All posts tagged: tips

How to improve your hobby build skills

How to Improve Your Hobby Building Skills

In a rush of excitement, you rip open your brand new model kit. While thrown back at first by the sheer number of tiny pieces, you smash it all together with glue, slap paint everywhere you can, and plunk it on the table top. But at some point, you realize that you are unhappy with how it looks, especially compared to your buddies models… If you are new getting into the hobby, or a long timer gamer wanting to improve the look of your army, then you know it can be frustrating to know what to work on, or what are all these terms thrown about by veteran painters. This is why I put together this list of ways to improve your hobby skills. I’ve been working creating a series of posts around From Beginner to Happy, in that I want everyone to get to the point of being happy with their hobby skills. Looking for pro tips to win awards? Then check out these other painters instead. While this won’t be an exhaustive guide …

How to Paint Black Armor and Clothing

Guide to Painting Black – How to Paint Black Cloth and Armor

I’ve received the question on how to paint black a number of times so a few weeks back I put the question to the greater community and have compiled this guide to painting black armor and clothing. I broke this guide down into a few different sections: background/color theory of black, general tips on painting black, three different methods to paint black, and further reading with tutorials by other bloggers. Want this as a PDF? I took the extra time on this post to create an eBook for you to download and take with you. Check out the form at the bottom of the post to grab it. So let’s jump in! What is Black and Why is it Hard? What makes black such a hard color to paint? Painters suffer from the opposite problem as painting white: it is hard to shade black. Reds, blues, yellows, they can all be shaded and highlighted. You can change the tone or saturation by mixing in other colors. Black, well is black. So while you can’t shade …

Watch This Brush Control with Kujo Painting

Watch This: Brush Control – Tips on Holding Your Brush

If you find it hard to get your paintbrush to go exactly where you wanted it to go, you aren’t alone. In this Watch This, Kujo Painting shares tips on holding your paintbrush to get fine detailed brush control. If you can ignore the cheesy music interruptions, Kujo’s tips are really handy and stabilizing your hands and putting the bush to work. Let’s watch: My Notes For quick reference, or for those who like words, I put his ideas into my notes below. The point is to be able to get paint exactly where you want it Use the middle finger on your painting hand to rest the brush Index finger and thumb pinch it against your middle finger With your other hand holding the mini (or a cork handle in this case) stick your thumb up high enough to rest your painting hand against Elbows on the table! Place the brush against the model and use your index and thumb to pull the brush backward It should slide against your middle finger Do a …

Painting Black Faces

Painting Dark Skin Tutorial

So as I’ve been painting the Mansions of Madness set lately, I’ve decided to add some diversity to the set. About a third of the humans were painted to look African American (the others were light skin and yellow-brown skin tones). In doing so, I decided to put together a painting dark skin tutorial. I also have a light skin version availible as well. When I started, I looked for some other tutorials and found an interesting one on the CoolMiniOrNot forums where Chrispy looked at different ethnic groups and created a color palette for each. The Thing to notice about the color pallet is there is no black in the skin, and it even gets up to a relatively pale color for the highlights. Even the pallet for the dark skinned Africans in his example are at most Black Brown color and still highlight up to the same pink/brown color. Alternatively, I found an article on Perry Miniatures where he painted up a Sudanese warrior. Instead of going the light brown routes, he highlighted with additions Fortress Grey until …

Watch This Painting Ork Morkanaut Banner

Watch This: Painting Ork Morkanaut

Watch This is a regular series where I find a YouTube video that shows neat tricks or tips for our hobby. From painting, building, or photography, I will be looking for great videos for you to watch and write up a brief summary of the steps used. This week I found Doctor Faust’s painting guide to painting an Ork Morkanaut, in this case in Blood Moons colors. I’ve had both a Stompa and Morkanaut sitting on my shelf for way too long, and I’ve been feeling the need to get them back on my table. Even if you aren’t painting Orks, his video tutorial has some good tips on simple weathering, spraying highlights, painting horns. So Watch This Painting Ork Morkanaut Tutorial: Basic Steps For those who don’t want to watch it all the way through or want to have a quick cheat sheet of his steps, I’ve written them down below. Spray whole model with Hull Red + Armor Brown Spray with three layers of yellow: Ochre Brown, Gold Yellow, VGC Sun Yellow Paint metal areas steel Paint flames …

Cool Tools: Brush Soap

I abuse my brushes. Yes, I admit it, I am a brush abuser. I actually use the detail brush for most of my painting – contributing to my slow progress, but also using it to cram paint into areas a larger brush would have done the job much better. Also with a little one running around the house, it has been on more than one occasion that I have left paint to dry on the brush. Thankfully I found about brush soap a long time ago and has saved me way more than its cost in not having to buy as many new brushes. The most common brand of brush soap is The Masters Brush Cleaner [Amazon] which comes in a little plastic container and inside is a small bar of soap. To use it you wet your brush and pull it across the soap, rolling the bristles as you go. You the rinse it off with another dunk and wet paper towel and repeat until the bristles are nice and clean. The soap not …

Acrylic Flow Aid

Cool Tools: Flow Aid Medium

I love using washes. Nearly every army I paint involves a black and/or brown wash. In the interest of saving a truckload of cash on these bottles of wash I tried making my own using varnishes, soaps, and acrylic medium but they all acted a bit funny – and nothing like the GW washes. In the end I bought a couple bottles of Vallejo washes($8 on Amazon) but I was still trying to experiment so I also grabbed a bottle of flow aid.  Flow Aid medium This is a clear medium similar to GW’s Lahmian Medium except it has some additional magic that breaks the surface tension and allows the paint to flow much easier. Surface tension [Wikipedia] is the physical attribute of liquids to cling to the sides of what they are being held in. When using a wash, the surface tension of the acrylic paint – along with its thickness – is keeps it in a little droplet of pooled paint. Releasing the surface tension will allow it to release and flow about – what you are normally …

Using Trello For Hobby Progress

Using Trello to Organize my Painting Hobby

The Problem So I have noticed over the years that I am a hobby butterfly – much like many of you out there – especially the great Mordian7th 🙂 But as my life is getting busier between work, my son, grad school, and other projects I have been trying to get some organization to my progress. So I want to share how I am using Trello to organize my painting hobby and make sure I keep posts ready for this blog. I’ve tried the excellent painting charts made famous by Mordian and Admiral Drax using Excel and color charts, but it ended up being more work for me to know when something was ‘almost done,’ ‘done,’ and posted to the blog. It apparently works for them, but I needed something a bit simpler and general – as I have multiple projects going at once (as you can see in the picture above!). Using Trello to Organize my Painting Hobby For some of my other projects, I started using a tool called Trello that organizes your tasks into cards that you …

Today’s Tip: Editing with GIMP

Ok so you have a descent camera, a light box, and nice looking models you want to share with world. Now what? Well for me I spend a few minutes to edit each picture before posting it online. My program of choice: This is an open source (and free) version of Photoshop that can do way more than I will ever need but it does the things I do need very well. For this tutorial I will go over cropping and white balance. Cropping There may be ways to take the perfect picture so that you don’t need to crop out the extra white space but I find that if I zoom in to the point the model fills the screen the depth of field is too narrow and much of the model is blurry. Below is a pre-cropped image from my light box from my recently finished terminator squad. This is an easy fix in GIMP: click on the rectangular select tool and drag it so it roughly contains your model. Now there should …

How I paint Iron Warriors, Stage 6: The Base, Step 3: Glue

How I Paint My Iron Warriors: Bringing it All Together

I’ve covered how I paint Iron Warriors in six detailed posts on the specific sections of the model. Below you will find each of the posts in the order that I paint my Iron Warriors. Part 1: The Metals Here is the fist step of every Iron Warrior: the silver/iron armor and gold trim. After priming the model black I them paint an even layer of Mithril Silver overall the metal areas. Shinning Gold and Iyanden Darksun are used to paint the trim. The model is then washed Black then Devlan Mud. Part 2: The Leather The leather areas are based with Vermin Brown then Snakebite Leather and highlighted with Bleached Bone. The areas are then washed with Ogryn Flesh. Part 3: The Bone The bone areas are done next.  Khemri Brown is used as the base coat which is then highlighted with Bleached Bone then Skull White. Gryphonne Sepia is then washed over the bone to age it and redefine the grooves. Part 4: The Daemon Blade Orkshade Green is used as the base for …