Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Well Oiled Machine


This was a the first set of French Bolt Action figures to be painted almost entirely in oil paints.

The more resent projects have a much higher percentage of these oil painted units, since I have been able to develop new techniques almost every time I use them!


These all look virtually identical to the figures painted with traditional acrylics, but the major advantage is speed, as I can do far more figures at a time.


With the extended drying time of the oils, I can work around entire units, and the paint on both the palette and the figures will stay wet and workable for days... usually about 2-3 in winter with the heater drying out the air.


While the original Winter American forces that I painted with oils saw only about 40% of the figures painted with oils and completed with acrylics, these were closer to 80%.

As I mentioned before, I learn a little more each time, and I have even discovered that I can do glazes of oils on top of wet oil paint.  This is very similar to what I would normally do with my acrylic washes, which means that I can take these paints even deeper into the process.


Originally I had seen the oil paints as the medium I would use on vehicles, but that quickly expanded to the regular infantry as well.  Since the colors on the infantry are usually quite similar to the vehicles, I can hammer away at everything all at once.

I don't have to worry about paint drying up or not being workable on a figure even when I have 20 infantry and a few vehicles all the painting table!


I have been painting a number of vehicles in my Facebook Live sessions... covering all kinds of approaches, materials, effects and so on.

Here's a link to a recent vehicle painting demo using the oils:



Friday, January 19, 2018

Happy Anniversary!


This very fun little miniature is the 25th anniversary figure for Reaper Miniatures.  The face in particular was a fantastic shape to paint, with lots of character and eyes that were shaped well enough to get some nice details as well.


I have not gotten many opportunities to paint figures like this one, so that was great!  A little green stuff was used to extend the pewter base a little bit...


In addition to those Dark Sword figures, I have some Reaper minis which will be part of those Patreon Page demonstration videos.  These will be in addition to the usual live sessions on Facebook.  Just like the Dark Sword figures, those will be available for viewing by Patrons, and then raffled off like the Monthly Raffle figure.

I am going to try and record a few of those this week to see how they go!



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Show me your stripes


This old Confrontation figure was part of a two piece set, and an interesting color scheme was requested.  While the original colors were a bit bland as a combination of light tans, the request was for a tiger stripe appearance.


Given the nature of the sculpt and the pose, it would be a challenge, especially on the face.  The shape was very different from an actual tiger, and they have a very distinct appearance that we are all used to seeing.

I used a series of semi glazing passes with the Secret Weapon weathering paints, which were perfect for the grayish white sections as well as the orange areas.


Once I felt like those areas were pretty well defined, I started to block in the stripes to see if they could follow these unusual contours.  Some of the sculpted mane was very thick, and it would be tough to carry a "line" through it!


It seemed to work out OK, however, and here is your tiger. :-)

Since I did not have a lot of time invested in my initial semi glazing passes, I was not going to be terribly upset if the stripes would have to be altered, moved, etc.  In fact, I adjusted every single strips along the way, especially as I did the final phases of the shading.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Patch


With the flock in place, it is time for the final stage of the winter terrain pieces for the Tundra mat.  I want to see what happens when I combine these three materials to create the patchy snow, and the snow on the trees.

This is the Tundra mat from TableWar that I am going to match:


The white stucco material is simply used to extend the Snow Texture mix.  I only have so much of it, and I need that for basing as well!  To better match the  color of the snow on the TableWar mat, I mixed in some Badger Stynlrez primer that is blueish gray.


Once I have that mixed thoroughly, I can start applying it to the terrain piece.  The nice thing about this material is that I can pile it up very easily, but also apply it in other ways.

If needed, I can thin it down the simulate lass or melted snow, and by "drybrushing" it over the clump foliage, I will get the same kind of mottled appearance as the mat.


You can see where I have piled it up, and also placed it carefully on the fallen logs.  The drybrushing effect is working quite well on the heavy flock.  This is also another reason why I used that watered down glue mix to adhere it more firmly to the terrain piece!


Before the snow mix has a chance to dry, I will dust some of the Woodland Scenics Snow Flock over the wet paste.  This will hold it in place, and also create a finer grain like snow, as well as a bit more texture.


With that snow flock applied, you can even see some of the granules showing up in the recesses created by the heavy greenish brown flock!


The same mixture is brushed over the trees, but not too much!  This is supposed to be a partially covered snow board after all.  Just as I did on the rest of the terrain piece, I can sprinkle the snow flock on top.


