Friday, April 28, 2017

Fire Support

Little Wars begins today!  I will be painting these Norwegian troops (28mm for Bolt Action) as well as the French Foreign Legion.  I enjoy painting both of these armies, since they are so different in appearance from the forces which I have been working on.

The Norwegians in particular have a unique look, even though the color is green.  

I know that for game purposes people tend to separate the machine gun team figures like this, but I enjoy creating these "mini dioramas" or vignettes.

The snow was done using the usual Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass technique.  This is very handy for creating a variety in the snow, such as a more melted look.  While other materials imitate fresh fallen snow very well, you can't have the range of partially melted to frozen solid!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

For Lease

This was a tricky sort of vehicle for me.  It was the first "American" vehicle that I have painted, but it was not a U.S. unit.  Rather, it is part of my buddie's British army.

That meant spending a lot of time researching the markings and insignia for British Shermans. I learned a great deal about the principles behind British markings.

The turret marking would designate it as a regular or command tank, and the number inside the shape is the number of the tank in that unit.

There were 4 basic shapes, and 4 different colors.  The numerical markings along the hull were devoid of the normal (USA) designation in caps.

The markings on the left and right of the hull would define the type of unit the vehicle was a part of.

I put the British roundel on the top of the turret, to let any passing Thunderbolt know not to strafe it or drop rockets on them!

As far as the painting goes, I was able to do a lot of fun subtle color changes with all of the greens. Some are warmer, or cooler, while others are more faded.  These limited palette exercises can be very instructional!

I know that some folks would get "bored" with an endless sea of green, but making that more interesting to look at is a lot of fun, and a great challenge.  It was also necessary to 'plan ahead', and make sure that I left myself plenty of room for the special weathering effects that were added later on.

This means keeping the colors lighter where I want to have strategically placed chipping and streaking.  The same goes for mud and dust effects, as well as the leaves, etc.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snow in the East?

Here's another Snow Easterling for you.  It is always fun to paint figures in something that is not an 'official' color scheme, especially when that is completely the opposite of said scheme. :-)

I had a lot of fun with this, and it is very interesting to see how this exercise forces you to view that same figure you have painted so many times in an entirely new light!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Second Skin

You have already seen the review of the Rubicon Models Panzer 3 kit, and now it's time for the painted images!!  I thought it might be interesting to add this to my Hungarian army, with a camo scheme and identity markings that are different from what I have seen so many times.

It is also the first time that I have had a chance to paint one of the classic extra armor versions!

Those obviously create a lot of interesting weathering opportunities.  Lots of fun streaks, scratches, spatters and so on!  Here's a link to the live painting video on facebook:

I was able to put in lots of the dried leaves and dust, using the Green Stuff World leaf punch.

Here's part two:

Now for the really interesting part... the removable extra armor!  Yes, it all just snaps on, which means that you can completely change the look of the vehicle, or match your Bolt Action list!

A few more views show how that transforms completely.  Even better, they don't tear away at the paint when you remove them!

The 'regular' version, minus the extra armor.  I was able to do all the fun weathering on these sections of the vehicle too.

Here's a review of the original kit:

I used a variety of products on this, such as regular oil paints out of the tube, Wilder oil paints, and plenty of Mig AMMO products.

The first unit of the Hungarian army is ready for combat!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Legion

The preparation for Little Wars is in full swing, and that means lots of French in sheepskin and anorac! I will be painting more of these figures in the Gorgon Studios booth, so come and see me there!

It is this weekend, at the Westin in Lombard, Illinois.

I really enjoy painting these figures, which are sculpted by the same artist from Artizan Designs.

Many more French Foreign legion on the way, as well as Norwegians for the Narvik campaign.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Crusader

I finally got a chance to put the final effects of weathering on the Rubicon Models Crusader!  It wasn't anything terribly complex, just a few layers of sandy weathering powders.

It all worked out as I had hoped, by planning ahead for this very stage!  This meant getting darker colors in critical areas, so that this much lighter dust and sand would be more visible. 

Obviously the darker sections of the camo patterns were a prime location for the lighter sand, but I also wanted it to be visible in places on the lighter sections of the hull and turret.  So, I had added a little bit of additional staining to darken them.

I was also eager to see how the sand would look in the wheels and treads, which were left much darker, with not a lot of extra shading.  The goal was to have this applied sand create the forms.

As I mentioned in the live facebook broadcast, these vehicles are like layer cakes, and each layer is a different form of weathering.  You must plan ahead, and lay the groundwork for something that might be several layers down the line!

Here's a link to that video session:

I look forward to trying out these techniques on the rest of the desert theme vehicles... for the Desert Rats, DAK and the Italians!  Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Banner Day

Here's an "old school" Lizardmen banner, which is connected to a very key development in my painting.  It was on this unit of Saurus that I first developed the Shaded Basecoat technique!

The basic idea of that technique is to lay down a series of simplified, lighter colors which establish where the basic lights and darks will be.  These lighter tones can be tinted and shaded darker with a series of glazes, followed by more refinement in the "middle tone" areas.

This has several advantages.  First, I can paint entire armies with just 5 or 6 colors, as I have simplified the palette.  I can more easily match a set of colors years later, with no knowledge of which specific colors that were originally used.

Since most of the color matching happens with glazes as opposed to mixing and matching the colors on the palette, it is very flexible indeed!

This is at the very core of my techniques, and it is why I created the Painting Pyramid video series, in order to show this to a greater audience.  I teach this class all the time at conventions such as Repaercon and Nova Open.

Here's a link to that original article from years ago: