Sunday, September 30, 2018

Tutorial Series 2: Painting Soviets

Series Two of my Army Painter tutorials was a very different set of videos for me to film.  It was the first time I tried doing a unit painting exercise on camera with oils, and it was the most bases that I filmed under construction!

This was a four part set of tutorials, which has a running time of about 11 hours.  It covers the entire process from basing to painting to snow effects.

I try to show you how I go about making the bases, but also having a conversation about the thought process, and how it relates to the game system, available time and materials cost.

The idea is to present as many options as possible, instead of a "here's the one way you can get this done" approach.  I often experiment with new materials and techniques in each episode along the way to reinforce the multiple option idea.

Painting the unit with primarily the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers was a lot of fun!  I have been using the oils on many of my figures over the last few years, and not only historical minis like these.

As usual, I try to show more ways to get the same result.  For me, the oil paints are a huge time saver, as I am painting a host of other figures at the same time... vehicles, monsters, etc.

This is what the figures looked like after the third episode.  You could stop right here if you wanted, but I just had to do a number of snow techniques!

My goal in the final episode was to demonstrate two primary methods using 2 different sets of materials, and then test out various combinations of them on screen.

I do have an example of this in one of my Facebook Live sessions:

Each time I show a different method, I point out differences in the relative advantages and disadvantages.  In the end, my choice was the combination of techniques/materials.

I am now on Series 3, which is taking on a few more new concepts.  This latest series focuses on "rebuilding" an army from scratch, matching a previously painted army.  It also covers a few techniques in "army painting" form that are normally reserved for single figures.

You can get on the Army Painter pledge for $15, which will get you all the current episodes, as well as other tutorials each month not related to the specific unit painting lessons!  Here's a link to the page:

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Basing the East: Lord of the Rings

The first step in rebuilding my old Easterling army is to create the bases!  Of course, I love basing, so that was going to be very fun.  Since I did the original army, new techniques have been added... especially the "Bark and Branch" method.

As I make the bases, I make sure to point out how the bases must be constructed to match the 'footprint' of the figure, and also be a playable piece based on the rules system as well.

I was really looking forward to seeing what they would look like on the dramatic tree bark bases.

I also wanted to keep the look of the original broken marble/stone bases, so we break out the Sculpey sheets and the carving tools to create them.

A very unique aspect of the Lord of the Rings system is that you need both mounted and unmounted versions of your characters and cavalry.  They can be unhorsed in a few different ways, but they usually survive!

This means mimicking whatever was done with the primary cavalry figure.  I made sure to have a few examples of this, including the Dragon Knight/Captain.

I wanted to do the same for the banner bearer, but in sculpey!  The original pairing was done on broken marble bases, so it seemed quite appropriate to reprise that once more.

Here's a post on those minis from the old army:

Whenever possible, I try to do a few marble painting demonstrations.  This was a perfect opportunity to do so!  It does not take a complicated process to create something amazing, and easy to replicate across an army or unit.

Once the filming of Part 1 was complete, I had a number of figures ready for the subsequent painting episodes.  Just like the first two series, I try to have a conversation about the "currency" of time, and how each choice that you make in basing and painting the army makes it more costly in those terms.

Hopefully these methods give you some ideas, and also allow you to add some extra zest to your units and armies, but leaving you more of that currency to spend on other projects. :-)

With each Army Painter set of videos (about 12 hours of tutorials each), I try to delve into things like Object Source Lighting, Non Metallic Metals, Freehand and other techniques not usually associated with army painting.

Here's a complete view of what was created during the 2+ hours of filming!  The next several episodes will cover all aspects of painting the unit, focusing on matching the color scheme of the original army!

Subscribing to the Patreon Page at the $15 Army Painter level will provide access to all of the new videos, as well as previous series.  That is here on the Patreon Page:

Friday, September 28, 2018

Painting Dark Sword: Anti-Paladin

It has been a lot of fun painting the Dark Sword miniatures for tutorial videos, since they are packed with a lot of fine details which show up on camera quite nicely!

I've been working hard to get a second "palette camera" in place, and this was the first video where I tested it!

That worked out pretty well, and I have made more modifications to it since.  Now, the figure is in a more natural painting position for me, and it takes up a far larger portion of the screen.  Since I am using XSplit to record the videos, I can change the size of the palette screen when necessary, right as I am recording!  That is very cool!

For this episode, I was working with the Reaper Clear and Liner paints, doing a number of glazes.  For the second Dark Sword painting episode, I will do the same figure in oil paints.  I want to do this each month, because I think it could really provide some additional perspective on both mediums.

People can't tell which of my figures are painted in oils or acrylics when they look at them.  Heck, most of the time I can't even remember myself!  It really has more to do with time saving and efficiency.

The Dark Sword pledge is $10, but there are also a few other levels available.  These offer "hard copy" versions of the videos on USB drive, and even the miniatures themselves!!

You can find that on the Patreon Page here:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Nocturna Begins!

I was very happy to add a Nocturna Miniatures pledge to the Patreon Page last month!  I love those miniatures, and they are my favorite large scale figures to work with.

For the first Nocturna miniature that was officially part of the Patreon pledge structure, I needed to create a decent base.  This would create more of an "environment" around the figure, like a vignette diorama.

I decided on a Bark and Branch method base, which I have done many times here on the blog and in Facebook Live sessions:

I chose the bark as my primary material due to the way it matched the "slate" look of the stones on the resin base.  It was a faster way to extend that partial base than using apoxy sculpt to physically sculpt it all.  I will probably do that on a future piece, just to show how that works.

I was able to shave down a few pieces of the bark to create some upright and angled pieces to mirror those on the resin base.  It took a few layers placed around it to make it match a bit better.

As usual, oxide paste (in this case a brownish version of it) was used as "mortar" between the layers, and as a way to build up some texture as well.  If you add some wood glue into the mix, you can place larger rocks and rough gravel too.

This gives you a better view of that upright section of bark.  You can see that I made a "cascade" or progressively smaller rocks and boulders moving down the the wooden plaque.  I could drop in my finer gravel and sand after those heavier elements were in place.

Those finer layers of sand and gravel help the bigger sections of bark and rock to stand out, but keeps them settled into the environment, as opposed to simply sitting on top.

Using the Oxide paste, glue, sand and gravel in this way helps to blend that smaller resin base into the entire larger base.

Ready for priming!  She now has a very solid base, and I look forward to dressing that up with several different kinds of flock, tufts, fallen leaves and maybe even a few vines!!

Here's the shaded primer, done in Stynlrez with the Badger Airbrush.  I will be using oils to paint this, so it will be a lot of fun!

This will be available to a few pledge levels.  The painted miniature itself is also available at a special level... you can check that out here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Storm From the East: A new Tutorial Series

Whenever you begin a new army, there is always that first "color test" figure.  Not only does this give you a better idea of how your color scheme vision plays out, but it can give you a hint of how long it might take to execute that plan.

In this case, the color scheme was established long ago for my beloved Lord of the Rings Easterling army, which is about to be reborn!  Unfortunately, I had to sell off my original army, and with the relaunch of the Lord of the Rings system, it seemed to be just the right time to bring them back to life!

That first army was painted over 6 years ago, and I have learned many things since.  Even the materials I use have changed dramatically.

Now I have plastic minis for the most part, and I use the Reaper Clear and Liner paints, along with the Secret Weapon Miniatures weathering paints.  Even my basing has changed, as the "bark and branch" method came about 3-4 years ago.

Since I am creating the Army Painting video series for the Patreon Page, I thought it might be very useful for people to see the process of re-creating an army first hand.  I have already gathered up images of the old army, and I have prepped a brand new batch of figures!  

As with the first two army painting series, this will start off with basing, and then move to the Shaded Basecoat and Glazing phases.  I will even sneak in some freehand designs as well.

I also try to include conversations about making the figures as 'playable' as possible, and the realities of time constraints.  The "currency" of time is quite valuable, and there's usually only so much of it available for a given army.  My goal is to help you maximize that currency, and make your armies look as good as possible.

Unlike the first two series that focused on infantry, this will be a mix of cavalry and infantry.  Part of this has to do with the nature of the LOTR game system, which is part of that conversation I mentioned earlier.

You can get caught up on those first two series, and be ready for the third installment... with even more interesting goodies yet to come!  I will be recreating my Army of the Dead and Galadhrim elf armies in future series.

The Army Painter pledge is $15, and that is on the Patreon Page here:

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ready the Redcoats!

With all of the Army Painting videos that I have been posting to the Patreon Page, I thought it might be time to show an actual army painted with those same techniques!

This is just one of several that are being painted for Victoria Miniatures, which are amazing 40k Guardsmen, coming in a huge variety of factions. In this case, you have the Boer War type of uniform style.

These are the Victorian Guard, and as usual, there are Female and Male squads available.

All together, there were about 40 miniatures in this force.  Lots of glazing was used to establish the shadow areas, utilizing the Reaper Clear and Liner paints.

For instance, the red was created with a starting application of Clear red over a shaded primer base, and progressive amounts of Red Liner paints were added to the glazes that followed.

Something similar was done with Clear Blue and Blue liner for the pants, while Secret Weapon Weathering paints were used to areas such as the helmets, pouches and packs.

For the metals, I used the Metal Medium from Vallejo, mixed in with Blue liner and Brown liner.  As you have seen before, that type of mix creates a very dark blackened steel color.  By adding more of the Metal Medium, you can lighten those metal colors and get 'shading' without the need for washes and glazes (which tend to kill off your metallic effect!).

Even on areas such as sword blades, I was able to paint in a Non Metallic style, just adding some Metal Medium to those colors.  Since these had to match previously painted figures, metals were required.  I believe this is referred to as TMM these days :-)

You can find these figures on the Victoria Miniatures site here:

I have more of the Victoria Miniatures armies to paint, so I will be making some of them the topic of Army Painting tutorials too!!

You can find these army painting techniques on my Patreon Page:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Glow and Reflections! Unit painting videos

Creating the Unit Painting videos for the Patreon Page was definitely one of the most interesting tutorial projects that I have done.  While the typical one off painting tutorials are always fun, these new videos allow me to dive into some aspects that I really love!

In particular, all of the planning that goes into every stage of army building.  I have already discussed the basing videos that begin each series, but now I wanted to talk about that middle area, where I do the Shaded Basecoat phase.

This is critical to everything that I paint, but even more so on multiple figures.  It occurred to me that such a process has never been filmed on a mass basis before.  It was a technique that I developed years ago for painting my armies to an award winning standard, and that has continued to evolve over the years as I have moved into new genres and mediums.

The first series covered fantasy miniatures in 'standard' acrylic paints, but Series 2 has covered painting units with oil paints.

I will continue to cover different genres and game systems.  Series 3 will show how I paint my Lord of the Rings Easterlings, utilizing my glazing techniques with the Reaper Clear and Liner paints.  That will discuss NMM in even more detail, and freehand designs as well.

You can get access to all of the Army Painter series, along with other content, on the Patreon Page: