Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Some New Stripes


The 5-6 hour marathon demo session also included plenty of experimentation.  It can get pretty interesting doing things for the very first time under such circumstances! :-)


One of my goals for that day was to see if I could do some quick camo pattern masking on a T-34, using only the materials at hand.

The tank had been getting coats of the primer painting along with everything else, working up to white primer.  I got that shading as light as I could go, setting up some darker green stripes later.

Some final highlights were also applied to the CAV mechs at the same time.


Panzer and T-34 together... oh my!


I had seen this very wonderful pattern on a Flames of War version, and it seemed more unique.  I really liked the deep greens running through the pattern, and I knew that the warmer rust and mud weathering would be a fantastic contrast to the cooler blueish greens.


The only masking stuff I had available at the moment was the blu-tac that I use to hold vehicles in place inside my travel cases.  This would have to do for the time being!

It was pretty new, so I figured that it would not be too sticky.  There certainly was not any embedded paint in it.


It is hard to show in these images, but I intentionally concentrated the spray closer to certain edges of the masked sections in order to create harder or softer edges.

I didn't want it to be completely uniform.  Also, I attempted to get a bit of shading by hitting those parts with more green (the advantage of having the white underneath!).


It wasn't only myself who eagerly awaited the removal of the blu-tac... an anxious audience wanted to see what would happen as well!

Lo an behold, it was exactly what I had hoped for!  You can see the distinctly different types of edges... some soft, others sharper.


The 'crossbar' stripes were added afterwards.  Some of the thinnest will probably be done with a brush.


So, a few simple cross strips really did the trick!


A good deal of weathering will be added to this, as well as snow.  I'm really looking forward to that process.  I will try to show you that as it happens.

This is where things get interesting, as I will be testing out some new materials from AMMO.  I have a host of different products to test and experiment with.


To add to the experimentation, a number of decals will be used.  Most of you probably know that the AMMO products are oil based, and that is a major departure from what I have done for so long.

Many of these materials will be similar to existing techniques that I have been doing with powders and acrylic paints, but it's going to take a while to get used to them.

It is very likely that I will discover all kinds of crazy and unintended uses for them. :-)


Here's another peek at what I was trying to match.  While the picture does not show it, the two greens are actually the same.


I was working on a number of things at the same time, as you can see from this image.  When I am at my own home studio, 3-5 times this amount will be under way at once. I have found that it is the best way to utilize these new tools and materials.


In the hours after the demo, I did additional painting and detail work on the Laffly trucks and the Hanomag too.  Decals will be placed, and then all the weathering experiments will take place!


Stay tuned, as I want to share this big new journey with all of you.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Oozing Goodness


This bit of Nurgly goodness comes from Raging Heroes.  It's actually one of their original miniature line, prior to the Toughest Girls in the Galaxy line.

There's a lot going on with this piece!  Bodies all over the place, and plenty of corruption!


I tried to do a number of different color combinations to portray that decay and corrosion.  Pinks and greens were mixed together, grayish blue next to burnt orange, and so on.


I especially had fun with the Secret Weapon base.  As you can see, it is very 'deep set', which allowed me to pile in lots of realistic water (also from Secret Weapon).  I mixed some of the fluorescent yellow with the realistic water to make it seem even more toxic.

After a few layers, it seems as if he is standing in a sewer like mix of gore and other nasty things.


Very appropriate for Nurgle!  I also did a little more with glowing elements than previous versions.  I painted this guy for the Bloody Mess painting video.  That one has plenty of gore!!

I'll have that and all the other videos at GenCon, so check it out at booth #2861, and also at the Badger Airbrush booth!!


He's also here:



Monday, July 25, 2016

Painting Blitz


It's been about a week since I posted the original scratch sculpt images, so I hope that it was worth the wait!  Obviously, the original intent was to paint in most of the more complex textures such as the windows, doors, vents and so on.


That saved a LOT of sculpting time!

This was also my first foray into the waterslide decal realm.  The Baltic cross insignia on the doors were painted by hand, since I didn't have the larger set of decals with various sizes.

I now have the full collection of truck decals, which will be great fun on the horde of Blitzes to come!


The balsa wood sections worked out very well, as the wood really absorbed the paint and the subsequent weathering powder mixes so well.  Who would have thought painting actual wood would make it so easy to make it look like it was made of wood! :-)


These images show that I was able to hide the lack of tread sculpting on the main wheels with the clumps of weathering powders.  Even better, painting the treads on the spare wheel was very easy, and went very quickly!


I will be doing future posts on this type of weathering like you see in the bed of the truck.  This is layers of powders and pigment fixer, alternating light and dark powders.

Also, I learned that plopping clumps of 'dry' powders into a pre soaked surface can create a more natural spread to the batches of mud and dirt.  This was done with Secret Weapon products, but soon I will be experimenting with AMMO products, such as their heavy mud and spatter materials.

I am very eager to see what these will look like!


This roundabout of ground level views shows all the layers of weathering, decals, and painted on textures.  Again, not too shabby for less than 2 hours of sculpting!


The only real size reference that I had was one of my Laffly trucks.  I was shocked when I saw this side by side with the real Warlord Opel Blitz!  Using only a few images that I grabbed from the web, I had matched most of the dimensions exactly or within fractions of inches.

Next, there will be some 'official' Opel Blitz trucks, in a variety of  color schemes.  There will be some DAK, winter and late war German versions as well, so stay tuned!!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lady of Darkness


I have only gotten a handful of opportunities to paint larger scale figures like this 75mm Nocturna miniature.  Looking back, I can only recall 3 other figures of this size, and a handful of 54mm scale.

Since I had seen this figure painted several times in 'standard' skin colors, this seemed like the prefect opportunity to try out something different... almost Drow in its appearance.

To me, the primary advantage of something 3X as big as what I normally have to work with is the larger surface area in the mid tones.  It is in this mid tone area where you can do the most interesting color transitions, as it is not a highlight or a shadow area.

As an example, I used a very muted green in the mid tone areas of the skin.  That might show up in the pictures, but you can really see that in person!


A more obvious advantage is a nice big canvas for freehand!


As with all "limited palette" exercises, there is no real limitation at all.  I was lightening the lone red color with pinks, light blues and even that light green of the skin!  This created a depth in what might be viewed as 'simple' colors.  

Nothing simple at all :-)


Here's a set of images showing the base, and just how large this is!  I had already gotten so used to the size by the time I was done... I needed a bit of a reminder.  When I placed that 28mm Reaper figure in the photo booth, the difference in scale was certainly made evident.


She's also here:



Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Dwarven Rocketeer


There are a number of interesting miniatures in the Demigods ranges, but some are certainly quite different! You don't often see a steampunk, rocket toting dwarf!


This guy was so unusual, I just had to try him out.


The Green Stuff World Celtic ruin texture roller continues to provide some really nice bases!


He's also here:



Friday, July 22, 2016

A new day dawns


While we were down in Peoria, I did some extended demos using new Badger airbrushes, and a new compressor!


It would be nice to have a quieter, more regulated compressor again, like the one I had years ago.  I also wanted to test the various types of brushes, since there are a host of projects that should be ideal for each of them.


This first test was conducted with the Sotar 20/20.  I had no idea what to expect, but I decided to start in with my usual primer-painting technique.

Here are some links to a demo that I did with the Badger Patriot brush




Just as I did with the vehicles you saw in the links above, I started out with the "layer cake" of primer.  That is, I put orange in first, followed by a layer of black.  

Once you start spraying, the orange soon turns into a fantastic shade of brown, which can be rust or red lead primer.  Basically, you are "pre-weathering" the vehicle!  This also goes for standard miniatures, especially when painting their bases.


This closer view might give you a better idea, as you can see the difference between the turret and the hull.  The turret is still in that orange to black transition stage.  The hull has moved on to the next stage of the layer cake, which is adding grey primer to the black.

Keep in mind that there is NO MIXING in the cup.  The layers must be separated, and allowed to mix on their own to get that transition.  Even shaking the cup is enough to disturb the delicate layers :-)


A similar process was done with the Opel Blitz truck.  You can already see the areas where the original brown was left in place, despite subsequent layers of lighter colors.

The advantage to having your first several layers of paint as primer is obvious.  Something like this will see a lot of rough handling, and there is no base or anything "safe" to grab.

This is how I am painting all of my miniatures lately.  I first came up with the idea a few years ago when I had to start painting a lot more vehicles without bases!


This is where I advance the next stage of the layer cake.  As you saw in the previous images, I had introduced grey primer to the mix.  Once I see that I have lightened areas up to that grey, white is added.

Just as with the orange/black mix, the grey will slowly transition into white, all by itself.


I think you can also see that I have a number of items out on the table at once.  This is the key element that makes this strategy work.  In fact, I normally have 3-4 times as many figures and vehicles on the table.  

Doing so allows me to take advantage of all the primer mixing together in the cup.  If I was only working on one thing at a time, I would be cleaning the brush constantly and having to move on to the next color.

In this image, you can see that I have a few Bolt Action vehicles, a CAV mech from Reaper (they have a new kickstarter campaign under way, BTW!), and even an artillery piece from Victoria Miniatures.


On each vehicle or figure that might need a given shade or color, I have that nearby so that I can advance some part of the shading.  At times that can be minimal, or most of the figure.  This is what makes it so important to have all these options out there in front of you!


Once I get through the primer stage, I can start adding the more traditional paints.  In this case, I started adding greens to the Laffly trucks.


This is a good illustration of using what is left in the cup on something else besides the original target.  Holding the brush far away from the drive wheels on the Panzer 4, I was able to give it a dusting of color that once again pre-weathers the vehicle.


I added this yellow mix to a number of other pieces, such as the CAV mechs, the Opel Blitz and even the French infantry.


I should also mention that I was not masking anything.  Shading was achieved by turning the figure and the brush in such a way that the paint would only spray where I wanted it to go.

This is also like a chess match, as I plan multiple moves in advance.  Keep in mind that I am doing my usual "shaded basecoat" technique, where colors begin lighter, and are lightened further by glazing, shading and tinting.

I am also planning for all the weathering which will occur, and that will darken the appearance further.


 I don't want to have to go back into the highlights and mid tones too much after those later stages, so I have to compensate for that in these early rounds of painting.

Those of you who are familiar with my Shaded Basecoat technique will certainly recognize this pattern, and how light everything seems to be.


In this instance, I have simply exchanged one brush for another.  Instead of jamming a filbert brush filled with primer into all the nooks and crannies, I used the airbrush.

The tools are interchangeable.  When I did my 2D art, I used an airbrush for at least 40-55% of all my paintings.  Most people could not even tell I had used and airbrush by the time they were done.