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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - Armorcast Steampunk Buddha

Religion and art are inseparable. Religion drives passion, and passion sooner or later vents into art.

The chaps at Armorcast do some lovely steampunk terrain, and they do something wondering with this piece -- their steam punk Buddha.

I bought one a while ago. I'm a Buddhist (of sorts), and I've always been deeply impressed and inspired by  religious art. The staff were taken aback by the piece - Sri Lankan Buddhists are very conservative about depictions of the Buddha, and just yesterday someone called this "an insult against Lord Buddha."

I pointed out to the staff that the Buddha is depicted in different ways by different people. In Thailand his earlobes are crazy:

 And do we really want to tell a billion Chinese that they've got his eyes wrong?

They saw the point (though for the most part, they didn't like it).

I'm also quite the sucker for falling love - that's another passion that drives art (especially when its getting nowhere...). The steampunk buddha became a project for someone special, that I worked on for about a year.

A friend of mine, the awesome Shyam Hettiarachchi, is jewelry designer. She got and set the stones that you see here.

This was a one-off, sorry, I ain't doing one of these ever again! But I feel the need to share something from my own life here, not just work projects.

Hope you like it.


Sunday, March 25, 2012 - The Awesomeness of Video

So I figured out how to make little movies with Windows Movie Maker. It seems a nice, easy way to get people to look over some of our painting in an easy, lazy-Sunday format. I can get behind that :) .

Here's some Super Dungeon Explore we did. For the music, we dug up a 1924 recording of "The Gladiator's March," which began from Suraj asking "hey, what's that circus theme? The one that goes, da da, da da da da DA DA da da ... "

Apparently, Google thinks that's how it goes too.

Here's our Youtube Channel:

Only a few up so far, but we're adding more.  If you've read this far, then you deserve to see this little gem: it's my and my friend Sootch doing our version of "Haben sie Gehort das Deutsche Band," from the Mel Brook musical comedy adaptation of "The Producers."


Thursday, March 15, 2012 - Imperial Fists: How to Paint Yellow and Live to Tell the Tale

For years I would dread Imperial Fists orders. Regular clients would go through one, two, three armies -- and the dreaded Imperial Fists order would come. They would get them back -- and they wouldn't order from us again.
Painting yellow has always been challenging for miniature painters. The more intense the yellow the more likely it will come out looking darker, bland, or even green-hued once you apply it to a figure. If you look around on the Internet you'll find all manner of solutions people have come up with for yellow, ranging from spray painting; to layering up from browns; to staining with inks.

After about three and half years, we finally found a solution that gave us very consistent color, coverage, and ease of use. It made for thin coats that preserved detail, and avoided any sort of unsightly caking.

Ready? This took me years to figure out. I'm giving it away free here.

1 - Prime in White or Bleached Bone.

2 - Paint (spray if you can) Bleached Bone for your basecoat. For a very bright yellow, just use White instead, but it will make highlighting a lot harder later so try to avoid this.

3 - Shade with browns. Use lighter shades like Bestial Brown, if you're dealing with sharp recesses in vehicles you can usually use Chestnut Ink (or rather some such variant) instead.

4 - Highlight with blends of White, finally in White itself. If you used White as your basecoat, you want to mix White with Mithril Silver -- it'll give you that little extra oomph but there's not much more you can do beyond that.

5 - Get some Vallejo Game Colors Yellow Ink, and add a couple of drops of washing up detergent (the nice green stuff) to a cup of clean water. Use this water with the ink, and apply it to your figure. The detergent breaks the surface tension which will help prevent pooling and unsightly drying marks, and helps the ink to settle smoothly across your surfaces.

This is a must for painting tanks, and frankly I advise using detergent in your water in pretty much all instances.

The result is as you see here: the only scheme for yellow that we've found doesn't lose us customers.

It can be a bit shiny though, but a couple of coats of matte varnish takes care of that nicely. Leave it on if you want to go for a ceramic armor look instead. This also works when painting Iyanden Eldar.

Have fun.

Navin Weeraratne, Paintedfigs.Com

Monday, March 12, 2012 Historicals: - "Spikes" Flames of War Americans

It's not just Fantasy and Science Fiction we do. We do a lot of historical minis too. This has never been our focus and was never meant to be. Indeed, we used to go out of way to avoid doing historicals work and would bump it over to some fine specialists here, the first people to do full-time professional miniature painting as a company, in the world.

But over time we started getting more and more drawn into historicals.  Sometimes it was clients of ours who had wide ranging interests and were happy to have us work on their other goodies. Sometimes it was people grumpy with experiences they'd had with other services. It was all something we had to be dragged into, until Flames of War started getting big.

It was Lucas Como who got us doing Flames of War. After a very bad first experience painting 15mm, he managed to coax us into doing some dipped Russian infantry for him. It was all the taste of it that I needed.

I'm a big fan of history, I majored in it at undergrad which brought me up to a total of eight years getting graded for knowing shit about Hitler.  You can't dangle World War Two in front of a history student and expect them to just walk away. What was especially seductive was that Flames of War is about the military bits of World War Two - I was taught under the British stream and they tend to not cover the war itself, but rather the lead up and the aftermath.

Battlefront knows their product well. Where GW has to come up with all manner of fluff, Battlefront can draw on years and years of documentation, interviews and pictures. This they do, and their books are always fun to read because of the time and trouble they take to teach the history of their subject matter.

I'm sure wargaming has been used as a tool by enterprising history teachers out there, I've never had the privilege of being tricked into learning while playing with tanks.

Anyway, here are some 15mm Flames of War Americans we just completed for "Spike" in the UK. 

Spike is a policeman, and in between that, his family, and wondering what it is I get up to with his hard earned money, Spike has made a significant investment in the hobby over the years. Here are just a few samples of one of his latest investments. 

Cheers, Navin

Chivalry And Sorcery

Chivalry and Sorcery did a post about us :) . Reposting here.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dreadfleet, Yar!

GW's latest board game is Dreadfleet: it's all sea battles and evil pirates. I haven't played it yet, but we've painted four sets so far. Here are some shots of a set we did for Scott Hughes in Australia.

What's amazing about these is that GW doesn't even do boats - these are one offs as far as I can tell. The quality beats Spartan Game's Uncharted Seas range quite handily. If GW is using these as a market tester, then Spartan is in for some trouble.