Thursday, November 17, 2011

Diversions and more freehand adventures

Biscuity tastiness.
Despite having very little left to do on him when I stopped painting yesterday, after today's session Black Ivan is still not finished.  Granted I just have to clean up the lip on the base and do arc markings (plus snow and varnish of course), but I still came up well short of my anticipated finishing line.  I do have an excuse though, a couple of them, and I think they're robust.

Since I realized that Thanksgiving is a week from today I thought it was well past time for me to get some cooking practice in.  We don't really cook in my family, so when I took on the bread portion of the Thanksgiving menu this year I knew I'd have my work cut out for me.  Having squandered weeks and months already I got cracking this morning.  I found a recipe for Cheddar Biscuits and gave it a whirl.  Simple recipe, few ingredients, just my speed.  It took me longer to dig out all the various bowls, cups, spoons, and pans that it did to actually make the biscuits.  The results?  Tasty.  But this is a gaming blog and not a cooking blog, so on with the show.

Poor picture, but there's nothing much to see yet.
Another reason I didn't quite finish Ivan is the other things I was painting at the same time.  Since I had a good time with a MoW heavy list on Tuesday (report still in the works) I decided to hold off on the Bombardiers.  Instead I pulled out the WGI attachments in a bid to get the Deathstar fully painted.  At first this seemed crazy even as I was painting the officer, but as I thought about it a bit this is a good time to get them painted.  I won't have the Winter Guard available for gaming tonight, which is unfortunate, but I can manage without them for a night.  As mentioned above, Thanksgiving is next week so there won't be Thursday gaming (for me at least) and I may or may not get a game in with EV.  In effect I have two weeks to get the UA and Rocketeers done before I really begin to miss them, and even then I can probably survive another week without epic sprays of doom.  While waiting for Ivan to dry I started laying down base colors: flesh, green, and red.  I wanted to get these done and the wash on before making the biscuits (so they could dry while I was baking), but things didn't quite work out that way.  They did get the base coats and a wash though, so next time I'll be ready to start in earnest.  I doubt they'll be done by Black Friday, but it's not impossible that I'll have finished everything on my painting table in a week.  Unlikely, but not impossible.

Finally we come to Black Ivan.  After casting around on the internets for a quality shot of the 5th Border Legion icon, I came across JTY's examples.  His work is all very nice, but it was the Spriggan that caught my eye, in particular the icon on the top.  This new example made me reconsider the icon as it looked more like a diamond behind the 5 instead of a blood drop.  I was already of half a mind to scrap the first attempt and do it over, so before I could come to my senses I put a couple coats of black on and started anew.  I began with an elongated cross.

Next I bulked out the center diamond and added the peripheral diamonds.  These first two steps were with VGC Heavy Red, their equivalent of the Foundation paints.

I switched to Blood Red to finish up the diamonds.

Blurry action shot!
Next was brass and the basic shape of the 5.

Then more brass to flesh the 5 out and add the bottom spikes.  I followed this with a copper highlight on the "tops" of the 5: the horizontal arm, the top of the curve, and the bottom of the interior curve.  I don't think this really showed up at all.

I was ready to call it done at this point, but once I got the black out to touch up the points I figured I should go ahead and do the black lining I was considering last time.  I'm glad I did as it really makes the 5 pop as a distinct entity separate from the red diamond.

Overall I'm pleased with this second attempt.  It's not 100% as I would have liked it, but it's close enough.  Considering this is my second attempt at freehand I think it came out well, as did Ivan as a whole.  The 5 is brass on Ivan because his armor is black, but on the generic jacks the armor will be green and the 5 will be black.  Maybe some highlighting will show better then as I've never gotten metals to highlight properly (aside from using silver on gold and calling it a highlight).

So close, yet so far.
It's been wet and dark in the DMV the last few days.  Hopefully the weather breaks enough for me to seal up Ivan in the near future.  Now to cut out some felt "terrain" and book it to the FLGS.


  1. That is some awesome free hand! Hopefully I'll get to see it in person @ the LGS after the holidays!

  2. Thanks! For a second attempt I'm awful pleased. It wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting. Ivan got the once over with gloss varnish a few days ago, so he's ready for action. Next time that I'm out for gaming (which should be Thursday after Thanksgiving if hockey cooperates) he should be fully snowed, sealed, and ready to meet the public.