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?