Path onwards “Terrains “
In the last few weeks, I’ve been gathering some material for my next level into the creation of hobby terrains to put on the table. My main focus here is the decors for Star Wars Legion but who knows where it will go from there (I have always been keen on looking at Infinity but fear there’s a lack of community/players in Brussels to make it worth investing in that one).
So I gathered spatulas, various products to build terrain and settled my workbench in the cave where I’ll be able to saw, cut, screw, glue, paint and manipulate all sorts of material.
I’m still eye-balling at some websites such as the Hex Shop (no not Sex Shop !) website that has plenty of material to bump up the level of details of your scenery. Who doesn’t want dead livestock or prehistoric skulls on their grass field ! Told you it’s details, but that looks cool on a table. Other scenery material can be found on modelbouwverf with relative good prices.
I received also custom sized latex playmats from playmats.eu for sand and snow terrains.
There is a (new to me) Belgian company called Addon Parts who’s having various tufts material that are alternatives to Green Stuff World (as an example). I will probably give them a try-out with an order in the coming months. On Minitair.be you can find the entire range of Wilder brand (would you be looking for distribution in Belgium).
Would you be interested in creating and customize your own parts for miniatures, here’s a guide from Corbania Prime on using greenstuff for cloaks and capes.
I stumbled across an old 2012 tutorial from Solmar about how to freehand paint on drawing on a cape. Not sure I’m skilled enough to do this, but end-result is super cool. An old 2013 interview from Roman and Rafa (Massive Voodoo) on the same website with amazing pictures from work they did. Talking about Roman, here is an amazing step by step he did on the “Tesla ” model from Infamy Models.
Bigchild Creatives is having great Live Feeds announced on their Facebook from time to time. This one I attended in May they showed us how they painted the Ugg’s Face
Talking about cloaks and capes, you also need to paint them and I recently finish off my online courses on that particular topic (pics below).
We often use the blending technique to get a nice transition over the surface, let’s go a bit more in details because this is a big learning curve and step to take, but essential if you want to improve your overall level.
What does blending mean? My definition of blending: “A gradual transition from one colour to another”. Imagine a sunrise. Remember how the colour changes from red to yellow without any abrupt transitions? That is blending for me.
When painting miniatures, blending is extremely useful because we create artificial shadows on the miniatures.
There are two kinds of blending: wet blending and layering. I use layering almost all the time, because I find it easier to control, but wet blending can be useful for large areas like cloaks.
Wet blending is a technique often used in oil painting. The principle is to place two colours (that are still wet) next to each other and mix the paint ON the model. These sketches illustrates the principle:
The two colours are placed next to each other on the figure.
Start mixing the colours to create a smooth blend.
When you are done, you should have a gradual change in colour without any abrupt transitions. When wet blending you should always use some kind of extender or retarder to make the paint dry slower. Without those, wet blending is almost impossible.
I’ll start by making this even more confusing: You can use layering without using blending. using layers of lighter and lighter colours (layering), but the transitions are quite abrupt (so it’s not blending). To avoid the ugly sharp transitions you need to use thin paint. So thin that when you apply a layer of paint, it shouldn’t be possible to see where the old colour ends and the new begins.
The sketches illustrate the layering process:
The first layer of dilluted paint is applied.
And another layer….
Several layers later. In the sketches the transitions are visible. I just did that to illustrate the technique. The result of the process should look like this:
A really important aspect of this technique is the amount of paint on the brush. When working with thinned paints, there should be very little paint on the brush. If you load the brush with lots of paint, you wont be able to control the flow and you wont be able to create a good blend.
Now this is all great and well but it does take time; as a beginner I’m doing about 3 hours over a 28mm figurine cloak all in all. You can learn a few shortcuts which will make you life easier, but it’s better to find out for yourself after you’ve mastered the original technique. Here is some inspiration below.
To keep yourself up to date with what’s coming out as literature and magazines for the hobby, I suggest to have a regular look at The Modelling News which is tracking this information.
An interesting discussion topic is how much is your painting worth ? If you do commission painting or simply spend your freetime painting: how should you quantify/qualify and put a price-tag on your work. Lukes Aps launched an interesting discussion on his Youtube channel.