A great Case

The large Carrying case from TableWar has proven to be handy for a number of things.  I thought that the larger size would let me carry the bigger Creature Caster demons more safely at conventions…

The front door is transparent as usual, which means it is better at airports (the contents can be seen by looking at them as opposed to rummaging through them!).  It also has the side benefit of knowing who it belongs to by looking at the minis inside!

I didn’t even notice the large try on the bottom when I first looked at it, but once I did, I put a bunch of different supplies in there to see how much it would hold.

I also thought that the Song of Ice and Fire movement trays might fit perfectly on the shelves, and that was correct.  Fitting three units on each level would be more than enough to get an army somewhere for a game… perhaps even some terrain included!

You can blue tack the trays to the shelves, or have the metal inserts and magnetize them.

Looks like the Free Folk are heading somewhere!

The bottom tray was more than large enough to howl all the terrain pieces, cards, dice, etc. that I would need for SoIaF.

It was even handy for a batch of Black Heart Models busts!  As I mentioned before, it would be no problem to blue tac these to the shelves, and get them where they needed to be safely.  Here’s a link to the TableWar site: http://www.tablewar.com/towercase/

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I am King

I had a lot of fun working on the Jeoffrey Baratheon figure from the Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures Game!  He was painted in one of my “On the Workbench” episodes that you can watch here: https://youtu.be/501jT53hFd4

I try to break down the painting of all the miniatures into simpler steps… typically 5 sections.  The first discusses what materials are involved, and then it moves on to the initial glazing and Shaded Basecoat phase in part 2.

I want to work in the sketching of the Freehand design as early in the process as possible, for a few reasons.  If that design is sketched in at an earlier point, I have a lot more room to make adjustments!  Painting a complex freehand pattern over a surface that you have spent a lot of time working on can be daunting.

It can be so daunting, many folks don’t even attempt the freehand, because they don’t want to “mess up the figure”

I am the King!

This image also shows the basing of the figure, which was done with the Green Stuff World Texture rollers.

And a peek at the freehand design!

I will be doing tutorials on the rest of the King’s Guard for the Patreon Page.

Even pledging at the $5 level can set you up with some very fun tutorials each month, and you also get a TON of content right away when you do sign up.  You can check that out here:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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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!!

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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: https://youtu.be/r4e9b03jgdk

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… https://youtu.be/AyUAj05Xevo

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: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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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: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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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: https://youtu.be/jyaCXWRPPdw

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: https://youtu.be/sFsQ4VrQG44

Here is a link to that second episode:  https://youtu.be/gverWb5dj9k

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: https://wappellious.blogspot.com/2018/07/flame-and-ash.html

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: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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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: http://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/textured-rolling-pins/868-rolling-pin-mandala.html

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:  https://youtu.be/ECA4rXwSAjU

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!!!

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Wraith World

One of the things I try to do with my tutorials is to keep them as close to “real life” as possible.  That means taking commission projects and turning them into videos!

In this case, I had to match this color scheme, which was going to be a major challenge, because that painter uses a VERY different technique than I do.  You can see that it is mostly edge highlighting and using metallic paints, which I was not going to be able to use myself.

So, using the typical set of Reaper liner and clear paints, I set down to work.

As always, I started with my initial glazes and Shaded Basecoat. The idea here is to get the lights and darks into position as quickly as possible to put a “framework” in place, which I can build from with additional refinements later on.

Once those initial building block are established, I can move towards the all important mid tones and other details, such as weathering, etc.

You can see in these images that I was able to get the feel of the reference image, but still keep it more in line with my approach.  The key is that “messy” stage at the beginning when I am moving paint around rapidly.

I have done a few other blog posts as well on “reclamation projects”, where I have to take figures painted by someone else and rescue them, since they were not painted in the manner requested.  I have also done a few videos on basing commission projects, because I felt like it would be helpful for people to know how they could get a very unique basing design and still be able to repeat it many times in rapid succession.

While anyone who has to paint entire armies for their own games needs to get them done in a minimal amount of time, it is especially important for a commission painter to be able to get projects out of the way as soon as possible.  Hopefully these videos that I am creating assist in that cause!

This video is one of many that I have done for the $5 pledge level, which are typically “On the Workbench” sessions.  Here is a peek at the video:  https://youtu.be/pdp9OlIgDu0

I am always churning out more tutorials, sometimes on very spontaneous subject matter such as this.  Signing up on the Patreon page for as little as $5 a month will provide you with access to these episodes which are designed to cast new light on certain topics: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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Dark Runes

Dark Sword figures provide an excellent “canvas” for various tutorials, and this one was no exception!  There were a few things I wanted to try out, as I have been doing a lot of NMM on all the Song of Ice and Fire minis.

The home made wet palette made another appearance as well, as the fans keep drying out paints like crazy during the lessons!

Here’s an example of what I was trying to replicate… some metal effects done on a Sandor Clegane figure from the Song of Ice and Fire range.

For those who are able to watch the tutorial, they will see how I take the reference images and carry over those effects onto the figure, especially all the reflections.  Once I started using armor cosplayers images as references as opposed to pictures of armor in museums, I began to get a better idea of what armor looks like in an “environment”.

The other major goal of the lesson was to demonstrate how to integrate freehand designs more spontaneously, and have them match the basing.

You can see that in this image, where I used the Green Stuff World Celtic theme texture roller to create an ancient stone temple base.  During the video, I show a few simple steps to replicating those patterns on the cloak.  This is Episode 16 of Painting Dark Sword.  
In each video, I try to show a few different elements… sometimes that is a specific color, or a range of colors.  It can also involve a certain technique, or how to combine various techniques.
I even switch up the materials, as some are painted in oils.
All of these are part of the Painting Dark Sword pledge level on the Patreon Page.

The Dark Sword pledge level is $10 per month, and also provides access to other “stand alone” tutorials which are done each month. You can check that out here:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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Cruel Seas: All ahead full

As I get the next few fleets ready for painting, I thought I would show some images of the Regia Marina from Cruel Seas!  This has been a lot of fun, since painting 1/300 scale ships is something I have wanted to do for a very long time.
I recently published a tutorial on the Gabbiano Class corvette of the Italian navy, and here’s the link: https://youtu.be/gEnCenN6fjA

Painting the Dazzle camo and the weathering is a blast!

I just had to begin with the Italian fleet, because the Air Recognition markings are so much fun.

Here’s some more of the fleet, much of which was painted at Little Wars in April.

I will be doing more tutorials on all the other fleets, as well as terrain demos and battle reports!

Each fleet has a very different look and personality to it, so I look forward to painting all of them.  The Kreigsmarine is being prepped right now…

I will also be doing some patron only videos, such as my series on the Winter Soviets.  That was part of my Army Painting pledge level, where I take on an entire unit, and show the complete process from basing to the final details of painting!  You can find that here: www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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Savage Blood

I have been having a great deal of fun basing my Song of Ice and Fire miniatures using a variety of Green Stuff World products… the latest of which are the “Crunch Times” texture sheets.  I have been using the skull piles and skull and bones sheets to base my Free Folk units.

It is possible to break those up, and then use them for bot the bases and the movement tray!  In effect, you are creating a moving diorama.

In my latest basing video, I demonstrate how this process works: https://youtu.be/nnAX658rMd8

I also take you through some steps to magnetize the figures to the tray, which I have been doing for all my units.  This makes them so much easier to deal with as far as transport, but even on the table when you have to constantly move a tray around some obstacles or rotate them.  I have seen “explosions” in every battle report so far where a batch of figures go flying.

The priming process is just like this tutorial using the Badger Stynlrez primers: https://youtu.be/5pfwjapw98A

This “Pre Shading” process can make things much easier and faster when it comes time to paint the rest of the unit!

Here are a few of the “Color Test” figures.  This is an important part of the unit or army painting process, and something that is always covered in the second episode of every 5 part Army Painting series on the Patreon Page.  It is here where you can determine how long a given effect might take, and then you can multiply that by the number of figures.  
This way, you know in advance how much extra time that could add to your project, and you can either eliminate that effect, or save it for select figures such as champions.

I have a number of videos showing how I do the snow and blood effects, such as this one on Shaggy Dog: https://youtu.be/W8MCJm14IYs

I am almost finished filming Series 9 of the Army Painter Patreon sets.  As I mentioned earlier, each one is usually 5 episodes long, and takes you through each step of the process from initial basing to finishing touches!  By signing up for the Army Painting level (which is $15 per month), you also have access to all the other tutorials done for that month, and that means about 20 hours of video tutorials!!
You can sign up for the Army Painting pledge here, so you don’t miss out on dozens of unit and army painting content!:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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Rohan Begins!

The latest Army Painting series is well under way, with episode 3 nearly complete!  This time around we have Rohan, and that means an exercise in painting various greens.  However, every series begins with basing, and I chose to create some tree bark and cork style bases for the army.

While the materials are quite inexpensive and relatively simple, the results that you can get are second to none, and make each individual infantry figure a tiny diorama!

In each series I try to toss in something new and different.  Instead of using an airbrush to spray on my shading layers of Badger Stynlrez primer, I chose to go back to a time before we had an airbrush.  This means brushing on the primer by hand!  For years, we brushed on the Stynlrez  primer, and it always worked very well.

I used 3 different colors of primer to achieve the same sort of “pre shaded” look that I normally get with the airbrush.  It may take a little longer, but if you don’t happen to have an airbrush, this is certainly a viable solution for you.

With the unit based and primed, it was time to move on to the Color Test figure episode.  It is at this time when you can assess how much time a given effect will take on a figure, which allows you to do some quick calculations on how an entire unit or army might require to complete.

I discuss this in every series, often timing myself to see how long it takes, and then multiplying that by the number of figures needed.  It can start to add up quickly, and it is best to find that out as early in the process as possible!

I don’t know how many times I have heard people that I know giving up on an army project because they had ambitious goals, but no real idea oh how long that was going to take.  That lead to frustration and boredom.  After all, this is supposed to be your FUN thing, and not be an additional burden to endure each day.

With each series and “one off” tutorial, I try to show you how to break down that much longer, complex process into more attainable goals.  These let you see some progress each time, and also help you to decide what effects might be neat to do, but would ad too much overall time to get that project out of the way.

Even on this color test figure, there were a few occasions where I timed myself , such as the freehand on the shield and on the tunic.  If I decide that it too much to do on every figure, I might decide to save something special like that for champions or characters.  By making that choice before going on to the rest of the unit, I have made the goals more reasonable, and I am less likely to be upset later on when I realize that the original vision is just not possible.

The Army Painting pledge is $15 per month, and you get links to all the previous series when you sign up!  In addition, all the other tutorials on basing, Dark Sword minis, Creature Caster, Nocturna, Big Child Creatives minis will be yours to view as well.  It is important for you to see those, since I try to show more individual techniques and ideas that can be applied to army and unit painting.

As I mentioned before, the Army Painting Pledge level will provide access to all of the tutorials each month, not just the Army Painting episodes!  You can check out that pledge level on the page here:  www.patreon.com/JamesWappel

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