Review: Private Coaching with Kilian

by Roman aka jar


Good Morning Jungle,

time for another private coaching review.
Kilian, a long time student and friend of mine visited me in the new studio for his personal painting goal: He wanted to combine his knowledge of atmosphere (last coaching) with textures. He wanted to learn and understand much more on how to create texture that makes sense in a context ... our main focus was to understand true metallic metal, also we focused on a good color compositon ...

We were so hyped to see eachother again that we forgot to take a selfie :D
Or I am getting old and can not find the one we did anymore.

Well, let's take just this one:

Before working on a figure, I put Kilian through several lessons of texture explanations on different volumes and made him focus on single elements in just black and white to understand the textures he is aiming to explain to the viewer's eye.

From then on we went on a miniature.
Kilian loves Star Wars Legion Models and is really into it.

I can say that we put all what was learned on the miniature, but as a teacher I can say it was much more important to give my student a good feeling about the decision he makes for himself while proceeding. This was actually my main goal with teaching Kilian this time.

You can follow Kilian's work via Instagram:

Thank you once again, Kilian for always trusting my teaching skills.
It is always a pleasure to welcome you as my student!

Keep on happy painting!

If you want to learn from me
in your very own private coaching session, do not hesitate to contact me for further details via

Write me an email and we can make it work!

If you are interested in a private coaching session or the actual news on workshops, please read:

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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.

Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 04

by David

Hey all,

welcome to the fourth page of my project diary. If you're wondering what this is, please check the announcement post, in which I explain the motivation and general goals of the diary. At the bottom of that post, you will find a link to all parts of this series (constantly updated as soon as new articles are published).

Today's post will be about building the base - step 1. I say "step 1", because the base for our sea raider will be built in two steps: one before painting the mini and one after. In the first step, I will build the foundation for the base, that is:

  1. preparing the plinth

  2. creating the beach

  3. integrating the mini

So, first I prepared the plinth. As noted before, for my single 1/72 miniatures, I typically use a 2x2x4cm plinth of simple beechwood, which I buy in bulk from the hardware store. To ensure a smooth finish and remove imperfections, I give the plinth a quick sanding with fine-grit sandpaper. Since I wanted the beachfloor to have a small decline where I can add some "deeper" water, I then attempted to cut away a little of one corner of the plinth. First I tried my luck with my trusted cheap-Dremel-like-tool, but I did not have my sawblades handy and the drill bit I used was no great help. So, I just ground the corner down with some coarse sandpaper, which worked really well.

After the slight decline was achieved, I created the "sand". For my 1/72 projects, I almost exclusively rely on a trusted technique for creating a relatively realistic sand: rolling out some Milliput and then stippling it with a stiff-bristled brush. In this case, I used an old toothbrush. This creates a nice and slightly irregular, fine-grained surface.

Once the beach was laid out but the Milliput was still workable, I carefully placed the figure on the sand and slightly pressed the feet into the Milliput to make sure that they give the impression of slightly soft beach sand. And that's the reason I did not yet put the pins into the mini's feet in the previous step ;-).

The next day, when the Milliput was cured, I realized that something was missing - I had the raider's feet nicely planted in the sand - but I forgot to put another footstep into the deeper sand, which I thought would look nice and make the whole scene more plausible. So, I shaved off some of the cured Milliput on the declining part of the beach, and created a new "sandy layer" of Milliput, in which I pressed one of the warrior's feet. And with that, I was satisfied with the base for now!

After the Milliput repair had cured, I gave the sides of the plinth another round of tender-loving-care with some fine-grit sand paper to ensure a smooth finish. Then, it was time to marry miniature and base. Remember those nice little holes I made into the soles of the figure's feet? Those I marked with a drop of dark paint, applied with the tip of a toothpick, and placed the feet into their positions on the Milliput-sand. In these marks, I drilled holes. Then I super-glued acupuncture needles into the mini's feet to work as pins, and glued the feet to the base. And done. For now.

Thanks for reading. The next entry to the project diary will include a bit more than two toothpick-tips worth of paint!

As always, let me know in the comments if you have questions. See you in a bit!

Best, D.

Review: The Encyclopedia of Figures Modelling Techniques, Vol. 3

by David

Disclaimer: I received the book as a free review copy by the publisher. This will not predetermine the review, which will be a fair summary and assessment of the book's strengths and weaknesses as I perceive them.

The book's cover - again, very nice, but sadly the mini is not featured within the book.

Hey all,

David's back with another review of a recent painting-related book. This time, it's the third and final volume of AMMO by Mig Jimenez' Encyclopedia of Figures Modelling Techniques. As its predecessors, the book is edited by Rodrigo Hernández Chacón, and combines a number of articles by well-known miniature artists on a variety of topics that are summarized as "Modelling, Genres and Special Techniques".

The table of contents

And, true to its title, the book spans a wide and diverse range of topics. The book is about 150 pages strong, which are split up into a two-pager Introduction by the Series editor, and six substantive chapters. The first chapter deals with the very foundation of all modeling work, the modeler's/painter's workbench. Next to the organization of the workbench itself (lighting, set-up, etc.), the chapter deals with the necessary tools of the trade and goes into depth on the various brushes and their uses, and the set-up and use of a wet palette. Chapter 2 also deals with tools, but focuses on the necessary implements to assemble, prepare and modify miniatures. Next to sanding moldlines, and filling gaps, the chapter discusses minor and major conversions of minis of different materials, and even includes a step-by-step guide on how to sculpt a miniature from scratch.

Well-structured advice for a well-structured workbench.
Priming with brush and spraycan.
A snippet of the sculpting-from-scratch step-by-step.

Chapters 3 and 4 focus on color. On five pages, the third chapter presents different ways to prime miniatures using brushes, spray-cans and the airbrush. Chapter 4, then, discusses in depth how to paint specific materials that are likely to appear on most minis: human skin (using the examples of a light-caucasian female and a tan male skintone), leather, and metal (covering both TMM and NMM approaches).

Sketching skintones in practice.
How to paint a lively and realistic TMM.

Chapter 5 discusses the particularities when painting two different types or categories of miniatures: minis for the gaming table, and flats. For gaming miniatures, the chapter first features Marko Miladinovic showing his approach to painting green skin and then Enrique Velasco (Emuse) presents a complete step-by-step on how to paint a GW Nurgle creature. Then, Albert Gros shows some of the specifities when painting flats. The final Chapter 6 provides a survey on a number of tips and ideas concerning base-building and scenery. Next to insights into the general principles of base-composition, this chapter incudes two "putting theory into practice" sections, each showing a step-by-step of building a base. The book closes with a small gallery of some of the authors' works.

Advice on painting a Nurgle creature...
... and where to place light and shadows on a (flat) figure.

This book covers a lot of material, laid out in the same well-organized and easy-to-follow-way as the previous volumes of this series. The pictures are very nice, and the longer and shorter texts provide clear explanations. The diverse range of topics covered by different artists means that there is most likely to be something in the book for every painter, from absolute newbies to advanced hobbyists. The former will particularly benefit from the chapters on the tools-of-the-trade, the setup of a well-laid-out painting table, and the preparation and cleaning of minis. The advanced painter will rejoice in Chapter 4.1, which for me is the star of the book. In that chapter, Arnau Lázaro takes the reader through a detailed step-by-step of how he paints lively, complex and dramatic skintones on a miniature depicting a female nude. Next to sage advice on the subject matter, the chapter also is an excellent example of the sketching approach to painting introduced in Volume 2 of the series. My second highlight in the book is Albert Gros's treatment how to paint flat figures. While Albert nicely points out the particularities of painting 2D miniatures, much of what he has to say on lighting is perfectly relevant and helpful for minis sculpted in the round. Overall, I very much liked that the chapters refer explicitly to concepts and topics introduced in previous volumes, which drives home the encyclopedic character of the series. Finally, and similar to my concerns regarding Volume 2, the cover picture shows a mini that is not really dealt with in the book.

Basing in practice.

The desire to cover so many bases, of course, also comes with disadvantages. For one thing, the fact that the book addresses topics from absolute basics (such as the variety of brushes) to things that require advanced skills (such as the chapter on skintones) makes it hard to clearly define a core audience for the book. This can be interpreted in a positive way as I have above - that the book has something for everyone. But it also will make it hard for someone buying the book to feel fully satisfied with the book-as-a-whole. For another, since so much ground has to be covered, some of the individual topics are necessarily dealt with in some brevity. For instance, I generally like the book's discussion on basing, especially because it includes a few thoughts and guideline on composition and basing principles. But a single chapter simply cannot do justice to a vast and multifaceted topic such as basing. Maybe it would have been better to reserve a full, fourth volume on basing, and vignette/diorama building, which could have gone more in-depth on composition, materials and how-tos.

An excerpt of the beautiful gallery that closes the book.

Summing up, I would say that the book will be most beneficial for beginners. For 29,50 Euros suggested retail price you get a lot of content, presented in an attractive and systematic way. For advanced painters, I think the skintone chapter will be most interesting - but a single chapter might be too little to warrant buying the whole book. And, of course, those wanting to complete their Encyclopedia collection will have to grab a copy, in any case :-D

Thanks for reading. As always, let me know, in the comments, if you have questions. Talk to you soon.

Best, D.

Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 03

by David

Hey all,

welcome to the third page of my project diary. If you're wondering what this is, please check the announcement post, in which I explain the motivation and general goals of the diary. At the bottom of that post, you will find a link to all parts of this series (constantly updated as soon as new articles are published).

Today's post will be about preparing the mini for painting. Since I have talked about this in extended detail in the past, I will only briefly summarize what I did!

Same same... but different?

As usual, the Caesar set included a few of the same pose, so the first thing I had to do was pick the mini that I liked best. Normally, I would choose the best-cast version (the least undercuts, casting mistakes, flash/moldlines), but in this case, all three were pretty much the same. However, probably due to the rather soft plastic Caesar uses for their casts, the three versions differed a bit in the angles (legs to ground, sword to arm, etc.). So I just picked the version I liked best (in this case, the first from the left). The actual preparation went very smoothly as there were no undercuts, very little flash - just a bit around the shield, and nothing much in terms of moldlines. Very well done, Caesar!

Very little for me to do!
Just a little bit of flash along the lower shield-rim

So, ultimately, all I had to do was to cut away the little plastic base, clean up the shield a little and make sure the figure was really clean of moldlines.

The tools of the trade...

As usual, when I am done with the knifework on those soft-plastic miniatures, I treat the mini with some soft-plastic primer, which (I feel) smoothes out tiny micro-imperfections in the plastic.

After that was done, I drilled holes into the mini's feet with a .4 mm drill. In the step after the next, I will insert acupuncture needles as pins, which will fix the mini to the base. Why not pin them now, you ask? It'll all become clear in the next installment...

Thanks for reading. In the next part of the project diary, I will address the first steps of building the base.

As always, let me know in the comments if you have questions. See you in a bit!

Best, D.

Kong Fu: The end of the MV Studio, the journey continues ...

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle people,

well it has been a though ride.
The Massive Voodoo studio as we know it is no more!

It has been long overdue.
Since about four years it was fact that these buildings where the studio is located will be torn down. From then on this feeling stretched. A new place was in sight, but Covid-19 changed it all.

Well, with looking back on it I am grateful and deeply thankful for the great times spent there. For all the people who visited, friends who came over and many students to learned there. It has been a creative cave filled with great memories.

While waiting for that new place to be ready to move in life put many changes on me: I had to move out of my flat that I really loved as my landlord needed the flat for his son. Bummer! I did so during Winter 2020 and it was not easy to find a flat, nor was the move during lockdown, but with the help of great people it was managed. As Covid-19 restrictions affected my job enourmously (not teaching weekend seminars) I decided to move the studio as a much smaller version home into my flat until I am able to focus on finding a new space. This all started to happen in Winter.

It all started slowly.
Moving basic equipment from the old place to the new one to be able to work again ... setting up the new place slowly:

Thanks to my good friend Erik who helped me to setup the basic layout of the new place ...

On a personal level it was really hard for me and somehow I reached a point where I was not able to proceed. Too many emotions stuck to the big wall of great memories ... the best thing would have been inviting some friends over, drinking some beer and having a party to move out. This was not allowed due Corona. This place and the heart stuck to it, the memories in these halls would have deserved it.

So I basicly was kind of depressed and stucked ... tried to enjoy creativity in the new place, while the old was waiting to die. Did not really work ...

Out of nowwhere my awesome girlfriend surprised me with a book.
She organised friends of mine to celebrate this party in form of text and memories and to be honest it just made me cry when I had it in my hands, reading through these pages ...

On this evening - while zipping a beer or two - I was able to tear down the wall of memories. Saving 50% of photos to put them together in a photo album.

From there on, the spell was broken and I was able to see it all for what it was:
Time to say goodbye, finally and being thankful for it. The studio itself started to empty up too and it was quite the workload to sort out things, put usuables into the new studio and throwing out what was not needed, putting tons of stuff on ebay too.

Some weeks ago - while writing this - it was done.
The room was empty and the studio was moved.

It was time to remove the sign from the front door.

The end of an era.
The start of a new one.

Finally, the new studio felt like something.
It started to feel good to focus on this new place.
Unpacking tons of boxes (still not done yet) and organising the place.
My two buddies, Keiko and Momo always around and really interested in this place of future creativity.

Now in the new place it is still work ahead of me ...
Unpacking, organising and most important finding a workflow again. It works, but not superfast.
It feels good to be able to teach again, this is what I missed the most during lockdowns and move and it helps to find organisation combined with a workflow. Time to unpack the brushes ...

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank everyone who helped me in this task. I am not good with changes and I tend to be emotional, maybe too much or just the right amount, who knows. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me with words and their help to move this forward.

For the moment the new place is good and I am thankful.
On the long term it makes sense to find a place outside my flat again to seperate work and home and the view already searches for new options ... we will see what the future brings.

Thank you!

Keep on happy painting!

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.