 2013:

  • Modelling weapon ornaments by Steve Party: Figurin TV makes this amazing video (in French) on how Steve creates his wonderful and highly detailed weaponry. I love all that Steve does, so this video even though it's in French, is A MUST.

  • Scale 75 new releases: This spanish company is giving it all with their new releases, and its consolidating Steam Wars as one of the most interesing miniature ranges of the market. Impressive tandem between Elías Alonso and Joaquín Palacios that turn to gold everything they touch.

  • Buzzcut from Remy Tremblay for Dreadball: By looking at the box arts from Dreadball you'd never tell that Remy Tremblay is behind many of their creations. I think they should paint his creations with more love.

  • Along came a spider by Piqui and Iguazzu: Cursed Monkeys new creation is this very interesting scene created with the pre-released Dwarf from Heroes and Villains beautifully sculpted by Jonatan Monerris.

  • AMT Torrent review by Rafa Coll: This very famous contest in Spain was celebrated in April and Rafa Coll brings us his personal review with lots of photos. It's divided in different posts so don't just stay in this first one linked!

  • Aradae Mawr: Another great sculpture from master Chaudon for Mierce Miniatures.

  • Tupac by Christian Hardy: Really cool sculpture of a lizardmen skink, super dynamic. I love it!

  • The Clockwork Man: Brilliant idea by Rafa Coll from a Sargeant Blackart miniature. Amazing!

  • Rime of the Merchant Marienburger: This absolutely amazing army has caught my attention to an extent I couldn't feel imaginable. Check it out, it's the Empire Fantasy army on the last part of the post.

  • Sibila del Oráculo de Delfos: A Step by Step article (in Spanish) by Pepa which in my opinion is absolutely essential. I learnt a lot from it!

  • How to make a woodbox for miniatures: Magnificent article in Hysteria Yard about how to create a wooden box to transport miniatures. No more excuses!

  • How to make simple spider webs: Interesting and useful video on 5th Dimension on how to do spider webs in a very simple manner.

  • Luz New York from Pedro Fernández: In Rafa Coll's Blog, first part of the sculpting photos of this wonderful miniature from Pedro Fernández for Nocturna Models.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A change of colours

This September (2013), Volomir's Blog will be 5 years old! I have many things in mind to celebrate this really important birthday. Some of them are already prepared even though there are still a few more months until September.

One of the things that I was going to do, as part of the glorious festivities, is change the appearance of the Blog. The current one, with the Last Stand of the Crimson Fists background banner, and the current blue colours, has been in place for more than 3 years now, and I believe it looked a little bit old-fashioned as of now.

However, September is still a long way to go and the look&feel changes are already prepared! And I simply can't wait to show it off! So, instead of waiting until September, I've decided to buy the Blog an early Happy Birthday gift and update it... TODAY!

Say goodbye to the old dark blue colours...

And join me in welcoming the new yellow colours! Hello Mosin!

You'll see Mosin the cat and his legendary garbage can in even more places than before. I'm loving that "Raspura Oscura" yellow. More and more changes incoming!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

High Elves WD Good Quality Pics Exclusive!

There's more exclusives today in Volomir's Blog! Being a true High Elf lover as I am, I have to be the one sharing this. Check out these gorgeus photos from the new High Elves. Some of them have been already seen, but certainly not to this quality! Click on them to see them bigger. And remember, you saw it first on Volomir's Blog! Always bringing you the best of the best ;)

Golden Demon 2013 dates finally confirmed!

I bring you as a complete exclusive this sneak peak of this month's White Dwarf.

For those not profficient in Spanish, this means that we finally have all of these dates officially confirmed:

  • GD US: July 27
  • GD Germany: August 11
  • GD UK: September 29
  • GD Italy: October 20

Good to see all these dates finally confirmed! Obviously no word on GD Spain and France, already presumed dead in 2013, but also no word on Japan and Australia, cancelled too? Note that GD Germany is not in Bochum, but in Köln, and not in November, but rather in August, as confirmed by internal GW sources in Germany. I'm guessing GW guys had no time to stop the printing of White Dwarf before they finally confirmed Gurzenich in Köln!

I am thinking of attending Germany, UK and Italy, following my 3 GD per year policy. Seems very doable according to dates!

Remember, you saw it first on Volomir's Blog!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The palette

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It's very common for newbies starting in miniature painting to try dipping the brush directly into the paint pot and then apply it to the miniature. I can't think of a less efficient and improper way of painting. Paint in the pot is too thick to use, it nearly always needs some watering down. Also, using just colours out of the pot will limit our range of colours to use since we won't be mixing them together. So to water and mix colours we use an auxiliary surface which we call palette.

