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Monthly Archives:December 2015

Review: Grenzer Games 15mm Imperial Romans

Grenzer Games – a small, UK based games development company, specializing in miniature wargames. Thanks to their generosity I was able to lay my hands on a batch of recently released 15mm Imperial Romans. I took these on a spin from bubble envelope to battle ready and now I will share my impressions with you.

Visual & Quality Impressions:

Right off the bat the miniatures look amazing. With rich, crisp detail these are nothing close to what I have ever seen in such scale. Furthermore the miniatures are well proportioned. Great quality overall.

… and I know, I know. I too am sentimental towards hand sculpted metal miniatures, but just look at that detail! Such visual coherency of scale! Insane!

Functionality Impressions:

15mm Imperial Romans come in two versions: As a downloadable pre supported STL files, or 3d printed miniatures. I received a pack of eight printed miniatures. Mounted on print supports they were able to withstand shipping from United Kingdom in a bubble envelope without any damage and with no bent elements. Cutting off the supports was very easy and even though 3d printed miniatures took a soapy bath before painting, the process was nothing close to a pain of removing flash and mold lines, so common amongst metal counterparts. Full preparation took less than 15 minutes, which compared to working with metal is near to nothing. 

Material itself is smooth and easy to work with. Miniatures are a bit elastic and seem durable and forgiving. I tested one “Pilum” to the limit, breaking it in half as a result. It was easy to repair, even though I broke it six times in different places throughout the process. Similar treatment would see a metal counterpart require replacement, whereas 3d print can be glued back to your heart’s content. 

Finally painting over this material went smooth and without any issues. Joy to work with.

Price:

At a price of 3,75GBP for a Legionary pack containing 8 miniatures and 2,35GBP for a Command Pack containing 5 miniatures, Grenzer Games product is priced on par with metal counterparts from other suppliers. Considering how detailed and easy to work with these miniatures are I would say they’re a steal!

Summary:

Grenzer Games did a fantastic job providing well proportioned, top quality miniatures with fantastic detail. Very easy to work with, joy to paint. To top it all off 15mm Imperial Romans come reasonably priced! I fully recommend this product and will definitely keep an eye out for updates of the entire range.

Stay tuned for an upcoming step-by-step tutorial on painting 15mm Imperial Romans and in the meantime I invite you to follow Grenzer Games on Facebook and definitely visit their online store to see more products.

Scarhandpainting

Colour Recipes: Infinity Haqqislam (Turqoise)

Here are some Colour Recipes for Infinity Haqqislam from Gallery: Quapu Khalqi. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends in between, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guideline not a step-by-step.

 

BLACK/GREY outfits & weapons:

Black Undercoat,Panzer DK Grey (Val),

Panzer DK Grey (Val a), *

Barely Grey (Val a), *

Wolf Grey (val a), flbr

Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Dark Tone Ink (AP), wash

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), p

TURQUOISE armor:

Coal Black (P3),

Hydra Turquoise (AP), flbrMix Hydra Turquise (AP) 5:1 Pale Wych Flesh

GW), flbr

Arcane Blue (P3), l&p

Coelia Greenshade (GW), wash

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), p


SKIN:

Carne Marron Tan (Val), Flow

Dwarf Skin (Val a),

Flesh (Val a), l&p

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Flesh (Val a), l&p

Pale Flesh (Val), l&p

BROWN elements:

Black/Grey outfits base,

Mix Hull Red (Val a) + Soft Tone Ink (AP), blend

Karak Stone (GW), l&p

Flayed One Flesh (GW), l&p


GREEN osl:

Olive Green (Val),

Duck Egg Green (Val a), * / standard

Pale Wych Flesh (GW),

Light Livery Green (Val a),

MARTIAN BASES:

German Red Brown (Val),

Martian Ironcrust (GW t),

Martian Ironearth (GW t),

Orange Fire (Val), drbr

AP Mountain Tufts & Paint Forge Steppe Tufts 12mm

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

dl – deep lining,

bl – blend,

gl – glaze,

drbr – drybrush,

fltbr – flatbrush,

lobr – loaded brush,

stpl – stippling,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

Scarhandpainting

Hobby Advice: ABC of Miniatures Preparation – Flash & Seam Lines Removal

Removing Flash and Seam Lines – a pain of a task, yet such important one. You can be a painting god, but all your fancy brush work will be ruined if miniature wasn’t prepared properly. Running a miniatures painting service I have prepared thousands of miniatures. Below I will share with you some tricks I learned along the way.

Before we start, the usual note

  • Please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

THEORY:

I know, I know – theory is such a pain – “where are real life examples?!”. I will keep this short and easy.

Hobby Knife:

A Hobby Knife is my go to, when it comes to Seam Lines removal. When using a Hobby Knife I hold in the fold of all fingers, except for thumb, which will be used to support a miniature and allows me for better control over the knife itself. I don’t want to cut myself so I tilt the blade about 45 degrees outwards from the thumb. This also prevents smooth surface from being scrapped (and roughed) by the sharp edge. Tiny consecutive movements are better than one smooth movement, unless I deal with long smooth areas. Somewhere in the middle of the blade is my sweet spot for cleaning accessible Seam Lines. 

  • I hold the knife with the fold of my four fingers, using thumb to support the miniature and regulate speed/pressure.
  • I keep the edge tilted outward from my thumb.
  • I work with tiny consecutive movements, unless working on a long, smooth area.
  • I try to use a spot around a middle of the blade. 

When dealing with sharp recesses, I put the edge inside, tilt it and go back along one edge, then do the same for the other side. Again I use the middle of the blade (if possible) to do this.

When dealing with rounded elements like inside of a wheel, or in a fold of a cloak, I switch the angle so that the blade faces direction of movement. I then make sure to hide my thumb behind the miniature and use the very tip of the blade to peel off the excess material. I do this with a single rounded movement of the blade. 

Finally, when dealing with tiny rounded bumps (like fingers of a fist for example) I start with a single, light movement of a blade, then switch to a sharp edge file…

 

Hobby File:

I have a lot of Hobby Files, but when I think of it – only two of them are what matters. Fully Rounded and Triangle Sharp Edged.

Back to the example picture above, I use Triangle Sharp Edged file to make a single, long, smooth movement between each bump.

Finally Fully Rounded file is being used to smooth up any Mold Lines irregularities (when two halves of a miniature does not align properly).

 

Hobby Cutters:

These are pretty straightforward. I use them to cut pieces of miniatures off the sprues and to cut off any large chunks of excess material. One thing to remember is to align a flat side of the cutting edge with the area you want to cut stuff off from. This will keep the surface smooth. 

PRACTICE vs MATERIAL:

Plastic: is the most common material one might face while toying with miniatures, so let’s start with this one. There are two main kinds of plastic. Standard Plastic, which can be colored, is a high quality durable and elastic material with crisp detail and no bubbles. Worst issues are mold halves not aligned properly, but this can usually be dealt with by applying more force to a hobby knife. I rarely use files to deal with plastic and prefer to work with Hobby Cutters ands Knife instead. 
Board Game Plastic, which is a total gummy disaster and cannot be filed (leaves tiny strains) unless put to a refrigerator for couple of hours. My personal rule is to leave it be, bad material and I just do not prep it at all. 

 

Resin: is the most problematic of the three main materials I have worked with. Resin is fragile, easy to break, tends to have hidden air bubbles plus it is common for mold halves to not be aligned properly. On top of that resin miniatures are sparkled with a lot of supports (tiny excess elements). On a bright side, a properly casted resin has a very sharp detail and texture, is easy to glue together if broken and can be modelled easy with a knife. 
When dealing with resin I prefer Hobby Cutters and Knife over files, using the latter only in case of emergency.

Important note: wear a face mask when filing resin. You don’t want to breathe it in. 

Metal: is pretty easy to work with. It is usually the softest of all three, can be bent easily, is very easy to file. I do prioritize Files over Knife when working with this material, except for long flat areas and fragile elements (swords etc.). Whereas scratches on plastic and resin are prominent, metal can be intentionally scratched with a tip of a File to remove Seam Lines from detailed surfaces like between hair and on a face.

 

Apart from pics, you can see me in action in this Youtube video:

Thanks for reading. If this tutorial helped you, be sure to let me know either in the comments below or at my facebook profile

Please link this tutorial to anyone who likes to learn new hobby tricks. 

Lastly I also invite you to follow me at Instagram, where I drop some nice pictures from time to time.

