Friday, July 30, 2010

Simple White...(yeah, took me a bit)

Okay, so white...
This was for my 'simple/speedy-mode' of painting. I don't have much left to me, my eyes have been going for a couple of years.

It's quick, it's dirty and SIMPLE...

First, prime the Mini. With white, I use GW white primer. It's just a consistency issue. With the newest formula, it is less prone to suffering humidity variance AND doesn't chalk up on its own (well, I haven't had that issue in 4 cans now, so I have to assume it isn't just luck).
If I am painting a small(ish) unit, like Death Company, in order to be certain of complete coverage I utilize a set of forceps. It forces a model by model priming, but leaves me with fewer recoats.

Once I'm primed, I double check the model inside (with even lighting) to find out if I missed ANYTHING, as with all white based models you don't have the luxury of counting on your base color covering up any missed spots.

I then use a 002 micron pen to blackline specific areas on the model that I need emphasis on the shading. This is entirely up to you as to what you consider important to shade, but try to maintain consistent light sourcing for the unit.

I then choose my wash. In the case of the DC, I used Badab Black wash (though the Vallejo wash is exceptional for this as well).
First, I run wash into all the crevices/nooks/plates that I blacklined. This step is pure wash on a brush, drawn in thickly. Partially to dull the shine that you get from the micron pen, and partially to blend that darker region outward into the larger surfaces.
I wash nearly all the remaining cracks/joints etc. Do this with a watered down (heavy wet brush will do, or a 1:3 ratio of water to wash) mix. This will create an effect that is cohesive to the model's overall shading, but less strong than the areas that were first blacklined.

THEN, paint all the metal areas black. Black is going to be your biggest bane, as it will require care to not OVERLY destroy your white surfaces. It will happen, you will do it...but this is why we go to this stage BEFORE blending out the wash from areas that are supposed to be clean will be cleaning up any mistakes when you are blending/covering wash. You will also wash your metallic areas at this stage, as it will emphasize delineation between armour and weapons (etc) with ease, and may correct a few spots of black overbrush by expanding (slightly) your shading there.

NOW you will start painting white on all the surfaces that you do not wish to show the wash. How far back into areas of shade you wish to go is how dirty/shaded you wish a model to look. Try a little deep, closer to the crevices, but with a slightly wetter brush. The white will go on thin, and allow a bit of the shade to show through. Back off a bit from the shaded area and repeat, with a brush that is only wet with paint. One final coat, just a bit further back from the crevice, with a brush only wet with paint should do the trick. For this, I use Vallejo white. It is the easiest, and least inherently glaze-like, that I have worked with. GW Skull White is fine, but begins to change consistency the longer you have the bottle.

After all this, you will begin to finalize details, refine shading and add other colours (such as purity seals, red marks for DC etc etc)...but WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE BASED THE MODEL.
Shaded white does not look like other models, and if you start your color additions before you have finished your basing, it may come out looking a little weird ( I have redone my purity seals thrice now, and still am unsure).

This is NOT golden-daemon quality, but is an interesting and quick method for applying white to power armour(ish) units with speed and not-too-shabby tabletop quality.

Hope it might help a bit, if not then bugger off 'cause yer a better painter than I am!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


From the sea of green
A burst of orange springs forth
Life for those on wing

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So, the paranoia has settled back in...after having been unemployed for a year+ (let go from a place I called home) I cannot shake the constant fear of being fired from my new job.
Am I about to crash the plane, or am I on the right bus?

It becomes constant, feeds into my insomnia. Pervasive is the word...when does it shake? Is it akin to grief? Or sign of an underlying personal issue? Or maybe just a sense of 'wrong' is always a part of me when things start seeming right.

I seem paranoid about these things, but clockwork...when I do, something goes wrong to reinforce that sense.
Last time it was job related, I DID get laid off. It was almost self-fulfilling that time. I felt hemmed in and under siege, and shortly thereafter was handed my papers (so to speak) by a friend. It was pain, that time...real pain. That was grief.

