Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Showcase: Hector, prince of Troy

Hello everyone!

In this article, I want to showcase my version of Hector by Young Miniatures.

I spend a lot of time on the face and eyes, only by them being barely visible on the pictures due to how the helmet covers the face from any source of light. The inside of the shield is also painted to look like real wood. Sadly the body covers most of it so you can't really see it on the photos.

I hope you like him! If you do, feel free to head over to Putty&Paint and leave me a vote. 👍

Showcase: Achilles

Hello everyone! 

In this article, I want to showcase my version of Achilles by Young Miniatures. I'm not sure if I made the right choice making the photographs on a black background, but it looked better than on a white background.

I painted the armor to look like hammered bronze, trying to get close to the reference snapshots I took from the movie. The shirt underneath is painted as a black, semi-reflective leather.

I hope you like him! If you do, feel free to head over to Putty&Paint and leave me a vote. 👍

Monday, July 23, 2018

How to make a cobstone base

Hello, konnichiwa, aloha, buongiorno hobby and painting friends!

In this article, I will show how I made a quick and simple cobstone base. This could be for a scene in a house, a dungeon or just as a stone wall in a field.

I wanted to make a base for a 3D printed barbarian mini I once got. (I'm sorry I forgot where I got it) And I figured him raiding a house or exploring a dungeon. (the mini has a very high Elder Scrolls feel for me) So I had to make him a base that sets the scene for that! I was looking at some pictures and decided on what I thought looked best.

I started with a piece of roughly sawed / half splintered wood. This was done intentionally but didn't turn out the way I wanted. However, it was perfect to serve as a base for this!

I started by drawing out how I wanted my base to look, (yes I was actually planning ahead) by tracing the outline of the base on some paper. This gave me a base where I could make sketches on and help me sculpt (or in other cases maybe build) the base on.

I started by sculpting the wall out of Milliput balls, tacked together, made to look like stones and I textured them using a rigid brush, an old toothbrush, and a sponge. You can pretty much use whatever you like and what you have lying around.

Once I was happy with the result, I let the Milliput dry a little so it won't be too vulnerable when I started sculpting. It doesn't have to set rock hard, just firm enough so it won't scratch or dent easily. I then continued with the floor tiles. To make the Milliput adhere to the wood better, I scored the base with Dremel. This way the Milliput has something to grip onto so it won't let go once the Milliput dries. Using the same tools I used making the wall, I sculpted and textured the floor tiles.

Once the floor is done, it was time to create some morter between the rocks. This was done by rubbing in some watered down gypsum over the stones and tiles. I also used this to dull down some of the texture on the rocks.

I have also added some balsa wood square sticks to the base to look like struts and placed them in "logical" places, or where I thought it would look good. You can also use this to add some more dimensions to your base, as you can use it to create depth or the illusion of a larger structure. By this time, the gypsum has dried and set between the stones to look like cement.

To make the base more interesting I also added a vase. I created this by hot-gluing a gypsum brick to my rotary tool and spinning it while using sandpaper and files to manipulate the gypsum. (mini for scale)

Finally, I added some plasticard to the sides of the base and to the back, to give the whole thing a smooth finish. I cut all the pieces to size and glued them to the wood. I then proceeded to cut and sand the plasticard to fit the profile of the wall.

That's it for this step-by-step! I hope you guys enjoyed it and find it useful to see what I did to create this.

How do you make your bases? Do you go all out with putty, or do you just want to create a simple setting on a plinth or gaming base? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How to paint battered bronze

Hello friends and fellow hobbyists,

Before I continue with this article I would like to express my feelings:
Okay now that I got that off my chest, we can continue... Thank you for understanding.

Some of you have seen my painted version of Achilles by Young Miniatures and I've gotten a ton of compliments about how I painted the bronze armor. I did take some pictures of the painting process but not really step by step.

Luckily, I also had a bust of Hector, by the same company, and in order to tie them together, I wanted to paint some elements the same way. The center relief on the shield was the perfect spot for this.

Materials I used for this paint job:
  • Scale75 matte black paint (depending if you want to start with a dark base) 
  • Scale75 Ancient Gold
  • Synthetic brush (size 2) 
  • Van Gogh oil color Ivory Black
  • Thinner
  • Blister sponge
Now you can start this particular technique in two ways, depending on if you want a darker or lighter end result. I wanted to match the dark armor on my Achilles bust, so I started with a black basecoat. If you want to create a lighter bronze look, you can best start with a dark gold or bronze base.

(PS: I apologize for the horse nudity, but that is how it was on the original movie prop)

Okay, but since I wanted to match with Achilles' armor, I started with a black basecoat, just regular matte black acrylic paint from Scale75.

Since we will also be working with oil paint, and thus will also be using some thinner, you might want to protect your paint job with a coat of varnish. I did it without varnishing my paint job since I've done it before with these paints and didn't have any problems.

So If you started with a gold basecoat, you can skip this following step once! It is time to stipple on some gold. For this, I use an irregularly ripped blister sponge to sponge on some of the Scale75 Ancient Gold. Try to make it look as random as possible by using different angles and twisting and turning your sponge.

As you can tell from the above picture, it does create a nice texture, but it looks way too bright! What I like about this technique is that you will hit raised surfaces and larger flat area's, but the crevices next to the detail won't get touched by the gold so much. Next step is to tone down that bright gold. people who started with a gold base and thus skipped this previous step can chime back in now!

Now get some of the black oil paint and put it on a piece of cardboard. This will suck out some of the oils, which makes it easier to work with. Next, get some of that black paint and put it over the previous (partially) gold layer. Don't freak out if it covers your gold completely! Just get some thinner on your brush and work the black paint around on the model until some of the detail from the previous layer starts to show through.

From this point onward, just repeat the previous two steps for a while until you're happy about how it looks. From this point, I did two or three more layers, each layer creating more depth because you keep seeing some of the gold from the underlying layers and you're creating an actual texture to the surface that you're painting.

Okay, so at this point, I'm pretty satisfied with how the embossed relief looks. It might be a little darker than the one from the movies, but it ties in really nice with the armor of Achilles. To give it a little individuality I decided to paint on some verdigris. This is the greenish oxidation or rust that you sometimes see on bronze statues. To make this, I mixed some green and turquoise together and applied it randomly in the crevices where I thought it looked nice.

There you have it! You can, of course, use this technique for different kinds of metallics, but I especially like it for this aged and worn bronze.

I hope you found this little tutorial useful and if you did or want to see more tutorials like this be sure to leave me a little comment down in the comment section.

Untill next time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Resin plinths

Hi fellow painters and hobbyists!

I needed some new plinths and I decided to pick up some resin ones from Model Display Products. I usually use wooden plinths but the price and nice looks won me over to try them out!

The plinths are cast in the white/creme colored resin. There is a sticker on the packages warning buyers of the potential damage resin can do to your health. It is important to wear gloves, protective goggles, and more importantly a respirator mask when sanding, drilling and cutting resin products.

The plinths are textured as if they are wooden plinths so if you are a good painter, you can make them look like actual wooden plinths. If you are not that confident about your painting skills, a simple gloss, satin or matte black coat will get a long way.

So don't these resin plinths have any downsides? Then why are people still buying wooden plinths? Well, they do. First and most obvious is that you need to paint them yourself. Some people would also see the lack of individuality as a downside. For me, the downside is the fact that they need some work before you can use them as a plinth for your projects. They sometimes have airbubbles that need to be filled and sanded down, occasionally they bottom needs to be sanded flush, and you need to prime and paint them.

All and all I think they are very good for what you have to pay for them. I do think it would be better if the foot would be sanded a little better after casting, but other than that, I think I will enjoy using resin plinths.

What kind of plinths do you use and why? Feel free to discuss it in the comment section.

Until next time!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to quickly paint faces

Hi guys (and girls)

It's been way too long since I've posted anything. Reasons for this are family stuff, work stress, changing jobs etc... I just really hope I can post more frequently from now on.

In this article, I would like to cover a trick I recently learned/discovered for painting faces.

It has to do with subdermal colors in the skin. I'll show the pictures first, and explain the reason why later on.

I began by pre-shading the head with black and white paint. This will give you a good indication of where your shadows and highlights should be. If you paint transparently enough, the shadows and highlights will shine through your paint job, but even if you paint more opaque, making a picture of this step will be a good reference!

I loaded my airbrush up with some red paint and sprayed the top half of the face. Make sure to cover the cheekbones, nostrils and the tip of the nose. 

After that, I got the blue paint ready. I used this to spray the bottom half of the face. I also sprayed a little blue over the red in the eye sockets, creating a dark purple. 

With the red and blue colors in place, I continued to paint the face as I usually would. I used the Scale75 skin colors for this. 

You can see that the cheeks and the nose bleed through some of the red color and that the chin has a light blue tone. This gives the illusion of rosy cheeks a five'o'clock shadow. After the skin tones, paint the lips with a red-ish/pink-ish color and paint a little bit of texture on the lower lip. Also highlight the eyelids, nose, upper lip and any wrinkles if they are present on the model, and the face is pretty much done!

Now onto the reasons why...
The central part of a face has fine blood vessels carrying oxidized (red) blood to the surface of the skin. The chin, especially on a black-bearded man, appears blueish due to microscopic hairs. Women and children don't have a five'o'clock shadow but in the area around the lips are relatively more veins carrying deoxidized blood to the surface. Some artists paint this as a green color to compliment the color of the lips. 

Traditionally, there is also a yellow or white zone of the face. This is the forehead that doesn't have as many muscles and blood vessels and thus doesn't have as many red blood cells. 

I hope you liked this little tutorial and that it helps you. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading and until next time! Peace ✌

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Showcase: Kahl-Agul

'lo all 😊

It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, that has a lot of reasons that I won't bother you with. I pretty much finished my Kahl-Agul bust by Karol Rudyk Art to the point where I feel comfortable showcasing it. The paintjob itself has been done for a while and I'm sure a lot of people already seen it, but I was looking for the perfect plinth and how to create the blood effect I want envisioned when I started the project.

Apparently, getting an oval-shaped plinth is hard, so I had to look for a custom job. My friend Pete Watson sorted me out with one, and this enabled me to continue, and finish this project.

Another challenge was the blood effects. It is absolutely terrifying to cover your model with red-inked water gel. Luckily, it turned out pretty gruesome and awesome.

On with the pictures:

This is truly a creature you don't want to encounter in the dark! Eventually, I might finish up this bust with some blood streaming from its open mouth. It needs some saliva at least, but blood would make it more gruesome.

I really loved painting this bust! I will do my best to keep you guys updated on projects!

Cya next time!