Monday, December 19, 2011

Dragon Bust - Maybe, Maybe Not....

At this point I've come in with the start of some blended blue shading to help tie the colours on the model together. I'm not entirely sold on it but as there's a LOT of highlighting and shading still to do I'm not going to panic.


I've done a few layers in the mouth with a heavy wash just to help me identify the pits in the surface. The interior of his mouth is heavily textured and I didn't want to be hunting for the details.

Unfortunately you can see a big blob of flesh paint on his lip that I totally missed. But, again, I'm not going to panic.


I just need to focus on the aspects of the work I still like and continue to build on that.

And I can always panic later.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dragon Bust - Base Colours

I made some time today to airbrush the base colours. This photo doesn't capture it well but the blue goes from almost white to almost black to create a sharp visual contrast and give the impression of gloss.

I then taped up the blue neck scales to protect them.

Using my inspiration photos as a guide I went for a deep brown on the scales.

Strong contrast on the face will help draw the eye to the important part of the model and away from the display plinth.

You can see in this pic how the scales fade slowly to black at the base of the neck to help draw the eye forward to the face. I will add additional contrast by hand in the next steps.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dragon Bust - Inspiration

A few weeks back I picked up a 24" vinyl AD&D dragon kit at a local swap meet. There was nothing I couldn't love about a giant dragon kit... until I tried to put it together. The quality of vinyl kits is more miss than hit and this one was no exception.

And so I cut off its head. Er, cut it shorter.

I also cut off roughly half of the neck and sanded it flat. The head also has a coat of DAP sandable primer on it and isn't mounted to the plinth yet. The plinth is one of my 2" resin cubes with 6 coats of black, 1 coat satin and 3 layers of gloss with a bit of sanding between applications. It's shiny. And black.

But a project is only as good as the inspiration - and I found the perfect images in the form of a spiny blue lizard!

And if there's a better inspiration photo for reptile eyes then I don't want to know about it!

Stay tuned....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chaos Marauder Champion - WIP

This week I spent about 5 hours working on the exterior of the shield. The base colouring and shading is finished but I still need to get in for highlighting and weathering. I'm not sure at this point what else I'll do with the Chaos symbol.

I also mounted the model to the base. It's a bit early in the process for this... but I just couldn't stop myself. I'm a lot more inspired to work on the model when I see him on the base. At least that's my excuse.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chaos Marauder Champion - WIP

This is the Chaos Marauder Champion from Avatars of War. I've always liked the model and finally took the time to paint one after having it on the shelf for at least a year.

I still have a lot to do before it's finished -- but I'm very, very happy with how the leather turned out. There's good contrast and little of the chalking I usually get when I try to do blending like that.

The base was built on top of one of the 30mm display eggs from Secret Weapon -- but used inverted for the larger surface area and a more interesting look.

There is real glass in the window and on the ground -- along with plaster cast and blocks and bricks. The wood is a basswood strip that was weathered with pigments. The cinders are a bright pink paint.

Malifaux: Mortimer

This is a Malifaux: Mortimer model I painted with Mathieu Fontaine while he was in Sacramento. There is still some chalking along the back of his coat but my blending has improved a lot with this model and I'm reasonably happy with the results.

He is standing on one of the round lip 'Bone Fields' bases from Secret Weapon -- and one of the 30mm egg display plinths, also from Secret Weapon.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weathered Sentinel - First Weathering

Given how often I paint over-weathered Sentinels for my workshops it's nice to be scaling things back for this one. This is my take on heavy weathering on a model that isn't a rusted, abandoned hulk.

I still need to do the legs but doing just these small sections took about 1.5 hours today as I'm working slowly and carefully. That's a big difference when compared to the 4 hour workshop model that goes from primer to display cabinet at the shop! At this point I probably have another 1.5 hours of hairspray chipping to do on the legs before I move on.

The bottom photo shows the complete composition, without the plinth, including a ladder I built and a close-up of the drilled out suppressor on the autocannon. Good times.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Upcoming Workshop: Seattle, WA

I will be doing one of my half day vehicle weathering workshops at Seattle Wargaming on Saturday, 16-July from 11 AM - 4 PM.

You can get information on the event, and sign up, on their Facebook page:

I look forward to meeting the hobby dorks of Seattle.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Finished Model: Workshop Sentinel

This sentinel was painted from primer to finish in just over three hours for one of my Masterclass Vehicle Weathering Workshop events in Sacramento, CA. It is weathered very heavily so that the techniques could be clearly demonstrated but of course you could easily tone it down.

Now that I've had a chance to take photos it will go back to Great Escape Games and live in their display case.

My thanks to everyone that came out!

EDIT: Here are some close-up shots of the weathering.

1: shows the weathered decal and the small amount of accumulated dirt in the door and on some details.

2: Variations in rust vs. primer in the undercoat.

3: Salt chipping on the autocannon.

4: Heavy pitted rust on the back of the exhaust and engine.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weathered Interior - Sentinel

Most tanks have an white or off-white gloss interior to help make it easier to see in the close confines of the cabin. For my open door Sentinel I decided to add a slightly greenish tint to the white to give it a more aged look.

I started by giving the interior a solid coat of Vallejo "Hull Red." I followed this with a thick layer of hairspray and a light dusting of extra fine sea salt. After hitting the salt and hairspray with the blow dryer for a bit to ensure it was dry I used Vallejo "US Light Grey" and Vallejo "Green Grey" and hit it with the blow dryer again.

After using a soft brush to pick off the salt I came back with a stiff brush and hit the doors and starboard interior for some heavier weathering as these are the areas that will be visible through the open door.

I still need to pick out some additional detailing but you can see how it's going to come together now. The image on the right shows the area most visible through the open doors.

From Workshop Model to Diorama

The GW Leman Russ in the pic above was painted over four hours for one of my Masterclass Vehicle Weathering Workshops. Unfortunately because tanks are larger models I never have enough time to demonstrate masking and decals - and so I'm switching to a smaller model.

I'm hoping that the GW Sentinel will be the perfect workshop model. It's still a GW model, which will interest more of my audience, and it's small enough that I should be able to paint it and still have time to demonstrate masking and decals.

I would like to place it on a mud and water scene but it would take too long to dry - and so I'm going to try using one of the 95x120mm Steel Plating bases from Secret Weapon. This will let me demonstrate environmental weathering on the tarp and leaves plenty of room for rust which ties with mud for the most requested effect to demo.

However putting this first workshop Sentinel model together set my mind on creating scenes - specifically a Sentinel in dock and waiting for maintenance. The base sets the scene almost perfectly, with the tarp, tools and cable, but I wanted to up the game a bit. And so...

I decided to open the door! This is a second model and I'm holding the cockpit together at this point. I will paint the cockpit in pieces and then tape off all of the openings before I glue it together. This will protect the interior while I'm painting the model during the workshop. When the workshop is over I'll add a utility ladder to the scene and, with just four hours of painting, have a display ready model for my case.

This also lays the groundwork for me to come back and talk about setting scenes and what to consider when you're trying to display a model.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Scenic Base for Warhammer Steam Tank

In 2009 I started painting an Empire Steam Tank from Games Workshop. I loved the model and I loved the idea. I was also surprised that every single Warhammer Fantasy vehicle model I've seen has been reasonably clean and unweathered... and so I decided to change that.

Fast forward to 2011 and I never finished the tank. In fact I just pulled off the side panels and stripped them so I could redo the body.

But today I decided to knock out a scenic display base for the model and I'm happy with how it's starting to come together. I'm going to add plenty of mud and then another layer of leaf litter before I'm finished.

The frame is basswood and the base is celluclay and wood filler over foam. The goal is to create a muddy, fall scene in the midst of a protracted battle.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


My old Warhammer 40k content has been moved to a new archive on

I am revamping to focus on weathering techniques, airbrushing and my workshops.

Stay tuned....