Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something completely different...

One word of advice first. When getting your first airbrush (because you are considering buying one unless you already have one) don't get the most expensive one straight away.

An example of why is the bottom airbrush. I got it a year ago, it was my first foray into airbrushing if you don't consider the week I had at art school back in 1996. I really didn't know how they worked. Why things sometimes didn't work and well... it got a bit smashed up. Impatience is a virtue... or so I've heard.

So, after almost completely messing up my Evolution I decided that it was time to either buy replacement parts or get myself a new one. I settled for the latter and bought me the fance Harder & Steenbeck Evolution INFINITY. Just taste that little word... I N F I N I T Y !

The difference in price isn't really that much between the two. But the difference in fit and finish is like... comparing a Skoda to a BMW or something like that.

So... the completely different part?

A Dragon Models PzKpfw. IV Ausf. G!

All this playing of World of Tanks (which is what I do when I really should finish the Stompa) made me wanna try and paint and build a "real" model. It's got 740 parts, photo-etched stuff and god knows what more.

I have just opened the box, taken a look at the various sprues (and shuddered a little when I saw the three sprues containing track links) and put it on the shelf. This one is for when I have less work and not an Aporkalypse to be preparing for.

Here's the list I'm taking to the Aporkalypse. For you list-dudes. It's nothing special. It's more of a "I want a Stompa and I want kanz... "-list.

Formation: Dred Mob
Deff Dread Dreadnought CCW x4
Killer Kans x3 Dreadnought CCW; Grotzooka x3; 
Killer Kans x3 Dreadnought CCW; Rokkit Launcha x3
Killer Kans x3 Dreadnought CCW; Grotzooka x2; Rokkit Launcha x1
Stompa Big Shoota (x2); Deth Kannon w/ co-ax Supa-Gatler; Supa-Rokkit (x3); Supa-scorcha; Titan CCW; Twin Linked Big Shoota; Big Shoota.

HQ: Big Mek Mek's Tools; Kustom Force Field; Choppa;

Troops: 25 Boyz; Shootas; Big Shoota x2;
1x Boyz Nob Bosspole; Slugga; Power Klaw
Troops: 25 Boyz; Shootas; Big Shoota x2;
1x Boyz Nob Bosspole; Slugga; Power Klaw

Troops: 20 Boyz; Sluggas & Choppas
1x Boyz Nob Bosspole; Slugga; Power Klaw
Troops: 20 Boyz; Sluggas & Choppas
1x Boyz Nob Bosspole; Slugga; Power Klaw

Weighing in at 1997 points or something like that. The KFF is mostly just to give them cover while they slug along the field. And to give cover to any Kanz that has to be more than 12" away from the Stompa. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arming the Stompa

I crack myself up figuring out the headlines for my stompa-posts... for real. Sometimes I hate my type of humour.

So, I finished the head yesterday night. And today I did the easy arm. It's supposed to be pretty much metal, greasy stuff and rust. The last two parts will be added once I get the last arm on so it doesn't look too different depending on what arm you're looking at.

Arm detail. Lot's of different shades of metal. Washes are lovely!

Brushes. Part Deux.

I read a little about Raphael brushes earlier and decided that I had to give them a try and ordered a bunch of them from Jackson Art in the UK. And now, after having used them for about two months I thought I should do a little write-up on Kolinsky Sable brushes.

To be perfectly honest. There is absolutely no reason not to buy ”professional” brushes. The points stay pointy way longer than on budget brushes. The bristles don't separate while you're applying paint on your figure. And the springy-ness... they revert back to their straight pointy shape within no-time compared to the GW-brushes.

As you can see from the comparison picture above, even the size 2 brush is as pointy as the smaller ones. Which is perfect for when you need to apply lining with a wash in small areas but with a regular flow of paint.

To the right is three of my Winsor Newton brushes. They're also really really good. But as you can see they all have really short bristles / body compared to the Raphael brushes. Which for me isn't ideal. I prefer to have a longer working time. Some prefer the shorter bristles. It's all a matter of taste I guess. But if you're not using really really thinned paint with some slow-dri added to it, the W&N 3/0 is almost impossible to use for more than a couple of seconds. Sometimes that's all the time you need, sometimes not. (Like when doing checkers on orky parts -.-)

The two GW-brushes have been used for as long as the W&N brushes, and you really can tell that they're of an inferior quality. The points aren't really pointy anymore and they've started to hook. (Not to mention that the paint is starting to flake off from the handle. WTF is up with that?).

So, do yourself a favor. Get one or two Kolinsky Sable brushes from Raphael, Winsor & Newton, whomever. They sure are worth the higher price you pay. And they last longer... (as long as you care for them just like you should care for all your brushes) so really. You're saving money in the long run. :)

If you're curious about brush-caring. There's a pretty good article of it over at The Painting Corps. I usually wash mine every now and then under lukewarm running tap water with some soap in my hand. When flakes of paint stop coming off. Or the soap isn't colored when you turn the bristles in your hand. It's clean. Not the best of solutions. I should invest in some brush soap. Since my technique dries the brushes out I dip them in Vallejos cleaning solution and then for a tip and store them in a brush holding wallet until it's time to use them again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Push! Push! I can see the head!"

Finally got around to add the head. And it sure makes it a whole new stompa. As usual with minis (or huge-is as this is) the head is really the focal point. Without it. Or with a bland face. Things just look dull.

Instead of the mek-ish ork commander that was supplied with the stompa I decided to add one of the grots from Forgeworlds Grot Tank-set. It just felt much more appropriate to have a ton of grots running the machine. Even though the fluff says otherwise. I guess this grot, Kommanda Ruhmul, has proven himself in battle so many times that he got transplanted from the kan into the head of the stompa instead. Or something like that... only the God Emperor knows how the ork mind works. If anyone does.

And as usual, it's a ton of work left to do. Highlighting all the panels, drybrushing metal bitz and whatnot. But I got so happy when the head was on I had to put it up here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

<witty headline about my stompa>

So, the body is almost finished. I would like to be able to work on it even more. Adding tiny details and whatnot. Probably for the next one. Because there will be at least one more Stompa built and painted. Even though it's a huge project. Much bigger than anticipated, it's one hell of a fun project. There's so many parts that you can try our different techniques on and stuff.

But since this one, together with 3 grot tanks and a couple of boys has to be ready for the 10th of November I will have to try and limit the amount of time I put into the stompa.

Todays tasks will be adding details (I've started doing the headlight thingies as you can see in the top picture) and then give it a couple of coats of varnish.

Parts taken from some Blood Angel thingie. You can see the added drybrushing and line highlightning here as well. I've also added some chips n scratches to the skull.

And something from the Ultramarines scout company. This stompa has really been in some scraps with the beakies!

The transfers have some silvering, but I hope that will be remedied once I start varnishing the body. It'll get at least two coats of gloss before I add matte (for the muddy parts) and satin (for the more metal-ish parts).

Oh, and the snow has finally arrived in the southern-ish parts of Sweden. This is what it looks like from one of my windows! Time to bring out the warm jackets and a gun to fend of the polar bears and flesh eating penguins!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's all about the Stompa

I applied some oil washes to it to add some more contrast and darken it a little. I should've gotten around to adding detailing to it, but I just had to try out how to weather it. So I took an old toothbrush and some various pigments and went bananas on the front of the skirt. Looking pretty good, and it also goes to show that adding scratches to the bottom of the skirt really isn't needed. It's all gonna be covered anyhow. So there some time saving right there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I finally finished all the parts of it that's going to be pure metal. And a lucky addition as well... I spoke to Lifter about how serious I should make it. He said "Dead Serious!" and then I said "Ok. I was thinking of having the skull on it?" to which he replied "Yeah, an oversized one!".

I was kind of wondering what he was talking about. The skull is as big as it is? And after some confusion he told me to paint a skull. Not use the one that comes in the box. So there it is! A huge frickin' skull! To put fear into the humies an beakies an all the others!

It's kinda random. I wanted it to look like the buildergrots painted it on a couple of years ago when the stompa was finished. And that it's gotten a few repairs after that, but no coats of paint.

And that blue plate on the back... it's getting a huge Ultramarines logo!

Now it's just some drybrushing. Picking out stuff/details in red and then finally I can get around to washes and make it look a little less clean-ish and more ork-ish and dirt-ish-y!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wayland Games and their new site. Some updates.

I got this affiliate letter from Wayland Games (click the banner, shop stuff!) and it said (amongst many other things):

[…] we are about to start the final push to get our new site ready for launch. Our target is December 1st currently. There is a possibility it will slip by a week depending how the final testing goes.

Which is a God-send. If it weren't for the fact that they actually ship stuff in time I'd be using any other retailer. So here's hoping that the new website will actually be easier to navigate (not that that's hard to accomplish looking at their current one).

It's not like I blame them. As I posted earlier, I'm doing a re-design of a web-shop at the moment. And it's a gargantuan task. Especially if you're out of the norm by just a slight margin and have to have customization done. Like a more or less live stock-status. When will an item be considered in/out of stock? When the customer has put it in his shopping cart or when it's paid for? What happens if someone pays earlier? Etc etc... tons of things to consider.

The e-mail also said:
Two more interesting items for you.. We have 2 more sites launching on the same day. One is another games site.. using a slightly different business model. The second is a departure for us but selling a range of products most gamers will be interested in. at least to some extent. 
Can this be the EU Battlefoam outlet perhaps?

On the bench: Stompa

The headline should perhaps read "In the box". But it's out of the box, but in the box... gaaaah I'z makin' me krazy!

Anyhow. First coats done with the airbrush. Now it's time for all the fiddly detailing. All nuts and bolts have to be picked out. The rockits have to be painted in bold colors etc etc...

One of the major problems I have with the airbrush is knowing when to stop. It's awesome for doing some stuff. Like the shading I did on all the plates and general basecoating. But I always try to force myself doing stuff better done with a brush. Ending in me having to cover up mistakes and overspray later on. Is this common? Do you do the same mistakes I do?

I should replace that filter. Remember me the next time I pull out the spray booth.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I was supposed to, but...

Aporkalypso! The Big Red Un!

I was supposed to paint my ”slow orks” but then the mailman came with the Stompa I ordered from Wayland Games. Aaaand... everything stopped and I started to build. 

4 solid hours into it so far. Tomorrow I hope I'll be able to finish the slow orks and add the final details to the stompa. Painting it will be a b*tch though. As usual with orky things there's a metric buttload of tiny details that you must paint. Sometimes I feel I should just bin the orks and go with something more sleek and shiny. Tau? 

The plan for this fellow though is to have him in a Dred Mob at the aporkalypse game in Uppsala this November. Together with my 2 squads of kanz, a deff dread and hopefully 3 grot tanks standing in as kanz. All depending on how much painting time I get in. 

Oh, and the rest of my 2000 points will be filled with boyz, more boyz and then some boyz. I hope the other players on my team bring tons of mechanized stuff, because I wont have any. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

On the bench: The slow orks...

Slowly getting done... slowly. Left ork is ”done”. 
Time for another post telling you guys that work is crazy. Really no time to do anything but work and then read some Black Library stuff. Every now and then I have an hour or so to put paint on some orks. And this is how far I've progressed in... three weeks?

”But PX, what are you working with? Why is it taking so much time off your hands?” 
My official title is typographer. It's basically like being a graphic designer but with focus on type / layout.

So right now I'm working with a -huge- bank making sure all their documents and forms (and let me tell you, it's a crazy amount of documents!) can be considered within the boundaries of good typography, while working with their new brand design AND readability. Both for the machines that read and make them, and the people they're actually made for. And on top of that I'm working with a up and coming book publisher based in N.Y. (time difference is a b*tch), a film production agency and a major retailer of outdoors equipment.

