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Painting undead is not easy, even if you've mastered painting dead flesh. I've collected my thoughts on the subject of painting miniature zombies and other undead.

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image © Loctite

Glues are used to stick parts of the miniatures together. There are several kinds of glues you can use for modelling.

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Miniatures come in several different materials. I've collected the differences between them.

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A waterslide decal is kind of decal that can be used to decorate miniatures.

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In wargames the miniatures depict the people who fight battles. It depends on your philosophy how do they appear on the table.

The appearance of the gun barrel can be important for some modellers.

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Gun barrels

Most miniature have guns with solid barrels.

Gun barrel 1) Solid barrel

You leave the barrel as it is.

Benefits

  • No modelling required: It's the easiest way.

Problems:

  • Unrealistic: As a real barrel is not solid, it won't look realistic.

Gun barrel 2) Drilling the barrel

You drill the barrel of the gun to make it more like the real one.

Benefits

  • Realistic: As the real barrel is hollow, it will look realistic.

Problems:

  • Modelling required: You have to drill the barrel. As guns are usually quite thin, it can damage the model.

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What is the most important for you?

Gaming

For gaming purposes, it doesn't matter whether the barrel is drilled or not. There are some gamers though, who prefer drilled barrels. It really depends on your tastes.

Photography

On groups shots you won't see whether the barrel is drilled or not, but on showcase photos of single miniatures it might show.

For single miniatures you might drill the barrels, just in case.

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What do you think of these miniature painting design concepts of gun barrels? What is your take on this? What are your experiences? Do you have questions about these concepts? Tell us in the comments!

 

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I've collected the sources and casting tutorials I've found interesting. 

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I've made a quick tutorial on painting light effects from object source lighting (OSL).

When light shines on an area, if that light is stronger than the surrounding light, the colour area will become lighter, and unless the light is white, it will also change colour.

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I used the Battlezones terrain from Mantic Games.

I have to admit that chosing this piece for the photos may not be ideal, as it show a fantastic light source. The idea came from Ralph McQuarry's concept art for the original Star Wars. He came up with the idea that in that universe they are able to bend light, so they could use light sources built into the panels of the wall and it will still shine light to the sides.

If the unreal nature of these light-panels bother you, try to imagine that it's not a flat area but one that protrudes from the panel.

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Before you start painting light source effects, finish painting every other part of your miniature.

If you use dark wash to create shadows on the miniature, do it before adding light effects. If you apply wash by brush, avoid the parts that will get lights, because the dark colours in the recesses could create too much contrast.

If instead of a dark wash, you use pigmented varnishing as a last step to protect your miniature and create shadows (referred to as Magic Dipping), you'll need another coat of varnish to protect your light effects.

Step 1: Paint the colour of the light

Painting light sources - Step 1: Paint the colour of the lightPainting light sources - Step 1: Paint the colour of the light

You have to decide what will be the basic colour of your light. I've chosen a greenish yellow.

Paint the whole area of your lights with your chosen colour.

Step 2: Add a lighter colour in the middle of the light

Painting light sources - Step 2: Add a lighter colour in the middle of the lightPainting light sources - Step 2: Add a lighter colour in the middle of the light

Make the central parts of your light a bit lighter.

If you basic light is not a uniform colour, you can also use glaze, so the original paintjob will show up.

Step 3: Add glow colour around the light

Painting light sources - Step 3: Add glow colour around the lightPainting light sources - Step 3: Add glow colour around the light

Lightly drybrush the edges around the light with the basic colour of your light. Draw the brush from the middle of the light outward. If you are not satisfied, you can brush it in a circular way around the light source.

Instead of drybrushing you can also use carefully painted glaze.

If you are using airbrush, put the nozzle close to the light souce, and lightly spray the areas close to it with diluted paint. It's better to give it several light shot.

The glowing effect will look more natural with airbrushing, but it will take some practice to do it right.

You can take this step with Step 1 if you wish.

Step 4: Add a lighter glow colour

Painting light sources - Step 4: Add a lighter glow colourPainting light sources - Step 4: Add a lighter glow colour

You can use a bit more heavy drybrushing with your lighter colour. The farther you get from the center of the light, the lighter you should drybrush. Don't draw your brush as far outward as you did with Step 3.

Instead of drybrushing you can also use carefully painted glaze.

If you are using airbrush, put the nozzle close to the light souce, and lightly spray the areas close to it with diluted paint. It's better to give it several light shot.

You can take this step with Step 2 if you wish.

Step 5: Add the brightest colour to the light and glow

Painting light sources - Step 5: Add white to the light and glowPainting light sources - Step 5: Add white to the light and glow

Add the brightest colour (for lamps it's usually white) to the center of the light source.

Last step is a heavy drybrush near the light. The farther you get from the center of the light, the lighter you should drybrush.

Instead of painting and drybrushing white you can also use carefully painted glaze.

If you are using airbrush, put the nozzle close to the light souce, and lightly spray the areas close to it with diluted brightest paint. It's better to give it several light shot. However, for this step I'd really recommend drybrushing, because you have more control over the brush, and as this is the last step, you won't have another chance to repair it if you make mistakes.

Shadows

If you are not satisfied with your lights, if it doesn't really feels right, try to add shadows, add darker glaze to adjacent areas to make the light really light up the miniature.

Painting light sources in reverse order

Some prefer to do it in reverse - they paint everything with the brightest colour (usually white) in the beginning, drybrush the adjacent areas, and then add coloured glazes in the areas that gets light. If you are finished with glazing, add white again to the center of the light source.

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Painting light effects - Sources & tutorials

Raffa aka Picster (for Massive Voodoo): Tutorial - Light and Shadow: Tutorial article about natural light on miniatures.

Roman aka jar (for Massive Voodoo): Tutorial - Zenithal Lightning / Work Order: Tutorial article about natural light on miniatures.

Painting light sources - Sources & tutorials

Tutorial articles

althai (for Hand Cannon Online): Tutorial: Advanced – Object-Source Lighting: Tutorial article.

kbanas: Object Source Lighting Modeling Help: Tutorial article.

Roman aka jar (for Massive Voodoo): Tutorial - Object Source Lightning: Tutorial article.

James Brown (for Flames of War): Shine a Light: An Introduction to Object Source Lighting: Tutorial article.

Anthony Adamo (for The League of Underwhelming Miniature Painters): Tutorial: Quick and Dirty Brush Tricks for Object Source Lighting (OSL): Tutorial article.

Ron Saikowski (from From the Warp): Hobby Focus: Object Source lighting pitfalls: Tutorial article.

Ron Saikowski (from From the Warp): Painting a glowing powerfist, Part 1: Tutorial article, step-by-step.

Ron Saikowski (from From the Warp): Painting a glowing powerfist, Part 2: Tutorial article, step-by-step.

Ron Saikowski (from From the Warp): Painting a glowing powerfist, Part 3: Tutorial article, step-by-step.

The Painting Shop: I show you how to paint 40k plasma gun glow effect: Tutorial article, step-by-step.

Tutorial videos

Colour of the Gods: Painting Tutorial - OSL (Object Source Lighting): Painting tutorial video, using brush.

EonsOfBattle: How to Create a Glowing Plasma Effect: Painting tutorial video, using brush.

ichibanpainting: How to paint OSL *glowing effect*: Painting tutorial video, using airbrush.

ralf137: Warhammer 40K Advanced Techniques part 16- Glowing Eyes: Painting tutorial video, using brush.

GhostxHeart (from linkinhearts666): How to Paint: Object Source Lighting (OSL) | Warmachine: Cryx Slayer Helljack: Painting tutorial video, using brush. Miniature: Warmachine - Cryx Slayer Helljack

Game Face Nation: Studio Workshop - How to: Paint Simple OSL: Painting tutorial video, using brush. Miniature: Games Workshop - Warhammer 40.000 - Chaos Space Marine

Showcase articles

James Wappel (from James Wappel Miniature Painting): You might even say it glows... Object Source Lighting: Showcase article.

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Do you have further ideas about painting light sources for miniatures? Do you have your own methods? Do you have any questions about them? Tell us in the comments!

 

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Article updated: 2016.07.25

There are times you'd like to sell your miniatures. You might lose interest in gaming entirely, change armies, or in dire need of money - you'd like to change your collection into something more useful to you.

Where can you sell your used miniatures?

Besides eBay there are several other places you could go to swap or sell your miniatures. There might be miniatures trading markets in your area, and there are usually opportunities for this at gaming conventions. If you'd like to sell your stuff online, I've gathered some possible places to go:

What are your miniatures worth?

I often see posts on online forums requesting the evaluation of the worth of their miniature collection. That is a very tricky thing, but you have to keep in mind the rule of trading - the worth of anything is the amount of money someone is willing to part with to get that thing. There are no set prices out there, even for miniatures that are in production.

When you ask someone who is interested in the miniature, they will be biased to say a lower price as part of the haggling process. If you ask someone who is not interested in them, it can be dismissed most of the time, as they have no real idea. If you ask someone who sells miniatures for a living, why would they help you for free?

In production miniatures: The maximum price you should ask for them is the amount of their original price plus the shipping cost to the part of the world the buyer lives. Most likely nobody will be willing to pay this price, but it's good to know your limits. As there are always sales and bargains in several webstores, consider a -10-20% off from this maximum price if the item is sold widely all over the world. If it is close to Christmas time, there will be 50% sales too. Buying an original one usually doesn't get cheaper than 50%, so if you set that as a starting price, it's not a bad idea.

Out of production (OOP) miniatures: There are no set prices anymore, so the worth of them is totally random. Anything that is not easily available can be worth a lot for a dedicated collector. However the same miniature can be a useless junk for gamers that stick to the newer rules, newer sculpts that are probably being in production. No matter what you see on eBay, those prices only show the amount of money someone once spent to get that product. If that person doesn't want a second one badly, they won't pay the same amount next time. And you can't know if there are people that will need that mini at all. It all depends on your buyer:

  • Collector: The amount they are willing to spend depends on their pocket. As long as they need it and it's hard to get, they might be willing to pay a lot.
  • Average gamer: Take a look at the market, see what a similar new miniature would cost. If someone needs a mini for their army, they would buy it for that amount if it would be available. For similarity, consider the material, pose and quality of your own miniature and the ones you are comparing them to. An old metal sculpt is probably worse than a new plastic one, unless someone prefers that kind of aesthetic.
  • Cheap gamer: Take a look at the market, see what a similar new miniature would cost, and use the percents mentioned for the in production miniatures (going with half of the new one is a good base for a starting price).

Unused / unassembled / new on sprue (NoS) / good quality miniatures: These miniatures are still in their original condition or close to it. Most of the time you can get the maximum amount for these.

New in box (NiB): Being in the original packaging can worth a lot for serious collectors. For every other buyer it's worth only as any other unused one, with an added hassle to spend time open the box. If you have time, you can try to ask an insane price for it, you might have luck and find someone who is willing to pay that.

Assembled: If the miniature is not a multi-pose one, assembly doesn't really change the worth of the mini, although for tricky miniatures it might raise it a little bit, especially if there was a need for fillers to fill the gaps (old metal GW monsters and warped Forge World products come to my mind). For multi-pose minis, it really depends on the buyers tastes how do they like the poses, and how easy will it be to disassemble them if they'd like to change that.

Painted: A good paintjob can multiply the amount you can get, or subtract from the original price. If it's a bad paintjob, it can even lower your chances of selling it because people will feel bad just by looking at your pictures. Before you sell your mini, you might even ask the potential buyers what would they pay for the mini if it were stripped of paint, and if they would like that more, get rid of that old paintjob.

What is more important to you at the moment?

Need money quickly! - If you have to get money fast, you won't be able to wait around for good offers. Ask your local friends what would they pay for them, as you can just trade them in person and get money immediately. If they aren't interested, try to find online trade groups (you can find a list of them here) - you might find interested buyers in a few hours after you put up a post. If there's still no interest, you can try eBay. You'll probably won't get the maximum amount you could get out of them if you'd take your time. Also, selling the whole as a lot is a risky idea, but it's not bad one. If someone really needs something you are about to sell, they might get tempted to buy the whole lot just to get that. If you sell your minis individually, make sure you get enough money from your first sells, as you might not be able to sell the rest.

Just want to get rid of them! - If it takes up space, have bad memories of them, or want to get them away fast for any reason, you can try giving them to gamer friends or local clubs for cheap. You"ll get some social bonus points for that. If they don't need it, next stop could be the aforementioned trading groups - people are always on a lookout for good deals. If you still can't get rid of your minis, you can contact us, as the Gaming Nexus always tries to get a wider range of available miniatures and games.

I'd like to get as much money as possible! - Sometimes you don't have to rush things, but you'd still like to make the most out of your collection. It will take time, and it will involve lot of work and haggling on your part. As evaluating a real worth of any miniature is practically impossible, start with a high enough number, and put it on eBay or advertise it on the trading groups. In this case eBay might be a better solution if you have a fragile ego, as you might get harrassed and ridiculed on trading groups for your greedy desires. (It's just a tactic on their part by the way to get better prices from you so don't listen to them.) Don't rush things, take your time. You can never know when will someone feel the need to pay an insane amount of money for that particular miniature. Selling the miniatures individually is probably the best way to maximise your profit. If you wait a year or two and there are still no takers, lower the price a little bit to find out the right one.

The worst thing you can do - No set minimum price

There are some lazy traders who don't set minimum prices, and leave it up to the bidders to say the right amount. The same can be done with eBay with a secret minimum set as a Reserve price, so even if you outbid everyone, you can still lose. This is a bad idea as it could anger people who got involved in the bidding.

  1. It makes sure you look like someone who has clearly no idea about the real worth of your wares.
  2. Those who don't like to haggle a lot, won't even look at your stuff.
  3. Those who start bidding can feel like you are just toying with them instead of treating them seriously.
  4. You'll still get the minimum amount with a lot more bargaining, because the bidders will start at their own minimum price, not yours, but they will have to bid and bid and bid, until you nod that it's enough.

Selling used miniatures - Sources & tutorials

Setting prices

Selling miniatures

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Have you ever tried to sell your used miniature collection? What are your experiences? Do you still have questions about it? Tell us in the comments!

 

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Article updated: 2016.07.29

I've gathered some definitions that are useful to know when you paint miniatures.

Glossy: It's an optical sheen level of the paint, that is shiny. More info:

Matte: It's an optical sheen level of the paint, that doesn't shine and it's not glossy. More info:

Painting stand: Something you use to hold your miniature while painting. More info:

Pooling: The even when a thin liquid (wash, varnish) gathers up in a recess. You should remove the excess to avoid pooling.

Primer: A layer of special paint that will help the next layer stick better to the surface it has been applied to. Primers also act as undercoat. More info:

Priming: The application of primer. More info:

Silk shine: It's an optical sheen level of the paint, that's somewhere between totally matte and glossy. More info:

Undercoat: A layer of material that will make the surface even, so paint or primer can be applied on it. More info:

Varnish: It's a layer of transparent material that will protect your miniatures. More info:

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Do you know further miniature painting related definitions? Do you have your own, better definitions? Do you have any questions about a phrase? Tell us in the comments!

 

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