Stop the WordPresses!

Season 2 of blood Bowl is on the way with new rules and teams, it seems G-dubs have been busy during the pandemic.

Chief among these new teams is the Black Orc team, which seems to be a slightly less good version of Lizardmen.

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And they’re good, everything I had grievance with about the 2016 Orc team they’ve largely resolved, plus there’s a selection of heads for that oh so crucial variety. I’m also intrigued by the fact that Varag Ghoul-Chewer seem to be included in the box, and Griff makes an appearance in the new human team. I wonder if this means there’ll be some provision for team captains in Blood Bowl 2020

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And a better look at those Black Orc boys, the 2016 orc team were a mess of raggedy spiked armour plates and confusing silhouettes. These guys have come from a place of design principles. They also have the classic big orc-y heads, I wonder if they’re interchangeable with other orc sets.

I have now got a semi-functional set up that I can do Blender on, so I think at the very least I’ll push through and model one orc using the latest head I made way back in last year, and then we’ll see. Technically If I’ve got one I can easily do the rest, although that does hinge on me actually learning more Blender.

Interestingly I am now using Blender 2.83. Blender 2.8 offered a fair bit of resistance, because in Blender 2.7 there’s a Maya mode, which overwrites Blender’s default shortcut keys to be in line with Maya’s, and that’s what I always used, having come from Maya. But it’s not just shortcuts, it’s the navigational control scheme too. Blender 2.8 doesn’t have this, so jumping in was a tad difficult.

However I have now managed to get things to my liking. One of my big issues with Blender controls is that to move a selection (or scale or rotate) you press the appropriate shortcut, and you are then in ‘move mode’ pressing the letter key corresponding to that axis will lock you to movement along that axis. This requires you to know which axis you want to move along, this is particularly a pain for rotation, because the axis you want tends not to be the one you think. And of course, this is a one time operation, once you confirm you move you are no longer in move mode, so you have to hit the shortcut again.

Well it turns out there is a way to have what Blender refers to as Gizmos, but are variously refereed to as widgets or manipulator tools, viable. That is a three pronged arrow you can grab hold of to move things about the place, and grabbing the arrow corresponding to the axis moves only along that axis. This is vastly superior to the press the letter method, because they cease to be axis, and they become: ‘I want to move it that way’ As of yet I’ve not found a way to toggle between move, rotate and scale gizmos, but you can have them all on at once which does get a little bit confusing, but it mostly works.

Other than that, I only use two other tools for modelling, so I have memorised the shortcuts. E for Extrude, and Ctrl+R to add an edge loop, and I’m now using Blender the Blender way, sort of.

There’s also a Snotling team on the cards, excuse me while I change my trousers…

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Sidebar IV: This time it’s personal

Middenheim Mauraders

Because it’s people… Presenting The Middenheim Marauders who I did not know were already a team when I named my guys…

I’d like to appologise for the crap photos, I don’t have the set up to take better ones. These guys have appeared a few times before as size reference and the like, but they are now fully finished with the booster pack. I know people don’t like the booster packs because they cost the same as a team box and you only get 4 minis, and often there’s usually a thrower you don’t need. But I hate to have repeat minis if I can help it, and with a Blood Bowl when the teams are so small there isn’t really any excuse.

Blitzers. I’ve got one Blitzer from the Human Team box, two from the booster pack and then a Griff Oberwald I’ve modified slightly to give myself a team captain.

The Line of Scrimmage, Linemen and my Ogre.

Throwers and Catchers. Technically I could have 4 Catchers, but oh well. I did modify the booster pack Thrower, I don’t know how noticable it is. For some reason he had a really long leg, just the one though, it was very odd.

A moment of painting joy

So growing up I used Citadel Paint, they were made of awesome and they tasted funny. I stopped really doing anything Warhammer wise for a while, then I got back into it with the 2014 Stormclaw box set, except my paints had mostly dried up. So I bought myself a new paint starter kit and set to work on the plastic-y goodness.

