Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Marshall

I have painted a few of the Ladies of the West now... but finally one of them is ready for my Lawmen of Wappelville!

Continuing the theme of painting figures that require similar colors,  the palette of this figure matched those of 3 other genres that I was working on at the time.  For instance, if I am working on a skin tone, I will try to find as many figures as possible that require something similar and do that all at once.

I even used some of these same colors on a treeman and a troll... even on a giant birdman and WW2 figures.  The list goes on, and so does the progress.  As I have said before, it is a fantastic way to keep the line moving and get things done more rapidly.

Lately, however, I have noticed the "side" benefit more and more, which is keeping the energy level higher.  Instead of getting bored painting the same thing over and over (especially if the figures are not favorites!!) I can switch to something else that I do enjoy, and take the sting out of painting things that really don't interest me.

She's also here:

Friday, September 29, 2017


There are many new interesting miniature lines these days, and one of them is certainly Siren Miniatures!  Each figure is sculpted with incredible details, like little Chaibo here.

Every time I turn around, there's a little touch of detail, but not something that is overwhelming, or intrusive.

I have painted many of the dwarf characters, and each one is very unique.  The way the muscles are sculpted reminds me of the old Ilyad Games figures.

These details allow for all kinds of color transitions, which is what I did here.  There are bright lemon yellow colors next to muted purples and greens, while grays and reds balance against those combinations.

He's also here:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

News from the Front!

Let the terrain mania begin!!!  

Some fantastic new battle mats have come in from the folks at TableWar, and each of them will be the setting for entire ranges of terrain.  These will generate dozens of how to articles here on the blog, where I not only show how to make the terrain pieces themselves, but also how to unify them more with something like a battle mat.

I really enjoy the carrying cases, as I will be using them very often.  They also keep the mats safe and dust free when not in use!

Here's a link to the website:

These are heavy, strong mats for sure!  I think they will stand up quite well to any kind of punishment I will inflict upon them.  

Each mat is rendered with subtle designs such as these nice designs.  The terrain pieces I have been working on were done before before I had this mat in hand, so I didn't have the opportunity to generate specific pieces to best take advantage of the innate design elements seen here.  I will try to modify them a bit so that they mesh even better.

Future terrain pieces will be made with the mats in mind, as I mentioned.

Still, I could not wait to start putting out some of my finished pieces on this mat!!  I didn't get too involved with trying to figure out which way to orient the mat itself.

The exposed dirt/trail seemed to be a fun element to build around, so I tried to position my tree stands and central hill to take advantage of that.

Hehe, I could not resist plopping down one of my wagons onto that trail!

I added more and more of the smaller trees stands, trying not to cover up any interesting rocks or other graphics.

Here's the view from one side of the board.  I found a small easel which I will try to use for my painted backdrops to cover up all the nasty shelves which normally appear in these shots!  I already have something figured out for the long table sides.

Now from the opposite end of the board.  After seeing the terrain pieces on the nasty, dirty tablecloth, I am very pleased to see all that hard work resting on such a great mat.

I will also be adjusting my lights a bit.  Believe it or not, I have too much of it right now!  I have a host of 60-100 Watt LED bulbs which had been secured for an older camera.  That camera was horrible in anything but the brightest lighting, but the new version requires far less.

That is probably something else that I will get into when I move forward on the future terrain articles.
While I thought that my large pieces would cover up too much of the mat, this view made me realize that they work quite well, and there is still plenty of mat to see.  I will try many other configurations to see how that looks.

I can even add other smaller pieces of scatter terrain, such as fences, small bushes, more animals, etc.  Farmland is another aspect of terrain building that I have experimented with, but you have not seen.  

Farm fields, bocage, cottages and farm houses should also look very nice on this mat.

One final view... I think I may just have to do that inaugural battle report now.  As always, stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mystery Troll

When you do miniature painting for a living, all kinds of things end up on the painting desk.  Some ordinary, some exotic... some are not very good, and others are amazing.

Every so often, you run across figures that are almost "alive", like this guy.  He's also quite whimsical!

I had a lot of fun doing subtle color transitions from brown to green, brown to purple, and so on.

A few folks have talked about who makes this figure.  He seems to originate from a kid's TV program?

In any case, he is kinda large, as he's standing on a 60mm base!

He certainly has a lot of personality!  The face is far an above the vast majority of those you see sculpted for trolls.  It was quite fun to paint.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Out For a Drive

The British get a little more mobile fire support in the form of a Humber armored car.  This particular kit is from Warlord Games, intended for our Bolt Action battle reports.

It was painted with a combination of materials.  The initial layers were done with the Badger Stynlrez primers, just a simple series of light and darks established using greens, browns, light tans and so on.

The majority of the actual painting was done with acrylics, using Vallejo washes, Secret Weapon weathering paints and even Reaper Liner paints!

The dirt and mud effects were done using the Mig AMMO oil and powder weathering products.

I used a variety of mud types, from the "Splashes" to the "Heavy Mud", which was mixed with some static grass in some areas.

I think that these overhead images show some of the color transitions in the greens.  Not only are there differences between the light and dark areas of green... but there is a "color temperature" difference as well.

If you look closely, some of the greens appear more blue or more yellow, and some are more 'saturated' while others are more muted.  This shows the effects of sun bleaching, possible repainting of selected areas (or parts that have been replaced/added later by the crew), etc.

You can see more of the dirt and mud effects in these images.  I didn't want too much on the vehicle, but a wheeled car off road is probably going to churn up quite a mess! :-)

I will be painting a desert version of this (in 1/48 scale) which should make for an interesting comparison!!  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A River Runs Through It

One of the final tasks on this forest and hills terrain board is to add the water effects to the river!

I tried to make sure that some of the flock made it "inside" the river to represent plat life, moss and other things growing in the water.  The focus was on the brownish colors, because they will turn much darker when the water effects hits them.  This will create a false 'depth" in the river, as the darker colors will make it seem much deeper!

I had Secret Weapon Water Effects on hand, so I will be using that.  Be sure not to shake the bottles... a habit we try to break by writing that on the bottle itself :-)

I don't get too crazy with the first application of water effects.  The goal is to get the effects into all the foliage and crevices at the start.  Later on in the subsequent layers, I will try to make it look like deeper water.

The Secret Weapon effects dry crystal clear, and don't take as long as the Woodland Scenics or Vallejo effects. The rocks that I placed in the river bed will also create waves by default, something that I learned on the Barbarossa board.

Once this first layer (or even a second if you wish) of water effects has dried, it is time to add some actual waves!

This Liquitex Heavy Gloss Gel is fantastic for many effects, and creating waves is certainly one of them.  A few of the #8 round craft brushes will do the trick.

You can see how heavy and thick that the gel is.  Always remember that it will dry very clear, but large piles of it will take a while to dry all the way through!

I concentrate on all of the places where something is protruding from the water.  For various reasons, I made a lot of stuff sticking out of this river. 

First, it helps to create that false sense of depth, second, I can use more of the heavy gel for water effects, thus saving on the number Secret Weapon Water Effects pours.

Finally, there are more obstacles to show why wheeled vehicles and infantry cannot cross this without the aid of bridges and boats...

You have to determine which way you want your river to flow, and be sure to follow that flow on every single object.  This image shows how the water "piles up" on the leading edge of the obstacle, and then flow around and behind it.  Keep in mind, the thicker you apply it, the longer it will take top dry!

This shot really demonstrates how important it is to keep that uniform flow of the current.  Another reminder... all of the white tones will go away as the water dries.  Eventually I will do a final layer with some paint added to make those white caps.

Once this layer of gel dried, I added a few more.  I will get you some images of what the river looked like after the final layers have dried, and the white caps added.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flora and Fauna

Continuing the flocking process on the large hills was a challenge, as I mentioned in the last post.  I discovered that it is best to work in smaller areas at once, even though the spray adhesive doesn't "dry" per se.  

I started out with the fine dark brown flock, concentrating on natural shadow areas such as under the logs and bushes.  I then placed the heavier, green flock, working out from the larger moss clumps.

This is how I approach placing rocks on my bases and terrain, starting with the biggest and working down to the finest sand.

It was very difficult to get "in progress" images, since my hands were covered in glue and flock!  Hopefully this image helps.  It is my hope to be able to create facebook live sessions for these, now that I have gone through the testing stages.

The larger the terrain piece, the more crucial it is to vary the tones, colors and textures.  This will keep them from looking bland, but also make for some great close up shots as your infantry crosses it as well.

A few images of the nearly completed hill.  The bright lights have burned out a bit of the color, but you will see nicer images later...

This overview looks a lot different than the images from the last post... no more brown wasteland!

I did end up adding a few mats of flowers on each slope, since I had discovered a package of vine/flowers.  Those are in the butter container on the lower right hand side of the picture.

They can be pulled apart and separated, and are handy for making large sections of wildflowers.  This is a lot less expensive than trying to use the pricey flower tufts!  Wildflowers usually grow in large patches anyway.  Once again, it is all about textures and colors.

Here are all the newly flocked pieces arrayed on the table.  I can't wait for the TableWar mats to arrive, since they will make a fantastic setting for this woodland terrain.

As you can see, there are many types of trees, different heights, and the stands are shaped in different patterns too.  I have already arranged these in dozens of different ways, which means that each game/table will bring an entirely new experience.

This is the main difference between the set piece Barbarossa board and something made entirely from Scatter terrain.  While we could use most, if not all of these on the other board, I have infinite options available this way, and some easier storage/portability options.

I will also be painting a new backdrop for these types of ground level images.  My original plan was to do a bed sheet, but I think that I can create something more elaborate and interesting out of spare cardboard.  If possible, I will do a step by step on that for you as well.

This was the original vision that I had for the board well over a year ago.  Using all the things I have learned since, and all the new materials discovered, I was able to make that dream come alive!

I could not resist tossing out a few carts and wagons.  The big wagon was for our Western games, so we will stick with the carts for Bolt Action...

They might be hard to spot, but the walls are in here too.  I was very happy with how those turned out, and I look forward to using them with the buildings that I am constructing..

And now for a preview of the next post!!!  Getting water into the river.  Stay tuned!!