Monday, June 18, 2012

WIP Coteaz Part 3 - Complete

Well I finally finished Coteaz and have some pictures up on both Facebook and my Deviant Art gallery.
So I thought I would walk you through how I painted the details.

Firstly the whole montage:

Now on with the rest...
Fur Cloak:
The idea here is to pick out fewer strands each highlight stage so that the cloak gets progressively lighter as it gets towards the edges.
1) Base with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
2) Wash with 1:1:2 Badab Black:Water:Devlan Mud
3) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
4) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Tanned Skin
5) Pick out some highlight some strands with Reaper MSP Fair Shadow
6) Final highlights with P3 Morrow White
To give the face a more haggard yet alive tone I used glazed highlights to blend the various layers together. I find that for characters this makes their bare faces a better focal point. It can be tricky so I recommend practising on some spare bare plastic heads from your bits box. I selectively added some liver spots and the darkening around the eyes to enhance his tired, aged and world weary look.
1) Base with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
2) Wash with 1:1:2 Badab Black:Water:Ogryn Flesh
3) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
4) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Tanned Skin
5) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Fair Shadow
6) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Fair Skin
7) Selectively glaze with 1:1 Water:Ogryn Flesh and add some aged liver speckling to the top of the head with some splodges of 1:1 Water:Leviathan Purple.
8) Highlight the raised parts of his face with Reaper MSP Fair Highlights,and blend the liver spots in with selective glazes of this as well.
10) Pick out the lower lip with Reaper MSP Rosy Skin

As many of you may recognise I referenced the Bald Eagle when painting up the Cybereagle. The reason behind this was that it is easily recognisable due to the fact it is a prominent symbol associated with the USA (Ron talks about this in relation to iconic 40k characters at FTW).
1) Base with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
2) Wash with 1:1:2 Badab Black:Water:Devlan Mud
3) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
4) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Tanned Skin
5) Wash the Long Wing Feathers Twice with 4:1 Badab Black:Asurmen Blue
6) Wash the Legs, Top of the wings and along the line of the Head Feathers with 4:2:1 Badab Black:Water:Asurmen Blue
7) Base the Face and Tail Feathers with 1:1 Astronomican Grey:P3 Morrow White
8) Wash the Face and Tail Feathers with 1:1:1 Water:Devlan Mud:Gryphonne Sepia
9) Layer the Face and Tail Feathers with P3 Morrow White
10) Base the Beaks, Eyes and Feet with Iyanden Darksun then wash with Gryphonne Sepia.
11) Spot highlight the Beaks, Eyes and Feet with Sunburst Yellow
12) Base the Claws with Chaos Black, then Spot highlight with Adeptus Battlegrey and wash with Badab Black.
13) Do the Metals and Lenses as per the method below.

 Hammer Handle Grip:
1) Base with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
2) Layer with 1:1 Reaper MSP Tanned Skin:Snakebite Leather
3) Wash with 1:1:2 Badab Black:Water:Devlan Mud
4) Layer highlight with 1:1 Reaper MSP Tanned Skin:Snakebite Leather
5) Spot highlight with 1:1:1 Reaper MSP Tanned Skin:Snakebite Leather:Reaper MSP Fair Shadow

Hammer Handle Details:
1) Base with Chaos Black
2) Glaze Highlight 3:1 Chaos Black:Shadow Grey
3) Glaze Highlight 2:1 Chaos Black:Shadow Grey
4) Glaze Highlight 1:1 Chaos Black:Shadow Grey
5) Glaze Highlight Shadow Grey
6) Wash with 1:1 Badab Black:Water
7) Pick out the Ribbed Cabling with Adeptus Battlegrey then wash with Badab Black (note that the "Rubber" Armour Joints and Pistol Handle are also picked out like this at the same time)

Hammer Head:
1) Base with Chaos Black
2) Layer highlights with 4:1 Chaos Black:Jade Green
3) Edge highlight 6:1 Chaos Black:Jade Green
4) Spot highlights with 8:1 Chaos Black:Jade Green
5) Final spot highlights with pure Jade Green

