Friday, April 20, 2018

At the Crossroads


While I have had a lot of success using the plaster and wood glue mix on my terrain pieces, I had wondered if that would be the best set of materials for making my new road sections.

I usually play lots of YouTube tutorials while I am working, and I stumbled across one terrain building exercise that mentioned how wood filler can be a very effective material.

It has strength, durability, and a faster drying time.  There is also a natural texture, which the plaster mix does not have.

As usual, my starting point is the pink underlayment foam, which is about the same thickness as foam core.


It doesn't seem like the biggest container, but this goes quite a long way!


Since I know that the pink foam will not curl once this is applied (the wood filler is specifically designed not to shrink or crack!),  I mixed in a little wood glue for extra holding power and started to spread it across the intersection with the palette knife.


You can see that I have tried to create some piles of dirt in various sections of the road, making things as uneven as possible on this country road...


Once I had the general shape that I wanted, I smoothed out the rough surface with a 1 inch synthetic brush.  This removed all the obvious hard lines that the palette knife left behind.


Standing the brush on its end, I used that chisel point to create tire and track marks on the road.  I tried to pay special attention to how the vehicles might turn on this road, matching the tracks trough the turns.

You could even run a spare vehicle through the mud to make it even more realistic.


While the wood filler does have that additional texture that the plaster mix lacks, I still wanted to have even more texture on the sides of the roads.  Shrubs and small trees will line the side of this road, so I wanted a rougher texture under that growth.

I began with our dried tea leaf mix after spraying a bit of watered down wood glue...


The tea leaves were followed by coarse ballast from Woodland Scenics...


The final layer was a bit of fine ballast, which I also placed in the center of the ruts.  I will be making some puddles on the roads as well, so I thought it would be important to have this extra texture.


The long, straight road sections were a little more 'straightforward', so to speak.  Keeping the shapes interesting along such a long piece is something to be aware of as you place the wood filler.  Also, it is best to keep a consistent amount of texture on the ends of all your roads, so that they match up when you place them together on the board!

I did the same process with the tea leaves and ballast once I had placed all the wood filler.


I think these angles give you a sense of the texture... this will be even more pronounced when it is painted and flocked!


Here you have it... some new country road sections.  I was glad to see that my new photography light setup was very useful in lighting this, since I am hoping to do some facebook live terrain sessions, as well as create new recorded videos for YouTube and the patrons of my Patreon Page.

A $5 pledge lets you view these YouTube tutorials, while a $1 pledge is very helpful in securing more equipment and materials for experimentation such as these.


If you can support the Patreon Page, that will allow me to create more of these terrain projects, and also create new videos!



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Gun


It was certainly a brand new experience painting Games Workshop figures in oil paints!  Until then, I had used them mostly on larger scale resin figures, or historical vehicles and minis.

Those were primarily earth tones, muted browns and greens, and so on... which made the brighter colors and steel of these figs something brand new with this medium.

Since these were painted, I have discovered some metallic oil paints which I would like to experiment with!  In the meantime, you can see how I approached painting the Clan Escher figures with the oil paints in this Facebook Live session.

Here's a link:



I have a new series of unit painting videos using oils coming up, this time using the new Games Workshop Dark Elf figures.  These will show how to paint the skin tones on both the Harpies and Medusa!

They will be available to the patrons on my Patreon Page:



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rolling On


As the British army moves closer to completion, it is just about ready for a few battle reports!

This is Roy's BEF, which has been made to accommodate a few different eras and theatres.


This first battle will see a portion of this group used for a what if scenario on the Battle of Arras. I am creating some special terrain for that right now, which I will show in some upcoming blog posts.


This is one of the first Bolt Action armies that I ever painted... and where I tested out oil paints for the first time.  Here's a post on the Matilda, which was part of a series:



The Churchill and Bren Carriers were done after that, utilizing some of the techniques that you can see here in this live session from a while back:



This 'what if' battle will see what might have happened if the French commander had not died in a car wreck, and a small batch of French reinforcements showed up to assist the British attack.  

While the Battle of France was pretty much a fait accompli by that time, this thwarted attack did cause enough consternation with the German high command to halt the advancing forces long enough to assist in the Dunkirk evacuations.


I already have 2 battle reports up on the YouTube channel, but this episode will be for the Patrons (a link to the page later in this post).  If you want to see what the previous episodes were like, you can check that out here:



This is just the beginning, as I have 16 different Bolt Action armies under way!  I will be covering every era and theatre of the conflict, even the Pacific.  I am beginning here in western Europe, moving to North Africa and the War in the East, up through Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and so on.

There are partisan armies, Italians, multiple German, Soviet, US and British forces... even Hungarians and Polish. 


Many thanks to Dice of War, who make incredible dice that complete the setting for any game.  Why bother with all the fancy terrain, painted minis, and then use plain old dice!  Thanks also to the Table War folks who make the super durable and great looking battle mats!


If you can support the production of the battle reports and the how to videos, any amount would be appreciated on the Patreon Page.  Stay tuned for Arras, which is a special report made for the Patreon subscribers!



Monday, April 16, 2018

Ogre March


These Mierce Miniatures ogres were among the first massed painting groups attempted with oils.  It was also the first time that I realized how perfect this medium was for larger scale figures.

With the extended drying times, working on several figures with large surface areas to cover was not a problem, and I was able to blend these right on the figure instead of painting one layer over another, or having to use a number of glazes to tint and shade, etc.


Since these were a unit of about 14 minis, it was also much easier to maintain the same colors across the whole batch than with the acrylic paints.  Using the greenish pants as an example, it is possible to simply paint the entire area on shade of green on every figure, and then take a lighter tone and blend that into each of the unit figures.

This makes it a lot easier to get that shading on all the members of the unit, as you only need to take one color and blend it into another, without the need to mix several versions of that color and layer it lighter or darker.


I have other units of Mierce large scale infantry, so I will try to make more step by step posts of that process and even attempt some live sessions and YouTube episodes on this topic!

Keep in mind that I want to try and feature a new "unit painting" process each month on the Patreon Page.  I just sent the $5 subscribers the second Dark Elf skin tone Painting Pyramid episode in preparation for the 4 part series!!

More will be posted on that this week on the Page:



Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Primer for Every Purpose


Here's a little glimpse at the process of "primer painting", using the Badger Airbrush Stynlrez primers.  There are a dozen different colors, so it provides an excellent opportunity to shade and tint figures as you go through the usual process of priming.

I usually have dozens and dozens of figures to prime all at once, of all types and sizes.  While there were a few other items that I was priming, I think this set of figures gives you an idea.

The slate blue primer is a neat color, which has been great for terrain and some sci-fi figures, like this Weapon platform skimmer from Warlord Games Gates of Antares.


Since I already had that color in the airbrush, I made it my first layer for the two units of Dark Elf figures which is part of the unit painting videos I am creating for the Patreon subscribers.
There are also a number of blog posts that show in more detail how I approach this kind of Primer Painting...


The pink primer is a color that I have not gotten to use very much, except for some of the Black Heart Models busts.  Using the blue as a base and allowing as bit of the pink to mix in with it meant that I could gradually shift the overall color.

Gradually introducing more and more of the pink will create lighter tones, setting up the next layer.


I didn't want to get too involved with the primer colors here, since these units will be painted with oils.  Those are far less influenced by the underlying primer colors than the acrylic glazes that I normally use.


On to my Bolt Action winter Soviets!  I have a few articles on this kind of urban warfare basing, like this one:



The Ebony color is a favorite, and I use it on just about everything at a certain point!


Using a light tan, I was able to create a Russian tan blend right out of the gate, using nothing more than 2 primer colors!


I added one more layer of white to get the lightest shading.  This batch of figures will be part of a new edited YouTube series on unit painting with oil paints.  I will go through the process of painting the unit, as well as the snow effects that finish off the basing.

As always, any contributions to the Patreon Page allow me to do even more of these instructional videos.  Also, the new pledge levels will introduce "hard copy" versions of the videos, so you can view them whenever or wherever you want, at a higher resolution than the typical YouTube video.

Here's a link to the page:



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Up In Your Grille


This new kit from Trenchworx will be joining my late war German forces soon!  Let's take a look...


It is no secret that I really enjoy the Trenchworx vehicles, and that one of my favorite things are the instructions.  Even if you are familiar with a vehicle and how it should look, each kit always breaks up those parts differently.

Having something that shows such a breakdown saves time and potential aggravation, which I love!


The precision sculpting and casting are spot on...


I will have to choose a color scheme for it, and it just might be this, including the additional foliage.  The temptation to make it a winter version for Hungary was tempting, but I wanted to make a video showing how to paint this and various methods for creating the added foliage camo.


I think that I will paint on the camo pattern by hand in the video, since not every has airbrushes.  The rest will be done with oil paints, as usual.


Here are some views of the assembly.  I did leave the gun shield armor unattached, so that I could paint the interiors of all surfaces more easily.  This is another fantastic element that is built into the kits.  Everything snaps and fits together so well, it is possible to dry fit in this manner.


I was tempted to create some crew out of plastic figures, but I will have to see what I can find.  Perry Brothers probably has some crew figures as well.


This video will probably be a recorded version that I post on YouTube, since I will have to take this on in many sections.  It is possible to put in a lot more detail and info with an edited video vs the live sessions where I often have to repeat answers to similar questions.

I can also set up the camera for an ideal shot/angle, which is very difficult to do live.  With all the fighting compartment details, that will be quite important!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

On Point


This figure from Cadwallion Miniatures was an interesting subject.  It seemed to be sculpted in ZBrush, and cast in resin.


This is one of a few recent figures that I have done from this line, which apparently is a spin off from Rackham/Confrontation.


As with most of the pieces I have done lately, the first 50-60% was done with oil paints, and then the rest finished off with acrylics.  The oils allow me to work on many more figures at the same time, in particular figures that have similar color schemes.  

Since the fantasy and historical pieces all have the same kinds of earth tones and greens, this is very handy!!