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Double-Ended Brushes – IN STOCK AND FOR SALE!

I have been developing a new paintbrush for blending and general use that aims to solve some of the problems that a lot of painters have with any two-brush technique, namely that you have to HOLD two brushes, or you’re constantly picking up and putting down brushes, or putting them in your mouth to hold.

If that’s ever been you, this new brush will solve your problems.

This brush is a high-quality Kolinsky Sable (the finest natural hairs for painting) brush equivalent to a Windsor Newton Series 7 or Raphael 8404, but instead of getting one brush for $10-12 dollars you get a brush on both ends for only $15 (a savings of 25% versus buying two brushes). The BIGGEST advantage to having a double-ended brush is that you can focus on painting, and less on holding your brushes and taking your attention from the miniature.

It means that if you can twirl a pen in your fingers you can have the convenience of two colors, two brushes and super-easy blending techniques in a convenient, affordable package. I’ll be working on some youtube tutorial videos for these brushes, but if you’ve ever struggled with two brushes you can see immediately the advantage to this design.

I’ll also be looking to expand the product line soon. Right now the two brushes are the same size on each brush, roughly a #1 size, but eventually there will be both smaller and larger brushes, as well as the potential to have brushes of different sizes on the same handle.


UPDATE: Featured Review on Hand Cannon Online! Thanks Ghool!


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Kids and Gaming – Second Opinion

Speaking as somebody whose 10-month old dropped a Destroyer on the ground today and broke the axe I think this article is very timely. Also, the first picture is awesome.

At the moment Jack’s favorite game is, “Can I Fit This in My Mouth!” which he’s getting very good at. Hopefully he’ll move on from there to other things, like, “Can I Put This Space Marine in My Mouth”, and “Can I Get This Space Marine Out of My Mouth”.

There was another article at Simple Dollar that raised the question of, “How do I teach my child Chess”. Basically the advice was start with a limited number of pieces and work up from there.  Interestingly this is the same strategy for teach Warmachine and Hordes that we use in the Pressgang. Teach the Battlebox, or even just the Jacks at first and then add units, more complex rules (arcing, power attacks etc). I’m looking forward to teaching Jack all these games, or at least trying to. Of course, if he’s into soccer then we’ll figure that out too.

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Painting Class Project – pNemo – Part 3 Finished

See Parts 1 and Parts 2 for the prior WIP pics.

I didn’t take as many pictures today, basically just this set of glamour shots of the finished model. Comments and criticism welcome, particularly of the NMM effects. I’m as proud of the work on this model as I’ve been on any model in my collection. I feel like a lot of skills really came together o this one. Obviously there’s still a lot of things that I can improve and refine, but for 3 nights (about 15 hours) worth of work, I’m very pleased.

Thanks for following along here!

Note to self – still need to work on photo skills.

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Painting Class Project – pNemo 2010 – Part 2

See Part 1 HERE.

As I said I am trying to follow along with the same model the many of our local players and painters got a chance to work with over the last weekend. When I left the model on Tuesday I had only completed the body of the cloak. Since then I have made a lot of progress, which I’ll try to lay out here, mostly with pictures…many pictures.

First thing I did was try to work on the other cloth, the cloak trim and the shirt under Nemo’s armor. I choose to go with a warm grey color since I knew I would be doing the armor in a cold blue. The base color was Ironhull Grey with a little Bloodstone mixed in, using Trollblood highlight to build the highlights and umbral umber to do the shading. Of the two grey, I think Ironhull is ‘warmer’ than Greatcoat Grey, but then I’m partially colorblind, so what do I know.

This next photo was where I decided to stop on the cloak. I could still play with the under-arm cloth, but haven’t yet. Also you’ll see in this picture I’ve undercoated the gold parts with Bloodstone I did this to try to give the metallic gold a richer color later, but as the painting progressed I actually started to do a Non-Metallic Metal, since it’s a technique I don’t know well and would like to learn! This was one situation where the zenithal priming actually really helped, since the thin bloodstone let the white primer show through and gave a sense of the reflections just to start.

After that was the blue armor, here’s the sequence starting with the basecoat and getting up to the final highlight. The transition is from Coal Black – Cygnar Base – Frostbite – Morrow White.

