Quarmy Project Log

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Tue Apr 25, 2023 3:41 pm

Okay, finally time to show the progress on my cavalry miniatures!
group 1.jpg


These are easily the coolest figures in the whole army and they were a blast to paint. As such I gladly took a bit more time on them, using the advantages of oil paints to try for a rich and detailed (for me, anyway) finish.

I took a lot of pictures of this process so I can explain a bit more why I love oil paints so much and therefore won't shut up about them :lol:

We left off on these minis, like the commandos previous, having applied heavy washes of the darkest colors, and having wiped away the excess from all raised surfaces. This gives us what in classical oil painting is called a "grisaille," aka an underpainting that captures most of the value information (i.e. the darks and lights) without locking in the chromatic information (i.e., the final colors).

From here, I decided to work with a handful of 'spot-colors', in much the same way you would approach painting different areas of a mini using acryllics.

The difference is in how the blending from shadows to highlights is achieved with oils vs. acrylics.

First up was the buff leather color for the bags, tack, gloves, etc., based mostly on yellow ochre. This was achieved in three steps:
  • a wash of cadmium red desaturated with a bit of ochre and a touch of cerulean in the shadows--this is heavily thinned with mineral spirit and behaves like an ink wash or a contrast paint.
  • a loose, gestural application of yellow ochre on the midtones and cadmium yellow + titanium white in the highlights and
  • a quick pass with the blending brush to push, pull, and stipple the wet layers together to form smooth transitions
leather step by 1.png

leather step by 2.png


This may seem like an intimidating process, but it's really not at all--because when I say loose, I mean LOOSE. You really just need to get the rough shape of the area of color and the blending brush takes care of the rest. And you have the value information from the grisaille there to guide you the whole time! It's basically a paint by number!

You can see this blending action more clearly on these photos of the rabbit steed hide. Exact same deal; shadow color wash, mid tones (cobalt turquoise) and highlights (turquoise + cadmium yellow) applied quick and loose with thick paint, then a pass with the blending brush that literally takes about 30 seconds per fig. The top photos show just how loose is the application, the bottom ones how smooth it looks after blending:
rabbit steed step by.png


Here's the same process on the uniforms. Only the colors are different (in this case, cerulean wash, cerulean + cobalt mids, + white highlights).
uniform step by.png


I repeated this process for each distinct area of the model: black leather, buff leather, dark cloth/wood, uniform, steed hide, and skin tones.

At that point, I like to go back and re-establish the highest values using a thick, off-white paint. I use the sharpest pointed brush at my disposal and apply the paint as tiny dots and lines on the highest areas and edges--its basically a glorified edge highlight. Then one last 30 second pass of the blending brush smooths out these highlights just enough. The effect unifies the different color areas in the same 'lighting environment' and really makes the details pop for very little effort. You can see a before/after here:
highlight before after.png


Add a bit of drybrushing and black rimming on the base, and that's a finished unit!
group 2.jpg

group 3.jpg


The result might not be that impressive compared to what some people can accomplish with acrylics, but it is absolutely astonishing compared to what ***I*** can accomplish with acrylics, especially in a comparable amount of time :lol:

group 4.jpg

group 5.jpg


Still, I would hesitate to call this a speed painting technique per se, even though it is much faster than acrylics for me (no mixing up endless layers or re-applying glaze after glaze, going back and forth fixing mistakes--did I mention you can erase oils with just a bit of mineral spirit on a clean brush???) If I were to use this same approach on the rest of the army--some 40 more models at this point--I would be here for the rest of the year.
group 6.jpg


So in the next few updates I'll show you the corners I've found to cut to turn this workflow from pretty fast to buh-LINDINGLY fast (at least by my standards :lol: )

Until then, in case you're curious, here is the palette of colors I used throughout the 4ish days of painting these guys:
Palette of Colors.jpg

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Tue May 02, 2023 4:26 pm

Another update here with the finished hover tank!

We last left off after having re-primed, masked, and primed again for a candy-colored camo scheme, which came out looking like this:
tank 1.jpg


After that, there wasn't that much to do really. First I mixed up a thick black/red wash:
tank 2.jpg


...and applied it all over the tank in an oily mess:
tank 3.jpg


Which I then wiped away from the large, flat surfaces using a makeup sponge:
tank 4.jpg


This had the effect of making the orange a bit pinker and (because red is complimentary to green) neutralizing some of the green tint to the tank and making it a bit bluer (thanks color theory!)

After that, I did some experiments of doing some more detailed painting with the oils, but ultimately they didn't look as good as this stage, so I wiped them away and instead just mixed up two off-white colors--one blueish and one pinkish--and used those to make some painterly highlights along the raised surfaces and edges. A couple dabs and flicks with the blending brush and it was all done! Here are the glamour shots:

IMG_20230428_234452977.jpg

IMG_20230429_234450191.jpg

IMG_20230429_234525232.jpg

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IMG_20230428_234427177.jpg

IMG_20230428_234440159.jpg

IMG_20230429_234430255.jpg

IMG_20230429_234542449.jpg


Tank done!

Next time, I'll show how I painted the MMG team, sniper team, and officer teams I needed to bring the Quarmy to a solid 1000pt platoon.

Bye 'til then!

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Wed May 03, 2023 1:45 pm

Back as promised with an update on my speedpainting workflow on the first couple of special weapons and officer teams.

This really isn't very groundbreaking, it's just wash and drybrush but using oils, so slightly more forgiving in some ways.

As ever we start by hitting the models with heavy washes to establish the dark shadow colors, then cleaning the raised areas to create an underpainting/grisaille. However this time, rather than putting in different shadows for different areas of the model, I just used a red/black wash all over as a shortcut.
IMG_20230422_233630431.jpg


Then it was on to the 'spot colors' portion of the workflow, but this time instead of applying a wash, midtones, and highlights then blending with a clean brush as I did with the cavalry models, I just went with a dilute wash. This way the wash would settle into the recesses and create the darkest shadows, but would also stain the raised areas with translucent color. This translucent layer then interacts with the value information of the underpainting to create the midtones. Here's a step by step of how that looked on each area of the model:
Wash Step By.png

Wash Step By 2.png


The final step is to re-establish the lights, but instead of using the painterly 'dots and lines' approach on each model, I took the shortcut of simply drybrushing the models with a big, soft makeup brush and some off-white paint. I did this after the mineral spirit in the spot color washes had evaporated, but before the paints were fully dry, so the paint on the drybrush would mix slightly with each spot color area on the surface of the model.

Here's what the final result looks like:
IMG_20230423_234912834.jpg


IMG_20230423_234944072.jpg


IMG_20230423_234955339.jpg


IMG_20230423_235008110.jpg


Granted, the result is not nearly as polished or dynamic as with the cavalry models, but these also took a bare fraction of the time. Where the five cavalry models took me perhaps 6-8 hours split across 4 days (so about 1.5 hours per model), these 10* took only 3 or 4 hours split across 2 days (or about 24 minutes per model)--and that's counting finishing the bases!

(*if you're wondering where model number 10 is, it's the little guy I made to sit in the tank hatch from the previous post)

So sure, they're not the most stunning paintjobs ever, but they are easily on par with what I used to be able to do using W&N ink washes, and are much faster even than that approach. This is the fastest I have EVER been able to paint. I'll take that trade all day XD

Perhaps the best part is that both approaches are available to me using the exact same paints on the exact same palette--the difference is just a matter of technique, and you could easily mix the two techniques to tackle different parts of the same model. It's a small thing perhaps, but as a painter it makes me feel incredibly powerful 8-)

Here's the gang all together, everything I need for a pretty beefy 1000pt reinforced platoon for K47:
IMG_20230430_000550195.jpg


I still have 30 models left to paint in my Quar collection, with which I can make two more platoons of 500pts each if I use my kitbashed VOTOMs walkers. I plan to use this speedpainting method to karate chop through the rest of them this month, and if I succeed, I will have completely painted an entire wargaming army for the first time since my adolescence. It's quite a feeling, tbh...this time last year I regarded my primed but unpainted quar collection with something like dread, and now I can't wait to see them all on the table.

'Til next time, may your hobby bring you similar elation!

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Eilif
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Eilif » Sat May 06, 2023 9:15 pm

That's a great looking army.

When you finish the rest of the troops, you'll have enough to field a respectable Imperial Guard army for Grimdark Future also.
-Karl

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Wed May 17, 2023 5:53 pm

Lots of progress to report! I've spent 6.5 hours so far on these 30 models out of the 12 hours I estimated I would need to complete them, and so far that estimate is looking pretty good, as long as you don't include drawing the banners (that always takes a while).

Here's a pic of the whole force, both painted and unpainted, before I started on this last batch of 30:
IMG_20230503_194556891.jpg


The process is mostly identical to the previous batch with a small tweak. I've switched out the Cerulean Blue for Pthalo Blue instead, since the Pthalo is more staining and the Cerulean contains white pigment, which causes it to be a bit chalkier when used as a wash.

But otherwise, it is very straightforward. As always, I start with the dark shadows using Q. Red mixed with a bit of black, thinned a bit with spirit and slopped all over every model:
IMG_20230503_210623491.jpg

IMG_20230503_210631906.jpg

IMG_20230503_213832096.jpg


Then I went through with a couple of makeup sponges and wiped the paint away from all the raised surfaces, leaving it in the recesses:
IMG_20230503_222139053.jpg

IMG_20230503_222213463.jpg

IMG_20230503_222204321.jpg

IMG_20230503_222222088.jpg

IMG_20230503_222234153.jpg

IMG_20230503_222243945.jpg


I then went through and painted the uniforms using very dilute pink (Q. Red + a bit of White) and very dilute blue (Pthalo + a bit of Cobalt). These have quite a lot of pigment, so I thin them A LOT with mineral spirit to get a nice wash consistency, which I then use just like an inkwash/contrast paint for one-coat shadows and midtones. For the guerilla partisan unit, which don't have uniforms per se, I used these colors in various places to denote different fabrics:
IMG_20230510_221233624.jpg

IMG_20230510_221321566.jpg

IMG_20230510_221400706.jpg

IMG_20230510_221212654.jpg


I repeated the same process with a mix of Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red on all the belts, straps, and areas of buff leather:
IMG_20230515_220851418.jpg

IMG_20230515_220622461.jpg

IMG_20230515_220651778.jpg


And that brings us pretty much to the halfway mark or just beyond for this batch. From here the spots for the spot colors (as it were) only get smaller which means it's kind of all down hill from here. I have, however, added a few small tasks back to the list as well, namely painting camouflage patterns on the tank and the field gun, and adding some weathering to the hover tank so that it better matches the mech and walker models that I will commonly be using with this army, especially for games of Grimdark Future. Here's how that to-do list is looking now:

  • Reattach damaged bases <-------COMPLETE
  • Repair damaged models (namely that artilleryman who is missing a head) <-------COMPLETE
  • Finish the hovertank armor and reprime that model <-------COMPLETE
  • Block out all the metallic areas with silver acryllic <-------COMPLETE
  • Drybrush everybody with yellow and white oils to complete the underpainting <-------COMPLETE
  • Establish shadows with heavy oil washes of dark brown, black, and magenta, and clean to leave them only in the crevasses. (These are also the main colors of the bases)<-------COMPLETE
  • Once the washes are dry, block in spot colors using oil glazes and heavy filters.
    °Blue for uniforms <-------COMPLETE
    °Pink for uniforms <-------COMPLETE
    °Ochre/Cadmium for buff leather <-------COMPLETE
    °Purple brown (cobalt green+Quinacridone red) for dark leather and wood. <-------IN PROGRESS
    °Blue/black for boots and metal.
    °Green for hats and bits of fabric
    °Bright colors for skintones
  • Paint Camo on field gun and small tank.
  • Highlight with off-white oils to finish.
  • Add weathering to hovertank
  • Finishing touches and black lip on the bases
  • Make banners

I am actually already over halfway done with the dark brown step (no pics yet tho) and am hoping to finish that tonight and move on to some other colors. With luck, I may even be able to finish all the spot colors in this session. Wish me luck!

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Mon May 22, 2023 4:39 pm

Had an excellent session last week and am pleased to report that I have very nearly finished this project. I ended up doing about 4.5 hours on Wednesday and here are the pics of what I got up to in that time.

First off, I took care of the dark red that was in-progress last time:
1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg


While I was at it, I used this same color combo to go over the bases of my first test unit of quar that I made, as well as my shock tokens, since I originally made these before I came to the decision to have reddish/pink bases.
5.jpg


I then proceeded to add the blue/blacks, greens, and skintones. Again, this was all done with heavily thinned oil paint to get the consistency of a heavy wash, so that I could keep some of the tonal information from the underpainting while also using the oils' excellent ability to gather in recesses.
6.jpg

7.jpg

8.jpg

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10.jpg


You can see that while I was doing this, I took a few minutes to stipple in the camo patterns on the tank and the field gun.

All of this took perhaps 4 hours out of the 4.5 hour session. The last step was a quick off-white drybrush with my biggest, softest brush. This took only about 10-15 seconds per model and re-established an easy, natural-looking highlight:
11.jpg

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I used the last few minutes of the session to break out my cheaper oil paints (the walmart set that I used to start my oil-painting-on-miniatures journey) and use that burnt umber and burnt sienna to add a few weathering washes to the tank, the field gun, and the hovertank. I actually prefer the cheaper paints for this task because of their lower pigment concentration. Using the nicer paints, it's a lot easier to overdue it and make a wash that stains too much. By contrast, the cheap paints break down more easily when thinned and so are great for getting a grimy effect.

And that finishes the main painting steps for the entire army. I still have the bases to lip and banners to illustrate this week, of course, but I didn't let that stop me from taking some group shots!

Here are the 30 models I've been working on this month:
17.jpg

18.jpg

19.jpg

20.jpg

21.jpg

22.jpg

23.jpg

By the time I put the base lips on, I will have spent pretty much exactly the predicted 12 hours to complete these, which works out to 24 minutes a model—and that's counting steps that I hadn't originally planned on, like painting camo and weathering. All and all, this has been a very worthy experiment in a new speedpainting approach, and one that may actually give me the motivation to tackle even more of my lead pile.

And of course I couldn't resist taking everything out that I would use with this army in either K47 or GDF to see it all in the same place:
24.jpg

25.jpg


Until next time, here's the updated to-do list:
    Reattach damaged bases <-------COMPLETE
    Repair damaged models (namely that artilleryman who is missing a head) <-------COMPLETE
    Finish the hovertank armor and reprime that model <-------COMPLETE
    Block out all the metallic areas with silver acryllic <-------COMPLETE
    Drybrush everybody with yellow and white oils to complete the underpainting <-------COMPLETE
    Establish shadows with heavy oil washes of dark brown, black, and magenta, and clean to leave them only in the crevasses. (These are also the main colors of the bases)<-------COMPLETE
    Once the washes are dry, block in spot colors using oil glazes and heavy filters.
  • Blue for uniforms <-------COMPLETE
  • Pink for uniforms <-------COMPLETE
  • Ochre/Cadmium for buff leather <-------COMPLETE
  • Purple brown (cobalt green+Quinacridone red) for dark leather and wood. <-------COMPLETE
  • Blue/black for boots and metal.<-------COMPLETE
  • Green for hats and bits of fabric<-------COMPLETE
  • Bright colors for skintones<-------COMPLETE
  • Paint Camo on field gun and small tank.<-------COMPLETE
  • Highlight with off-white oils to finish.<-------COMPLETE
  • Add weathering to hovertank<-------COMPLETE
  • Finishing touches and black lip on the bases
  • Make banners

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Eilif
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Eilif » Mon May 29, 2023 7:45 am

Dang, you're almost done!
-Karl

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Tue May 30, 2023 4:58 pm

Eilif wrote:Dang, you're almost done!


Very close indeed! Here are the bases finished:
IMG_20230524_220434857.jpg


And doing some sketching to hopefully get some designs I like for the banners:
IMG_20230530_143344400.jpg

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Mattias!
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Re: Quarmy Project Log

Postby Mattias! » Wed Jun 28, 2023 1:00 pm

Overdue project update here!

When I last checked in, all that remained in the whole army project was the banners.

Well, while I was working on those gradually, I also took a look at my old pin markers and thought they looked a bit rubbish. I had tried to use clump foliage to model plumes of dust kicked up by bullets hitting the ground, so use as sort of 'diegetic' tokens to mark pins on units for games of K47, but the result wasn't very convincing. Luckily, poking around youtube I found this tutorial for modeling explosions with foam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkfRGpgE2rM

So I decided to make a set of bigger, more dramatic pin markers with this method. I happened to find some upholstery foam in the back alley and I set to work.

explosions 1.jpg

It's a very simple build. I started with a bit of putty on washers for the bases and then stuck a few pieces of wire in each to form the basis of each shrapnel trail. I modeled several each with one, two, three, four, and 5 shrapnel trails so that the number of trails could represent the number of pin markers on the unit. I then ripped up a bunch of foam into chunks and skewered them on the wire. I then plucked away at each plume to get them into their final shape and remove any visible hard edges from the foam shapes

explosions 2.jpg

To cover any exposed areas, I mixed a quick DIY texture paste using the smallest pieces of foam from the shaping step, mixed with wood glue and black paint. Once blobbed on and dried, it forms a really solid and durable foam texture. Good enough, in fact, to potentially use for foliage projects in the future.

explosions 3.jpg

Then it was painting time. A couple of heavy coats of black paint...

explosions 4.jpg

...and some reds toward the middle of each explosion...
explosions 5.jpg

explosions 6.jpg

Then drybrush white to finish it off

explosions 7.jpg


Looks great to me! I have mixed feelings about tokens generally; they can enable really cool mechanics (like the movement tokens in Space Weirdos) but they can detract from the immersion of the tabletop scene. I love that these are both functional as tokens, but also serve to enhance the scene by representing a battlefield effect that matches the in-game mechanical effect.

I carried this all out during the (considerable) drying time on the banners.

The banners themselves, as usual, started with a sketching step for brainstorming, then I inked my favorites. Here you can see me flipping the inked flags over on my light table so that I could then ink the reverse side and have matching designs mirrored on both sides of the flag (without having to resort to computer trickery).
flags 1.jpg

flags 2.jpg

Then it was time to go wild with inks (liquitex and fountain pen inks this time) and spraybottles to lay in the colors. I started with the general washes first...
flags 3.jpg

flags 4.jpg

flags 6.jpg

...then specific colors more carefully applied to each area of color.
flags 5.jpg

flags 7.jpg

flags 8.jpg

I used a lot of gold ink on these.
flags 9.jpg


Once that was all done on one side, I had to repeat it all on the other. Then, with the flags fully dried, I cut them out and went back in for the final penwork. Extra details with black ink and a fine nib, some highlights and definition with a white gel pen, as well as a lightning bolt and fill-in for any all-white areas.
flags 10.jpg


Then it was just a matter of cutting them out, blacking the edges, and attaching them!
flags 11.jpg

flags 12.jpg


That basically wraps it up for this army! I'll make sure to post some group shots and final thoughts soon. Till then, may your hobby projects advance steadily toward completion!


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