Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hammer & Sickle


This very old hunk of metal really took me back to the early days of our painting experience.I remember when I first saw the old Confrontation figures, and noticed how different they were sculpted from everything else at that time.


I think the next transition which was that noticeable was the ZBrush phenomenon a few years back.  You can tell when something has been digitally sculpted quite easily, just by the flow of the lines, and how most organic surfaces are rendered.  I remember how intricate these Confrontation minis were when they first hit the scene.


There were many more details on those figures than you had typically seen on sculpts of that 2001-2003 period.  Now with the digital sculpting, it is commonplace. 


These solid metal figures are certainly a lot heavier than the resin and plastic figures you will see today.  It is so strange to think that metal figures are the least common materials nowadays!


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Combo Platter


The latest Painting Dark Sword tutorial is up on the Patreon Page now!  I really love using the Dark Sword figures as subject matter, because they have a lot of fine detail, and always plenty of character.

In this episode, I was trying to show how to combine several techniques that are usually broken out into individual episodes.


This time around, I wanted to show how to combine Object Source Lighting, Freehand and Non Metallic Metals all in one lesson.


I showed how I go about transferring a pattern onto the figure, sketching it out first to get the "muscle memory" and also a sense of what might have to be eliminated or added to make it work.


It is not unusual to have to put several major techniques into one figure, which is something I have to do every day.  The idea is to give you a few easier ways to execute these techniques, so that you feel more able to do so yourself.


I think most tutorials only do this kind of combination on huge figures or busts.  Very seldom do you see 28mm figures get the same treatment!


Well, since 28mm figures are what I use (and my commission buyers), that means doing all those nifty things you see on 75-100mm figures on the "little guys".  It also has to be done in a timely fashion!


None of us has infinite amounts of time to spend on our figures, even though we wish we did.  In this lesson, I show you some ways to do that... and even play around with some home made static grass tufts!  If I can bring in the funds to set up a second recording station, I will be able to make an entire video series on creating those tufts as well!


When you pledge to my Patreon Page, you will get a great deal of content, in the form of one video tutorial after another (the Army Painting pledge is about 15-20 hours of videos each month!).  I try cover all aspects of miniature painting... basing, oils, acrylics, weathering powders... whatever it takes to get the job done.


The special $10 Dark Sword miniatures pledge not only allows you to check out all the Dark Sword tutorials, but all of the other 'general technique' episodes.  These often focus on experiments with new materials or techniques!  That's all right here on the Patreon Page:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Cold Snap!


This unusual Ice elemental posed a real challenge with all these different facets pointing this way and that!  It also meant having to work in a narrow range of blues, blue greens and even blue-gray.


The shadow areas not only required more of that blue gray, but also some teal mid tones in order to convey some semblance of translucency.


I do have a Facebook live video on another ice elemental from Mierce Miniatures which gives you an idea of what I am talking about:  https://www.facebook.com/james.wappel/videos/vb.1056181987/10212023583879015/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab


I will definitely try to create another full scale tutorial on painting Ice Elementals at some point, so stay tuned!


Friday, January 18, 2019

Take the Black!


Series 6 of my Army Painting tutorial videos is well under way!  In fact, I am already filming the third installment of the five part series.  Each of these Army Painting series is around 11-13 hours long, covering every step of the process of painting a unit.


In this case, I was working on the "Color Test" figure, where I not only establish the look of the figures, but assess how long certain effects will take.  When you multiply the 5 or 10 minutes a given effect might require by 12, and then by 4-5 units of 12, you can see how that adds up!

So, all the while I work on these figures, I am constantly figuring out what is worth my time to create, and what needs to be "inferred".  

By inferred, I mean using some very quick and simple glazes to tint things, or to indicate there are more shades of color than I actually took the time to paint!


Of course, I also had to figure out just how much snow effect I wanted on the bases, and see what might be possible on some of the action poses like this one.  I was able to utilize the Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass method to get that scattered snow effect, as if he were kicking up some of the snow!


I added something else to this series, and that is a quick step by step of the priming process.  So many questions have been asked, I thought that I might include it on as many videos as possible.


I am using the Badger Stynlrez Primers and a Patriot 105.  They cover the figures very well, and provide a very sturdy and rugged painting base!


As always, I try to present as many options as possible, instead of hard and fast "rules".  You could brush on this primer if you don't have an airbrush.  Should you prefer the spray can primer (where you have much better weather for such things than I do!), you could do a very similar process with those.


