Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy new year!

Thanks for reading my blog this year- 2012 is promising to be a more relaxed year for me, with a lot of projects wrapping up and general headspace clearing, so plenty of old school mini pictures in 2012z
I wanted to go out this year by showing my last eBay arrivals- a brilliant lot of old school goodness- starting with a visual feast of minifig rococo elves, a citadel TSR dungeons and dragons minotaur, a grenadier hirelings set and a rogue trader era citadel space Zoat!
Old school goodness! Thanks to all my traders who made my collection possible.

Come back in 2012 to see these all lovingly restored and painted!

My wife got me a wonderful Games Workshop weapon smith monkey thing, the red box ad&d and a box of grimey wortshop flagellants which I had fun drunkenly assembling whilst my brother in law, made up some space wombles for his complete set of original chapter marines. Geekmas. I actually found assembling the plastics really restful, and maybe will have a crack at assembling some more mainstream GW stuff in the new year.

Tonight was spent joyously unpacking and filing Reaper minis from my recent wind-fall into keepsies and tradesies.
There are some amazing figures in there- three colossal spiders, two goroliths, three huge dragons too- very few doubles, though if your after Neanderthals, mummies, giant killer frogs and orcs I am your man to trade with! I guess I will post trade pics next year.
Well off to curl up with some apple schnapps and the new Conan movie- (I am merrily set with low expectations and lots of schnapps- yay!)

happy new year!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Last year I swore an oath to paint some limited edition citadel christmas minis for this Yule tide blog.
I only managed to get Sanity Claws, missing out time and again on bids for the other merry miniatures such as Christmas Marines, space Santa et al.
I think to do him justice I should build him a little rooftop base- so with other sculpting jobs coming in I found myself pushing it back and back. Bad me.

King oath breaker- I hope that doesn't mean I have to hang around haunting my lead pile looking like a member of the frighteners waiting for Aragorn marks to show up and release me.
Geddit... Eh, eh?

I collected my recent windfall of reaper figures from the warehouse the other day, and am exceedingly pleased with the assortment. I have a dozen of the same figures - giant killer frogs, giant hunter ghoul things, mummies and orcs- but the rest where all individual and not a single figure I already had. Photos of me swimming in reaper blisters early next year!

Oh so much great stuff to paint next year!

Well happy holidays everyone, I hope santa brings you lead and painty things!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Daves in DARK HEAVEN

Have you ever wandered around a game store and thought, dammit, I wish I had all of these miniatures.  And have you ever, after several visits, looked at the same old stock and thought- you know what, I picked up this figure last time and the time before... I bet one day I will get over that little mental hump that stops me buying it.  Yes, some deep part of you says... you know your mine, and I know your mine... soon...  soon....
I don't know how many hours I killed in the city bending over the Reaper shelves of my game store, mulling over the figures.  I developed calves squatting down to root through the blister packs- probably the only think saving me from deep vein thrombosis was my love of miniatures.  You know, deep down I knew I would have to pretty much own them all if I ever was to be happy.  Such is lead addiction, as you all know.  Is it a curse?  Is lead addiction a cause without hope?

Turns out, Nope.

A weird thing just happened to me in the last half an hour that I though blog worthy.  A client who owed me some money from a long time ago paid up inexplicably.  Ten minutes later whilst nosing through the huge backlog of emails I found an email warning me of an liquidation auction.  I checked, and it was closing in ten minutes.  Ten minutes later I was the proud owner of almost the entire liquidated stock of Reaper Dark Heaven and Pathfinder miniatures from my now defunct local game store.  The total cost?  The exact amount paid by my client.  Spooky.

It just occured to me that a lead addicts dream has come true...  I quite literally am the owner of all those figures.  Mine.  The lot.  Bargain price.  Ridiculous price.  It's like... like... Christmas has come all at... oh, wait.... Oh wait.

Crap.  I also just realised that totally throws out my purchase:painted pledge ratio for the... millenium.


Stiff drink needed.

Life is really, really weird.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cote sniffing

Hello Ladies, how's the flower arranging this week?
My cote d'arms shipment arrived recently on the same day as my deluxe ceramic dimple palette- so an evening of old school painting commenced!
For those who do not know, Cote d'arms and citadels first line of paints are one and the same! Made by the same company, same formula, same colors and even the same dinky little pots. The same company makes p3 paints too- yay them!
When I discovered this little fact recently I immediately jumped online and ordered a set- since these where the paints I remember from before my huge mini hiatus- I vividly remember the smell and properties as if it was yesterday.
Well, the first three bottles smelt different - an almost alcohol tinged smell, but the black is exactly the scent I associate with The Monster paint set!
I was hurled back through time on the giddy wings of my nostrils to 1983.
Man, our clothes sucked.
The paints are brilliant- I highly recommend them, both on value and pigment. The deadly nightshade, blazing orange, titalating pink and goblin green are fabulous colors. The nice thing is a lot of the colors are toned down from the garish shades citadel switched to in the 1990s- and the cool/warm versions of colors are more exaggerated- so with the goblin green you get a pleasantly muted bluer green- perfect as a cool partner to the warm citadel camo green. The blazing orange is more akin to that which you see classic John blanche figured get their skin and sun shields- cooler and a little more towards the magenta hue than citadels current Chinese made brand.
It's shamefully cheaper for me to buy a big batch of cote d'arms and ship it 12,000 miles than it is to buy a smaller equivalent of citadel here, which will surprise no one.

I painted a classic masked citadel wizard based on one in a Colin Dixon diorama and I have to declare my love for the paint. Matching classic paint jobs is now so much easier now I have the same paints!
New pics when I get some time- I am blogging this on a bus between meetings. (sigh)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Repainting Dungeons and Dragons minis, The Guild and Windows.

Yay.
Installing my entire computer system again.  As a digital artist who has been around the block a few times, that means a lot of software packages that all need nursing, registering and whatever...  Point is it was a long hot day with boredom and task bars.
Fortunately for me a package of D&D plastics arrived for me to tinker with whilst watching endless spinning gifs telling me my pc maybe hasn't crashed just yet.

So the good news is you can easily take off the paint.  Nail polish remover on a cotton bud and in a few minutes of gentle rubbing and voila.  Bad news is that there really isnt that much detail underneath to clean the mank off of.  Those figures may look like they are clogged up with paint... really they are just a bit smooth.

I was actually quite impressed with how some where painted- certainly good enough for playing Dnd- which is mostly in darkened living rooms with a map a few feet from you.  I would certainly consider them as a gaming option- especially now they are going to be rereleased in non-random packs.
Personally I would love to see them release unpainted styrene versions- even if just available via mail order.  But anyway- there you go.

I stripped down an Everfrost ranger, but it really wasnt worth the trouble IMHO.  I think the stripper may have taken off a little detail, which was superficial at best.  Spray primer and undercoat, and it was back to looking rubbery and gluggy.

So for test figure 2, I tried overpainting.  Rather than use spray primer, I washed the figures in soapy water to clean off any grease, and using a big brush and Vallejo dark grey gently drybrushed the model.  After this dried, the thin dusting of paint gave the next overbrush purchase- and voila, the model was nicely covered and ready to paint.  I would recommend this method to undercoat- perhaps only stripping really gluggy trouble spots using gentle cotton wipes.

