A short time ago we received a batch of terrain stamps from Happy Seppuku Model works and loved how easy the stamps were to use and the fact you can use them over and over.

Since then I have spent a bit of time trying the stamps out with a few different type of putties, two part epoxies and modelling clays to see what I liked best. However in this article I plan on going over how with the terrain stamps and a little bit of creativity you can quickly create some unique looking basis with very little effort.

In Part one of this short series I plan to show you some step by step guides on how to make a more detailed wood plank base, a steel plated floor with various mechanical bits, and a rocky local covered with snow. All the bases I am working on for this tutorial are 50mm.

For supplies to build these bases I used:

  • Two part grey epoxy putty mixed in equal amounts
  • Thick and thin Cork board sheets
  • Metal chain
  • Metal tubing
  • Metal rod
  • Plastistruct I-beams

The tools and other necessities that were used are:

  • A Hobby Knife
  • Two pieces of metal tubing
  • Various shaping tools
  • Water
  • cuticle cream (or other lip chap like substance)

Why the water and lip chap your probably wonder? Well I dip my fingers in the water while mixing the two part putty together. this helps prevent it from wanting to stick to my skin. As for the lip chap it can be used in conjunction with metal tools to keep them from sticking to the putty or on your finger to smooth out any finger prints from applying the putty to the base. I’d like to thank Brian Dugas one of Privateer Press’s Staff sculptors for the tip on the lip chap.

Wooden Decking

Lets start off with making a more detailed wooden plank base. Using some techniques I learned at the lock and load seminar with Sean Harrison and I will start off using the Wood Plank 1 stamp.

Step 1: Mix up some putty and spread it out in a thin layer onto the base. I find its best to add a little ball to the centre of the base and work outwards until it is spread in a thin somewhat even layer across the base. Then use some lip chap to smooth away all your fingerprints.

Step 2: Firmly press your putty and base onto the wood plank stamp. This will leave behind a nice plain wood plank texture.

Step 3: Take a small piece of metal tubing with a very thin edge and press one end into a plank. This will be used to make a “knot” in the wood.

Pro tip: On a 50mm base you can do as many as three knots, on a 40mm base max out at two, and on a small base no more than one.

Step 4: Now using the putty shaping tool that looks much like a hobby knife but is not as sharp you will make tiny little gentle cuts starting at the knots and moving away.

Step 5: Using the same tool I then use a similar method at the ends of the planks. this time I make my cuts a little deeper and wiggle the knife ever so slightly to widen the splits that you see.


Step 6: going back to the knots I make 8 cuts across them as if we were cutting up a pizza. this helps bring some texture to the knot that is in the middle of the plank.

Step 7: Now you will make gentle cuts along the length of the board. You will notice I stagger the cuts lengths and where they start and stop, this helps give the wood a more natural feel of an actual grain.

Pro Tip: You don’t need to really curve the lines for the grain, or curve them around the knot. Simple straight strokes will serve you best the human eye will do the rest.

Complete: And now you have a completed wooden plank deck that can be used for a wide variety of miniatures from a bar …

This is another article in my Advanced series; Painting Hair! It is one of the most asked about methods, and one thing that a lot of painters struggle with. Now that we’ve given coverage to the face, and eyes, I can show you Hand Cannon readers some tricks on painting those Glorious Locks. In this tutorial I will covering the three most common hair colours; brown, blonde and black. I’ll give you some pointers and advice on painting red hair as well, however, in order keep this article to a reasonable length, I have kept it to only these three hair types. Two of the three heads of hair I have painted are female, and one male. Men’s hair is a bit easier to paint, since most often it’s shorter. I have chosen two females because of hair length; one is a medium hair length, and the last is long, shoulder length hair. The intent is to give readers a good basic understanding of how to paint hair in a reasonable amount of time, and to give you a basic understanding of how light hits hair, where to place highlights, and how give it a healthy sheen that all the pros seem to get on their models.
All paints used in this tutorial are Formula P3, unless otherwise specified.

The three models I have chosen to use for this tutorial are; Kommander Strakhov, Captain Kara Sloan, and Lanyssa Ryssyll. They are for short, medium, and long hair respectively, with brown, blonde, and black hair respectively as well.

I’ve gotten in really close to the models, and made the pictures huge. This should enable the reader to really see what’s going on, exactly where I have placed highlights, how big they are, and so-on. When painting hair, use a fine detail brush that holds a very sharp point. With all of these models, I’ve highlighted the hair with my usual detail brushes; W&N Series 7, sizes 0, and 00 round. Since you’ll be painting fine lines, and following the sculpted hair, you need a brush that will provide a really fine point, and hold a fair bit of paint; you shouldn’t have to dip into the palette after the first time to paint the entire head of hair. If you do, then your paint is too thick, and needs to be thinned down with water, and/or flow release and water. I use a 10% solution of flow release and RO (reverse osmosis) water for fine detailing.

It depends on whether the hair is on top of other parts of the model, or if it is ‘free standing’ on the top of the head, that will determine when it needs to be painted. In the case of both Strakhov, and Kara Sloan, the hair was painted after the face was completed, and before the rest of the model was finished. The exception was Lanyssa Ryssyl, who’s hair was draped over her hand, cloak, and face, that was painted after the entire model was complete.

The general rule is to paint the deepest parts of your models first, and work your way outwards.
This makes it easier to keep your painting ‘tight’, as you aren’t struggling to get your brush in odd, and difficult to reach spots on the model. Personally, I always like to completely finish the face and hair fully before moving onto the rest of the miniature. The face and hair are the most difficult and time consuming parts of painting models, and getting them out of the way first helps you feel that you’re making significant progress. Leaving it for last is not a good idea. In most cases, especially if it’s a top tier paint job, you’ll have spent a lot of time on the model already, and the you’ll likely want to get it over with. Rushing the face and hair will make the model look sloppy. The focal point is the face; make it look good, and getting it over with first will help the rest of the miniature painting feel like it’s going quicker, and give you a greater sense of accomplishment.

Now, let’s paint some hair!

I’m going to cover brown first, since it’s …

Gus here!

Hi, I’m Gus: welcome to THE HANDCANNON.

If you’re into crafting and painting miniatures, you’re in the right place. Hand Cannon is where you can find all of my crafting fun, including some papercraft, scrapbooking, and Cricut tutorials.

I’m also looking to get into 3d printing soon, so stay tuned as I make my own miniatures in the future!