SbS/FM: Waterbuffalo

by Josua Lai

Hello Jungle

As you may noticed I painted a lot of animals in the last time. Today I want to give you a small insight of how the water buffalo project came to life.

I started with a rather simple but still extremely beautiful buffalo figure. After some cleaning and sanding I glued him down to a simple rectangular piece of wood. My vision was to let him be submerged in a river or pond full of lemnoideae or duckweed.

These types of Asian Buffalo's have mostly pretty dark mostly black fur. For me Black is always a challenging colour to paint. Luckily Roman wrote a super helpful article about it in the past: check it out here !!

After thinking about what colours may surround the buffalo and what reflecting properties wet fur has I decided to prime him in a beautiful dark blue/green tone. From there on I started to block in stuff do not forget about the base in this step as it is extremely important to keep track of how you mini looks like on the base itself. in the two pictures below you can clearly see the stage of blocking in colours.

After this first initial step of bringing colour to the whole thing I started concentrating on other areas. I started to add texture and small details like the eyes to bring this calm guy to life. A few hours in started to feel like he is missing something I painted the whole thing in a pretty cold and bright blue while the base still remained in a rather bright warm green. At this point I realised that I need to bring these two together way more. The base and the buffalo need to look as they would be one unit instead of two different things.

In the next picture you can clearly see what different it made to do so. I do not have any pictures of the steps in-between as I was in some sort of colour and painting rush I completely forgot about time and other stuff. I also started to add some green dots in the front part of the base by stippling as this is a pretty time-consuming thing to do on a whole base I knew that I need to have another solution to create the duckweed.

First of all I put down a thin layer of uv curable resin to give the whole water surface some feel of depth. Now the scary part begins I masked the whole buffalo and the part where I did not want a lot of duckweed swimming around, with Incredible Masking Putty.

After masking the buffalo I mixed up my duckweed colour, as I want to sprinkle the colour on it has to be not to thick nor to thin. At this stage it I use to do test runs to get the consistency right. Soon I reached the level of confidence needed to sprinkle on my paint. This was done with an old toothbrush , just as shown in the picture below I kind of flipped the bristles and this resulted in a lot of tiny droplets of paint flying everywhere. Keep in mind to do this on an area away from your other WIP stuff or you will still find tiny splatters of green paint after months.

The area behind the buffalo was actually the most time consuming part. I wanted to create effect of water swirling around behind the buffalo to give the whole scene a feel of movement and dynamic. The process of princeling on the colour is pretty random so I needed to paint in all the small dots by hand. I was able to bring a playful element to the water thru the little swirls behind him. 

The duckweed was a full success so I started to add small details mostly single point of green colour or some reflecting light on the jaw line of the buffalo. Small details like this add another dimension of interest and mostly only can be seen when the viewer takes his time to observe and search for them. A final coat of gauzy agent was applied to give the water and duckweed a nice gloss effect. I also placed some small translucent micro beads around him to simulate some sort of air coming to the surface, and to add another dynamic element.

I also took some High quality images where you can see some of the details I talk about in this article.  

You can find all of them over at Putty & Paint

I hope you liked this small insight of this buffalo project.

See you soon


Mu #104: Scalecolor Artist Colors

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle,

today it is me.
Speaking about colors. About paint.
I am working as a self employeed miniature artist since fiveteen years now and you can believe me that I used several different color brands, tried this and that, used this new paint sensation and the other. You can bet that my workspace is packed with different sorts of paint. From hobby paints to artist acrylics. Have a look:

Well, that's a lot, eh?
I do mainly paint with Acrylics. Rarely I use Oil paints. Super rare nowadays. Sometimes I am really happy to start just with my primary paints and mix what I want or the amount of colors just drives me nuts. Most of you know that I do not paint in recipes. I mix on the go and mix what I need. Of course I do not want to miss my special paints, like washes, inks or specific effect colors.

Since two years I work mainly with Schmincke Primeacryl tubes.
 I do enjoy the strong pigmentation, their thickness and the way I do paint them. They start to shine after a while because the high pigmentation closes the surface fast and makes it smooth. Unfortanetely these paints to not have a matte medium inside so you can not avoid the shine. I conquer the shine with matte varnish via the airbrush once it gets to annoying while I paint.

Deciding for a painting brand as favourite is something very personal.
You can read Hansrainer's thoughts on good or bad paints in this article.

On the other hand I never stop testing new color brands.
I think this comes with my job. I usually never buy a full range before not testing them proberly if they fit my needs. Once in a while I sort out paints that I got on my table, but never use. There is no need for them to stay there.

Most important in my eyes
for everyone to understand is that there is no perfect color as individual needs differ from painter to painter. There is no perfect color range that makes you a greater painter, there is not this one color that will change your painting forever. Same with brushes. Everything a color can do is coming from you, the person behind the brush, your knowledge and experience.

Of course, if you buy super cheap colors in a dump store you might not be able to work properly with all the many techniques of painting miniatures out there as the quality just lacks behind.

My tip:
Testing. Give new colors that catch your interest a try. Find out what you like about them during painting sessions, use them for different techniques and styles and decide if they will stick in your working stock, or not. Grow from that and you will soon find your own best personal tools.

it is really beautiful to see a wide range of colors available for us miniature painters (on the other hand we can just name us painters, painting on a different surface and canvas. A three-dimensional one.) ... but the amount of colors you can buy can also be confusing. Do not worry, just go step bby step to increase your collection and give you and paints time to understand eachother and see if you like eachother. One painting technique you like so much, might not work with a certain brand, while another works even better with the new paint pot you got. This is the beauty of painting, you never stop learning and growing.


now to the topic:
The new Scalecolor Artist Colors
by Scale75.

I got these on my table now since several weeks and was asked to write my oppinion about them. Of course I had to paint with them before I would be able to say anything. So I did. This article is not about comparision with other brands or telling you to buy this and that. It is just my honest oppinion on these new colors. It is all my very own perspective and thoughts. I do not speak for the full team of Massive Voodoo. I write this up, so you can make your own oppinion on giving these a try or not.

They come in tubes and look beautiful.
I like when my paints comes in tubes. It makes the handling easy and for me tubes avoid color explosions or dried out tips with bottles, also tubes avoid awkward handling with paint pots. On the other hand you might think a tube does not leave you much space to use just the amount that you need. Well, when I paint I do not want to save paint. It is like driving a fast car. Driving it and in the meantime worrying about using gas for it. Colors are for painting.

So far I was painting with two sets:

  • Basic Colors 
  • Skin Tones

The size of the tubes is medium
if I compare them to the Schmincke medium tubes (35 ml). The Scale paints come in tubes with 20 ml. It is a good size for the average hobby painter and they will last quite the time. For me it, if I would only use them for the next months, they would be gone empty in about 4-6 months I guess. It just depends on how much you paint.

I will not talk about money in this review.
High quality colors do cost more than not so high quality ones. Simple fact and always your very own decision on how much you are willing to invest. Do not be scared to use high quality products, they are able to change your results. Just think about running shoes. If you buy cheap ones you might have problems while running or a hurt ankle. If you buy high quality ones, you might not face these issues so often.

The basic colors are setup from red, blue and yellow. 
Plus black and white and burnt siena. With these you can mix everything you ever need, except special paints like inks or washes or metallic paints. I do miss a strong magenta, for my personal variety I seek while mixing, but I just take it from another brand.

The skintone set is well thought
and really gives you all in hand to paint beautiful skintones if you are open to start mixing on your own. They do not offer a recipe. These paint sets are aimed for painters who mix freely. And in combination with the basic colors you are able to push them in all directions.

Putting these to the palette already shows their thickness. They do behave like toothpaste, which I am used to from my Schmincke heavy body paints. These colors are not diluted in any way. This is up to you. You can form them for what you need them too.

While I was painting on my palette I was mixing them and can say they are supereasy to combine. Mixing is easy with them.

You can dilute them and thin them down to a glaze for your nedds without problems. You can use them in your airbrush if you thin them with airbrush thinner.

You can easily use them to paint wet in wet and mix them on your figure or base.

I can say they are easily comparable to the quality I do find in my Schmincke Primeacryl when it comes to the power of pigments.

They can be used to bbe painted thicker and with an opaque result.

They can also be used thinned down to a gentle glaze to tint a certain area.

What really feels good with these colors is the smoothness. It is hard to describe. Everything you do with them feels smooth. Mixing, application, pushing contrast. Just smooth. They blend together smoothly and leave a smooth finish. They dry matte, which is an important point for many painters.



Every new color range does not invent the world of painting anew. Fact.
I can say I really enjoy working with the new Scalecolors and I will summ up my thoughts and experiences I got with them:

- If you are a painter who mixes a lot, you will not be dissapointed by their pigment quality
- they mix absolutely easy and smooth
- comes in tubes, makes regulation and handling easy
- they can be used for mostly every technical aspect of miniature painting techniques without chaning quality
- the color sets are well thought of and make sense when you are used to mix
- the finish of the dried paint is matte
- when you paint a layer on top of another one they connect smoothly

- the only downside I did encounter is that they are drying faster on my wetpalette, compared to the Schmincke I regularly use. I think this is because of a certain magic medium inside that keeps them so matte and smooth. I mean they are not drying in one painting session. I speak about a week.

From my end I do recommend these paints without hesitation. If you are a painter who works mainly with recipes from hobby paint bottles these might not be the perfect thing for you as these paints are aimed to make you mix colors. If you want to learn mixing colors they are a wonderful start as you will not get annoyed by side effects like a shiny finish or bad pigment quality. If you are a painter who is used to mix your own paints from primaries regularly they are a really good addition for your asset.

I am still amazed by the smoothness!
If I should find one word for the Scalecolor Artist Colors I would say it is:

I hope you did find this useful.
Keep on happy painting whatever colors you use!


You can find more Miniature- and Material Unpacked articles (Mu) here!
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SBS: Through the Paddy

by David

Hey all,

time for another SbS. This is a summary of my first adventure into the world of 1/72nd scale minis, which started at a lovely and sunny weekend at the Herzog von Bayern Competition in Ingolstadt in April 2017. I will tell you a bit more about my love for 1/72 minis and how it all started in a future installment. But this was the beginning of it all... I guess, the article also has another message: that sometimes stuff happens when you try new things, but that you (almost) always can (try to) fix it, if you're just dedicated enough.

Anyway, when I got back from Ingolstadt, I dug out a set of Vietnam-era 1/72 "Special Forces" that I had bought for another project that might become reality some time (or not). I have always been super-interested in the Vietnam war and will delve a bit more into that in another future contribution here at MV, but this will be way in the future (post 2020 World Model Expo), so don't wait up. 

I didn't have a story in mind when I started the project, but simply rummaged through the beautiful set, which was originally designed by ESCI (check the pics of the box and its contents over at Plastic Soldier Review) and repeatedly re-published by other producers, including Italeri and Revell (where my little box came from), to let inspiration hit me. My decision fell on the running guy - I liked his dynamic pose - and immediately a little story came to my mind: I saw a brawny Marine running through a rice paddy, holding his helmet (he had been too lazy to close the straps). Maybe he was running from Charlie staging an ambush - or equally likely from a "tame" water buffalo gone wild! I also liked that the mini was rather well-cast, there were no undercuts, no flash and very few moldlines.

Before I started working on the Marine, I started with the base. In addition to my first attempt of painting a 1/72 miniature, I also wanted to try some other stuff, such as using the Vallejo Mud Effect I had bought on a whim, and experimenting with resin water (spoiler alert: disaster ahead!). I picked up a 20mm round plinth (made from a simple beechwood staff cut to about 4cm height by a lovely carpentery-inclined friend of mine), and just lathered a solid layer of Vallejo Russian Mud on it. This was supposed to become the ground of the rice paddy.

Next, I started to work on the trooper - and I realized what a pain it can be to prepare these soft-plastic minis for painting. Today, I know a lot more about that (there will be a MV article on preparing soft plastic 1/72 minis in the future, by the way) and I actually enjoy doing it. But the Marine being my first one it was a big hassle - despite the rather high quality cast. All in all, I worked a good 2.5h on the mini before I decided that it was ok - but, as you can see in the next pic, I did not manage to remove all the fine pieces of soft plastic that always appear when you don't use the blades properly. Here's a pic after the 2k priming method worked its magic:

The following pic shows the state after about 1.5 hours of paintwork: basic colors have been applied to the Marine, and the skin has received some first highlights and shadows. 

The next steps involved painting some more of the skin - deepening contrasts, adding lights and shadows - and making a few changes to my originally envisioned color scheme. I decided to give the mini a few more colors (and to challenge myself a bit more). First, after seeing a few pics and illustrations that flak jackets were sometimes black, I decided to do that. Second, I wanted to try my hand at 1/72 camo, so I gave helmet and pants a new basic color (a lighter green)...

... and painted the classic ERDL camo on them:

After painting some minor details I spent some time on the base, super-gluing a few grass tufts to simulate rice plants:

Then it was high time for a bit more detail work on the mini. I gave his helmet and his trusted M-16 some straps. These were made from the sticky parts of orange-colored "post-its", cut in slim lengths. The stickiness of the post-it help applying the paper strips where you want them. After sticking them to the correct position, I fixated the straps with a tiny bit of super glue. 

In addition, I prepared the base for the water-works. I used a piece of thin clear plastic, glued it to the base with super glue and tied it all together with multiple layers of sticky-tape. Especially with round plinths this additional layer of stability and tightness is useful, as it's really hard to get the length of the clear plastic exactly right such that there are no small gaps. I made the clear-plastic barrier about as high that the water will reach to the trooper's mid-shins. 

Since this was the first time ever that I worked with resin water, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. So, I decided on using Vallejo Still Water, which is a single-component (1k) acrylic resin, which hardens by drying in plain air. I knew that the 1k "water" shrinks while hardening, but thought that that wouldn't matter as long as I poured multiple thin layers... Well, wait for it... Anyway. To simulate the muddy water of a rice paddy I mixed a bit of brownish ink into the resin (Army Painter Strong Tone and Vallejo Model Wash Brown) and did a first pour:

All in all, I poured three layers, waiting for at least 24 hours between pours for each layer to dry. However, after the first and second pour worked out well I got a bit carried away - and poured a bit too much "water", such that it touched the trooper's right leg (the one that was supposed to be in the air). Speaking of Icarus flying too close to the sun! As expected, the water shrank while drying, but it stuck to and got sucked up the leg a bit, such that there now was a "hole" in the water (sorry for the crappy pic):

What to do? I could have tried to repair the situation by pouring more water into the hole. But I did not like the water up the trooper's leg, so I decided to start again! "Carefully" I cut the guy from the base and out of the "water"...

... and in the process of course pulled off much of the painstakingly camouflaged pant:

So, I built a new base using Vallejo "Russian Dark Mud" and some rice plants - this time made from stiff brush-hair painted green (I didn't like the effect of the ready-made grass tufts), and "repaired" the Marine's camouflaged pants:

And then... Water-attempt number two. This time, I ditched (pun intended) the 1k Still Water and tried 2k water, closely following my jungle-brother Josua's fantastic Water Tutorial:

After 48 hours the big moment had arrived. I removed the barrier - and was really happy. There was a small "dent" in the resin, but nothing that couldn't be repaired with a bit of filing, sanding and polishing.

Next I used an old brush to sculpt some waves from Vallejo Water Texture, a whitish acrylic paste that dries crystal clear. I really like that stuff. Here's a pic of the first layer:

... and after that one had dried (depending on the thickness, this drying can take 30 mins to a couple of hours) - and I had painted the plinth black - I added a second layer of waves:

The rest was just a bit of minor detail work on the waves and some final brush-ups. And then, the Marine was done:

For additional (pretty lousy) pics of the finished mini, please see its Putty & Paint page.

Thanks for your attention. Let me know if you have questions in the comments below!

All the best, D.

PS: You might notice that at some point the Marine's M-16 became "bent". This happened while I transported the mini (on its plinth) to a paint-meeting and the gun broke. Normally I would carefully cut it off at the breaking point, drill holes into both sides and repair it with an acupuncture needle and some superglue. But at that point I just couldn't be bothered... 

Review: OSL Masterclass in Hamburg

by Roman aka jar

Hey Jungle,

Object Source Light?
Nothing wrong with that. Many painters paint it, but it is always good to know the wisdom behind it. In my one day masterclass seminar "Object Source Light" we are working on this. In depth knowledge on OSL.

I have been in Hamburg just recently to enjoy some days of holidays and visit some friends, but also to teach this class up north. I want to thank everybody for joining up, from near and far. Thank you all for your will to learn from me and your support in my work, art and teachings. From my curriculum about this seminar:

Instructor: Roman Lappat

Duration: Saturdays (one day)

I usually do not teach masterclass seminars, but when I do these seminars focus on one subject, because they aim to teach you to master a certain topic. This Object Source Light (OSL) Masterclass
all about light sources from objects and about the "how to" place them and the "why" behind it. After this seminar you can transport these into your projects easily.

Main topics:
- Understand the principles of OSL
- Learn how to include them on different materials
- Learn about different time slots when to include these effects in your projects

Student level: All

Early in the morning when my students achieved their first OSL studies. I call them "basic knowledge" to understand the theory behind it, before we go deeper in how to apply advanced knowledge.

This was my explanation figure for the basic OSL ...

... and the group's results:

Thanks to Heiko and the WuDao Kung Fu School for providing hospitality, a roof over our heads and a relaxed and chilled atmosphere for this one day seminar ... It is always a pleasure teaching in the Wu Dao.

After the basic knowledge we enjoyed a quick lunch and then continued painting until it was dark outside. Of course it was not dark on our painting tables as it was now time to understand OSL and its application while other basic colors come into paly ...

This was my epxlanation figure for the advanced part of OSL:

Thanks to everyone again for a real cool day and your will to learn from me. OSL?
From now on not a big deal for these gentlemen!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes,

Want to join up to one of my seminars?