Here's the Color Test miniatures painted in Episode 2.  I love the action and movement of these archers!


During the video, I go into the ways I use to get the most out of a so called "limited palette".  While there are not a lot of paint colors on the palette, some very simple mixes yield a host of options.

Take the backpack for instance.  I think you can see the hints of greenish grey in the midtones and light shadows.  This gives the look of aged leather and brings it more in line with the other blueish and greenish shades around it.  It took very little time to put that in place, as I was already using that color to put light tones on the hood and pants!

I even did my little trick of taking out all the saturation on screen, so you could see how the shading looks as it should, but when the color is restored, you get that more interesting look to the leather.


I will be doing the entire Night's Watch range in these video Tutorials, along with the Free Folk faction.  Some of you are already aware that I have a full series on the Lannister Halberds, with many more on the way for Starks and Boltons too!

If you join the Patreon Page at the $15 a month level, you will get access to all the previous series, as well as 15-20+ hours of video content every month.  The full range of Song of Ice and Fire miniatures will be covered in my tutorials, including terrain and battle reports!


Here's a link to the first episode of the opening episode from Army Painting Series 6: Basing the unit!  https://youtu.be/INPfPLCTZcE


The rest of the series will be available to the patrons of the Patreon Page, with episode two premiering today!   To become a patron, here's a link to the page:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dragonfall 2


This beastie from Mierce Miniatures was an interesting exercise in the full range of greens!

As I have tried to show in a number of my painting videos, these can range from blue green to almost yellow from cool to warm.


Saturation is another added element to this difference in tones.  You can even have the same kind of yellow green or blue green, but if it is toned down with even a little bit of red, it begins to read as more grayish to the eye.


You can see in some of these images how the yellowish intense green on the underside of the wings contrasts with the more muted, blueish greens on the back of the wings.  This is a subtle way of getting that contrast without resorting to radical differences in how light or dark the colors might be.

During my tutorial videos, I like to turn off all saturation at a certain stage to show how you can get "sneaky" contrast like this.

If I were to make this a black and white image, the two sides of the wings would look identical!


I also incorporated some reds in certain places to get one extra level of contrast.  So, the reds are placed where the green and the yellow of the two sides of the wings joins.  This is also a bit darker than the rest of the wings, adding one more type of contrast.


I already have a number of tutorial videos on painting greens available to the patrons of my Patreon Page at: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Stark Marble


While much of my focus has been on the Night's Watch and Free Folk lately, I have not forgotten about the original Starks and Lannisters!  Tutorials are under way for the full range of Starks... Outriders, Archers, Berserkers, Greataxes, etc.

I am also doing some tutorials on the NCU's of course!  Sansa and Caitlyn will certainly be part of that.


These will try to follow the concept art as closely as possible, but tossing in a few extras where I can.  I have been creating some marble bases for them with a bit of wolf iconography.


It's been just as much fun to work on these as it has the "new" stuff, so stay tuned!!  Speaking of new stuff, here's the link once more to the Savage Giant tutorial video, as and example of what is on the way!  https://youtu.be/1LvJv3dyjEw


Monday, January 14, 2019

Sand and Stone


It is only now that I am able to step back from Operation Sting and think about how much I was able to complete for that event!  I really enjoyed making the display board, which was featured in a number of step by step articles... https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2018/11/monte-cassino-part-4-more-rubble.html


The army was really unusual for me, since most of what I have been painting all these years has been for early war!  Some of these weapons seemed like space age tech at one point :-)  Of course, I especially enjoyed the basing on the army, and matching that terrain board... https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2018/11/amidst-rubble.html


I suppose that I was able to get in some practice on sandy Mediterranean colors for my upcoming DAK, Italian and British desert forces.  Those have also been under way for a while in terms of prepping, basing, etc.


When I researched what I should do for the uniforms, the variety of what I found gave me an opportunity to make each figure more unique.  This really helped when it came to playing in the tournament, because I never had any opportunity to play test the army before the event!


I wasn't able to do everything that I wanted to on the army due to time constraints, but as I tell folks all the time in my instructional videos, there is nothing that says I can't go back and add more details!


I also have to start making additional terrain pieces so that my display board can become the centerpiece for an entire Monte Cassino table.  The idea is to make more modular mountain style sections which could be used for several theatres, such as the Caucasus, etc.


It all worked out in the end, and I was very glad to receive the Best Axis Appearance award!
https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2018/12/final-report-operation-sting-2018.html