Sunday, January 11, 2015

Drunk Painting Tips: Fixing modeling gaps at the last minute

I know its been a while since I've talked Shadows of Brimstone, but that's just because I was trying to finish painting all the minis (using only the official Shadows of Brimstone paint sets) before playing again. However it was a LOT more work than I realized when I started, so it has been slower going than I originally anticipated. Especially since I only paint on the weekends. With that in mind I decided to just shift it into overdrive and speed-paint all the remaining guys.

Almost there...

But that's not what this post is about, this is about fixing glaring past mistakes, or, as I like to call it, "What the hell did Past Cory screw me over with this time?"

See, I have a tendency to think of myself as existing simultaneously in three dimensions, Past Cory (who's a lazy asshole), Present Cory (who is awesome but always has to make up for Past Cory's shit), and Future Cory (who I'm sure is such a forgiving soul he wouldn't mind me putting off some tasks for him to do). I can only speak for Present Cory, but I do know that that guy can really get pissed at Past Cory when he screws him over. Present Cory also has a tendency to screw over Future Cory, because he's dealing with all of Past Cory's mistakes. (on an unrelated note, my name also happens to be Cory).

So I had already powered through speed-painting 3/4ths of the Shadows of Brimstone Core group Lot (Jungles Death and City of the Ancients combined), when I got to the Yeti dudes. I forget their name, is it Night Terrors? Yeah, I think it is. Night Terrors. At any rate, I decided to paint the Night Terrors as Abominable Snowmen to change up the colors a little bit. But as I was working on them on my painting table I suddenly noticed something horrifying.

Wait, what the hell is this?
That's right. Modeling gaps. And not just any gaps, but gigantic, cavernous gaps between the individual segments of the Night Terror models. Gaps generally aren't as noticeable if they're small and your model is painted in dark colors to kind of hide them. But in this case I was painting these models in shades of white and realized all three of them looked like they were glued together by a five-year-old.

They even have split groins! Who the hell put these together?!
Now, I know Flying Frog well enough to know that these gaps couldn't possibly be the standard mold, so I figured I must've not noticed them when I glued them together. I wonder what I was doing when I put them together...

Uh oh, I see what's happening here...
*hic* I LIKE GLUING! *hic*

That's right, I was drinking a lot of Creativity Juice during the construction phase. For those that don't know, Creativity Juice is a combination of Rum and Zero-Carb Monster Energy Drink I use to motivate me to complete projects I don't really want to work on. In this case, I blogged about this specific task: putting together the Shadows of Brimstone boxed set, City of the Ancients. I'm not going to sugar-coat it for you, putting together these models really kind of sucks. They're so fiddly and annoying that after I finished Swamps of Death I had to get rip-roaring drunk and chemically-energized just to power through the City of the Ancients. Well, we can see where that got me.

Auuugh! Look at the size of that side-gap! Jesus!
So could I just leave these with gaps and move on? On the smaller models, sure. My "Strangler" monster models have some off-set tentacles here and there, but they're painted a darker color and its not as glaring, so I let them go. But these Yetis, sheesh. There's no way I can let these remain like this. If I did I'd spend the next three games apologizing to my fellow players about it when we gamed next (who wouldn't have probably noticed or cared), so I knew I had to do something.

Greenstuff to the rescue!

Greenstuff is that blue-and-yellow epoxy mold stuff made by Games Workshop that you mix together to form a green workable modeling clay. If you ever want to get some just go to your local hobby shop and ask the bald guy with the 'AdeptiCon 2011' shirt on where you can find the 'Green Stuff.' He'll set you up right.

Now, you should really fill gaps with greenstuff well before you prime or start painting your miniatures. But Past Cory put me in a bit of a bind here, so I had to make do with the step I was at. So I am going to show you how you too can partially make up for your past drunk mistakes if you find yourself in a similar situation.

So first things first, combine some blue and yellow epoxy to form the greenstuff glob.

Then, pinch some off and roll it into thin wormy pieces.

And cram the rolled up little worms of greenstuff into all the the gaps, and clean off the rest with your hobby knife.

Now that the gaps are filled with greenstuff, use your partially-dull exacto knife to trim away the excess and push texture into the goop. Since these guys are supposed to look 'hairy,' I just kind of randomly scored them with the back of the knife to make them kind of furry, like so...

All I'm trying to do is make them less smooth, really, just so its not totally obvious where the gaps were filled once they're painted.

Now I've got three partially-painted Yetis with big green lines running across them, so I've got to paint them to match what I'm doing on the rest of the minis. In the case of the Yetis, I primed them black first (as I do all my models), but I'm not going to waste time doing that here because ...well, because ....uh, I'm lazy, I guess? Yeah, I'm lazy and want to get these done. So instead I move onto the second step of painting cold-looking Yeti monsters: basecoat of Blue (because the color blue is, like, cold, man).

Technically I did a basecoat of the Tentacle Blue (which is kind of a greenish-blue) and then a partially-wet "dry"-brush of Portal Blue (which is more of an Ultramarines Blue). I don't have a real scientific reason to have used both kinds of blues, but I think the combination makes for a pretty good multi-hued cold-looking blue on the monster's skin depending on what angle you're looking at.

After that, I drybrushed on a pretty heavy coat of Fang Bone (which is kind of an Off-White). This will make the roots of the hair look grungier.

Then a final drybrush of Spirit White, which will tie the colors in with the rest of the model.
 Its not a perfect job, but it'll let me move forward with my painting. (As for the rest of the model: the claws and teeth are Fang Bone and the eyes are combination of Molten Orange and Saloon Red with little dots of Cynder Yellow as pupils).

Gaps = filled and hidden.
Finally I waited until the paints were dry then did a quick inking with a very watered-down Dark Tone Ink. The reason I watered down the ink was to make the recessed parts of the model (between the 'hair') look darker without sacrificing the whiteness of the top layer of drybrush. If I just used straight Dark Tone Ink from the bottle it would make the raised white parts of the model darker and more brownish, and I didn't want that. But watered-down ink will collect in the recessed bits and darken them without sticking to the raised bits. I'm a big fan of inking models. It really lets you get on with your day and get them to that "Well...its Good Enough" stage, which is my signature level of painting.

Good enough. Time for some Creativity Juice to celebrate!

Next is basing! But that'll take a day or two because you have to let white glue dry on the base. So I'll save that for next time.

So there you have it: A lesson on how to cover up your modeling screw-ups during the last steps of painting. Now, try not to drink-and-craft so much, you freaking lush!

Happy Painting!
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