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Thursday, July 6, 2017

NOVA Open Charity Auction - Mechanicum Vultarax Stratos

Time for another Nova Charity Raffle! I teamed up with Dave Taylor to create two Horus Heresy armies for this year's raffles. Dave headed up a team painting this beautiful Sons of Horus army and he wrangled me into overseeing the team that painted this Mechanicum Army. I agreed under the condition that I could paint a Vultarax Stratos, because it is such a cool model. Big thanks to Dave, all the painters and the Nova Charity Foundation crew. Looking forward to breaking our record and raising lots of bucks. There are lots of other things in this year's raffles too, so check them out! Looking forward to seeing everyone at NoVa for beer, dice and Heresy!
Mechanicum Vultarax Stratus-Automata - Forge World

Mechanicum Vultarax Stratus-Automata - Forge World

Mechanicum Vultarax Stratus-Automata - Forge World

Mechanicum Vultarax Stratus-Automata - Forge World

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NoVa Open Charity Auction: Ork Fighta

Hey Blog, long time no see. Time for another NoVa Charity Auction. Here is an Ork Fighta-Bommer/Dakka Smakker/Uruk-hai Space Nazi Blastamathing. It's yellow! It's part of an army being raffled off to benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Buy some tickets here. Or just live your life as a thoughtful, empathetic human being and treat others with kindness, that works for me too!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Alpha Legion Secret Recipe - 11 Herbs and Spices

I've had a lot of folks asking me lately for a step-by-step on how I painted my Alpha Legion. I posted this on the Heresy 30K forums a couple years ago, here is is again. It probably isn't as thorough as it could be but you are a bright bunch, you'll figure it out. You are welcome to copy my paint scheme exactly if you really want, but I think you will enjoy yourself more if you take bits and pieces from different sources, mutate them, and create your own look. Stealing plus changing equals creating.

I painted these way back when jamming GW pancake batter paints through an airbrush seemed like a fun idea. It has been a long time since I've let GW paint anywhere near my airbrush.

Base: Temple Guard Blue
Shadow: Sotek Green + Incubi Darkness
Highlights: Temple Guard Blue + White

For vehicles I based the model out first and then traced out all of the the panel lines and crevices with the shadow color. Next I went back with the basecoat and toned down all of the panel line shading. Look up panel line shading or airbrush preshading on youtube for more info. Finally I lightly applied some of the highlight color to just the top surfaces.

For Infantry I did more of an apex highlighting technique. You can find tutorials for this on youtube too. I based them with the shadow color, then applied the base color but kept the airbrush at a high angle (45 degrees or so) to keep the shadow color on the undersides of the model. Next I applied the highlight color from an even higher angle (80-90 degrees). Note: I was not a master of this technique back when I did these!

For paint chips:
  1. Airbrush on the color you want the chips to be. (dark brown, in my case)
  2. Use a little piece of ripped up foam rubber or green scotch-brite scrubby sponge to stipple on liquid masking fluid (available from Dick Blick) wherever you want the chips.
  3. Airbrush base coat.
  4. Use Eraser, fingers and moistend Q-Tip, to rub off the liquid mask, revealing the chips in the base color.
  5. Then come back and add a few more small chips by stipping on chip color (dark brown) paint with a scotch-brite pad. I usually also add a few with a small brush when the sponge doesn't put them where I want them.
If you want, you can skip the whole liquid masking fluid technique and just dab on paint with the sponge/foam rubber. I just prefer the look you get with the liquid mask, at least for big chips on vehicles. Also Google the "salt chipping technique" and the "hairspray chipping technique" for other methods of geting a chipped look.

For this army I did a "pin wash" of AK interactive Track Wash and Light Rust Wash. These are pre-mixed oil based washes, but you can make similar ones out of tube oils and mineral spirits (white spirits in UK).

