Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blood Bowl Figures

Recently, Bob and I were commissioned to paint six sets of Blood Bowl, also known as Elf Ball, figures.  So far, I've painted the two Dwarf teams; the Lizardmen, Siringit, Deadling, and Sarcos teams are still sitting the bench.  The male Dwarf team is from Games Workshop while the Shield Maiden team is from Warlord Games.  The other four unpainted, benched teams aforementioned are from Impact Miniatures, except for the Lizardmen which are also GW.

A lot can be done with the Blood Bowl/Elf Ball teams and I was a little torn when beginning the painting process.  So I allowed myself to be inspired by what I am surrounded with and other non-sport entities.  I'll confess, I'm not a sports person.  I am a dedicated dork and bibliophile whose exercise primarily consists of LARPing and gardening.  Bob is no better, by the way.  This is to say that Bob and I don't follow teams and are not particularly extrinsically competitive; although we cheer when our local teams win.  Therefore, it is terribly amusing that I (of all people) should be concerned about the uniforms and which real football teams our clients root for. 

When I asked Bob what teams he thought K and S (our clients) cheered for he shot me the strangest look, one that read, "Woman, what were you drinking?"  I told him I was bothered and needed to know.  He told me that he would take the teams away from me and that I could paint 15mm Germans.  So, under the threat of having the teams taken away and the painting of WWII Germans, I made my own choices.  This may seem rather harsh but I'm terribly obsessive compulsive and will dwell on the painting of a figure for hours - even days.  As you may realize, being obsessive compulsive isn't a good or effective business practice.  :-)

Steel Curtain Goes Mithril

Bob and I are from Western Pennsylvania, so who could not be inspired by The Steelers?  Plus, the play-on-words with Steel and Mithril was just too hard to pass up.    All of my friends and family are Steelers fans and during football season it's all you see on the news.  I felt that the Dwarf Blood Bowl team was made for The Steelers' colors of black and gold.  This is what I mean by being inspired by what surrounds me.

Yes, the Blood Bowl team came with numerical and runic decals but when I went to apply them they really wouldn't stick no matter what technique I used.  When in doubt, hand paint.  I don't have a lot of trouble detailing small things like numbers, letters or designs, so painting these wasn't that troublesome or time consuming.  Unless I've had a cup of coffee, then we've got some trouble.  Caffeine + Allison = :-(

If you look closely, you can pick out that there are actually three figures painted as Steelers team-members: Troy Polamalu 43, Brett Keisel 99 and Ben Roethlisberger 7.  I suppose I could have painted more to resemble team-members but honestly off the top of my head I don't know any other football players' names.  I would have included Ward, but with his recent departure from The Steelers I felt it was a little touchy.  See, I told you I gave this too much thought.

Butt Kickin' Babes

This team of Shield Maidens, on the other hand, are more outside inspiration rather than any real sports team.  I have this recent fascination with hot pink; let's not ponder why.  Contemplating my recent purchases of hot pink nail polish (of which my toes are currently painted) and hot pink, plaid pajama bottoms (that I am currently wearing at 11:30 AM) I hit on the fact that I wanted these saucy Shield Maidens to be plated in pimp-slappin' hot pink and purple.

You might be wondering why they all have blonde hair (or that three have red hair) and that none of them are brunettes.  Well, that's because I was going with a Valkyrie-esque type of team.  Although I am rarely politically correct I wasn't really trying to suggest that blondes have more fun or that ... oh who am I kidding, I enjoy stereotypes...using them to my advantage and using them to go against.

Had I painted the uniforms red and black, the hair of the figures would have been brunettes and reds (more auburn).  I would have wanted them to have a darker image, more dangerous and threatening.  Dark purple and black would also work for a team like that.

The only way I would have painted these particular hot pink figures with dark hair is if I wanted to go with a punk/goth look. I then would have added colored streaks to the hair and instead of red hair as the alternative I would have done white hair. Additionally I would have given them tattoos and body paint and/or heavy makeup.  Oh the choices!

As always, these two teams were an adventure.  With the myriad of choices in realistic team colors and even the idea that they could be totally made up, the task of painting can often be daunting.  When given too many choices, go with your gut feeling and be inspired by the teams around you or even by what you're wearing (although I doubt many men are wearing hot pink - I know I can't get Bob in a pink shirt).  I've mentioned before in other blog posts about giving your figures life and personality.  Look at it this way, be theatrical, be comical, make your figures into caricatures...otherwise you may end up making them boring.

With Love,

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