Small Example On The Importance of Light...

by -Matt Cexwish-


Shortly before this amazing Year comes to and end and brings a whole new, exciting Year with it, I found this very interesting Project... It shows, how our perception of the same face can change dramatically with the Light Situation (to be fair, the Girl changes some small Gestures, but the Scene and Setup remains the same...)... So for Miniatures, where we mostly use a Zenithal Light that comes from above, the Project shows that there is much more to explore... The Painting stays the same, only that you can manipulate the Dramatic Impression of a Miniature by far...

Happy New Year 2014 everyone! :)

Portal 35 arrived!

by Roman aka jar

"Hey Roman,

Hope all is well with you guys in the jungle and that your holidays have been great.
I wanted to let you know that Portal 35 is available on the WAMP website for free download. For some reason the email announcing that it's available hasn't been sent yet, and I was hoping you could post a shout out to all your fans & followers on MV.

All the best,

Sure I do, Chris!
We are still in the middle of holidays and the jungle will be quiet silent until the early start of 2014. Regaining energies, calming the head, enjoying home and holidays :)

Keep it up, nice work with this issue!

Christmas time

by Roman aka jar

Merry Christmas!

by Raffa

Ho ho ho!

Yes, another year has almost passed and as you could probably guess by the last weeks on the blog we are currently taking care of Christmas time with our families and friends!

We wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who supported us this year and say to you a Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a great, relaxing and good Christmas time with family and friends and get some energies back for your next crazy projects!

I think the next days will be very calm on the blog... but soon we will be back with full force jungle drums!

Best wishes,

Time Travel with Max ...

by Roman aka jar


sometimes you find stuff that is surprisingly from the past.
Late Summer this year Max aka Leichtmatrose our fellow monkeybrother was visiting us in our studio and we made some photos and videos of his figures. Also Max was explaining something new for us: Working with metal silver ink and oil colours ... Honestly I was not able to give it a try yet as the year 2013 kept me so busy with way too much stuff. Sad. Poor me, but it is a pleasure to roll back in time to see the photos ... he is still alive, that Max. Enjoy!

On the horizon ...

by Roman aka jar


by Roman aka jar

I never believed I would write the name of this figure to a blogpost.
I really do enjoy those old sculpts of the company Ilyad Games, but sadly they are not easy to get anymore. The company closed a long while ago and figures can sometimes be found on the electronic bay. This is my second figure of my private Yliad Games collection...

... Virago, such a great sculpt by Jacques Alexandre and to say it with his words: "The Virago is some sort of psycho virgin warrior."

Well, yeah ... I found that character too in the sculpt while painting her.

Ilyad Games, 28 mm

I hope you like her! If you want to see that lady too on Putty&Paint or CMON,
feel invited to follow the links.

A little additional Kong Fu to this figure or more to the brand "Ilyad". As I find myself very often selling most of my painted figures this one here and King Epicles I did so far are going into my private collection of Ilyad Games Figures. Looking forward to making this collection grow.

So far from my table!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


Mu 40 - Beneath the Pyramid, NorthStarModels, 54 mm

by Roman aka jar

 Hello MV readers,

you did choose the next Miniatures Unpacked:

Beneath the Pyramid by NorthStarModels.

76 Comments have been placed by you for the voting and one of you will be the lucky winner of this Diorama. Before I tell you the winner I want to announce a great offer from NorthStarModels:

"Hi, Roman! 
I just read the voting of your blog about our figures in details. We decide to give a 10% bonus in our store for all of your readers - by the code massivevoodoo-2014-happy-new-year (from now to 2 Jan 2014, except sale items) Hoping it is would be a small comfort for your readers who don't win a figure from your review..."

That is very kind of NorthStarModels. Thank you very much in the name of our readers. So, now let's find out via which comment is the lucky winner: Number 33 - Luthien is the winner! He also voted for the Unpacking of this set ... lucky you! Please write an email to jarhead---at---massivevoodoo---dot---com with your postal adress to see the set shipped to you soon!

Let's get it on with opening the box ...

Inside you find everything packed well ...

Unpacking every single part brings you nine pieces to build up that diorama:

First thing I recognize are the cool egyptian columns ...

As you can see there is still a rest from the casting process beneath the pyramid ... uhm, I mean at the bottom of the column pieces. This is pretty thin so it is easy to remove. You can also find some of those at the figures, when you look at the detailed, thinner arm pieces.

I really enjoy the columns as they are full with lovely detail. I did build up the scene in the end of this review and all I can say about the columns: I wish there would have been more to really build up that scenery with the same looking stuff as it might get pretty hard copying or resculpting some more of those fine egypt artwork.

As I was talking about the mould lines from the casting process on the detailed arms, here is a good example (picture below). There are some, but as the material is very kind when it comes to clean it up they can easily be handled with a knife and some fine sandpaper.

Having a closer look on the mummy. Three parts and it is ready. As you can see that set is not too complex to build up so it is also a nice set for painters who are not so experienced. The mummy is of course full  of linen. At most of the places I do enjoy how they are placed at the monster, but on the chest I am a bit confused and I think I would find the same confusion also while painting that area.
Also there are some thin mould lines on the linen parts, which will be a pain in the brain to clean up.

As the mummy isn't the main actor in that diorama we will now have a look on the beautiful Egypt lady that is preparing to chase the monster. I really like the detail of the sculpt and her bodyforms. I am not sure about the hair just ending perfectly in place on her nipples, but sometimes it has to be like that I guess. Sad. Also a mould line on her leg caught my attention but definatly not one who brings pain to the brain. This is easy to remove by some fine sandpaper as the area is big enough to work properly on it.

Next step is taking a closer look on the diorama in "Setup-Mode". For this I used Pattafix (Bluetac) to just give you all a quick impression on how the scene looks in the end. It is not perfectly placed, for example the lady is really leaning on the column, but I wasn't able to do so with only two hands.

I think the scene brings a lot of tention to this dangerous moment that is shown here.

For the base I would really have a vase or some more column pieces added to the scene. Sure you can do a lot with sand under a pyramid but I miss some detail parts. I guess I could easily find something from another brand but somehow it would be cool to have some options inside the box already.

I really do enjoy the exciting moment that this diorama shows, even I do ask myself, what is that leg of hers doing in the air. I made some tests on my own by doing the stand she has, with the weapon and have to say it is not the most comfortable "ninja-attack-preparation-stance". But maybe I am just having a bad day today. Well, we remember, the Egypts had some strange moves back in those days and no one can tell what happened beneath a pyramid. EDIT: We found out it was my fault - check the comments for details!

In conclusion I can say I do like the piece! 
There is a little work to do with the cleaning but with such a limited number of pieces you might not have too many troubles. I really enjoy how fast you can create a very dangerous moment in this full diorama in a very quick time. I really could imagine this whole scene just with one light source from a torch or something ... this might get really athmospheric I guess.

Who will be the winner? Will the mummy rip off the flesh from this lady or will she slice the mummy in pieces! I like such moments in a diorama ... very cool!

I hope you enjoyed this little review!
Beneath the Pyramid by NorthStarModels.
Let me know what you think of the piece via comments!

Best Wishes

quote of today

by Roman aka jar

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
Oscar Wilde

Musica beneath the Pyramid

by Roman aka jar

Handouts for the netherland class participants are planned to be sent out tonight. Sorry that I won't make it earlier, but today I got the option to take all the class stuff back to the studio and clean that mess up ... I'll be on the handouts tonight, meanwhile ... my personal winter cave comes closer, I can feel it in that vibe:

The next Miniatures Unpacked was voted here!
The winner is "Beneath the pyramid" with 35 votes. One person of those who voted will have the chance to win it! I will let you know during the Miniatures Unpacked who is that lucky one!

Painting Jam 33 - FAQ

by Roman aka jar


Heyho fellow jungle travellers,

while I work my way through my mails I saw that another painting jam has to be fullfilled.
And here we go - another one for the collection of Painting Jam FAQs.


Liam asks ...

"Hi there,
I have been following you a lot recently on Massive Voodoo and on CoolMini. You are a great inspiration. I have taken a few years away from painting and looking to get back... But as you probably know... It get's a little scary after some time off =0).

I was wondering if you could tell me about your basing?(A) Do you hand make most of your bases? (B)(the scenery) Such as the base of your Soul Guardian or Ancient Hero Maulg? I was also looking at Ana's Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer Prophet.... I have always wanted to know if people hand make the scenery or buy them!

Where do people also buy their plinths? (C)

Sorry for being so rude and just throwing 100 questions at you but where better to learn from? Especially when I consider you such a great painter :)

Thanks for any help you may give me

Thanks a lot


My answer:

Hi Liam, thanks for the kind words about my work. Sure I'll try to help you as good as I can with my answer. I gave your questions letters so it is easier to understand ...

A) I am pretty relaxed when it comes to my basing work. I first have a basic plan (for example a forest or temple base), then I search in my collection of stones, bones and other materials. Collect everything toegether and than start basing without to hard sticking to the detail plan. I always try to let the base grow from itself. For me that means, if something breaks or changes during the progress I'll let it be and just say to myself: "Everything happens for a reason!" Then I keep going and finish the base. That makes me a truely happy painter as things grow from itself when you let them.

B) Yes. Most of my bases are handmade, also most of my gaming bases I do for fun figures. You can find a big collection of basing articles here in MV's basing tutorial section. Here the monkeys try to explain what they do and which materials they used for different aspects.

C) I buy my plinths at Sockelmacher, which by the way has a great new homepage and ships worldwide!

I hope my answers helped you.
Thanks again for the kind words.


Chris asks:

"Hi Roman

I have been a lurking follower of Massive Voodoo for a long time.

I don't get a lot of time to paint but was thinking of having a go with oil paints rather than my usual acrylics. You have one of the few articles I could find on painting miniatures with oils, and I wonder which oils and thinners you recommend.

Also, do you have any experience or opinion on Windsor & Newtons Artisan water mixable oil paints, I thought maybe as they are water mixable the would be more friendly to those familiar with acrylic paints? 

Many thanks


My answer:
Hey Chris,
thanks for being a part of the jungle for a long time :)
Oils can make your painting time - which is not much as you say - faster in your results. Don't try to paint the same way as you do with acrylics. It is a different medium and works different, but it is really enjoyable. 
When buying Oil colours I do not recommand buying the cheap ones from the supermarket sales. They suck. Been there, done that. My personal collection exists mainly of colours from the companies"Schmincke" and "Lukas", also some of "Rembrandt". They are expensive I know, but in the end they last for a life time if you paint miniatures with it.
For thinning I use the thinner from "Lukas" which I am pretty happy with.

I guess you already know those two articles from MV:

... and what you got to know for an easy start with oil paint, by Roman.
Andrea explains his way of using oil colours! Pure Essence of Petroleum, baby!

The suggestions of brands is just my personal stuff I got and honestly I have to say I am not a well trained miniature painter when it comes to Oil colours. I should and would love to do more but ... yeah I don't even have an answer to this :D - So maybe some pros could help you in the comments ...

On a painters meeting a while ago I was able to paint with the water mixable oil colours. I did not see a really big difference, but as said I am not a pro myself as I do train painting with them too less.

I really recommand, making your own experience with good equipment and a little more expensive colours to find out what you like and what you don't like. Learn, compare, paint, learn, compare, making experience ... this is what will help you and me the most when it comes to Oils :)

Hope this helped, even it does not feel so for me :)


Painting Jam out!

Private Practice Review: Güni

by Roman aka jar

Hello on this wonderful morning,

I told you that we are a little behind our normal blog schedule and while I clean up my emails I found this one by Güni. He has been our latest private coaching student, about 3-4 weeks ago and he was so kind to write a little review from his point of view ... let's see what he has to say.

Güni in concentration mode!


"Hi there,

on 26 + 27.11 I was at a private workshop at Raffa and Roman.

After the workshop, Roman asked me if I do not want to write a review
- now here it comes :-)

First things first - In May, I got a voucher for a private workshop to my 30 birthday from my girlfiend and some good friends. I have to admit I was expecting a lot of things but the workshop voucher was definitely not one of them.

After I realized that I'm going to have a private lessons with 2 of the best painters out there I started thinking, what should be the priorities, which figure should I take, what questions do I want to ask and most importantly is there so much new stuff those 2 could teach me, after I have been to their beginner and advanced classes?

