Friday, November 30, 2018

The Lotus Leaf

As you know, I create a number of painting tutorials using Dark Sword miniatures.  Normally they are painted with Reaper Clear and Liner paints, or with oils.  I thought it might be interesting to paint one using the new paints from Slow Fuse Gaming and Creature Caster!

I used only these paints, as I really wanted to get a feel for their capacity for glazing, blending, coverage, and all the techniques that I normally utilize.  Sometimes paint has very different consistency, and you have to modify your approach accordingly.

Here are a few scenes from that video, which was done for my patrons this month!  I tested out the paints for freehand designs for the first time, and they did very well.  You can see that I was able to easily establish some delicate patterns on the cloth.

As usual, I did a segment on the basing and foliage.  The Green Stuff World shrub and flower tufts worked very well once again!

The final result of the video.

Not only did the transparent cloth work out, I found that I was able to wet blend very nicely, and blend the blueish tones into the skin colors easily.

In each video, I try to cover a few main topics.  I always discuss how the Shaded Basecoat technique allows me to make adjustments on the fly, and establish the 'core' of my color scheme quickly.

When you do so, it is much easier to make the decision to alter, add or eliminate something from your original concept.

I tried to demonstrate using a wide range of blueish tones, as well as freehand designs and transparent cloth.

This is just one of several videos available to the patreons of my Patreon Page at the $10 level!  Check that out here:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Round 1: Operation Sting

Operation Sting was really an amazing event!  Two days, 5 games, and lots of action... Bolt Action.  As I had mentioned in a previous post, many of the players brought their terrain tables so that it spread the work load and created more variety in the types of terrain.

This is my Ardennes board which I brought along, with the TableWar mat.

I played virtually all of my games against US armies, and that was the case for Round 1.

This seems deceptively open.  Keeping in mind that forest are dense terrain, as are ruins and buildings, I knew that the anti aircraft based weapons would not be doing very much.

This turned out to be the case.  Most of the time the Quad AA was in ambush, and the mobile heavy autocannon was in reserve off board.

I knew that for the tournament, I would be relying on the Fallschirmjager to come in from reserve, even though there were not very many of them!

When the heavy autocannon did arrive, it could dictate where the Sherman would pop up.  Again, the ambush game applied.

The scenarios were out of the book, but with a key twist.  Each game, you had to choose a "Secret Mission" and attempt to accomplish it.  You had 8 to choose from, and each time you made a choice, that was no longer available for the tournament.

Each mission also had 3 levels... a 5 point, a 3 point, and 1 point.  In effect, these were the critical tie breakers.  You would get 20 points for a win, 12 for a draw, and 5 for a loss.  So, getting the full 5 points could really help with a draw, and even a loss.

As the missions were secret, it was very difficult for your opponent to prevent you from getting them, unless you were very obvious!

My secret objective was to hold a few pieces of terrain, and keep the enemy away.  There were more obvious missions, which will be covered later.  Also, I can say the aligning your secret mission with the Table, Scenario, and Enemy force was a challenge!  

For instance, if you choose to go after the enemy commander in a giant Soviet horde in an urban setting, you are very unlikely to make that happen.  Also, two of the 8 Secret Missions were impossible for me to accomplish, since I had no medic and no tank...

Speaking of scores, Round 1 ended as a draw, and I did manage to get my 5 points.  That meant 17 for the first game.  I may have mentioned once or twice that I was totally unfamiliar with this army, with no time to play test it at all.  In fact, I had not even played a game in months.  And that was my usual early war!

I had to make cheat sheets for the army, so that I could identify each unit easily.  Most of the weapons that I had seemed like science fiction compared to the basic rifles which I had been using all along.

Stay tuned for more, as I take you through 5 rounds of action!!

Here's a link to one of my early war battle reports.  I have 4 of them set in France 1940:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Flower Girl

One of my favorite video series of the original Painting Pyramid campaign was the set I created for color theory... on 5 colors.  These were the 5 colors which I was asked so many questions about!  That included Reds, Blues, Yellows, Greens and even Grays.

I thought it might be interesting to combine my new Dark Sword painting tutorials with one of these color theory specific episodes... and this time it was green!

Here's the original swatch set that I painted during the older "Green With Envy" video.  The idea was to show how you can create a rich and full set of light and dark, cool and warm, as well as saturated and muted versions of "Green".

While nearly all of the colors that I used in that first video are probably gone now, it was so interesting to see that I had replacements for all of them for this new version.

I wanted to take things a little further this time, including the basing as part of that color theory.  Not only painting the base, but even what colors and types of foliage were chosen.  I had four different flower and shrub tufts from Green Stuff World, and choosing which ones to go with was a major part of the process.

As usual, I go through the Shaded Basecoat and glazing techniques, showing how to mix that wide variety of greens along the way.

Then it came time to choose the foliage.  Early on I decided to go with yellow, and how that could still contrast with my greens, even though red is the natural "opposite".

It seemed like a great way to show a new way to think about the flocking of a base.  Normally I apply the shrubs and other tufts at that "end point", but this time I made the choice very early on, and painted specifically to that choice.

Here is the result, with many course corrections along the way.  This is something I try to show in every video that I film, so that people become less worried about making changes to their figures as they paint them.

Since I use the Shaded basecoat and Glazing techniques as opposed to heavy amounts of layering, flipping around a color scheme does not take long, and I don't have to worry about "messing up", as I don't have countless hours invested in layering up one tiny area.

I also stress moving around the figure, and not getting bogged down in one place.  It is so important to maintain that global view of the figure, and provide the proper context.  That is, if you only paint the face next to a lot of white or black primer, your skin tones will be radically affected.  Once you place a dark blue next to that face painted next to white, you skin tones will look quite odd!

The Dark Sword video series is $10, and you will see all the videos that pertain to the painting of those figures, as well as the other videos that a $5 pledge would bring in.  That is usually about 8-10 hours of videos each month.

Here's a link to the patreon page:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cave Dweller

This is one of the more entertaining trolls that I have had to work on... he definitely has an attitude!

He had to be painted as a cave troll, to match a few others that were part of the group, which meant I had to get as much depth as I could with various grays.  These were shifted cooler and warmer, with some purples and magenta being used as accent colors.

I sculpted a few mushrooms for the base, which you can see a little better in the image on right.  I also used the Vallejo Moss and Lichen environment medium, which was really interesting.  That is the yellowish color on the mushrooms and on the stones surrounding it.

That has a bit of a texture to it, and it really does look more "dimensional" than if I had just used some regular paint.  I will be using this on some more figures which are part of this group, so I will try and do more of a step by step for you.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Pork for Dinner?

I don't know what the official name for these guys might be, but I will just refer to them as Rhinox :-)  These big beasties were fun to paint, and provided plenty of opportunities for subtle transitions in various shades of umbers and burnt sienna.

I think that you can see the greenish gray tones in the shadows, which is something I have been emphasizing in my tutorial videos lately.  That is, having more than just a darker version of the same brown in your shadow areas.  For instance, if you have a reddish cloak, some deep grayish green in the shadows can provide much more interest and depth.

In this instance, that grayish green helps make the reddish burnt sienna pop much more, since they are opposites.  As a result, I get more contrast without having to make the color significantly lighter.

This is part of the triple play of contrast that I mention in my painting videos over and over.  Contrast gained by saturated vs unstaturated colors, warm vs cool, and light vs dark.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Lannister Supremacy

One of the things that has impressed me very much with the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures is the dynamic and dramatic poses that were achieved.  Normally figures made of this material tend to be more static or blocky.

The pose of this Lannister Captain is very elegant, but he also fits into the unit tray very easily.

The cape flows very well, and tracks the armor and figure quite nicely.  In addition, the weapons are always prefect every single time!  With the filing of a few mould lines, these figures are ready to paint right out of the box.  Also, they are really unbreakable by comparison to resin figures of a similar type.

I put a touch of freehand on the cape, but I may add some more, especially on the interior surface.

He was part of a larger unit of Halberds as you can see here.  I worked on a dozen regular Halberds, including a standard bearer.  That was done as part of my Army Painter series on the Patreon page. 

The series takes you through the entire process, starting with the basing and prepping of the unit, and all the various painting techniques.

This image fills you in on the primary technique involved, which is Sky-Earth Non Metallic Metals.  I have done this on entire units before, but the Lannister figures are perfect for the SE-NMM.

The video series has 5 episodes and about 11 hours of footage.  My Army Painter pledge level is $15, and is available on the Patreon page.  In addition, you can see all of the other videos created, including basing, large creatures, and more!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Operation Sting

Earlier this month, I had a chance to participate in my first full fledged Bolt Action tournament, good old Operation Sting! Brent and Seamus worked so hard to make the event happen, as did many of the other participants.

We, like many others, brought terrain tables.  That made for some very nice looking tables, and a great variety.  I think that was my favorite part, having many different themes to play on!

As you know, I brought the Fallschirmjager army for Monte Cassino.  We had to make an objective marker, and you can see mine in the courtyard.  This was sculpted from scratch to match the Madonna statue which stood there.

That gave me just enough room to place some of the other units, including the weapon teams.

I was very happy at how the upper level of the broken monastery worked out, and I could easily place all the figures inside.  Better yet, it will be a fantastic terrain piece when it comes to playing games in this theatre.

I tried to make distinct areas to place my various units for a few reasons.  First was appearance of course, but also to help me figure out which squad was which!  I had no time whatsoever to practice or play test with this army in advance.

In effect, I was being handed a brand new army on the spot, and I was going to have to learn this army in the crucible of a 5 game tournament!

Each unit had its own designated spot, and I knew which one it was by that location.

I like this view, because so many of my reference pictures were taken from this angle.  Since I had a bit more room (and light!) for photos at the tournament, I thought I could get you some fun new views of the board that were not possible as it was being constructed.

When I placed order dice on the board Friday night before the tournament, I was not entirely certain that I would have a painted unit to match it!

If you have not seen the making of the display board, that is detailed in a number of step by step tutorial posts:

I was very glad that I utilized the openings that were in the original pieces of scrap foam... making them arch support where the hillside had been blasted away.

One thing I wanted for this overall piece was "openness".  That is, I could get down to this angle and be able to see all the way through it.  This is a distinct property of ruins such as these, and I wanted to capture that.

If you recall the method I used to create these broken floors, and how easy that was... these images made me even more happy!  Here's a peek at the blog post explaining them:

I was so thrilled to see how the figures looked in the broken floor rubble!  Just as I designed, they could stand on top of the rubble without tipping over.  This bodes well for all the urban ruins that I want to create for Stalingrad, Berlin, Budapest, etc.

I will be doing another post where I show the photos I was able to take during the games.  My result was far beyond anything I could have imagined heading into this event, so stay tuned!!!