Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blood Bowl Team: Blue Moon Rising

I have slowly been working on my new Blood Bowl team named, Blue Moon Rising.  I choose this name because the Goblins have moon on their shoulder pads and I didn't want to paint them yellow.  So this team will have a beer theme when I start naming the individual models. 

I am also using this team to practice some new painting skills.  On the troll I attempted to do some wet blending on the chest, stomach and face.  It turned out okay however I have more work needed on this skill moving forward.

Take a look at these two pictures of the troll, one has a filter and the other one does not.  Overall I am happy with how it turned out and I have another one to paint so more practice in my future.

I took some close up shots of a Goblin so I could show how thinning my paints provides a better look to the model.  When I painted this model I just thinned my paints with water but I am currently using a 50/50 mix of Distilled Water and Flow Aid. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lets Talk About Painting: Part 4

This year I am creating new habits to improve my painting skills, one new habit that I am developing is keeping my brushes clean.  I have always kept my brushes clean however not my cleaning water.  I keep a Patron bottle on my desk filled with water and a splash of Dawn Dish Soap.  I would change the water out once a month if I remembered.  I have to wonder if I was really cleaning my brushes if the water I am cleaning them in is dirty.

I also keep a paper towel on my desk to wipe off excess paint for dry brushing and dry my brushes after cleaning.  I just changed out the paper towel when it just got to dirty to use any more.  Don't know why I just didn't changed out the paper towel on a regular basis I guess I just got lazy or cheap.

So the new habits that I am creating for my self are real simple.  First I keep my work space clean and organized for I can find what I am looking for when I am looking for it.   

I have a large marble tile that I use as my work space.  It is white to reflect more light while I am painting so I can see what I am doing better.  Next to that is a small ceramic tile (4 inch) that I use as a paint pallet.  It cleans up easy and can be replaced for less than a dollar.  Next to that is my paper towel to wipe off excess paint and drying my brushes.  So before each paint session I clean off the ceramic tile of dry paint and replace the paper towel with a new paper towel.

On the yellow bandana I have a clear bottle that I add water to before each paint session.  The water I use is distilled water with a splash of Dawn Dish Soap.  I have an old dish soap bottle filled with my cleaning water I keep on my desk.  I also will change out the water during my paint session after a few different colors, so I dump the water in the old Patron bottle I keep on my desk.  I also have a block of paint brush soap in a tin that I use after each color I paint.  The brush soap is something new I just started using and it does get more paint out of the brush then my cleaning water.  

I know this might sound like a lot of extra work to keep my paint brushes clean however it is worth the extra effort.  It really only takes a few minutes to clean off the tile, change out the paper towel and fill up the glass bottle with water.  Now that I am thinning down my paints and learning how to wet blend these extra steps are needed.  With wet blending you need clean brushes while applying the different colors or you will mess up the blend.  Also with thinning your paints you want the brush to pick up more of the pigment and having a clean helps.

You will also notice a brown bottle on the yellow bandana.  This is a 50/50 mix of distilled water and flow aid, this is what I use to thin my paints.  I have a dropper to suck up the mixture and control how much I put in my paint.  I will say the dropper that I am currently using I don't like, it is just a cheap one that Testors sells.  I am going to track down a syringe to start using so I have more control of how much of the mixture I add to my paint.  I also keep two different types of Q-tips out at all times while painting.  With thinning my paints I am learning how to paint all over again with my brush control.  I do make mistakes and the Q-tips can clean the paint up real fast.  The smaller Q-tip is make specific for models and I found mine at a local craft store.

Till next time, keep painting

The Soviet T34/ZP

I finished the Soviet T34/ZP tank for Konflikt '47.  This model came in the starter set and is just a T34/85 with a different turret.  The cool thing about the starter set is they give you both turrets so you can field it differently depending on the game you are playing. 

This was also one of the model that I used to try out my new airbrush spray booth.  All I did after airbrushing it was gave the model a wash of Army Painter Soft Tone and some additional dry brushing.  I added some rust on the fuel tanks and a few other areas using the AK Rust Weathering.  I didn't get carried away with decals on the turrets and kept it real simple.  It was a fun model to paint and will give me two tanks in my Russian army.

Warlord has announced more released for Kongflikt '47 and as they come out I will be adding them to this army.  After I finish a few other projects that are on my desk I will start working on an American force. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Konflikt '47: Cossack Light Walker

The Russian stater box was released towards the end of 2016 I I picked it up so I could get my Cossack Light Walker.  It is a resin model and required some assembly.  For game purposes it can be have an Auto Cannon or Light Anti Tank Gun.  So the model came with two weapon options.  I decided to replace the weapon barrels with some after market barrels used for 1/35th scale model tanks.  I know they are much larger however they look impressive on this massive walker. 

I also magnetized the barrels so I can switch them out depending on my list. 

I decided to airbrush this model so I could get a nice even coat of paint on it.  I also messed around with trying Zenith Highlighting.  I will be talking more about this type of highlighting when I get better at it.  It did turn out good however I still need more practice at it.

After I practice on the model I covered it all up because I did not paint the rest of the army the same way.  Once the paint was dry I hit it with a wash, Army Painter Soft Tone, and pulled out the details.  I decided not to do any damage or rust affects so it looks like it just walked out of the rift and started shooting at the enemy.


Lets Talk About Painting: Part 3

Thinning your paints is one of the most important things you can do to improve your painting.  The problem is no one can really tell you how to do it.  For me it just came naturally by dipping my brush in water and then using it to paint.  The more water I left on the brush the thinner my paint would be.  Learning how to really thin my paints became important to me when I started using an airbrush.  In order to move the paint through an airbrush it has to be thinned down and to obtain a highlighting effect it really has to be thinned down.

This week on Twitter I found a great article from Reaper about thinning paints,

I am also going to copy and paste that article at the bottom of this post for future reference.

The one thing I feel this article skipped is the importance of using Distilled Water.  The problem with tap water is who knows what is in the water and any chemicals can react to your paints.  Distilled Water is pure and should not have any chemicals added to it that will react to your paint.  I know some people are going to say tap water is just fine and form them I am sure your tap water is great.  I live in an area where the tap water is not so good and my house does not have a water purification system installed.  For me it is just easier to buy a gallon of Distilled Water and use it for Cleaning My Brushes, Thinning Paints and Brewing Beer.

In the article they also talk about Flow Improver to mix with water to thin your paints.  I use the Vallejo Flow Improver for airbrushing.  I use this on paints that I am thinning for my airbrush and paintbrush. 

The reason why people can't tell you how to thin your paints is every brand of paint is different and how you cared for that paint will be a factor.  So you will have to experiment with thinning your paint to learn how to thin them.  I will say learning how to thin your paint is worth the effort and will improve the look of your finished models. 


The Craft
Let It Flow
The Art of Thinning Acrylic Paints

by Darin Hlavaz

Often considered an advanced technique, the art of thinning acrylic paint forms the foundation of the mastery-level skills set. As such, most miniature painters come to learn of the technique later in their careers, long after they have mastered the essential skill of brush control. Unfortunately, this approach essentially amounts to putting the cart before the horse, for once a painter comes to learn how to thin paint, he or she must then endeavor to re-master brush control, often reliving frustrations long since forgotten. Had they instead learned how to properly thin paint from the get-go, much time and energy could have been saved for these artists.
That said, there's no better time like the present to learn this skill and to begin applying it to your own work, no matter if you're a fledgling painter just beginning to explore the vast art of miniature painting or a seasoned veteran looking to take your work to the next level. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get you started.
To Thin or Not to Thin?
For those painters concerned chiefly with producing tabletop quality miniatures, applying paint straight from the bottle is generally sufficient for their aim and holds several advantages. It's quicker, saving time and enabling the artist to produce more work in a single sitting. When the paint is adequately shaken or stirred, it's consistent in both color and application, which is particularly advantageous to war-gamers, who often paint large batches of miniatures using the same colors. And finally, for the beginning painter, paint taken straight from the bottle allows for better brush control, as thicker paint generally clings to the brush more readily and doesn't slip and slide all over the place.

Thick paint holds brush strokes.
However, for all of its advantages, using paint straight from the bottle carries a number of distinct disadvantages as well, and these are quite significant to those painters seeking to produce show- or competition-quality models or apply more advanced techniques.
The primary disadvantage of paint straight from the bottle is its viscosity -- it's too thick to be applied skillfully to most miniatures. Being quite viscid, it builds up quickly on the surface of the mini, which obscures details and creates undesirable textures, such as brush strokes and uneven layers. Miniatures end up looking like the woman behind the perfume counter at Macy's, their faces caked with color thick as plaster. What's more, paint straight from the bottle also interferes with the more advanced techniques of blending, layering, and freehand detailing. It adheres to the bristles of a brush rather than flowing smoothly, which, while for the beginner is a boon, is a major disadvantage to the master painter.

Thin paints apply in smooth, even coats.
Thinned paint, on the other hand, applies more smoothly and evenly, resists brush strokes, and, when used skillfully, defines detail, not obscures it. Much like ink, thinned paint flows readily from the brush in a smooth, even coat, affording the artist significantly more control. In fact, it is this likeness to ink that gives thinned paint its advantage. Rather than slathering on a thick paste, you'll now be able to draw upon your mini as you would on a piece of paper. Just consider the number of doors that opens to your creativity.
Unfortunately, thinned paint does carry one significant disadvantage. It's inherently difficult to control without practiced care and finesse, being readily susceptible to gravity and slips of the hand. Add this to an art that already requires a steady hand, and you soon find both seasoned painters with considerable brush control and learners alike abandoning the technique in favor of thicker, stickier yet relatively more well-behaved paint.
For those willing to persevere, however, the benefits are considerable.
Alchemy 101
Difficulty in controlling the paint aside, one of the more infuriating phenomenons for beginners learning to thin their paints is the lack of consensus among veteran artists regarding the best products and composition of thinning solutions. Any number of different painters will offer any number of different preferences, leaving an inquisitive learner bewildered and frustrated. What products should I use? How much of each should I mix together? And so on.
Yet, as with most hotly debated subjects, several sound principles exist, which provide a basis upon which learners can begin their own exploration and experimentation.
At its most basic level, the art of thinning paint requires the artist to add a thinning agent to the acrylic paint to increase its fluidity. This is easily accomplished by adding water, as acrylic paint is a water-based medium. However, several additional additives can be used to better the paint's handling characteristics and increase its drying time -- namely, flow improvers and extenders.

Different painters prefer different products.
Flow improvers, sometimes referred to as "thinners", affect acrylic paint in exactly the manner in which their name implies -- they enhance fluidity and "flow." Unlike water, however, flow improvers don't dilute the pigments within the paint but instead work to maintain color strength and vibrancy by suspending the pigment in solution rather than allowing it to sink, as it will in water. A number of flow improvers also adjust surface tension, which in turn allows the paint to flow more smoothly from the brush. Popular brands of flow improvers include Winsor and Newton Acrylic Flow Improver and Golden Acrylic Flow Release, as well as, believe it or not, Future Floor Finish. Future, mixed one part to four parts water, is commonly referred to among miniature painters as "magic wash" and has become quite popular over recent years. Most serious master painters, however, shy away from using Future and instead rely on products designed specifically for use with acrylics. Ultimately, you'll need to make this decision for yourself.
Extenders, also known as retarders, increase the working time of acrylic paints by extending drying time. By their very nature as a water-based medium, acrylic paints dry quickly as the water evaporates. Extenders help to retain the water, which provides more time for the artist to layer and blend. Extenders are also helpful in reducing "skinning" on palettes. Among the extenders, Liquitex Slow-Dri and Folk Art Extender by Plaid are preferred, although a number of other brands including Golden and Winsor and Newton are also available.
As with brand preference, differences of opinion regarding solution composition abound, though most painters tend to mix some percentage of both flow improver and extender with water. Experience becomes the deciding factor here; with experimentation highly encouraged until the beginning painter has settled on a recipe that suits his or her painting style. Two recipes made popular by award-winning artists, Anne Foerster and Jennifer Haley, are listed below to give aspiring artists a starting point. It's important to note, however, that these recipes are not set in stone. Just the same, many painters come to rely solely on the two proven solutions. Only time and a willingness to experiment will tell for you.

Anne Foerster's Recipe
  • 80% Folk Art Extender
  • 10% Winsor and Newton Flow Improver
  • 10% water
Jen Haley's Recipe
  • 25% Liquitex Slow-Dri
  • 25% Winsor and Newton Flow Improver
  • 50% water
Again, experimentation with these percentages and other products is highly recommended. Different ratios of flow improver to water and extender produce different results in different applications. Jen Haley reports she prefers an alternative mixture of 50% flow improver and 50% water when performing such intricate detailing as blacklining. Other artists prefer to use additional mediums such as gel mediums for other techniques such as glazing and basecoating. Patience and prolonged experimentation will serve you best. So, don't be afraid to play.
Absolute Imprecision

Different brands require different ratios of solution to paint.
As if a lack of consensus regarding products and solutions wasn't enough, most painters learning to thin their paints become doubly discouraged by the lack of precise measurements used by experienced painters when adding thinning solution to paint. The art of thinning paint isn't an exact science. Each brand of paint requires different ratios of thinner to paint for different applications, and as with solution creation, where scientific precision falls short, practice and experience must suffice. Be prepared to spend some time experimenting with different ratios and mixtures until you develop a system that works for you and the brand of paint you use. Don't worry; you'll eventually hit on something that does the trick.
That said, it isn't my intent to leave you in the dark with only whispered promises of perseverance's payoff. Instead, we'll take a look at how I prefer to work with Reaper Pro paints. From there, you should be able to apply the same techniques to whatever brand of paint you use.
For the sake of presentation, we'll be using Jennifer Haley's thinning recipe as listed above -- 25% W&N Flow Improver, 25% Liquitex Slow-Dri, and 50% water. As a general rule of thumb, it's best to pre-mix your solution, keeping it close at hand in a bottle rather than mixing each additive on your palette as you work. You'll save yourself loads of time and energy this way. In fact, a number of artists keep several different favorite mixtures on their painting tables for different applications including layering, wet-blending, and washes. Given sufficient time and practice, you'll most likely develop your own collection as well.
The Flow of Reaper Pro
Straight out of the bottle, Reaper Pro paint is one of the few brands of paint that work well without any thinning. It applies relatively smoothly and isn't so viscid that it builds up thick layers quickly. For this reason, many painters do apply it directly as a basecoat without any thinning. However, like most paints, it does require substantial thinning to be used effectively with a number of advanced techniques. Fortunately, Reaper Pro takes to thinning very well.
Unlike lesser quality paints, such as craft paints, which use inferior pigments, Reaper Pro paint has been formulated with very dense pigmentation that allows the paint to be thinned without losing its color saturation or ability to cover. Lesser brands of paint will become dull when thinned and will require several applications to achieve sufficient coverage. Not so with Reaper Pro. It can be thinned very aggressively and still come out looking beautiful. This is true of several other brands of high-quality model paint as well, but a vast number of these remain virtually unusable straight out of the bottle, being extraordinarily thick. Reaper Pro paint, it would seem, has the best of both worlds. But you're not surprised now, are you?
Regardless of its usability straight out of the bottle, however, you'll still want to learn to thin Reaper Pro paints, even for basecoats. The addition of the extender alone will make working with them much easier as they won't develop a skin as readily, giving you more time to work without shaking or stirring. Besides, thinning your paint makes your bottles go a lot farther, which means you'll have to replace them infrequently, which leaves more money in your pocket for minis. And that's always a good thing.
Now then, thinning your paint will require different ratios for different applications, and this is where the imprecision comes in. While many painters use eyedroppers to add their thinning solution to the paint on its palette, most do not use precise measurements, but instead work through intuition and experience. This frustrates most beginners who prefer to know exactly how many drops are required for basecoating or layering or washing. The key point to remember here is that it's the consistency of the paint that's important, not the precise number or size of the drops added. As mentioned before, each brand of paint requires different ratios for different applications. Here's how I work with Reaper Pros.
Basecoating1:1 parts solution to paint
Layering4:1 parts solution to paint
Washes10:1 parts solution to paint

Basecoats should remain opaque throughout. 
In terms of basecoating, the consistency of your paint should be roughly equivalent to the consistency of whole milk. That is to say, the paint should be fluid, yet opaque. You don't want to see any light passing through the edges of the pool of paint on your palette. This consistency ensures that sufficient coverage is achieved and that the paint applies in a smooth, even layer. A number of painters, however, prefer instead to forego this ratio and thin their basecoats as they would were they layering. Again, the choice is up to you.

Thinned paint for layering
should appear transparent at the edges.
For layering and highlighting purposes, you'll want to make your paints considerably thinner. I find a ratio of approximately 4:1 solution to paint is best for most Reaper Pro paints, depending on the color. Darker colors generally require one or two more additional drops of solution, while lighter colors often require less. Regardless of color, your end product should result in a consistency that resembles skim milk. The paint should be fluid on the palette and relatively opaque in the center. The edges of the pool, however, should appear more transparent, allowing you to see the palette beneath. If the pool is transparent throughout or the edges opaque, you'll need to adjust by either adding more paint or solution. Just remember it's the consistency that's key here, not the exact number of drops you add on the palette. Using the photos as a rule of thumb should help you to overcome any confusion.

