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Top Ten Music Finds For 2016

by on December, 29, 2016 in Top Ten Music - Comments Off on Top Ten Music Finds For 2016

OK, I’ll be honest here…

I let this list slide for the last two years as I’ve gotten out of the hobby for the most part. I still listen to music, I just don’t paint or built to it anymore. Though that hasn’t stopped me from making a list each year.

That said, I won’t be doing descriptive comments about each as I’ve lost the original thoughts for each and simply want to continue the listing for each year. This will be the case for 2016 and 2017 (yes, I’m back dating these as to keep the dates in order for posting).

As usual, in no particular order, here’s what I found most interesting in 2016.

Apashe – Kannibalen – Original Mix

 

Avicci – Feeling Good

 

Brodinski, Bricc Babay Shitro, Maluca – Bury Me ft. Maluca, Bricc Baby Shitro

 

Brody Dalle – Don’t Mess With Me

 

RWBY Soundtrack – Caffeine

 

Genitorturers – Revolution

 

Ivy & Gold – Eye of the Storm

 

July Talk – The Garden

 

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – S.O.B.

 

Steam Powered Giraffe – Honeybee

Round Five: Top 10 Music Finds for 2015

by on December, 25, 2015 in Top Ten Music, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Round Five: Top 10 Music Finds for 2015

Time for my annual sifting of the new stuff I’m listening to – yay!!!

Once again, I’m a bit surprised I found at least 10 songs/performers throughout the year that I think are share-worthy. This years list is one of extremes of the pendulum swing. From ambient, floaty, female vocals to anger-fueled heavy metal tirades, there wasn’t a lot of pop-influences as previous years, though there was a few. (gasp – no K-J Pop or dubstep!?)

Aurora (I’ll gush more about her later), Best Coast, and Purity Ring fulfill the need for quiet reflection and escape to a hidden place within my headphones. A welcome respite from the attack of everyday life. And a few fun bouncy beats that just found themselves popping up over and over again on my playlists. (I’m looking specifically at you, Albatraoz)

My head-bangin’ self was very happy this year as well. Rock/Hard Rock/Heavy Metal has been in a state of insipidness for about a decade as the NuMetal wave runs its course. While there were a few standouts (that didn’t sound just like EVERY other numetal band), it’s been a long time since I’ve heard much that has punch or is distinguishable from all the others. Five Finger Death Punch is back (again 😉 ) joining the likes of In This Moment (awesome) and Nostalghia in welcoming me back to having hopes for Heavy Metal.

I know you’re all just chomping at the bit to see all of the choicest cuts that made the grade this year so scroll below to feast your eyes on my favorite new shit filling my ears.

Aurora – Runaway

Ok, to be honest, for the last 4-5 months I’ve been thinking about how I was going to describe Aurora for this list. I knew the moment I heard this song it was going to be my top pick for the year. The closest I could come is a melancholy version of Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins 80’s and 90’s ethereal dreamscapes. But that still doesn’t do her justice.

A truly unique 19 year old singer and performer from Norway, her passionate and animated delivery is absolutely spellbinding. An incredible joy to listen to, it’s even more magical watching her. Arms flailing, eyes always tilted either up towards the sky or down and inward, extracting pure emotion from deep down, every note and gesture is complete honesty. Completely captivating.

Most of her lyrics are dark and dreamy, which prove a powerful counterpoint to her child-like demeanor and ghostly delivery. Runaway is probably my favorite, which she wrote when she was 12 (!) is pretty light on lyrics, but also check out Boxes, Running with the Wolves, and Murder Song. These show she’s got some skill with weaving dark themes while sounding almost new-agey.

I can’t gush enough about what her appearance means to my musical playlists – it’s been a while since I’ve been so moved and so excited about a performer. Just listen, and look, and tell me if you don’t agree.

Lean On – Major Lazer, MO, DJ Snake

Yes, I know. This was all over the radio/pop playlists for most of 2015. Rightly so. That tiny, squeaky, raspy vocal mixed with DJ Snake was a genius move. Never expected her to look like dark haired version of Juliette Lewis though.

California Nights – Best Coast

Great, spacey, floaty atmospheric rapture. This song is just looking for a commercial to be a part of 😉 This is an easy one for me to close my eyes to and imagine that I’m on some Cali beach at sunset, flickering lights from nearby fires, just lounging with my girl and chillaxin’. Yep, I used “chillaxin’ “.

Heartsigh – Purity Ring

If pixies and fairies made cute electronic music, I believe it would sound like this. Another one that’s great for getting lost in.

Desire – Meg Myers

The “make you feel dirty” pick for this year. No, I don’t search them out, they just… happen. The super hot, super psychotic girl next door. Can’t help but want it but you know it’s only going to end badly – for you, anyway. A slow, crushing, hammering piano with drifting baseline incessantly draws you in to everything she’s promising to do, but the delivery is telling you that no matter what, the price will be too high. Sweet yet unsettling.

Changing Me – Bobby Green feat. Sean Michael Murray

These’s so much groovy electro, R&B funk here it reminds me of some late 90’s Euro pop with some Jarimoquai smoothy thrown in. Well layered and produced, moves smoothly from beginning to end.

Jekyll and Hyde – Five Finger Death Punch

OK, so I’m pleasantly surprised to find out these guys have continued to keep their heavy metal axe sharpened. A great follow to my 2013 pick, “Lift Me Up” – heavy, raw, and unapologetic. This is song I’m screaming to in my car, scaring the drivers next to me while going down Division. Heheh. Keep it up guys.

I’m and Albatroaz – AronChupa

Shout out to John Brothers for this one. Catchy, simple, addictive. A real bouncer. Don’t care what an Albatraoz is, it just sounds fun.

Homeostasis – Nostalghia

Kate Bush, Siouxsie Sioux, and Marilyn Manson had a love child. Fans describe them as “post-apocalyptic gypsy punk.” A definitively odd accent to her vocals make you want to hear more. The particular affectation in her voice though is intentional, born in California and raised between there and Tehran, she’s got a unique sound that only adds to the creep factor. I kinda like the creep factor.

Blood – In This Moment

We must give thanks to Lizy Hale of Hailstorm (2011 pick) for kicking open the heavy metal flood gates for women. There were a few spotlights of recognition in the late 90’s and 2000’s with the likes of Kitty, Guano Apes, and Snake River Conspiracy but they were each separated by a couple of years. Currently, Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless, and now In This Moment can all be heard on the rock and metal stations at the same time. It’s a good time to be alive.

In The Moment is probably the hardest (read: least commercial) yet their stuff doesn’t quite border on the completely absurd side the death metal scene. Think Pantera + Lady Gaga + Marylin Manson + Lords of Acid. Yes, I just made that comparison – and it’s absolutely apt. She has the chops to hang with the heaviest of them.

He’s Big, Mean, and Green! … and not an ork.

by on November, 22, 2015 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on He’s Big, Mean, and Green! … and not an ork.

Boom!

We’ll see how long this lasts 😉

A long time ago in a house about 5 miles away, I started a green project, but of a different kind. It’s a Bride of Frankenstein and The Monster kit that my wife wanted me to do up (she’s a huge Bride fan). Looking for something to while the time away and brush up on my painting skills before returning the mighty green horde, I revisited this awesome kit to test myself.

Earlier I worked on the clothing for both as it was pretty easy. I was hesitant to work on the faces for a few reasons. One, the scale is MUCH larger than our standard 28mm figures. Second, I knew I’d need to do some larger area blending and wasn’t sure how to go about it. In the interest of pushing myself, I dove in last night and figured I could always strip and reprime if I screwed it up too badly.

So, in my usual fashion of step by step (when I remembered to take photos, that is), here’s how I did Frankie’s head and hands.

The head and hands were primed white, then I applied a base coat of Bleached Bone and a thin covering of Rotting Flesh – (first two photos). I wanted a light, almost ghostly pallor to his skin, I wasn’t looking to go all super-green, comic style monster. The green should almost be a rotting, under the skin appearance so I didn’t mind of the lighter Bleached Bone showed on the high points as I was planing on wet brushing back up to create highlights later.


To achieve a bit of a sore, bruising effect around the stitching/attachment points for the various body parts (you would think they’d be a bit sore), I used Baal Red wash from GW. This was built up in a multiple layers, each one adding more color closer to the gaps and the deepest recesses under the eyes and around the rope/metal bar holding the left wrist together. (looks a little painful, doesn’t it?) Yes, the application is a little sloppy at this point but I know I was going back over with the Rotting Green and Bleached Bone to blend it back in. This also achieves a bit of an underpainting technique, tinting the skin form underneath.

