The return of Templars and yes we’re back in the studio!

Hi there folks. I has been a crazy month or so. Vacation has been taken and the studio has been inundated with lots of requests for commissions. Keep your eyes on the blog for lots of models from different games, such as Descent, Malifaux and even some Fortune and Glory. All these commissions will give the studio an opportunity to expand the miniature repertoire and this is very exciting

One commission that has just been finished are a unit of Black Templar Sternguard. These models are an absolute joy to assemble and paint. The sheer number of options are just so exciting. The potential here for conversion is just so palpable and any bits left over will most definitely find their way into many other conversions.

So as they say; without further ado, here is the latest unit to come of the Seismic Studio painting table; a unit of 10 Black Templar Sternguard…

Sternguard Full Unit 2

These models from the beginning, were a joy to assemble, and paint. At times were a little overwhelming with just the sheer number of options available on the sprue. There are many, many bits left over to use for a squad or two. It seems like finally GW are really listening to their customer base. This is something I want to explore in another post, for the time being back to the Sternguard.

When I was painting the models some things came to mind that I wanted to showcase.

With the unit being of such an elite status, I really wanted to show them being veterans with their helmets looking really different from that of crusader squads The tactical squad equivalent in a Space Marine army. I felt that when you look at them next to each other on the battlefield, there should be a vast distinction between the regular squads and the veterans.

Another way was to paint the black armour in a slightly different way. I wanted to keep it as similar to the crusader squad that I had previously painted for my client, but during the process I made a fatal error, one that basically erased my work on the armour up to that point. I wanted to make it as rich in colour as possible, so what did I do? i gave the armour a black glaze. This wiped out hours of my painting time and brought the black armour to a point at which I couldn’t really discern what I had done. What did I do I hear you ask? I started to blend on the armour. Now this would be a really silly idea if I was painting a regular unit and it would be even sillier if I didn’t have my saving grace; my wet pallet. This allowed me to keep my paints nice and moist, while I worked my colours on the models. In the end I am really happy with the outcome.

The last way that I was able to have them stand out was through no accomplishment of my own. They have all been given beautifully sculpted robes, that are just perfect for Templars and they all have ornate boltguns and shoulder pads. By painting the Crux Terminatus and the robes in their own distinct style, I could keep the pallet for the unit to be black, white and bone. This is especially effective in tying them to the remainder of the army, yet keeping them looking like they had been through years of campagns.

At the end of the day, I am super happy with the result of the models and will be ready to paint up my own unit of Sternguard for The Aurora Chapter very soon…

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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.