Review: Private Coaching with Matt

by Roman aka jar

"What to say,
I really felt at home from the first minute at your studio and I definitely approached your coaching with an open mind and eager to learn as much as possible in such a short time.

I finally understand properly the colour wheel and colour theory, working with primaris, saturation, temperature etc. and those couple of exercises were so useful!! all those basics have unlocked a world of creativity and literally made me think of all my started and not-started-yet project and how to approach them, plan them, finished them etc. I think I finally grasp the missing bits that I needed to become a better painter and artist.

So for all this thank you so much!! 
I had a blast and best time painting Bill the Butcher and I’m so proud of him! Will finish those couple of items and expose him proud in my glass cabinet at home!

You are an extremely good teacher and painter and I really absorbed all the tips and knowledge you taught me. So again thank you! I wish I could come back and spend some happy time in your studio and share your company while painting!

You have such a great thing going on with the studio so I hope you can keep the motivation and keep growing massive voodoo.

Thanks for the chats and everything else, food, coffee, music, painting, I enjoyed every  second, truly.

Thanks again and we’ll be in touch!"

 Matt & Roman

Matt visited me for a private coaching
in the end of 2018 in the MV Studio. His main topic was getting insight in my way of #happypainting and an overall checkup with his skillset and improvement here and there! We had a really good time and we failed on doing some work in progress photos or else. We just painted and talked. I enjoyed every second of it too, Matt! Thank you!

Matt painted a really cool bust by BrokenToad in the two day coaching. During my teaching I started with theory and after a while of practical exercise and theory combined, Matt started to paint on this bust. The end results of the two day coaching speaks of itself. Matt is a truely talented painter on his own journey and he is seeking wisdom by taking on different workshops and seminars to improve his own style.

I am just very, very proud when I look at his result ...

Keep on happy painting!

If you want to join one of my seminars,
feel invited to check back with

Do you want  your own private coaching and all your miniature painting questions answered?
Feel free to contact me via: jarhead---at---massivevoodoo---dot---com, and I can sent you details on a coaching with me. Please be aware that I am already making appointments for the full year of 2019 and that I am only quite fast in answering my emails. Thank you for your patience!

SbS: Building a base for a 1/72 Ashigaru

by David

Hey all,

as my first article in the jungle,
I want to share a short report on how I built the - second - base for a 1/72 Ashigaru-yari from Zvezda. I write "second" because I first built a base I was quite happy with, but ruined it when I added resin water (more on that below). So, I had to build a second one - and I have to say I am much happier with that second one.

The Ashigaru, without his base.

Anyway. In the beginning is the idea. I wanted to portray the Ashigaru standing guard over his master's Koi pond. This idea was on the one hand born from the pure fun of it; but it also had something to do with my fascination with resin water, which I wanted to practice a bit more. In designing bases, I always aim to develop a story first, asking myself "What is going on on the base? What is the story/mood/atmosphere I want to portray with my vignette?" All else follows from this.

In translating the story into the vignette, I follow basically three general principles:

the base should capture and portray the most important aspect of a hopefully natural scene, condensed into a very limited piece of space - thus telling the story by giving the feeling as if the vignette was cut and lifted out of the world in one moment (that's one reason, for example, why I don't like stuff "sticking out" beyond the boundaries of my base; and why I like deep-black plinths and photographs of my vignettes before very black backgrounds).

the vignette should be as large as necessary for the viewer to understand what's going on, but as small as possible to create a scene as dynamic as possible! So, for most 1/72 minis (on foot; riders, of course, are a different matter), I found plinths with a base of 2x2cm and height of about 5cm perfect.

the base should use variance in all three dimensions, and should have as few parallel lines and right angles as possible. So, there should be variance in height, in depth and in angles on the horizontal (and possibly vertical) lines. For an early example where I experimented with that, see my "Feeder of Crows" Vignette.

Keeping these three general principles in mind, I started building the foundation for the Ashigaru's base. I started with a 2x2x2cm beech wood cube (my brother once gave me a whole shopping bag of beech wood plinths in different heights and sizes for Christmas) as the basis, and glued 2x5cm rectangular pieces of plastic sheet to the plinth's right and back side to form the foundation for the "stone and earth" (or rather: cork and bark) work that would follow.

I then added four thin cork sheets (cut from cheap IKEA coasters) for more height and then irregularly destroyed the fourth cork layer to create a natural, rocky surface (which I didn't like too much, see below). I then cut and glued pine bark (bought cheaply and in bulk in a local flower boutique) on the cork base, to simulate rocks (pine bark is fantastic to simulate all kinds of rock and stone). I filled the back, between the bark and the sheet barriers, with some remains of the cork. And that's what it looked like after these first foundational steps (the white stuff is crystalized super glue):

To fill the gaps and make the whole scene look more coherent, I added generous amounts of Milliput, which was spread over the floor (this would later become sand) and the top bark "rock" layer (which would then become moss/grass), and on/between rocks to enhance their looks (by feeling, this is not rocket science!):

What you can't see really well in the pictures is that I used a stiff-bristled brush in a stippling motion on the still un-cured Milliput that was supposed to be sand (pond-floor) and moss (on top of the rocks), to create more variance and some structure similar to coarse sand or moss. When finishing the stippling, I pushed the Ashigaru's feet into the Milliput, such that he would later look as if he would stand on soft ground.

I then sanded the edges and sides of the base to have a clean and flat surface and finished the foundational work by glueing plastic sheet to the remaining sides of the plinths. The sheets were pre-cut to approximate sizes, then glued - and after drying the final cuts were made such that the natural shape of the scene was reached:

I also added three or four very thin layers of water-PVA glue mix on the Milliput/cork/bark surfaces to seal tiny cracks that might be remaining and through which in later stages the resin water might sip through. That's what "killed" my first base: by its capillary action, the resin water was pulled into cracks and fissures in the cork not covered by Milliput and came out on top of the base - which of course meant that in the pond the water was too shallow...

Then some first detail work commenced: adding stones (created earlier from Milliput remainders rolled into tiny balls and then flattened a little) and some reed. The importance here is, again, to think about the three general principles and create random-looking clusterings of the stones and vegetation.

I then cut the reed to a "natural" length.

Well, then, I started on the fish. They are from the BUSCH small animals set (the animals are nominally in 1/87 scale; but they are also perfect for 1/72). I drilled holes into their bellies, pinned them on a cork using acupuncture needles and super-glue, primed them with Tamiya Light Grey Primer (that's what I had handy that day), and painted them using Vallejo Model Color Acrylics.

Then I primed and painted the base. For me, painting happens almost exclusively with Vallejo Model Color Acrylics; the only other brand I use regularly is Scale75 for inks and Army Painter for their washes. I always thin my paints on the palette (roughly one part water to two parts paint) and like adding a drop of AK Ultra Matte Varnish into the colors; I like the matte effect and how the colors' fluidity and properties change.

I did not take pics of the painting process, so here are pics of a rather advanced stage of painting the base:

I then very carefully drilled holes into the pond-floor (where I found it would make sense, always keeping the three general principles in mind) and glued very thin pieces of stretched transparent polystyrol sprue into the holes (you can see it on the next two pics if you look very closely) - on those the fish would then be glued.

The next step was glueing the Ashigaru to the base (also making sure that his feet would not be "hovering" or there would be cracks between his feet and the moss; I often use very small amounts of Vallejo Plastic Putty to correct such small gaps on the miniature), and adding a few thin plants to further veil the transparent sticks on which the fish had been impaled:

And then it was time for the water effect. First, I created the boundaries for the pour by super-gluing transparent sheet to the sides and seeling everything with hot-glue. For this step and all other water-related topics, I learnt a lot from my jungle-brother Josua and his seminal 2k Water Tutorial.

And then the big experiment-with-no-return began. I prepared my stuff (AK Interactive 2K water; Vallejo environment effect Slimy Grime Light for tinting the water; syringes for the correct dosage of the two water components; a plastic shot glass for mixing the components, a pipette for the pouring; and a bowl of warm water). I carefully added the two components as per the instructions, added a tiny bit (!) of the grimy green color in it and mixed everything together slowly and carefully with the shot glass in the warm water. The warmth makes the water more fluid, which means that it can be easier stirred, that there will be less bubbles and that it will be easier poured.

And then I "poured" the water by using the pipette:

And then: I had to wait. I carefully put the vignette on my sideboard und put a drinking glass over it to ensure that no dust would ruin the surface.

After roughly 36 hours under the glass, it was time for the final steps. After removing the barriers, I used a new scalpel blade carefully to cut those parts where the resin was pulled up along the edges of the barriers and then added (with gloss varnish) two water lilies on the water surface.

The next steps were the most grimy: wet-sanding the sides of the plinth and the resin water (I often use nail-files of different grits), polishing the resin using Tamiya polishing compound, and finally using two or three layers of AK Interactive's Gauzy Agent to restore the clear transparency of the resin:

I finished the water by adding some random waves using Vallejo Water Textures (no pics, sorry). And finally, I painted the remainder of the plinth black, glued the plaque on it (made for me by Fredericus Rex) and took the final pictures (for more pics, please see the Ashigaru's Putty&Paint site):

So, I hope you enjoyed reading this. It was aimed at giving you a glimpse into my brain while I work on bases. Let me know if you have any questions.


p.s.: this step-by-step tutorial was published first at Benno's Figure Forum

MV-Team: David

by David

A new author joins the MV Jungle.
Massive Voodoo is proud to see ...

... become an enrichment for your massive miniature hobby blog!

Name: David

Job: Researcher

Painting: since 2012

Media: acrylics only. Mostly Vallejo, but I do have a soft spot for Army Painter Strong Tone wash

Brushes: almost exclusively N&W Series 7, sizes 0 and 1 for most "regular" paint-jobs, and a large selection of "others" for special ops such as sloppy wet-in-wet sketching, dry-brushing, structuring milliput, base-work, painting the plinth black, etc.

Airbrush: I got one, and in theory know how to use it, but do so rarely.

Miniatures: I started out with painting fantasy minis exclusively, but have turned to painting more historicals, recently. I am very fond of small scales and delicate minis; to this date no mini I have ever finished has been larger than 32mm scale! Currently I am particularly in love with 1/72 scale figures and have a lot of projects, WIPs and ideas for scenes/vignettes in that scale. I also would like to get into scale modeling a bit more (mostly planes in 1/144 and the odd 1/100 and 1/72 AFV), but have not much experience in that regard. But I plan to change that, which would also give me the chance to use that airbrush more often...

Sculpting: I would love to sculpt my own 1/72 scale figures to have a bit more variety in this scale, which is dominated by historical and war/military themes. But I yet have to get into serious sculpting beyond minor conversions. Ahh, well... another long-term project!

Miniature artists who inspire(d) me most: Roman Lappat, Udo Spreng, Josua Lai, Jeremie Bonamant, Alfonso Giraldes, Bill Horan, Shep Paine, Mike Blank, Dmitry Vesechko, Laszlo Adoba, Alex Varela, Kristian Simonsen; concerning traditional artists, I find myself particularly inspired by Vermeer and Caravaggio for their mastery of light, and Hieronymus Bosch for his incredible creativity in picturing the macabre.

Miniature sculptors whose creations I particularly enjoy painting: Kev White, Tom Meier, Tre Manor, Werner Klocke (especially his 15/18mm Demonworld sculpts), Erik Trauner, as well as the fantastic and often unnamed sculptors that work(ed) for smaller and larger companies such as Rackham, Nocturna, Germania Miniatures, Valdemar Miniatures, Zvezda, ESCI, ...

Gallery: Putty&Paint

Moran - the Dwarven Massai. Based on Hasslefree's Hayden, painted during Jar's first Advanced Workshop.
Still one of my most favorite pieces!

Hi there! I am David, and I live in Hamburg, Germany.

When I was a child/young teen, I collected and built model kits; later I dabbled in putting Revell enamel color on a few pewter minis to be used for our role-playing campaign, but I stopped after graduating from high school. I started painting miniatures in 2012 when I was looking for a relaxing hobby during the final stages of writing my PhD dissertation. My painting journey started for real after finishing that big project in 2013, when I treated myself to Roman's Beginner's class, and especially after a private coaching with Roman and Raffa in 2014. In 2015, I went to my first painting competition (as a visitor), and in 2016, I participated in the Duke of Bavaria for the first time.

The Feeder of Crows. My first competition piece.

In this hobby I particularly enjoy the freedom to create ideas and stories with a great variety of topics, moods and atmospheres and turning them into reality with my little projects. Most importantly, however, I value the great community of awesome people to which I have been introduced through the hobby - and from which a number of deep and meaningful friendships have developed! I am excited that as part of the Massive Voodoo family I will have the opportunity to widen that horizon even further, to meet new friends, and to engage even more seriously with this great world of creativity and joy! See you around!

Through the Paddy - my first 1/72 mini. That's where it began...

Night Raider - my first serious OSL attempt.

Review: Zombie Speedpainting Seminar in Augsburg

by Roman aka jar

Welcome to another workshop review from late 2018!
This time it was all about speedpainting.You know as fast as you can to be able to play with all these models you got at home, but to play with them painted.

The big question is:
Can you paint up a Zombie in 15 Minutes from start to finish and recieve a really cool result for the gaming table?


Yes, everybody can!
Yes you can, if you know how!

I want to thank my students
of this one day seminar for coming from far and close. New faces and well known faces. Always a pleasure. Thanks for the funny day and your trust in my teaching skills.

For a one day seminar this one is really a fast one. I dives right in. Right into a uncommon painting approach that teaches speed and quality within. Before you can paint a gaming figure in 15 Minutes you have to train three important stages ... that's what we did:

... combined with theory that helps to understand the "why" and "how" of this speedpainting technique. Lots to think about!

In the end everyone painted about 5-7 Zombies that day.

Thank you all for coming!
It was a true speedpainting fray and tons of happypainting!
For more reviews like this,
feel invited to check back with the Overview of MV's special seminars:


If you want to join one of my future seminars,

feel invited to check back with

Keep on happy painting and see you next time!
Best Wishes