Just a shy attempt / Nieśmiała próba

After such a long break in posting I nearly feel I should introduce myself 🙂

So I seem to be the same Ańa… still a red-haired girl with glasses and a paintbrush in her teeth, but probably a better mum.

Oh right! I am teaching my son that he cannot take all of my time and not everything can be done together. We already have the first success: during the last sickness I painted an “oh-so-cool knight who defeated a barracuda” (that unfortunately managed to eat Nemo’s mum, Coral).

So this year’s slogan would be “enjoying having a son”.
But it was not all – thanks to the silence on my blog I managed to reduce my backlog quite much. Now I will gladly return to blogging, but don’t count on long and valuable articles.

If you ever visit the Painting Mum blog again, you may find it dead. But as I said, I want to keep blogging, but now you will get some snippets of information from my life, collection of inspiration for my work, some poor photos from my mobile phone and laconic captions on my blog.
From now on it’s going to be a garbage blog, a scrapbook, for myself.

That’s the decision I made when my three-years-old Balrog (let’s keep the nickname here, because no other represents his personality so well) tried what it’s like to paint miniatures and just as I could expect (after 10 minutes of painting and 15 minutes of brewing mixtures on the mixing plate, only to apply them onto a troll’s skin and… spill them all over the workplace) he judged he’s great at it and it’s very easy for him. So if he’s so great, and I have hard time with it, how can you expect anything more from me?

Maybe one day I will reveal Balrog’s recipes to you.
I will put them somewhere in my notes which will now be published here at ChestOfColors.com but under the same old name, to keep it more confusing 😉

Chest of Colors used to give people motivation and power to comment and discuss, so maybe there you will eventually become more active commenters. I don’t pretend that without your comments this blog will only be my personal scrapbook. I will be satisfied anyway 🙂 but if it’s going to be good for you, well, it’s entirely up to you. The party simply is moving to a new place.

Le Banquet [Fenryll]
The party goes on… / Impreza trwa…

Po takiej przerwie niepisania czuję niemal, że wypada mi się przedstawić 🙂 
Niby jestem tą samą Anią … wciąż jeszcze rudą okularnicą z pędzlem w zębach, choć chyba lepszą mamą.

O właśnie! Uczę syna, że nie może zabierać mi całego czasu i nie wszystko można robić wspólnie. Mamy już pierwszy sukces: podczas ostatniego chorowania pomalowałam “fajniastego rycerza, co pokonał barakudę” (Szkoda, że zdążyła wcześniej zeżreć mamę Nemo – Koral).

Więc ten rok minął mi pod hasłem “nacieszam się synem”.
Choć nie tylko – dzięki minionemu blogowemu milczeniu mogłam podgonić wieeeele zaległości.
Teraz chętnie wrócę do bloga, ale nie liczcie na długie i wartościowe artykuły.

Jeśli jeszcze kiedyś zajrzycie na blog Painting Mum, pewnie zastaniecie martwy blog. Ale jak pisałam, zamierzam dalej pisać. Jednak teraz na moim blogu zobaczycie strzępy informacji z życia, zbiórkę inspiracji do pracy, marne fotki z telefonu i lakoniczne podpisy.
Będzie to od tej pory śmieciowy blog, bo dla mnie.

Tak postanowiłam gdy mój trzyletni Balrog (zostańmy przy tej ksywce, bo żadna inna nie oddaje równie trafnie jego osobowości) sprawdzał ostatnio jak to jest malować figurki i jak mogłam się spodziewać (po 10 minutach malowania i 15 minutach warzenia mikstur na tacce, by potem robić z nich okłady trollowi … i zalać całe stanowisko), uznał że jest w tym świetny i to jest bardzo łatwe dla niego. Skoro on jest świetny, a mnie jest zawsze pod górkę, to ‘z czym do ludzi’.

Może czasem zdradzę Wam receptury Balroga.
Wcisnę je między moje zapiski które od tej pory będę prowadzić na ChestOfColors.com
Pod tą samą nazwą dla zmyły 😉

Chest of Colors dawało kiedyś moc do komentowania i dyskutowania, może tam w końcu się rozpiszecie bo nie ukrywam, że bez Waszych komentarzy ten blog będzie jedynie moim scrapbookiem.
Tak czy inaczej ja będę usatysfakcjonowana 🙂 a co z Wami to tylko od Was zależy. Impreza po prostu przenosi się na nowe miejsce.

How to paint Rasputina – tutorial

I’ve been a great fan of HR Giger‘s art for years. Nothing unusual among us, fantasy and sci-fi fans. But being a miniature painter I always wanted to paint a miniature in a style inspired by HR Giger’s art. When I wondered how to paint Rasputina from Wyrd Games, the concept came to my head…

Everything became clear immediately when I grabbed the base that I chose for the model. The image I had in my head was so strong that I can’t even think about how disappointed I would have been if the customer would have said “no” to my concept.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

[inset side=left]I wanted the paintings to immediately remind of Giger’s work.[/inset]

But how can you be surprised? If the whole world is so full of Giger references, how can my little head be an exception? I started with what I had a complete idea ready for – the face on the base (from Scibor Monstrous Miniatures).

My intention was not to copy any particular artwork, but more along the lines of using it as inspiration and fitting it into my own compositions. Still I wanted the paintings to immediately remind of Giger‘s work.

Is there anything that I regret now? Oh, yes. The fact that I didn’t decide to put screws in her cheeks. The idea is still on my mind, maybe to be used one day?

How to paint Rasputina’s base

For the base my inspiration were these two paintings:

HR Giger: Debbie I
HR Giger: Debbie I
HR Giger: Li II
HR Giger: Li II

Here’s my initial color palette, the colors that I started with.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

And the brush that I chose for this part of work. It was going to be fine-detailed painting, so a 3/0 brush from Raphael 8404 series was a good starting point.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

And off to painting we go…

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

While painting such parts remember to take advantage of being able to rotate your model. Adjust its position so your brushstrokes aren’t too much of a challenge to pull off.

[inset side=right]I turned my model upside down, so the rounded shape didn’t require any corrections.[/inset]

Here I wanted to achieve a nice, rounded finish for the stripes, so I turned my model upside down so I could pull the brush from the top downward, so the rounded shape didn’t require any corrections.

I know that everybody is holding their brush in their own way, so I recommend that you pay attention and observe the way you’re working with your brushes, so that you can take advantage of your own work style. Such little details make painting much more enjoyable and faster.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

I added little touches like the shadow under the diadem. They may seem to be only minor things in the overall picture, but I found they add a lot to the feel and completeness of the whole paintjob:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

Sometimes I thought it would be better to break the surface into smaller ones somehow. And in fact sometimes I treated this idea quite literally. 😉

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

And this is what my palette looked like by the time I finished painting the head. Much richer than at the beginning, isn’t it? 😉

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

Now here is a photo of the finished head. This photo shows its colors, tints and hues much better than my humble WIP pictures:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina’s cloak: front

Here’s what I started the cloak with:

HR Giger: A. Crowley the Beast 666
HR Giger: A. Crowley the Beast 666

For the cloak I chose motifs that would look good in the composition, but also the ones that I liked more.

Sometimes shapes or edges of the sculpt suggest me where to place those motifs. A photo is always flat, so you may have difficult time noticing the reasons why I placed those details the way I did…

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

When I planned how to place the first three graphic elements, the surrounding space inspired me with its shape and shadows to arrange it this way, with the skull and female body:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

And here’s another motif from Giger, arranged to follow the edge:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

And the lower right part, below Rasputina’s feet, just begged to be painted with those… let’s call them “fishes” for political correctness’ sake:

HR Giger: Vlad Tepes
HR Giger: Vlad Tepes

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

When I covered all the surfaces with freehands, I considered the front of Rasputina’s cloak done:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina’s cloak: back

I got a bit distracted and forgot to catch the earlier stages of painting this element on my photos, so here’s the first shot of this part I managed to get:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

There were two paintings from Giger that were my inspiration for this part of my paintjob:

HR Giger: Spell II
HR Giger: Spell II
HR Giger: Li II
HR Giger: Li II

This time I had to start with some larger shapes, so I started with a larger brush. A 1 from Raphael 8404 series:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

I planned to place the skulls on raised parts of the surface and started painting the weaved pattern. The way I painted it will be easy to follow on the next few photos. Painting such plaiting could be explained in a few points:

[inset side=right]Painting plaiting could be explained in a few repeating points.[/inset]

  • sketching the lines,
  • separating them with the classic black line, creating a chaotic plaiting,
  • glazing over the whole surface,
  • adding more lines,
  • separating them with the classic black line, creating a chaotic plaiting again,
  • adding another layer of highlight on visually more raised lines to emphasize zenithal lighting of the model,
  • glazing over the whole surface again,

… and so on, until I ended up with what you saw on the photo above. See the whole process on the following photos. After this the surface was ready to paint a few skulls on it.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

To add some color variation between the elements – the skulls and the background, I shaded the skulls with a slight addition of this color:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

Although it is not a huge difference, it brings them a bit forward and sets them off from the background, as you can see on this photo:

Adding the fern

Now that the main model was painted I decided to tweak the base a bit, so I can also show you how I played with the fern:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

Despite all my admiration of this pattern of bases, I must admit that the way those floral motifs are sculpted is not making painting any easier. I decided to cover them a bit, but to tie the real fern a bit more with the sculpted ones, I had to exaggerate a bit on the real thing, making it a bit grotesque:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

[inset side=left]I used strong hair modelling gel to shape the fern[/inset]

As you can see I applied some glazing and then drybrushed highlights on it before applying the fern on the base. Later I only needed to tweak shading a bit, and adjust the shape of my fern.

I used strong hair modelling gel to shape the fern:

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

See how it added some detail and depth to the base?

Finished model

Done! My model was ready.

Now you can see which bits from Giger’s paintings were my inspiration for which parts of my paintjob.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

Here’s the finished paintjob. I think the question “how to paint Rasputina” has at least one answer now. Not the only one for sure…
But if you happen to have any more questions, feel free to ask them. I will try to answer and offer my help where I can.

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

How to paint Rasputina the Ice Witch (Alternative) - tutorial

I am really curious what you are going to do with your interpretations of this little miniature. Looking forward to seeing your versions!

Want more?

[inset side=right]This special pack includes the tutorial enhanced with even larger photos.[/inset]

Although this is already the whole tutorial that I prepared for you, and I think the size of photos is completely sufficient for understanding the process and concepts behind my paintjob, we prepared some kind of a gift for some of you! Or actually a way of saying THANK YOU to those who offered donations that help us run the website.

This special pack includes the tutorial enhanced with even larger photos. They allow to see details that you might have difficult time spotting even in real life, including flaws, imperfections and often even individual brush strokes.

So if any of you decided to share a donation with us and let us know you are interested in the bonus, and we’ll make it available to you. This is our way of showing our gratitude for supporting us.

Thanks for your interest and enjoy the tutorial!

HobbyZone paint station review

Recently I got hold of products of Polish company HobbyZone and I’ve been using them (HobbyZone paint station and paint stands) for over two weeks now. I must admit that despite my initial reservations based on my experience with the Games Workshop Paint Station, they allowed me to organize my paint station and made fitting it into my constanly shrinking miniature painting space much easier.

Catalogue photos:

HobbyZone paint station review (1)

HobbyZone paint station review (2)

I mainly tested the paint station, but in addition to the HobbyZone paint station review I also managed to prepare a review of the two paint stands that I have. Now I can see all my paints! Previously I kept them in my drawer. I hoped they should remain in place on the Ikea antislip mat, but whenever I opened the drawer I found them in a completely changed order. Ikea can wipe their backs with their mats! 😛

After testing HobbyZone products I prepared a review of the HobbyZone accessories I had. You can read about my opinions below.

Paint stand

Much joy from a small thing!
According to the producer’s description, the paint stand is a perfect solution for keeping your painting place tidy while painting models. We’re assured that thanks to firm slots chances of spilling paint are really slim.

It looks like this:

HobbyZone paint station review (1)

HobbyZone paint station review (2)

HobbyZone paint station review (3)

What do we get?

The stand measures 42,5 cm x 18 cm x 9,5 cm and is supplied in elements which need to be assembled. Assembly is childishly easy, doesn’t require and gluing and parts fit perfectly. Adding even a simplest manual (even on the company’s website) wouldn’t be a bad thing, as it could that shelves should be mounted in a zipper-like way (with slots shifted in relation to the previous shelf) – just like on my photos.

Parts to build the stand:

HobbyZone paint station review (4)

Building is childishly simple:

HobbyZone paint station review (5)

HobbyZone paint station review (6)

HobbyZone paint station review (7)

HobbyZone paint station review (8)

HobbyZone paint station review (9)

Of course it’s not necessary, but it would answer the only doubt one could have while assembling the stand.

Variants

Paint stands are available in 2 variants, the difference being in the size and number of paint bottle slots. It can be either 40 x 36mm slots or 54 x 28mm slots.

These smaller slots are suited for “dropper” bottles, for example Vallejo or Reaper MSP. The larger ones can hold even more “bulging” bottles – like Games Workshop‘s or P3, but also those of smaller diameter. Unfortunately it results in a disadvantage: when something is universal, it’s never perfectly suited to its purpose. It’s true also in this case – many of my paints fit pretty loosely to those 36mm slots. It doesn’t make them any less usable, but is not as “professional” and convenient as better fitting smaller slots, which hold paints (for example Vallejo) much better.

Vallejo and Reaper MSP series paints sit perfectly in 28mm slots:

HobbyZone paint station review (10)

Unfortunately universal 36mm slots have their disadvantages:

HobbyZone paint station review (12)

Inks and pigments don’t fit into slots:

HobbyZone paint station review (13)

HobbyZone paint station review (14)

When placing an order one should choose the version of paint stand they want shipped. Moreover, the producers are very flexible and don’t even mind such sophisticated ideas like mixing different types of shelves within one stand – you just need to write what kind of shelves you want and it can surely be arranged with HobbyZone!

Comfort

I have one stand for my Vallejo and Reaper paints (smaller slots) and one for P3 and Citadel paints – the universal size (which means: larger slots).

As you surely know I have a complete mix of various paint bottles, but despite this the universal size didn’t suit my needs that fine, which I already described above. It is surely a personal thing, because a person relying more on Games Workshop paints would surely have a different opinion. I have few paints in such bottles and smaller bottles move loosely in those large slots.

As you can see on my photos, even GW jars sit there pretty loosely, just like P3 ones. The best fit I got was with Vallejo alcohol-based metallics:

Only alcohol-based Vallejo metallics sit firmly, while other paints sit rather loosely:

HobbyZone paint station review (11)

I tried to fill unused slots with MIG pigments and Winsor & Newton inks, but they didn’t fit there. Fortunately I managed to find room for them on the HobbyZone paint station (which you will see below).

I can suggest that introducing additional types of shelves with different slots, better suited to other popular products, would make HobbyZone’s offer more attractive. Especially if people are going to order customized choices of shelves depending on their needs (for example 1 x pigments shelf, 1 x Citadel paints shelf, 1 x P3 paints shelf and 1 x Vallejo shelf).

Currently I am only missing one Vallejo stand and a benchtop organizer for complete happiness, but there’s always time to pick these up… 🙂

HobbyZone paint station

The paint stand I have is called a professional paint station by HobbyZone. Actually I prefer to call it a “tabletop”, but let’s use the name given by the producer. The difference between types of paint stations is in sizes and number of shelves. The professional one has three shelves and measures 60 cm x 40 cm x 8 cm.

What do we get

The paint station is made of a base and three shelves with slots for paints, brushes and tools, and two additional side shelves (that I call “ears”). My table came assembled and glued, and only the “ears” (side shelves) required putting into prepared slots, but it was very easy.

Paint station in parts:

HobbyZone paint station review (15)

It’s very easy to add side shelves:

HobbyZone paint station review (16)

HobbyZone paint station review (17)

HobbyZone paint station review (18)

Completely assembled HobbyZone paint station:

HobbyZone paint station review (19)

Wide choice of different tool slots:

HobbyZone paint station review (20)

The side shelves are stabilized by additional supports, which prevents them from bending and makes them stable

Moreover, the paint station is very functional even without these additional shelves and some may even prefer it this way as it takes less space. I was told one can also order it unassembled, but I didn’t make use of this option as it has no impact on pricing.

Holders on sides of the paint station make it very portable, which solves my current organization problems. Additionally I can have all the useful things really close at hand, and paints selected for painting 4 models simultaneously fit into their slots just fine. 😀

Variants

Just like paint stands, paint stations are also offered in 2 versions: with larger and smaller slots, and the choice is made when placing the order. Moreover, you can use the without changing the price and creating a freely selected choice of shelves customized to your needs.

As I already mentioned it, since the producers were really flexible regarding customization of their products, I could choose the kind of slots I wanted for my paint station. As far as I know they wouldn’t mind similar requests from other customers too. 😉

My paint station has slots for large and small paint bottles:

HobbyZone paint station review (21)

Surface of the Paint station

I remember I used to have a Games Workshop paint station, but it became really worn and ugly with time – I didn’t mind glue and paint stains but I felt that instead of washing the thing I was rubbing dirt into it. (Hehe, I must sound like a frustrated housewife, but hey, you must be cleaning your desks before major holidays, too ;)) I like to have my workplace clean because working in a mess makes me tired fast. That’s also one of the reasons why I didn’t decide to get the HobbyZone paint station before.

Then I was convinced by laminated suface of the paint station. I think it will make the table more resistant to damage and wearing, and will allow it to look neat for a longer time. And it has to look this way because it sits in my dining room, which is also my workshop. So far cleaning is easy and I haven’t experienced any problems, so keeping the paint station tidy and in good order didn’t cause any problems, but I’ve been using it only for like two weeks.

Convenience

Now a few words about the base of the paint station – the tabletop. The first thing is that HobbyZone offers paint stations in a few sizes, and I decided to get the biggest one (which is called “professional”, so how could I resist! ;)) The width is comfortable – moving from a large table onto it was no problem for me and I didn’t feel it’s too small for my needs. Of course I can’t tell if a broad-shouldered man would say the same, but for me the size is OK. I only find the depth of the tabletop a bit too short, so I keep it pushed like 10cm back onto the table, which increases the depth of the paint station and my workspace. But would I decide to order a deeper one? Not really, because I would be unable to keep it on my wardrobe. So in my case the size is just fine 🙂 I think I don’t really find the difference in levels of both tabletops a problem, because the base of the paint station is pretty thin.

This reminds me of a problem I had with the Games Workshop paint station, which had a thicker base and it made my forearms hurt after working for a longer time. You know, the difference of levels and sharp edge of the paint station made my arms go numb and painful. Bear in mind that I often happen to sit and paint for longer periods of time, so such problems can discourage to use this kind of equipment. That was one of the reasons why I was unsure if I would like the HobbyZone table. Fortunately its thickness is just right – it assures stability of the whole thing, while not making it painful for the painter’s arms. I have to admit that while carrying the loaded paint station around I felt as if the base was pretty flexible due to its low thickness, but I hope it won’t end up in the same way as the Games Workshop paint station, which soon became warped… But whatever I would call the GW thing, I wouldn’t call it “flexible”.

The base is thin enough so it doesn’t cause any pain even during long painting sessions:

HobbyZone paint station review (22)

Workmanship

Quality of the paint station caused no objections on my end, and the HobbyZone logo doesn’t jump at you, and is a nice visual touch instead. You know that for me such little things can mean a lot 🙂

Of course, like a typical woman I had a crazy idea to repaint the paint station to a color more harmonized with my apartment, but I quickly realized that the white color of the paint station has a big advantage – it doesn’t create any color cast, which would alter the way painted models look. White also reflects more light, which makes your workspace brighter and better lit (without blinding you ;)). I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but even if it was just accidental – it must have been a lucky accident.

Elements of the HobbyZone paint station are glued solidly and neatly, and edges are finished in a clean way so it seems there’s no risk of tearing or chipping. Of course I am judging after like two weeks of usage, so I can’t tell what it’s going to look like after a year or two.

Gluing is neat, workmanship is flawless:

HobbyZone paint station review (23)

Possible improvements:

I did a little improvement to the table, which allows me to carry it more securely (and it’s very important to me). I fixed the miniatures and elements I was working on to the paint station with Blu-tack or Patafix. This keeps them secured to their places and I don’t have to fear the possibility of anything dropping from the table when I am transporting it.

My problem was that I couldn’t find suitable water glasses to fit in the slots prepared in the paint station. They could become another product from HobbyZone, but on our miniature painting forum I was told to use disposable plastic cups, and they fit perfectly, so this problem was already solved. Not that I wouldn’t prefer something more durable…

On the photos you can see that for now I prefer to use the slots originally planned for water cups to keep my sculpting tools and a coaster on which I keep spare little bits, and I carry my water glasses on the tabletop:

I keep my water cups on the base, as I don’t have suitable glasses to fit in the slots:

HobbyZone paint station review (24)

Final verdict

As you can surely see, I am very satisfied with the improvements and reorganization I managed to achieve thanks to the paint station and paint stands. I would rate the quality of these products as very good, they’re easy to keep clean and much room for paints, toold and miniatures I am painting allows me to keep most of the things I might need while working on miniatures (and surely also other models) close at hand. I hope these products are durable enough so I don’t have to replace them with new ones (and remember they’re getting some rough time from me – painting every day and being carried around a few times a day).

