New goals for the new year

I have a few big goals to improve my painting this year.

1.) MOAR CONTRAST! That seems to be what I hear most when I ask for feedback on the PP forums. I seem to be comfortable taking my highlights all the way up to just a shade under white, but I also need to find a way to incorporate really deep shadows. I think it’s the strong contrast that makes minis really “pop” off the table, and I have been lacking that severely.

2.) BETTER BASES! On the PP forums, I am in awe of Arithon1’s basing techniques. He seems to just throw a ton of random junk into a blob of putty and make it look absolutely incredible. He incorporates colors unlike anything I’ve ever seen on a base. I don’t want to copy his style, but I’m going to keep referring to his models for inspiration.

3.) NMM! I still can’t get my head around this. I think my blending is OK, but I can’t quite visualize exactly WHERE the shadows and highlights need to go. I’ll probably spend some time looking at reference material before I attempt any sort of NMM.

Well, I think I’ve started working toward improving the first two goals. I have recently finished these two dudes:

“Classic” Dire Troll Mauler in Black and White

Dire Troll Mauler on CMON

I worked really hard to incorporate more contrast into these guys. Essentially, I just carefully painted a deep shadow color (Ogryn Flesh on the Slag, Badab Black on the Mauler) in between each successive highlight. So, for the Troll, I basecoated black, then did my first round of highlights with 2:1 Chaos Black:Dead White, then went back and did a controlled wash of black in the recesses. Then I did a highlight of 1:1 Chaos Black: Dead White, followed by a black wash, and so on. This kept the darks dark, and the lights kept getting lighter. Worked out well, I think!

For the bases, I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of tiny, oddly shaped nuts and bolts. I also used bits and pieces from torn up Mini DV tapes and a broken camcorder.

I’m currently working on eDoomshaper, which is my first Hordes warlock. I’m trying to make him look as good as I possibly can. I also spent a lot of time hunting for cool items to put on his base. I’m using a plumber’s epoxy putty (that smells like death, but sets rock hard in 3 minutes) to sculpt the base. I also have him on a twig that looks like a log. I like it.



Dirty Swans

I am painting up a unit of Sword Knights for a dude at my LGS. He helped me learn the ins and outs of the game (and gave a Journeyman warcaster to my fiance!), so I want to make sure the models look as good as possible (even though it pains me to paint these evil, treaty-breaking Cygnarans). Here are the first three:


Hopefully their buddies will join them soon.



In my original post, I was a little discouraged because my Khador Juggernaut was not doing well on CMON. He has since started to improve a bit as more votes came in. I’m happy with how he looks, the quality of work I put into him, and the fun I had while paint — so I guess that’s all I can ask for. I tried a few new things and I’m looking forward to improving these techniques in the future.

I am still planning to make a video tutorial/demo on airbrushing minis. I realize the YouTube community will be 10x harsher than CMON, so I need to develop some thick skin quickly.



Finally finished my Troll Runebearer. I’m not terribly thrilled with him. He’s sucking bigtime on CMON, and I can see why. His tartan is terrible, his skin isn’t blended well, I was too scared to try OSL on the tablets, the leather is sloppy, and I think his nails would look much better dark blue. Also, I slopped blue paint all over the tablet on the back near the top of his left arm.

I think my progress has started to stagnate. I’m not really seeing the improvement that I’d like to see with each successive model.

I decided to take a little break from Hordes for a few models. Maybe I need to try something different for a while. Last night, I started a Khador Juggernaut. I was really happy with the progress I made after a couple hours. I think maybe I just need to get away from Trolls and then approach them with fresh eyes in a week or two.

It’ll be a little overwhelming when I do finally return to my Trollbloods army. I’ve got LOTS of models to clean, assemble and paint. In the future, look for a Dire Troll Blitzer, Dire Troll Bomber, Slag Troll, a unit of Champions, a unit of Scouts, a unit of Long Riders, Jarl Skuld, Gunnbjorn, Janissa Stonetide, a Fell Caller, a Stone Scribe Chronicler, two Impalers, and an Axer. Oh my.

That’s how I troll

Continuing with my Trollbloods, here is a Dire Troll Mauler:


Overall, I think he turned out much better than I had hoped for. I’m happy to start seeing a little bit of improvement with my work. It keeps me motivated to keep trying.

I’m straying from the studio scheme, but I’ve got a plan to keep everything consistent. I like that there are multiple races of trolls, so I want to represent that visually. Dire trolls will be this Olive Green scheme, Trollkin will be electric blue, pygmies will be a variety of bright colors, and I’d also like to make the warlocks look distinct somehow, too. Maybe white and pink, but I’m not sure yet.

I picked up Jarl Skuld last week, so he may be my next mini. But who knows.

More Trolls

I finished my Swamp Troll yesterday! I think his paintjob turned out quite nice. His basing didn’t turn out 100% like I’d planned, but it actually looks a little better in person (the angles I have here aren’t so flattering).

I’ve got a few things I’m considering starting right now. One is the Dire Troll Mauler, but that will require a lot of Green Stuff, and I’m still intimidated by that. Also, I may work on either of my Troll Impalers or my Axer. Or maybe something from a different faction entirely — who knows?

I also have found myself with a spare Cryx Slayer. I am thinking about painting him up as best I can with the purpose of putting him on eBay. I wouldn’t expect to make much — hopefully at least recoup what I paid for him — but it would be neat to think someone liked him enough to pay for him. But I’m not so sure I’m anywhere near that level yet, so I’ll probably wait another couple months before setting my ego up for failure like that.