Tutorial

I needed to figure out how I was going to break down the Imperial / Crimson Fists Icon so I could paint it freehand for a project I’m working on. One that I hope to be able to show, soon.

Anyway, I spent a few hours listening to Critical Role, and worked out some of the geometry of the icon into something that I hope I can follow with a brush on a shoulder pad. It’s notably easier for me to draw straight lines, so I wanted something that would largely be just a mess of straight lines, check out Anipots.

I do have a tip for drawing the circle: draw it in a weird way – a way that’s not familiar to you. Whenever I write a zero or the letter O, I draw them counter-clockwise (I’m right handed) starting at 12 o’clock. So, to break my brain from the normal circle drawing habit I’ve formed, I draw it the opposite direction: clockwise starting at 9 o’clock. I find I get pretty close, and only need a little work to get a convincing shape.

Here’s the step-by-step I’ve come up with – Let me know how it goes when/if you try it?

Remember to use thin paints! All of these construction lines will show as texture if they’re painted on too heavily.

  1. After drawing the circle, bisect it with a vertical line, leaving a gap at the top and bottom. The top will become the center of the middle finger’s knuckle, and the bottom will be the tip of the wrist.
  2. About 25% of the way up that line, make a horizontal line that
  3. From the bottom point, form a triangle that is one-third of the width of the horizontal line.
  4. Make a large triangle with the horizontal line as the base. The top point is halfway between the horizontal line and the top tip of the vertical line. (Filling this in is optional)
  5. Draw a short line to the left off the top point, angled downward, and a line twice as long at a similar angle off the right. This sets the angles for the top knuckles for all four fingers. (Filling this in is optional)
  6. Complete the body of the hand by forming angles from the ends of these new lines, and the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines.
  7. Fill all of it in, and then add a small chunk on the left side, bringing the fist close to symmetrical. Leave a notch in the upper left corner – this is the void formed by the thumb and pointer-finger.
  8. Using the background color, make a horizontal line at the wrist. Also, define the shape of the thumb. First, it’s two straight lines for the top, with the point close to the mid-line but not on it. Then. make a curved line for the pad of the thumb, and then a second one for the meaty base section.
  9. Lastly, draw lines separating out each finger, and round off the tops, using the base color. Don’t forget to separate the tip of the pinkie from the hand; the pinkie is really just a oval.

Good Luck!

Well, it’s been a while.

Life happens, but that’s a post for another day.  Today is a Tuesday, and while it’s been…  two-and-a-half years (?!@?), I have a tutorial for you!  Yeah, it’s a How-to Tuesday post!

Today, I’m going to show you how to build bases like the ones I’m using for my Infinity Panoceania forces.

Cool, let’s do it…

I was asked a week or two ago about preventing paint chipping and figured it might be worth a quick note here, in case others out there are having issues.

The two points below should help greatly reduce the chances of paint chipping or wearing away through use during gaming, shipping or general handling. They work for different reasons, and have different advantages and drawbacks which I’ll discuss. However, it’s worth noting that there’s little any amount of prep or protection can do against models that are dropped onto hard floors or that are handled very roughly.

Proper Pre-paint Preparations

Beyond mold lines and pinning, the step I skipped for the longest time was washing the model with warm water and dish soap. I was either too hurried to paint the new shiny toy, didn’t put any credence into that step, or merely forgot – but I ignored it for a long time. Then, in one of Meg Maples‘ classes when asked about this very topic, mentioned that she doesn’t seal any of her pieces at all because proper prep was sufficient when models are carefully handled.

pDGC1-12184755enh500

This is all to say: Don’t skip the wash step. The oils used to help the cast parts release from the mold also act as a barrier to paint. They interfere with it’s ability to stick to the metal or plastic, and that makes it much, much easier for the paint to chip off.

This should be done on all of your models, regardless of whether they are game play pieces or display pieces. No matter what the model’s used for, helping the paint stick to it in the first place is a great idea! Duh.

Sealing

This is the most common angle people take on this issue, but there’s a particular way that works better than others.

The best way to create a protective coat is to use a hard gloss coat. Gloss varnish flows together to make a uniform, solid shell. Flat varnish does it’s best to not flow together, instead attempting to dry in a rough surface (this is how the flat look is achieved). The nature of these two types of finish means that the glossy coat is far more resilient than the flat one.

So, that means that only gloss coats do any work towards protecting your model. However, rarely do you want a super glossy model, right? It’s great for model cars but rather out of place for anything else.

image-future-floor-wax-400-600-47978

So, the best way to seal a model is with a solid gloss coat, and then a dusting of flat to kill the shine.

I use Future Floor Wax (purchased by Pledge a while back) for my gloss coat. It’s thin enough to put through an airbrush, and being floor wax, it’s designed to be very durable. Plus, it doesn’t smell terrible like spray paints because it’s designed to be used indoors. You could easily brush it on also. For the flat coat to fix the glossiness, I run Liquitex Matte (Flat) varnish through my airbrush. I’ve found that quick short bursts work best, because the varnish relies on not staying wet too long, so a thick coat ends up being satin rather than flat.

Conclusion

So, there’s my two-pronged approach for this problem. First, you want to do your best to help the paint stick to the model on the first place. This will help the paint not chip off to begin with. Secondly, sealing the paint on gaming pieces helps it from getting worn off due to all the handling that comes with being a gaming piece.

Good luck, and let me know if this works for you (or doesn’t)!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get back to regular tutorials, but here’s a quick one about doing glowy eyes for warjacks, or anything, really. One cool thing about this is that while I’m callng this “Fiery Eyes”, this method works for any color you want to do.

I start with a white undercoat, and lay down the brightest color. In my case, this is yellow. I start with the brightest because these warm paints are notoriously transparent, so rather than try to work up yellow over darker colors, I want to cheat and put darker colors over lighter ones.

It may take more than one coat to get solid color. I think I put down two. I’m using P3 Cygnar Yellow. I also added some lines of color to the nearby ridges, to create an OSL effect. Use the side of your brush for this, it’s a lot easier than trying to draw the edge with the point.

Eye_1

Next, I start adding on a darker tone. For this, I used P3 Heartfire. It’s hard to detect in the pictures, but I covered the rear 2/3 of the eye. This color needed three coats to finally show up over the yellow. This is partly due to the transparent nature of the thin paint, and partly because the two colors are very close.

Eye_2

For the next step, I used P3 Khador Red Highlight, which is really just orange. I kept this to the rear 1/3 to 1/4 of the eye. If this color is too abrupt, you can mix in some of the Heartfire to lighten it up, or glaze the transition point with a few layers of thinned down Heartfire to smooth it out.

Eye_3

To punch up the contrast, I wanted to add just a hint of red, so I grabbed P3 Khador Red, and just lined the back edge, in a V shape.

Eye_5

This proved to be a pretty rough transition, though, so I went back along the edges of the eye with Khador Red Highlight, to sort of outline the eye some.

Eye_6

Glow effects should have a nice bright center, so I used white to bruighten up the leading edge of the eye, and draw a thin line backward along the center, ending about halfway back. This is optional, but I highly suggest at least punching up the brightness of the front edge.

Eye_7

I then glazed this white line with yellow, to reclaim some of what had been lost by all of the layers of orange.

Eye_8

And thus, a Fiery Eye for this Judicator head. For those who are curious, I’m not actually painting a Judicator. I’m painting something far cooler, far more autonomous, and one-of-a-kind.

Stay tuned!