You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fun with green stuff!

Epoxy putty, popularly known as "greenstuff" (I use the crappy GW version) is put to good use here. In the picture of the hanging meat, the meat, the pelt and the rock tools on the pelt all were made from green stuff. The pile of tusks is all green stuff. The food and the food dishes also are all green stuff.
Green stuff takes some time to get used to. I'm getting some good results with it, but I'm not comfortable enough to give a tutorial on its use. In fact, the items you see here all are simple shapes (except for the pelt and tools.) A good paint job can spruce up a bad sculpt sometimes. If you have some green stuff- try doing a bowl of (generic) fruit. The bowl was made by forming a small ball with green stuff and then sticking a rounded pen cap into the ball to form a rough bowl shape. The fruit itself is merely tiny balls of green stuff dropped into the bowl. The green stuff is REALLY sticky, so you really shouldn't need to glue the fruit into the bowl (but can if you like.) Let it dry overnight, then paint it up- Bam! A bowl of fruit!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cavepainter and his canvas

This cave wall (rock) is simply a rock found outside, glued to a CD, primed and painted! It's THAT easy! The cavepainter is from Copplestone's excellent pack of caveman characters. I took the "old man" figure who originally was giving sort of a "devil" sign with his right hand. I bent down the pinky to give him that finger-painting look. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Finished Hotdog stand (vendor is a Foundry Old West bystander)

How I made a hotdog stand for my pulp games

Unfortunately, I do not have the pieces to show you the steps on building the stand, but I have provided an exploded view to at least show you where everything goes.

The bits you will need:

-1 small wooden cube. You can purchase these as precut at your favorite large hobby store (Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Ben Franklin etc.) or you can simply cut your own.

- 2 wheels. I used viking shields from Foundry, they were the perfect size. But you can use any wheel that suits you- even small wooden discs would be fine.

- Brass rod for the pole holding the umbrella, the push bar and for the small support feet at the base of the cart opposite the wheels. (Brass rod also is good for making small hot dogs for the grill if you so desire.)

-Plasticard for the sides of the cart and for the small walls of the grill

-An umbrella. I got mine from a Foundry limited edition Darkest Africa piece, but there are others to be found. Try checking cake decorations.

-stem to a flight stand (or other suitable small piping) for the smoke stack.

In the exploded view, I mistakingly omitted the smoke stack, but you can place it anywhere on top of the cart that suits you. There also is an axle illustrated. This can be omitted from your model, and the wheels glued directly to the sides of the wooden cube so that it sits low.

That's all I can tell you on the hot dog stand. Don't forget to print off menus to glue to the sides of your cart. And especially don't forget a vendor to take the money and dish out the goodness! Note: Click on the images for larger versions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Painting a Copplestone adventurer in black and white

So here we have our primed mini ready to take on his full-color gray persona. Now here's the trick to painting in Black and White: The willingness to do it. If you know how to paint, you can paint your minis in black and white. But there needs to be a willingness to follow through. It was difficult for me at first, because I was going to do this with my Copplestone Gangsters which aren't exactly cheap. One mini painted by itself in B&W can be a nice novelty, and something fun to keep on your shelf, but I prefer going all out and creating an entire world in B&W. And everything involved with my gangsters, indeed, is B&W, the cars, the newsstand (even the dice, cards and custom-made battlemat I made for the game for which my miniatures were painted.) It wasn't just B&W miniatures- it was a B&W experience- and it seemed to work.

A note before we get started: Since everyone uses differing manufacturers of paint, I refer to the colors used here by numbers- No. 1 through No. 6- My scale starts at black- then goes to my darkest gray referred to as No. 1. The next lightest gray is No. 2- and so on to No. 6 which is straight white. So- Lower numbers are darker and higher numbers are lighter.

Let's get painting!

Let's get some paint down

I've started with No. 1 on the pants. No. 1 is my gray that's just lighter than black on my little scale I explained about. I have used No. 1 also on the BAR's woodstock and to give a basic highlight the gun barrel. The shirt will be white, so I have started with No. 4, just a few steps below straight white.


OK, not really that exciting, but I have added the second level of gray (No. 2) to the pants. This is the time to begin picking out the wrinkles. Study some photos to get an idea of how light and shade play off the wrinkles of pants. Some miniatures lines are good at sculpting realistic wrinkles, others are not- so you may need to highlight based on the sculpt and not based on real life. All in all, it's your personal preference on how to paint the wrinkles.

The shirt also has had its next level painted with No. 4. I have painted a hint of wood grain on the stock of the BAR using No. 2. Gunstocks vary in color, so experiment with your grays to find what suits you.

