October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! While casting around for something appropriate for the season, I found these old models from Heritage Miniatures, circa 1979 that were part of a box set called Caverns of Doom! These were the first metal 25mm I ever owned and painted (I painted a bunch of 72mm army men before that). Needless to say they have been repainted. About two years ago I had a bout of nostalgia and decided to clean up these ancient models. While these are poor sculpts by modern standards, they were actually a joy to paint.

I have hundreds of painted D&D models from a dozen companies spanning the entire history of game... I'm going to feature more from this collection over the next few weeks.

October 28, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Ten

This step is about adding some detail back to the landscape. All of the drybrushing blended in the rubble and rocks we went to all of the trouble of adding earlier, so they need to be picked back out in dark grey. I used two highlight stages to bring out the detail again. Again I have three quarts of acrylic house paint that I matched to GW colors. The shades are Shadow Grey (No longer available), Codex Grey, and Fortress Grey. Basically, you just need a dark, medium, and light. For that matter, your rocks could be shades of brown or the left the color of the rest of the bare earth. I used grey for the same reason I worked some other tones into my grass areas; I think the color variation really adds to the interest of the boards.

These steps should all be self explanatory after the last couple of posts so I'll just let you look at the pictures without interrupting all the time...

Before painting the river, I want to add a little more detail to the grass areas. This is completely unnecessary, but after all of this, why shy away from a little more work? I want to add patches of static grass in areas not only to add yet more colors, but more textures. Besides, all of my models are based with static grass and adding it to the board will make them look more at home!

It's pretty much like adding rubble. I spread a little glue in the areas I want the grass, sprinkle it on, let it dry, and remove the excess with that risky (don't let your significant other see you using it) vacuum.

Next time we will go back to work on the river. We are almost done!

October 15, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Nine

Before we move on to the fourth color, I thought maybe a brief note on drybrushing was in order for anyone who is a beginner and maybe is unfamiliar with the technique. To start with, I try not to dip more than a third of my brush into the paint (that goes for all of my painting). Then wipe the brush across a paper towel a few times until most of the paint appears to be off of the brush. Then lightly draw the brush across the textured road and you'll notice that only the highest points of the texture catches the paint. This really will bring out the texture we applied earlier with these last two steps. As I mentioned earlier, it is always better to put down too little paint and go over an area several times than blob on too much!

Again, this is the fourth stage and I used Bubonic Brown (Zamesi Desert). I actually lightly drybrushed random areas of the grass with this color too to add some variation in the grass tone and help blend the different areas together even more.

Here is a detailed view of how I blended the earth tones and grass together. These spots are merely paint brushed on the grass (i.e. no rubble added in this spot) and starts off with the three stages we applied in the last article.

I lightly drybrush on the Bubonic Brown, blending it out across the grass. Then I stipple some heavier color in the center of the areas. Make sure to vary the direction of your paint strokes to avoid creating patterns with the brush, both when drybrushing and stippling.

Ok! One more color and we are finished! Well, sort of. The last coat is Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone) and is applied as lightly as possible. Once again, I draw the brush out across the grass areas as well. I left the lower part of the banks a little darker to increase the contrast.

Looking pretty good! In the next article, we will be painting the rocks and rubble that we so cunningly added earlier and painting the river! A couple more installments and these boards will be ready to use! Besides the river article, there will be an article on adding extra details that really finish off the boards. As always, If something isn't clear ask a question - sometimes I go on like everyone knows what I'm talking about!

October 13, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Eight

Here's the first of several articles on painting the boards. Not only are we going to paint the roads and river, but we are going to add some paint in areas of the grass to keep it from looking too much like a golf course!

The paints I used came from doing smaller projects with Games Workshops' jars. Rather than buying a dozen jars for each color, I paint small swatches on paper and took (another) trip to my local DIY store to get a quart of each color. The brand doesn't matter as long as you get matt acrylics. The colors I used are out of production, but I've included the new names in the text below:

Starting with Scorched Brown (Rhinox Hide), I painted all of the exposed areas except the river. I also lightly drybrushed some small areas of the grass and blended the road and river banks out into the grass. I tried to leave the areas of rubble and the rocks I added gray, but don't worry if you get some paint on them because we're going to fix that later.

