Thursday, April 18, 2019

Arcane Basing


The very first Army Painting series was an interesting phase in my journey of creating miniature painting tutorials.  This is the moment where I had to decide what sort of format I would use, and just how I would demonstrate my approach to painting units.  Ultimately I chose to do them in five 2 hour episodes.


As many of you already know, I really love basing, so I figured that it would be a good idea to begin with basing!  Here's an example of one of those episodes:  https://youtu.be/fj2dJEQ3x_c


With the basing complete, I shift to the color test figure.  This is where I decide what kind of effects I want to do on the figures.  I discuss the "Currency of Time", where I keep track of how much time a given effect takes, and how that might effect the overall time of the project.


For example, the champion figure needed a lot of decisions.  Should the "familiar" be glowing... and if it is, should it be a different color.  Ultimately I decided to make it the same color as the magical runes on the bases, since that seemed to make the most sense.


Even choosing which figure goes on which base can have a large impact on your choices.  Since the snake parts of the figure didn't see as detailed or interesting, I definitely wanted to have the glowing effects.  That gave me some options for creating more dimension in areas that did not quite have the cleanest textures.


Where the figure should be placed on the base was also discussed.  These views show you how much of the fantastic design can appear if you place the figure in the right spot.


There was some Non Metallic metals included in the series too.  This is another aspect of the videos, and that is to include as many different techniques as possible.  However, I try to make these less "scary", and treat them like any other effect, like snow bases, freehand, etc.


Pulling together all these different techniques in a cohesive manner is what makes the difference between a nicely painted unit and a pretty amazing one.  I try to tie in all these individual techniques into other stand alone episodes also available on the Patreon Page.  That includes the Dark Sword series, which is now on Episode 13!  These take things like OSL, color theory, etc, and focus them onto just one miniature.

All of those additional tutorials can be seen if you sign up for the $15 Army Painter monthly pledge.  This includes an average of 13-20 hours of tutorials each month!


The Army Painting pledge level is available on the Patreon Page, and Series 8 is well under way!  You can check that out here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


Monday, April 15, 2019

The Brain Trust


As much as I love painting the rank and file miniatures from Song of Ice and Fire, I really enjoy painting the Non Combat units, or NCU's.  These are not only very characterful miniatures, they also do a lot in the game itself.


This is probably my favorite aspect of the game and how it plays.  Changing out the NCU's (as well as the unit attachments) can completely transform your army without having to alter your normal combat units at all!


I realize that most people only use 2 of these non combat characters, but I like to have 3.  This lets me cause even more trouble each turn (the NCU's can't be killed), but can even deny the opponent that one space they really need for whatever combo they have in mind.

I can 'waste' an NCU on an area that I don't want, but certainly keep the opponent from jumping on it.  Should they also have 3 of these NCU's, they must now make a very hard choice... do the big combat move on the battlefield, or potentially have a character be left off the political track completely!


I will be doing a lot of tutorials on the various characters that I am painting.  Several of these have already been posted to the Patreon page, but you can also see some other YouTube live sessions here that showcase NCU's:   https://youtu.be/DAU3njr2Qc8


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Skulls, Snow and Blood!


One of my latest tutorials loaded to the Patreon Page showed off the traditional crushed glass snow technique... but with a twist!  This time, I added some blood effects.


You can see those strategically positioned not only on the bases of the figures, but the movement tray as well.


I had been looking forward to testing this out for a while, and it was well worth the wait.  I combined the Bader Airbrush Ghost Tint called Fresh Blood with Green Stuff World's True Blood.  I added a bit of Reaper Red liner for added darkness in the driest areas of the blood pools.


The wonderful aspect of the crushed glass snow is that it is crystalline and transparent.  This means the blood actually 'seeps' into the snow, as it would with the real thing.


This view gives you a great look at the overall effect. This was done for the $10 Basing level pledge on the patreon page, but it was also meant for the backers at the $15 Army Painting level.


Here's a link to the Patreon Page if you are interested in tutorial/experiments such as these.  I have many more experiments on the way, since Green Stuff World sent me a host of new products!



If you want to get a peek at the figures themselves, I have a live session where I was painting them with the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers:


Monday, April 8, 2019

Ancient BONES


The latest YouTube Live session had something very interesting... a combination of a Reaper BONES mini and some Green Stuff World texture rollers!


This was a test piece that I did for a more formal tutorial that will be created for the patrons on my patreon page.  I wanted to show a quick way to snazz up those BONES minis and get some nice results!  It will be part of a new pledge level regarding Reaper miniatures (a link to the page): www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


While my voice recovers from Adepticon, I will be doing a few of these live sessions.  In this episode, I talked about how the base was created, and I take you through the process of painting it.  Then I work on the figure itself, demonstrating some NMM, freehand, and the usual Shaded Basecoat & Glazing.


Here's a link to the live session!! https://youtu.be/uNH48XRMoak


Friday, March 22, 2019

Army Painting... a New Series!


The latest Army Painting series has been completed for the Patreon Page!  I have been eagerly awaiting this Morghul Knights unit for my Middle Earth SBG collection, and now it is well under way to the table.

My next Lord of the Rings series will feature my new Rohan army!


I used the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers as well as standard oil paints throughout the process.  These have a number of advantages, as the consistency is the same as acrylic miniature paints right out of the container.  They also have an unbreakable container, and a handy brush to get that out on to the palette.


I used a number of Green Stuff World products on the bases, which were also covered in Episode 1.  The new Texture Sheets were outstanding, and I also created a few flagstone bases.  

Once the figures were painted, I concluded the series with adding static grass and cut leaves.  You can see the Green Stuff World leaf cutters in the image.  They are really amazing!


I tried to cover a number of topics during the 4 part series, including weathering, NMM, and how to get as much color variety in "black" as possible.  This series allowed me to do a lot more glazing of the oil paints, since I was able to let some layers partially or completely dry.

This is something I have not done very often, and never had a chance to capture on camera.


The Army Painting tutorials are only a part of what is offered on my Patreon Page.  I also have a number of basing tutorials, terrain, and other "general techniques".  I am now filming the 14th Painting Dark Sword episode!  All of these are available for you to see when you sign up for that pledge level.


I have a few live sessions that are more of a conversation about the approach to using the oils, including this recent episode on the Song of Ice and Fire Flayed Men:  https://youtu.be/IkrM2b7xl7E


When you look at the cloaks, metals and horses, you will see that each one is a slightly different shade.  Some have more of a greenish tint, others more red or even turquoise.   These subtle differences create a much more interesting unit, and the oil paints make it a LOT easier to create those kinds of gentle shifts in color.

Even over a layer of dried oil paints, it is still easier to blend in a fresh layer of oils than to do so in acrylics.

Series 8 will also feature some brand new elements, as I work on the Mountain's Men.


The Army Painting series is available at the $15 pledge level, and all previous series can be viewed.  Many more are already in the works!

Here's a link to the page: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Marble Factory: Adepticon 2019


I was able to snap a few shots while I did the marble effects on one of the Adepticon terrain pieces.  Each one started out with some initial layers of Badger Stynlrez primer, and some regular paint colors too.  In this case, I used an interesting teal green to get some 'starter' marble pattern.

I have done some previous articles on using torn paper towels as masks when the lighter tones are airbrushed on.  This gives you an idea of where to place the 'veins' of the marble later on with a regular brush.


I tell people all the time that we used to brush on Badger Stynlrez primer with regular brushes... and the Badger paints too!


I started to make a sharper delineation of the marble veins by brushing on the color of Badger paint which was used in the last airbrush layer.


I did the same on the columns, which was trickier due to the shape.  I was using my normal #8 round craft brushes, but holding them on their side, so that they were almost parallel to the surface.


You can see more of that here.  The idea is to 'push' the brush across, making a more random pattern.


The inside of the wall section was even more difficult, as it was harder to see.  You can tell by the massive shadow that getting light there was no easy task!


I started to add some lighter colors to the mix, working on one "side" of the veins.  I usually chose the side where my sharper brush stroke just up against the darkest color.  You keep adding broken lines or veins on that side with progressively lighter tones.


Again, this is not so easy on the fluted columns!


When I add those lighter colors, I also draw in additional (but thinner) veins.  You don't want to go overboard with these, as they will ruin the effect.


Once all the marble was done, I started to do some weathering washes with the Secret Weapon Miniatures paints.  I started with an Old Rust, then to Orange Rust.


You can see some of that weathering over the painted areas and the metals.  I will be posting some more images of the finished buildings soon!  Adepticon is just a few days away now!


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Twiggy and Squiggy


These cute little guys from Malifaux might spoil your camping trip!  The personality of these was definitely more unique and characterful than the typical GW Dryads.

They don't look terribly aggressive, you never really know...

I think that Twiggy and Squiggy get up to all kinds of hi jinx in the woods, messing around with hapless humans, putting out campfires, etc.


They are definitely more "whispy" than the GW versions, so assembling them can be more of a challenge. However, it was well worth it, as it was very fun to work with greens, oranges and other interesting tones in the mid tones and even the shadows!