Friday, August 17, 2018

More from the Deep


We return to the unusual combination sea creatures once more!  This was also the first figure that I tried to use much more saturated oil colors. Up until this point, most of what I had done with the oil paints had been earth tones and more muted colors.


That turned out to be very helpful on a much larger creature such as this, where there were so many color transitions to carry across the entire figure.  The extended drying time meant that I could work my way around the figure, blending along the way.

It was particularly important to have that ability here, since those transitions between very light colors (which are normally considered opposites!) would have been much more difficult.


Here's a review on the basing:



This blog post has some links to the original kickstarter where this series of figures was released, and to a live session where I painted another these large creatures using oils:



Thursday, August 16, 2018

Winter Warrior


I have had a lot of fun working on these winter armies for the last few years, and lately I have been experimenting with some more snow combinations.  These original German figures were done using the Secret Weapon crushed glass method, but I have started to add in other materials as well.

Here's a link to that Facebook Live experimental session:



I do like the Secret Weapon materials, as they allow you to create many different types of snow, especially that which is partially melted or slushy!


I am also doing a tutorial series on the winter figures, from the basing through the painting process, followed by the snow effects!  Those will be available to the patrons that subscribed to the $15 Army Painter level:



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jurassic Dead


This set of miniatures from HellDorado  was really unusual, and had some unexpected sculpting details!  I had started painting them as standard Lizardmen, but the more I worked on them, I started to realize what I thought was torn fabric or leather was skin!

Yes, they were shedding their skin.  My guess is that they might be undead lizards?  I was certainly caught by surprise, and I was forced to switch gears about 30% of the way through the process.


This is something that I have been emphasizing a lot on both my live sessions and the YouTube/Facebook live sessions.

It is also something that I have been demonstrating in the new "Army Painter" pledge levels on the Patreon page.  The idea is to construct the framework of  your lights and darks as quickly as possible, so that if you need to make some changes (especially significant ones like this adventure!), you don;t feel like you have lost a lot of working time.

That means that you will be more willing to make those adjustments, and end up with a better overall result.  You can find the Army Painter pledge on the patreon page here:



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Music Man


To those who don't already know, a good portion of this Chaos Knight unit was painted with oils, with the final details completed with acrylics once they were dry.


When you are working on a large number of figures that have very similar colors, using the oil paints can be very handy!  The ability to still be able to wet blend new layers of paint into those applied one or two days before is a tremendous advantage when trying to match colors!


I have said this many times before, but now that more people are seeing this idea of oil painting, there are some misconceptions about why you would use this medium.

When people ask me how to get oil paints to dry faster, I always say: "I use acrylics instead".  The whole point of these is the longer drying time, and that ability to turn each of the figures themselves into a wet palette!


I was even seeing some people claim that I wanted them to have a different look, etc., which is definitely not the case.  To make that point, I painted the last one of this unit entirely in acrylics, and it looked just like all the others.

The process itself is not all that different, since I still use glazing when I am working with oils.  I may not remove as much paint as I do with the acrylics, where I am wiping away layers of glazing with a sponge.  For obvious reasons, that is just not possible with the oils, since the underlying layers are still wet.

I hope this all makes sense!  Now that we are back from GenCon, I can start diving back into my oils again!!  Stay tuned...


Monday, August 13, 2018

When the Bear Gets You...


Yeah, some days you get the bear, and some days he gets you.  Or you get to ride him.  if you are a goblin!


This Goblin Bear Rider is from Red Box Games.  His base is 50mm, so that gives you an idea of scale.


This was part of that very large forest creature project, filled with goblins, trolls and ogres!


As usual, the base was constructed of tree bark and Oxide Paste.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Massive Firepower


The bloody drama continues to play out across the Pripet Marshes, with the German forces trying to achieve an encirclement of the vast Soviet troop presence in this sector.  

Multiple attempts to outflank the Red Army were made by light armored elements such as the SDK fZ 232 armored car and the Panzer 38T.


Static units of the German force found themselves under constant barrage from the Soviet heavy artillery in the form of mortars, howitzers and the rocket launcher.  This team better get in its shots very quickly before the dreaded Red Menace can range in on them!!


While taking a number of casualties, the veteran units shrugged them off as they pushed even further into enemy occupied sectors.


However, the new Soviet commander was utilizing the deep river gullys that had been carved out over many years of lumber harvesting in this village.  In contrast, the German forces had to advance over mostly open terrain.

Speed was not on the minds of the Soviet commanders, as barely trained soldiers sloshed through the riverbeds...


The Red Army refused to use the bridge, choosing instead to take cover against the banks of the river.  While the German forces did not have much armor, that was making any direct use of the bridge very hazardous for the captured Blitzes.


As the main body of the Soviet forces sheltered in the river, the artillery continued to pound the German positions.  Once the invaders had been sufficiently weakened, the new Commissar Royamanov felt that he could finally push his troops into contact with his enemy.


However, the wily German commander had been waiting for this tactic, recalling what had happened in the first battle over the village.  The armored car opened fire with both its autocannon and machine gun, felling the Red Officer where he stood!

Commissar Royamanov suffered the fate of Commissar Royitski and Captain Albertofski... joining them as Heroes of the Soviet Union.


Unbelievably, the veteran unit had held out against point blank fire into the wooden church.  Could they anchor the final German advance and secure the victory, or would they be overrun by the Soviet Hordes...


It was now that the NKVD units began to push out from their hiding places in the river.  Perhaps seeing their new Commissar killed enraged them enough to disregard the hail of fire from the waiting German units.


The German units in this neutral sector tried valiantly to hold on, but they were ground down by continuous small arms fire.  After losing so many of their number from the rocket launcher, it did not take much to kill the rest.


Those casualties would prove decisive, as the Soviet advance was stalled just in time!


The loss of those two infantry squads made the difference, as the Germans lost the 2 points they were holding, in addition to the 2 points the Soviets received for the kills.

It is clear to the German High Command that this town will require a more powerful force to liquidate.  Those reinforcements are already on their way, and soon the battle will be rejoined.

Also on his way is the new Commissar Roytovka... will he be the next posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union?

Stay tuned.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Rockets Red Glare


The bloody struggle for the Pripet Marshes continues as the German forces seek another breakthrough in the rugged terrain of the Ostfront.

Seeking to cut off and encircle vast numbers of Soviet troops following the death of Captain Albertofsky in the previous battle, fast moving elements of the Wehrmacht would be in a fight to the death over 4 sectors of the field.

Most of the German mobile units were kept in reserve, while the entire mass of the Red Hordes deployed all at once!


Somehow the cheeky Bolsheviks had captured some Opel Blitzes, and would employ a bit of Maskirovka to confuse the German forces rushing into the 'neutral' sectors.


However, it was the heavy artillery of the Red Army that struck first, making it very dangerous for the German weapon teams stationed in a few of the log buildings.  Those did not stand much chance against medium howitzer and mortar shells...


Using the confusion of the bombardment, the massed infantry units sought to cross the river and set up a hasty defense against the advancing enemy.


As this was a rapid movement column, the Germans were without the heavy armor they used in the previous skirmish.  The Panzer 38T seemed to be quite perturbed by the heavy Maxim machine gun in the lumber mill.


Soviet artillery strikes again!  When the smoke and splinters had cleared, yet another Machine Gun team had been wiped out.


Stalin's Organ would rise to a crescendo as multiple advancing squads took casualties from direct hits!


However, the stalwart and well disciplined German units would regroup, and bravely continue the advance.


At last, the hardened veterans of the Barbarossa campaign located their quarry, which was hiding in the river.


The other veteran unit shrugged off all manner of small arms fire and made their way to the most vital position on the battlefield... the newly rebuilt wooden cathedral.  There was not much left of the original church once the Flak 88 targeted it at point blank range.

If these battle hardened troops can take and hold this structure, it just might secure a victory for the Axis forces.  Stay tuned for the next episode to see if the deadly rockets of the Katyusha can stem the tide...


Friday, August 10, 2018

Terrain Time!


When I first got back into airbrushing, I especially looked forward to its use on terrain pieces!  While I assumed it would save a lot of time (which it certainly does!), I was hoping that it would allow me to do more potentially 'delicate' pieces.

By that I mean ruined buildings that had shattered bits hanging off, or piles of bricks such as these.

Getting the darker colors jammed into those areas with a brush (even with watered down paint) can lead to pieces breaking off, etc.


The Stynlrez primers are ideal for my underlayment foam buildings.  I have several tutorial articles on how my various buildings were made.  Ultimately my goal is to have an entire town:



This blog post takes you through the stucco process:



I had a few requests to show how effective the airbrush was at creating scorch marks and other effects, so I did that in the booth as well.  In the past I used weathering powders for this, but it is nice to use something more permanent like primer.

Once I get the bulk of the piece done with the airbrush, I can go back in and pick out more details such as bricks, cracks, etc.  I can even add furniture, posters and more.


Having the ability to reach this stage so quickly will make it far easier to get this entire town painted!  I am also getting more variety in my colors, since it is do easy to dust over a grayish tone here and there, even some greens.

Drybrushing terrain tends to have a very recognizable look on camera, and having this softer tone looks a bit nicer


After a few minutes of general work, I was already picking out individual bricks with a few brushed on colors, and even working on the mortar lines between the brick layers.


As I have mentioned, these are just a few of the buildings I have set for this new terrain board.  More are being constructed, so that I have more options for layout and placement.

Also, I am working on a few buildings to create "forced perspective" in order to tie in the painted backdrops with the rest of the board.  These will be ruined buildings or 'store fronts' which will be placed right in front of the painted backdrops.

This will add one more layer of perspective, making the board appear as if it is receding into the backdrop, instead of ending abruptly.


In some ways, the intact buildings are more difficult to paint.  They will certainly require more finishing details, such as wallpaper for the walls, and so on.  I have another tutorial planned for those interior spaces, so stay tuned!


The airbrush is very handy for getting inside the buildings, particularly those that are intact!  It is very difficult to get at these interior corners with a brush... at least in a timely fashion.


I have a number of terrain tutorials, including a few different methods for making these ruined houses: