Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wing Span

Among the many thing that I prepped and brought to GenCon for painting in the Badger Airbrush booth was the massive multi headed dragon from Reaper Miniatures.  It had been part of the BONES 3 kickstarter campaign.

Here you see some of the final setup in the booth on Thursday morning.

In addition to the BONES minis, I had a collection of Bolt Action tanks, weapon teams and infantry.  This would be used to show how to effectively use the "primer painting" method that you have seen me using lately.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with the dragon.  An idea to make it into a Fire Dragon was even entertained, but I just decided to start spraying various colors of primer at it to see what developed!

I made a few dark mixes of the Stynlrez primer, a favorite product of mine from the Badger line.  I took black and let that mix with some of the dark brown primers for the deepest recesses.  At my usual high PSI of around 40, the paint had no problem reaching into those hard to access areas.

Once the darks had been established, I went back in with lighter mixes.  There are 12 colors of primer to choose from, so you can make just about anything!  I even mixed in some of the blue primer here and there.  

I showed onlookers how they could position the airbrush and the figure itself to get instant highlights on raised surfaces like the wings.

Another experiment was performed, and that was to mix in a few drops of the Ghost Tints with the primer.  This created some amazing colors an effects, and I will definitely be doing more of that!

You can see how I focused on those darker areas to begin with in this image.

Also, while I had this set of primer colors going through the brush, I worked on some of the other miniatures and vehicles.  When I do an airbrush session at home, I often have terrain pieces, figures, vehicles, planes and monsters all lined up, just in case those colors could be used on any of those items.  It really maximizes your time, and the amount of paint you need.

This image shows some of the tinting that I mentioned, including some blueish colors, and even hints of red.  With so many elements of interest on this giant figure (not the least of which was 5 heads!), it is very important not to have huge swaths of similar colors.

What I like about doing this primer painting with the airbrush is that I can experiment on the fly with all kinds of colors in a matter of seconds.  If I don't like the result, I can simply primer over it with a different set of colors.  This was done with a dragon that had been painted green at World Expo.

You can see some of that tinting and adjusting here.  I had to make some changes on the areas where the wings met the main body, mostly tinting them more reddish and making them darker.

Stay tuned for the next episode, where I will discuss how regular brushes were used to work from the basic colors created with the airbrush, and mixing the primer and Ghost Tints!

For those of you who have asked me over and over again where you can get the Badger primers on line... I finally have a location for you.  That is at  If you use the discount code of "Wappellious", you will get a 42% discount.    Just click on paints and scroll down to the Stynlrez primers!

A link:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Red Menace

Long ago, when I was first developing the Shaded Basecoat technique, this is one of the units that I was working on.  At that point, I had mixed white primer with my paint to make the "lighter than needed" colors, and still do the priming stage too.  

Now that I have the airbrushes and the various colors of primer from Badger, it would be a lot easier to do this today!  These guys were tucked away in a box somewhere, forgotten for almost 10 years.  

I also didn't have the access to the fantastic glazing colors such as the Reaper Clear paints, or the Vallejo washes.  It's always interesting to look at very old pieces like these, and notice the differences.  It has more to do with the approach vs the final result.  

My current approach would let me focus more intently on the subtle color shifts in the shadows and mid tones, where years ago the establishment of highlights was the primary goal.

He's also here:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Panzer Blitz

Here's the finished images of the Panzer 3, which was started during the last facebook live painting session.  As with the StuG 3D, I began with "primer painting" using the Badger Stynlrez primers.  This was followed be glazes and layers of Secret Weapon weathering paints, and then final effects with a variety of Mig AMMO products.

Since these larger Panzer vehicles will be used in the Barbarossa campaigns more than France '40, I wanted to have a decent amount of mud and dust to reflect the inadequate roads and other features that the advance Eastward faced.

I was fortunate enough to have a few early war decals left from the StuG kit for this vehicle.  It is ironic that I have many pages of mid to late war sheets that I have not gotten to use!  Eventually I will be doing those sorts of vehicles, and I will at last get to use them.

This is a very basic Panzer 3, which is supposed to reflect the rather inadequate armaments and armor protection that tankers faced in the march East.  However, it has already shown itself to be very valuable in other early war battles.

I also used the Green Stuff World leaf cutters to make my usual patterns of leaves on the upper hull.  When combined with the dirt effects using the weathering powders, this gives the upper surfaces more dimension that seems to be concentrated more on the tracks with more vehicles.

It can be very tempting to have all kinds of texture on those lower areas, and leave the upper hull to chipping and rust.  I look forward to adding these foliage and dirt effects, especially given how leaves and debris accumulate on our wiper blades here in a peaceful urban environment!

A little peek at both vehicles.  Soon I will try to post some group shots with the rest of the tanks, trucks and so on.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best Buddies

Time for a few more of the plastic dinosaurs!  These two presented some unique challenges.

First, the plastic was very flexible, which meant that I would have to be wary of hanging onto a tail and hoping to keep the figure steady!

Also, the material is like the BONES plastic, so mould lines pretty much are going to be in your way in some critical areas.

The task was to come up with some unique colors and patterns for these, so I tried to do that with not only colors but shapes as well.

This one was extremely flexible, which made painting the head and tail somewhat interesting :-)

While the colors on these two are not as bright as the others (no blues or reds, for example), I was more adventurous with the patterns and markings.

Now they get to frolic in the forests together!

There are more dinosaur images to come, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Battle Plan

While I have been posting individual shots of the winter American force, I have not had the chance to post any group or army shots.

As I have mentioned in precious posts, winter basing is not something that I have had a chance to do for my own armies.  This will be rectified with FOUR winter armies... US, German, Soviet and even Hungarian.

The Hellcat is actually from Trenchworx, and here's a link to some live facebook sessions showing how that was painted:

I also have some links to articles on how the infantry was done.  This army was also very unique in that it was the first where I used oils for the entire process!  Here's a link to an article:

I had so much fun painting them with oils, as well as creating the urban theme bases for the first time.  I also have links to a series of articles:

I will have many more articles and facebook live sessions on painting figures with oils, basing, etc., once Gencon and Nova Open have been complete.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Island Church

Continuing the centerpiece of the Barbarossa terrain board, it's time to get the roof finished with some shingles.  As I mentioned in the close of the first post, I was going to go with longer planks to match the reference images and a few of the other buildings that we already have.  Only one has traditional shingles.

I discovered that the spray adhesive works really well for this. Not only does it make it easier to glue them on, but it will not warp the hardboard and cereal box material like water based glues.

Yes, you heard that right... just strips of cereal boxes!!

By doing these longer strips, I conserved a lot of time, especially around the angled areas such as the dormers.

I cut a few strips to use on the crests of the roof lines.  This is a part of the actual design, and it helps to cover up the origin points of the planks too.

I repeated the process on the dormers, the door piece, etc.  I also put the Orthodox cross at the top of the onion dome.

Here are a few more images, showing the window sills, and a few other additional effects.

After letting the glue have a few minutes to set, it was time to match the sand and gravel on the base to match all the tree stands and previous buildings.

This was done in the usual fashion, starting with the heaviest gravel, and working down to the finer sand.

Then it was time to put the church on the island to see how it would loo, and if it would fit!

You can see the material that was used to create the church in the background.

This overview shows the size of the church relative to the other buildings that are already complete.

With the surrounding forests, this will not only dominate the landscape, but make a true centerpiece, surrounded by the village and the woods.

Roy was able to find a few resin bridges that will fit perfectly with the rustic nature of the village, and be interesting sources of objectives to fight over!

A few more views, prior to painting...

For the interior, I will be adding printed versions of this Byzantine style church art.  It is a nice way to enhance that part of the building, and potentially make more opportunities for "stolen art" scenarios.  Roy found one in the Battle of the Bulge book, so we will modify that for the Eastern Front.

When I found reference images for the church, I noticed that the interiors tend to be lavishly decorated, almost like miniature wooden Sistine Chapels.

Stay tuned for more!