Laffinstock's (first) WIP
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Thread: Laffinstock's (first) WIP

  1. #1

    Post Laffinstock's (first) WIP

    Hello all! I guess I'm finally getting serious about trying to improve my painting skills so I thought I might as well start a WIP while I'm at it, since people seem to be giving out tons of awesome feedback and god knows I need that

    The mini I'm starting off with is a Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander from Privateer Press. So far all I've done is some basic prep work (removing mold lines and washing the mini) and a black undercoat. I don't have too many specific goals in mind with this mini yet, but I definitely want to improve dramatically on my metallics and get nice smooth blends on his cloak. Now that I think about it, I also want to give him an expressive face and that's going to mean better shading and highlighting skin tones for sure.

    As far as planning this mini goes I'm thinking of going with a pretty simple dry earth base, maybe a few shrubs or something. The color scheme I have in my head is pretty similar to what I've been doing with my other Retribution models: dark green, grey, and silver metal being the most prominent with some browns and possibly touches of blue or blue tinted steel. actually, here's a link to those models (, that should give you a better idea than my poor writing. I'd like to do this one a good deal darker however. Also I'm not going to to try to squeeze any tattoos onto his face, there's far too little space and it didn't work nearly as well as I'd hoped it with the mage hunter assassins :/

    Anyway I should probably stop rambing, put up some pictures, and call it a night
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  2. #2


    The contrasts on your assasins is really nice. Could possibly be smoother, but may be the small pictures. Welcome to the wips.

  3. #3


    Welcome to the WIPs. This one's a neat figure. Best of luck on it. I just took a peak at your mage hunters. The shading and contrast there is looking very nice. As you mentioned, the metals could use a little more work. I'm not an expert, but I've found the GW washes to be helpful in shading my metals. I actually prefer the dark brown to the black for shading. You can also use some of the other colored washes or shades to add some additional visual interest. Perhaps some purple to the shadows in a gold. Or maybe a blue for the silvers and steels. For me I'm just experimenting and seeing what I like. When it comes to highlighting you're pretty much stuck with metallics. Most paint ranges have a very light silver. Mixing that with other metallics (even gold) can help pick out some edge highlights. Just a few thoughts that might help you out.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys, the assassins were a challenge for sure. And KruleBear you are spot on, the blending isn't the smoothest by a long shot, particularly the greys in some areas. I just got sloppy and then was too lazy to try to fix it, hopefully I can avoid that now that I have you all here to draw attention to those problems areas

    I got a bit more work done this afternoon, mostly on the face. I know his mouth is seriously screwed up, but I'll be working on correcting that later tonight. Also, I just picked up some more metallic paints as you suggested for highlights (Citadel's Leadbelcher, Ironbreaker, and Runefang Steel) and tested them out on the chainmail under the arm, using a black wash for the darkest shading, thoughts? Lastly I started the base, for no good reason besides wanting more color on the mini. I'll likely leave it as is until I finish painting everything else, and then go back to deal with it again.
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  5. #5


    That mouth bothered me so much I just had to get another picture up with last nights work. I'm still not thrilled with his eye and mouth though, so if you have any suggestions at all that would be awesome
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  6. #6


    glad to see someone else painting Ret. I remember painting that unit not too far back and it was a huge, time-consuming pain in the arse.

    Anywho, can I ask why it is that you painted the face first?

  7. #7


    I'm enjoying painting these Retribution models so much I may have a playable army soon My poor trolls are jealous I'm sure ;D

    I generally like to paint "inside out" if that makes any sense, so I start with things which are "hidden" under other parts of the sculpt. For example, the chainmail on this mini is covered up by clothing, so I painted the chainmail first. Similarly the head is sort of hidden inside the hood. I've found that painting parts in this order helps me to keep the painting clean and more importantly it keeps me focused on one thing at a time. Also I haven't heard of any better way yet, do you have any preferences?

    Do you mind if I ask you what exactly you did with the mouth on this mini (if you even remember)? I've been scouring the web for pictures and there are very few of his face so I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly is bothering me so much about how I've done it. Part of it may be the sculpt I think :/ I guess it might also help if I explain what I've done: basecoat of Elf Flesh, mixed in some Abaddon Black and Calthan Brown for shading, first highlight in a mix of Elf Flesh and Bleached Bone, second in pure Bleached Bone, and final in a very thin White Scar and Bleached Bone mix.

    While I'm at it, the greys are all based in Mechanicus Standard Grey and then shaded and highlighted by adding Abaddon Black and White Scar to the mix. The brown belt straps were based in Calthan Brown, washed in Devlan Mud, and then highlighted by adding small amounts of Bleached Bone to the mix.

    Sadly, today he decided to leap off the shelf and as a result broke his arm Nothing awful but it did screw up the arm straps which I finished the other night. After I fix him back up I'll put up updated photos of the recent work.

  8. #8


    god damn those acrobatic mini's. I have a few of them myself but suspect it might be the other half "playing" with them as they can sometimes leap several feet at a time! The mouth looks ok to me (I'm no expert by any means) but if it lacks any definition from the other face hilights I sometimes add a very very very thinglaze dwarf flesh type colour to give it a lo-light as very few people have lighter lips than the rest of there faces.

    Hope it works out for you whatever you decide.
    Nil Mortifi sine lucre

  9. #9


    honestly, I don't think I really spent that much time working on their faces(since that was near the end of the process for me). I think I was pretty burned out after working on these minis for 2 weeks, so I kind of sped through it at the end. I did spend a lot of time basing though.

  10. #10


    Fair enough Bloodshovel I'm taking my time, since I don't play Retribution (yet) I'm in no rush to finish them. I messed around with the mouth a bit more then decided it was as good as it was going to get. Thanks for the tip anyhow Kermorvan

    I've been getting a lot of really great advice in another thread so I bravely tried a new technique they'd been mentioning- glazing. So far I only did it on the grey tunic, shading was easy enough but highlighting was slow going and ended up gross looking so I spent ages trying to clear up the chalky look and in doing so lost a lot of the highlights. GAH. I may go insane if I try glazing on his cloak, but I really love the results I got on the tunic so we'll see how I hold up when it comes time. Do you think I should go back and try to highlight it a bit more?

    I'm also not sure whether the browns are contrasted enough but I'm afraid of losing the (relatively) smooth blends I've got if I go even brighter. Anyhow tonight the goal is to finish up the quiver, and the boots. I may even begin working on the gloves and weapons, though I'm gonna need a lot of advice when it comes to the sword blade so that won't get more than a basecoat.
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  11. #11


    Hi, tip in reagrds to glazing, for most people it is harder to do the highlights, therefore start basecoating with a lightercolour approximately 80% on a scale from shadow to higlight and the glases will mostly be darker ones to create midtones and shadows and just a little highlight needed in some areas.


  12. #12


    Kretcher, that is positively brilliant I'm definitely going to try a much lighter basecoat on the cloak and then work darker from there. And speaking of which, I promise this mini is going to get finished soon! I've begun working on the hands and weapons now, hopefully those will be finished tomorrow, and then I'll finally take on that hugely daunting swath of fabric In the meantime, if anybody has some tips or critique concerning the shading/highlighting of the blade I would greatly appreciate it, I feel like it looks pretty sloppy and I'm having trouble getting a smooth transition with the metallics. Thanks!

    As a break from this guy I've been working on a warjack as well, but the faction has changed to Khador (the army I actually play). If nobody objects I'll start putting up pictures of that project too.

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  13. #13


    The madness has begun. In related news I've started shading the cloak. Pictures aren't lighted too well so some places just look completely black, that isn't actually the case, the darkest I've gone is a 1:1 Angels Green and Black mix which I thinned for glazing. Finally the end is in sight, all that should be left after the cloak are minor touch ups Like that green streak on the knee armor- just saw that
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  14. #14


    He is coming together now. Can not wait to see your take on the Khador warjacks.

  15. #15


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    I don't think the pictures show much of a difference in the cloak but I'm calling it done at last. Soon I'll do touch-ups and make the base a bit nicer too.

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    Can not wait to see your take on the Khador warjacks.
    I've done a few before, this juggernaut was the latest one. However I'm going to try a battle-damaged white on Beast 09, something I've never done before Right now he's just getting some basecoats so I'll put up pics as soon as I get to the interesting stuff. Colors I'm using right now are White Scar, Abaddon Black, Leadbelcher, Dwarf Bronze, and Tin Bitz, so that should give you a vague idea of the color scheme.

  16. #16


    In regards to cloak It looks good in the sense that the transition between colours is good. from the pictures I would say that you need much more contrast, e.g deepr shadow and lighter higligths. I suggest that you test on your next figure to do this in what you feel is a more extrem range of higlights to shadow... I myslef have been working on that since i often don´t push this areas enough. Reson to push it is that from a distance smaller changes in such a small area is not visible.

    Also you could try to add glazes of other colours, placing cold and warm colours as a small tint in the shadows and midtones to get a more "alive" experssion into the work. I am still practising on that

    You might also need to thin your paints even more and use some more layers to get full coverage. ofcoourse all abouve depends on if you want to do tabletopfigure quality or aim for a higher quality (more time needed for each figure)

    Keep painting and looking forward to see how your painting develops.


  17. #17


    Yeah the cloak needed highlighting but I just wasn't up for spending more time on that mini. It's really difficult for me to stay "focused" on a single mini so I probably should have known that doing so would just burn me out. From now on I'll just be putting up pictures of whatever painting I'm doing, probably between 2 and 4 separate mini's at a time. Eventually I do finish them and when I do the quality is much better because I'm much more willing to spend the time it takes to put in the extra effort when I can just put a mini down and not think about it for a few days. More related to your comment, I think I'm going to try glazing for shadows and 2 brush blending for highlights in the future, since glazing highlights just wasn't happening for me. Glazing warm and cold shades into shadows is going to be an interesting challenge for the future Thanks for the encouragement!

    And finally on to those pics of Beast 09. I began with a black primer, basecoated white with a number of thin layers, then basecoated metals similarly. I wasn't too careful with any of these basecoats because I'm planning on doing quite a bit of battle damage. Then I gave the metals a few washes of black and brown for the bronze. I'm holding off on doing anything with the axe for now because I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet. Maybe some kind of magical effect since it has critical freeze? Next I'm probably going to give the metals some tinted washes/glazes and then start working them back up for midtones and highlights.

    Also on my project list are a Black Ogren and a mini from Wyrd, Sonnia Avatar of Conflagration (at least I think that's what she's called). Just assembling Sonnia has been a pain in the arse, lots and lots of greenstuff to fill the gaps in the fire-y base.
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  18. #18


    Couple more pics to put up, I decided to battle damage the white areas first and then do the metals more after so this is definitely not me calling them finished. The battle damage is also not finished yet.
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  19. #19


    Began the Black Ogren, started shading on his chest and arms with a bit of a purple hue and I think I like it
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  20. #20


    Thread sort of died but I still thought I'd throw these pics up. This is how far I've gotten on the Ogrun, not much painting done but I've been swamped
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    Last edited by Laffinstock; 11-07-2012 at 06:40 PM.

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