Wargaming Tradecraft: January 2015


HOW TO: Mixing Paints

Normally I use a slab of glass as a palette.
For this tutorial, I'm using white paper for a clean background.
There are many colours you can buy as an artist, from multiple manufacturers. A lot of the time they're exactly what we want and we don't have to worry about mixing them together. If you need a new colour, go out and buy it. If you want to Shade, it can be a simple process of tossing a wash on top.

Purchased colours are great for consistency. If you're painting a large army, it's best if you don't have to mix the colour for every model, because it won't be perfect every time. If you do need a mixed paint for a large uniform army, I'd suggest mixing a bunch up in an empty paint pot. (Which you can buy at hobby stores, re-use an old one, or use travel kit bottles from dollar stores.)

When you're doing the actual mixing, there's a couple ways I'll tackle it:

Stripping Paint Safely - A Detailed Look

Whether you're planning on painting models you picked up used or decided to restart something you're already working on, sometimes you need to remove paint from miniatures.

I'm going to show you some ways to safely break down a miniature and strip the paint from it. I'll also demonstrate how to remove paint from a single point on the figure.

Before getting to it though, I'll cover a number of safety concerns regarding some of the often recommended paint strippers out there. I've discussed the safety concerns with people before, many who blow them off as being unfounded. The main point I want to get across is: When environmentally friendly products like Simple Green exist and do such a fantastic job of stripping paint, it's irresponsible to recommend potentially harmful chemicals.

There are a couple things I'd be curious to get feedback on:
a) Were you aware of the safety concerns outlined in this post? (From a paint stripper or nail polish perspective.)
b) If you weren't already using an environmentally friendly paint stripper, will this change your mind?

Also, I've seen discussions defending the use of chemicals get pretty toxic, so please keep comments civil.

Colour Theory Introduction [Part 2]

Last week I looked at some general colour terms and laid out how I'll be covering things. I also discussed some of the factors like Primer and Lighting that end up affecting how colours look when we paint them.

This week I'm going to concentrate on some of the things we should look at while painting like Contrasts and Symmetry, ending with some generic tips.

A Cautionary Tale of Chemical Reactions

Sometimes we're just going about our day, when suddenly a curve ball comes at you out of nowhere that you just weren't expecting.

This isn't one of those stories.

Wayne gave permission to use this discourse. He wanted his name included and that takes gutsI don't want anybody calling him names, especially since he's willing to allow this decision to be used as a warning. Many of us have been in the middle of a project and not wanted to change gears or spend extra money. We've all made unwise decisions like cutting towards ourselves or accidentally grabbing the bottle of super glue instead of remover.

To summarize what's going on

Wayne is using Castin' Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin to create a clear river. (Normally it's used to preserve objects in a hard plastic shell.) In theory this is a great idea. Compared to other water effects, it's not only cheaper, but faster because you can pour the layers thicker.

The way this resin works is that you mix two parts together and they solidify.
HOWEVER, the process that hardens the resin involves a lot of chemically generated heat.

Historically Accurate Miniatures

Last year I donated my painting services to be auctioned for Headshots from the Heart, a marathon I'm involved with in support of the Childs Play charity. The person who won is a bit of a history buff. He's involved in reenactments and plays various historical miniature games.

It took a bit, but he got ahold of the miniature he wanted me to paint: Major-General Sir Isaac Brock. There'a a difference when painting historical miniatures instead fictional ones, mainly that these things happened so there's a certain way they should be painted.Sure, I could paint the clothes whatever I wanted, I could've given him a funny hat and I could even have painted the horse to look like it belongs in Robot Unicorn Attack... But when you factor in the client's importance on history, accuracy becomes even more important.

Wargaming Tradecraft asks for your Help

4.5 years ago, I created Wargaming Tradecraft after enjoying helping people out on a forum. Since then, with the help of a fantastic community, I've built it in to a site packed full of useful information for new and experienced artists alike.

However, the life of a 30-something computer administrator / radio engineer can get in the way and this past year certainly impacted the number of tutorials and articles I was able to write. Even then, site traffic remained strong and showed that people were still finding their answers within my pages.

(Big thanks to TheWife for putting together this video!)

You and I can bring Wargaming Tradecraft to the next level.

My vision is the ability to work full time on writing detailed tutorials for the public with regular work in progress updates showing other processes. To reach this point I've launched a campaign on Patreon, which works like Kickstarter.

Anyone can become a patron by pledging a certain amount of money to be automatically donated monthly until you choose to stop. I have a whole list of rewards depending on the amount, ranging from email support to group and one-on-one video training. I've even created a list of roughly 3 years worth of planned tutorials which a pledge level can add to and prioritize which will be written first. The monthly amount raised will dictate how committed to Wargaming Tradecraft I can afford to be.

Every dollar really does help.

I get a lot of hits - If everyone pledges a little, it adds up to a lot. Eventually, this would mean I could afford to buy things I wouldn't normally pick up. I wouldn't think twice about buying a Warjack or a Dreadnought to write a Tutorial on magnets. If I saw a cool new supply, I could easily pick it up and show you how it works.

A few things make this campaign and Wargaming Tradecraft stand out from others:
  • First and foremost, you're funding education that will be FREELY accessible by ANYONE.
    • I have no intention of charging for the website content in the future.
      (If I ever do write books, they'll be organized compilations of stuff that will still be free online.)
  • I offer some real rewards as a thanks for helping to make this knowledge available.
  • I already have 4.5 years worth of tutorials that showcase the high quality product you're supporting.
  • Rather than just posting photos of finished miniatures or long descriptions without demonstrating what's being talked about, I focus on taking plenty of pictures and writing easy to follow tutorials.
  • Visual Index Pages to reference all articles.
    • Easily find the information you're after.
    • This prevents old content from becoming lost in archives.
    • These are linked along the top navigational bar of the site.
  • My content targets both beginners and experienced hobbyists with a commitment to providing a child safe environment.
    • I start with the very basics and ramp up to cool techniques.
  • I've been broadcasting video and audio live on Twitch as I work.

For full details, visit my Patreon page.
Even a dollar or two helps

Pictured below is the loot available for the two Closet Clean-out Giveaways. 3 people at each level will get to choose one of the available sets.

How else can you help?

LIKE Wargaming Tradecraft on Facebook and SHARE this campaign with your friends.

Follow me @InDavesLife on Twitter

and SHARE this campaign with your friends.

Follow via RSS using a reader like Feedly.

Most importantly, BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY. I'm not an invisible face behind the curtain. Comment, discuss and share your own thoughts. I've sometimes updated articles as readers offer ways to improve on them.

Also, peruse Wargaming Approved, an Amazon store I've put together that lists supplies I use to punch my projects through to the next level. (Note, I'm not actually selling these, it's basically just a list.) It appears that this may only work for Canadians, unfortunately... Amazon hasn't figured out a good way to work across borders.

Colour Theory Introduction [Part 1]

Paying close attention to the colours we use while painting miniatures will go a long way to producing visually pleasing works of art. Even if you don't care about creating masterpieces, colour theory will help finalize details. From minor decisions like what to paint final bits to choosing a cohesive look for a new army. Your models can stand apart from other peoples by using methods you'll read about here.

Over the next few months, I'll look at some ways that colours relate to each other and why you might choose certain methods over others. I'll also look at ways to make colours stand out from one another and how to draw eyes to details.

Building an Airbrush Cleaning Station

Last week, I added Airbrush Paints to my long list of Airbrush Articles. This week I'm going to show you how to make your own airbrush cleaning station. What is it you ask? This allows you to spray out your airbrush at full strength without making a mess. Use it when gently cleaning between paints or for running a ton of water and airbrush cleaner through for a full clean.

If you're not much of a do-it-yourselfer, you can always find them online for about $30 or so, which isn't much, but what I'm going to show you will cost A LOT less. Something that some store-bought cleaning stations will include are filters to do a better job of handling the extra air that escapes but this tends to work just fine.

All it takes is some kind of small jar and a little bit of green stuff - practically free!

Colour Theory Index

Paying close attention to the colours we use while painting miniatures will go a long way to producing visually pleasing works of art. Your models can stand apart from other peoples by using methods you'll read about here.

Even if you don't care about creating masterpieces, colour theory will help finalize details. From minor decisions like what to paint final bits to choosing a cohesive look for a new army.

This is a 5-month series I've written for House of Paincakes and the first article was posted there yesterday. In addition to my regular content posts, I'll be mirroring each one here on the following week's Friday, but for now can join the discussion today!

Airbrush Paint - Why and Why Not

Createx is just the brand I happened to try, probably others.
I've discussed Airbrushes at length in the past, but up until recently I've always thinned and mixed airbrush paints myself.

Recently I finally tried out actual airbrush paints and it was absolutely worth it. For my wife's Crystalline Affliction army, heavy on the beasts, I wanted consistency in how the colours looked rather than mixing every time.

Not having to thin paints for my airbrush was AWESOME. I've added a small selection of paints to my list of Wargaming Approved Supplies.

Creating Snow and Ice

It's about time I highlight how I created the snow and ice from the Postapocalyptibuggy project in its own tutorial. Also, we're well into Winter now, so it's appropriate.

I used a whole mixture of supplies to create this snow and ice, which is normally a tricky thing. Maybe living in Canada just gives me a unique perspective on this stuff. Snow it's matte or glossy, it's kind of a mix.

Anyways, lets look at the different ways I created it here.