Monday, July 4, 2011

Secret Weapon Miniatures: Snow Effects a while back I mentioned that I had used some snow effects from Secret Weapon Miniatures on one of my Khador warjacks, and I wanted to give a little more detail.  The item is on their web site under the "Scenics" section, and is the "Masterclass Scenics: Crushed Glass Bundle".  I've heard of people using baking soda or other methods to simulate snow, but I was a bit worried that that wouldn't be very durable, or would discolor in the long run.  I also saw this model by Matthieu Fontaine, which pretty sold me on Secret Weapon's product.

The kit actually consists of two products, a jar of crushed glass (which is labelled "Warning! Contains Crushed Glass!" oddly enough) and a bottle of "Realistic Water Effects", which is essentially gloss varnish:

One thing to consider: part of the appeal of this product is that is makes a very realistic "wet snow" effect - I assume this is because it is gloss varnish.  As such, I would recommend applying it after you've sealed your model, if you use matte sealer.

There were no instructions included, and I wasn't quite sure if there was a "mixing ratio" or anything like that - after poking around for a bit on the Secret Weapon blog, I found this video that gives a step-by-step overview of using the product.  Turns out, there's no ratio - you pretty much just "eyeball it" until you get the look you want.  To start, I grabbed an old plastic blister pack I kept around for just such an occasion and sprinkled in some of the crushed glass:

WARNING: WEAR A MASK!  As mentioned above, Crushed Glass contains, amazingly enough, crushed glass.  It would be a very, very bad thing to get in your lungs, and it's the consistency of very fine sand, so it could happen easily enough.

Next, I added the Realistic Water Effects a few drops at a time & mixed it up, until I got the look I wanted - a wet, slushy snow:

Then I used a cheap plastic sculpting tool to spread it on the model's base:

I'm going for a "spring thaw" -kinda look for this army - where the snow is starting to melt, and maybe the remnants of dead grass are starting to poke through the snow here and there.  For an added effect, I used a piece of Winter Tuft from Army Painter on the base:

...and here's the result after the snow has dried:

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out - I think I need to use a slightly darker grey on the rocks so there's a bit more contrast with the snow when it's finished, but the snow effect looks great!

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