Archive for the 'Painting' Category

Realm of Battle Board Finished and Gen Con

So, after nearly a year of not very much getting done, I finally finished and sealed my GW Realm of Battle terrain board this weekend. The weather was nicely non-humid, so I was confident that the Dullcote matte spray sealer I was going to coat the board with wouldn’t get all weird and ruin the whole project.

A four-by-six foot patch of desert wasteland to call my own

I mostly like how it turned out. There’s one panel of the six that seems to be slightly darker than the others (and it the above photo, it looks much more different from the others than it does in real life) but otherwise, it turned out well. Using the camouflage paint from Krylon worked great for several reasons: it was the right color for my desert theme, it sticks really, really well to the plastic, and the ultra-flat finish makes the board less slippery, which means that models don’t slide around on it.

A few of my Chaos Space Marines enjoying their new play area: “There’s so much room for activities!”

I finished it off by using two cans of Testors Dullcote matte spray. Do this outside, do it on a dry day, and expect that one of the little cans of this stuff will cover three of the six panels. I coated it pretty liberally, and now it’s just as flat as the Krylon paint was before, but also coated with a clear finish, which should protect it from the wear and tear of war in the 41st millennium. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In other news, I’m leaving for Gen Con in less than 48 hours. This will be my third year in a row doing interviews and videos for Beasts of War, so I’ll be a busy badger during the convention. I’ll try and post here during the convention, but I can’t promise anything. However, I’ll be live tweeting for Beats of War, so I’ll throw that info up here tomorrow as soon as I get it all figured out and such.

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My First Foamcore Ruins: FINISHED

Several years ago, I started a project. I designed and built a ruined building out of foamcore. I added some details and some debris, made a blog post about it, and then it sat on my printer for A Long Time. Then, I finally primed it and painted it (half-assedly, I might add) and then it sat on the printer again, for A Long Time. Eventually it ended up in a photo on my blog related to something else. And then we moved, and it sat in the basement again for A Long Time.

Earlier this spring, I repainted it and it was finished. And this past weekend, I finally took some decent pictures of it.

I'm sorry, I will not stay at this hotel again

I don’t think it has a great amount of detail, but it’s got more detail than many foamcore buildings you see on some gaming tables, so I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. There’s a fine line one must walk between making something that looks like a diorama (this is nowhere near that quality, obviously)  and something that’s actually playable and will allow you to stand some models on it.

I think it needs a little more detail on the outside

I repainted this with my first airbrush lesson with John back earlier in the summer, and added a few more visual details after the new coats of paint. If you plan on doing a lot of terrain, picking up even a cheap airbrush will make your work so much quicker and look quite a bit nicer as well. Painting large areas with a brush is really time consuming and difficult to make look good.

I really should've put a figure in one of these photos for scale purposes

Also, you want to make sure to add details. If you have ever seen a building before (and I suspect you might’ve) you’ll have noticed that they have details on them. Things like pipes, vents, junction boxes, heating and cooling units, etc. That, and simple surface details and window sills and the like, really enhance the look of a building. I should do a post or two just about those kinds of things.

Airbrush Lessons and Terrain Painting

Multiple Golden Demon-winning painter and good friend Sam and his brother John came over on Saturday to show me some airbrushing tricks and best practices. I learned tricks on cleaning my airbrush, how to properly mix color and how to apply and blend that color on the model you’re painting. I learned a lot and put some of it into practice before Sam left. I’m really looking forward to trying it out on some figures soon (probably USCR guys from MERCS) and another Chaos Rhino or two and some terrain, of course. So, so much terrain.

Sam working on a Blood Angels Land Raider (for my friend Eric) while explaining the finer points of airbrushing

However, between coats of color on the Land Raider he was painting to show me examples, we stalked about the Nerd Bunker to find something for me to practice airbrushing. I usually have a bunch of primed or half finished projects lying around. One thing we did find (but decided not to airbrush) was a statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain set from Games Workshop. After looking it over and discussing how to best paint it, I got to it.

A work in progress, but it's looking good so far

It’s turned out pretty well so far, especially the green patina effect on the bronze statue. I need to paint the base of the statue to look like stone, and then do a few touch ups with a wash in some of the darker areas, but then it’ll be done. Maybe, if I ever get a second one of those statues, I’ll do a step by step tutorial about it if people are interested. Also, I’ll make sure to take fancy photos of this project when it’s all done.

Some New Terrain

Back during GenCon in 2006 or 2007, I purchased some resin terrain from the swell guys of the Ottawa Red Shirts gaming group. We were volunteering with their group, running Silent Death (Iron Crown Enterprises) demos and scenarios during the convention. They were also running their own miniatures game, called Injurious Games (Red Shirt Games). They had a huge table set up and could run a dozen players at once. They were from Canada (in case the name wasn’t a tip off) and at the end of the convention, they decided that they really didn’t want to take home as much terrain as they had come with, so they put a bunch of large resin pieces up for sale at terribly nice prices. I was unable to resist, being the resin whore that I am.

Now I’m starting to paint a few of the pieces for use on my gaming board. I have a few industrial chemical tanks, a “mobile command base” (or a trailer, to you and me) and this weird thing:

I have no idea what I'm going to use the Easter Island heads for.

I guess it could be a reactor or some other kind of processing installation. I added some small pipes and other details to it before I primed it, so we’ll see how that works out. Luckily, this upcoming Monday is Memorial Day here in the US, which means I’ll have the day off, so it’ll be a good day to paint up this piece of terrain and finish some other figures I’m working on, too. Look for photos here when I get ’em taken.

Some Old Terrain

Skeleton Rock

Skeleton Rock

Here’s some terrain I built three or four years ago. I keep it (and the little skellie from Reaper Miniatures that I painted at a Paint ‘n Take at last year’s OshCon) on top of my big four-drawer filing cabinet in my office at work. The skellie stands there and protects the filing cabinet and his rock from all attackers. People come into my office, look at the bony soldier and not-actually-made-of-rock dias, and usually move the both of them over so they can lean on the filing cabinet while they yammer at me (except for Dave, who doesn’t yammer). The poor unholy warrior just stands there, his sword raised in impotent rage.

The piece is mostly all made out of that pink house insulation foam that you see nailed to the outside of houses as they’re building them or putting on new siding. The skull on the rock totem is actually an old plastic Halloween skull ring. There’s also some model railroad talus (small rocks) and some green foam fake shrubbery (on the backside of the rock totems, out of the camera shot).

The main platform was cut with a Wonder Cutter, which is a hot wire foam cutter. It works great, but leaves the edges with a kind of tell-tale signature ‘look’. People who make terrain can tell you cut it with a hot wire foam cutter and then didn’t try to finish the edges to make it look like stone or anything.

The three totems where cut from the foam with an extendable utility knife. I used the tip of the knife to make the striations on the faces of the totems. They actually turned out rather well; maybe I’ll make a mini-tutorial about how to do that some day.

I then painted it all with tempera paints. For the grass area, I added in some painter’s texture, because I hate flock like poison. I can never get it to stick right and it gets all over everything. For the stone areas, it was a dark grey, then a drybrushing of lighter grey, then a drybrushing of white.

What would I do differently? I would finish the edges of the platform. I’d either sand it smooth and paint the edges green like the grass to make into more of a mound or I’d cover the edges with spackle or I’d just chip away at it with a knife… anything to get rid of that hot wire foam cutter look.

I’d also add more detail to the ground. I’d glue kitty litter to the area around the totems and I’d actually paint the talus rocks, instead of just glueing them down and letting them be their own color. I’d also drybrush the grass to give it more visual interest.

I’m planning on making a new version of this terrain piece, using the new techniques that I’ve learned in the last three or four years. When I do, I’ll have to post comparison shots to see if I’ve gotten any better.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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