Paint Killing

Whilst working on my EC chaplin’s cloak I noticed that some of the paint was starting to the rise off the model. I imagine that something stopped the base layer and the highlights from drying properly.

Using a brush and some water I managed to get most of the paint off the cloak but there were still some stubborn areas of paint left. As I wanted the cloak to be as smooth as possible these had to go before I repainted the cloak.

image

If I could avoid it I didn’t want to strip the rest of the paint off the model so I decided that I’d give Scale 75’s aptly named ‘PaintKiller’ a try.

image

Before buying the Paintkiller, from Elment Games, I did a few internet searches for reviews and couldn’t find any. Now I’ve been using the Scale 75 Scale Colour range, and they’re excellent, so this gave me some confidence that the PaintKiller would be a quality product.

The other day my Paintkiller arrived and I have to say I was fairly excited, well as excited as a grown man get over a bottle of clear liquid that wouldn’t get me intoxicated if drank it. Now one thing I’ve learnt in the few years I’ve been modeling is to always read the instructions and in this instance I’m glad I did as Paintkiller can only kill paint on resin or metal products. I have to say this came as a bit of a blow as I was after a miracle product that would remove paint from a plastic model.

image

The other reason I was a little bit narked was that I’d checked both the Scale 75 website and the retailers site and there was no mention on either about the restrictions on use. For my part I was probably being a little naive by thinking that a 100% plastic model safe paint stripper had been developed but I live in hope.

I do have a resin Dreadnaught that needs stripping and given an EC colour scheme so I can use the paint killer on that but for the plastic Chaplin I’m unsure of what to do. I will probably try cleaning the cape up a little more and then re-paint the cape OR I could find a plastic safe method of stripping the whole model and paint it all again OR as a last resort buy the model again from eBay as everyone is splitting the sets up.

 

Epilogue

Test 1 – Plastic

So the other night I thought ‘fuck it, I’m going use that Paint Killer on the Chaplin” so I made a little PaintKiller bath, dunked him and watched in amazement as the paint just fell off him within seconds. I used an old toothbrush to get to the paint in the creases of the model but other than that it needed no help. As you can see from the piccy the model hasn’t melted, exploded or gained superpowers. In short I’m super impressed with Paintkiller on a plastic model! Oh Scale 75 I think I love you…. please don’t break my heart because you have it now.

DSC_0693-01 [217613]

Test 2 – Resin

I picked up a Contempator Relic Dreadnought when I first got back into the hobby, it was, and sadly still is my biggest Forgeworld purchase which will now obviously change as I’ve started collecting Emperor’s Children. I don’t know if I got over excited by painting a Forgeworld model but in short I really messed the paint job up. I wasn’t happy with it at the time and each time I’ve looked at it since it seems to have gotten worse (like some 30k picture of Dorian Grey, oh wait that story has already been plagerised in Fulgrim).

image

From my earlier Paintkiller plastic test I had around 3/4 of the bottle left which I poured into a disposal cup and then I part submerged the model. I let the dread soak for around five minutes after this time I took the model out and turned him around so that the other area would get chance to soak. I then started to work on the model with a tooth brush.

image

As you can see the paint comes off easily, even if I does look like an alien that’s just burst from your stomach. The only issue I had was that the PaintKiller quickly became saturated with paint so that everytime I dipped the brush I inadvertently added a thin wash off diluted paint and Paintkiller over the model. This wasn’t a big issue but it did make it hard to see were the stubborn bits of paint were.

It took a bit of scrubbing to get the paint off especially in the model recesses but eventually it moved. Once the model was scrubbed I rinsed it under the tap. If I’m honest, the model could probably do with another wash to get rid of the odd red tint but I’m hoping that when I apply the base coat there will be no hint to its former life.
image

Overall, I’m really happy with the Paintkiller as it removed all the paint on both plastic and resin without destroying the models or any details. As plastic is not listed on the instructions as being safe to use with Paintkiller then I would be very careful if you do use it on plastic. Add a little, don’t leave it to soak and scrub with a brush.

On a final note please wear gloves when using this stuff as your skin will melt.

04 – Forever Autumn – Building a Base

DSC_0616-01 [127126]

Basing models is something I tend to rush. For me it’s normally the last step in the process and comes after I’ve completed the model which means I’m thinking about the next model and not the one I need to finish. With this in mind I decided that for my Emperor’s Children I’d make the bases in conjunction with the models.

The next decision was what type of base would match my pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, industrial, lava, snow, swamp or grass? In the end I went for a tiled derelict temple. I looked at resin bases but decided against this as I enjoy having a little money in my wallet. This led me to start trawling YouTube for do-it yourself basing videos. After watching a lot of dross I came across this video and decided that the method of creating a tiled floor looked easy, effective and a hell of a lot cheaper than resin bases.

