miniatures. · Painting Tutorial

Tutorial: Skin Tones – Method 1

The Daily Head seems to have been rather successful on twitter and so I have decided to share how I am doing the skintone practice with others. This is the method I learned at Seige Studios on their course. I have others I want to try out as well, but seeing how I have already got a few heads base coated, I wanted to stick with this way until I need to make some more.

Step 1: Base Coat.

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I airbrushed the bases of all the heads starting with Cadian flesh, moving on to Kislev flesh and then a final highlight of Flayed One Flesh

Step 2:

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Wash the entire head with a very watered down Seraphim Sepia.

Step 3:

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Recess shade all the recesses with neat Seraphim Sepia.

Step 4

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Recess shade two thirds of the recesses with Agrax Earthshade – not watered down/thinned.

Step 5:

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Recess shade one third of the recesses – started from the nose/centre of the face, with Nuln Oil.

Step 6:

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Black out everything that is not the face – this will stop the mind getting confused while you focus on the face. We are trained to know faces from birth, so keeping the face upright will also really help with this. Also shade in the eyes! I use black 70.950 by model colour for this as it is a nice matt black, but Abaddon Black will also suffice.

Step 7:

I have a special brush for eyes. It’s a fine detail brush with the point cut off to make it flat – this makes excellent dots without the point slipping and creating a mess. Use this amazing dot brush to place a dot at the two sides of each eye, as shown. Most of the time, this gets rid of the boogly eye that you get when you dot the black in the middle.

Also, highlight the ‘T Zones’ of the face with thinned down Kislev flesh. If you want a paler look, Flayed One Flesh would work here too.

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Here is my progress so far. I know my brush control has improved from the first one. Things can only get better from here too. Just keep practicing!

miniatures. · painting

Hobby Audit – Jan 2020

When I was a teacher, we used to assess our own skills using a system of rating yourself out of 10 against several key areas. It helped with self reflection and was a valuable tool when it came to setting yourself targets. I thought I would do something similar with my hobby skills and then set about improving them as the year goes on. I made a list of skills – as many as I could think of, and rated myself out of 10 for each of them:

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As you can see, I have been thought through this a fair bit and rated myself as I see fit.

Areas I want to improve, or need to work on the most would be Object Source Lighting, Skin Tones and Battle Damage. I am not terrible at them, but I want to get better. These are the key weak points in my skills.

As for Non-Metallic Metals, I want to learn how to do brighter gold shades and improve my silver before branching out and attempting others, such as copper.

Freehand is perhaps my strongest skill, though I know I am not perfect at that – is anyone ever perfect at a skill? It doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to work on it though. I am far from complaicent with it and know I can do a lot more and a lot better as well.

I have the whole year ahead to improve my painting skills and techniques and to try different things as well. I shall revisit this list in a few months time and see what I have done to improve those areas I am not so sure about.

hobby · miniatures.

New Airbrush!

I was lucky enough to get a new Airbrush for Christmas and today, I tried it out for the first time. I have only been using airbrushes for about six months, and find them to be a useful tool when it comes to base coating. The one I have been using, the Harder and Steenback Ultra has been brilliant when it comes to learning and is a great piece of kit, I have done a lot with it since I started as well.

When I went on the painting course in August, the model of airbrush used as the Harder and Steenbeck Evolution AL Plus. It’s made of aluminium and is less than half the weight of the other one at 56g. It might not seem like a big deal, however I use the airbrush for extended periods of time and I also have carpel tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. I don’t want to make the condition worse and although this is a small thing, it will make a big difference. This is the one I am now using!

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Also it’s black which makes it cooler

First thing I did was take it apart, which was easy – there were instructions to follow which helped. Once it was back together again and connected up, I had a go at some scenary to check the flow of the airbrush itself and see what it could do:

The paint flowed well, and the coverage was even. It’s not perfect but then my skills are still being refined. Patchiness in the paint work is down to my lack of ability rather than the airbrush itself. I was pleased with how these sections turned out and I want to try and do some fine detail work with the airbrush another time to see exactly how small an area I can cover.

This airbrush is a quality piece of kit. It has finer control of the trigger; I need less pressure to activate it and it fits in the hand better than the Ultra does. It’s more refined and suited to someone who has had practice with an airbrush and wants to move on to something a little more sophisticated.

I also base coated a tank, which is the first commission of the year:

I am very pleased with it so far, and look forward to being able to refine my skill with the airbrush as the year progresses.

miniatures.

Mephiston!

A very good friend of mine is a bit of a Mephiston fangirl – no shame in admitting that, he is an awesome character. Happily enough, he has also just had a new miniature (and novel) released and I was only too happy to paint him for her.

I wanted to do something a bit special with him; he is a Christmas present after all, and I wanted to push my skills. There is no point having them if you’re not going to use them. I used layered blending to create depth on the red cloth and armour. I have done this with blue before but not red, so it was good to try it with a new colour.

I then gave my friend some choices about freehand on the cloak. I could do a fancy pattern, the Blood Angels symbol or a galaxy. She went for option number two, and after some discussion, we opted for a flaming blood drop. It was tricky to do and took a while to get right. Symmetry is something I find difficult, so when it turned out how it did, I was most pleased.

Enough of my waffling on about it though, here he is in all his red glory:

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figures · miniatures.

2019 – A Year in Review

A lot has changed for me over the last year and I wanted to have a look back at some of the things I have achieved over it. Last year, I was teaching full time at a primary school. I had a lovely class of children and great colleagues too. Unfortunately, being a teacher means that you have no real time to do anything else. Weekends are spent working and worrying and trying to get ahead of the demands placed on you. Hobby-wise, not a great deal happened in the first part of the year, however I do have a few pictures I can share in regards to what I did:

Night Lords, Ahriman, Tzeench demons and Reaver Titans galore!

The first part of the year saw me trying some new techniques, experimenting with freehand a bit more and working on skills I already had. I left my job as a teacher in May due to mental health and decided to become a miniature painter instead. It is not easy, but I have never been healthier. I went on a painting course and gained insight, and validation, into what I have been doing.

Here are some of my favourites from the previous six months:

June and July saw me working on miniatures for Everchosen, in which I came Third in the Open and Second in the Everchosen category – by one point! I also painted Mephiston for a good friend. I love working on dioramas and want to do more of them in the coming year.

In August I went on a painting course and learned how to use an airbrush – another skill I want to work on in the new year. I also began working on a large commission of D&D scenary miniatures for the local games store, which took most of October to complete.

In November, I painted a lot of Space Marines. Mainly Iron Hands. I also learned how to lighten pictures and so managed to begin taking better ones. I also finished Shalaxi, who is one of the best painted miniatures I have ever done.

December was a quiet month mainly due to illness and travelling and winter craziness, however I did paint the Sisters of Battle boxed set, which was fun.

Going forward, I have a few things I want to work on in the coming year:

  • Non Metallic Metals
  • Airbrush techniques
  • Creating dioramas
  • Conversions
  • Painting a whole army!

I have a lot to work on in January and some good ideas to work on too. I am looking forward to it!

miniatures.

Iron Hands – A Small Force

I am very proud of my Iron Hands. I painted them relatively quickly, but that isn’t the only reason I am pleased with them. It is the largest force I have painted and finished. It might not be the largest ever, but for me it felt like an achievement. When I put them all together and took pictures, I thought they looked really cool. Here are some shots of them individually, and together as well:

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The pictures of them together are not the best, as I do not have a black insert for the big light box, but I hope you get the idea.
I am proud of this small force, and I hope that wherever they end up, they do well!

40K · miniatures.

Iron Hands: Squad One

I finished squad one of the Iron Hands today, and I enjoyed every minute I spent on them too. I love painting Space Marines, so that helps, but the black turned out really well. I love how the bits of flesh turned out and they all look cool when they are stood together as well. Here are some pictures:IMG_2999IMG_3001IMG_3002IMG_3004

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This one is particularly shooty!

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This guy is in charge of the missiles.

I think the grey guns stand out well against the black armour – can’t have Space Marines trying to blend in now can we!

Next, I shall work on Squad Two, then decals and then I will sell them! They can go and be loyal in a house that will appreciate it!