First Half of the Invaders

I was asked to paint up some alien ships called Invaders that are for the Dystopian Wars game. I’ve painted all sorts of ships so far and these were delightfully different.

I finished these a couple of weeks ago. They are at their new home and are well loved. A second, duplicate set will come from the same customer that I’ll paint in a different scheme.

I did the under painting with acrylics and then went back over with oil paints with a little metallic pigments mixed in to match the color. This gives the ships a beetle like sheen.


These Predator Class Bombers were the first to get painted so I can fiddle with a color scheme. They rest on their flight bases rather nicely and don’t need to be glued in or magnetized.

Predator Class Bomers



The Scarab Class Hive Ship was the next to be painted. I really like how the pigments make this look organic yet alien. I magnetized the weapons but, like the Bombers, it balances on the flight base rather nicely.


Scarab Class Hive Ship



Next up were the Sentinal Class Cruisers. These were a bit tricky as I believe there were missing pieces from underneath the body where the legs attach. There were no sockets for the legs or the weapon so I mixed up some Milliput and sculpted something that would hold magnets for the legs and create a space for the weapon.



Sentinal Class Cruisers




The water bases were sculpted with Milliput, painted, and then Vallejo Water Effects were laid over to resemble choppy ocean water.

Along the same lines, but much smaller, are the Terror Class Frigates.  I tried to magnetize the legs on these but the metal bodies were too heavy and would swivel and collapse the legs. I found some scraps of half round wire and pinned the legs. The half round keeps the legs from turning but they can still be taken out of the model for storing and transporting safely. The water effects also makes a decent gasket for the bottom of the feet, further stabilizing these leggy alien ships.


Terror Class Frigates




The last bunch are the Tiny Flier Tokens. There are thirty with three on each token.


Tiny Flier Token


Flier Tokens




For comparison, here’s the group pic. It doesn’t seem like much but after sculpting, pinning, magnetizing, and painting tiny stripes, it ended up being a decent amount of work.



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Blood Raven Color Tutorial

I’ve been asked by a handful of folks about how I painted the red on the Blood Raven army so I thought I’d write something up.


I have to say first that nothing too special was done. This is how I go about painting a tabletop army.  I would paint a display quality army much differently. These guys need to look impressive as a group and different from the sea of GW armies out there, not look super clean and spiffy individually.


First I found and followed loosely Les Bursley’s video tutorial on painting Blood Ravens. I tweaked it as I went a little but I advise that this video be watched as it’s a better summary than this post.


These are the paints I dug out: Reaper Blood Red, Reaper Carnage Red, White, Reaper Shield Brown, and Vallejo Scarlet. The oils are W&N Lamp Black and Burnt Sienna.


Paint Selection



I started by priming black and using Les’ basic techniques, airbrushing Shield Brown from the top and sides, Carnage Red on the same areas, Blood Red from above and then Vallejo Scarlet from above on the higher points. The troops had to be done more carefully, masking out the shoulder pads after airbrushing them brown then white and using the Scarlet more sparingly.  The results, especially on the vehicles, is a much brighter color on the tops than on the undersides.


Airbrush red

Darker Underneath


After getting these nice and bright, I used the Scarlet to edge highlight and bring up any areas that would be brighter naturally (but not going for actual realism) and also create some contrast from a distance.


Edge Highlighting




After getting the basic colors where they need to be and highlighting the edges, I added the details such as insignia and weapon colors.






Satisfied with the overall outcome, I mixed up the oil colors. There’s no real formula for the color. It’s mostly Burnt Sienna with a touch of Lamp Black. I washed the entire model with this mixture. It flows nicely into the crevices and darkens every color evenly while creating a gritty look to the model. Some painters use a gloss varnish before adding the oils so that the oil paints can be wiped away. I was going for a dirty look so I didn’t bother with the gloss varnish. I wanted the oils to cover everything, not just part of the model.  Any of the models that had a large amount of metals to cover got an additional thin layer of Lamp Black to darken them up more.




Oil Wash




The oils take a while to dry. The thinner the wash, the faster the drying. I also used a lamp to dry them a little faster, but there’s still some time to wait before touching the model.

The result of the oil  wash is an overall dark red and off white from a bright orange and bright white start.


Land Speeder

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Eldar Farseer

In between the Blood Ravens and Dystopian Wars,  I managed to sneak in a Eldar Farseer.  Painting up something different and more detailed saves my sanity when I’m faced with a sea of red armor.

It came to me with a head swap from a High Elf . I just had to rotate the hand palm up and add the rune.

The colors and details were picked by the owner.



I did brighten the rune after this picture was taken to make the OSL a bit more convincing but otherwise it’s an accurate photo.


I started on the Invaders from Dystopian Wars. I have an approved color scheme for one half of the commission. I’ll share some WIP photos soon.

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The Final Blood Raven Post

This is the last model for this commission. I actually finished it last week but haven’t had the time to post pictures here.

Storm Talon


I had to come up with a background large enough for this guy. I made the flight stand removable for safer shipping and storage.


Just the other night I decided to get a decent group shot of the whole group. Space and lighting made for taking pictures difficult but I got some in.







It doesn’t look like much when they’re all built and painted, but the piles of sprues I received in the beginning were a daunting site. I was fortunate to get help from a friend in building the last few vehicles.


I now have Dystopian Wars Invaders on my desk ready to go. Hopefully I’ll have something approved to show in a short time.

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Blood Raven Dreadnoughts

I’ve been painting away at these vehicles. I’ve gotten a few done, but haven’t had the moment to post pictures.






I finished up the two Razorbacks last night and the oils on the Land Speeder are still wet. Just the Storm Talon and I’m finished with the Blood Ravens. :)


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January Comp: Custom Base Winner

I belong to Candy Cane Painting,  a wonderful Facebook Group. Just about every month there are competitions. I’ve given up on being in those friendly comps because of my commission workload. I have difficulty painting something for myself or specifically for competitions… it’s just not my thing.  In an attempt to still contribute to this group, I’ve offered to send out prizes for these comps and show off the winning model here.


January’s theme was DIY Base. The idea is to make a base for a mini out of household items, not supplied or pre-fabricated bases. All the entries were amazing. We have all sorts of painters from all sorts of skill levels and it’s fun to watch everyone push their limits in painting and modelling.


The winner of this competition was Steve from The Wicked Paint Brush Studio. I’m sure I’ll post more about this guy in the future as a “Featured Artist” post as custom bases are his forte and he’s pretty good with the brush.


Okay, here’s the winning mini for January.  This base was made solely from common items that most houses would have laying around…. I’m certainly impressed.

DIY Base Winner


There’s no competition for February. March will be the next update on this group.


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Blood Raven Drop Pod

I managed to get the Drop Pod finished today. Snow days off of the day job usually results in progress at home.  I repeated the Raven pattern on each side but there was no real call for nifty artwork. The tanks will have …. something….

I also got one Dreadnought assembled and magnetized. I’m not sure if I’m going for the second one tonight. I think I’ve had enough of being at my desk today.

Drop Pod

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Blood Raven Predator

One at a time now. :)  The Predator is finished. It’s a bit more simplified in freehand design but fits overall. The army is really coming together. Seven more vehicles.

I have a decent sized Dystopian Wars commission coming in soon. Invaders this time. They’re going to look really neat and they’re going to be headed to GenCon for a tournament. :)



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Blood Raven Rhinos.

I finished up two Rhinos over the last two nights. Most of the time was waiting for paint to dry. Instead of flooding my own site with tons of pics of each side, I put together a collage  of pics. The only difference between the two Rhinos are the designs on the top doors. The rest of them are identical.

Blood Raven Rhinos


I kept them simple but different. I made a stencil for the insignia so that it matches what I’ve been painting on the shoulder pads of the troops.

Oil paints were used over acrylics and I dusted up the tracks and bottom parts with pigments mixed with Isopropyl Alcohol followed by a few coats of matte sealer to keep the those pigments where I put them.

The rest of the vehicles will have the same style to them although I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do for the rest yet. :)

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Blood Raven Assault Squad

These are the last of the little guys. It’s all vehicles from here on in. Also, as I type this, the Blood Raven commission is the only one at hand so I’m fairly certain there will be some work in progress updates on how the rest of the army is going.

Assault Squad

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