Friday, 11 September 2015

Empress Miniatures PLA

I've been off sick for a few days so I thought what better than to tackle digital camo....I've been living in fear of painting these figures
I expected it to be difficult but it still took a little longer to get the hang of before I committed to giving it a crack. I had a few old perry miniatures samurai figures that I use as test figures so a few hours later I thought it was worth a shot.

I used an cheap, small (I think it'd be about a size 2) brush I got at the hardware and trimmed down to make the bristles short enough for stippling.

I started by basing the camo with Vallejo Medium Sea Grey and took a little bit of care to leave very small black lines between the detail (of which there is stacks). Try not to make the lines too big as it will contrast hugely with the grey. I then gave it a light wash of Army painter Strong/Dark tone in a 50/50 mix and went back over it in the standard highlight method with Vallejo Light Grey.

Camo was done by rubbing off most of the paint from the stippling brush and trying to do really small patches (a smaller brush would help it be more controlled here). The green is Vallejo Gunship Green. Next up was the same idea with German Camo Medium Brown.

I tried to do the black spots a little smaller than the rest to stop it being too overpowering so I just got my 0 brush and tried to do some very small irregular black spots but not using too much paint because it will come up a lot darker than the stippled colours.

Face and hands were done in a standard darker skin tone that I made up (Flat brown, Flat brown/Panzer aces Shadows Flesh 50:50, Brown wash, Panzer Aces Shadows flesh, and lastly Flat Flesh/Shadows Flesh in a 50:50 again)

Boots were done in a black base and then highlighted by adding a little Pink (yes pink) to the black. That's a little trick I picked up out of the Painting War Magazines to make it a softer leather colour.

The gun was done by adding a very small amount of gunmetal grey to the black.

Let me know what you think about it!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Finished Product

Here they are at last.
I painted these for a nice guy down in Sydney and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

I really enjoyed painting these guys up, not quite as fiddly as german camo uniforms but with more than enough colour in them to keep me happy.

I scratch built the sandbags using greenstuff and added the tubing from the water cooler to the bottom of the Vickers

A couple of riflemen

The two Bren Gunners

I forgot to photograph the finished shoulder patches in the last post but here is one to get an idea of what they look like. Fairly simple but it adds a nice overall touch I think.

The sniper and a mate


All the figures in the group are Artizan apart from the one on the right which is a Warlord Paul Hicks scuplt. It was just as good to paint as the Artizan figures and I wouldn't hesitate getting more.

Final group shot. Let me know what you think, all comments are welcome

Paras WIP 2

Back again for more Denison goodness. Ive put the next 3 shots in to show a comparison of the colour change that occurs when adding the next 2 colours. I start by putting a layer of Glaze Medium on part of the smock (I work in sections to stop it drying too fast). Make sure its only a very thin layer because too much Medium will make the paint run and it wont look nice.

Next I apply German Camo Beige covering less areas than the original colour and straight away add Iraqui Sand over another smaller area.

The glaze medium will help blend the two colours together and you wont get a sharp transition which makes the cloth look a little more natural.

Comparison between a finished smock base and unfinished base

You can see the transition between the German Camo beige and the Iraqui sand additive in the next few photos. It really lightens the overall colour but that will appear darker later on once the camo is added.

With Iraqi Sand added

For the brown spots I use Flat Brown mixed with Glaze Medium applied in patches. The glaze medium helps keep the edges semi transparent so it's not too sharp a contrast.

The webbing is also highlighted by mixing 50% Russian Uniform WW2 with 50% Khaki to produce a lighter colour. I just do a standard highlight and try to leave the darker colour in the recesses. You can vary the khaki additive to create a more bright effect if you like.

A few of the figure have beards, this one is a bit of flat brown heavily diluted with glaze medium and added in several layers to produce the desired consistency. Try not to let it pool like a wash because it won't provide the right effect.

Green spots are added in the same way as the brown using Reflective Green

To do the shoulder patch I start by drawing an icecream shaped backing with German Camo Dark Green and draw a few small 'wings' off the side. It doesn't need to be super accurate as it blends with the Reflective Green and the white goes over the top. I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of the patch but there will be plenty in the next update 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

British Paras tutorial and WIP

I've been sitting on a lot of these photos for weeks waiting for enough of them to make a decent sized post on how I've painted my paras so far. I've been painting 11 in one hit which for me is quite a lot as I'm usually slow at best. All the colours are Vallejos and the washes I use are Army Painter which are very similar to the Citadel washes but heaps cheaper. I had used Vallejo washes but I found they often left white residue where it should've been shaded so I ditched them.

I always prime my models with a black undercoat because it's easy to source and I like the immediate shading effect. I haven't been able to find a good white primer yet so I've stuck with it. The pants I had already base coated with Chocolate Brown as I had squeezed too much out of the bottle a while ago.

Next up I like to put down all the base colours to get a feel for the figure and get it ready for the washes. The beret is done with Black Red. The edge trim I do in black later on. 
The scarf and gaiters are based in Russian Uniform WW2. Any webbing/backpacks/helmet straps all get the same Russian Uniform treatment. Helmets with webbing also get a heavy drybrush of this colour.

 The Denison smock is hit with a Middlestone base and the sten/metal buckles on backpacks all get a darkened gun metal grey/black mix. The exact ratio isn't important as it will get a black wash later until it looks right. The face and hands I start off in Panzer Aces Shadows Flesh and I do up in 4 stages.

Any bare helmets get based in Reflective Green. All wood items and boots are based with German Camo Black Brown. In the background you can see the flamethrower underway, I had to hunt around for a green colour that was different to what I'd used so far and after a scrummage around in the paints box I came across Panzer Aces Splinter Strips. I also based the Vickers HMG in the same.

I jumped a step with the washes here and have only got a photo of the post wash figure. The only things I really wash are the smock, scarves, metal areas and helmets. The Denison is washed with an Army painter Strong tone wash which is just a dark brown wash. The scarves, metal parts, helmets and the vickers/flamethrower all get a Dark tone wash. 

Then I go back over the smock with Middlestone again but this time I don't cover all the areas in and try to do the standard paint job by leaving the dark in the recesses. I try to start creating the emphasis on the folds in the smock at this stage because I find it makes it easier later down the track to highlight and build colour up. The flesh areas are mostly covered in using Panzer Aces Flesh Base. Again I try to take a little extra time here to get the face structure right as it makes it easier later on.

A quick shot of the camo net hemlets. I base the brown strips with Chocolate brown and the green strips with Russian Uniform WW2. The green strips got the same Dark tone wash as the rest of the helmet. To highlight the helmet camo net I use Green Grey in a light drybrush. Netting done.

 I tried a technique I found in the Painting War magazines for the uncovered helmlet to try and simulate some wear/chipping. Unfortunately my photos aren't the best sorry.

I throw a bit of Vallejo Glaze Medium over the Dark tone washed helmet and re-apply Reflective Green but leave a little of the dark area just above the rim.

Next I get some Green grey and stipple it on the top of the helmet. The glaze medium should help it blend into the reflective green so that it's not too contrasty.

You can blend the light colours down from the top and it draws the colours together nicely. 

Lastly (and sorry for the horrible picture) I got the stippling brush and some German Camo Black Brown and dabbed it on the helmet to simulate chipping effects. It's subtle but ties it all together.

 Here's a shot of the vickers crew which has had the black wash applied to the gun. The bullets are Vallejo Brass with a brown wash and the Brass re-applied to the tips. The strip down the middle is Khaki or any other canvas colour, doesn't really matter. 

The hair I did in a variety of colours, mostly whatever brown colours I had to hand done in 3-4 layers by touching less and less hair each step. 

Shoes are highlighted with Chocolate Brown and the soles with Black Grey. Buttons get darkened with German Camo Black Brown then done over with Brass.

Faces up next and I mix Panzer Aces Flesh Base with Vallejo Flat Flesh. I touch less and less of the face with each step. There are plenty of face tutorials on youtube so I won't go into too much detail here. Final highlight is straight Flat Flesh.

The Vickers and flamethrower are highlighted by taking Splinter Strips and adding a little Khaki to create a lighter colour. Vallejo Black Grey sorts out the tubing between the gun/container.

Rifles get two highlights. I try to simulate wood lines with Chocolate Brown and then top it all off with Beige Brown to complete the wood effect. Beret insignia are hand drawn in white.

The toggle rope was base coated in Flat Earth and highlighted with Khaki. The entrenching tool was base coated with German Camo Black Brown and highlighted with Burnt Umber. Water bottles get a base of Burnt Umber and then highlighted with Panzer Aces Leather Brown.

I did the pants by starting with a very thin layer of Glaze Medium and then covering most of the pants area with a 50:50 mix of Chocolate Brown and English Uniform. Highlight effects are then put on with straight English Uniform. The left leg has just the basecoat and the right is freshly applied 3 layers hence the shiny wet look.

Berets get a 50:50 mix of Black Red and Red, and then highlighted with straight Red.

Here it is dried albeit a little dark in the photo.

That's part one and next up I'll show you the Denison process, the rest of the webbing and the final completed figures. Thanks for looking!