Ask the Corps: Space Marine Highlighting

When it comes to the Space Marines, a lot of people get excited at the thought of starting an army of them. But when faced with the prospect of actually painting these round armored super-humans, many don't even know where to start!

Christian writes:

Highlighting Space Marines

What’s the standard for this? Thin lines? Drybrushing? Varying shades? I’ve tried a lot of idea’s but they just don’t seem right.

A very open question on technique and aesthetics if I've ever seen one. So let's hear it, how do you highlight your Space Marines?


Friday Quick Tip: Clampdown

Today's quick tip is about getting a helping hand when you need it. I've been assembling a few Chimeras lately and have found that a few small clams really help to get a good fit on these vehicles that sometimes have large parts that are hard to otherwise fit.

Sometimes you have to get creative with how you are going to arrange your clamps. On the rear section of the Chimera you can see the floor is too thin for clamping. In this case I used a small section of tube across the tracks. You could also use a popsicle stick or even another clamp.

You can even use clamps to secure models for a tight fit. This Guard sniper had a gap at the left wrist.

I've also used clamps to secure Falcons, Land Raiders and just about any 40k vehicle. There's no reason not to have a few of these clamps in your modeling tool box as they are a great time saver. You can pick them up from big box mega stores or tool places like Harbor Freight for $1.99.

What handy tools to you have in your modeling box?


BoLS Hobby Challenge: IG Command Squad

Just a reminder for all the Guard painters out there: Bell of Lost Souls is concluding their Imperial Guard Command Squad Challenge this Friday the 26th.

Rules are on BoLS, but basically you just need to construct and paint a squad from one (or both) of the new plastic Command Squad boxed sets and send in a photo.

The prize is a Valkyrie, so don't forget to enter and possibly win a nice transport for your squad.

I'm almost done with my mine; who else is entering the challenge?


From the Corps: Spray Nozzles

After some really great primer tips, we got this little beauty in our inbox. And after some mulling over, it's sparked a new segment here on TPC. This tip comes from Mr. Awesome, a newer reader with a great tip for all the corpsmen (and corpswomen!) out there.

He writes:

To The Painting Corps,

First off, great articles, I found your website today and I am loving it!

I do want to offer some tips on primers if I can...and its going to be a possible weird one.

But first, a bit of history about me...I am 27, and I used to do a lot of graffiti when I was younger, still do stencils and commission/fun stuff from time to time...but what I learned about paint/primers is its not just the paint mixture that's important. No that is hardly the case, its the pressure as well as the tip.

Yes the tips/nozzles/caps whatever you want to call it. That also helps regulate the flow of the paint/primer. One can take a high pressure primer, and slap a low pressure "fat cap" on it, and it will have a wide soft spray that even if you hold the cap down wont group together or run. OR you can do a really fine angled/directional high pressure cap on there and turn it into a monster of a can. For most model making I would recommend a low pro cap...Check out this site.

If you do want to try these caps out I recommend ordering this set , for all the different can types.

I hope this is of any help if you have any questions please feel free to write back to me.

Mr. Awesome.

After picking up a new can of GW spray, I noticed the change to the new fat caps with a lower pressure spray. So far, I'm really digging it, and I think it's about time I throw a few bucks into picking up a set of them for all of my cans and really see the difference. When I get around to it, expect to see an in depth review of the results.

A huge thanks to Mr. Awesome for this tip, and if you have a great tip you'd like to see us share with the community, submit it to ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com and we'll pick the best to share with your fellow Corpsmen.


Friday Quick Tip: Spackle + Terrain = Love

In recent years I've really taken to terrain building. It's one of my true loves when it comes to wargaming and has opened the horizon to all types of different projects. Through all of my ventures into terraforming, one material stands out amongst crowd: Spackle. Those of you over the pond might know it as filler.

It started when I was looking to create a more gentile slope with no seams for my Autumn Foothills table. From there I used it to make rocky outcroppings on that same table by clumping the stuff on the board, letting it dry, and carving it to shape. When the table was finished, I used it further still to sculpt out tree roots for my magnetic tree templates! I must have gone through 2 tubs of the stuff on that one project!

When it came time to add a building, I used spackle to add texture to my Mordheim inspired Hanging Man Tavern. A little bit of spackle smashed into the wall between the supports, some quick sanding and a carved crack here and there later, and it's exactly what I had hoped it would be. This method to be copied for another Mordheim building later down the road!

I've even gone so far as to texture an entire building with the stuff by smearing it all over a foamcore structure to get a middle eastern style building and ruins set. When it came to painting the spackle for my building projects, it was simply a heavy wash of watered down Gryphonne Sepia and a drybrush of Bleached Bone. It was that easy.

My latest dive into the terrain world was a demo board for Flames of War's new Open Fire boxed set. The piece used pretty much all the same techniques as my Autumn Foothills, just a bit simplified for the scale, and more extensive use of the spackle sloping giving a more gentile topography.

So if you're looking to do something terrain related, you really should look into getting your hands on some spackle/filler. You will not regret it. And if you've got an absolutely fantastic material people HAVE to use, let us know!


Got a question?

As always, we're always up for hearing from the community. After our fantastic response from the community for the last Ask the Corps, the format has opened up the floor to all sorts of questions. If you have a question you'd like to see the community here on The Painting Corps tackle, we'd love to hear it! Send your questions to ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com. We'll pick the best and post them periodically for all the Corpsmen to tackle.

Get those questions in, and lets learn some things together!


Dakka Tutorial Challenge - The Winner Is...

DakkaDakka.com has chosen the winner for the Dakka Tutorial Challenge! Head over and check out the winning tutorial!

And if you haven't been to Dakka's new tutorial section, be sure you head over there and see what has been going on there. Some really cool ideas being shared that side of the web. You might even see a few tips you recognize!


Friday Quick Tip: Tile Basing

After Jim wrote about Advanced Basing materials, I started searching out some of the things we all talked about afterward that were not covered in the article proper. It started with Cork a few weeks back and I'm continuing with Tile this week! I've used floor tiles before on wargaming projects, most notably my City Fight mini display table. On that project I used them to create realistic sidewalks with curbs, concrete lines, and breaks. The tile worked like a charm, and should I ever get back to city-scapes, I'll definitely be bringing it back. But after it was mentioned in reference to basing, I just HAD to give it a try.

The materials you'll need are simple, a tile from a DIY shop like Home Depot, a base, some glue, a bit of sand material, a brush and a hobby knife. This tile cost me all of 49 Cents to pick up, and could easily base an entire army.

I started off trying to break the tile up using my hands, but the pieces proved to be a bit too large, so I quickly resolved the issue by snagging my handy tweezers and broke it up into small chunks that could easily fit on the base. Get a few larger chunks and a bunch of little ones. Start arranging them much the same as you saw me do in the cork basing how to, find an aesthetic that works for you and run with it.

Here you can see I just went with something simple, but you can easily build this stuff up to fit whatever look you are going for. I've again added some fine sand to the base as well to add additional textures. Use whatever works for you, but you'll definitely want to use at least something to break it up a bit.

Go back in with your hobby knife and score some of the surface and carve the tile down how you like. The beauty of the tile is it is great at taking carved details. Also scoring where you want the model to be placed and the bottom of their foot can help hold the model in place.

I went for a simple 40k city rubble color, Codex Grey drybrush, followed by Fortress Grey, and finally a very light dusting of Skull White along some of the fine sand and edges of the tile.

The different types of terrain this material can mimic is really limited to your imagination. Just carve it to the detail you want and paint! I can easily see myself using this stuff far more often now. It's easy, it's quick, it's worth your time! Give it a go.

Alternate basing materials are always fun to learn about, anyone have anything new they've been using?


Ask the Corps: Varnish

We're changing up the format a bit this time around folks. Instead of just getting advice from the panel here on TPC, we're going to open it up to the floor and see what the community has for advice.

Shelexie of Wannabepainter writes,

I was looking through your site (which I love) for an article on varnish and I haven't found one. Would you guys be interested in doing one? I am a beginner/intermediate painter who likes to keep tweeking their models and therefore never wants to say they are finished with a coat of varnish. Well, I do now. I started really playing them and I don't want to keep repainting tips of things. Do you prefer spray on or paint on? What is your favorite brand or will any of them work? What about the craft ones at the local wally world? Is it more about technique, like the spray primer, or is there a real difference? I also read about a technique using gloss varnish in certain places, like the mouth of a Carnasuar for effect. Do you know any other neat tricks to do with varnish? I don't know if any one else would be interested in the article but I would be. Thanks for all your work. Again, I love your site!

Sounds like a completely open topic on any and all Varnish thoughts and experiences! So let's hear it!


Friday Quick Tip: Advanced Basing; Go Big!

A while ago our Friday Quick Tip talked about using different material and textures to create an easy, but characteristic basing scheme. Today we take that information and run with it. Not only should you carry the same scheme across your whole army, but also to your display board as well. This week we go big making a based display board.

The key to pulling off a display board that ties with your armies basing is simple: match your colors and textures. While I'll save the display board how-to for a larger article, I want to hit on a few points to help not only keep your basing colors and techniques the same, but visual basing themes that tie the army to the display board.

The quickest and easiest way to tie the display board to your army is to use the same materials on your display board that you used on your bases. The display board is going to eat up a lot of materials, so make sure that you've been buying those in bulk. You will probably use five to ten times the material on your display board than you did basing your whole army.

The same goes for paint. While it isn't always practical to use the same (high quality) paints from your models on your display board, you can easily get a decent match from craft paint at your local craft store for a buck or two. The closer the match, the better the overall look.

Another aspect of tying the board to the models is to keep some of the same themes. Here's an example from my Eldar army. My HQ's are on larger bases; height is used to denote rank.

I carried the same theme to my display board. Fuegan sits on a cliff at the front and center of the display board. The Farseer, while more of a support role, sits high up on the cliff directing the action.

Also, go for a sensible arrangement of models. Put your big HQs and hardest hitters up front. On my Eldar display board, I hid my poets, carpenters and other artists (Storm Guardians) in the back while my Warlocks and Fire Dragons led by Fuegan are right up at the front edge.

If all of your materials, colors and themes are coordinated then your big display base will have a big impact. Here are a few examples of display boards I've completed for my armies.

"Go big or go home", they say and just because you've finished painting that army doesn't mean it is complete until you finish that last gigantic base!


Eye Candy Thursday!

And now for something a little different: a little eye candy. We at The Painting Corps come across all sorts of cool projects, but not everything gets wrapped up into a Quick Tip or article for the site. Here are a few of the neat pieces of eye candy we've been working on or have seen around.

Besides scouring the local gaming area for spare heavy weapons to create some custom Lootas, Goatboy has been working on a lot of Marines lately. Here's a little sneak peak of some of his work.

Also, if you're in the market to commission some painters, Goatboy, Aventine and a few others have started Full of Monkey Designs. Check out the "artists" tab for all sorts of cool eye candy.

Besides BoLSCon, gamers in the Austin area are gearing up for the Badab War Campaign. Grey_Death has used his Weathering Master Compact to perfection to create the dirtiest Sons of Medusa vehicle I've ever seen. (Which is also the only Sons of Medusa vehicle I've ever seen, by the way.)

Each of us here at TPC is creating a Badab army, so look forward to a serious amount of Space Marine content over the summer.

I've been hard at work refreshing my (now Feugan led) Eldar army. For the DakkaDakka Tutorial Contest, I put into words a little tutorial for making a quick scale pattern which I'm using on all of my tanks.

(If you're a Dakka member, please vote or me! :D) The scale pattern is even making an appearance on some banners and cloaks, so I plan on painting scales and spots until I just can't stand it anymore (hopefully after I finish the Eldar refresh).

And lastly, here are a bunch of pictures I've been meaning to post for a while. I attended Capital City Carnage just to take some pictures, since I'm not a Fantasy player. There were a lot of great looking armies around, but I haven't the slightest what any of them are.

Got some eye candy or a cool project for us to check out? Send it to the TPC Inbox!

Dakka Tutorial Challenge - Voting

Hey all, I just wanted to to direct your attention to DakkaDakka's latest contest that has just wrapped up, called "Get Your Teach On!". It was a drive to get the new 'Painting and Modeling Tutorials' section beefed up, and boy did it ever work! There are 46 completely new tutorials over that way from sculpting to some serious freehand. Go check out the new section and be sure to drop by the voting thread and let your voice be heard!


Tamiya Weathering Master Compact

Whenever my game store is closed for the day (stupid Wednesday!), I'll usually take that time to go scouting around other hobby stores. You've probably noticed wherever I go, I'm always on the lookout for different things from terrain to modeling supplies to tools. And on a trip down to the local Hobby Center, a model train, military, and RC shop, I found a great supply of various Tamiya products.

My first Tamiya purchase came in the form of this little number, a compact that claimed to give wonderful and realistic results with little effort! I'd seen something about these online, but hadn't seen very much to be honest, and even to this day, much of what I have found has been from Tamiya themselves! I just HAD to give this little compact a try.

Don't be alarmed by the photo here, this is after a few months being knocked around in my hobby room and model cases. When I first opened the compact, it was nice and neat and the colors were true. I was reminded immediately of the old halloween make up shops used to peddle to all of us when we were young. More recently though, it reminded me of some of the military camo paint I was using here and there for missions in Iraq!

Once I opened it, I set to finding out just how this stuff works. At first, I started to mess with the brush on the applicator, but quickly found the compound to be far too hard to start off using it. The brush is much like a make up brush in it's stiffness, and the sponge end isn't much stiffer, still much like a make up sponge! The compound itself is more used as a smearing than a powdered pigment (such as Mig Pigments). It takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, the effects are easy, quick, and look great!

My first uses were to blacken the ends of my Ork slugga's with the soot. It might be a bit hard to make out in this photo, but once applied, it gave a wonderfully subtle effect that took no time at all to accomplish!

My next big application of the weathering compact was to use it on my Sons of Medusa Venerable Dreadnought, Perseus. With this piece, I used it selectively but to great effect in conjunction with the GW Washes (in this case Gryphonne Sepia) which gave just enough tooth for the compound to really attach itself to and give a great look. In this photo you can make out where I used it around the vents and on the smoke stacks. Just a few quick swipes with the sponge achieved this look.

You'll need to seal this stuff in after application, it doesn't ever really set, so using a varnish of some type will keep it where you want it and off of where you don't.

Something else to keep in mind if you're planning to pick up a weathering compact though, is how you'll store it. I have quickly found that just throwing it in your modeling bag isn't a viable option. It's dried out on me and cracked up a lot now. It's no less effective on the models, just a pain to clean up and work with (see: Messy!) than it was when it was brand new!

I've slowly started purchasing more Tamiya weathering products and paints since picking this up. Has anyone else used any of their products? We would love to hear what folks have found works and doesn't!