Back to basics

PART 1 – Colour Theory.

Hi all;

So after another time away, I’ve decided that after a few questions it might be worth doing a series of “Back to Basics” tutorials. With this in mind, a few people can’t seem to grasp the most important on basics when painting miniatures, and that is, as the title suggests, colour theory.

Now most painters, especially those of us that paint miniatures, go on about washing red with green/blue etc, so what do we mean by this? Well the answer is actually more simple than you may think, though it is also more confusing when the standard RGB (Red, Green, Blue) suddenly becomes RYB (Red, Yellow, Blue.) So I suddenly hear you. my dear readers, shout… YELLOW????

Lets explain a bit more…

RGB is what standard TV’s, computer monitors come in, and the reason for this is because white and black are monochromatic colours and aren’t actually used. However, when it comes to painting miniatures, white and black and all the greys inbetween are classed as chromatic not monochromatic. Monochromatic are three shades of any given colour, say blue/medium blue/light blue.

If you have done art at school, which most of us have at some point, we learn that the primary colours are Red, Blue and Yellow. As you know an equal mix of Blue (Primary) and Yellow (Primary) makes Green, a secondary colour, or Blue and Red makes Purple.. Any shade working either direction towards the primaries are Tertiary colours, for example Turquoise which is more towards the blue end of the spectrum.

So got that?

Now here comes the confusing part, namely hues. Hues are what you get when you add touches of white, or black, to colours, to make them either lighter or darker. So Red with White added makes Pink, with Black added it makes Crimson. As you can start to see, no matter what colour you have, whether its Primary, Secondary or Tertiary has its own set of hues. Shades ofcourse are monochromatic as explained earlier.

So why do we use red to shade green?

Well the answer is because on a colour wheel (see pic below) they are opposites, so the green actually saturates the red and makes it darker and balance better than if you used black, which would send it too dark and out of balance. However explaining this to someone, for example my girlfriend, can be time consuming and is easier to show them first hand how it works.

So thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon with Part 2


Poppys Angel’s Super Raffle

Hi all;

As a lot of you know, I am an active member of the Poppy’s Angels group on facebook, and also a member of the Command team.


Poppy Angel’s was formed by my mate Stuart Tomlinson, after hearing about a fellow painter/gamers 3 year old daughter who is suffering from stage 4 cancer. The group rallied all us gamers and painters within the miniature world to the cause, and currently we are sat at 900+ members. The idea behind it is to raise money for Poppy and her family as they go through a very difficult time, an idea that is expanding to not only help Poppy, though she is still our primary concern, but also other children suffering with debilitating illnesses.

So whats this Super Raffle?

Recently we have been approached by some of the best painters, miniature sculpters and companies within our industry, and this has got us to setting up a Super Raffle to raffle off some awesome prizes, all donated by them to help Poppy. Having been contacted personally myself by, wanting to dontate some stunning miniatures sculpted by themselves, I can verify the greatness of these people. We have also had prizes donated from, please go to our page linked above to see what they have donated:

To name but a few compaines. Like I also mentioned, some of the worlds top painters have also got involved, these are:

Also included are some brilliant painters from our side of the fence, yup, the amature and semi-professional painter:

  • Paul Bullock
  • Shaun Thompson
  • Ben Strange
  • Steven Forte London

Each and every one of these people and companies are awesome, and certainly deserve a lot of praise for doing what they are doing. If you are a company that wishes to donate, then please contact either myself or any of the admin team in Poppy’s Angel’s. Each ticket costs just £2, and can be purchased through our GoFundMe page. If you use the GoFundMe option then please comment on this blog, message me, or even put “SUPER RAFFLE – GrimnarsGrimoire Blog” in the comments section on the GFM page. You can even join our Super Raffle page, and while you are there dont forget to come and join us Angels in or Group.

Review: Rosemary & Co Brushes V’s Windsor & Newton Series 7

Hi all;

Well here is the review of the Rosemary & Co brushes I’m using. So far I have to say I am very impressed with everything that the brushes have to offer over all. I’m going to be comparing them to my Windsor & Newton Series 7, each thing I look for in a brush is going to be marked upto a score of 5, with an over all score at the end.

Catagories Brush Manufacturer/Series Score Brush Manufacturer/Series Score
Shape Rosemary & Co / 22 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Comfort Rosemary & Co / 22 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Bristles Rosemary & Co / 22 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Longevity Rosemary & Co / 22 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Point Rosemary & Co / 22 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 4
Price Rosemary & Co / 22 5 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Shape Rosemary & Co / 33 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Comfort Rosemary & Co / 33 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Bristles Rosemary & Co / 33 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Longevity Rosemary & Co / 33 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Point Rosemary & Co / 33 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 4
Price Rosemary & Co / 33 5 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Shape Rosemary & Co / 323 4 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Comfort Rosemary & Co / 323 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Bristles Rosemary & Co / 323 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Longevity Rosemary & Co / 323 3 Windsor & Newton / 7 3
Point Rosemary & Co / 323 5 Windsor & Newton / 7 4
Price Rosemary & Co / 323 5 Windsor & Newton / 7 3

So as you can see, the Rosemary & Co brushes literally stripped the Windsor & Newton Crown. So in this bit I will define what each category means.

Shape = Over all shape of the brush, I find the Rosemary & Co brush has a lot more shape to it and doesn’t look as flat as the W+N one does.

Comfort = If you are going to be holding a brush for a long time, then obviously it needs to be comfortable in the hand, it makes for ease of use and a lot more control.

Bristles = Even if you are only putting a small amount of paint on the tip, you can still find that some brushes (cheaper makes especially) have a tendency of spreading out.

Longevity = How long the brush lasts under heavy abuse, and admit it, we are all prone to that one.

Point = how easy the point loses its shape, whether thats through spreading, or through it curling. I find that the Rosemary & Co brushes certainly out perform the W+N Series 7 on that one, I left both brushes at funny angles and the Windsor + Newton started to droop after about 5 minutes, where as the R&Co kept its shape.

Price = Do I even need to go into this one? On a brush to brush basis R&Co cost atleast half of what W+N do, and for a brush that is marginally better I’d rather pay for the cheaper option. You also have to take into account that our hobby isn’t cheap as is, so spending lots of money on brushes sometimes just isn’t an option.

My First Unboxing Blog – Part 2 – New Brushes

Hi all;

Well here it is finally, after a long three week delay, due to the British Post Office who kept losing them. I got the brushes from Rosemary & Co. So in the package, apart from their newsletter and a catalogue, was 4 Kolinsky Sable brushes for me to try out.

  • 2 x Series 33 – Size 0 and 3/0. For those that don’t know what a 3/0 is, its what we used to call a “Triple Zero” back in the day.
  • 1 x Series 22 – Size 1
  • 1 x Series 323 – Size 1

I have to say, just by holding the brushes they feel a lot different to the two Windsor + Newton Series 7’s I own, and by different I mean nicer to hold. Also the “Snap & Spring” of the brush is a lot finer than my Series 7’s, which holds a lot of promise when it comes down to using them, that will hopefully make them a very nice “workhorse” brush.

Series 33 – 0 and 3/0

Series 33 2015-06-16 12.09.43

Series 22 – Size 1

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Series 323 – Size 1

2015-06-16 12.10.33 2015-06-16 12.10.41Now for the difference of the brushes within the series.

The Series 33 aren’t at first glance really any different from the Series 22 brush, apart from the fact that it is more pointed. Which suggests, at least to me, that its designed to do the whole package… namely washes, layers and basecoats.

The Series 22 seem to be more designed for doing freehand, and is a lot thinner and defined than the Series 33 brushes.

Now the Series 323 looks like it could be for doing things like eyes on 28mm miniatures, or is a spotter brush.

So over all, these look like they certainly wont fan like the tips of my Series 7 do. This makes me very positive in the long run about how these brushes are going to hold up compared to brushes that are a lot more heavily priced. Price wise they are a lot cheaper than Windsor + Newton, by at least £3, and about £1 dearer than Broken Toad Kolinsky’s, but if they hold up as well as I expect them too then I’d say they would be perfectly priced. So here’s hoping to me being able to stock them in my shop/cafe venture as I expect them to sell really well.

Next blog will be a report on how they actually handle with paint…

My first unboxing blog – Part 1

So here we are, its the weekend, and I have a couple of presents to unbox and use. First one is the 2010 White Dwarf subscription model, yes they used to give away models, that my partner managed to pick up for me for a princely sum of £37. Now this maybe the first time you have seen Grombrindal, to give him his proper name, as a Squat, which in itself is a rarity as Squats were discontinued as a Warhammer 40k race back in 4th or 5th edition. It’s also one of the miniatures that I am going to paint, and base, for the 1st ‘Eavier Metal painting competition. If you aren’t a member of this group on facebook and you want to see some stunningly painted miniatures, or even show your own work, then come join us.

So onto the unboxing…

Grombrindal – The White Dwarf Squat.

The miniature, unlike most of the GW range, actually comes in white metal rather than plastic or resin. This means, even though making it slightly more difficult to paint, it has a lot of details on him. The one I am about to show you is a painted version I found on Google, I unfortunately don’t know the artist that painted him, but it is a stunning paint job and one I’m hoping to either emulate or beat, and will give you a rough idea of what he should look like.


So being a miniature that was brought from auction, he doesn’t come in the blister pack, or box, that he was supplied in when brand new. However that doesn’t stop me from describing and photographing him to show you how good this sculpt actually is. The miniature itself comes in 4 sections, the main body, the helmet, the backback (with attached gretchin) and his hammer arm. Now to say this model is nice is an understatement, its one of the best sculpts I’ve seen come out of GW, and well worth painting up to show off his full glory and potential and one I am honored to have in my collection.

2015-05-30 12.21.19The beard alone is of particularly fine detail, and each hair is individually sculpted if only a little thick, so over all it could do with a few more tiny details to make it look more natural. However, this is not a sculpt that is like an “Out of Production” Rackham or other brands out there, so you cant expect too much. His face however, is great, and full of lines and wrinkles that you would expect for a character of his age and distinction, right down to the bags under his eyes, so he is full of expression and has a definite “Caught It” look.

2015-05-30 12.21.33 2015-05-30 12.21.52

The backpack, now that is very well cast, from the X-6 on the tank to the gretchin caught in the mechanical arm. I cant actually see any mould lines on the entire miniature, which is very rare. The gretchin, Space Goblin, just has a resigned face on it as his disguise has been rumbled (see the painted pic) and he forlornly holds his “Roswell Alien” style mask in his hand. I think its just a comic moment, in miniature form, and well worth a small chuckle to yourself.

2015-05-30 12.22.472015-05-30 12.23.132015-05-30 12.23.00

The Helmet, unlike the squats of old, is actually what looks like a standard Astronauts helmet, with a few adaptations on the back of it. This will go well with Grombrindals suit which doesnt look like either an Imperial Guards outfit or Power Armour, but like a standard suit that we would see Astronauts wearing today. The Hammer and the hand is also very well moulded and has no lines visible to the naked eye, the head itself has a Dwarven rune cast upon each side, and the handle has each individual marking on the grip defined.

2015-05-30 12.23.30

So I hope you have liked what you have seen and read, and hopefully, either later today, or Monday, I will be writing up an unboxing blog on some Rosemary & Co Series 8, 22 & 33 brushes and later in the week a complete review of them… so keep watching this blog for updates.

Hairspray Weathering

Hi all;

Well I’m back, after a lengthy time away.

So I thought I’d treat you all to an easy(ish) tutorial for doing great weathering on miniatures, in this case using a common addition to the bathroom cabinet… namely hairspray. Below is a list of what you need to create the effects I will be showing you in a series of pictures.

  • Hairspray (obviously)
  • Spray Undercoat
  • Spray Varnish (any will do, though I prefer Matte or Satin over Gloss)
  • Cotton Wool buds (Q-Tips for my US friends)
  • Hot Water

2015-04-02 21.29.372015-04-02 21.54.58

So first off, undercoat your miniature black, there is a reason why, as is standard. In my case its the Imperial Knight Titan from Games Workshop. I wont post pics of that, because if you don’t know how to do basics then read my other tutorials first, as this is fairly advanced.

Paint the entire thing Silver, something like Leadbelcher paint from GW is perfect for this. There is a reason for doing this, and that will become fairly apparent soon enough. It’s also the reason why you undercoated it black, it makes the metallic colour slightly darker than what it would be normally.

Once its dry liberally use a dark wash, in my case I used Army Painters Dark Tone, this darkens up the metallic paint even more. However it should still be a metal colour, the last thing you want is it to look like you’ve covered it in old engine oil. Now leave it to dry.

Now onto the technical stuff…

Get hold of your can, or bottle if you prefer using an airbrush, and spray a thin coat of varnish on top of the washed metallic. This you are going to repeat several times, and I don’t mean 4 or 5 times, I mean several, leaving it to dry inbetween coats. This will then, once completely dry, protect the metallic paintwork underneath, a bit like a lacquer spray you get on cars.

So once its dry, usually I leave it for a good few hours before the next step, you are going to use the hairspray and spray it all over the armour plating. Yup, guess what, leave it to dry… hey I never said it wasn’t a time consuming process… for atleast an hour.

Now you are ready to start actually painting your miniature, be it a tank or titan or even a standard marine. So go back to step one, this time, in my case, spraying over the top with white undercoat. The reason I use white, is because I’m doing Death Guard, and the basecolour is white.

This is the bit where it now gets wet and messy, having your mug/bowl/container with hot (NOT BOILING) water in it dip your Q-tip into it. Now comes the fun part, and that is to use the Q-tip and start rubbing it on the paint you have not long sprayed on. As you can now see, the white is lifting off and leaving the silver underneath all those layers of varnish behind. So once you’ve taken off the paint in areas, like edges of panels, step areas etc, you can dab away the excess water and let it dry before continuing with your paint scheme.

So once finished it should look something like this, but obviously in you chosen colours rather than mine.

2015-03-10 11.54.42 2015-03-10 11.54.59

2015-03-10 11.55.172015-03-10 11.55.34

Now a small tip…

If the water also rubs off the silver paint underneath, which can happen, then refill in the areas with Leadbelcher (or paint of your choice.)

Completed Miniature.

And part of my army that one GW: Bedford’s Army of the Month for April

2015-03-27 11.39.43 2015-03-27 11.39.57 2015-03-27 11.40.12 2015-03-27 12.17.27 2015-03-27 12.17.49 2015-03-27 12.18.10 2015-03-27 12.18.24 2015-03-27 12.18.56 2015-03-27 12.19.07 2015-03-27 12.19.31 2015-03-27 12.19.57 2015-03-27 12.20.07 2015-03-27 12.20.24 2015-03-28 11.16.53

Fantascape – A Review


One of the foundations of The Shell Case is the search for companies that produce great toys and games that deserve attention from the wargaming community but may not be getting.

One such company is called Fantascape. Fantascape produces a small but growing range of bases, accessories, and scenery and as the business was just getting their site off the ground it seemed an opportune time to do a review of their stuff.

I got to take a look at two of the bases ranges – Wyrdstone Mines and Glacial Ruins.

Let’s start with Wyrdstone Mines.

WM001_Wyrdstone_Mines_Infantry_Bases_20mm_SquareWell, they’re just awesome. It’s bitter-sweet timing really that such a perfect set of bases for Mordheim should come my way at the same time as Games Workshop sacking off the Specialist Games range. But for those of us that love that game this range of bases couldn’t be more suited. And they…

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