Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Seeing as it is Halloween (or All Hallows Eve if you want to be more accurate) I felt I should do something in the spirit of the day, but with projects piling up I think adding anything serious would be very silly...

So here is the five minute pumpkin!

Happy Halloween all!

Monday, 28 October 2013


A quick line to give you the links to the various albums on the studios' Facebook page. 

Please "like" and "share" these if you feel so moved.

Also don't forget to "like" the studios' facebook page to be kept updated with the latest WIP photos and article publications, as well as upcoming competitions and deals!

Have a happy painting life!


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Shadowblade: contract ended!

Well despite travels Shadowblade is now completed and within the number of planned days! Even though overall this result was reached a week later than planned I did not add extra days of work to the project.

So here he is in all his gory glory!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Technology at its' worst (also administrations are out to get me...)

Well many apologies for my recent silence. A combination of emergency travels and a computer taking on a life of its' own have combined forces, over the past few days, to ban me from communicating.
However all is returning to normal, thank you googleAdblocker!! So here is a brief article just to get you back up to speed with the unfortunatley small progress over the past few days.

So what was has happened? Well let's start with what I haven't worked on: Shadowblade. A mad dash over the week end took me away from my paint station for five days so he hasn't come on at all... Not to worry he is only due for the 2nd of november and I'm only going to work on him from now on until he is done (fine words but let's see if that really happens...).

These doubts come from the fact that:
a) My toking little junkie shaman is coming on and I'm really impatient to finish the sculpting work so I can get on to the painting.
b) I ransacked a hobby store in my home town and came back with some amazing miniatures that are begging for my attention.
and finally
c) At my local hobby store yesterday the idea emerged to create some Banksy style decorated Ork Killer Kans, and this led on to the creation of the "Grotsy" character and his graffitiying a wrecked tank... Fortunately I have none of the miniatures as yet for this idea but it will have to happen... Or do I? Damn!! I knew I had bought some Killer Kans yesterday... Oh well... Let us see what happens. After all one of the beauties of keeping this a hobby is that I am free to do exactly what I want, when I want and how I want (spoilt child syndrome? Nope: I don't believe it should be this way, but it is.)

Well here are a few pictures of the current progress. Very little details to add for the moment as I am well behind my schedules for practically everything at the moment so I must quickly return to work...

The desktop photo that should have been updated saturday... Now you can see a small "WIP" photo station! Oh: and it's a glorified mess...

I love playing with angles of site and framing in my scenes. Here the construction of a very simple barred window on the base of my "Cultist raid"

The masking of the base and preliminary texture of the walls

A close-up of this preliminary texture. I might not add to it actually as I quite like it as it is. I will see when a base coat is applied how I feel about it...

The Tube Tool has arrived and it is oh so wonderfully simple and effective!

Seriously: a brilliant tool!

Our Hookah is connected! This is going to be epic to paint!!

Right! Now to return to Shadowblade and catch up on time lost...

Also stay posted as in the coming days I feel a small competition coming on with a little prize for the winner!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

"Kobalt l'Acerbe"

A few requests have come in asking me what is the current cover picture of this blog. Well the quick answer is: "Kobalt", an angry goblin character produced by the much regretted Rackham Miniatures.

I did paint this guy a while ago, however I feel that a few more details are expected of me: sometimes you must pander to the crowd...

Unfortunately I do not have any step-by-step pictures of this guy so I will simply explain the colours and techniques used.

"Who told the armourer to fit all these damn bells???!!'
You could split this sculpt down into five aspects. I will deal with each in turn.

1) Steel NMM

All the areas of steel were based in Codex Grey (GW). It took about five coats to create a homogenous surface, bear in mind that I work with very diluted paints: in this case it was probably 1 part paint for 5 parts of water.
I then shaded using Chaos Black (GW) mixed with varying proportions of Scorched Brown (GW), as I got closer to the deeper areas so did I increase the black contents of the mix until using nearly pure black. These various layers were applied as glazes and wet blended as I progressed.
The highlights were brought up by layering washes of Codex Grey (GW) mixed with Fortress Grey (GW), progressively increasing the Fortress Grey contents. Finally pure Skull White (GW) highlights were placed at the "light points"
A final very heavily diluted glaze of Dark Grey Blue (VMC 904) was applied over the entire steel areas.
Scratch marks were added using a very fine brush (Raphael 8404 6/0) and applying thin white lines.
The rust was created using the same colours as those used for the leather parts. In this case various washes of Scorched Brown (GW), Bestial Brown (GW), Burnt Cadmium Red (VMC 814) and Snakebite Leather (GW) were lavished upon the chosen areas of the piece. I deliberately used the same colours as the leather parts to creat a unity within the overall vision of the piece.

2) Gold NMM

In much the same fashion the gold NMM was created. 
On a base of Bubonic Brown (GW) the shadings were created using the shades that were used for the skin tones. In this case Catachan Green (GW) and Liche Purple (GW) were used in conjunction with increasing proportions of Chaos Black (GW). As always the darkest tones were used in the deepest kinks and recesses of the various elements.
The highlights were simply created by progressively adding Skull White (GW) to the Bubonic Brown base colour until reaching pure white on the smallest edges and angles possible.
A final wash of heavily diluted Liche Purple was applied over all the gold elements. When I say heavily diluted this is close to 1 part paint for 15 parts water.

3) Skin

The base colour is a 50/50 mix of Catachan Green (GW) and Regal Blue (GW). Shading was pushed progressively into the recesses by adding Regal Blue (GW) and Chaos Black (GW) in increasing quantities until reaching a near pure black in the deepest crevasses.
The highlights were performed by first adding a touch of Elf Flesh (GW) to the base colour and then adding Rotting Flesh (GW) to this mix, in increasing quantities until reaching the greatest points of light.
The real fun was glazing the different areas with varying colours to enliven the model. Glazes of heavily diluted Burnt Cadmium Red (VMC 814), Scab Red (GW) and Liche Purple (GW), were applied to the lips, nose, joints and toes of Kobalt. Also around the eyes I used a glaze of pure Regal Blue (GW) to give him a "colder" stare.

4) Leathers

The gloves and neck protection were based in Scorched Brown (GW). The shading was created by adding Regal Blue (GW) and Chaos Black (GW). Highlights were created by first putting a small touch of Burnt Cadmium Red (VMC 814) into the base colour and then progressively adding Elf Flesh (GW) until I reached the desired effect. I should point ot that I did not go all the way to pure Elf Flesh. Finally a glaze of Scorched Brown (GW) with a touch of Regal Blue (GW) was applied to all the leather areas.

5) Beard, teeth and toenails

The teeth and toenails were based in Bleached Bone (GW) with a touch of Scorched Brown (GW). The darker tones were created by adding black, brown and blue to the base colour. Then the highlights were set in by adding Bleached Bone (GW) then Skull White (GW) to the base colour.

The beard was painte using a dark blue/grey base, shaded using black and highlighted ONLY slightly by adding light grey to the base colour.

There you go folks! I'm sorry I did not have the illustrating photos for a step-by-step... BUT!: you will be justly rewarded for your patience around the same time next week!

Until then keep on painting happily!!

 Coolminiornot rating

On creativity...

A lot of people have been asking me where I get my ideas and how I make them into something real. Well I could list all the great painters and sculptors I have met over the years; all the writers and their works that I ave read and admired over the years. I could write a huge list of museums and artworks I have been voluntarily or involuntarily exposed to in my lifetime; the same could be done in the musical sphere...

None of that will be of any use to you, sorry!

Now "how" I turn ideas and concepts into actual "things" can be seen in the tutorials.
Creativity however is first and foremost a state of mind. I could ramble on about it BUT: I will leave you to watch this brilliant speech that John Cleese delivered some years ago. He puts much better words to the topic than I could hope for. Listen, meditate and enjoy!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Shadowblade on contract: Day 1

In a previous post dealing with this guy I rather rashly took on the resolution to work to a schedule in the hope that the discipline might help me better organise my painting in general.

Well I'm happy to say that I have not bottled out and as you may recall: Day 1 was to see the head finished. So here it is as proof!

The "over the soulder" pose: a classic from all good pin-ups throughout the ages!

The final touches will be made when I reach the finishing stage and the head is assembled to the rest of the figurine.

Tomorrow should be the legs, so as a reminder here is what I will be starting from:

See you tomorrow!

Restless nights...

We've all had them: nights where sleep will not come. Why is this? Stress because of upcoming exams, relationship issues, maybe it's just the sound of the neighbour introducing his new girlfriend to the ceiling in a very loud manner... Or maybe it is because you really just can't put your brushes down as you are "on a roll"!
Whatever the reason, it is much better to use this time than just hope for sleep! So amid essay writing ( because yes I have a real life outside of wee men and monsters ) I took up another little project, that then became two...

I also dug out a picture of a past little paintjob that I'm really pleased about and decided to write an article on this guy as well...

So last night was illuminated by finding this on my desk:

image taken from GW site

So what to do with these guys? I don't play Chaos, in fact I don't play at all I just love the modelling aspects of the Hobby. Well the guy that really grabbed my eye, out of the five models in this kit, was the one with the gas mask and club. He's got a slightly dynamic pose, a bit of an evil "emptiness" due to the lack of facial features, just a few extra details: basically he has fun written all over him. I therefore chose to isolate him and paint him as a single character, with his own little base and everything!

And here he is before priming! 
I couldn't resist it: usually I always modify a bought miniature in some way or another ( with the recent exception of my "Shadowblade" ) because I feel that in this way I somehow make an industrially mass produced model my own unique model.

So what happened to this guy? Well the club he was originally carrying was transformed into a cartoon-style oversized meat cleaver. To do this I scraped off the little barbs that were part of the original. I then shortened the club to adapt it to the blade which I cut and sanded off from a sheet of Milliput (in this instance I used the White Superfine Milliput). Finally, using some GreenStuff I shaped the two strips creating the attachments between blade and staff/handle.

The base was built upon a small wooden round base that I made a stock of for just such miniatures: ones that don't warrant a full on custom expensive base, but that you want to endow with something better than those horrible plastic gaming bases (sorry gamers: I know that the lack of size to embellish your HQ choices is sometimes a pain to you also). Two strips cut from a plastic "I" profile gave me room to fit in pipes and serve as a level surface to glue the anti-slip flooring. I really love pipes on post-apocalyptic bases, I don't know why but I do. I then filled in around the pipes using Milliput Standard Yellow/Grey putty.

The "I" profiles and the pipes. The larger pipe is from a specifically made plastic profile, the smaller pipe is the protective cap of a paintbrush.

The Milliput fill-in.
As you can see I created some simple varying levels by simply pushing and flattening the putty using a toothpick. Later, when flocking is added this wil create a more interesting surface than flat putty.

I then glued a few small slates around the bottom of the "I" profiles with PVA glue and finally using Superglue (please be careful using this stuff!) I fixed some simple dirt dust on the various desired areas.

The slates

The dirt dust (the dark brown stuff) is clearly visible. This photo also shows the circulation level on which the cultist will finally stand.

The final circulation surface was cut out of a sheet of textured plastic, the particular texture chosen is that of an anti-slip metal floor plate. As a final touch some screwed up papers and drink tins were modelled out of lead paper. In a future article I will show you the wonders of lead paper and its' uses for your bases and conversions!

Long story short here is the state of our cultist after a sleepless night:

Still a lot of work to be done, however I intend this to be a quick project so stay tuned for the final pictures of this guy!

What happened to the other four???

A very good question! (Multiple exclamation marks are apparentely a sure sign of insanity. What do you think??!!)

Well my folly made me turn four of the lowliest most useless pieces into a decent sized project (by my standards anyway). The various poses of these guys led me to see them rampaging through alleys ransacking a town fallen to the dark gods of Chaos.
So out comes the box of random bases to hunt down something that could be used to create a small crossroads. I'll leave you simply with some pictures of this project as I intend to write a full step-by-step on creating a small scene using this piece as the walkthrough example.

'Til next time!!!!
(more multiple exclamation marks... the madness is set in I fear...)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Mushrooms! Mushrooms everywhere!!!!

Earlier today I shared with you a few pictures of my upcoming toking junkie of a Goblin Shaman. After a few hours of work, hopping between three different projects today, here he is nearly ready for painting!

In the end I have elected to leave the mushroom head on and paint the project as one whole single piece. All that remains to be done before priming is to detail the underside an topside of the mushroom, and flock the base. But I will not be able to advance on this guy before the awaited delivery of my PK-Pro order... 

Don't do drugs! But paint them...

Mood music!!

My first love in miniatures has always been the greenskins of all denomination. Recently I realised that I have not painted one in AGES! So a quick trip down to my local hobby store and I came back with this guy:

Yes this is GWs' picture (for comparisons' sake)

I love creating little scenes, so this guy is basically going to be a hookah dragging junkie. So here goes with some sneak WIP pics' of this project:

The Shamans' staff was shortened to later be transformed into an american-indian style pipe. You can also see the beginning of the hookah pipe to the left. In the background you can see the armature for the massive mushroom that he will be sitting under.

A better view of the mushroom armature.

I plan to paint this guy as one whole piece on his base. I might however leave the mushroom head off until the end to make access to certain areas easier.

a close-up view of the advancing Hookah pipe.

Also I am looking forward to the delivery of a wonderful tool by PK-Pro: the Tube Tool!! This will come in handy to make the various tubular pipes coming out of the Hookah, and will also be a wonderful addition to my sculpting tool box.

More on this guy coming soon to a computer in front of YOU!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fifty shades of Grey: the advance of NMM

Shadowblade progresses slowly. I have decided to try and function with a "to-do-list".
So here is the curent state of our evil heartless assassin:

The plan is to finish him by this time next week along this program:

Day 1: Head
Day 2: Legs
Day 3 Torso
Day 4: Daggers
Day 5: Arms and Hands
Day 6: Cloak
Day 7: final details (I have not yet decided wether or not I will add a freehand design to the cloak or not...)

Maybe this plan will actually motivate me to reorganize my way of working in general...

Stay tuned for the day-to-day update and the step-by-step tutorial that will be published after the completion of this piece!

Desktop 1.1

Henceforth the "Desktop shot of the week" will be updated each Saturday.

So starting off the first Saturday!:

YES!!!: the second and third light sources have appeared, praised be the scandinavian furniture magus!!

A bit of DIY has added much needed shelf space... And yes there are now stagnating mugs of tea...

Not the optimum way I've had for paint storage but it'll do for the few months I will spend here...

Checkout Tiny Peoples' Facebook page and post pictures of your workspace!

Keeping up appearances

Greetings all!

A quick line to let you know that Tiny People now has its' own Facebook page!
Another way to keep up with the scramblings of the mini men...

Please "Like" and "Share"!

Have a pigmentatious day!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Nurgle Plague Marine: the Kitchy world in pastels...

I painted this little guy nearly a couple of years ago for a small competition organised for the release of GW's new paint range. I really enjoyed the new range, even though I still believe some of the older shades should never have disappeared (Where are you oh sweet Goblin Green, Snakebite Leather and Scab Red??? WHERE???????????????). 

Ok, grieving over. A few explanations and some pictures!

The base

I built the base upon a small leftover piece of oval wood. A precooked Fimo strip marked the edge of the pavement; the protective cap of a paintbrush made a draine-pipe; some wire mesh was cut to size and laid down.

The wall was cut out of a precooked Fimo plaque and GreenStuff was used to make the riveted metal strip. The corrugated iron door remains were made out of a sheet of Yellow-Green Milliput. I will post a tutorial on corrugated iron making as it is oh so simple and really adds character to a base.

A bit of flocking and dirt was randomly added and hey presto!: one ugly base!

The Marine

I love these old school models! All except their backpacks which are absolutely appalling! So I made a pack for this guy out of a more recent loyalist Space Marine pack and the canister from an imperial guard flame thrower. Finally I used lead paper to cut out little detailed plates to create a battered and repaired look to the whole pack.

A few more pictures so you see what I am on about...

Without a proper step-by-step it would be pointless to explain the paintjob. However a few comments might be of use as these are things that I generally apply regardless of the piece I am working on.

1) I always use the colours of the miniature somewhere on the base. Maybe not always in the same shade as on the model itself, but you will always find the dominant colours of my miniatures somewhere on the base. In this piece the wall is painted with a different shade of the same colour as the armour of the Plague Marine.

2) A base is a support and/or a framework to enhance the presentation of the central piece. Here this was achieved by cutting out the door frame: this creates a frame around the shape of the Marine and also allows you to see some of him from the back as if you were in the building.

3) Any little details added must be added to enhance the feel of the whole project but must not swamp or detract attention from the centre piece. In this project I simply added a poster to the otherwise bare wall. The colour of the poster is fairly neutral so it does not attract the eye at first glance, the small bloodstain adds a bit of colour and helps the observer create a story in his head: "What happened here? Who died? Was it a survivor fleeing this monstrous stinking warrior?..."

That's it for today folks!
Remember: enjoy your projects before any other concern and you will get the results you want sooner or later :)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Apocalypse Preacher (vol. I)

Ongoing project (WIP)

to get you in the mood...

This guy is a loooooooooooooooooooooong ongoing project. I've been coming back and doing bits on him for the past year and a half. Unfortunately I am a painter who starts more projects than he finishes, maybe this blog will help me discipline myself against this shortcoming...

Anyhow here is the current state of play!

The base is built up around and under a resin base by Fenryll, a few loose slates from Citadel / Games Workshop were added to blend the assemblages into each other and provide a level surface on which the Preacher will stand defiantly!

As you can see: defiant! Worthy of some of Irelands turn of the century "fire and brimstone" preachers!

I gave him a longer and more unkempt beard using GreenStuff; his original staff was replaced by drilling through his clenched fist and inserting a 1mm thick piano wire. The Imperial "I" was liberated from the hand oh a Sister of Battle; the various parchment strands were cut out of lead paper and finally the seals were quickly modelled out of GreenStuff.

At the rate he's going I may just have finished him by next summer... More news on this guy to come no doubt! 

However I must now return to work on my upcoming competition piece...

Little Red Riding Hood


Now that I've found his head I have made progress on "Shadowblade".

I can see you...

The NMM is starting to come in and I'm really loving the cloak! Evil Sunz Scarlet is a lovely shade I feel.
When I get round to the nitty gritty details of the face and expressions I am looking forward to testing the Acid Green Pigments from Forged Monkey. Hopefully this will give him a violent and piercing expression, and the two small green specks of his eyes should make a brilliant contrast to the huge red cape.

For those of you who are wondering the cloak so far:
- base of VGC Necrotic Red (G11) + VAC Acajou (036) respectively 1/3 and 2/3
- highlights at present performed using VGC Necrotic Red (G11) and GW Evil Sunz Scarlet
- shadings using the base colour and mixing in GW Liche Purple

Also these are some of the first pictures taken with my new 70-300 macro lens -> a really nice piece of kit for those who want to get closer to professional photography.

More to come soon!

- VGC = Vallejo Game Color
- VAC = Vallejo Air Color
- GW = Games Workshop

The finished piece HERE!

Desktop Photo of the week

Just because I thought that it might be fun over time to see how the workspace evolves...

I do miss my second and third sources of light though, I must go and buy some more stuff... I am also surprised at the total absence of ageing mugs of tea or coffee, and no I didn't clean up before taking the picture!

What does your workspace look like?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

From Tiny People to Massive Heads!

In june this year I was fortunate enough to be able to help Ben Dearnley with this huge 3 ton sculpture that emerged from a 5 ton block of Bathstone, and today was the unveiling of this piece in the wonderful grounds of Ashton Court Estate just outside Bristol.

So, just a few pictures from this event; because there are not just tiny ways to make art...

Once again Ben: Thank you for that marvellous experience and your kindness.

I really would recommend you visit his website as well to see some more of his amazing pieces: