Tutorial

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!

Consistently, the piece of advice I get and give out at critiques is “more contrast”. Contrast adds interest and captivates the viewer, and models that don’t have contrast seem flat and therefore boring.

I recently learned that there are several forms of contrast available to painters, but the first one that most painters conquer is light-dark contrast. In short, shadows and highlights. In color theory, this is called value, and represents the lightness of color. Not a color’s closeness to white, but it’s brightness, luminosity.

Here’s a quick method for testing the light-dark contrast on your models: use desaturated (black and white) photos.

front

front_desaturated

What makes this super easy to use is that this feature is available on most smart phones. All you need to do is take a picture of your well-lit miniature, and apply a greyscale filter.

iso

iso_desaturated

Looking at the above pictures, I see a few spots that I need to adjust. For instance, the eyebrows meld straight into the forehead. The hands

The biggest issue with this method is the finish of the paint you use. If your paints have a satin finish (slightly shiny) then the reflections of your light source may produce false light spots. Keep that in mind when photographing your models.

NOVA Open.

It’s rather awesome having such a large convention so close to home. The con takes place over Labor Day weekend every year in Crystal City, and focuses on a massive 40k Grand Tournament along with events for nearly every other tabletop system that you’ll find on a shelf at your LGS.

Killer Terrain

In fact, NOVA threw some serious money and effort at the X-Wing event this year, commissioning an LED lit, to-scale Star Destroyer for their narrative campaign:

DSC_0059

DSC_0061

Pew! Pew! We’ll get you, you Rebel scum! It’s really hard to not make ship noises around that thing.

Continue Reading

It’s that time of year again!  Around Memorial day for the past two years, my gaming club has put on a fundraising event called Feat of Service.  The purpose is to raise $$ for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Nomadsmall

I participated in the Custom Caster event, which is aimed at more casual players (there’s a 50-pt ADR Masters event for the more competitively minded).  The general idea is to create a new, custom Warcaster for your chosen faction and then play several 35-pt games all day trying for achievements much like a book release event.  It’s effectively a mash-up of Who’s the Boss, Spell Draft and Summer Rampage

The process itself is pretty simple.

Continue Reading

I was asked on Twitter how I paint faces, so here’s a tutorial covering a basic human male face.  At the end, I’ll cover how I tweak this process for female or non-human faces.

I’m using 100% P3 paints for this, and I’m primarily using a wet palette so I have fairly transparent paint.  This lets me use glazing.  The faces on models are too small for 2-brush blending, so the best method I’ve seen is glazing – layering thin, transparent layers of paint to build up color.

If you haven’t yet, study some faces to see where the shadows are and where the light catches.  This is a decent reference:

Mr. Jake Gyllenhall

Mr. Jake Gyllenhall

For this walk-through (and a few more to follow), I will be painting Reaper #2803, Brother Vincent.  Feel free to follow along!

I started by priming the model black, and then base coating the face with Midlund Flesh.  I used my airbrush for both of these steps to preserve detail, but several thin coats with a brush should do just fine.

DSC_9705

Continue Reading