Blog Archives

How to: Reaper Hydra with Marsh Base

Here’s how I did the Reaper Hydra with a marsh base!

1. Clean mould lines, boil, dry fit while cooling to reduce gaps.

1 boiled and dry fit so less gaps when cooled

2. Prime black

2 primed black

3. Paint the scales on his back VGC Jade Green, highlight with mix of Jade Green and RMS Linen White.

3 back scales VGC Jade Green and RMS Linen White

4. Wash back scales with Army Painter Blue Tone ink. In this picture the left has not been washed yet.

4 wash army painter blue tone ink

5. Paint the rest of the hydra VGC Falcon Turquoise.

5 vgc falcon turquoise

6. Wash with GW Nightshade.

6 wash nightshade

7. Next it was time for the faces – which there are a ton of!

7 mouths

8. Build the bases.

8 build bases

9. Paint the bases when they are dry.

9 paint bases10 paint bases11 paint bases12 wash bases camoshade13 drybrush fow camo shade

10. Add stumps to bases.

16 add stumps

11. Finish the faces and assemble the Hydras!


12. Paint stumps.

17 paint stumps

13. Add grass.

18 add grass


14. Add water effects mixed with Flames of War Camo Dark Green paint, also mix in GF9 Marsh blend flock to “gunk” it up.

19 add water effects gf9 march blend attach to base

15. Pin back feet, attach to base.

final base2014-03-29 18.31.44

WIP: Reaper Pathfinder Red Dragon

The bulk of the work on this figure was done with my airbrush. I used Reaper Dark Elf Shadow as a base color, then highlighted with RMS Dark Elf Highlight. I used VMA Black for the deepest shadows. Then I used VMC Dark Prussian Blue (a fabulously beautiful color!) to begin the blue areas on the wings, frills, and body. After that, the blue areas were taken up to RMS Surf Aqua. Then, for the final lights on those areas, I used VMA White and then RMS Surf Aqua again. Putting the white first allows the Surf Aqua to be brighter. The transparent nature of these paints means that even if a bright color is used, if it has a dark base it will not appear bright. Putting that white “barrier” in between the dark and the aqua helps that.

15 start over this point all airbrush

16 same as last

17 same as last

The airbrush really made quick work of it to this point, but now it was time for the detail-work.

The plan was to make the scales, especially the chest, appear iridescent. To that end, the next colors used were a bright green and a violet-red.

18 start of irridescent effect

19 same as last

After that it was the horns. I base-coated them with RMS Weathered Stone.

20 start horns weathered stone

After that, I washed them with Army Painter Dark Tone Ink, and then highlighted them back up with RMS Weathered Stone.

About this point in the painting, the owner of this dragon asked me to add a washer in the base so that it magnetic counters used in D&D would stick to it, so I dug a hole in the cork to place it so that the surface of the base could remain flat.

21 washer for magnetic counter

Next, I covered the washer with Vallejo Red Oxide Paste.

22 cover washer

After that dried, I began painting over it to blend that area back into the base, and I decided the eyes should be a bright orangey-yellow instead of bright blue.

23 eyes and start covering washer

And here he is finished:

100_1744cropped1000pix 100_1745cropped1000

This dragon was a ton of fun to paint. I really enjoyed the colors. However, the Bones plastic was such a pain! Mould lines would just appear out of nowhere! I will probably paint a couple more of these dragons this year.

WIP: Reaper Aina Female Valkyrie

This is another model I washed with GW Camoshade to start, just like Devona Female Mage. The green “underpainting” didn’t seem to accomplish much on this model, but I bet if it had been done in white/grey/black it would have been far more effective. You can see in this picture how the skirt looked after one color was applied.



I decided she needed flaming red hair, and I highlighted the skirt using super-thin layers of paint (about 6 parts water to 1 part paint). This allowed me to go straight to using my highlight color instead of mixing several intermediary colors, and still make smooth color transitions.




Next, I base-coated the metal VMA Aluminum.




Next, the areas that were to be gold or bronze were washed repeatedly with GW Seraphim Sepia.



I then washed all the silver with a thinned-down RMS Blue Liner, painted a design on the shield with RMS Blue Liner, and then glazed the design with a very thin VMA Aluminum. Next, the design was lined with the RMS Blue Liner.


Next, since I wanted the belt to be an aged bronze to break up all the gold, I washed it with a thinned-down RMS Blue Liner.



After that there was a little more detail work, and here is where she stands now:







Soon I will finish up a few more details, build her a base, and varnish her, then she will be for sale!

WIP: Reaper Devona Female Mage

Just a quick update on Reaper Devona. I did a lot more work on her, and I got her to a point where I thought she was finished except for a base…





And it was nice, but something just wasn’t quite right. Then, I decided to make her crystal the same color as her eyes.



At this point I think a light glaze of a bright turquoise on the crystal and a base is all she needs!

WIP: Devona Female Mage and Verdaccio Underpainting

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about a technique called underpainting, specifically about verdaccio underpainting. Underpainting is something that many classical oil painters such as Da Vinci and Vermeer did. Verdaccio underpainting is done in a soft greenish-brown often made from white, black, and yellow. In essence, you paint the mini in this color with all the proper highlights and shadows in as much detail as you like. From what I’ve read, this technique has several purposes. It can allow you to view your composition in monochrome, and this lets you accurately view the composition and all its lights and darks and how they relate. This can allow you to make adjustments to lights, shadows, etc. as needed, and making these adjustments in a monochrome palette is much simpler than when you have painted in many colors. The second purpose is to give more depth and realism to the colors of your miniature. The green represents the darker tissues beneath the surface, essentially. With the transparent nature of acrylic paints, we are essentially glazing over our previous layers. At the very least, I can easily imagine this underpainting will have a significant impact on reds and skin tones. Other colors it may be more subtle, but I won’t know until I try it.

Some excellent information can be found here:

This technique is something I’ve wanted to try out ever since I first read about it on the Reaper forums (sadly I cannot find the thread now! I accidentally found it in the first place Google-ing something else anyways).

Reaper Devona, Female Mage is my first victim *ahem* attempt. Since it’s my first time, and I’m really just trying first of all to see the effect this has on the final colors, I decided to just wash the model with GW Camoshade instead of getting too involved in the verdaccio. If I like the basics of the effect, I will go further with it on another model.

Here she is bare bones plastic. The mould lines weren’t too bad. I boiled her for good measure, which hardened up the bones plastic significantly.

1 bare

I do like bones plastic over all, but the tiny filigree stuff on some of the models may as well not bother existing.

Camoshade wash:

2 underpainting wash

3 underpainting wash

First color is RMS Clotted Red (first shade color), and it’s immediately apparent the wash made a huge impact:

4 first color rms clotted red

5 first color rms clotted red

Honestly, depending on what level of painting you’re going for, this is already pretty well shaded. A highlight of a bright red of some sort and the skirt could easily be called done with the Clotted Red as the mid-tone instead of a shade and it would be a very nice tabletop level. I’m not going to call it done at that, though.

Next step for me was to deepen the darkest shadows with a mix of RMS Clotted Red, RMS Military Green, and a hint of black.

6 first shade clotted red military green small pure black

The difference after the shade is small, but it’s there, and I think it’s enough. At this point there are three shade colors – the mix of red/green/black, the red/camoshade, and the clotted red. Next is my mid-tone: a mix of RMS Clotted Red and VMC Carmine Red.

7 first highlight vmc carmine red rms clotted red

First highlight of  VMC Carmine Red

8 second highlight vmc carmine red

Second highlight of VMC Carmine Red and RMS Linen White

9 third highlight vmc carmine red rms linen white

Third highlight same as before, but with a little more Linen White

10 fourth highlight vmc carmine red more rms linen white

Next I began the skin (the purple on the tunic isn’t staying, I had quite a time picking the right colors on this model). RMS Rosy skin over the camoshade, RMS Flesh Wash to glaze in the shadows, mix of RMS Flesh Wash and RMS Rosy Shadow for final shadows. RMS Rosy Skin and Linen White to highlight. Then I finished her face. Blue irises, lighter blue in the bottom, linen white reflected light, lined with RMS Grey liner, clotted red lips, carmine red highlight, carmine red mixed with skin tones for blush. I also basecoated the metal RMS Stormy Grey and her hair Palomino Gold. I don’t see much effect here from the camoshade, but it wasn’t very intense in those areas.

11 rosy skin base shade with flesh wash mixed with rosy shadow

12 face

13 hair palomino gold

After that I washed her hair with GW Seraphim Sepia and began layering up the trailing cloth with RMS Linen White.

14 hair wash sepia cloth linen white gloves black

At this point her under-tunic and gloves have also been painted black, and I think it’s the right color finally. Originally, I wanted to make her a series of reds/purples, but it just didn’t feel right when it got down to it.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. VMA Gunmetal on the silver, shaded with RMS Clotted Red (reflected color from the skirt), highlighted with VMA Aluminum. Her hair was highlighted with a gradually increasing amount of linen white in palomino gold.

15 tunic clotted red metal vma gunmetal shaded clotted red highlighted vma aluminum

16 highlight hair palomino gold linen white

Aside from picking the colors for her tunic and trying to paint that damned almost-invisible filigree, this model has been super easy and a lot faster than usual, especially to shade. The skirt took me less than 20 minutes total. I know the reds are all because of the camoshade wash, but I think I’ll have to do more (and better) underpainting to tell what effect it has on other colors. I plan to use this on the Be’lakor I’ve started in great detail to see what help it is in determining lights/darks/composition.

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs, Vaeloth Hellborn Paladin cont.

It has been such a busy week! It’s the end of January, and for those of us that have payroll and the associated filings as part of our job responsibilities, this is a busy time! Thank goodness all that is behind me for another year and I can get my painting time back.

The group of Scibor Moscal Strielec Dwarfs that I was working on in my last post are now finished:


After this group was done, my client decided that the colors he chose weren’t chaos enough since the models aren’t obviously chaos-like.

There is a new plan for that army, and hopefully we can get going on it soon. It will be truly awesome, and it’s a chance for me to do something I’ve never done before. Learning something new is always fun!

I painted the Hellborn Paladin a bit more. I really like the change to his hair, and I’m still working on the blend on the shield and figuring out what to put on it. Also, the blade will end up brighter.

8 6 7


On a completely different note…the For Sale page has been updated as models have been sold. I do still have the Feral Warpwolf for sale as well as the Dragonthrall Mage!

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs, Reaper Hellborn Paladin

So the next set of Dwarfs is coming along. The guy with the banner has been every bit as much of a pain as I figured, but it is at least possible to paint in that area. I’ve seen models where if you fully assemble them you really are going to have a hard time so much as squishing paint into some areas. 

Here is how they’ve come along over the last couple days:





I really like the champion model (2 guns). I think he’s probably one of the best of these sculpts so far. Not too many issues with soft edges causing cheeks to blend into coats blending into beards blending into hands/guns/chainmail/etc. Some dark lining can help with that issue, so it doesn’t completely ruin everything, but it really is a pet peeve of mine. I think his sculpt looks just a little wild compared to the rest, and a lot more bad-ass (for a dwarf!). 

Reaper Vaeloth Hellborn Paladin has pretty much been sitting by the wayside while I’ve been working on the Dwarfs (and while I had a really busy week at work, eating into my painting time). Here’s where he stands now:



I cleaned up his skin a lot, but I’m not sure the hair is working for me. Also, the bits of cloth are obviously not finished.

I need to change his hair (possibly to a red tone), clean up the cloth, shade the sword, paint the wolf pelt, and figure out something cool to do with the shield. Also, he needs a base! I don’t know why, but this guy always makes me think of Drizzt Do’Urden.