Scarhandpainting

High Five

2020 right? How to even begin? I feel like 2020 was all about the extremes. I had my share of some of the worst and some of the best things to happen to me in my entire career. No middle ground. I was seriously considering sharing with you, dear readers, some of the sad stuff that I had to overcome last year, but scrapped the idea. We all had our share of weight to lift. I bet you’re fed up with sad stories. Let us focus on the bright side. 

Challenge Accepted

Being at once a dad and a commission painter is hardcore to say the least. I worked from home before it gone mainstream, you know… and I used to love it. Nowadays, with a one year old kiddo running around the place… I miss these 12 hours straight painting marathons. Was something primordial about it. This special mood, unbroken concentration – made me feel whole. It is in the past now. No longer being a master of my own time, somewhere along the road I lost my daily rhythm.
I had to paint this image before you, this emotional setting. Bare with me – it is in these conditions, that some of the most exciting, awesome works of my life came into being! Last year was full of variety, demanding display pieces, high level collections…you name it! All I could hope for as a painter and it really kept me going. Pushed me to the limit, but also helped me grow as a hobbyist, allowed me to focus on plans to improve my business. Finally, motivated me to explore brand new things.

Still I wouldn’t make it without help and support from amazing people I’ve met along the way.

And on that note I want to thank all of my customers and friends, who entrusted me with their miniatures. Especially: Andreas, Bettina, Clemens, Jek, Laurent, Max, Michael, Olo, Romana, Thomas – thank you for sticking with me and helping me stay on this path, I so recklessly chose to walk. 

2020 Highlights

Blog Highlights

I’ve been such a scarhandpainting/blog slacker this last year. You know it’s true. With a one year old feeding on my sanity and scraps of free time, 16 articles is all I’ve got to show for entire 2020. So no kudos for me. That being said – huge kudos to you folks, for keeping the blog flying with over 140000 views, which is a lot more than last year! Seeing how popular the blog is makes me happy but also humbled. Thank you for reading and sharing my articles. It means a lot. 

19 new articles got published. These are the ones you found the most interesting…

Tutorial: Kings of War Armada Islands

Review: AK Interactive Diorama Series

Tutorial: Unlimited Painting Holders

Tutorial: Modelling Temple Bases with Gamers Grass

Colour Recipes: Shadespire Thorns of the Briar Queen

…and the Undefeated TOP 3 of all time favorites:

Tutorial: Painting Marble 22,8k views!

Tutorial: DIY Infinity Console 13,3k views

Tutorial: DIY Infinity Gaming Terrain 9k views

What’s next?

Pragmatic part of me wants to say “survival”, “patience”. 2020 showed that even solid plans can go south pretty fast. It also showed that bad stuff might lead to some unexpected positive results. Dreamer part of me is all about “growth”, “perfecting”. Putting scarhandpainting logo on stickers, magnets and mugs, starting an Instagram account, was just a first step. I have grand plans. I want to surprise my customers and friends. I want to get better and evolve. There have been some issues my business was struggling for the past few weeks, but it’s behind now. A lot of things is already set in to motion. That’s all I can reveal for now. In the meantime the paint flows as usual and that’s what matters the most! 

If by any chance you find yourself in need of a painter – do not hesitate to contact me at contact@scarhandpainting.com 
Would also appreciate if you recommend me to your hobby friends who bring bare plastic to the gaming club – it keeps my paint flowing. 

Cheers!

Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Kings of War Armada Water Bases

Welcome to Kings of War Armada Water Bases tutorial. Here I will take you on a Step-by-step trip through the process of creating and painting bases as can be found in the Gallery: Armada Basileans from Mantic Games Kings of War Armada.

Before we start, some notes:

  • I put aside realism and focused on simplicity and rule of cool instead.
  • As usual, please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Introduction:

I plan to go all-in with Mantic’s KoW: Armada. This means a lot of ships from across numerous fleets. To keep my bases easy to paint and visually coherent I decided to limit myself to some water effects and simple tricks. Instead of going through a lot of effort, trying to build multiple layers of transparent water, I switched out standard MDF bases for clear acrylics. 
That doesn’t mean the method wouldn’t work with MDF’s. If you’d rather stick with Mantic’s bases – undercoat them white, then paint sides with some dark blue and you’d be ready to go. That being said, this method was developed with clear acrylic bases in mind so please take that into account when trying different approaches. 

