Monday, February 4, 2013

The Replacement Death

A while back I painted a Games Workshop Cairn Wraith. I mentioned that I broke a piece and so ended up buying another one and making a cast of the broken part. Well, a few weeks back that model disappeared. I kept it on top of my monitor at work; I suspect a member of the cleaning staff must have knocked it off and broken it by accident. I do wish they had left the broken pieces instead of vanishing the whole thing as I might have been able to fix it. Oh well, at least it gave me an impetus to finish this guy:

He came out a lot brighter this time, which is probably partly due to my avoiding the Army Painter Quickshade. He's probably a bit too bright, but I'm a little tired of dark models, which only really look good in bright lighting.

I actually rushed him a little bit. I'm a little tired of spending so long on each model and I seem to have even less time now than before, plus I figured he's not supposed to look pristine. In fact I deliberately stopped adding layers of Dark Angel's green to his cloak before achieving an even colour, in order to look a little worn and faded. I simply drybrushed white then washed with Thraka green and left it at that. The resulting hightlights look rougher than I had expected, but luckily that works for him so I left it.

The metal of his scythe is a little interesting I think; I drybrushed Boltgun Metal over Calthan brown to give a slightly subtle rust effect. I then washed with Devlan Mud and carefully brushed Boltgun back onto the edge to make it stand out without creating a neat line. The bone is just white washed with Gryphonne Sepia then very lightly drybrushed with white again - though I carefully added a black wash to a few spots on his skull, like his eyes - and I think it worked surprisingly well considering how quick and simple a technique it is.

But the paint took only a tiny fraction of the time that I spent on this model. You see, this is the first finished model I've managed that actually features lights! Check it out:

OK, it doesn't look like much in that photo. See, that isn't just a light, that's a UV light behind a glow-in-the dark skull. I used glow-in-the-dark clay in a cast of the original skull, to try to get an eerie glow rather than a bright light (this is actually why I used a simpler method for painting the bone - I didn't want to put too much light-blocking paint over the skull). The problem is the UV doesn't light up all the way to the front of the skull very well, so it looks a little weird. Still, I think it looks rather cool - especially in the dark of course:

In order to power the bulb I had to design a special base that could take a battery. This turned out to be incredibly hard to do, at least without making it very large and high in order to accommodate a battery holder, and I've actually been trying to find a solution for over a year now. In the end I found a way to do it in a 25mm base that's only 5mm high:
You can see the battery partially inserted in this shot.

To put that into perspective, a normal 25mm GW base is about 3mm high, and a 40mm base is about 4mm high, so it doesn't stand out. Basically I use PCB board as the base (and positive terminal) and a bent paperclip to hold the battery (and act as the negative terminal), building it up with plasticard and milliput. The PCB is a big deal as it let's me solder parts without melting the plastic base - a problem I was having before. I might post a bit of a how-to later, but for now here's some photos of the base:

In order to pass the current to the bulb I used two pins, which also supported and strengthened the model. I took the opportunity to reshape the part of the robe that touches the ground - I always thought it sweeps the wrong way in the original model. Unfortunately I didn't make it curve enough, so it almost seems to be weighted and just doesn't match the rest of the model as well as I'd hoped, but positioning the pins was trickier than it sounds. Here's a shot of the greenstuff covering the pins all the way up to the bulb (which is covered in blue tack in preparation for priming):

So yeah, not too bad overall. To be honest I'm just glad this guy is finally done. I'm still trying to improve the base; I've already got a base ready to go that incorporates a switch. Hopefully the next attempt will take less than a year though.

No comments:

Post a Comment