Saturday, October 29, 2011

Romeo 54-035 Teutonic Knight mid XIII Cent. - Update #2

In an effort to have at least one new figure completed for the Long Island Show besides von Mackensen, I have been working on this little figure from Romeo. The tunic was completed today, minus pure white edging and a bit of dirt that will be added once the figure is based. I did a bit more shadow work on the mail arms and head using the same mixture that I used to do the deep shadow outline washes on the tunic (Mars Black and Raw Umber). I need to do the same with his legs before starting on the leather belt and scabbard. Shield has been primed and the tedious Teutonic heraldry will begin this week as well. I also want to add further highlights to the face tonight as it is showing way to dark in all that white.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Von Mackensen - Progress Report #2

I started painting the tunic last night as well as a bit more work on the colpack (Prussian busby).

What you see here is my initial mid tone highlighted and shadowed tones on the tunic. Photos of actual coats show a variety of grayish green tones. To get the initial colors I used Rembrandt Greenish Umber, W&N Titanium White and a bit of W&N Mars Black to grey out the greenish tones a tad. Once applied I went in and roughly outlined details and filled in shadows with more Mars Black. This sketchy mix was then stippled with a soft round brush to blend the colors slightly. This gives me subtle mid to mid shadow tones. Again this technique was used for the mid highlights by applying patches of Titanium White and again stippling the colors to roughly blend. This will be allowed to dry and I will begin to work on final highlights and shadows before starting on details such as medals, shoulder boards and lacing, cording.

An additional wash of Mars Black was applied to the colpack as well. I will now start building highlight tones there as well, also paint the red bag.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Von Mackensen - Progress Report #1

Progress report on this nice bust from SK Miniatures. I am about 95% done with the face, with only a few tweeks and possibly some paler, greyer toning to show the age a bit better. The fur on the hat is about a quarter way to the final coloring as this seal skin has so many tonal values in it. I started with Yellow Ochre washes, with Burnt Sienna and Van Dyke Brown overcoats. I will apply Mars Black and some grey to off-white highlighting to continue the effect.

I hope to begin the first work on the jacket tonight so stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MMSI Chicago 2011 - Part 3

Equally represented was the fantasy community with exhibits from a number of talented artists. Two of the stand out for me are shown below.

If there was anything that I disliked about the show it was the separation of fantasy and historical in two categories. I was told that this was done in the clubs ongoing effort to include all aspects of the figure painting community while still allowing the separate styles some autonomy in their displays and judging but I'm not sure how much that actually helped build camaraderie. This separation was also the case at World Expo and MFCA and I'm really troubled by the separation. Hopefully over time the two facets will feel comfortable enough to be exhibited together as one.

Mathieu Fontaine was one of two Canadian Masters whose work was on display. The two Chaos figures shown below were wonderfully painted and far more impressive than my lousy photos indicate.

I have known Rick Taylor for years as an amazing artist whose figures and flats have constantly wowed the crowds. His exhibit this year consisted of four 28mm figures in the "Painters" category and an amazing scratch/conversion of a Kabuki figure in the "Open" category. Too appreciate these pieces one truly needed to see both the front and back of each as can be seen in the photos below. I would have given anything to have been able to photograph these pieces with my set-up rather than by hand, to show the amazing patterns and designs. Hopefully you will get the idea from the pictures below.

If the photo above doesn't amaze you then there is something wrong with you. Remember, 28mm or around an inch and a half tall!!

Hopefully I will see you all at the MMSI show next year, Enjoy!

MMSI Chicago 2011 - Part 2

Exhibitors like Doug Cohen, Rod Curtis, Anders Heintz, Matt Wellhauser and others, proved that we do have a strong body of quality painters here in the US and Canada. With visitors like Mike Blank and Stephen Mallia you can't go wrong. This was equally represented in the Fantasy categories which will be seen in my third post.

Continuing in the Historical vein, Jason Green has an amazing display of work, including both busts and full figures. I think Jason is the star for Mike Cramer at Michael/United Miniatures. His box art busts were amazingly well painted and his full figures were equally well done.

Dan Capuano has been a prolific painter and modeler of all things WWII and his huge display at this year's show was quite impressive. As can be seen below, he works in every scale from 90mm to 200mm as well as busts. I am sure that over time as his skills continue to evolve and his artistic vision grows he will be a force to be reckoned with.

My old buddy Chris Mrosko represented extremely well this year with his "Congolese 1st Armored Brigade" a spooky trio on a Type 69 Hybrid resplendent with skulls. I'm not really an armor guy but I really loved this piece. Well done Chris!

There were lots more figures, dioramas and vehicles of all types, including a pretty cool box diorama from Lewis Pruneau, depicting the burning crash of the Hindenburg. More photos are out there so check out the postings on various forums for more goodies. I was fortunate as one of the judges to have the luxury of getting lots of opportunities to take good long looks at the work. This is one of the best avenues for learning other peoples techniques. I always recommend attending shows if you want to grow as a modeler. Ask questions of those whose work you respect, you'll be surprised what you may learn.

MMSI Chicago 2011

One of the highlights of the show season here in the U.S. is the annual MMSI Show in Chicago, held each year in October. I have been looking forward to the event this year as it has been ten years since I last attended the show. I was looking forward to seeing many old friends for the first time in years as well as seeing some of the cream of the North American talent pool and I was not disappointed. Here are a few photos of the show spread out over three posts.

The show was held at the Marriott Schaumburg, west of downtown Chicago. The main hall had the exhibit in the middle dividing two vendor areas, with more vendors in the front lobby. There was something for everyone with vendors including Chuck Robinson of The Red Lancers, Sentinel, CRM, Rich Salzburg and others selling figures, old and new. Jack and Jan Muldoon were there selling flats and John Jefferies was manning his base supply as well (very nice selection of natural burl bases). Manufacturers were represented as well, with Mike Stelzel, Michael/United Miniatures, Lost Battalion, Thunderbird and others. Book sellers, Toy Soldiers, Militaria, prints, you name it, it was there to be purchased.

Every show has it's highlights on the tables and this year was no exception. I have a number of individuals whose work I always look forward to seeing. Bill Horan had a very nice display of work, as well as Greg DiFranco. Greg had two entries (seen below) that struck a chord with me. The first was a wonderful vignette of two troublemakers entitled "Plundering The Pfalz", a wonderful grouping that was masterfully sculpted, posed, and painted. The second was an amazing drummer that was so dramatic you could picture his surroundings despite the piece being a single, based figure.

Mike Blank was in attendance and had his amazing "The Emperor's New Clothes" diorama which won this year's "Best In Show" award. Mike also displayed a scratchbuilt Knight and a stock dandy in the painters category.

Jason Whitmann once again presented an amazing body of work (shown in the photos below) which combined with years of excellence garnered him this year's "Chicago Medal". Well done Jason and congratulations!