Again, apologies for the images. The difference in light in them between Parts 1, 2 and this part makes it difficult to see the progress made. A definite learning curve for me in terms of this blog. I need a to create a small ‘studio’ space where I can photograph my miniatures under one constant light source.
Anyhoo, enough waffle – onto the Werewolves. At the end of Part 2 , they’d had a wash applied. With that now dry, I set about adding highlights, details and finishing the base.
First stage in the highlighting -I drybrushed each wolf. One wolf at a time I took the base colour used for that wolf and added some white to it to get a lighter shade of the base colour. With this colour prepared, I drybrushed the whole model.
To drybrush, you dip your brush in the paint, then remove almost all of it from the bristles. I do this by firstly wiping the brush on some newspaper to get rid of the excess and then using a piece of kitchen roll to gently pinch at the bristles, wiping the paint almost completely away.
The big question when drybrushing is when to stop wiping away the paint? Tricky to answer, but as a rule of thumb, you’re always better to wipe off too much paint than leave too much on. If you do the latter then your highlighting is going to look like it’s been slapped on and the paint could get into the recesses of the model, where you don’t want it to go. Practise on some old/spare miniatures and after a few goes you’ll begin to get a feel for how much pant to remove. Nothing beats having a go and learning from your mistakes.
With the drybrush ready, I then slowly and gently move the bristles over the raised areas of the miniature. the little bit of paint that’s left on the brush will then stick to these raised areas, lightening them and contrasting with the dark recesses where I applied the wash in Part 2. The contrast between shadow and highlight can really make the detail on a miniature pop.
If you dry and drybrush larger, smooth areas of a miniature, then you can end up with a rough, ‘chalky’- looking effect. Drybrushing works best on smaller, raised areas. As such, I focused on the Wolves faces, hands and feet, avoiding their broader areas such as shoulders and upper chests.
I then drybrushed these areas again, with a much brighter shade of their base colour, this time adding just a little bit of the colour to some white paint and gave a very light drybrushing over the most prominent raised areas (knuckles, facial features).
With each wolf now having had its body highlighted, I drybrushed their manes of fu and tails . Again, I used two shades but the second was pure white, to really bring out their detail.
Lastly, I mixed up a a lighter shade of their base colour, added some water to it make the consistency quite thin and using a fine detail brush drew quick lines of ‘fur’ on the broad areas of the wolves that I’d avoided drybrushing, such as their shoulders, chests and the other large muscles in arms and legs. If you follow the shape of the body, this gives, from what I think of as the normal viewing distance of about two to three foot away; a passable furry texture and it finishes off the highlighting. You can see the effect on either side of the back and the shoulders of this wolf.
Next up, the fine detail. I painted the wolves’ eyes using orange with a yellow iris, to try and give the effect of the light catching their eyes and reflecting back. Gums were painted a dark red, then fangs were picked out in a bone colour. Any tongues were painted a brighter red and then claws on hands and feet were picked out in bone.
One of the wolves is holding the severed head of his latest meal, so I painted the mangled torso in a standard skin tone, added a wash to shade it and then daubed on liberal amounts of red. The severed head had the same treatment. I add a final blood effect after the miniatures have been varnished (I paint on a Vallejo matt varnish from a dropper bottle to give some good protection and then use Army Painter ‘Antishine’ spray to give a second coat of protection that also gives a great matt finish).
I mix up a blood effect by taking a few drops of Tamiya clear red paint and adding drop of Army Painter strong tone ink. Mixed together this gives a suitably icky blood colour that dries clear and glossy to look quite wet.
Finally -the base. These Werewolves have been multibased onto an mdf base supplied by Warbases. I’d initially based them individually, but decided to multi base them for ease of movement.
To do the bases I pinned and glued the wolves to the base, (one is stood on some spare plastic flagstones I have from the Games worksop Garden of Morr kit), superglued on another bit of flagstone and once that glue had dried, carefully brushed on PVA glue all over the rest of the base and sprinkled some sand on top of this.
After leaving it to dry about 5 minutes (enough time for the glue to ‘grab’ the sand) I gently invert the base and tap the bottom of it to remove the excess sand. I then use more PVA glue to fix small chunks of cork to the base which look like rocks.
That done I mix PVA glue with water to get a very thin, watery glue that I paint over all the sand and the cork ‘rocks’. This can take a good few hours to dry, but once it has, it really effectively fixes the sand and cork to the base. You need dynamite to shift the sand.
I then painted the flagstones in a Vallejo Dark Sand, added a wash of Army Painter strong tone ink and once that was dry, drybrushed the flagstones with Army Painter Skeleton Bone and added some green for a mouldy look. The sand and cork rocks are painted a chocolate brown. I then pick out the larger rocks in the same colour I used on the flagstones and wash them with Strong Tone ink too.
When the wash has dried, I drybrush the sand and rocks with Dark Sand to bring out the texture. For a finishing touch, to break up the sand I glue some tufts in place, some Army Painter poison ivy and some small leaves. These are birch seed leaves and I bought a pack of them at a gaming show several years ago, but apologies – I cannot remember who produced them. They’re available from good hobby stores online though – or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can source your own: http://www.reapermini.com/Thecraft/24
And that’s it. Werewolves painted and based. No fancy blending techniques (cos I can’t do them!), just base colour, wash and careful drybrushing:
which sit nicely alongside my other unit of Werewolves:
I hope this guide is of some use, even with the poor photography and I hope you enjoy painting many of your own miniatures, too!