If there’s anything I don’t quite like, it’s the larger-sized paint slots. I can’t say they’re bad, but they simply don’t suit my needs all that well. Although supposed to be universal slots, they aren’t well suited to some of more frequently used products. And if they’re supposed to be a good fit for a particular kind of bottles, then they could be fitting more accurately. It may be a matter of taste though. I dealt with it by moving some of my supplies onto the paint station, but this means I have some of my rarely used products there where I don’t really need them so much. They could rest on paint stands, but I hope such paint stands are still to be produced. 🙂

I think that HobbyZone started well with a line of products for us, painters. Now they should open their minds to suggestions coming from the hobby community and react to market situation. There are some suggestions from me in this very review. 😉

Prices of their products are not high in my opinion. People who spend a few hours daily painting, should be able to spend some money on equipping and reorganizing their workspaces.

Would I recommend these products to other painters? Yes, with completely clear conscience. Just remember that it’s not any kind of a magic solution which will tidy up and reorganize your workshops. In my case it worked well because I always wanted to have easy access to tools, paints and models that I am working on, and to be able to carry my painting equipment easily – and both the paint station and paint stands allow for easy portability. I got what I expected.

Ideas and suggestions

First thing is what I already mentioned: shelves with different shapes and sizes of slots. It would allow to customize paint stands for the kind of products one actually uses. Especially that HobbyZone is pretty flexible as far as customizations go.

Another idea I have is to make similar shelves, but instead of paint bottle slots, they would have little drawers for fine modeling supplies, like glue, flock, sand, static grass, etc. If they keep the same size as paint stands, one could build a whole wall of such shelves.

Alternatively they could also split benchtop organizers into smaller modules (let’s say in 3 variants: empty, shelves and drawers), which could be combined depending on your needs and preferences.

The last idea I would like to remind about was to provide those unfortunate water cups, which would fit the slots in paint stations. I would most likely buy them for my paint station.

And let’s not forget the display cabinets section on HobbyZone website, which is still empty. I really wonder when we will see anything there and what will they look like.

And what would you like to suggest to HobbyZone? Maybe you have used their products and would like to share your own opinion? I am curious what you have to say on this subject and sure that the HobbyZone crew will check this review and comments here.

— Ańa

How to make lava splashes – Tutorial

While working on my latest commission, I had to find out how to make lava for the model’s base.

Introduction

I already did several lava bases. So in order to avoid boredom I had to come up with a new idea or end up with boring and uninspired results.

So I returned to browsing the internet for photos of lava:

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Now this is something I haven’t done before! 😀

What we need to make lava

How to make lava that is boiling and splashing? We will need:

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  • sheet of plastic (I used a thick plastic sleeve)
  • scissors
  • source of heat (I used a candle)
  • filler putty (I used a modeling putty for plastic models)
  • Vallejo Water Effect
  • hygroscopic balls (you will find them in a new wallet or handbag, where they’re supposed to absorb moisture)
  • Maskol
  • foam
  • airbrush (you can do without it, but I used mine)
  • paintbrush
  • paints: white, black, Vallejo MC 952 Lemon Yellow, Vallejo Ink Skin Wash, Winsor & Newton Orange Ink, Vallejo MA Mahogany, Reaper Red Brick 09001, and saturated red of your choice.
  • retarder (because regular Vallejo paints tend to clog my airbrush)

So how to make lava like that?

I pulled, stretched and bent stripes of plastic over fire:

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I made a test application of the lava surface on a sheet of metal. The consistence of my putty made it a suitable material to imitate lava:

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I ruffled the fresh putty with a toothpick and added the splashes I formed from plastic:

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When the putty was dry, I finished the rest of my lava base with Vallejo Water Effect. Its thickness is similar to that of mayonaise, so it feels perfect for the task. If you want to make finer splashes of lava than mine, you can apply some water effect on a piece of thin wire:

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Painting lava

I left the base to dry overnight and in the morning I started with priming the base. Then I used my airbrush to apply several layers of paint to build up colors of lava:

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I checked if it fits to the scenic base:

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I could see I was going in the right direction. Now I only needed more contrast, so I returned to painting.

