Help with winter stones/rocks
#1
Hi all - I stumbled across this forum from youtube, watching someone called The Terrain Wench...

I'm starting a WW2 diorama based on the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944, and the Ardennes Forest. I'm hoping to include lots of pine trees, a road for two tanks to travel, lots of snow, etc. The snow and trees I did purchase from Woodland Scenics but I am thinking of making 'bottle brush' trees by hand because the trees I purchased are so green and 'new' looking, and somehow the scale doesn't seem right...

Anyway, my question is - I just made some rocks from hydrocal today and they came out ok. What colors would I use to paint them to look realistic? Unfortunately I haven't found a lot online, other than yes there are lots of stones, boulders, and rocks in the Ardennes and they are mostly comprised of granite...

Would priming them with black primer then painting with several shades of gray, highlighted with browns sound right? These also will be tucked in and around the many pine trees and should have snow on them, but I want to make everything as realistic-looking as I can.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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#2
Howdy! You've come to the right place. Bulge is my fave Eurotheatre WWII battle!

The main trick for rocks is stippling. The secondary trick is to know what rocks you're modeling. Find pictures of rocks in the Ardennes, then paint to look like that.

My basic rock stippling technique generally follows these lines:

First paint the rock your base color depending on what type of rock you're going for. DO NOT use black or white or grey. Black is for cold lava, white is for snow, grey is for limestone and 40Kids. So let's say you're doing a typical red granite; your base color will be anything from burnt sienna to brick red or something in between.

After that dries, use a stippling brush (or sponge or whatever) and hit the rock with paint about 2 tints darker than the base color aiming for roughly 50% coverage. Let dry.

Now stipple a layer of an even darker tint, aiming for about 25% coverage and let dry.

Then we go lighter; stipple on an analogous color or a much lighter hue of the base color and aim for about 25% coverage again. If your base color is burnt sienna, raw sienna or even yellow ochre is a perfect choice. Let this dry and you'll notice it's really starting to look like a real rock now!

At this point you can stop, do more tints of the light color (covering less with each 'layer'), or move onto highlights. This will all depend on what type of rock you're modeling and/or how cool you think it looks now.

Usually for any type of igneous rock, you'll want to do a "highlight" layer or pass. This is just a matter of stippling on a very light and/or very dark color with very little coverage, say 10% or less. You've seen red granite; It's mostly a few shades of brownish-red (or reddish-brown) with a few specks of black and or white, right? Well this last highlight layer is just adding those few specks. The dark specks are usually a dark complimentary color (or black), so if your base is burnt sienna you could use burnt umber or another very dark brown or even purple/dark blue - the color won't "read" with such little coverage. Just barely load your stippler and tap it in only a few places on the rock. The light specks are done the same way; use white or a very pale yellow very sparingly. Let dry, done. Nice rock!

Although this may seem long and drawn out, it's actually a much faster process than base coat, wash, drybrush because the stippled paint dries almost immediately and you're not covering the whole rock. Do this as an assembly line process and you'll have a quarry of rocks in minutes. You'll spend more time MIXING shades of paint than actually painting and by the time you get the last rock done on any particular step, the first one will be dry and ready for the next step.

That's it. That's the basic killer technique for igneous rock (also GREAT for painting large expanses of grass/fields). Sedimentary rock is a little different and cold lava is more about melting foam than using paint techniques, but more on that when you need it.
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#3
"Rock Formation Ardennes" turned up this image:

[Image: 640px-Dinant_Rochers_Freyr_R01.jpg]


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#4
(10-13-2015, 02:25 AM)pendrake Wrote: "Rock Formation Ardennes" turned up this image:

The painting technique for which can be found anywhere. Just Google "Warhammer 40k rocks".
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#5
(10-13-2015, 03:10 AM)Tob Wrote:
(10-13-2015, 02:25 AM)pendrake Wrote: "Rock Formation Ardennes" turned up this image:

The painting technique for which can be found anywhere.  Just Google "Warhammer 40k rocks".

Well... ...maybe there is this ridge of glacier gouged granite under part of Europe that stretches all the way to the vicinity of Nottingham and it looks like:

Generic Games Workshop Space Wolf Grey Granite

...they had to get nick the idea from somewhere.  Angel


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#6
(10-13-2015, 02:25 AM)pendrake Wrote: "Rock Formation Ardennes" turned up this image:

[Image: 640px-Dinant_Rochers_Freyr_R01.jpg]

Am I crazy or is that outcrop of rock white in all the crevasses and various greys on the raised areas?
[ Backwards from the usual grey rock paint scheme... ]


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#7
(10-13-2015, 07:56 PM)pendrake Wrote:
(10-13-2015, 02:25 AM)pendrake Wrote: "Rock Formation Ardennes" turned up this image:

[Image: 640px-Dinant_Rochers_Freyr_R01.jpg]

Am I crazy or is that outcrop of rock white in all the crevasses and various greys on the raised areas?
[ Backwards from the usual grey rock paint scheme... ]

And it appears, to me at least, to have light flecks of gold or rust in spots. Great picture.

Thanks for all the great advice, everyone - it will help me very much.
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#8
[Image: c4cd2e7ed3190f8ce34e51cfd89a60a6-orig] 

This example of rock formation is from Switzerland. The thing to notice is that the base color of the rock is not all the same. Right in the middle of the picture there are dark streaks in the rock? Those exist because there are inclusions of darker material in lighter rock or vice versa. So underneath any highlighting, weathering, or shadow effects created by getting dark paint into recessed areas the rock itself has different striations of color. Real rocks are never a uniform color of material.

That stippling Tob was talking about will help make painted rocks look like there is a mix of material. But mixed material can look like stripes or layers also. 


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#9
(10-13-2015, 08:03 PM)DESooner Wrote: And it appears, to me at least, to have light flecks of gold or rust in spots. Great picture.

Thanks for all the great advice, everyone - it will help me very much.

Some of the darker flecks are vegetation? If you are seeing rust or goldish flecks your eyes are better than mine. But  stuff like that is possible.

If the stone you want to do will be covered in snow, it could look damp. Damp stone can look a darker color.


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