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Update and Heroscape Customs

It’s been a crazy couple of months, filled with travel for work and pleasure, and lots and lots of sickness. After my last post I ruined all 3 of my first miniatures when the high humidity combined with spray sealer covered my minis in a crust of tiny particles. I’ve since switched to a brush-on matte varnish and brush-on primer / gesso.

I gave my wife Heroscape for Christmas, and it is an awesome game. I am looking forward to painting many minis and creating my own custom Heroscape units out of them. Here’s a look at the first 5:

orc-archers-hs-card gargram-hs-card dwarf-warband-hs-card dwarf-sergeant-hs-card sir-theo-hs-card


Humidity and Gesso

Well I’ve had nothing but rotten results with using spray primers and sealers, with the end result that my first 3 miniatures all have a slightly fuzzy and filmy look to them now. After reading up it appears to be the result of the humidity where I live, in Central Florida. I tried some advice I read which said the effects could be lessened by leaving the can of aerosol and the mini outside for several hours so they acclimate to the natural humidity outside, and while the results weren’t as bad as before when I didn’t do this, they still were not good.

So, I’m facing the fact that as long as I live in Florida, where humidity is almost always over 75-80%, I’m going to have to use brush-on primer and sealer.

Someone over at Ars Technica recommended an article that talks about a specific kind of primer called gesso. Sounds interesting! Too bad I just purchased some Reaper primer. Ah well, when it’s running low I’ll give the Liquitex Gesso a go.

Heroscape – A Use for the Minis!

While at the local gaming shop this weekend, my wife was once again fascinated by the gamers set up and playing with measuring tapes in hand on the store’s many tables. She announced that she would be into playing some miniature game of some sort. I think Warhammer Fantasy/40K are out just due to the resource cost (time and money) alone in getting up and running. So I turned to BoardGameGeek and looked at what they had to say about various miniatures games. Heroscape, which I had seen at various stores before and always found pretty interesting looking, had pretty high marks. So after a good amount of quick research, this looks like it could be an appealing Christmas present for the wife and I.
Part of the appeal is that there appears to be a large community of folks who spend a lot of time documenting how to add custom units to the game, using all kinds of 3rd party figurines from all over. I thought this could be a fun way to use my minis for more than dust-gathering.

Gargram Finished

Gargram is just about finished.

Progress: Gargram Heavyhand

Coming along with the dwarven sergeant. I’m using new Vallejo Game Color paint for the silver metallic colors on the axehead (gunmetal metal) and the silver plate (chainmail silver). The gold is still Delta Ceramcoat 14k gold metallic that I used on my previous minis. The Vallejo metallic is much nicer (love the gunmetal color and pigment), but I’m not sure of my overall color scheme here. I may need to do a black ink/wash over the mail, it’s too bright (though I do want it bright and shiny – after all, this is an epic dwarven hero, with the best armor dwarven craftsmen can make!).

Basic Mini Painting Techniques: Alex Castro

Found this great post over at Alex Castro’s site. I’ve not heard of him before, but looking at his work, he is a very experienced painter (though not a gaming miniature guy). Some great thoughts and tips from a master.

I use a combination of flat black and red brown in equal proportions. I call this mixture soot. Soot blends in well and I use it to separate flesh from clothing and armor, or a hand holding an item or separating the fingers in a closed fist, etc. This color blends in nicely yet provides a subtle separating.

Back Stroke: 
The best line is made by moving the brush backwards, not forward, and using the sides of the brush, not the point. When you use the point you are basically detailing things and you are in the writing mode. A good technique for the back stroke is pulling backwards on the brush at the same time using the side of the brush to get the straight line as you are painting.

Next Project: Gargram Heavyhand, Dwarf Sergeant

After getting a bunch of sparkly gunk all over my dwarf warrior when trying to seal it with Matte Finisher spray, I ordered some Vallejo brush on varnish. While I wait for that (and some Vallejo Chainmail Silver and Gunmetal paint) to arrive to officially complete the dwarf warrior, I washed the next guy, Gargram Heavyhand, Dwarf Sergeant, in a black ink to get some nice black lining going when I start doing his armor chainmail silver. He’s also in 2 pieces; his missing arm has a shield strapped on it. He’s mostly armored in heavy plate armor, so I think I am going to do him in a combination of chainmail silver with gold accent/trim pieces. For the beard I want to do something that will stand out more than the white/gray of the last guy, but don’t want to do another red head so soon after Sir Theo, so I may go for a nice chestnut brown, maybe a reddish-brown, to stand out from the silver and gold armor a bit.

Current project:

A slew of Wood Elves


May 2018
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