Painting Plaid

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”

― Phil Collins

I’ve always enjoyed teaching and motivating others to improve their skills. If you’re any good at anything, don’t be greedy with that knowledge. I say share it with the world and you’ll be better for it! So, this year I started teaching private paint lessons to fellow hobbyists in my local gaming club. It’s been a great experience and I hope my Padawans have gained as much from it as I have.

Recently, one of my students started work on a sci-fi, Caledonian-themed army for Infinity by Corvus Belli. The most challenging technique in this project is the heavy use of tartan patterns. So in this post I thought I’d share with you a simple way of creating a tartan pattern for your kilt wearing, bad ass Scotsmen. Here we go! 🙂

FYI, the Caledonian Confederacy were a group of indigenous peoples of what is now Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras. Thanks Wikipedia!

McMurroughPlaid

As with most paint projects, it pays to start off with some sort of plan. I created the graphic above to illustrate what a plaid looks like close up. A few things you’ll notice is that there’s a primary color in the background (in this case medium blue) and three  secondary colors (navy, orange and white). There are only a few places where colors intersect to give you a 100% saturation the rest are 50/50. Keep in mind that Tartans come in all sorts of patterns and color combos, but for simplicity’s sake and clarity on the tabletop, this is as complicated as I recommend taking the design. Now that I have a plan, lets get to painting!


Paints used:

• Reaper MSP Deep Ocean

• Reaper MSP Marine Teal

• Reaper MSP Surf Aqua

• Reaper MSP Blue Liner

• Reaper MSP Fire Orange

• Reaper MSP Pure White

Brushes used:

• Windsor Newton Series 7 #1

• Windsor Newton Series 7 #0


img_0472For this tutorial we’re using another model from the Infinity line, McMurrough! Yessiree, it’s everyone’s favorite, chain rifle-toting, furry, friend! Start off by base-coating the kilt with Marine Teal then shading it with Deep Ocean and finally highlight with Surf Aqua. The transitions don’t need to be perfectly blended because most of it will be covered up by the rest of the pattern.

Next, using the #1 brush lay out a navy grid using Blue Liner. In this case each stripe in the grid is about two brush-widths thick and four brush-widths apart but you’ll have to adjust your design on smaller models. Fabric can be tricky to paint so use references of striped and plaid skirts to better understand how the pattern should flow on the garment. For example, on McMurrough’s kilt I tapered the stripes and their spacing towards his waistline where the fabric cinches under the belt.

Other tips to keep in mind:

• Keep your paint watered down (especially when using the Liners)

• Relax and take your time creating the grid

• Be neat and make sure to have plenty of lighting

• If you make a mistake simply wipe it off quickly with a wet napkin and try again


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Now it’s time to break up those heavy blue stripes with some orange ones. Using a 30/70 mix of Blue Liner/Fire Orange and the #1 brush, paint on the next set of stripes one brush-width thick along the center of the previous ones. Again, take your time and keep the paint watered down. It’ll take two or three light coats to get nice coverage, but it’s better than clumping on thick paint and making a mess of things.


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At the intersections paint on pure orange in tiny rectangles using the #0 brush. Now this pattern is really coming together. If we wanted to, we could stop here and have a totally convincing and attractive tartan. However let’s kick it up a notch with one more pop of color. Overachiever!


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To tie it all together and break up all that blue lets add some Pure White. Again using the #0 brush, apply watered down paint between the other stripes. Oh boy that’s looking slick as ice.


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Following that, add some pure white straight out of the bottle to the intersections. And there you have it folks! A lovely tartan to make the most grizzled Scotsman smile. 😀 Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish giving McMurrough a proper paint job. Check back next week for pictures of the final product! Thanks for reading and as always, if you enjoyed this post please share it or post a comment!

FYI: I used Reaper Master Series Paints in this tutorial, however these techniques can be used with any paint line. The one thing I have to recommend however are the Reaper MSP Liners. I use them for freehand, line shading, washes and occasionally base-coating. They’re fantastic and a staple to my painting diet. Take a look at some of the items I suggested below via my Amazon Affiliate links. You pay nothing extra and Amazon kicks back a little something for me. Win win!

MMP-Logo

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Underground Lasers: Generic Colonial House

Generic Colonial House

Underground Lasers has a new terrain piece available on their website! The Generic Colonial House is a simple build with a removable door, and roof for access to the interior. The size and practical design can be used for many genres. Painting it was pretty simple too, with just enough details to keep me from feeling bored. I assembled the entire model before painting because I was too anxious to see what it looked like (curse my impatience). In hindsight, I recommend painting all the components separately and then assembling it. Using that process I can see painting several of these in a weekend. Check out the rest of their cool models at UndergroundLasers.com

 

Send in the Fleet!

Back in December 2013 I wrote a post about a Kickstarter for Temporus the Game that I was painting some models for. Check out the original post here for the prototype and color recipe. Well, the Kickstarter was successfully funded, which means I had 4 large and 5 small replicas of the same ship to paint up ASAP. Here’s a picture of the final product. The large versions are about 5″ long and the small about 2.5″ long.

Temporous Cruisers

Temporus Cruisers

When I shipped away the package it gave me an opportunity to add some extra promo swag for the blog. I figured the backers who received these hand painted goodies would like to see a little bit more of my stuff (shameless plug tee-hee). I’m gonna start making more of these to bring to conventions and such just to get my name out there.

OSO promo

OSO promo

A huge thanks to my good friend Alex Cheparev for referring me for the project and to Erik Umenhofer for trusting me to painting these awesome models. Make sure to check out Temporus the video game. Later space cadet!

What’s in the Box?

Nomad-1

Salyut Zond, Gecko Squad, Tsyklon Sputnik

Hello there fellow tabletop gamers (there’s one inside us all). Recently, I posted this image onto Wargamers Consortium-Infinity, a great Facebook group moderated by a friend of mine, Nestor Medina. Big shout out homie! To kickoff the new group WGC-I hosted a painting challenge, and these are my entries. However, this post isn’t going to be about the models, it’s going to be about the swanky crates you see in the background. What if I told you that for pennies a day you too can cover starving tabletops with terrain such as this? Well you can, and here’s how.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– Box cutter or X-Acto knife
– Corrugated paper
– Scissors
– Tape
– Paper glue
– Marker
– Cardboard granola bar or cereal box
ShippingCrate-Assembly21I’m not the most precise person when it comes to building terrain, which is why I like to use already made boxes as my underlying structure. Using this granola box I’ll be able to make two 2″ x 2″ x 6.5″ shipping crates with clean right angles.
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First, tape the open end closed. I can’t be the only person that destroys the packaging on these boxes when I open them. So that’s what the tape is for. 🙂
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Next, 2″ measurements along the long edges of the box. Two is an easy number to remember, and fits the 28mm scale of all my tabletop games nicely.
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Cutting time! Okay, so slicing into a box that’s already assembled can be dangerous and unstable, but I find it to be way faster than deconstructing, cutting then reconstructing it. All that being said, I always do several light passes with a very sharp blade. Also, cut only the long sides using a blade and then finish the shorter sides with a scissor. Don’t worry if this doesn’t look super neat and accurate. You can fix that later.
ShippingCrate-Assembly14ShippingCrate-Assembly13
I bought a 30″ x 20″ sheet of this corrugated paper from an art store for about 3 dollars. It’s great stuff and comes in several different colors. Since then, I’ve found it online for even cheaper.
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After cutting the paper into 2″ long strips I glue them onto the sides of the crate using paper craft glue. Turn the box top-side down onto your table. This’ll help keep the edges of the paper flush to the top of your crate. Then cut off the excess flap of paper with a scissor.
ShippingCrate-Assembly8ShippingCrate-Assembly7ShippingCrate-Assembly6
Do the same fro the top of your crate, and you’re almost done with construction!
Next I sliced a few .5″ stips of cereal box card.
ShippingCrate-Assembly4
Add some glue along the top edges of the box…
ShippingCrate-Assembly3
…and along the strips of card.
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Then snip off the excess.
ShippingCrate-Assembly1
And there you have the final constructed product. Now this is a very simple concept, but you can do all kinds of interesting stuff using these simple techniques. Perhaps you’d like to add doors to your crate, or use this idea on bigger boxes to make entire buildings? Do your thing and have fun. 🙂
ShippingCrate-Assembly0In my next post I’ll show you how to paint this bad boy up and add detail using stencils and posters. Thanks for reading and happy building!

Does This Look Infected?

A twisted artist who goes by the name of Splurrt creates these bizarre, grotesque characters that instill warm fuzzy feeling in my rotten little heart. So when my buddy Nar asked me to paint one of his vinyl pieces I replied, “Yes please!” and then farted.

CadaverKidBW

Cadaver Kid
Primed

I started out by Priming him in gray and then a second light prime over that. This is to help create a sense of “lighting” for the miniature and make it easier for me to see the details (because my eyes are getting old).

CadaverKid-BaseF

Cadaver Kid
Base-coat

CadaverKid-BaseB

Cadaver Kid
Base-coat

I then laid out some Base-coat colors to help me plan out my color scheme.

CadaverKid-F

Cadaver Kid
Final

CadaverKid-R

Cadaver Kid
Final

CadaverKid-B

Cadaver Kid
Final

CadaverKid-L

Cadaver Kid
Final

Here’s the final version. I tried to take pictures as I worked on it but I kept forgetting to (guess I was deep in the zone). So instead here’s a quick breakdown of the colors I used:

Rotten Skin: Citadel’s Camo Green up to Rotting Flesh with a Devlan Mudd Wash

Raw Skin: 50/50 mix of Citadel’s Rotting Flesh/Scab red up to Rotting Flesh with a bit of Devlan Mudd Wash

Blue skin: P3’s Trollblood Base up to Trollblood Highlight. On the knees and belly I highlighted up to Midland Flesh

Metals: Citadel’s Botlgun Metal with a wash of P3’s Bloodtracker Brown and then Citadel’s Devlan Mudd.

Teeth and stitches: Base-coat of Citadel’s Snakebite Leather up to Bleached Bone and a little bit of Devlan Mudd Wash.

As you can see I use a lot of the same highlight color (Rotting Flesh) and shade (Devlan Mudd). This helps to create harmony in the color scheme and tie things together visually. It also helps keep my paint table less cluttered. Less clutter means less work, which leads to faster painting…in theory. 😉

Special Delivery

While rummaging through my office mailroom I came across some shipping boxes and had a eureka moment. Easy super cheap terrain for Infinity! So here’s what I did.

Terrain-UPS1

First I assembled the boxes as usual and sliced the ends off 3″ deep.

Terrain-UPS2

Then I cut out some scrap card (2 1/4″ tall) to support the “roof top” and glued them into place.

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Finally, I cut out another scrap piece of cardboard for the roof top and rest it on top of the supports. I kept these unglued and removable for storing smaller terrain pieces inside.

Terrain-UPS4

Voilà! Here’s the final design. You can use the terrain piece just like this or you can take it a little further…

Terrain-UPS5

…like so! I printed out some 3D textures that I found online from this website. Then I used some double stick tape to adhere it to the box. It’s just like wrapping a gift. Super easy and super cheap.

Terrain-PaperUPS

Here’s a group shot of my Nomads playing in their new sandbox. Have fun my little minions. Deploy!

Mas Nomads

The three Wildcats that came in my Corregidor box are done! The days of painting large-scale armies are pretty much behind me but even with smaller, skirmish style games like Infinity, you sometimes have to paint multiples of the same unit. I’m so glad I got these guys models finished first and off of my painting table (aka my kitchen table). Now I can move on to the cooler stuff! 😀

Nomads_Wildcat2

Nomads, Wildcat

Nomads_Wildcat3

Nomads, Wildcat

All in all I’m glad with the way they came out. This color scheme is very different from my Haqqislam stuff so I can jump between the two groups if i need a break from one color palette. I’m also very pleased with how the rusted metal bases came out. They’re from Secret Weapon’s Tau Ceti. The sheets of “paper” are made out of thin  plasticard and help add some extra hight and variety to the bases. I might add some text and color to them later, but this’ll do for now.

Nomads_Wildcats

Nomads, Wildcats

Here’s a group shot of the Wildcats.  As you can see the scale between the models are all different which is the only thing i don’t like about the sculpts. Otherwise they’re pretty sweet. I also painted them with different colored lights so I can differentiate easily on the table top. “The giant blue one is going to shoot you in the face!”

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m a busy little bee.