Wargaming Tradecraft: March 2014

Tinting, Layering and Thinning while Painting and Blending

I started painting the rest of my Champions, the core of my army, and as I was taking photos realized this the perfect opportunity to talk about one of the key techniques of how I paint my miniatures.

Basically, I nearly always dilute my paint so that it won't completely cover what's below. Think of it like painting with washes, except the paint is still too thick to be considered a wash.

Because painting with diluted paints is like using a wash, it also means you get the side effect of blending with the colours below.

Worth noting, this doesn't replace other techniques like blending. It's just another technique to add to your arsonal. Mixing paints on a pallette or using fluid-retarders so you can mix on the surface of a mini are still important.

That strange thing, Social Media

Man, social media. Never fails to amaze me. This weekend TheWife and I visited friends and family in support of a buddy of ours who had his final year of art school art opening / birthday.

When we visit, we stay in my parents spare room and I still have some stuff stored there. Decided to go through some of it and either bring home or junk what was there. One of the things I found was an old Go-Bots magazine. (Go-Bots, for the younger crowd, were like the Diet-Transformers.) I quickly flipped through it and found a page where they asked celebrities what they'd do if they had a robot and one of the people they asked was Sean Astin. Since my wife's a big fan, I snapped a pic before tossing the mag in the discard pile. For fun, I tweeted it @SeanAstin from my Twitter account. We met him at a con once, he talked about how he once mentioned he likes gum and now tons of people bring him gum at cons. (We didn't.)

While I didn't hear back from the actor himself, it turns out there are a bunch of people and fan clubs who have lists created just waiting for someone on Twitter to mention him. (k.) So the next thing I know, my tweet is being retweeted and it / the Re-Tweets are being favourited like crazy all day Saturday and into Sunday.

crazy times...

[CHARITY] Headshots from the Heart 2014

It's that time of year again.

For those new to this site, two years ago some friends and I began a charity marathon called Headshots from the Heart. We played Borderlands for 24 hours straight to raise money for Childs Play, a charity that brings joy to the lives of sick children, and streamed the whole thing online. Last year we repeated the event and have raised a total of $7,616. Yeah, that's kind of a big deal.

We're doing it again. Starting at 12:30 pm EST on May 3rd a team of players will marathon for 24 hours taking donations and pledges. You can sponsor the, wait for it, number of headshot / critical kills they make during that period.

Website: http://HeadshotsMarathon.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Headshotsmarathon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeadshotsHeart
E-Mail: admin@headshotsmarathon.org

Want to help? Here's how:

    • Don't want to worry about all the little details? Just donate your money.
      Money is sent directly to Childs Play
    • Pledge your support. Offer pennies per critical kill and we'll email you when the event is over to let you know what you owe. (You can cap your offer.)
    • Got a website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc? Tell everyone about this event.
    • The event takes place at KwartzLab in Kitchener, Ontario. Come on out during the event and join in the games, LAN and other activities that will be going on.
    • Stay tuned at the Headshots website for details on all the events, costs, etc.
    • Want to volunteer or have another idea on how you can help? Send us an email!

Convincing DeviantArt to Recognize Miniature Artists

This is a topic I want to bring to light because I feel it's important - there are a ton of artists out there who deserve proper recognition. DeviantArt is a great art community, providing support, suggestions, comments and giving artists a place where they can not only share their art but connect with like-minded people. Unfortunately, there's currently no section specifically for miniature artists.

I usually use "Traditional Art - Painting" then choose either the Fantasy or Sci-Fi genres, but that puts my minis next to all sorts of 2D paintings. It just doesn't fit. The "Miniatures" category under "Artisan Crafts" is also a dicey fit because it's focused on stuff you make with your hands like basket weaving, costumes, culinary, glass, jewellery, etc... not painting. Another poor fit. Traditional Art fits, but we need our own section.

Lets face it, our hobby is huge and there are artists all over the world creating beautiful works on what I like to refer to as "3D Canvass". (aka, the sculptures you and I make and/or make.) Having our own category would help experienced and new artists share their work and be browsed by the public. It would also remove miniatures from categories where they don't really fit, cleaning up the experience of other DA users.

DeviantArt has a suggestion forum specifically so the community can offer them advice. Lets give them some.

The suggestion thread is here:

What can you do?

  • Visit the suggestion thread and click "Me too!" to show your support.
  • Leave a comment and tell us why you like it.
  • Spread the word!
    • Tweet this, share it on Facebook, post a link on your own website.
  • Don't have a DA account? Comment here or on my pinned post on Facebook and tell us why you think this is important. I'll link to these posts from the original suggestion.

Lets be heard and show DeviantArt that we're a community worth recognizing.

Thank you everyone,

Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaner

Over the next few weeks I'll be looking at working with some hobby supplies that can be nastier than average or just a pain to clean off your skin. More commonly, this means stuff like super-glue, remover and accelerator or spray primer, but a less common example would be chemicals for mold making and casting.

I always keep some heavy-duty hand cleaner around to really scrub my hands if I get anything less than desirable on them. The brand doesn't matter - just about any hardware store will carry this stuff in one form or another. It's often orange and smells like it. (TheWife points out oranges have natural cleaning properties.)

One of the things that's pretty universal with these types of cleaners and makes them so great is they're gritty. It's like washing your hands with soap that's full of sand. This grit gets into all the joints of your fingers too and acts a little like sand paper or a file.

Basically, wash your hands like normal but give them a good scrub. The grit will help clean off your skin. I tend to repeat a couple times and finish off with some regular soap.

Reflective Water with Mirrors

Craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby sell small mirrors for various projects. I could definitely see some use for them on terrain, could be kind of cool to see reflections of the battle on buildings and such that decorate it.

Today, I'm going to look at using mirrors as another form of creating fake water effects. The cool thing is that you actually get a reflection.

For other water tutorials, take a look at Bottomless and Animated, Transparent and Tranquil or Waterfalls.


Now, puddles aren't square and even filling around the edges, this is a little too big to fit on a base.

First though, SAFETY. There's going to be glass flying in a few seconds. Put on some safety goggles, Best are the ones that press against your face completely. (Which also fit over normal glasses.) You can also cut the glass inside a plastic / zip lock bag so shards don't fly around. The best way to pick up all the little pieces is to use thick tape and gently push it against the glass. To make sure you find all the bits, shine a flashlight around and look for reflective bits.

Taking a pair of my wider side cutters, I clip up one of my mirrors.

Hordebloods - Champion Hero

 Another Hordeblood takes to the field! Today, the Champion Hero boldly leads his fellow Champions across the field of battle in full painted glory.

This'll be a full WIP from start to (mostly) finish. I'm withholding one section as it'll be its own tutorial.
 The first thing is modding and the Champion Hero needs a weapon befitting of him - Thunderfury!

After cutting the end off his normal weapon, I need to create the skeleton for his new one. To scale it, I line his hands and hilt over my tablet and zoom out until the shapes roughly match. (See how slick that works?)

I then use a piece of thin, clear plastic from a Privateer Press container and trace the weapon out at the correct size.

This, I cut out.

Wargaming Hobby Dictionary