The process:

Without further ado, let’s get these bases wet!
I used:

  • Pacific Blue Water Gel from AK Interactive Diorama Series
  • Water Foam from AK Interactive Diorama Series 
  • Water Gel effects from AK Interactive Diorama Series
  • White paint
  • Clear acrylic bases

Step one:

I used a large brush to apply AK Interactive Diorama Series: Pacific Blue Water Gel onto entire surface of the base. I then stippled a bit to create an uneven surface. Lastly I used a finger to remove the excess gel from the sides of the base.

Step two:

I repeated first step two more times, leaving the paint to dry between each repeat. This darkened the base significantly and resulten in a nice solid layer with a lot more detail on top of the first one.

Step three:

Once I was done painting ships I applied AK Interactive Pacific Blue Gel at the edges of each ship’s underside. I then followed with Super Glue through the middle and glued the ship on top of a base. Excess gel was queezed out and filled any holes between the ship and the base.

Step four:

I then applied more Pacific Blue Gel around the ship. It was a bit messy so I used a clean flat brush to move any excess gel from the ship’s sides and onto the base.

Step five:

Some time later I applied AK Interactive clear Water Gel effects around the ship. I used a small brush and slowly built the mass of splashing water at the front and on the sides of the ship. This time I didn’t care about messing up the hull.

Step six:

Next I applied AK Interactive Water Foam. Using a small brush I applied small dots of the effect on top of previous layer. This one is very white so I tried to avoid applying to much. Mistakes were removed with a clean flat brush – pushed into more tight lines, where necessary.

Step seven:

Lastly I mixed white paint, water and AK Interactive clear Water Gel effect and stippled a bit behind and around the ship to create a nice effect of dissolving water foam. 

Task complete! The fleet is now sailing into the unknown. I hope you like this tutorial. For more pictures of finished fleet visit Gallery: Armada Basileans

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on the method either in the comments below or at my facebook profile

Please link this tutorial to anyone who likes to learn new hobby tricks. 

Lastly I also invite you to follow me at Instagram, where I drop some nice pictures from time to time.

All speed ahead and see you in the next article!

Scarhandpainting

Review: Mantic Kings of War: Armada Ships

Mantic Games – a UK based company made up of hobby enthusiasts that brought about such titles as Deadzone, Kings of War and Warpath into the tabletop wargaming world. On top of that the company released some successful board game titles including Hellboy, The Walking Dead and DreadBall just to name a few. Just recently Mantic Games released a brand new Kings of War: Armada – a game of sea battles set in the already established world of Kings of War’s Pannithor. Today I would like to take you on a short cruise through two Armada sets – an Orc Booster Fleet and a Basilean Booster Fleet – to see how the miniatures present themselves straight from the box. Grab the railing and let’s set sail into the unknown!

I would like to move away from the usual Quality, Visuals, Functionality etc. review format. This time around I will go ship-by-ship with a summary at the end. Let’s get started!

Basileans:

First set to go is Basileans. I love the design of Basilean ships and decided this will be my main fleet. Purchased seven sets in total so you see I’m pretty serious about this. Anyhow – the design is great and each individual ship has a lot of character. Basilean ships seem a bit high fantasy, but also look realistic enough to feel like real ships. 

Gur Panther

Elohi

Slopes

Impressions:

Basilean set is impressive but not without issues. The Gur Panther and Slopes are of a very good quality with crisp detail, just few air bubbles. Elohi in the other hand turned out to be damaged (hull part missing one lantern) and with one mast below expected quality. Anything between bent and air bubbles I have no issues with. This is to be expected with resin models and is easy to deal with. Damaged parts and miscasts are something entirely else and I will be placing a complaint about the Elohi. I can’t stop but wander if this is a rare occurrence, or is this something Quality Control accepted as a valid product.

Orcs

Time for some Orcs! Amongst humans, dwarves and undead, the Orc ships stand out as ragtag, crude, scrap-built hulks. This seems classic Orcs, regardless of what game you’re coming from, and I like this about Mantic – they go “classic” a lot. 

Hammerfist

Blood Runner

Rabble Squadron

Impressions:

Except for one shifted casting sail and some bent masts, this set turned out to be of a very good quality. A lot of uneven detail clearly forced Mantic to divide the sculpts into more parts – some cannons and hull elements being packed on their own. Everything fits though and I can say this is the quality I would expect from such a set. No issue beyond standard miniature preparation to deal with.

