Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Made in the USA

A very special day indeed, as I get a loo inside the Badger Airbrush factory!  This is where many of my favorite things are made, such as the Stynlrez Primer!!!

Gilbert was kind enough to schlep me up to the factory, and Ken played host.  The murals in the office area start to lead you inside...

You start to run into tooling areas right away, and you immediately learn what a family business Badger is.  You can very easily bump into multiple generations of the same family working in different departments.

This device might have been the most exotic... a way to check out nozzles to determine if there any flaws, or simply work on shape.

The factory was much like a Tardis, a whole lot bigger on the inside than it appeared from without.

Airbrushes of every type were under way, and it was really neat to see familiar end products in their earliest stages.  In an age of plastic, digital printing and such, I was struck over and over again by all the machine parts and metal shavings!

...and miles of hoses!  There were racks of hoses being cut, with connectors, water traps, etc., being added along the way.

An unexpected surprise was a rack of nail painting stencils.  I will definitely have to fool around with these to see what happens on cloaks, vehicles, shoulder pads, etc.

It goes without says that there were Plenty of jars of paint and primer!  When we showed up, the all important Stynlrez primer was being relocated to a new area where it would be easier to access.  It has become the go to primer for so many across the globe.

The shipping department made you realize that when you saw the destinations of the boxes, heading to 3 different continents :)

Here was have the compressor area, where quality control, testing, repairs, etc, are done.  This is only a part of the area!

More machine tools.  Each of those machines creates various needle sizes.  To see those in person gives you an all new respect for the needles!  

As we moved along, we started to see final assembly areas, more quality control, etc.  No brush leaves the factory without a battery of tests!

Seeing the Sanctuary of Stynlrez in person was a near religious experience!  After seeing all the machines needed to create all those finely tooled parts, the racks of airbrushes were all the more impressive.  It takes a number of individuals working on each phase to make those brushes come to life.

The resident artist's studio.  You will probably be seeing me wear one of those Badger hats at a convention soon enough!

The Ken 'O Meter, which tells everyone if it's a sunny day, or storm clouds on the horizon...

We finished off the tour by checking out art pieces made over the years by various artists.  The painting of JFK was made 50 years ago with the very first Badger Airbrush!

Once again, many thanks to Gilbert (be sure to check out Reddragon's Model Werks) and to Ken.  It was amazing to see what it takes just to make a single airbrush, or even a single jar of Stynlrez.  

In just a matter of weeks, the Band reunites at GenCon, where once again I will be doing airbrush demos in the Badger booth.  That has become an annual tradition, and this year we have some very special things planned!

Be sure to stop by and enjoy the amazing work of the great folks we met at the Badger Airbrush factory!!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Compare and Contrast

With all the furor and frenzy over the Contrast Paints, it seemed wise to make a change in the schedule for my Army Painting series.  I had another Oil Painting series set up but everyone wants to know about these paints.

So I grabbed some classic Khore Bloodletters and got those prepped for Series 10, which will focus on various ways to use those Contrast Paints!

I have been mixing them with a variety of "regular" paints, but this was the first time I got to see what they would do with the fluorescent paint!

As I have mentioned many times now, I have been asked repeatedly for options on the Reaper Clear and Liner paints, which can be difficult to obtain outside the US.  I have already done 3 live sessions on the mixing of regular paint with Contrast Paints:

Ironically, this is nothing different than techniques that used many years ago when I filmed the original Painting Pyramid series.  Here's another live session showing how I used the Contrast Medium to make my own lighter skin tone contrast paint...

I chose to do a classic color scheme on these classic Bloodletters, which seemed to suit them well.  As with all Army Painting series, I begin with creating bases for the unit.  In this case, working with the Green Stuff World texture rollers and the flaming skulls.  The second episode is always the Color Test Figure, which is where you figure out how long a given effect or color scheme might take on each figure.

This is very important because what seems like a small amount of time on one figure can become a LOT of time once you multiply that across an entire unit or army!  That is why I discuss the point over and over again during the subsequent episodes.  Each series is normally 5 episodes, and around 12-13 hours total running time.  These are designed to tie into the Painting Dark Sword episodes and other videos that are posted to the patreon page each month.  The $15 pledge level means you will be able to see every series that has been done, and I am working on series 10 and 11 right now!

The Army Painting pledge level will provide access to all previous series and tutorials at all the other levels, so that means close to 100 various tutorials at your fingertips in an instant!  You can find that here on the Patreon Page:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Snow and Ice

Yet another episode of Painting Dark Sword is complete!  This had a few interesting twists, starting with the miniature itself.  There is an entire line of Game of Thrones figures withing the Dark Sword stable of sculpts, and this Spearwife is the very first!

I was also trying to show what it is like to match a color scheme that you have never seen before.

Finally, I wanted to present an alternative to my usual Crushed Glass method, because it can be difficult to get those materials outside of the US.  I used a combination of Woodland Scenics snow flock and Vallejo Snow texture.  

I have used this method on my Bolt Action figures, and it is a nice way to get some snow with texture and even tinted with some color!

Here's the finished result.  I think that I will have to try an replicated this on a few of my own Spearwives from the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game!

There was also a freehand pattern which needed to be matched, which was one more challenge.  I show a quick way to figure out a pattern on a separate piece of sculpey in order to familiarize myself with that design.  It makes it MUCH easier to paint it on the figure itself.

Finally, I wanted to discuss putting some of your own personality or look on the figure, even though you are replicating a scheme done by someone else.  It can be very subtle, or very dramatic.  It is very important to think through something like that before you get too involved in painting the figure.

More Dark Sword videos are under way right now!  The $10 pledge will provide you with all previous episodes, as I try to make these "build" off each other.  You can find that here on the patreon page:

Friday, June 14, 2019

Lady of Anguish

As some of you might already know, I have been creating painting tutorials on the Creature Caster figures, which I really love!  I have 8 of them in various stages of filming right now, but the first is complete, and a few episodes are on the YouTube channel for you to see.  

This is episode 1 of 3:

That first episode focused mostly on the wings, and establishing the color scheme overall, working from a few reference images of butterflies.  I was also using the Pro Acryl paints.  The basing was very important, and that is also covered in great depth.

The second episode of the 3 part series involved the rest of the body, in addition to the face and weapons.  I was also getting to know the ProAcryl paints a little better, after my first test of the paints in this video:

Here is a link to that second episode:

I really enjoyed creating this series, and the three episode format is what I will be using for the rest as well.  The next series to be released will have the Lord of Slaughter painted as a firey demon:

Here are some more views of the basing, which included water effects, cut leaves, and even some painted moss!

The concept behind this was to show how to create a very intense color scheme with a "limited" palette.  I did not use many colors, but choosing the right set can let you create all the tones that you need.

The Pro Acryl paints can be used in a variety of ways, and I will certainly be discovering many more along the way, as the line continues to expand.  More of the newest paint colors are on the way here so that I can test them out with the original release!

All of these series will be available to the Patreon page subscribers at the $5 level, but I also have a high level pledge which includes the figure itself.  You can check that out here:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The peacock and the skull

Here are a few bases that I created in very little time utilizing some Green Stuff World basing products.  First, we have the Mandala texture roller... here's a link for you:

In combination with a few layers of cork and placing some Sandy Paste in the gaps, this Dark Sword figure is all set for painting!

Cathy will be painting this on her live stream in association with More Than Dice a Podcast.  She streams every Tuesday through Friday from 3pm Central to 5pm.

I think she will be going with a peacock motif, using the wonderful Jade color from the Pro Acryl series!

Cathy will also be painting this Reaper figure, which was based with the help of the Green Stuff World Crunch Times skeleton sheet and some additional skulls.

Once again, in combination with the cork and paste, those could be merged together quite seamlessly!  I have a tutorial video showing how those are used here:

Be sure to check out Cathy's live stream, where she will be working on a few different figures during the week.  Be sure to say something in the chat, because she loves the company while she paints!!!