Washes should be entirely transparent.
Finally, for the sake of washes, you'll need to become very aggressive, thinning your Pro paint to a ratio of 10:1. The end consistency should result in a pool of paint that is transparent throughout, enabling you to see the palette beneath with relative ease both at the center and on the edges. Again, it may be necessary to adjust this ratio depending on the color you're using.
With a little tinkering, the above ratios and techniques should prove useful no matter what brand of paint you use, though I'd advise you to proceed with caution. While most high-quality model paints thin very well, you may find that some lesser-quality craft paints quickly lose their color saturation and ability to cover. In these instances, you'll need to apply a number of coats to achieve sufficient coverage and vibrancy on your model. Just beware -- Some very low-end craft paints feature pigments that are not as finely ground as those found in higher-quality paints and, when thinned, become grainy and unattractive. You'll need to use your best judgment on how to thin and apply such paints depending on the results you achieve.

Easy Does It
By this point, we've come to learn how to effectively thin paints for use with a number of different techniques -- basecoating, layering, and washes. And while it is not within the scope of this article to discuss each technique in depth, it would be unfair of me not to make any mention of how thinning your paint will impact these techniques and, more importantly, your brush control.
Right from the start, you'll note the paint behaves differently. Being more fluid, it flows into the bristles of your brush with ease rather than sitting on top. Don't be fooled, however. Just because it appears that very little paint has been drawn into the bristles, doesn't mean that brush isn't fully loaded. You'll be surprised how much paint will flood from the tip of your brush with just the slightest bit of pressure. On a number of occasions, I've watched in dismay as a brush that I thought held only a small amount of paint released its payload like a bomb all across my mini. Don't let this happen to you.

Wick off excess moisture before painting.
Your best bet for avoiding the flood is to quickly dab your freshly loaded brush on a paper towel, allowing the excess paint and moisture to be wicked off. Don't worry. There will still be plenty of paint left behind. In fact, you'll be amazed how much paint a brush can hold when the paint has been properly thinned.
After wicking off the excess moisture, apply the paint to your mini using only the tip of your brush and as light of a touch as you can manage. Given its new fluidity, you'll find the paint flows readily from the bristles, so only the tip need be applied. Otherwise, you'll suffer the flood.
Indeed, it's so easy to flood your miniatures with thinned paint, that I recommend you practice painting on a palette or some other surface until you get the hang of how thinned paint behaves. You don't want to go ruining a good mini, after all, and such practice will save you from agonizing bouts of frustration later. In fact, practicing on a palette is also a good way of learning such techniques as layering and freehand detailing. So, don't be afraid to play around before attempting a mini.

That's a Wrap
Ultimately, the art of thinning paint is a skill developed primarily through experimentation and experience. There doesn't exist a "right way" or a "wrong way". As with most techniques in painting, you'll need to explore a number of different avenues and adopt those solutions and ratios that suit you best. However, so long as you pay attention to the consistency of your paint, you shouldn't have any trouble becoming proficient with this very essential skill.
On the other hand, if you've been painting long, you may find yourself revisiting frustrations of old as you struggle to regain your brush control. As we've discussed, thinned paints behave very differently from paint straight from the bottle. More likely than not, this will require you to relearn many of the techniques you'd thought you'd already mastered. Don't worry, though. The journey is worth it. All manner of new techniques will now be available to you. In fact, in my next article, we'll discuss in depth how thinned paints can be put to good use through layering. Watch for it shortly.
Until then, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email or on the Reaper forums.
Oh, and happy painting!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Airbrushing: Spray Booth

Part of my journey this year will include learning how to use my airbrush.  I was going to learn how to use an airbrush last year but I got distracted with other things.  The biggest problem I had was setting everything up outside and breaking it down when I'm done.  It was just a pain in the ass and caused me to just forget about it.  Well this problem has been solved by purchasing a spray booth.

For the cost this one came highly recommended by my local shop.  It is just a generic model used by a few companies just putting their name on it.  This one is Master Airbrush and was under $100 with the exhaust parts not shown in the pictures.

I went with this model and it fits nicely on my hobby desk.  I had some time over the weekend to try it out and see how it works and how my paint is exhausted.  For acrylic paints I don't plan to exhaust the spray booth outside however if I get into other paints I will have to exhaust it outside.  I set it up on my desk, the length is 19 inches, and put some paper towels over the filters to reduce the amount of paint exhausted.  I then place some paper towels behind the spray booth covering the fan to capture the paint exhausted.

So I worked on a Russian tank to see what would happen.  I must say it worked out great the amount of paint exhausted was minimal and captured by the paper towels that were placed behind the spray booth.

I even took some time to mess around with some highlighting the edges.  The pictures don't really show the highlights but it worked.  I will be talking about highlighting in future posts but for now I am just trying to get the basics down.

