Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sophie's Space Station

This project was originally intended to be an entry for the Finger Painter's November challenge, Winged Things. But due to my schedule, and my over active imagination, it ballooned into a much large project and I failed to get it finished in time.

It features the 2015 ReaperCon Sophie miniature, in a custom built space station corridor. I'm really pleased with how everything turned out on this. Especially since it was the first time I did a in-depth build using foamcore board (though I did build the Frostgrave fountain first).

Originally envisioned as a floor and a back wall, featuring a sealed door. The more I worked on the base, the more I came up with new ideas.

If you followed this build on Twitter, you'll know that at one point it had a ceiling, with a working light, and was intended to have an exterior section as well. But, as cool as it could have been, I found that the ceiling being on top, made the interior too dark. Plus, the LEDs gave off an orange light, which made Sophie's power armor look black rather than the metallic purple that it actually is.

Finally I decided that less was more and called it finished without doing the ceiling or the exterior.

The corridor was a fun project regardless. Everything is made using foamcore board, cardstock and glue. The conduits along the wall were made using straws, and the wire coming out of the upper electrical box is an actual piece of 22ga electrical wire.

My favorite part of the build is the window though. If features a star scene and was made by hollowing
out the foamcore, painting the inside with black paint and wet blending a couple different blues to create a nebula. Then I splattered it with white paint to simulate stars.

After the "exterior" view was done, the window was finished by sliding a piece of blister package plastic under the top layer of paper and trimming it out with cardstock.

Unfortunately, unless you pick up the piece and look at it from a different angle, you'll never see inside the window. But it is a fun detail that adds a lot of character
the otherwise white background.

Sophie was also an interesting challenge.

I've been attempting to come up with a way to paint metallic purple for a long time. It started back when I first started posting my work on this site, with Kickstarter Sophie's motorcycle. I thought I found a solution when I painted the Incredible Hulk's VW Beetle, and again when I painted Iron Man. But both results weren't exactly what I was looking for.

I gave it a go once more with this Sophie, and while the result turned out really nice. It also wasn't exactly what I was looking for. It did turn out well though and she's gotten a lot of compliments. She also ended up being a bit on the dark side, which is a recurring problem I have with my painting.

This time I painted all of her purple areas with GW Naggaroth Night without metallic in the paint and worked up from the darkest tone. I tried to push contrast as much as possible, adding more and more light blue to the mix as I went, using
Reaper Atlantean Aqua.

Then after all the highlighting was done, I washed all of the armor with Druchii Violet mixed with Liquitex Iridescent Medium. I gave the armor two washes in order to get good coverage with the metallic. But because of this it really darkened the blue highlights.

In hindsight, I should have started with a base of Naggaroth Night and then added in the iridescent medium and Atlantean Aqua into the highlights.

After it was dry, I painted the armor with GW 'ardcoat to give it a nice glossy finish. But the gloss hides all of the shadows and makes them glossy as well. To combat this, I painted the recesses of the armor and shadowy sections with straight, non-metallic purple. This helps break up the gloss and really makes the glossy sections pop a lot more.

I'm still perfecting my technique and once I get it how I like it, you can expect a tutorial on it. But until then, it's still deep into the testing phase. The technique needs to be easily recreated using any color, and not specific to purple.

I really want to get it figured out so I can get a nice car paint look, then use it on the armor plating of my AdMech Skitarii army. It would probably help if I had an airbrush for laying down the gloss. But since I am limited to brushes only, I'll have to flex my tools to my advantage.

Anyway, that's Sophie's Space Station completed! She's the first of the ReaperCon Sophies I've painted, though I have all of them to date... Once day, I'll get them all finished up.

Next up on the table is to finish the Well of Dreams and Sorrows and my vampire warband. I also started painting Kickstarter Sophie again and depending on how well her bike turns out, I might be able to get my Skitarii painted.

Keep your eyes peeled, because you never know what my brain will come up with next.