Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A brand new Canvas

Following up on Episode Four, where I established the deepest shadow colors on the vehicles and shaded all sections of the camo pattern.  It is now time for the Great Experiment to begin!!

For the first time, I will use oil paints on a miniature and not a canvas.  In fact, it's been at least 20+ years since I worked with oils, so this will be quite interesting!

I purchased a basic set of ten colors, which is all I will ever need.  Paint mixing is something I am quite used to, so all I needed were the essential ochres, thalos and cadmiums.

Since the darker washes are still "active", all I need to do is apply some paint, and start mixing it with the still wet paint that is already on the figure!  One important note... this thicker paint will stick to the surface since the underlying layers are very thin.

I used some left over filters to thin down the oil paint.  Those are mostly white spirits anyway, so it makes a great paint thinner.

In this close up, you can see that I worked my way around the cables and other details, re-establishing lighter colors around them.

I was able to do some streaking on the mud guards, and all it took were straight line strokes moving downwards.  Also, I added some brownish grey metal colors to the spare tracks before moving on to rust.

I didn't want to get too crazy applying the oils, so I let them set up for a bit before I tried to add decals.  The Hungarian tanks will have much more use of the oil paints, since that pattern has a much harder edge.

It will take a while for these paints to completely dry, but the places where I am putting the decals were not where I was painting.

I think I might have to do a separate article on decals, since I have compiled a few key tools that make them much easier to deal with now.  For the moment, I will leave you with this image, and a tease that decal medium really does work!

Once these dried, they sank down into any crack or crevice, even the zimmerit.

This version of the chipping will be a faster, more basic method.  While I will eventually work with the Mig AMMO chipping fluid, I needed to get these vehicles done in a hurry.  Thus, I will use the sponge method.

I chopped up a few pieces of blister pack foam creating rough edges to make that chipping texture.  Some of the chipping paint (acrylic) is placed on the palette, and then the sponge is pressed in.  The excess paint is removed with a few test applications on a paper towel.

Here's a good example of the chipping along an edge.  I didn't want to get too crazy with this.

I have been looking forward to weathering these!  Keep in mind, additional weathering in the form of dust and mud will be done in later stages, so I have to make sure that I don't put too much of the chipping on there.

In the lower image, I used the smaller sponges to create scratch lines.

I also like to have the decals faded a bit by sponging on some of the background colors.

Once these processes were completed, I left the vehicles to dry and set.

They are now ready for a few more phases, such as painting the commanders, adding mud, dust, leaves and grass to the treads.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Darkness Falls

Welcome to Episode Four!

In the previous article, I had begun the task of shading the camo patterns, working with the green and brown washes.  This was demonstrated on the Stug, so now we shall see how that worked on the Tiger.

The upper picture shows the stripes of green ad brown wash that followed roughly along the original pattern of colors put down in the "primer painting" stage.  The image on the bottom shows the tan filter added, which blended all three together.

This would shade the zimmerit, which would be far more challenging than the flat sides of the Stug.

Just as I did with the previous vehicle, sponges and brushes were used to soak up the excess washes and blend the colors together.  I made sure to use a light touch over the zimmerit, so that I would not soak up all the darker tones I had placed in those recesses!

This turret is a rather dramatic example of the before and after.  Picture #1 shows the raw placement and initial blending of the washes, while #2 demonstrates what it should look like once the final removal and blending is complete.

On wide surfaces such as this, it is really important to preserve these lighter sections.  Having this lighter zone now will allow me to create more interesting colors and effects later in the process!  

As I have mentioned in most previous articles, painting a miniature is like playing chess... you muct always think several moves in advance.

This is even more important in vehicle painting.  When I did the Primer Painting, I had to keep in mind that I would be doing these shading stages, followed be several rounds of weathering.  At each point, I mist be mindful to set up that next phase.

The upper picture shows me removing more of the glazes around the wire ropes.

When I last worked with the oils on vehicles, I realized that I could begin some "pre-weathering" by using my worn out filbert brushes as stippling mechanisms.

I could take some of the darkest washes and begin dabbing them around edges and other key locations, much like the second image.

As oils stay wet and workable for so long, I could even start doing a little streaking of the darker tones across the light surfaces.  This was not the final version of such streaking, but rather a background 'hint' which would make the deeper grime and rust streaks jump out a little less.

Once again, thinking a few moves ahead!

This was also my first opportunity to try out the new foam liners that I had discovered.  When searching for more of the broader tipped foam sponges, I noticed these thinner liners pop up in the Amazon feed.  

I thought I would give them a try.  They were not what I originally expected, but I quickly found all kinds of unintended uses for them!  Weathering was definitely high on that list.

I now have the Stug at roughly the same level of completion as the Tiger.  Working on multiple vehicles at once is great, since it does allow the oils to have a little opportunity to set up.

My original intention was to work on 8-10 vehicles at once, but at this point, it would have been too cumbersome to display here.

While the deepest dark washes were still wet, I started to apply the darker, streaking rust.

This was done in a few ways, some with softer blurred edges and others as stippling or streaks.  I was guided by the surface type, and its orientation.  For example, horizontal plates will weather far differently than vertical, while objects sitting on those plates will also add further variations on oxidation.

I must keep in mind that more rust will be added onto this darker layer... in the form of lighter rust washes and even weathering powders.

These spare tracks are certainly a prime candidate for rust accumulation.  Anywhere that water could pond for extended periods is a good location.  Also, I will be piling up some dirt and leaves in these spots, and the reddish tones will make a nice contrast to lighter green or yellow brown leaves!

I didn't spend too much time on the wheels and tracks, since the armor skirts will be added later.  However, you can see the combination of deepest darks and rust around edges, rivets, plate joints, and so on.

The vehicles are now let alone to dry over night, so that I can apply decals before the major application of weathering is started.

Here are a few images of those side skirts, which are also a nice and easy way to view the shading process on the 3 color camo!

#1 shows the green and brown washes applied, while #2 demonstrates the mixing facilitated by the tan Filter.  Image #3 shows the initial softening of the edges.

Now we shall wait for this to dry, and move on to even more exciting discoveries!!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 29, 2017


With the "primer painting" and initial shading complete, it is time to move on to a more complex phase, and that is the shading and glazing.

You can see that I have a line up of oil based products by Mig AMMO.  I have been enjoying these so much the last 6 months!

If you recall part two of this series, I had left some of the colors a bit lighter, in order to leave some room for me to make them darker.  In addition to that, I have learned that the AMMO filters are quite good at tinting and tying together your colors, especially when doing this kind of tri-color camo scheme.

These are supposed to be applied evenly across the entire surface, and not allowed to pool.  The idea is not to make things darker, but the help blend the camo colors together slightly, making them less "factory fresh".

You can see how they give a slight tint, which is easiest to see in the yellow range.  However, they also make a difference in the darker brown and green.  Again, it is a bit like leveling off extra mortar that's been placed between a layer of bricks.

The tanks on the left have this treatment, those on the right do not.  You can really see how the yellow part of the camo has turned warmer, and more like Dunkelgelb.

The excess can be sponged or wiped away in a few methods.  I often use a larger, soft brush, but these makeup sponges are also handy.  You can go through a lot of them when you are doing this many tanks!

One last reminder, this is not a wash that will shade things or make them darker.  It is more about tinting and softening edges.

One last look at the "filtered" vehicles... not it's on to that darker shading!

I chose a few washes that echoed the camo... a dark green and a brown.  Those will shade the other two parts of the camo, while a third filter will be used to blend those as well.

The green and brown washes will be applied over the corresponding color of the camo.  Beware, this will get a tiny bit messy, so don't panic!

This Filter color will be used to blend these and shade the yellow part of the pattern.

The messy part!  Letting all these things mix together on the tank.

Again, you have to keep your wits about you, but the extended drying time means that you don't have to rush into anything.  I have to remind myself that these are not acrylics, and will not set up in a few seconds or minutes.

The insert shows how easily the excess can be removed, which leaves behind a nicely shaded set of camo colors!

A quick comparison of the tanks in the top image is an example of how much more depth has been gained in the shadow areas without the need for laborious shading.

The lower image gives you a peek at how the process of removing that excess keeps the lightest colors intact, but now gives you a good foundation on which to build the darkest shading and even your weathering.

Stage Four of this series will cover the additional shading and initial weathering, focusing on the Tiger 1 and the Stug.  There's a lot of complex procedures happening, and it thought it would be too confusing to have all of the vehicle horde shown all at once.

Separate articles will be done on those too, so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I think we only used Denethor in one game, but it was certainly interesting!  If I remember correctly, he had a tendency to switch sides during the game.

While the sculpt itself is relatively simple, the face does have a number of nice details.  Perhaps because GW was trying to get an actual likeness...

Many of the colors of the cloak were also used on the face, hoping to give it more of an aged, care worn look.  That of a custodian who has been in place far too long!

He's also here: