Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I did more sculpting than painting since last I posted.  I did, however get Ms. Charlotte's back basically done.  I saved the rusty hoses and such for when I do the other parts, but the fleshy bitz are done on her back. 

On to the Warpsmith. First an in progress shot of the flamer mount and such.

I wasn't fond of the hanging hose and I wanted some more  "gribby meets machine" stuff going on.  Also have some nice fatty looking sacs on the back.  After that set, it was one more two part sculpting session and he is ready for basing and priming! Here's the final result.

I had to let things dry at a couple points and had pre-mixed green stuff, so I worked on finishing my Plaguebearer Herald.

I'll get these two primed in the next couple days and pick away at all the details on Ms. Charlotte's body.  Next week I have a "staycation" which may effect hobby time a little since one of the two projects I'm going to do is rearanging/organizing my art space.  I'm sure I'll find all sorts of cool stuff in there that I've forgotten about. ;)

Cheers Ya'll!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Needs more gribbly.....

Put some time in on Ms. Charlotte and the Warpsmith in the last couple days.  I noticed my faithful pot of GW Althonian Camoshade was getting pretty low (I have about a half dozen others), so I decided to make a pre-thinned pot. The mix came out around 1/3- camoshade/acrylic matte medium/Universal solvant (water).  I also did a 50/50 mix of GW Orgyn Camo and Screaming Skull and did a really light drybrush to pick out all the sculpted details on the fleshy bits on the back, between the wings. This led to picking out a few details on the wings themselves, then a light wash of the pre mixed shade. The upper wing membranes are DONE.  The arms still need some attention.

As for the bit in the middle, I started going into the deeper recesses and places I want shaded with a mix of GW Althonian Camoshade and Druchii Purple.  I usually thin this about half with water, then go with a thicker wash or a second light wash if I want a deeper tone.  Next comes the bloody/inflamed areas.  I have a home brew I call "Bloody Red" which is basically, GW Scab Red, with brown ink, acrylic medium and a little water.  There might be some purple in there too, honestly, I mixed at least a year ago.  Combined in different parts with the other two shades, you can get some really gross, interesting colors that are much less the "spaghetti Western red" of the GW Blood for the Blood God technical paint.

Top is the unholy trinity, with a puddle of gore in front of them.  Below is a comparison of color, tone and consistancy.  My wash is also NOT glossy. That comes later.

So I picked out some inflamed/ bloody areas with the blood wash. Eventually, they will enjoy a little dry brush here a little underpainting there to get my eventual desired gribbliness.  What that is, I can't tell you right now, but I'll know it as it happens. :) I can tell you it will involve more repetition of "wash, drybrush, shade, repeat" than a sane person would force themselves to do. But I gave up on sanity at least 20 years ago.

NOW... on to the as-yet-unnamed Warpsmith.  I decided to read the Codex entry before getting back to work on him and realized the Chaos guys have most of the goodies the Loyalist techmarines do- melta/flamer in the mechandrites, etc.  SO... I tore off the two metal pieces I had and began fabricating some arms from some plague fly bits.   First, every techy needs a chompy head vice. Here is the beginning of his (still very much in progress.)

I used some chainsword blades and motors to make the head. I'll be shaving some of the sculpting down as metal, then kind of move toward the organic. Its likely to be a bit beefier and nasty looking when finished.

Then I added the two other arms, made from smaller plague fly legs, and did some sculpting of tentacles, mechandrites.  Of course, he needed an axe, so I cobbed one together and here he is as he stands.  (still some detailing to do, especially when the vice arm is added)

Still have to bulk out/organify the flamer, which will have a questionable looking fuel source. More sculpting and nastyness on the back to make everything blend in, especially after adding the vice arm. But, there he is so far!

Cheers Yall!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Vision vs Execution.

The main focus of this post was to be how I paint with thin washes.  I was going to explain in detail the process.  Then I started painting.  And it all went to shit.  So, here's my best effort at being instructional after the fact. Forgive me in advance if you are an experienced painter, I'm going to present this with more of the "I've only painted with solid colors. I never knew you could do that" crowd in mind.

Acrylic paints are made to be thinned.  As the official GW (we still have you painting with solid colors) vids even say, two thin coats. What many inexperienced painters don't realize is the multitude of cool things you can do paining acrylics on a 3D surface ( this case). Not coincidentally, they are most of the cool things you can do on a flat surface.

Citadel has been nice enough to mix acrylic medium with pigment and make their most excellent washes. Although, if you knew the breakdown in costs of the what is used to make said washes, vs paint... you might feel a bit ....violated. Personally, I think its worth the convenience, that way I don't have to worry about getting all the ratios perfect. These washes, as you may have noticed, really do have a nice burst of transparent color. And, it gets even cooler when you water them down.  Like a normal paint you can mix them, glaze them over other colors, glaze them over other glazes (preferably after they are dry). While I wanted to get in depth with all the things I've discovered I can do with them (and there are doubtlessly more) I just started painting and didn't take any notes.  Nearly 40 years of painting have made too much of it second nature... and I don't think.  For the future... my wife has suggested videos.  Probably not a bad idea.

SO.... here's the progression on Charlotte's wings. Described the best I can, below.  Some of the differences are subtle and may not have transfered well in pictures.

 First pic: Left wing is the base, right wing is one thinned (50/50) coat of Althonian Camoshade. (I'll be using that a LOT
Then some Gryphonne Sepia (50/50).  I let each wash dry before I put on the next one and I make sure I collect the gathered wash out of the creases and cracks with a dry brush.  Those slower drying blobs of color can mess you up later.


  1. 1 :  to engrave by means of dots and flicks
  2. 2a :  to make by small short touches (as of paint or ink) that together produce an even or softly graded shadow b :  to apply (as paint) by repeated small touches
Yup, you can do it with paint. I do it all the time. What they don't tell you is to start with a loaded brush (not over loaded or underloaded) and apply as little pressure as possible when you start. As one of my art professors used to say constantly "Its not a bad thing to have to go back for more paint or to water the brush."  His main point, usually is painting in general is an additive process, but in most additive processes its much easier to add a little and add some more , rather than add too much and not be able to take it away. (I hope that makes sense, I'm told I can go on for hours like that...)

After the greenish, then yellowish wash. I put a nice blob or Althoinian Camoshade(olive), Gryphonne Sepia and Druchii Purple (all known by their basic colors from here onwards). Add a generous few brush loads of water and onward.  Do I use an actual wet pallet? No.... but my regular diposable pallet is pretty wet at the moment.  I mix the purple and olive and occasionally a little sepia and a couple layers of stippling begin. I wanted the mottling a bit darker toward the "fingers" so I mottled on the mottling.  Here's where the whole "wait until the other wash dries" thing kinda goes down the rabbit hole.  In this case some of the mixing is OK. What you have to avoid, is mixing at the wrong part of the drying process. There's this tacky,plasticy period just before it mattes down and dries, where if you hit it with a wash you can actually life all the washes right off.  So, pay attention.

Let everybody dry good. I went and had a snack, played with my kittens and came back to it. Then, I did a very light dry brush along the raised detail and fleshy edges with a light tan (it could have been Screaming Skull or P3 Thrall Flesh... kind of betting on the latter)  This mattes everything down well and kind of makes it all look like it was painted with one crazy brush stroke. I have to admit this is one place the camera fails us (and I took about 6 photos, plus messed with it in the editor) If you zoom in, you might be able to see all the other colors showing through.  We're not done.... just for kicks, I then do a thinned (60 water/40 shade) was with a mix of the Sepia and Olive. (40/60)

It greens it up a little, though very subtle and another light ,light drybrush to flatten it all down.  Ms Charlotte's Dorsal view  has become a damn sight well, the wings are done.  And yes, this whole time she was upside down on the desk.

Lord knows, you don't need to get so complicated with whatever project you might think of washing like this, but layers DO matter. They add depth and richness of color.  One thing I can't stress enough is experiment. You'll find things that won't work, but you'll find things that do. Even if you aren't trying to be a trophy winning miniature painter, but are serious in expanding your abilities, the first and most important thing I can tell you to buy...even more important than good brushes, though that's #2 (and by good I don't always mean the most expensive, but that's another post all together) is...a COLORWHEEL.  In-friggin-valuable.  Not sure I want to get into spouting on and off about color theory and such, but in a nutshell knowing a colors compliments and values is a very simple way to take a mediocre piece and turn it into a wowzer.  One way I apply this is using Druchii Purple to darken Althonian Camoshade, for example. If there is any interest, let me know and I can get into that all in more depth another time.

The other thing I recommend to any painter is stepping back from your work when ever you can, even for a bathroom break or a snack... I like to do, having a building/sculpting project to work on nearby. "Cleaning the eyeballs, as well as the brushes" as the aforementioned instructor would say. The guy had an awesome Lithuanian accent too.

So according to the Traitor Legions Codex, Warpsmiths are all the rage. Or at least a necessity if you want to run some of the formations.  Well, I'd been at a bit of a loss on how to procede with Spumegut (or whatever they call him) so here we go.....

I added an old arm to the gribbies I already had on him, as he lingured on the ready-5 desk for the past few months.  Then I needed a few breaks to let washes dry and this happened.

I'm at the "He might be getting a bit busy" or "Go big or go home" decision point with mechandrites and such. He still needs a forearm too.  Sculpting something like this is not unlike the wash painting. It involves planning, layers and a bit of "here... hold my beer" The next couple of days are busy for me, so I'll have some time away from him to look at him with fresh eyes.

Cheers Ya'll!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Something Icky this way comes.

The plaguebearers are DONE!  Well, sort of. I noticed while editing the photos that I need a little static grass and bloody drops on the bases, but the models are painted. Here's Two Toed Ted and the gang.

And now some detail shots of the boys...

Some of the backs are pretty gribbly too....

And now, the old and the new together....

