Crystal Elf Empire Garde

Finally got the third of my Crystal Elf Empire Garde painted up. Another spearman that was almost finished a couple of weeks back but time and inclination weren’t on my side when it came to getting the last little bit done. A bit of spare time this weekend though was put to good use and I got it all finished up.

Just one more model to paint from this initial batch of elves, a sorceress that I’ve already started base coating. I’ve got plenty more elves I can add later too.

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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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It’s in the Bag!

For quite a while, I wanted to have a decent dice bag for our games of Bolt Action.  While there are plenty of options on the Warlord site, I was also hoping for something which could be utilized for other games or purposes.
This hand made custom leather bag from Armored Wolf did just the trick!

You can get an idea of the scale comparing it to the dice and surrounding figures.  Without a doubt, you can get plenty of order dice inside!

Since I tend to play larger games with a fair mount of order dice, having a bigger bag is handy.  Also very handy is the leather string which can close off the bag, just in case I don’t have my usual dice carrying boxes.  I was able to fit 30+ order dice and 32 large regular dice into the bag with no problem at all!

The dice bags are a custom order, which means you can have just about any color combo you need.  Other elements can be added such as leather tooling for unit/army/national insignia, etc.  Here’s the Etsy location where you can contact them:

Eventually I will have a bag made for my French forces, and probably another for my Winter Soviets.  As I mentioned before, this is the most generic bag that is available, at $55.

The dice in the image are from Dice of War, of course, who make dozens of amazing dice for anything you could possibly want!  I loved my Fallschirmjager sets that I used for Operation Sting last November.  You have seen me using them in my Battle reports all the time… here’s an example from my YouTube channel: 

I will be bringing this along with me to Adepticon so that I can use it for my Song of Ice and Fire tournament action!  The leather is just soft enough to close easily, but stiff enough to hold its shape even with a bunch of dice inside.  The bottom is flat and fully stitched by hand.

This high quality bag is really amazing in person, and I have seen super customized designs that blow your mind.  You want some shell casings stitched in… some tooled insignia or even shoulder badges?  Let your imagination run wild.  I certainly plan on it!

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Red Alert!

Episode 13 of Painting Dark Sword is now available to the Patrons of my Patreon Page!  I have been tackling a lot of color theory episodes of late, creating tutorials which focused on Greens, Blues, and even Yellows.
This time we explore Reds, and what is possible to create in that range.  It is not just a matter of cooler or warmer reds, lighter or darker, but of saturation as well.  I try to demonstrate the impact of highly charged colors vs something which is more muted by doing a little object source lighting in the process.

The base was created using the Green Stuff World texture rollers, and the brightly glowing runes were just too much to pass up!  I had used this texture for the very first Army Painting series, in which I used the fluorescent green to make those evil runes glow with mystical energy.
I also created some glowing eyes, which is a very rare thing for me.  

The Painting Dark Sword level is $10 on the Patreon Page, and signing up will also provide you with access to the previous 12 episodes!  There’s much more on the way though, with all kinds of fantastic figures to work on.  Here’s a link to the page:

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I am Groot

These Malifaux Dryads were really interesting to paint, and certainly very different from the GW versions!
I was able to do some fun things with the muted tones… working in plenty of greens and even a few purples here and there to create some of that “hidden” contrast.

I think you can see some of that in these views.  To compliment those greens and purples, I also incorporated some of the Secret Weapon rust colors.

By virtue of the types of textures that I was dealing with, I could do a lot of glazing, which is fun.  These didn’t just darken colors, but they also tinted them towards one shade or another.  Stay tuned for more!

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More Skull and Bones

Last week I experimented with the Green Stuff World texture sheets for the first time, and the results were very good.  Those bases were sightly larger, and I was curious to see if those textures could be used on smaller bases.  
The Boltons and Free Folk Raiders seemed to be the ideal candidates for these tests!

In addittion, I tried out another texture roller sheet for the NCU’s.  It is one that I had been saving for just the right miniatures and what better than Song of Ice and Fire!

I have many articles showing how I work with the Sculpey and the rollers, such as this:

Now to the skull and skeleton textures!  The Roose Bolton had to go on a base like this after I was shown a few scenes from a Game of Thrones episode…

I used a little bit of the oxide pastes to mesh the edges of the texture sheet with the cork and base.

I had to try it on one of the Savage Giants too!  You can see what the other type of basing looked like in a previous tutorial:

The biggest challenge would be one of the units, since whatever I did with the bases would also have to work on the movement tray.

I discovered that the material could be snapped off in pieces far easier than I first anticipated.  I thought that you had to use a clipper or snip of some kind, but it turns out that there are some natural “break points” where it is thin enough to snap off a small piece without ruining a key texture.

Just as I would with the tree bark, I made several pieces that could go in the gaps on the tray between the figures, trying to maintain the same sort of texture that was placed on the closest figure’s base.

A few types of cork also filled out the tray, giving some of the same poses a different look just by changing the height.

Once again, I employed some of the texture paste to blend things together.

Here’s the movement tray and miniatures!  Ready for priming!  You can see how I have done the basing of a typical Song of Ice and Fire unit in this video:

Basing episodes such as these are part of every Army Painting series on the Patreon page.  That pledge level is $15 per month, and brings you 15-20 hours of content!  Not just basing, but plenty of painting as well!

Here’s a link to the page… I cover every type of material, technique or combination of those in every single tutorial!

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Live Horses

I know I have talked about this before… but I love the way the Song of Ice and Fire horses are sculpted!  So often I have had to paint “horses” that are more like large dogs cosplaying a horse.  Each of these is very unique, and the action poses truly look like running horses.

The riders are also well integrated, and the overall composition is amazing each time.

I will be working on some Bolton Flayed Men cavalry late tonight in another YouTube live session, so stay tuned for that!  I will be using oil paints once again, specifically the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers.

Here’s a link to one of the YouTube Live sessions that I did using the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers:

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