On the Road Again

One of my favorite army projects back in the day was my Easterling/Khandish force which was focused on cavalry and chariots.  I especially liked the chariots, because they were far sturdier than they were in Warhammer, and seemed to act more like chariots should.

I only had one of the actual metal chariot kits, so I set about finding ways to create some more (there were 4 in total).  Rohan horses and Tomb Kings chariots were just the thing to make those extra chariots!  Here’s a link to show how they were made:

I had a few extra Khandish soldiers, which were perfect for crew.  In this case, I had a metal Khandish flag, but for the rest I made my own.  Hopefully you can see the extra trophy heads, which were placed after each battle!

As I mention in that linked post, I had to manipulate the chariot in two places… I had to cut the cart itself and remove about half and inch, and the same for the running pole.  That combination was just enough to allow it to fit on the 60mm round base.

The view from above shows those bases, which also had to be extended a little bit.  If you look at the army board, you will see just how those bases related to the terrain of that board.

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War Priest

As most of you already know, I really loved that Easterling army!  Part of it had to do with the very different look of the figures, but also fact that it was the opposite of Gondor in many ways.  They all had heavy armor, cavalry, archers, etc.

Unlike their Gondor counterparts, they had very nifty elements such as this War Priest.  He was particularly effective when added to a cavalry unit, because it increased their speed.  That doesn’t sound like much, but when it makes your armored cavalry faster than a lightly armored version, you can do some real damage!

I tried to keep this in my own alternate color scheme as well.  I had seen plenty of red Easterlings up to that point, so I wanted to create something different.  That is usually my favorite challenge of starting up a new army.

This was probably my favorite of all the Easterling cavalry… I really liked this pose of both horse and rider.

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Tiny Tiny Tiny

While I forgot to include a coin to show you how small these figures are, I think you can get a sense just by looking at them.  Their bases are not even as large as a penny!

This was definitely a new challenge for me, which is saying something since I have been at this for almost 18 years.  I had done some 10mm historical figures, but that is a different animal.  These are meant to be 28mm scale, so it was very important to keep the scale of the basing and other elements the same as the rest of the army.

These guys are part of a large goblin army, including those massive trolls that you have already seen.  So, I had to take the same bark and branch basing materials (along with the flock and grass), and make tiny versions of those very large bases that I made for the trolls.

The bark is the ideal material for them, but getting pins into those very tiny feet was not easy!  If I had thought of it, I could have used one of my tiny drill bits and used florist wire instead of the usual paper clips.

I thought that particular tip might be useful in case you ever run across the same kind of challenge!  In the past, I have used the smaller bits and florist wire to pin skinny arms onto delicate figures.

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Evolution of the Gods

Whenever you have interesting lines and shapes on a pose/character like this, it seems like it is always a natural candidate to play around with lighting effects.  

While there are areas of very nice detailed shapes, there are also more “open” areas that allow you to try out some fun and creative color combos, especially where there might also be metal surfaces.  That allowed me to get into serious reflected light and colors on the back sections of the figure.
I loved getting those prussian blue hues into the metals!

The base was made with the usual sculpey and cork method, along with a piece from Sci-Bor Miniatures and leaves made with the Green Stuff World leaf cutters.  Now that fall is in full swing here, I am trying to stock up on my leaf supply!

This figure is from Demigods Evolution.  As you can see from the coin reference in the above image, he is pretty large, at least 54-60mm tall.
He’s also here:

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A new Arena

This Arena Rex figure was the first ‘regular’ fantasy miniature that I painted with oils.  I did a portion of the painting in a facebook live session using the Mig AMMO OilBrushers:

While I had painted this once in acrylics, people wanted to see how I would approach the skin tones, NMM and transparent cloth in oils.  In effect, the principles are all the same, even though the approach works out a little differently.

The advantage of oil paints is that they have an extended drying time, thus allowing you to mix on the surface far longer.  That is also the down side, as you can’t so several layers of glazing in rapid fire succession!  I normally do a lot of glazing on my figures, so I have to be very mindful of this.

The base itself was made from a few elements.  The mosaic tile texture was created with the Green Stuff World texture rollers.  As usual, that was rolled out onto some sculpey clay, and then positioned on top of some thick cork.  I sculpted the column top out of sculpey clay as well.

The first version of this figure was based on a ‘legal’ sized base, but this time around, I wanted to make more of a diorama around it.  It’s not very often that I have a chance to make a very large base with the texture rollers!

She’s also here:

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Stepping Out

This was an unusual project for me, since I did not prep this or assemble it.  My only task was to paint it, and that presents a whole list of challenges.

I prefer to do all that sort of thing myself, because while I do all that prepping, I start to make a plan for how I will go about painting it.  Also, I had to do some guessing as to what was what, as I didn’t see where the bits were coming from myself!

So, I had to make do with what was at hand, and added as I moved along from one area to the next.  There were a few times where I switched the color in progress or the placement of glowing areas, etc.

I could not tell you exactly what was used on this as far as bitz, only how it was painted 🙂

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Playing Fetch

It has been a while since the Circle Oboros doggies made an appearance, but here is another one that is part of the massive winter force.  That is comprised of several different companies, including Tharn and Oboros figures.

This one had to match all the others that had come before, which means that I rely even more strongly on the Shaded Basecoat and Glazing techniques.  It is so much easier to match a figure when you don’t remember what you used in the past, or that is not even available any more.

Just as I stressed in the classes at Reapercon, the idea is to not only simplify your color palette, but to paint as many other figures at the same time which use those colors.  As I was working on this figure, I had at least a dozen other completely unrelated figures on the table.  
Sometimes all you are painting is one small element of each figure, or only a certain amount of that batch.  It is funny how much I realize that figures end up using so many similar tones.
This particular color scheme presents an interesting contrast, with some warm, bright colors right next to cooler and very muted tones.

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Rock On!

I have seen these Privateer Press Trolls for quite a while now… this is the first time that I have seen one of these rock toting monsters in person.  This is certainly a lot easier to paint with the Shaded Basecoat and glazing techniques.
This allowed me to get the muted greenish tinge on the rocks while creating opposing purple and blueish tones on the skin.  with so many things going on all over the place, and so many shapes, it is important to have all of those ‘relate’ to each other as well as possible.

The Shaded Basecoat works in a similar way to regular 2D painting, in that you cover all of the surfaces as quickly as possible, which means that you are also mixing your paint on the figure along the way.  When you do this, you end up with very interesting blends and transitions almost by default.

The basing was done in the usual bark and branch method… I think that I have a video of the making of this base, and several others:

Something that is entirely metal and this large can really be a challenge.  I learned that using the same rubber gloves that I use when painting vehicles was helpful in not messing up painted areas as I handled it.  Keeping the oils from my fingers away from it really helped!
One of the aspects of glazing that I tried to emphasize at Reapercon was the concept that a glaze could also be a “lighter” glaze.  That is, taking a traditional glazing color such as a sepia, and mixing a lighter opaque color with it.  This tends to create a semi-translucent middle tone, which is what I used in many areas of the skin and especially the rocks.
This was a semi-translucent mix of green that worked so well on those stones…

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Assassin of Gold

Reapercon is the one convention that we do each year which focuses almost entirely on miniature painting.  This makes it very different from the other shows that we do, which have more of a mix.  
Obviously there is a lot of conversation about painting, and techniques of all kinds.
I was able to introduce a new class about using oil paints, and do another vehicle painting class.