Almost 7 months and 22 emails later it was all clear - going to the workshop! Out of sheer excitement (and of course because I wanted to learn as much as possible) I booked my train ticket so that we could start at 9 a clock in the morning. What I have not quite noticed was that my alarm clock
would ring at 5 in the morning, so that I reach the train in time.

At the Augsburg train station Raffa and Roman were already waiting for me.
After arriving at Massive Voodoo Headquarters we discussed the next steps and my priorities for the private practice.

Then the "work" started. As one of my priorities was the effective use of the airbrush it went off with it also immediately. The basecoat was hardly on the miniature, when I got the first tip "Use your airbrush just like a normal brush" - "But it's an airbrush?"
"Yes, just air brush" and see there, the results were better than they were before.

I must admit that I was a little bit skeptical in the beginning. Roman painted on a Mini while I was busy and Raffa painted the same figure as me to be able to give me better tips without having to demonstrate it on my figure.

Though they have said me several times that I can always ask and they are available to me immediately I have also asked myself "do they see if I do something wrong, so that they can give me the assistance for which I am here?"

After tips like "try that sometimes" or "do that rather thus" came over and over again this doubts were eliminated relatively fast :-)

The nice thing about the private workshop was that the tips and tricks were tailored to me personally and to my weaknesses, so I could learn very much useful stuff.

Two joyful days had just flown by, but the inspiration and the useful tips will last a lifetime!


The workshop was definitely not cheap but it was completely tailored to me and my needs. As so, my personal learning curve went up
extremely fast.
-> Clear recommendation (perhaps you have some good friends who give you a voucher?) ;-)

Greetings and happy holidays

Well, I can only say thank you, Güni. Thanks for being so full of will to learn during the class. It really has been our pleasure to help your painting level jump up to the next level. At a certain point DVD's, Tutorials and the internet can't help that much. Sometimes it is important to get guided in real to reach the next level - we were very happy to do so. Thanks for the nice time and a big sorry again from me about the pizza ;)

Keep on happy painting!

Home again ...

by Roman aka jar

Man... what a class it has been in the Netherlands.
Thanks to all who made this weekend possible and have been there.
It was so so cool to spent the time with you all and to see your progress grow while your eyes where constanst shiny with the joy of happy painting.

Thanks to everybody who made this event so viral over on facebook. So much feedback from you all is just awesome. I got to excuse myself for ... well, just arrived home yesterday and I am dead tired. A lot of emails are waiting for me today and I hope I am able to answer them all. I will ship the handouts to you guys tomorrow and the review will be online I guess somewhere during the upcoming weekend.

Time is just flying by and Christmas is getting closer and I am really dead tired. I am not sure if I will manage much more in the next days as I really need to hide soon in my winter cave to regain some energies. It feels I am two or three weeks behind with most of the things. I'll try to catch up but ... you know: everything happens with a reason!

So read you soon with more about that cool class ... and be sure I don't forget the random lottery of the Miniature Unpacked Winner - I will be on it!

Mind Force Musica

by Roman aka jar

Class is over now and it is time saddle the horses again to ride home ... but first a big slap of sleep for everyone!

Kong's WIP-thoughts - December #02

by Roman aka jar


While I am away on the painting class I still can use mind force to bring up a blogpost.

We are having a great time here in the Netherlands, but the language "dutch" really scares me... really, ... not, I am just kidding. Enjoying happy painting to the fullest on the class and when you have fun you learn best is what I am always saying.

So while I am away I use mind force again to grab into the past and dig out some Work in Progress shots from my table. The Ilyad Lady was finished, but I did not find proper time to do proper photos. You might have seen the Chaos Lord that went under my brush lately as a comission. Colour choices are not really up to me but I know that I already fell in love with him ...

Still it is a long way to go to finish this guy up, I am far from detail work at the moment but I am enjoying the painting as it is so freshly colourful. The armour is supposed to get black in the end. Let's see where this will end ...

Also in the back you can see one figure from NorthStar Models, the male Galaxy Defender in 54mm. There is no straight schedule on the paintworks of this fella, I know he will also get a black or at least very dark armour. I am gently preparing what will be there in the end, having the focus ... oh wait, I have to get back to the class, I see a raised finger in the air and a question on that face ...

Bye! Bye!
Mind force ends ...

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes