Sunday, 30 October 2011

Kitty cat Rescue

My plans for today were thrown for a loop by the arrival of a tiny malnourished kitty appearing in my kitchen! I spent the afternoon looking after her and poddling her :)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Dreadfleet, Island of Blood and Arkham City oh my!

So I have managed to do sod all posting in nearly a month. I completely burned myself out on painting and making things. I have become uber lazy and useless in pretty much all aspects of my life annoyingly. But parent visited a couple of weeks ago and bought me Dreadfleet as an early christmas present. The week after I caved and recklessly bought Island of Blood to sate my elf and skaven needs.

Then this week I got a limited edition Arkham City as another early christmas present and that managed to blow any plans to paint and/or study out of the water! As with arkham asylum I'm ending up sinking more time into a single challenge room than the rest of the game combined.

But my desk is set up for painting - thinking maybe a change of place to something more comfortable will help me get going. I crippled myself in the gym today and trampolining yesterday so am going to be housebound tomorrow. My desk is right next to my bed so it will be minimal effort to slink out in my pjs onto my super comfy chair and actually do some painting! Or so I hope...

I've decided to put the orks away for a bit. I wasn't painting my nobz in a very economical manner and it means I've just gotten damn bored of them. Also shuffling them around loads means that I have misplaced a head and an arm. I did learn alot from them though.

I much prefer layering to wet blending, no matter how many coats it takes. I will have to learn to just put up with my models being glued together before I start: trying to put the ork arms on now there is a visible alignment issue that I could've fixed at the beginning with glue or greenstuff that I would now have to ruin painting to fix. I've learnt what to add and eliminate from my painting process to to make the whole thing smoother and more efficient.

I have a bunch of tanks, possessed and general chaos space marine-y goodness prepped, primed and ready to paint. I will be getting on with those for a bit!

Will need to remember to bring the camera upstairs so I get pictures...

Am also planning to do a review of the dreadfleet and island of blood boxsets. I should've remember to do the assault on black reach one but I'd pulled most of it out and used it before the idea occured to me.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 15 October 2011


I finally found the macro button on the camera

I have been struck down with freshers flu and so have been curled up in blankets making bases all day

Here's a decent photo of the first bunch I finished

Friday, 14 October 2011

MSN Meltdown

Well I was going to do some updates tonight but my MSN has readded every person I've ever had on there and I'm going to be spending my evening sorting through a lot of confused people. I had one of those hopeful moments when some people I've not spoke to for ages or fell out with popped up and I thought I'd chat to them again.

Alas I did not have the courage!

Mmm this is possibly more fun than filing a hundred skaven...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tutorial - Bases - Sand/Desert temple

Recently I just finished a set of bases that look great in person but I cannot take a good photo of to save my life.

Admire my blurry bases! I bet if they were blurry in real life everyone would buy them...
So what I wanted was a bleached out but warm look on my bases, and have them look like they were part of an area that belonged in the desert in the great temple and ruins left to be worn down by sand and time. My mental image was inspired by my childhood memories of going to egypt and then thinking about how everything I saw would look in thousands of years when it had been abandoned.

You can start every single base, pretty much, the same way. It only really matters two or three steps in, or when you start painting, as to whether you end up with stone bases, sand bases or even jungle bases. If you are short on time but want to have hand made bases for all of your army, the first few stages are very quick even when doing an armies worth. When it comes to painting and adding elements, you can just pull a few aside at a time and paint them up. The rest will store fine until you feel like dipping them in glue and grass.

I guess I should get on with the tutorial bit...

Cork sheets
PVA glue
Sand Mix

Extras (To give your bases extra pizaz, but not necessary for good basing if you're tight on time or money):
Static Grass
Mini foliage
Modelling stuff (Greenstuff, fimo, milliput, etc)

Rip some of your cork off. Tear it up into maneagle chunks roughly the size of your bases. Make sure you don't leave any pieces with a perfectly straight edge as it won't look natural. Save these pieces though, they can come in handy.

What is it? It's chunky... Well what's it got in it? ...Chunks
When you rip your cork you will end up with slanted edges. Take these into account when gluing your pieces down. Have a nice variation between little outcroppings and slopes.

I spent ages trying to take this picture that didn't make me look like I have massive man hands. Thanks for the genetics mum!
  Cover your cork in glue and squidge them onto your bases. Make sure you cover the slot if it has one. I always make sure that the slot is covered by a single cork piece to make pinning a model through it easier.

If you want more interest in your base, tear the cork into smaller pieces and arrange them in different ways before gluing them down. Add layers! I'm sticking with simple one pieces bases for this group.

I like to use precariously balanced glasswear to hold my bases in place
Now put something heavy on top of them and leave the glue to dry. PVA is useless at holding things in place until its dry - then it's great, so make sure you drop something on top even if you think you don't need it. 

To cover the rest of the base just blob down some PVA. Spread it around with a brush. As long as you clean it before it dries a brush you dip in PVA will be fine. Probably shouldn't do it with winsor and newtson's though. 
Once all your bare base is covered drop it into your sand pit. This is the important bit that can make or break the realism of your tiny man bases. You need a mix of sizes - at least three from tiny grains to rocks. In mine I have fine play sand, buff, small talus, medium talus, large talus, coal. Depending on how you've stirred it or shaken it up will affect what mix you get on your base, but its the random variation that makes it look more natural and less synthetic. Read more here.

I forgot to take a photo post sanding - but here's what they look like after the first basecoat. When paintingover cork you need to seal it with something first or it will absorb whatever you put on it. Most people use thinned PVA (1:1 glue:water) but I just gave them a couple of go overs with spray primer.

The pale ones are basecoated with 1:1 graveyard earth:water which is a gorgeous colour, and the red ones are the same but with bestial brown instead. Gives a give red earthy tone.

Here the bases have been completely dry brushed and you can see the wash drying in a dappled pattern

The next few stages are just dry brushing your appropriate colours on. For my theme I used warm creamy colours. I smothered the sandy parts with a variety of gryphonne sepia, devlan mud, mixes of both to give it some shadowing and variation. Once that was dry I drybrushed the tops with menoth white base. The larger 'boulder' type rocks I gave a very heavy drybrush of pale sand by vallejo.  The tops got a wash of ivory by vallejo, 1:1 paint to water. When this was dry the top is given a wash of gryphonne sepia. To get the dappled look and to add more visual interest don't apply the wash evenly. Make sure everything is covered but apply it with a swirling motion.

Time for pretend dry grass! I'm using the games workshop dry/dead grass because it's actually quite nice for small simple sections. Add a blob of glue where you want it - try not to make the bases too busy and choose places it wouldmake sense to have your extra features.

You can apply the grass in a number of ways. Either sprinkle it over, or do what I do.

I pinch the grass tightly between my fingers and poke it into the glue a few times. This helps it stick out in one direction more rather than getting floppy sad grass.

Then turn it upside and tap it on the bottom side of the base. This gets rid of excess and also makes it stand upright. Put aside to dry.

If you aren't keen on having grass on more than a few bases at least have some on hand for ones like this one. You can see at the middle bottom one of the stones was loose so I pulled it off. Otherwise it would've come off randomly in play or transport. Just blob some glue in there, add grass, and it's fixed in ten seconds.

Here's the finished lot! It took me a couple of hours to do, including all drying time except for priming (which I always leave overnight.) All I have to do now is give the rims a coat of graveyard earth!

Make sure your rim colour matches your bases - don't just go for black. On ones like these you must go for a lighter colour or it destroys the composition completely and makes the bases look awful.

I hope this comes in handy - happy base making!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Sandstone temple bases

Finally, after hundreds of destroyed bases and throwing sand all over my house, I have come up with some bases I am happy with for my sand/desert and temple theme.

As you may notice these pictures are rubbish - I have a new camera and have no idea how to use it.

Good times

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Been trying some more complicated stuff on my models. Here's a little WIP or my current set of ork nobs.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Reckless endangerment of free time

I stumbled across something fantastic during the week - Miniature Mentors. This company has made a huge set of videos with some of the best painters in the world to showcase their individual painting techniques on their most famous models.

Just watching the first few alone made a huge difference to my painting - things like seeing someone use a 6:1 water the paint dilution and having amazing results giving me the patience to do it myself, throwing colours in I'd never think to use, combining things you'd never think of. These films are jampacked with these you could find out yourself - but it would take hundreds of hours and models of trial and error.

They also have tutorials on basic to advanced sculpting, traditional weathering techniques, and so on. You get precise mixes that people use, get to see their exact placements, listen to them explain not only what they are doing and how but also the thought process behind it.

The site lets you buy them individually for roughly £10 each, or buy a month subscription for about £30 and download everything. There is well over 60 hours of video and they are all superb. I really recommend these;

I'm too tired to post anything else but I'll have some nifty pictures of my new superorks tomorrow.