Painting Rocket Raccoon’s Last Stand

Convention season is upon us again and so is the most exciting and busiest time for a miniature painter. Apologies for not posting more regularly lately. I’m in a race against time to see how many figures can be completed before Origins and Gencon. So any spare second I have I’ve been painting. But I will try to post weekly at least. There probably won’t be any board game miniature posts until after GenCon but I’m excited to show off what I’ve been working on instead. First off is Rockets Revenge from Knight Models.

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This picture has trouble conveying how tiny these miniatures are. At 34mm Rocket is barely as large as my finger making him one of the most challenging miniatures I’ve painted.

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The base was made using a cheap Gaurdians of the Galaxy toy and sawing the wings off. Then using the plastic bits left over to create the engine. The rocks come from the bark of a very cool breed of pine tree that grows here and makes excellent looking stones. The base has also been burnt to create the scorch marks and bullet  holes.

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Originally I had wanted to have Rocket stand on top of the ship rubble. But Knight Miniatures uses an extremely soft metal that bends and breaks easily. Trying to remove Rocket from his base damaged him so improvisation was needed. Even though at the time it seemed devastating, it’s a good lesson to learn. Whenever possible I will now try to work the base into the piece as a whole. Or at least cut off the base first before spending hours painting.

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A Dremel helped in scouring the plastic toy creating a damaged look. Just make sure you wear protective glasses.

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Then just some tiny details to fill out the scene like this skull and a tiny alien pod crushed under the wing.

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As Knight Model’s new Marvel Miniature Game takes off I’m excited to what creativity others bring. And as new heros are constantly released there should be many more exciting things down the road for us all.

To check out the Marvel Miniatures game click here

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Painting Mice and Mystics Lily

My apologies for missing yesterday’s WIP post. It was in part due to the exciting news that Lily is no longer a Work In Progress but a finished piece and the next in our Painting Mice&Mystics series.

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Lily is my personal favorite of the tiny heros you can play as. She doesn’t appear in the game right away but shows up in later scenarios to save the day.

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The bases will be left unpainted from now on because I’ve decided to rebase all the pieces after they’ve been finished.
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Sorry about the shadow of the phone. I’m saving up for a nice light box but until then the awkwardly lighted pictures will continue :p
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The cape is done with a glazing technique. That means I watered down the original color and slowly added more layers. For the final layers I added a little white and yellow and a dark green wash in the folds.

Im very happy with the progress that I’ve made with blending, glazing, and building leatherwork. If I look back at older pieces, I can see the two brush technique really improving with each piece. The Two Brush Technique is where you take two similar shades of colors, paint them side by side and use a 2nd brush to blend the middle together.

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The bow and arrows are birch tipped with red leather straps and feathers.
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The white wood makes the red feathers really pop! It also helps break up the red and green and help keep the piece from the dreaded Christmas look (something you risk anytime you put red and green together)

I also was given the great idea of painting Lily’s bow in Birch by a friend. Never painting that kind of wood before I did some research and I came across a great article by Dagger & Brush. If you haven’t checked out this blog yet, but you love war gaming, you should definitely head over there. I’ll include a link at the bottom to the Birch tutorial. It’s easy to understand and has some great example pictures of the technique. Although his came out a very realistic Birch while mine is probably a step above camo, I’m still really happy with it as a first try. I hope to try more weapons and armor in unusual materials more often.

Here’s a link to the Dagger and Brush guide to painting Birch

Painting Descent 2nd Edition Goblin Archers

Hello and happy Winter Wonderland weekend. I hope everyone on the east coast is thawed from the big blizzard that hit last week and has planned some fun activities now that it’s beautiful outside. For those of you who are working today, I’ll be joining you to ensure every game night tonight has some fantastic pizza. I spent the blizzard playing games with my friends instead of painting but I’m ok with that. Sometimes it’s good to remember that’s there’s a really fun game underneath all those figures. So let’s look at how one of those games are progressing.

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Here is the full Goblin Archer Army in all their tiny glory.

On these pieces I tried to focus on really nailing down my blending and getting bolder and brighter highlights. I’m feeling more skilled with the wet pallet now and I find myself mixing paint with a little more confidence. That isn’t to say these pieces are perfect. I’m still missing mold lines when cleaning and I rely on washes too heavily. Which makes getting bright colors that pop difficult.

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I decided to go with a cartoony lime green for the normal Goblins. But instead of slowly adding white paint to the mix for the highlights I added more yellow. I need to find myself some Ninja Turtle Minis because I want to try this skin tone again. Plus how awesome would those minis be!
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All the archers are in different stages of Michael Jackson like leans. Normally to fix this you can take a blow dryer or heat up some boiling water or uncooked rice. Then dip the mini in for a few seconds and move it to the desired position and hold until cooled. However these guys looked so ridiculous and seemed to have added personality with their positions that I decided not to fix them.

When painting I always use a color Wheel to help me plan how I want the mini to look beforehand. For these minis I chose to use Triad colors. Which for Green is Purple and for Red is Blue. You don’t have to live and die by the rules of your color wheel and you can experiment with tons of tones within a spectrum of color. But understanding color is essential to any visual art and when I started studying it there was a sudden jump in my miniature’s quality. To achieve the highlights on the clothing I simply added more and more white to my purple color mix.

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This guy took multiple tries to finish. I knew what I wanted to do with the skin tone but had trouble visualizing it after painting so many green goblins. I also had originally painted his armor brown like his brothers but quickly realized that it just faded into the orange. I went back and repainted him with grey armor, which looks much better against his skin. The point I’m trying to make is don’t give up even if you can’t fully visualize the end. Whether through practice or accident you’ll get there.
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The quiver of arrows was very difficult to get right. Any highlighting trick I used didn’t seem to bring out individual arrows. Then I took a very dark almost black blue and drew some lines in the creases. Suddenly it looked like a bunch of arrows and I just took some very light blue and picked out a couple of the tiny lines. I’m glad I stumbled upon this trick because every mini in games seems to have arrows and I always dread doing them.

After finishing the Boss Monster it was just down to the small details. I used some different shades of brown stripes to create straps and did a white highlight over dirty bone to make all the boots look furry at the top. Then everything was sprayed with crystal acrylic finish and after curing for a day a final Matt finishing spray to tone down the plastic shine look. Doing these sprays will alter your color a little (usually by darkening your colors a bit) but it’s worth it to get the protection needed when fingers will be rubbing the pieces for hours when playing. You can compensate  by making the colors a shade brighter than you want them.