Thursday, 23 July 2015

A guide to making basic Bocage/Hedgerows

Normandy needs Bocages. It needs a lot of them. Bocages may not cost an arm and a leg, but if you buy a lot of them, the cost adds up. So I decided to make my own. What follows is a guide how to make them the way I did.

I decided not to make huge ones - mostly for storage purposes. I don't have that much space to store my minis and scenery, so I needed them to fit in a small box. The same method can be applied to larger ones.

What I used:

  • cork sheets, 3mm thick (I used some irregular cork strips as well)
  • modelling gravel
  • PVA glue, a lot of it
  • static grass
  • Cladonia Rangiferina (reindeer moss, obtainable from modelling stores and eBay)
  • Dark green acrylic spray paint (I used the Olive Drab colour)
  • Acrylic paint for highliting the rocks - I used a light gray here
  • Matt varnish spray.

How to do it.

1, Shapes cut out. A flat piece with a smaller stripe glued on top of it and in the centre.

2. Base sides cut with craft knife to slope a bit better.

3. Glue applied to the side of the top stripe.

4. Modelling gravel stuck to the glue.

5. Glue and gravel applied on both the sides.

6. All the pieces sprayed with dark green paint. Spray paint on cork takes a long time to dry up, I just left it overnight on the balcony.

7. Gravel drybrushed (carefuly, not to disloge it) to make it look like rocks.

8. All the pieces drybrushed.

9. PVA applied to the places where the grass will be. Trying to avoid the gravel. The grass is waiting in the tubs.

10. Applying the static grass.

11. All the pieces with the grass applied to them.

12. PVA applied in the middle of the stripe in preparation for brushes.

13. Brushes (raindeer moss) glued on top of the Bocage.

And here are the results.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Malifaux, A boy and his Bear

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

The Dreamer is one of the most wonderfully sick creations of the Malifaux people. Belonging to the Neverborn faction (the horrors/monsters) he is a boy whose dreams shape reality. Whenever he dreams somewhere far away on Earth his dreams become real in the city of Malifaux. Convinced none of this is real he walks the streets of the weird city "playing" with other people. Playing in as cruel ways as only a child can devise. 

I've now started painting his crew. Here are the first two models - The Dreamer and Teddy Bear.

Want a cuddle?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Malifaux, Whores'n'dolls

This episode is sponsored by 

Colette DuBois

and her ladies of unquestionable direpute

That's right, I'm a jumper. From 6mm I jumped to 15mm (Romans and Sassanids) and then to 15mm WWII (Waffen SS and Polish 1st Armoured, I will post the pics once I have sizable forces painted). All this painting od small historical minis bored me a bit. I needed to recharge, paint something different. Malifaux is perfect as a breather. And it is perfect in so many other ways.

The scale is 32mm which I consider just right for a skirmish. 32mm really makes a difference when compared to 28mm. level of details is higher, painting is easier (eyes!), minis simply look better. I'm seeing more and more 32mm systems coming out and I hope the trend will contiunue.

Malifaux is a Victorian-steampunk-wild west-horror-grotesque-whatever you will mash up of all the tropes and genres you can think of, from the Chinese-Japanese weeaboo to Jack the Ripper and whore zombies. Normally such an amalgamation of everything results in pure nothing, in dilution of theme so severe that one can't find a purchase in such a world. Not in this case though. Malifaux works great and is supported by a line of simply gorgeous minis. There are probably manufacturers who mass produce minis just as good, but I don't think anyone makes better ones.

I've recently looked at the new GW Tau releases, then to my shelf with the Malifaux minis and had to stiffle hysterical laughter. Lord, the difference is like Rolls Royce of Malifaux compared to Wolksvagen of GW. 

Without a further ado and beating around the bush - Colette, her whores and her evil dolls.
Paints: mixture of Vallejo and Coat d'Arms
The writing on the bases are meant to resemble graffiti painted on the walls and pertaining to this group of... erm... ladies.

The entire crew (Colette herself in the middle):

Colette's derierre:


The Performers:

Their Mannequins (Damequins?):

The Coryphees:

And the flying rats (erm... the Mechanical Doves):

The graffiti:

Cassandra: BROADS WITH SWO (splatter of blood)
Red performer: SLUT!!!
Blue performer: BWITCH!!!! and GUARD YER HUSBANDS!!
Green Mannequin: DUNT TIP!!!! and FAKE TEATS!!!
Pink Mannequin: SHE MAID OF WOOD!
Flying Rat with hat and cards: SLUTBIRDS!!!
Flying Rat on the book: IT SHITS COGS?!
Flying Rat shitting magic: NO! IT SHITZ RAINBOE!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Coat d'Arms Super Shader and Army Painter Quickshade comparison

I had some 15mm Roman cavalryman waiting for a paint job. I decided it was a good occasion to try and compare the effects of those shaders from two different brands. First the descriptions:

Coat d'Arms

The Super Shader comes in three different forms:

  • Light Brown - a very subtle one, good for soft skin tone gradations
  • Dark Brown - fairly strong and sometimes giving a hard shift of colour towards brown, especially with whites
  • Black - similar to a black wash, stains light colours, creates dark shades. Good for armour, dark horses, stuff like that.

