All posts for the month April, 2012

One of the side projects I’ve been working on that you don’t know about is a small Malifaux army.  I’m looking to Malifaux to be a palette cleanser, game wise.  So far I’ve gotten two games in, and they have been quite fun.  The game exercises very different parts of your brain, while being very approachable for someone who is used to Warmachine/Hordes.  In fact, the folks at Wyrd (who make Malifaux) used lots of the same terminology for their ruleset.

I don’t want this to be a primer on how to play Malifaux, I really just wanted to show you the models I’ve been painting little by little since Christmas.  I started with the Sonnia Criid Guild Starter Box, and added a single model to bump myself to 25points even.

Here’s the models that come in the starter:

Sonnia Criid, Witch Hunter


Samael Hopkins

Witchling Stalkers

And the model I added to the Starter Box was an Guild Austringer, or, “Dude with Bird”.

Guild Austringer

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.  I think I forgot to do Sonnia’s hair, but other than that, I’m calling these guys done.  They’re a solid tabletop quality, and for a game that’s currently nothing more than a distraction, that’s good enough.

One big, happy, Witch Hunting family!

Next Tuesday, I’ll have a more in-depth look at how you play the game, and my thoughts on it.

So, with all this talk about 2-brush blending, some other great methods have fallen by the wayside.  2-brush is not the only way to do things, and sometimes, it’s not the best way either.  Here are some videos that show you some alternates to 2-brush blending.


Glazing is what I used on my Skorne Gladiator’s armor.  Lots, and lots of layers of thinned or translucent paint.  You can thin the water down (as Obsidian does in the video) or you can add mixing medium, which is essentially paint without pigment.  This makes the paint translucent, so each layer is semi-see thru, and you build the color up in layer upon layer.

This method is excellent at blending on large, flat areas.  The translucency of the paint is very forgiving – if you make a mistake, it’s not noticeable at all.  As Obsisian says, it’s not technically difficult, it’s just time consuming.


This is essential what I did on my Pink Khador.  You essentially build up from a midtone or shadow using layers of mixed paint.  Each layer dries completely before moving on.  The more numerous and subtle the layers, the smoother the blend.  On the flip side, fewer, bolder layers lead to the cell-shading effect that the Pink Khador have.

You can often fake a blend with layering, followed by a glaze or two.  If you’re going to do this, be sure to highlight and shade stronger than you actually intent, since the glaze (often watered down mid-tone) will help reign in those outrageous highlights and shadows.  See the Forces of Warmachine: Khador book, the studio uses this “glaze after blending” technique.

Wet Blending

This was the best example of wet blending I could find, and it starts about halfway through.  The main difference between wet blending and 2-brush blending is that you have  two colors wet on the mini at the same time, and you blend or feather them together.  I don’t have much experience with this technique, though I do understand the theory.

It seems like this technique is best used when a quick, tight blend is required, such as on the folds in the cloak in the video.  In such a tight space, 2-brush blending won’t work well, since there’s no room to pull or push the paint.  Glazing and layering won’t work well either, since you need room and insane brush control to build a blend that small.

Wet … Layering?

DK here has an interesting method.  He keeps his basecoat wet on the model, and keeps some of the basecoat loaded on his brush.  He then mixes in a bit of his mid-tone using his palette, and puts this onto the paint that’s still wet on the model.  I think a wet palette is perfect for this type of painting.

I consider this a mixture of wet blending and layering, since it uses two wet colors on the model, but only one brush.  It also works in several stages – which is more of a layering type technique, rather than a blending technique.


I don’t know anything about airbrushing, so I won’t even go there.  I can tell you that airbrushes make fantastic blends, they make blends on large, flat surfaces a snap, and they offer access to several other techniques that can only be achieved with an airbrush.  The primary drawbacks are the expensive costs to get started, and the need for a dedicated area with proper ventilation.

Which of these methods have you tried?

How did it turn out?

Every so often the Press Gangers put together a painting exchange. We all put our names into as hat, pull out someone to paint a mini for, and go to town. It’s a fun way to paint something you wouldn’t normally paint, as well as meet some new people. Here’s the two minis I painted. Vilmon is for the most recent painting exchange, and the Gorax is a make-up for someone who didn’t get a model last time.

I started both these models after Meg’s class, and I used lots of 2-brush blending.  The cloak and flesh were great practice, and I’m very happy with how they turned out.  More models to come soon!

Angry Gorax is Angry


Big Fists!

Lots of hair, too.

This model makes me want to play a Paladin in the IKRPG when it comes out...

Vilmon, A.K.A. Mr Big Cloak of Cloakyness

In an ongoing effort to play the game more, and play it better, I’m starting a new, alternative article series to the usual “How-to Tuesday” articles.  This new series will be mostly tactics and theory related, and will rely heavily on reader input.  Rather than discuss something I’ve learned and want to teach you, I’ll be talking about topics I’m interested in learning about, and asking you for input.

Deployment is the first thing you do in a game, and thus it’s usually where I screw up first.  In the last few games I’ve played, I’ve tried to put more thought into my deployments.  There have been too many times where something I needed to be front and center was stuck in the backfield, and all too often my flanking force spend the first half of the game running to engage.  Before we get into any of that, the first decision I often face is whether to go first of second.

Who’s on First, What’s on Second?

For the longest time, I always chose to go first, to dictate the battle.  I got to pick what terrain mattered, and where the fighting took place, and I essentially had an extra turn before combat (assuming combat begins Round 2).  Also, when I go first, it’s often my forces that are charging, dealing damage first.  That’s a big deal.  On the flip side, I’m not that great at judging distances on the table top, and I often come up short on my charges.

However, the more I play, the more I’m beginning to think that going second has more advantages.  You get to react to your opponent, making sure that you have ideal match-ups.  I also usually have some flanking unit, and going second lets me make sure they’re in a good place to affect the battle earlier rather than later.

I’ve come to the general conclusion that tank-y forces like going second.  They’re usually slower, so the enemy has to reach more than it should to get to them(increasing the chances for failed charges from bad distance judgement), which means that they can actually get the charge off on their second turn.  Also, since most tank-y armies are bricks, terrain and battle locations aren’t terribly important, so placement within the table isn’t a priority.

On the flip side, alpha strike armies tend to want to go first.  The trick is, you walk / move 1.5 your SPD the first turn.  That way, the likelihood of the enemy charging into you is slim, but you’re far enough up field that your forces can safely get the charge on Turn 2.

What dictates your choice when you win the initial roll off?

Rule 1

“Rule 1: Put your mans in all the best places.” – Faultie’s 3-step plan to victory

Most of the time, I put my caster front and center.  Getting buffs out first turn is too important to be flubbed by having models too far away.  I usually surround the warcaster with whatever models will be shielding or accompanying it (Shocktroopers, a tar pit, a shredder, etc).  After that, I usually put stuff down semi-randomly.

I’ve definitely learned that slow things go up front, faster things in the back.  Spawning Vessel front and center!  Man-O-War up front too.

Beyond those guidelines, I don’t have any secrets to deployment, but I’m hoping you do.

What tricks do you use to help with deployment?

Do you strategize and plan ahead, or do you just wing it?

I think the last bits to be covered are glowy bits, and leather.  There’s no special techniques for these, just borrow from what’s already been covered.

Glowy Bits are painted just like hair.  The brush bristles are positioned 90 degrees to the direction of the raised bits, and is moved in the same direction as them.  As you lighten the colors, paint less and less.

Glowy Bits Brush Placement

For the glowy bits of the Lightning Coils, start with Arcane Blue.  Then keep adding pure white until you’re basically at pure white, and it’s just a dot on each coil.  I think I ended up using half a dozen “layers”, or steps.

For leather, use two-brush blending.  A basecoat of Bootstrap Leather was used.  Shading was Umbral Umber, and highlighting was Rucksack tan.  Simple ’nuff.

Oh, hey, metallics!  Meg shades both grey metals (silver, iron, etc) and yellow metals (gold, brass) with the same mixture.  She used Greycoat Grey with some Umbral Umber.  It both tarnishes and dirties the metal.  The main goal isn’t really to darken the metal so much as dull it, and take away the shine.  Metals were highlighted with an appropriate color of the same family (golds highlight bronzes, silvers highlight irons, etc).  As for a technique, just 2-brush blend it.

Here’s how my Nemo turned out:


 Here are a few more pictures: