Wargaming Tradecraft

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Sculpting the Mountain King

When I decided to prop the Mountain King's hand up on a log, the last thing I was expecting was it to turn into the mass amount of resculpting this project required. The model was designed to go together in a specific way, with no allowance for repositioning.

It was a blast to do all the work though. I learned more about sculpting with green stuff on a larger scale as well as how to blend it seamlessly into the actual model.

Without further ado, lets look at what was involved...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Pinning Heavy / Large Models to Bases (and Mountain King WIP)

"Overkill is my style...
and I think big." *
Today I'm going to look at a couple ways to attach models to their bases that'll be more secure than just gluing them down. On larger scale models or those that are heavy, you really want to make sure they're firmly attached to their base, won't rock around, snap if they're jostled or apply too much pressure to the terrain around their feet. You'll also get to see more photos of how the Mountain King project came together.

I've discussed simple and advanced pinning before, which is the act of drilling holes in the joints of larger models so that when you glue it together, you can stick metal rods in and strengthen the connection.

Don't feel bad if you don't get this sci-fi reference. It's super obscure and Canadian. Although, yes, that's the Human Centipede guy.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Helping Cheaters be Better Players

Anyone who's been reading my works for a while knows I'm generally a positive and helpful guy. Sometimes, I feel the need to discuss a topic out of character for myself. I wrote this over a year ago, got some feedback from community members like Stelek, SinSynn, TastyTaste, Thor, Lauby and Loq and rewrote it, but never posted it. Recently, I decided that writing at the HoP provided a readership who might appreciate this article more than my usual and rewrote it again.

At some point, we've all probably played someone that we might be quick to label "CHEATER!!!1111~" I've written this article to address some of the issues that arise and offer advice on how to handle them.

We gamers traditionally come from a passive stock, which makes handling these kinds of problems really awkward. Often times we either just let it happen or overreact beyond what's reasonable. Keep in mind, the people we're playing with most of the time aren't just strangers at a gaming club - they become our friends and acquaintances, which makes an afternoon of gaming a whole lot more fun. We don't want to leave a gaming session fuming at people who in any other social gathering are a great time to be around.

So, in the interest of having more fun at your FLGS and saving friendships, lets look at my first kind of "cheater"...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Painting Stone and Completed Warsong Champions


Aside from my Mountain King, I also recently completed a unit of Warsong Hordeblood Champions. (Photo at the end) I've carved stone in the past for this project, but today I'll demonstrate painting it instead.

Why might I decide to paint rather than carve? Well, for one, this type of stone is much harder than the turquoise used on Madrak. This makes it more difficult to shape and to drill a hole for pinning. Aesthetically, it's also trickier to have accessories on the stone like the metal trim and spikes.



The method for painting this stone was actually pretty straight forward, using only the paints pictured below. I also went with a stone that would blend with the colours of the rest of the figure.

Monday, June 01, 2015


The Elemental King Surfaces


Followers of My Facebook are aware that since the beginning of February, I've been working on the Trollblood Gargantuan model, the "Mountain King." (For the game Hordes from Privateer Press.)

I'm proud to say that 4 months later, my Elemental King is complete and a fearsome addition to my Hordebloods Project. I've posted some pics around, but this page contains the high resolution photos, including close ups of some of the detail. (I'd appreciate votes on CoolMiniOrNot and feel free to comment on DeviantArt.) He's also currently entered in the Golden Vinci 2015 and Bananalicious 2 contests.

Much of the process to create him was photographed and documented. I'll be posting some detailed WIP's over the next while.
Noteworthy Details:
  • Painting his Skin
    • This was the most asked question I received during his WIP.
    • Prime black, use a sponge to stipple grey and white layers, highlight with light airbrushing, a little more sponging, larger cracks and crevices painted black, then washes to deepen the subtle wrinkles, highlight with white pigment, (weathering powder) then finished with a can of satin hard coat and a layer of airbrushed matte varnish.
  • Painting the Crystals
    • I liked the stone I painted for Mulg and was going for a similar look here.
    • Prime black, airbrushed dark to light, shaded using dabs of wet paint blended with an eyeliner brush and finally edge highlighted.
  • Sculpting
    • His gut and left shoulder were resculpted to compensate for having to raise his lower arm up on that log.
  • Rust Effect on his collar, chains and brackets.
    • The original inspiration for this beast.
    • Painting a cold-blue/grey NMM, then layering real paint on iron, covered in multiple coats of an oxidizing (rust causing) chemical.
  • The 2 Turtles
    • A green-stuff base covered in pieces of real turtle scutes naturally shed by my turtles.
  • Special Effects
    • Heavy artists gel was used in layers to sculpt the special effects like water, flames, etc.
  • Plant Life
    • It's all real.
    • The greenery is hobby moss and there's mushroom like white growths.
    • Lots of small flowers, plants and buds collected from Windsor, Ontario, Canada surround the Water Whelp on his right side.
  • Pearly Nails
    • His finger and toenails were carved out with a Dremel and replaced with pearl chips.
  • Watery Base
    • Boxed in with overhead (transparency) paper and heavy gel to close the gaps.
    • Filled with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, some gravel and sand added to different layers so the ground looks disturbed.
    • Topped with heavy gel to create waves and ripples.
Again, I'll go into specifics on how all this was achieved over the next while. In the meantime, be patient :)

High Res Photos:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


What Mad Max: Fury Road Can Teach Us About Being Better Artists

TheWife and I saw Mad Max: Fury Road on opening night, (The kids in both of us were pretty excited thinking, "We're seeing a Mad Max movie in theater!") and it was a pretty great time. Not the non-stop action I was expecting, but pretty close.  Tom Hardy's Max didn't have much in the way for dialog and his "Batman Voice", while kinda terrible, shockingly sounded like the original Road Warrior Mel Gibson himself. Overall, it delivered on what you'd expect from a Mad Max movie: car chases, explosions, stunning visuals, powerful music and... inspiration.

I wrote about Object Oriented Hobbying once and the idea is that in order to make a large project manageable, you want to break it down in to smaller parts. Many of you have the skill to paint better, but it requires patience. If you're painting something highly detailed, take your time and focus on just one layer of paint or one section, like an arm or piece of armour, at a time. When you're modifying a figure, look at every aspect to see what you can change. (Just remember to look at it as a whole too, so you don't make it too busy.)

*NO PLOT SPOILERS*

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