Light Brown and Dark Brown are very thick, paste-like. Black is watery, a proper fluid. All of them are acrylics, dry fairly fast (you can continue painting after 15m - 1h), you don't need to clean the brush in any special way. They come in 60mm bottles, each costing £5.  Bottles are screw-caps, very convenient to use.

Army Painter

The Quickshade also comes in three colours:

  • Soft Tone
  • Strong Tone
  • Dark Tone

I have the Strong and Dark ones so can't share any insights about the Soft one. Strong Tone is roughly the equivalent of Coat d'Arms Dark Brown, Dark Tone however is not like Black.

Quickshade is oily, has to be left overnight to dry completely. I clean the brushes with soap.  It is called a dip, so you should dip minis in the can but I find this procedure to be too messy, getting rid of extra fluid is hard without using a brush and if you are already using a brush why not just paint it on? This is what I do. The can of paint is big (250ml), suitable for dipping. Since I use it for brushing I'm finding the can too large, very inconvenient. The dip tends to dry up inside the cap. After a time you have to remove the hardened fluid or the can will not close. Needless to say you lose product that way. I would be really happy with the Quickshade in smaller bottles, similar to the Coat d'Arms ones.

Both the strong tone and dark tone create nice shading, the dark tone shifting the colours noticeably towards darker hues, the strong tone giving them just a slight sepia cast.

The cans cost 24.99EUR / £19.99 each so per millilitre the Army Painter seems to be slightly more expensive (add to this the waste of drying up fluid).

Just remember - Super Shader is acrylic. It is fast and convenient as acrylics are. Quickshader is oily, it dries overnight and you can't just clean the brushes with water.


The minis are Magister Militum 15mm scale Romans.

The cavalry below have been painted with base colours and then given coats of different shaders. The one on the left got the dark horses and the riders coated with Coat d'Arms Black, softer colours with Dark Brown. The ones in the middle got entirely coated with Coat d'Arms Dark Brown. The cavalrymen on the right got coated with Army Painter Strong Tone. Here you see them just after applying the coat, still we in case of Army Painter, already almost dry in case of Coat d'Arms:

Here they are after fully dried, with the base flocked. I've done additional work on them, I picked out the details or colours where the shaders obliterated them (Coat d'Arms Black stained the flesh a lot), applied additional detailing. Here is the pic before matt varnish:

And after:
(the difference is more visible in real life than in a pic)


After finishing them I have trouble telling one from the other. The Coat d'Arms and Army Painter shaders seem to be very much on par. This however comes with a caveat of Coat d'Arms needing more care with application of Black shader, staining the light colours more and thus requiring more post work than Army Painter. I'd say Coat d'Arms is more convenient to work with, but more inconvenient after application, Army Painter the exact opposite. 

Entire bunch of stands here, most of them being done with Army Painter. There is no noticeable difference really and the Coat d'Arms ones blend right in:

Friday, 4 May 2012

Painting the 6mm British Leaders

Here they are, painted and varnished.
Just as before with Roman leaders it's Coat d'Arms and Vallejo paints, Army Painter strong dip and all covered with Vallejo matt varnish. The minis are 6mm Baccus.

Just as with Romans the miniatures, no matter how painted, will never be distinctive enough on the battlefield to be immediately recognizable as leaders so the bases (coins) will have to draw attention to them.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Painting the 6mm Roman Leaders

I have a few cohorts of Romans by now, but thus far didn't have time to paint the three leaders I need - the Legatus and two Tribunes. So here goes, the minis are Roman Generals from Baccus:

Stage one, basic coats, undercoat with black wash to pick out details:

Top view:.

Main colours applied and some details picked out:

Final colours and details applied:

Army Painter's Quick Shader (strong tone) applied (freshly applied and still wet here):

And I shall see them in the morning. I will pick out some details dulled by Quick Shader and work on the bases.

Morning, the Quick Shader has dried. It dulls the colours somewhat and blends some that should not be blended. I picked out edges again with brighter colours, refreshed the whites and the pale flesh and started the work on the bases. The mini itself is so minuscule that regardless of the level of painting it won't be immediately apparent we are looking at the leader, so the base (a coin) will have to take care of that.

Below the results before applying matte varnish:

And that's that. British leaders are next.