At this point I’d been looking at the gold basecoat and decided I’d try NMM. I went with a transition from Bloodstone – Rucksack – Sulfiric Yellow – Menoth white highlight – morrow white.

I’m still learning how to do this, and frankly still need help/advice on how to make the effect pop as real. I think I’m okay on the small areas, because the spot highlights on the little divots sell the effect, but the large part of the backpack sticking out needs work. Somewhere in here I also decided the gloves needed to be the same color as the undershirt and cloak trim.

Here’s the state of the model as I left it this morning. Advice, comments, criticism welcome!

Thanks for reading!

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Painting Class Project – pNemo 2010

This last weekend was a very busy one for us. My parents were in town and our son Jack was baptized, so understandably I was too busy to attend a painting class put on locally by Privateer Press Studio Painter Meg Maples. I was very jealous of fellow Pressgangers and other who got to participate and even more so when I saw the pictures from the event and their work here and here.

These pictures and the discussions I had with the attendees got me motivated to finally paint up the pNemo that I’d had sitting around for about a year. All these photos are from last night and this morning, so only about 2 hours worth of work so far.

I didn’t take an WIP pics of the base assembly, it should be pretty clear how it was made. This is part of a recent trend to make my Cygnar bases more interesting than just plasticard and silver paint. See this article about the Storm Strider to see the more complicated bases I’m doing now.

As always I started with zenithal priming. I don’t use the glazing technique that really makes this priming shine, but it is helpful to see where shadows and lights are, even if you paint more ‘normally’ as I do.

One thing that I heard from all the class participants was that Meg recommended using a #2 or #3 brush for blending and most of her regular painting. Apparently this is pretty standard in the studio, and consistent with what I’d heard form a number of other people whose painting I look up to. It’s also something I heard when I was developing the Double-ended Brush and I’m working with my supplier to develop another available size of brush more in line with a #3 sable.

Up to this point in my painting however I’ve not really tried to use a larger brush like that, so I actually had to run out yesterday with the baby on his first trip to the art supply store to pick new brushes. Since this is just a test project I didn’t go for the W&N Series 7 #3 (since it’s like $30 dollars) but did find these brushes: Utrecht Kolinsky (and actually this online price is 1/2 what I paid in store). I’ve only used the brush for a little while, but so far, for the price I’ve been very pleased, and I can see how it will affect my painting. Plus there’s just something satisfying about using a new brush.

Generally, though not always, I like to start from the ‘inside’ of the model out, so on this project I started with the face. Another reason to start with the face is that it’s probably the most important part of the model for taking the effective realism to the next level, one of the hardest parts of the model to get right and the one I’m likely to fuss with the most as we go along.

That being said, the formula they give in the studio guide in the Forces: Cygnar book is really good, and easy to make look good I think. It’s basically a layer of Midlund Flesh, followed with two washes of Midlund/Thornwood Green and Midlund/Skorne Red. It sounds counter intuitive, but as long as you apply shade color with some moderation the red and green counter-balance each other an make a very convincing shadow. The highlight is just straight Midlund again and at that point I was happy to move on.

All these WIP pics were from my phone, so you’ll have to excuse the lack of overwhelming awesome picture quality.

As I have been painting a lot of Morrowan Cygnar for an ongoing commission project see: Here and Here and as a result have really started to grow fond of a blue and white or blue and cream Cygnar scheme. My Cygnar has been much more blue and cold white/light blue, but I decided to do the cloak here as a dark cream color, very much in the style of Ghool’s very impressive Cygnar and generally following his shading scheme for the white.

This was after the initial basecoat and first shade:

I basecoated with Menoth White Highlight and shaded with a 50/50 mix of MWH and Gun Corps Brown. Again, I’m using a larger brush than I’m used to for this, and more consciously trying to follow the advice I heard second hand from this weekend’s class. Namely, blend perpendicular to the color gradient, rather than pulling paint through the gradient, use a slightly thicker than normal paint to blend with to avoid ‘bathtub rings’ (I was only marginally successful at this), and prewet the blend site if you’re having trouble. All this advice was good, not surprisingly.

I decided to punch of the shadows more on this model, since again, according to both Meg from the weekend and Ghool’s articles on the subject, more contrast is better.

