After almost two months I’ve finally finished up the Belial model I’ve been working on. There are a few reasons why this model has taken longer than the six models I did for the last part of the challenge (the Deathwing Knights). First and foremost, the model was made of finecast, which required a ridiculous amount of prepping. On the bright side, its multitude of issues gave me good examples to use for my finecast article. The second reason was that I really wanted to try some new things with this model, hopefully leading to something that I can enter into a painting competition if the opportunity arises.
There are few skills more valuable than glazing to a serious painter. It can be used to make the smoothest blends imaginable, it can tweak colors, and it can even be used to smooth out layering blends. While there are other methods of blending (such as wet blending, airbrushing, and traditional layering) none seem to offer the same level of precision and versatility that glazing does. The drawback, of course, is that it is potentially a time consuming process. In this tutorial I hope to share some of my techniques and tricks for glazing. A word of caution, this is one of the more difficult techniques to master in my opinion because it is very counter-intuitive to normal painting. Additionally, paint transparency adds a whole new dimension to the paints. Regardless, the time spent learning the process is worth the effort.
Since I’m currently putting together a Deathwing force for the 2014 HPC, I thought it might be prudent to get a Belial model and paint him up. Unfortunately, this model is only available in the much loathed finecast material. The internet is abound with horror stories about how bad finecast models are, and with good reason. The models are quite pricey and often have many problems. This issue is compounded with the fact that GW stores don’t stock many finecast models that aren’t brand new, so picking through a pile for the best example is often not an option. On the bright side, the material is reasonably easy to work with, and from what I’ve heard GW has a great return policy on them if you aren’t satisfied. Aside from returning models ad nauseam though, you’re likely to settle on an imperfect model. Here are some tips to get it into tip-top shape.
As most people know, painting can be a particularly messy hobby. Add in the overspray of airbrushing and most work surfaces are doomed to become an acrylic caked jumble of colors. Enter the Slip Grip hobby mat, a product that claims to be Teflon-like in nature. Paints, adhesives, and more are stated to effortlessly wipe away, leaving behind only a clean work-space. Does it live up to these claims? I put it through its paces over the last 8 months to find out.
Another month passed, another challenge completed. I made the questionable choice to paint the most ornate and difficult squad in my army on the shortest month of the year. It was down to the wire at 9:00 PM on the last night of the month, but I managed to finish and take pictures while the paint was still drying.
After I posted up Squad Sariel last week, I got quite a few questions about oil washes. What were they? Why use them? How are they used? Hopefully this tutorial can answer those questions as well as give a few more tips on how to get the best results from them.
The first challenge month of the IC HPC is February, but with an unpredictable school schedule on the horizon I was determined to get ahead to give myself some cushion room in the event that I need it. To that end, I’ve spent the month of January working on my first squad; a unit of five Deathwing Terminators armed with thunder hammers and storm shields.
I’m in the process of re-basing my Dark Angels army with a mix of Secret Weapon Miniatures Urban Rubble and Urban Streets themed resin bases. Prior to this project, I was using cork which apparently is heavily frowned upon in painting competitions. Basing is a bit like cleaning and prepping a model in the sense that doing it well likely won’t win you many accolades, but doing it poorly will degrade from an otherwise nice model. The method I’ve started using is fairly straightforward, but uses a few advanced techniques. The tutorial shown here can easily be modified with traditional washes replacing the oil washes, and the pigment phase can be skipped. Furthermore, many of the airbrush steps can be painted using a traditional brush and simply take a bit longer.
This year LUMP plans to take part in what’s become a very popular contest, the Independent Characters (IC) Hobby Progress Challenge (HPC). The IC Hobby Progress Challenge aims to get more people in the community to field painted models. What started as a small challenge a few years ago has blossomed into a pretty large group of challengers this year. The rules are relatively straightforward and are summarized here:
To quickly summarize, each participant creates a 2000 point list that they plan to paint over the year. That 2000 points is split up into two 1000 point forces to be finished over each half of this year. From those forces, you are expected to then paint a unit every month. The more units that are painted on time, the more chances you have to win a prize. Further entries are given to those that complete the whole thing in its entirety. One restriction this year is that the first half needs to be Zone Mortalis legal. Zone Mortalis is a new way to play 40k from Forge World, and for the most part this simply means that vehicles can’t be chosen.
While the wargaming community has a split opinion on whether or not painting models is fun, very few people enjoy the tedious task of prepping models. Unfortunately, ignoring a mold line or other casting limitation distracts the viewer from an otherwise great paint job. In pursuit of making preparation as easy as possible, I tried a group of sanding products from Alpha Abrasives and their sub-brand Flex-I-File.