Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Carpetbagger


Next up from Knuckleduster Miniatures is The Carptebagger, a nasty, sneaky snake... so there's one slithering right next to him.


The base is a sheet of baked sculpey that was carved to look like weathered boardwalk, and a green stuff snake at his heels.


I was able to find some interesting references of carpet bags, so it was really fun to paint this design on the bag!  The kickstarter for Gunfighter's Ball is well under way... so here's a link!



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Urban Combat


Among the many Bolt Action armies that are under way, the Winter Soviets have offered me a fun new basing opportunity, and that is winter urban basing!  I did a bit of this with the winter American army, and I will post a link to that how to post later in this article.


I had a few new supplies on hand this time around, and I had learned some new and improved ways to make the sculpey bricks that were also used in that first round.

The larger bases such as the anti tank rifles were a lot of fun, and I tried to make some scattered floorboards, and an indication that the bricks were piled up for cover and as a stand for those very long guns!


The accompanying team members also got a similar basing treatment.  Here's a link to the original basing article:



There were a significant number of kneeling poses in this winter set, which made me feel like I had to do some small broken wall corners!  Some of these were made with sheets of sculpey pressed in Happy Seppuku moulds or with Green Stuff World texture rollers.

I also made some brick by brick using those new kind of sculpey bricks that I mentioned earlier.


The same bricks are scattered here on these bases. along with more pieces of baked sculpey that have the cobblestone texture.


Some of these simpler bases will have a bit more snow on them.


After a few sprays of Stynlrez primer, you can see how all those materials tie in together!


Here's an image with some of those textured sculpey sheets.

I will be doing more fun things with basing on the Patreon Page this month, so be sure to check that out.  I am hoping to offer some basing kits to subscribers...



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Color Craze


Since I constantly mention that one should constantly experiment with various materials, styles, and techniques, it was time for me to try out something very new!  This would be the brand new color shift paints from Green Stuff World.


There are two sets, each with six jars.  You have a nice variety of lighter and darker tones, as well as yellows, reds, purples blues and greens!


I have a few things under way that I thought might be interesting testing subjects.  On the fantasy side, I had this Reaper BONES dragon, which had been used to show how to work with Badger airbrush primers at Gencon.

While the recommended underlayment is to have a gloss black, I wanted to see what might happen with something that was already shaded and tinted.  The dragon was a sort of burgundy, with a sky blue belly and other reddish accents.


While this would probably affect the color shifting properties of the paints somewhat, I wanted to see right away if it was possible to keep the sort of "pre-shading" that I have been doing with the Stynlrez primers.  While shifting colors is a neat effect, there still has to be some semblance of lights and darks to show shapes!


The first color that I tried was the cobalt blue.  Like any paints, you will want to shake them up very well.  Also, you have to get used to the milky white appearance the paint has in the holding cup.  It is not "blue" right out of the jar, hence the color shifting property.

While you can use these with a standard brush, GSW says that an airbrush is a little better suited to this paint.  I was using a standard Badger Patriot 105, and this paint shot through it just as easy and any Stynlrez primer, which made me very happy!

I didn't want to have to thin it or alter it an any way, because that has had adverse impacts on craft style paints of this nature.

You can get an idea of how blue it can get in the blurred image behind the paint jar...


For the lighter underside of the wings, I tried the "yellow" color shift.  The original underpainting was a light blue, so I thought there might even be a hint of green, as well as some light and dark shades.  

I think that having the pre-shading does indeed help to provide a bit more shape, even if it does alter the effect from a recommended gloss black backdrop.


I think these images give you a better sense of that shading.  Keep in mind that I am not masking anything, and I have not done any kind of glazes or washes over these.  There was a very limited time to try these out last week.


I did enjoy the way it looked on the wings, as well as the underside.  I was able to get even more of the yellow to green shift, and once again it seemed to hold just a bit of my shading.


You can see how milky white the paint seems in the cup, so I strongly suggest keeping the boxes around as a reference.  It will take me a while to get used to what each jar is supposed to do.

Spraying the blue over the burgundy gave me two kinds of shifts... one that was designed to happen with the paint, and the other influenced by the red underneath this layer.

I have other dragons which will get the full effect of the color shift paints over the gloss black.  

Fortunately one of the new colors of Badger Stynlrez primer is Gloss Black!


I think the double color shift was even more pronounced on the wings, since my spray angle had to be very shallow, picking up only the upper surfaces.  Much more of the underlying burgundy remained.


After only a few minutes, the figure had been transformed!  I can only imagine what I will be able to do once I have tested these more, and gotten a better handle on what each shift is meant to do.

I still had a remarkable amount of my original color tone left, but now it would have far more range of color.  It is very hard to see this in still images, so I will try to make some short videos to post here on a turntable.


The greenish shift was meant to form a "bridge" from the earlier cobalt and yellow applications.  This was done mostly on the lower legs and shoulder.


More of the green was sprayed on the feet.  I'm sure this would look much more dramatic once it is based, and the figure is standing on earth, rock, grass, etc.  That would provide a huge contrast to these very shiny metallic shifts.


This was after 15-20 minutes of spraying 4-5 of the color shift paints.  I will be trying these out again on a sci-fi vehicle soon.  Not only will this have more of a gloss black primer base, I will try to mask off certain areas so that you can more clearly see the various tones next to each other.

I also want to try some "standard" painting along with that, to see what happens when you paint regular acrylic colors over the top of these colors.  My guess is that the 'flatter' paints will stand out quite a bit, sort of like using wash colors on top of metallic paints.

Eventually I will try to use these on a facebook live session, although I will have to do some magic with my microphones to kill all the sounds of the compressor, airbrush and vent mechanism.

If I can figure out some good techniques to try with these amazing paints, I will try to do some patron only videos for the Patreon page:



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Having a Blast


This very fun miniature from the Counterblast miniatures game was painted in both oil paints and regular acrylic paints.  As you have seen me do more and more these days, I did a majority of the blocking in of color and blending with the oil paints, and then used the acrylic paints to finish the details.

There are a few reasons for this procedure... it allows me to work on far more figures at the same time, particularly in the Shaded Basecoat phase.  This means that I can not only block in lights and darks on many more figures, but the extended drying times means that I can do far more blending than I would normally be able to do with faster drying acrylics.


While I am doing more and more of the figure with oils, I do like the option of using the acrylic paints to finish them off once the oils have dried.  There has been no issue with the paint not sticking, and in any case I will be brushing on my dullcoate sealer afterwards.


This was an early attempt back in March... those of you who have seen the most recent posts and Facebook live sessions know that I have found out methods to do even more of the figure with oils.  These Counterblast figures by Bombshell were about 40% oils.  Now I am getting into the 80-85% range!!

Her sisters are also here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/322929133961?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649



I will try to paint one of these on a facebook live session at some point, to show you how to use the oils as a starting point, and then completing a figure with "standard" acrylic paints.  This is why the Patreon Page was started, so that I could have more time for the facebook live broadcasts.



Friday, December 8, 2017

The Fall of Mordor


It's time to finish off the Morghul knight that was originally painted with oils during a Hobby Hangout session a few weeks ago!  As I have emphasized a great deal lately, it is possible to paint part or even the majority of the figure using oils, and then finish it off with "regular" acrylic paints.

Here's a link to the first post:



In this case, I will take a few of the Reaper Liner paints and the Secret Weapon weathering paints to emphasize a few of the darker areas and sharpen up some of the edges, as well as add a little extra detail to the base.

The more I work with oil paints, the more ways I discover that allow me to go further on the figure.  Initially I saw the oil paints as a way to create very rapid transitions of color on broad surfaces, especially larger figures and cloaks.


This is something that I have wanted to try for a very long time... putting not only lighter toned colors around cobblestones, but the more usual dark sections of the mortar.  You can see a bit of this lighter color on the left side of the base, which was made using a Green Stuff World texture roller.


The Secret Weapon paints were perfect for this task, as they are designed to be used in a glaze form, and are also very matte in finish.  Sometimes the oils can be a little on the shiny side, and this kills that right away.


I used my handy Green Stuff World leaf punches to create a little ground foliage to go around the joint where the hoof met the base, and he was ready for action!


I will do one more post with the rest of the completed images.  In the meantime, he is also here:



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fashion Statement


It is time to return to the Old West with Knukledusters Miniatures!  I have painted a few of these over the years, and they have always been fun.  This character was especially interesting, as I found a fashion reference that I thought would be neat to paint...


While this dress reference is not exactly the same shape as the figure, I liked the way the colors an patterns might look on the figure.


Obviously I had to make a lot of adjustments to it to make it work with the figure, but it certainly made the larger flat expanses have more impact!


There's actually a kickstarter campaign running right now for Knuckledusters miniatures, and there's a link below.  The game (Gunfighter's Ball) should be very fun, as we have a lot of western theme terrain here already!

There might even be some other interesting things in the future... who knows.  Perhaps some larger scale figs, or possibly busts.  Just sayin' :-)

This is the $19k stretch goal figure:





Monday, December 4, 2017

Oil Slick in Mordor


I have painted many Lord of the Rings figures in standard acrylic paints, but this Morghul Knight would be the first figure that I tried painting in oils!

For those of you who are more familiar with my process, you know that I begin with a thinned down wash of various darker tones over the entire figure.  This has more to do with getting the surface ready for the subsequent layers of thicker paint than making shadows.

I have a number of oil painting live sessions, which I will link to later.


The entire surface is covered.  While this looks like it was out of control, there is actually a great deal of precision, as I made certain areas more reddish brown, others more of a blue/grey, and so on.


You can get a peek at the future layers on the figure by seeing what happened with the base.  On the left is the original wash, followed by more layers of thicker, more opaque paint.  Keep in mind that thick paint sticks to thin paint, and vice versa.  You will see me refer to this over and over in this article and on every live video!

Here's a link to the live session that I did right after painting this guy during a Hobby Hangout on Wednesday:



The same opaque colors used on the base were also placed on the figure.  What I love about this part of the process is that those original washes remain wet, and allow me to mix wet into wet on the surface.  Those original washes now combine with these new layers of paint to create shadow areas, more color transition, and so on.


Here are a few steps of paint application.  I am not simply making each layer lighter, I am also trying to shift the color a bit.  That is, sometimes more blue is added, or more ochre, etc.  It is important to note that your brush strokes must be very direct and precise.  You cannot "tap away" at the surface as you might with acrylic paints.

Since all the underlying layers are wet, you are picking up some of that paint each time you touch it.  This remains on your brush, and will then darken or change your newer brush strokes.

Simply turning your brush over will show you that it has picked up some of those previous layers.


As always, I constantly alter the colors that I am using.  This is much more similar to a 2D approach to miniature painting.  You have no choice but to mix more of your own colors with oils, as there is not the gargantuan number of "every color in the rainbow" as you have with acrylics.

But, the whole point of using oils is to work and mix right on the figure, so you won't need all those jars of paint.  You will be able to get all kinds of interesting and subtle variations.


At this point I try to work in blues ad greens into the armor plates as well as lighter colors and semi-highlight shades.  The idea is to prepare the figure for some "weathering glazes", which will get some rust colors into those crevices.


As the work progresses, you can see that a lot of the initial shininess of those first washes has diminished.  This is due to the thicker, more opaque layers.  The key thing to remember with the oils is that you have time... don't rush!  While they don't take ages to dry (especially when you use more white spirits to thin them down), you have many hours to work with them while they are wet.


Now it is time to add that rust!  I took some Sienna and Ochre to make a few rust tones, and thinned that down quite a lot with the white spirits.  While it seems crazy, these very liquid layers will act in much the same way as glaze of acrylic paints.  Of course, you will have to exert a lot of control over these, as getting to cute with them will simply create a mess instead of oxidation...


Once those glazes were applied to the areas of rust, I mixed some very deep dark wash colors for the cloak and other parts of the armor that needed those deep shadows.  The inset shows some of those darker lines added into the deep crevices.


The robes needed just as many color shifts as the armor, as once again, that is the whole point of using oils!  Otherwise I could just do standard layering with acrylics.  This means adding greens, purples, reds and other unusual colors into my still wet paint.

By using some "feathering" brush strokes with a cleaner, dryer brush, I can scumble the layers together at the edges and mix those crazy colors into what is already there.  This will tone them down, and you will only notice the color shift when you are specifically looking for it.

This is the kind of subtle variation that makes a figure more interesting to look at.

You can also see that I have been adding some brighter highlights at this stage.  I try to keep that kind of work until the later stages, because I need the "context" of all the other colors and values set in place to show me how far I need to go with those highlights.


Now you can really see all those variations, and that the paint continues the become less shiny.  However, these newer layers that I have been adding need to be thinner, because of that "thick paint sticks to thin paint, etc." statement early in the post!  

I went from very thin to progressively thicker layers, and now I must start to go in the opposite direction.  These newest layers have to "ride" on top of many layers of wet paint.


In the next post I will show how this was finished off, along with some images of the figure on the base.  I will try to do more figures like this on the facebook live broadcasts.  Lots has been planned, and I have been prepping lots of figures for them.

Any support on the Patreon page is appreciated, as it allows me to do more how to articles such as this.  It takes a while to write up the text and match it to the images taken during painting!

Here's a link: