Category Archives: Painting

To Do: Get My Hobby Life Back on Track

Man oh man, life can get hella distracting sometimes. My abundance of free time before the wedding has vanished so well, not even Kazaam could bring it back.


So what all’s been happening? Well, work has increased a fair amount. It happens from time to time when you work for a multi-billion dollar company. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to the powers that be for keeping me in a job, I’m just saying it gets in the way of goofing off is all. Life is full of problems like this.


Along with my 9-5 job, my freelance work has picked up a bit, which takes even more time out of the geeky schedule.


What little free time I’ve had has been spread to painting figures for an upcoming Armies on Parade competition at my local Games Workshop store, playing Borderlands 2, Halo 4, and Neverwinter, and attempting to impregnate my beautiful wife for family starting.


Anyways, yes, life has been hectic. I finally found myself with a night not so dedicated to other stuff that I’m able to sit down and pour my little painters heart out. But first, why the hell didn’t anyone tell me how great Borderlands 2 is? Actually, lots of people did, but I don’t listen. Mind’s all jam-packed with comic books, Warhammer 40k, boobs, college football, and plans to merge all of these things together. So far my plan is to cram my wife’s noggin with geeky stuff, as her female body already comes equipped with breasts, but she’s fierce of mind. Little by little, it will happen.

So yes, Borderlands 2, what a damn good game! I’m currently playing with my best friend growing up, and loving every second of it. It’s a great blend of fast-paced FPS action and RPG elements. My obsession with swords forced me to play the ninja-like character, though the download pack with the chainaxe wielding guy looks redonk, as the kids say nowadays. I may have to hit that thang up, yo.


The main thing I want to talk about this evening is model painting. I find myself more and more drawn to this aspect of the hobby. Buying stuff is always fun, and playing the game is a blast, but there’s such a sense of accomplishment that comes spending countless hours sweating beneath a burning light bulb, painting every insignificant corner of a 2.5-inch tall model that will just sit in a glass case for the rest of its days. Mmmm, so rewarding.


But seriously. Well, not seriously. Nothing in this blog is serious. But seriously. Spending hours watching TV entertains, but at the end of the day, you have nothing to show for it. Video games reward you with accomplishments, but as soon as you sell of the title or the game server goes down, it all counts for naught. But putting a lot of effort into a model yields tangible results. I can pick it up, obsess over the small details I missed, compliment myself over trying something new, and most importantly, actually hold the fruits of my labors. It’s how I imagine Scrooge McDuck feels every time he dives into his money bin, all cock loose and fancy free.


With this inspiration has come two things; fairly decent looking models, and lots of research. I thought to myself, “Boobs,” then, “Why not share it all with your readers?” Damn good question, voice in my head that sounds an awful lot like Paul Giamatti. Why don’t I?!?

First, I’d like to share my most recent accomplishment, my Forgeworld Abaddon vs. Loken diorama.

Loken Vs. Abaddon

This piece took me about 10 days total to complete, off and on, you know, with what little time I had thinking about stuff and working. What I’m most proud of with the final result is:
1) The bare skin. I’ve always considered myself poor at painting skin, and would avoid painting it like the plague. After spending a night researching, I developed a method which I’m a pretty big fan of, and (I hope) turned out pretty well. Now to learn paler flesh.
2) Loken’s armor. I couldn’t find a tutorial that I quite liked online (they all looked too sea green to me…sad that I know what sea green looks like), so just took a deep breath and made my own. I fell in love with the result, almost to the point of wanting to do a pre-heresy Sons of Horus army, if not for the huge expense and enjoyment I find in having my wife’s affections. The urge is still within me, but I’m strong…I’m strong…
3) Black highlights. I started playing around with them while working on my Disciples of Caliban ally force (which is now for sale btw, in case you’re interested *wink*), but I really put effort into Abaddon’s armor. Though I’m still not 100% happy with the result, it’s definitely an improvement over my original Black Templar models with their drastic highlights. Would that I had infinite amounts of time, I would repaint them all, and they would be glorious. Like, Kate Upton eating a Popsicle glorious.


So now the question arises. “Where did you find all these tips, Mr. Brad?” Why Jimmy, I’ll tell you. For $20. I kid! I’ll just link them, since we’re such good friends.

First off is this treasure trove of information called From the Warp. I found an article from this site randomly one night while Googling painting ideas, and wound up spending four hours reading stuff in one sitting. It’s brimming with great painting tips that will elevate the look of any model. No diggity, no doubt. In particular, check out the Creating Metal Effects, How to Paint Rich Skin, and a Quick Look at Layering. While I’m nowhere near as good as the author of this blog, this reading is definitely helping me get there.

Another great resource is The Art of Warhammer. This is a great place for tips for those who like to paint darker models, such as brooding Space Marine chapters to Twilight fan fiction dolls. In particular, check out the post concerning the Dark Angels Librarian.

Lastly, while I haven’t had a chance to apply this technique yet, the author of Warpforged Miniatures has a great article about painting Non-Metallic Colors for Minotaur Space Marines. Give it a look over and let your eyeballs dance in its beautiful e-flames.

Gosh golly willickers, look at the time! I better log off before I have to cut into my sleep. And you don’t want to see what happens if I miss an hour of sleep.


To Do: Get My Hobby Life Back on Track


To Do: Inquire About Airbrush Painting

One of the nice things about Twitter is that you can see hundreds of photos of players’ fantastically painted dudemens. I’m floored by the skill and, yes, I dare say it, artistry, every time I open my news feed. So shiny. So well painted. So, well, cooooooool. Take this image below…


These models are at least three points cooler than this, and I didn’t even know that was possible. I mean, c’mon, lightsaber kittens. “May the Force conquer that laser pointer.” So, with passion that rivals even the steamiest man sex in a Spanish soap opera, I study painting techniques and color combinations, hoping to make my models one day reach a level of awesomeness.

Recently, my world was thrown for a loop. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I just know that I’m confused, a little hungry, and not entirely feeling safe.


I was talking color combos in my local hobby shop with the gang of players that frequent the establishment. I say gang because, like the ragamuffins from _Newsies_, they’re all young, enthusiastic, and prone to breaking into song at a moment’s notice.

(Yep, that’s Christian Bale. Long before contracting lung cancer voice and battling villains)

So anyways, we’re talking about Games Workshop paints, when a stranger made what sounded like a snicker from the corner. I felt it rude, snickering like that around decent folk. Could have said, “Pardon me, but may I inject some word food into your conversation buffet?” But, no, just *snicker*. Almost as one, we looked up at him.

stranger danger dog

“You guys haven’t moved onto airbrush painting yet?”


“You should look into it. Games Workshop paints aren’t going to get you that look.”


And with that, the mysterious snickering man was gone. We searched high and low for any sign that he truly existed, but all we could find were two strange objects.



Full disclosure, I love “New Girl”. That show f#$ks my s@#t up, every time. When I learn to turn off my biological naughty language filter, I’ll make sure to translate those for you. Schmidt, I salute you.

Though full of snickers and potentially children standing atop one another, the stranger may have been also full of knowledge. Is airbrush painting the best way to go? Is it the only way to truly get fantastic minis? A part of my hobbyist heart sank when I started contemplating this change. There’s something satisfying to me about holding a paintbrush, dipping into paints, and having my hands splotched with blue and green at the end of my endeavors. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I feel powerful.


On the other hand, I really want my models to look as stellar as possible. I don’t want to hold myself back with “inferior paints” or practices. So, to gain more perspective, I went to Twitter to look over some of my favorite models by other painters. Then, as if inserted there by careful photoshopping or paid product endorsement that’d rival even Pepsi Co., I noticed airbrush paint bottles in the background. Not all, mind you, but in a couple.

So now, like a lost wretch in search of a memory, or me on Saturday afternoon after losing my parking garage voucher, I’m hanging my head in disbelief. I look to you, readers, to tell me how you paint. Do you paintbrush it up? Maybe use paints outside the Games Workshop range? Do you airbrush your hues onto your models to get the perfect effect? Throw them through a series of perfectly-timed sprinklers? I must know.

What I ask of you is this; either in the comments section on this article, or on Twitter (@cbmcgames), link me a picture of one of your favorite models, and tell me your methods/products. I’m dying to know what you all love to use in order to bring your models to life. If you do paintbrush painting, tell me your favorite paints to use, and a technique you particularly enjoy using (if you have a source lighting nugget, I’ll reply with cat pictures pulled from the internet as a reward…I’m very interested in toying with source lighting). If you are an expert wielder of air and paint, let me know the hardware and the paint range.

Until then, I shall wander the streets, seeking answers to questions without answers. Mystical, I know. I’m like a modern Kung Fu episode. No, I don’t enjoy asphyxiation. It’s a bit uncomfy.

To Do: Inquire About Airbrush Painting