This is after the second step:

and then here after another level of shade, this one with some Umbral Umber mixed in:

For not that much work this morning I’m very pleased with this outcome. It’s a little hard to tell in these pictures, but as I went along I was also punching up the highlights on the cloak, eventually getting to 50/50 MWH and Morrow White.

More on this model to come as I go along. Hopefully the other folks from the class will continue to post their progress too and I can try to keep up. I added this to my painting project queue in some haste, but it’s not as though there aren’t a lot of other projects:

1/2 finished E Haley

14 Tharn Ravagers for a now ended Journeyman League

Several hundred points of Pan-O Infinity

Updates to American FoW army for 3rd Edition


A whole bunch  of Legion

Second Mercs Faction

and an entire Borka Army still in boxes.

So there’ll be plenty to write about for a long time!

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Firestorm Commission – Finished

I was able to find time this weekend among my parent’s visit and Jack’s Baptism and party to finish this commission. I’m pretty pleased with the way they turned out, I imagine since they’re pirates they accumulate a lot of ‘space grime’, hence the shading.

I like the bright blue weapons and engines, I think it might be interesting to do a ship like this with a much stronger OSL effect. In fact, an ‘accurate’ paint job would be just black with the lighting effect highlighting edges, since there’s not enough light in deep space to actually illuminate objects (one of the smaller issues with the way most space sci-fi is presented.)


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Commission – Firestorm Armada and Naval Games

Once upon a time I was interested in the Spartan Games game Dystopian Wars and I bought and painted a whole German fleet. I even went through the trouble of finding the historically accurate (for the time period) German naval colors and using those. I liked the models and the painting but never got to play the game and subsequently sold the models on to a better home.

I enjoyed the painting, and the setting, on paper, is pretty cool. More to the point, I’d been interested in the IDEA of a naval combat game for a while, I’d looked at Firestorm Armada pretty closely but never bought in, due to a lack of local players. Also none of the factions really grabbed me, though the Sorylians were the most visually interesting.

I have recently however been commissioned by a friend to work on his fleet of mercenaries (or what I think are pirate/mercs in the game). Maybe this will be the impetus to actual invest in the game a little, though I feel like it’d be one of those games where I’d have to own two armies to ever get any play, because I only know one other person (my client) who even has the models.

Here’s a WIP shot of the ships I’m working on, this is just a basecoat, the initial fade on the hull color and a wash to get a sense of highlights. Ultimately these will only be table-top quality, so we’re looking at adding lighting effects, highlights, cleaning up the wash etc but not going overboard on the details.

Andrew, feel free to comment here or shoot me an email with any notes on these.

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Double Ended Brushes Mentioned in PORTAL Magazine!

The Double-ended Brushes were mentioned in issue 20 of Portal Magazine. Very cool to be mentioned in PORTAL and thanks to the guys at Wamp-Forum!

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New Project – 54mm Andrea Update

More work on the metals and leathers on this 54mm Andrea miniature. The metal is coming along nicely, but I’m still not confident in my skills for NMM. If anybody has suggestions, they’d be much appreciated!

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New Project – NMM attempt

I’m making progress on my 54mm project model. I’m trying NMM techniques on the ‘armor’ but it’s the first time I’m trying it on this scale. It’s supposed to be brass/bronze. I’m following a color scheme from this post on the Privateer Press forums. I’ve done a couple much smaller models with a lot less metal on them, so I’m still trying to figure out how to make the metal pop as metal…I’m also not sure the chausses/skirt on this model should actually be metal.

So far entirely painted with the Double ended Brush!

Comments and Criticism welcome. Thanks!

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New Project – 54mm Andrea Miniature

So, taking a cue from Massive Voodoo I’ve decided to try something new, more elaborate and hopefully a little more creative. I’ve never tried to paint anything in 54mm scale before, even though warjacks and beasts are clearly larger than a 54mm human. The new challenge inspired me to try a more detailed and extensive base, which you can see here I just finished last night. I still think that I want to add details to the base, maybe some small creatures or a little more narrative about the model, but so far I’m pretty pleased. I definitely intend to do it up in a winter/snow theme, so even though there will be a lot of texture to the base, there will also be a lot hidden.

I’ve always been really impressed and inspired by the Massive Voodoo work, particularly here and here, and I hope I can carry some of that into this model.

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