Salamanders: Fire and Fury

The most recent commission undertaken was a Salamanders Redemptor. This model is one of the newer ones in the Adeptus Astartes range and man, it is one of the coolest to paint and also get a dynamic pose.

Designed to be, arguably, the replacement for the Dreadnought from the power armour Space Marine range. This Primaris Dreadnought towers over the original, white metal one. That piece was released way, way back,circa 1990 has since had many a plastic upgrade to make it a little more substantial, but there is nothing really like this new beast of a walker.

The model was preassembled on receipt and just took a little cleaning up; this is pretty much the state that I received it: ready to go!

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Some initial sculpting to really make this model unique for a Salamander force.

While that was curing, I started construction of the base. I had to cut the feet away, since it was received  glued to the base. Along with custom base sculpting, I used  some Agrellan Earth to get the smaller crackle on the base and Vallejo Ground Texture and finally Mod Podge to seal it all together.

Work with the airbrush soon began and I layed down undercoat, base and preshading with the magnificent tool; it really helps to get the essentials down and ready to go so that you can soon work on the really fun stuff.

 

More areas showing the transitions, now with the addition of the brass (starting to block out where I want it to be brass).

 

Edge highlighting and finishing the brass:

Freehand work. Battle damage, flame icon on chest and Salamanders Chapter symbol:

Completed Redemptor Dreadnought based and painted:

There you have it; I had a lot of fun working on this project. If you have any questions about the process involved, please post in the comments; I am welcome to any questions you may have.

Next piece to add to the Salamander collection is going to be two very different pieces. An Invictor Tactical Warsuit and a 2nd edition 40k Space Marine Rhino.

Ahh, it’s so good to be back!

I certainly has been a long time since I have posted anything here in the Seismic Miniatures Blog; god knows I have still been painting like a madman. This post comes at a time in the world where we are experiencing the crazy Corona Virus and since we have all been keeping away from other people, I thought it would be no better time than to get this blog back up and running.

This is just going to be a little refresher post, my main one for this weeks entry is regarding a commission I just wrapped up (its just a little one that I thought would help me refresh my light box use). Over the past few years, I have been painting lots of different minis, from Star Wars Legion, to some boardgame minis and yes, of course many 40k models. Over the next little while,I intend to get some pics of the new stuff I have been playing around with and give some honest feedback on products that I like to use in my painting arsenal.

I am just coming through the final few minis for my Adepticon 2020 list and you will see them very soon, but I thought I would just discuss the next stage of the Seismic Studio. For the past few years I have had a pretty sizeable table to paint on, but it was a situation where I made use of a workbench and setup the studio there. As a consequence, it tended to be unconfortable to paint at and my painting area didn’t have a way that allowed me to arrange all my paints in a way that would allow me to  get at the colours I needed in a pinch. Due to upcoming house renovations I am relocating my painting area and properly designing a painting area.

I looked at a few painting tables out there on social media and I found a really wicked system that utilises magnets to keep the components in line. The company is called HobbyZone from out of Poland and they seem to be the premiere system for reorganizing everything on your hobby desk. One really great feature (and I think the most important), is that for the most part, the components are a consistent 30 cm wide by 15 cm deep/ high and this really helps you to rearrange the different sections to your liking and needs. They have a huge variety of drawers and paint holders that desigining a painting table was a little daunting.

Photos will come soon but as I am just starting out with a couple of kits, I feel it would be a little bit of a lacklustre review. Once I get some more  photos taken of the before and after, I will be happy to do an indepth review.

In the meantime, please go and check out photos of a fresh commission I am just wrapping up for a client. You will find it over at the Work In Progress page.

In the meantime, it is so great to be back with new content, stay tuned and see more of what I have been doing of late.

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Games and Gears Ichiban synthetic brushes

I had the very lucky opportunity to attend GenCon this past July and there were some particular reasons for wanting to attend. Aside from partaking in some FFG tournaments, I wanted to find some new products for the painting studio. Leading up to the event I knew that there were going to be some smaller miniature/games companies and I also knew that there were going to be some painting hardware that I wanted to lay my hands on.

I had seen numerous Facebook posts about Games and Gears brush sets and unsure about preordering a set, I ultimately decided to simply walk up to the booth at the ‘con.

With a solid plan, I scoured the vendor hall and found booth #718 that had the brushes on sale. There were two sets that I spied and picked up, The GenCon exclusive Collectors series (of which a review will come soon as it contains the very special brush named the Xtreme Kitana) and The Ichiban Synthetic brush set, of which this review is based around.

I really liked the feel of the brush in my hand, weight-wise at the ‘con. It seemed to be balanced very well and the construction of the handle, being made of what looks to be a type of aluminium, lends itself to being weighted well. The Ichiban set came as a set of three, in a  leather pouch, so I decided to pick up a set, along with the GenCon exclusive set.