The first step was to mark up 1cm x 1xcm squares on an old Warhammer box. After spending what seemed like an eternity cutting up a warsphinx box I eventually had enough tiles to begin gluing them to the base. For the tactical marine bases I decided to keep things simple so the tiles were glued directly to the base. For the larger terminator bases I added the hero of basing material cork. The cork added a physical depth and also distinguished the more costly models.

IMG_3819

I then glued the tiles to the top of the cork in a fairly even tile pattern. Once the glue was dry I used a craft knife to trim the overhanging tiles. I then removed and lifted some of the tiles to add to the sense of age, decay and abandonment to the base. Once this was done I added some grit to the base area of the cork and random piles on the tiles to further add to the abandoned feel. The base was then primed black.

IMG_3820

The next decision was around the colour scheme for the tiles. Originally I was thinking of making a dark green and black harlequin pattern but decided against this I thought it would probably end up being too dark. I then started to think about the overall theme of my Emperor’s Children, they’re still a loyalist legion but standing on the cusp of their fall into chaos. This led to me becoming a little poetic and thinking of my Emperor’s Children as being in the autumnal season of their service to the Emperor. To reflect this I thought I’d go with autumnal colours on the tiles so a deep red and yellow. To further reflect this I wanted to add some autumnal flocking to the base.

I then started to paint the full base using Scale 75 Walnut. The cork area was then dry brush highlighted with Scale 75 Tenere Yellow. For the tiles I went with Scale 75 Deep Red lightly mixed with the walnut and Scale 75 Tenere Yellow mixed with walnut and painted in an alternate pattern. These colours looked the most autumnal to me. After this a light drybrush of Scale 75 Rainy Grey over the tiles to pick out the tile edges.

The last element was to add some autumnal colour flocking to give the impression of fallen leaves.

I think the base complements the model nicely, what are your thoughts?

 

02 – The First Foundation Paint

The first five of my Emperor’s Children have now been built, primed, undercoated and highlighted. So I have five very mean looking cataphractii terminators who are sporting a fine set of lighting claws each, the captain and the apothecary. I have to say they are all very cool models that look amazing.

I started by priming the models black and then pre-highlighting with a light grey using an airbrush.

image.jpg

After this it was a matter of choosing the right purple to use as my layer and first foundation . In the end I went for Scale 75 Violet for the darker areas with Army Painters Alien Purple as the highlight but colours were applied using an airbrush. These two colours will hopefully give me a nice base to either bring lighter for the extreme highlights or darken for the shadows. Due to the details involved with this next stage I’ll abandon the airbrush and pick up the trusty brush. For the highlights I’m thinking GW Emperor’s Children Pink or P3 Carnal Pink but I’ll probably end blending the two. For the low lights I’m thinking that P3’s Beaten Purple will be a good choice.

So that’s everything I’ve done so far, what do you think?

imageimageimage

The Discontinued Undead – The Fall of the Tomb Kings

After painting a handful of Stormcast Eternals several months ago I decided that I wanted a change so I purchased some Tomb Kings – a set of guards, A warsphinx, and a tomb king. It takes me an age to paint anything so in the space of me deciding to start collecting Tomb Kings the Fates – who live at Games Workshop HQ – unsheathed their sharp scissors and cut the Tomb Kings thread of life or removed the spell that is holding their dead bones together. Either way they are now officially shafted which will make it a little harder to pick up TK models. With this in mind I decided that I’d just imalgimate them into a larger undead army (this will explain the VC in some of the pictures).

For my TK army I wanted the models to be connected with a colour theme. After looking at images on ancient Egyptian artefacts it struck me how vibrant the golds and the turquoise where. I think this is especially shown in Tutankhamun’s death mask, the mixture of the rich gold and the deep blue really make the turquoise pop.

My only concern with emulating this colour scheme was that I didn’t think the really bright gold would translate well onto a miniture so I decide that I’d probably dull it down.

With all the models I primed them with Vallejo black surface primer. After this I painted all the gold areas with GW Retributer gold as it’s a rich deep gold and provides great coverage. Now I know gold doesn’t tarnish but I wanted the TKs to look ancient, like they’ve been knocking around the desert for years and I thought that tarnishing the gold would achieve this.

To tarnish the gold I first applied around three washes of GW’s Seraphim Sepia. After the sepia washes had dried a dry brush of the retributer gold was applied to pick out the edges and give the gold a little more depth. Next was a diluted solution of GW Nihilakh Oxide to add the tarnished look. Once this was fully dried I did one last dry brush of retributer.

Next up was all the areas that I wanted to be turquoise. I started with a base coat of Scale 75 Bering Blue and whilst I had the blue out I also painted all cloth areas and airbrushed the Warsphinx flesh with the same blue.


After this it was wash time again. The cloth areas received a wash of GW Drakenhof Nightshade, this wash significantly darkens the light chalkey Bering blue and gives the areas a deep blue look. Once the wash had dried I edge highlighted with Bering blue to give some depth to the cloth.

The areas which I wanted to be turquoise had a wash of GW Biel-Tan to add a green hue to the Bering blue. Once dry highlights of Scale 75 Adriatic Blue where added to give the look of turquoise.

Since these mini’s are primarily skeletons it would probably be best if I mentioned how I painted the bones. Firstly, I added a base layer of P3 Menoth White base followed by a wash of GW Seraphim Sepia. Once this was dry I picked out the bone detail using Vallejo Game Air Dead white. It’s a fairly simple method compared to some of the others I’ve heard and I think it looks effective for old bones.

After tidying up the bits and pieces I went onto paint the desert resin bases. To add a little warmth to the models I wanted the desert to be more of any orange hue than a yellow wash out. I started by firstly priming the base with Vallejo black surface primer, the base coat was Scale 75 Mars orange, followed by a highlight of Vallejo Game Air Sun Yellow.

So that is pretty much that. I think they’ve turned out okay and captured the Egyptian feel, I’ll be carrying on the blue and turquoise theme with any other undead as I believe adds an ethereal quality to the miniture.

As always all feedback is welcome.

Painting Sigmar’s Mail

When I started my Stormcast Eternals I wanted them in armour that looked as realistic to plate mail armour my painting ability would allow me to achieve. I like my miniatures to look like they are wearing armour that would be functional in an actual battle; which I admit does seem a little strange when you consider that they are a fantasy army so in theory they could wear any armour they wanted, even armour made of gold.

After looking at a lot of suits of armour, on a recent visit to Leeds Royal Armouries, I noticed that the plate mail varied dramatically in steel shades between the raised and recessed areas as the picture below highlights.

IMG_3171

The raised areas tended to be highly polished but the further into the recesses you looked the darker and duller the metal got. I wanted to duplicate this look on my miniatures.

To try and replicate this authentic plate mail look I firstly primed my models in white, as I knew I’d be dulling down the colour later so didn’t want my base layer too dark.

I then painted the armour areas with a player of Vallejo Game Air Chain Mail.

After this I made a 50/50 mix of burnt umber oil paint and black oil paint. I then coated all the metallic areas with the oil paint, left it for around five minutes and then wiped the paint off with a clean cloth. This left the recesses darker and the raised areas lighter as it was easier to remove the oil paint off the raised areas. Once I’d removed all the excess oil paint I left the model to dry.

DSC_0290 [1178263]

Once the oil paint had dried I began adding a highlight of Vallejo Game Air Silver to all the raised areas. I made sure that I had minimal paint on the brush so that I could easily blend the highlighted areas into the dark areas. I kept adding highlights to the raised areas until I was happy with the look.

DSC_0204 [1166302]

And that was that. I’m happy with the result, to me it looks authentic enough and in my eyes makes the Stormcast Eternals look a little more menacing than when they are painted in the official gold color scheme.

Genesis of a Painting Daemon

Bilbo just knocked his last  bottle of Devlan Mud over

Bilbo just knocked his last bottle of Devlan Mud over

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, painting miniatures. You buy one model, and if you don’t keep your wallet closed, there’s no knowing what you might paint.”

Bilbo’s hobby advice.

I’ve exchanged tweets with a few of my twitter followers about the pictures of my miniatures which I post under the #warmongers, #MiniatureMonday and #WIPWednesday hashtags. Most of the people I’ve spoken too are involved with the hobby but some are people who follow me on twitter for different reasons (my charm, razor sharp wit, dashing good looks, magnetic personality, beer nonsense and general moaning to name but a few). I’ve noticed over the past few months that several of my non-hobby followers have spoken to me about my miniatures and have said that they’d thought about getting some models in the past but have never taken that next step.

I enjoy painting models, it helps me unwind and relax and it seems a shame that some people think “I wouldn’t mind to trying that” but then never get any further. I believe part of the issue is that there’s a hell of lot of things to get from a specialised shop. If you’re totally new to the hobby to it all it can be very daunting.

The aim of this blog, therefore, is to provide a starting place for people who are interested in painting miniatures but have no idea where to start. I’ll cover what basic things you need to get and hopefully the cheapest way to get your hands on the godies. I’ve been painting miniatures now for just over a year so hopefully all my initial problems will be fresh in my mind.

1GD

The first stop…

The first step with painting miniatures is also the hardest and it involves going to a hobby shop. For most people this will be a Games Workshop store as they are in most major town centers. You can get almost everything here that you will need to start the hobby, models, paints brushes, tools and primer. It sounds like the most ideal place to start but it’s not the place I get the bulk of my supplies from. To get all the basics you require you to start painting you will need to invest a little cash and buying direct for Games Workshop is notoriously expensive. If you buy your equipment from an independent model shop you will be will save around 15-25% off Games Workshop price as well as having access to other manufactures models and paints.

I’m going to plug Elemental Games here, cheap, massive stock range, a quick and reliable service and you earn store credit with each purchase. They have a shop and an amazing website too. If you do buy from Elemental Games then use promo code STE978 on the payment screen and you’ll receive double store credit points and I’ll receive some too! Everyone’s a winner baby!

Also remember to read as many blogs and watch as many videos as you can on painting – not rude videos as you’ll go blind. The information in blogs and videos is free, you’ll pick up so many new techniques by just reading and watching this stuff, so make sure you do it.

I’ll list the Games Workshop price (GW) and the Elemental Games prices (EG) below.

The first step…

So you’ve now decided where you’re going to buy your gear from, the next step is which models are you going to buy. I paint Blood Angel and Orks, both from the Warhammer 40k range, but if you want to go either into fantasy or sci-fi have a look at the whole model range as one model may look fab whilst the rest are mediocre. Google the fluff and get a feeling for the whole army. Once you’ve decided what army you want to paint (and even play) then I’d recommend that you get some general infantry units as your first models. If you buy infantry units you’ll get a lot more models for your money meaning you’ll have more to practice on as you start to learn the basic painting techniques.

Space Marine Assault Squad – GW £20.50 / EG £17.42

If you have a little more money to invest, and you like the armies, then you can get one of the box sets for either the Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood featuring High Elves and Skaven or the Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box featuring Chaos Space Marines and loyalist Dark Angels Space Marines. You get a hell of a lot of models in each box and a self-contained game which you can use to bully your friends into getting into the hobby with. They do provide good value for money. If you’re only interested in one of the armies then you can put the others on eBay.

Island of Blood – GW £61.50 / EG £52.28

Dark Vengeance – GW £65 / EG £55.25

Step two…

Tools! There are lots of different tools for all manner of different purposes but you can actually get away with only needing a few to start with. At this point I would highly recommend that you do not buy any of the Games Workshop tools as they are really expensive. The build quality and finish are great but this is an area you can save on.

The first essential tool you will need are clippers to remove the model from the plastic spruce.

Clippers – GW£18 / EG £6.79

Next you’ll need a semi-circle file. One side is a semi-circle the other is flat. You’ll need a small plastic file to tidy your model by removing the mould line and smoothing over the areas where the model was attached to the spruce. Sadly, you can’t seem to buy individual files as they come in sets, you could, I suppose, use the spare files as bum scratchers.

Files – GW £12 / EG £4.49

Step 3…

Next you’ll want to glue your models together. Get them striking an epic pose and then use strong plastic glue.

Glue – GW £4.10 / EG £3.48

Step 4…

You’ll also need some primer. Once you’ve built your model you’ll want to prime it. If your model is going to be painted a dark colour scheme or mainly metallic then use a black primer. If your model is going to be of an overall lighter colour scheme, mainly flesh or light coloured robes then I’d use a white or grey primer. Primer allows the paint to stick and hold to the model. Bear in mind that you will only need a light coating over your model.

Primer – GW £9.80 / EG £8.33

Step 5…

You’ll need paints and there are lots to choose from. Paints are probably one of the cheapest things to buy but they can start getting expensive when you buy lots at once. I’d recommend searching the net for painting guides for the models you have chosen. Once you’ve read / watched a few you can buy the colours used to achieve the look you want.

Washes will soon become your best friend, they won’t let you down and they’re always there to make you look better than you actually are (which to be fair is better than what a real best friend does). Washes are a very easy way of adding shading to a model. They only contain a little pigment which allows you to see the painted area underneath but make the recesses of the model more shaded. The two washes I’d buy are Nulin Oil – a black wash that work great on metallic colours and Agrax Earthshade – a light brown shade that works well over fabrics.

GW – £2.40 a pot / EG – £1.99 a pot

Step 6…

Acrylic thinner, you need this, please purchase this. If you paint straight from the pot then your paint will be too thick and your model will look like it is melting. Paint that is too thick will destroy all the detail on the model and it’s probably the biggest pitfall for new painters. The acrylic thinner will thin your paint allowing for a thinner but smoother application of paint. It might take a little longer and a few coats to paint an area but the end results will be worth it. For each blob of paint on your pallet you’ll only need a small amount on thinner. You’ll want the paint to be the consistency of milk. The Emperor Demands thinned paint.

Paint for the Paint God!

Too Much Paint for the Paint God!

Acrylic thinner – GW Lahmian Medium £2.40 / EG £7.19

Step 7…

If you bought a paint set which included brushes then you’re set. If you didn’t then you’ll need a fine detail brush and a standard brush. To be honest you’d probably get away with just a fine detail brush (it’s the one I use 95% of the time).

Detail Brush – GW £3.75 / EG £2.98

Step 8…

All these things are free or you’ll have them in the house anyway, yippee!

  • An old mug to wash your brush in.
  • An old take-away tub lid to act as your palette.
  • Old newspaper to cover up the area where you’re painting. You will spill a paint pot and if you don’t have anything down to protect the table or carpet your significant other may hurt you as punishment and The Emperor won’t protect you.
  • Kitchen roll to dry your brush and remove excess paint.
  • Light for your painting area.
    • If you’re painting during the day then paint in front of a window. The natural light will help you see all the areas and stop you straining your eyes.
    • Painting in the evening (welcome to my world). Energy saving light bulbs are crap for painting under. Try and paint in the best lit room. You will also need to use a desk lamp to illuminate your work. If you take to the hobby then you need to invest in either daylight bulbs or a daylight lamp. It’s the kind that seamstresses use.

Things not to buy…

  • The White Dwarf monthly magazine. It’s expensive with no written content just nice pictures. Save the money and look for inspiring pictures on the internet.
  • Painting guides. Honestly, at a beginner level don’t bother. All the basic techniques and videos can be found on the net for free. There are some good guides I have bought but they have covered advanced techniques (airbrushing etc).
  • Too many models. If it’s not a limited edition then leave it in the shop. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a pile of models awaiting your attention as it puts pressure on you and then you’ll start to rush. If there’s only a limited run of the model then by all means get it and save it for the next project.

To get all the basics along with 10 tubs of paint  and a basic infantry model set you’re looking at splashing out £94.54 from Games Workshop and £70.50 from Elemental Games, a saving of £24.04.

The final and the most important thing you need for miniature painting is patience. Don’t rush the painting, take your time and enjoy the time you’re spending painting your model, you’re not thinking about work or life just the model. See your painting time as time to relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and listen to some music. It’s time wasted but in a constructive way.

If you do have a go at the hobby or you just want to ask a question then please add a comment.

Creating a Wet Palette

Spongebob-spongebob-squarepants-33210742-460-500

The other day I decided to try my hand at creating a ‘wet palette’. Now for those of you who don’t know a wet palette is, it’s basically a magically simple tub that stops your paints from drying out once. It’s especially useful if you’ve created a unique colour and are halfway through a painting project as your paint will still be usable for days after the initial mixing.

Creating a wet palette is really simple and cheap so you don’t have an excuse for not using one.

Things you’ll need:

An air tight tupperware box that you can pick up from any supermarket or poundshop, please don’t use your child’s Transformers lunch box as it won’t be air tight and your child will crush your beloved plastic little men in a revenge attack.

A thick sponge that fits snuggly into the Tupperware box, it doesn’t have to be an exact fit but the closer to one the better.

Kitchen roll

Grease proof paper / baking paper

Water

Paint

First put the sponge in the Tupperware box. After that place a double layer of kitchen roll on top of the sponge and then pour the water –out of the tap- over the kitchen roll. Fill the tub about half way with water; a thick sponge is needed so that you can store more water which means there’s more water to keep your palette wet. The wet kitchen roll holds a layer of water at the top of the sponge which will keep your paint wetter, if you don’t use the kitchen roll the wonderful force that is gravity will pool all your water at the bottom of the sponge and the top of sponge – where your paint is – will get dry. After this cut a sheet of baking paper to fit the top of the Tupperware box and place it over the now wet kitchen roll and gently push it into place.

Congratulations, you’ve now made a wet palette. It was simple I know. Use the baking paper to mix your paint on (use paint thinner) and once you’ve finished put the lid on the Tupperware box to ensure it is air tight. An air tight box will keep your paint out of the pot fresh for days. If you want to prolong the life of the paint on the wet palette you can place the whole tub in the fridge but I won’t be responsible for any beatings you receive off your significant other!