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    by Published on 04-27-2011 10:25 PM     Number of Views: 24088 

    Introduction:

    I've written a couple of articles on this subject and over the years, knowledge grows, tools change, and even our understanding of equine color DNA improves. For the most part, hobbyists don't want to know the nitty gritty of DNA or what causes a double dilute color in a horse. Most folks want to be able to paint a horse that matches the hard work they put into the rider.

    If this article proves helpful, I hope to write a series detailing the most common equine colors and how to achieve them. They will not be exhaustive by any means but they should give the artist a solid foundation to create realistic and visually pleasing horses.

    Various Mediums: For the smaller scale miniatures, most people are going to paint in acrylics, some in oils. Larger scales (1:32 and up) can get more creative, with the use of dry pigments, pastels, and even airbrushing. In this article, we'll discuss techniques used with acrylics.

    In the past, I used Citadel paints but then switched to Vallejo. Now that my equine finishwork hobby has moved to larger scales, I use dry pigments. So, where possible, I will try to post at least the Vallejo equivalent of color...but sometimes Burnt Sienna is going to be Burnt Sienna!


    You will need:

    Completely prepped mini primed in the color of choice. Lighter horse colors look better with gray or white primer and darker horses with black. It also depends on the feel you want for the color. Gray and white primers make the colors pop a little more. Black primer tones the colors down a bit. Most of the LOTR Rohan horses I painted were primed black for more subtle coloring.

    Acrylic Paint such as Vallejo Model or Game Color or your preferred brand of acrylics.

    Acrylic Retarder If I'm using Vallejo paints, I use their Retarder Medium. If I'm using another brand of acrylics, I prefer to use Liquitex Slo-Dri. In my experience, Vallejo paint doesn't really like the Liquitex. It works but the paint isn't happy about it. Again, select the brand you like.

    Spray Sealer such as Testors Dull Coat or similar brand.

    Brush-on Gloss Varnish make sure it is acrylic based and water soluble, Vallejo has a gloss varnish, as well as Liquitex and Delta.

    Standard painting supplies, several brushes appropriate for minis, water, paper towels...you know the drill!

    Important Note: Even if you are extremely familiar with horses I strongly suggest Googling some pictures of real horses in the color you want to paint. Looking at a reference photo of a real horse helps. No matter how many horses I paint or how familiar I am with the animal, I always paint with a real horse reference. I know it seems like a brown horse should be a simple thing but if it really was, you wouldn't be reading this. Find a reference!


    Painting a Bay Horse: A bay has a brown body with black points. Points are the mane, tail, legs and even the ear tips. While this color is very common, the sheer variety is amazing. There are bays with extremely dark brown bodies also called mahogany bay. There are bays with a lot of red in their brown coats known as a blood bay and there are bays with very light brown coats. By just varying the shade of brown you could paint several different horses...all bay.

    Frame10In Illustration 1, you see three bay Rohan horses which may appear similar at first glance but are actually very different. Let me describe the technique then we will discuss specific colors.

    Select your base color and squeeze a small amount onto your mixing palette. Add a couple drops of water to thin and stir, then mix in the acrylic retarder.

    Retarder is not a thinner and adding too much can ruin your coverage or reduce the paint's ability to dry and maintain cohesion. Thinning your paints with water prevents brush strokes after you thin the paints then add the retarder.

    The second color is the highlight. Feel free to experiment with the mix, you can simply lighten your base color; pick a lighter brown/beige, or mix it with a yellow – do not use a bright yellow, something closer to an ocher shade is better. Or mix with a red - again go for a natural earth tone red, rather than something that you would use to paint a fire engine. The third color will be your shadow, I recommend mixing your base color with a bit of black but don't go too dark. If you need to you can always make it darker.

    Remember to add retarder to all of the mixes.

    Important Note: Whenever adding retarder, the general rule is 50/50 but we are dealing with such small amounts of paint, I generally just add a couple of drops until it has a consistency I like.


    The Technique: This takes a bit of practice and a lot of adjusting to find the methods that are comfortable to you. Most mini horses come complete with tack. I use the lines of the tack to divide the horse into sections. Retarder extends drying time but not a whole lot. So don't dawdle! Also, it's a good idea to keep some toothpicks or whatever to stir your paints because they have a tendency to separate pretty quickly.

    Now for the colors, start with Vallejo Model Chocolate Brown for the base, make the highlight color Beige ,and the shadow Chocolate Brown mixed with Black. Mix until the Chocolate brown is close to black but not quite.

    Important Note: You can also mix up some straight black with retarder in case your shadow isn't dark enough. One or two tiny dots of black can be blended in if you need more. Be careful! If it goes too dark it can be difficult to back out without a lot of layers and we do not want too many layers!

    Using the Rohan horses as an example, we'll divide them into sections. I start with the neck on the left hand side and apply my base color all the way to where the reins are and I have to stop. Because of the retarder, this will stay damp for a bit. I clean my brush, wipe it off, then go to the shadow color. I put small amounts in the deepest muscle recesses of the neck. Again, this is a strong color so don't put too much.

    I switch from keeping paint on my brush to continually cleaning it and wiping it dry or even switching to an unused one. It simply depends on how much paint you are moving around and its color. It is very easy to get too much paint, over-blend and end up with something that resembles gooey mud. If you are moving too much paint or the paint is shifting too dark or too light, you will either need to clean it or switch it out but you don't want to take a paint brush full of shadow and black and slap it down on the body. As you work, and I really mean it when I say it takes practice, you will get to the point where you have nice smooth shading in the recesses of the muscles. With your clean brush pull the base color into the top of the shadow along the groove of the muscles. Again, if you find yourself picking up too much black, clean the brush. Sometimes it is sufficient to drag it across a paper towel to save time since your acrylics really want to dry despite the retarder.

    Be aware of the various strengths of the colors you are working with. Most often, the shadow will be the strongest and can quickly overpower everything, especially as you work it into the base color. This is why you want to start with a clean brush. As you pull the base color into the shadow to blend, do not bring it down so far that it goes into the muscle recesses unless you have them extremely dark. For one, you will pull up too much shadow and the other possibility is you can make the recess too light.

    Frame11I apologize, this illustration is not a bay, but this horse demonstrates the muscle contours in the neck and where the shading and highlights need to go. Sometimes the muscle detail can be difficult to see.

    The first picture is how the horse looks normally. On the the second one, I bumped up the Local Tone Mapping to more clearly accent the lines and where I applied shading and highlights.

    As you work to blend the colors, look closely at the directions of the muscles. You want to go with these, not against them. You also don't want to leave such sharp color transitions that it looks like the horse has warpaint.

    When you have the shading blended into the base color, you need to move immediately to the highlight color. Blending the shading shouldn't take very long, we're not talking about a large surface area here. On the high points of the muscles, with a clean brush, apply the highlight color. Again you do not need a lot but it is usually a bit more than the shading.

    If the base color is becoming difficult to blend, you can add a little more and continue with the process. Just be aware that you do not add excessive amounts. That will not only obscure detail, with the retarder it might not dry properly. Just like regular paint applied in a single, thick layer, adding too much with retarder can result in the top drying before the bottom and not curing correctly.

    When the section is the color you desire, with the appropriate highlights and shadows move on to the next and work in the same manner. You want to make sure you match the blending you achieved in the first section. You don't want it significantly lighter or darker. Maintain your blending and color graduations through each section until the body of the horse is completed to your satisfaction.

    And even if you don't get the colors to your satisfaction, as long as they are reasonably close, you have done well. For those who are familiar in working with retarder, it probably won't be too much of a transition. But if you've never worked with it before, it can take a lot of adjustment. This will come with time and practice.


    The Head:

    Frame12In the case of our Rohan horses, they have armor covering their heads. I simply used the base color and a tiny bit of shadow on the exposed areas including the ears. For the muzzle, I like a bit of gray around the nose and mouth, some horses will have what is called a “mealy” muzzle that is light tan. It's instantly recognizable if you think about a mule. But again, you really need a reference photo if you want to attempt this.

    This next Illustration, while not a Rohan horse, best demonstrates the areas of gray near the eyes and around the muzzle.

    The Vallejo Black Gray is a bit too dark, so I lighten it with Sky Gray. For this particular effect you want the paint nice and thin but you do not need Retarder. Apply in layers, allowing the thin paint to blend with the color upward into the nose.

    Using this same color, paint the inside of the ears, the inside of the nostrils, paint underneath the horse between the back legs, and paint between the back legs under the tail as these are also areas where the skin is close to the surface.

    The eyes and any white markings on the head will be done later. For now, set it aside to dry completely. If you desire, you can work on another one while you wait and simply lighten or darken your base and highlight colors.

    The Legs:

    Frame13Important Note: If you want the horse to have 1 or more white socks, do not apply black paint where you want the sock. It will take forever to cover with the white. See specifics in the section below this one.

    After your horse has dried, now it is time to apply the black to the legs. You want your Black to be thin but not so much that you are applying more water than color. If you have a bit of sprue you can test on it first. The paint needs to have a bit of transparency.

    Starting at the bottom of the leg, apply the black and work upward to just over the knee and hock joints. The color will be relatively even all the way around the leg, but as you can see in Illustration 4, it's not perfect, you want it to be a gradual transition.

    Applying the thinned paint in layers is the trick to this. Move up the leg but don't stop in the exact same spot every time. Pull the color upward but sometimes go a little higher or a little lower than the last time. Because the paint is so thin, you will have to stop between layers and let it dry. When the layers begin a nice transition at the joints, leave those alone and continue applying paint only to the lower leg. If you need to, you can thicken the paint slightly to make this easier – but watch those brush strokes!

    If you desire, you can leave all four legs black, that is perfectly acceptable.

    White Leg Markings and Socks:

    Frame14There are several types of white markings on the legs. Ranging from a thin white band around the top of the hoof to all the way up the leg and anything in between. This is where a real reference really helps. After going to all of this effort you don't want to bomb the socks!

    For white markings on the legs, before you apply the black, take a colored pencil and draw a line where you want the highest point of your sock. Don't paint black in that area. If you've primed black, you may want to take some gray acrylic and apply that to the area of the sock first, this will help reduce the layers of white needed for good coverage.

    Unless you have a show horse, white markings are not going to be perfectly white. I use Off White or even Ivory for the markings on the legs. Once again, you want thin paints and several layers. This will probably take the longest to get a good solid coverage but you'll get there so keep going.

    White Facial Markings:

    Frame5Just like socks can come in a variety, so can facial markings. If your horse does not have armor on the head and you want to paint white markings, find a reference and follow the same steps as you did for the socks.

    In areas where there is very little fur, such as around the eyes and especially the nose, white can also show pink skin. So if you have a snip at the end of the nose, down by the lips, add a little fleshtone. Try Vallejo Light Flesh and thin it extensively.

    Although the Illustration isn't a bay (She's a Chestnut Pinto) she's a good example of gray on the muzzle and just a touch of pink on the nose.

    Keeping the white thin and painting in several layers, you can work to get faded transitions. For miniatures, you don't want a really stark white line on the face, it stands out a bit too much.

    The Eyes:

    The eyes can be difficult, especially on a mini. Too much detail and you have something that looks like it's on crack. Too little detail, and they fade into nothingness.

    Refer back to the Chestnut Pinto and study the mare's eye. For the first layer, cover the entire eye within the lid an Off White or Ivory. The next layer will be a black oval but unless the eyes are wide open, like our mare above, you'll want the top and bottom of the oval to disappear under the lids and you'll also want to leave small crescents of Ivory in the corners of the eye. The next layer Vallejo Cork Brown works pretty well. Paint that in the same oval as the black only leave a thin outline of black showing, then go back to black one more time and paint the horizontal pupil. If the eye looks too stark you can soften it with a small, and I mean a very small amount of Brown Ink.

    Mane and Tail:

    Frame6The mane and tail need to be black, but how black is entirely up to you. I like to add depth by using black and glazing browns on the high points.

    The first step is to basecoat the mane and tail black. You need it thinned but this time it's not for brush strokes. It needs to be thin enough to descend into the recesses but not so thin it runs into your wonderful paint work! .

    For the next step you do not need the retarder. I typically “glaze” the highlights but you can also dry brush. Dry brushing has a tendency to get chalky, so I rarely use the technique. Take your Chocolate brown and carefully hit the high points of the hair detail on the mane. Allow to dry. Lighten the Chocolate Brown a bit and hit those same areas but do not cover as much area.

    As you move progressively lighter in the brown highlights, each layer also covers smaller area until you reach the lightest color at the highest point.

    Another method is to use inks and washes but you need to be very careful it doesn't drip onto the body.

    At one time, I faithfully used Citadel Inks and Washes, then moved to Vallejo. But these are pricey and difficult to get in my area. I found a set of Windsor & Newton Inks that come in six different colors. They are fantastic and play well with other paints. I can water them down or use them straight out of the bottle.

    In Illustration 7, I used W&N Peat Brown Ink right out of the bottle. It sunk into the detail enough that it looks like separate locks of hair but not so much it obliterated the Black in the deep recesses. And yes, I had to be very careful not to drip on the horse.

    While the ink was still a bit wet, I thinned some Vallejo Beige and lightly applied that to the highest points on the mane. It blended on its own, leaving a subtle but very nice highlight.

    The amount of brown or highlights you decide to use on a bay is entirely up to you. If you want the mane completely black, follow your black basecoat with some blue ink or a dark blue wash. Don't be afraid to experiment with different techniques, mediums and colors. Changing few colors or using a different technique can drastically change the appearance of the horse and when you are painting an army, this can be very useful so you don't get identical animals.

    Hooves:

    Hooves can be two colors dark gray or shell and unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule for all of them. I can only say MOST of the time horses with black legs will have dark gray hooves. MOST of the time horses with white legs or a white sock will have shell colored hooves (even if the white sock is on a black leg).

    Some times, within that white sock there can be ermine (black) spots. And you can see stripes of color in the hoof. But these details can be as varied as there are horses on the planet.

    For gaming miniatures, hooves might be obscured with adding dirt, grass or terrain to the base. In this case, stick with the basics; black leg = dark gray hoof, white leg or sock = shell colored hoof. For Shell I mix the flesh tone color I used for the nose and mix with a touch of Ivory.

    Just for something interesting and to give you an idea of what you're dealing with, the next Illustration is the hooves of my real life horse, Isaac.

    Frame7Isaac is almost completely black and he has one little sock on his right hind. In this picture you can clearly see the ermine spots. His hoof is shell colored but also excessively stripped. Although you can't see it very well, the left hoof at the top of the picture is dark gray but it also has faint stripes. In this case, lighter gray.

    If you have a mini where you can see at least one hoof, you will probably want to add a bit of detail. For the most part, because it's such a small area, it's really simple.

    On the shell colored hoof, to add a hint of streaks or lines, apply a bit of brown ink. Take a tortillion (heavy paper wrapped to a point) or a pointed q-tip and gently make a few tiny vertical lines in the ink. Do only a two or three and don't space them evenly. Allow the ink to dry and it will add to the detail without going overboard.

    For a dark gray hoof, I use the same paint mix I used for the muzzle, apply black ink and do the same thing as I did for the shell.

    If you have a hoof that's raised and you can see the bottom of it, all you have to do is add ink. If the hoof is shell, then paint this same color on the bottom and hit it with brown ink, this not only darkens, like he's been walking in dirt, but it helps add depth. For the dark gray hoof, do the same thing only use black ink. If either turn too dark, just hit the high points very carefully with the original paint color...just a touch.

    If you have a model and you want to go all out with the stripes like you see in the Illustration above, well, here's how...and I hope this is a larger model otherwise you'll probably drive yourself insane. So don't blame me – you've been warned!

    You will need assorted colored pencils (dark brown, tan, burnt sienna and white), pointed q-tips, brown and black ink, and brush on high gloss varnish.

    For the shell hoof, paint the basecoat same as above. Make sure it's good and dry.

    The area where the hoof meets the bottom of the leg – right where the fur stops and the hoof starts growing is called the coronet band. It's basically the same as your cuticle on your fingernail. Right along that line, take the white colored pencil and mark the coronet band all the way around.

    Frame8Then take your colored pencils and draw lines intermittently vertically on the hoof. Switch out colors (don't use the white, it was only for the coronet band). Make the lines uneven with gaps then make an area where they are shoved all together, and so on. When you are finished, take the q-tip and use the pointed end to smudge these lines horizontally...yes, that's right horizontally. This not only softens and blends but horses also have faint growth rings in the hoof, this technique helps add to the illusion. (Let's see who has been paying attention with these hooves and pictures!)

    For dark gray hooves, the previous techniqueremains the same but change the colored pencils to black and light gray. Don't forget to blend!

    If you wish, ou can go over the shell hooves with brown ink and the gray hooves with black ink if you think you need to soften even more. But if you like them as they are don't hesitate to leave them as is.

    Important Note: I've mentioned brush on High Gloss Varnish several times but neglected one very important point. Save the high gloss as your very last step! When your model is completed, set it aside and allow the paint to completely cure at least 24 hours, preferably longer. When it's cured you can apply the sealer of your choice. I use Testors Dull Coat. After the sealer has cured, then apply the gloss varnish to the eyes, the inside of the nose and the hooves.


    Closing Comments:

    Hopefully, you now have a completed bay horse. He may not be perfect as some of these techniques require practice and adjustments. By continuing to work and develop blending techniques, color mixes, and other skills, you will soon see your horses improving.

    While this article has been rather lengthy, many of the techniques will apply to other colors and the specifics will not need to be as detailed in future articles.

    If you would like to see various horses I have painted, please visit the Gallery at my website, Kathrynloch.com

    I hope you have found this informative and helpful. I will try my best to assist questions, especially if anything is unclear.

    Thank you for reading!



    All Text and Images are Copyright Kathryn Loch. Do not use or reproduce without permission.


    by Published on 04-07-2011 10:44 AM
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    The Start
    I wrote this to post on my favourite forums.
    While I was working on the large Sphere Wars resin demon, there was good feedback and lots of questions on how to merge the various colours I had used across the skin, so while working on the left leg I decided to take a series of step by step pictures of the same area from the same angle and in the same lighting conditions, in order to cover the blending of the different colours across the skin.
    Do ask if you have any additional questions, I appreciate the detail in the later part is a bit light, but time was limited.

    The whole work in progress thread can be seen on The Basement, starting at the end of page 40. There is a short break on page 42.
    http://www.tbforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2054&page=40

    The first picture is of the main body before starting work. I had originally used an airbrush to give it ...
    by Published on 02-19-2011 02:38 PM
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    ok, here is the tute on how i do the red armour and battle damage

    undercoat black, i pretty much paint everything from a black undercoat.


    stage 1
    paint the areas you want red with scab red, try to get a smooth coverage.



    stage 2
    paint the previous areas with a 50/50 mix of blood red/ red gore. make sure to leave a little of the scab red showing in the recesses. ...
    by Published on 01-22-2011 11:08 PM
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    Hi everyone. Here is my first article about how to paint a Space Marine vindicator in the colours of the Blood Angels. As I said, it is my first article here, but hopefully it might still be of some use to people. I painted it up before doing the article, so I have some Paint illustrations to help.

    Paints required/recommended:

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    Vomit Brown
    Blazing Orange
    Flesh (dwarf flesh/elf flesh if you have the man with gun)
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    Skorched Brown
    Chaos Black
    Boltgun Metal
    Mithril Silver
    Iyadan Darksun
    Sunburst Yellow
    Dneb Stone
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    by Published on 01-02-2011 08:48 AM
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    I painted my F-111 Winged Boar bronze as a gift for a friend over the Christmas break. There are several bronze paints available but as the shops were shut I decided to give it a go with the paints ...
    by Published on 12-15-2010 10:07 AM

    Hey guys,

    It's been a while since i've posted anything really, i just got a new camera and am still playing around with it, but if anyones interested, i recently did a video on painting NMM ...
    by Published on 12-14-2010 02:10 AM
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    5 Stars


    Company Info: Fenris Games is a UK based company specializing in premade miniature bases and other modeling supplies. The company is operated by two brothers, ...
    by Published on 11-28-2010 06:31 PM
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    So you want to improve your painting skills . . . now what? I can guarantee you that the best artists out there didn’t become that way just from picking up a brush. Okay, ...
    by Published on 10-25-2010 06:29 AM  Number of Views: 29238 
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    In late June I began to build a space helicopter for my Imperial Guard, mainly as a display piece.
    I wanted to loosely base it on the UH-1 Iroquois, or “Huey” as well as on the Avatar’s choppers. The chopper is to secretly insert IG special forces (the so called Tiger Teams) deep behind enemy lines. Compared to real life, this would be a “Pave Low” mission, and for this the basic color of the chopper would have to be black. To go along with the theme of my IG army I named the model after a Greek God –CHARON, the ferryman in the underworld. ...
    by Published on 08-20-2010 12:21 AM  Number of Views: 36352 
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    I've seen many Speedpaint Articles on the net, so allow me to add my version to the quest for the holy grail of getting ...
    by Published on 07-02-2010 02:22 AM  Number of Views: 46448 
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    Hi,

    Almost one year ago I've started to collect my SM army. I've an idea to have army on Drop Pods instead of Rhinos. The most important thing was that I wanted to have a 'real' looking pods, which wasn't an easy thing because of the lack of drop pods in real life. There was only one pod in SM Codex (white Scars), which looked quite nice, but I've got an idea to push weathering and battle damage to the next level. With brush and paints I've started to develop my pods. In this tutorial I'll only write about 'rusty gold' because many people ask me how have I done it.

    ...
    by Published on 05-11-2010 01:14 PM  Number of Views: 32720 
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    After some searching for a colour scheme and not being too happy with what I’ve found on the net, I’ve decided to create a tutorial on how to paint death guard my way.  It isn’t the only way to paint these models of coarse, the myriad of detail on these models allow for endless possibility when choosing a sickly pallet suitable for these abominations.  As always, all mixes are approximate in this tutorial, and you should feel free to adjust amounts and substitute colours where you wish. ...
    by Published on 05-07-2010 07:46 PM  Number of Views: 32227 

    Caucasian Flesh Recipes




    One project nearly every miniature painter needs to tackle at some point is painting human/elf/dwarf flesh. If you are new to the task, likely you'll ask your friends or aquaintences online what recipes they use, and for nearly everyone you ask, you may get a different answer. With miniature painting's increasing online presance, many time these folks who answer you back may not be local to you, and they may not have examples of how their recipes look available online. If you are an experienced painter with a favorite recipe or two of your own, the desire to branch out, create variety in your miniatures collection, or just try for something different, can be beset by th same difficulties. Even looking at the pictures of the bottles online or in your local store doesn't really give you an idea of what they may look like all mixed and blended together on your favortie miniature. In an effort to give people a bit more information on which to make these decisions I have collected a number of flesh recipes using some of the most commonly used and widely available paint brands, and present them here for your reference. Please ...
    by Published on 04-29-2010 01:49 AM  Number of Views: 34123 

    This tutorial covers the general process of painting a basic bone coloured Deathwing Terminator for your Dark Angels army. The same technique could be applied to painting any bone coloured model, not just a Deathwing terminator, but as I'm currently working on a bunch of them it's the one on the painting table today.
    Enjoy
    -Mallius

    Step 1: After Cleaning and assembling the model I’ve given it a thorough priming with a bone coloured primer. If you don’t have a can of bone coloured primer handy you can achieve the same coverage by using an air brush, or simply prime the model white and then with a large brush paint over the entire model with bleached bone. I’ve made sure to prime the model with several coats consisting of short controlled bursts on all sides, this allows for greater coverage and a smoother finish. Two thin coats of primer should be adequate, just make sure to allow each coat to completely dry before applying the next.



    Step 2: Glaze the entire model with Griphonne Sepia Wash. Make sure that your brush isn’t overloaded with the wash to prevent pooling, to do this simply run the brush along the lip of the paint pot to be rid of any excess. This may take some trial and error to get the correct amount of wash on your brush, but have patience.



    Step 3: With a large brush (I used the basecoat brush) clean up the model, and pick out the raised areas with bleached bone. I also highlighted with broad lines around the edges of the shoulder pads and the tops of the knee pads/grieves. In this step these general highlights will determine the general locations of further highlights.



    Step 4: Paint any areas of the model that are to be black, grey or nmm with fenris grey. This will serve as a colour guide for the model and a general base coat for these areas. If you get any grey paint on the adjacent bone coloured areas don’t worry you can go over any touch up areas with bleached bone after you’re done painting the grey.



    Step 5: Pick out the other coloured areas with dark angels green and blood red. If you dilute the paints approx. 1 part paint to 1 part water you can use the paint similarly to a more concentrated wash. The paint should not run but be pushed into the crevices with controlled flow from your brush. If done this way the bone colour beneath should be ample enough to provide highlights ...
    by Published on 04-24-2010 01:34 PM  Number of Views: 21675 

    This tutorial will show you how to create realistic tank tread weathering. Not surprisingly I'm using pigments from Secret Weapon Miniatures, but the same effect can be achieved with any brand -- although the colours may vary slightly.

    In this example I am using:

    Dark Earth
    Terracotta Earth
    Clay Brown
    ...
    by Published on 04-10-2010 12:06 PM  Number of Views: 36941 
    Article Preview

    Since I play wood elves, I wanted to make a nice forest, to use as my free wood. I wanted it to look as good as possible, while still be pretty easy to make. I also wanted something portable. I read several tutorials online and came up with this method.

    You will need:

    * A piece of styrofoam, the size of your desired forest, about 1" thick. More is ok.
    * White glue (PVA)
    * Sand, regular sand pit stuff will do.
    * About 5m of 1.2mm copper wire, can be a bit thicker
    * About 10m of 0.8 copper wire, can be a bit thinner
    * Toilet paper / paper towels
    ...
    by Published on 01-04-2010 06:36 AM  Number of Views: 42265 
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    Alright,

    So I've recently bought some brushes. And as we're all told, THE best brushes are Winsor and Newton series 7, series 7 miniature, and Raphael 8404.

    Another brush company that is becoming reputable are Rosemary and co. I have yet to try any of their brushes.

    Now. Before I begin my comparison of the brush companies labeled above. I want to delve into what kind of brushes are useful, what I believe they are useful for(at least for my style) and then I will talk about the companies and their brushes.

    1. Brush Types.

    The most standardized brush type for miniature painting is the "Round" brush.
    ...
    by Published on 12-29-2009 08:48 PM  Number of Views: 19076 
    Article Preview

    Step 1:

    This part of the tutorial that will cover how I created the
    burnt out trees.



    What you will need:

    1. Plaster Cloth

    2. Bases to mount the trees on (I used the flat 60mm GW
    bases)

    3. Armature wire (Or some other easily bendable thicker
    wire)

    4. Wood Glue

    5. Sand for the bases

    6. Red, lace w:st="on">Orangelace>,
    Black and Gray Paint (Or white to mix with black)

    7. Knife to cut the Plaster cloth

    8. Bowl to fill with water

    9. Wire cutters/pliers

    10. Paint burshes







    Step 1:







    Cut 8x 8” sections of wire for each tree you want to make.

    Each 2 wires will make one branch, so if you want more or
    less branches add or subtract 2 wires.



    Bunch up your set of wires for a tree and grip them with the
    pliers twisting the wire to create the trunk. After you have a long enough
    trunk, go ahead and twist out the branches. After you have twisted them out,
    bend them around enough to look like a gnarled tree. Trim the “roots” so that
    they fit on the base you are using.












     
    ...

    by Published on 12-22-2009 04:03 AM  Number of Views: 44348 

    Telcharion Article




    Painting the Flesh, Robes, Textured Apron, and Base Construction






    Introduction




    For this article, I have painted Telcharion from Enigma’s ‘Massive Darkness’ range. I thought it might make a good article figure, because it is fairly simple, with clearly defined parts – I chose to focus on the painting of the flesh, the robes, and the apron. I also recorded and explained the construction of the base.













    Preparation




    As I have mentioned in previous articles, I think it is worth putting a little time into the preparation of a figure, before the painting begins. Creating a nice, smooth surface with which to work makes life a lot easier, and less frustrating, when it comes to painting, meaning a little extra time at this prep stage can save a lot of headaches later.




    After removing the mould lines carefully by scraping with a scalpel, and filing any particularly rough bits with an assortment of needle files, I used sandpaper (400-800 grade works well) to gently smooth out any other areas that remained rough. After this, I scrubbed the figure with a wire brush – be careful the bristles are not too hard; mine has brass bristles I think, but if you use one with bristles that are too hard, they will scratch the figure and ruin it. Test a new brush on something unimportant first! After this, you can use a toothbrush and wash the figure in warm soapy water, to remove any oil or dust from the surface before paint is applied. This scrubbing with the brushes is what makes the figure shiny and gleaming (sort of!).




    If there is any pitting or cracks in the cast, these can be filled in with a liquid putty, or with milliput mixed with water to create a sort of 'wash'. This wash can be painted liberally over the figure, allowing the milliput to settle in any depressions or marks, resulting in a smoother surface. It can also be gently sanded once dry, if necessary. I find that milliput standard (yellow-grey) works best; I find it a lot easier to work with, than the superfine versions, with which I have encountered problems.




    You can see the figure is standing on a champagne cork in all the following WIP photos. I always paint my figures like this, because I find it a lot easier to hold this way. I drill a hole into the bottom of each foot usually about a centimetre deep, and insert metal wire into each with superglue. Leaving 2 or 3 centimetres protruding from each foot allows the wires to be stuck into the cork to hold the figure, and later, they are used to attach it securely to the base.




    For this figure, I also made a few little adjustments to the face, using a putty mix of greenstuff (a.k.a. duro or kneadatite) and milliput. I mix milliput with the greenstuff, because I find it easier to create a smooth transition between the metal and sculpted areas; also, it means you can sand the putty once dry to be sure it is smooth. These little changes to the face weren’t strictly necessary, merely a personal thing – I just wanted to slightly reposition the brows, mainly. It was a small adjustment to sharpen the facial features a little.











    [pagebreak]


    Base coats, Colour Selection and Contrast




    After undercoating (I used Tamiya Surface Primer spray, which is a mid-grey colour – you can see it on the hammers in the following photos), I painted the base colours onto the main areas of the figure. I find it helpful to paint the bulk of the base colours first, because it lets me get a preview of how the various colours might work together, and helps me make decisions about the main colour scheme. I usually work out the basic colour scheme I want to use before I start painting, but after painting on the base colours like this, I often change my mind about a particular colour once I see it against the other colours in reality, on the figure.












    I like to use quite high colour contrast when painting fantasy figures, because I think that exaggerated colour, lighting and contrast suits the ‘hyper-reality’ of the fantasy world. I think it is worth pushing beyond what might be ‘realistic’; realism has its place, and certainly, when painting historical figures a realistic style might be more appropriate. But the whole point of fantasy lies in its exaggeration of reality, so in my view, it is good to take this opportunity to create a figure with a bit more ‘impact’. I think fantasy is more about strong visual ideas, rather than creating something that looks real.




    With this in mind, I used a few different methods to create contrast within the colour scheme chosen for this figure. First of all, there is a contrast between warm and cool colours: the ‘coldest’ colour present on the figure is the strong cyan colour of the pants, belt and arm straps. This cyan is balanced against the warm, light orange tones of the flesh, and the warm, dark-orange-brown of the apron – cyan and orange are opposites on the colour wheel. The yellow-green of the robes, and the dark red-purple of the boots and other little leather components, are also opposites, both colours lying in-between the warm and cold ‘poles’ of the cyan and orange, and thus perform the role of supporting colours, balanced against each other. In combination, these colours create a sort of ‘quadratic’ colour scheme, with all 4 hues creating an even spread of hues around the colour wheel, and hopefully a balanced scheme which is pleasing to the eye.




    Here’s a little pictorial representation of what I am talking about, with the basic colour palette spaced around a circle representing a colour wheel. Please excuse the roughness of the pic – it's just a quick one to try to show you the main ideas, so excuse the inaccuracies. The cyan is opposite in hue to red-orange, so they are on opposite sides of the circle. The yellow-green and red-purple hues are a little closer in hue to the orange than the cyan, which is why they are spaced a little further towards the orange on the circle. This is compensated for by the fact that the cyan is the brightest, or most ‘saturated’ of all the colours in the palette, and this extra brightness means it has more ‘weight’ in the scheme – it can balance against all the other colours.









    Another way by which contrast is created with the colour scheme, is the balance between light and dark areas on the figure. I tried to make a conscious effort to have a wide range of colour ‘value’ across the figure; that is, rather than using colour that all lie within a mid range of light-dark value, I used areas of very dark colour, such as the apron, hair and purple leather parts, against much lighter areas, such as the flesh. This created a more dynamic look for the figure, with the added value contrast.




    Contrast can also be created by using a wide range of ‘saturation’ or brightness between colours. So, for example, on this figure, there are some very saturated colours, such as the cyan pants, belt and arms straps, and parts of the green robes. Setting these colours against much less saturated, more neutral parts, such as the apron, hair, hammers, and most of the base makes them seem even brighter. If too many strong colours are used in a colour scheme, I think their impact is reduced – saturated colours will compete against each other for attention, and maybe cause a bit of a ‘colour clash’. So I think it is important to remember to have some fairly neutral areas, even when painting in fantasy style.






    [pagebreak]


    The Flesh




    After the base coat, which was a mix of P3 Midlund Flesh, P3 Rucksack Tan and GW Fortress Grey, with a touch of P3 Menoth White Highlight, the first step was to begin identifying the shadows. Using a red-orange colour, I painted a series of thin glazes in the shadows, giving the flesh some colour.







    Then, I continued the shading, using a darker red-brown colour to further emphasise the volumes. It is important to always keep in mind the direction of the light source – you need to have made a clear decision on the direction from which the light is falling, in order to maintain coherence with your shadows and highlights. In this case, I am using top-down or (‘zenithal’) lighting, which is the most common and the easiest to visualise. Just imagine the light falling onto the figure from directly above, as if someone was shining a torch down onto the figure.









    Next, I emphasised the shadows even further, introducing a little dark green-blue into the darkest areas. Because it is applied in thin glazes, the colour does not show up as anything too obvious, but it does add some depth to the overall colour and appearance, in my opinion.










    At this point, I started to apply some highlights. First, I neatened any rough-looking areas with some glazes of the original base colour to blur the blending a little. Then, I mixed P3 Menoth White Highlight with the base colour for the first stage of highlighting, and some touches of pure Menoth White Highlight. I also added a touch more of the dark green-blue in the deepest shadows.




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