I always thought the most intriguing aspect of historical maps such as the Carta Marina are the fantastic beasts and odd creatures depicted on them: Humanoid figures without heads, sea serpents swallowing ships whole and dragons terrorising villages. Many of these depictions are based on Roman and Greek myth or on tall stories told by sailors over an ale. But how can you add such beasts to your own maps and how do you go best about coloring the map?
In this short tutorial I will show you one way of drawing such beasts and digital colorisation techniques. I already covered the basics in another posts that gives you an introduction to hand-drawn maps. In this installment we draw a much more detailed map and use layers of translucent color instead of layer masks to bring the map alive.
So come along and explore the Margravate of Greifshold with me, but be warned that we will meet dragons and sentient mushrooms in long forgotten ruins, serpents deep below the waves and fierce tree guardians deep inside an autumnal forest.
Continue reading Fantastic beasts and how to draw them – Hand-drawn fantasy maps step-by-step
Last time we fashioned a diorama base featuring weathered gravestones, a gnarly autumn tree and moss-covered flagstones. As promised in this second installment we will focus on an objective token or a small piece of scatter terrain featuring a ruined shrine and a removable birch tree. Naturally nothing stops you to use it as a scenic base instead or to incorporate this idea into a gaming board.
We will also cover how to make a generic flagstone base if the miniature you are working on does not demand a very elaborate base.
Given I already covered the basic techniques in the graveyard base tutorial, I will only provide instructions for new elements and some work in progress pictures with short annotations for the rest. The list of materials needed is similar to the graveyard base one, with some exceptions noted below.
Continue reading Enthroned in darkness – How to make a ruined shrine and flagstone bases
Crumbling gravestones covered in moss, faded letters, weathered by rain, wind and ice, a gnarled tree, the cry of an owl in moonlit night; who does not enjoy adding an eerily beautiful atmosphere to a base that will hold a vampire, ghost or necromancer? But how to go about it, what materials can you use and how should you arrange the scene?
Fear not fellow enthusiast of the dark arts, I shall answer these questions in a detailed step-by-step tutorial. In part one I will build a base for a Vampire Lord based on Reaper’s Judas Bloodspire sculpted by Werner Glocke, but naturally you can use the techniques presented below in any project, may it be a scenic base or a gaming board to add a somber, yet unsettling feel to your terrain.
Part II will focus on an objective token using the same techniques, namely a long forgotten shrine with a tumbled over statue and we will also look at generic flagstone bases.
Finally part three will present the painted miniature. We will also add some further details, such as walls and bats.
Continue reading Unrested souls – How to make a graveyard themed diorama base part I
I hope all of you had a very merry festive season with good food, a relaxed time with your loved ones and maybe even some extended hobby time. I also hope you progressed successfully into the new year and did not get caught in an eternal time loop.
I was indeed so relaxed, that I was able to dedicate a lot of time to hobby endeavours and I am now turning them slowly into blog posts. Accordingly this post is a combination of a review of last year and outline what I would like to do this year with the blog.
It would be a shame to forego my yearly tradition to perform the sacred rite of molybdomancy and I am sure the lead will reveal my wargaming fate in 2017.
As always, adults only! After all we are handling molten metal and we don’t want any unfortunate accidents.
Continue reading In plumbo veritas – Divining the wargaming year 2017
Our yew tree stands already proud, but yew trees are evergreens, so we cannot leave it barren, instead we have to find a good-looking solution to depict coniferous leaves.
In Part I of this tutorial we created the trunk, branches and scenic base of our ancient yew tree. In this second part we will conduct some experiments to find the best solution to depict the leaves, use some simple weathering techniques to add depth to the foliage and finally fixate it with thinned down PVA or acrylic medium. The last step is to matte varnish the tree and then glorious battle around its trunk can ensue! We will also revisit the fallen branches and add some finishing touches to the bases.
Continue reading Leafy experimentation – How to Make an Ancient Yew Tree for 28mm Part II
Ancient trees with their often haphazardly growing branches, bulbous trunks and weathered appearance always fired up my imagination. Inscribed in their bark are stories of times long past, combined with a certain mysticism and deep respect for such an old being. To depict such a tree on the gaming table can add such qualities to our games and add narrative potential as well as a welcome change to young or middle-aged deciduous trees that are most commonly depicted.
For this two-part tutorial I chose to model an ancient yew tree. With their broad, often hollow trunks they allow us to use the tree as cover or as a mission objective, adding further to the appeal. I also decided to magnetize two of the main branches for easy transport and storage. Per usual I will provide some botanical background, some facts about owls, a list of the materials needed, followed by detailed step-by-step instructions. Part I will cover the trunk and branches as well as the scenic base, while Part II will focus on different options to depict the foliage.
Continue reading Through a Forest, Darkly – How to Make an Ancient Yew Tree for 28mm Part I
Browsing my blog it becomes apparent that I have a thing for modelling trees, evidenced by earlier posts on oaks and birch trees. But what about bushes, shrubs or hedges? There is a variety of shrubs and bushes that one could depict on the gaming table and construction will be very similar in most cases. That said I chose to make a hazel bush for this tutorial given they have a distinct, very appealing bark texture and the fruit lends itself for base decoration. Oh, and I think squirrels are adorable, so why not give them some scale hazels to forage?
Per usual a step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the creation process, with additional background information and scenic shots of the finished bushes.
Continue reading Squirrly goodness – making Hazel shrubs for 28mm and 15mm
While we are spoilt for choice these days if it comes to miniatures, it still happens that I really love a miniature, but there is this one detail that really does not work for me. For instance the pose is awesome and the garments are beautifully rendered, but instead of a spear the miniature is wielding a ‘tree log’ or a sword is as thick as a wooden plank. With Bones miniatures (or any other miniature really) miscasts can be an issue and may ruin an otherwise wonderful sculpt.
Fortunately we have greenstuff and bits and bobs from other sets at our disposal to change or enhance the look of a miniature. In this first installment of a semi-regular feature on conversions I will talk about the basics and provide an example for making thin braids and wooden staffs. This tutorial is meant for the conversion novice, mainly because I am one also :P, but I hope future installments will add complexity.
Continue reading Luxuriant Braids and Magical Staves – Conversions 101
I wish all my readers a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope your spiced ham levels did not exceed your limit and you did not have an unfortunate fireworks accident.
I had both a very relaxed Christmas break and changeover into the new year in good company. I had some time to further my projects and think about future articles on DaggerAndBrush.
As it is tradition (well since last year ;P) I divine my wargaming future using the ancient nordic rite of molybdomancy. So gather your exotic ingredients and an unwanted miniature and join me lifting the veil of the things to come.
Oh and kids, don’t try this at home! Adults only! After all we are handling molten metal.
Continue reading In plumbo veritas – Divining the wargaming year
You will be all familiar with the famous caulking method to make beautiful flexible wargaming mats. However, this technique does not only come in handy to cover an entire gaming table, but can also be used for scatter terrain, such as rough terrain, roads, villages and even hills. It can also be used to create a very versatile photography mat.
In this first installment I focus on making some flexible rough terrain featuring some rocky outcrops, brush and small bushes. I took my inspiration for this piece from ekimdj, who not only has a very nice blog, but also wrote a tutorial for flexible desert terrain on the Sweetwater-forum, so if you are able to read German check it out (it is pretty picture heavy, so you can follow it easily in any case).
This tutorial will also come in handy if you want to learn how to create basic groundwork, flexible or not. This technique can be applied to a small base or an entire terrain board.
Per usual I will give an overview of the materials you need, followed by detailed step-by-step instructions and finally some ‘action’ shots showing off the piece’s flexibility.
Continue reading Built on shaky ground – flexible wargaming terrain