FIN: David's first ever Space Marine

by David

Hey all,

today, I am excited to share with you a very special project: my very first Space Marine! You read that right - after almost a dozen years of painting minis, I've never laid my hands on a space marine. But during our recent MASSIVE VOODOO family meeting (follow this link for a comprehensive report on that fantastic weekend), my jungle brothers Roman and Hansrainer decided it was high time to change that - and that they would support me by also painting one. But, knowing my preference for "smallish" minis, they agreed that we each painted a marine in the old WH Epic, that is 6 mm, scale.
And that's exactly what we did. As I have never entered the Warhammer Universe before, I needed some support deciding on a fitting color scheme, and with the help of Andy, I ended up painting my tiny marine as one of the Black Templars - which is a nice little nod to my preference for historical minis and my interest in the medieval Crusades and the religious military orders.
It was great fun to paint my first little marine, and it will surely not be my last. Looking into my imaginary crystal ball, I might see a little vignette in the future - maybe with a 40k-interpretation of the historical military order of St. Lazarus... :-D Of course, in 6 mm scale!
The three 6mm marines in all their tiny glory - from left to right: Roman's, my own, and Hansrainer's project.
In any case, I will let you know how that goes. In the meantime, all best and take care!


REVIEW: "How to paint miniatures for War Games" by Rubén Torregosa, Published by Ammo by MIG Jimenez

by Hansrainer

Hello and Welcome to my next Massive Voodoo review, 

today I will give you my view on the new book "How to paint miniatures for War Games" from Ammo by MIG Jimenez

For me, army painting is a very special topic/sub-genre in the miniature painting hobby, one where it all started for me and whenever life gets busier (family, work…) this is the field I return to, when I feel like I need a place where I can feel safe and some measure of success is ensured. There is a certain Zen-level attached to cranking out minis, grinding through a heap of work and I can reach a deep feeling of satisfaction, when an army comes together on a table (or my showcase) painted for the first time.

Having said that, there is not that much literature on this specific area out there (apart from the books by the big British elephant in the room) and so I was really pleased when I was given the opportunity to take a look at this book. 

Full disclosure first: I was given a review copy by the publisher and did not buy it with my own money. 

But now, without further ado: let's get down to business: 

The Basics: 
How to paint miniatures for War Games has the same high quality paper, cover and production values which have become the standard for books by Ammo. It consists of 168 full color pages, is unsurprisingly richly illustrated and clocks in at a recommended resales prices of 34.95€. Its available in English, French and Spanish and my review is based on the English language version. It is an ensemble product, with content provided by several authors, all of them accomplished painters and hobbyists in their own right. Main editing credits go to Rubén Torregros, who also wrote the general part. 

The book is broken up into two major parts: A more general section providing an introduction, a section on tools and preparation, a number of painting techniques and section on how to create bases for the miniatures. This part takes up just a bit more than a third of the overall volume. The second part, entitled as "Masterclasses", then uses the remaining 100 pages to go through seven example projects, where specific artists basically employ and combine the various techniques from the first part of the book to create very nice looking armies.
After reading a book cover to cover, I usually like to break up my reviews into three parts: Talking about the good, the bad and my ugly opinion about the product as a whole. So let's dive in: 

The Good:
How to paint miniatures for War Games is a great entry point into painting miniatures for war games - this sounds a bit silly, but I think it's very important to stress the point, that this book fills a niche usually reserved for the products of a large British company. The book addresses all the basics: From the tools, to types of paints, brushes and the preparation of the models, every important basic topic for miniature painters is covered. Obviously, the example tools and paints in the illustrations are the Ammo variety as far as available. The preparation ends of course - with  priming the assembled miniatures. 

The chapter on painting techniques starts with a quick rundown on color theory. There are some really valuable tips in there, but don't expect it to go into all that much depth. It then spends a page on brush handling and care, a page on thinning and consistency of paint and finally dives into basic painting techniques, like color blocking, dry brushing, washing, wet blending and layering. 
This part is a bit confusing to the more experienced painter, as some content here is redundant, even within this book. However, I do believe the sequence of  explaining and introducing certain techniques might provide a better entry point for a beginner, without swamping the reader with details. After the basic techniques we get an introduction into basic weathering techniques, a good way to make up for inconsistencies during the actual paintjob. 
Finally there is a short chapter on creating interesting and easy bases for the models. 

What I actually really liked here is the limitation to basic and mostly easy techniques, as well as the consideration of and examples for simplifications - abandoning realism and detail for effect at times. Sometimes good enough is just good enough. Rubén also goes into some details about the effects of scale on the viewers perception. Overall, I would have loved to have the impact of playing with the audiences perception playing a bigger role and being covered in more detail. 

From there on out, its Masterclasses:

 Masterclass here means: We get an in depth, step-by-step overview of a specific project painted by an experienced painter. This is in my opinion the part where the book begins to shine and where it starts to really deliver. The different projects all use and refer different techniques presented in the first section of the book - but now they are placed into a context. The authors do not only convey the "how" of the painting process, (something for which I personally consider videos oftentimes more helpful than books - but that's a different discussion) but they explain the "why" of the decision for or against a specific technique. Be it the quite quick and high contrast painting of 15mm DAK Artillery, or my personal favorite, the Droid Infantry project by Omar Olabi. Omar employs techniques like Enamel washes in a really simple and effective way to create a great looking Star Wars Droid Army with just a handful of steps. Other masterclasses, like the Spanish Tercios in 15 mm are a bit more off-course for my taste, as the elaborate techniques presented here will likely lead to much longer painting times, increasing the chances for frustration in the novice painter. 

The Bad: 
Assuming How to paint miniatures for War Games is addressed to beginners in the hobby world, I would have generally preferred it to spend a bit more time on the basics of preparation up to priming. While the book does a good job addressing all the basic points, it really falls short when it comes to pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. To illustrate this, I'd wish the authors would have spent a paragraph or two on the challenges of priming. At least a few words on preferable temperature/humidity conditions for can priming could have been really helpful for the beginner. 
In general, I was a bit sad that the book didn't even touch on topics such as overall visual composition of an army on the table, or the fact that the sheer number of models and viewing distance often makes painting armies more forgiving. 
It also does not really delve into paint project organization: How do I decide what quality I want to paint? How do I factor my available time in or what my expectations are, when the project is to be finished and so on. Admittedly, these are topics rarely, if ever, touched by books about miniature painting, but that would have been a chance for this book to stand out. Even though, it is a good alternative to the increasingly hard to get books on the topics from said big company. 

The Ugly Opionion (tl,dr): 
How to paint miniatures for War Games by Ammo is a good book for the beginning army painter. It touches all the basic topics required to tackle, when someone wants to get a miniature army ready for the battle field. It gives a good introduction in and overview of techniques and methods commonly employed for painting gaming miniatures and provides practical examples and ideas what to employ when and why. For the experienced painter, the section with the masterclasses will be far more interesting and helpful. And while I think it's a good book, I am a bit saddened due to the missed opportunities in this case. - Maybe thats something worth writing about in a blog post for the future.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well.

FIN: Otto I "the Child"

by David

Hey all,

I am happy to show you some pics of a project I finished a year ago - but for which I only now have some nice pics, thanks to my brother Roman who took them during a recent stay of the MASSIVE VOODOO family at his study (check this link for a comprehensive report on that fantastic weekend!!!).
The vignette shows Duke Otto I of Brunswick-Lüneburg (ca. 1204 – 9 June 1252) during the Battle of Bornhöved in which an army of the Northern German Hanseatic League fought against the troops of the Danish king Valdemar II and his German allies. The Hanseatic forces took victory, allegedly supported by a miracle of St Mary Magdalene, and Otto, who had allied with the Danish, was taken prisoner. I imagine the scene showing the moment when Otto realized his defeat, briefly before being taken hostage.
The project is part of my long-term "series" of miniatures, vignettes and small dioramas centered on personalities and scenes from the Hanseatic League, which I started when I moved to Hamburg in 2018. Check the links if you like to see a few more: Knight of Lübeck, Teutonic Knight, Fisherman at Visby. A few more are yet to come...

Thanks for your interest. Talk to you soon! Best,


p.s.: Otto is also up at Putty & Paint, if you feel like voting...

A massive MASSIVE VOODOO Family Weekend

by David

Hey all,

on a sunny weekend in June the Massive Voodoo team got together in Roman's Studio in Augsburg for a long-awaited family meeting. Almost all of us were there, even though we sadly had to do without our jungle brothers Daniele, Josua, Kilian and Philip, who were busy with other important stuff. Nonetheless, the remainder of the gang had lots of fun hanging out, talking, enjoying great food and, of course, painting!

We also made good use of our time to talk about future jungle activities - and to produce a little special something for our readers, viewers, and followers on social media. We don't want to spoil anything by telling you too much, but this should be said: there's something EPIC coming your way!

To make the waiting time a little less long, here are some impressions from the weekend.


This was absolutely legendary! As I am still quite new to the Massive Voodoo family - and even though I know some of these great human beings a bit longer already - this weekend sparked a lot more creative energy (that I was missing over the last couple of months) than expected. Being swamped with other super interesting and fun projects, painting somehow stepped back a bit from my focus - so I was very much looking forward to a relaxed and joyful couple of days with good friends, talks and laughter. A much needed and deserved pause from hectic daily life, a time to breathe and recharge those batteries, surrounded by wonderful people (and cats! and ... a whole armada of mosquitoes, who seemed to like my blood very much).

The first half of the year was gone in a silent swoosh - and not many brushes had been dipped into paint, yet. But this was about to change! Andy and I dropped the glitter bomb and had some oddly specific ideas with some glitter glue we got earlier from a drugstore - because glitter and dragons always go well together, don't they! Relaxing in-between to good, chill music, talks and the radiating passion for the hobby and art in general turned this weekend a wonderful breakout from the crazy world out there. Nothing was really finished on my painting table, but a good step of progress and some interesting findings were made. Maybe you'll see some of it here soon? ;-)
Blue dragon with glitter

Thank you all so much for making me feel welcome, for all the talks, ideas, chats, Pizza, fun, pictures, weird little quirks, for being there, Speiseeis, the deep focus and the light laughter. For sharing tips and tricks, trying out new techniques, being lovingly weird, venturing into all that (non-)serious painting time, getting comfy on the sofa, flipping through books and admiring art.

Grey cat getting extra snuggles.

When everyone returned to their own lives on Sunday, and while my own train only took off on Monday morning, I spent an afternoon and evening in cheerful solitude (well, again accompanied by a cuddly cat); thankful and feeling deeply humbled to be able to call this group of former strangers on earth family.

Looking forward to seeing you all again, and hopefully rather sooner than later! <3


What a great weekend meeting the gang.

First of all, many thanks to David for organizing the weekend and keeping the whole team on track, and also many thanks to Roman for providing the best possible place for the meeting and the great hospitality!

We are meeting regularly online but meeting in person is still another level. Beside of painting together and letting the creative energies flow, the best part was chatting with everyone, hanging out, and just having a good time. Felt somehow like a much-needed creative vacation.

Thank you everyone and I’m much looking forward to the next get together. I hope it is not too far in the future :)

… waiting for serious painting time and Speiseeis again, @HR


What a weekend!

Even though my social energies are pretty low at the moment and I am in urgent need for vacations (soon!) this weekend with friends felt like being in a safe harbour of family. It was refreshing, healthy, funny and beautiful to be sorrounded by friends and spending hobby time.

Thank you all for this beautiful weekend!


What a weekend - I arrived dead tired and left even more so, but what a jolt of energy and joy in between. Being on the team since 2019, we have been thinking about a get-together like this for almost four years now. But with Covid and everything else in between, it seemed that we were doomed to only ever meet during a painting class or miniature show. But then David came through and really pushed to make this a reality.

Arriving friday, we got a tour of the bright and shiny new MV-Studio - a location worth a visit! So many mementos, memories and exceptional pieces of art - miniature and others, the place itself is quite magic and inspiring. On saturday morning we then got together to get some serious painting time in - I think I finished 3 projects during this weekend and started a fourth. Sunday, we worked on the special surprise and also took a few photos. And of course we made plans for many new exciting Massive Voodoo things...

In hindsight, it seems that for many of us, this was a so much needed boost and painting vacation. So I guess one important take-home-message of this weekend is: Every now and then, try to find the time to get together with some people special to you - and some people new to you - and just paint. No classes, no contest, no exhibition. Just quality time, art and music. It might be exhausting but it will be rewarding.

I can't wait for the next one!


Well, it was high time to get the team together! While we had met in different constellations at various occasions over the years - at workshops, painting competitions, birthday parties or the odd informal get-together - I was eagerly awaiting the day when the whole family finally got together for the first time! It took a bit longer and a few postponements more than I expected, thanks to Covid, but when we got the date fixed for that June 2023 weekend, I was super-excited and happy - and very much looking forward to spending a few chilled and inspiring hours with my jungle brothers and sisters in Roman's new studio.

And what a beautiful weekened it was. Two sunny days in Augsburg filled with good talks, fun moments, and lots of laughter. There was great chemistry between all of us and the Studio was buzzing with this special energy of concentration, relaxation and focus many of you will know. You know, this feeling when you're in a painting flow and feeling comfortable and at peace with yourself and have great people surrounding you to share this feeling with. And, yes. Even I even got some painting done - even though before that weekend I only a had handful of painting-hours under my belt this year. While most of the time I was working on a 1/72 historical mini, on Sunday I painted my first ever Space Marine - check the blogpost on that.

So, when we parted on Sunday, it was with a mix of happiness and sadness, knowing that some of us will meet again soon enough, but that it will feel way too long until the next time the whole MV family gets together. I am counting the days already...