here we have a miniature I finished about a year ago. Obviously my painting skills have increased in the meantime as you can see if you compare it to my finished Falkar. Nevertheless this step-by-step maybe very helpful.
This project was about Hortak Black Crow from Andrea Miniatures. As usual the proportions and pose of this Andrea miniature is outstanding! I spent about 100 h in total on him.
I made several mistakes tinkering and painting him and hope that this tutorial will prevent you to make the same mistakes.
You will find the rather old Cool Mini or Not link here.
Ok let's start with the result!
Manufacturer: Andrea Miniatures
Size: 54 mm
Used colours: Games Workshop, Andrea Miniatures
Time spent: approx. 100 h (3 months)
Socket: Wood from hardware store
Water: 2 component water from Ziterdes (Noch), polystyrene board
Tree: Wire-frame + (low cost) putty
Vegetation: random plants
Snow: baking soda and baking powder
I wanted to paint the skin of Hortak using the Skin Painting Set of Andrea Miniatures. This became a venture as I'm usually using minor pigmented colours (GW). To have the ultimate thrill I decided to shade and highlight the skin with my airbrush. First mistake: I diluted the colour with pure alcohol. The paint had some kind of reaction with the pure alcohol transforming the paint into sludge. The applied paint dried very crumbly. Nowadays I dilute the paint with a mixture of water and pure alcohol and no reaction occures at all. In my opinion the alcohol is mandatory to make acrylic paint better usable in an airbrush.
The skin was acceptable for me so I began to strip the paint from the rest of the miniature using nitro thinner. I started to prime the hair and did first tests with NMM on the blades.
Hortak was supposed to wear a leather tunic and red cloth to create a warm-cold contrast between the leather/cloth and the NMM. The leather was primed with a mixture of Tallarn Flesh and Snakebite Leather. The leather was shaded with tints of brown. Here I used Midnight Blue as darkest color. Keep in mind that black is often improper as darkest shade. In the end I washed the leather with ultra-diluted purple.
To increase the cold-warm contrast, the outlining metal applications on the leather were also painted in NMM.
Hortak was supposed to stand on a frozen lake on a self-made base. I knew that a good friend of mine tinkers wonderful trees from wire, so he helped me to make my own tree for the base.
The bark of the tree was assembled from some kind of low cost putty. I applied small roots at the ends of the wire frame to get a more realistic tree.
The inclined ground of the lake was made from cork and a mixture of cat litter and bird sand. Use some small plants to give the ground a more realistic look.
The ground was painted in several tints of brown and green. Nature is chaotic so you also have to be chaotic applying the colours. I surrounded the base with plastic card to add the 2-component water.
Always consider the following
1. Apply the plastic card perfectly horizontal as we will overfill the plastic card.
2. Use plastic card with a minimum thickness or it will bend resulting in bended water.
3. Apply some coating to the plastic card or it will react with the 2-component water making the water dull.
Heat the 2-component water from Ziterdes for 20 minutes in 50°C warm water. Don't skip this step as it will be much easier to mix the water after this step.
Always wear some protective gloves!
Mix the components slowly or you will have many bubbles which are hard to remove in the water. Carefully fill the mix into your plastic card container avoid further bubbles and remove all remaining bubbles with a needle. You have about 15 minutes to fill the water and remove all bubbles so don't panic.
Due to the shrinkage and the surface tension of the 2k gel you often see this ugly elevation of the water at the borders. Just add enough water at the beginning so that you "overfill" the frame up to the maximum surface tension holding the water in place. Due to the shrinkage the water it will be flat at the end.
The Ziterdes water doesn't grow warm as typical 2k gel. Therefore you are not forced to apply the 2k water in layers which is a huge advantage in my opinion that justifies the price of the Ziterdes water.
The water became dull after 20 h curing due to some reaction of the plastic card and the resin.
Also my cat Dr. Jones thought that I buggered it up.
As always: Don't panic!
Sand the water with some sanding paper und seal it with hairspray or another gloss varnish. The water will be transparent after this step.
I added the polystyrene board to represent the frozen top of the lake. Due to inadequate thickness of my plastic card the water was bended :-(.
I painted the tree, added some snow using baking soda and baking powder (better use my other snow method) and glued everything on the base.
I hope that this step-by-step and especially my mistakes are helpful to the community!