Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hobby Tricks: Prepping symbols, Sticks and BLOOD!

TJ here to share a couple of basic things I have used/ noticed that have helped me save time or just plain kicked ass. Let's take a look.

So the Alpha legion symbols you have seen on my Berzerkers and Oblits are all pretty well shaded and highlighted. I didn't paint each one of those painstakingly over the course of hours. NOOOO! I painted them all at once with a regular brush and some help from plain old Blue Tac.

I stuck these ALpha Legion Symbols onto the blue tac and then primed them right on the blue tac. DOn't worry, you can still use the blue tac afterward and it is $2 if you can't (but you can). Then you come through with a big brush and paint base them all and then come back and dry brush the highlights. No cleaning up the surrounding shoulder pad, no being careful. Just get 100 or more done at a time. It saved me hours on the Alpha Legion and is still saving me time. I just glue the symbols on later.

Another thing I did was use the blue tac ($2) and stuck it to some yard sticks that I had cut in half (less than $1 each). This let me airbrush and highlight the models super fast. I know this trick isn't new and isn't unknown, but I know I thought i was fine without the sticks and man was I wrong. I based and highlighted 115 models with three colors of blue in an hour and five minutes. 115 models! I can't believe I knew this trick existed and never tried it. It costs three dollars to set up. DO IT!

The last little trick I have that I have been using lately is just mixing 50/50 Blood For the Blood God technical paint with Secret Weapon's Realistic Water effect medium. Take a look at it dried on that base. That's completely set. It looks wet and passed right over the skulls to pool looking pretty much like fresh blood to me. You could go heavier on the BFTBG to make it thicker too. I was just stoked by the final result and wanted to share it. BTW, I have used a bunch of different still water and I was really impressed by SW's formula. It just works better and easier and is very affordable compared to the alternatives.

Anyway, those are just some tricks I have tried and found recently. I think I might do something like this once in a while. Have you tried any of these? Let me know how it worked.


  1. I will be utilising the 1st and last of these tips in future. Thanks for sharing

  2. Have you tried Tamiya Clear Red X-27 instead of Blood For the Blood God? You can mix Nuln Oil with it for a darker 'old blood' effect,it goes a bit matt but quick layer of 'ard coat makes it all glossy again. It's like a next level version of Citadel's product.

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  8. Where are those Alpha Legion symbols from? I'd love something like that for my own. I did something similar when painting the detail bits on my Munitorum Shipping Containers. Left the control panels, eagles, and Storm Bolters off so I could do the containers themselves with a 1" brush, and then did all the little detail bits with a slightly smaller brush and glued them on after.

    I recently gave the priming sticks a try, and was instantly sold. I need to get some more. Not only are they faster, but I'm getting better coverage and a nicer finish from my primer.

    I'm not 100% sure on this, but I believe that Secret Weapon's terrain effects (including the Realistic Water) are all repackaged Woodland Scenics products, so if you use enough of them, it's worth just getting them in bulk from WS.

    Also, as Dave Weston mentioned, Tamiya Clear Red is an excellent paint. Well worth picking up and experimenting with.