Recently, it was a sense of foreboding that preceded my bank account being seized. I was rescued, but it's still being sorted out and has interfered with my spouse's birthday (when will that be unmolested again?) and plans to see my son before he starts college.

And it's back...and my mind has convinced me it's a sense of job...

Is it real? (no, dammit, I don't believe is psychic phenomena, but I do believe in the sub-conscious extrapolating off little clues we don't perceive). Or is it just a sense of memory when I am right, and no real memory of a paranoia when NOT confirmed by life experience? Selective memory so to speak.

I don't know when I'm supposed to let go, when loss of job is a past occurrence with no bearing on the now AND not a loss of identity/worth.
Where do we evaluate the now without the past?
When do I see one set of circumstances as distinctly its' own?
When do I think doing enough isn't, or when do I see too little when it's too much (or just right) and not try to accept responsibility for EVERYTHING?

Or maybe that's it? Maybe I need to let go a little?
Yet when I do that, I feel guilt.
I took a day off last week, a day off for the holiday and promptly felt discomfited and guilty...all day. ??? WTF ??? Even felt as though, while I was gone, something would go wrong that I would have been able to prevent had I been working.
Shades of my old job? I HATED taking days off then. HATED IT!

I don't get this...I just don't.
Am I broken? Or am I reading things on a subliminal level and extrapolating?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's been a year....

A year.
I moved back 'home' a year ago (well, a year and 2 weeks ago).
I had been in sticky, muggy, hot, miserable Florida for about 13.

What did I expect? To really come home? No, not really.
I didn't expect much, honestly.
The recession was in full swing (is it much different now? not sure).
I had been unemployed going on 8ish months, my (relatively new) wife had been laid off 3 months as well.
We were getting desperate. The wolves were at the door, and I didn't even own the wall our back's were up against.

My Mamaw had just died (a week or so prior to the wife being laid off), and the family house across from the parents' was empty.

An offer was made, and accepted with mercenary glee.

A month of prep, and fear of the unknown (wife had never left Fla) combined itself with a growing realization that we may not have to move into a 'trailer down by the river' to raise our parasite (the cat)and keep the elements out of our morning gruel (or possibly, morning cat, thus relieving two burdens at once).

The selling began. I cast about amongst friends (and local jewelry shops) to find anyone who wanted to acquire my collected junk (I'm a pack-rat/collector) while my wife anything she could. We shed STUFF like a couple of panicked fashion models try to shed inches, they can ill afford to, right before the fashionista season.

We priced out trailers, after installing a trailer hitch on a CRV that (so help me God) whimpered when it realized what the 'upgrade' was for. (note to self, if UHaul rents it, you CANNOT find it cheaper to buy ANYWHERE, no matter how much you've convinced yourself prices 'should be close to what you remembered in High School').

A couple weeks of furious 'bye everybody' gatherings, with friends and family, that grew harder for her every day. (I kind of disconnected. I do that. I don't like it but I do).

Then that Saturday, the last one in June, rolled around. A few friends showed up during the day to say final goodbyes, and help pack the vehicles. One was there ALL day (thank you again, Josh). From nearly the moment I started, to the moment I was kicking out bodies to get some vague semblance of sleep. It was hard, watching years of built up life condensed into a CRV (hooked to the largest trailer it could pull) and a Kia Spectra.
We laid down on an inflatable mattress and tried to sleep. I took an Ambien (I am an insomniac extraordinaire) and settled in...and settled, and shifted, and settled. I failed to sleep. Paranoia (did I mention I'm a little twitchy) about the trailer being broken into, combined with excitement about the drive (I love driving) and my wife's well being (not only had she never left her home state, but she doesn't like driving and had NEVER driven like this before) burned me clean through the sleeping pills. At 5am I gave up, woke the spouse (who has NO such sleeping issues, and had hit REM almost as fast as her head hit the pillow) to begin our sojourn an hour early.
We drugged the cat. It was our only recourse. The vile beast HATED cars...detested them (why couldn't we have just gotten a dog...just because it purrs in your hands at the adoption center does NOT mean a cat actually loves you, it just sees an easy mark).

And we drove.

