Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jungle Pests

It's been quite a while since I last saw my old Lizardman skinks, so when I was transferring them from one storage box to another, I thought that I would try a little experiment with the old plastic aquarium foliage that I had used.

While I have the paper ferns and other nice products available to me now, I was wondering if there was some way that I could enhance the look of the plastic foliage without having to paint it entirely.

I did that on some recent pieces, which looked very nice, but took a long time!

In this case, I took some of my glazing colors and did light washes and glazes over the plastic foliage.  Not only did it stick far better than expected, it dulled down all the shininess of the plastic!  Extra bonus!!

I just wish that it had occurred to me years ago.  If I have any of this particular plastic foliage left, I know how I can make it look a lot more interesting in a very short period of time.  Hmm... perhaps some Aussie/Chindits are in the future?

Stay tuned!

He's also here:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Blood Vestals

Some of the earliest figures that I painted from Raging Heroes were the fantasy Blood Vestals, followed quickly by the Sci-fi version.  

Since then, wonderful new lines of sculpts have been added to both sets, creating two huge ranges of figures.  I have done articles showing those amazing sculpts, which include ridden monsters and other incredibly elaborate kits.

I'm really looking forward to both the fantasy and sci-fi sets, because they are designed as complete armies, covering all aspects of a build.  There are amazing characters and monstrous creatures that are coming, which should lead to all kinds of very fun painting opportunities.

I enjoyed how dynamic all of the Vestals were, as it meant that some dramatic basing would be the order of the day.  While this base has a very simple setup, when combined with pose of the figure.

By setting the angles of the figure and the terrain piece at opposites from each other, I was able to make the action seem even more intense, and have the figure truly seem as if it were running.

The terrain element also acts as a physical counterweight to the figure, allowing it to hang over the edge of the base somewhat without falling over.

I'm certainly going to continue with these ruined urban bases on the upcoming figures!  While all types of basing are interesting, there is something about urban basing which really catches my attention.

That must have a lot to do with the fact that I live in a large city myself, and it's easier for me to visualize ;-)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Reptus Champion

This second Reaper Reptus Champion has been slightly adjusted, with the weapons cut away.  He needed to fit into a tight space in a giant unit of combined Skinks and Kroxigors, and the weapons would have gotten in the way.

In some ways, it made him seem even more threatening, with some serious attitude!

This shot gives you a sense of how big he is, on his 40mm base.  That was done to match up the other bases in the unit, with a few having some extra roots and these decorative elements.

One last view of these latest Reptus Champ!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Upward Mobility

With all the rust and mud effects complete, it's time to check out some finished images of the Citroen Kegresse P19 VDP armored tow from Mad Bob's Minatures.

This will come in very handy for artillery pieces such as the 47mm AT gun and the 75mm light howitzer.  Since neither one of those guns come with spotters, they tend to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Without the all important spotter, they end up with no targets for most of the game.

While it is possible for the crews to move them, the distance is extremely short, and most likely their line of sight could be evaded by a faster vehicle.  This tow can pull those guns to a better location more rapidly, especially on a road!

Better yet, this does count as an enclosed armored truck with a transport capacity of five, and it can even have a pintle mounted MMG!  Now that you don't need crew to fire those weapons, the value of this vehicle is still high even if it never moves an artillery piece.

I can even see this taking an officer and his escorts to an all important location on the battlefield to execute one of those multiple unit activation orders.  Since it's not open topped, small arms fire cannot stack pins onto the passengers.

It was a lot of fun to paint, and is just the beginning of my fleet of vehicles from Mad Bob's Miniatures.  I'm working on more Laffly trucks, and hopefully some Hungarian vehicles as well.

Here's a link to the Mad Bob's site:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Let's get Dirty!

While have been doing a wide variety of weathering techniques on my vehicles in recent years, I have never tried any enamel based effects, such as these heavy mud and splash effects from AMMO.

I have done what I could with the powdered pigments that I already have, which are most effective when I have a limited drying time goal.  Now that I will be working on huge numbers of vehicles and other items that require weathering, the longer drying time of enamels is not as much of an issue.

To keep the first experiment with these products as simple as possible, I chose a vehicle (in this case a fantastic kit from Mad Bob's Miniatures) that had already been rusted and chipped in my usual method.

Right away, I noticed how incredibly thick these are!  I thought they would be based on how heavy the jars are... but I was very pleased with the heavy body of the material.  This image only gives a sense of how real it looked.

Not having to worry about anything drying too soon while I was applying the material was a nice change as well.  No need to rush, as the stuff on the palette would remain workable for hours at a time.

This meant that I could spend more of my focus on spreading the material around, and seeing how much thickness I could build in places.  Normally this would have to be done in layers, but it was heavy enough to make the desired effect in one application.

Also, each of these mud products is designed to show mud in various stages of drying.  As you can see, this is fresh, heavy wet mud.  There is a whole series of these products that will take you up to fine dried dust!

Speaking of which, here is that dry light soil.  It is not only thinner than the heavy wet mud, but a good deal lighter... the usual indication of dried dirt.

I discovered very quickly that they can be mixed together to get that in between stage, which was very cool!

Even though I didn't have my normal spatter brush handy for this experiment, I really wanted to see what this product could do.  As you might expect, it was nice and thin, but still held it's texture well.

Now let's see what happens!

A few test spatters on the palette were very encouraging.

Even without my normal spatter brushes, I was able to get some nice patterns in seconds.  I can't wait to try this out on my other French vehicles (and troops), as there were some moments in the France 1940 campaign where roads became very muddy. 

One particular advance by the Germans was even delayed by a few critical days due to early summer storms.

This test shows that you can get some very nice effects in a short period of time with a handful of these fantastic AMMO products.  I waited a few days to see if the colors would change, or the texture fade.  

In fact, it was exactly as I had left it!

Here are a few quick photos of the results.  What can't be shown in pictures is the 'feel' of the texture.  When you physically touch the vehicle... it really feels like mud.  Hard to describe, but certainly effective!!

Also, as I mention all the time, it is important to "layer" your weathering.  I always begin with rust, like you saw here.  "Rust, then Dust", is the way to go.

The reason is simple... oxidation is usually caused by the collection of water in some kind of crevice, while mud/dirt ends up on "outer" surfaces more often.  This can be reversed for both effects, but it is a rule of thumb that I typically stand by.

I will do a full post of finished images tomorrow for you... but here's a sneak peek at the finished results!  Many thanks to AMMO and Mad Bob's for some excellent materials on this test.

This is just the beginning, as I have a host of other weathering materials to try for the very first time.  And as usual, you will have a front row seat to the action... so stay tuned!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lining Up

With the new Samurai Orc Blood Bowl team nearly complete, it's time to start posting some pics!

I am currently working on the numbering scheme and other extra touches.

This is the first example of the sculpting process of the armor.  It was easier this time around, as I learned a much faster method with fewer 'layers' than the first incarnation.

Since this figure is a lineman, there is no crest on the helmet.  I thought it would make it easier to distinguish them from Blitzers.  More to come!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dug In

Part two of the 47mm AT gun basing begins with the usual 3 types of gravel.  Heavy, medium, and sand.  At this scale, the sand does yield the consistency of churned up dirt, which is exactly what I wanted for the hastily constructed gun emplacement.

I also used some dried moss as tree roots, which might even indicate that the crew was in such a hurry, they attempted to use some sort of existing soil formation to save time.

I always place the heaviest gravel first, choosing a pattern of very big rocks, surrounded by smaller rocks.

This view shows the pattern that I wanted.  Not too many big boulders though!

The placement of the medium gravel is the most important for the effect.  Once again, the idea is to build around the larger rocks, working down to finer and finer textures.

By starting out with the heavy gravel first, you will get more holding power from the glue and paste.  It also ends up looking more natural.

The sand is applied last, and that will 'fill in' around the heavier gravel, like fine dirt.

The logs and roots now look like they have been buried hastily to establish this position!

I had an extra shovel that is a fun little detail... one more indicator of how this was just set up by the crew to try and halt marauding Panzers!

Playing off the shell in the hands of one of the crew, I made a few additional rounds, as well as spent casings nearest to the loader.

The emery board you see in this picture is what I used to file the polystyrene tubing to a point.  It has a heavy grit on one side, and fine on the other.

We now have a 47mm gun position and crew ready for painting!  Stay tuned for the final result... and then it takes its place on the battlefield.

This is just one of several pieces from Mad Bob's miniatures that I'm working on for my French Forces.