Spikey Bits likes the Valkyrie

It looks like there's a contender for the most flexible 40k vehicle kit around. Spikey Bits has posted a fantastic conversion using the Valkyrie kit. And Rob is right, the possibilities are almost endless. From generic jet to Thunderbolt to Arvus Lighter, you can pretty much make anything Imperial that flies with this kit.

With all the new plastic released in 2009 by GW, the kit-bashing possibilities are endless. What's on your 2010 kit-bash to do list?


Friday Quick Tip: Ho-Ho-Ho, Traitor Scum!

Bell of Lost Souls author and local Black Templar player Bushido Red Panda swings by this Christmas with an extra dose of holiday spirit. You can check his work out at BoLS and his own blog; Bushido in the 41st Millennium.

I was finally able to finish my venerable dread from the earlier part of the year. I've always meant to give him the hat he deserved. I decided the best way would be to make it out of green stuff. I made the base first, and then made the hat to go on top of it. I finished off with the pom for the tip. I ended up having to re-glue the pom after it fell off, but it still worked fine.

The paints were a no-brainer...

The Order of the Silent Knight, spreading Christmas cheer throughout the galaxy... one massacre at a time.

Bushido Red Pando reports "the hat and beard are reserved for another project", so I can't wait to see what he's cooking up. Merry Christmas all!


From The Corps: Chipped Armor

Our good friend CMDante has posted an article to his blog on one of our favorite topics in the hobby, weathering armor.

Having watched this piece come together it's nice to see he's taken the time to take lots of pictures along the way for the community to learn some thing from!

Head over and check it out, and if you've got a good article you'd like to see featured for a From the Corps, email us at ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com!


Friday Quick Tip: Making Your Own Miniature Tutorial Videos

I thought this was a great little video with ideas for those of you out there looking to break into making your own videos for the modeling and painting community. Give it a watch and if you've got some videos of your own you'd like to see featured here, send us a link at ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com! I'd love to feature more community tips and tricks in the future.

Anyone have any additional tricks of the video trade?


Friday Quick Tip: Painting Salamander Space Marines

Today I bring you the first in a set of videos dedicated to painting one of everyone's favorite armored death dealers, Space Marines. Today's video runs you through the ins and outs of painting a Salamander Space Marine. Be sure to watch in HD and full screen it!

Expect to see more of these featured here on TPC. Les does a fantastic job and they deserve the extra attention!

How does your method for painting the Sons of Nocturne differ? Have any good links from around the net you use while doing so?


Friday Quick Tip: The Notebook

No, this isn't a tip about a sappy movie, but about how you need to keep a record of your painting; not just the colors you've used in the past but the techniques and other details as well.

Earlier this year I completed a Black Templars army in a short period of time and I really didn't need to write anything down because it was all fresh in my head from the beginning to the end of the army. Hey, I'm not that old yet and for the span of thirty days it was easy to remember how I painted each guy and where each batch of base texture was lurking on my painting desk. But as I was going along and when I finished, I wrote down all of my color, base, shade and highlight combinations, the order which I painted and other details.

Almost a year has gone by since I finished the army and today I am glad I did write all of the details down, because this week I decided to add a few new models to the army. (And yes, shame on me, it has been almost a year since I painted anything for this army.) I used to make notes of just the colors I used, but this time I made detailed notes, mostly because I was pretty sure I'd forget the sequence of painting and putting on the base mud/splatter/gloss medium. And I did forget, so I'm glad I wrote it down. Now the snow on my new guys perfectly matches the snow on the existing army. (And fitting because we got some snow here in central Texas today.)

Here are a few other things to make note of and keep around when you finish an army:
  • Not only the colors but techniques and order of colors you used.
  • Basing material so new models match up with the old.
  • Extra of any custom colors you blended.
  • Any ideas for the army you didn't complete.
Besides copious notes, don't forget to save those things like basing material, custom colors and iconography-- all those army specific bits. It doesn't take much time to write down everything you'll ever need, but recording it all can save you a lot of time later. I even reminded myself of a few cool hobby ideas I had for the army. And it doesn't have to be a notebook. Just about everyone has a blog or forum they regularly contribute to. Why not post your information there for others to see as well?

What organizational tips do you have for adding to your hobby collection?


Friday Quick Tip: Model Builder Software

Today's tip is brought to us by LBursley and a great looking quick terrain making program. Check it out:

I think with a good eye, a sharp knife, and a bit of foamcore, you could come up with some really fantastic looking terrain piece with little effort. This would be great for building up a table with a good amount of terrain quickly.

Anyone have any experience working with 'paper' terrain? Any tips or tricks everyone should know?


Friday Quick Tip: Painted Horses I

When working on some Marauder Horsemen for my Warriors of Chaos, I decided to go with a bit more variety than I had originally planned. Using painted horses would give me the variety I wanted with a far more convincing look. I'd never painted one before, nor had I much history in painting animals at all to be honest! But I approached it in a similar manner to how many paint their camouflage.

When starting off, I would highly suggest that you get the base color, in this case, black, painted to highlights and save time by thinking ahead to where your color break ups will be. I did the two horses in both ways, the first painted to highlights and the painted look added later, and the second all colors were painted and highlighted the same time. The painting and highlighting them all at the same time really just gave me extra headaches as I tried to work around the white sections as I highlighted the black. So from here on out, I'll be finishing the black before moving on to the white.

To keep things simple, I've created a series of images to show the technique off. I'll eventually do a set of these on a model to show it in practice, hence the 'I' in the title!

To start the painted sections, I put broad strokes of dark grey on the model. When you start, you should definitely take a look at real horses in the multitude of images uploaded all around the web. This will give you a good idea on how much of this to use and where you want it. From all of my 'research' I have found that it's all up to the end result you are looking for. Horses are like people, no two are going to be the same. There is a lot of freedom to their tones colors, so go nuts!

Here is where you'll start to feel like your painting camo. I used the same dark grey as before to add some stippled markings along the perimeter of the grey. Larger and smaller blobs of color will add a nice variety and the more random, the better. Natural markings aren't really the same and perfect looking, so don't be afraid to play with the paint.

With this next step you can see one of my classic recipes. I simply went through the numbers on painting white over a black undercoat using greys. Here I've used a lighter grey tone, Fortress Grey, to lighten the painted sections.

Again, just following the same recipe, paint the sections white. Something to keep in mind when painting your sections is that you are actually highlighting the horses musculature during all of this. Painting the white only on the raised detail and keep the depths of the model in the grey tones. The deeper the section, the deeper the grey should be kept there.

With this final step, you just need to go back with the black and stipple into the white, again be random and have fun! This step really should take too long and will break up your lines some which is a good thing!

I would highly suggest you do nearly all of this work after base coating much of the other sections of the models, but before moving on to highlighting and final details of them. Since much of this involves sections of the models that will interact with the other spots of the piece, you need to plan ahead some.

Overall it's a very simple technique that you can build upon very easily. With a little practice you can get some really great effects that even equine types will admire! It's made me much more open to more natural horse types and I hope to feature even more horse types in my force in the future.

How have you painted horses in the past? Have any good tips on a specific horse type?


Friday Quick Tip: Doll House Accessories

A long while back now, I started a Cityfight mini board that I used as a test bed for a lot of different terrain building techniques and materials I had never used before. From that 2x2 mini table I still garner a lot of inspiration for different terrain projects and today, it's the source of a very simple, but very helpful details that adds a lot of character to otherwise bland terrain.

The idea came to me when I was perusing the doll house section of my local hobby shop. I found a great street sign right away that would end up being a central detail of the entire table! I had a perfect intersection on the table to use the sign on right near a huge blast crater. To make the sign fit more with the scene, I bent it back on itself some as if bent out from the bombing. I then painted it up, adding some roman numeral street names to the signs and viola!

Some additional paint lines to help denote the area as an intersection and we were golden! Note the dust and dirt up on the sign. It's weathered slightly, but not quite to my current weathering standard, so someday, I might end up going back to it with the sponge method for damage. There are some damage scrapes on the other side using the old black and metal method though.

But that wasn't the only piece I picked up while I was at the hobby shop! I also found a sheet of fantastic scaled tile! The second I saw it, I knew it would be a prominent feature in my floors for the table. The beauty of the flooring that many hobby stores offer is that there are multiple kinds of flooring. They even offer carpeting for those of you looking to REALLY add some spice to your terrain!

The Tile Flooring I picked up was nice and thin and was quite easy to cut to fit! For most of the floors I simply did a basic color with a wash or drybrush. In this example you can see I went a bit off my rocker and hand painted a bunch of Fleur De Lis! In fact you could do any tile variations you see in real life with just a bit of practice and a steady hand!

My dig through the doll house section ended after I stumbled across a set of two scale paintings. The paintings themselves were of horses, which were of no interest to me, but the frames! They were perfect! And with that I ran home and got to work. I stripped the card painting from the back and cleaned it up a bit. For my paintings I had an extra 3rd Edition 40k box laying about taking up space, so I cut out some of the old John Blanche art from the rim and trimmed them to size. Glued them in and put them into place inside my buildings! When it was time to paint the terrain, I just masked over the painting with some masking tape and once painting was complete, I removed the mask! The end result is a really great detail that makes your building feel and look like it's been occupied! Not the cold dead uninhabited mess that many terrain tables seem like.

There are so many things that can be conscripted from the world of doll house building into our more brutal vision of the future (or past!)! You just have to be willing to look for the things that will fit nicely with the scale and feel you are going for. With all of the small details I picked up from a single trip to the hobby shop, I will be digging through these sections for many many years to come as they will forever be a fantastic source for many of the things that make the battlefield feel more real, and worth fighting over.

Have you found a great alternate source of terrain features? We would love to hear about them!


Dakka Painting Challenge: Nitty Gritty Armor

The latest DPC has drawn to a close and all of the entries are up for judging! Head over to the voting thread and check out the fantastic entries, and let your voice be heard!


Friday Quick Tip: Rosemary & Co. Brushes

Today's quick tip is more of a product review. Unless you frequent the Coolminiornot Shop, live in England or are a lady named Rosemary who makes brushes, you probably have never heard of Rosemary & Co. brushes. Many people are familiar with the Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes, which are great. And expensive. If you are looking for a brush with similar properties and quality, but at a lower price, definitely check out the Rosemary & Co. Pure Kolinsky Sable brushes.

I recently ordered up a few of their different series in size 0 to see how they they fare and to get a handle on their variety of different shapes.

Pictured above (from left to right) are the Series 22, Series 33 and Series 44. The 22 and 33 are pretty similar in size and length, with the Series 22 have a little fuller bulb and the 33 having a sharper taper. The Series 44 is a little crazy and reminds me of those huge pin striping liners used by auto artists that are more brush than handle. I haven't found a specific use for it yet, but next time I need some pin striping on my Falcons, I know which brush to use.

The tips are excellent and have a great point and the brushes have proven to be very durable under my ham-handed painting technique. And the best part is the price: I've found they are about half the price of the Series 7. I purchased mine from the Coolminiornot Shop, who carry most of the series in sizes popular for painting miniatures.

But a size they don't offer is one that intrigues me the most is the Series 1 Mop. Now, this isn't a brush for the price conscious (size 0 goes for about £38!), but these big chunks of Kolinsky Sable are packed into big, bulby, hand made, quill-stlye ferrule with a sharp tip. I'd love to splash washes with a brush like this or try some really fine wet blending, water color-style.

Brush Poll time: What is currently gracing your painting table and how is it holding up?


Friday Quick Tip: Ork Trukk

Today's Quick Tip is more of a declaration; a result of a realization I recently put together. The light shone down and all the past little tid bits and pictures I've seen in the past suddenly came together into a realization.

The Ork Trukk is the best model that GW makes.

Here's the thing: in an army there's all sorts of fighting vehicles and most of them are well represented. But when an army goes to war there are probably just as many support vehicles as there are tanks. And army needs trucks-- trucks of all kinds. And while there are big tanks, little tanks, grav tanks, open-topped tanks, APCs, and all sorts of self-propelled artillery pieces made by GW there aren't very many trucks.

Luckily the Ork Trukk is extremely flexible and makes the basis for everything from four wheels to ten. Here are a few Trukks that have inspired me in my latest creation.

Dave Taylor's Ork Trukk reversion was one of the first conversions that started me thinking about the potential of the Trukk. Dave's vision was to create the original Imperial Guard truck that was the basis for the looted Ork Trukk. He's since started a three part tutorial and set of downloadable templates for this conversion.

Another fantastic Trukk conversion is Warboss GargDregga's Tanker Trukk. Multiple Trukk kits and extensive plasticard and tube was used in this incredible piece.

The Trukk is good for more than 6 wheel trucks, too. By inverting the axles, removing one of the sets of rear tires and cutting down the overhang you get a real nice car chassis. kenshin138's hotrod styled Trukk is a fantastic testament to how flexible and recyclable the Ork Trukk kit pieces are.

Here's the basis of the car conversion. In this case I've mid mounted the engine for my Formula Waaaghn project. Movement of the gas tank is optional, the key is to mount the axles upside down to get a lower vehicle. For this car I also cut the frame to fit the axles since it was too high below the frame and too low when mounted above.

To balance the ride height adjust the angle of the front axle to get the rank that look to you. Don't glue the wheels until the axles are glued and secured. Once the axles are set you can rotate the irregular shaped Ork wheels to get and even balance on the car, so that each of the wheels sit on the road evenly.

I'll do a full write up on my car at a later date, but after building a few normal Trukks I just can't see anything but all sorts of new conversion ideas. Besides all sorts of military support vehicles, I can't wait to build an El Camino Trukk!

What other ideas are out there for truck-based vehicles? And if you think there's a model as flexible as the Ork Trukk, let me know!


A Years Worth of Tips

As of this past weekend, TPC has had the Friday Quick Tip running for an entire year, without interruption! I don't have to tell you how rough it can be to come up with a tip to post every single week of the year. There are a lot of late nights and hectic tip brainstorming days, even a few weeks where we were well planned out and ahead!

In the end it's extremely satisfying to have such a well of tips for the community to draw from and to help guide new and old painters alike to new techniques and methods.

And as cliche as it sounds, this wouldn't be possible without you, the reader. You guys are the driving force behind it all. With the great ideas and questions you submit to us at ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com, to your insight in Ask the Corps, it's all about building community and putting out the best and most in depth information we can.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported what we're trying to do here on TPC. And to all the Corpsmen (and women!) out there, followers or not, thank you for reading.


Friday Quick Tip: Tree Templates

When it comes to trees, I've always wanted to do a set that were extremely functional. And when I put together my Autumn Foothills mini-board, I had the chance to make that wish a reality. When I started thinking about how to go about them I came up with a great way to make them look great and remain game friendly by using Woodland Scenics Fantastic Trees.

Some of what you'll need:

To start off I used a piece of paper to rough out the size and shape of the template I was going to create. I know it seems like a step you might be able to skip, but for my foothills, space was a commodity I wasn't rolling around in. So using this method helped me be sure my templates would fit the table with ease.

Using the template made from paper I traced its outline to the MDF board using a sharpie. When cutting my templates I usually use a Hand Saw
to rough cut my shapes and a Rasp to help the curves along.

Using a mouse sander I put a nice bevel to the edge to help give it a more 'finished' appearance. I also use the Rasp to rough this step out.

Place your trees and glue them down using some white glue or super glue. Once dry, remove the trees from their trunks. It will make the base much easier to work with from here out.

I used spackle to create a root system and sand to rough the surface. When making the spackle roots, use your forefinger and thumb to squeeze the spackle into the board and drag it along to create 'veins' along the roots. Sharpen the details using a sculpting tool of some sort when dry. After creating the roots, paint on some white glue and sand much of the surface for a nice rough texture.

I used a Bestial Brown color followed by a quick drybrush of Snakebite Leather and an even lighter drybrush of Bleached Bone for the trunks and trees. Rocks were picked out with Codex and Fortress Grey, again drybrushed with Bleached Bone. Woodland Scenics Turf was also added after painting.

All in all the finished product follows much of the same conventions as my hill tutorial. I highly suggest you check that out as well if you've got a bit of time on your hands!!

One upgrade you may consider for this project would be to magnetize your tree trunks. I did this by using a magnet in the trunk and in the tree (making sure their facing the right direction!!) and hiding them using some Testors Contour Putty and sculpting it to fit the details in the tree trunks. They do work just fine as they come though, and I highly suggest the Woodland Scenics Trees to anyone looking for a quick effective forest!

So I've shown my favorite method for creating forest templates, what's yours?


LBursley's Wash Recipe - Released!


After running into a legal wall (ACMI), Les has decided to release his inexpensive wash recipe to the public to help the community since he can no longer offer them via an online shop. (Edit: Les has worked out the legal issues and offers his full range of washes on AwesomePaintjob.com for those without the time or patience to make your own!)

(Edit: The Video is no longer available, but the recipe still works!)


You will need:
All recipes use 1 oz bottles. Adjust to whatever size you decide to go with.

  • Fill 1 filler bottle with Matte Medium, the other with a 10:1 Distilled Water and Flow Aid.
  • Fill the 1oz Dropper Bottle half way with Matte Medium then fill the rest of the way with the Water/Flow Aid mix leaving a little room for the ink drops so you dont over flow.
  • Every bottle uses this combination to start with.
  • Shake inks well before adding them to the mix.

My mixes will give you a starting point and you can customize to your liking from there.

Soft Body Black: 20 drops Black

Heavy Body Black: 60 drops Black

Parchment: 40 Drops Flesh Tint

Flesh Wash: 40 Drops Burnt Umber

Dark Sepia: 40 Drops Sepia

Blue: 40 Drops Rowney Blue

Green: 40 Drops Dark Green

Purple: 40 Drops Purple Lake

You can mix the ink colors to make infinate amounts of custom colors for your own purpose. Never buy washes with limited color choices. You now have the recipe to the most flexible wash production that you can do at home.

Enjoy! -Les