Monday, October 31, 2016

On Your Mark

While I continue to reboot my work areas on return from Reapercon, I was able to work on a few nearly completed vehicles.  All of these are for the early war France '40 campaign.

As I work on these, I am testing out all kind of materials, in just about every combination.  At the forefront of these tests are the oil based products from Mig AMMO.

While each of them is designed to take care of specific color and texture needs, such as the engine oil on the fuel tank, I am discovering many interesting combinations!

For the moment, I am doing the paint chips by hand, in a familiar way.  Subsequent vehicles will be the test subjects for the Mig chipping medium.  I believe those will be most effective on desert vehicles and later war camo schemes.

The most difficult challenge thus far has been researching the various insignia and markings of these early vehicles.  I suppose that I could have done a more common set of markings, such as the typical 3 numeral set on the turret.

Here's an example of what I discovered.  As you can see, I thought I might use this as a model for my early PZ IV.  There are many more tanks to come, so I will go with more traditional iconography there.

The view from above shows more markings, the tonal variations (mixing seafoam green in with the Dunkelgrau for example) and the weathering.  I tried to add a few leaves onto these horizontal surfaces so that they would look like they belonged with the infantry figures you saw earlier this week.

I have more PZ 35, 38 and III's on the way, so I will be able to explore the gamut of early war markings!!

These ground level views give you a peek at the treads and drive wheels.  I tried to get a nice set of shaded colors here, so that it would be as distinct as possible from those upper surfaces that are catching the light.

When you have weathering, it can be useful to enhance that shading, and push those contrasts a bit.  The various effects have the overall effect of darkening your colors.  However, it is possible to turn that on its head when working in these lower sections of the hull.

By making the colors darker, it is now easier to have rust, dust and even mud splashes show up more readily.

I will leave you with the tank commander, which was a fun finishing touch.  Stay tuned for much more!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Great Horde

As the great Winter Horde project enters the final chapters, I thought I might review a few aspects, such as the basing and some "environment" or terrain pieces, which I made along with it.

Here's the first article showing the terrain stands under construction:

Another article showing the painting:

Some snow effects:

A review of some other miniatures which have all been part of this same massive project!

More from Red Box Games:

As you can see, these not only make nice backdrop pieces for photos, they are also nice pieces of terrain!  They are similar to a few stands that I made for our Wild West Exodus games.

In any case, these didn't take a lot of time and expense to create, but the decorative element they will add to any game is far greater.  The more believable the setting, the more enjoyable the gaming experience.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What is old... can be New

Among the numerous Skinks that were made for my Skrox units, several were old plastic archer figures which I converted into javelin skinks with better shields.

I was able to dig out the old bow with a wood carving knife, and cut off the other hand to hold that javelin.  Not only did this utilize the vast amount of old plastic Skinks that I already had!  

Also, the combined Skink and Kroxigor units created some real difficulties for ranking up the two types of figures on the same movement tray.  There were very strict rules about how many Skinks per Kroxigor, and which rows they had to be in... how wide the formation was, and so on.

He's also here:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Mind the Gap!

It's time to show off the first of the regular German Heer infantry minis for the France '40 campaign!  As you already saw in the WIP post with the AMMO mud products, I tried to make these guys look like they had been slogging around in the Ardennes, crossing rivers, etc.

The basing is identical to the French and early war British infantry that I have been working on.

It is very simple, utilizing tree bark, the grass and foliage tufts, as well as some added leaf texture from the Green Stuff World leaf punches.

There are many more on the way, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Calling in the Strike

We're almost done working our way through the Sledgehammer crew!  I did get a chance to see the final production plastic kit at Reapercon, and that seemed to snap right together.

This was a sample cast of different materials, so I believe the final versions will have a few small differences to what I worked on.

Just like the previous crew members, I thought it would be fun to go with the German Field Green.  I was painting some Bolt Action Germans at the time for my France '40 campaign, and "matching up" colors from various projects helps to increase painting efficiency a great deal!

This one had a few red and gold accents, which was a nice extra touch.

The same mud treatment as the gun and other crew helped to make those brighter accents stand out a bit more...

One more peek at the crew, hard at work!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Fastest Gun

Here's another one of those Artizan Designs western style figures that I used to augment my WWX collection.  These would be used as civilians or NPC's in certain scenarios.

That is an interesting element to add to any game.  I was thinking about adding this mechanic to Bolt Action games, as time after time refugees would clog the few passable roads in the countryside of various fronts.

This guy was a fun exercise in contrasting a somewhat more saturated sienna colored vest with more muted cool colors.  Even the white shirt is considered one of these cool colors.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It takes a crew: Part 3

This guy is another member of the Sledgehammer crew from Victoria Miniatures.  As with the rest of the crew, I went with a German Field Grey.  In some ways, the uniforms seemed more like WWI inspired, which mean that I could have gone with straight up grey.

However, with so much grey on the artillery piece. I wanted to incorporate some kind of color!

If I get another chance to work on this, I will probably try to do more of a camoflauge pattern on the gun, and more of a Second World War look to the crew.

Monday, October 24, 2016

It takes a crew: Part 2

This lady definitely knows how to get a troublesome gun carriage fixed in a hurry!  One or two whacks with that wrench should do the trick.

Just like the other crew members for the giant Sledgehammer artillery piece, I went with the greenish grey on the coats to get a little bit of color contrast with the gun, which was all neutral grey.

I also splashed a little Ammo mud effects on the base, and the figure itself.  This helped to tie in the crew and the artillery piece to the bases, and to each other.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Painting Isorians: Phase Two

Time to complete the Isorian trooper!  With the Shaded Basecoat phase complete, everything is set up for the glazing stage.  The colors are very simple, a combination of a red glaze color and a brighter yellow glaze.

The red and yellow are mixed together to various degrees, and used in the recess areas.  I even wiped away some of the glaze in places where I wanted the highlight colors to remain.  The inset image shows where darker red glazes were used to enhance the shadow areas.

To make these shadow areas even darker, I added some transparent deep red from Vallejo.  This is one of several 'transparent' colors made by Vallejo.  For example, the Transparent Red is excellent for blood effects!

While it is a very 'dark' color, it does not cover in the way a more opaque version might.  When combined with a bit of the red glaze, you have a fantastic, deep, dark red glaze.

Here's another transparent dark color.  This is one of the Reaper liner paints.  I have all of them... blue, brown, grey, green, etc.  Here I mixed this blue liner with the transparent red to create a very dark brown glaze for the deepest darks on the reddish parts of the figure and even the shell of the weapon.

The fluorescent green is introduced again, this time combined with Reaper clear green.  This is similar to the liner and transparent paints.  It helps give a little more 'body' to the fluorescent green, which is typically very transparent.  While the fluorescent paint is very thick, always keep this in mind!

You can see how the bright green has been toned down a bit... darkened around the edges.  I will go back in with lighter colors to establish the lightest part of the glowing effect.

Using the original bright green, I mix that into the fluorescent paint to get those lighter tones in the glow.  I also add those lighter accents to places where I want the glow to reflect.  This is how a glowing effect is established, since simply having a light color next to a darker shade is not quite enough.

This images shows you the light which is cast on the surfaces around the gun.  You do want to keep in mind where the logical places would be to locate this color, and not overdo it too much!

Now I am going to put in a few mid tones and highlights into the orange sections, taking advantage of all the darker shades that were achieved when I applied the darker glazes.  This works well whenever you have rougher areas when the glazes didn't go on as smoothly as you wanted!

Lighter colors are also being added to the upper sections of the armor plates, using some of the original pink as well as a touch of blueish white.

Now for a few quick images of the finished miniature.  The interplay of the shadows and lights help to form all the shapes of the organic armor plates, and give the weapon a little bit of a glow!