Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tossing Rocks

I have been asked many times if I thought that the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures might work for other games, and I have showed people the alternate paint schemes and spear conversions as an example.

In this case, the requirement was creating some crew for 2 weapons (which I think came from one of the Zombicide games).  To create them, I cut away the shield and sword arms and replaced them with some of the Winter Soviet arms from Bolt Action.

The scale of the arms and hands matched up well, and having plain "sleeves" worked well with the color scheme and even the notion of being a weapon team.  You would not want chainmail sleeves getting caught up in the machinery!

The weapons can either be set up like this, without their bases... or

Placed on a custom base for game play if needed!  I made a base similar to this for the Night's watch Scorpion crew:

Those bases did make a nice setting for the weapons.  I will be making some more tutorials on this type of base for the Patreon Page:

Here's one of the latest tutorials on basing Song of Ice and Fire armies:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Beast Inside

Yet another Army Painting tutorial series begins!  This time we have the Broolian Beastmen Close Combat Squad from Victoria Miniatures.  Here's a link to the first episode, where the "color test" figure is painted:

The Color Test figure is always very important, because it is where you can figure out the color scheme of your army, and how long various effects might take on each one!  Keeping track of how long it takes you to paint a certain effect on the mini will let you know if you want to spend that much time executing that effect on every figure in the army, or just save it for special characters.  

This is something that I discuss over and over again in all my Army Painting series on the Patreon Page.  I call it the "Currency of Time", and it is in limited supply for all of us.  While there are nifty things that we would all like to do on our armies, sometimes choices have to be made.

Hopefully these tutorials help you on those decisions, but also give you a LOT of added tools and knowledge to make those less difficult.  After all, if the figures take less time to paint, you have more time for special effects... or even another army! ;-)

The rest of the multi part series will be available to the patrons of the Patreon Page.  Signing up for the $15 Army Paintinng pledge level will provide access to all the previous series (there are 7 already!) since those are designed to build on what has gone before.  That means you will have at least 13-20 hours of video tutorials each month, filled with all kinds of techniques and mediums!  Here's the link:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Taking Flight

While I really love all the Creature Caster monsters, I had been looking forward to this one quite a bit.  The butterfly theme meant that I could do some nifty freehand on the wings and many other surfaces too!

It also turned into a real color theory exercise, as I constantly showed how to "carry" a specific color across the entire miniature.  That is, if you have orange in one area, you should have at least a suggestion of that on other locations around the figure.

The teal color also needed to be brought from the wings, down through the figure and even into the base, along with the tans and even those purple/magenta tones!

At a few points during the video, I turn off all the saturation, which leaves us with only the black and white value scale to show shape and dimension.  This is done to emphasize all the different forms of contrast that I mention so often during each of my tutorials.

The base was also a lot of fun, and I was able to go wild with all types of foliage and even water effects!  I filmed an entire 30 minute segment on adding flock, cut leaves and home made static grass tufts and flowers.  There were even some water effects added in at the very end.

There are other instances where I show you how to make those "course corrections" during the painting process, where you see that one area will have to be altered so that it can align with things that are painted on the surrounding surfaces.

I have the first episode of the series set to 'public' so that you can get an idea of how the process begins.  It is very brisk, to say the least!  I use the larger brushes and block in colors and shading right away, just as if I were working on one of my 2D art pieces.  Oh, there's also a 2D art video available to the patrons as well!

Here's a link to that first video:

Here is a link to the Patreon Page, where you can join in to see the complete series of this wonderful Creature Caster figure!  Keep in mind, I already have 2 more tutorials in the filming process already, so get in now and watch all those amazing demons come to life on screen!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Comfy Chair

We've heard of Fat Cats in politics before, but now the political track of Song of Ice and Fire has its very own.  Meet Caster, one of the new figures that is part of the Free Folk Starter box!

I had a lot of fun painting this piece, utilizing a number of subtle glazes to get pink and purple in shadow areas of greenish colors, and vice versa.  The idea is to keep what is a very sedentary figure looking more interesting than if it were all shaded in the same boring gradients of brown!

You can also see shades of blue incorporated in the upper parts of the figure, which help to provide even more contrast to the beet red parts of the face.  I tried to follow the concept art on the card as closely as possible.  You can see that at work in the Free Folk Savage Giant video here:

I already have about 16 hours of painting videos strictly for Song of Ice and Fire available to the Patrons on the Patreon Page, and more are being added every week!  I have Night's watch under way right now for the Army Painter pledge level, with Spearwives about to begin.  You can check that out here:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Fungus Among Us: A future basing tutorial

I had a lot of fun creating bases for these little goblins from Aenor Miniatures.  So much fun, I thought I would film a quick how to video on that process!

As I mentioned, most of these are from Aenor Miniatures, and here's a link to the site:

The main parts of the bases were made using the tree bark and oxide paste process.  The mushrooms were made from green stuff, and painted with a combo of regular miniatures paint and the Moss & Lichen texture paint from Vallejo.

I had to match previous bases that you have already seen on the trolls, so the mushrooms had to be kept to the same scale and color.  This tutorial will be available on the Patreon Page for the folks who have signed up for the Basing or Army Painter pledge levels!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cracked Earth

As some of you who have seen the earlier posts on this project know, there were many things in this "reclamation project" which needed to be fixed or changed.  I have done some posts to show how the metal areas were changed from the original drybrushed metallics to the desired NMM.  Here's a link:

While the most noticeable change was the metal, I think you can also see a lot of differences in the skin tones and the horns.

Finally, there was one more fix that was required, and that was the basing.  The original request was for a cracked earth look, but plain rocks and gravel is all that had been done.  So, I thought this might be an interesting test of some GW material that I had gotten for my Bolt Action figures.

I had tested this on some much smaller bases, and I was very surprised at how well it worked.  If you apply it in large blobs, you will get those nice large cracks.  When you thin it down a bit and apply it a little more lightly around the edges of your deep cracks, it starts to look even more interesting and natural!

This is certainly something that I will try to fashion into a basing tutorial for the Patreon Page!  I think I will even try it on some of the Song Of Ice and Fire units, which should be very nifty.  There are already a number of basing tutorials available on the Patreon Page... here's a link so you can check that out:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

More Giants!

After painting the first Savage Giant from the new Free Folk army box, I was really looking forward to painting his buddy!  If you want a peek at the first tutorial, here's a link:

As always, I start out with the Shaded Basecoat and glazing process, establishing all the lights and darks as rapidly as possible.  Once those initial colors are in place, it makes is a lot easier to build off of them.  For instance, having the blueish gray skin colors already on the figure from those first layers means all I have to do is put some additional layers of pinks or greens.

Just like the original giant, I did some snow and ice effects.  Since he has a pretty hefty beard, I tried to get some frost effects around his mouth.  That was very fun!

Here's some images of the completed giant, including his movement tray.  The balance of greens and umbers play off each other, and the more grayish skin tones.

You can see that play out in these images.  I also discuss how to work more variety in surfaces such as cloth, and how even that surface can reflect color and light (even though it is not reflective like metals).  The parts of the cloth that are closest to the ground have a cooler, blueish tint, while those facing upwards are a warmer, more yellowish green.

At one point in the video I turn off the saturation completely, making the screen black and white.  This means that only shape you see is provided by the shadows and highlights.  The cloth retains all of its shape, but now you don't see that blueish color tint.

Each of the tutorials I create has that kind of in depth process.  You see every brush stroke possible, and you get an explanation behind every color choice, every highlight, and so on.  I try to repeat these things during the recording to reinforce the information, and make it easier to remember.

I have dozens of painting tutorials on my Patreon Page, which cover every possible technique and topic.  Not just painting, but basing, terrain, and more.

A pledge of just $5 can get you access to tutorials such as this.  Each one is about 100-130 minutes long.  The Army Painter pledge level of $15 will provide access to all tutorials that I do each month.

Joining in on the Patreon Page will provide you with access to a vast number of tutorials, and brand new content every month.  I already have several Song of Ice and Fire unit tutorials in progress, including the Night's Watch Ranger Hunters and the Free Folk Spearwives!

Here's a link to the page... once you sign up, I immediately send you links to tutorials to get you started:

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Listen to the Trees

This is a sneak peek at a new set of tutorial videos that I will be doing on some older GW Dryads.  It has been many years since I last painted one, and I thought I could roll the camera as I work on these!

These new videos will be more of an "At the Workbench" setup, where I show you how I go about painting things for commissions. It is not very different from how I do everything else in terms of technique, but the mindset does change quite a bit.

I will also be going a little more "Old School", where I have these brush primed with 1 color, as opposed to the "Primer Painting" you see more now.  I wanted to show you a more classic Shaded Basecoat technique!

This episode from another ongoing series should give you an idea of that kind of priming.  Then I will work my way trough a few of these figures using a variety of glazing and other techniques.  A few of the episodes will be available to the general public, with the rest for my patrons of the Patreon Page:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hammer & Sickle

This very old hunk of metal really took me back to the early days of our painting experience.I remember when I first saw the old Confrontation figures, and noticed how different they were sculpted from everything else at that time.

I think the next transition which was that noticeable was the ZBrush phenomenon a few years back.  You can tell when something has been digitally sculpted quite easily, just by the flow of the lines, and how most organic surfaces are rendered.  I remember how intricate these Confrontation minis were when they first hit the scene.

There were many more details on those figures than you had typically seen on sculpts of that 2001-2003 period.  Now with the digital sculpting, it is commonplace. 

These solid metal figures are certainly a lot heavier than the resin and plastic figures you will see today.  It is so strange to think that metal figures are the least common materials nowadays!