I highlighted the hottest parts once more with Vallejo MC 952 Lemon Yellow. Once more I applied Winsor&Newton Orange to increase saturation. I glazed some parts with my red. And then with the side of a paintbrush I painted cooled cracks with Reaper Red Brick 09001 and black:

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Finished lava base

Finishing touches were done later, when the model for which the base was made was ready. Now you should know how to make lava splashes for your minis and see the finished thing here:

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I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If you have any hints or tips, feel free to let me know about them or discuss this technique in the comments below.

— Ańa

Warhammer 40.000 25th Anniversary Space Marine model – Review

Today Benathai paid me a visit and showed me one of the latest products from Games Workshop’s Citadel Finecast range: The 25th Anniversary Space Marine. Review of this model may be of interest to some of you, so I decided to share my impressions from unboxing this miniature.

Warhammer 40.000 25th Anniversary Space Marine model - review

25th Anniversary Space Marines Captain

So far it’s been the best Finecast model I’ve seen, and Benathai’s opinion is exactly the same.

The model was created to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Warhammer 40.000, so the inspiration with nostalgic memories of the beginnings of this system is tangible. And that is great! I join the choir of sentimental voices from the miniature painting and gaming community, as the RPG-like character of scenarios from the first edition of Warhammer 40.000, also known as Rogue Trader, was a great approach to miniature wargaming and it emphasized the fluff of that universe. This is also reflected in artwork from that period, which put much emphasis on individual character of depicted personalities.

The company managed to hit a soft spot with this model and approach, and in my humble opinion this way they managed to reach the target group of not only gamers but also collectors and miniature painters, because the models – even if based on early Warhammer 40K artwork – stand up to current standards of the industry. And it must be said that the models faithfully represent the characters depicted. If you haven’t had a chance to compare them, here you go:

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There’s also another model based on an iconic artwork from the past – Games Day 2012 special miniature based on the cover of 2nd edition of Warhammer 40.000. (I hope to be able to get this one ^^ – leave some for me!)

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Ok, let me return to describing what I expect to be another collection of air bubbles trapped in resin.

Close examination

In order to prepare our 25th Anniversary Space Marine review, we took the miniature under magnifying glass (ok, not quite, but two pairs of eyes scanned the miniature for flaws carefully in strong light). And here’s what surprised us:

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A decent package – the box is one of those that protect the model inside, so no parts of the miniature were broken.

Quality of the box and print cannot be called anything but good. It opens like a book revealing photos depicting a painted version of the model.

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So the first impression was a very pleasantly surprise that the sprue isn’t deformed as much as I would have expected after my first experience with Finecast models. Was it a good omen?

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We spotted mould lines in a few places:

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Will you agree they don’t look all that bad? The one running along the banner is the worst of them, but fortunately it’s not a bad place and should be easy to fix. Mould lines on the marine were going in pretty acceptable places and fortunately all of them were shallow.

The only thing that I would like to mention as a negative surprise was the amount of flash, seen for example on the backpack.

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Also the scenic base insert was slightly warped. Nothing that wouldn’t be easily fixed, but it should be mentioned nonetheless.

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Hunt for bubbles

It’s time to take a closer look to those infamous air bubbles:

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Did you see what we saw? Is it a kind of magic? Can Finecast models really look unlike foam?!

The few holes we found were completely compensated for with the quality of the sculpt. The surface is smooth. And have you paid attention to these shoulderpads and leg plates? Details are crisp, clean and sharp.

Benathai commened that “these are self-painting details” – and I think he’s quite right 😉 These are difficult times for professional painters, as with such models it suffices to learn to use washes for detailing and even inexperienced painters will achieve good results. 😛

Conclusion of our 25th Anniversary Space Marine review

How positively surprised we are with this model! Is this a sign of improvement of quality of Finecast models? I wish! Unfortunately I am afraid it may be too early to announce such positive changes, because we might be simply lucky with our miniature. Examples seen in the internet seem to confirm my doubts.

So far it’s been the best Finecast model I’ve seen, and Benathai’s opinion is exactly the same. Hasn’t it been for the photos of less fortunate castings we’ve seen in the internet, we would believe it’s a moment that Citadel Finecast models begin to live up to their name.

We’re going to have another example of this model soon, so I hope it won’t disappoint us and our expectations are not too high. Of course we will inform you about it.