Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Step by Step American GI in Greatcoat - Part 2 (Flesh)

This is another member of the squad I'm painting.  This has also had three layers of Olive drab.  However, I darkened the mid tone a little on this one as I thought that the contrast was a bit much on the others.

Since I'm not doing these minis in an order that I would recommend I should set out how I would ordinarily do them.   The order below would have been easier - since it would have allowed me to paint the hard to reach places first.

1 - Straps, scarves and rifle
2 - Eyes
3 - Flesh
4 - Coat
5 - Trousers and Boots

One thing that you can also tell from the minis below is that I need to keep my workbench a bit cleaner! I've painted these with filthy water and using an old pallet covered in dry paint.  There are quite a few specks over the minis.  Although you can't really tell if you are just using the figures for gaming - you certainly can tell when you look at them as closely as this.  Keeping a clean pallet and a clean water should help eliminate annoying specks and imperfections.

The next stage I'm doing is the eyes.  It's a good idea to do them before you do the flesh so you can touch them up when they are finished without spoiling the flesh layers.  You can see from the picture below that the eyes should be painted as small as possible.  I will touch up under the eyes in black before painting vallejo red leather as a base coat for the flesh.

Another view of the eyes on a different mini.  Again - you can see that they are very small.  It is in fact difficult to do them too small.

Next step - first base coat of the flesh colour.

You can see that I have painted the base flesh colour right up to the eyes.  I try to leave an absolutely minute line.  It is better to have no outline round the eyes than to have one that is too large.  I have used Vallejo Red Leather.  Notice that on the last picture I have left one hand with black lines between the fingers and one hand with no black lines.  This is so that you can see what sort of a difference it makes to the final miniature.  These days I don't bother leaving a black line since it takes slightly longer and I don't think it makes an appreciable difference

I also don't worry about getting flesh onto the helmet - in fact as you will see later I actually paint from the helmet onto the face for small areas like eyebrows.  This can be touched up easily later.

Next step is the mid tone - I use Vallejo Game Colour Dwarf Flesh.  Some people like to add bags under the eyes.  I think that they make a mini look better but they take longer.  Most of the time I don't paint them.  if you do want them - paint them first like in the picture below.  This means that if you mess up you can touch them up.  I though that these were too large so I made them smaller for the next stage.

The other three minis...

The 3rd Stage is putting the final colour before the last highlight.  For this I use humbrol flesh (61).  I add a small amount of dwarf flesh to it just to give it a bit more colour.  I forgot to take a photo of the third figure - I'll do that for next time.

The final highlight.  You can see from these photos that I didn't dilute the paint enough when painting these figures as the paint is bumpy.  I haven't been painting for a while and have clearly forgotten some of the good habits you have to try and adopt when layering like this - the first is paint consistency.  It's probably the single most important thing to make sure you're paint isn't too thick.

 Sadly on the figure below there is a piece of flash just below the chin that I didn't notice until I started painting.  Artizan didn't used to suffer from these problems and their figures have become much more difficult to clean than they used to be - again a good habit I've forgotten - making sure the figures are fully prepared before you start!

The figures after the layer of humbrol...  The one on the right is getting brown gloves hence no flesh colour.

Step by Step American GI in Greatcoat - Part 1

I'm in the process of painting some 28mm GIs and I thought that I would put up some step by step pictures.   I'm painting these relatively quickly.  I'm painting some American Airborne to a better standard and I'll post a step by step of those at a later date.

I'm using a rosemary brush, series 33, size 10/0 (which isn't actually that small).

The first step is to clean up the figure and then apply a black undercoat.  I use Vallejo black and I pretty much just slop it on.  If you want to improve the finish then you need to apply the undercoat more carefully.

I would ordinarily paint the flesh first but on this mini I decided for some reason to paint the greatcoat.  On most gaming minis I try to choose a neat mid tone by which I mean an unmixed paint.

In this case I'm using vallejo US Drab.  I don't have much time to paint and using an unmixed paint for the midtone means that I can break the painting into stages more easily.  Once I've finished the base coat I can come back a few days later and apply the midtone without having to recreate the mix I've used.

So the first step is a coat of US Drab mixed with a little black.  Try not to put too much black in or the mini will have too much contrast.  You can see I've applied it pretty roughly - actually a little more roughly than normal - but I'm getting impatient in my old age.  Try to go as close as possible to the edges where the black lines are.  You can see the edges around the hands are pretty rough.  I'm going to clean these up when I do the flesh basecoat.

The second step is applying the midtone.  This is neat US Drab.  Your paint should be relatively thin.  It is better to have the paint too thin than too thick.  You can always go over it again if the paint is too thin.  If you apply it too thickly the surface of the paint becomes uneven and you can't remove the paint once it is applied.  Try apply the second layer over all the areas except those in deepest shadow.

Although the folds on the coat are largely made up they still follow the contours of the miniature.  So the folds on the forearm start in a sculpted fold in the cloth but are continued onto a flatter part of the miniature.  When I'm painting to a higher standard I try not to make the shadows follow the contours of the mini much more closely.  If I was being more careful I would have made sure that the mid tone on the chest further up towards the tab on the collar.  The highlight is almost reversed on this figure so that more base coat is showing at the tab than at the bottom where the greatcoat closes over the chest - never mind!

The third step - which I haven't done very well - is to place the highlight colour.  This is US Drab with a little white.  Try to place it in the middle of the mid tone - or over the midtone at the point which catches the most light.  I tried to change the folds on the right hand side of the trenchcoat mid way through....  didn't really work!  You can see I've also amended the highlight.

I'll post pictures of the rest of the squad during the same stages and then move on to the other parts of the miniature when I get a chance.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Work in Progress!

I haven't managed to finish anything recently so I thought that I would post some pictures of what I'm painting or what is ready to be based.

First up - I'm trying out the glazing / juices method used by Cyrial Abati, Nano and Emuse Studio.   I'm not sure I'm patient enough to paint in this way!  I've only finished the belly and top of the right leg. I've nearly finished the left hand lower jacket.  This technique consists of applying a large amount of layers of very diluted paint.  Its actually very easy to do and very forgiving.  The downside is it takes a long time as you need to apply a large amount of layers.  I've enjoyed doing it but I'm not sure I'm going to finish it though. The figure is 54mm.

I've also been inspired by Crac de Chevaliers to try a bit harder when I'm painting in 15mm.  I've been copying his technique for painting Sherman tanks for FOW.  This is one of my efforts.  I've improved what I'm doing since I painted the one in this photo.  If you like this read Crac de Chevaliers' very helpful instructions on Steve Dean's site.  I think that the result below is pretty effective and it was very quick.  If you want to see it done really well - have a look at Crac de Chevaliers site here:


This is what I was doing before.  I used an airbrush and fairly standard modelling techniques.  I quite like the results  but prefer the Crac des Chevaliers method.

I've also been trying to paint with Dips.  I've started doing some Gauls for impetus.  I ended up doing more painting on this figure than I wanted because of the chequered pattern.  I added highlights into the middle of the cheques.

These Franks didn't come out too well in the photos.  But i'm very pleased with the results considering that they were dipped.  I've still got to complete the shields, paint the spears and varnish them.

Finally - so much basing to do.  In addition to the pile of stuff below I've got two entire armies for Disposable Heroes painted by myself and Andrew Taylor.....  problem is I can never make up my mind how to base them.... or rather I do and then change it two weeks later.  Impetus Roman up first....

Then the DBN Napoleonic...

Finally - the painting desk - showing why I am never going to complete any single project...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

28mm WWII

I thought that I'd start my first post by putting some of the WWII 28mm figures that I've been painting recently.