Red Armour Detail:
With the Red details I wanted them to look almost like they were enamel or even faceted glass/gemstones. So I simply applied a variation of the method I normally use to paint Red Lenses with a bit more attention paid to where the light would likely refract. Not sure I got it perfect but I am happy with the look. I also used this highlight progression to do the lens on the Cybereagle's Bionics.
1) Pick out the armour detail parts plus any gems and lenses with Chaos Black. Then layer with 2:1 Mechrite Red:Chaos Black.
2) Wash with 1:2 Badab Black:Baal Red. When dry layer highlight with 2:1 Mechrite Red:Chaos Black.
3) Layer highlight with Mechrite Red then with 1:1 Mechrite Red:Blood Red. Then layer highlight with pure Blood Red.
4) Layer highlight with pure Blazing Orange. Then layer highlight with 1:1 Blazing Orange:Sunburst Yellow.
5) Apply a final layer highlight with pure Sunburst Yellow. Lastly add spot highlights with pure P3 Morrow White.

Red Cloth Detail:
I usually use this method to do heavily folded red cloth on miniatures, it tends to come out looking quite nice while making the cloth look almost like silk or satin due to the deep shadowing and bright highlights.
1) Base with Reaper MSP Red Brick
2) Then layer with 2:1 Mechrite Red:Reaper MSP Red Brick
3) Wash with 1:2 Badab Black:Baal Red. When dry Layer highlight with Mechrite Red
4) Layer highlight with 1:1 Mechrite Red:Blood Red. Then layer highlight with pure Blood Red
5) Layer highlight with 1:1 Blood Red:Blazing Orange
6) Glaze with Baal Red  to reset the red tones and blend the layers together

1) Layer all the metals with Boltgun Metal then wash with 1:1 Badab Black:Asurmen Blue.
2) Layer highlight with Boltgun Metal then wash the Gold parts twice with pure Gryphonne Sepia.
3) Layer Gold parts with Shining Gold, then highlight Gold with 1:1 Shining Gold:Mithral Silver.
4) Finish metals with fine edge highlights of Mithral Silver.

Book Pages and Purity Seals:
1) Layer with Deneb Stone, then Wash with Gryphonne Sepia.
2) Layer with Deneb Stone then highlight with Skull White.
3) Base the wax seal with Liche Purple then layer with Warlock Purple.
4) Wash with Leviathan Purple, then highlight with Warlock Purple.

Hour Glass:
1) Layer Glass with Adeptus Battlegrey, then Layer with Astronomicon Grey.
2) Wash with 1:1 Badab Black:Asurmen Blue, then highlight with Astronomicon Grey followed by 1:1 Astronomicon Grey:Skull White.
3) Add final spot highlights with Skull White.
4) Paint the metal parts as per the rest of the miniature

Holster and Leather Strapping
1) Base with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
2) Wash with 1:1:2 Badab Black:Water:Devlan Mud
3) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Dark Highlight
4) Layer highlight with Reaper MSP Tanned Skin

I ended up trimming down the rock under Coteaz's foot and turning it into a chunk of weathered metal. It was painted as per the weathered metal on the rest of the bases as follows.
1) Paint metal junk with Boltgun Metal, then stipple rather heavily with Blazing Orange to simulate rust.
2) Wash with 1:1 Devlan Mud:Water, then stipple the edges with Boltgun Metal to simulate fresher chips.

Last of all I pinned Coteaz onto his Dragon Forge Parched Earth Base and finished him with Tamiya Dullcote.

So at this point you may be left wondering why I was mixing all those different coloured washes together right?
Well it is something I have been doing for a while and it enhances the colours while shading. The basic idea is that it works by incorporating some of the same colours and tones in your was as what lies beneath it and varying the tone of the shades while retaining some of the hue. It is all very painterly and well yeah leaves me scratching my head a little, but it works. The use on this model in particular was sparked by a conversation in the comments of a post over at From The Warp, which I have lost the link for...

Lastly, as you can clearly see I am still learning the fine art of miniature photography. I am also still trying to re-learn a lot as I am working with a new camera now too. Oh well onwards and upwards!


Related Posts:
Back In Action
Dragon Forge Bases Review
WIP Coteaz and Grey Knights Project
WIP Coteaz Part 2
Dragon Forge Bases Tutorial
A Little bit of the Funny with GKs...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glaze, Ink, Wash.... Dr What?

Or How I Stopped Worrying About The Brand and Learnt to Love to Paint.

Before you start.... Yes this is a wall of text, I will have something more photo filled next time.

It has been been on my mind for a little while now and after listening to a lot of bunk I wanted to throw down my thoughts. Games Workshop has had their new line of paints out for a couple of months and I have seen everything from glowing reviews to blind, often meaningless, disdain without any grasp of the facts.

The fact is that yes GW have a new line of paints and regardless of if you approve of the company, their policies (or anything else about their practices), there are things that they have done right...
Wait, did the Embittered Veteran Gamer just say GW did something right?
Yes, and you can quote me on that later.

Once upon a time GW produced Glazes and Inks, way back in the 90's in fact. A lot of people will remember that Justin "Booster" Keyes had a special love for Chestnut Ink. More importantly some of us remember how much easier it was to paint with a selection of Glazes available.
Now we once more have Washes and Glazes, considering how popular the Washes were in the last few years since they were released it was a given that the new paint range would have them. Of course we have a wider range of choice when it comes to washes than just Games Workshop. With other companies Such as Secret Weapon Miniatures, MIG etc. offering an excellent range of choices when it comes to washes. If you want something particular you could also browse their range of pigment powders to make your own colours.

To understand what makes these three products useful we need to look at the differences between them.

Glazes -
Traditionally Glazes are a mixture composed of tint (often a thin ink), and a pigment. The point of a glaze it to blend together and enrich the underlying colour. It is most comment to see this used to blend highlights together without changing the overall colour it is used over. If the tint and pigment in a Glaze are rich enough the Glaze can be used to give a different primary tone colour to another. E.g. layering a yellow glaze on a blue base colour will result in a green tinted item..
From the interwebs we get the following:
"Acrylic paint glazes are often used to create more depth in an image. These types of paints are light enough when brushed onto canvas to show the layers underneath. This technique is commonly used to create more realistic images. Light colored glazes also have softening effects when painted over dark or bright images. Artists can mix glazes themselves, or can buy pre-mixed acrylic glazes.
It is best to wait for each layer to dry thoroughly before apply another coat. This will prevent the paint from smearing or leaving unwanted smudge marks. After the application of several layers, rubbing alcohol can be brushed or sprayed on to reveal colors from earlier layers."

These are usually pure tints or an heavier amalgam of dyes and heavier pigments. They can be used straight to re-tone or re-colour an underlying layer, but often they will be a more gloss finish and do not have the smooth coverage of Glazes due to not having pigment grains that evenly settle. Thus Inks tend to pool on flat surfaces and be blotchy if not carefully applied. Inks can also be added more readily to other colours prior to painting to enhance or subtly change their tone.
From the interwebs we get the following:
"Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing or writing with a pen, brush, or quill. Thicker inks, in paste form, are used extensively in letterpress and lithographic printing.
Ink can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter,fluorescers, and other materials. The components of inks serve many purposes; the ink’s carrier, colorants, and other additives control flow and thickness of the ink and its appearance when dry."

Washes are designed to be liberally applied to enhance shading as the pigments naturally settle in the recesses of a miniature. Usually they consist of pigment powders and carrier medium, in acrylics this tends to be a browns of demineralised water and matte medium. Commonly they have a much lower pigment count than Glazes and the carrier medium is usually colourless. Many younger hobbyists would be most familiar with the recently discontinued GW Wash range, replaced by the new range of Shades. Note that the new Shades appear to have a higher pigment count (making for more settling and a less is more approach approach to some techniques).
From the interwebs we get the following:
"A wash is a painting technique in which a paint brush that is very wet with solvent and holds a small paint load is applied to a wet or dry support such as paper or primed or raw canvas. The result is a smooth and uniform area that ideally lacks the appearance of brush strokes and is semi-transparent. The drybrush technique can be considered the opposite of a wash.
A wash is accomplished by using a large amount of solvent with little paint. Paint consists of a pigment and binder which allows the pigment to adhere to its support. Solvents dilute the binder, thus diluting the binding strength of the paint. Washes can be brittle and fragile paint films because of this. However, when gum arabic watercolor washes are applied to a highly absorbent surface, such as paper, the effects are long lasting. This is the reason why watercolor is the medium most often utilizing washes....
With water-based media such as inks, acrylic paints, tempera paints or watercolor paints, a wet brush should be dipped into a pool of very wet and diluted paint. This paint pool should be evenly mixed and dispersed to prevent uneven pigment load on the brush. The loaded brush should then be applied to a dry or wet support. Washes are most often applied with large brushes over large areas. The areas in which a wash effects can be controlled with careful application of the wash, and with the use of liquid frisket or rubber cement."

So as you can see these three different mediums can be used to generate similar effects, with subtle differences that enhance your painting. The importance of these three types of medium is that they allow you better freedom when adding subtle nuances to your painting. In many cases they can make the task easier as you can see from Ron's articles on From the Warp about painting "White/Bone", and also "Replacements for Devlan Mud and Badab Black".

However the thing I need to make perfectly clear is that GW paints are easy for many of us to get hold of. Some of us are not lucky enough to have a hobby store nearby that stocks washes etc. from other companies. So for this reason GW products are widely known. 

The GW range also is designed to allow painters, even those new to painting, an excellent entry level medium to paint armies. When combined with the new "How To Paint Miniatures" book they are a great foundation upon which people can really engage with painting armies.
Other companies do have an excellent range on offer when it comes to these three products and, just like with paints, through the internet and independent retailers you have choice. You also make the choice to follow or use what you want to. But never buy into the train of thought that one companies product is better than another's simply because of your disagreement with some other policy they have. 

Always use what works for you!
I use a range of products from across the world, from Citadel Colour, Reaper, Army Painter, Villejo, Tamiya and Privateer Press to name a few.
Painting is a form of expression, an art, and often done because it is something you do for your personal enjoyment.
So don't waste your time worrying about what paint is better or what company is better, just get out of the rut and paint.
Finally, if you need to colour match take a poke about online before you shop to get and idea and then take a swatch, or old pot, of the colour you want with you to your FLGS.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Little bit of the Funny with GKs...

So I was considering doing a Non-Power-Armoured-List* for a game next week against a mate and it struck me....

Could you do a totally NPAL with the current Grey Knights Codex???
So I grabbed my 'Dex and had a little browse....

Yes and there is still room to swap out for anti-armour weapons and add vehicles in a 1500pts list....

Sometimes I really wonder if I should be less beardy...

(* Hereafter this shall be known as a NPAL)

Related Posts:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dragon Forge Bases Tutorial

Painting Dragon Forge 'Lost Empires' and 'Parched Earth' bases.

Continuing my irregular series about bases, basing and well general tips I will take you through the process I use to paint the two types of bases I use. I use these for my Grey Knights and Skitarii respectively, however at some point I am going to modify some to combine elements of the two so it doesn't look weird if I field the two armies together in an Apocalypse game. Also you may notice that I use, almost exclusively, the old GW paint colours. Feel free to swap them for their current near match brethren.
So leading Straight on from this post:
At this point you should have your bases cleaned and primed, as per my previous post. From here I am going to walk through the steps I take to paint the two types of bases.

First up the 'Parched Earth' bases:

This method is a fairly fast way to paint these well balanced and very detailed bases. I chose to do them slightly darker tones to balance out the bright steel, white and red colours that dominate the colour scheme of my Grey Knights. To make them more traditional sulphur desert coloured you could perhaps swap the Charadon Granite for Iyanden Darksun and the Devlan Mud for Gryphonne Sepia.

1) Thin down some Charadon Granite so that it is about the same consistency as paint you would airbrush with. Liberally wash this into the cracks in the base. Once this is dry sticky brush the base with 1:2 Reaper Dark Blood:Charadon Granite (Base Mix).

2) Sticky brush the base with 1:2 Deneb Stone:Base Mix.

3) Heavily Drybrush patches with 2:1 Deneb Stone:Charadon  Granite. The Idea here is to add natural looking changes to the colour of the ground just like real soil. Final Drybrush highlight in patches with Deneb Stone.

4) Paint any metal junk with Boltgun Metal and pick out any rocks with a Heavy Drybrush of Adeptus Battlegrey.

5) Stipple the metal bits of debris rather heavily with Blazing Orange to simulate rust. Highlight the rocks in streaks with 1:1 Adeptus Battlegrey:Astronomicon Grey and then edge highlight them with pure Astronomicon Grey.

6) Wash the base with 1:1 Devlan Mud:Water wash. The trick here is to put a blob of pure Devlan Mud on the base and then spread it out with water to create more random lighter and darker patches of ground.

7) When the wash is dry paint any crystals with Liche Purple and then highlight with 2:1 Liche Purple:Tentacle Pink (you can make Tentacle Pink by adding Space Wolf Grey to Liche Purple). Make sure to add some crystal light retraction streaks on each facet. Successively highlight this with 1:1 Liche Purple:Tentacle and then pure Tentacle Pink. Thinly glaze the crystals with 1:1 Leviathan Purple:Water to blend the highlights together.

8) Add fine spot highlights to the crystals with pure Skull White. Add a few random Boltgun Metal chips to the debris to simulate newer chipping.

9) Paint the rim of the base Chaos Black, and pin the model in place. Then when dry coat with clear Matt finish if you prefer to do so. Yes, the one at the bottom left is ready to have the miniature pinned on.

10) Lastly pick out the crystals with clear gloss varnish.

'Lost Empires' Bases

This is a fast and relatively good looking method I developed to paint these bases when I realised I had over four hundred Skitarii miniatures to put on bases. Because of the rapid nature of painting these there are a few steps missing photos, sorry for that.
For best results the bases are painted separately from the miniatures as mentioned in this post:

1) Wash the stone blocks and on patches on the gravel with 1:1:4 Asurmen Blue:Reaper Deep Ocean:Water.

2) Drybrush heavily with Deneb Stone.

3) Drybrush with P3 Morrow White.

4) Redefine some wash patches with Step 1 wash mix.

5) Wash gravel bits with 1:1 Devlan Mud:Water mix.

6) Pick out details with Reaper Deep Ocean.

7) Highlight details with Reaper Marine Teal.

8) Wash any black details twice with pure Badab Black.

9) Paint the rim of the base Chaos Black, and pin the model in place.

10) Coat the mini with clear finish and you are done.

So there you have it, an easy way to paint two of the available sets of bases from Dragon Forge.

Until next time
Subby out

Related Posts:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WIP Coteaz Part 2

Continuing my running series after a bit of late night painting last night and tonight I managed to get the armour and cloak finished on Coteaz. It is a struggle getting the washes done because it is raining here at the moment and so the humidity is making them take forever to dry. Oh well that is life. On with the Show!
These next couple show him with his cloak finished, leaving me all the other bits to go. I chose purple for two things. First it goes well with the Turquoise armour and secondly it is a colour related to Royal or Imperial Power, thus making Coteaz's ties to the Throne of Terra more obvious.

I used the following technique to paint the Purple Cloak on Coteaz:
1) Over a Black undercoat layer Liche Purple.
2) Wash twice with 1:3 wash of Badab Black:Leviathan Purple.
3) Layer highlight with Liche Purple.
4) Wash with 1:1 Water:Leviathan Purple.
5) Layer highlight with 1:1 Liche Purple:Warlock Purple.
6) Layer highlight with 1:1:1 Liche Purple:Warlock Purple:Morrow White.
7) Layer highlight with 1:1:2 Liche Purple:Warlock Purple:Morrow White.
8) Final wash glaze with 1:1 Water:Leviathan Purple.

Cheers till next time
Subby out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

WIP Coteaz and Grey Knights Project

Continuing the Trend that I began with the Doomknight and Landraider I wanted to get myself re-enthused with the hobby. Having a couple of days free per week now, I have a bit of a chance to get some work on my Grey Knights.

So the other day I decided to unpack and check out exactly what I have in the cupboard for the army.
The Minitures I have to work with so far are as follows:
2 x Brother Captain Stern (White Metal) (Will be converting one into Drago for a bit of fun options)
24 x GKs Terminators (White Metal) (5x 3/4 painted)
38 x GKs Power-Armoured (inc 5x Plastic MPK minis)
42 x Adeptus Arbites (Counts as Warrior Acolytes)
6 x Arbites Cyber Mastifs (Counts as Arco-Flagellants)
1 x Inquisitor Coteaz (White Metal, Cleaned, Currently being painted)
1 x Inquisitor (White Metal)
2 x Gun Servitors (White Metal) (1x Painted)
2 x Death Cult Assassins (White Metal) (Cleaned ready to paint)
16 x Inquisitorial Warband Assorted (White Metal)
1 x Vindicare Assassin (White Metal) (cleaned, recently paint stripped)
1 x Eversor Assasin (White Metal)
1 x Grey Knights Venerable Dreadnought (Converted Plastic Ven-Dread, Painted and Finished)
2 x Nemesis Dreadknights
1 x Land Raider Redeemer (Forgeworld Parts, Converted)
1 x Stormraven Gunship (Converted Pilot, magnetised weapon options, partially painted)

So Yeah I have a little bit of work ahead of me.

And while looking for Grey Knights Epic Miniatures (yes for madness.... MADNESSSS.....!!!), I found the following Inquisitor Coteaz miniature for sale.
For a long time I have put off painting my Coteaz miniature because I didn't want to do the traditional colour scheme for him. So this caught my interest, as it was both different and well executed. However I like to use somewhat darker colours, especially on characters who have questionable morality. Yes I know very grim dark....
So yesterday after lunch with the girlfriend I stopped at the not so local friendly gaming store to do a bit of painting (here-after NSLFGS). Ostensibly I was to have a night off and had planned to make it to Pubhammer that evening (yes my gaming club runs its meeting in a pub!), but at around 3:30 I got the call to see if I wanted a shift so I only got this far with Coteaz. Not I could have said no to the shift and kept painting, but hell extra money is always good.
Anyways I used the following technique to paint the armour:

Turquoise Blended Armour:
1) Undercoat Black
2) Base colour all the armour Reaper 'Deep Ocean'
3) Wash armour with 1:1:1 Asurmen Blue:Thraka Green:Badab Black
4)Wet Blended highlights with Reaper 'Deep Ocean'
5)Wet Blended edge highlights with Reaper 'Marine Teal'
6) Spot Highlights with 1:1 Reaper 'Marine Teal':P3 'Morrow White'

If in Stage 4 you let the highlights get to wide you can re-blend into the darker shading using glazes of the wash from Stage 3.

Lastly I will be putting all of these on Dragon Forge 'Parched Earth' Bases. :D

So there you have it.
Cheers All
Happy Chinese New Year!


Related Posts:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dragon Forge Bases Review

I have been buying products from Dragon Forge for a while now and after receiving my latest order I thought I would do a little something for the occasion.

This is because of two reasons. Firstly I have not seen a lot of in depth reviews out there. Secondly the bases I picked up, namely some of the 'Parched Earth' range, are entirely suitable for use with Necrons (for which the new miniatures are also conveniently out now).

