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Warlord Project – Where to Start?

It is typically said to take it from the top, but in this case I decided to start at the bottom.  As I mentioned, I wanted something that was more than just toes connecting to the lower leg, so this meant creating a foot and ankle.

In this case, I started with a 1.5″ to 3″ PVC adapter and cut it to be about 1.25″ tall. This would serve as my foot. The basis of the toes would come from 0.5″ expanded PVC cut and beveled in layers. I would later add some detail parts to make them more interesting.

I wanted the model to be able to pose the model. This meant I needed to create joints. I had already decided to build the lower skeleton from PVC tubes. This approach allowed me to prototype quickly and make changes easily. Because I wanted movable joints I needed to develop a good joint design that worked with the PVC and one that was easy to build. My choice was to use PVC t-connectors as the basis for the joints.

I made the joints by cutting a t-connector and inserting the next size smaller in the larger t-connector and gluing the end portion of the larger t-connector back to hold the smaller t-connector in place. These joints are used for both the ankles and knees.

Along with hips made from 90 degree elbows, this gave me a lower body that could be posed into basically any position. Ultimately, I may be forced to pick a pose and glue the joints once the model is complete to provide the stability I need, but at least I will be able to create a natural pose and then lock it down.

So at this point I am ready to start working on the armour and torso.

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Warlord Titan Project

I saw a friend’s Warlord Titan at the Gateway, 2011 con and decided then I need one too.

Titan Inspiration

This is the guy that made me want a Warlord. It was the first Warlord I had seen and I knew I would build one soon. Big and bad as they come.

As you can see, my friend is serious about Titans. He brought a total of seven for this game.

Shortly after getting home from the con, I started planning my Warlord.

 

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Acrylic Paints Change the Game

Back in the day, I used enamels. In fact, I learned modeling using Testors enamel model paint. At the time, I thought enamels were about the best available. We used it straight from the jar and cleaned our brushes with the thinner Testors sold. It went on thick, but we thought that was good. I guess I just did not know better.

Then I learned about acrylic paint, and for me no going back to enamels. There is a lot to like about them, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Acrylics are safer for your respiratory system. This is particularly true if you are using an airbrush.
  2. They are far easy to clean up (in my opinion).
  3. Because you are not using harsh chemicals, your brushes will generally last longer.
  4. They dry faster than most other paints. This is a real advantage when you are starting out. You can do all your layering and highlighting in a single session without waiting hours (or days) for your miniatures to dry.
  5. They tend to be less expensive. You also save money by using water to clean and thin.
  6. Most people playing Warhammer use acrylics so you will have a lot of support from fellow players.

All these wonderful things about acrylics and I have to admit I do use oil paint for a few things. Primarily, wet blending, weathering and panel lines (I will do posts on these techniques soon). In each of these techniques, the longer drying time of oils make them the only real choice. The good news is water soluble oils are on the market now, so clean up is still very easy and you can still use water to thin the paint. I prefer the Winsor & Newton Artisan brand, but there are a couple others on the market now.

Keep painting.

 

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Edge Highlight with Watercolor Pencil

I was struggling with doing edge highlights using a brush. I would literally dread this part of painting. It was not hard, but it sure was tedious. Then I saw a demonstration by Justin from Secret Weapons Miniatures. Justin showed how to use a watercolor pencil to do edge highlighting and it looked great.

The process is simple:

  • Be sure your miniature is completely dry
  • Select a color as you would with paint
  • Run the side of the pencil point along the edge of you miniature
  • Blend it with you dry finger until you like the look
  • If you do not like the look, remove the highlighting with water and start again
  • Done

For me this process gives me far better control than the brush, so the result looks better, and it is much faster.

Be sure to check out his site: http://www.secretweaponminiatures.com/. He has several very cool products. His pigments are among the best you can get and about half the price of the competition.