Thursday, 10 July 2014

Oldschool Dreadnoughts

Howdy folks,

When I was a young teenager growing up in Australia I used to read a British publication called "GM magazine" (and just in case you didn't know, the GM doesn't stand for General Motors, it stood for Games Master). They reviewed all things fantasy, be it LARP, tabletop wargaming, books, PC & Amiga games etc, but, they also used to show some of the "runners-up" of the Golden Daemon painting competition.

Well, amongst all of those lovely 2nd & 3rd place entrant's were quite a few of Paul Bensons' entries. His stuff was usually more than just a cool paint job. He was one of the pioneers of creating detailed custom bases..... I reckon he had shares with Milliput :). And just about every mini I saw of his also had some part of it either tweaked, swapped or modified in some way.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, I'm a bit of a tinkerer as well when it comes to miniatures, It's what keeps me interested in the hobby. Being able to create something different is a major reason why I still enjoy it so much.

There was one dreadnought that Paul Benson did that really caught my imagination. It was a pretty simple conversion, but it looked great to me. I don't have the original photo from the GM magazine, as I foolishly cut out all of the cool pictures as a teen..... their long gone now, sigh :(

But, luckily it was photographed and published in "Fantasy Miniatures 1988" (a publication put out by GW, showcasing some of the stand-out entrants to the Golden Demon competition).

Here tis, the one on the right. Face plate & custom flamer was all it took to make this a favourite conversion to me. The one along side had a subtler modification - rocket backpack - but it's a good illustration of how Paul Benson found it difficult to leave standard miniatures alone.

So, after that long winded intro, here's my "tinkering" output,

Here he be! I think he looks a lot more threatening in this pose compared to the original.

Here you can see his right arm has been straightened, as well as his legs.

I had a go at hand painting an Ultramarines insignia, as well as "targeting eyeballs"

I think for this guy all I did was straighten his legs.

And added the ubiquitous corny slogan to his body.

I'm quite happy with how this desert colour scheme worked out on this guy.

Apart from the obvious, I modified his legs to make it look like he's walking forward.

A scratch built Las-cannon on the right.

 And a MechWarrior rocket arm.....sorry, a "rokit" arm on his left!

For the 1st & last one, I tried to emulate the colour scheme of the Dreadnought's pictured in Dave Andrews awesome diorama:

If you look close enough you can see the "targeting eyeballs"

I painted these the Oldschool way......dry brushing several times, in between a couple of ink washes. For these minis I think it suits them.

So until next time,

toodle pip!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

My rusting & weathering tutorial

Hello fellow lead fiends,

This is a tutorial written especially for Axiom & Just John (and anyone else who's interested too for that matter), as they were too impatient to wait until I returned home from my holiday :P

There won't be any pics with this one guys, sorry, but I'll try my best to describe the process.


1. Pigment - Rust & Dark brown
2. Acrylic paint - I used Vallejo Rust & GW Scorched brown
3. Benzene
4. Oil paint - Black & Dark brown
5. Two old brushes, size 1, or there abouts.
6. Two small cups - to mix paint in.
7. One largish soft bristle brush.
8. A small dish that won't get eaten up by benzene i.e. glass, ceramic or metal.
9. Liquitex Matte Varnish.


Step 1. Prepare the surface as per usual for metal (prime black, drybrush boltgun metal).
Step 2. Clear coat it with gloss varnish. Let it dry completely before continuing with the next step.
Step 3. Into one of the small cups mix equal volumes of rust paint, rust pigment & water together.
Step 4. Repeat step 3 for the other colour.
Step 5. Using an old paint brush for each of the paint/pigment mix, apply the paint in a random fashion, using a stippling action. Make sure to wipe most of the paint off "drybrush style" before you apply it though. Make sure to use only one colour with each pass.
Step 6. Repeat with the other colour after the first coat has dried a little.
Step 7. Keep going back over it, alternating between the colours, until your satisfied with the effect.

Now, a few clarifications about this technique;

About the pigment/paint concoction, I do this for a couple of reasons, the first is that I find that when I use pigments on their own I end up with more on my painting desk than on the mini. The other reason is that I can control (with the brush) how thick/thin I want to apply it. Rust is an organic process -it should look irregular. I find that it looks a hell of a lot more convincing to me when I use this technique.

Once its all dried then I rub the rust back in places that wouldn't get a chance to rust up (such as rungs of ladders, handles, areas of foot traffic etc) with my finger, to expose the metal underneath. If I can't get into these areas then I drybrush them with boltgun metal to achieve the effect.

Job Done.


For this part I followed a tutorial over on Buypainted. The only thing I did differently was to go nuts with the oil paint, whereas he was only after small oil stains, I was wanting a more "oil leak" & worn out effect.

If you've never used oils before I'd strongly suggest that you give them a go. They weren't that difficult to use and they took a while to dry out so I had ages to work with them.

After I allowed this sucker to dry overnight I hit it with matte varnish. I didn't use Testors Dullcote because it's just too damn matte! Oh, and I sprayed it on too, as brushing it on would only encourage the paint & oils to smear.

And that's it really. If you've got any queries or questions about the process I used then ask away and I'll do my best to answer you.

Bye for now.