Painting Miniatures

Ever wonder how people paint those tiny plastic figures? It’s actually easier than you think. I started painting figures about four years ago. I began my hobby by using some cheap paints and old brushes to paint some knight statues I had. Over the next few months I purchased the correct model paints and some nice brushes and had fun with some World War Two figures. They ended up looking terrible since I only had five different colors and no experience.20190325_135921

Now before you go off and start painting everything in sight, listen to my words of wisdom. Not every paint works on miniatures, you have to use paint specifically made for model painting. The paintbrushes you use are also vital to the quality of the result; it affects the texture, thickness, and surface area, which is the difference from making a piece of plastic come to life or random shapes with color sloppily painted on. Usually the best time to paint miniatures or models, whichever you prefer to call them, is the weekend or whenever you have several hours of freetime. Paintbrushes aren’t the only method of painting models. You can use anything with small pointy tips for tiny details such as buttons or eyes or a belt. Another method is mainly for bigger models like vehicles or buildings, it is airbrushing! Airbrushes are good for evenly distributing paint on a surface quickly. Now you can take my advice and get a headstart on model painting.20190325_140143

My skills have increased to allow me to be able to paint things such as eyes the size of a mosquito. I have learned many different techniques, how to blend colors, adding shadow, how to make things look old and worn, etc. painting miniatures is a fun way to see the beauty in any color, even mustard yellow somehow!20190325_155721

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April Playlist – Throwbacks

While looking through all of my music options I noticed some nostalgic songs. These are songs that I personally grew up with and that give me a good feeling when I’m listening to them again. Then an idea hit me; throwback playlists. With some classic and still wonderful groovy and good-feeling songs, I now present to you April’s playlist 

Enjoy!

Throwbacks Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMuAGLIYs1U6Fqc9kxwnumO0NsadyREzm

Creature Feature: Elephants!

            Elephants are the largest land mammals. While the Asian elephant is the smaller of the two species, they still weigh a hefty 2.25-5.5 tons and stand 6.6-9.8 ft. tall at their shoulders. On the other hand, African elephants, the larger species weigh from 2.5 tons to 7 tons and are 8.2-13 ft. at their shoulders. One of the most obvious ways (besides size) to tell apart Asian and African elephants is by their ears. Asian elephants have relatively small round ears while African elephants have larger ears that tend to resemble the shape of the continent of Africa. An elephant’s ears radiate heat away from their bodies to help keep them cool. Sometimes this dispersal of heat is not enough. When this happens elephant can be found relaxing in water and showering themselves with water they sucked into their trunks.

 

You might not know it, but an elephant’s trunk is actually a long nose. While it is a nose, an elephant’s trunk is used for much more than just breathing though. Asian elephant trunks contain a small, fingerlike part on the tip; African elephant trunks have two. These fingerlike features are used to pick up small objects. Elephants are herbivores and eat up to 300 pounds of food a day. Since they must eat so much, they don’t sleep very often and walk great distances to find enough food.

 

            Elephant tusks are made of ivory. Because of this they are often hunted for their tusks as ivory can be sold at high prices. Illegal hunting, called poaching, has caused many species to become endangered and in some cases, even extinct. Asian elephants are on the endangered species list. This is due partially to poaching and partially to habitat loss. Poaching is a vast problem for many species including elephants.

 

To learn more about Asian elephants visit

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asian-elephant/

To learn more about African elephants visit

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asian-elephant/

If you’d like to see elephants in all of their glory, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs has African elephants in their “Encounter Africa” area and the Denver Zoo has Asian elephants in their “Toyota Elephant Passage” area.

 

Creature Feature: Tapirs!

Tapir

Tapirs (pronounced tapers) look like weird little pig, panda, anteater things. Their odd looks make them distinct and rememberable. There are five different species of tapir, the Malayan tapir, the mountain tapir, the Brazilian tapir, the little black tapir, and Baird’s tapir. The Malayan tapir is the biggest of these species with the mountain tapirs being the smallest. While the mountain tapirs are the smallest species, they are still 300-573 lbs. with the largest, the Malayan, being 550-704 lbs. Tapirs are herbivores so most of the species live in forests and grasslands where foliage is plentiful. Except for the mountain tapirs of course! These unique animals typically live to be from 25 to 30 years old. If you’d like to see a tapir with your own two eyes the Denver Zoo has Malayan tapirs that can be seen in their Toyota Elephant Passage area!

All Ma Ladies – March Playlist

March is the annual Womens Month! As women, we love to show pride for who we are as a females! Many artists have written songs about the power women have and how amazing we are. They share stories about what kind of pain a female can go through and still come out stronger in the end. Others write about how all of our individuality makes us beautiful. I’ll be sharing those songs with you in this month’s playlist!

Enjoy!

All Ma Ladies Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMuAGLIYs1U5EwTP6zhckF-81yE95hUaW

Share Fair Week 4!

Written By Michal B. Whittaker and Althea R. Jackson

It’s the final week of Share Fair and we’re going out with a bang! {theoretically of course 😉} This week’s categories are Science and Social Studies. Aside from having to create a visual piece and write a report, students also had to express their knowledge in an interview with their judges. The judge’s critiques are based on the flow of the backdrop, the visual element, their written report, and their confidence in their topic. The science kiddos were also judged on the scientific method if applicable.

 

This Weeks Winners!

Science

Secondary Level (4th-8th grade)

2nd place: Isaac P. for his entry “Sharks”

1st place: Nathaniel P. for his entry “Principles of Flight”

Highschool (9th-12th grade)

1st place Danikah M. for her entry “Strength, Courage, & Leadership”

Social Studies (Geography)

Secondary Level (4th-8th grade)

1st place Gavin Z. for his entry “Roanoke Island”

Social Studies (History)

Secondary Level (4th-8th grade)

1st place Ben B. for his entry “Fall of Rome”

People’s Choice

Gavin Z. for his “Roanoke Island” entry!

 

Congratulations to all of our 2019 Share Fair winners!

 

Creature Feature: Sea Otters!

SeaottersOther

Sea otters are small marine mammals that live in the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. While they are one of the smallest marine animals they are the largest member of the weasel family. Sea otters spend most of their time in the water but in some places they come to the shore to rest. This is not always the case. When a sea otter sleeps in the water they sleep floating on their backs. They also sleep holding hands with a fellow otter to keep from being separated! Sea otters are one of the only mammals that use tools. Sea otters carry a rock with them everywhere they go. They use this rock by placing it on their chests then smash their prey, clams, sea urchins, crabs, and the like, on it to open their outer shell. They are also the only marine mammal that can flip-over boulders on the ocean floor looking for food. One more thing that’s special to them is their fur. Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal. This is to keep them warm as they don’t have blubber to keep them warm like other marine animals.

For more information on sea otters visit: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/sea-otter/#sea-otter-closeup-side.jpg