Friday, July 5, 2019

First attempt at freehand!

Here it is!

I'll need to clean up the edges around it a bit, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. After weathering it's going to be even better!

I basically followed Vince Venturella's guide on how to do detail freehand. The first point is to just be brave and go for it; errors will happen but they are easy to fix. The second is to give all areas adequate attention in parallel, instead of focusing on one part at a cost of another.

In my case, it meant:

  • Iterating on the sketch on paper
  • Moving it to the model with a pencil
  • Outlining it with a brush
  • Doing base colors and transitions
  • Fixing up things and making things more precise.
I used a fairly normal NMM gold palette - FW Sepia ink, Vallejo Game Air Leather Brown and Bonewhite, and white ink for highlights.

Anyway! Here are some additional pics I took while working on this. If you have additional advice to improve on it, it's welcome!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Cracked Concrete Titanicus Bases Tutorial

There was a lot of interest in how I made the base on my Titanicus Warlord Titan. So here's a tutorial!

It all starts by pouring sheets of plaster in some old FW blister packs.

In this recipe I used Merlin's Magic Hobby Stone, but any sort of dental plaster would work. Just be very careful to mix the ratio of water and plaster, depending on what you buy.

Merlin's Magic takes ~20 minutes to dry. These sheets are thin so they don't take they long. Just to be sure though, after 20 minutes, I remove them from the blister pack and leave them on the window for a few hours.

I take that time to plan the layout of the base out.

On this example, I had a Reaver in a crouching position, braced to fire. Its legs are more apart front-to-back than side-to-side. So I decided to create an inset road going between its legs. I made it about 2 lanes wide, and as an afterthought, added a third lane merging into the second lane. The road is the thinnest plasticard I had on hand. I cleaned up the seam with milliput.

I broke one sheet of plaster in two, traced the curvy plasticard bit onto one of the halves, and started cutting, then sanding with a round file.

Once I was ok with the general shape, I wanted to add cracks where the Reaver was standing. Since Merlin's Magic Hobby Stone is so difficult to break, I used a little plastic bit to raise a piece of plaster, then hit it where I want the crack to originate.

After that, I wanted to have the concrete pieces shift under the Reaver's weight. Most of its weight is on the rear leg, so that's where I focused on this.

I'd simply take out a piece where a Reaver is standing, sand the bottom of that bit at an angle, and superglue it to the base.

Once everything was glued to the base, it was time to make the whole bit oval. I cut bits of plaster that are sticking out with a fine Japanese pull saw, then filed it smooth with various files. Note that I ruined the sides of the base while doing this. I came in later with a fine sanding stick and made it smooth again. It doesn't have to be perfect, it'll get a few thick coats of black paint anyway and it'll cover it up.

Then I pinned the model to the base to make sure I know exactly where it goes; although I didn't glue the pins to the model yet, to make painting easier.

The next step was to carve some finer cracks, drill holes, and generally create some more texture and interest. I used dental tools for this. Merlin's Magic cures so hard that I wouldn't suggest doing this with a hobby knife, you'll just dull the blade. It took quite some muscle.

Finally, I added some debris, sand etc.

And there it is! Ready to prime and paint.

And that's it. It's a pretty quick and fun process once you have all the tools you need. I like it because it's so random; you just crack here, drill there, add some bits and that's it.

Now to create a few more. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Titanicus Terrain Painting Tutorial

So I've been painting Titanicus terrain! The first time I've painted terrain. I've seen some other tutorials floating around, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

Also, to document the recipe so I can revisit it in the future, as new terrain kits come out.

I will list what I used at the end, however, it is very easy to substitute your own paints in. I'll explain why I did the things I did so you can make smart decisions and tweak the recipe as you see fit.

The overall idea was to have the "clean" parts of the building tinted cold, and "dirty" tinted warm. That would keep it interesting and intensify weathering effects without making them overbearing on the tabletop, and everything would be nice and neutral on average.

Putting down colors

We start with white primer. I used old school GW white spray, however, I think a smoother (satin/glossy) primer would work much better with contrast paint.

Then I apply contrast paint. I used a 50/50 mix of Contrast Basilicanum Grey and Contrast Space Wolves Grey. One is a dark warm grey, the other a light cold grey; they even out to something just right. I strongly suggest you get a dropper bottle for this mix; not only will you waste less paint that way, but also, it'll let you apply the paint out of the dropper bottle straight onto the model.

Contrast paint, in general, doesn't work well on flat surfaces. That's good here though; we need to keep flat panels interesting, and at this scale, stains will look realistic. But do apply it thin and controlled, it should never be pooling. I strongly suggest painting a few panels at the time to keep the paint from pooling.

Floor tiles are painted with contrast too, however, as it's drying, stipple the middle of the floor tile with a wet brush. That will remove some of the paint from the tile and create an overall lighter value and a nice gradient towards the edge of the tile.

Once contrast is dry, it'll look something like this. It's not great but it's a good start. Then I use a very large makeup brush to drybrush Citadel Layer Greystone.

I focus on areas where tidemarks are too strong, or on the surface of the model. Don't clean them up completely, just subdue them a bit. Once that's done, using the same brush, I drybrush Vallejo Game Air Wolf Grey on all higher parts of the model. The effect should be very light, just a cold tint.

Then I make a pass and color in detail. Do as much or as little here as you feel like doing, using any paints you want. I recommend staying neutral generally.

Because I'll forget in the future, I'll spell out what I did:
  • Warplock bronze on pipes and fans on the tops of the building. Fans were then drybrushed Scale75 Thrash Metal.
  • Windows are super thin glaze of Daler Rowney FW Indigo.
  • Citadel Brass Scorpion on all small door frames and vents. I tapped some Nihilanh oxide on top of those sometimes, I think I've overdone it though.
  • Scale75 Negro Gold on those little wings above medium and large doors. Nihilanh oxide it too, because this is space gold that oxidizes into a cold color. Obviously.
  • Scale75 Thrash Metal on those large floor-tile vents that take up most of the tile
  • Citadel Runelord Brass for vertical lines in medium and large doors.
  • Roofs are Brass Scorpion and Nihilanh Oxide applied in an many layers as it takes until it starts looking interesting. Drybrushing one on top of another, glazing while leaving brush lines, stippling.
Here's the result:

Now we're ready for...


I used enamel paints for weathering. These paints smell really bad, so keep your room ventilated. Also, it might be a good idea to varnish the model before proceeding; I didn't and I believe I started stripping paint in some areas. But it was fine.

This one's rather simple. A heavy application of AK Streaking Grime at the bottom, all corners of terrace/roof tiles, then feathered with white spirits.

I have two bottles of white spirits, one brand new and pristine, the other murky brown from being used so many times. I used the filthy bottle here, both to keep the other bottle clean and to add a yellow tint to the walls. Then I used the clean bottle of white spirits to clean up the very tops.

On tall walls I also streaked some AK Interactive Rust Steaks. These are a strong red, and after cleaning up with white spriits, it blended down a little. It have the whole thing a bit more interest. Unlike grime, I applied rust streaks randomly on all heights, not just at the bottom. I didn't really look for excuses why rust would be here or there; it's just there to add some variety to the walls. It's blended down to almost nothing after white spirits did their work.

Then I applied AK Interactive Light Dust Deposits on all ledges, at the bottom and the top. I applied a lot, and again, removed any excess with white spirits.

Once that was done, I made one more light drybrush of Wolf Grey on tops just to make edges a bit stronger, and that's it!

And here's a pic of everything I have painted so far using this method. It took ~5 evenings worth of work.

And that's it!

Here's the summary of everything I used, but again, it's very easy to substitute your own paints.
  • Paints:
    • Citadel Contrast Basilicanum Grey
    • Citadel Contrast Space Wolves Grey
    • Citadel Layer Eshin Grey
    • Citadel Layer Dawnstone
    • Citadel Layer Runelord Brass
    • Citadel Layer Brass Scorpion
    • Citadel Base Warplock Bronze
    • Citadel Technical Nihilakh Oxide
    • Vallejo Game Air Wolf Grey
    • Scale75 Negro Gold
    • Scale75 Thrash Metal
    • Daler Rowney FW Indigo
    • Daler Rowney FW Black
    • AK Interactive Streaking Grime
    • AK Interactive Rust Streaks
    • AK Interactive Light Dust Deposit
    • White spirit
    • Spray white primer
  • Tools:
    • Dense, soft, makeup brush
    • A bunch of natural hair flat-tipped large brushes
    • Dropper bottle

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Axiom Battleline Maniple Done!

It's not a full maniple (I could fit another Reaver), but all in due time. I have more knights and terrain to paint, and I'm planning to start a Vulpa Legio as well. All in due time!

If you can't tell, I seriously got into Titanicus. It's such a great game! I haven't played any GW game seriously for ~15 years, and I didn't think I'd ever be playing again.. But here I am, AT got me.

The Warlord Titan I posted before. After taking that picture, I asked a lot of excellent painters for advice on how to improve on it, and I revisited most parts of it, making it by far the best model I ever painted. I entered the Kublacon 2019 painting competition with it and got a silver in the masterclass category! Making me an award winning painter. I'm really happy with how much my painting improved recently.

My other titans I enjoyed painting very much, but I intentionally simplified the approach. They're detailed enough to look good next to the Warlord, they're a cohesive force, but if you look up close they can't compare.

I'm looking to get one more Warlord and possibly Reaver in the future for this Legio. Probably two more Warhounds at that point. I'm feeling that this Legio would be loyalist, but it doesn't have to be. Those Blood Angels running around on the bases may or may not be friends of the Legio.

If you have suggestions on naming the Legio and/or titans, suggest away. And thanks for looking!