Miniatures For Sale

Friday, February 13, 2015

WIP: Rackham Dwarves - Seashore Base

One of the guys I am doing this mini exchange with is from NewZealand. I decided to do his rock base first because I have prior experience with making waves...

Rocks were the first thing to do. I do these first to give the waves depth so if you get rock colors on some of your waves who cares. If it shows through under the blue later then hooray for added realism! The following colors were used for highlights...
 Then I shaded down with these colors...
 Good enough for now. We'll do more later. Onto the seagull with the following colors for the beak and legs.
Next the feathers with some reference material..,
 Back to the rocks with some pigments so they match what we put on the dwarves feet...
 Oh noes! I got pigment all over my blue water - oh wait, hooray for depth! Now onto the water...
 Good start right? Now the fun stuff! Attach the dwarve and spray it flat then start to work on the froth of the waves with some white stippling...
Oh look, the blue reflections make sense now ;)
 It's okay, but now we put on some heavy gloss gel to give it movement and depth!!! When that is dry you drybrush the frothy areas with white, mix white into the heavy gel and stipple it on again to give even more depth!
A lot of glare I know, but in person its amazing :) Now add some gloss varnish to make the rocks and feet look wet, the metals to shine and some satin varnish to the leather to give it that texture...
 Done! Can you believe that only took 4 hours?! Basing is fun and doesn't need to be super neat because it looks better and more natural if you are a bit messy.

Next Post: Display pics of this guy :) As always questions, comments and critiques are welcome and remember; you can't spell paint without a little pain ;)


  1. That's flippin' awesome, man! Really dig how that turned out!

    1. Thanks! I have to admit these really surprised the crap out of me. EVERYTHING WENT EXACTLY AS PLANNED o_O Now go do up some test minis for the alpha legion. That color scheme is a byatch, but I bet you can come up with some creative stuff ;)

    2. I did one of those once back in the sands of time...

      He said his name was Alpharius. I remain skeptical o_O

  2. Fantastic walk through! Great to see them come together and see the end result! :D

    1. Thanks! Nice to see the man behind the curtain huh ;)

  3. Love love love your base work Zab. It really pushes me to be more expressive in base techniques, and have fun with the pigments and washes!

  4. Your skill is totally not in doubt, the work on these is awesome. both the figures and the bases on this project look fantastic.

    For me however (and it's not a dealbreaker I would "fix" but something to look for in future endeavours) The bases and their bright blue overwhelms the composition a little, with so many of the other colours being so subtly blended and from a muted palette.

    I'd probably have gone (in hindsight) for a deep green ocean to work with those lovely green lenses and not overwhelm the piece.

    That said, I can see the blue working with some of the yellows, it's just the vibrancy balance is a little too high on the sea for me.

    Of course it could be the cold/warm balance on the camera amping up the blue, in which case, ignore me :)

    and all that said, its still a really lovely piece I'd be proud to have pulled off myself.

    1. Thanks, and I don't disagree. In hindsight I would have used more blue greys or more green greys. I think another part of it is that the heavy gloss gel really makes the mid tones pop and blows out the contrast. It's a bit more subdued in real life.

  5. Again, splendid work in your bases. Any particular painter you have been inspired by and are learning from (e.g. tutorial videos and the like)?
    Your work has visibly improved over the past year and it was already good to begin with. Nice!

    1. Thank you :) I like all the work at Massive Voodoo and 5th Dimension, plus there are a whole bunch of guys I hang out with (virtually) over on Cool Mini or Not in the WIP threads that have helped me improve a lot. Also, Arbal from Colored Dust and pretty much anyone form Chest of Colors, James Wappel, Meg Maples, Mr Lee from Mr. Lee's Painting Emporium, and Jen Haley are also inhumanly good painters as are the artists (like Dave Taylor) who take part in the NOFC charity armies every year - my blog roll is bursting with talented folks and their blogs and they have all helped inspire me to reach for new heights and try new things :)


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