Four Album Heroes Tutorial

Last week I banged out seven of these guys from Zombicide Black Plague. I took a few pictures of the process. I used washes and simple color schemes to get the figures up to tabletop standard, then maybe picked out a few details to catch the eye.

First a dunking into wash/ink onto white primer. This quickly lays down a unifying background color, begins shading recesses, and helps the eye pick out the model’s details.

Colors are blocked out simply and not that fastidiously. The models texture is used to guide rough zenithal or other lighting, but I don’t make too much of a fuss about it. Many areas get no highlighting at all.

More washes are used throughout the process to keep the look grimy and unified. Later, when certain details are then picked out, they’ll stand out the more clearly.

Here most of the details have been picked out from the sculpt. Thundergut is further along than the ladies, who still lack faces.

Once all the skin is highlighted up, I use inks to put life into the flesh. Thundergut is a drunken dwarf (like, drunker than a normal dwarf, even), so he’ll need a red nose!

Finished! This is Gwen, my favorite character. She’s based upon a character design by Paul Bonner.

Apothecary Cape

I’ve been chipping away at my Dark Angels apothecary. The ivory and red sections have been brought back up after a heavy wash over almost everything, and the cape has been painted… although it’s tempting to put some freehand on there.

In my choice of colors, I’m trying to balance the light, healing, angelic aspect of the apothecary (he is the only model in the group with ivory armor) while also referring to his role as the ferryman and preserver of the gene seed.

I still have to do most of the doo-dads, the green armor, and the face.

Another Vignette

I’ve been having fun with the scenic pieces lately, so I’ll at least keep an iron in that fire for a while. I’ve started a new scene.

The black square on the bottom is the 2″x2″ block I have used most often on display pieces of all kinds. Around that you can see the footprint and, more importantly, the hole of the little frame. It’s a bigger space than the block, but it’s still tiny.

The new scene will be built in an 8″x5″ frame. The hole is considerably smaller than that, but it’s the biggest non-gaming terrain I’ve done.

The little rises & undulations are created with Milliput. Once they’re dry, I gave the whole thing a complete covering of non-fancy dirt onto a thickish coating of wood glue. After it gets a bit tacky, I knock most of the ‘larger’ rocks down into the depression, where they would collect. As that dries, I’ll shake off lose bits, glue it down, and repeat for a few cycles.

With the Milliput I’ve run a trough from one corner to the opposite. Hypotenusing (a term used by a friend to describe a person’s taking up the whole bed) in this way will set up some really nice lines of sight for the viewer. Hopefully I can effectively ‘frame’ those views visually.

Tiny Flower Tutorial 1

The addition of tiny flowers adds an element of realism and interest to a scene. I like to use flowers to unify a piece with color, add a personal or symbolic touch, or just push a piece a bit farther.

Luckily, it’s super easy. There’s basically a supply you need and a trick I discovered.

1) This is the stuff you need. I’m not sure what it’s called, but you can get it at any dried flower store. Support your local business! Probably elsewhere, too. It’s just preserved greenery of some kind. If anyone knows the name, let us know.

2) Cut off a tiny little branch.

Hopefully with this shot you can track down the right plant.

3) Definitely down to the fiddly part now. Cut off just a few little flower buds at a time.

I like lots of smaller flowers most of the time on the ground, but a few or a single blossom from an otherwise dead tree looks cool.

Now, here’s the trick. Those little white flowers? Yank em out. It will create a nice little tulip shaped flower with a hollow chamber inside.

4) Paint the buds. Just the tips, mind. Because they’re so tiny, you can go bright. Really bright!

There are a lot of applications for this little technique. I hope you give it a try.