The palette is the left hand of a painter.

Any surface may be useful to serve as a palette for the painter (could be a plate, a tile, or a plastic egg container), but it is always convenient to find a material which is able to prevent colour mixes from drying. In the case of acrylic paints, this is especially important because they dry easily when exposed, especially in dry environments (sometimes even inside the paint pot). To prevent this from happening we use the wet palette.

Wet palette.

The wet palette is composed of a material which lets moisture pass through, but not paint. Thus, paint on the palette takes a long time to dry because paint is constantly wet. To make a wet palette we just use a flat container (a dish or similar) where we make a bed of absorbent paper (paper towels or toilet paper). We wet this layer of paper thoroughly with water, and then, on top of this we will place a piece of baking paper, which is the material that allows moisture to pass through but not paint. This surface will be our wet palette.

Layers of a wet palette.

The wet palette needs to be renewed when the paper towel has dried. You will notice that this is happening because the baking paper will start to separate from the paper towel and the paint will dry fast. Before that happens we have to add more water, simply removing the baking paper and pouring water on the paper towel. Also, there may be times when the baking paper will be saturated of paint mixes. In that case we just have to replace the baking paper. The wet palette can be stored in the refrigerator, where it is able to maintain the paint wet even longer. This allows us to have our mixes on the palette for a long time, and save our colours from one painting session to another, even when some time passes between them. However, it is advisable to change the palette from time to time as prolonged moisture can lead to mould growth, and weird unpleasant smells.

My typical painting stand.

When painting in humid climates we will be lucky because acrylics will stay wet longer, even if we don't use a wet palette. In these cases, we will have more options to choose from. A very interesting one is using a palette which would have different pots where we can store considerable amounts of paint. We can use the pots to organize series of colours which will be useful when painting gradients.

Palette made from a pill container.

Without a doubt, it is advisable to try out as much palettes as possible and stick to that which we find the most adequate for our way of painting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crystal Brush 2013 results

We have a new Crystal Brush winner!

The grand prize went this time to Jeremie Bonamant with this piece, "Game 08 Life":

Game 08 Life by Jeremie Bonamant

A truly wonderful piece which serves as the comeback for the legendary Bonamant, lost in Africa for three years for an amazing adventure biking around the continent. It seems like he is back for good, and how good!

Remember emuse's indiegogo campaign to get to Crystal Brush this year? Well the effort finally paid off! Second position for his wonderful diorama "The Walking Dead".

The Walking Dead by Enrique Velasco

Third position went to our beloved Raffaele Picca, with this amazing monster of nature being hunt down, in "Touch of Death":

Touch of Death by Raffaele Picca

Apparently winners this year were really really close! Quite a battle indeed, and a lot of effort must have been required from poor monkey judge Mr. Roman Lappat (with the help of all the voting CoolMiniOrNot community). These other remarkable entries were left out of the juicy prizes:

The Steam Piper of Hamelin by Matt Cexwish

So High de Marc Masclans y Diego Esteban

We have been told that there were lots of entries in Crystal Brush this year, but that there was a big gap in quality between the really impressive ones and the rest. Despite this, it seems that the number of great entries is growing slowly in this contest. Let's see if next year's Crystal Brush follows the trend!

As for now, congrats to all winners! Also, good to see some Spanish representation in the podium once again, keep up guys!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Crystal Brush 2013 this weekend

This weekend Chicago hold's the third edition of CoolMiniOrNot's $10,000 prize contest: Crystal Brush!

Previous editions saw this contest establish and consolidate, but this year seems the confirmation. Many reknown artists have confirmed their presence in this year's edition, something that will definitely make it more interesting.

As you can see, I also didn't make it this year, I already have the calendar filled with events and contests I want to attend so Crystal Brush will have to wait a little more for me. But two spaniards will be there to fight again for the big prize! Good luck to Enrique (emuse) and Marc (mesklins)! We are very excited to see what you guys have created for this special occassion! Also, Spain has dominated Crystal Brush since its creation! (Alfonso-Diego silver in 2011, Diego silver in 2012 and Jose-Hugo gold in 2012).

There will be other great friends attending from other countries. Matt Cexwish, Raffaele Picca, Conrad Mynett... Roman Lappat will be judge (help him by voting your preferred miniatures on Sunday in CoolMini's website) and I also heard Michael Bartels will be there to make some noise! Good luck to all of you! Enjoy the trip and may the best mini win!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Expanding The Library

In my opinion, wargamers are a natural mine of future serious painters. I was kind of a gamer back in the day, before I got lured into our little world of colour. That is why I consider that wargamers interested in the artistic part of the hobby should be carefully guided into the vast knowledge that exists around painting, which is overwhelming for them in most cases.

Classic old school gamer discovering his real passion: miniatures.

A few weeks ago I was imparting a painting class to gamers (you might remember my post on Festival de Espadas) and I noticed the big disconnection existing between gamers and painters. Even for tabletop painting purposes, there are a few things that I think are essential. To this purpose, I've decided to start a series of articles which will cover basic aspects of miniature painting, such as the palette, preparation of a miniature, priming, etc. I will continue in time to cover more advanced topics of painting.

The new incoming Library in Volomir's Blog

Even though there's tons of articles around the internet about it (the world is full of tutorials nowadays), I thought that I could do some good if I finished off some articles that I already have near completely written since long ago. All of the things that I will present here are obviously tips and tricks, basic stuff that most of the people already know (or don't), and also deeper thoughts on how I personally paint (there is no absolute truth in anything, this is no exact science). So, in the next few months you will find in the blog some articles talking about basic concepts of the miniature painting world. If you have any doubt or question about any of the topics, or if you want to share your own point of view and add stuff to the articles, you know you can contact me by either mail, facebook or leaving a comment in the blog. I'm looking forward to your feedback!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Back from Berlin (Painting Buddha style)

I'm back from Berlin!

What a nice week surrounded by the most amazing people. There is a lot going on in Painting Buddha and I encourage you guys to follow what they are doing because there are some really cool proposals being cooked as I write these lines and the products that they will be releasing in the next few months are some of the best quality creations that we can see in the market currently.

Obviously I'm not going to speak about the triple DVD in which I have just participated because my impressions would be a bit subjective... but seriously, the talent that they have, the care that they put in all their work and especially the passion that they are throwing in (the company is practically non-for-profit so the prices are surprisingly low) really make a difference.

I'd say that what we will see released in the coming times is the result of a group of people absolutely in love with our hobby who have received so much from the miniature painting community that they are now going to give back a lot of that love by doing what they do best.

And the best part is that I sincerely had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Golden Demon Germany 2013 confirmed!

It's funny that I am in Berlin as I write these lines... but yes!! Seems like finally we will have a Golden Demon in Germany this year!

And in Köln! August 11 in the Gürzenich!!!

Ok, everything is too good to be true. A raise in prices for the ticket (50€ or so) and a limited number of visitors, 2000 tops, will accompany this year's GD in Germany. But OK, we DO have Golden Demon in Germany after all!

Read it all at Mr. President's post on masterminis.net.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Painting course in Madrid 27-28 April 2013 (in Spanish)

This entry is to announce another of my painting courses in Madrid. I usually only announce them on the spanish part of the blog, but I figured there might be people speaking spanish which only read the english part of the blog, so I decided to copy the announcement here too! Just in case anyone interested happens to be able to be in Madrid that weekend. :)

¡Vamos a montar un nuevo curso de pintura! Como viene siendo habitual ya que los organizo a petición de la gente interesada, el curso está prácticamente lleno, pero aún queda alguna plaza así que si os interesa daos prisa que aún estáis a tiempo. Estas son las fechas:

    • Clase 1: Sábado 27 abril
    • Clase 2: Domingo 28 abril

Será por lo tanto un curso intensivo de un solo fin de semana ya que hay gente que viene de fuera. Esta es la información específica sobre el curso:

Lo primero, el precio del curso es de 95 euros. Vamos a pintar cada uno la figura que queramos, que previamente tendrá que ser aprobada por mí para asegurar que cumple una serie de requisitos mínimos de cara al aprovechamiento del curso. Por lo tanto, para el curso hay que llevarse una figura (que a ser posible preparamemos previamente al curso para ganar tiempo), pinceles y siempre que sea posible, un flexo o similar para luz. El resto del material lo pongo yo.

El curso se dará en mi casa. Vivo en el centro así que es fantástico porque está muy cerca de Atocha, en Madrid. Hay bastante espacio y estaremos muy cómodos y tranquilos. Además tengo todos los bártulos a mano y no tendré que moverlos, podremos usar el aerógrafo sin complicaciones. El grupo no será muy grande, normalmente los cursos son de entre 6 y 8 personas, para el mejor aprovechamiento del espacio y del tiempo que puedo dedicar a cada uno.

Éste será el temario del curso:
    • Preparación de una figura (trabajo previo al curso recomendado, guiado si es necesario)
    • Teoría básica del color (ambientación, armonía)
    • Iluminación de una figura (tipos de iluminación, luz, sombra, contraste, luces máximas)
    • Técnicas de pintura (pinceladas, veladuras, tonos, aguadas, tintas, perfilados...)
    • Pintado de caras
    • Pintado de Metales (Metal real y NMM: Non Metallic Metal)
    • Pintado de Efectos (texturas, cueros, desconchones, sangre...)
    • Freehands
    • Uso básico del Aerógrafo
    • Trucos

El curso serán unas 8 horas cada día, quedamos por la mañana, paramos para comer y luego seguimos por la tarde hasta que nos cansemos. El que sea 2 días separados lo hace menos cansado y más productivo, ya que veréis que son muchas cosas las que vamos a ver de forma bastante intensiva. Además así podéis practicar lo que aprendáis el primer día y luego preguntar dudas que os hayan surgido en el proceso el segundo día.

En la primera sesión abarcaremos los aspectos básicos y nos pondremos a pintar la figura que hayamos traido. El tiempo entre los dos días debería ser empleado para terminar la figura en casa a modo de deberes (o avanzar lo que se pueda) para luego revisar los resultados y comentar fallos y dudas. El segundo día daremos el resto del temario y terminaremos de pintar la figura completamente.

Puesto que el temario es amplio (mucho) y por experiencia sé que no da tiempo a verlo todo bien, os pasaré unos apuntes introductorios antes del curso para que los leáis antes del curso y tengamos ya algo avanzado. Así aprovecharemos el tiempo practicando lo máximo posible, que es donde realmente váis a sacar partido. Veremos muchas cosas y muy por encima, pero es el temario ideal para pasar de no tener ni idea de pintura a ser un pintor de concursos.

Y eso es todo. Ya os digo que aún queda algún hueco así que si estáis interesados, ¡mandadme un correo y lo hablamos!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The one with Torrent, Painting Buddah and others

Ladies and gentlemen, this weekend Torrent will be holding the classic and famous contest of the AMT. It is considered one of the best in Spain (if not the most important) and every year it gathers a great deal of miniatures of the highest quality in both Fantasy and Historical sections. I consider it a do not miss contest!

In spite of this, I am going to miss it again this year. I don't know how I do it but every year it's the same story, something comes up and I can't make it. And of course, this year was not going to be different in that aspect. Can you believe I've never been to Torrent?

More news: I am sure all of you already know masterminis.net, Michael Bartels blog, and his initiative to revolution the painting miniatures world. Michael is a very inspiring super nerd that has decided to live the dream and leave his unfulfilling corporate life to create a singular miniature company based on a very particular view of the world which I'm sure all of you will be very in tune with. As a summary to all of those who live underground, Michael founded the company Painting Buddah and announced a juicy set of DVDs with tutorials from some of the most prestigious painters from around the globe and miniatures to follow these courses, for a very very interesting price.

Michael contacted me because he wanted me to become part of the initiative and offered me to be one of the painters for the second season of the DVDs which will presumably see the light in a few months. In fact, I already have my trip to Berlin programmed to record it. However, as you can read here, there has been some minor problems with the recording of the first season and Michale has decided to repeat the recording of the two first videos (Ben Komets and Stephan Rath). Since Stephan won't be able to visit Berlin until after the summer, it has been decided that the order of the painters will be modified and finally I will be part of the first season, and that way the first two DVDs will be on time. The funny thing is that thanks to this, all of those who asked for the DVDs in pre-order, trusting in the initiative without having seen the product, will now get, for the same price, the whole set of 3 painters of the first season.

Finally, talking about other stuff, Volomir's Blog has now joined the blog site "La Mazmorra del Poliedro", to unite all blogs about wargames and miniature painting in Spanish. You may now see this banner on the lower right side of the blog.

If you happen to be fluent in Spanish don't forget to check it out!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Incoming High Elves in May

Games Workshop has a new policy for releases and it is evil. We are going to see a new army book practically every month with their corresponding new releases. Something that together with the unreasonable price rises that the company has been undertaking on their new products will upset a lot of people.

Even so, despite Games Day cancellations, despite price rises and despite Finecast, I am really looking forward to the release of High Elves in May.

As a big fan of High Elves (you must have noticed by now), I am eagerly waiting to see the new proposals from the old Games Workshop, let's see what they surprise us with now.

There has been many rumours, but if you ask me, what is it that I want to see? Well, for starters, this:
  • New spearmen
  • New archers
  • Monstruous cavalry on lions
  • Update of character models such as Korhil, Tyrion, Teclis, etc.
  • The Everqueen and her girls
I think that some of the things I ask for will come true, others won't. But anyway, let's see what happens. For the moment, I have only been able to see this photo, pretty disappointing actually (those ice crystals, why the hate?).

I have also read something about white lion cloaks on basic troops... that would be really sexy!

Whatever happens, it seems that this year is going to be a great High Elf year on Volomir's Blog.