Step by Step: The Last Light, part 3

by Roman aka jar

Hello again after a little break, 

it is time to get it on with this monster article.

If you missed part one - check this link.
If you missed part two - check this link.

When I am done with all parts I will make a sum-up post and link it to the Article section of MV. Ok, here we go, part three is about motivation, diving deeper into the process of painting and starting to work on the details. Again it is not easy to explain everything in detail, but I hope you can follow my thoughts. If any questions might occour, please do not hesitate to ask them via comment.

I know many of you are asking to see final photos of the diorama and I can now say: They are done. Believe me, it looks very strange if you look through a camera at this piece: You have no plan where to start ... additional to the photos we are creating a massive video to understand the diorama easier.

If you are in need of a great big band radio station while reading, take this link!



12. Painting the idea
13. Lack of Motivation
14. The Angel
15. Starting the detail work
16. The video from Games Day

to be continued ...

12. Painting the idea
In the end of part 2 I was showing this picture and I want to get back to it to explain the start of this idea in detail. Like I said, I did place the diorama inside my cabinet and thought that this yellow light from the cabinet lamp rocks. I wanted to paint that there, even I knew it will never look the same as a true light source. I somehow felt that this changes the diorama dramaticly when the Angel appears in the end.

So far so good with that idea. I sat down and took my airbrush to spray in some yellowish and orange tones to the top. I intensified little light/shadow situations up there and also wandered with that yellowish light down the mountain of bodies to the chting armour of the Carnifex.

from a cool angle ...

You may have recognized that work went also on at the Tyranids. It is strange to describe what I have done in a correct order as when I felt energies are leaving for that kind of work I pushed forward once more and then did a little break painting something different to the same point. Then I switched again. And there was work to do. Painting more details to the blacks and reds of the Marines. Their metal parts, also at the cybot. Control work: Trying to reach every area visible with colour. Intensifieng contrast at the Aliens, ground work with some contrast, etc. ...I took a yellow lamp once more to see it under a strong light - looks kind of too strong on the shot but I liked the way the overall picture was evolving itself ... I slowly could see how that upper area will turn out with its details ... slowly ...

On the picture above you can see that beside the progress bar list I had many smaller ones for the daily work. I made countless of those during the project.

While my thumb was bleeding colour everyday the progress bar list grew. Sometimes when I read those explanations I try to communicate here I have the feeling that some of the readers get the feeling that all this just takes some hours. No, every single step took me days. During these days I even started to sleep at the studio to wake up fresh, with brand new powers to directly sit down in front of the piece without being too distracted by everyday concerns at home (cats, Email, cleaning the flat) ... Madness, honestly. While everybody was checking the lake for a swim and a cheerful time I bunkered myself in to a hot pot!

13. Lack of Motivation
While sitting there on the studio couch, looking to the cabinet, having that monster in view and still knowing that I might even have done half of what I have planned I somehow lost motivation. Not energies. Motivation to push harder. Yeah, maybe it was not Motivation, maybe it was energies. Who knows, somehow I asked myself why?

I did ask my inner demons - if interested you can travel back in time and read this post!
Thanks to Thomas I found back on track. I did put that speech on my MP3-Player and listen to that yelling for hours with headphones while getting back on track. Madness, in total, but it worked.

Sitting down, having a closer look on what I had achieved so far I knew it was time for a little change in subject to finish the picture as one piece. It was time for the angel.

 ... but not without a special effect photo test before to say goodbye to the baby for a little while ...

14.The Angel
Ok, I knew from looking on the scene that I build up that this guy must be bad-ass. A Sanguinor Guard, bad ass. How the fack? Those guys are living legends, wearing golden armour and killing the foes of mankind by the thousands on their own. Let's make this guy more epic. How the fack?

I just had a rough sketch of the conversion so far. So it was time to build up the angel body from parts of the Sanguinor Guard box and some Death Company pieces. 

Ok, my hero of the day will have bigger wings, but bigger wings seems like just an argument like having a bigger car. Armour. Let's make the armour more epic was my choice. I took some Magic Sculp Putty and rolled very thin sausages and applied those to the armour. They have been sculpted in more detail shape after the putty dried for about an hour. I do like Magic Sculp in this phase, as it feels like soft tooth (no idea where I did find this explanation, but for me it feels like). Armour was prepared and converted, also the backpack. Fail: I did forget to take a photo during these steps, so I just can provide a black primed version:

Also the sculpted banner did recieve some colour.  
How to sculpt a banner? 

Well, enough prepared. He is the Champion, let's paint him some golden armour!!!
I again, started with a sketch of my colours. A little colour planning, where I want to put something. The gold still looks a bit too shiny, the wings already recieved some serious colour transitions in the white. I just thought about those white wings, flying on top of a mass of dark greenish aliens, there should be a bounce light bouncing back from them ... Bounce light? A light that hits an area and reflects back to another area close. For example a Knight in full armour standing on a field of grass. On his legs the metal will strongly be influanced by the reflecting green bounce light. Metal reacts on such effects stronger so I went for a smooth way on the wings ...

As the gold was way to shiny in my eyes, I radically washed it down and darker ...
Also added a little white detail to the wings here and there. Still sketching around ...

Now the gold was too dark, wow! Ok, mixing my slowly to brighter gold I gently highlighted area by area to make the gold shiny in the way I want to. More white to the wings. Painting highlights and shadows on the white armour wings, the red parts, the gems, the cloak between his legs.

Lists helped me focusing ... really?

Guess they did. After several days of focusing on the Angel I was happy with the overall look of my Champion. He was a shiny, bad-ass, planet-saving-alien-killing-machine with white wings and two epic bolt pistols ...

Added a clearer contrast situation to the wings, meanwhile used the same colour for the white parts on the armour wings and cloak between his legs. Added dark glazes to the gold to work out the detailed contrast situation of every volume and pushed my way in small edge highlights and bling bling shiny dots. Still this football-coach-speech ringing in my head all day ...

Lists served me well ... while the brain was melting:

When I took back the "still-not-finished" Angel one night to sit down and stop working for this day, suddenly I saw how cool this guy will look up there on top of this ... war.

15. Starting the detail work
Even the angel was not completly finished yet it was time to head back to other points on my list to make the overall painting grow together to a final stage. Maximizing contrast here and there (you can already point that effect at the upper photo, when you look at the Tyranids, some are already done, some not), painting details here and there ...

I had the vision to add a little pattern to the big alien guys ...
 Nothing special on the first step, 
but it recieved highlights during the progress ...

All the big guys ...

I took my time to weather the Marine freehands everywhere ...
 Still trying to reach every spot with my brush ...
 ... big ones pattern ...

After this amount I've added to the detail I knew this will be a big part the next days. Detail work. And forever on with detail work. I called that diving. Going on a dive to a specific area, focusing just here and paint like there is no tomorrow. Slowly switching over to another area, close. One dive took me about three hours and believe me that was really exhausting. Made three dives a day in that state of the project. Before going mad I was in the urgent need of some relaxed work. So I took my airbrush again and sprayed the aliens with a glaze of green/tourquise to make the mass come together more nicely. I took care about not spraying the marines with pieces of tissues I carefully placed around them while spraying. Sure, with that I undid some of my painted highlights, so I had to dive in again for that ... but before that I wanted to do something easy: Just putting water gel in the puddles on the ground felt awesome.

After this it was diving time again. Days went by ...

Nights turned into days and the other way around ...

16. The video from Games Day
At this point I want to keep the rest of the detail work and the final hours before Games Day Germany for the last part of the Step by Step. So stay tuned for the next write up and soon final photos and a 360° video of the piece.

Meanwhile, I have to thank Kyle aka M R Lee again, for taking a video shot from the Games Day presentation about the piece that I have held. First, it is in german language. Sorry for that. If anyone wants to help with an english subtitle translation feel invited to write an email to me. I just don't find the time for it these days. Second, the sound quality is not perfect. Raffa managed to get that echo out of the file but still it is far from perfect. Sorry about that.

So this is the end of part 3 I guess.

Again if you got questions or feedback so far let me know!
Read you asap with more!



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