News: Help Australia's wildlife! NOCF, Australian Koala and Brushes for the Bush!

by Roman aka jar

Hi everyone,

due the horrible bush fires in Australia my heart is quite heavy and as far as I could I have already donated to support the fire brigades. Due the devastating size this also has a terryfing impact of the wildlife. I wanted to do more to help and I painted a figure, sculpted by Peder Bartholy for Robotrocket Miniatures: The Koala.

Link to raffle via NOCF:

I painted it with my emotions to the situation in Australia. It hurts to look at it,
but it feels honest, brutal and is real.

This piece
- called "Australian Koalas" -
will be raffled with the great help of the 
NOCF, Nova Open Charitable Foundation let me explain ...

I really wanted to raise as much help as I could with this piece and first thought of putting it up to ebay, but remembering the great work the NOCF does and how organised they are with their worldwide raffles I reached out to them for their help.

The Team helped me to find the perfect place I want this money go to as they helped me with the research. The donation of this raffle with directly go to

An Australian Wildlife Rescue organisation that is serving Australia's wildlife for over 30 years now. There is tons of informations on their homepage and they are doing amazing work right now.

The "Australian Koalas" raffle will be live for just one month, from Jan 15 - Feb 15, 2020. We hope each of you will share this raffle and encourage your friends and families to participate.

The drawing will take place on Feb 16 and the piece will ship no later than Feb 17 to the winner - anywhere in the world. As an added value, I will put the winner's name to the plinth and sign this one-of-a-kind collector's treasure. Ninety-Five Percent (95%) of every dollar will go directly to WIRES. The other five percent will handle shipping and paypal fees, just to have this transparent for everyone.

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Please also see the great initiative 'Brushes for the Bush', 
miniature painters, companies and furthermore are donating great material, painted figures and many more things to this good cause.

About Brushes for The Bush
An informal collective of hobby miniature painters and artists, focused around the OzPainters facebook group, coming together to raise much needed funds for those affected by Australia's current bushfire tragedy. Since we kicked off this initative we've had donations from the UK, Croatia, Poland and Spain, as well as all across Australia.

Thank you all!

Review: AK Interactive "Mastering Vegetation in Modeling"

by David

Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion on the book; I bought it myself and have no relevant relationship with AK interactive or the author of this book.                                                                                                      - David

The  book's cover

Hey all,

fresh into 2020, I am back with another review of a modeling-related book. This time, I will be talking about the booklet Mastering Vegetation in Modeling by AK Interactive. This is the tenth in AK's Learning Series, a range of small, booklet-type treatises on a number of specific topics and techniques in scale modeling, figure painting and diorama-construction. Inter alia, the series includes books on how to paint realistic wood effects, metallics, and skin-tones, as well as on how to use photo-etched parts in scale modeling and reconstructing realistic buildings in dioramas.

The table of contents
As the name suggests, Mastering Vegetation focuses on using greens such as grass, trees, shrubbery and moss in miniature scenes. In addition to a brief introduction, in which some general thoughts on the aspect of vegetation in modeling are raised, the book's remaining four chapters introduce a wealth of different materials that can be used to reproduce plants in model scenes. The brief Chapter 2 presents an overview of general modeling tools and materials such as tweezers, putty, glues and leaf punches and their use for the modeling of vegetation. Chapter 3 introduces a wide range of different modeling materials to represent plants in model scenes. Next to the obligatory discussion of how to use static grass and tufts, as well as a survey of various ready-made products such as injected-plastic, photo-etch and laser-cut plants and leaves, the chapter includes a number of suggestions how to replicate various types of plants by using simple household items, such as creating moss from grating a kitchen sponge. The two pages of Chapter 4 are titled "Importance of the Paint to Integrate" and briefly deal with pulling together the scene by painting ready-made or scratch-built materials a in coherent colors. The fifth and by far most extensive chapter presents on 47 pages a multitude of suggestions how to use the materials introduced in Chapter 3 to replicate different plants. This ranges from the assembly and painting of ready-made vines, water-plants and laser-cut paper fern to scratch-building six different types of trees (including birches, pines and palm trees) up to the creation of special effects such as burned wood, and the representation of terrain in which the various plants are at home.

Introducing different materials: glues ...

... and spices and feathers for leaves, hemp ropes for grass, and 3D plants.

The book comes as a soft-cover volume, printed on rather thick and glossy paper. Its binding leaves a strong and  sturdy impression and I would be surprised if it wouldn't resist all but the roughest handling. All throughout the book, concise and to-the-point texts are combined with clear pictures that present the materials and individual steps to achieve a certain effect in a clear and easy-to-follow way. The "how to"-parts are interspersed with pics of real-life vegetation examples as an illustration of what is represented in miniature and as inspiration for additional uses of materials and techniques presented. Since this is not the first book on vegetation in modeling I have read, there were few things in the book that were radically new to me. However, the book still has much to teach, for instance how to make brilliantly-looking corn stalks, or how to create the bark of palm tree trunk using masking tape. Moreover, the book's pictures, both of the modeled scenes and the real-world examples, sparked lots of inspiration for future projects.

First part of the massive fifth chapter: how to make rushes and dry grass.

As all contributions to the Learning Series, Mastering Vegetation is a small book, measuring 24 by 17 cm and containing 84 full-colored pages. As such, it not only fits in the smallest hobby-library; it also is an excellent traveling companion - e.g., when you're on the road to a painters' meeting. The relatively small size means that most pictures are relatively small as well, and the accompanying texts are rather brief. This does not impinge on the quality and usefulness of the illustrations and explanations; but at times, I would have preferred a little more extensive descriptions. The small size also limits a bit the range of topics that can be covered. The book does not provide much insights on the composition of vegetation, that is, how to achieve natural-looking and convincing scenes by positioning and grouping plants in certain ways. Also, besides a few lines and a useful table on page 5, there is no discussion of the impact of different scales on the modeling materials. Finally, and as a minor issue, the copy-editing could have been a bit better.

How to make corn fields!
How to make palm trees!

That being said, I highly recommend the tenth volume of AK Learning Series to figure painters and modelers who want to take their use of greenery to the next level. While the discussions are mainly focused on larger scenes, such as dioramas and vignettes, the techniques will also useful for smaller bases, such as those used in tabletop gaming.

Beginners and intermediate modelers are likely to make most of the book's presentation of materials and their use. But I would be surprised if advanced hobbyists wouldn't also benefit from the book, for instance from the fresh techniques to create different types of trees from scratch. Finally, with a suggested retail price of below 10 Euros, this book is not only a useful, but also an economically sensible contribution to any hobby library!

All the best,


You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Review: Basing Workshop, Augsburg, Germany

by Roman aka jar

"A class with Roman is always a special event. On this weekend I learned a lot about a proper planning and how it can realise a project in a different way I would normally do. 
But the best thing was the boost of motivation. Romans teaching and the overall atmosphere on the workshop showed me why I love to paint and that's a good thing to be reminded at some point or another." - Thomas

"Apocalypse, nature returns! What a setting, how could one not join? Five fellow miniature painters followed the call. The workshop took part in the Massive Voodoo studio and what to say... the ambience perfectly fitted the topic of this workshop. As always on Romans workshops, you see familiar faces from former workshops. Long time no see, but you always remember. Memorizing names this time was even easier than in the past if 50% are called Thomas ;).

The well-structured workshop started with some theory: Composition of a base, how to read a base, hot spots and a conceptional phase. It turned out that this was the most important part, because the basic design was created. It accelerated the latter assembly massively. In earlier workshops, it was not so much important to create some nice bases. A detail more or less was not so important because the focus was different. But this workshop is all about the details! Of course, creating a base is a journey where you add/change some smaller details but not the whole story. I think the most of us who attended will never start a base without a detailed draft.

The next day was all about assembling the base. Although you may not need a training for laying bricks you may feel like a brick layer. We learned how to create a realistic theme to watch out for the details that make the difference. At the end of the day we saw our drafts come to life. 

During the last day, painting the base was the main "work". It was the step where the apocalyptic theme evolved through atmosphere, bushes, toilet bowls, cats, air conditioners and grass. A lot of grass....

It was easy to follow Roman through all the steps and the past workshops helped a lot. If you don't understand everything at a certain time, fear not. Trust Roman, everything WILL make sense at the end. This was true in the past and Roman proved it again.

The workshop was also a great opportunity for me not to learn only from Roman but also from the others. To understand their view on the base. Thank you, guys, for that!

This was my third workshop with Roman. I du(ngeo)nno what will be next, but it will be definitively not my last. I was really happy to take part in the last apocalyptically themed basing workshop. A big shout out to Roman for this awesome workshop.

Happy painting"

Not-Thomas" Florian

welcome to this review of a Basing Workshop I held back in late 2019.
The last one with the topic "After the apocalypse, nature returns".

It is about time to switch the topic to a new one as there is so much more to tell about different usage of different materials and I held this workshop several times now and can only look back on happy students and great results:

Arvika, Sweden, english language

Augsburg, english language
Augsburg, german language
Augsburg, english language

Augsburg, german language

Augsburg, german language
Augsburg, german language

Instructor: Roman Lappat
Duration: Friday/Saturday/Sunday (2.5 days)

Basing is a very important part when it comes to miniature painting.
A proper display base is the stage to tell a good story and to present your models. Creating a beautiful display base means more than just glueing material together. It is about balance, harmony and compostion rules. You can learn all this in my Basing Class:

 Main topics:
- Learn composition rules
- Learn how to use the golden ratio
- Learn about reading lines, balance and weight
- Learn to sketch your ideas with a pencil
- Learn where to position your figure
- Learn how to use different sorts of material
- Learn to make nature grow on your base
- and more ...

Student level: Advanced

For this class you should be prepared with an advanced skill level. You should know about zenital light,basic color theory, contrast range and how to create a blending.

This time was not different.
A small group of students was gathering in the MV Studio and I love to teach this class there. As a teacher I got everything I need just in handreach and with this fact I can fullfill every students individual wishes in material and tools alike.

Tons of superglue :)

Friday night was big theory night about composition rules and how to plan and concept an idea including all that was learned before ...

Minor preperations started this night too ...

Night appeared on the sky with some stars ...

It was time to put the composition rules to a test in real size ...

Saturday morning appeared faster than expected ...

We started to work in the morning in three stages of work flow that make absolute sense when it comes to large base building...

Many thanks to the support in class material goes to

Saturday was a full working day with individual training and guidance from my side ... until the night appeared again ...

Creative Chaos in the studio ...

On Sunday we started priming the bases and started painting them ...

I want to thank you, gentlemen
for the great and creative time spent together.
It has been my absolute pleasure to see your bases grow and to hear all the "click moments" in your head. One Thomas is missing on the photo though. Overall we have been one teacher, five students ...

Your basing results speak for themselves ...

Keep on happy painting!

You can find more information
about upcoming group workshops via this banner

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.