Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lizardmen, and a how-to...for beginners!

Added seven Reaper "Dark Heavens Legends" lizardmen.  I believe these are old school and must have been replaced, hence the "legends" bit in their name.  I'm not up to speed with Reaper's catalogue listings.

Step 1: Simple.  Find a common base you'd like to use for your miniatures.  I use 25mm round (1") Renedra plastics.  In retrospect I should have considered washers because I like the ability to use magnet strips to transport stuff - but oh well.  I trim the bases to fit (removing plastic bases on pre-paint miniatrues with hobby clippers, hobby knives, and files.  Bigger monsters I mount on 40mm rounds (used to take up 2x2 squares).  Originally I had planned on 50mm squares, but found they don't fit in all of my 50mm corridors (leading to scraping/binding etc.).  So the 40mm give me a little lee-way.  I use loctite gel super-glue for all of this stuff.

Step 2: (Not pictured!) I forgot to take a pic of this, but oh well.  Apply a good glue (I prefer Elmer's wood glue, or wood glue max) to the base. I first apply a couple of pieces of cut up sprue which provide the look of some bricks or pieces of crumble hallway.  Then I dip the base in a mix of three sizes of ballast.  One is a finer sand-like ballast, the other two are slightly larger rocks.  When finished, let the base dry.  I do not apply this material to the edges of the base.

Step 3: Prime.  I use whatever primer I have on hand, but I normally prefer Army Painter black primer.  You can see the base texture in this figure's base now.  The layers of primer, paint, and dip help solidify the base materials.

Step 4: Simple paintjob.  This one was particularly rushed, and I didn't really do much detail on it.  Some hero characters I tend to spend a lot more time (smaller brushes etc.).  I occasionally shade a tiny bit, and use a good bit of dry-brushing depending on the model.

Step 5: Dip.  I use Army Painter medium shade.  I use pliars to dip the entire miniature - including the base.  The dip applied to the base really helps seal all of the rocks and ballast to the miniature.  I actually dip my stuff inside and use cut up paper towel pieces to carefully draw out excess dip (instead of going outside and shaking the miniatures off etc.).  Let this sit for at least 24 hours, preferably under a fan.  Check back in about 30-40 minutes for any large pools of dip.  I occasionally miss some, but it's not too big of a deal.  If needed, once flattened you can go back over the minis with paint.

Step 6: Flat and base.  Using Army Painter anti-shine I go over the characters quickly.  Do not apply too much and be careful of atmospheric conditions.  Sometimes I find in heavy humidity the anti-shine dulls everything too much and turns them grey.  You'll end up re-painting a bit if this happens.  Once flattened...give them 10 minutes and begin the bases.  I dry brush using German Feldgrau from Vallejo...then followed by Neutral Grey drybrush.  When completed I go around the base edge with Feldgrau again.  Colours obviously can be personal preference.

Lizardmen ready to go.
As you can see, the process is really just a combination of cheating...and tricks.  No talent required to get very reasonable looking miniatures.  One thing I like about the dip is that - when applied to all of your models - it brings all of your models into the same colour range.  It links all of the models together with a common shade effect.  The steps might be a little tiresome some times, but the results are often very good without much time or effort involved.
As mentioned before I take a lot more time on single hero figures, and monster figures.  But the steps are the same - just more careful or ornate brushwork, a few more colours and paint details usually.

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