It was at this point that I discovered something had gone terribly wrong, those wondrous Citadel Paints of old had been replaced with an inferior more expensive brew. Dry brushing had become impossible because to do so would remove the layer of paint below, even holding the model, would take the paint off. Needless to say, my return to the hobby did not last long.

Forwards we go to the release of Blood Bowl 2016, which as we know I bought, to go along with this purchase I decide I need some paints that actually work. I decide on Army Painter, primarily because there was a shop in town that sold them, so if I decided I wanted a particular colour I could go and get it.

Now Army Painter paints have their pros and cons, the big pro for me was that the paint stayed on the model and the washes were nice and matt, unlike Citadel inks which have always been very glossy. The cons however were that the paint was surprisingly thin. To the point that several coats were required to achieve a decent opacity. Some of the colours were even incapable of achieving opacity, looking at you Oak Brown… I found that mixing the colour I wanted with some white gave me a suitable base that two or three applications  of the actual colour could then cover satisfactorily.

All this meant that I was forced to continue with the stratagey I had developed in my last few days of painting with Citadel Paints. Paint block colours and apply an appropriate wash. Which isn’t what I enjoy doing, I love a good dry brush, and for years I just couldn’t.

Forward again we go to two weeks ago, where there was a threat at work that I might be called apon to paint some miniatures for a new client. (The job doesn’t seem to have come to fruition.) And all our company paints that we use for various applications (Citadel) had dried up, oh those Games Workshops and their lids that don’t seal. So my first concern is that we need new paints, my second concern is that I’m supposed to be doing a good paint job. And if I’m going to do a good paint job I need to play to my strengths. So that’s Citadel and Army Painter out, and I need to be able to recommend something.

So I decided to buy myself some Vallejo Game Color, as we all know Vallejo and Citadel used to be one and the same. Those were the halcyon days. Having looked about the internet a bit Game Color seems to get a bad rap for not being Model Color, but I love ’em. I painted up one of my Stone Trolls that have been sat wanting paint for years.IMG_20190614_172042

That’s one coat of Game Color blue I’ve daubed on him, over black. Army Painter can’t do that, Citadel can, but then the paint would come off if you touched it. And the finished model.

Troll

The one thing I will say against Game Color so far, is the black is very glossy. So where I did a black wash over the model he developed glossy recesses, and no one wants that… So I had him sprayed with a matt lacquer at work. My job does have the occasional perk.

But all in all it’s been a joy, after so many years of not being able to paint properly to suddenly have that back. I certainly know what I’ll be doing with my weekend. And yes, Game Color does taste funny.

 

 

Now What?

I’m honestly a little stumped at this point.Orc porp 4

I’ve gotten to this point, as long as I correctly account for the height of the human, and scale my orc accordingly, he’ll look nice and imposing on the pitch. the problem is, if I run through the process on his body I’ll end up with something that looks like this:Orc Torso 7

And I want to have more detail, the question is when to I put in more detail. It’s very easy to get commited to a certain amount of geometry early on, and then difficult to increase that amount. Equally too much geometry too soon can also be a problem.

I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point…

It’s that time again…

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may start to notice a pattern emerge. Where in I decide that my work isn’t good enough, lose motivation to continue with it and disappear for months on end… Then something spurs me into action and I come back starting at square one…

New Orc Head II

So here we are, my new orc.

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And here’s the obligitory comparison shot. The last one might be cheating a little bit because it’s lovingly rendered in Cycles, where as the first two are workspace screenshots. Buuut seeing as I’ve only really just discovered Cycles using it to make my work look better is probably okay. Everything you see is modelled, it’s just using different materials, there’s no texture mapping or anything. If I’m going to SLA him it all needs to be geometrey based.

Speaking of Cycles, you might notice the new orc’s teeth and gums are a bit shiny. I would refer to that shinyness as specularity, but it turns out Cycles doesn’t do specularity. As someone said on a forum when I went looking for how to tweak specularity in Cycles: ‘Cycles is based on reality, specularity doesn’t exist in reality, it’s a cheat used to make things look glossy.’

The correct question to ask is: ‘How do I make things glossy.’ And the answer that I stole off the internet looks something like this:Spec Nodes

So this is my node set up for his teeth. It combines a Glossy Shader and a Diffuse Shader, because Glossy on it’s own tends to look like glass. I have no idea what Fresnel is, but it seems to work…

So hopefully I’ll get a better run out of this new model, and I may even bring this project to a conclusion. Although part of me wants to see what I’ll do next year when I decided it’s still not good enough and kick it up another notch…

A Small Update

It’s not really even an update… I spent some time learning about texturing and rendering in Blender for work so: Orc Blender Render

I’ve done a render of my orc in Blender, although I still don’t really know what I’m doing… Yay me!

A Small Update Update:

Cycles Render

Another render using the Cycles Engine, which is different and more complicated, so I have even less idea what I’m doing… Yay me!

Sidebar III: Electric Boogaloo

Presenting the Baruk-Khazâd Bastards!Baruk Khazad Bastards

The Baruk-Khazâd Bastards are known for their liberal use of bribes and Deathrollers, I should really get them a Deathroller… Baruk-Khazâd Bastards is also an ancient dwarven battle cry from the book I’ve been writing on and off, and certainly not some nonsense and a swear word…

I dug into my 4th Edition Dwarf Army Book for some runes, I don’t know how well they line up with current lore but 4th/5th is the version I knew best so that’s what I’m going with. Initially I was just going to use the alphabet runes on their back plates as numbers. (The numerical runes are severely uninspired…) Then I was thinking about doing a team emblem on the shoulder pad or some such. The rune for B is effectively B, and the rune for K is effectively K so having BKB on their shoulders seemed a little trite, and the runes didn’t sit very well together. So then I thought, well why not pick a magic rune that’s vaguely position appropriate. Further then, I managed to find 12 magic runes that were position appropriate and dropped the alphabet runes altogether.

Slayers have The Master Rune of Daemon Slaying and The Master Rune of Kingship (Team Captain) I’ve also tried to make them look slightly sun-burnt, with varing levels of success…

Blitzers: The Rune of Smiting and The Rune of Striking

Runners: The Master Rune of Swiftness and The Rune of Passage

Blockers: oh boy… The Rune of Resistance, The Rune of Stone, The Rune of Iron, The Rune of Fortitude, The Rune of Battle and The Rune of Warding. It’s handy that Dwarves are such an obstinate race, there are plenty of runes that are vaguely blocking related.

When I eventually get a Deathroller, I’ll either go with The Rune of Might or The Master Rune of Dismay. Feel free to express an opinion in the comments.

Finally I’m counting these guys for Azazels neglected mini September seeing as I got them in February 2017… They might not be my most neglected miniatures, but they’ve suffered a fair amount of neglect.

I will endeavour to take some better pictures…

Johnny… He’s missing an arm…

“What? No? Wait… isn’t he meant to be missing an arm…? You bastard!” Johnny

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I got some prints off the machine, and proceeded to be an asshat. Good times, good times.

These guys are a little tricky because there are so many supports everywhere, clean up is going to be fun. They’re also slightly too big… mostly because I felt the cheerleaders were maybe a little small, so I made these guys a touch bigger, but when you’re dealing with teeny tiny minis a delicate touch can be too much…

I really must start getting paint on things, and finish sculpting the rest of the sideline staff…

A follow up visit

Dok&Vic HQ

Sexy renders abound!Dok&Vic 2 HQ

And from the other side, gives you a better look at the Dok’s bone saw.Dok HQ

I really like this pic of the doc all on his own, you can feel the insanity! (Even if his hands don’t really make sense without the patient…)Vic HQ

And the patient, you get a much better look at the fact that he’s got a black eye in this view, although really that’s the least of his worries…