WIP 26-04-12

26 April 2012

Amissia - Sigh - WIP

That Drawing I Occasionally Redo

25 April 2012

Ekishima Redraw 2012

This Weekend Needs More Terrarium

22 April 2012

Just did that thing when you leave the room, come back and notice a herd of dinosaurs standing on your mousemat…

Dinosaur Herd

Welcome to my weekend obsession. I don’t even remember where this started. I’ve been fighting a pretty persistent algae outbreak in the fish tank and somewhere between that and watching the weird java fern leaves sprouting roots for lots of plantlets the recurring question came up of what to do with this:

The Tank

It’s Kio’s original tank. Too small for most things to live in, I considered putting a Siamese fighter in but wasn’t sure about keeping the temperature constant in such a small volume of water. And after careful deliberation I decided I didn’t want to maintain another filter so that ruled out an aquatic plant tank.

Which landed me firmly in the strange little world of gardens in glass jars. Terrariums. Have a peek in this [Flickr pool] to see what I mean. Ferns, mosses and similar green things. A layer of gravel, activated charcoal, soil and off you go. I was worried about the gardening charcoal coming in huge expensive boxes and ending up with a stupid amount leftover until I found out that the stuff goes by another very familar name:

Cheap Carbon

This entire project has thus far cost me the princely sum of £3. Now all I need are plants!

Naturally in the middle of all this I found another glass-like container:

The Unsuspecting Candle Holder

Okay so it’s technically a candle holder and it’s in 2 separate pieces, but if I glue them together I could make another mini one… and I can see this two-day obsession getting out of control very very quickly if I don’t get it over with soon.

What does this have to do with dinosaurs? Well something’s got to live in there hasn’t it? Most people have deer and unicorns, I’m having dinosaurs. Because they’re awesome. Don’t worry, only the brachiosaur and the triceratops will live in there so I won’t have to worry about them eating each other when I’m not looking. And there’ll be plenty of foliage so they won’t fight over food. I bet they’ll make perfect tankmates.

Alas I can’t get to a garden centre this weekend, and Homebase didn’t have anything suitable. So I stuck some of the tiny bits floating around the top of the fish tank in a jar to appease my need to put something, anything, in glass this weekend.

Baby Aquatic Plant Jar

They might not do so well, I’ll keep an eye on it and chuck them back in the tank if things start to look a bit rough. I’ve forgotten what this was supposed to achieve, I think my brain mis-routed somewhere between deciding this second tank wouldn’t be for aquatic plants and noticing these tiny ones that might be perfect for it.

As final note: never, ever go to Asda on a Saturday. No it doesn’t matter that it’s near Homebase. Or that there’s a bus stop right outside (on the wrong side of a dual carriageway with metal railings down the central reservation and 5 mins from the nearest crossing point). For the shop will be full of trolleys and bizarrely, shelf stackers, who between them will block virtually every attempt to access a shelf as you wander around this maze of an unfamiliar supermarket trying to figure out where everything is. Unless you like to go from zero to frustrated in 4 mins, in which case go right ahead.

Acrylic Paint Test

9 April 2012

Stumbling on this earlier in the week [Kidrobot: The EPIC Custom Collection Of vinyltoyz] put me in the mood to finally do something with that blank vinyl DIY model I picked up last month. One tiny obstacle to face though: I can’t paint. The plastic’s well suited to acrylics so I had a bit of a read around the internet this weekend about how to obtain gradient effects. Had a bit of a play this afternoon with somewhat mixed results:

Gradient Acrylic Paint Test

The red seemed to work best, kinda funny seeing as it’s the cheapest paint of the lot. I don’t think I’ve nailed getting the water dilution right to pull this effect off. The purple Vallejo gave a nicer finish when I got it right, but it kept drying too quickly to do the blending properly.

Polystyrene Paint Test

The model’s quite small though, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to work this effect in while staying in the right area. I’m gonna borrow an airbrush and see what kind of effects I can get with that. I don’t really know what you can do with one but it’ll be fun to try. Squee, new thing to play with :)

(Aside: what the hell is my upstairs neighbour doing? It sounds like they’re re-arranging furniture. Again!)

I also picked up a paint marker:

Posca Paint Marker Test

This thing is brilliant, you don’t need to put any pressure on it at all to get a nice smooth line but the nib drives just like a normal pen so it’ll be much easier for me to get details in than with a brush. I think I might need a narrower one though, it soaks into this paper so it’s kinda hard to tell.