Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Crushing Success

As promised, the follow up article on the winter Germans, this time applying snow.  The "setup" for this part of the process was done with those warmer, darker glazes in the last post.

Before I applied the snow, I wanted to add some winter grass and shrubbery.  I have a few types here from Army Painter and Kings Hobbies and Games

These add a lot of extra dimension to each figure, especially when they are strategically placed to maximize the action of a particular pose.

When you choose the tufts, the size of each one and the number you place can make a big difference.  It is best to place different sizes, and not "bracket" your figure between two equal tufts!

You can see what a big difference the placement makes!  It already looks like winter is setting in...

I don't always set the tufts right at the feet of the figures.  A mix of placements is best, with a few having no tufts at their feet.

We are now ready for some snow!  I will use the Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass method.  The concept is very simple, you add the realistic water to the crushed glass, and apply it to the base.

You need to take some care with the crushed glass, because that can be harmful if mishandled.  Wearing some latex gloves and a simple mask would be more than adequate to prevent any issues.

Making the actual mixtures is more by feel than any specific ratio.  More Realistic Water in the mix will create a wetter, more melted snow, while a drier mixture will make a powdery type of coverage.

In step one, I keep both substances far apart on a piece of blister pack.  I have a lot of cheaper craft brushes on hand for this task!  In the second step, I bring more of the glass to the Realistic Water.

Don't take too long with this process, though, because it can dry very rapidly!

Once I have the mix that I want, I start putting blobs on to the base, spreading them out with the brush.  This was an in between kind of mix... not too dry, not too wet.

Keep in mind that it does lighten as it dries.  Also try to pay attention to where you have that snow piling up.  If you have one big blob in one space, and almost none in another, it makes less sense and will curtail the effect.

These are examples of larger blobs that were placed and then pulled flatter to match the surface.  The drier your mix is, the more you will end up with clumps that don't flow and move as easily.

I always try to include a few twigs or something resembling a branch when I am working with the snow, because that adds one more bit of dimension and realism to the scene.  The wetter your mixture is, the easier it will be to apply it to the trees.

Here's a view of all the lads with their snow applied.  Again, the color will lighten as it dries.

Since I have been covered in snow many times after walking just a few blocks to the store in an average snowfall, I placed a slight amount on the equipment, and on the hoods, etc.  Not only are these natural "collection points", they are far away from any source of body heat.

I have been amazed when I discover that my hat or hood is covered in 1-2 inches of snow in such a short time!

I hope you enjoyed this, and that it was useful!  I will now try to do this same effect on something more challenging... vehicles!  Stay tuned...