This is going to be good!!!
This is going to be good!!!
I have been asked to make a tutorial on how I paint my US figures. And here it is…
1. I glue the figures to their bases using super glue, a mix of gravel and sand is added. When dried I paint the bases using Citadels Foundation. The color is “Khemri Brown”. This is then drybrushed with Vallejo Iraqi Sand 124.
2. Then I paint the figures with a base layer, again using a Citadel Foundation color, this time I use “Rakarth Flesh” and cover all of the figure.
3. For details I add the following colors:
The acrylics are painted flat on with no painted shadows or highlights.
4. Now it is time for the wash. I use the Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone”. This is often used with the technique called “dipping”, but instead of dipping the whole figure in the varnish I paint it on with a brush.
It is necessary to move the varnish around a bit with the brush to make sure that it looks okay. If some part of the figure don’t get any varnish this part will look apart and much lighter than the rest – so make sure that the whole figure is covered. Remember also to add Army Painter to the bases. It is important not to use too much varnish, if there is a thick layer on top of folds and other highlighted areas it will look wrong. But in the end most of the varnish will by it self seek down in folds and holes and look great, it just need a little help some places.
5. Then leave it to dry. This can take several hours, I usually add the varnish before I go to bed and then in the evening the day after I will be able to paint the rest. The varnish aint very healthy, so make sure not to sleep in the same room as the figures are left to dry.
6. It is time to paint the metal parts. I drybrush this on with a dark metallic color.
7. Now the only thing that is missing is a to make it all matt. I prefer using the Dull Coat from Model Master (the same as Testors), this step is important because the Army Painter Quickshade is a bit glossy.
This is a quick way to get some figures painted but some that still look quite pretty on your gaming table. I hope this can be to any use.
Similar tutorial: How to paint Fallschirmjägers with Army Painter Quickshade
James Klein has asked me how I make my own bocage pieces – I will try to explain this by showing a few couple of pictures I took while i made them. I hope the scarce image material will be enough, I didn’t take them for doing a tutorial.
First of I cut pieces of plastic sheet, the sizes is about 4×20 cm. This will be the bases for a piece of hedge.
Next I glue cat litter to the bases using white glue. Because I want a certain hight I let the stones dry to the bases and then glue an extra layer on top of that.
When I am happy with the height of the “stone wall” I let it dry before I add a layer of gravel on top of the litter. I add the gravel with a thin acrylic glue – I am pretty sure that white glue, thinned with water, will work great too. I let the gravel cover the whole base. Some places where I want the hedge to have a hole in it I add a pile of small stones.
When the bases are dry again I paint them. I use the big bottles of acrylic colors from Winston & Newton. When the paint is dry I drybrush them with a lighter color.
Now it is time to make the bushes. For that I use an old material, used for stuffing in furniture, called rubberized Horsehair. This can be hard to come by, I found mine on internet and bought a big piece that I will never be able to use all of. treated right this will look just like a bush with its branches pointing in all directions. I cut them in pieces that match the size of the bases (see to the right in the picture above). Then I twist it, cut in it and try to puff them up so that they aren’t too thick and dense. Then I dip them in my thin acrylic glue, which as well can be white glue thinned with water, and dip them into foliage. Several of companies makes foliage, make sure to mix different shades of foliage to make it look more realistic.
When the foliage has dried to the horsehair I stick the bushes to my bases using a thick layer of white glue. It will dry for 24 hour and then the hedges are ready.
I hope this explains how I make my bocage, if not – feel free to ask.
Bruce Weigle is known for his very beautiful and realistic terrain boards. I just found out that he have made a tutorial on how he makes this boards. The boards is intended for 6mm games, but even if we do play our games in bigger scale there is still lots of tips to learn from the tutorial.
Download the pdf here:
Click the pictures to enlarge…
Two Armourfast and one Revell painted and weathered quite fast. Hedge Cutter from SHQ, stowage from Goffy, tarpaulin covering boxes made out of paper tissue and boxes underneath is made of pieces of cardboard. Pigments are Faber-Castell’s dry chalks. Dry transfers from Archers. The steps I to go through to paint these is:
Looks very heavy on the effects… but anything is better than nothing. I look forward to see it :-)
EDIT: Now I have also seen this kind of “Making of” and does feel more positive – the FX seems to be fantastic! I report back as soon as I have seen the full movie :-)
This is a quick guide on how I paint my 20mm wwii figures using Army Painter Quickshade. I will demonstrate on some Fallschirmjägers that I am painting for my Normandy Project, but it could be almost anything other than this, the limitations comes when you want to add colors that are very bright because the Army Painter is brown and will make the figures look a bit dull and dirty (which is great for modern war themes).
1. Before painting I of course made some research on camo and colors, in this case I actually used quite some time trying to find the right uniforms for the era. In the end what I found out can be summed up in this picture from a Dragon 1:35 figure box. I used the color scheme from example 2 and 3, in the other zug’s I will probably also use the two other examples to make the overall look more rag tag style.
2. The figures are glued on to some coins using Super Glue Gel. Then I add a mixture of sand (from the beach) and fine gravel (from a road mending), this is glued to the bases using a thin acrylic glue.
3. With a big brush (size 10) I paint the base with a special base color from Games Workshop. Normally I’m not a big fan of GW’s paints, but I really like this base colors – they have lots of pigments and shrink when it dries which helps keeping the details on the small figures. This is an older version of the paint, GW have altered the colors and renamed them, but you will probably be able to find something similar.
4. I then drybrush the base with Vallejo color number 120.
5. Now it is time to give the figures their base color. This is the color the Fallschirmjägers camo jackets and helmet covers will have. I use GW’s Base Color: Rakarth Flesh. Until now I have been using the same big brush for all steps.
6. I will now paint all the details on the figures. It is necessary to pick colors slighty brighter than intended because the Army Painter varnish will darken them a bit. I try to add the colors in the best order possible because on this small sized figures I can’t paint perfect, by picking the right order, hopefully my accidents will happen on a detail that haven’t been painted yet. But still I will always have to make some small corrections before moving on to next step. I use brush size 1 for all this colors.
The colors I use are:
7. Almost all colors are added, flat and with no shadows or highlights. The Metal paint and the colors in the camo will be painted on after the Army Painter has been added.
8. I use the “Strong Tone” version of the Army Painter. The can that comes with the varnish isn’t very good, if the lid isn’t perfect sealed it will dry out. I therefore have some of it in a glass jar which is easier to keep sealed, while the can is put into a freezer bag and tucked away.
9. Using the big brush again I add the varnish to the figures, including the bases. It is necessary to move it around a bit with the brush to make sure that it looks okay. It is important not to use too much of the varnish, it is quite thick and if it lies on top of folds and other highlighted areas it will look wrong, but it will by it self seek down in folds and holes, it just need a little help some places. Now it just have to dry. This can take several hours, I use to add the varnish before I go to bed and the day after I will be able to paint the rest.
10. The figures have been left to dry overnight. Now it is time for camo. I prefer doing this after the varnish is added, else the camo colors tend to mix too much with each other and doesn’t look as good. I start with the bare helmets that don’t have covers. The Fallschirmjägers did spraypaint their helmets with dunkelgelb (dark yellow) color – I am not going to spraypaint color on such small figures so I’ll use the brush. The acrylics don’t have to be a GW base color, it was what I had. I make the color thinner with water and add it in steps, letting it dry before adding more, I work my way inwards to give the color a gradient look.
11. Before I paint rest of the camo I will give the figures a Dull Coat, I think that Model Masters is by far the best one (my bottle has almost dried out though, which make it hard to work with and I don’t think it is as matt as it used to be, have to buy a new one).
12. The camo is added with a thin brush, using Leather Brown 147 and Reflective Green 090. The splinter pattern camo is by far the hardest one to get to look right if asking me. I have to upscale it a bit, otherwise it will be too hard to recognize, and hard to paint too with all those small details. I have seen some adding the thin strokes that is typical for the camo, but this is way to overkill for me, even the thinnest strokes your are able to paint with your brush will be far to big – it just looks all wrong. After this I add Metal color to the weapons, paint the bigger stones on the base greyish. Then the last thing to do is to give it all a thin layer of dull coat again.
Here are the finished figures:
Now I will hurry up and paint the rest of the platoon (about 30 figs) :-)
Similar tutorials: Painting US ETO soldiers
I have to start with saying that this is mainly for people using SLR cameras. I hope there is something that those of you using pocket cameras and mobile phones will find useful too though.
By reading a book about photography or asking a pro you would probably learn something completely different than what I am writing here, I am just telling what works for me!
1. USEFUL GEAR
The professional photographer would take this kind of pictures in a studio using expensive flash units. We modellers are spending our money on miniatures, models and acrylic colors so we have to use what we have in our home. This we can do in two ways: using the daylight that are streaming through our windows or by using whatever kind of electrical light sources that we have. Using the daylight can make beautiful pictures, but relying on the sun for taking pictures isn’t the best so I won’t cover that in this tutorial.
I do use all kind of lights that we have in our house to take my pictures, sometimes I use the halogen spots above our kitchen work bench, other times I just use the architect lamp on my work desk or the pendant lamp above our dining table – they all work great as long as the shutter on the camera are open long enough. When the shutter is open for more than a split second the picture will be shaken if you hold the camera in your hand. That is why I use a tripod.
Tripods can be bought quite cheap and if you are not using it several times everyday I think it is overkill to buy an expensive one. If you don’t have the money or can’t wait to get along with your pictures and starts tonight already then it is also possible to fix the camera with other stuff such as books and boxes or whatever you find that can be useful, but I recommend using a tripod as this makes the session so much easier.
Even if using a tripod, then the time the camera needs to take good pictures is quite long, and just by pressing the trigger can be enough to make the picture shaken. There is two way to fix this: the cheapest is to just use the timer in the camera, but to most cameras it is possible to buy a little neat remote trigger, they will probably not cost you that much but gives you the possibility to direct your architect lamp by hand if needed, or holding backgrounds behind the models – things that would be problematic standing behind the camera.
2. LIGHTING THE MODEL
There is typical three kind of situations when I want to take pictures of my models:
This we do to let the audience see the model and all its details without distraction, preferable on a white background. Usually I let the model stand on a piece of pvc sheet, this gives a blurry reflection of the model that looks quite nice. A piece of paper will work great too, but will not reflect the model.
As background I use a piece of card board or whatever I have that is white. The lighting of the model doesn’t have to follow the rules of the real world with the sun as the only light source. You can place the lamp where ever you want to lid the model, typically you get the best result by put the light source in front of the model to one of the sides, a bit above the model. If you think that one of the sides don’t get light enough you can either use a light source more, or just put up a piece of white paper on the other side of the model and let the light reflect into the paper and down on the model – by looking through the view finder or the monitor (if your camera has one), you will be able to move the paper around to find the best spot for it.
A very simple studio. All picture in this article has been shot with this setup – using only the architect lamp on my work desk as light source.
A piece of paper is enough to lighten the dark side of the truck.
If you want to make pictures of your model that looks like it is in terrain then you get the best effect by trying to light the model as if the sun is the light source. It is important to only use one light source, or at least let one of the lamps be very dominant. If the intention is to mix your picture with a real life image of some environment, then it is important that you use the same strength and direction of the light source as in the image you will mix with, else it will look weird. If the sun is clear in the sky the shadows will be sharp and dark, if it is cloudy the shadows will be blurry and quite light. Don’t be afraid to use strong light that make the highlights very bright and the sides turning away from the light source very dark – this gives a nice effect!
Well, here it is important to make the picture very clear so that it is easy to understand what is happening on the terrain board. If you feel that the camera flash does give you the best result then this is okay, but if you want more realistic lighting I would make sure that the entire board is lighten up with one light direction more dominant than the others.
3. CAMERA SETTINGS
There are some settings you will have to do on your camera to be able to get good quality shots. Every camera has its own menu display and if you can’t find where to change the settings by your self then you have to look it up in the manual.
Turn it off.
Iso adds grain to the picture and the higher the number the more grains do you get. A very strong light allows you to take a picture without grain, but if the light is bad and the pictures getting dark then you can add grain and make the pictures lighter. A grainy picture can be very cool and used by many to get a special effect. Experiment to find the right amount for your own pictures. All pictures in this article is taken with Iso 100, the lowest possible setting.
A very high iso has destroyed this image.
Pictures taken inside is often very yellowish. To make sure this isn’t happening you have to fiddle with the white balance of the camera. There are probably pre-installed options called something like: Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade.
If you don’t set the white balance right your image will probably look like the first one.
I prefer to set the white balance my self. You will need to find how to do this in your manual. The process will be to take a “test shot” on a piece of grey or white paper that you are holding in front of the lens, and then let the camera do the measurement. If you are going to do retouch in the computer you can easily fix the yellow light later.
On the top of the camera, left side, there’s the wheel where you set your exposure mode, on most cameras those are: Auto, Manually, Aperture priority and Shutter priority – we go with the Aperture priority (marked with an A on a Nikon and Av on a Canon). This means that we set the aperture and the camera find the shutter speed for us. The reason to why we want to be able to set the aperture, instead of letting the camera do this for us, is to be able to choose what to be in focus. In Auto mode there will probably be areas on the model that is not in focus, in front and or in the back. But we want the whole model to be in focus and therefore set a higher aperture value. I often use an aperture of f18, you don’t want to go too high cause then the result will be that the overall picture is getting a bit blurry. The higher the aperture is, the longer the shutter time has to be – we use a very high aperture setting and that is why our camera has to be fixed or else the picture will be shaken.
If some part of the model still gets blurry after you have set the aperture, there is only one thing to do, move the camera backwards and zoom in.
If your pictures are to dark when using the Aperture priority (I have this problem with my old Nikon D80), it is quite easy to take a picture, notice what the shutter speed is and then change the exposure mode to Manually settings, keep the aperture as it is and just decrease the shutter speed until you are happy with the result. When only using the light from one architect lamp my shutter speed usually are 1.6 or 2 seconds.
First picture taken with exposure mode Auto. Both the gun and the rear of the model is blurry. Compared to picture two, that is shot with exposure mode Aperture priority (f22), the first picture present itself very bad. But a very high aperture comes at a price, the overall sharpness goes down a bit.
Cameras saves your picture as either JPEG (same as JPG) or RAW. JPEG pictures will be smaller and in lower quality than RAW. I alway use RAW as it gives me the possibility to, later on in my computer, zoom in on certain details.
4. TAKE THE SHOT
If you have done all the above then the only thing left is to shot the picture… or is it? The cameras position in relation to the model will make a difference on the end result, see picture below:
The models in the two pictures above are placed exactly the same place, notice how the second tank looks much bigger in picture two – the only difference is that in the first image the camera is close to the models (wide-angle) and in the second image (telephoto) the camera has been pulled backward (and zoomed in). The knowledge on how to position the camera can be quite useful. It is possible to make more drama in a picture with a high wide-angle.
But if you have the camera too close to the model then you will not be able to get the model in focus – move the camera further back and if you want the model to fill the picture then zoom in.
I hope that some of this can help you to make better pictures of your models. If I forgot something or some of it is badly explained then feel free to write a comment.
Maybe I later on will write a photoshop tutorial to go with this one.
My new idol is named Emmanuel Nouaillier – a french artist that make models that blow my mind! Following pictures says it all (this is 1/72).
And if you want to make models like this yourself then try this tutorials:
Make IT REAL part 1
Make IT REAL part 2
Bricks, Bricks, Bricks…
His blog is also worth a visit: Go to blog
I was going to start building houses for my La Fière Bridge project, but I just couldn’t find inspiration to get going – until I saw the work of Emmanuel. Now I work on my houses for several hours every evening and have ordered silicone for mould-making – so hopefully I will be able to show some examples soon!
News from the team behind BGK:
Well I have some good news and some bad news about Battlegroup Kursk.
The good news is… Its printing now!
The bad news is, due to a few ‘hitches’ the delivery dates for the books is now 17th October 2012.
Warwick is trying his hardest to get them to shift things along but we can only wait and see… If it comes sooner I will let ya all know!
If you have a blog or another forum with people after BGK, feel free to let them know the new date. I will do the rounds of the forums later on.
So as way of tiding you over till then, I managed to get some of the final page proofs from Warwick to show you… Click to go big!
Dont mind the odd text… That happened when I converted the PDFs to JPEGs!