Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Fire Brigade

 It felt a bit odd painting these fiery minis while the temperatures outside reach their annual peak. The new sculpts for Arcanist minis are pretty well designed and the flames are places in a way that adds a lot of dynamism.The Fire Golem is a believe a third version I've painted so far. No airbrush was used - I initially planned to do so but became frustrated after it got clogged again and ended up using brush only. I've used more flue colors this time. While their pigment is a bit weaker, adding a few layers affects how the overall brightness is perceived and adds a nice touch.

#12/2020 The Second Sleep

The idea is quite interesting - the middle-ages setting gains more depth as some "artifacts" of the ancients are discussed. Those artifacts are items of everyday use such as fragments of glass and an iPhone...
The main character, a priest, arrives at a remote village to conduct burial ceremonies but quickly learns that there are more layers to what apparently seems like a natural death. 
This novel had huge potential. Setting that initially reminded me of "The Name of the Rose", mysterious catastrophe in the  but despite that I never felt too involved in the story while I was following it.

#13/2020 The Book of Basketball

I've been an avid fan of basketball for years so this book felt like an obligatory choice. What I value most from it was the fascinating account of Wilt Chamberlain - Bill Russell rivalry and a pretty obvious conclusion as to why Bill should be ranked as the best ever. Apart from it there is the famous "pyramid", a ranking of 50 top players in the NBA history. Language at times feels a bit blunt and a bit too colloquial but overall a very good read that I'd recommend especially to those who value some of today's players who excel only at one end of the floor ;)

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Averon Stormsire

My first ever attempt at NMM on armor, followed by tutorial published by Age of Squidmar on his youtube channel. Still more yellow than gold but there are sections that don't look too bad I think. Completely different than my typical style but it was an interesting exercise for sure. If anything, it has caused me to have more respect for those who have really mastered this technique.

#11/2020 I Love This Game

Basketball has always been a game I enjoyed both playing and watching most. This book is a story of how one of the most popular Polish websites about the NBA came to be. It also adds a highly personal touch as the author digs deep into his personal experiences along the way. 
Plenty of stories about players and organizations that show how passionate the author is about the NBA. No chapters and sections, written in a steam-of-consciousness-like style.
Highly recommended read for all basketball fans out there (in Polish only unfortunately!).

#10/2020 If It Bleeds...

This collection of 4 stories by King is probably the best I've read from him in years. Each one is distinctly different both in content and in style.

"Mr. Harrigan’s Phone" is the one that immediately made me feel at home as a Constant Reader. A story of growing up, great portrayal of suburbs. The unnatural/horror elements are subtly introduced and don't break the flow of the narrative in any way. 
"The Life of Chuck" has a unique structure as it's divided into 3 parts that move from present to past. A bit puzzling but immensely engrossing. It features King's rare philosophical approach to life and more abstract pondering on the nature of life and death.
Rat” is another story by King in which the main character is a writer. It seems to me that he really excels in such situations. Here we have questionable sanity of a man who locks himself up in a remote house where he wants to write a new novel. He becomes ill and we are left to guess which parts are feverish hallucinations and which are actually there.
If It Bleeds” can be treated as a direct continuation of "Outsider". Anyone who enjoyed this cast of characters and detective + supernatural fiction will enjoy it. I'm not a huge fan but it was a pretty enjoyable read nonetheless.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Blessed of Decemer + moar cats

Seems like painting winter-themed models while the weather outside is all sun and heat (and occasional thunderstorms) is a bit counter-intuitive, but it works for me. Two Blessed of December, one with scratch built base (that makes it look as if it were 50 mm rather than 40), and one that had positions of her limbs slightly changed. Otherwise it would be really tough to fit her into a 40 mm base.

Also two more hoarcats. I've added some watered down Aethermatic Blue around the crystals to tie them better together.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Nightmares and cats

A few small minis I've painted recently. I like the new daydreams as (similarly to previous versions), each one is distinctly different. I've split three hoarcats into two 40 mm bases as it's really tough to fit them all onto one base and that way these can be used as two separate minis in game. For the Stitched together I've tried to get a color that was something between old sack and skin tone + some random blood splatters.

Monday, 25 May 2020

As ugly as can be - the Geryon

Those are probably the ugliest minis I’ve ever painted from Malifaux range. Grotesquely mutated, hulking giants. The Geryon actually make me think of cancerous growth as depicted in Don Hertzfeldt’s “Rejected”. Painting them was a bit tricky as I needed to come up with a color scheme that would make the main surface there look more three-dimensional. Their skin doesn’t have really well defined structure, it is mostly flat surface with major muscles and some folds in the fatty parts visible. I went for a blueish pale skin tone to match the other models with “Savage” range I’ve painted with some darker shades around areas where there is additional growth of limbs/heads. Plenty of glazes/washes along the way. Oil Brushers from MiG were used to finish things off and give the highlights a smoother look. 

Fun fact - in Greek mythology Geryon was a fearsome giant, often considered a monster with three heads and one body, while other sources describe him as having three bodies as well (Wiki).

And while we're at it - I also managed to put some paint on this Alternative Guild Sargent, really mean looking lady. It felt nice to paint a "normal" human after all these robots and mutated giants.

#9/2020 Inspection

This book has a strong Orwellian feel to it. 26 young boys are locked in a tower with very limited access to terrain around it. They are brought up by a figure called D.A.D. and educated to a very high standard by an assembly of teachers. They are trained to be prodigies and life in the Tower is all they are allowed to know. They have no knowledge of the outside world and of the opposite sex. 
The novel starts around the time when boys reach puberty and curiosity is a natural instinct for them. Some start asking questions and begin considering their limitations, which inevitably has significant consequences.
One has to appreciate the effort Malerman has put into creating some unique vernacular. Similarly to great classics of Utopian fiction, those words used to reinforce the brainwashing process really sink in while reading.
It's a solid read and similarly to "Bird Box", we observe humans put under extreme conditions. Definitely an interesting study of a twisted social experiment. I have to admit the ending took me a bit by surprise and the way things unfold in the end brings a good closure to the main plot but also leaves the reader to ask more questions and consider next scenarios.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Steampunk Spiders and Robots

Some steampunk spiders and robots this time round. I've used mainly colorshift paints from Green stuf world + spider serum on the bases. I felt they needed an extra touch so I used some oil paints and added light blue/purple washes in some recesses. 

Monday, 4 May 2020

#8 Bestiariusz Sowianski #2

I read the first part a couple of months ago and enjoyed it thoroughly, so reaching out for #2 was a no-brainer. I'm a huge fan of Slavic folklore and this one is filled with it. There is a short background on even more unusual creatures here and the book is filled with wonderful illustrations. I really like the structure here as all are prepared by the same person, which gives the whole thing a sense of coherence. However, it feels like some of the creatures presented here are like an extension of what has already been presented in the previous one and reading about them didn't seem as fascinating as about the ones in book #1. Nonetheless, I will be definitely checking out the other books by these authors.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Here be Giants!

This crew was a of fun to paint. I really like working with large, humanoid, strange creatures as they allow me to play with colors. I aimed for overall cold color scheme with some small differentiation between crew members. I'm afraid pictures don't do them justice as plenty of browns/greens/blues went into making the skin what it is. Blue is not the easiest of colors to work with so I wanted to make sure I give the skin plenty of definition and depth with more extensive use of colors.

In the fluff Euripides and his Gigants return from desolate mountainous areas to help Titania. I wanted to use this knowledge when working on their bases (larger pieces of rock), but at the same time I wanted to make sure they fit in thematically with the rest of my Neverborn crews (swamp-themed). And of course I've put some extra touches into painting Geryon and Euripides as they are the leaders and should stand out a little more.

Now I only need to field them and see how they perform in game. It's going to be a major challenge (not only due to pandemic) - I haven't played the game since Fall 2018...

Sunday, 26 April 2020

#7 Mamba Mentality

This book reads very well although it's not great by any measure. It feels more like a collection of thoughts on various aspects of the game of basketball; training, maintaining your body, injuries, attitude, fans, opponents. I particularly enjoyed reading sections in which Kobe described his on and off-court relationship with other players. It felt like being taken behind the curtain to where things were actually happening and left lasting impact. Coupled with great pictures it makes a good read for fans of Kobe and those who appreciate learning about different layers that go into becoming one of the best in the game. 
I grew up watching and supporting Kobe. Ever since his dunk contest win I saw something special in him. The way he embraced competition and constantly sought opportunities to fine tune different aspects of his game was nothing short of exceptional. For me, this book felt very deep and personal despite lack of wider narrative construction and coherence and this is something that can put people off. For me it was an interesting way of getting more insights into daily challenges and understanding Kobe as a professional better. His passing really hit me hard and I do miss his positive energy, smile, and the ability to make everyone and everything around him better.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Trollbloods Extreme Mauler

I painted this beast a while ago but never got round to posting pics on the blog. Almost half a kilo of pewter, prepping this one for painting took probably more than painting :)



#6 How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk

As a father of two happy, rambunctious little girls I can honestly say that there are no good answers as to how children should be brought up. And I didn't expect any from this book. What I expected were relevant "case studies", as well as pointers that could guide me and show strategies of tackling emerging challenges of parenthood. And I wasn't disappointed as there are plenty of those there.

#5/2020 Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America

The fact that services like Facebook keep track of all our interactions in order to aggregate specific data describing behavior, beliefs, and other pieces on information is pretty much well known. What is not widely known is how deep it actually goes and how much of ourselves we leave at the fingertips of large organizations. It is  mind blowing to realize that we actually let go of more information  to FB willingly than we would reveal during torture. It's scary but definitely worth reading to understand the history behind Cambridge Analytica and what it had means so far.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Angry Gigants

 At the beginning of the month I decided to dig into Eurypides' box and paint something from it. I started with three Gigants. I didn't really like the 3D renders when I saw them first as they seemed a bit too puffed and borderline comical. As I continued working on them, I changed my mind. The main challenge here was finding right color for the skin. I used bright grey undercoat and worked with a number of contrasts/glazes/washes to get this pale, slightly purplish look.

As always, the most challenging part was taking decent pictures...

Friday, 13 March 2020

Lord of Blights

Crazy times we live in and it's hard to keep high spirits when there are even more depressing news daily than usual and when shelves at your local store look like that...

I highly recommend watching this TED talk as it's the most comprehensive take on the whole situation I've seen so far:

 Painting is one of the ways to keep your mind focused on more pleasant things. I've recently finished my first WFB miniature in a long time - Lord of Blights. I painted it following Darren Latham's excellent youtube tutorials. Speaking o which, make sure to check it out as all the videos will be pulled down in May.

I've also started working on Euripides' set for my own Malifaux collection. So far only a start with some skin tone experimentation 

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