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!

How to make a ‘Scavvy bunker’ photography background

Hello all!
It’s been a while since I managed to prepare something worthy publishing but sadly when life issues strike – there’s no other way than face them. Fortunately I had a short break from the life recently during which I managed to slap paint over some minis, play some Necromunda matches and of course: write this short walkthrough explaining how to build a Scavvy bunker which I use as my photography background.

Crucial question: What for?

The first question about the project should be: what for?
After ~15 years in the miniature wargaming I realised that although fancy studio pictures of miniatures are very nice what REALLY makes me want to get some new toys is watching the precious models in the action. Nicely painted models placed on nicely prepared battlefield is something just stunning. I still can see beautiful Warhammer Fantasy armies from the battle book and Warzone corporations from Mutant Chronicles zine.

Therefore last year I started building modular gaming board worthy of our miniatures (and Necromunda campaign of course) but because my hobby time is limited and the table is rather big (work in progress aerial pic below) the decision was made to prepare small piece of terrain and paint it the way I want to see the battlefield one day. I was bored using printed backgrounds for taking photos so this small display piece should fix my problem.

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How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (22)

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (23)

Preparations

The base was planned big enough for about dozen miniatures. I grabbed thick PVC sheet and cut ~5″ x 11″ sheet. As for the back wall – it’s height was determined by size of the gate (about 4″) and spare space in my glass case.

The gate

It was cast using Hirst Arts molds – instead of recommended clay I used resin with solid amount of filler. This stuff makes casts “crunchy” and much more fragile (bad idea for mass production) but also easier to work with when it comes do sandpapering or drilling. Of course using clay will also work – just there’ll be a bit more mess on the hobby station.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (1)

And here’s the assembled gate. All the edges were treated with sandpaper so it’s easier to install into the frame.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (2)

Once again I used molds to cast the frame – not much more to write about here.
The green slime is test of colors I was going to use for tox bombs – never let Scavvy boss out into the combat zone without supply of this nastiness!

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (3)

And here’s the gate confronted with the back wall. As you can see there’s another frame around the gate. If I remember correctly all these cool parts can be found in the single sci – fi mold.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (4)

The entrance is done and inserted into the hole cut in the wall. The excessive bottom will be cut off and smoothed so it can be pinned and attached to the base.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (5)

And here’s the general idea of some bits to be added: some floor tiles and some vents (made of headphones broken by one of my cats – thanks a lot Cruiser, you bastard…)

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (6)

More bits!

The tiles have been placed into the prepared holes (don’t worry: wallpaper knife deals very easy with PCV sheet, almost as easy as blessed chainsword with heretic’s throat) and also some windows were added. To make the job as easy as possible I simply cut long rectangle shaped hole, covered it with thin PVC frame simulating windows (2mm PVC can be cut with scissors) and added some nails so I can paint rust around them in later stage. Bright rust should work as nice eye catcher especially on dark metallics.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (7)

Another step was adding mesh into the windows – I really like such additions especially it looks really decent even if only slightly drybrushed and hit with some brown washes. The mesh was pain in the ass to work with and I had to use special shears to get desired shape. Hobby clippers definitely weren’t enough.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (8)

Some more bits added to the junkyard.
Also I attached another sheet of PVC to the back so you cannot see through the windows. Some metallics were painted as well (boltgun + black) – do it as fast and easy as you can, it’s just terrain piece so doesn’t need as much attention as models.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (9)

And more bits – this time it’s the final re-arranging.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (10)

Rusting!!! I meant painting…

Like I wrote the piece was made to fit the battlefield concept: the gaming board is desert area (something inspired by Necromunda Ash Wastes) with some ruins and abandoned, corroded installations. This brings my fav way of painting (easy and effective that is): painting sand is almost pure drybrush while with a bit of practice you can paint huge chunks of rust really fast.

The natural decision was to start with the rust because I didn’t want to see the mess on the sand. After whole metallics were painted I simply glazed them with different colors: browns, sepia, orange. Once the paints dried some chipped paint was added and also some shading. Details will be added later.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (11)

The desert

Base was covered with white glue (the stuff you use for wood or static grass) and sprinkled with sand and some gravel. I use the same sand and gravel on bases of my gangers so everything fits nicely. As for the colors – once again I decided to make my life as easy as possible. Sand was glazed with some heavily diluted brown / sepia just to give it some hue and enhance shadows. After that there was a bleached bone / white drybrush and some chalks for the final. I sprayed varnish over the base to attach chalk to the base. Turps also works fine but it’s pretty stinky and flammable so be careful with that stuff!

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (12)

The material I used to cover the back wall was the filler which I used for casting. It’s something like very fine sand. I didn’t use the same sand as for the base because I wanted to achieve different texture: more like concrete than sand or rock. Again: layer of white glue, layer of filler and voila!

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (13)

Painting the Scavvy bunker

Painting wall was similar to painting base: glaze, drybrush and pigments. Also color choice was similar to keep whole thing coherent.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (14)

Some scale shot – still work in progress…

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (15)

And the final: PVC edges were painted black, some more details added: turrets lenses, rust here and there, arch-villain posters, oil leaking from the barrels, blood splats. It’s a piece of battlefield, not some sort of Xmas tree so try not to get carried away.

Finished photography background

I must say I am really satisfied how the thing came out – I used similar colors on the Scavvies so these nasty bastards fit the base just fine. And if I ever get bored but this scenery I will just paint some oldie sci fi models (like Cartel agents from good ol’ Warzone), pin them into the base and put in the proper shelf in the display case.

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How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (18)

Hope you like it. For more of my stuff – just visit my blog or wait pariently for another text to be spawned.

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (19)

How to make Scavvy bunker - photography background (20)

Cheers!
— Demi_morgana

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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (1)

Lava splashes - tutorial (2)

Lava splashes - tutorial (3)

Lava splashes - tutorial (4)

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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (5)

  • 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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (6)

How to make lava splashes - tutorial (7)

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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (8)

How to make lava splashes - tutorial (9)

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

Lava splashes - tutorial (10)

How to make lava splashes - tutorial (11)

Lava splashes - tutorial (12)

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:

How to make lava splashes - tutorial (13)

Lava splashes - tutorial (14)

How to make lava splashes - tutorial (15)

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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (16)

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I checked if it fits to the scenic base:

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How to make lava splashes - tutorial (29)

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:

Lava splashes - tutorial (34)

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

Dark Art Miniatures bases – Review

Manufacturer

Product

I had decided to get some pre-cast bases for my 40K army. Dark Art Miniatures range included exactly what I’d been looking for – big discounted sets of bases with different diameters. I bought two of them – rocky and lava bases.

What you get for your money

Each set costs 9.80 GBP and contains 26 resin bases: 20 x 25mm bases, 5 x 40mm bases, 1 x 60mm base. You get a whole lot for what you pay!

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Bases are packed in zip-lock bags
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 60mm base
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 40mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 25mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 60mm base
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 40mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 25mm bases

As you can see, bases have different designs. There are enough flat surfaces on every one of them, so there should be no problems with placing and attaching minis to bases. Also, designs are not overly complicated which should save time required to paint them.

Casting quality

Here’s an example of a good cast.

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review

Unfortunately, majority of bases has some casting issues – small air bubbles mainly. You can see it on this photo:

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review

Summary

Dark Art Miniatures bases are clearly provided for 40K gamers and they meet almost all gamers’ requirements – proper diameters, different yet simple and well-thought designs, discounted sets.

However, casting quality might discourage some clients from buying these (or returning for more). Personally, I don’t really mind small imperfections, but I’m sure some of customers would disagree with me and demanded better casts (can’t really blame them!).

In my opinion, this is a good product with a good quality to price ratio. I do hope though that Dark Art Miniatures are able to improve casting quality.

Simple bases in 5 steps

We keep being asked if we’re ever going to publish any tutorials for beginners in the miniature painting hobby. Sure, why not!


To get started with these articles, let’s follow these five easy steps to make nice but simple bases for your gaming miniatures.

Let me show you a simple and quick method for making bases.

What do we need to make our simple bases?

  • sand,
  • static grass,
  • white glue,
  • superglue,
  • bases,
  • cork,
  • paints: Bestial Brown, Vomit Brown (Citadel) and Lupin Grey (HMG Paints) or Space Wolves Grey (Citadel)

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Step 1

Glue a piece of cork to your base using superglue.

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Step 2

Glue some sand to your base using white glue to cover free space on the base.

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Step 3

Paint the whole base black.

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Step 4

Cork: paint with Bestial Brown and then drybrush with Vomit Brown.
Sand: drybrush with Lupin Grey.

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Step 5

Use superglue to glue a mini to your base and white glue to add static grass.

Photo: How to make simple bases in 5 steps - Tutorial

Your base is ready! :)

You see, it wasn’t all that difficult.

Now if you would like more tutorials for beginners, just write what you would like to read about. What subjects would be the most interesting for you. We will do our best to follow your suggestions.