Category Archives: Painting

Posts, articles and links mostly concerning the painting of miniatures. Lead Painters League posts, links to resources and inspiration elsewhere, and such.

The Workbench This Week, 28 Feb 2022

Plague and megalomaniac idiot dictators waging unprovoked war on democracies and idiots honking in stupid pickup trucks… let us distract ourselves with some modelling instead, shall we?

The workbench this weekend. Based and mushrooms and plague monks and ECW and much else!

So what was, in fact, on the workbench this weekend? Starting on the lower left of the cutting mat, we have a batch of 25mm/1″ plastic bases with greenstuff cobbles added to the top, these eventually to have some “town watch” kitbashed figures on them – probably Warlord ECW pikemen bodies with Frostgrave parts for some arms.

Heading clockwise, we have some awesome Fenris Games mushrooms, the first I’ve finished from their massive Sporewood set from the 2021 Toadstool Brownie kickstarter. I’ve based four of them onto a chunk of scrap 1/8th plastic and will get that finished up soonish; the fifth mushroom painted is lying on the left there.

At the back of the cutting mat behind the Fenris-supplied “Love Miniatures Hate Fascism” stickers are sixteen Bloody Miniatures English Civil War chaps, their Company of Wolves bundle of their Wave One releases, also from early 2021. Really lovely figures, full of character. Bloody Miniatures has produced two more batches of sixteen since then and Wave Four is on the way; I’ve held off on buying Waves Two and Three because up until a few weeks ago Wave One was still all boxed up…

The five Fenris plague cultists, all set to lead ominous processions through a fantasy city.

Finally in the foreground we have five Fenris Games Plague Cultists all finished and ready to terrorize a table soon. Their bases were the test run for the urban bases off to the left there. I wanted grubby urban cobblestones and I think it worked. Nice simple figures full of character, too, and beautifully easy to paint up.

Hobby progress despite the state of the wider world, and that is never a bad thing. Stay safe, stay sane, and hobby onward!

Bring Out Your Dead

These dead might be able to take themselves out, actually.

Basing still to be determined but painting finished on my first fifteen figures of 2022. These are North Star’s Oathmark skeletons; the other half of the pack is in Corey’s hands for painting and part of the reason the basing is unfinished is I’m waiting to see if we’re going to coordinate basing or just do our own thing individually.

Fifteen Oathmark skeletons, with some additions from other companies. Click for larger.

The big skull on their unit banner, and the bird and goat-ish skulls on two of the skeletons, are from GW’s Skulls pack, which is probably the most purely GW product GW has ever, it its long and illustrious history, produced. It’s also damn useful for kitbashing and scenery building and to date, the only GW product I’ve ever bought retail that wasn’t paint!

The painting was deliberately quick and simple. Grey primer with a white zenithal overspray, Reaper Stained Ivory mixed 1:1 with glaze medium for the base coat, Coal Black and Clotted Red for all the cloth and equipment, Intense Brown for leather strapping, Tarnished Steel or GW Dwarf Bronze for metal bits. After that was all dry, a fairly heavy coat of GW Seraphim Sepia over the whole figure, and then a quick highlight of the bone bits with Stained Ivory again.

This gave me a good looking hoard of dead folk to throw onto the table when we next face a necromancer in Sellswords or other games, and I have some good skeleton bits to throw into the kitbashing bits bin!

An End to 2021 At Last!

Personally and hobbywise, it’s not been a terrible year, although it’s been a bit low on the number of blog posts, overall. But for the rest… yeesh. Good bye and good riddance, 2021!

A bit of year end figure painting, with the faithful feline assistant in the foreground making things warmer but more awkward! Wargames Atlantic plastic skeletons for our fantasy skirmish stuff, whenever current circumstances allow us to resume in person gaming! Click, as usual, for larger.

With the surge in Omicron cases locally we’ve stopped in-person gaming again, out of an abundance of caution. We will probably resume sometime in January, but it’ll be back to webcam Gaslands for a bit in the first couple weeks of 2022.

A quick count shows 22 blog entries here in 2021, far more in the first half of the year than as the year wore on. Not bad, but I would like to get a bit more momentum going through 2022!

To that end, I’ve joined the PaintSlam community and their Discord channel; like a lot of wargaming social media it’s heavily GW-focussed but by no means exclusive to GW in any way. I’m “Vemundr” on most Discord channels, due to having started on Discord for Society for Creative Anachronism reasons, so if you’re on the PaintSlam Discord discussion group feel free to say hi!

Here’s to an improved 2022 for everyone over 2021! Stay safe, get your booster when you can, and try to get some gaming in!

Deer God? Dear God!

I’ve been on a kick of assembling and basing figures in batches the last little while, and also (as you can tell) not been doing much of the ol’ blogging this year… Anyway, right in the middle of assembling a couple of dozen Toadstool Brownies from the big Fenris Miniatures Toadstool Kickstarter earlier this year, the loot from the Fenris KS after that, the Wyrdworld one with all sorts of cool anthropomorphized animal figures showed up!

I decided that I needed to base and assemble Brutolph, the Giant Elk right away, because it is a truly spectacular figure.

Brutolph’s business end. Click for larger.

That’s a 40mm circular base our big deer is on, with his arms, spear and antlers just dry fitted for now until all the Milliput on his base is properly cured.

Brutolph alongside a 28mm Warlord ECW figure on a 25mm base. Click for larger.

To the top of his antlers he’s just shy of 3″ tall, and that spear is longer than that!

Brutolph from overhead, with Fenris Toadstool Brownies in the background holding up the awesome “Love Miniatures, Hate Fascism” stickers, also from Fenris. Click, as usual, for larger.

I’ll get Brutolph’s arms and antlers properly installed over the next few days and then he and the whole village of Toadstool Brownies will be off for priming. I’m not actually sure how I’ll be painting him up, but might go slightly weird as I intend to use the figure as a forest god/spirit of the deep forest type!

Links of Interest, 4 April 2021

Cement Saul is a fairly new YouTube channel that has been doing a bunch of interesting Gaslands-related videos. I especially like the video on Weathering with Coloured Pencils and Pigments. Pigments (pastel chalk dust, or similar) are familiar to me and I’ve used them in the past, but weathering with actual coloured pencils hadn’t occured to me and I’m going to have to try that out! It’s part of a series on painting, stencilling, detailing, and weathering cars that’s well done, approachable, and worth your time.

Light Industries is a Canadian outfit that do various decals including custom work; I always like to find Canadian sources for things when I can!

Misc Minis do various decals as well, including tiny decals suitable for 1/1200 vessels or aircraft. I contacted him back in January 2021 about getting a little sheet of his smallest decals, got it in just a few weeks for much less money than I was expecting, and will do a proper review of them sometime soon!

A Paintbrush Rack from Scrap

I’ve always know that hanging paint brushes bristles down to dry was better for them, but never bothered doing anything about it. Recently my selection of brushes has expended as I’m using cheap makeup brushes for drybrushing and, right at the other end of the brush quality spectrum, my wife spoiled me at Christmas with a trio of gorgeous W&N Series 7 brushes, the seriously expensive ones.

My painting bench is an old Ikea modular shelving unit, and I realized I could add a brush rack to the underside of one of the shelves just off my actual painting area, where it would be out of the way but close at hand for convenience.

Even better, I realized with a few seconds of experimenting that I could make a functional brush rack from scrap foam and recycled cardboard! The foam happens to be sheets from Infinity box sets, about 4″ by 6″ or so; I took one sheet of that, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut a series of slits about an inch apart and maybe an inch and a half deep.

New drying and storage rack in position. The foam will even hold the fat-handled makeup brushes I’ve just started using for drybrushing. Click for larger.

I hot glued the foam to scrap cardboard from the recycling bin, then hot glued the whole assembly into place on the underside of the shelf just on the left hand edge of my painting bench. If I ever decide to replace it or move it, the hot glue can be popped off the wood of the shelf fairly easily.

The slit foam will even hold the wide handles of the cheap makeup brushes I’ve started using recently for drybrushing and the 2.5″ housepainting brush I use on big scenery projects. Given it cost me exactly nothing to make, took just a couple of minutes, and uses a spot on my hobby bench that was previously empty space, I’m very pleased with this little project!

The paint brush rack in context, top left corner of the photo. Yes, I need to de-clutter my bench, move a whole bunch of completed figures into storage, and such. Next weekend. Click for larger.

Gates for Gaslands, Part Five

Up next was the “GATE” lettering and giant numbers for the three numbered gates.

Mid-project roundup. Rust basecoat on the big numbers, front centre; GATE lettering primed on the right, and the gate towers all lined up behind and overhead. Click for larger.

I cut the giant numbers from sheet styrene and mounted them on strips of scrap styrene. The GATE lettering was 3d printed as separate letters and then mounted on very thin square section styrene strip. To make that easy I taped long pieces of the styrene strip down to my cutting mat, glued the letters down, then once the glue had cured cut each word out.

Everything got spray primed grey and then basecoated the same blotchy rust I’d used on the overhead gantry and elsewhere. I stippled and drybrushed everything with a couple of different shades of off-white (Reaper Linen White and Leather White, primarily) before a final drybrush of Reaper Pure White.

The GATE signs and numbers all mounted and final weathering begun. Click for larger.

After that it was back to the weathering, primarily drybrushing with a big soft makeup brush. I only just picked one of these up, a super cheap dollar store special, and it really is the bomb for drybrushing! I used a fairly random selection of browns, reds, tans, and off-whites for this, going back and forth over all the towers and the gantry as well.

Back view of the six gate towers, with speaker cabinets and loudspeakers mounted. Click for larger.

While adding the lettering I had finally primed, painted, and installed the roof on the announcer/race official cab on the lefthand start gate tower. I thought about installing mesh on the windows but decided to leave them open for now; I might go back in and add some additional protection for the folks who wave the chequered flags but the current form will do for now!

Roof installed on the announcer/official cab. It had to be cut to fit around the fairly random structure of the tower itself. Click for larger.

Final touches and some finished shots soon as this project finally wraps up and might actually hit the table sometime soon!

Gates for Gaslands, Part Four

When we last saw our gates they were basecoated but stalled due to missing 3d printed parts. Those arrived, thanks to my brother’s 3d printer, and I was able to move on with the project.

I didn’t want to start the overhead gantry on the Start/Finish gate until I had the 3d printed “Esquimalt Thunderdome” sign in hand, but once I had that the basic construction went together quickly.

The three openwork girders have been in my stash for decades and the packaging is long gone, but they’re from Plastruct – possibly these ones, which seem to be about the right size. You can find all the similar openwork web girders from Plastruct by searching their site for “web”.

The girders are only six inches long, so I knew I’d need to extend the gantry with other materials as the Gaslands rules call for gates the same width as a Long Straight movement template, which is roughly 7 inches long, and Corey’s Thunderdome racetrack dirt track is roughly 8 inches wide. Fully finished, this gantry is almost 10 inches long, and slots into the roof structure of the two vertical gate towers to hold everything together.

The start of the overhead gantry. I later pulled off the plastic mesh as it was getting in the way of construction and painting, and replaced it much later in the process. Click for larger.

The rest of the gantry was a random scatter of styrene shapes from the stash – there’s some flat C-channel, different T- and H-girder bits, and lots of square or rectangular cross section stuff. It had to both look structurally sound and actually have a certain amount of structural integrity, but the beauty of post-apoc engineering is that it still looks great if you bodge extra bits on to fix earlier problems!

in progress but before priming. You can see here how the gantry’s beams slot into the tops of the two gate towers. Click for larger.

After grey primer I covered the whole thing in a blotchy rust coat using a couple of different shades of browns, reds, and oranges.

Rust coated. Click for larger.

After the rust coat I did a blotchy coat of white, partly drybrushed and partly stippled into place. This came out far better than I’d hoped, and really looks like white paint that’s flaking off as the metal under it rusts and weathers.

Stippled and drybrushed white, and first coats of blue on the sign. Painting of the actual gantry is basically done at this point; the sign got a bunch more weathering and highlighting and touchups. Click for larger.

