December 31, 2010

WIP - High Elf unit fillers & making snow

Been working on a couple of unit fillers for my High Elves using some left over basing materials and figures I had in my bits collection. Fillers are 3x2 allowing me to turn a unit of 20 into a unit of 25 without the expense of buying extra models, they also add a little extra to your armies appearance. Only two fillers so far will build 2 more once I can source some more of the pillars in the centre of the current ones. The first model is a mermaid from an alternative supplier called Reaper Mini I had originally purchased with the intent of starting a Nautican army.

Also in pictures are a unit of Spears next on line to be painted and the unit of Archers I am currently working on. Snow flock was applied before painting completed as it makes it easier to tidy things up.

Making Snow
I have tried unsuccessfully to get a snow look using standard GW and GF9 flock but have found that neither product works well on its own. Rather you have to make your own snow material incorporating either product into your mix. The steps I use are:

1. Preparation - make sure the area you are applying the snow to has been painted properly with light colours grey/white. This is critical as the snow will show up, and if made improperly take on, the colour over which it is applied, e.g., if you apply it over a green base the snow will go green.

2. Ingredients - for the snow you will need Baking Soda, PVA Glue (or whatever white glue is used in your country), snow flock, white paint, a container, a stirring stick, and an old brush.

3. Mixing - mix equal parts PVA glue and Baking Soda into the container. Add in a sprinkling of snow flock and a small amount of paint for colour. Stir until everything is well mixed. The final product should look like slightly melted ice-cream and be reasonably thick. Basic test is to dip your stirring stick into it and hold it upside down. The snow should droop down but not drip off the stick. Too runny and you'll lose the colour when applying it to the the base and it wont stick properly.

4. Application - spread with brush, easy ah, and then let dry for a few minutes. Then sprinkle a liberal amount of snow flock over the top of the bases. Dont worry about being tidy just cover (or in my case bury) the models in snow flock, this adds to the final colour. Then dry overnight.

5. Tidying up - in the morning (or whenever) you will need to scrap away any flock that has accumulated around the edge of the bases and on the models (hence why I usually do this before I finish painting). Some paint around the bottom of the models is Ok as it adds to the effect.

6. Final stage - once you have finished painting the model you will need to apply 2-3 very thin watered down coats of white paint over the snow. This helps bind it to the base and improves the colour. Make sure the paint is thinned down or you will pick up all of the snow with your brush. Finally once everything is dry apply a thin coat of sealant over the entire model. GW Purity Seal is OK but inconsistent in quality I much prefer Moana Vale.

7. Enjoy


Mike Howell said...

I think the white paint is probably the step I've neglected, and it's hurt my models. Over a few years the snow on my models has turned mostly yellow. Not bad with my Orks, but would be strange with elves.

John said...

lol - that would be an interesting set of orc bases

I discovered the yellowing issue as well, unfortunately my Swordmasters suffer from it. Did some research online and discovered the white paint tip it works really well.