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:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Flying Tigers

This was actually the first experiment in painting the freehand patterns on the Gates of Antares Algoryn skimmers.

I had tried this freehand on other Sci-fi figures in the past, and I thought it would be interesting to try out!

The shape of these skimmers is very fortuitous, because the forward part of the craft tends to work well with the locations of the eyes, and even where 'teeth' should be.

The sides are relatively flat, so the pattern is not too distorted.

Stay tuned because more skimmers are in the house, and I have more critters to paint!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


It's been a long time since I showed a few of the in progress images, so I finally got a chance to process the finished pictures for you!

This massive beast stands around a foot tall, and as you can see, it has a ton of exposed pistons and other parts under those cowlings.

These views give you some sense of the insanity!

The figure is still articulated at the waist, but the arms were locked in place.  That was the best way to arrange that, since the weapons were just too heavy, and had a tendency to drop the arms down!

I painted this to match the rest of the Mechanicum army, with lots of gears and checkerboard patterns.

This vehicle gave me a chance to try out several of the Mig Ammo products, such as the oil washes, weathering powders and more.

The filters and tints were very handy on elements like the cowlings, since I could get a nice soft gradation on this broader surface with a simple application.

Having the ability to work back into an area a day or two later was also a huge advantage.  The weathering powders were used as a further method for fading the reds in the midtone and dark transitions.

A few "action" poses for you.  The head is also supposed to swivel, but the cowlings above and below it pretty much locked it in place.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Joining the Guild

I thought that you might like to see a few images from a glazing session that was done on a Guild Ball Masons team.  Vallejo and Secret Weapon miniatures glazes are my favorites, although each has different properties.

I put a few of the washes into water jar lids, getting ready to glaze both the bases and the figures.

The colors are very simple, mostly mixing the sepia and black washes together, or keeping them separate where I needed a tint to be more sepia or or dark brown.

By adding some of the green into areas of the marble, there is a chemical reaction that 'pushes' some of these other washes aside, and creates interesting random patterns.  These can be further modified and refined into veins for the marble. 

The same makeup sponges that use for moving my oil paints around are prefect for wiping away excess wash, and also help with making those random color patterns.

Additional layers can be applied to darken the veins as well.  The lower view shows what the base looks like once the excess wash has been wiped away.

This view shows a variety of bases both before and after excess pigments have been wiped away.

Here's the team mascot, with the same sort of glazes.  Each of these had been pre shaded with some white and grey primer to set up the lights and darks beforehand.  Now I can accentuate those tones by shading and tinting them with these glazes. 

This base was made with a broken column piece from Secret Weapon miniatures, with a Dwarf hammer added for the "masons" look!

Here's a very nice view of that chemical reaction.  The Vallejo washes are much thicker, and some are almost opaque, such as the green.

It's an old watercolor trick that I used to do.  By the way, the bases are made from sheets of baked sculpey, which have been added to cork.

After the initial glazes have dried, I can start to be a little more precise, and put more definition into those veins.  

Once I get a solid idea of how I want  those veins to look, I start to mix in opaque lighter colors with my glazes.  This makes a very nice semi-opaque lighter shade that I can use to create more transitions.

More additions of these lighter colors made light veins inside the larger dark versions.

A quick look at the team gives you an idea of what the finished product looked like!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rhino Charge

Here's yet another big beastie from Mierce Miniatures!

These monstrous infantry are always unique and interesting critters, like elephant men and even walking Octopus!

As with  most of the Mierce figures, all of them have been blended in to the massive winter theme commission, with figures from several different companies.

I have the large Snakemen, Birdmen and Dragonmen, so stay tuned for those big boys!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lavender Sorceress

This figure was a sample from the Demigods Evolution line.  It was certainly an interesting subject.  I enjoyed painting the face, which had a lot of nice sharp details.

At first I thought I might try some freehand on there, but I chose to render it more "straight up", so that I could play around with a few different shades of purple.  Some were almost burgundy, while others were closer to blue.

I do enjoy these "flowing" miniatures, where the sculpt tends to run along a sweeping line, leading towards one focal point.  It was nice that the body movement and the face all led to the end of the staff.

She's also here: