Sunday, November 20, 2011

A new project begins

Brushwork worthy of kindergartners!
It has been a dark time for David's Workshop.  While David did enjoy building the HQ display and painting the coyote, it was clear to David that he had reached the limits of his painting skills, especially in terms painting individual action figures. Despite the fact he researched action figure painting techniques like crazy on the web, he was stuck just not quite getting it.  His figures looked like a mess, and David was frustrated.

Hope seemed lost.  Nothing seemed to be working out the way he wanted it to, and the path to improvement seemed lost.  Buying action figures to practice with was expensive- Joes were $8.00 a pop at least at the local Target and Walmart, and David didn't seem to have the hand control or the sense of what he was doing to justify painting figure after figure after figure with the same cruddy results time and time again.  David was about to throw in the towel.

Spay paint that looked horrible!
But Lo!  In his darkest hour, David walked into the store Air Traffic at the mall during a break in holiday gift purchasing.  Air Traffic is a great store based out of the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis that carries games, smart kid toys, kites, disc golf, model rockets and juggling supplies, as well as Warhammer 40K items and Games Workshop painting supplies.  Basically, it is a nerd store camouflaged as toy/game store.

David loves Air Traffic.

Even before he started work on his workshop, he would often walk in and look at the display cases of Warhammer armies with longing and wish he was skilled enough to paint as well as the people who had painted those miniatures, as well as the guts to actually buy miniatures like them and paint 'em.  David was raised by parents who were good, but not very open to their son being interested in nerdy pastimes like RPGs and minitures, so David was forced to enjoy them from afar.  Since his teenage days, he had been especially impressed with the folks who painted miniatures.  The people who did it well had crazy amazing skills.  The creativity to come up with a plan and the ability to execute on that plan, resulting in such such awesome final products made him a fan of anyone who can paint figurines well, regardless of how annoying anyone but their mother finds them or their ratio of years on this planet to the number of sexual experiences they have had with people other then themselves. These people were doing something they enjoyed, and it was something David did not have the guts to try on his own.  He feared the disapproval of his parents, and he feared sucking at it.

By the power of Grayskulll! 
But times change.  On this day at Air Traffic at the mall, (just last week), David found the book How to Paint Citadel Miniatures on the shelves next to all the other Warhammer 40K guidebooks.  It was a sign.  He picked up the book and flipped through it.  It wasn't just the full color illustrations that caught his eye-it was the step by step instructions on how to paint plastic miniatures in a bunch of different ways.  There were sections of preparation, color theory, blending, techniques to steady one's hands when painting, how to add effects like rust and wear to the painted object, dry brushing, diluting paint, washes, the list just went on and on.  The book was $30, which seemed pretty insane, but he had tried so many times and really wanted to get good at this.  So he bit the bullet and bought the book.

On top of this, his local Walmart sold a line of figures called The Corps, which were only about $1 each when you purchased in 3 packs.  The figures are not as nice as Joes, but they are inexpensive, easy to take apart, identical in size, and nearly identical in complexity of figure and accessories.  Take the guy I have over here.  His name is Kinji "Rain" Shinto and according to his packaging, he is part of the Corps Shinobi Squad specialized ninja assault team.

I am going to be fodder for David's next project!
This brings us to now, and I'll leave more summary third person past tense and switch gears to more intimate first person present tense. 

Ok, save your cracks about western stereotypes about Japan and far eastern culture. David thinks: duly noted.  Especially since Mr. Shinto-San's skin is as white as the peachiest of peachy peaches.  But this figure has potential.  He has nine points of articulation- knees, hips, elbows, shoulder (ball joints) and head.  He has three accessories- a bad ass looking pistol, a ninjaken (aka ninja sword, thank you google). and a totally inaccurate but still cool looking spinny throwing knife looking thing.  All of these items can be carried on Mr. Shinto-San's person.  The figure has a built-in sheath on his back, a holster for the gun on his right shin, and the handle for the spinny throwing knife fits into the hole in his back where the screw that holds the figure together goes.  In addition, the detail in the figure, while not great, isn't horrible.  His boots and chest armor are especially detailed.  He needs a new skin tone, and the copy paper white pants need to go, and his weapons need some paint as well, but I think this guy could be slick.  And now I'm armed with the book and I've got the courage to try a new project.

Alas, time has run short on this weekend, and I don't have time to start work on the project, take the pictures and write an update.  I haven't done an update in a while, so I thought I would take care of that, and then over the next week start work on the project.  When I have some results, I'll post it.  At the moment, here is my plan: 

1. dremel down the the rub points in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. 
2. disassemble the figure, including removing the lower legs/arms from the upper legs arms through the use of a hair dryer. 
3. wash all the pieces in water to get grease and whatever else is on them off.
4. spray paint the pieces while for a base coat with plastic friendly spray paint.
5. pick a color theme.  I am thinking either black/green/yellow or silver/blue/black, plus a more asian skin tone. 
6. engage that theme with the painting skills I pick up from the book!
7. go slow.
8. have fun.
repeat 6-8 over and over.
9. profit!

We'll see how it all goes.

Until next time,

David D.

1 comment:

  1. I like where this is going. Best of luck and keep us posted!