Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures


Posted by Martin on September 16, 2010

You may already have come across the Artmaster Studio series of occasional live video recordings of miniature painting sessions recorded by Toby Thorton. Me too but I haven’t really had the time to sit down and watch any of them. Well, that changed this week when I spotted that he’d recorded a video of how he painted a Perry Brunswick artilleryman. To save you trolling off elsewhere to track it down, I’ve embedded it below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Now, watching somebody else paint for 70+ minutes sounds like it requires a massive attention span but this was actually pretty easy viewing. But I suppose it helps if you have some sort of paint-related OCD like me! In general I was struck by the simiarities between Toby’s approach and my own. After the first couple of minutes, I hit the pause button so that I could type a few notes along the way as I watched. I thought I’d share them with you here…

  • Toby saved viewing time by starting from a point where the black undercoat was already done. Sensible lad.
  • He mostly uses Vallejo acylics and thins them with water. He even shows a couple of helpful shots of his palette so we can see the paint consistency he works with.
  • His order of painting interesting. He started with flesh basecoat and then switched to another part of the model before returning to the next flesh layer later. I suppose this was a way to save time and make progress while the flesh basecoat was drying.
  • He did cuffs basecoat as first clothing item like I often do but, again, switched to working on another area of the figure while this dried.
  • Wonder what brush size he uses? It looks smaller than an O. Later he reveals that it’s an Army Painter Wargames Character sable brush. This range of brushes doesn’t appear to be rated by conventional sizes. It just serves to remind everybody how crucial a good brush point is.
  • Quite swishy brush strokes/style – I’m much more deliberate (AKA slow).
  • Hmmm. Vallejo Field Blue is an interesting colour. The palette he uses for the cuffs and collar is Field Blue / Grey Blue / Pastel Blue and it seems to work well.
  • Not much mixing of his own shades. Of course, the minute I noted that, he started adding white to dark grey for “sharp highlights”.
  • A unit of 24-30 Brunswick foot figures in one day. Flamin’ Nora, that’s fast!
  • Lots of almost throw away tips along the way – e.g. tonally different blacks/greys for different areas. I notice the Panzer Aces range is deployed. More food for thought there…
  • Metallics – uses a mixture of GW and Vallejo paints along with Citadel washes.

That was, I have to say, a fascinating experience. And it really rammed home to me how lucky we are to be living in a time when technology provides the means for us to share our tips, tricks and tutorials with each other in such illustrative ways. Now this was Toby with minimal lighting, a fixed camera position, a relatively inexpensive set-up and recording live with (as far as I can tell) no post-production work. In other words, apart from the outlay for the video camera and his own time, it cost Toby next-to-nothing to produce this.

Somebody is surely going to latch on to this is a more commercial way. If Toby can make something this useful, imagine what could be done if a bit more money was thrown at the idea by, for instance, a company wishing to set up in competition with the modelling and wargaming print magazines. Done well, such a venture could really be a paradigm shift that could undermine their whole business model. No print, paper and distribution costs to worry about; opportunities for revenue from advertising and sponsorship; instant viewer gratification with 24×7 global reach and the option for charging for subscription access.

In fact, what’s more likely is that individual well-known figures in our hobby will do more of this on their own Web sites and blogs. Heck, I might even do it myself one day!


One Response to “Toby-vision”

  1. I have to admit I watched the whole 70 minutes without turning away. I use a completely different style of painting, but it was quite engaging.

    Thanks for posting.


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