It's BAAAaaack

It's been a long time.  The site has been resurrected with a fresh coat of style.  Not sure I'm in love with it, but we'll give it some time to sink in. 

A lot has happened since my last post:
  • With my loving wife's support, I returned to school and completed my second degree.  
  • My one and only grandmother passed away.  I miss her.  
  • My wife's roller derby team won the championship!  
  • We moved from our awesome little home in Madison, Wisconsin to our new home in Durham, North Carolina.  
  • We both found new jobs, and that's a real blessing in this economy.  I'm doing programming work for a great company in Durham and my wife is working at an assisted living facility.  
  • My wife is now back in school for nutrition. 
Wow...  That's all in a little less than two years. 

I've even managed to do some modeling!  It hasn't been well documented and I intend to right that wrong.  My studio was left with the house in Madison, so I'll need to start building all my furniture again.  I've got some ideas for some improvements this time around!  We'll see how fast it can all come together.   Maybe someone is even still paying attention to this blog....  Naaaah...  let's not get silly.

Weekly Update: It's all about the Stegadon

This was a busy week with a trip out of state. The house is a disaster and should be cleaned, but the studio is always a disaster and hanging out in there keeps the real work at bay. Lots of work was done on the Steg model today. The highlights are coming along nicely and I'm trying out some hatching techniques that I think have been mostly successful. By hatching, I mean the fine highlighted lines that run across places like the jaw, back legs, etc. It's often used to describe a shape when you're drawing or painting on a flat surface. I've seen other folks use it on models as well and liked the results. There's plenty of detail work left to do - all the horns and spikes need highlights, metals need painting, and the howdah is in progress. Check out the little duffer:

7th edition Stegadon WIP 2
7th edition Stegadon WIP - detail of head 2
7th edition Stegadon WIP - detail of head
7th edition Stegadon WIP

Tip of the Week: Buy the Best Brushes

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” - Confusious

Primed White modelLots of time observing, thinking, and painting makes a great painter, but starting with the right tools for the job is also necessary to produce quality work. Let's face it - applying color to a miniature isn't easy. It takes patience, concentration, a good hand, the right mix of paint, and on and on and on. Anything that gives you an edge is worth having and the right type of brush will help.

Many mini painters will ask, "Why have all my brushes started to curl and fall apart, and what can I do to fix them, and why don't they hold paint well, and why do I hate my dad and that girl I like won't talk to me?" Here's an answer to the parts related to brushes: You're likely using a brush made with nylon or some other less-than-desirable material. The hairs that make the brush are also probably squished and poorly glued into the ferrule.

A good brush for miniatures will be made of Kolinsky sable. I have found a few companies that I like better than others, but wholeheartedly recommend any of the following: Da Vinci Maestro, Winsor & Newton Series 7, and Escoda. With proper care, these brushes will last for years.

"But Midloo, those are expensive and I still hate my dad." To address the former part of the comment: It's true - a quality brush will cost you more than the junk GW or your local dive sells, but the price is more than worth it. Let's do some quick math: A nylon brush will set you back between 50 cents and 5 dollars. With luck, it will retain it's shape and last you slightly more than a handful of painting sessions. If purchasing online, one of the recommended Kolinsky brushes will cost between $10 and $25 dollars and will last hundreds of painting sessions. It will remain springy and in perfect shape time and again. It will hold a more appropriate amount of paint and allow you to more easily achieve the effects you're after. It will even get that girl to talk to you.... well, a painter should be a dreamer. It's tough to overcome that initial cost, but believe me - you'll be much happier every time you paint.

A good brush will remove one of the obstacles to finishing great miniatures. Do yourself a favor if you haven't already and take the plunge. If you're upset with the purchase, feel free to blame your dad.

Questions? Comments? Brush horror stories? Let us know!

You Have to See This: Wet Palette

Paint Palette

A good friend on the Wisconsin Warhammer Fantasy Battles site put up a great tutorial on how to make a wet palette. I haven't tried this out myself, but I've seen the results of his work with it and they're mighty fine. Take a look and let him know if you have success with it.

Click here for a nice wet palette.

Wait that's not it... that's Karin Viard in her prime. Try this instead: Wet Palette

mmm hmm