Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vallejo Game Air: Using Vallejo's New Airbrush Paints

Many readers are familiar with, and probably use, Vallejo's awesome line of military airbrush paints: the Model Air line. Can't say enough about Model Air paint. Great pigment density, brilliantly pre-thinned for airbrush use. Fantastic coverage. What could Vallejo possibly do to make their line of airbrush paints any better? about a line of bright colours more suited to fantasy and science fiction figures? That's just what they've done. Released in Europe a few months ago, their new Game Air line got great reviews...and it's finally available in North America.

Nothing tells you more about the differences between Model Air and Game Air than this single photo. On the left, there are the muted historical military tones of the Model Air line: USAF Dark Grey, USAF Green and IDF Green. Now, on the right, we have some of the new Game Air colours: Ultramarine Blue, Magic Blue and Electric Blue. Perfect for so many fantasy and sic-fi projects.

So, my first project to try out the Game Air colours was this Mage Knight metal figure of a Crypt Worm. Once I had finished it, I realized that it probably wasn't the best example because I did it up in muted organic colours...but it did at least utilize pink...something not in the Model Air line!

Anyway, starting with the base figure, this two-part model was glued down to a base, primed and inked...and I painted up the flagstone base first. Now to move onto the paint job.

The Vallejo brochure that came with the Game Air colours suggested a few triads of paints that can go well together. I wanted a rotting flesh look for the Crypt Worm, so I used their suggested Khaki—Dead Flesh—Bonewhite progression. At first glance, this didn't make much sense to me; This wasn't a progression of a single colour. But I wanted to give it a try anyway.

I'm glad I did. the subtle brown from the Khaki and green from the Dead Flesh worked really well together. I added in the Squid Pink to provide colour interest around the mouth and underbelly areas of the worm.

To pop out the model's detail, I washed with Sepia, Fleshtone and Red.

I then went in and brush-highlighted the raised portions of the sculpt. This is where I would normally go to standard hobby acrylic paints...but I wanted to see how versatile the Game Air line was, so I used them with a brush. The highlights were painted on with the Dead Flesh, Bonewhite and Stonewall Grey colours.

Super-happy with the results. The thin, but dense, Game Air paints provided great coverage and translucency during the highlighting pass.

And the tonal variations I was able to lay down initially with the airbrush carried through to the final figure.

So, overall, this new line of paints from Vallejo gets two thumbs up from me. I picked up my set at the Game Store in Red Deer, south of Edmonton.

'Til next time.

Woodland Monsters

Many years back, I was involved in the creation of the game Mage Knight, put out by our (at that time) company, WizKids Games. The figures for the game were pre-painted plastics, with masters sculpted in the USA and mass-produced in China.

A little-known fact was that 32 of those initially released Mage Knight figures were struck in white metal as limited edition hobby releases. I've had a box of them stashed away in my basement for well over a decade.

Anyway, as my thoughts and efforts have recently turned to RPGs, I remembered having these models and dug through some boxes to find some new RPG monsters. And the result...

We have the Wood Golem and the Living Elemental. Of all the initial Mage Knight releases, these two were my favourite models, and I was glad to find them in metal. Super fun to paint up, and I went to town on the Wood Golem giving him some extra love on the base and covering him with moss.

Hope you like the end result.

'Til next time.

Two Everblight 'Casters

For central Alberta's October Warmachine painting challenge, I decided to bulk up on some Legion 'casters. I've had Kallus sitting around the hobby room since he first came out a few years back. Epic Absylonia, on the other hand, has just recently been released. As soon as was able to get her through the LGS, I picked her up...very cool flying model.

I'm gravitating more and more to the blue-skinned theme in Everblight, so here they are.

Kallus, obviously, was super-easy to paint. Tons of armour, with just a face, some hair and a leather skirt. Absylonia, on the other hand, with her wings, tail and so on, was more of an interesting challenge. Love the model though.

'Til next time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

An Assortment of RPG Figures

This week I dedicated some time to starting to clear off a bunch of half-painted stuff from the hobby table. I've been tinkering around with a bunch of RPG models recently. 18 are on the table, and finishing off these six brings me down to an even dozen.

This is a mishmash of figures. First were three "baggage"-class models from Otherworld Miniatures. They came from Otherworld's Henchmen boxed set.

These three are random figures from Reaper. The farmer is from a Townsfolk blister. The panther came from a Pathfinder pack along with a Gnome Druid (which has gone into the parts bin). Finally, the female ranger was a personality figure from the Dark Heavens line.

Anyway...they were all nice figures to paint. Lots of detail on the Otherworld stuff...but I particularly liked the Reaper farmer...nice exaggerated detail in the face.

'Til next time!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I was waiting for some time for an order from Otherworld Miniatures to come in. I'd sent away for some RPG henchmen, and a few giant rats. Because the order was delayed, the guy who runs Otherworld threw in some extra figures for free. Lucky me!?!

Anyway, I'm working away on a group of henchmen, but in the mean time I knocked out 5 of the rats. 

Nice complaints. I'd recommend Otherworld if you're looking for 28mm RPG stuff.

'Til next time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Assembly Line Painting: Blighted Legionnaires, Farilor and Standard

Our monthly Warmachine painting challenge beckoned this week. 10 points of figures (give or take) every month for a year. Who knew this would be such a grind!

Anyway, this month I decided to knock out an infantry unit...and it was a good opportunity to discuss the topic of assembly line painting. My models are the Blighted Legionnaires for Everblight, along with the officer and banner attachment. 

Here was everything before assembly started.

Most Warmachine and Hordes units are good candidates for assembly line painting. They most often wear the same gear, are armed the same way, and just have a few different poses. I particularly like the Legionnaires for the assembly line method, because they carry so much metal armour. That makes everything pretty quick to paint.

So the main idea behind assembly line painting is that you have a number of similar figures (in this case, 12), and every time you sit down to paint, you do one similar pass on each model. These particular models would require about 14 steps to that's a good two weeks of painting assuming a half-hour painting session every day. A steady pace, but not strenuous.

As usual, I started with assembly and basing. Then everything got shot with white primer.

Next came the obligatory dark wash to pre-shade the models and pop out all the details.

So, down to painting. Working from the inside out, the scale mail and other "golden" armour areas got a thin coat of P3 Blighted Gold. This is a dark greenish gold, similar to bronze, which can be dry brushed into a very interesting metal colour.

The bronzy areas got a drybrush of Vellejo Old Gold.

And a final highlight drybrush of P3 Radiant Platinum. The end result is kind of a shimmering bronze.

Next came the steel areas...thankfully, lots of that on these models. I started with a watered down coat of Reaper Shadowed Steel applied, as always, to all the models in the unit. It has kind of a bluish tinge, which I thought would contrast well with the bronze scale mail.

Then the steel was given a wash of Umber and Blue, mixed together. This darkens the metal, and increased the blue coloration.

In the next painting session, I did a GW Chainmail drybrush pass on all the steel areas. This lightens up the steel and gives it a dull sheen.

In the next assembly line session I moved onto the leather skirts worn by each figure. I started with a thin coat of Reaper Ruddy Leather.

The next two passes were Oiled Leather and Burnt Orange. This was straight layering...I wasn't going to get bogged down in blending all the colours here. In assembly line painting, the goal is to get out a unit of well (not professionally) painted figures in a reasonable amount of time. The next step would serve as my blending pass.

The leather areas were then given a thin coat of Umber wash. I did this to help blend the layers together and unify the look of the skirts.

I was going to move onto the skirt fringes next, so it was time to do the bases, so that the fringe wouldn't get ruined later. Basing was standard brown, orange and off-white. The circular plastic bases were painted with a few thin layers of black.

OK, on to the leafy fringe. I know that this is not the usual colour scheme for Legion. In the studio scheme, the parts I'm picking out as leaves, Privateer Press calls out as black feathers. Well, all my Legion of Everblight models are done in a jungle leaves it is. I used a progression of Reaper Pine Green, Leaf Green and Pale Green.

Once this was done on all the models, everything got a blast of Testors Dullcoat, and then the bases were finished off with static grass.

And that was it. Two weeks of step-by-step steady painting, and this unit came off the assembly line.

'Til next time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pillars, and Some Treasure Piles

A few weeks back I was in the LGS, sifting through their Reaper stock. I found a couple of interesting pieces. One was called the Pillar of Good; the other, the Pillar of Evil. I go in for odd accessory models like this, so I bought them. 

I painted up the evil one in a "gleaming black marble." Only semi-successful execution on that one. For the good one I wanted to try marble...and failed miserably. Never mind...both still useful as objective markers or as dungeon props.

I also recently picked up a number of Reaper treasure piles, which I'll use as game objectives, and for RPGs. I like the way these little guys turned out...and fun to paint too.

'Til next time.