After letting the first color dry overnight (last time I'll say that - I let every color dry overnight - it is important to bring out the textures to let each color dry completely), I moved on to the Dark Flesh (Doombull Brown) tone. I applied this heavily, not quite drybrushing. Some of the darker color still shows, but it is fine to cover it completely in areas. I again blend the color out into the grass, extending the color slightly beyond the darker tone. It still looks clunky at this stage, but as we go on, the layers will really start to blend in with the grass.

A lot of the blending is done by "stippling" or dabbing the color onto the grass areas. Start with a fairly dry brush and go over sections multiple times to build it up until it looks right to you. Writing about painting is like dancing about carpentry, but hopefully the photos help to illustrate the point.

On to step three... Bestial Brown (Mournfang Brown)! Now we are getting more into drybrushing. You will begin to see the textured paint pay off and as you drybrush and stipple the color onto the edge where the earth and grass meet, the areas will start to blend more.

Part two of the painting will be up on Thursday and we will have finished the earth tones!

October 8, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Seven

Onward! Time to add texture. The first step I use is to scatter patches of rubble, paying particular attention to the edge of roadways and rivers and around the "boulders" I placed earlier. I also cover up parts of the putty where the knife strokes seem too obvious. You can add patches in open ground as well (see the photos below) but remember that you also want to leave room to place loose terrain pieces. Your models will look fine teetering on a pile of rock, but although your cottage model will be in no danger of falling over, it won't look as good if one corner of it's base is off the ground.

The material I use for this size texture is coarse ground coffee. I started using this years ago when someone at work was about to throw out a huge tin of Maxwell House that co-workers thought was too strong. I rescued it, thinking to use the tin for the basis to build a tower. I was about to embark on my first set of terrain boards at the time and realized the texture of the ground coffee would be perfect for mid-sized rubble! That was ten years ago... and I still have some of it left. I have since found that choosing a flavor of coffee that matches the period you intend to game in adds another level of realism to your boards...

Ok, I made that last part up, but you we're already thinking about what kind of coffee would go with your Tyranid terrain weren't you...

Anyway, I put down a small patch of glue, smear it around with a damp brush, and sprinkle on the coffee grounds.

At this point, the rubble areas will look heavier than they will end up. After letting the glue dry overnight, I vacuum the boards to remove any stray grounds before moving on to the next step. Remember the advice I gave you about the iron a few articles back? This goes doubly for the vacuum. Best not to even risk this when your significant other is home...

Next we are going to apply textured paint to all of the non-grass areas to form a base for the remaining painting we have to do. You can buy textured paint in lots of different styles. I bought an empty paint can from my local DIY superstore so I could mix this paint myself. There isn't an easy way to describe what the ratio should be. I poured paint into the can until it was about half full. The color doesn't really matter - any neutral shade will be fine. I used grey because I already had some textured paint left over from my urban boards. Anyway, start by adding a small amount of sand to your paint and then stir it with a paint paddle. Pull the paddle out and while holding it above the can (pointing down so the run off goes back into the can), use a brush to thin out the remaining paint on the paddle. If the texture on the paddle looks good to you, you're finished! If not add a little more sand, stir it in, and repeat the process. If the paint becomes gummy, you went too far. Don't panic! Just add more paint - that's why we started with half a can...

You want to use an old brush to apply this stuff because it's tough on the bristles! The goal os to completely cover all of the filler, coffee grounds, tree bark, and whatever else you glued into your landscape. Vary the direction of your brushstrokes - you will be able to see the patterns of the strokes because of the sand, but if you pull from different directions, you will get a good smooth coat.

EXCEPTION: If you have a river on the board, always brush the paint on in the direction the river flows. The brush strokes should be parallel with the river's course. This will enhance the look of the river when we get around to painting it, and make it texturally different than the rock/sand around it even though we used the same basic mixture for both.

In addition to just covering the filler, We also want to blend some of this paint out onto the grass board. I stipple the paint out to get patches. This will give a more gradual transition between the earth and grass, as will all of the rest of the painting we are about to do..

And so on... Next time we will start painting. I am going to break the painting up into several articles because I want to show as many WIP photos as possible. This is the most important step because a poor paint job can ruin all of this work!

Well, ok, that sounded scary - you can't really ruin it, but you might have to paint it twice! As usual, if anything here seems unclear, feel free to post a question in the comments. I will be happy to elaborate on a point or explain anything I might have left out!

October 6, 2015

New Flags for Dutch Foot 1690

Three new Quindia Studios flag sheets will be available in the LoA shop later this week...