Light Miniatures

Never be afraid to paint outside the lines

Month: November 2014

Tutorial: Object-Source Lighting

This tutorial is quite old. Please check out my new one instead!

Really! The new one is much better!

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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From the workbench: Ar-Fienel, part 1

I wanted to share my current WIP, even though it doesn’t have any paint on it yet, because I’m very pleased at how it’s coming so far.

Ar-Fienel WIP 1 - right


The base is finished at this point, so the only thing left to add is paint.

Ar-Fienel WIP 1 - right front

One of my favorite things about the base is how it has very different silhouettes from different angles.

Ar-Fienel WIP 1 - front

For the base, I used:

  • Resin cube—from Secret Weapon.
  • Cork tile—I really like using this as a structural base, even in cases like this where it will all be covered.
  • Plastic card—textured for the stone blocks, and smooth for the outer edges.
  • Resin bits—stonework faces from Scibor Miniatures and some broken pottery from Baueda Wargames.
  • Brass-etch leaves.
  • Brass chain.
  • 2-part epoxy putty.

Ar-Fienel WIP 1 - left front

I can’t wait to add paint, but I want to finish some other projects first (like the steampunk bust which is still in progress).

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