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Tag: Infinity

Crystal Brush Entries, part 1

I’m back from Crystal Brush, and wanted to share my entries!

I came with a bust, a unit, and a sci-fi single, putting the most time into the bust. Disappointingly, the bust was the only one which made first cut. I think that means that when you go to Crystal Brush, either you need to go all-out on your entry, or you might as well not bring it! That seems fitting for a contest as competitive as it is.

In sharing my entries with the blog, I’m going to start with the unit, which was definitely the weakest of the three entries. These are really gaming models, although I do have high standards for my gaming models. I didn’t even do any basing for them, just painting the 25mm bases they come with and calling that good enough!

I went with a classic red-and-military-green color scheme, which is really a very effective color scheme (yay color theory!) For the reds, I went with a high-contrast NMM look, which I think works really well for infinity models. The green cloth is subtly textured to better complement the shiny metals.

I still have another 4 models from this group to paint, since I got the Operation: Icestorm box set. Doing small tabletop gaming figures can be a nice break from larger projects, so I will probably finish the unit gradually in between other projects.

Next up is my sci-fi single entry, which I’ll be posting later this week!

Jeanne d’Arc

Infinity miniatures have come a long way since their first releases. For the last couple of years, they are doing all digital sculpts, which is perfect for sci-fi figures with their machined power-armor and gadgets. Their line is 100% metal, and are among the nicest metal casts I have worked with.

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For this miniature, I was inspired by the beautifully smooth non-metallic metals on the version by Gareth “glazed over” Nicholas. The resemblance is quite apparent, although my blends are not nearly as smooth. I just don’t have the patience for that much glazing. I’m pretty happy with the effect I was able to get.

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Although I stayed quite close to Gareth’s version for the metals, for everything else I decided to go my own way. I painted this while I was still working on Desert Wanderer, and decided to go with the same color scheme and Islamic-inspired freehand, since it worked so well for Wanderer. Because of the Islamic freehand, I ended up entering Jeanne along with Wanderer in the Rainbow Brush competition, but when Wanderer won, she was out of the running. Yes, I did end up entering two figures named after Christian saints in an Islam-themed painting competition. Irony is ironic that way.

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The fine texture of the cloth came out really well I think. I like to contrast different textures in my miniatures, in this case the weave of the fabric against the smooth metal of the armor.

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I’m a big sucker for reflected light, and love including it in my figures. Non-metallic metals are a great opportunity for this, especially when the metal surface is right next to a brightly colored element, as is the case with Jeanne‘s loin cloth. You can see it in this view on the silver woven metals, and in other views on the blue armor plates. In most places you see just the color, but on the flat plates immediately adjacent to the loin cloth you can also see the shape of the fabric in the reflection.

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I had a lot of fun with the base. I often like simple bases for my miniatures, especially gaming figures, but which are evocative enough to provide a setting for the figure. To make this base, I used a standard Infinity gaming base, but cut a big hole in the middle of it, which I replaced with a brass-etch grating and a clear piece of blister pack that I painted with transparent orange ink. I really enjoy using negative space when basing miniatures.

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I used a clear acrylic plinth from TAP Plastics to accentuate the negative space in the base.

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I frequently ignore the manufacturer awards at Gen Con, because I’m more interested in painting what I want to paint rather than maximizing my chances to win awards. This year I lucked out though, and when I went to enter the painting competition I found out that Infinity was supporting it with manufacturer awards.

I went down to the Infinity booth later on, and was seriously tempted to get Operation Red Veil. I think the sales guy was a bit miffed when I said I’d wait, “just in case” I won their manufacturer award (which included the game). He may have been astonished at my hubris, but I thought I had a pretty good shot at winning.

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It turns out I was right to hold off, since I was awarded best Infinity figure with this model. 😉

Voting links, for those who want them:

Infinity – Tohaa

Infinity are a lot of fun to paint up. They are all very finely cast metal minis, with lots of bits so that you get interesting, three dimensional poses. The models are on the small side, so they paint up relatively quickly, but they are packed with detail which makes them look bigger than they are.

For this little Tohaa group, I decided to stay fairly close to the official color scheme, but I swapped the usual orange for green to give them my own spin.

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They are not painted to a super-high standard, as I was focusing more on the color scheme and overall light situation rather than making all of the details perfect. I’m really pleased with how they came out though!

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The leader was the most fun to paint up. She has a very nice face, and all of the areas are easily accessible when fully assembled making her easy to paint.

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It’s kind of subtle in these photos, but I threw some red into all of the shadows on the white armor. With a giant red planet underneath her, you would expect some of the reflected light to show up in the whites of her clothing!

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I decided on very simple basing—I really just scraped some putty around to give a rough texture, painted them quickly with mostly black and white, and then applied a bunch of red pigments to give a martian desert effect.

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Apart from the neutral colors of the armor, the main colors are green and turquoise, so red was a natural color for the base as it’s a complementary color to both, making the overall color scheme “split complementary”. Adding red into the whites of the armor, as well as being ‘correct’ from the perspective of physics, helps tie everything together.

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This guy was super fiddly to paint. He has a bajillion tiny details, and many areas are impossible to reach with a brush when he’s fully assembled while still being annoyingly visible. Also, there are six different fins that are too small to pin and all attach with an area of one square micron. I think I broke the fins off three times each while painting him.

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He came out really well, but I basically needed to design a display base for the group just to avoid handling him any more and breaking more fins off. I wouldn’t want to use this guy in a game ever! Maybe I just need smaller drills so I can pin tiny Infinity bits.

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Decided to add some quick weathering from the rocket exhaust. To Infinity and Beyond!

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I would not want to run into this guy on a lonely rock in deep space. He looks hostile.

This group is one of my entries into the painting competition at Gen Con. I have six entries total (and maybe even time to finish one more), split between the general competition and the Privateer Press one. But I’m going to wait to share most of them after the convention. Sorry I’m such a tease, but I don’t want to give up the element of surprise for my main entries!

“Negative Space”—finished

Negative Space

As soon as I saw the new Infinity—Combined Army starter pack in my local game store, I wanted to paint it. In fact, that was the box that ended up getting me started on my recent Infinity kick. I have to say the models are fantastic, light-years ahead of the older Infinity models; they are very easy to clean, and tremendously fun to paint.

Negative Space

The base was the first thing I built, and is primarily composed of parts of the optical drive and heat sink from my old MacBook (which I replaced once it started constantly crashing), mounted on a resin block from Secret Weapon miniatures. The base presented some interesting engineering challenges, to make it structurally sound where a thin piece of plasticard was sticking out from a resin block and just attached at the edge, so I added some plasticard braces and carved a groove in the resin block for extra support.

Negative Space

The miniatures are all magnetized to the base, so that they can be removed to be usable as gaming pieces or just be appreciated on their own, but snap nicely onto the base in the appropriate position and orientation for group display. This was especially nice for entering into the Gen Con competition, which requires units to be presented together on a display base. Making everything nice and stable as a unit also makes things safer when being handled by the judges and their minions.

Negative Space: Fraacta, Umbra Legates, Maakrep, Fraacta

From left to right: Fraacta, Umbra Legates, Maakrep, Fraacta.

Negative Space: Umbra Legates

Originally I intended to paint the entire box up as a unit, but ended up dropping the Unidrons and adding an extra Fraacta. The base I built was not really large enough for six models, I wasn’t really happy with the first Unidron I painted up, and I really liked the new Fraacta model that had just come out.

Negative Space: Fraacta

The running Fraacta was the last model I painted, and turned out the best because I had the color scheme down at that point. In the sculpt, the Fraacta is jumping off of some weird, pseudo-organic piece of rock. In order to make it match the base, I had to completely resculpt that rock to look mechanical, and then incorporate it into the base in such a way that it looked at least plausible for it to be mounted at that angle. I ended up cutting a big hole in the base to make it look like a part which could be rotated out to provide access to something underneath.

Negative Space: Fraacta

It’s hard to appreciate from the photos, but three of the four models have holes going all of the way through the bases. My favorite is the base of the standing Fraacta, where I carved out a circle from the middle of the base, and mounted a brass-etch grate and a clear piece of plastic (from a blister pack). I think incorporating negative space into most of the miniatures’ bases as well as the group display base makes them hang together really well as a unit.

Negative Space: Maakrep

The Maakrep was the first miniature I painted of the group, and ended up much greener than the others. I painted the standing Fraacta second, and that was when I really nailed the color scheme down. I ended up having to go back to the Maakrep and add a lot of turquoise glazes so that the colors would match.


This piece won first place in the unit category of the Gen Con painting competition, and was awarded a gold under their open judging format. Additionally, Angel Giraldez, the studio painter for Infinity, was at the con, and told me that he really liked my entry, which was very flattering. Thanks Angel!

Infinity – Iguana

I painted a iguana to go along with my Nomad force. I decided to enter it in the “Machines of War” category at Gen Con, so I painted it to a somewhat higher standard than the other Nomads, which are just painted to a fast gaming standard.

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I still took a lot of shortcuts though – for example, the blending on the black is not very smooth.

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Like the other Nomads, this is painted in an Aleph color scheme (which confused a couple of people at Gen Con).

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As an extra detail, I painted a lot of warning labels everywhere, sort of like you see on fighter jets.

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Here’s a group shot with my other Nomads.

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My iguana was awarded a silver, and took first place in the “Machines of War” category.

From the workbench: Negative Space

My final Gen Con project nears completion!

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I’m calling it “Negative Space” because, in addition to the obvious art reference,  it sounds like some kind of spatial anomaly – very appropriate for a sci-fi scene. The figures are 90% finished; the base still needs to be painted. The main base components are from a laptop optical drive and heat sink mounted on a secret weapon resin block (they make really nice handles for display bases), with your basic plasticard/wire/putty and a Micro Art Studio terminal.


Also, I wanted to apologize for being so quiet of late. I’ve been hard at work getting ready for Gen Con, but I’m holding off on posting my finished entries as I didn’t want to give up the element of surprise. Also, it’s always more fun to wow people in person. Sorry I’m such a tease. I promise to post lots of picture afterwards. You can probably guess what I’m entering: it’s basically everything from the workbench minus what I’ve already shown finished.

This will be my last post before Gen Con. I’m super excited, and I hope to see some of my blog readers either in the competition, in my classes, or just around the convention! I’ll also be doing some demos and volunteering a bit around the MHE area, so please come by and say “hi” if you’re there!

Infinity – Nomads

I picked up Operation: Icestorm a few days ago, and also one of the new Combined Army starters (which is amazing). The new Infinity models are so cool I had to pick some up. Light-years ahead of the older sculpts.

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So far I’ve painted 4 nomads, and I’m about half way through the Maakrep sniper. I decided to really take my time on the Combined Army models, and do fast paint-jobs for the Operation: Icestorm minis. These figures are 2 hours of painting each, including basing but not counting prep time. I think that’s about my sweet spot for figures I can be proud to put on a table without taking a ton of time for each model. Two-brush blending for the win!

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