Thursday, 3 November 2011

Getting better at painting...

Today's post isn't really about anything that's been happening in the Ministry of Paint studio. But more of a musing from myself to help those out there who want to get better at painting. Some people will look across the table at a well painted army and say to themselves 'wow I could never paint like that' but unless your opponent is a GD painter who has taken the time to individually paint each model to that standard you're probably just defeating yourself. Because the opposite is  most likely true.

When I got into miniatures I was an average painter. I had a little natural ability, but mostly what has gotten me to where I am today is the fact that I'm willing to put hours into practicing techniques and funnily enough try new ones all the time. You can't get better unless you practice. Even a normal painter can become extremely good in a short period of time (6 months) if they are willing to put the work in.

Coupled with my hours of practice was the constant input I was getting from better painters than myself. I think this is one of the keys that many people leave out. They are too proud to ask for help or too embarrassed. But I think if you want to get better you need to humble yourself and seek those who are better at it than you.

Finally one of the things that I feel has helped me to grow as a painter is just doing random projects because they look fun. I started to buy random models. Not because I played that game system or because I needed them. But something about the model I felt could tell a story and would be really cool to paint. I would then try out techniques that I hadn't done before just to see what I could do. And more often than not I really surprised myself with what I was able to do.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you think I'm a good painter and you enjoy the work that I put out. That's great I appreciate the compliments I receive. But don't think that it's beyond you, I firmly believe that anyone can paint well if they are willing to put the time into learn. of luck in your journey to becoming a better painter. And I'll leave you with some photo's of a couple 'random' projects that are on my bench at the moment.

Seriously I don't even have a clue what I'm going to do with the top one...but cool model right?

Sunday, 30 October 2011


So in case you haven't noticed my last few posts have been on a particular theme...that is the Cryx force that is slowly growing right under my nose. One of the things I've added to the force, and was in my original post about the Cryx battle box was the Skarlock.

Now the skarlock is a tricky model to make look right. There are elements which are clearly suppose to be hard and sharp and others that are 'cloudy' or 'fluid' that need to be painted as such. So hopefully I've been able to pull that off effectively. I'm still undecided whether or not he's done just yet. But only time, and my overly self critical mind will tell.

Oh and what the's a picture of one of the bone jacks as well...


Friday, 28 October 2011

Satyxis Raider

To compliment my Cryx Battle Box I went with a small unit of Satyxis Raiders. Why add these you ask? Well I picked em' up for cheap on eBay that's why lol. Turns out they're a pretty awesome little unit when combined with a few other elements in the game. But that the painting!!!

I went with the tan coloured leather for the boots etc to help it tie back into the overall feel of the army. But as well to give them a more 'aquatic feel' I went with a turquoise robe/dress. Coupled with teh blues on the base it makes the model feel cooler and helps give it an ocean feel.

I have the rest of the unit painted but as I went to photograph them I realised there were a few bits and pieces not done yet that I didn't want to show off just yet. So you must settle for this lady for right now.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cryx Battle Box...let's see how far we've come.

So a while ago I posted some pics of the Cryx battle box that I had assembled and done some really cool bases for. If you don't remember...the blog post is HERE

Well I've gone to work on them trying different paint colour schemes...some I kinda liked...some I didn't...some I didn't feel i could pull throughout the entire army...

Anyways I finally found a colour scheme which ticked all the boxes for a personal project.

A) Pushes my painting ability.

B) Interests me visually (i.e. it looks cool)

C) Fits well with the theme of the faction I'm painting.

With this colour scheme I'm using a lot of contrasting colours to help add interest to each piece. If there isn't enough colour in the model I might chuck some colour on the base. I add details to help draw in the viewer. Here's a picture of the Slayer that I painted...

Is it perfect? No...I constantly see flaws in my painting style. But it certainly is cool to me for the moment.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Building a base for the big boy...

So the time has come to create the base for the Eldar Reaver Titan model that I've been painting. It'd be a shame to put so much effort into painting a model and then not have at least something semi-cool to put it on. So that's what I did. Tossing around a few ideas and finally settling on a ruined building that the Titan can be stepping through.

One of the keys I've found to painting scenic bases is to try adding a bit of colour. It's easy enough to say well the building would be grey and the surrounding dirt and rubble would be grey. But go and have a look at an old building and see, that while there is usually one overriding 'colour' After years of exposure there is dirt, mold, moss, discoloration etc...This makes for a visually interesting piece. Likewise when trying to replicate old building it helps to throw a bit of colour around.

Hope you like it. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Missing parts...or how to get creative!

I recently picked up a Stormclad Warjack for $8...

$8 you say?!?!? Yes that's right $8...the only catch was that it was missing a base...head...and sword...Well I decided to get it anyway. The reason being is... I have a massive bitz box with which I'll surely be able to find something cool to replace the parts...or worst case scenario I just order the replacement parts from PP...

But for the moment let's go with the rummaging through the bitz box.

I found myself a sword that used to belong the an ogre from an Ogre Kingdoms army that i build painted and consequently sold last year. It's about the right size to go on the storm clad but it doesn't exactly fit the 'Steampunk' theme that is Warmachine. So my plan???? I'll be building a small generator and coils to go around the hilt of the sword...most likely hijacking a spacemarine part or two and some guitar string...

Let me know what you think I should do...either to the sword...or the head....

Monday, 10 October 2011

eStryker...and his electric posse

Recently finished a commission for a small Cygnar force. Here it is.

If you'd like something painted then be sure to shoot me an email:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Display Base WIP

So I said yesterday that I'd be doing a display base for the new 'space elf wraithbike'. Well I couldn't help myself and I got started on one last night. Here it is so far...

Its a simple piece. It will have the model 'flying' over the top of the ruin on an angle. All in all I think this is going to turn out looking very cool. That's all...transmission over.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

New Miniatures - From Mousemuffins

There has been a recent craze sweeping the modelling section of my local forum. And that craze is over the miniatures being produced by a user called Mousemuffins. Now usually known for his painting and modelling skills Craig has now demonstrated to the world he makes a mean scratch built miniature too. I recently got mine in the mail. And while I don't at all play 40k or collect any 40k armies I just had to get my hands on one of these to paint. The 'space elf wraithbike' that I received was the first in a growing number of models in his range.

Here's my quick review of the miniature.

First up...straight out of the packet I couldn't see any visible mold lines. So I went looking...after turning the miniature round and round looking at it from different angles I finally found one or two that were of such little consequence and took a few seconds to clean up. For a painter this is such a great quality to have in a sculpt. You get to spend less time filing, sanding, scraping and more time painting.

Apart from the entire miniature needing next to no cleaning up...the sculpt itself is just superb. You can see from the picture how good the visual lines are on this thing. And once you get past that there are some very cool little details here and there which create a great points of interest and will look great once painted up.

If you are looking for alternative miniatures for an Eldar army I would definitely be taking a look at some of Mousemuffins miniatures. Or even if you don't and plan to make a display piece for a competition or just to put in the cabinet. I'd be thinking of getting one just for the sheer coolness factor.

So how do you get one?

Craig assures me that he'll have a website up soon. But in the mean time you can get in contact with him here:

Or have a look at his mini's here:

Or failing that shoot me an email and I'll pass your details along to him...

In the coming weeks I'll be doing up a scenic base for this mini and painting it up. To show just what you can do with it. Be looking out for that. And as always leave a comment or a question. I love hearing from you guys!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cygnar Storm Blades

Whether you need to give a storm clad some focus, or if you just want to electro leap all over the place. You have Cygnar Storm Blades...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Cryx Battle Box

I've done up a small Cryx force just for something fun to paint. I really wanted to show how making your own custom bases for your army can really bring a lot of character and variety to your force. As you can see I've done raised platform style bases for all the Cryx models here.

Here's a close up of the big guy. I find with the new plastic jacks its well worth it to take a bit of time to find a cool pose for them. Turn the head, have an arm pointing or something. It gives the model a more dynamic feel.

With the Skarlock (I know not in the Cryx Battle Box) I wanted to further accentuate the already awesome pose that it has. To do this I gave it a raised platform and then chipped away at the cork underneath to give it an overhanging cliff look. I made sure to drive some brass rod from the Skarlock into the cork and down to the base to help support the model and give it some strength. I think it's little things like this that can give a really great appearance to key models.

Finally we come to Denegra. The Cryx battle box Denegra comes with a pretty set pose. Fortunately it is really cool. Again going with the raised platform I decided to add some 'scenery' to the base. With the 'tree' in the back round it creates a much greater visual effect than simply having Denegra stand there. Note the directional correlation between her spear and the angle of the branches. Again small things really help bring a model to life and something as simple as putting a stick onto a base has certainly achieved that in this case.

Well that's all for this 'unboxing' of the Cryx Battle Box I guess you could call it. As the force gets painted there will be updates you can be sure.

And remember if you like what you see or if you have any questions or comments just leave a message in the comm box below.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Irresistible Force Warmachine League: Week 2

Well after a bit of chopping and changing, then some shuffling, and re-organisation I finally got my round 2 games in for the Irresistible Force Warmachine League. My first opponent was a sir Jed Dwyer. A shifty little Skorne player who after about 10 turns I was able to finally win on caster kill...(stupid skorne) I was playing eHaley's new tier 4 list 'Stormbringers' only because I've heard quite a bit of whinging about it so far from people I though why not crack this puppy out and give her a go. Here's some photo's of the first couple of turns.

My second opponent was one Eddie Cooper. Having deftly lulled me into a false sense of security by telling me that he knew nothing of Legion of the Everblight. He proceded to trounce me primarily by smashing Absylonia into oblivion with is Gorton Basher...I've really got to get a grip when it comes to playing my Legion. They are the faction that I'm least experienced with and it definitely shows. Perhaps running a more versatile list next time will help. Only time will tell. Here's a couple of photo's from that game.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Chaos Manticore - Complete

So the Chaos Manitcore that I've been painting for a client is finally complete. There is a major emphasis on the wings and the rider which really draws the attention of the eye. While the sculpt may not be the most fantastic according to a lot of people. I really think Games Workshop did a fantastic job on the riders. I found the level of detail to be superb and the big areas to really give some character were fantastic - see the sorcerers cape-

All round I really like the Chaos Manitcore and found it a pleasure to paint. My client loves the pictures they've seen so far and I hope you enjoy them as well. When you're done reading and looking be sure to leave a comment. I love hearing from people and getting feedback.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Madelyn Corbeu -The Lady

From time to time I don't really have much to write. I just have miniatures to show you. This is one of those times. Just enjoy the lady.

This was only a quick paint job for play on the table top. None the less I think it turned out quite nice.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Talkin Tools

I'd like to take a moment to introduce to you a new series that I'll be doing on a semi regular basis. It's called 'Talkin Tools' and even though initially you may have thought it was going to be a discussion based around 'that guy' at your local gaming club it's actually going to be talking about the various tools used in my profession as a miniature artist.

For the first cab off the rank I'll be giving a general 'tool box' overview. This is a list of items that I believe are the 'basics' for any hobbyist or amateur modeler. These are tools that I use every day-

Stanley Knife - When I say stanley knife most people will probably know this as an exacto blade or hobby knife etc etc...what I'm referring to is a hand held cutter with replaceable blades. I prefer not to use knifes with snap off blade edges as sometimes they will just 'snap off' when you're trying to do something important. As well they tend to be more flimsy and harder to work with. If you're going to get a good Stanley knife go to your local hardware store and get a decent one with some spare blades. I've been using mine for 3 years now and still haven't worked my way through the blades that came with the original knife...well worth a $12-13 investment in my opinion.

Super Glue - This is such a staple that I almost completely forgot about it to be honest. I assumed that most people would already have this in their kit but I'll make mention of a couple of points. Make sure you always have plenty on hand. There is nothing worse than getting 90% through a project and running out of super glue. As far as brand goes I'm not that fussy. Some people insist on certain brands but I always seem to get away with going to a discount store (crazy clarks, sam's warehouse, fair dinkum bargains) and picking up 3-4 packets of super glue at a time for $2-3 a pop. Very simple, very straight forward.

Clippers - I used to do everything with a stanley knife with mixed results. That includes getting parts off sprues. Looking back I don't know what I was thinking or how many models I actually damaged in the process. But let me just say in case you are tempted to be cheap like I was. GET SOME CLIPPERS. A simple $5 pair of wire clippers from a hardware store will save you a world of grief in the long run. While both clippers and knifes cut they serve two very different purposes.

Paint brushes - Starting out in the game I bought cheap brushes. And they did me fine. If all you are looking to achieve is something to put on the table top then I would recommend going down to a local spotlight store and picking up some cheap $3-4 brushes. Pick up a few because you'll need a few as they tend to hook, split and generally get crappy real quick. These are perfectly fine for the basic paintjob. Make sure you're either getting synthetic or red sable bristles. These will keep you in good stead for miniatures and make sure you steer well away from hog bristles. I thought the point was self evident but I thought I'd just make a point of it since some people need to have it spelled out.

If however you are looking for a better quality, long lasting brush then I would point you in the direction of brands such as Windsor Newton and Raphael. I know there are other good quality brush companies out there but I found my winning horses and I'm sticking with them. Take care of these brushes by cleaning them regularly during the painting process and storing them in a place where the bristles won't be bent. As well make sure you get their brushes made for 'miniatures'. The reason is these brushes have a shorter and springier bristle which helps with fine detail painting. But I'll no doubt go into more dept about paint brushes on a later Talkin Tools segment.

Paint - Buy good quality acrylic. For miniatures you're looking at brands like Games Workshop(Citadel), P3 Paints, Vallejo. There are a couple other good paint suppliers out there for miniatures...but like I said before I've found my winning horses. These brands are known for their quality and range of colour. Recommend them. Just make sure you have a good selection of colours in your tool box.

PVA or Wood Glue - Simply put get some. You need it to base your miniatures.

I think that just about wraps it up. I keep remembering things that I use all the time but I kept trying to think back to things I used when I first got started and these are pretty much it. Hope that helps you out :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Shiny Disco Ball

Here's a photo of my Cygnar 'Disco Ball' Storm Strider...With such a large base it would be a travesty to just simply put gravel on the base and be done with it. It needed some charm, some character, something that helped tell a story about what was happening.

So you'll notice that I put a broken fence on the suggest perhaps the Storm Strider crushed it underfoot while 'striding' around the place...either way its a cool little feature to help give your model some life.


Monday, 19 September 2011

eStryker and the lightning crew

At least that's what I've named them. Ive recently received a new commission to paint a small Cygnar force for one of my clients. Its a list focused around eStryker and such and I'm really glad that I get to paint this...why? Do I hear you ask? Because I myself am a big Cygnar fan at last estimate over a 100pts worth!!!

So here it is!!! The force semi-ish complete...there are still a few models to come from the client...

What I love about painting for this client is he always gets me to do really cool bases. So for this project the theme is war torn battlefield which features sandbags, barb wire, and tank spikes. All very cool and I'm definitely looking forward to painting these guys.

Remember if you were thinking of getting something painted be sure to drop me an email at : or use the inquiry contact form to the right.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Irresistible Force Warmachine League Week 1

So part of the reason we all love to have painted mini's is to play with painted mini's...that being said Irresistible Force has begun running an 8 week league for Warmachine in two divisions a 25/35pt and a 35/50pt. As it just so happens it all began this week. Here are a couple of photo's of me losing to Gav 'Slardy' Clarke in the 25pt division with my legion army...(note you can see the fully painted Angelus here...only just lol)

After something like 5-6 turns in the end Gav managed to clip eThagrosh to death with some stupid pikemen...not something I was expecting lol

As well in the 35/50 pt division I played a fine young gentleman by the name of Aaron Pyke...Aaron was up against it with my eHaley list which I've just discovered how to use Telekinesis (I'm such a muppet) Each turn I was able to pretty much turn a large portion of his force around to face the opposite direction as he was playing a beast heavy Troll army.

I didn't get any pics but must remind myself to take photos in the future...will probably try and get a picture or two up of my storm strider who has been able to succesfully die without doing any damage on 4 occasions now...YAY...

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Blood BOWL!!!!

Last year I was introduced to blood bowl for the first time because I had someone contact me to paint a team for them. While I had seen the game on the shelf for sometime I had never been given the pleasure of being able to examine a team up close...Anyways last year and into this year I went a little blood bowl crazy and ended up painting, from memory, 6-7 teams for myself and other people.

Even now I still enjoy painting a good ol' blood bowl team.

Here's some photo's of the work that I've done...just wanted to share them with you all...

This was the first ever blood bowl team I had ever painted and even now looking back I ask couldn't I get hooked? These awesome Gators were like a gateway drug into the world of Blood Bowl lol
These guys are just really could you not love a great looking undead team...the big guys at the back I found immensely pleasurable to paint.
Here is another one of the commissions I took in my Blood Bowl crazed flurry of painting...
And finally I got to paint a team of my own...funnily enough I only played with this team 3 times before I moved onto playing a fully fledged Ogre team...

So that's all the photo's I can find of teams I've painted in the last twelve months even though I'm sure I've done more...

Oops turns out I's a team painted up as the New Zealand 'All Blacks'

That is all...a big thanks goes out to all those who love blood bowl and love a good paint job. If you don't have the time or the skill to paint...why not shoot me an email on: and see if we can't work something out for you.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Legion of the Everblight Skin

Since getting an airbrush my life a both a commission painter and a hobbyist has gotten a lot easier. Jobs that would have taken me hours to do well can now be done in example is this Angelis from the Privateer Press range 'Legion of the Everblight'

I've done here a step by step 'How to paint Legion of the Everblight Skin' tutorial.

As is seen in the first two photo's I've assembled the Angelus and undercoated it black.
 From here I started with a base coat of Shadow Grey. I like this grey because it is not a straight grey but has some blue in it which is fantastic for Legion of the Everblight.
 After the base coat I started adding in Spacewolves Grey to the Shadow grey in what was probably a 3:1 Shadow to Spacewolf combination.

I continued adding more spacewolves grey to the mix as you can see in the photo below. As well its probably worth noticing that I'm beginning highlight the model by only applying the lighter shades to the higher points i.e. the upper parts of each wing fold and the top of the neck.

 And finally I finish off with straight spacewolves grey. Highlighting only the most extreme edges to give the model some really awesome contrast.

If you read this and liked it let me know by leaving a comment. As well if you'd like to see the finished model I'll be posting it up in a couple days.

As well remember if you'd like something painted don't hesitate to get into contact with us at: or use the link in the side bar to go to the inquiry form.