Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adepticon 2015 Afterthoughts (Part 1)

So Adepticon came and went this past weekend.  A change of venue (closer to me, about a 30-45 minute drive from my place vs. over an hour beforehand), a few different venders, and always lots of fun.  I'm not sure if this was my favorite Adepticon as each one I've been to have always been a lot of fun.  I certainly had a blast at this particular one.

So I took a few classes this year.  I tried not to stack my schedule with lots of classes this year as I learned from last year that too many classes tends to take it's toll on you, especially when the Vendor Hall is calling your name.

So for Thursday....

First class up was "Building Gaming Scenery with marcineczek0 – Watchtower Project" run by Marcin who's class I attended last year where I built a little cottage.  I have mixed feelings on this class as it wasn't as good as last years due to it being new for Marcin.  I think if he would have written directions or some kind of packet with the directions on it rather than just telling us the dimensions it would've been a lot clearer as I found the audible directions hard to follow.  At the end of the class I ended up with a wobbly little 5 inch watch tower in desperate need of TLC. Overall, I enjoyed the class and hopefully next year he'll run the class more like he did last year.

Later that day I took a class called "Painted Weathering Techniques – The Techniques of Plague Lord Festus, 2008 U.S. Slayer Sword Winner".  To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect walking into this class.  I figured we'd learn about weathering powders or a new way to dirty things up with paint taught by a guy who's pretty handy with a brush.  What I ended up walking into was a class being taught by a master painter (Todd Swanson) with something like 14 golden demons and 4 slayer swords under his belt who was ironically a really nice guy who spoke in a language everyone could understand.  Some of his techniques I'd never seen before and he took a lot of care and attention to answer everyone's question and help with whatever problems people were having with his techniques.  He had examples of each step he was teaching, gave hand outs that had photo's of different types of weathering, and passed examples around the room of his finished masterworks.  I mean, look at this model..... it's freakin' awesome...... and a slayer sword winner of 2008..


First thing the next day was a class called "Hirst Arts Terrain and Casting" with Rich Nelson.  This was a late edition to my schedule as I think it was added a few months after registration.  I've always been curious about Hirst Arts blocks and I've seen some amazing things done with them.  As it stands right now I just don't have the room to cast really anything in my workspace.  Too messy and small.  One day when I have a huge basement with plenty of space and tables, I would like to dabble more into Hirst Arts, but for now, this class with suffice.  I had a lot of fun casting and creating as it reminded me of playing with legos when I was a kid.  It was a really fun "hands on" class that I would recommend for anyone who is remotely curious about casting and building hirst blocks.

The next class was called "Code Blue: How to Highlight and Shade with Blue Tones", taught by Dennis Smith.  Regardless of it being a beginner class, I found it interesting to see how other people paint.  I've noticed a trend with some of these higher tiered painters that they never use washes and that instead of going from dark to light, they start at a medium tone, shade down they're shadows, then highlight up they're edges.  It's an interesting concept that I've never done before.  I'd consider myself an "intermediate painter" on the skill level chart, but even these beginner classes can teach you something.  The class was small and allowed for a decent amount of personal attention which I think is paramount when teaching painting techniques.  Dennis was also a very down to earth guy and I enjoyed his class.

The last class of the day (and Adepticon for me) was one of the main classes I was looking forward to.  In fact, as soon a registration was open, it was the first class I grabbed from the list.  The class was called "Object Source Lighting (OSL) with Victoria Lamb".  For those who don't know who Victoria Lamb is, she was one of the very first miniature painters who helped pioneer OSL into miniature painting, the first female slayer sword winner, Australian playwright, and owner of Victoria Miniatures (I think, hell her name is on all the boxes).  The first half of the class was lecture style with a projector where Victoria went over the various forms and shades of lighting.  I found it interesting that with her background in theater, was able to pull a tool such as lighting and incorporated it into her painting of miniatures.  The most shocking thing was that her OSL technique involves dry brushing.  The fact that she was able to achieve the blends on the Mordheim piece via dry brushing is jaw dropping.

This has to be one of my favorite pieces in all of miniature painting that I've ever had the pleasure of viewing and is definitely deserving of it's trophies and various awards.  To see it in the flesh was like (to me) meeting your favorite celebrity.  

Here are a few other pieces she had on display for us to see.

Again, all of it was really a treat to see (even the test pieces).  I tried to replicate the fountain piece with the limited color selection available and also showed Victoria some pictures of my Skaven Warplighting cannon I did a few months back where I tried OSL for the first time.  She gave me a few pointers and left the classroom with a wealth of knowledge I hope to utilize in the near future.  A big thumbs up for this class.

Unfortunately my lunch is over now and I got to get back to work.  Part 2 should be up later tonight or tomorrow.

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