The speaker cabinets and loudspeaker horns were 3d printed from STLs on Thingiverse, both from a very nice collection of Gaslands parts. The speaker cabinets were printed in two different sizes, which added some visual interest.

Speaker cabinets and loudspeaker horns in place and weathering started. Click for larger.

The speakers got painted a blotchy off-black (Reaper Pure Black with a dot of one of their greys mixed in) and the loudspeakers got one of the many tan off-whites in my collection, I can’t remember which one.

The clutter of speakers and loudspeakers really makes this piece pop, it’s exactly the visual clutter I’d pictured in my head when first thinking these designs up!

I’d like to add some light fixtures, but it seems nobody makes 20mm 3d printable floodlight fixtures, at least not that I can find, and I’d want enough of them that scratchbuilding isn’t really an option unless I can come up with a really simple design…

The back of the gate, with mesh back on the walkway and all the 3d printed stuff getting weathered.

Next up, painting and installing the big “GATE” signs and numbers on the rest of the gates, and loads more weathering. So much weathering…

Links of Interest, 10 March 2021

A scattering of links for our first Links of Interest of 2021!

More possible sources of small scale scenery are always welcome, and over on Wargaming3d Wozname has started a new line of 3d printable STL files for 1/1200 scenery, starting with a few entire islands and some castles. Really neat to see people doing entire pieces in these tiny scales that would be basically impossible to do in any larger scale!

On the small scale naval gaming theme, the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers has a couple of articles on small boat actions in the Mediterranean in WW2, with one article on mostly focusing on British vs Axis and the second spotlighting American PT boats. They’re framed around Cruel Seas but trivially easy to adapt to other rule sets.

Reaper Minis hosted a Virtual Reaper Con last weekend, and while I’d initially signed up for four classes on various painting topics, the world conspired to only allow me to attend one class, a fantastic discussion of “Additives, Mediums, and Texture Pastes – Oh My!” by Rhonda “Wren” Bender, talking about matt and gloss mediums, flow aids, drying extenders, glaze medium, texture pastes, and various other things as they apply to miniature painting. The class handout is available at the link above, the session was recorded and will eventually show up on Reaper’s YouTube channel, and Rhonda has a great website of her own over at Bird With A Brush that’s well worth checking out.

Incidentally, the anchor chain stock photo being used as a header for these Links of Interest posts is by CastleLight from Pixabay.

First Three Gaslands Cars Finished

Finished up my first three cars for Gaslands over the weekend, the two Barracudas and an Impala last seen in grey primer a little while ago.

Basecoat on all three cars; the black stripe on Vlad was done as part of the basecoat with glaze medium. Click for larger.

Car One: Vlad the Impala

The big red and black car is an Impala, so naturally it has to be called Vlad in the long tradition of ancient dumb car jokes. The bulldozer blade ram plate, exhaust pipes, ring mount gunner, and rear slab spoiler are all off the North Star accessories sprue; the bar armour on the windows is thin styrene plastic strip. I might yet freehand the car’s name on the top of the spoiler, but it’ll thunder around the track quite handsomely without it for now.

Car Two: the blue Barracuda

This one seems to have accidentally turned into a Spaff Maureen landsplatter or whatever they’re called, never having played any 40K myself. It’ll be nice and clear which direction to point toward the finish line, anyway! Sheet armour over the windows is sheet styrene scrap; the air scoop, gun, and minedropper are North Star accessories.

Car Three: The Purple People Eater (Barracuda)

The second Barracuda is wrapped up in some extra bar armour with a pair of machine guns bolted to the hood. Guns again from North Star, bar armour bits from scrap styrene. Over the purple paint it has neon green skulls on the trunk and both doors, with some flames alongside the gun on the hood.

A Few Extra Shots

Just a few extra beauty shots for fun!

Both Barracudas heading up the jump. You can see the passenger door skull on the side of the Purple People Eater. Click for larger.
Tight starting grid, or parked up waiting for the mayhem to start! Click for larger.

My next project is going to be a set of gates for Gaslands race events; I’ve got a big stash of random plastic tubing, girders, and such that’ll make three or four gates to lay out race courses.