Thursday, 9 July 2020

Requiem, 506th Tank Battalion, Aachen 1944


A somber reminder that the cost of battle was borne on both sides. 



The figures used for this scene are taken from the Marder 3 kit. Apart from swapping out with Hornet heads, no modifications were made to the original poses. The standing figure is holding a shovel from a Tamiya Tiger 1 kit.




The zeltbahn wrapping the corpse is sculpted from epoxy putty thinly rolled out with talcum powder.


This is a companion piece to an earlier scene involving the American side of the conflict which was heavily inspired by Adam Mako's book Spearhead.


Cheers,

Calvin





Tuesday, 16 June 2020

X-Wing Fighter, Bandai 1:144 scale


Hi All,

here is something out of the ordinary for me - a recreational build done in between projects some years back which recently I have time to photograph. It is fully rendered by hand using dry brushing, wash and outlining , old school techniques that were extensively used by Shep Paine and Francois Verlinden in the 1980's. Though the finishing borders on the coarse side, the experience had been most enjoyable and liberating to say the least.









Cheers,

Calvin



Thursday, 11 June 2020

MG Schütze - 25th Pz.Rgt., 12th SS Pz.Div."HJ", Norrey-en-Bessin, Normandy 1944


Completed this 1/35 scale new release for Rado Miniatures just in time for the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy in 1944. This is a companion piece to an earlier release by Rado of an SS-Sturmmann released earlier this year. You can check it out HERE.



Cheers,

Calvin







Sunday, 24 May 2020

Painting with Shades and Tints

A video tutorial on using shades and tints to render the great coat on this 1/10 scale bust from Young Miniatures.



Cheers,

Calvin



Saturday, 23 May 2020

Video Demo on Painting a Head in 1\10 scale.





Here are two home-made videos created over the past weekend on painting a 1/10 scale bust from Young Miniatures. The first is principally a time lapse documentation of the 150 minutes process and the second is a short lecture on "color management".

Cheers,

Calvin



Monday, 11 May 2020

Watch 'em Burn - Young Miniatures - US 101st Airborne 506 PIR Noville 1944












Finally completed the painting on this little gem of a sculpt from Young Miniatures. It was an immensely enjoyable project to experiment with some new approaches in particular emulating Masami Onishi's (大西將美) painting style from the 1970's. Onishi was a master in using very bold colors like violets, blue-greens, orange and magenta directly on his military illustrations during that time. A good example would be Onishi's box art painting for Tamiya's Panzer Grenadier Set and the US Gun and Mortar Team. The use of such vivid colors to illustrate dramatic lighting and the loose handling of the paint, helps to set off a much stronger mood and emotion - like in an old school movie poster/bill board. 


In conclusion, I personally feel that busts can provide any painter an excellent canvas to not just practice on the painting technique but also experiment on various painting styles and techniques. 

Going back to some 1/35 scale stuff now....

Cheers,

Calvin



Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Watch 'em Burn - Young Miniatures - US 101st Airborne 506 PIR Noville 1944





Though I am still in the midst of refining the tonal transitions and capping on some of the finer details, I would like to share some of my notes on how to create a "vibrating" effect with the light. Several years ago I when I was teaching vision biology from this text book by Margret Livingstone, titled Art and Vision, I encountered this topic on how equiluminent colors can create a vibrating effect on the eyes. It seems that the human visual cortex relays visual information to the higher order visual areas via two streams: the "Where" stream and the "What" stream. The "Where" stream is much faster, color blind and has high contrast sensitivity. The "What" stream is slower, color selective, high acuity and low contrast sensitivity.

In the case of equiluminant colors, though both of these colors are different in hue, they share the same level of brightness. This combination makes them are visible to the "What" stream but invisible to the "Where" stream. This creates an imbalance stimulus to the brain and therefore arousing this  visual phenomenon.


In the example above, notice that the text is legible in color mode but disappears when color information is discarded.

A little more than a hundred years ago, some impressionist painters like Monet were consciously employing equiluminant colors. Take for example in this painting titled Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight in the Fog from 1903 was rendered using an equiluminant complementary color scheme. The sunlight and reflection appears to be radiating because their color values are equal and therefore creates this vibrating effect.


Taking a cue from the impressionist masters, I tried to employ the same concept to rendering the flaming light on the paratrooper.


I hope that you will find my color notes useful. If time permits I will try to do a line up of the colors I used for this palette.

Cheers,

Calvin



Friday, 1 May 2020

Watch 'em Burn! US 101st Airborne, 506 PIR, Ardennes, Noville, 1944


Here is another lighting study of fire using this highly popular bust of this US 101st Airborne paratrooper from Young Miniatures. The inspiration for this piece is based on the defense of the Belgian town of Noville by the 1st Battalion of 506 PIR against the tanks of the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich". I decided on a narrative of a bazooka gunner, who had moments before dispensed a rocket onto an oncoming enemy tank and is now watching its demise.

The use of colors will therefore play an important role in conveying the emotion of that exact moment. To accomplish this, I utilized a complementary color scheme of red and green to establish color contrast and mediated these two opposing colors with tertiary tones of brown, ocher, orange, violet and magenta. I also incorporated two opposing light sources; the fire and cool white light. This allows me to play with the color temperature for added contrast and tonal variety. For example, I used Vallejo Black green for the warmer zones near the fire and Jo Sonja Phthalo Green for the cooler zones under the white light.

The challenge is to force the viewer to accept the orange/reddish tones as fire; maintaining the illusion that the light is emanating from an external source. It is still work in progress at this point -with several areas needing refinements. So until the next time, keep safe.

Calvin



Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Young Miniatures - Wardaddy, US 2nd Armored Division, 1944-45






This the work completed so far over the COVID-19 Easter weekend on the Wardaddy bust from Young Miniatures. I consider this as an experimental piece in an attempt to render a secondary light source onto a three-dimensional form.

Unfortunately I do not have a step by step guide on how to achieve this effect as it was mainly a trial and error process from the start, plagued with lots of back and forth. In summary I managed to gleam two takeaways from this exercise.

The first being that since I chose to depict a secondary light source from a oblique direction, the recesses will have to be illuminated and thus overturns the traditional approach of rendering highlight on top and shadows beneath. I have to make a careful observation on how the light falls instead of following through with routine.

The second takeaway relates to the appearance of  color under different lighting conditions. For example, how does khaki or skin tone appear under blue light?  To seek out the answer, I shone a white light through a blue cellophane onto the actual color and tried to match the tones on the wet palette to re-create in the illumination. Another useful approach is to study the lighting in the films and to observe the nuances of color within each region of lighting.


To create the illusion of blue light, the colors within that zone have to be harmonized. This involves a process called toning the palette - meaning adding a common color to all the colors on the palette to "reign" in their chroma. Harmonizing the colors thus allows those tones appear analogous.

The main idea here is to paint in the light such that the illusion of the secondary light source "moves" as the figure rotates. This is commonly referred to as Off Source Lighting (OSL) for short but I prefer to call this intrinsic lighting as the light is registered on the model itself and not outside of the figure's space.

Personally that this stage,  I am quite satisfied on how this turned out. I am still trying to figure out the nut and bolts of making this approach of painting appear natural and not overtly graphic as in a fantasy subject. Lots of work ahead of me for now.

Stay safe and happy modelling.

Calvin



Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Alpine Miniatures - Fallschirmjäger, Italian Front 1943


Just finished this 1/16 scale bust from Alpine Miniatures. For more pictures kindly check out this link.

Practice social distancing and stay safe.

Cheers,

Calvin



Friday, 20 March 2020

Rado Miniatures - SS-Sturmmann, 25th SS Pz.Rgt., Norrey-en-Bessin, Normandy 1944




Possibly the longest post I have ever made :P

But on a serious note, at this moment, many parts of our world are confronted with overwhelming difficulties posed by the scourge of the COVID-19 virus. Let us all do our part to minimize the spread of this virus by being mindful of our hygiene practices, remain calm, cooperative and optimistic. Together we can definitely ride out this storm.

Keep safe.

Calvin



Sunday, 8 March 2020

Rado Miniatures - SS-Sturmmann, 25th SS Pz.Rgt., Norrey-en-Bessin, Normandy 1944

Taking a short break from the 1/16 scale commission to work on this painting assignment from Rado Miniatures. This figure is sculpted by Radek Pituch to which I must compliment that the animation is particularly well captured. The painting on the Platanenmuster smock and Erbsenmuster trousers are painted with a mixture of acrylic paints from Vallejo and AK Interactive Gen 3.
A quick and fun project I must say and I am looking forward to painting the companion figure. 





Some work in progress shots of the painting.



Cheers,

Calvin