We drove north.
1019 miles from driveway to driveway.
With the trailer, a trip that would normally take me 14 hours (except on the Wed before Thanksgiving...that took me 20) consumed 24 plus. The CRV (bless it's little engine-that-could) was taxed. The trailer was so overloaded that every time I hit a bump the hitch risked scraping. The tires looked almost flat (at our first stop, but I was willing to just 'ignore it' in the interest of forging ahead).
The wife would call me every so often to prove that the drugs we had forced upon the beas..I mean cat..were not as strong as we had hoped, as was evidenced by the angry, yet somehow slurred, mewing.
The hotel bed consumed me after the first 12 hours, and I slept..hard.

Oh, did I mention the A/C in my car was out? Had been for a couple months. A friend donated a little fan for the drive. It stirred the soup, that was my cockpit, sluggishly. I think it helped, but in that hottest of southern weeks (it was record-breaking level hot in GA) I may not have noticed if the A/C had suddenly started working.
Day 2 of the drive was just as hot, but we both had slept well in the hotel. I was refreshed, and we were past the halfway point (of both the trip, and that muggy pit that is GA). We drove.
Other than feline griping (both with sharps against any offending digit that would get near her cage door, and loud yet still slurred mewing) we were in good spirits. My wife had gotten a day of that driving under her belt, and felt more comfortable. She was lane blocking for me with gusto (when I needed to change lanes, a rarity when topping out at norm for the trip being 80), listening to the 'Hitchiker's guide' on a CD, and generally in a fine fettle.

12 more hours later, 12 uphill-hours (oh Gawds the poor CRV was whining by then) and we hit the stretch of I-75 from Cincinnati to Dayton. Everything started looking familiar. I began to actually wake up, not the fugue-state consciousness that hat pervaded the last 3 days of my life, but really awaken.
Around Hamilton I was violated by Big Butter Jesus (that was new, and omigawd vile).

Then we pulled into the driveway. No joke, that's what my mind tells me. Everything after BBJ was a blur. Familiarity seemed to take over, and I remember the driveway. The old Grandparent's house, the parent's house, Salem Avenue leading up to was all kind of a blur. A happy, familiar and comforting blur.

The parental reunion (where we remembered it was my Mother's birthday...amazing what gets pushed out of your cabeza when you're driving 2 days with your entire existence on your proverbial back), the entry into the new abode, meals, showers (egads, the hot water heater was down...ack) etc.
The flurry to unpack the trailer (had to be returned the next day).
The loss of the cat (unfortunately for me it was IN the house and was rediscovered later).
The organization (the wife goes all OCD under stress, and hadn't been able to express her stress for 3 days).

And it was happy for me. It became happy for her.
But it was not home.

It was new, it was different.
We re-discovered my old friends (over the next year, thank you F-Book..oh, and thanks ALOT Deb, for getting me smoking again...grrr) ;)
Wife discovered new ones, good ones and great ones (SQUIRREL!).
We organized, cleaned and 'moved into' a house that was at once very familiar to me, and utterly new to her.

We settled in, gaining direction and sense of being.
We 'discovered' my Parents. I, after years of seeing them once every other year or so, she for the first time (really...they didn't get to 'know' each other after meeting maybe 3 times in 3 years).
I re-discovered a hobby group, and like friends.
I got a job (woot, thanks John)!
She went back to school, and found school friends.
She discovered Autumn, and I reveled in it.
She discovered snow.
I re-discovered snow.
We both reveled in it!

And somewhere, somewhen, became...


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Death Company (or why painting white's a pain!)

So, I'd decided (quite a while ago) to do my BA Death Company in white...inspired by a few sources, and referencing the Japanese as the colour of mourning/death.

Then someone I knew locally (Matt/Valhallan, when in Fla) did it, so I stopped entertaining the notion (I don't like doing something someone in my group does colour wise, as it detracts from their efforts...even when/if done better than my own).

I forgot about this desire, until I started bangin my head against the wall for my new DC additions up here in Ohi...and thus, it begins.

The results are not (yet) disappointing...but white's a BEETCH! ;)