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MiniWargamer's Goodbye & Addendum

Gaius the Murmillo
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Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP writes:

Gee, I thought the competition was supposed to be about painting minis….NOT about taking pictures. />( I thought the pictures looked pretty darned good, myself!

This thread is a good one for those that think it's easy for manufacturers to just point,click and post!

Tom Dye

Revision Log
30 November 2005page first published

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Michael Cannon writes:

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian asked me to prepare a farewell statement (which sounds like a termination, hmmmmm...) after losing this round of the Alpha Miniatures competition.

I pondered over the request for quite a while but, to quote one of my favorite philosophers:

I tried to think but nuthin’ happened!
- attributed to Curly Joe

So instead of a teary-eyed, sappy farewell, I have produced this brief addendum to my entry so that future generations can learn from my mistakes....

Thanksgiving holiday week provided me with the time to sit down and think a bit more about my entry for the last round of the contest. It was obvious that I lost on two specific items – the base, and the photos I took. I decided to fix both so others could learn from my mistake.

I had not based the miniature because I had flip-flopped over what I had wanted to do with it. Was it for gaming or for display? I finally decided that I would base it for gaming. The Red Sand, Blue Sky rules suggest a 1.5- or 2-inch square base, but the latter was too large - so I pulled out a 40mm square base and adopted that as a standard.

Why 40mm? It is a base size used by GW, and so I know I can get my hands on them easily. The size looked good and provided me with some space around the figure for use in gaming, another plus.

I took some Liquitex resin gel and a small trowel, and built up the sand around the base of the figure. Once it dried, I painted the sand with Delta Ceramcoat's Mudstone, and drybrushed it with GW's Bleached Bone. I painted the sides of the base with GW's Bestial Brown.

After all of this dried, I sprayed the miniature with two coats of Dullcote. The last step took the remaining sheen off of the miniature.

Revised figure (front)
Revised figure (back)

This was the look I wanted.

I took the pictures using my established technique, with a tan sheet for the background, a Halogen road light for illumination, and mirrors to redirect lights from the side to reduce shadows. The results are shown in the photos above.

I then took a picture using a dark blue background.

Revised figure with blue background

I had read about how different backgrounds affect photos, but this is a pretty dramatic example. I took the shots using the “Fine” setting, then cropped the picture. I adjusted the colors using ThumbsPlus 7 (my photo editor of choice), but made the same corrections to each photo (auto adjustments to color, two shifts to contrast, and then a sharpening).

The tan background makes for a better picture, as the dark blue results in more shine on the figure. When I took my initial photos for the contest, this is the background I used. This background makes for a better result.