Price:

Kings of War: Armada stuck me as a rather cheap to get into. With two players set priced at 90€, Booster and Starter Fleet both being 40€ and an additional large Ship being 20€ you’re looking at a pretty low entry point. You can get into the game for about 50€. Furthermore you can get to an entire fleet with backup models for about 100-150€ more. Seems very well priced for a full skirmish tabletop game experience.

Booster Fleet price of 40€ for four resin ships (six to be precise, but four playable miniatures) is a legit price, especially taking into account these are large resin miniatures. 

Summary:

I won’t lie – I’m totally biased towards this product. I’m hyped for the game to a point where I ordered couple sets on top of a huge pre-order, just to get them few days before the main order arrival. There are clearly some issues with particular parts which I hope will get resolved. Either way a rating is required of me thus on a scale where 10 is awesome, 8 is good, 6 is ok, 5 is mediocre, 3 is bad and I don’t want to even mention 1 – I’d say Kings of War: Armada Booster Fleet sets are a solid 8 plus. They rub on “awesome” and are of much higher quality than most resin miniatures I worked with up to now. What’s your thoughts? Is this rating fair, or do you disagree? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers!

Where to buy:

Mantic Online Store is the way to go. 

Alternatively if you’re from Poland – I highly recommend any of these two stores: Vanaheim / Minibitwa

Scarhandpainting

Colour Recipes: The Drowned Earth Artifacters

Here are some Colour Recipes for Artifacters from Gallery: The Drowned Earth Artifacters. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends in between, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guideline not a step-by-step.

GREEN OLIVE clothes:

White preshade, *

Interior Green (Val), *

Mix Interior Green (Val) 2:1 Duck Egg Green (Val),*

Mix Interior Green (Val) 1:1 Duck Egg Green (Val),*

Mix Heavy Khaki (Val), 1:1 Pale Wych Flesh (GW), flbr

Strong Tone Ink (AP),

Heavy Khaki (Val), bl

Mix Heavy Khaki (Val), 1:1 Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), p

PURPLE clothes:

Green Olive clothes base (up to Strong Tone),

Hexen Lichen (Val a), blend

Genestealer Purple (GW),  l&p

Dechala Lilac (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), p

 

CREEME clothes:

Bonewhite (Val a), 

Mix Bonewhite (Val) 1:1 Pale Wych Flesh (GW), flbr

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Strong Tone Ink (AP), 

Bonewhite (Val a), bl

Ivory (Val), l&p

Off White (Val), p

BLACK weapons:

Panzer Dark Grey (Val a),

Fenrisian Grey (GW), flbr & bl

Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Dark Tone Ink (AP)

Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), p

BASES:

Dark Earth (AK texture),

Karak Stone (GW), drbr

Nurgle’s Rot (GW effect),

TUFTS:

Swamp 4mm (Gamers Grass),

Tiny Dry Green 2mm (Gamers Grass),

Light Blue Flowers (Paint Forge),

Shady Green 2mm (Paint Forge),

Dark Forest 12mm (Paint Forge),

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

dl – deep lining,

bl – blend,

gl – glaze,

drbr – drybrush,

fltbr – flatbrush,

lobr – loaded brush,

stpl – stippling,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

Scarhandpainting

Colour Recipes: Shadespire Thorns of the Briar Queen

Here are some Colour Recipes for Thorns of the Briar Queen from Gallery: Shadespire Thorns of the Briar Queen. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends in between, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guideline not a step-by-step.

GHOSTLY bodies:

Turquise (Val),*

Mix Turquise (Val) 1:4 White,*

White, bl/l&p

Lahmian Medium (GW),

Mix Coelia Greenshade (GW) 1:1 Lahmian Medium (GW), bl

White, bl/l&p

RED clothes:

Burnt Red (Val),

Flat Red (Val), flbr

Mix: Flat Red (Val) 4:1 Elf Skintone (Val),

Red RLM23 (Val), bl

Red Tone Ink (AP), dl


METAL weapons:

Warplock Bronze (GW),

Gun Metal (AP), flbr

Shining Metal (AP), flbr

Strong Tone Ink (AP),

Shining Metal (AP), l&p

SKULLS:

Flayed One Flesh (GW),

Mix: Flayed One Flesh (GW) 1:1 Pale Wych Flesh (GW),

Strong Tone Ink (AP),

Flayed One Flesh (GW), l&p

Off White (Val), l&p

BASES:

Panzer Dark Grey (Val a),

Fenrisian Grey (GW), flbr

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), flbr

Strong Tone Ink (AP), x2

Flayed One Flesh, l&p

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

dl – deep lining,

bl – blend,

gl – glaze,

drbr – drybrush,

fltbr – flatbrush,

lobr – loaded brush,

stpl – stippling,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Kings of War Armada Islands

Welcome to Kings of War Armada Islands tutorial. Here I will take you on a Step-by-step trip through the process of creating and painting DiY islands scenery for Mantic Games Kings of War Armada as presented in the picture below.

Before we start, some notes:

  • This one requires airbrush.
  • I put aside realism and focused on simplicity and rule of cool instead.
  • As usual, please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Modelling:

Playing a friendly game on a set of fully painted and modeled scenery is  always a great experience. In my opinion there’s nothing better than to let yourself go “full immersion mode” during a game of plastic dudesmen, or in this case – resin boats. That’s why I decided to create a set of appropriate scenery and use this opportunity to let you in on some of my hobby secrets.

When planning the set and how to make it my priorities were ease of build (and copy), durability, stability and obviously cool looks! Thus choice of material being mostly PCV and stones. PCV sheets are easy to work with, stay flat and are very glue friendly, whereas stones provide cheap and easy to use terrain features that will add weight and improve stability of the scenery pieces. With that in mind – let’s begin!

Step one: Basic shapes

I started by cutting a island’s base out of 1mm thick PCV sheet with a pair of scissors. I then smoothed the edges with a piece of sandpaper.
Next, using a hobby knife, I cut the island itself. This time I used 3mm thick PCV and cut the edges at a 30-45* angle, leaving approximately 1,5cm of the base all around the island. Once done I glued both pieces together, using Army Painter’s Super Glue.

Step two: Rocky features

I then applied PVA glue to some areas on the island, followed by AP’s Super Glue and finally Rocks – repositioned to look interesting. I also added some bitz, but I leave it up to you to decide if you want to do the same.

Step three: Wooden piers

Next I decided to add a bit of character with an old, damaged wooden pier jutting into the sea. I used a piece of MDF cut into a thin strip as a base for the pier, but you can really use anything – including 1mm thick PCV. Just cut a strip, glued tiny bit underneath, then glued it on top of the island and it’s base. Finally marked tiny holes along the sides of the pier and ‘superglued’ toothpicks in place, just to cut them off close to the pier’s level. Done.

Step four: Palm trees

At that point I didn’t wanted to waste good toothpicks and here’s where palm trees idea originates from. I gently squeezed the blunt tip of a toothpick with cutters and moved it around. I made this every two or so mm on the length of the toothpick. I then cut a piece off and gently bent it. With palm trees trunks ready to be added on top to the island, I just pushed a sharp tool into the PCV to create tiny holes and glued the trunks into it.

Step five: Textures

Final modelling step was to apply textures. First I filled gaps and surrounding areas between stones with AK Interactive Concrete from diorama series. I then covered rest of the island with Vallejo Desert Sand texture.

Painting:

Sandy beaches, rocky coast and vibrant blue water around. With such theme in mind I started the paint job. 

Basics:

First step was to undercoat the islands black and then airbrush white all over it to create a nice base for both water and sand colors. 

Sand:

Sand was painted using airbrushed Vallejo Desert Sand, followed by Light Brown and finally drybrushed with Ice Yellow.

Rocks:

Rocks followed with a similarly easy recipe being airbrushed Vallejo Dark Panzer Grey, Cold Grey, Pale Grey Blue and drybrushed Ghost Grey.

Water:

Here’s the tricky one. I decided to go hard with stencil airbrushed Vallejo Light Sea Blue, Magic Blue and spots of airbrushed Army Painted Blue Ink. I then sealed it with airbrushed Gloss Varnish.

Final touches:

I added some final touches by manually applied AK Interactive effects creating waves and water foam. To add a nice color diversity on top of the island I also applied Gamers Grass Dry Green and Swamp tufts. Pal trees got finished with Shady Green tufts from Paint Forge.

First two islands discovered, I’m ready to head up for the unknown waters. More scenery to come, following the same template. If you stick a while at my blog you’re bound to see more islands and other scenery types, including deadly rocks and shipwrecks. Be sure to visit Scarhandpainting next time you hit a port! Ahoy!

