Monday, August 1, 2011

Close enough to call it done

Effectively finished.
The Winter Guard are not actually finished just yet.  The first coat of gloss varnish is drying now, which means there's another coat of gloss and a coat of matte still to come.  I also want to put some snow on the bases.  Those two things aside, the Winter Guard are done.  All the paint has been applied, down to bases and arc markings, which makes them finished in my book.  A bit of goading was involved, as the game I had originally scheduled with EV for Thursday I had to move up to tomorrow, but there's nothing wrong with finishing them up a couple days sooner than anticipated.  It just occurred to me that while I have the unit itself done, and at full strength no less, the WGI is more than just the unit.  It's also the UA, Rocketeers, and Kovnik Joe, none of which are painted.  Some of the models have some paint on them, but none are finished or even close to it.  Now that I'm a little more than half way with the group, hopefully I'll be able to keep the momentum going through the rest of the squad.

The green highlights look better in context.
Finishing the squad up was easier than I expected.  I got the boot and hand armor, along with the hat anvil, finished first.  The anvils were a breeze, which I'll attribute to the Heavy (Foundation) Red and its amazing coverage.  One coat of that, followed by Blood Red, and they were finished.  I started with the red because I figured the anvils would be a pain, so this was a very pleasant surprise.  Then I rolled into the faces, stopping first at eyes and teeth.  I planned to do basically a black and white cross for the eyes, with a white horizontal laid down first, then with a black vertical for the pupils, finished with flesh touch-ups for the inevitable, even designed, overspill.  Looking at 20 eyes, I decided to cut that back a bit and went with just white eyes.  Considering how small and beady the eyes are, I think it works out well enough.  Trying to get a pair of eyes that are roughly equal, facing roughly the same direction, while also not looking like googly-eyes, that's a tall order.  While doing the eyes I also did teeth where appropriate, then cleaned up with Bronzed Flesh where needed.  I even did a highlight with a 50/50 mix of Bronzed Flesh and Bleached Bone, though I think it was about as effective as my attempts at highlighting red.  It went quick though and didn't make the models look worse, so that's a net win in my book.

For those who like it from behind.
You hopefully noticed all the buckles and snaps on the leader model above.  All the leather bits have some sort of fastener on them.  I wasn't sure if I would paint them while doing the rest of the model, wrestling back and forth with the idea.  They would look a lot better if I did paint them, but there were easily a dozen tiny bits on each model, and that much tiny detail work can drive a man insane.  Thanks in part to the speed with which I finished the hat anvils, I decided to go ahead and do the little metal doodads.  Following the trend of the day, these went quicker than expected and really do make the leather bits look a lot better.  After that I did a quick drybrush on the hair and fur collars and the models themselves were finished, so I moved on to the bases.  Since most of the models (eight of ten) came from EV when I first bought in to Warmachine, they have a different basing mix than I use now.  The ballast sticks better, because ballast hates me for some reason, and there were some tiny stones as well.  I want to do muddy, snowy bases on this army, so I mixed up a dark brown (two parts Beastly Brown, one part black, one part Umber Shade) and slopped it around liberally.  I started with a Beastly Brown drybrush when the first coat was done, but the contrast wasn't what I hoped, so I mixed in a bit of Bleached Bone and found what I was looking for.  The rocks went as my rocks do, two mixes of gray, and the bases were done until the snows come.

This one is here for the face.
The bases weren't really done though, even outside the snow, as Warmachine dictates sight arcs on the bases.  I've only done one arc marking before, on the mortar, which I just guessed at.  While it came out fine, I would like to be a bit more precise than just eyeballing half the base, so I found a template online and printed it out.  The results were spotty, which is no doubt due to user error.  Some of the arcs look like less than 1/4, some more so, some just look off center.  Not the results I was hoping for considering I got a template to avoid these sorts of variations.  This is a first try, and there haven't been any situations where infantry arcs have been important, but I'll be doing these on jacks eventually and want to get it right by then.  I also changed how I'll be doing the marks themselves.  You can see two green marks and one red one, indicating the 180 vision arc and facing respectively.  On the mortar I did a solid band of green with the red stripe, but it ended up a bit too busy for me, so I'm scaling back to just marks.  On the horizon, I got the base stamps from Happy Seppuku today, so I'll be making a base for the errant Menite to test them out.  Astute readers may note the plurals in that last sentence, but more on that when I do a proper post on the topic.

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