Donnerstag, 31. März 2011

Airbrush and music

I have spent the last two days with my new airbrush and after some hours of testing I have to admit that I LOVE IT. While Vallejo Model Color didn't work that fine, Vallejo Air just seem to be perfect (quite obvious, as it is a color done for airbrush ;) ). I have always been very critical towards miniatures painted with airbrush, and I was wrong. It isn't that easy to apply a blending onto a surface, you need to practice and practice and practice and.....
On the other hand, you can save many hours you needed for applying a basic color transition from light to shadow. Now I do the rough work with the airbrush and the really fun things like adding texture or changing nuances with the brush. Can't wait to learn.....
I am painting a Pegaso-base at the moment, I will show you some progress soon.

While driving home from work today, I suddenly thought of this song. I listened to it all afternoon as it motivates me. My neighbours must go crazy....


Montag, 28. März 2011

Just a quick reminder

Only 32 days to go until the "Duke of Bavaria" in Ingolstadt takes place, time to give you a little update on the event. Here is a list of free painting-, sculpting or basing-workshops:

09.30 - 11.00: Raffaele Picca (creating bases)
11.15 - 12.45:  Benedikt Wiedmann (painting flat-figures)
13.00 - 14.45: Stefan Niehues (sculpting figures)
15.00 - 16.45: Micheal Vollquartz (painting figures)

10.00 - 11.45: Konrad Schulte (creating bases - vegetation)
12.30. - 13.45: Karsten Pöpping (painting figures)

And this is the list of all retailers selling their products:

Scorpio Models; Hecker und Goros; Fredericus Rex; Pegaso Models; Thorsberg Miniatures; Jupiter Miniaturen; Modellbau v. Wingert; Konetzke Miniaturen; Offizin Honovere; Zinnfiguren Peter Evers; Miniatures Berlin; Der bunte Rock; Schilderdesign Rohmer; Kellerkind Miniaturen; Müritz Miniaturen; Monument; Masquerade Miniatures; Norsemen Miniatures; Schilling Zinnfiguren; Krannich Zinnfiguren; Chris Figurenshop; Heinrich Toonen - Zinnfiguren; PD-Models Dino; Tabletop Art; Jester Miniaturen 


Dienstag, 22. März 2011


I just took a closer look at my wallet, breathed heavily and sent away my order. I can't wait to test my new toy. This is it:

Evolution 2 in 1 Silverline


Montag, 21. März 2011

Gold NMM recipe

I received some requests to post my recipe for gold NMM, so here we go. This will not be a step-by-step article because you can find tons of them on the internet. Instead I will describe which colours I use and how I apply them. Mind that my NMM style is usually not declared realistic, but rather kitsch and comic-style. If that is just what you are looking for, you might want to go on reading…
As I mentioned in the article about the correct basecoat, I try to start with a middle tone, what allows me to work towards the lights AND towards the shadows. Gold-NMM looks realistic, when you utilize large parts of the range of colours instead of just painting a transition from yellow to brown with two colours.

Light 4: Light 3 + Skull White (1:1)
Light 3: Light 2 + Skull White (3:1)
Light 2: Snakebite Leather + Golden Yellow (1:1)
Light 1: Snakebite Leather + Golden Yellow (3:1)
Middle tone: Snakebite Leather
Shadow 1: Snakebite Leather + Chaos Black (5:1) (dirty, greenish colour)
Shadow 2: Snakebite Leather + Chaos Black (3:1) (very dirty)

This is basically the colour recipe I always use as a base for Gold NMM. Depending on the mood a miniature is ment to transmit, I use different washes to alter the overall impression. Note, that there are only 2 different colour mixtures for the shades, but 4 to 5 mixtures for the lights. If you reduce the mixtures for the light you will proceed way faster but the result won’t be that convincing because your NMM will lack different nuances.

For the washes you can use any colour you like, most often I take purple to make the Gold a bit warmer. The opposite is possible as well….


Samstag, 19. März 2011

Theories of painting - Light and shadow

Historical background
Painting light was immaterial in the world of fantasy miniature painting for many years. When painters of historical miniatures got into fantasy figures, this technique started to spread like wildfire. For this reason, painting light is erroneously meant to be a modern technique. To find its origins, you have to eye classic paintings on canvas, like the ones of Rembrandt. So painting light is not a modern trend, but rather a rediscovery of a classic technique and its utilization on a new medium. This article will describe different sorts of light and show how one can easily paint light on a miniature without any prior knowledge.

Different sorts of light
Diffuse light
Regardless of whether one has the intention to paint a directed source of light, there is always more or less ambient light around a miniature. Due to this light, raised parts of a miniature are always painted brighter, while deepened areas are painted rather dark. This variance of light and shadow creates natural contrast and makes a miniature look realistic. Diffuse light is most often used unconsciously by lightening edgy parts of miniatures and shading immersions. A classic example for the perfected usage of diffuse light is the ‘Eavy Metal Team (Games Workshop).

Zenithal light
In contrast du diffuse light, zenithal light always has a certain, desired intention on a miniature and is used well-controlled. In most cases one will try to imitate natural light that is created by the sun, which hits the miniature from above. The exact direction of the light source is prescribed by the position of the miniature’s face and position of the torso. When a miniature looks to the right side, or when the body is turned to the right, the position of the light source is relocated, until it hits the most important part of the figure in an angle of 90 degrees. This will be the place with the highest light intensity, in most cases these parts are the shoulders, the face and parts of the torso. Depending on the position of other body parts, it might also be arms or legs. A purposeful use of light can control the eye of the beholder, as lighter parts always seem to be more interesting than dark areas. Being aware of this fact empowers a painter to control the viewing direction of the beholder, what can become quite a strong power. As this technique takes some effort, you find it most often on miniatures that are painted for contests, rather than on gaming miniatures.
When you have decided to paint a miniature by using zenithal lighting, you will soon start asking if there are any rules you have to obey. In fact, there are three of them…

Global colour gradient
When you look at a miniature as a whole, single details become secondary and can be disregarded. What remains is one of the most important rules for zenithal light: the upper part of the figure is lighter than the lower part. The face and the torso are in the majority of the cases the most interesting part the most interesting part of a miniature, so they must be lightened stronger than the remaining parts. Global colour gradient means to mentally reduce a miniature to a cylindrical geometric form and to apply a colour gradient from light (upper part) to dark (lower part).

Geometrical colour gradient
In order to paint geometrical colour gradients, you have to look more exactly at a figure. You still must reduce it to geometrical forms, so arms, legs and the torso are cylinders while the head is a ball. Rarely you will also have square or rectangular forms on a human miniature. Each part on its own now gets a colour gradient, while you still have to think about the global rule of light and darkness.

Detailed colour gradient
So what about the details? The third step you have to think about is the detailed colour gradient. This will be the most time-consuming task, even so it will have the smallest effect on the overall impression of the figure. Even the most tiny part now needs a colour gradient on its own, without forgetting the global and geometrical theory. When you do this properly, your miniature will “come to life”.

Theory and practice
Understanding these theories does not automatically mean that you know where lights and shadows have to be placed on a certain miniature. To ease the use of this technique, you can prime your figure in two layers of different colours. After priming the miniature with black colour, you use white spray coat to simulate the light. You should mind that a distance of less than 30 cm will cover the mini rather than apply a thin and transparent layer of colour. The white colour will only reach parts where you have light, will the darker areas show you shadows. With some practice, you won’t need this technique forever, as you learn to “read” the lights on a miniature by just taking a closer look.


Donnerstag, 17. März 2011

Kaptin Badrukk

As I needed a motivational boost to finally finish the Space Marine, I got into my car and went to the local GW store. I haven't been there for ages and instantly noticed that the prices for tin and paint are exorbitant. Nevertheless, I turned the store upside down and managed to find a nice "little" miniature, Kaptin Badrukk. I think this is the first Ork I have ever purchased and I can't wait to start painting, but first I HAVE to finish the Marine.

As I took a closer look at the mini, I thought it might be helpful to write a short review for people who think about buying this guy.

Unfortunately, the base hides most parts of the mini - for a reason...?
 I was quite sceptical when I first saw the blister, because the 40mm base hides most parts of the mini. as I have had quite unpleasant surprises with minis packed this way, I expected the worst. All the more surprising was the exeptionless high quality of the cast. The body and the gigantic weapon come in one heavy piece and show great sculpting skills. The sheer amount of details is mind-blowing and will take me about a gazillion years to paint.

There are hardly any mold lines or bubbles visible, some layers of thinned Miliput should do a good job. The face, sword and banner pole come as separate parts and show a level of detail that I am only used from forgeworld casts.

Last but not least, a music video I came upon today. Amazing performance by a man who loves what he does.


Freitag, 11. März 2011

Space Marine update # 7

I finished the soulder pad yesterday at night, took me ages because I could not blend towards an edge but right to the middle of the curved surface. Let's go on with the backpack....


Donnerstag, 10. März 2011

Black or White?

Some years ago I wrote an article for the German White Dwarf about the importance of the correct primer. I have always used the GW primer, mainly because all other products I tested were a major disappointment. The article was not ment to discuss the advantages of different manufacturers, but the more important question of the right color.
Today I would like to summarize what I wrote at that time, without trying to convince anybody of anything. Let's start with a picture....

Both Marine shoulder pads were painted with two or three thin layers of Regal Blue. Far more imporant than the obvious difference is the further advance of painting. My technique of using very thin layers of paint to create soft blendings works very quickly when I want to create shadows, but takes "years" to lighten up certain areas on a miniature. It is quite obvious that the left shoulder pad would drive me mad and take hours, concerning this fact. The right shoulder pad, in contrast, is already painted in the lightest tone and mainly needs shading and a bit of softing out the blendings in the light area. This way, I can save a lot of time only by taking a white primer.


Space Marine update # 6

I painted about 3 hours today and finally attached the left arm to the marine. I couldn't wait to see if the miniature gets more balanced with both arms visible. The fingers still need a bit more weathering, maybe I can finish this miniature this evening.

I am still not sure about some sort of pattern for the loincloth, mostly because I am afraid to ruin it. By the way, thanks a lot to the monkey brothers for their boost of motivation. ;)


Mittwoch, 9. März 2011

Painting again

As I came through some hard weeks at work, I could neither care for miniatures, nore for this blog. The amount of visitors here went down really badly, nevertheless I couldn't do anything against it. I have one week of holidays at the moment, this means  a lot of relaxing time for myself. After two hard days of Anno 1404 (with the result of a vibrant metropole :) ), I found a bit of motivation for my beloved hobby of miniature painting. The Marine is starting to get a pain in the ass, mainly because of the repeating colours. My goal is to finish the left arm this week, that would leave only the backpack for the next weeks.

Furthermore I am seriously thinking about buying an airbrush station to do all the basecoating and zenital lights for me. That would leave more time for the really enjoyable things such as setting certain nuances into the right places etc. We will see......