Thursday, November 15, 2018

Amidst the Rubble


After painting all my early war armies, this project was a long anticipated challenge.  I had not done very much in the way of camo patterns aside from one of my Charlemagne Division units.

To make things more complex, by the time of Monte Cassino, my Fallschirmjagers had gone through a number of possible uniform colors and patterns.


Adding further to that complexity was the need to match the bases to my display board.  You have already seen those episodes, and how important the broken archways and rubble piles were!


All of these pieces were measured to the board itself, so that the support weapon teams could exist in that rubble and seem as if they had turned it into strong defenses.


As I continue to show images of the rest of the army, I will talk about the various uniform options, and what affected those choices.  Since this was also a brand new army (with no chance to playtest it before the event!), it would be a severe challenge just to know what represented what!

While I had assembled the figures well in advance, the gear they were using was essentially alien to me, as none of it is part of the armies I have been playing for the last few years.

Going from summer of '41 as "late war" to mid 1944... it was going to be a shock to the system!

Stay tuned for more! 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stark Choices


I think most of you know that I LOVE painting horses!  So much, in fact, that I did two different painting tutorials as part of the Painting Pyramid series.  One covered Appaloosa and the other Dapple Grey. 

I love painting horses even more when they are sculpted this well, and the Stark Outriders from the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game definitely are!

With so many nicely sculpted muscles, I was able to do some very fun color shifts in the shadow areas.  I am not sure if you can see it, but you might notice that the shadow colors are not merely a darker tan shade.  In fact, they are green!


Because there is such a predominance of blue, along with yellows, having that green in the shadow areas is not very noticeable, and registers as grey to the eye instead.  This is not the only place where the green was used.  I also placed in on every metal piece as well.

These fun subtleties in shadow and mid tone areas are not very difficult to work out, ad adding them creates so much additional depth to the piece.

As the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures are a slightly larger scale, this also means you have a bit more surface area to work on.


I will be doing a number of Cavalry tutorial videos for the Patreon Page.  While some will be for the Army Painter series, you will also be able to get access to some for the $5 pledge level as well!

These would also cover specific breeds of horses, such as the two Painting Pyramid videos that are already available to the patrons... here's a link for you!



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Travel in Style!


It is time to start showing you the army that went with the Operation Sting Monte Cassino display board.  It was a big challenge to tackle this army, as it was so different from the Early War periods.  The equipment, the uniforms, and the vehicles.

I tried to make things seem a bit more Ad Hoc, and cobbled together from various sources.  This is why each vehicle is a different camo scheme.


I tried to make this seem less like a "stock" kit as well by sculpting stowage, and converting a standard infantry figure to be the gunner.


I did not use an airbrush to paint any of the camo patterns, and each was done the "old fashioned" way with my hairy sticks!  I used Secret Weapon weathering paints and the Reaper liner paints to create all the shading and weathering effects.


Here's a peek at the interior.  Hopefully I will get a chance to do some video tutorials on new vehicles as I expand the army.  I have a number of video tutorials on my Facebook page, as well as on my YouTube channel:



This view shows you the sandbags that I created, using some apoxy sculpt.  Again, the effects all had to be applied rapidly and dry quickly, as the tournament was fast approaching.


I also have some historical painting guides on my Patreon Page now, including an entire 11 hour series on my Winter Soviets, using oil paints.  Check that out here:



Friday, November 9, 2018

Get to the Point: Part Two


Calling all Lannisters!  Army Painting video Series Four continues with the second episode, the Color Test figure.  Every army needs one, as it not only sets the look and feel of the unit/army, but it will also let you know just how much time this is going to require!


This is the challenge of every army, and that is the limited "currency" of time.  We all want to do amazing effects on our units, but none of us has unlimited time.  Or even a semi-limited time.  Over the years I have learned a number of ways to get effects which normally would be impossible on entire units and armies, such as this Sky-Earth NMM technique.

I have already had to do this on dozens of figures at a time in the past, but this is the first time that I am able to film the process!

All of my Lannister units for Song of Ice and Fire will have this look, which should be very much in tune with the story of Game of Thrones.


As usual, this will be a 5 part series, which takes you all the way through the basing and painting process.  Part one tackled basing the figures and meshing that basing with the rest of the movement tray.  This is the Color Test figure as I mentioned earlier.  Subsequent episodes will take you through the entire unit in various stages.

In all, it will be roughly 11-12 hours of tutorials!  That is the usual time frame for each of the Army Painter series, available on the Patreon Page.


If you are interested in seeing this series of videos, plus the previous 3 series, you can join in on the Patreon Page at the $15 Army Painter level.  Once you are signed up, I will send you links to all the videos so that you can check them out!

Here's a link for you:



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Color Choices



This is a little peek into the filming of one of my Dark Sword Miniatures painting videos.  Aside from painting figures that I love so much, I also try to come up with a theme for each episode.

I wanted to focus on color choices here... more specifically those "go to" color schemes that we all tend to have.  So, when all else fails as far as a specific theme that you want for a given figure, you go to your "default settings".


You can see the reference images in this photo of the actual filming process.  At the start of the video, I discuss some of my usual color schemes that I utilize for mages, cloaks, and so on.


I went with one of my most common color sets, which is a blue cloak with deep red lining, and blonde hair.


As with all my videos, everything begins with the Shaded Basecoat phase, followed by some glazing and lots of work in the all important Mid Tone areas!


I also try to include some discussion on basing, and what goes into your choices for flocking and foliage.  In this case, I had several colors of flower tufts from Green Stuff World.


I do at least 3-5 painting videos of Dark Sword figures each month, and each episode is usually 2 hours long.  If you sign up for the Painting Dark Sword pledge on the Patreon Page, that means you will get 6-10 hours of tutorials, plus all the other videos associated with the $5 pledge.

That means the $10 pledge translates to around 12 hours of videos each month.


As I have mentioned in previous posts, each month I paint the same Dark Sword figure twice, using different mediums.  One of the figures is painted in the traditional acrylics, and then I paint the same figure (in the same color scheme) using oil paints!

This particular figure was painted with standard acrylic paints, as you saw in the first image.


The Dark Sword Painting videos are available at the $10 pledge level.  I will send you a link to the YouTube video via the email address that you use for your Patreon account.

Here's a link to the page!



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Monte Cassino, Part 4: More Rubble!


The final stages of the Monte Cassino board commence.  As I mentioned in a previous post, work was continuing on the figures for the army!

I think you can see the familiar archways on the machine gun team's base.  It is measured to match the arches on the display board, and I tried to keep the same colors too.

These ruins offered some unexpected benefits, such as places to store extra ammo boxes and other equipment.


Using a spray bottle and some watered down glue, I put some medium and coarse gravel on the lowest layers of the board.  These matched what I had been using on the bases of the figures.


This is just about ready to get some paint!


I sprayed some more of the glue water mix onto the board, so that it would sink down into the cracks and secure more of the rubble and gravel in place.


Using my Badger airbrush and a collection of Stynlrez primers, I started to get a variety of browns, tans, greens and grays to keep the color from getting too static.


More of the reddish brown primer was used towards the base.  Since I used these acrylic primers, there was no issue with 'melting' the foam with spray cans, etc.  It also meant that I could be very targeted with my sprays, and get more variety of colors in the shadow areas.


You will notice that the inner courtyard walls have been removed for painting.  This is something that I anticipated early on, which you can see in the first few episodes.  While it is not always easy working with pieces that are not completely attached, the end result made me glad that I went to that extra trouble!


You can see the process of painting that interior here.  The insert shows that I did my old trick of using a torn paper towel as a mask to create some really quick marble effects.  

As this was all going to be in shadow, I was not worried about getting precise details.


Here's a look at the interior of the walls, and the archway pieces.  I think you can really see how much easier keeping that all unattached made this process!


I glued all those pieces together, and got everything ready for a stage I had been looking forward to.  That is, putting rubble on the upper floor of a building.


This had the potential to be even more tricky than the rubble on the lower levels of the board.

Many figures needed to be placed here, so that they could be easily seen.  Also, this is supposed to be terrain for our games, so it is vital that figures can move around and stand there without falling over.

I concentrated the bulk of the rubble towards the ends of the two openings.  This would be the most visible section, and it would tie in with the rubble piles directly below.


I used the same trick  with the plaster as before, 'casting' a flat section of it at about 1/8 inch thick and allowing it to break up naturally.  The leftover small chunks were sprinkled over some watered down glue mix that had been sprayed onto the rubble piles and floors.


Once this dried, it would be ready to paint using the same Stynlrez primer and airbrush.


I just could not resist putting a few things on the board to see what it was going to look like...


Last but not least, I had to rapidly sculpt an objective marker.  Once I saw the photo of a Fallschirmjager standing next to the broken statue of St. Benedict, I had to make this.  I found as many reference images as possible of the restored Madonna statue that stood opposite of the St. Benedict.  

I wanted to have the juxtaposition of a pile of weapons and fuel barrels stacked at her feet as she surveys the destruction and chaos all around her.

The next post will have the images of the completed board along with the figures, so you will get a chance to see the entire story play out!  Stay tuned...


Friday, November 2, 2018

Swingin' the Blues


One more of the blue Vikings for you!  These guys are done in the style of my Army of the Dead, just substituting blues for the greenish glow.


Here's a peek at those Army of the Dead:



The Army of the Dead will also be part of the Army Painting series (the $15 level) on the Patreon Page.  I will take your through the basing process all the way through the glowing and corrosion effects.  I have the figures prepped, and the paints are ready!  

There's already 3 complete series up on the page now, and each set of episodes contains 10-13 hours of videos.  Here's a link to the page: