Friday Quick Tip: Don't Drink and Paint

This New Years Eve, take some advice from one who's been there before, should you find yourself wondering if you can actually paint models in an inebriated state, let that thought go!  But, if you are really just that determined, here are some things to consider before you go into that dark night with your paints and brush.

1.) Do your modeling work BEFORE the 'night' begins in earnest.  There's no reason to be working with a hobby knife when you're three sheets to the wind! 

2.) Limit your colors!  You'll be more inclined to try and work with more colors than you would have otherwise thought to use in your uninhibited state.  The last thing you want is your new marine model to look like a circus freak!  That is, unless you're looking to create a Carnival of Chaos marine...

3.) Keep your drink cup away from the paint table!  The chances of accidentally drinking your paint water instead of that soothing rotgut go up exponentially with each reach for refreshment.  Your liver is already having a hard enough time coping with your indiscriminate abuse, the acrylic bomb might just be the one thing it was looking for to give up on you and send you packing off for an ER trip!

4.) Let your eyes settle before putting the brush to the model.  You're likely seeing double, so waiting for the two models to calm down, you'll be able to pick which one you want to paint 'first'. 

5.) At the end of the night, try not to pass out at the paint table.  If you're looking to save that paint for future uses, your best bet is to blackout away from your painting station!  That and there will likely be someone waiting for you to pass out near it anyways so they can go all 'college humor' on your face with those same paints and brushes!  And should you go face down on the table, expect someone to post a wonderful photo of your newly decorated features all around the internet, including that forum you like to frequent that was left up on your laptop as you tried to glean some tips! 

I hope everyone has a happy New Year.  Enjoy your celebrations, be safe, and don't do anything we wouldn't do :).  Here's to a good year full of modeling, painting, and creative endeavors.  Salute!


Reinforcements: Lukas the Trickster

Well, he's not for my army, but he's reinforcing a friends!  This guy was a friendly commission done up for an aspiring Space Wolf player.  This will be the first of his army to be painted and hopefully, a centerpiece he'll be proud to field! 

I had a lot of issues with this model around 45% finished.  He's just so busy that it's hard to get your bearings with what you're working on next.  I think I stepped away from him a half dozen times to clear my head and not just give up on the piece for a few months!  In the end I was able to buckle down and get him finished up, if after a lot longer than I had expected to work on it.  Character models just seem to work out like that though.

There would have been a full on video of the painting process had it just been a normal Space Wolf model.  But thanks to all of that detail, I got rather fed up with filming and sticking to a set plan of painting.  So I put the camera up and just went at the piece as things caught my eye. 

A few notes though. 

The armor is painted with a 50/50 mix of GW Shadow Grey/GW Space Wolves Grey, washed with a watered down GW Badab Black, touched up again with the 50/50 mix and final highlights are done with pure GW Space Wolves Grey. 

The fur was painted GW Codex Grey, washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia, drybrushed with Codex Grey again, highlight drybrushed with GW Fortress Grey and a final drybrushed highlight of GW Skull White on a few of the raised points. 

The red of the cloak is done with GW Red Gore highlighted by a 75/25 mix of GW Red Gore/GW Bleached Bone.  A few spots were then washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia to add a little added depth. 

The yellow of the shoulder pads are done with a base of VMC Dark Flesh highlighted with a 50/50 mix of VMC Dark Flesh/GW Skull White. 

Metallics are done using my typical metals method.

Bones and teeth were painted using VMC Ivory washed by GW Gryphonne Sepia touched back up with VMC Ivory.

I have always loved Space Wolves, so this project was a nice break from my armies and a good way to get back into the swing of things.  Here's to seeing him on the battlefield in the near future!


Breakdown: Sons of Medusa Desert Support

I've been meaning to do some "How To"'s on the Sons of Medusa for a long time now, but unfortunately, I just haven't gotten around to it.  I've had a lot of folks ask how I paint them over the last year or so and I thought I would take some time to at least put the colors down in one place for them.


Books: Tanks, Armored Vehicles and Weapons

It was a last minute trip out to find a few quick gift ideas and a stroll through the local book shop found me wanting for a couple of random books that I hadn't seen before.  I lamented that I always tend to find these things at times when I'm not really up for buying anything for myself via text to my wife and went about picking out some fun gifts for a couple of the kiddos in the family and headed to the checkout.

Christmas rolls up soon after and to my surprise I open a box containing both books I had mentioned only in a passing text message!  Immediately my mind began swimming at the ideas of creating a new army or using these new references to augment other projects that are still in the works (Yes, Pattun's Boyz, I'm thinking of you!).

The books were only $10 each and at that price it's hard to beat full color illustrated reference material like this.  I'm not 100% certain they are still at the bookstore, but if you have a Borders around you might think to check if they're still on the shelves.

These are exactly the types of books that my hobby has been missing for so long though.  The type of easy inspiration to help forge a future for projects that are hard on inspiration and long on completion.  Being a tread head and weapons enthusiast at heart, they couldn't have been a better gift!  Hopefully this trend of book giving continues with future holidays and birthday celebrations!  It's nothing but beneficial to my hobby time!

Have a great reference book you keep flipping through these days?  Made good use of one for a past project, or maybe using one for something you're working on right now?  I'm all ears.


Open Discussion: DIY or Army Book?

Today's topic ties loosely to last week in that it's about forethought to creation of an army or force.  Only today it's more about your feelings on creating your own Do-it-yourself army with fluff and colors of your choosing or creating an army from the Army book of your chosen faction. 

I've been of both minds at different times in my hobby career to this point.  Early on, I was much more interested in creating something wholly unique.  It was all about the freedom that painting an army of my own offered and the ability to come up with my own back story, reasoning, and with the ability to model things as it pleased me!

As the years wore on, and I gained more knowledge of my games, I've come to enjoy taking an force from the official cannon of the game at hand, and making an army that stays true to the fluff and ideas set by the writers.  The armies still have personalized touches, but they are always done with a mind to what the intent of the texts. 

So I open the floor now to you.  What is more rewarding to you?  Do you enjoy creating your own force or creating one from schemes and fluff in the books for your army?  Is it a dead heat?  Comment, reply, converse!


Friday Quick Tip: OTT Lite Bulbs

A few months back I found myself looking to get a more true color out of my lighting situation at my hobby desk.  I had heard a few times about OTT Lite's and wanted to see about getting one of my own.  After a quick jaunt to the hobby shop I quickly realized that they were quite pricey and I wasn't quite sure that I was up for spending the extra money just to have a specialized lamp.  A little more searching and I found a nice alternative that wouldn't break the bank on me, OTT Lite Bulbs.

There are a lot of different lamps that OTT Lite offers, but for those just looking for a quick fix to a minor problem, especially those of us who might have already bought a functional lamp set up, the loose bulbs are a great compromise.  I came home after seeing them and made sure to write down the wattage of my lamp and the next trip up, I was able to find an appropriate bulb.

The first thing you notice is just how bright they really are, and how much different the light is compared to tungsten colored bulbs we've all been accustomed to over the years.  They take a little time to completely warm up, but once going, they give a steady and true lighting to your hobby desk, even with just one, I'm hard pressed to find a need outside of miniature photography that I would need a second lamp.

If you're looking to completely replace your lighting set up, they have a few different options (
Such as this Ott-Lite TrueColor Table Lamp
) that might work for you, but in the end it all comes down to budget.

Tip inspiration comes at odd times!  Some days much later than others!  I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!  Happy Holidays and take some time out of your time off to get some painting done!  I know I will!


Field Report: Airbrushed Blood Angels

Once in a while a new project log comes along that really catches my eye.  A lot of the time it happens to involve some of my favorite techniques and a few new tools and ideas.  Over on DakkaDakka, a thread that happens to fall into that category came along.  Eggroll has created a frankly beautiful looking Blood Angels army and has posted all along the way for everyone to learn and take some inspiration from what he's been doing.   

For the majority of the coloring, shading and highlights the army used airbrushing to amazing effect.  I have enjoyed every subsequent update and it's really been a great inspiration, I highly suggest you give the log a read!  You won't be disappointed!

It's always fun to find a truly inspirational army build like this.  Got a great project you're working on?  Share a link in the comments!


On The Table: Lukas the Trickster

I picked up a quick project from my friend UCPesmerga recently to paint up Lukas the Trickster for his brother who is looking to start up a Space Wolves force.  I love the odd project from time to time, and I love the Space Wolves, so it wasn't a long conversation!

I have been taking some video of the model's progress as I paint him, but it's a new camera that was graciously sent my way by LBursley and I've yet to get the hang of it just yet, so video quality might be lacking at the moment.  I've not reviewed it just yet, but I'm not going to lie and say it's the greatest thing I've done either!  At the very least I will have a good list of colors and when they should happen that I will share with you all on how I go about this one. 

The next step for Lukas is blacking out of the metallic work as I prepare to move into detailing everything individually.  Basing will be simple with just a little snow and drybrushed gravel, all so the future owner can easily reproduce it!  Everything should be just about codex for him in terms of coloring etc.  No groundbreaking here, just having a little fun painting a fun model!  Stay tuned.

Have a video or article you would like to see us cover?  Leave a comment!  You never know what our next project might be! 


Video: Painting Dark Eldar

Getting back into the swing of things, I thought it would be a good time to feature a great looking painting video from LBursley!  I think the results on this one are pretty great looking.  Very slick, very dangerous looking.  I'm also a big fan of the basing method, pigments are a great way to go for a quick and great looking base.

Give the video a watch, and don't forget to watch it in full HD!

Anyone have a Dark Eldar force coming up at the moment? Any insights into modeling or painting the army? It's one of the most intriguing looking forces of the last few years and I look forward to the first time I get to play a fully painted force!


Open Discussion: Planning Stages

After a full year of classes that revolve around the planning and execution of artwork, of countless thumbnail images and sketches, of small scale mock ups and redesigning even before the work has begun, I can't help but think our collective hobby doesn't do nearly enough pre-project concept work!  That's not to say I haven't seen some really long concept threads over on DakkaDakka from time to time, with well over ten pages of concept development and nary a miniature to be found!  But I feel that even half of that dedication to ideas isn't the norm.

In my own hobby adventures, I freely admit that most of my armies roll around in my head for a single 'OMG this would be cool...' session at the game shop or online with a friend or two.  The only force that really found a good amount of idea development was my Sons of Medusa army which lead to some good ideas and a few concept miniatures to help develop the ideas decided upon.

So I toss this question out to you:

How much time do you usually spend developing an idea or army before you get right to executing it?  Are you the type to get right to work with the slightest thought?  Or do you spend hours agonizing over the smallest of details?

Comment, reply, converse!  The floor is yours!


Friday Quick Tip: Black Battle Damage

 I don't know how many times I've been asked "What would you use for black armor?" whenever I've shared any info on chipping or weathering tanks and other armored models.  It's always been hard for me to give a straight answer for people since, well, I don't have an army of predominantly black armor!  To that end, I've decided that I would share a few swatch examples of black with different colors of battle damage I've comped together in Photoshop. 

These swatches all share the same basic elements.  They're all black with bone highlights.  The highlight color is really up to you and what you would normally use for your armor, in my case, I use bone for my Sons of Medusa and have used that on the Battle Damage I've done in the past! 



Camo Green

 Dark Grey


You should take the ones that look most promising to you and do some test pieces for your models before getting too hot and heavy with weathering your models!  I hope this helps those of your who've been struggling to come up with a good battle damage color and possibly inspires others to give the technique a go yourself!  

Anyone have any great new weathering ideas or links?  I've been out of the hobby a while and am looking for a lot of inspiration to get my brush going again! 


Review: Dark Eldar Wyches

As a long-time Eldar player, I've always stayed away from the Dark Eldar range because the models were mostly metal and almost entirely terrible.  That has changed with their re-release and the new plastic models are simply fantastic.


On the Table: WIP Marines Exemplar

Not much moving on the RealGenius painting table these days, but I have managed to make some progress on a few projects.  A recent tournament spurred on a little work to get my Marines Exemplar all up to a 3-color standard.  This was an 1850 point tournament, so I had to rearrange a few things compared to the 2000 point version.  More dogs it is.  Oh, and Njal.  Hey, that's just the way the points worked out.  The Lord on Wolf remains, as does Bjorn.

Njal and my Chooser of the Slain.  The Chooser is a celtic warrior from Warlord Games.  I got a sprue of them at Adepticon last year and have been using then for objective markers as well.  He's got a wolftail talisman, but I've put a bolt pistol on another (objective), which looks as ridiculous as it sounds.

More progress on this guy.  The blue fur is gone, which never really worked.  The Thunderwolf is too red, so I think he's going to get a lot darker before he's done.

I've recently started working on some Dark Eldar, continuing my tradition of starting something completely different before finishing my current project.  And yes, still sitting on the shelf of the painting cabinet: Inquisitor Clouseau, TMM Grey Knights and Huron. 

What's on your table?  Do you find you get more or less painting done during the Holiday season?


To all the Veterans

 To all that have served your country, past and present, thank you my brothers and sisters.

It's 120 degrees.  It's hard to concentrate in that sort of heat.  You don't even want your DCU's to touch your skin kind of hot.  The metal roof just redirects it all into your face and nothing is safe to touch, not even the plastic of the trigger is comfortable.  There's always someone watching, even in the middle of the day when the bad guy is holed up in his house keeping out of the heat.  He's still watching you in all of your miserableness.  Sweating.  You don't even stink in that sort of swelter, it's just water draining from you as fast as you can pump it into your body.  Your welcoming the idea of an IV stick at any moment just so you don't throw up from filling your gut with what ice from your frozen water bottle has melted so far.  Turtle your neck keep your face pointed down a little and keep your arms and hands covered, it's all you can do while on patrol.  Then, you're on the move again.  Hot exhaust meets hot stale air from the local sewage hole in the street, if you're lucky, this time it won't splash in your face and mouth.  Your driver veers around hard and slings your ribs into the turret ring.  You don't stand up on the route.  You do and it's your ass.  An overpass is coming up.  God damnit.  Your up, your down, your up.  Clearing those never gets easier.  You need to wait a little longer on the back end before coming up.  The insurgents got smarter, again.  Last week some kid got his face blown off on the backside clearing an overpass, so an extra second down behind your armor plates should get you clear of anything the baddies put up there.  Coming up on 3, thank god.  One last loop and it's back in the AC to pray there isn't a situation that needs QRF later today.  It's a fruitless prayer though, and you know it.  One oil can on the side of the road and it'll be you, back on the route again, with your other squad stuck baby sitting EOD for 2 hours.  They will never use those god damned 50 cal rifles to recon by fire.  Would speed things up so much if they would only learn that.  You're up, you're down, you're up.  Overpasses get old being the middle truck.  At least this time the lead truck didn't get stuck on the off-ramp like yesterday.  It's 3.  Of course the gas station on the route is completely overwhelmed today, keeping you on the route for longer as you get the ING to do their job and clear the road.  They will never really understand will they?  Changed over on the radio.  God that AC will feel good.  There isn't much of a change in mentality out the gate or in, just differing levels of armor.  It's gotten so easy to strip that vest off after weapons are cleared.  Undo the velcro, left arm then right and it's laying on the truck roof next to you.  Dump it into the seat on the way to the motor pool, find your hat, hop down and turn the radios off.  Only a few rounds expended today, only a headlight the casualty.  A good day.  Here's to hoping there is some unfrozen water around.
Enjoy today.  We've earned it.


On The Table: Runic Miniature

After seeing a friend paint up his version of this model, I've decided to give it some time tonight with a spark of inspiration.  I picked this model up as part of a prize from a day of gaming with some friends.  It's a new release from Runic Miniatures that really provides me with a great break from the norm in it's style and subject matter.

The base is a sample piece from Secret Weapon Miniatures.  There was only a little flash along the edges but will take a little more filing work to get it a little smoother along the rim.  Overall though very nice base with great detail on top.

The skulls are another Jakob creation but aren't available for purchase unfortunately!  The bird bit is from a random sign post I have had for many years floating around in my bits box.  Goes to show you never know what will come in handy if you hang onto it!

Haven't picked out a color scheme just yet.  If you've got suggestions for colors leave a comment!  Happy Halloween!


Win $10,000 at the Crystal Brush 2011


I almost don't know what to say, except "Pack your bags and bring your 'A Game' to Adepticon" because CMON is offering TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to the winner of the 2011 Crystal Brush, held at Adepticon in April 2011.


On The Table: Warhammer Fantasy

Over the weekend I finally got my first taste of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  I've been collecting an army for some time now, and slowly but surely painting them up.  With more Fantasy games in my future, I'm really trying to settle in on getting an army 100% painted.  Since I've got so much done already with my Warriors of Chaos, I'm likely going to try and finish them up first. 

In the above you can see what I'm working with so far.  A lot of champion types and just a few core units.  When I originally started the army, it was all because of the champions, and just how amazing the models were.  So naturally, I've gone after those models and used them to get me excited about the force.  So far, it's worked!  After the weekend, I've only added to my collection of champions and heroes by picking up the lord model you see still in the box at the back of the army!  I still need another core choice or two to help flesh out the army a little.  I'll likely go with a nice block of Chaos Warriors after seeing how solid a choice they are this weekend.  I also have another set of Chaos Knights in bits and pieces waiting for me, but until I have enough points in core, it's going to be hard to take them!  But given how hard they are in game, I'll definitely be doing so.

This weekend also saw me winning an Island of Blood boxed set that was graciously given up as a prize for the friendly event by Empchild of Akers Minis.  I was tops for points on the weekend after my pairings went  4-0 on the day (it was a doubles set up with one player taking 1000 points and the other 500 points, with WHFB and 40k being played).  I snagged the box, which was just one of multiple prizes, as I'd been looking to get it sometime in the near future anyways!  I split the contents with a good friend of mine and took the Skaven for my own letting him have the High Elves.  I've always loved the Skaven, but have never really wanted to paint that many mini's for ANY army, but given how amazing these new plastics look, it's going to be hard to not paint them up...At the very least I have a lot of great models for my Mordheim Warband!

A special treat on the weekend was a box of these great little minis from our good friend Jakob Rune Nielson.  Jakob had been sculpting this piece for a month or two leading up to the weekend and had them cast just about two weeks prior, and sent them just in time to be used as prizes as well!  My friend Pesmerga was kind enough to hook me up with the one he picked up as a prize since he had already purchased two directly from Jakob earlier!  Jakob's minis are always so full of character and have a great storybook fantasy feel to them.  I can't wait to paint this one up and might have a go at creating a different (see: creepy) look for the model.

I've got a lot of things on my painting table right now, and not a ton of time to get them done!  But any progress is good progress right now, so hopefully the Warriors of Chaos find a few hours here and there in the coming weeks. 

Anyone else getting into a new game?  Starting a new army?  Just digging a newly released model?  What do you have on your table this month? 


Reinforcements: Champion of Nurgle

I gave a quick sneak peek of this model last week with a quick On The Table update.  This past Friday, I found some time in the early hours of the morning to get some serious paint time in before I made my way to a friends for a weekend of drinks and gaming!   Overall I think I spent around 3-4 hours getting him painted up and for the time invested I can't help but be happy with the results. 

I used a black base coat for this one, as I knew I'd be working mostly with metallic paints and wanted to give a nice dark scheme overall.  No crazy bright colors were in the mix with this guy.  Instead, I went with a gritty hard feel from start to finish. 

The model started off by painting everything that was going to end up metallic with GW Chainmail.  I then washed it all down with a watered down GW Chaos Black (about a 1 to 8 dilution / paint to water).  This toned him down appropriately and added some quick shadows but without filling in the details.  I know some might ask why I didn't just use GW's Badab Black, but I've had issues when doing heavy washing with the wash creating an artificial surface over some of the finer details like in the pockets of chain mail. 

With the paint wash dried, I went back in with GW Devlin Mud wash on the armor plates.  I stayed away from the bits that would end up another tone of metal (the weapon and the bronze detailing) and did multiple passes to build the color of the armor up.  The armor was then 'scratched' when dry using GW Chainmail again along edges and cut details.  (Would you like to know more?)

The bronze details were painted with VMC Bronze.  For the weathering I mixed Secret Weapon Patina Weathering Pigment and Vallejo Matt Medium and painted it into the recesses, wiping away any that was on the raised areas.  When dry I touched the areas up again with VMC Bronze. 

The shoulder blade and the axe blade were painted using the 'true metallic' painting technique that was part of an Open Discussion.  This uses metallic paint and a lot of hard shading using regular paints to add a serious amount of contrast, running the full gamut from fully shiny metal to pitch black shadows.  Once the shading was done, I used a little GW Vermin Brown to add a touch of color and touched up a few edges with pure GW Chainmail. 

The inset detail of the axe blade was done by mixing dry pigment with water, applying it to the recesses liberally, allowed to dry and then with a slightly damp finger I wiped the surface clean leaving the pigment in the recessed detail.  The idea was that the bronze skull of has washed the inset with the patina coloring. 

The chain mail was given a very light wash of Vermin Brown in a few spots and touched up with GW Chainmail.  Paying attention to where you apply your touched up highlighting can help create much needed depth with what can otherwise end up a very flat looking area. 

The axe handle was painted GW Bestial Brown, highlighted with GW Snakebite Leather, given a final few lines of GW Bleached Bone and then washed down with GW Devlin Mud.

The wraps and rope were painted with GW Bestial Brown, then Snakebite Leather and finally Bleached Bone.  Gryphonne Sepia Wash was then applied to the recesses. 

The pouches/straps/leathers were painted black and highlighted with Bestial Brown followed by Snakebite Leather. 

The trophy head was painted using GW Bestial Brown, then Snakebite Leather.  The skin side was painted with Elf Flesh and the bone was done using Bleached Bone.  The whole head was then washed with Devlin Mud and touched up with the previous colors. 

To finish the model off I painted the base with GW Chaos Black and drybrushed the top using GW Fortress Grey. 

All of the techniques used were quick and efficient, leading to a very fast paint session and a brutal looking model that stays from the usual nurgle color schemes but keeps himself firmly rooted in the grime.  This model fits nicely with the champion and models that have come before him as well.  Once I've got a good number finished, I plan to go back in on the basing and add some additional detailing after some goading by a few friends to punch them up a step beyond their current state!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the piece.  Anyone else working on any Fantasy models lately?  Any crazy Warriors of Chaos you've seen around the net?  Share those links!


On the Table: Huron

Just got him last night; lots and lots of work left to do on this guy.  The least of which is picking out which color scheme to give him.

They up and gave Astral Claws a silver and blue scheme in the new IA book, but I'm not really a fan of the change.  It is a little too Ultramarines meets Grey Knights to me, and certainly doesn't look like a corrupt chapter.  (There's some really choice wording on the color schemes change in the book; really very weak and lame excuses.  If you are going to change a scheme, man up and just say the old one sucked, because it did.)  The old school tiger stripe colors are really hideous, so I am also considering a Red Corsairs scheme even though it would be chronologically incorrect.

Which scheme do you like?  Also leave your take on GW switching up schemes at will.


On the Table: Grey Knights

It has been a while since I've posted; I've returned from the great dessert of burn-out.  While WarGamesCon and Masterclass back-to-back were excellent, after those two big events I needed a little break.  I've barely lifted a brush since August, but here is the project I've started.  It isn't so much a project as practice for my blending.


Open Discussion: Are You Airbrushing Yet?

So it's been a while since we ran Airbrush week here on TPC, and every few weeks we post a video from our good friend LBursley where he goes over another great use for airbrushing with wargaming models.  Then there are the other sources of airbrushing inspiration like seeing what GMM Studios can do in such a short time with a proficient hand! 

Today I thought we could take some time out to talk to all those newbies taking their first tentative steps into the world of airbrushing, and even ask the veteran airbrush fanatics to pitch in the latest and greatest links/ideas/advice for those looking to push things just a little further. 

Are you airbrushing?  On the cusp of putting some cash down on one?  Need more evidence to make that decision?  Buy it and too afraid to try it out?  Old hand looking for some new and fresh ideas?  Comment.  Ask questions.  Talk to one another.  Learn something new.  Get into the mix!


On The Table: Warriors of Chaos

It's been FAR too long since the last update and I've been fighting to get back to the hobby table since I unpacked things.  Unfortunately for me, art project deadlines, more unpacking, shopping for new additions, and social obligations have kept me from getting dug back in with things here on TPC as quickly as I would have liked to. 

But, I'm finally caught up with a lot of the things that have kept me from the table, and I've a big gaming weekend coming up with some good friends that promises to be an absolute blast.  With that I'm using this week to tear into some Warriors of Chaos!

Today I modeled the warhounds and the champion.  Overall though, I'm hoping to paint what you see here and the last three of my marauder horsemen. 

The champion was a simple head and weapon swap, but the change in look is far more menacing than the originals.  Both additions come from the Chaos Knights box set and were pretty easy to modify and set in place.  Just a few chops and clips, a little file work on the hand and it all came together nicely. 

My deepest apologies to everyone for such a long absence!  Let's get this conversation going again!


Friday Quick Tip: Crimson Fists Video

 Les has put out another great Space Marine video, this time painting Crimson Fists!  I've always loved the deep blue of the chapter, and here Les is doing them some serious justice.  HD, Full Screen!

Watch, learn, try something new! Good to see some more painting videos coming from our buddy Les! Hope the video finds you all well today, and in time for that new project we were just talking about earlier this week!


Open Discussion: Excuse our Absence & Project Ideas

You might have noticed things have slowed back down here on TPC.  Unfortunately, the site has fallen victim to the rigors of packing and prepping for a move across town for myself.  This means my things are all in boxes and cases waiting for the commute to a new home. 

With this break comes my hopes for a new influx of content for TPC once I'm settled back in and ready to rock again with wargaming.  The big project in mind being a new terrain set and table.  Smaller projects being the finishing of my Warriors of Chaos cavalry army and possibly the completion of my AoBR orks and other assorted models.  The most intriguing of these projects being the table and WoC force for me.  There is always the chance of the random one off model finding its way to my table of course! 

So with an eye to the future, I'd love to hear what others are planning to work on in the near future.  What sort of grand projects do you have in mind?  Anyone building a new army?  Any exciting campaigns?  Got a big tournament your building up for?

Let your ideas flow, and throw some feedback to other ideas.  Discussing and evolving ideas makes for a fertile creative playground! 


Open Discussion: NMM vs TM

You might have heard of a little term 'Non-Metallic Metals' or maybe if you've been in the right circles as of late 'True Metallics'.  Every few years a new term is coined for a new style of painting metals it seems.  For me, it's a wonderful progression of techniques that mixes and melds elements together to create a new idea for modeler/painters to mull over for the aesthetic of their models. 

So which is best?  Most people tend to favor what they can get better results with from their own brush.  Others tend to love that which they can't emulate on their own.  This personal bias can come into play heavily when you're viewing models for a painting contest, especially when you're judging one! 

I present this question to the community:  What do you find more pleasing to your aesthetic sensibilities?  Have any amazing examples to link to?  Why do you enjoy one over the other?  Or if you like them both, what do you enjoy seeing each technique being used on? 

Leave your comments, have a discussion, and don't be afraid to reply to each others thoughts.  Opinions are best when fully realized through thorough thought provoking discussion after all!


Reinforcements: Champion of Chaos

Around the middle of last year, I decided I wanted to break into Fantasy.  One faction in particular fed my need for amazing models clad in armor with an air of bad ass.  Warriors of Chaos would become the army I would lead onto the battlefields of the Old World.  We will plunder and destroy, well once I have them painted that is.

I bought this guy from ebay late last year.  I knew I wanted to pick him up once I started the army.  It's such a strong sculpt I knew I had to have him, even if he didn't fit the original theme idea of an all cavalry warband.  When he arrived I got started. 

Having at him with metallic paints to start off I painted most of the model in GW Chainmail.  The armor was then washed with successive layers of Devlin Mud, the weapons and chainmail link armor with layers of Badab Black.  With the weapons I played with the idea of true metallics, as they're called, going to the extreme black where appropriate and using a gradient to give variation to the surfaces.  I then used a few small brush strokes of GW Chainmail to scratch the surfaces of the armor and weaponry. 

The browns and bones were done using Bestial Brown, Snakebite Leather, and Bleached Bone in various combinations.  The skulls caught a final highlight of skull white.  This is my standard method for tabletop

The fur was started with a black base color, highlighted with fortress grey and given a final highlight of skull white.  The end result is a very vibrant white that gives a stark contrast.

The chaos star was done by painting layers of Gryphonne Sepia over chainmail.  Scratching done the same as above. 

His cape was painted black and given a few line highlights of Bestial Brown, highlighted lightly with Snakebite Leather.  I really like this look and have used it before on other Warriors of Chaos models as a way to do black leathers. 

The base was drybrushed with Codex Grey and then Fortress Grey to highlight.

All in all, it's a very subtle paint scheme that really lets the models strong sculpt work shine through and not detract from what's been established with the pose and imposing look of the piece.  Overall I'm very happy with it and can't wait to see him taking skulls and slaughtering the weak. 

I'm working on hammering out a 500 point force for a few upcoming gaming events, so expect to see more chaotic happenings around TPC in the future!


Friday Quick Tip: Ork Skin Video

I have really taken to filming my painting sessions.  It's given me a nice new outlet to share tips and tricks with.  It's also a great way to learn how to edit video!  Today I bring a tip from my latest footage, painting Ork skin.

To preface, I never approach a models skin the same way twice.  I've made mention of my love of variety with skin tones before, and have made more headway in that effort with my Orks.  With each boy, nob and warboss, I've played around with the colors on a whim, never really bothering to remember or write down just how I got to a finished skin tone.  But with that in mind, I thought it would be a good way to show the process by filming as I painted my latest Ork model. 

They're set at double speed, with queues for colors used, so it shouldn't be too hard to follow!  With that in mind, give the videos a watch! 

You might notice that at one point I go to using a watered down Bleached Bone, though I found it to be a little too strong for where I was at with the model.  I ended up using a 50/50 mix of Bleached Bone/Goblin Green instead and did a final highlight of pure bleached bone.  It worked out better, and faster, than it would have had I not used the mix. 

The matt varnish is used to knock out some of the shine.  I still think he could go for another hit of it, but will wait until the model is finished and do a complete spray of the model with the airbrush instead of painting it on.  Using washes will leave you with a lot of shine, so be prepared to kill it off.

I really dig some of the music I'm finding on youtube!  I hope you enjoyed the videos and here's to it helping a few of you out there!  I'd love some feedback as well, let me know what you think!


On the Table: Everything

I've never claimed to be very organized when it comes to modeling or painting projects.  My table gets a little out of hand in only a few days of constant work.  I took this for Massive Voodoo's latest contest and thought I would share considering just how ridiculous it's getting. 

Can you pick out all of the projects in the works?  It's very 'Where's Waldo'!


Video: Painting Fur

Took some video while I tested out some different fur colors the other day on my beastman. Gave it a quick edit to try my hand at some video editing. I'm still getting my legs with the program, but I suspect I'll have the hang of things soon enough and the videos will look all the better for it!

It's double speed with queues so it should be easy enough to follow. I went without sound for now, still working out how to edit music and voice in. So throw on some music and give it a watch!

Materials used:
Size 4 round watercolor synthetic brush
Vallejo Model Color and Games Workshop paints
Wet palette
Liquitex Flow Aid

There was a focus issue early on in the video, but I kept it because it shows the use of the palette well. Plus it's just washing!

Be sure to watch it at 480p! Let me know what works for you and what doesn't. I want to make these better with each video!


Saturday Video: Paints

Yesterday found me too busy/occupied to get anything worked up for a quick tip, so today we check out a video by LBursley about different paint types.  If you've only ever used Citadel paints, this might be a great video for you to check out and learn about the alternatives available to you!

Use what works best for you, but keep in mind the techniques you are using and the projects most appropriate for each!

I'm finding ways to make video a more prominent part of TPC, but it's going to take time to get it right!


Open Discussion: New Tools/Tricks

With my Beastman model, I've been using a lot of new ideas and tools.  Stepping out of an army paint or squad paint project, I've opened myself up to new techniques and ways of working that I wouldn't have felt comfortable doing on a larger project!

With the Beastmen Champion, I've used green stuff to help model the base on a wood block that was chopped down with a dremel, paid more attention to lighting with the paint than I ever have before on a model, used small flowers found at the craft shop to flourish the base even more, and I'm continuing my use of dry pigments that I'm still learning the ins and outs of!  I've even brought a lot of the color thought process I use during regular canvas painting to the table for this model!  The best part is that I've used all of these new techniques and I'm not even done!

I thought it might make for good conversation to hear what some of you might be trying out for the first time on your latest modeling and painting projects!  It also might help you get some additional advice on the best way to use it.

So let's hear it!  What are you using right now that is still new to you?


On The Table: Beastman WIP

It's not much of an update for him, but I think it's appropriate considering the direction I've decided to take.  Don't pay much attention to anything but the base and the skin right now.  Everything else is just blocking out color to get an idea.  But the skin and the base are two major breaks from the norm for me. 

With the base I've gone with a much more elaborate set up and far more dramatic coloring than I've ever used in the past.  I've yet some more work to do still though, mainly in the variation in the vegetation that will be achieved with some paint washes.  There will also be some additional flora added to drive home the look I am going for. 

The skin is within keeping of the hues established with the basing.  I'm also making a concerted effort to keep away from black for shading, using various colors to add depth to the model.  In the case of the skin, I'm going with a very deep blue with some red mixed in for a dark violet that will contrast nicely.  In the finished model this will end up looking much darker along side of everything else, but right now it still feels very blue.  If that's the case later, I'll add a little brown to the depths to punch the contrast up even more.   All of this with an eye toward the lighting I've predetermined earlier in the paint!

It's going to be a long project I think.  Hopefully you all don't mind coming along for the ride!


Friday Quick Tip: Using the Wet Palette

When I posted the wet palette Friday Quick Tip, the number one follow up comment/email was, "Great! Now what?"

As part of the Masterclass, here's a little quick tip direct from Mathiue Fontaine on how to make use of the wet palette and get your model started off with a nice, even base coat.

Some of the key tips: don't thin all of your paint at once, don't get paint up into the ferrule (metal part) and use the side of the brush for base coating.

More from Mathieu and his painting Masterclasses at his site: http://www.akaranseth.com.

Are you using a wet palette? Any good tips for wet palette beginners out there?


On The Table: Beastmen Champion

After Gamesday I knew I'd have some new inspiration to work with.  So I decided to start a new project, one specifically for painting contests this time instead of doing double purposed gaming/high quality paint.  I hit up the hobby store, bought two blocks of wood and got to work on one with the dremel.  Added some green stuff and started pressing broken up rocks I found outside into it and molding the greenstuff down with my shapers and sculpting tools. 

The model was cleaned up for the pin, I've decided to just sacrifice a pin vice bit and drilled as far down into the block as I could while still keeping enough for the models foot, flipped the bit around and slid the smooth end into the models foot with a bit of super glue for it to adhere with.  Sliding the other end into the pin vice again, it makes a great hand hold that will be fantastic for painting. 

I primed the model with grey and gave it a quick source lighting with white spray paint.  The base is still drying but I'm already really happy with it. 

Lots to come for this one. Stay tuned.