Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Let's Get Happy!

It's been a while since I have used the Happy Seppuku moulds for non-sci-fi basing, but my current projects made these two moulds just perfect for the task at hand!

This is the brick and cobblestone texture, pressed into the usual white sculpey.

I want to make a few different village/urban style bases for the winter Americans stuck in Bastone during the Battle of the Bulge.

These textures are nice and easy to 'break', as they have so many natural fault lines!

Here I broke off the edges to roughly fit the base.  I'm leaving a little extra space for broken bricks and even snow piles.

Once I have the overall shape, I cut out a few of the bricks with my wood carving tool.

This is repeated on a few other bases... but I want to save the brick texture for something else...

Most of the bases are going to be made from the cobblestone texture, so that the brick sheets can be used for the remains of upright walls.

Just as I did with the bricks, I tried to cut out a few missing stones, especially around the corners.

This U.S. MG team will be taking some cover behind the remains of a brick wall.  Broken bricks and some snow will also be placed on the periphery of the base.

Whenever I bake sculpey sheets, I always take my exacto knife and cut out some rows of bricks.  I make a variety of sizes, all the way up to large stones of cinder blocks.

I chipped away at the brick wall section, using my large bricks as a curb.  It's best to chip away at the corners of the bricks to make them look a little less fresh.

The basic setup of the base is now ready for the final touches, such as the piles of broken bricks around the edges.

This Vallejo paste will be a perfect medium in which to set those bricks.

As I mentioned previously, it's best to chip off the corners of the bricks before you place them.  If you are building an entire wall from them, you could do that once all the bricks have been glued in place.

Some lights sand and gravel is added to help keep them where I want them.  It's important to remember that snow will be put on top of most of this.

I kept working around the edges of the base, putting bricks in as random a pattern as possible.

A little sand and gravel over the top, and this is just about ready for painting!

I will be adding the same kind of broken brick textures to the other small bases too.  Once these are painted and the snow added, I will do another post to show you how those look!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ride of the Sabre

Here's another fantastic miniature from Albino Raven miniatures.  There is a wide variety of genres covered in the line... everything from fantasy miniatures to modern era soldiers, as well as larger and smaller scale figures.

Here's a link to the website:

There was certainly a lot of action going on with this figure, and a lot of dramatic lights and darks to enhance that look.  

The base is constructed from tree bark and branches as usual.  I really love how such simple materials can make something so realistic and dramatic!

I had to be sure that the warm tan colors of the sabertooth didn't get lost in all the natural tones of the wooden surfaces, so those were a bit more saturated than those background colors.  The rider was painted with the most blueish-gray tones to make him stand out.  

Once again, an instance of controlling contrast mostly through the brightness or purity of color, instead of basic light vs dark contrasts.

He's also here:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Enemy at the Gates

Here's the first color test figure for the Isorian faction from Gates of Antares.  You have seen me working on lots of Bolt Action stuff from Warlord, but this is going to be quite different! 

Getting back into the Sci-Fi miniatures after all the steampunk, fantasy and historical figures will require a very different mindset.

This genre does allow for a much wider and varied palette, which is always a good thing.  Letting myself get too locked down in extremely muted tones permanently would make things boring, and I would miss out on all kinds of great color combinations and effects.

I had a few goals with this faction.  First, choose a scheme that would be very different from the origainl box art.  Next, I wanted to emphasize all the glowing elements, since Object Source Lighting is a huge obsession of mine!  Finally, I can dive into certain color combinations that I have had to leave behind for a few years.

Shapes such as this are a very nice way to work on "two tone" color sets.  That is, using the tans and oranges in one area, while using a cooler, deeper red around the shoulders to give me a better contrast for the weapon glow.

I like to call this "color chess", as I try to plan and manipulate opposing colors, lights and darks, and even the amount of saturation to maximize contrast.

Best of all, I get to dust off and bring out all the different Sci-fi theme bases from the past, such as this design.  I have also worked on a massive variety of new bases too!

Just as with Bolt Action, there are a number of Gates of Antares figures which will be appearing here on the blog!  Multiple factions and armies are under way, so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wee Little Skinks

I cannot count the number of Skinks that I painted for my Lizardman army, but I do know that the vast majority were of the hand weapon and shield variety.  Only about 24 of them were the blowpipe skirmishers.

I had no Saurus in the army, and just a small unit of Temple Guard every so often when Mage Priest Babo was on the scene.  The concept of the army was centered around "Temple Restoration Crews", comprised mostly of skinks.

Skinks on terradons scouted from above, while skirmishing skinks guarded the outer defenses on the ground.  Other Skinks prodded huge Salamanders about, as others directed Kroxigors to move heavy stones from shattered temples and move the repaired stones in their place.

The largest stones would be moved by the Stegadons, which also doubled as Engines of the Gods with, you guessed it, a Skink Priest on top!

There is an entire story written about this army, called the Legend of Sticky Wikkit... the greatest of all the Skink Chiefs.  Here's a link:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Deadly Dancer

Once more some views of the Raging Heroes Blood Vestals which I used in my Adepticon Dark Eldar tournament army. 

The kits have all of the regular and special weapons needed to create larger or smaller units. 

I continued with a very specific basing scheme for the entire army.   The idea was to represent the primary opponent of this force... in the form of destroyed vehicles. 

I just wish that I had the kind of lighting and photo equipment that I do now, which would yield some nice army shots on my terrain board.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Behind the Mask

Time to check out some of the old Kabal Warriors again! 

As with the previous versions, this is also a combination of old and new.

I used the legs and torso from the original ancient Dark Eldar kits, while the arms and head were primarily the newer more recent kits.

I enjoyed these combination figures,  since they gave the Kabal Warriors a unique look.  It also saved some cost, as I could use the older legs and torsos to use on the special weapons. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Cracked Earth

Here's a new Green Stuff World texture roller that I tested out recently.

This Cracked Earth texture could be used for a number of purposes, such as lava flows, ice, etc.  Since I was in need of some desert style bases for my new Bolt Action Italian army, I thought I would give it a try!

I only had a few small pieces of sculpey to roll out for this test, so I don't have large pieces of rolled out texture to show you.  However, I must note that unlike my usual approach with these rollers, I intentionally made this sheet thicker and more uneven.

I thought doing so would make this more like cracked, wasted earth, as opposed to a flatter, more even icy appearance.  You can also see that when I broke this uneven sculpey, many interesting formations were created along the broken edges.

This Cracked Earth texture is very easy to break into the shapes that you need, as all kinds of natural 'fault lines' are provided for you.

In this case, I combined a few pieces together.  You can see on the right hand side of the base some really fun broken sculpey texture... added bonus!

As I usually do when applying bark pieces to a base, I put down some of the Vallejo paste first, which serves as mortar to help keep that piece in position.

A few dots of super glue also help hold in in place.

More Sandy paste is brushed around the edges, and even on the surface.  This creates a more random, sandy look once it is painted.

To carry the experiment further, I took some slices of tree bark to create some additional cracked earth textures.  This was also to give the miniature a better angle when it was placed on the base.

A few small chips of bark are applied, which I shaved down with an exacto knife.

Once again, sand was added over the top and some rocks to complete the base.

Moving along nicely!  Unlike the other textures you have seen me use, such as the Runic Temple, Celtic and Mosaic tile, I used the standard white sculpey.  I did this so that it would be easier to break the pieces into these random shapes.

The gray Extra Firm sculpey would break into very clean, crip lines... which is great for the other bases, but not these natural formations!

These don't look like very much right now, but a few quick layers of paint will really show off the look which I was after.

Stay tuned for the conclusion, and check out some of the other posts in the Green Stuff World section of the blog!