Wargaming Tradecraft


Welcome to Wargaming Tradecraft

This website is dedicated to helping new gamers learn the miniature hobby as well as introduce unique techniques and supplies to advanced artists.

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My primary project is a Warcraft inspired Hordebloods army.

You can view my Gallery on DeviantArt  to see all my creations, miniature related and otherwise. I do have Twitter and Instagram as well.

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Nightstalkers: Sutter's Nightmare (King's of War)

I've been meaning to post this project for a while, as I painted this army up over the winter. It's tabletop quality, not like my usual Hordebloods level of detail, but it's completed and I'm happy with it!

One of the things I'd looked forward to with this army was creating scenic bases, rather than individual models. It's a new way to create your miniatures and allows you to combine terrain making with basing.

I took this idea a step further using inspiration from a scene on one of my favorite scary movies, In the Mouth of Madness. (Which also stars one of my favorite actors, Sam Neill and directed by the legendary John Carpenter.) In this scene, reality tears and Neill stares into the void. It's a simple concept but it added extra flavour to my bases.

This won't be a tutorial - that will come later. But I will discuss concepts and details.

OK, so - goals:

  • I wanted the army to be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
    • This meant tabletop quality.
    • To paint them quick and still highlight detail, I tried out the new Games Workshop Contrast Paints.
  • I wanted it to appear as if they'd come from the pages of an occult book.
    • For these I printed pages from the Necronomicon onto light yellow paper and covered in paint to age them.
  • Not just coming from the pages, but tearing through reality. Blurring the lines between what's real and fiction. Is the book merely a portal into our world? Or is the world a reality woven from the words in the book?
    • To execute this, all the bases have some level of detail where reality is literally being "torn" open to reveal an inky black void on the other side of the pages of the book.
    • The book is created by gluing down portions of the Necronomicon which are ripped outwards.
  • Void
    • The inky blackness is made from Heavy Sculpting Gel mixed with Black Gesso and covered in matte varnish. (Some of the void creatures are created the same way, either covering an existing form or with a wire skeleton.)
  • For the colours, I'm working with a limited palette:
    • Browns and yellows for the core of the creatures, with accents of red and white tipped weapons.
    • Terrain is primarily rendered in the green spectrum, (Grass, leaves and stone.) with some brown dirt and paths, small red rose bushes and some yellow hay and flowers.
    • Even the water is coloured green and to keep the limited palette I've used white sand / shells for all the shore and lake features.
  • Sturdy Scenic Bases
    • Each unit has a thin wooden base.
    • Most units have 3D printed structures that I designed myself to build the form of the terrain they're built upon.
  • Tokens needed to stand out from the rest of the army somehow so they don't blend in.
    • I ended up going with blue, taking a line from the movie where the author makes everything change to blue, his favorite colour, to prove the control he has over the world.
    • Tokens were also 3D printed.
Overall I feel I executed a nice army with a warm colour scheme on a cool backdrop with strong white accents.

Below, you can see the full army. Click through for more army photos and individual shots and descriptions.

Repairing Crooked X-Wing Pegs

I've previously talked about how to replace a broken peg on your X-Wing ships.

The process I've outlined below is much simpler but it's just for situations where you purchase a ship that's misaligned out of the box. I mean, I suppose you could exchange it, maybe... but this is so much simpler.

Clear Bases

I wanted to showcase some miniatures for Gloomhaven that I painted as a commission. The goal was to replicate the character art and I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out.

I'd like to also touch on clear bases. It's not something you see very often and if I'm honest, NOT something you SHOULD see very often. I suppose that's a weird way to start out a tutorial - "Look how cool this is, but don't do it." It's because clear bases impact recommendations I usually make when it comes to how you build your miniatures.

For one, which I'll talk about more below, is that I usually recommend your miniature's feet interact with their base.

The other is the composition of the figure. A miniature isn't just the mini, the base is part of it. I recommend either something the compliments the figure and makes a nice looking scene, something that contrasts the mini by making the miniature stand out in comparison, or something that's muted and simple like a photo backdrop which pushes the miniature to the foreground.

The risk of a clear base is that you don't have control over what's below it. For wargaming, this is pretty random and could be any ugly tabletop. In tile-based games like Gloomhaven and all sorts of other stuff out these days, it can create a pretty cool aesthetic. In the final photo, it looks like the group is standing together in a stone-floored setting.