Ghost of the North

I have another tutorial up on the YouTube channel… this time covering a subject I have been asked to talk about dozens of times. That is, painting white.  So, I thought that Ghost from the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game would be a perfect example!  Here’s a link to the video:

There were not a lot of colors used, but mixing those few together created an endless array of options to create subtle transitions…

I even finish things off with another round of Crushed Glass basing from Secret WeaponMiniatures

Here’s the final result!

I have 3 other Song of Ice and Fire wolves prepped and ready for more videos.  Those will be available to the patrons on my Patreon Page.

People have a lot of trouble getting interesting tones in white… it tends to be very bland.  With wolves in particular, “white” fur often has a lot of yellow in it.  Also, the blue sky reflecting off the snow can make the fur seem blue, or even purple!

If you join the Patreon Page, you will be able to check out (especially at the Army Painter level), there are close to 100 different videos to see… covering terrain, Oils, Acrylics, NMM, OSL, TMM, you name it!  Here’s a link to the page:

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Arcane Basing

The very first Army Painting series was an interesting phase in my journey of creating miniature painting tutorials.  This is the moment where I had to decide what sort of format I would use, and just how I would demonstrate my approach to painting units.  Ultimately I chose to do them in five 2 hour episodes.

As many of you already know, I really love basing, so I figured that it would be a good idea to begin with basing!  Here’s an example of one of those episodes:

With the basing complete, I shift to the color test figure.  This is where I decide what kind of effects I want to do on the figures.  I discuss the “Currency of Time”, where I keep track of how much time a given effect takes, and how that might effect the overall time of the project.

For example, the champion figure needed a lot of decisions.  Should the “familiar” be glowing… and if it is, should it be a different color.  Ultimately I decided to make it the same color as the magical runes on the bases, since that seemed to make the most sense.

Even choosing which figure goes on which base can have a large impact on your choices.  Since the snake parts of the figure didn’t see as detailed or interesting, I definitely wanted to have the glowing effects.  That gave me some options for creating more dimension in areas that did not quite have the cleanest textures.

Where the figure should be placed on the base was also discussed.  These views show you how much of the fantastic design can appear if you place the figure in the right spot.

There was some Non Metallic metals included in the series too.  This is another aspect of the videos, and that is to include as many different techniques as possible.  However, I try to make these less “scary”, and treat them like any other effect, like snow bases, freehand, etc.

Pulling together all these different techniques in a cohesive manner is what makes the difference between a nicely painted unit and a pretty amazing one.  I try to tie in all these individual techniques into other stand alone episodes also available on the Patreon Page.  That includes the Dark Sword series, which is now on Episode 13!  These take things like OSL, color theory, etc, and focus them onto just one miniature.
All of those additional tutorials can be seen if you sign up for the $15 Army Painter monthly pledge.  This includes an average of 13-20 hours of tutorials each month!

The Army Painting pledge level is available on the Patreon Page, and Series 8 is well under way!  You can check that out here:

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The Brain Trust

As much as I love painting the rank and file miniatures from Song of Ice and Fire, I really enjoy painting the Non Combat units, or NCU’s.  These are not only very characterful miniatures, they also do a lot in the game itself.

This is probably my favorite aspect of the game and how it plays.  Changing out the NCU’s (as well as the unit attachments) can completely transform your army without having to alter your normal combat units at all!

I realize that most people only use 2 of these non combat characters, but I like to have 3.  This lets me cause even more trouble each turn (the NCU’s can’t be killed), but can even deny the opponent that one space they really need for whatever combo they have in mind.
I can ‘waste’ an NCU on an area that I don’t want, but certainly keep the opponent from jumping on it.  Should they also have 3 of these NCU’s, they must now make a very hard choice… do the big combat move on the battlefield, or potentially have a character be left off the political track completely!

I will be doing a lot of tutorials on the various characters that I am painting.  Several of these have already been posted to the Patreon page, but you can also see some other YouTube live sessions here that showcase NCU’s:

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Skulls, Snow and Blood!

One of my latest tutorials loaded to the Patreon Page showed off the traditional crushed glass snow technique… but with a twist!  This time, I added some blood effects.

You can see those strategically positioned not only on the bases of the figures, but the movement tray as well.