I now moved onto the blues. This was applied around some of the veins in the hands, under the chin, mouth, nostrils, and under the brow. The blue creates a much more subtle shadowing under the brows that simply using black. There’s a small touch of Baddab Black wash in the deepest recesses of the mouth, nostrils, and underbrow/eyesockets. Things are a little rough, bit the wet brushing stage helps bring it all together.

So, here’s where I got dug in and was so in the flow I didn’t take many pics. Here’s what’s happened since: I wet brushed Rotting Flesh, then a wet brushing of Bleached Bone to bring back the highlights and blend the bruising effects together. I also did a very light wet brushing of Skull White to the very highest points (brow, nose, cheekbones, knuckles, etc). This gives a little extra pop and adds depth without having to darken the recesses excessively. I also did the fingernails, rope and bar, hear, and leather stitching holding his skullcap on.

Here’s the completed Frank figure with his head and hands in the right place 🙂


And a quick shot with his honey – Her dress and arms are done, still waiting for the courage to start her face. There’s also a settee, floor, stone wall background and assorted lab equipment to paint up but those will be fairly easy and quick. I’m excited to work on the settee and stone as I’ve read up on some new techniques I want to try on them.

Till next time!

Later!

and yes, I’ll be returning soon to the bomma – just need to finish the Bride and Frank first.

More Blasta Bommer Work – Gunna Get It Dome Someday!

by on August, 25, 2015 in Apocalypse, Blasta Bommer, Uncategorized, Waaagh! - Comments Off on More Blasta Bommer Work – Gunna Get It Dome Someday!

So I’m back in the saddle for a time, we’ll see how long it goes 😉

I’ve actually been working on and off on this monster for about three weeks and the only thing I’ve accomplished has been the metallic weathering. I know, not much to weathering, right? Egggad, I wish. For anyone who saw the tutorial a few years ago about my weathering using the Skullhamma’s, you’ll know it’s a long and tedious process. Sponged base/primer layer, then all hand done (with various size brushes) metals so they all stay nicely within (or trying to) the boundaries of the worn primer.

I’m done with the weathered metallics and done the brassy pieces and the main guns in the Deff Arsenal. I put it together for show since I haven’t seen it in one piece in about a year. It is coming together now and I can finally see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Lots of smaller details like the exhausts, canopy, rear engine nacelles (black/white checks), bombs, and the Deff Arsenal. Then it’s back to washes for grime, an airbrush for smoke/exhaust smoke stains – a brief touch up on details to bring them back out from washing – then sealing. I’m really hoping to have this giant wrapped up by Halloween. We’ll see how that goes 😉

ps. I know there’s some shots without the main Deff Arsenal kannons – they were in the process of being painted when I took these. That also accounts for some barrel droop in some photos as well, they’re only blue-tac’d on at the moment.

[b]Later![/b]

And a couple of Barry shots – one shown against a dakka jet…..

And a different kinda Barry shot 😉

Round Four: Top 10 Music Finds for 2014

by on January, 30, 2015 in Top Ten Music, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Round Four: Top 10 Music Finds for 2014

Each year I do this looking back thing regarding my musical exploration/revelations, I anticipate this list to really short. Maybe it’s the compression of time and how well my memory serves me at the end of a collective year, maybe I just don’t realize how much new stuff I really found — I’m not sure which. I had a tough time, once again, paring it down to just ten.

The most notable trend in running through this year’s selections are the African drum and clap rhythms (“Burnin’ Up”, “Run Boy Run”, “Come With Me Now”). This, however, is trumped by the introduction of a “new genre” of music called “Kawai Metal” a hilariously funny, yet ironic poke in the eye of heavy metal, all the while being totally amazing. And if you don’t like it, you can’t be my friend anymore.

Without further rambling, here’s my late posting of my Top 10 “What Randy Found Interesting in 2015”.

Gimmie Choko!! – Babymetal

I was planning on presenting this last but I didn’t want to miss those who think this list get to be TL:DR. I was a fan of the electronic dance pop coming out of Asia back in the early 2000’s based around the DDR video game craze (I still am), and I’ve always bee na heavy metal fan. Who the hell thought this was going to be the Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup of these two genres?

Encroaching on the typically testosterone laden target market for metal music with over-the-top cuteness of Japanese little girl culture is a genius move, especially with the growing acceptance of Anime in American culture. I can’t get enough if this and usually watch this clip once a week – just because. All Hail Babymetal!

Burnin’ Up – Jessie J

I have a confession. There are some songs where the second I hear the intro notes, I have this impulse to look around and make sure no one else is watching before the beat hits ‘cuz I just want to let my body just rock the hell out of itself, no matter how I look – it just makes me feel. This is one of those songs.

Jesse J is a very smart writer, producer, and a very able singer. Responsible for other top hits by other performers such as Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”, and her collaboration with Ariane Grande and Nicki Minaj (which Jessie released solo first), Jesssie’s been releasing hits all on her own and this one is my favorite. She’s upped the game and control of her vocals and I think it was a smooth idea to minimize the other instruments to mainly feature vocals and drum beat.

Everyone is Everyone (And Everything is Everything) by Au4

Not everything I listen to is beat and heavy guitars. Spotify turned me on to this group early in the year when I was looking for music I could play in the background while studying that wasn’t a) classical, b) space ambient, or c) piano driven meditation music.

I can only describe Au4 as a kind of hipster Pink Floyd? I hate to mix the two but it appears there’s an actual category for this called “shoegazer”. Hmmm. I checked out a bunch and thought this was the only one worth listening to. Each song on this particular album is completely different; yet there’s enough thread running through to make it their own.

Soothing, great to hum along to, even moving at points – beside Babymetal, this is my new favorite band.

Die Antwoord –Happy Go Sucky Fucky

There’s a few artists/groups that will always show up on this list if they release something that year – KMFDM is one of them. Die Antwoord is another. South Africa’s electro-techno heavy rap group is the perfect dystopian musical posterchild. I love these two. Watch for them in the new Neill Blomkamp movie ,“Chappie”! Oh yeah, and listen to the song!

Blockbuster Night part 1 – Run The Jewels

Each year there’s usually something that pops up which us outside of my “normal” listen habits – rap is one of the genre’s I don’t spend much time seeking out. This came across my radar as a commercial on Spotify (I won’t pay for the service and I understand the commercials pay my portion – no guilt). It was pretty interesting just from the sound, a kind of heavy, dubstep rap. I clicked on through and found the entire abum pretty good, this song being the hook for me. I’m seriously diggin’ this stuff.

Run Boy Run – Woodkid

Very cool song, something you just need to listen too. The Morissey sounding vocals, the African drum/clapping beats (a theme this year), and a super awesome killer video to go with it. I love how they build it up, quite it down, then blast back with the rhythm. Just really interesting and fun to listen to.

The Way We Are – Kate Boy

Much in the same vein as last years LaRoux; poppy, new wavey, reminder of an earlier decade spun up for todays listeners, Kate Boy does what LaRoux did for the early 80’s, for the early 90’s. Bouncy, poppy, a little quirky with just a smidge more seriousness.

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson – Bruno Mars

Alright. I know this thing is huge and all over everything right now, but hell – it deserves to be! This is good old, old school 70’s/80’s funk, bringin’ Morris Day and the Time back to the future. I sure as hell hope that more stuff like this comes out because it’s all good. This song is some Prince (back in the day) level shit.

Lift Off (Europa Report SNDTK) – Bear McReary

Bear McReary is my new favorite modern composer. This soundtrack is a perfect match for the movie Europa Report (an excellent movie, by the way). Majestic, serene, and haunting all at the same time. The whole album is great but his one stands out not only as the theme song but contains all of the threads that run through the entire album.

Kill Them All by Magic Sword

I discovered a new category of music this year and I don’t know if it has an actual name or been fully defined – the word I use is the title of one of the albums in it – “Trailerscapes”, which I think is the perfect descriptor. Part soundtrack, part commercial, “trailerscapes” are 30 sec. to 2 minute long sound bites that set a scene and amp up your adrenaline system, leaving you wanting more. Think mini soundtracks to all of the tension setting, action movie trailers you’ve ever seen, put them together and hit “play”.

This particular one is featured in a Japanese documentary about high-end car aficionados that who light up their cars and drive around Tokyo showing them off. The moment I heard this song, I tracked it down and purchased the album. Heavy, domineering, loaded with power, the song makes you feel like something immensely powerful is here.

Veigar Margeirsson and Epic North are two of the most prominent and prolific composers of the type of music. Short, inspirational, and completely riveting, each one telling a little story begging to be completed.

Here’s a link to the documentary mentioned, created by GoPro, an interesting watch in it’s own right.

Colossus by Zircon

Ok, so there are eleven this year – sue me. No, I’m not done with it – here’s my wobble, wobble, dub-step electro pick for the season. Deal with it.

Round Three: Top Ten Music Finds for 2013

by on January, 10, 2014 in Top Ten Music, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Round Three: Top Ten Music Finds for 2013

2013 was not quite what I expected it to be when I reviewed my audio lists compared to my memories. I spent (what I thought) much of it in study for classes and class prep for classes I was teaching. I can’t concentrate on things like this (memory stuff) with a lot of funky beats or interesting stuff so Classic Study music, Ambient Space and Soundscapes, John Williams and Vangelis/Kitaro were common, mostly listened through Spotify. I know about Pandora but there seems to be less drifting (and exploration) when you put in a particular band/group/performer. I like that I can search by style easier in Spotify (but I’m also at the point of paying for a sub to remove those annoying ads…)

That doesn’t mean I didn’t find intersting music or something other than Moonlight Sonata to populate this years list – far from it. Lots of new stuff with some familiar genres with a few genres taking a back seat this year. No J/K Pop (insert sad emoji here) and only one Dubstep inclusion this time (sorry John;) )

I do admit feel like I’m becoming a bit of a hipster – no guilt though. Bands like Walk the Moon, AWOLNATION, and Fall Out Boy did pop up a lot in my listening history though, replacing a bit of heavier stuff (though they’re here too!)

There were a bunch of songs that had a lot of plays in my history but also made the big time so I didn’t include them here on this list as everyone else found out about them too 😉 (Lordes: Royals, Mackelmore: Thrift Shop, Robin Thicke,: Blurred Lines, etc.)

Well, as Elvis so impressively said; “A little less conversation, a little more action….”
On to the list for 2013!

Marina and the Diamonds: Homewrecker

We’ll get this girl-pop selection out of the way right off the bat. England has been putting out a lot of musically talented, fun, and snarky birds as of late. Imogen Heap, Lily Allen, Katy B (see 2011’s list) and La Roux (see below) all fall into this new waved of British female pop stars. Big, lush, full sounds layered over by an unusually powerful voice for such a small woman. Big of range with smooth transitions in her vocal breakpoints are something to listen for. Homewrecker is a bit of fun with tongue in check admission that girls aren’t innocent and they know it when they’re being bad. Poppy, insightful (listen to the lyrics) and sardonic – fun to listen to. The rest of her music is similarly lush and layered.

 

Fall Out Boy: My Songs know What You Did Last Night

The first of my “Help, I’m turning Hipster!” Honestly, a great move your body, fist pumping beats with a bit of soaring vocals and a neat wailing backup that fits together as a high intensity hipster anthem. Not sure WHY your songs want to know what I did in the dark but it sounds cool when you sing it that way.

 

Five Finger Death Punch: Lift Me Up (was this or Dying Breed or No One Gets Left Behind)

When Five Finger Death Punch popped up on my musical radar about five years ago, just the name alone made me want to hear it. I was little let down (as I am about much of modern heavy metal music) as they were doing what many bands at the time were; Vocally aggressive refrains then letting you down with very light sounding choruses. It’s like they wimped out when it came to the point of their message, definitely not the heavy metal I grew up with. This newest album has a LOT of good things going for it and they stay constantly angry sounding, BRAVO! This is the song that got me to listen to them again after a lackluster start. I could also add No One Gets Left Behind and Dying Breed to this as all are very hard driving and basically gonna kick yer ass material. It helps too that this song is co-sung with one of my all time favorite vocalists (Uncle Rob!) Good stuff!

 

AWOLNATION: Sail

Lots of similar styles this year and I didn’t want to spam the list. In the intense, plodding, slow-motion intensity song category it was a tough call between this one and Imagine Dragons Radioactive. I choose this one not because the song is better than Radioactive, or because the video is better (it isn’t really), it’s the video a couple of wanna be comedy writers made for it. Gotta love it when you search Youtube for the song and the fan video has more views and comes up before the official video 🙂

Every time I listen to this song, I absolutely tie the imagery back to this video and I find it hilarious. Just saying it’s cool and I love the monster face towards the end – funny. That’s why I linked to the other video and not the original. 🙂

 

Walk the Moon: Anna Sun

Warning, another hipster tune incoming! Someone found a pop use for the genre of ambient music created by taking anything and slowing it down 100 times. Guitar and background-wise it’s more reminiscent of Cocteau Twins with a bounce and male lead vocals. Light, ethereal and poppy, which seems to be the flip side of the hipster angst, more hipster pop.

 

Excision/Downlink: Existence VIP

My dub step pic for the year. I make no excuses and have no regrets, much like the electro-rave stuff I’ve got buried everywhere. The Transformers-esque intro and vocals are good and deep, machinery grinding in the background, all building to the hammer falls of the “Bass Cannon!” This one should be listened to at horrific levels, either in a good pair of cans (headphones for the laypeople out there) or a system that can drive down to around 10Hz-12Hz with some authority. Makes you feel like Megatron.

 

KMFDM: Ave Maria

This one is a bit of a reunion for me. I listened to KMFDM a lot during their Niave-Angst period but kinda fell off after that. ONe of the founding members of industrial noise, I’ve always had a place  in my brain for KMFDM since Juke Joint Jezebel but after Angst there was a change and I didn’t stay with them. The addition of Lucretia Cifarelli was a definite improvement and made me revisit the last couple albums and I was pleasantly surprised. Sucks I missed the shop at he House of Blues in Chicago last year by one night (we were staying in the hotel right next door  🙁 )

 

Diesel: Suasalito Summernight (throwback pick for the year)

I spent some time this year hooked on finding all of the obscure, fun pop stuff form the late 70’s/early 80’s but a few kept coming back to me and made high marks in my playlist .Planet P Projects Why Me? and Mick Smiley’s Magic (Ghostbusters Soundtrack) were close runner ups for this slot but this one is exceptionally fun for me. Nostalgia to a more carefree time plus the fact that you know everyone has heard it, not too many can tell you who it was.

 

Rival Sons: Keep on Swinging

Nice, bluesy, southern soul, rock-n-roll. Simple and great. Touch choice between this one and Beware the Darkness’ Howl as they’re similar but this one grooves a bit better.
Hint: if you watch the video in the link, skip right to 1:17.

 

La Roux: Bulletproof

I finish off this year’s list as I started. Fun, British bird. As I’ve mentioned in previous lists, I’m a sucker for a good pop song, especially something that reminds me of the ‘80’s. I felt this even before seeing the video, which just coincides with the 80’s vibe she’s got going. It was a tough choice between this or Tigerlilly though.

A 1980’s Casio keyboard for rhythm and a Yamaha DX7 for melody and you’re off!

 

 

 

Why Should I Base Metallics? A Tutorial.

by on January, 01, 2014 in Tutorial - Comments Off on Why Should I Base Metallics? A Tutorial.

Why Base Metallics?

dakkajet8That’s a good question! Some may not even know the technique exists but it’s a very easy thing to do to make your metallics “pop” better – and it’s based on science!

The stuff in paint that makes the color is called pigment. The pigment is suspended in a variety of suspensions until it gets painted on something and the suspension fluids dry. It’s usually granular, like a powder, which, on a microscopic level, is round-ish.

Metallics on the other hand are tiny, tiny flakes. These flakes are larger than the powder for pigments. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be enough surface area to reflect off of and be shiny to appear metallic. This is the main reason why metallics don’t cover a surface as well as pigmented paints. Since they are so irregular, they don’t typically lay nice, flat and close together like fine grain powdery pigment does. This causes gaps (although very, very small gaps) to occur between the flakes. This is where basing for metallics comes in.

Let’s look at two surfaces very close up (magnified a billion times or so 😉 ) One is a surface painted with pigments (left) and the other with metallics (right).

As you can see, pigmented paint tends to settle into a tightly packed state, not a lot of space for light to penetrate to the surface of the model. This illustrates a few things; finer ground pigments cover better, and many smooth coats cover better than one thick coat. The metallics, however, don’t settle in as tight as the powdered pigment due to its shape (or irregularities).

Note: Yes, there is a primer. Yes, it’s a black primer. I almost always prime black and a lot has to do with treating metallics and I prefer a darker tone to my models.

In image number two I’m simulating (on a somewhat abstract scale) the travel of light to the surface of the model. On the left, the tightly packed pigment lets almost no light through to the surface. On the right, the light has enough room to reflect down to lower layers, sometimes even reaching the surface of the model before being bounced back to the surface and scattered to the sky.

Now here’s where the science is – how reflective color works. Light comes to us from the sun composed of many different wavelengths which we perceive as the visible color spectrum. ROY G BIV for all of you mnemonic folks out there. When that beam hits a surface, the surface absorbs some of those wavelengths, bouncing the rest back. The wavelengths that are not absorbed are what we perceive as the color of the object. An example: if I see a blue Frisbee, it’s absorbing ALL of the colors in the spectrum EXCEPT blue, which is reflected and is interpreted by our eyes as blue. Weird, I know. Science class is over, now back to painting.

Looking again at image 2, we see the pigment absorbs all but the red spectrum and bounces red back out to the world. In the metallics side, we see two different things happening. One, the metallic fragments bounce back almost ALL of the color spectrum, not absorbing anything (we’re assuming a silver metallic for this example). Two, not all of the light is reflected, some bounces around inside the metallic maze until it hits the black primer, and stops.

Science, Part II: Black absorbs ALL wavelengths and reflects nothing back.

Now let’s take an even CLOSER look at the metallic painted surface…

On the left we see the light rays interacting with the metallics, some of it bouncing back out, nothing being absorbed by any metallic surfaces. Some of the rays are absorbed by the black primer underneath. On the right we see light reflecting back out as in the other example but note there’s something else happening. The rays that work their way to the surface aren’t absorbed by the black, they absorb only SOME of the frequencies, changing the color of the beam as it passes through and eventually bounces back out. In this case, it’s green. This green will subtly change the color of the metallics. The effect can be described as a “muddying” of the metallic color.

Well, I can see what you’re thinking already… “Why not just put down another layer of paint?” Well, you could. There’s a few issues with this. Metallic paints are generally thinker to start with. Too many layers will quickly obscure finer details. Also, most likely you’re thinning your paints already to get a smooth, even surface and adding another layer would defeat that purpose. A thin layer of primer or black will keep your surface details crisp, absorb any stray light that reaches the models surface through an already thinned paint layer and the light will not change it’s color on it’s way through the maze of fragmented metal.

Now this isn’t to say that metals can’t have color. Bronze, brass, copper, gold, anything anodized, etc. is a colored metal, but basing in black means you have the effect you want and expect from the pot of paint. Take gold for instance; If I’ve got a nice yellow gold, and my base color is blue, the color reflected back will subtly change towards the green (yellow+blue=green). With a black surface, the nice shiny, bright gold i want will remain just that, shiny bright yellow gold.

A word on priming with white. “Ok”, you say, “If black absorbs all frequencies, white must reflect all frequencies, right? Wouldn’t it be better to have ALL of the light reflected back through the metallic shards? This would make it even shinier, right?”

Well, yes, but the problem there is if everything is lighter, there’s no CONTRAST for the metallic to be compared to. Using a black underneath does absorb the light but it’s that absence of light that increases the contrast in the reflection of a metallic. I know it sounds daffy but take it from a 15+ graphic designer vet, it works.

So there you have it.  A long winded, scientifically based exposition on why you should base your models metallic areas in black before painting the metals.

 

Later!

Slow Work on Ork Blasta Bomma

by on December, 31, 2013 in Apocalypse, Blasta Bommer, Ork Project of the Week, Waaagh! - Comments Off on Slow Work on Ork Blasta Bomma

Just proving I’m not sittin’ on my haunches this break…

Blocking out the metals by going over them with Badab black first – always base your metals with black, there’s a very good and scientific/optical reason why they look better that way. If you’re curious, let me know and I’ll do a tutorial! 😉

This takes a long time to block everything out so be patient. I’m hoping to be doing stenciling and checks by weeks end.

Later!

Dakkajet Pilots and Blasta Bommer Paint

by on December, 15, 2013 in Apocalypse, Blasta Bommer, Dakkajet, Fast Attack, Waaagh! - Comments Off on Dakkajet Pilots and Blasta Bommer Paint

Wrapped up the pilots for each of my three dakkajets last night, presented here 🙂

And he doesn’t look too bad nestled in the cockpit. Just need to finish the widscreen and base it.

In other news, the blasta bomma, “Moar Dakka!!!” is no longer black and appropriately fasta!

And a “Barry” shot for scale, it’s s little wider than two dakkajets:)

Not sure how quick this will proceed but I know the next step is blocking out all the black/metallics as I didn’t do a perfect masking job and there’s lots of smaller details taht need to be picked out.
Later!