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:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Water World

I conducted a number of experiments on these Naiad figures from Mantic Games.  First, I wanted to see what my collection of sea shells might look like on the bases, while I also tried out some new aquarium foliage and even colorful tufts from Green Stuff World.

I ended up having to do the usual modification of the aquarium plants, and that was to do a wash of a greenish mix of Vallejo washes and Reaper Liner paints.  Those dry extremely matte or flat, which kills the shiny texture of the plastic leaves.  They are also very durable and get down into the crevices, which means that they won't flake off when the leaves move or get bent.

As for the seashells, I had to put a similar glaze over the top of them to make them match the rest of the colors.  They were far too bright and stark otherwise.  It was a much lighter version of the plant wash, since I still wanted to keep the natural patterns on the shells!

Finally, I used a few of the new Green Stuff World grass tufts, which were just the trick to match some of the Reaper Clear Magenta colors and the other high saturation Clear paints.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Saddle Up!

I have been working very hard to get a lot of new things ready for the Patreon Page... new styles of videos, more figures, and so on.

I have been looking into ways to create Patron only videos, which has meant loading new software, figuring out how to use that, getting the YouTube account approved and settled for these new applications.

My goal with these new types of videos is to record them like my Painting Pyramid videos and have them posted to my YouTube account.  This would mean better resolution than the facebook live sessions, and they would be easier to find.  These would be more frequent than the Facebook sessions, as the figures would be smaller too...

Finally, these figures would also be raffled off, and those pledges eligible to participate would have an even better chance of winning one of these amazing Dark Sword figures.

As I mentioned, I have been furiously prepping dozens of these figures, which will allow me to show all kinds of fun techniques in both acrylics and oils, as well as basing treatments.

I also want to utilize a few larger commission figures for some of the Facebook live sessions, such as this very interesting piece.  This one is calling out for some icy colors, so I will have a lot of fun painting this one live!  While it would be neat to try the oils on it, I think that the Reaper Clear paints might be the medium I will use.

Coming soon to a live session near you is this fantastic cowgirl will be the next oil painting live session, and she will also be the next raffle figure for the Patreon Page.  As always, any level of support gets you into the raffle!

She was a fundraising figure for AMPSA.  If you would like to get one of these for yourself, you can email Dallas at

I cant wait to work with the oil paints on this, as the leather surfaces are just calling for burnt siennas, umbers and ochres!

Here's the link to the page:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


This Enigma Miniatures figure was a very interesting piece to paint, as most of the figures from that series were.  They always had interesting details.

As this was part of that very large army commission, the basing and overall colors had to match a lot of the previously painted figures.  This meant a very compressed color range!  To top it off, the skin tones were requested to be a blueish black... taking away one more contrast element.

This meant trying to find contrast in those other areas that yea hear me mention so often, and that is warm vs cool, and saturated vs unsaturated.  You can have saturated colors in a limited palette exercise, as long as they are in line with the rest of the colors in that 'family'.  It is a very subtle way to establish contrast, but it is a lot of fun to try!