All posts tagged: tips

Watch This Making Scratch Built Rivets

Watch This: Making Scratch Built Rivets

For anyone scratch building a tank, or even modifying a section of 40k scenery, rivets are a common way to add interest to an otherwise plain sheet of plastic. But making hundreds of rivets can be a pain. This is why I like the TinkerTerrain’s tutorial on making scratch built rivets. In his video, he shows how he made nice looking rivets with a mechanical pencil and a candle. The video is only 5 minutes long, and he does an excellent job of showing each of the steps. For those who like to read on the go or want a quick cheat sheet, see my notes on the video after the jump. Scratch Built Rivets with TinkerTerrain Steps to Making Rivets Preparation Grab a 0.9mm mechanical pencil and remove the eraser May need to drill out the end cap as well Insert 0.88mm rod from Evergreen or Plastruct Light a candle (note here on fire safety and breathing fumes of melting plastic!) Have a hobby knife on hand Making the Rivet Two clicks of the pencil will push enough plastic through …

Tips to improve your painting skills

How to Improve Your Hobby Painting Skills

In part two of Improve Your Hobby Skills series, I want to share some ways to improve your hobby painting skills. I’ve broken this huge topic down into eight areas that can improve the way you paint. As painting is a huge aspect of our hobby, this is going to be a rather long article, but don’t forget you can download the article as a PDF, including part 1: building skills. Painting ability is where a lot of us focus when we think of what we need to improve. Understandable since there are so many aspects of painting to learn, so many incredible artists out there, and we spend so much time on it compared to the build. But just as with the build suggestions, I recommend you focus on one idea at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Also, let your painting style build upon itself, don’t pressure yourself to be the next Blanche, ‘Eavy Metal, or name-your-favorite-artist. Get comfortable with what you can do already, and progress from there. 1. Prime Your …

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 understand the frustration of trying to figure out what to work on. Or comprehend all these terms thrown about by veteran hobbyists. This is why I put together this list of ways to improve your hobby skills. I’ve created the series From Beginner to Happy to get you to the point of being happy with your hobby skills. While this won’t be an exhaustive guide to all the hobby basics, I made an overview of topics you can work on to bring your models from 3-color minimum, so something you are happy to …

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 …

Liquitex Acrylic Paint Retarder

Cool Tools: Acrylic Paint Retarder

Following up on the importance of thinning your paints with airbrush medium, how do you keep the paints wet long enough to work on a large project? I was struggling with this on a hot summer day a few years back and posed that same question to my readers. The two solutions that were provided was a wet pallet and paint retarder. Today I use both options, the wet pallet if I’m painting at the desk or doing blending and the paint retarder when using a standard pallet on the couch. You add a drop or two to your mix and it significant increases the drying time of the paint. This keeps the paint on the pallet usable for longer stints without having to rewet the paint. I have also used it to help with wet blending – though admittedly I am still working on this skill. Since the drying time is increased, you have more time to add the additional colors and work them together. A bottle of the Liquitex brand is only $10 on Amazon …

Cool Tools Brush Soap to Restore Paint Brushes

Cool Tools: Brush Soap

I abuse my brushes. Yes, I admit it, I am a brush abuser. But fortunately, there is brush soap to save the day. There are many ways in which I abuse my brush. From using too small of a brush to accomplish my painting to letting the paint dry on the bristles. Not only does using a detail brush slow my progress,  using it to cram color into areas would be easier with a larger brush. With two little ones running around the house, it has been on more than one occasion that I didn’t fully clean the brush before chasing after them. 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 Masters Brush Cleaner The most common brand of brush soap is The Masters Brush Cleaner which comes in a little plastic container. Inside is filled with a particular type of soap. The small 2.5oz container is only $5 on Amazon and will last forever. …

Acrylic Flow Aid

Cool Tools: Flow Aid Medium for Custom Washes

I love using washes. Nearly every army I paint involves a black 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 of 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 transparent medium similar to GW’s Lahmian Medium except it has some extra 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 things rather than flowing freely. When using a wash, the surface tension of the acrylic paint – along with its thickness – keeps it in a little droplet of pooled paint. Releasing the surface tension will allow it to release and flow about – what you are usually looking for in …

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 …