I had been looking forward to testing this out for a while, and it was well worth the wait.  I combined the Bader Airbrush Ghost Tint called Fresh Blood with Green Stuff World’s True Blood.  I added a bit of Reaper Red liner for added darkness in the driest areas of the blood pools.

The wonderful aspect of the crushed glass snow is that it is crystalline and transparent.  This means the blood actually ‘seeps’ into the snow, as it would with the real thing.

This view gives you a great look at the overall effect. This was done for the $10 Basing level pledge on the patreon page, but it was also meant for the backers at the $15 Army Painting level.

Here’s a link to the Patreon Page if you are interested in tutorial/experiments such as these.  I have many more experiments on the way, since Green Stuff World sent me a host of new products!

If you want to get a peek at the figures themselves, I have a live session where I was painting them with the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers:

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Ancient BONES

The latest YouTube Live session had something very interesting… a combination of a Reaper BONES mini and some Green Stuff World texture rollers!

This was a test piece that I did for a more formal tutorial that will be created for the patrons on my patreon page.  I wanted to show a quick way to snazz up those BONES minis and get some nice results!  It will be part of a new pledge level regarding Reaper miniatures (a link to the page):

While my voice recovers from Adepticon, I will be doing a few of these live sessions.  In this episode, I talked about how the base was created, and I take you through the process of painting it.  Then I work on the figure itself, demonstrating some NMM, freehand, and the usual Shaded Basecoat & Glazing.

Here’s a link to the live session!!

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Army Painting… a New Series!

The latest Army Painting series has been completed for the Patreon Page!  I have been eagerly awaiting this Morghul Knights unit for my Middle Earth SBG collection, and now it is well under way to the table.
My next Lord of the Rings series will feature my new Rohan army!

I used the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers as well as standard oil paints throughout the process.  These have a number of advantages, as the consistency is the same as acrylic miniature paints right out of the container.  They also have an unbreakable container, and a handy brush to get that out on to the palette.

I used a number of Green Stuff World products on the bases, which were also covered in Episode 1.  The new Texture Sheets were outstanding, and I also created a few flagstone bases.  
Once the figures were painted, I concluded the series with adding static grass and cut leaves.  You can see the Green Stuff World leaf cutters in the image.  They are really amazing!

I tried to cover a number of topics during the 4 part series, including weathering, NMM, and how to get as much color variety in “black” as possible.  This series allowed me to do a lot more glazing of the oil paints, since I was able to let some layers partially or completely dry.
This is something I have not done very often, and never had a chance to capture on camera.

The Army Painting tutorials are only a part of what is offered on my Patreon Page.  I also have a number of basing tutorials, terrain, and other “general techniques”.  I am now filming the 14th Painting Dark Sword episode!  All of these are available for you to see when you sign up for that pledge level.

I have a few live sessions that are more of a conversation about the approach to using the oils, including this recent episode on the Song of Ice and Fire Flayed Men:

When you look at the cloaks, metals and horses, you will see that each one is a slightly different shade.  Some have more of a greenish tint, others more red or even turquoise.   These subtle differences create a much more interesting unit, and the oil paints make it a LOT easier to create those kinds of gentle shifts in color.
Even over a layer of dried oil paints, it is still easier to blend in a fresh layer of oils than to do so in acrylics.
Series 8 will also feature some brand new elements, as I work on the Mountain’s Men.

The Army Painting series is available at the $15 pledge level, and all previous series can be viewed.  Many more are already in the works!
Here’s a link to the page:

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Marble Factory: Adepticon 2019

I was able to snap a few shots while I did the marble effects on one of the Adepticon terrain pieces.  Each one started out with some initial layers of Badger Stynlrez primer, and some regular paint colors too.  In this case, I used an interesting teal green to get some ‘starter’ marble pattern.
I have done some previous articles on using torn paper towels as masks when the lighter tones are airbrushed on.  This gives you an idea of where to place the ‘veins’ of the marble later on with a regular brush.

I tell people all the time that we used to brush on Badger Stynlrez primer with regular brushes… and the Badger paints too!

I started to make a sharper delineation of the marble veins by brushing on the color of Badger paint which was used in the last airbrush layer.

I did the same on the columns, which was trickier due to the shape.  I was using my normal #8 round craft brushes, but holding them on their side, so that they were almost parallel to the surface.

You can see more of that here.  The idea is to ‘push’ the brush across, making a more random pattern.

The inside of the wall section was even more difficult, as it was harder to see.  You can tell by the massive shadow that getting light there was no easy task!

I started to add some lighter colors to the mix, working on one “side” of the veins.  I usually chose the side where my sharper brush stroke just up against the darkest color.  You keep adding broken lines or veins on that side with progressively lighter tones.

Again, this is not so easy on the fluted columns!

When I add those lighter colors, I also draw in additional (but thinner) veins.  You don’t want to go overboard with these, as they will ruin the effect.

Once all the marble was done, I started to do some weathering washes with the Secret Weapon Miniatures paints.  I started with an Old Rust, then to Orange Rust.

You can see some of that weathering over the painted areas and the metals.  I will be posting some more images of the finished buildings soon!  Adepticon is just a few days away now!

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Twiggy and Squiggy

These cute little guys from Malifaux might spoil your camping trip!  The personality of these was definitely more unique and characterful than the typical GW Dryads.
They don’t look terribly aggressive, you never really know…
I think that Twiggy and Squiggy get up to all kinds of hi jinx in the woods, messing around with hapless humans, putting out campfires, etc.

They are definitely more “whispy” than the GW versions, so assembling them can be more of a challenge. However, it was well worth it, as it was very fun to work with greens, oranges and other interesting tones in the mid tones and even the shadows!

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Desert Storm

As we prepare for our desert campaigns, we revisit a few of the vehicles painted for that theatre.  One is a Rubicon Crusader, and the other is a Shapeways Panzerjager.

The Crusader was painted with Mig Ammo Oilbrushers, while the Panzerjager was done with regular acrylic paints (Secret Weapon weathering paints and Reaper miniatures).

If you want to get a peek at how the Crusader was done, it was quite similar to this Panzer 3:

I just filmed a new video showing how to paint a very unique desert theme vehicle… this time a sci-fi APC from Victoria Miniatures!  That will be published soon, once the vehicle is released.  That is painted very much like the Crusader.  I used the Secret Weapon Weathering paints in a similar method as I did on this Captured and converted Char B1 Bis:

When weathering desert vehicles, it is important to keep a few things in mind.  Sun bleaching is going to be far more prominent than any kind of streaking, and the old reliance on rust and other such methods is either non existent or kept to a minimum, for obvious reaons.
By the way, the crew figures of the Panzerjager are from Perry Brothers.  I really prefer to have some kind of crew figures for open topped transports and SPG’s.  They don’t have the same kind of look on the table when they are empty.

There will be a number of new vehicle painting tutorials coming to the Patreon Page once we return from Adepticon… they will be available to the patrons here:

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Bloody Knights

One of the units that I want to have for my Adpeticon tournament army is the Flayed Men, and I have been working on them along with the rest of the Lannisters.  I am painting the unit using oil paints, and the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers.

Those are especially helpful in working on units like this, where there are a lot of muted colors, but you are still trying to get a lot of variation in those tones.  For instance, all the ‘skin’ they are wearing can be made a wider variety of tones, instead of just one level of ‘pink’ or red.
I was able to have a wide range of cooler reds, lighter tans, and everything in between, because the oil paints let me blend colors together in a very simple way.  Just place a few blobs of paint on the surface, grab a fresh brush, and blend them together!

I also added some blood effects using the Badger Airbrush Fresh Blood Ghost Tint.  It is very glossy, translucent and extremely vibrant.  You can see that I also added a few drops to the snow, which I was really looking forward to doing.

I am also recording a “hard copy” tutorial video for the Patreon Page.  This will show how the process plays out, including the snow and blood effects.  That should be up before we head off to Adepticon:

Here’s a link to the live session!  Be sure to subscribe so that you get notifications the next time I do an At the Workbench live tutorial…

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The Lion Rolls On

Some of you might be familiar with my previous Warhammer armies like the Lizards and Tomb Kings, which had movement trays with ruined marble of various designs.  Here’s a link to those older armies:

Those movement trays were relatively plain compared to the Tomb Kings:
Instead of having to carve in all the texture by hand, the Green Stuff Word texture rollers make creating all those amazing designs as easy as rolling the pins over some Sculpey clay!  I have a number of articles on how to do that process… here I wanted to show the new Song of Ice and Fire figures on their movement trays…

Once the sculpey sheets are broken up into the pieces you need, you can take the pinned figures and attach them to the bases by drilling a small hole the size of your pin (in this case the size of a paperclip).  For the smaller bits of broken sculpey, I can squeeze those in around the feet of the other figures that I did not cut from the original base with my razor saw.

The selected figures and bases are now in place.  You can see the Lion design featured on the bases quite easily!  Each texture roller has a number of great designs on it, so every last inch of it has something you can use.  You might even be able to spot the words “Glory” and Strength” here and there.

The parts of the sculpey sheets that were broken away to make the base for the figures are perfect for those interior places around the movement tray.  Since they were the parts of the design next to the Lion imagery, it makes sense that they would be right next to them on the tray.

I used some of my sandy paste to fill in the gaps around the sculpey pieces, being very careful not to make the surface too built up.  I wanted to be able to get the bases into their slots easily, and a few had some tiny overhang.

After sprinkling some light gravel and sand into place, I could start drilling the holes for the figures.

Here you go!  The entire unit ready for priming!  I think this speaks to the Lannisters, having the wealth to make such structures and abandon them for something even more grand.

I am doing a tutorial video on this style of multi basing for my Patreon Page.  This will be for the folks who have signed on to the $10 basing pledge, as well as those who are part of the $15 Army Painting pledge level.  Here’s a link to the Page:

All of these units will be part of my armies at Adepticon, so come out and see them!  Here’s a link to the Green Stuff World webstore:

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Primer en masse

With Adepticon approaching, it is time to get a lot of Song of Ice and Fire miniatures ready for painting!  I have some NCU’s, activation banners, combat units and more that need to get that basic “pre-shading” which you have seen in previous posts.
Lately I have been starting with the reddish brown Badger Stynlrez primer.  It is an all around handy shade, as it is relatively dark and with a strong tone.

I had used the Ebony color for this first layer, but I happen to end up with more of the reddish brown after the Ebony had been used up!  In any case, my primer painting does not really rely on any kind of specific colors.  You could use whatever you wanted (something that matches the overall color of your army, etc), but this is more of a “take on all comers” scheme.

Most of the colors that I end up painting on my units these days tend to be more aligned with earth tones.  The historicals, Lord of the Rings and Song of Ice and Fire minis have more muted schemes, and need to blend in with their environment more than a sci-fi figure for instance

The units of 12 could be primed while they are still on the trays, but in the end it takes much less time to do them individually.  I can pick them up, change the angle that I am holding them, etc.  This lets me get to the hard to reach areas under the figure.
Also, this is the point where you save a lot of money using the airbrush (or brushing it on directly as we did for many years).  When you spray prime with cans, you are usually outside, and all you can do is tip the figures over, or roll them over in the cardboard box.
Of course, that is if you have the ideal weather for it, which in Chicago is never.

After getting a general coat of the reddish brown, I start to dust other lighter colors over the top.  I like to hit it with the olive green next, since greens are so present in my shadows, skin tones, bases, etc. anyway.

It is very helpful on figures such as the Free Folk, where I will be doing a lot of leather and fur.  If I do some glazing of reds or yellow browns, I can still have a bit of that green color show through.  The same goes for the skin tones.

I also hit the movement trays, not worrying about getting things very dark.  The first stage of painting is to do my oil washes over them (I will probably be using oils on these), so I can more effectively establish exactly the type of colors I want in those areas with that initial stage.

The light tan color is the next primer that I dust over the top of the green.  I try not to wipe out too much of the original reddish brown or greens, but it is not a huge problem if I get a little too much on a given figure.  By this time I am simply waving the airbrush over the top of the figures.

The trays are ready to go.  Another key thing to remember is that plenty of snow will be covering these.  Yet another reason why I will be doing a lot of shading/glazing in the initial stages!

 I have also been dusting a final layer of white on figures.  As before, this is more gently brushed on… even to the point where I turn the air pressure below 50 PSI! 😉

The units are all set for painting!  If you want to see how I do some of this basing, I have a number of tutorials on the Patreon Page, very similar to this:

Here’s one of the wolves from the Night’s Watch set I believe.  As I mentioned earlier, you can change out one of the colors along the way to get an interesting result.  
He will be the subject of another tutorial for the Patreon Page.  Here’s a link to check that

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