Monday, August 18, 2014

Spiders and trees

It's been a long time since I've posted anything to this blog, thanks to a whole lot of Real Life Events over the past year and change. I'll spare you the details, as they're really not germane to the blog, nor are they particularly interesting of themselves. Suffice to say things are finally settling down, I'm in a much better place (mentally, emotionally and geographically) than I was, and I'm finally able to get back into doing some hobby-stuff.

These Reaper Bones spiders are the first figures I've painted in quite a while, so they're a get-back-into-it sort of project. My original plans involved finding reference photos of real-life spiders and painting them to match, but I realized that if I went that route I'd probably never paint them, so I just went for grubby dungeon monster instead of realistic animal look.

These guys got a basecoat of Reaper walnut brown, then a heavy drybrushing of old Citadel Colour bilious brown. The eyes were dotted in with old scorpion green and the fangs are Reaper nightmare black, which is more of a deep blue, with a glaze of old Citadel Expert blue ink. They're varnished with Liquitex matte brush-on, and Citadel 'ardcoat on the fangs. I usually use Future for gloss varnish, but the Citadel was handy and the Future was still packed away.

They are what they are – Not gonna win any awards, but they work well enough for the game table. Now I just have to get a game scheduled...

Next up are some trees, made out of toy plastic trunks from some unknown kid's toy, so I'll gloss over making the trunks. After fixing them to scrap wood bases, I made roots out of epoxy putty and let them dry, then went over the whole thing with a thick mixture of Durham's water putty, stippling it onto the trunks to get a rough bark finish.

I painted them with craft paints, sticking to the grey tones, washed with black and brown paint, then glazed liberally with thin green ink. The foliage is a mix of Woodland Scenics clump foliage, lichen, and various grades of flock, crushed herbs and dried tobacco, finished off with ridiculous amounts of Krylon matte spray varnish. The bases were detailed with the same scatter plus static grass in clumps, with some putty fungi on one tree and a strip of lichen creeper on another.

I'll be making more trees soon, I think, without the crutch of toy trunks, so I'll probably do a more in-depth tutorial then. Halfway through making these, I got a copy of Osprey's “Terrain Modeling” from the library, so I was torn between going overboard detailing the trees and keeping them simple for gaming purposes... I highly recommend the book; it's full of useful techniques and inspiring photographs. Just bear in mind that it's geared towards display dioramas, not wargame terrain. Gamers need to keep things simpler in the interest of both durability and usefulness. I'll do an in-depth review of the book soon.

So, I'm back, and hopefully I'll be posting regularly again. Hope you get a kick out of it!

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