Scarhandpainting

Review: AK Interactive Diorama Series

Introduction:


AK – Interactive – a Spanish company behind a well established series of products for modelers. They managed to become one of the most recognized brands in the modeling world with continuously evolving range of paints, brushes, weathering products and effects.  I have been a fan of their products for years now. Recently I decided to take another step and expand a range of  texture paints at my disposal. Knowing the quality of AK’s products and lured by sweet pricing I went berserk and got a lot of Diorama Series textures. 
Now I’m here to share my impressions. 

Usually I do the entire Quality, Visuals, Functionality thing. This time though I decided to take a different approach and just jump right into testing the actual products, with pictures taken at every step. Consider this to be a Review/Tutorial hybrid. I will share my thoughts in the summary, so no worries 😉

Terrains Asphalt

Very happy with this one. Not too grainy. Perfect coloration. Two steps process with a final touch of white markings airbrushed through a stencil. End result – very satisfactory.

Terrains Dark Earth

Say goodbye to sand on PVA glue! This puppy is now my favorite two-steps basing for fantasy miniatures!

Terrains Dry Ground

Would have never expected to go with such a color, but seeing the end result I’m getting strong Star Wars The Last Jedi / Mad Max Salt Planes vibes… many possibilities! 

Terrains Sandy Desert

No need to explain – just look at this! Two steps and your miniature is based on a desert!

Terrains Concrete

This one didn’t hit the mark for me. I expected a more paste-like, smooth surface. More of a Dark & Dry Crackle end result (below). Either way the product itself is solid, just not what I expected, thus once dried, I didn’t follow up on it. I plan to give it another go on my next project so who knows…

Dark & Dry Crackle Effects

This one required a third step to bring out the cracks as they are super tiny. The end result is very interesting. I’m sure that a mix with Dark Earth will bring magnificent results. Right now it looks like a trampled ground, or a road. Will definitely use.

Wet Crackle Effect

Well… not what I’ve expected. Tried few times, taking different routes. End result is pretty disappointing. So much so that I just skipped further work with this.

Light & Dry Crackle Effects

Now that’s “crackled”! Three steps and it looks great! I bet it would look even better with Terrain Dry Ground. Count me in babe! 

Impressions:

Working with these products was very comfortable. These are definitely high quality and very user friendly. I used a large brush to apply all the effects and simply cannot stress enough how great and easy it was! Growing up on Games Workshop’s products, moving onto these I felt like if I switched a worn out car for a new one, straight out of the factory! No more “fishing” for dry’ish conglomerates of grains to try and smear them onto a base. Nothing of the sort! Smooth. Great to use. Very easy. Zero stress. Just awesome! 
Now Wet Crackle Effect turned out to be a disappointment, but all the rest behaved as they should and brought awesome results. The rest is so good that I’m willing to give Wet Crackle a benefit of a doubt and assume I’ve used it incorrectly. Will go back to it at some point and try to bring forth it’s full potential. 

Other than that – these are pure gold! I love them. I will be working with them from now on and definitely prefer them over other products that I used until now. 

Price:

Price factor is very important, especially with paints. You know how it is – you spill half of it, then use up like a one third and the rest dries out 😛 Just kidding, still I’m sure we can all agree that for many hobbyists pricing matters a lot. Just take a look at this:

  • AK Interactive Sandy Desert 250ml = 8,95€ (10ml = 0,36€)
  • Vallejo Desert Sand 200ml = 8,5€ (10ml = 0,42€)
  • Games Workshop Armageddon Dust 24ml = 6,3€ (10ml = 2,62€)

What else is there to add? 🙂

Summary:

I already described how I feel about these products, thus without further ado let’s hear it: On a scale where 10 is awesome, 8 is good, 6 is ok, 5 is mediocre, 3 is bad and I don’t want to even mention 1 – AK – Interactive’s Terrains get a solid 10/10, Dry Crackle Effects get 10/10 and Wet Crackle Effect ends up with 3/10. Please note that I will revisit Wet Crackle in the future and if lack of cracks is on me, I will update this review. Either way – that’s AK’s Diorama series for you folks! I hope you enjoyed this little Review/Tutorial. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Cheers!

Where to buy:

You can get these straight from AK’s web store, or if you happen to live in Poland, go to a well equipped Vanaheim online store.

Scarhandpainting