And yes, I need a better photo set up. I'm working on that because...(drumroll) .... I'm working on a proper website. Due to a series of events, I've decided to commit myself, put effort into my long languishing home based business as a freelance artist/cartoonist... instead of working multiple jobs.  I still have one part time gig, but the business at home will be my main focus.  What does that mean for this blog?  Probably more posts, because I plan on taking limited model commissions. Plus there will be artwork and comics. I've linked the blog to the website and when I'm ready to "officially' launch it, I'll have a link on the sidebar to the website.

The other quandry concerning the Plaguebearers is that 20 is not a Nurgly number.  So for a nice 21 (divisible by 7) We have a Herald. Plus, it makes an allied detachment. 

I took out the hanging guts in favor of sculpting some along with some other gribbly stuff and a tongue.

And keeping a promise to my Dutch buddy Augustus over at Bolter and Chainsword. Ms Charlotte has made her way to the painting table.  Again... I really need a new photo set up.  I'll start building one this weekend.

 The wings are laid out. The plan is to do a series of washes and some other detailing. Hoping to get that semi-transparent membrane look.

Dry brushed the nasty bits. I want the body lighter than the armor plating, so from this point, it'll be washes and some detailing monotony. But I'm going for a gross,fleshy goodness look.

Cheers Ya'll!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Plaguey is DONE

Finally, I've finished Plaguey. 

It was a fun project. More to come. And I should actually be painting some miniatures.

Cheers Ya'll!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Sure, I could be painting, but I got distracted by some artwork among other things.  Been round and round over a bad tooth for the last couple weeks, which finally came out today. Also prepping to have one less job, though it pained me to leave it. But the energy will will be pointed where it should have been since January, a website, comics and generally taking another shot at being an actual artist.  For those of us that have reached middle age that whole "Ive got 20 good years left in me, what am I going to do with it?" thing can be a real nag.

The humble blog will blog along, hopefully as part of a bigger and better thing. For those with experience building their own website, do ya'll have any experience with Wix, Squarespace or the like?  Lots of my friends are recommending Squarespace.  Any thoughts, gang?

Anyways, back to plaguebearers. I have put some time in on Two Toed Ted's merry band, as well as some reorganizing of the artroom.  But Zzzzz's comment about a comic plaguebearer got me itching to try one out.  I'm not finished coloring him in, but here's what I've got so far.

 First, the ink.

 I kind of did this as an exercise to help me get more and more comfortable with my Wacom.  I did the base drawing with pencil, then a basic ink drawing, scanned it and turned the ink drawing into a grey sketch. Then I did all the "inking" with the Wacom.  After that I dropped in some flat background colors

After that its off to adding color. Originally, I planned on doing something more simple, like what might be on a comic page, but I got carried away.  

At this point, the green skin areas are pretty much done, though I may continue to tinker with them. Still have to do his eyelid, eyes, pimples and guts.

I'm being my own art teacher (takes me back to my student teaching days, but with a LOT less nude bikers and charcoal) by giving myself assignments. The end goal is to be comfortable in the digital realm to work on the 2 notebooks worth of comics I have written. :)

I'll finish this guy up and should have some finished Plaguebearers around the weekend. Then, by the request of my Dutch mate, Augustus over at Bolter and Cahinsword, Ms. Charlotte is next on the painting schedule. :)

Cheers ya'll!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Plague Marches on...

Back to our intrepid plaguebearers.  The lads all have some paint on them. I was sneaking in and doing a bit of brushing here and there over the last week or so, but finally got a few hours to sit and not be bothered last night. When I sat down at the desk I realized I kind of had a step-by-step of sorts sitting in front of me.

From left to right you have the steps I've gone trough so far. On the left is the base color drybrush over the previous steps. Then I work in a 50/50 mix of GW Ogryn Camo and Elf Flesh, maybe some Bleached Bone to lighten it in places. The next thing is a watery glaze in the shadowy areas of GW Gryphon Sepia, picking out the pustules with non-watered down stuff. Then I mix the GW Blood of the Blood God Technical with Druchi Purple and pick out all the icky parts and pimples to get that inflamed, bruised loot.

 Much to my horror and in massive contradiction to my model building sensibilities, I noticed a few things most people wouldn't care about (and I've seen many times int he pages of GW published materials)... like that abdominal seam on #4 (far right) above. This knocks my "street cred" back a bit when I bitch about things like seam lines and the like I see in the books, etc. I know... Its not a big deal. But, its the little things sometimes.

Next step is the trusty GW Althonian Camoshade to deepen recesses, shadows and even the bruising around the pustules. And here they stand.....

What is left is detailing. Pustules, swords, eyes, nurglings (which will be brighter green) runny, nast fouled, bloody stuff and the bases.  But the main colors are laid in.  That brings me to 20 plaguebearers, which is NOT divisible by 7. Since we can't have that... I aquired this guy.

He'll need some green stuff here and there to make him suitably gross. I'm not sold on the dragging entrails, so that might need a re-do. But he'll be sufficiently cool.  I really DO need to fight the urge to get another 20 or so of these guys. While painting this lot, my conversionitis was flairing up badly.

AND, yes... thanks to Zzzzzz, I'm drawing up a couple cartoon plaguebearers, because they are just too much fun. Stay tuned for those.

Cheers ya'll!