I also picked up some primer so I can start using my airbrush to prime all my models moving forward.  I don't mind using the rattle cans for priming however I get better coverage with my airbrush and don't have to worry about the weather outside.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lets Talk About Paitning: Part 2

The first thing new habit I started was taking care of my paints.  Just like our health or relationships we have to give our paints some extra attention.  If you watched the video in Part 1, Mel talked about how paints are made with pigment, binder and water.  What can happen when a paint is not used is those elements will separate and can cause the water to evaporate.  One of the reasons I don't like purchasing GW paints is not the quality of their paint but the paint pots are not airtight.  If you don't use the paint on a regular bases the water will evaporate drying the paint out.  When the water evaporates you can sometimes save the paint by adding more water and giving it a good mix.  If you can't save it then you throw it away. 

Knowing that paints have this problem I started adding a Steal Bearing to my paint pots.  Just like in a spray paint can, it is an agitator to help mix the components up giving you better paint.  Older gamers like me use to build a lot of metal models.  We would save the scrape pieces of metal and use those for an agitator.  Now days companies have moved away from metal and the few companies that use metal save most of the scrape pieces to reuse.  I picked these up at the local game store for a few bucks and I have more then enough to get put one in each of my paints.  The down side to these is when using them in a dropper bottle.  When you get towards the end of that bottle the steel bearing will clog up the dropper.  It is a small price to pay for better paint.  On the plus side the steel bearing is reusable.  Once a color runs out and you open the replacement paint (of the same color) just drop the bearing in. 

I also started marking my paint bottles after adding the steel bearing.  I am doing this so I know what paints already have the agitator.  Then I take a piece of clear tape and put it over the label covering the paint color.  I then take a black marker to underline the paint color.  

I started doing this because when you use a color a lot you can end up removing the print and will now know what color the paint is.  

These two examples are old paints that I have had for years.  I use the colors a lot but I don't use a lot of the paint so these bottles have been open and closed many times.  This issue is more developed from my bad habit of closing the tops too tight making them harder to take off.  Now with the tape I will not have this problem in the future.  

I will talk more about paint care in the future, this post is really just talking about adding the agitator to your paint pots.  This will help mix the paints better so you will get consistent coverage and color. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lets Talk About Painting: Part 1

One of my goals this year is to really work on improving my painting skills.  I feel that I am a good table top quality painter and can get models painted in a fair amount of time.  I am by no means a speed painter and I am not winning any awards for my painting.  I will say, I am just an average painter with some good skills and habits.

This year I really want to increase my skills as a painter while producing finished miniatures on a regular basis.  I know if I spend a week working on just one model it will look great but I will only have one model finished and it would take forever to paint an army.  I still want to paint a unit in a week and have some amazing models to show for it. 

One of the challenges learning how to become a better painter is information overload.  I can ask 10 people how to paint a certain color and get 10 different answers.  If you spend time on the internet you will get a mix mash of advise and videos that will leave you asking more questions.  What I am going to be doing is just documenting the steps and advise that work for me and sharing that on my blog page.  I am going to break away from just showing pictures of finished projects and sharing more about how I finished the project. 

"Getting Back to Basics" is a term that means starting over or something like that.  How do I start over if I have been painting miniatures for over a decade.  Well I needed to learn what acrylic paints are and how they work.  I found a great video from Mel, The Terrain Tutor, he has a great YouTube channel on building terrain and is worth a visit.  His video "The Science of Acrylic Paints" was helpful to me and provide an understanding of how the paints we use work.  This video helped me develop some new habits that will improve my painting that I will talk about in future posts.  I just wanted to share the video and I consider this the first step to improving my painting skills.

Model Workshop 2017 Bingo Card

One of the podcasts that I listen to is called "Model Workshop After Hours".  It is a group of painters that just talk about hobby subjects while they paint.  I would compare them to a morning radio station with more humor and entertainment then advise on painting.  They also have a web site that provides a verity of information regarding our hobby, Models Workshop

One of the things they are doing is a Bingo Card.  The concept behind the Bingo Card is to have painters break out of their comfort zone and work on different projects.  As you complete these different projects they are crossed off the card just like playing bingo.  The spirit of the Bingo Card is not to do one project that will cross of multiple boxes, it is to do one project per box and to shoot for a Black Out.  This is just one of the many tools I will be using this year to help me improve my painting skills. 

So they have 25 boxes (including the free box) so I have to complete 24 projects, that is two a month......