Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tutorial tuesday: HAWT LAVA!

3 Tuesdays in a row, bitches!  Woohoo!  Its a tutorial hat trick.

Continuing along with my preference for tutorials that I've actually used, this week brings us to some pretty good hot-lava bases for your daemon/chaos warriors/Dio army brought to you by Lemmingspawn.

It turns out that this isn't the first time I've pimped this guy out to you, but I'll do it again because I think his stuff is just that cool.  Here's his amazing Iron Warriors stuff that still blows my mind as well as all the rest of the stuff he does.  Be sure to check this thread out for a good cross sample. prolific and talented.  God, I hate him.

Back to the tutorial.  I first found this little thing back when I was first noodling around with some Blood Letters I had.  Its a pretty solid tutorial, to be honest.

Pretty awesome effect, huh?
Important Note:  I did not paint this.  There has 
seemed to be some confusion in the past.  That is all.

Like most tutorials (even my own, so settle down), there are a few pieces of key information missing.  Since I've actually worked from this tutorial, here are my notes to help fill in some gaps:

 - You'll have to pardon some of the wierd spellings, odd grammar and strange turns of phrase.  You see, Lemmingspawn is... he's... Australian.  He comes from a place that does more to harm the English language than even we Americans can.  Also, if I've learned anything from 5th grade geography, he probably knows Kirby since all foreigners from the same geographical region know each other.

 - When it comes to making the lava bubbles, I had issues with the size of the starch balls I was able to get as well as the size of the pin heads.  Due to the fact that you're going to be covering the pseudo bubbles in white glue to make them look like melty rock and to cover gaps, its real easy to make the bubbles too big and make them look comical or just plain stupid.  Because of my problems with the materials suggested, I ended up making a bunch of small green stuff balls and then cutting them in half once they dried.  It takes a bit longer, but you end up with more control over the final product.

 - He never bothered to list the paint colors he used.  We just get a vague picture.  Luckily, as frustrating as it is, it's not really important.  Just use whatever colors you have on hand wile keeping two things in mind:  Its a good idea to use a lot of colors to hide your layers better and keep Lemmy's advice about pastel yellows in mind.  Other than that, pick a starting point on a spectrum and go, man.

- On the other hand, the Tamiya clear red is one of two things that you can't really skip over.  You will need this and it is pretty fiddly.  Of course its meant to be thinned and sprayed through an airbrush.  A little water will go a long way to help with streaking.  Also, make sure you let the first layer of the clear red dry before you apply another or seal it or whatever.

- The final gloss coats are mandatory.  Without a few layers of a brush on gloss varnish, the lava will look flat and uninteresting.  You absolutely need the illusion of depth it creates.  So if you're the kind of person who builds the miniatures on the base, it may be a good idea to paint the lava AFTER you seal the mini.  Or at least save the gloss coats (both the red and the final clear) for after the sealing.

And there you have it.  Another extremely solid how-to that has served me well.

If I get my shit together, I may have some pics of my own examples of this method later tonight.


  1. Yeah, I've run across his stuff some time back. It's mindbogingly awesome. It makes you want to quit the hobby.

    How about a tutorial on something that should be simple but I'm struggling with, oddly (because I suck): painting good purples

  2. I always get dragged into it don't I Lauby :(.

  3. what can i say, man - you're internet famous.

  4. Well, it's a tutorial thread and painting purple has been asked, so I'll hijack (sort of) with a request =D

    Any chance you could give a complete painting newb a rundown on how you would paint a certain figure? (Like, I show you an image and you tell me what you'd do to get the same results?)

    If no, stop reading here.

    If yes, model in question is this beasty: http://privateerpress.com/hordes/gallery/minions/solos/thrullg
    I'm in love with the model and paintjob, but the purple looks pretty intimitating for a beginner. For starters, I don't even know what colors to use (well, purple, doh, but which? Hormagaunt + leviathan wash? The model's got blue tones and more pinkish ones and argh)

  5. orange and anonymous - give me a couple of days and I can answer both questions.

  6. Awesome :)

    I find I'm having most trouble figuring out which colors to use (color theory and all that) - brush technique is easily practicable and not too hard for me, but I struggle even finding basic color rundowns (my Tau are a sad example of this - I have a great scheme in my head but miserably fail in putting it onto the mini because the colors are all wrong x_X)

  7. Are you wanting to stick with purple for that mini?

  8. Yeah, basically doing it exactly like the studio version. I <3 purple :3 And I don't want it to be a basecoat + wash = done model, but something neat