I emphasized in each class that you can combine techniques and even tools, while trying to simplify your approach at the same time!
In the vehicle painting class, the use of rubbing alcohol and weathering powders was featured instead of oils and acrylics in order to show everyone something new.  Lots of folks paint with oils on tanks, and everyone has used acrylics. 🙂
This time around I was able to spend a little more time at my table, which meant that I could talk about miniature painting with a lot more people!  That was really fun, since I had tons of figures set up at the table as examples.
Black Heart was also there with George’s fantastic busts, and now I have a few of those for trying out more new techniques.  Stay tuned…

He’s also here:


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Well, everything is packed and ready to load into the vehicle as we head off to Reapercon 2017.
As usual, I will be doing classes, with a few new additions.  This time around I will be doing an oil painting class, and painting a historical vehicle too!  I will have a lot of my Bolt Action stuff in tow also, although I don’t think there will be enough space to have my terrain.
Hopefully there will be more time this year to paint in the event space before and after the classes.  I like to do spot demos and other fun things, which might be more possible with only 1 class per day.

The other 2 classes I am doing will be the core of everything I do, and that is basing and Shaded Basecoat technique.  For those who won’t be able to take those classes, will also have my USB drives filled with the painting videos.  You will be able to choose from any of the 53 available titles.  All you have to do is come by and ask.  As the videos load, we can discuss some of the finer points of what each 100 minute video covers.

We look forward to seeing everyone in just a few days!  I believe that this is one of the 25th anniversary figures that Reaper has made.  This one generously came along with a recent order of figures for the painting classes.  Thanks to all the folks at Reaper!

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Working in the Shade

As most of you already know, I like to use a version of my Shaded Basecoat technique with the airbrush, that that this is done with the Badger Stynlrez primers.
In this case, I will be doing this on some French infantry from Warlord Games, one of the last units for the army.  Since they will have to match all the other previously painted figures, the colors used would be very simple.  The idea is only to establish where the lights and darks would be. 

The first Stynlrez primer was the dark brown Ebony.  All I am doing is covering the entire surface, setting up the next primer color.

I really like how this deep brown color works.  It is relatively neutral as far as being a warmer or cooler, but still have more interesting tone than gray.

Some black primer was sprayed near the bottom of the base pointing upwards, so that it would also hit the bottoms of the figures too.  This would be the darkest areas of shading.

You can see that even with this one addition, there are already some nice value gradations established.

Since I will be using my normal glazing techniques once the priming is complete, I only need to provide a hint of greenish brown.  This is the next layer, which is mixed with a little bit of the brown primer.

The image on the right shows one figure with the green primer and a little yellow primer added. By spraying it from above the figure, you can immediately get a sense of how the overall figure should be shaded.

It must be remembered that I want these colors to be a few shades lighter, because I am doing many glazes over the top of this primer set.  That’s going to darken everything down significantly.

The final layer is a mix of the yellow with some white.  Not only is it important for getting the last highlights on the upper surfaces of the figures, but highlighting the base as well.  
This can really be seen with the kneeling figure on the left.

At this point, the unit is basically ready for the rest of the painting process.  I may use acrylics or oils at this stage, depending on what else is being painted at the same time.

The view from above shows off the base too.  If you want to get some of these excellent primers (these are the some ones you have seen me using on vehicles and even terrain), you can get them at webairbrushes.  If you use the discount code “wappellious”, you get a 42% discount:

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The Barbarian

Ever since I painted my very first Norsgard figure, I knew that I had a new miniature line that I would enjoy very much.  The resin is very resilient, with a nice smooth finish and not brittle or hard.  While that makes them easier to assemble, it also makes for a very nice painting surface!

Other areas like the fur cloak and the weapons tend to be in nice shape too.  When those are more detailed, it means that I can paint some more interesting varieties of tones into things that would ordinarily look gray.  While it might look like gray right off the bat, there are plenty of greens, purples and blues as well.
It is important to include those tones, since they are all reflected in the colors that I used on the skin.  This helps to ties everything together.

You can check out more of those fantastic figures here:

If you are wondering about the size of the figure, he is on a 40mm base.

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