Tutorial: Magic Effects on Miniatures

by Massive Voodoo

Hi Jungle Painters,

The official end of the Year of the Painter
We can say that the christmas time already has us in its grip and we are calming down here on Massive Voodoo - so we decided that this tutorial today marks the end of the year of the painter 2014.

We really enjoyed to get you all more involved into the jungle and we want to thank everyone of you who voted for articles, left a comment here and there, linked and shared our articles, supported us during the year of the painter and is a regular follower of MV.

We will have cool content for you all in 2015 on your jungle blog - be sure of that :)
We hope you enjoyed this year as we did and we all of the MV-Team wish you happy painting for the time ahead.


Magic Effects on Miniatures

Last weeks Tutorial voting came out with a straight winner:
44 of you voted and the winner with 32 votes was "Magic", second by "Fail" and then "Tilda".
Make sure to know that the other articles will follow in early 2015, here on the same station, the station you love, the jungle of MV.

We will strictly jump into Roman's brain and hope to find some magic there. So from now on Roman will tell you something about magic on miniatures:

Well, magic, the stuff that wizards are up to. 
The stuff of legends and the stuff which you mainly only find on Fantasy Miniatures,
not so often on historical ones. At least so far.

Some miniatures outthere are screaming for magical effects as they are sculpted to look like being in the middle of waving a spell and I think it is cool to know some handy tricks on how to implement this magic than just painting up your model regularly. There are some Massive Voodoo articles already which are kind of connected to this topic and you should not miss reading them:

A guide that introduces Light that comes from a source nearby the miniature.
Article that shows you an approach on how to paint an energy axe.

Another important article collection connected to this magical article is the one about icicles and the one about water waves. We on MV are really happy to see many painters outthere working with this technique and experimenting on their own:

This article shows you how you can do icicles.
A look deep inside the blue ocean.

Allright, now let's start with Maaaaagggggiiiicccc!!!
First of all you need a project were you want to include some magic.
I started with a sorceress from the long gone company Ilyad Games in 28 mm that I am painting up for my personal collection. While I decided to do rather simple bases for these models I felt the need to include some magic in this one.

The progress already started while I based that model. I wanted to have some floating stones around her. My vision was that she is waving a spell that makes the stones fly high and I wanted to show the powers sorrounding her.

I used small white plaster parts and glued them to her fabric.

Next step was prming the model and starting to paint her up normally
- early WIP, mainly basic tones:

While working further on painting her I decided to put some magic in her hand.
Andy, one of our private coaching students suggested I could even bring this idea to some more floating stones and well, I hate him for that as it definatly was some hard and annoying work, but sometimes this is what miniature painting is. If you are getting annoyed by something, be sure to know that you will be rewarded in the end.

Ok, more small white plaster stones are needed:

Now we are using the icicle technique to recieve some small plastic strings:

If you did not hear by now we on MV can recommend checking back with your coffee machine's waterfilter when you have to switch for a new one or any other waterfilter. Do not throw the old ones away, open it and you will find tons of small balls in different sizes in it. You are not in need of those black charcoal pieces but the white balls will do your hobby good:

Now its time for superglue and the best friend of placing superglue in detail spots: the toothpick.

Ok, now bringing it all together: I used some tiny plastic strings that I cut in size, glued them to the areas I wanted to add balls or stone parts afterwards and waited until the superglue was dry. Try to work carefully here, do not mess up your so far WIP with superglue fails.

After the plastic strings were in place and all was dry I glued the balls and the stone pieces in place.
As you can see the paintwork on the miniature already went a little further and I decided to give the magical power happening on the ground some intense, saturated colour using Forged Monkey's Dayglow Pigments for it.

Next step was painting the floating stones to make them fit to the ones already done. This is where the really annoying part starts. In this stage you can also overpaint some minor superglue fails. Not the big ones, but the small ones.

I started to work on the source of the magic: her hand. I did paint pure white to it to see it later on used as the main powerful looking magical energy source. After this I used some glazes from purple dayglow colour, but made it a little brighter by adding a small amount of white to it. With this I worked on the upper area of the floating balls and stones and on the ground- and clothing work.

Now I was adding more and more detail to my paintjob around her. Working more on the light situation on her skin, hair, fabric but decided not to add a strong OSL as this would make this already crowded piece not readable anymore.

I rather focused on some more detailed edge highlights on the stones and some tiny white dots painting to the magical source area. Well, the model is not yet finished, I think I might finish it somewhere early in 2015, but this is her actual state and the magic used:

Well, you can have a lot of fun with these magical effects. 
For example this guy over here is waving a water spell in middle of a lava hell. Ppfff! Tssschhh! Yeah, right. The procedure went the same way as explained above but the plastic pieces were a little more bent while melting them. Give it a try for experiments, you will find a lot of joy and happy accidents in it. Take care of hot plastic on skin - been there, done that - it is just pain.

This magician here in the diorama called "The Nightwatch" is holding on to his fire spell. He is having it ready just in case some monsters might appear from nowwhere and the whole group's attempt in protecting them fails. He will be the one who throws fire bombs.

Done in the same procedure like explained above, but a little smaller. Always keep in mind while working magic it is the same problem that you can encounter with blood: Less is more.

More Magic Moments:

I hope you enjoyed the article and we on MV are looking forward to see your experiments on magic. Maybe you will already be brave enough to put it to your BANANALICIOUS projects, eh?

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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