Light Miniatures

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Category: Tutorials

Step-by-step and how-to articles

Tutorial: True Metallic Metals

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In the miniature painting community, there are two broad types of approaches to representing metallic surfaces, “non-metallic metal” (nmm) and “true metallic metal” (tmm). In non-metallic metal, the painter represents a metallic surface without using metallic paints by painting the reflections by hand, in the manner of 2-dimensional art. True metallic metal, in contrast, involves the use of metallic paint, which contains little bits of mica or other reflective material to gain a metallic look. I have no interest in debating which is “better”; the two techniques have very different aesthetics and lend themselves to different styles, but both can look amazing when done well. Personally, I have used both in my work [tmm, nmm], although generally I think I get better results when using metallic paints.

In this article I will share my standard technique for painting metals with metallic paints, by painting all of the metals on a bane thrall from start to finish. (Why do all of my tutorials seem to be on Cryx minis?)

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Step-by-step: clockwork base

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When I painted Commander-Adept Nemo, I was inspired by Natalya “Alexi-Z” Melnik’s amazing version of Nemo from the previous Gen Con. I really liked the non-metallic metal armor and the elaborate base she used, so I decided to do something similar for my version. It’s a fair bit different from hers, but I really liked her idea of putting Nemo on a raised platform with technological elements. For my version, I wanted to create a clockwork mechanism you could see into, like a skeleton watch.

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Tutorial: Object-Source Lighting

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One of the most eye-catching effects in miniature painting is source lighting, where a glowing object casts light on the rest of the miniature. Especially in the fantasy and science-fiction genres, it’s a great way to show that a sword is imbued with magical energy, or a plasma cannon is charged and ready to fire. Let’s face it: glowing weapons are just cool. This technique is often called “object-source lighting” (OSL) by figure painters, as the source of the light is represented on the miniature (an “object-source”).

Pulling off believable glow effects is tricky, however, and there are many examples of poorly done lighting effects on the internet. In this article, I will show a step-by-step sequence of how I paint source lighting effects, using a Cryxian Slayer by Privateer Press as the demo mini. I’ll also provide plenty of tips and additional examples to help you give your models that eye-catching glow.

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Tutorial: Painting Battle Damage

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We all love tabletop wargames, and our miniatures often see many battles. As hobbyists, we want our miniatures to look it! Well-done battle damage effects can make miniatures look more realistic on the battlefield, and also more fun to look at. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate a couple different techniques for giving your models that battle-hardened appearance. The miniature I’ve chosen to demonstrate them on is a Deathripper, a Cryxian bonejack from Privateer Press.

 

Realistic Chipped Paint

The first technique I’m going to demonstrate is called the blister-foam technique. Its purpose is to give the appearance of chipped paint. A warrior or war machine in the field is going to be scraping against the terrain and other combatants, not to mention getting pelted with gunfire and hacked with melee weapons, and its paint will not remain intact long. That is the effect this technique will achieve.

You will need a small piece of foam, like the “blister-foam” that comes packaged with most miniatures.

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