  1. Use a small brush with a good point(1 or 2?) and let the wash flow into all of the recesses, around rivets, in panel lines etc. Be as sloppy as you like. No, really.
  2. Let dry for 20 minutes or so.
  3. Come back with a brush or q-tip (I mostly use q-tips) dipped lightly in mineral spirits and wipe of all the excess wash. I go through many q-tips doing this. Use brush to get in tight areas as needed.

Aternatively, make a wash out of Gouache and water, wait for it to dry and then clean it up with water. Less stinky this way. Make sure you seal your acrylic basecoat with water before you go applying the gouache and wiping it off with a wet q-tip.

Powdered Pigments:
The rusty (some might say too rusty) look of this army comes from Secret Weapon's Terracotta powdered pigment.
  1. I use a brush to apply the powder liberally into the cracks and crevices. On this project, with this pigment, I just brushed it on dry.
  2. Next I take a big brush and brush off the excess. (hold your model over a cardboard box while you do all of this.)
  3. Finally, I come back with moist q-tips and rub the pigment off the high points, center of panels, etc. Anywhere I don't want it.
  4. I also used some raw umber and Fuller's earth (dust color), especially on the feet/treads.
  5. If you want, you can experiment with VERY light mists of matte varnish to seal it all on.
You can obviously use a lot less pigment to get a less dramatic effect if you desire. I went a little crazy because I liked the way it looked. Also note: all powdered pigments behave differently. The Teracotta sticks pretty well to models, others not so much. Applying denatured alcohol to an area first and then brushing on the pigment makes it stick MUCH better, but you don't get quite as soft of a look. I used alcohol to get the black pigment to stick to the exhaust and gun barrels.

AK interactive or Secret Weapon "Dark Steel" pigment. I'm pretty sure it is just graphite.
  1. Base coat (I used dark brown.)
  2. Brush on steel pigment.
  3. Rub the pigment with finger and/or brush to buff it and make it shine.
  4. Rejoice! That stuff is amazing.
  5. To help it stick better for better coverage, you can put on alcohol (first!) and then dust on the pigment.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tomica Daihatsu Midget for Car Wars

This summer, my friend Thomas Wynn put together a Car Wars campaign for our gaming group. Everyone added guns,armor and assorted other door-dad onto Matchbox-sized die-cast cars and we pushed them around and made laser noises. I made a few cars but this little Daihatsu Midget tuk-tuk thing was my favorite. The missile launcher is scratch built. I liked the original color and didn't want to cover up the kanji on the side (It's a brand of tea, so a friend tells me) so I airbrushed transparent Badger Ghost Tints onto the various panels to shade and tone them. This allowed the original paint to show through nicely. After that it was just pin washes and streaks with tube oils. The chips, by the way, were already in the enamel base coat. The are nice and three dimensional and took the washes nicely! I'll put up some photos of my other cars when I get a chance.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Maschinen Krieger SAFS Fireball SG

I don't know if anyone out there looks at this thing anymore. If so, sorry for going so long without an update. I've been working on this armored suit from Maschinen Krieger/SF3D over the summer. It's 1/20 (90mm) scale; I'm really enjoying the larger size as well as the MaK. universe. More of these kits are definitely in the works.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015 NoVA Open Charity Auction

Hey Guys,
Please support The NoVa Open Charity Auction if you can spare a buck or two. It features the work of many fantastic painters like Celso Méndez J, Dave Taylor, Justin McCoy and John Stiening. It is also your chance to win a model painted by me, so now is your chance Dad!

Tickets can be found here:

Blog posts featuring each of the units in the armies can be found here:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Old Line Massacre 2015

I hosted the second annual Old Line Massacre Horus Heresy in Maryland last weekend and it was a great weekend for all. Saturday was a 1000-1850-2150 point escalation campaign put together by me and Sunday was a day of Tactical Strike gaming run by my friends Ty and Jake. Thanks to everyone who attended! Here are The Scenarios and a whole bunch of photos.

Xenos Weapon Cards (everyone got one between games two and three)

Temporary Tattoos