I grabbed a hook horror, Lightening Lizard, Digester and Giant Carrion Crawler too- and the bigger creatures are much better than the human sized figures- the horror itself is excellent.  Grabbing plastic versions of really, really big nasties is a great solution- but I myself would run to Reaper for my player characters personally and Otherworld for all other monsters.

To get rid of the plasticy look on some of the monsters I first filled the gaps and then stippled Vallejo Plastic Putty using a pin and a sponge.  This put some fine texture on the smooth surfaces.  Green stuff sticks perfectly well, so details can be popped back on if you can be bothered.  I think I will write off the everfrost ranger as a bad experiment- but I can see my Hook Horror appearing in many a Skulldred game.

That was my hobby time for today.  Oh, and if you have not seen the delectable Felicia Day's hilarious websode series on MMOG addiction, you MUST watch the guild.  Every bit as great as the original Red vs. Blue.

Linky:  THE GUILD

Sunday, November 6, 2011

HEROQUEST challenge

Wayne Ashworth commented he was thinking of tackling the Heroquest game on an old blog entry and it got me thinking.  Of all the projects- thats the one isnt it?  Thats right up there in our collective gaming consciousness that sits like a dark cloud.  Very few of us have painted the whole Heroquest box.  We all wanted one... but how many of us had the patience to repeat and rince all those figures?


I got a fair whack of the way through my heroquest figures in a few days... though as I do not have the game so I did not have the motivation.  I found mine in a flea market, looking desperately played with.  I had to rescue them.  Here they are some of the undead so far...

Brains... and corn...



I have to confess that I have only ever played one or two games of Heroquest at highscool.  It reminded me of Guantlet, but with more waiting.  ;)
  I actually found a mint, unopened Heroquest I found in a dusty old atiques store and sold it on ebay for squillions and bazillions a while back.  I now live on an island and drink ice tea all day.

THE CHALLENGE

Anyway, the challenge is this.  Todays the day.  Go dig it out your heroquest from your attic and fetch out the first batch of figures.  Today is the day you start your COMPLETED heroquest project.  Yes you are... stop complaining.  Your going to feel FABULOUS when you finish.

So here is my advice on painting your set using regurgitated pictures from my blog to illustrate.

First.  Treat it like a bunch of small projects.  Today, tackle your cleanup and priming for your skeletons and mummies.  Cleaning them up is a vital step, because we are going to be using a lot of drybrush and it will show up any seams.

Skeletons and mummies are the easiest figures to paint- any monkey with a pot of Bevlan mud citadel wash can do them in no time.  Here is tip 2.  Dont look at the other figures.  Put them back in the box.  They do not exist until your skellies are varnished.  Having the others lined up waiting like a factory line will suck hit points out of your morale.  Small, bite sized chunks of awesome gets the job done.

I strongly suggest priming with tamiya grey primer before you spray your undercoat.  The plastic they used is kinda shiney- so if you just put wash directly onto the model it will bead and look awful.  The primer will act as a strong glue between your undercoat and your model- so heavy gaming will not chip the paint off easily.  Here is a test.  Take a model that you sprayed chaos black.  Rub it between your hands like its a cold day.  Now look at the mess you have.  Now, do the same with something sprayed first with primer.   You will never look back!  By the way, dont clap... throw money.

I use a black undercoat to keep the lining strong.  For the skellies you may like to go white and shade down with washes.  Whatever floats your boat.  A soft drybrush of a lighter grey or white over this will bring out the details and make it easy to see what your doing.   I use vallejo model color deep sea blue for this.

Tip number 3.  The important trick when painting mass armies of figures is to minimise steps.  And, dear reader, handling time is a major step.  Though you probably don't notice it, you spend a great deal of time picking up, looking for and reaching for and placing individual miniatures.  Sticking your models on a strip of wood in batches saves you a massive amount of steps- at least for the bulk of the stages.  Yay.

Strips.  A factory for fiends.
Citadel 1980's Elric, Moonglum, Norse Dwarf,
Rogue Trooper Nort, Judge Dredd and Anderson

Tip 4.  If you start with the undead, your going to get a big morale boost early on- they are easiest by far to paint, and are pretty much entirely bone color.


Start by going from this...

To this... is a real morale boost early on


  I recommend base coloring all the colors on all your models first, before shading and detailing.  This is not the modern 'Eavy Metal way- but it will really help you feeling like your getting somewhere.  There is a big difference between a figure thats unshaded, vs one thats got great trousers but is otherwise jet black.  Both take the same amount of time, and a slip up will not mean distaster- you can easly fix a base coat- but not a richly shaded section.

Start with the skellies bone first, then do the mummies, then metals, then browns, then flesh.  Once thats all base coated, your most of the way to having your undead army sorted.  Put away the mummies.  Focus on the Skellies shading.  I used Devlan Mud and Gryphone Sepia mixed with a little water.  A couple of washes and then a few gentle drybrushes and I was pretty much done.  The nice thing with having all the base coats done first is that the brown wash can pretty much go across everything on the skelleton.  This cuts out steps, and as you know, we are all for that- right?


Once you wrap up your skellies, the mummies bandages can be done with the leftover mix.  I went blue/green with my skin so they would stand out from the skeletons and orcs.

Since your models are always kicking around a dungeon, it does not make much sense to put a flocked base on them, or even grit.  I have seen a few like this and it just doesnt work with the game board.  Now I went a bit swish and remounted mine onto round bases, then sculpted on some pavers in procreate.
The fastest way to tackle this problem is to buy some resin dungeon bases.  All you need to do then is slice your model off its base using a gentle rocking action on the blade (wear goggles)- and drill and pin the figures on.  This technique will allow you to paint all the bases for all the figures in one go.  Stick them all on a pole using bluetack.  Prime.  Black spray.  Grey drybrush.  Light grey drybrush. Spray varnish (gloss), spray varnish (testors dullcoat)  Done.  Drill your holes as and when you finish the models.  Having a prepainted base waiting for it is a joy.

Once you have finished a set, put them up on display.  This will help lift your morale enough to complete the box.  Leave your heroes till last as a treat.

So these tips should help.  Post up links if you take the challenge!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Parsley, sage, flock and time

Some folk just cannot seem to understand the joy of miniatures. For them painting little figures is just so repetitive and boring.
Last night I found myself using a diamond file to sharpen thirty odd spokes in a parsley shredder. Why? To shred foam and sawdust to make fine flock scatter, of course! It's surreal moments like these you often catch yourself in whilst engaged in this hobby that the aforementioned folk miss. Some hobbyists too- if you find yourself blindly laying down cash to solve problems without looking closely at what your buying and trying to come up with cheaper ways to solve the problem.

Hence my parsley mill, now adapted with all the glee of Gomez Addams sharpening his fence, solves the problem of nil resistance my budget coffee grinder foliage maker cannot overcome- once your chunks get to a certain size, they no longer shred because there is nothing to stop them moving out of the blades path. The chunks are perfect of tree foliage and bushes but for basing you need that extra find grind to turn it to flock.



The parsley shredder came to my attention in Canberra during the 1990's when my friends introduced it as the 'Mull-o-matic'. Though the herb they where shredding was not destined for scenery, it struck me as a nifty tool. I filed it in the back of my mind.

Teenage mutant ninja turtles!

 I grabbed one this week for ten bucks. Unfortunately the blades are more like lumps if steel- so it is no good for tough materials like foam, it jammed instead if sliced unless you put in more effort than I could care for.
Not any more.
Bwa ha ha.


Diamond files.  Fun for all the family.
 
After a hood hour of filing and contemplating the unusual nature of my hobby the blades where Dexter approved sharp and the foams resistance proved futile. In a few minutes I had a Chinese take out container full of grade A fine flock.
My timing is bad though- today is big object garbage collection day so all those thrown out backpackers couches will have been collected by the government to recycle into some other generations problem.

So foam shreds into perfect flock.  Leaves, too, shred nicely- though remove the stalks or you will wreck your shredder.  The funny thing about scale is that the resulting leaf scatter, which is made from real leaf scatter, does not look rich enough.  I look out my window and see the fallen leaves that I gathered the material from, but on the base it looks nothing like it.  So, I put a few drops of sepia ink and a squidge of glycerine (to help preserve the leaves) into a shaker pot and shook up a perfect batch of forest floor scatter in no time.


MORE ON AD&D SKIRMISH

The AD&D battlesystem skirmish book from last episode has me all excited about terrain again.  All my feverish need for mounds of flock will be revealed in the Skulldred project, by the way.

Speaking of which, I fished through my collection and was pleased to find the Ral Partha stone giant and the rare Marid where in my possession. These both appear in the book and are lovely figures. I was tempted to sell the Marid, because it gets upwards of 50 pounds on eBay, but damn it's charming.
Strangely this sent me on a bit of a d&d spin. I was looking at some of the larger preprinted plastic minis by wotc last night for a good basis to repaint and convert some big classic monsters. The forums seem to think stripping them is nightmarish. May have to experiment. Some of them would be great if only they released them unpainted.
Strange business model. All the power of hasbro behind it and rather than look at the successful GW business model, they choose the prepainted plastic pokemon model and cut away a massive chunk of their market.
Imagine if they turned to making unpainted themed hard styrene dungeon packs instead? First level box of Kobolds, treasure, doors, skeletons, orcs and bugbears with swappable parts, scenario booklet and floor plans?
Instead you have to hunt down enough kobolds to... Oh wait, no... It's a githyanki... Damn, won't be able to play that scenario this week.... Hmmm, reaper do packs of five...Otherworld whole warbands...

Waste.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is it okay to steal someone elses nostalgia?

This arrived for me in the post yesterday, a solid chunk of old school goodness...

My new precious
The AD&D battlesystem's little punk kid skirmishes.  I grabbed a 2nd edition copy for small change, as I wanted to check out all the Skirmish systems out there and see how my pet project Skulldred was holding up.  The moment I started flicking through the book I remembered just how horribly technically over complicated AD&D was... even trimmed down for skirmish play, such horrors as thac0 (to hit armor class zero) and saving throw vs. petrification tables dwell within.

I am sure its fun enough, but it leaves me cold, and I never really liked the expressionless and stiff looking Ral Partha figures.  However, ten minutes in and I couldn't help but get nostalgic.  What??  How could I get nostalgic about something I never had or was into?  Is this sensation psudeoonostalgia? or some form of nostalgia reflex my brain kicks into when it sees something just a little bit crappy and old?  Hmmm.  Strange.
It may have something to do with the spray fixative I have been zapping my board with.

Anyway, if you see this book, grab it.  Not to play... oh heavens no... just for the chockablock old school looking minis and a vibe that's really 1980s (even though, somewhat embarrassingly, its a 1990's publication).  There is just so much charm oozing from the pictures, and there is not one illustration in sight... its all colour photos.
So here I am, inexplicably, drooling for old Ral Partha and full of inspiration for scenery and a fresher look at base decorations.

It has been just the ticket to set me back onto my righteous path of completing my skirmish board and wagon raid project... though at the moment its looking more like a game of 'nick the donkeys'.

Anyway, back with more painted old school goodness soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Noch it... Or rather... Do.

Just glued down my Noch grassmat onto my board and was itching to update... It's awesome. Total board coverage in seconds- close to GW grass( though summer grass looked closer). The grass stands up and I have lots left after coating my 60cm square tile- certainly enough to do raised banks.

Wish I tried these ages ago.

Noch should pay me for advertising. :)

***update***

Having stuck down my mat I have a good tip - leave excess and fold it over and glue underneath, rather than trimming to the edge. This gives a neat transition between the panels and stops the edge lifting.

Noch grassmat and next project

I am getting a bit sick of painting pack mules and hunting for cool wagon carts online, so I am thinking of having a short break from my main 'caravan attack' project for a brief journey into the depths of the future.... Woooo cue spooky theremin music!

I just got my first Eldar pirates arrive in the mail today, and some Sulaco bases from Fenris- so it prompted me to tackle some of the backlog of rogue trader era 40k minis, paranoia figs and Judge Dredd goodness loitering in my filing cabinet of lead. I will need figures to playtest Stardred with.

Pack mules can wait a few days.

However not abandoning the project, no sir, in fact I armed up for more terrain board love today!
I had to pop into the city for passport photos, so naturally I gravitated toward the model store for some tickling of my credit card.
I came away with a Noch spring grass paper roll, which is destined to form the major playing field of my next board segment- and probably be the star of my next photo tute since folk seem keen to see how I did that board. Always happy to tute!

The Noch sheet has two benefits that I can immediately see. Fear and surprise. Surprise and fear... No, wait, four, four benefits... Fear, surprise and cheapness and sticky uppiness.
I picked up a roll at a major mall hobby store, so not the cheapest way to buy one, but at 12.50 it's still cheaper than a tub of glade grass from Greedy Weasleshop and covers more flat terrain, plus it stands up properly like grass. Man I really want a static grass sieve.... Really, really badly.

Not bad enough to pay for one though.

Tsk.

To help blend the mat into the board I grabbed Nochs matching loose flock which is soooooo much cheaper it's worth re covering most of my terrain bits to match.
Unlike the brilliant GW battlemat (a really good and well priced bit of kit) Noch mats are glued to paper, so it does not feel like blasphemy slicing it up. Mix pva with dish washing liquid to break the surface tension and minimize warping- slather it on, then press it in place with another board and some heavy books.
Before I do my next board I am going to glue a thin sheet of plastic wrap down with lots of pva and weight and clamp it- this should create a stretchy layer that should help stop the upper layers warping the wood. In theory.

Noch also charge like wounded bulls, but consider my shopping list so far....

MDF boards $30
Pva glue. -$5
Left over tea - (free)
Craft paints- $10
Grass sheet 12.50
Static grass 13.95
Cork chunks -free
Flex filler $14
Cheap brush (for making long grass tufts)
Other scatter $10
Wire $6
Foamcore $10
Foam from old chairs (free)
Coffee grinder (20ish)

I am floating around the 100 dollar mark, but of course most of this stuff I had spare or could replace with stuff found in bins- and I still have leftovers.

This gives me a pretty good board, complete with a near infinite supply of trees. I consider that a win so far...

Dave


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sculpt-a-long

Hello.  Hows your day going?  Mine was lousy.  I want to send it back to the manufacturer for a full refund.  Anyway...

Grenadier Orc... not its finest figure.

You know that one figure that lingers around your collection... not worth ebaying, but not really good for parts.  yeah, that one.  For me it was this Nick Lund Grenadier orc... to be fair, he probably knocked this one out really quickly to meet a deadline... I have produced some stinkers in my time under that ticking clock.  The studs are poked in with a tube, rather than raised, the weapons are little more than a square with the end cut off- nothing is finished or refined, the face has no character.  Perfectly acceptable for a mass army, but nothing to put it into a hall of fame like Ugezod's shaman, for example.
Anyway, off days in sculpting aside, I found myself experimenting with magic sculpt / green stuff mixes, and rather than risk a commission, decided to try the sculpt-ability out in a fun little sculpt along.

Grenadier Orc.  Somewhat converted.

So lets talk mixes.  This is a 1:3 magic sculpt : green stuff mix.  Make sure to mix the magic sculpt parts precisely 1:1 so that it sets, then mix it into the green stuff.  Magic sculpt tears raggedly when you bend it, but has the benefit of setting shore D hard (most resins set shore D for example).  Green stuff is shore A... rubbery.  Mixing the two means rather than tear, the putty bends.  The magic sculpt takes off a little of the stickiness of the green stuff, removes some of the memory and allows you to feather new pieces together without a noticeable seam.  You can further improve the mix with a tiny amount of super sculpey- which has a waxy texture that makes green stuff spongier and less sticky.
Mix up your putty, set it aside and go wash your hands.

Poke by poke putty poking
Start by shaving off the models face.  The key word is shave... only take off thin slivers of metal at a time using as little pressure as possible.  A rounded blade (see below) is best for shaving off metal, and it must be fresh and sharp- the blunter the blade, the more force you need to apply and therefore the more dangerous.  Only work with a fresh, absolutely sharp blade!  The usual disclaimers about being careful and cutting away from yourself and all the crap apply- look, if your too stupid to operate a scalpel you really should be in a different hobby.  Go sue your parents for giving you bad safety training, not me.

Rounded sculpting blade- stolen from another website for
illustration purposes, and you know, Winona Ryder style fun.

Okay, so the trick when first sculpting is to mass in, then refine.  In figure 1 I start with a blob, then use a little lube (I use KY, you can use vaseline, canola oil, spit, glycerine or whatever) applied with a finger onto the face.  I first pat the ball into the rough shape of a head, impressing in the jaw line, forehead, cheeks and so forth until it roughly resembles what I am after.
Once that is complete, I start suggesting the details lightly- if you squint at the subject your trying to copy, you will see the bigger details first- this is what you want to get in next.  The fine details sit ontop of that work, so don't worry about them yet.

For the mouth, I use the green stuff rubbery nature to best effect.  You can sculpt things bigger and then push and stretch them into position.  I started with making an open mouth, then press the lip up into position.

The eyes are really tricky to do and take practice, but don't loose hope.  It took me ages to get eyes happening.  For this guy I used a very simple technique.  Very, very gently, poke in the silhouette of the eye opening so that it appears faintly- about the depth of the eyelid.  Then stab a needle in either side, creating both the curvature of the eye, the tear duct and corner in one go. Again, this uses the rubbery nature of the green stuff to effect.

Easy eyes.  Gently poke outline, then stab twice.

For the nose I stab in a pin just above the lip, and pull up gently for each nostril.

Figure 10 shows how the teeth are shaped on the base before being picked up and placed using the back of the sculpting tool. Don't roll it on your skin.  Skin + epoxy = bad.  The teeth are then poked into holes I widened with a pin, once inserted I pushed the lip back into place.

Well, why not give it a go... and why not post pics :)  And why not send me money and miniatures.  Why not indeed?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Adventures with magic sculpt and the darker side of milliput

Putties!  I love putties!  I have dozens of them and mix them together in weird, blasphemous experiments that would curdle the blood and boggle the mind of mortal men.  Two more rocked up into my lab of epoxery pokery recently, and I thought I should comment on them.  Tis what I do.

Magic sculpt is cheap to buy in bulk, clean to handle, thins with water and dries to a solid finish that can be drilled and sanded.  If your used to milliput, magic sculpt feels 'airy', kinda lighter and fluffier, and will take a little getting used to.  The trick here is to wait for a bit before sculpting.  As a filler, its a killer.  Cleaner and less crumbly that milliput, with less of an acrid stench, if your filling gaps this could be on your consideration list.  Bulking out, weapons manufacture and other such goodies appeal, and it would be the first thing I reach for when sculpting scenery.

I have been using it to make some dead trees after I got a batch for free in an ebay deal.  I rate it.
One tip I picked up is to get some rough woven cloth, wet it and press this into the magic sculpt to produce a bark finish for trees.  Works nicely.

The downside for me is it costs the same to post as it does to buy- which cuts down the appeal somewhat for us Aussies.  The sculpting properties are not really going to replace my usual mediums, but I have to say that when mixed with green stuff it produces a killer putty- lighter in colour, less sticky, easy to blend into surfaces, able to form a crisp edge, yet with enough memory to make organic forms.  I have taken photos of an orc I have converted using this mix, and I will post it in a tutorial on my lunch break.

I rate it.  Now if I can only find a supplier locally.


BACK IN BLACK

The second putty I have been playing with is black milliput.  I poked some into a silicone mould of a modern lipped base and got a perfect base cast out- though its more fragile than resin- its a damn sight less toxic when casting as you can wear gloves and do not inhale anything.  If you saw my Grom goblin last episode, that's the base I made.  Shatters when force is applied, but you can reinforce it using some wire or mesh and its good.
The appeal of black milliput is that you can fill bases without needing to paint.  Great for under those slottas!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Bigger they come...

I love the citadel giant.  Its one of the best miniatures of all time, and a delightful model kit.  Yes.  Thats me... talking about a modern citadel product in good terms.

No, I am feeling quite well.

I also happen to think Jes Goodwin is hitting balls out of the park with his new look Cennobite/ Green goblin inspired Dark Eldaer... the most Rogue Trader looking things ever.  Shame they are "finecast" aerobars.

On my unassembled modern model pile is a set of aquatic trolls, Dark Eldar Wyches (what a kit!) and a plague cart.  I am soooo tempted to grab some more giant kits.  Love, love, love.

Citadel Giant and classic Elric (Jes Goodwin)
 Anyway, the problem with giants, as so finely demonstrated by all the undercoated but not painted giants at Cancon and MOAB, is that they scare the crap out of you.  How do you even begin to paint something that big?  That much detail?
My giant was assembled on my birthday, hours after I unwrapped it (bless my wife, having to go into a games workshop store and beat away the frothers and gawping depressed tweens ("look, a girl... in a game store... WHAT DO WE DO????").  Anyway, that giant, so hurriedly and lovingly assembled sat on my shelf ever since... grey and plastic and daunting.


Kaylee and Svala from Hasslefree (Kev White),
Jes Goodwin Elric, Chaos Champion.
Bob Naismith Chaos Champion conversion with head from modern Chaos Sorcerer
The trick to painting your giant is to pick up a brush and put some paint on it.  Before you know it, a few hours have passed and your done.  Ignore White Dwarf... their tutorials always focus on perfecting and shading each part before moving onto the next... great for teaching- but not for marathon paint jobs, psychologically and practically.  In the old days, the trick was to finish all your base colours first, then shade, then highlight.  That way, your figure feels like its progressing, and if you accidentally slip when slapping on the base colors, you don't wreck a nicely finished section.

I would go further and say before detailing, whack on some varnish... that gives you a few seconds to wipe off mistakes.  Plus, as the pictures in this blog attests, you can game with partially shaded models.  Most of the figures in these photos are just colour glazed over a grey undercoat thats been drybrushed white and hit with badab black.  Passable gaming in minutes!  Sure, I then go over the top with more subtle glazes and highlights, often repainting whole areas... but its super thin, so no build up of paint.

Anyway, got the giant to a gaming standard... which means I have to fix up a lot of details, but pretty happy with the fact I got through him.  It actually did not take much longer than doing a regular mini... you just need a bigger brush!
Now, I have that Tom Meier Forgotton realms beastie to tackle next on my 'big things that hang around my shelves for aaaaaaagggggeeesss.'  Remember Dave, just pick up the brush and start....

Skulldred mayhem!
Another Bob Naismith Chaos warrior needing to reload
Grom from Groms goblins guards in backdrop, about to be lynched by
a Perry Bros female chaos warrior
Citadel Fantasy Specials Dead Adventurer in foreground

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quick tip: Brilliant budget shields

I have been looking around at the selection of shields available on the net, and have not really been very excited by the options.  Its on my list of Bederken must-do products (its a big list), but for now I have a bunch of minis needing something to cover up their ugly bumps.  I mean the ones on their wrists.  You know.   Where the shields are supposed to go.

Got a great solution today.  Thumb tacks plus copper washers.  Allow me to illustrate.

Shields.  5 bucks for frikkin hundreds
A dab of superglue, a quick snip and I have a perfect greek style shield just begging to be painted with funky retro iconography.  The nice thing about these is they automatically come complete with a pin to firmly attach them onto the shield boss.  All I need to do is drill a small hole and I have the most firmly attached shield you could possibly wish for!

Oh, and of course I have the means to make hundreds for a few bucks.

This works really well for my Macdeath Skirmish project as these shields exactly match the artwork for the Knights of Harkness shields!  Bingo.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tutorial: Making mini sculpting tools

My heat shrink came in the mail today, so I finished upgrading my sculpting tools to the level of 'reet propa like'.
Here are some snapparoonies for you to glare at.


Pokey things wot to poketh da putty wiv.

So here's what you need...

Ingredients:  Heat shrink, dowel, paperclips
Tools:  Saw, file, pin vice, superglue and sandpaper

First cut the dowel into a comfortable size.  Nick out a wedge where your thumb rests- this will help orient the tool in your hand- so you can 'feel' if your holding it in the right direction.  I hold my pencils weird- crossing my index finger over the top- have done since a child.  Weird, but comfortable for me.  That means everyone will find my set of tools a bit strange to hold.  Serves them right for nicking them in the first place.

Its also a good idea to whittle down the tips into a taper- the thickness of the dowel allows your hand to relax whilst holding the tool- but the thick end blocks viability somewhat.

Next drill a hold in each end to hold the paperclip.  As I use paperclips to pin minis, I had the exact size of bit (#69).  My tools are double tipped- saving digging around on the desk for the tool I want- if your prone to poking yourself in the eye, maybe go down the other route.

The paperclips are straightened, and I run a diamond file over the surface to be stuck to give the superglue a bit of purchase.  Once fixed in the hole, I set to work on the tips.

You can hammer out the ends if you want a wide tool- but I prefer to use jumbo paper clips, as they are much sturdier.  The galeforce 9 diamond files are excellent, and will make short work of the metal.  Finally, polish up the surface with extremely fine wet and dry paper.  Its important to get a totally smooth finish- any roughness at this stage will cause your tool to rip your putty.

The last step is to make the grips.  This is done with heat shrink- available from electrician supplies.  You need some a few mm wider than your dowel.  Simply slip the heat shrink over the dowel and wave over a heat source, such as a gas stove to make the sleeve fit.  A couple of layers will make a nice grip.  I grabbed a mixed pack with six colors- and color coded all my tools.

Now the paperclip metal is quite strong and will last a while.  You will have to keep sanding your tools to take off dried putty- so all tools will eventually wear out.  No problems- ten minutes and a fresh paperclip and your back in action.

When leaving your tools for a while, wrap the tips in an oil rag to prevent rusting.

The next step is to find some clear rubber hosepipe from an aquarium supply that fits the ends.  Cut this up to make protective sleeves for your tips- now your mobile baby!

I really love my new tools, and wish I had thought of doing this earlier.  Thanks to Victoria Lamb for showing me the tools she got from Gencon!

Strip show

I smell of Dettol. You know what that means? Fresh new (old) miniatures.
4 kilos of sparkly clean lead pile ready to bend to my evil will.
Bwa hahaha.
I have been rather slack lately, collecting figure stripping jars and leaving them months to stew in their Dettol dips, but on my quest for mental clarity through completion of backed up tasks I took a few hours out if my morning to scrub, scrub, scrub.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your outlook) I immediately refilled the jars with my stripping backlog.

Strip show day is like cristmas. You forget exactly what lurks in that filthy black morass, and this particular batch was exceptional. Most of my missing Citadel FA range appeared,along with a few judge Dredd perps(always fun), a Spawn of Naarglesh, FF bonesnapper, treeman mcklinty, Chaos girl/insect demon and many of you will be pleased to know, the remaining members of my c100 kill team Charlie!

Woot!


Happy Leadmas!
Here is a pick for you to pick through and identify if such is your whim.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gameboard progress

Forget hearing the lamentations of your enemies women... now this is happiness.




Early Citadel Fantasy Adventurers FA19 female warrior tackles
a swarm of converted Citadel FF Red Orcs.


 
This morning I finished flocking and filling the first peice of my modular game board and had a bit of a game on it at lunch time.  I have never had a proper board before, and though I suspected it would make a huge difference having some top notch scenery to the verisimilitude (yeah I had to look it up) of the game, I am having trouble shifting the resulting grin from my chops.  It makes every difference!

So my cunning plan was to make small 4 boards rigid enough to lift up and shift about.  My flats small, and storage is limited, so having to pack down my game everytime I needed to eat got quite annoying.  Now I can go crazy, crazy on a campaign and simply lift the peices, dice, figures and all out of the way when space is needed.  The boards stack vertically, and the scenery fits into 2 storage tubs.

Blank game board, work in progress.
So I started with a sheet of MDF which I cut down to a portable size that had enough room to have a major feature on it and at least four tactical situations.  Plenty of flat room for modules to sit on (I use old cd's) too.  I am going to make chocks that clip to the side so all four peices can be stacked in the back of a car if needed.  Finally, a series of magets are countersunk to allow the board to snap and hold together.
Somewhere the teas getting cold.
Citadel Chaos Champion.  Reaper Lorna The Huntress.  Twinings Irish Breakfast.

The flock and static grass is held on with watered down PVA.  Once dry, I sprayed matt sealer initially from a height, so it wouldn't blow away the bits.  After a minute or two I lowered down the height of the aerosol and by the third pass I could put it a few inches away.  Cheap hair spray also works I am told.  I will try that on the next one.  Anyway, the fixative keeps all that scatter firmly in place.

I am yet to paint it properly, plus I need to put in flowers, mushrooms, animal burrows, roots and puddles yet... I want a really temperate, wet, damp environment.

Anyway, here are some shots of the game taken on my crappy iphone camera.

Ral Partha 'Harryhausen' Cyclops, Citadel barbarian,
Citadel Chaos Champions, Mike Broadbent Matakishi Cat (converted)

This shot shows the stone boards I created earlier in this blog... its in something like 'how to make indestructible scenery from expanded polystyrene'.  The effect looks really stoney right?  Thats Woodflex polyfilla stippled with sponge.  Brilliant stuff- great for mud, lava, stone and rock.

The battle for lunchtime rages on.  Using Skulldred beta 3.0 rules.


Kates Amazons rush to their doom for the first time.

Tonight Kate and I had a quick match after dinner.  Kate thinks that her low level Amazon should survive when she drops her guard, takes a direct hit in the head by a chaos champion's meat cleaver the size of her torso and falls back off a 6 meter cliff onto stone.  The jury is out.  Next month I am fitting spiked traps.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Matakishi cat, Runestaff Flana and my shelf of technicolor lead things

Great.  Insomnia again.  Fortunately I just found a whole list of Sulphite free food alternatives that I can try.  Did you know you can make your own Baileys at home?  Yay!  Sulphite free booze for me!

So my lovely wife took some photos of some of my collection yesterday, and I thought I would post up some pics since I have a few hours for my antihistamine to kick the butt of whatever is keeping me up and itchy.

First off, since the good doctor asked... is my conversion of Mike Broadbent's Matakishi cat for my wifes Skulldred warband.

  Converted Matakishi cat- available from Matakishi's tea house..

The 'mostly painted' shelf- Citadel, Eureka, Ral Partha and BeDerken figures in da house!


The 'mostly painted' shelf.  My sculpt of Flana Mikosevar for Eureka front and centre.



WIP of my Jes Goodwin's Nurgle Champion- shield sculpted by me.

So as you can see I nudged along my Nurgle warband a little by adding a shield.  This is scratch built using a 50:50 greenstuff/brownstuff mix.  Its also painted using the talc medium I spoke of in an earlier post- matte as matte can be.  I just got the teeth picked out in white- I will glaze those suckers down when I have the chance.
Its gotten me into the vibe of sculpting some 1980's style shields for my figure range.


Well I am actually yawning now.  Good night, leadaholics, and sweetly painted dreams...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Medium bliss

It work Folks! Adding talc and flow aid to Liquitex matte medium makes a killer medium that pales Vallejo by comparison. Flat and matte, flowing smoothly from the brush and leveling with a soft edge. A huge vat of it- perhaps all I can eat for a year for under twenty bucks.

This deserves a funky thumbs up.





Whilst I have my hipstamatic app open I took a shot of this...




My armory catalogue I have been checking figure off from for the past few months. Its a cruel master that forces me to look at ebay and spend my pocket money.
A heap of Fiend factory, space farer and fantasy adventurers await stripping and checking off... I have most of them now if I include broken ones.
I think the ones I am most excited about are doing up all the Space Farers ready for an old school Stardred game- I made up some digital floorplans last year for a starship rpg I ran and cannot wait to have the red redemption running about shooting lasers at eat other in them!
However I am Painfully aware of my project vows. Skulldred baggage raid first- kill team Charlie second- 15mm post apoc team after that...
Then weighing up night horrors /citadel gothic horror Cthulu temple, Judge Dredd/paranoia block war, FF /FA old school dungeon, Fantasy town, macdeath skirmish or Frazetta death dealer barbarians.

Any votes?


If anyone has a FF manticore wing set (the one that looks like a hood ornament) I would love to get them for the forlorn manti that appeared in a job lot this week- otherwise it's reaper wings for this fine fellow, and only half a crossing off from the list. Or perhaps he becomes a mount for a broken goblin.


Oh I almost forgot to post this- a first glimpse of my new mdf board mounted gaming table panels for the Skulldred baggage train raid. Now I can pick up my games, figures, dice and all when I need the table to do boring stuff like eat.



Nothing special yet, but the first board I have made yet. This is a photo of the look development corner.
I am trying a different approach with it from the usual instructions. It is entirely designed to not scratch figures!
If you think about it, gluing down sand is like making a huge sheet of sandpaper. Not good.
I am trying all soft options- the soil for example is made from used dried tea leaves, pva and acrylic paint. Its spongey to the touch, looks just like muddy soil and detritus and smells nice. Drinking 2 cups of tea covers an area the size of my hand.
Good thing I am English. Somewhere the teas getting cold... Literally. ;)

Cork for stones, foamcore for paving and woodflex for rocky structures. My only mistake was choosing citadel flock- now I have to fork out top dollar to match it. Anyone know a cheaper option for glade grass that's the same or close?

Ciao for now!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

fixing liquitex medium with talc

Morning folks- thanks for tuning in again to another brave, daring episode of Kings Minis- brought to you in spooky technicolor.  Last episode we left our hero hanging from a cliff pondering mediums... well, actually not, but lets pretend we did.  On with the show...

Now I have said that I find Vallejo matte medium to be the best for the crazy medium heavy blending techniques I use.  Well, thats all dandy, but it only comes in tiny little dropper bottles.  Handy, but expensive in the amounts I use.  I love the stuff.  If it was edible I would probably snack on it.

Enter Liquitex....
Now Liquitex products are pretty good- if you are a 2D artist you will swear by them as a graphic medium... however, as a miniature medium the Matte medium dries far too glossy to build up highlights and shadows- the light you paint with is reflected and it makes it hard to see whats going on.  I kept thinking this was a shame because you can buy it in 473ml bottles for about the same price as 2 Vallejo droppers.
Well heres the good news.  Talc.
I caught an offhand comment by Jen Haley the other day on youtube (http://www.paintrix-miniatures.com/)  that festered in my mind last night.  Matte medium is just gloss medium with talc in it.  Well, if thats the case, perhaps Liquitex simply does not have enough talc in it.  Bingo.

Tried a quick test today using various mediums and mixes of industrial talc (non perfumed) that I had handy from resin casting.  Its true.  Adding talc kills shine on medium.

YES!*


(*Thats me trying to capture the volume of the exclaimation issuing from my lips in the biggest font blogger will let me.  Kinda not quite got there IMHO).

It works.  It works well.  Cheap, truely matte medium in bulk volume.

Ta Ms. Haley.  You little brush goddess, you.

So I made up a master mix of 1:8 talc to liquitex and thinned with distilled water with liquitex flow aid (1:10 as per instructions).  I am going to test this out once I have some painty time.

Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy unbirthday to me!

Don't you just love it when eBay sellers go above and beyond? I got a package today from one seller that gift wrapped inside the box! Awww, thanks VP!
It felt like my birthday too- a lovely set of old school dwarfs including 'The Dwarf With No Name' and a Vorpal kitty no less!
Got to be happy with that...

It's a cool feeling when you know a seller is checking in to see their old figures painted and restored- kinda like visiting rights. Museum archive- just one of the services I provide here at Kingsminis.

I get Especially warm and gooey when the figures in question are old roleplaying figures- I like the idea of them having been on many adventures before they travel 12,000 miles to continue their adventure down under!

Other nice things that arrived recently are a bunch of spacefarer jetbikes- ff dark lord, nightmare dragon (boo) and a boxed set of game workshop cavern floor plans. I am going to mount those on stiff card to preserve them for more adventures.

I am looking forward to a break soon - my work is very intense and I just know there are jars of figures soaking in Dettol just staring at the back of my head whilst I work. I hate unfinished projects hovering about- at least when they are stripped and filed away they are not mid-task.


My addiction to early figures is getting worse- I am playing running flushes and full houses with the Fantasy adventurer and fiend factory at the moment. I am looking forward to posting a photo of the ENTIRE range painted. How utterly, (and I pretext this with meaning in nerdy context), how utterly, utterly cool would that be.

Of course, you then need the fantasy cavalry to match... That's another fifty odd rare figures... Then you start spilling into fantasy tribes... And flying spaghetti monster help me then...
I can only hope by that time my addiction wears off or I make a fortune and can be a man of leisure.


It could happen.



Next up on my hobby table, the raiding game continues with more pack mules, a bill the pony paint job and booty markers- plus I restore a bunch of old wolf models (a gift from another great eBay trader) ready to harass the baggage train!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bill lives!

Lots of putty flying around today, so between sculpts used scraps to finish bill the half pony off.



Ironically (Well, in the Alanis Morrisette meaning of the word anyway) I also won a complete Bill the pony on eBay today. Hence a quick addition of a fringe mane.
That brings my total to five pack animals- for the raiding party game.

Kate also scored this little critter for her birthday- a converted Matakishi cat barbarian for her Amazon tribe. The original sculpt is by Aussie legend Mike Broadbent- trappings and base by yours truely.



Next to the cat is a 15mm sculpt of ghost rider I did whilst on holiday a few months ago. Sun, surf, sand, spa and a mobile sculpting kit! Bliss.
The little guy was my third crack at 15mm - this time I used paperclips for rigidity and hardened 2:1 white:black procreate. The white was hardened by leaving it out to air. This makes the perfect 15mm sculpting material as the resistance means You have to really MEAN each impression.
I am looking forward to doing more 15mm later in the year.( and before you ask -no, he is not being cast up!)



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bill progress

Thanks to a bout of allergy based insomnia, (try finding food without soy or sulphites in it) I found myself with a few hours to kill - too fuzzy headed on anti-histamine to trust myself to sculpt something for clients - so I got bill a little further along instead.





I deliberately made the packs different to the actual mini, since I may as well make him a variant since I am going to the trouble of building his missing half. I figure I may find one on fleabay at some point.
I have a preslotta donkey and pack mule heading my way from the uk, so that gives me four pack animals and a cart horse ready for his cart. Plenty for brigands to raid!

I am surprised by the lack of decent wagon wheels and bits available. Think I may have to make some for my mini range.

Finally felt drowsy by the time I got to doing the fetlocks- so back on the waiting shelf for ol' bill and the rest of his wagon train until the last project mutants are all done.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Frugal fruits of the foamy forrest: Making foliage for a couple of bucks


You know those times when your standing in the hobby store and you have that tub of scenic material and you know you really, really need it for your project but you just can't shake that little voice in your head that says 'Well gee willikers Mister, that's just a load of shredded foam they painted green - and by-golly thats just some sawdust dyed yellow.'  Yeah.  My inner monologue sounds like a 1950's TV kid.  Wanna make something of it?

I wanted to make something of it.  I wanted to make my own.  And golly gosh, gee... I did.

50c of cheapass gamer
 So armed with a discount store electric coffee grinder, some tubes of students acrylic and a bit of foam discarded from one of the many evicted backpackers furniture piles commonly found on any street curb in Bondi beach, I tackled my greatest challenge yet.  Make an unending supply of foliage material for the price of a single bag from my hobby store.  Coffee grinder included.

Step 1:  Rip up the foam into chunks.  Pop it in the blender and give it a few whizzes to get it into inch sized bits.

Step 2:  Take a screw lid pot, stuff in a little foam and add water.  Squeeze and stir in enough cheap craft paints to make about twenty citadel pots worth up.  Use the foam chunks to be your color guide- it will lighten up a tad, but not much.  Alternatively buy a can of house paint from the store- you can get their little computer to match a sample you already have.

Step 3:  Lay out a protective sheet of plastic in a warm, sunlit place.  Put some newspaper down on top of that.  Make sure there are no breezes or pets in your chosen location.

Step 4:  Stir in the foam chunks a handful at a time using an old kitchen utensil that has holes in it (a strainer is ideal).  Press the chunks against the sides to take out most of the paint without discoloring, then lift the batch onto the paper.  You want the paint to thickly coat the foam, so that it hardens when it sets.

Step 5:  Screw the paint lid down and store away for your next session.  Clean your tools, then go off and do something less boring instead.  Leave the foam for at least 24 hours to dry.  You can try using a hair dryer to speed up the process, but only if you want green paint and tiny bits of foam everywhere in your house.

Step 6: The foam should be crunchy dry now.  Grab that old grinder and pop the pieces back in for another whizz.  Now its crunchy, the blades will make a much finer job of shredding it up.  Make a few batches up of different sizes and mix them together for your final batch to add some natural variety.

Do not use the grinder for coffee now.  Well, hell, I am not going to stop you... its a free world after all (and if not free, certainly a lot cheaper world with this technique).  The coffee would taste like Starbucks if you did.  Always switch off a grinder before poking around inside it, even with a utensil, and never blame wargaming bloggers for dismemberment.


Skulldred Raid Project part 1

First up I have to apologise for the camera work this post.  My proper camera is not charged and I have only a short window to blog- buts since this stuffs all work in progress, it will do for now.

The gaming project I have decided to work on first is my Skulldred family battle board- the one I play my wife on.  I decided to complete everything associated with that core game first.  That means some choice scenery items, player models and tokens for things to rescue and loot.

So the project kicks off with a baggage train for adventurers to protect and raiders to raid.  My pack mule collection was rather thin- especially since I picked up a boxed set Bill the pony without reading the text and found, well... something out of The Cell.  Turns out the boxed set was incomplete by one half of bill.  If you ever list things on ebay that are incomplete, I think its polite to write that in the title for lazy people like me in general and specifically for me.  :)

Citadel packhorses- adventurers boxed set and bill the pony... uh, make that half a bill.
Fortunately for our little Demi-Bill I can rebuild him.  I have the technology.  A pointy implement, paperclip and some epoxy putty.
That leads me to a great tip... I have been using 5 minute epoxy putty to do armatures and building understructure for bases.  Its like having a slightly smelly, milliput that understands my patience is limited and behaves accordingly.  The brand I use is Knead-it.  Though it should be called Knead-it-wearing-gloves-or-you-get-a-nasty-rash.  Great stuff.
Once I get some sculpting time (commissions at the moment) I am going to place the model in front of a mirror and sculpt the B side using a bit of green stuff.  I probably will stick my tongue the corner of my mouth whilst I do so, just to enjoy the clichĂ©.

I also started tacking down some resin treasure items to poker chips, but think I will post them once their are done.  Besides, I ripped them off from Phreeds treasure tokens on his blog.  ;)

The Adventure Ends
Citadel FS28 Slain Adventurer, Grenadier Death Giant, Citadel WF6 Aggressive Aardvark (Cerebus)
Last to begin but first to finish is my slain adventurer token, played here by a citadel FS28 slain adventurer.  The cause of his situation is Citadels, well, shall we say blatant 'omage to Cerebus.  I have decided to rebase him.  I realised he really should be on a bar room flagstone base standing on a pile of dead folk and spilt tankards.  I am also going to strip and resurface him like I did the pack mule above -he is just too rough and will look great with smooth blending and some properly defined fingers.  Still, no time for that right now, so I will leave him be- and perhaps get some Skulldred sessions in with the little guy first.
The Grenadier Death statue is is inspired by the recent Citadel Garden of Morr statue.  I realised I had just the thing for my scenery, so a quick repaint later and voila!  Again, it needs rebasing on a stone plinth methinks.  I find many of these figures on ebay that are broken.. thinking I may make a bunch of these at some stage for the table if I can get these cheap enough.

Now the progress on the main stars.  I am going to do myself a bandit warband, though since I do not have the figures I need, I decided to finish off the small Realm Of Chaos warband I started so I can game with them.

Kats Amazons rebases.  A mix of Reaper and Citadel figures
Daves Chaos raiders:  Mainly converted and Augmented Citadel 1980's chaos champion figures
So these are the best ones so far- rebasing them took the majority of time here, but I have pushed the painting along a little on my team, and scratch sculpted a chaos shield for the horned champion and blended in the new Reaper weapon swap for Big Bertha.  Lots to do still.
A spike backed chaos warhound arrived the other day, which I think will make a great addition to the team.

Well thats my hobby time all used up.  Back to sculpting figures for other people.  Hope your enjoying the blog so far.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Matakishi is the man

 
Matakishi is one of those I am happy to call a 'legend' in the games hobby.  His blog, Matakishi's tea house is a must read for any gamer.
It was at the tea house I learned how to make a smooth miniature surface- a huge barrier I had to overcome when I first started sculpting minis, and its from the tea house where I got my latest revalation about the hobby.

Matakishi is a projects man.  He makes small, contained projects, then works them through to completion.  Scenery, figures and often rules too.  A playable game table with everything on it finished to a good, if not excellent standard.
My collection is a sprawling, seething mix from which I pluck models to paint based on whim.  As I paint some barbarians, I know there are more in storage and more on their way from the land of ebay.  My goal has to paint complete collections of sets that interest me.  Worse still, I have several figures I want to paint really, really well... so they remain unpainted of course.
Well, readers of my blog will remember the dead energy projec, where I took some figures that, well, they where not my favourites... and I painted the living hell out of them?  That project really released some hobby karmic blockage, and I followed it with a painting spree that really dented my lead pile!

Matakishi focuses on game projects.  Small, doable and inspiring.  That ideas really got me primed up.

I am next going to attack my collection with the goal of making two finished themed warbands for Skulldred, along with finished game items to play some simple scenarios.  Everything on the table finished and to a good standard- including tokens, goal markers and a few choice scenery items.
Now... the question is what scenario?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Demonette

Jes Goodwins Chaos Familiar Demonette
A quickie but a goodie.  Jes Goodwin's kinky little demonette from the Chaos Sorcerers range- recently re-released by GW as part of the famous familiars.  Remember the beastman with the chaingun that had this girl growing from his head with her pubic hair woven into his goaty braids?  John Blanche did that little bit of 1980s Realm of Chaos Gold- you can find it in his Ratspike book along with other great conversions.  I grabbed an extra set of familiars just so I could shred them up for similar conversions.

This lass is going to have resin poured into the pool in front of her... though I may transfer her to another base first.  Not decided yet.

Realms of Chaos divide!

I really do not like square bases.  I realised my army of vintage chaos figures are just going to sit on the shelf unless I did something about it.  Inspired by Donvoss of Berlins brilliant 6 man warbands for Realm Of Chaos recently posted here on Lead Adventure I decided to move it across to 30mm round bases for Skulldred.  You can see my rant about how brilliant I am finding my new bases in previous posts.

Daves 'Eavy Meddlers -Skulldred Warband
Converted citadel warriors, Chaos Champion
Remember this conversion?  The spikey club (aka Dil-dorr- wrecker of retreats) unfortunately was just not strong enough to stay on such a heavy model, so I am replacing it with a suitable metal weapon from Reaper minis.  Needs some milliput to form a rigid support and perhaps a chain to tie it all together.
Original Chaos Warrior - Big Bertha conversion
The other conversion is just a headswap- taking the modern chaos sorcerer head and situating it on an old chaos warrior and dressing the join up a bit.  Think I will add some severed heads to that one to really tighten the look up.

The brilliant think about skirmish gaming is you really get to focus on your individual models more.  Huge armies look great, but a skirmish warband is real narrative delight.  With Skulldred, I am focusing on making a game that can play smoothly with around 20 figures per side.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Asgard, Hasslefree, Rarities and my new 30mm Ply Bases

I got a few hours to base up and partially paint Hasslefree minis Svala and dynamic kaylee-For one of my Skulldred demo game warbands (aka the orange team!).  Kev White, as usual, rocks my socks with two awesome figures, understated details, fluid, dynamic and paintable as heckaroonie on a stick.  Yep, well worth your cash - get em here.

Hasslefree Svala and Kaylee (converted) WIP paint jobs

I lightly converted Kaylee, shaving off her chaos symbol and replacing it with a grinning monster face, as well as adding extra fabric to her arms to give more space for her team colours.  All this was done with greenstuff.  I then decked out her base with mushrooms, creepers and leaves to make use of all the new space on my BRAND NEW BASES!!!!

So the story with my bases is that I really needed some extra room around my figures so they dont bump up against each other in gameplay.  I also like decorating them, so having the extra room is great.  I made a bunch of lipped deep dish bases, since I hate the way you cannot pick up lipped bases, but have had issues with leeching oils through the resin- clearly my resin is out of date :(
I decided to try out some laser cut 30mm ply discs and you know, I love them!  I am sorely tempted to move my whole collection across to them now.
What can I say?  Cheap, roomy, easy to pick up, easy to modify, light, have a little bounce to protect the figure, soak black paint up so they chip black, and look the business.  At 30mm, they are the exact same footprint as Malifaux or Warmachine bases, but without the annoying lip.  You know, I am totally sold on this.  Very surprised, considering my experience with plywood bases for HotT has been less than spectacular.
Converted Hasslefree Kaylee framed with some Asgard gems- Lizard man and Poisonous Stalker
Kaylee's shield sculpted by me.  All Work in progress paint jobs.
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Kaylee vs. Lizardman wips - playin' Skulldred, naturally!
The lizardmans pokerchip base gives me room to sculpt a torn apart
adventurer using procreate.
 The figures shown are all part way through painting, really needing neatening up and a bit more shading.  The next ones are even more WIP...

Citadel WF6 Aggressive Aardvark, LE-4 The Black Dwarf and DL2 Hobgoblin shaman
Primed and ready to be drooled over.
So you can see the raw wooden bases onto which I have mounted some dead sexy rare citadel gems- including the 'other' black dwarf (see my earlier posts for the Jes Goodwin masterpiece from Asgard).

The only pain with the ply bases is that the laser scoring around the edge needs sanding off.  I found if you use two grits- course to get the lines off and a really fine to polish it really shiney, it looks just like plastic once painted.  Using a diluted chaos black wash allowed the paint to soak in- making the base absorb the paint deeply and so it chips to black- which will keep my collection looking a little less played with hopefully.  The underside, being perfectly flat, also looks nice when you flip a model on its side too- no ugly slottabase grooves.


I do worry about acids from sap in the plywood leeching into the model and causing leadrot.  A few really old models I have prised off wooden bases show damage where they contact the wood.  I have kept a thin layer of epoxy around the figures to protect them, and sealed the surface with superglue here and there.  That ought'a hold it.


I think its about time citadel allowed 30mm bases for 40k- the models have scale creep'ed to a point where they could really do with the extra stability and protection.  Don't you agree?