"What kind of
camera do you use?"
camera is an Olympus Camedia C-4000 with a separate macro lens and filter.
This is NOT a model I'd recommend. My photos look rather unfocused and
not sharp to me. Having to buy the extra lens for the (supposedly) "super"
macro camera was also an unexpected expense.
Other older pictures on my site were taken with an old
long-gone Fuji Finepix. It was easy and relatively inexpensive, but
required a very specific light setup for decent pictures.
I am seriously considering getting a better camera at this
"What is the photography area's lighting setup?"
standard room two 65W bulb incandescents on the ceiling above the area and
two flood 65W incandescents off to the front on either side of the model.
There is a white sheet of fabric draped between the lights and the model
that serves as a homemade light tent. The background is a sheet of
"How do you insert your backgrounds?.. with photoshop?"
I tried that once to save on paper, it was a disaster. I can't do it
with photoshop, so I can't tell you how. The background I use is
either a piece of black construction paper, unbleached paper, or a piece of
cheap photoquality ink jet paper with a blue gradient printed on it.
The model is placed near the edge with the paper sloping up behind.
"Do you offer classes or private lessons?"
No. Not until I'm allowed to use an electric cattleprod to discipline students.
"I know you say you're not taking on squads or armies to
paint, but surely could you do it just this one time, please?"
When I've finished the armies that I have started on here in my own home, I
might consider it. At the rate I paint, that should be about the year
Seriously, the closest I've come to painting a unit for a customer
was when he sent me a wildly different model to do and paid after each
single. One by one, until there was 15 of them, it took almost two
"You say you're not painting private commissions, but
could you do one for me anyways?"
Ask me nicely, show me a beautifully sculpted figure I might like, promise
to pay me well, and then I might find the time.
"Do you work for manufacturers? If so, who?"
Yes I do and have. Lately I have been much too busy with my real life
and three kids to work for anybody including myself. However,
in the past I've had a great relationship with the folks at Hasslefree and
done a couple for Mr.Klocke at Freebooter.
"Will you sell your award winning Golden Demon entry(s)?"
Unless you are willing to shell out enough to pay my home mortgage for a
month or three, the answer is almost always no. I have an fond
attachment to these that goes beyond merely the (usually hundreds) of hours
of work I put into those figures. They are often an integral part of
my own armies and I also severely dislike selling something that's been
published. Besides, they look nice in my showcase at home too. :)
"What color and brand of primer do you use?"
Black or white, and sometimes black and white. So far, Games
Workshop's Citadel spray primer is the only one decent enough to use.
And it can screw up on occasion too! Vallejo or Citadel brush-on
primer is also useful for spots that the spray has missed or chipped areas
that need a touchup.
If a figure is bright and light in tone it will most likely
be white primer.
Black primer is useful for a darker, moodier model, or one that is
just getting a semi-decent paintjob destined for the games table.
For a zenithal lighting effect on a model I will often undercoat
black and then use white from above to provide an easy way to figure out the
highlights. One must be careful doing this, it is very easy to put on
too much primer, getting a grainy finish.
"Are you a brush licker? Do you recommend it?"
No, and I don't recommend it. After all, you are ingesting a small
amount of paint and no doubt, some bacteria and other yuckies on the brush
with each "lick". Paint is PAINT ! It is not intended for
consumption. Even if the label says non-toxic that does NOT mean you
should eat it in any quantity if you can help it. Face it folks: Brush
licking is gross!
"Do you use an airbrush?"
No, never. Though I might consider purchasing one for applying primer
"How can I get better at painting?"
This is the most common and vaguest question. It's difficult to judge
another's ability without holding and looking at your model in my hands.
You can only improve by practice, patience, learning and
practice, practice practice. Other key points are good work area
lighting, a steady hand, and thinning your paint.
If you want to learn specifics, there a number of websites
with tutorials. The most comprehensive being coolminiornot.com 's article
section. A good few evenings of searching online will additionally find endless
treasure troves of painting articles dispersed all over the internet.
Some research, experimentation and practice will go a long way to
improving one's skills. I'm still learning too, and hopefully getting
better in much the same way.