I got these brushes home to Canada and started to use them in a current commission that I had to put on hold whist I attended what is touted as being “The best four days in gaming” (trademarked by GenCon). With no hesitation, I decided to use the size #3 for work on a Landraider Crusader hull for a Deathwing army. This brush was able to give me great coverage over the larger panels, with minimal stress to the brush. As I got further along, I needed to employ the size #2 to the main bone work of the hull for the crusader. This brush quickly took a hit to the tip. I have found that with many brushes, the make or break of the brush, for me is just how the tip holds up to my painting. I know many painters dislike Games Workshop brushes for the quality, but if a brush can’t keep it’s tip, then that caused me more hassle than I need. I then moved onto the finest brush of the set, the #1. The size of this equates to something inbetween a Standard Games workshop brush and their Basecoat brush, so it was perfect for getting some finer details on the hull panels for the Crusader. This brush has really kept it’s point while I edged all of the panels of the Crusader. I am really happy with this brush.

All in all I am somewhat, to pleasantly pleased with the overall set of brushes. I really wish the brush sized #2 kept its tip, as that is the one I really wanted to have do the majority of the Landraider Crusader armour, but this is something I am finding with synthetic brushes, so maybe I am working them too hard? I had barely been using the brush for 12-20 hours of work and found a poor result here.

PROS:

  • The brushes are weighted extremely well, so my hands don’t get tired, or cramp up when painting for long periods of time. This is one of the main selling points for me as I tend to do some super long painting sessions
  • The way in which the handle switches back to provide a cover for the brushes, is a great idea, especially if I should transport them to painting classes.
  • They come in a great case to protect them.
  • The size #3 gives really good, smooth coverage, with a great paint yield. Perfect for doing medium, to large panels for vehicles.
  • The size #1 holds a point well, and this is really good for highlighting larger panels. This size, once again, gave me great paint yield, before I had to re-dip onto my palette for some fresh paint.

CONS:

  • Size #2 lost it’s fine tip much faster than I expected, but I did put it to work very hard once I started.

Overall I am pleased with the set, and if I could purchase the size #1 individually, I would, since it is a really great in between size for me, and one that would see a lot of application for me. If Games and Gears were to allow an individual purchase of the brushes, I would be all over that. If this was the case, then the brushes would score a solid 8/10, but seeing as I must purchase them as a set, I would rate them a 7/10 as I cannot afford to have one brush die so fast, with the other ones left laying around.

Whet The Palette Shall We?

I thought I would discuss something that was a complete eye opener for me; the wet palette.

Back in the day, when I was beginning my painting hobby, I used many things to mix my paint onto. At first it seemed a ceramic plate was a great way to go about thinning and mixing my colours, I soon realised that I needed more of a flat surface, so I moved up to a kitchen tile. That worked for a while, actually for the longest time that’s what I relied upon and only that. I tried other things like paint extender medium, and using mixing pots (which became VERY expensive). I am happy to say I have now seen the light; wet palettes.

As I traveled the Golden Demon award circuits, year after year I witnessed the painters that were on show there using a wet palette. I know the theory; you need to keep the paint moist so you can blend two or more colours on the miniature. It’s just, well, I wasn’t into blending on the model. Maybe I was just stubborn, but I would be the type of painter that used lots of colour gradations on any one space to achieve my desired effect, and would also utilise feathering of my colour(s).That worked for me for a very long time until I realised that wet palettes can serve another purpose entirely.

If anyone has ever experienced the pain in the neck of just how tedious a tile is to mix their paints on and then work against the clock to get that mix used for all your painting, before it dries up and then having to clean it off, know probably just how useful a wet palette is.

For those of you who have no idea what a wet palette is, its basically a shallow container that contains something that soaks up water, but on top of this material, whether it be a sponge, or kitchen towel, you lay your actual palette. This palette is made from a material that through a capillary action, draws water up from the sponge below and keeps the paint you are using most and the best thing, is that it reduces evaporation of your mix. You can get acrylic paper from any art store or you can even use parchment paper, but I have has more success with acrylic paper. It has worked wonders for me and if you have a container that comes with a lid of some sort, then you are able to seal out the outside environment, preserving the paint in a useable form.

It is just so freeing to know that you can work with a colour for as long as you need to, seal it up and then come back after lunch and pick up where you left off.

The wet palette is super easy to make. It doesn’t need to be overly expensive and the cost saving in dried up paints comes back to you very soon.

There are a few things you will need:

  1. A container that has a depth of 1″ to 2″ and can be as wide as you want. Make sure it has a lid that encloses firmly. Mine is about 7″ long, 5′ wide and 1.5″ deep This can be found at a “dollar store” or type of equivalent near to where you live. Usual cost is $1
  2. Cheap kitchen sponges. The thick kind. These can also be found at the same place as the container, so you can easily judge on the quantity of sponges needed. A bag of them should also cost you around $1. Try to find sponges that come to just below the height of the container you will purchase.
  3. “Handy Palette” acrylic paper.The one I found was made by a company named Masterson. This was the most expensive item at round $5.09. This is a little harder to find, but any quality art supply store will stock these.
  4. 5 minutes to construct the palette (time is priceless, so this may cost you more than you were bargaining for)

How to make the palette;

  1. Gather all components (see above) and firstly look at how many sponges you may need.
  2. Place the sponges in the container and cut any to size, to ensure that the entire container has a layer of sponge and leave them in the container.
  3. Take out a sheet of acrylic paper and cut to size to fit on top of the sponges. I like to cut a few at a time as extras for later. Set them all aside, but one.
  4. Take that one sheet of paper run it under HOT water and soak it for about 1- 2 minutes. The paper should become semi-transparent.
  5. Wet the sponges until they are completely soaked.
  6. Take the semi-transparent sheet of acrylic paper and lay it onto the sponges. It needs to stay moist (thanks to the sponges), but not saturated all the time (thanks to the sponges). Initially, if there are large pools of water, just soak them up a little with a paper towel.
  7. THAT’S IT!

You should be able to now place your paints onto the paper that’s moist and you can paint with this same colour, blending  and mixing your heart away for hours and hours. When you need to leave, just seal the container with the lid and NEVER let the paper dry out. just keep adding water to the sponges and keep the level topped up. You can also get more life out of the paper, but washing it off and then flipping it over to use the other side.

Happy painting! Feel free to post you experiences with wet palettes in the comments section below.

Hot Off The Press (well the brush)!

Today we have another addition to the Seismic Studio blog family. Seismic Miniature Painting Studio is pleased to announce an Empire Warrior Priest. One of my most favourite models in the warhammer fantasy range ever released, sometimes the model doesn’t need to be big and imposing, with multiple components; a simple model can inspire us to great painting jobs. this miniature just got his final few brush strokes mere hours ago.

Image This magnificent sculpt is such a characterful model. The anger in his face tells us such a storied history and it seems like he has been wronged in his past. Armed to the teeth with two warhammers, he’s ready to take on all his demons.

I decided to paint his heavy plate armour  and also the two warhammers with NMM techniques and this brings out the amazing sculpt. There are some more photos to check out.

In addition, take a look at the current ebay auction for this new model:

 

Practice, practice practice

So I felt it was time to work on my non metallic metal (N.M.M.) technique, not just painting N.M.M. silver, but gold too. I looked at a few models that have displayed the technique and decided it was something I can definitely pull off. In research for a step-by-step technique, I would like to source http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/?topic=10116.0 A great resource for painting NMM. It is a style that I have had many friends ask me to do in the past and I gave it an attempt with my Imperial Fist Lysander and also my Eldar wraithlord and they turned out well to a certain extent; both of these models have picked up painting awards in the past.

I felt that I needed to get back to basics with the technique, since doing yellow NMM takes a lot more than I suspected and I realise now that there’s a fine line between painting NMM gold and simply bright yellow.

I found that I had a dwarven Demon Slayer model that is really quite old now. It is one of my favourite models and I have to say that I have always had a soft spot for dwarves. The contrast that you can achieve with the flesh tones and wacky colour hair is really attractive to me and then there is the ability to do some freehand facial tattoos on some of the more rare units, I wanted to keep this model’s flesh clear of tattoos. They are a slow army in the game, so there was my hesitation; they could do with a little speed.

When I was painting the model, I  painted about 95% of the model, not including the areas that required NMM, then moved into the NMM. Tackling one area of NMM silver first, I just practiced where I felt that the light was going to hit it, with sharp contrasts with areas that had little or no light. It didn’t look especially effective. This was a small mistake, but could be easily corrected. I quickly realised that in order for the technique to look correct, I needed to paint all the areas that required the NMM, as the key its to “trick” the eye into seeing the paint look reflective, when it in fact, is just the contrasts between all the different tones. It is not unlike regular painting, where some kind of visual trickery is used.

Bringing all the NMM together was the final work on the gold NMM. I found this to be a little harder to pull off, since I was using more than three paints (silver NMM actually uses Codex Grey, Skull White and Chaos Black). Gold NMM uses a combination of yellows, browns and finally, a very small amount of Chaos Black, which was my added twist to the great NMM painting guide. Another difference between NMM gold and silver,that I learned from the NMM guide mentioned above, is the lack of use of pure white highlight when painting gold. Many other sites did use a final touch of white to reflect the light, but this really detracted from the overall effect of gold NMM (thanks Quadrille).

I hope you like the finished product, I think that for my first attempt, it turned out pretty well, thanks to Quadrille of http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/?topic=10116.0, for writing such a helpful guide.

Dwarf Demon Slayer. This was a first attempt of doing NMM with a painting guide, from someone who knows quite a bit about painting in that style

The finished Slayer

Please feel free to post comments on feedback for the model. They are always welcomed.