Finishing up the pants

If you're using the Foundry System, this is the final step for the clothing; I've added the highlight to the pants with No. 3, and to the shirt with No. 5. Note: I started the shirt with No. 3 and ended the pants with No. 3. This was planned to help keep the whole mini somewhat uniform. Also notice that I have added a thin highlight of No. 5 on the tips of the shoes.

Skin and hair

I've gone on to No. 2 for the skin. Nothing special. On the face, pick out the cheeks, nose, forehead, jawline and chin (with No. 2). In order to save time, I've gone with black hair which requires a simple drybush of No. 1. On the gun, I have used No. 4 or 5 (I forget) to clearly define the edges of the receiver. I've done this since the mini is for tabletop use- I would leave this step out if this was to be a display piece (or at least use a darker color.)

Just a little lighter

I've added the third highlight of No. 3 onto the cheekbones, down the front edge of the nose, and on the chin. You can go one more level lighter if you want; this extra level would be good to represent a character out in the sun, sunlight glistening off your sweaty hero...well, I guess heroes don't sweat. But you get the point.

I have also added just a little more highlight on the wrinkles of the pants with No. 4.


I've added a final highlight of No. 5 to the skin. On the reverse view, you can see I've also been working on the ammo pouches. They were done with a base of No. 1, then fleshed out with No. 2 and edged with N0. 4, though the final highlight may be a little too much if you're not into a high-contrast figure.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Painting a Copplestone caveman

I've black-primed my mini. I like it because it serves as a free level of shade and is more forgiving if you miss a part of the mini with your paint. White primed yields bolder and brighter colors, but you absolutely have to cover the entire model with paint.

I follow the Foundry System (though I use Reaper paints.) The Foundry system is based on the three-palette color: A color, it's base shade and its highlight. You start with the shade, then paint the main color over this, then add the highlight.

Throughout this tutorial, I refer to the next shade lighter (of a base color) as a step. So if I say paint something two steps higher than the base color, I mean choose a color that's two shades lighter. Of course, this is relative and based on the paints you use.

So let's get started! (NOTE: You can click on the pictures to get larger versions if you need to see better details.)

Lay down the flesh

Choose the darkest shade of your flesh color and paint over every bit of visible flesh with it. Don't worry about getting it on other parts of the mini- these can be fixed later. I also choose to blackline my minis; I leave a thin black line to help delieneate the separate parts of the model- where limbs disappear behind fur, or where the bow meets the hand holding the bow for example.

Your mid-flesh tone

This is the color of your mini's skin. In the Foundry system, it is the middle color in the three-color palette. Paint it on the raised portions of the body. This is where the majority of your light source is hitting your warrior. You should avoid areas such as under the arms, under the chin, anywhere where the sun isn't shining upon; these are your shaded areas. This is also the time to delineate muscles if you so choose.

Highlighting the flesh

Be careful with your final flesh highlight. Choose a light (almost white) color, but just touch a cheekbone or the tip of the nose; too much highlight will make your hunter look pale (unless this is your desired effect.) This final highlight should only be painted on the parts of the body that are closest to your light source (or on the highest-raised parts of the body if you use multiple light sources.)

Base brown

Anything and everything that will be brownish in color, including tans and ivories, gets a base coat of dark brown. I have also when ahead and finished the bowstring with one layer of light tan.

Drybrushing the next step of brown

For furs, I usually choose a color two steps lighter than the base color. I've drybrushed the brown over the fur- and to speed things up, I've used the same brown for the hair. I have also painted my base gray over the fur on the quiver and on the bow as a base to some simple decorative markings.

highlighting everything

Highlighting isn't necessary if you're doing an army- but it helps your minis pop out a bit. Here I've highlighted the bow markings. Note, I've gone with one step of red directly onto our mid-brown on the bow; red is a bold enough color on its own an shouldn't need any more highlighting in my opinion. I have drybrushed the quiver with a gray two steps higher than the base gray, as well as the flights (feathers) on the arrows. I have also added another step to the leggings.

Adding some extras

Sure, our little fella is finished and ready to go hunting, but let's give him so good medicine to aid in his hunt. A few body markings will do just fine. For my tribe, I have chosen black. If you're doing pure fantasy, you can use any color. If you're doing ice age as I am, red, black, white, brown and yellow ochre are all fair game. But no one will judge you if you go Braveheart Blue; it's just too cool. I have also added yet another step of highlighting to the turned out "buckskin" part of the quiver as well as a touch of the same color on my leg wrappings; the leg wraps final highlight does not go all the way around the leg. They only go around about a quarter of the legs' circumference, and they are oriented toward one light source.

Final steps and reverse view

Finally, we highlight the body markings. With black- it's a safe bet to go just one step lighter. If you use other colors for your body markings, you can go with three or four steps as in the Foundry system. I've also (actually earlier) completed the teeth on the necklace. Details that small need only one or two layers unless you plan on painting your mini as a display piece.