MFCA

I’m back from the 2019 MFCA show in Philadelphia. I earned two bronze medals for my pieces.

Considering the quality of the entries, I was pleased with the result.

My favorite work on display was Matt DiPietro‘s bust of Conan, painted in a Frazetta style. I got to talk to Matt for about an hour. He is a great person. We talked about techniques, his business as a full-time painter, and his experiences getting to where he is now.

Many of the historical pieces were mind blowing. The techniques and stylistic norms are quite different from what I’m used to, but those old heads do know how to paint!

This incredible scratchbuilt masterpiece was voted a deserving best in show.

I got to meet many great folks, and spent an enjoyable day in the company of painters eager to share our love of mini painting. I’m hoping I get back to the show next year.

The Road to Adventure

I’ve finished the base for my dwarves in time for MFCA this weekend. The wooden plinth (something I picked up at a craft shop) is being stained. I’ll attach it when it’s dried.

I applied some subtle washes (some browns, green, and blue) to the rocks to give each of them a slightly different color from its neighbor.

I’d like to add a few mushrooms & flowers, maybe a touch of grass, but we’ll see if I have time between now and Thursday.

Here’s the gang on the road to adventure.

And here you can see how the wheel ruts on the base match those on the display base.

A Home for Dwarves

I’m heading to MFCA in Philadelphia next weekend and planning to show a few of the dwarves from ToadChapel. Here’s a display base I’m hoping to finish in time for the show.

Basic structure created with a mix of Super Sculpey & Super Sculpey Firm. I find the proper consistency is just about midway between the two. The standard consistency warms in your hands and won’t stand serious mushing around, while the firm is so stiff it tends to break when you handle it. Working it up into a usable consistency is enough to make your hands sore.

A little structure added with Milliput. Without distracting from the figures, I’m trying to suggest that something interesting lies just ahead.

Some basic paint applied. I’m repainting the base of the dwarf who’s in the road so she matches better, rather than trying to match the painting to her base.

This is a bit of a rush job, so hopefully some well-placed flock will cover up some of the rough patches.

Happy hobbies to you!

Four-Banger!

I stumbled across a flyer yesterday and today I visited Tricon, a show put on by the local chapter of IPMS. The people were great and I made some new friends.

Though most of the show was dedicated to ordinance, cars, airplanes, ships, and larger scale models & busts, my 28mm offerings did very well, earning four gold medals in an open judging competition.

I had a great time and look forward to visiting again next year. I’ll try to bring a few friends to increase the visibility of 28mm models, and also prepare some pieces that jive more with the overall settings of the show.

Woohoo!

NMM Gold: Beginners Guide on Painting Complex Shapes

This very special tutorial features a guest appearance from NMM maestro Lee Hebblethwaite, AKA 10Ball. Lee’s projects are always creative and feature some of the best non-metallic metal anywhere.  I’m looking forward to trying a few of these ideas around ToadChapel soon!

A colorful sorcerer of Tzeentch wearing ornate armor, which 10Ball has painted in a NMM gold style.

Continue reading “NMM Gold: Beginners Guide on Painting Complex Shapes”

Breathe Life into Miniature Faces with Inks

A subtle application of inks can transform the face of a mini from lifeless to vital quickly and easily.  Here is a a effective scheme to help your painting draw more attention on the tabletop.

A kitbashed figure from the Warhhamer 40,000 universe.

Continue reading “Breathe Life into Miniature Faces with Inks”

Let There Be Dirt: Modeling Earth for Your Minis & Terrain

The village of ToadChapel needs some rock, soil, and life upon which to grow. Let’s learn how to make it.

Finished terrain tiles of earth with moss and stones

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to make a layer of basic forest earth that will work for your mini bases, terrain, gameboards, and dioramas.  The environment of your figures plays an enormous role in setting a realistic and believable scene.  Poor basing can easily spoil a good paintjob.  Superior basing and terrain, though, can help even mediocre figures tell a compelling story on the tabletop. Continue reading “Let There Be Dirt: Modeling Earth for Your Minis & Terrain”

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”