Scenic Diorama & Vignette Tutorial

A mossy old tree with a chipmunk and an orange frog upon it.

As I began to explore the hobby of miniature painting a few years ago, I particularly enjoyed the basing element of the process.  I had been instantly attracted to the amazing and diverse bases of many different artists.

That interest led me to spend a good deal of my hobby time creating purely scenic pieces.  I’ve done urban scenes as well, but here I’m making a wild little place as a gift for my mother.

I think these mini dioramas or vignettes work quite well if you hide a lot of tiny details for the viewer to find. They’re a very fun escape from conventional miniature painting. And of course, all one needs to make a ‘scene’ into a ‘base’ is a nice figure!  I hope you find this tutorial helpful or motivational. Continue reading “Scenic Diorama & Vignette Tutorial”

Watch Those Zombies!

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Just a couple of heroes from Zombicide Black Plague, which I’ve been enjoying (again!) lately.  It’s a great game with some really cool – but extremely cheap – figures to practice on or just play around with.  I’ve painted up a couple friends’ favorites, along with a few I wanted to paint.  I’ll surprise them next time they’re over.

These are ‘4 album’ minis, meaning less than an hour a mini.  For that pace, I’m quite happy.  I think they look great from tabletop height.  They’re sloppy & in many cases I’m barely coating white primer with washes, inks, and thin/broken paint, but I want them to look childish, a bit like watercolor in places, and most of all… I want to crank ’em out in a night or two!

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I didn’t even bother with mold lines, but I tried to catch a little of their wacky humor.

T2: Another Deathwing Terminator

Another terminator joins the Dark Angels!  This one recalls a victory over the forces of Nurgle decades ago.

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I think the painting is a bit neater than on the first, identical termie.  This one’s got a bit heavier weathering, though.  I still have a detail or two to finish (zombie beard), but he’s basically ready to roll.

Unlike their heavily-converted or kitbashed peers, these figures came straight out of the Dark Vengeance box.  These terminators were some of the first times I’ve used an airbrush for basecoating.

Dark Angels Tabletop Painting Tutorial

I’ve followed a straightforward and consistent method in painting the Dark Angels for my 40k Kill Team.  This produces a uniform look to my squad, even though the individual members have been painted over many months.  I’ve done my figures one-by-one, since they’re each kitbashed & converted to create a unique personality for each, but this painting process would work equally well for batch painting.  Moreover, the steps I employ can be applied to any Space Marine chapter, or indeed any 40k army.  In this process I paint full faces (yes, for my whole command roster) and carefully pick out the many details added through conversion, but much of the mini is painted quickly and easily in a very elementary manner.  I find that by drawing attention to the most important and interesting elements on the miniature, the lack of careful blending or other advanced techniques is easily forgiven, especially on the tabletop.  This approach also gives a great opportunity to practice important skills, like painting faces, before you tackle that Commander you really want to nail.  Kill Team, with its limited roster, offers a perfect opportunity to go nuts on conversion, detailing, and faces, without actually painting models to a display standard.

An enraged Dark Angels space marine charging with bolter raised.

Here I’ll paint up a Tactical Marine, demonstrating each step of the process. Continue reading “Dark Angels Tabletop Painting Tutorial”