Firstly who or what is Dragon Forge Design?

Looking at the FAQs on his site we get the following;

"In short, it is me :) Jeff Wilhelm, sole owner, creator, worker bee, sculptor, mold maker, caster, packer, shipper and head honcho do it all. Someday I would like to expand my ranks with maybe some freelance sculptors and out source production but until that time is possible I do everything. Some days all I do from the time I get up to when I go to bed is make new bases for you my loyal customers!"

There are also the following galleries of his work;

Portfolio and Golden Demons

Then there is of course his site, which caters largely for the resin base and plinth crowd.

Copyright © 2001-2011 Dragon Forge Design, Inc. All rights Reserved.

There is however a selection of other things including scale icicles, game tokens, heads and the very awesome white metal ribbed cables.

So let's take a closer look at some of his products, namely some of his 'Lost Empires' and 'Parched Earth' bases.

Upon opening the shipping box you should immediately be able to see that each separate item on your order list is neatly packed in separate zip lock bags. Allowing you to quickly check that everything is there, without fail my orders have been complete.

Resin bases have in times past required large amounts of sanding to flatten or level the bottoms. Most commonly single sided moulds that are either over, or under, filled cause this. However I have yet to encounter this issue with bases from Dragon Forge, which usually have very little flash all of which is around the bottom edge.

As a rule resin is known to be plagued with casting issues, especially bubbles that result from mixing the two component parts. They can also be the result of air getting trapped in complex parts of the mould.

I have always been hard pressed to find air bubble or air trap defects in Bases from Dragon Forge. However in this batch I got a surprise. My first ever air trap.

In this case the defect is really simple to fix, I will simply paint it up as if the tip of the crystal had been chipped off.

Keep in mind this defect represents a total defect rate of less than one percent, and even then it is no-where near unusable.

So now that we have checked our bases over there are several things to do before we begin painting. Firstly what we want to do is take a sheet of fine sand-paper, about 800 grit should be good, place the base bottom down on the sheet before making about ten clockwise circles (ok just make circles of about 50mm diameter). Then turn the base on and angle and drag the edge around while turning the base for two full rotations.

This will bevel the bottom edge about 3-5 microns. You want to do this for a couple of reasons.

It will remove the minimal flash to be found on the bases, and secondly the slight bevel will help stop the bottom edge chipping while you game with your miniatures.

Once this is complete I dunk the bases in some Simple Green for about an hour before giving them a scrub with an old toothbrush and then rinse them with water. This will remove any resin dust and mould release agent.

I must point out that all the Dragonforge Bases I have received have had little to no release agent evident, but I wash them anyway.

The final step, before painting, is to prime the bases. Personally I use Tamiya 9Fine Surface Primer, in Light Grey.

While the tin states that it is for metal and plastic I have found it to also work well on resin, provided the resin is properly cleaned. It is also a neutral mid-tone allowing for easier coverage with a wider range of colours. You could also use Automotive Primer; it tends to come in larger tins that cost less, the caveats of which I have discussed here.

So now we are all ready to paint the bases.

Ok so now the final ratings I have for Dragon Forge:

- Ease of purchase: 4/5

The web store is accessible, and safe. Losing a point on the sheer fact there is no local stockist.

- Customer Service: 5/5

Jeff has excellent communications and service skills, keeping you well informed of any changes in his prices and the status of your orders. This is coupled with delivery of your purchases in a timely manner.

- Variety: 5/5

The range of base styles and other goods is really broad, with new products becoming available on a regular basis. There is very little that you cannot get.

- Quality: 4/5

Working with casting resins is an, often, painful experience. However the consistent quality of Dragon Forge Bases is something we can be thankful of. As I previously stated I have found very few problems/defects in the bases I have received.

Overall Rating:


Excellent product and all around good customer service makes this my store of choice when it comes to buying bases.

Coming up:
Tutorial - Painting
'Lost Empires' and 'Parched Earth' Bases