About Me

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My name is Jessie Carlile and I paint miniatures and love to roll dice. I began painting miniatures in 1999 and have never looked back. Painting is very relaxing and rewarding for me and I hope you enjoy the works I share on this website. I have won many awards for my work including the Silver in 2008 and 2009 Privateer Press Masters Painting Competition as well as a Gold in 2010. Enjoy your stay and if you have any questions feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dawnguard Scyirs

What good is an army without its commanders?  What good is a Dawnguard army without it's Scyirs?  No good, that's what!

I used to have a Scyir about a year ago, but after participating in a Press Gang painted figure exchange, I was down to zero.  I wasn't really feeling the Retribution at that time, so I went without until after this Christmas.  After a few Amazon gift cards and a couple days wait, I had two brand new shiny Scyirs.

I painted these guys relatively quickly, doing most of the work in a two or three hour session.  I pushed the highlights a little more than I did on the Sentinels, which meant I had to do even less work with the brush.  As with the others, I really love how the red pops on the rank plates.  It's a small detail, but it adds a lot to the models.
I'm becoming more pleased with the metals.  I'm altering the mix found in the Retribution force book slightly, and I think it makes the metals look a little more realistic.  

Next week will see one of the favored 'jacks that these guys like to marshal, or at least, what I like to marshal with them.  I have a few others in mind that I would like to marshal, but I would love to hear opinions!  What are you favorite 'jacks to marshal with these guys?  Don't forget the Sentinels and Invictors!  What do you like to marshal with them?  As always, comments and question on the figures are welcome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coming of Dawn(guard)!

Taking pictures with a DSLR is a lot different than taking pictures with a cell phone.  The cell phone is a heck of a lot easier.
I'm getting ever closer to being able to field a Dawnguard theme force for either incarnation of Vyros.  I spent last week working on the Dawnguard Sentinels, and learned a few good lessons from airbrushing them.  I think I'll be even more pleased with the second unit that I paint, and the blends and highlights will be even smoother.  

After completing that unit, I looked in my display case at the unit of Destors that I painted the week after they were initially released.  I don't know if I wasn't feeling the Retribution at that time, but I lost all interest about halfway through.  I also applied the airbrush to the models like a sledgehammer.  I just sprayed, expecting the airbrush to do all the work for me, without actually paying attention to how I was applying the paint.

So, I pulled them out of the case, deepened the shadows and intensified the highlights and they looked one hundred percent better.  A quick application of dirt and mud via the airbrush, and five base mountings later, they were done and truly ready for the table top.  

The Destor Thane was the first guy that I experimented on so many weeks ago with an airbrush.  You can tell he looks quite different from the previous models because I didn't go in and do too much work on the white paint with a brush.  His armor is much more blue than the previous models, and his rank plate on his shoulder is metallic, rather than white with red details.  I noticed, when I was painting the Sentinels, that the white plate with red rank markings looked much better than what you see here.  The little bit of red really pops on the white.  I rationalize the difference since the Thane is of such elevated rank that his plate is different from the others.  A second Thane will have a white rank plate, however.

  I've really enjoyed working on the bases I made as well.  They're quick, look nicer than just plain ballast and go a long way to provide a unified look to this fledgling force.  I'm currently working on two Dawnguard Scyirs and they will be able to join this regiment very soon.  All that's really left are their arms, swords and bases.

Metals are still giving me some fits.  I'm not very pleased with how the mix from the Retribution book looks with my particular scheme.  I'm going to keep playing with them until I get something I like.  I'm not sure if I will go with a more traditional metal look or mess around with the book formulas until I get something I like.  Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

I apologize for the long post, and if you're still with me now, thanks for reading!  A post of this length was a long time coming since I've got a buildup of models that I've been working on and only just now got around to setting up my light box.  Thanks again for reading, and if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dawnguard preview

I finished these guys up yesterday, and slapped them on their bases.  It's pretty exciting to see the results of a four week long process, and I couldn't be happier with how my bases turned out.  They were painted using the method Torka Thor used on his awesome base for his Hyperion. 


All in all I spent about eight or so hours on this unit, and use of the airbrush really speed things along.  Had I done all of the white armor with a brush, I would still be working on getting the blends just right.  Heck, to base coat the unit would have taken the better part of a day just to get smooth, even coats.  The weathering on the legs of the Dawnguard was a blast to paint as well.  It took very little time, and makes the models look even more realistic.  No troops with armor that white can keep themselves clean all the time!  To achieve this effect, I mixed brown ink with flat Vallejo sealer and some water and sprayed it on.  I then used the flick method to get a little mud splatter on the legs.  To make it look like another layer of dirt and dust had accumulated, I added blue ink to the previous mix.  I'm excited to apply this to 'jacks, as you can see the Hydra and Manticore are a little too clean.

I'm still not quite pleased with the metal parts, but I think un-tinted metallic paints fit my style rather than the metal formulas found in the RoS book.  Another difficulty I faced with this unit was painting the arms separately from the models.  Attaching the arms to their holders proved awkward, but in the end I was able to paint them and get them to their respective bodies.

The two Myrmidons in the photo are older paint jobs and they were both painted with a brush.  They took much longer than the Dawnguard unit did, and I'm excited to use what I've learned from the Dawnguard on the Vyre 'jack I recently purchased.  The Hydra got scratched by the people who cleaned the fire damage from my house, but I think I can turn that into some battle damage for the model.  

I apologize for the continued use of cell phone pics.  I'm in the process of getting a permanent light box set up and better pictures will come soon.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


All my base are belong to me!  I have bases, and I did not follow any of my plans that I drew out last week.  Hurray for plans!  Now, even though I deviated a great deal from my plans (and there is a reason), I don't want to downplay the benefits of drawing out plans.  They get your creative juices flowing and can help lead you to ideas you may have never come to without sketching.  

Now, here's why I deviated from my plans. The bases I drew out were pretty intricate and would require special tools and a lot of time to fabricate.  Knowing this, I wanted to go ahead and start painting more of my Retribution, so I took simple plaster, carved it into shapes I liked and then added them to bases.  I even added some Retribution pieces from my bits box, though one of them didn't really keep its detail.  I was able to get these done in a day, and that meant I was that much closer to starting to put paint on figures.  

I started making the molds on Saturday morning and made a rookie mistake.  I poured the mold silicone over a few bases without first lightly dusting them with baby powder.  This meant the mold stuck to certain parts of certain bases, ripping tiny bits of the mold out when I pulled the bases away. I was pretty bummed.  I thought this was a failed molding attempt.  Turns out, after messing around with the molds for a bit, it wasn't as bad as I thought, and the lessons learned from that helped me with my second try.

Making the bases was a breeze and after a short while, I had quite a supply built up.  After sanding the bottoms flat with a belt sander and taking care of flash, this is what I have to send my Retribution to war with.

And a few close ups.
 Getting everything ready to cast bases can be a little time consuming in the beginning, in my case a weekend, but once you get the ball rolling you can crank out a lot of bases in no time.

If you have any questions about making molds and casting, feel free to ask in the comments!

(Also, I need to get a cleaner mat or area to take pictures in!)