I did the same for the bare trees, making sure to have some snow on each branch.  Now you can really see how all the various elements start to come together.


I will let this one dry, and then repeat the process on the next piece...


There we have it!  A very solid terrain piece that will look great on the mat, has plenty of room for figures to move around, and will match the Tundra mat as well!


Now for the test... here we go!


I was very happy to see how these first few pieces looked with the mat.  I have much more on the way, including frozen ponds and rivers!


If you would like to see more terrain building posts like this, and the battle reports that go with them, any support you could provide to the Patreon Page would be very helpful.  Eventually I want video battle reports to be a part of that page.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Preparing for Winter


With the completion of the Ardennes summer forest board, it is time to move on to winter, and the tundra mat from TableWar!  

Just as I have been doing with the Cobblestone and forest mats, the real intent is to show how to match your scatter terrain pieces to the mat itself, so that they don't seem like an afterthought.

With the cobblestone board, the primary method to match the mat was to carve in the actual cobblestone texture on the 'bases' of the buildings.

On this mat, the challenge will be to get patches of snow, as well as greenish and brownish spaces as you see on the mat.

Each of the mats from TableWar have the carrying case, which is also a great way to keep them from getting damaged when they are rolled up!  I am also very glad that they are rugged, and I don't have to worry about the mat getting any kinks as I try to place it on the table.


As you saw in the last tutorial, my initial winter terrain pieces were corner sections, which not only anchor my backdrops, but are a great way to add some height to your board using scrap pieces.

You can see those here:





I had done some quick airbrushing on these pieces, using the Badger airbrush (with the Stynlrez primers and regular airbrush colors).  I wanted to wait on applying foliage and snow until I had a chance to look at the mat close up, and see what approach I should take.


As you can see, I have a variety of colors and grades of flock, ranging from very coarse to very fine.  I tried to pick foliage colors that matched what I saw on the mat.


Instead of using the spray adhesive as I did on the summer forest pieces, I will use some watered down glue.  While covering the whole terrain piece was in order for that board, you can see that I only want to have some areas covered, leaving more rock exposed.


The watered down glue will get down into all the crevices, and also soak into the flock.  Otherwise, the flock may just sit on top of the thicker Elmer's glue.


I started out by placing some of the heavier flock, mostly the two shades of brownish green.  As I mentioned, it was important to leave exposed sections, such as my rock steps and the logs.  This can't be quite as overgrown as my lush spring/summer board!


I worked my way across the entire piece, doing small sections at a time.  Here and there some finer flock was added to get some variety and dimension.


The next post will showcase the addition of the snow, which is a combination of materials and techniques.  Then we will see what these pieces look like on our mat!!

Stay tuned!

As always, if you want to see more tutorial articles like this, you can support the Patreon Page, which allows me to do more projects like these.  Many thanks!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Carrying a Torch...


Over the last few months, I have been preparing several Dark Sword figures for additional video painting demos to be part of the Patreon page.  These will be more targeted than the usual facebook live sessions.  For instance, I have figures like this one which would obviously feature Object Source Lighting.

The Dark Sword figures are ideal for these kinds of videos, as they have such sharp details.  That makes a big difference when you are trying to get them to be seen on camera, and it even takes less time to paint them because of how fine the detail and casting were done!


I have been testing various new apps like XSplit to make recordings for the YouTube channel.  My goal is to record lessons each week, and then raffle off those figures.  If it works, patrons who pledge to see these videos will get links to that specific video, so they can view it when they wish.


There are some other new things I would like to add to the page, including the original Painting Pyramid videos.  If possible, I could get one full video posted each month, and send that email link to the patrons as I mentioned earlier.

Once I can get the technical elements down, and do some testing, I will be able to send out links to the patrons and see how it works out!  Here's a link to the page:



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Deal Me In


This Doc Holiday figure was one of my favorite WWX figures, mostly because of the fun I had creating the tree and the bloody playing cards!

One of his abilities was to decapitate enemies by tossing these playing cards at them.  So, I cut up some tiny pieces of paper and painted both number and face cards.  It was definitely a challenge!!


Painting the patterns on the backs of the cards was even more difficult.  Of course, they did not have to be completely perfect, since I was putting blood effects on them.  

It was on my WWX figures that I really got into the "bark and branch" technique, using tree branches and dried foliage to create small trees.

Now that I use the airbrush for 'primer painting', getting color on these pieces of foliage is far easier!!


He's also here: