Trouble Creating a Frozen or Frosty Effect
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Thread: Trouble Creating a Frozen or Frosty Effect

  1. #1

    Default Trouble Creating a Frozen or Frosty Effect

    Hello fellow painters. I'm trying to paint a winter themed miniature as a Christmas present. The model has epic plate armor, think The Lich King from Warcraft. I've never painted a frozen effect on armor before so I decided to test it out on some lesser models I had on hand. I'm not really trying to create a solid ice effect, more of just a frosted iron look. If you have your own process that's works for you I would love to hear it

    I started with a dark charcoal base coat. Then I did a light watered-down layer of the deep blue. Then I lightly dry brushed silver over top of that and then did a black wash once that dried so the silver wouldn't be so bright. I run into the problem when I get to the frosty white part. It ends up with too much contrast. Any tips?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ghool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darcybono View Post
    Hello fellow painters. I'm trying to paint a winter themed miniature as a Christmas present. The model has epic plate armor, think The Lich King from Warcraft. I've never painted a frozen effect on armor before so I decided to test it out on some lesser models I had on hand. I'm not really trying to create a solid ice effect, more of just a frosted iron look. If you have your own process that's works for you I would love to hear it

    I started with a dark charcoal base coat. Then I did a light watered-down layer of the deep blue. Then I lightly dry brushed silver over top of that and then did a black wash once that dried so the silver wouldn't be so bright. I run into the problem when I get to the frosty white part. It ends up with too much contrast. Any tips?
    Don't use black.
    That's the #1 error when painting just about anything. Nothing IRL is pure black, especially ice or snow. The contrast, as you have seen between black and white is far too much for something like ice. It works great for reflective surfaces, and metal. Not so much for water/ice.
    I would use a navy, or deep blue instead. The contrast won't be as high as using black, and will 'feel' more like frozen water than metal or a similar substance.

    As a general rule, I try and not use pure black, or pure white on a miniature unless required for a certain look. ie. reflective surfaces, metals, etc. I'd switch the charcoal base, to a very deep blue (almost black), and I would switch the white to an off-white, or cream. The black wash I would get rid of, and use a medium blue/turquoise instead.
    Last edited by Ghool; 12-10-2016 at 12:54 PM.

  3. #3

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    By frosted iron,.. do you mean with just a little snow resting on it? or encased in ice? And if so,..white ice? blue ice? clear ice? Can you find a photo or something that's sort of close to what you are looking to achieve? If you can give us a better idea of where you are trying to get to,.. then we might be able to better help you in getting there.
    It's only a flesh wound!!!


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webmonkey View Post
    By frosted iron,.. do you mean with just a little snow resting on it? or encased in ice? And if so,..white ice? blue ice? clear ice? Can you find a photo or something that's sort of close to what you are looking to achieve? If you can give us a better idea of where you are trying to get to,.. then we might be able to better help you in getting there.
    Just a little snow/ frost resting on it. Going for a blueish ice like this. I think I figured it out based on the first response, but I'll happily take any tips.
    Attachment 53996

  5. #5

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    Yep! That definitely worked out much better. I mixed the charcoal and a little deep blue and did a wash with that instead. I'll try a bluer wash next time. Also will probably do more dry brush with a thin layer of ice blue on the edges. Thank you so much for getting me on the right track!! Attachment 53997

  6. #6

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    If you have some snow flock (woodland scenic makes a decent one),.. get a little spray adhesive, and hold the nozzle straight over the model. Spray a quick little cloud straight up in the air over the model,.. then quickly move your hand out of the way. Let the adhesive particles rain down randomly upon the model. Then while the adhesive is still wet,.. dust it with the snow flock. The snow will stick to the random spots, and give a natural look to it's placement. Once dry, tap the excess off.

    Still the best method I've found for natural looking snowfall,... just my two cents,..
    It's only a flesh wound!!!


  7. #7

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    Ooh! Those sound like good two cents to me. I'm sure this time of year even generic craft stores have snow flock. Thanks for the advice

  8. #8

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    Snow flock: AKA Baking Powder. You can also use chalk dust if you feel like using a mortar and pestle for gits and shiggles.
    Or baby powder.
    Lots of options, really.

  9. #9

  10. #10

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    I'm very proficient in using a multitude of snow and or frost effects. For any and all of those get some SECRET WEAPON CRUSHED GLASS. It's the best for any of these effects. It is however dangerous because you'll need a ventilator to wear and you'll need to keep it on your desk as tidy as can be and not fall on the floor especially if you have any kids which I know your expecting and pets as well. Take a look through my gallery and you'll see many models with varying degrees of snow,ice,frost etc. what you'll do is get Vallejo liquid water effects. It's a liquid that dries hard and clear ,if you mix some crushed glass with this water liquid by Vallejo it will make a slush. I would advise putting this coats/layers on the armor wait till dries than see if enough .if want the color of edges of the frost more pronounced you could dry brush with a very light hand pressure on the dried snow a bit of off white.
    any other questions pm ill be glad to see if I can help.cheers congrats on the baby!!!

  11. #11

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    Wow, thank you so much for your advice and kind words! I'm definitely looking into picking up the Vallejo paints because I've been seeing a lot of recommendations for them. I looked through your gallery and my jaw hit the floor. Your work is flawless!! I'll definitely be using it as a reference for winter (and metal) effects.

  12. #12

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    Hahaha you'll see your work is good , brush control you have seem to commandeered . your Doug to get so much better because of these forums !!! If iCan I'm always around to help any aspiring budding artists get to a " level up" mark. So keep on painting the more minis that pass through your hands the better you'll get. And advice from folks will also help. Some you'll take some you'll dismiss and on and on. Rem your the artist with the vision so you'll decide what and what you will not take.
    Cheers !!! Thank you and happy safe holidays Darcy.

  13. #13

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    Thank you, same to you! And thanks again for all the encouragement

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