Convergence of Cyriss Attunement Servitors Project: Orange Crush 2013 charity army unit, completed December 2013
After finishing my first ever Privateer Press project over the summer (gallery still under construction), I received an email (as did all the P3 Grandmaster winners) asking if I’d be interested in participating in the Orange Crush FoodMachine charity army project for this year. The gist was that each painter would commit to paint a model or unit for one of two armies which would then be raffled off.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m an appallingly slow painter, so while I was flattered by the invitation and tempted by the charitable nature of the project, I had to be realistic about the amount of work I could put into it and still meet the project deadline. My fellow first-time-P3-participant and longtime collaborator Dave Pauwels had signed on to paint a light vector before I’d even finished deliberating and it would be fair to say his participation gave me a push off the fence. Trying to keep my workload manageable, I wanted to pick something small-ish and landed almost immediately on the smallest models in the army - a unit of Attunement Servitors.
Our project brief was fairly simple; the main point (highlighted in orange, naturally) was to change the standard Convergence glowing blue object source lighting (OSL) to orange to match the Orange Crush army theme. The bases are entirely unaddressed because Matt DiPietro of the Privateer Press studio will graciously be texturing and painting all the bases for both armies to help unify our disparate painting styles into coherent forces.
I had chosen a trio of small miniatures that ought to have been a fairly quick project, but I have an aversion to stock models and while mulling over ways to further incorporate the “orange crush” theme I had an epiphany. I could fabricate tiny Orange Crush soda cans and mount them on either side of each servitor like one of those beer can drinking hats. The idea was a little silly, but I couldn’t shake it [I might not have tried very hard], and set to converting.
The painting was a bit of a challenge, as I don’t think I’d ever tried to incorporate orange and metallic. I ended up quite pleased with the hue of the orange, probably because I so rarely use it and had to do a fair amount of searching to find one that I liked. I tried orange paints from GW, P3, and Reaper (the lines my local store carries) and was uniformly unimpressed. The paints were certainly orange, but not an orange that I liked for OSL. I tried mixing reds and yellows, again with lackluster results. In the end, the orange I liked best came from white paint with a dab of long-out-of-production GW orange ink. And when I say ‘long-out-of-production’, I mean I bought this ink in the late 80’s as part of the first set of inks GW produced. This vintage pigment is even still in its original 10mm dropper bottle.
The time frame and gaming nature of the project meant that painting the Orange Crush logo by hand on each of six cans was effectively out of the question, so I employed a favorite old shortcut - custom decals. I found a sufficiently hi-res version of the logo online and after scaling it down to 4.5mm, I used a color laser printer and white decal paper to make my transfers. The decals themselves came out quite well, if a little pixelated in places. This didn’t really matter to me though, as the goal of these decals was to give me a template, not a final product. I like decals, but I don’t like being able to clearly tell when someone used a decal. So as with every decal I can remember using, I painted over it to better integrate it with the finished model. Normally this helps match the colors and disguise some of the razor-sharp lines that don’t appear elsewhere on hand-painted models while providing uniformity of markings across multiple figures. In the case of custom decals like these, painting over the logo also served to smooth out any printing oddities from reducing the digital image so dramatically.
Looking at the final pieces, there are definitely a few spots I’d like to go back and polish, but I salve my compulsiveness by repeating “tabletop model, tabletop model, tabletop model”. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the project and I’m inspired to do something like it again.
The fundraising portion of the project, along with a gallery of the other project miniatures is here.