Monday, May 2, 2016

A marked man


Here's a set of photos showing the objective markers which have been completed.

These are all from the recent campaign by The Edge Awakening.


There are six markers in all, and the final two will be shown soon as well!


While tokens or dice can work for objective markers, it is all too often the case where you pick up that coin, token or die, and lose track completely until it's too late!


Also, these will look a lot nicer on your table, especially if you have gone to the trouble to set out nice terrain.  These also have a much better story element to them!


Radaghast appears once more as a scale reference.


The crystal set...


And the skull set!


One last view.  Stay tuned for the rest of the markers!


Little Wars Part Two: More than toys!


The saga of Little Wars continues!

After working for a bit with the standard Badger Patriot airbrush (using mostly primer colors as paint), I shifted back to my more typical brush work after a desperate search for supplies.

At this point, I was trying to show how I had been setting up all of the weathering techniques while I had been putting on colors with the airbrush.

There was nothing different from what I usually do with my larger brushes, except most of the color was mixing in the airbrush cup as opposed to mixing on the figure itself.


I like to place my lighter camo colors on corners or edges where I want to do a lot of paint chipping.  Obviously, the lighter the color, the easier it is to get the darker chips to be visible.

On the flip side, I made sure to have some areas which were darker and cooler in color so that lighter rust streaks would show up just as easily.


At a certain point, I tried to do what I could for markings given the extremely limited colors and magnification at hand.


I still had to resist the urge to put rust onto the Centurion tank. :-)  You can see how the shapes of the vehicles emerge further with the darker glazes and washes applied in addition to all the weathering effects.


I could not resist getting more of the toy tanks, especially since I had not taken any "before" images.  This was really unexpected, so all of this was very seat of your pants flying!

Just a wee bit of difference from the original die cast toy!  Not bad for a $2 tank and perhaps 50 minutes on that particular vehicle.

Needless to say, I want to get all of these back under the magnifier and do much more precise work.


I want to add more 'dimensional' effects as well, such as mud, leaves, dust, and so on.  I have a few other extras, and I think one of them will have to be winter theme!


I wish that I had snagged a few more of the Tiger 1's, because I could have tried a few colors there.  Still, that one seemed the best candidate for an earlier gray color.

Just like I did with the camo pattern tanks, I tried to play off the lights and darks which I had set up during the airbrushing stage.


I'm not sure how well you can see it in the chaos of the palette, but I mixed some green, black primer and white primer to make some additional gray colors for the hull and top of the turret.

This was a nice contrast to the rusty tones that had been originally applied with the airbrush.

Again, this was also supposed to be a demonstration on how you can use the same airbrush paints with a regular brush, and how both tools can work very well with each other.


I continued to press on... you can see the potential winter scheme tank killer off to the left...


This image shoes the difference between the more developed drive wheels from the previous shot.  I went in with the regular brush and accentuated the shadow areas, especially on the wheels further back.  I used the green/white/black mix to get some difference on the gray tones here as well.


The view from above.  I was demonstrating finger painting at this stage!  No, it was not exhaustion and fatigue... it was all part of the lesson plan.


I simply applied a few dots of color to the vehicle, and then took my finger and stippled them around, creating some nice random effects.  This is a decent substitute for a number of specialized products... especially when it's all you've got available. :-)

I hope you enjoyed this journey!  There's another post coming to wrap up the Little Wars experience, and then you will see the completion of each vehicle in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Little Wars Part One: A new arms race begins!


After many years of attempted persuasion, we finally made it to Little Wars!  I had no idea what to expect, aside from seeing lots of historical minis. :-)

It was held at the old Adepticon hotel, the Westin in Lombard.  There were lots of huge tables set up in the main ballroom where epic games of Flames of War and Bolt Action were taking place, along with many other historical wargaming systems.  There were some 1/700 scale naval combat games in progress that certainly seemed interesting!

I never got to see that much closer than a cursory glance, since a quick walk through the vendor's hall revealed a set of tables with Gorgon Studios figures (of Hank Edley fame) and Ken from Badger Air Brush!

Moments later, I was able to get some plastic and die cast metal toy tanks, and an airbrush was in my hand!  How did that happen?


I had a Bolt Action Panther tank as well, so I thought that I had a nice variety of things to play with.  Also, several of these already had paint on them, so this would be a very interesting experiment!

I was going to be able to see how the airbrush worked on "pristine" tanks, and even a die cast Centurion British tank!


Since I hadn't touched any of my airbrushes for over a dozen years, Ken had no idea what kind of madness might take place...


Straight away, I had to "undo" some of the painting that had been done on the toy tanks.  Take note: these toy tanks were just a few dollars each, so they will not be to scale or completely accurate from a historical standpoint!


Once I had done a lot of structural work on the undersides of the vehicles, as well as the treads, drive wheels and such, I could get a solid base on which to start painting camo patterns or even the gray on the Tiger 1 (I'll have to make a new barrel for that guy!)

There was no way to show this in a photo, but I was having a lot of fun "layering" the paint in the airbrush.  That is, I would pour in some orange rust color primer, followed by a layer of black, followed by a layer of yellow.


When I started spraying, the first color to come out was orange, of course.  However, as I kept spraying, that color automatically transitioned to brown, then to black!  Once the black started to run out, the color changed to green, as the yellow started to assert itself.

Eventually, the color became mostly yellow, which made a very nice base for those late war German camo patterns!

From there, all I had to do was inject a little of the orange color back into the mix to complete that late war color scheme.


On the Centurion, I didn't use much of the orange, but stuck with the black/yellow "layer cake" approach.

All the while, I was preparing and planning for the time where 'regular' brushes would be brought into the mix.  Meaning that I was doing all the usual tricks for creating ideal areas to show off rust, paint chips, streaks and so on.  If you have seen my previous tank weathering articles, you know what I like to do there.

This is also where things got interesting.  I had not brought ANY of my painting tools!  No brushes, no paint, no nothing.

So, I bought a few brushes, grabbed a piece of paper that seemed somewhat water resistant, and realized that I had no paint colors!  All that was available was a few of the primer colors still on the table.

You all know that I like "primer painting", so it was not a total loss.


You can see how mixing up some of the primer with the one or two airbrush colors made some very nice shades to use for the next phase.  I focused primarily on the shading of deep recesses and paint chipping.


This small amount of additional painting, done without my magnifier light, made an instant impact!  I was trying to do these as a demo for folks gathered around the table as well.

Because, when you haven't touched the airbrush in 12 years, and never painted a tank with it before, that's the perfect time to demonstrate it!!


I only had white primer available, but it still made a nice base for some of the insignia.  Hard to do without my magnifier light, but it was necessary to continue the demo.


You can see those yellowish green colors that I was using to shade some of the more detailed recess areas on the various tanks.  I worked around hatches, rivets, gaps between armor plates, and more.


Once I had the paint chips established, I could do some streaks running down the sides of the turrets and hulls from those "starting points".

Stay tuned for much more from the Little Wars Airbrush Escapade!!


Erik the Red


Here's a little break from the pirate basing series.  The latest in the set of Red Box Games barbarian style figures.

As before, these guys are following the same basing and color scheme which has been used for the rest of the massive army!


I have had fun working with a variety of color combinations on the metals.  The latest experiment involved mixing a Reaper midnight blue with a very light grayish green.  When juxtaposed with the warmer rust colors, those greenish blue tones are neutralized a little and a reddish blue tint appears in some areas.


When you are painting a broader expanse such as the back of that armor plating, getting this kind of color variety and transition is more important.  The viewer doesn't really know why that surface became more interesting to look at, but they will notice all the same!


Last but not least, some of the same colors used in the snow must appear on the figure too... particularly on metal surfaces.  To have that influence the skin colors, making them somewhat greenish does the trick.

As for tinting the reds to show this influence, using a grayish green to lighten them will make a grayed down, lighter red color.  This also means you won't get pink or purple, which would happen if you mix light blue with your reds.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ninja Gobbo!


This pesky little guy was converted for the Samurai Blood Bowl team that you have seen me working on.  The figure was originally a 40K Grot with a pistol.


I cur the gun from the hand, and shaved away the rest as well as possible.  He already had the bandanna over his mouth (where I got the Ninja idea for starters!), so I sculpted on the robe.


I'm waiting to paint on all the numbers once the rest of the players are done... so stay tuned.


A Pirate's Life...


I thought it might be a good idea to snap some images of the bases before I started the painting process, so here you go!  I'll be posting some step by step articles on that process for you as well.


These overviews give you a decent sense of the variety in textures and extras across the whole set.


While there should be plenty of room to fit any kind of figure on the 30,40 and 50mm bases, I will have enough gold coins, masts and wood pieces to keep the entire batch interesting!


Within the batch of 30mm, there are plenty of differences.  In fact, there is just about one of each 'style' of base.  For further differences, a rope coil or cannon balls could be added.


However, that's the kind of thing I would have needed to work around an actual figure.  Not having them on hand meant that I needed to be more conservative.


Now for some 40mm goodness...


And one last view of the set!

Remember, this kind of basing is one of a dozen different basing techniques that are part of my Painting Pyramid set!