Monday, May 20, 2013

The online start up funding craze.....

On Facebook (yes, I do that thing....) there seems to be an ever increasing amount of "start-up/ kick-starter/ crowd-funded" postings.....

most of the ones I see (and do not participate in) are for the tabletop gaming market.... marching your little soldiers or robots across the table, death decided by dice roll...... just pledge or donate a small amount here please.....

Here's an interesting article on the hazards of these ventures.....

 http://www.fortressfigures.com/kcontos/before.html

And here is my response after reading the article (direct quote of myself)

 I really liked this article! just goes to show.... The gap between planning and reality can only be covered by experience, materials, effort and time; normally measured in the amount of "Lots of". Just because you can scribble it down on paper or knock it out on your computer in a day, doesn't mean you can have it in your sweaty little hands day after tomorrow...

Now I have supported a start up caster in the past, the "Happy Monk" by Ernst Veingart. The difference was he produced a real, tangible sculpt, that had already been cast, and was ready to be sold.

Not a digitally beautiful sculpt, with add on this, option that, 15 choices of weapons, and so on.....

The difference (to me) is the commitment to a tangible result.

Ok, I can hear "yes, 3-d printing/ rapid prototyping is on it's way" as a rebuttal. I'm not fussed if it's sculpted traditionally, printed out like an incredibly complicated layer cake made out of resin, or hammered into shape out of duck down and refined by Bavarian monks..... Process isn't an issue, a tangible result is a key.





Ernst Veingarts "Happy Monk" which sits proudly amongst my completed (aka Tangible result) figures.

And now, just to reward those who have read this article through.....


On the Sunday 19th May, I helped out with the barbeque for the volunteers for the Kodomo no Hi (Children's day) festival.
I brought my dog along as Ambassador of goodwill, and he made a few new friends. Brushed his fur, wore a bow tie...... Balloons tied to harness as an attention getter, and to high visibility. So no-one would trip over the balloons, or the cute little dog underneath....






One of the ladies was missing her dog, back in Japan, so Tenzing gave her a cuddle. Big friendly smiles all round.....she felt a lot better after the furry cuddle therapy.

And making others a little bit happier...... good day.....








Sunday, May 12, 2013

Double barreled airbrush

Well, just when I'd thought I'd seen all the tools available.....

at a 'how to airbrush' demo at the club, the instructors showed some of their wares.....
This caught my eye. A side by side dual airbrush....




Dual action, side feed, impressive.....




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Japan Australia Friendship Association - Childrens Festival

May 6 this year was this community's group Childrens festival, biggest event of the year.

Festivals like this are great if you are interested in the culture, and grab some reference photos. (like Civil War re-enactments). One word of advice, clothing may not be historically accurate.....
But great for seeing patterns, drapery, all those other things that figure modelers always seek...

Be polite, ask respectfully, and be gracious if they say no....and say thanks if they agree, and offer to send them a copy.

Examples of contemporary Kimono (during a demonstration of the Tea Ceremony)







Great reference photos, and handy to see how the folds and sashes all come together.....

Plus there are many hands on events to get involved with also. Such as traditional ways of turning steamed rice into a sweet.





Me swinging a wooden mallet to pound the rice, while Zac flips it around....then it was served up by the ladies and served out to the onlookers. (Remember to scream like a Samurai when belting the rice - more dramatic)

And staying with the theme of Japan, Bonsai - good to know how those little trees sit and are shaped in the trays and pots.



And various other cultural items were on display. Dolls, ceramics, display pieces.







While I was mostly helping out (I'm a member of the committee) I did get a chance for quite a few snapshots.... Long day, worth it though.





Friday, May 3, 2013

Tools of the trade, part 1

Recently I was asked by some fellow modelers how I managed to paint the way I did....

So I've offered to do an online workshop (sharing my limited skills and experience) to help them achieve the results they want, and by doing this, it will (hopefully) sharpen my skills set also.....

So, onto the first tools.....

Paint brushes!!


A mix of Taklon & Red Sable brushes 

The black handled brushes are the Taklon bristle brushes, a good starter point. Affordable, perform well, and do the job..... however, their lifespan and durability is a bit limited, and they finer brushes (from 5/0 to 20/0) do have the habit of developing a 'hook' in the little end of the brush.... bit annoying some times, quite handy at others!!
The Red Sable brushes give such a wonderful result, I am steadily bringing these in as I retire the Taklon brushes. Bit more expensive, so much more responsive, carry paint beautifully, just a much better quality brush..... recommended once you have some experience with paint and brush, and have developed some technique

Second tool

The Colour Wheel...


The front & backside of the colour wheel - the rings rotate to provide information about mixing (front top image) and complementary colours (lower back image)

This is one of the better tools I've ever picked up. A small investment (about $5) as soon as I started studying it, I had a much better understanding of colours and how they relate to each other. In the lower image, I've rotated the wheel so my primary colour is red-violet. The split complementary colours are directly to either side, in this example, violet and red. The opposite complementary is a yellow green.
I used this when I was working out a colour scheme for the Chinese Lady project....


Chinese Lady (the second)

By using the colours that are in harmony for her almost off jacket, it adds a warm feeling to the figure. I originally went for a silver effect for the hair comb and pendant. Didn't quite work. So I found green would work, and went for a jade effect, which worked a lot better. 

Much better....