Miniature Mushroom Tutorial

Spend any time around ToadChapel and you know I’m plum crazy about the fungus. I like the way mushrooms look and I like learning about them, so I photograph them, I draw them, and I use them extensively in my miniature projects. I’ve developed techniques for creating a variety of mushroom shapes suitable for 28mm, 54mm, or larger scale mini scenes, and I’m happy to share my approach with you. Depending upon how you paint these, you could produce many actual mushroom species and an unlimited number of fictional fungi.

These mushrooms are sturdy and small enough to use on gaming bases, especially if you place them intelligently, but they’re delicate enough to add a lot of dazzling detail to display pieces. Read on to learn how to work some minuscule mushrooms into your next modeling project.

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Drawing with Pointillism to Render Nice Leaves

My friend Lauren was admiring a leaf I drew and saying she’d like to try one like it. I prepared this little cheat sheet to help her in her efforts.

Lauren’s leaf

Read on to learn how I draw a leaf like that.

Continue reading “Drawing with Pointillism to Render Nice Leaves”

AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique

Today ToadChapel is proud to present a tutorial from the amazing Andy Gillaspy, aka AndyG. Andy is a true master of NMM style painting, but he’s always pushing himself in new directions. In that spirit, Andy has developed a way to render heavy rust in a non-metallic setting.  Read on to learn how to add this technique to your bag of tricks. Thanks Andy!

AndyG's beautiful Wraith from Black Crow Miniatures

I adore non-metallic metals. It’s my favourite way of painting metals. The control on where the highlighting goes, the matte finish which stops unwanted glints from metallic paints so that the mini appears to the observer the way that you want it to rather than how the lighting in the room reflects offs metallic paints is for me worth the effort. This isn’t to say that TMM is not an exacting and difficult way of painting metals well; for example the work of SkellettetS and Megazord Man is superb and they use TMM most of the time.

That said, NMM for me. However, what to do with rust? There I have previously given in and used TMM rather than NMM and I have been very satisfied with the results; the slight application in rubbed spots of the metal concentrates the highlights where you want them anyway so the issues of glints appearing where you don’t want them doesn’t occur as the rest of the metal is oxidized with matte browns and oranges. It was quite a challenge to come out of my comfort zone and decide to see if I could paint realistic and aesthetically pleasing rusted armour with NMM. Continue reading “AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique”

Scratchbuilding a Miniature Wire Tree

Once again ToadChapel welcomes the über-creative Lee Hebblethwaite, aka 10Ball. In this tutorial 10Ball walks us through a process he uses to create expressive scenic trees that enhance the composition of his miniature bases. As you can see from the image below, the results can be spectacular. The method itself, though, could even be applied to gaming terrain. Thanks 10!

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A skeleton from Age of Sigmar stands triumphant before a gnarled birch tree. A grinning skull stands out from the tree trunk.

There are many ways to create miniature trees. Using real tree roots or sculpting from scratch can be very effective, but I find using a wire ‘skeleton’ frame can create a realistic form quicker than sculpting and offers more control to fit the look of the scene than trying to find the correct piece of tree root. Continue reading “Scratchbuilding a Miniature Wire Tree”

Effective Highlights and Painting Different Material Finishes

The great David Powell , aka Bailey03, joins us for this guest tutorial, explaining how to better paint highlights and surface reflections. Though David is a sublime figure painter, he’s also a remarkable teacher who always translates his ideas into practical advice.  Read on for David’s tips that will immediately improve your mini painting. Oh, and to see some of his incredible work, too!

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David Powell's fearsome black orc (an academic bust from Hera Models) glares at the viewer. There is a subtle interplay of highlights between a universal light sourse and OSL cast by a fire.

When I work with other painters, an area I often try to stress is how to properly paint highlights. Continue reading “Effective Highlights and Painting Different Material Finishes”

Papermodeling Principles

Until I met g0rb on CMoN, I had never heard of papermodeling. Chris Venter, as he is known outside the hobby community, is a regular visitor to the Work In Progress forum on Cool Mini, where he astounds us with his amazing vehicles built from cut paper and other found materials. I have been very impressed by his attention to detail, creativity, and commitment to improvement. Chris is definitely an artist to watch as he continues to evolve and develop as a modeller and sculptor.  I asked him to share some reflections on his papermodelling.  As you’ll see, his approach to papercraft bears on other aspects of the miniature hobby, and on the creative process itself.

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Papercuts – or, How I Get from Cereal Box to War Machine

Over the last year or so I’ve fallen in love with scratchbuilding models. My weapon of choice is paper.

A detailed Warhammer 40k Landraider made from paper.

Land Raider, 2018 Continue reading “Papermodeling Principles”

How to Paint Rust like a Champ

John Margiotta joins us again to teach how he approaches one of his specialities: rust, grime, and corrosion. He’ll be painting up a classic 40k Plague Marine mini to show us how it’s done. Grandfather Nurgle will be proud!

Hello all, BaM here. On today’s tasty menu at the Chapel I’d like to introduce a small tutorial on how I went about painting the rust on my beautiful Deathguard that you may have seen in my gallery.

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