Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dark Powers

The latest Painting Dark Sword tutorial is now up for viewing on the Patreon Page!  Since I have focused a lot of recent tutorials on painting white, I thought it would be interesting to go in the opposite direction, and discuss painting those very dark colors!

It is not very difficult to get a nice variety of tones in what is perceived as "black", especially if you utilize the Reaper Miniatures Liner paints.  These are very dark colors which also glaze very well.  They make an ideal start to getting those darker tones, and making sure there's more warmth or coolness in a given area.

That is how you can get that added interest, by making some parts more of a warm dark grey, others a cooler blue, or even a blueish green.  At one point I even use purple to create additional accents.

There are a few little twists in the video, such as the Object Source Lighting, but the home made wet palette is quite the surprise!  It was all very accidental, which I explain in the video.  I took just a few household items and put that together in a matter of minutes!

While it was not essential by any means, an earlier marathon painting session (working on 2 dozen figures at once!) showed that it could be useful.  Those figures all had different color schemes, so it was nice to have the wet palette on hand to work with all those different tones.

With each episode of Painting Dark Sword, I try to take on a few different techniques, or discuss a certain principle.  Several of the Dark Sword videos have gone into great detail on a specific color, such as yellows, reds, greens, blues, and so on.

There are other videos that show how to combine multiple techniques on one figure, and others that show how to deal with multiple light sources for an OSL effect.  I also have a few that dive into Non Metallic Metals, as well as a few videos that show how to use oil paints!  In fact, the next episode will be an oil painting tutorial.

You can see how the use of the cooler, more muted dark grays can be used to intensify the "fire" effect.  I talk about this every time I do an OSL tutorial, as it is so important.  

There is even a quick little demo on how I made that wet palette, which was essentially free!

That Dark Sword pledge is $10 per month, and will also provide access to other "one off" tutorials produced which focus on specific techniques, such as blood spatter, weathering, etc.  You can find that here on the Patreon Page: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Saturday, May 18, 2019


This unit might be just as challenging as the Warrior's Sons, because painting alabaster effects is not something that I have done before!  This was actually my first attempt.  As you can see by the card art, the surface does not quite look like metal. 

I had been told that the armor should be painted more like porcelain, but all the pictures I could glean from the show clearly showed a metal surface!  So, I had to try am mesh all three possible surface textures together.

The shield has an opalescent feel to it, which is something that I was hoping for.

For the cloaks, I wanted to work in other colors with the white, such as these purples and greens. You can see that principle at work here in this video on painting white: https://youtu.be/dB4qtag5r9g

If you want to see how this unit was primed, I have my first video tutorial on that process up on the YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/5pfwjapw98A

There are some other elements to this unit which wil be fun to paint, such as the 4 banners that go with them!  This should also be a very fun Oil Painting exercise!  I will be doing more tutorials on these for the Patreon Page, which you will be able to find here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Not so Grim Dark

As many of you already know, I have been spending many months try to acquire the additional equipment needed to create a second filming station.  It became clear a while ago that I would need something different to handle large scale figures, dioramas and terrain.

As I made more basing tutorials (especially those included in the Army Painter pledge levels), I realized that each session created such a mess that it would severely delay the creation of subsequent painting tutorials.  Between getting the tools laid out, the raw materials and so on, it would take longer to set up and clean up the area than it did to film the tutorial in the first place!

So, I slowly tried to bring in more cameras, lights, backup drives, and so on.  The hope was to be able to get one more high powered machine so that I could keep the current editing/rendering suite where it was, but that has not happened yet.

After a solid week of moving things around, I tried to create a second station that could at least be used as a basing tutorial station.  While all the physical pieces were now in place, hooking those up and turning them on was going to be a very different matter!  For the first attempt, I tried to make a new version of my Grey Knight bases.  This would be the "control" mechanism that would let me know how close I was to the original tutorial.

I thought it might be fun to go back to the past, before the Green Stuff World texture rollers.  This meant using some of my old method of carving texture into baked Sculpey sheets, which I had not done in quite a while!

This method is really easy, but gives you a ton of options.  Also, it set up an opportunity to demonstrate how to paint marble effects, which really are not possible with the texture rollers.

As it turns out, I had to go back to the primary painting station to film that part of the video, which turned out to be handy.  Now I can set up basing tutorials in advance, and not get in the way of the next painting video!  There will be some variation in how things sound, since I am using a different headset and the settings can be really difficult to match up on a different device.

When I started to film the sculpting part of the tutorial, everything acted very differently than it had during extensive testing.  I eventually had to switch more devices around, and that will require more tests.

Despite all the craziness, I will still able to get a decent tutorial created for the Basing level pledge on the Patreon Page.  I was particularly happy to be able to get in a significant amount of freehand on the bases, which has never been recorded in video form before!

That tutorial is uploading now, and I have set up the next 3 tutorials, one of which will be Episode One of Army Painting Series 9.  Rohan will be the subject, and it should be a lot of fun to do some grassland style bases, along with some rivers!!

You can check out the Patreon Page here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tip of the Spear

This wonderful miniature is part of the Game Night 2 set for the Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures Game.  This is an alternate sculpt for the Spearwives, and it works so well in adding flavor to the unit.  I will be doing a special tutorial on that just like the Lady Val from a few months ago:  https://youtu.be/DAU3njr2Qc8

The snow and ice technique is a favorite of mine, using the Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass method on the snow, and the Liquitex heavy gloss gel for the icicles.  You can see that on most of my Song of Ice and Fire videos, like this one on the Savage Giant: https://youtu.be/1LvJv3dyjEw

I will be painting up a Spearwives unit for the Patreon page, most likely in oils as I work on other Free Folk units.  The goal is to have as many of these completed as possible so that I can begin my Battle Reports!  You can sign up on the Patreon Page here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Dog Food

One of the latest new releases for the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game is the Stark Heroes 2 set, which contains some interesting miniatures.  I knew right away that I was going to have a lot of fun basing the Shaggy Dog figure.

It all started out with my usual bark and branch method of basing.  Here's a peek at how that works: https://youtu.be/INPfPLCTZcE

However, between the dog itself and the pose, I thought that I could use some of the nifty body parts from Secret Weapon Miniatures!  The sprues have heads, torsos, arms, legs and even feet!  I chose the bit that has one arm still attached to the torso.

Keep in mind, I was positioning this to take advantage of the movement tray.  I would place the rest of the body parts on the corner of the tray.

The rest of the tray had the "branch" bit, which will give me the opportunity to create some icicles, which you can see on the end of the previous wolf painting tutorial: https://youtu.be/dB4qtag5r9g

You can see the rest of the body parts placed in strategic areas on the base and the movement tray.  I will be doing some really fun blood effects with the snow, where the blood will be seeping into the snow.  I think I also did that effect at the end of this live session: https://youtu.be/3dpSONjJGQw

All of the pieces of bark were placed and angled so that the wolf would appear as if he were up on a rise.  The leafy material that you see is actually loose leaf tea that I had collected for my terrain pieces.  When it is crushed up, it makes some very nice ground cover texture.

I also did the rest of the characters in the box with a similar method.  These will be painting tutorials for the YouTube Channel and the Patreon Page!  ShaggyDog will be an exercise in painting black, just the opposite of Ghost.  The rest of the characters will be painted during live sessions and other one off tutorials

Basing is such a vital part of everything that I do, it even has its own pledge level on the patreon page!  You can check that out here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Forging a new Metal

This was an experiment that really yielded some amazing results!  We had the Vallejo Metal Medium sitting around forever, but had never found a purpose for it  When I tried it out on the Sauron miniature from Lord of the Rings, it was even better than I had hoped!

Fast forward several months, and you have this video that I made for the Patreon Page and the Geek Nation class at Adepticon this year: https://youtu.be/W2BnTyDxT7Y

You can see what the final results of that experiment looked like here: https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-fires-of-mordor.html

I also tried that out in a Facebook live session, mixing even more colors with it to see what it could do!  Here's a link to that video: https://www.facebook.com/james.wappel/videos/vb.1056181987/10212185674011167/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab

In this instance the effect was much more simplified and muted, because it was part of the Geek Nation class that I taught at Adepticon this year.

The most helpful property of the Metal medium is the way it can lighten the color that you mix it with.  This provides you with the ability to shade you new metallic paint, which is normally very hard to do without losing the metal effect or  shifting the color as you try to lighten it.

I am still amazed at how many uses there are for this material.  Originally I was just going to use it on the blackened steel on the rifles and machine guns of the Bolt Action figures, but it proved to have so much more potential right away.

You can see that and many other experiments on the Patreon Page here:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Warrior Sons

The most complicated and challenging Army Painting tutorial series is now complete!  I am uploading the 5th and final episode of a 13.5 hour epic.

It all began with basing, of course, with a technique very similar to what was used on the Pyromancer bases: https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2019/05/world-in-flames.html

Balancing the rainbow cloak effects with the shimmering armor and swords meant "building" each effect evenly, since so much of it was reflected on many surfaces!

Managing that over 12 figures all at once can seem like a daunting task, but if you step back in think things through, it can be broken down into more easily managed chunks.

I also kept the amount of paint colors used to an absolute minimum, even though we really do have every color of the rainbow.

Seeing units like this on the battlefield is a real joy, and the satisfaction of knowing how many effects that I put into creating it will surely come through on the upcoming battle reports.  yes, that's right... battle reports!

Here you can see how the basing works hand in hand with the miniatures.  In some cases, you can see a bit of color on the worn, broken stones.  Not just areas of red and yellow paint, but even some cut leaves in a similar color as well.

Using the Reaper Miniatures Pearl White allowed me to get an extra bit of texture on the robes, in effect resembling the semi shiny fabric such as silk.  I had never tried anything like this before, so it was certainly interesting.

While the Army Painting series are the most unique part of the patreon offerings, I have dozens of other tutorials, such as the Dark Sword miniature series, Creature Caster, Big Child Creatives and countless "one off" videos like this:  https://youtu.be/1mMsq-Ktru0

I am working my way through all of the various Song of Ice and fire armies... Lannister in this case, but also Free Folk, Starks, Night's Watch and Boltons.  Here's another video focused on Ghost, which is an example of the "one off" tutorials: https://youtu.be/dB4qtag5r9g

Be sure to check out the Patreon Page, where you can get in on the Army Painting pledge level.  Keep in mind that when you sign up, all the previous series (plus the other videos beyond the Army Painting tutorials) are yours to access!!  Here's a link: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel