Blog Archives

WIP: Reaper Aina Female Valkyrie cont.

The next step for Aina was her base. At first I put Red Oxide Paste on her base and painted it like earth, blending the rock in, but after that was done I decided I didn’t like it well enough. She needed something better. So, I painted the earth blue and white like water, and then I put Woodland Scenics Water Effects on it.

18 apply water effects to base 19


I gave that a few hours to dry, and when it was done I put a bit more white on some of the water, and here she is:

21 22


At this point she is finished. I’ll post final pictures of her soon and update my For Sale! page with her information.

WIP: Vaeloth Hellborn Paladin with Lava Base

Another quick update here – I needed to wrap up several projects including the Hellborn Paladin, and I decided that Vaeloth should have a simple lava base:

lava base 3


It was a lot of fun to make it, and the Vallejo Fluorescent paints came in handy!

Here he is finished and attached to his base:



I’ll put up good final pictures and list him on my For Sale! page shortly!

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: 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!

Alternative Vampire Counts models: Core

You may not know this, but I don’t just paint models, I also play Warhammer Fantasy. I play Vampire Counts and Lizardmen. A lot of people, myself included, like to find the best looking models for our armies, which sometimes includes alternative models. There are a ton of amazing models out there, and quite a few of them would make nice substitutes for VC models. Because of the sheer quantity of great models available, what was originally meant to be one post will actually be a series of posts, starting with core choices since every army includes some of these!

Here are some of the alternative miniatures I’ve come across for Vampire Counts core that really stood out to me:


Mantic makes what I believe to be some of the best zombies available, especially for the price. They are what I use in my army.


They also make command models for these zombies that can be found at

Crypt Ghouls!

Although I do like the GW crypt ghoul models, I think that Mantic also makes some decent ones. As usual for Mantic, they are much less expensive than their GW counterparts.


Dire Wolves!

There are several nice options for Dire Wolves out there.

First, there is the obvious GW Fenrisian Wolf Pack for those who prefer entire wolves instead of partial skeletal ones.


GW also has some wargs that would make decent dire wolves:


If you like really gory wolves, try Game Zone. They have several different sets of these wolves with varying poses.


And for a little spooky without being gory, Enigma makes a nice figure:



First, we go back to Mantic for basic, cheap skeletons.


Reaper also has some basic skeletons that aren’t too expensive.



Reaper also has a ton of other types of skeletons that I won’t list off here, but if you wanted a themed force you could do it with them – pirates, soldiers, etc.

If you wanted a characterful command, these models from Reaper could help. I particularly like the musician!


Check back soon for the next part in this series: Rare.

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs cont.

I really haven’t had as much time to paint over the last 3 days as I would have preferred, but I have been able to work a little on the Chaos Dwarfs here and there.

I have been working on the next 5 Dwarfs. In the last post about them they had barely been basecoated, and all with an airbrush. Since then I did some work on their skin and beards:



Then I finished their beards and neatened up the basecoat on their leather coats:



After that, I airbrushed the basic highlights and shadows on their coats:



Then I fine-tuned the shadows and highlights on the coats and did the smaller ones with my lovely size 3 W&N Series 7:



I’ve gone from using a size 0 to a size 3 very recently, and I really prefer the bigger brush! I’ve even been able to do eyes with it because of the amazing point.

Hopefully in another day or so I will have these guys done and be onto the next group of 6.

I also decided to stop fiddling around with Vaeloth and get him done, so I took his armor in a completely different direction:



I used Vallejo’s alcohol-based Liquid Silver, which coats very nicely.

Also, soon I will be putting up a series of posts about alternative WHF Vampire Counts models. There are a ton of great options out there, and I’m trying to be very thorough.

WIP: Reaper Vaeloth Hellborn Paladin cont.

I got a little work done on Vaeloth, although I’m not entirely sure which direction to take certain parts of this model still.


I think the NMM is a little rough at this point, and the blending is going to take some more work.


I also got started on the rest of the first group of 6 Chaos Dwarfs.

They’re at that point a lot of models hit where they look like a 3 year old finger painted them. =)


Tomorrow they won’t look so…red.

Reaper Bones Plastic followup and WIP

On yesterday’s post, there was a very useful comment with a link to information about working with Bones plastic:

The staff on the Bones model that I had to boil is still straight, so this really does seem to have fixed the problem.

I repainted her, and here she is attached to a round base with some Vallejo Oxide Paste to blend it all in:


WIP: Reaper Kickstarter Sophie cont.

I finally got to the last tiny details of Sophie, which I painted with VMA Aluminum, which is really a very nice color for a metallic.


I also used a black paint wash on the bike, then I drybrushed it with VMA Aluminum. Afterwards, I painted some of the areas on the bike a blue/green metallic and touched up some of the black areas that either had Aluminum on them or just weren’t fully coated yet.



I also got some work done on Sophie’s base. First I tore up two pieces of cork, then I glued them to a 60mm round base. After that dried, I used Vallejo Red Oxide Paste to fill in some of the cracks between the pieces of cork. I put a thick layer on the top, and smoothed out the area that was going to be the road. I poured Woodland Scenics Medium Ballast on the smooth area and smashed it down pretty well to make the road as flat as possible. Then I put a few large rocks around the base and let it dry.



Tomorrow I will paint the base and add a green stuff cactus and snake!