Wargaming Tradecraft: November 2015


Painting Metal Realistically

In this tutorial, I'll look at ways to make your metal objects look more like they should, instead of generically slapping your metallics on blades and armour. Light sources and shadows play a factor in how best to portray the fact that your miniatures are actually in their own environment.

Like while Painting Chrome, this was another attempt that showed me I tend to "paint from the hip" so to speak. My untrained eyes do the best I can, but I prefer to paint what I see, not necessarily what there is to be seen... if that makes sense. So I'll offer some tips to give you the general idea.

Felcaller Shaman, Painting Skin and Fur

I recently finished the Hordeblood Felcaller inspired by the troll shaman from the original Warcraft 3. There were a few fun things that I wanted to try out while painting him. The first was multi-tone skin and next was demonstrating painting fur.

This mini was also a lesson in recognizing your mistakes and going back to repair them. It's also important to realize that gimmicky techniques aren't always the best route to take.

Confused? Click on through to see what I'm talking about.

Painting Chrome Metallics

Chrome can be painted a couple ways - the first is to use actual chrome spray paint or silver as a base, then add your own touches to make it work on a miniature scale. The second is to simulate it by paying attention to the shape of what you're painting and simulating horizon, sky and ground.

I'm going to come out and say it: I'm not supper happy with the final look of some of these chrome effects. It's the first time I've tried simulating chrome but maybe it can offer some ideas for anyone trying these effects themselves.

Happy Seppuku Terrain Stamps Kickstarter 2

Terrain stamps allow you to create detailed bases and scenery at a fraction of the cost of buying resin bases.

I interviewed Stephen from Happy Seppuku Model Works a few days ago as a precursor to reviewing their newest Kickstarter - The Stampede! I reviewed their first Kickstarter a few years back while also looking at the uses of terrain stamps and was glad to have the opportunity to take a look at their newest offerings.

You can see a couple examples below. The base on the right was painted by a friend of mine while painting his first miniature. Ever. It demonstrates how you can sculpt additional details into stamped stuff and how easy stamping is as this was the first time he's done any work with putty.

It's that easy.

Apologies for this being last minute. Happy Seppuku sent me a sampling of some of their stamps to review, but customs decided to sit on it for a little while. I've stayed up late to write this for you because this is the last day for the Kickstarter. It ends Tomorrow at 3am EST / Tonight at midnight PST. If you do happen to miss it, their store will likely see the newer stamps added in the near future.

Just click on through to read a review of their newest stamps, including a comparison to what they created previously.

Painting Metals - Parkerizing / Phosphating and Heat Treating

When metal heats up and wears over time, it discolours with hints of blue and purple, maybe a little brown. Sometimes metals will be intentionally heat treated to add a nice rainbow effect to them.

There are methods used to protect metals which also reduce their reflectiveness. Usually with either a matte grey or black. In a painting sense, you use Non-Metallic Metal first, then True-Metallic Metal blade edges and scratches.

Happy Seppuku Terrain Stamps Kickstarter - Again!

I wrote about Happy Seppuku Model Works' terrain stamps a few years ago and while there were some bubbles in the molds, they were an excellent way to create detailed bases without requiring any kind of sculpting skill.
This lets you get away from standard boring round bases at nowhere near what it would cost to buy custom sculpted resin ones. I've since had the opportunity to let some friends try these out, who've managed to create some cool things without any prior experience with miniatures.

They're at it again with the 2015 Stampede! (Ends Friday, though, so act fast!) This time they've got a lot more stamps and a number of improvements to their process. Their new stamps are smaller, letting you save space when storing them and are flexible enough to use on 3D terrain features. There's also a wider range of styles now, from jungles to alien hives and wall or roof options.

Happy Seppuku has sent me more stamps to review, which I'll talk about later this week. For now, Stephen took time to answer some questions about his experience with tabletop gaming and the work that goes into his business:

Painting Mixed-Metallic Composition (MMC)

I say "Composition" because I'm not talking about how to paint metal so much as how to create contrast by balancing painting techniques across a miniature.

See, when I began painting Non-Metallic Metals, I found that despite its pleasing tones, metal can end up looking flat and dull. You're painting with the same colours used on the rest of your model so everything blends together. Since I'm a big fan of using contrast to make a model visually "pop", when I'm painting with NMM, I'll usually throw splashes of True-Metallic Metal on smaller details like bolts, rivets, buckles, etc.

As an example, take a look at the orange terminator here. Since everything is painted with regular paint, it all has a similar appearance. But, I used some colour variation - the orange is very strong and stands out boldly while the lighter colours like the cloth and golds are softer instead. The black metal parts are bold and strong too, but your eyes are probably treating them similarly to how they look at the orange.

I'm going to preface this by reminding people that I'm self-taught when it comes to art. This article is mostly theory and I'm talking about how things appear to me.