So my day is usually Waking up. Checking mail from N.Y. Sending mail. Working my ass off. Dinner. Talk to New York. Do some stuff for the bank that's supposedly due ”yesterday” and then take a couple of sleeping pills and go to sleep.

I love it though. But sometimes I wish I had more time for 40K.

Today I had a ton of time, since I'm having a cold, again. So I painted up some orks (and spent some time playing the World of Tanks beta). I'm trying out a new technique. Instead of just priming them black and then painting like usual I do a quick zenital highlight on top of the black primer. Using my airbrush I add three to four layers of white and then block in the basic colours with really thinned paint. More glaze-like than paint-like. Usually one part paint to two parts of "gunk".

What this does is creating the basic highlights while I apply the basecoats. All that's needed after that is a thin wash and some line highlights and the area is done. Way quicker than first blocking in the basecoat, washing it, and then building up shadows and highlights.

And you also bypass that depressing part when you have painted the basecoats on your squad for three days straight, and they still look completely flat and uninteresting. I really hate that part of painting. It's not until I've added some washes that I feel good about the figures/the painting again.

I also added myself to the list of participants of an aporkalypse game in November. So I just had to buy myself a Stompa and some other stuff. More about that later (when the panic sets in :)). I have absolutely no idea of how long it takes to paint a Stompa to an acceptable level. But hopefully I can get it up to tabletop standard pretty quick and then work on it some more after the game.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aha-aha. Ultra-Sonic!

I get all these 80's theme songs in my head whenever there's something that's Laser, Amazing or Ultra. Like today when I bought this ultra sonic cleaner thingie. They were on sale at my local hardware store and I couldn't really pass that one up. Especially since I've been having troubles getting into all the small areas on my neglected airbrush.

It's actually so dirty and neglected it makes me look like Mother Theresa. So if this ultrasonic cleaning thing doesn't work I'll have to get myself a new one. (Oh noes! ;))

Right now I'm trying out a cleaning solution of 20% "Windex" and 80% water. Stuff is coming off in heaps from places I earlier thought was clean-ish. I'll be back with more reporting once it's run for a couple of runs.

I also have to apologize for not posting much lately. Work is prio #1 at the moment. The good thing is that I finally managed to score some bigger projects, which in turn lets me have some spare time during weekends and such. Actually so much that I this weekend were able to sleep and watch the F1 race. (Now wasn't that simply nervebiting?! Forza Ferarri!!!)

So if this keeps up I'll probably have the time to play some 40K next weekend. Or at least paint some more orks... -.-

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Weekend failure orks, done!

20 green failures! :)
Once upon a time I got a severe case of hubris and decided to paint 30 orks in one weekend. That didn't end well, and suddenly I had 30 plastic reminders of my bad conscience. Every time I picked up a new figure, painted something else or just didn't give them attention, I felt bad.

Painting should be fun. Once it doesn't, stop painting and do something else. Set realistic goals. As in my case, perhaps 10 of them. It sucks really bad having something nagging on you when you're in the mood for painting something else.

Of course, if you really have to get stuff painted. Like if you're attending that tourney in 2 weeks and everything still is grey plastic. Paint. Paint like a madman and embrace the suck. If not, make sure it's fun to paint so you don't end up with too many "I really need to paint these but I don't want to". Hobby should be relaxing and not work.

Fire up some podcasts, make a cup of tea, relax, paint & smile. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Step by Step: Ork Trukk

Usually when I paint new models I try to document it as much as I can for reference. So when three trukks arrived from eBay I thought I could paint one up, and make it a step by step for the blog.

I tried to explain as much as possible in the short text under the pictures. Any questions just ask.

The goal was to make a really gritty trukk. Made up from scrap metal and with a hasty and old go fasta paintjob. A lot like those in the texts in the latest IA-book, Raid on Castorel Novem. (They look a bit too clean in the book though).

This isn't a end-all be-all guide to painting trukks. It's my way of doing a fast trukk-paintjob. All in all I guess it's around 8 hours of work, not counting the time to wait for washes to dry. A hair dryer speeds that up though. :)


Primed black, with a heavy drybrush of Tin Bitz

Lighter drybrush of Boltgun Metal

Details in Dwarven Bronze

Other details painted. Like the leather on roll bars.

Stuff thats going to get a red paintjob marked out so I don't have to spray hairspray all over the model.

Tires painted German Grey.


Everything gets an acrylic wash to make it pop. This will be augmented with oil based washes & weathering later on. The tires get a plain black wash.

Some of the metal plates on the trukk get's different kind of washes to make them stand out from the rest. This gives it a feeling of being made up of different kind of parts found on the battlefield.

Red details are first airbrushed with hairspray and then VMA Turn Signal Red.

After that's dry I carefully paint water onto the red and use a toothpick and a stiff bristle brush to remove the red paint, showing the metal underneath. It's easier and funnier than to paint on flakes.

Oil based washes and weathering. A lot of rust and darker washes to make it look... rusty and oily! Here I concentrated the washes to the seams between different metal plates to make them stand out even more.

Small details like the symbols are painted. I choose a lighter color to make them stand out from the rather dark trukk.

Pigments! I love this stuff.
Everything got a light wash of dust and dry mud. Then more layers were built up doing a paste of turpentine and pigments. 

Crew is painted, I do my orks pretty light (contrary to the fluff). So they stand out pretty well against the dark trukk. If I were to do them in the proper colours I'd probably work more on making the trukk lighter.

And there it is! Now it just needs some varnish and it's ready to roam the battlefield! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In the mailbox: Kromlech Feldkanone 48

The Feldkanone I wrote about a week ago arrived today! First impressions of it is great, but I do wonder why we pay Forge World as much as we do. As you can see from the pictures below, there's almost no clean-up needed compared to Forge World resin.

Sure, it's probably not as detailed as Forge World stuff. I bet they have their reasons to sell at the price point they do. But when I receive stuff like this (and the Alien Brain) which has barely no flash or seams visible it sure feels like Forge World is charging a bit too much.

Aaaaanyhow... The Feldkanone came with no assembly instructions, but there really wasnt any instructions needed. You just place the cannon on the carriage, slide the shield over and attach it on the carriage with two pegs on the backside of the shield.

I bought this to see if I could use it as a grot kannon instead of buying the metal GW-kits. And as you can see from the pictures it's a tad too big (IMO). Something that can be remedied by having a bunch of grots with it. The grot with baseball cap could easily be modified to be able to sit on the barrel. With an extra two (or three if you add an ammo runt) grots I can imagine that it would create the illusion of them being able to handle the kannon. Now I really don't know why I'm aiming for realism in a game with space marines and giant world-eating bugs. Still, it's nice if it looks at least remotely credible. :)

Worky bits.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On the bench: Kommandos!

*sssssch* "We sneaky!!!"
10 kommandos, nob, 2 burnas and Snikrot. Ready to be primed.

Having the cold of the century. Which actually is nice since I've had what I thought was some weird allergic reaction for two weeks. Turns out that the runny nose wasn't the cats, pewter or anything else that's nice. Just a plain old cold.

So inbetween the "lie down in bed feeling sorry for yourself"-sessions I've actually managed to do some hobby related stuff. Like the kommandos!

I love these. Forge World really did an amazing job on the sculpts. The only real snag I encounterd was the nob. He's got a lower right arm that needs to be carefully placed and filed. And even after that you'll need to green stuff the joint. But it's all worth it since it's such an amazing sculpt. It's actually so cool that I hope the people I play against let me use him as Sneekrot, Snikrot's not so evil twin. I got myself Snikrot just in case. But ooooh maaaaan, the nob is so awesome!

The regular kommando heads and backpacks went on the plastic ork boyz without a hitch. Some minor filing and fitting was necessary, but since it's resin you'd be filing away anyways.

Oh, and I was just going to buy the pigment sets from Forge World yesterday. Somehow a bunch of grot tanks found their way into the order. Weird!

(With a little luck I'll have a step-by-step done later next week. A sneak peek of it to the left in the picture.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Heads up: Kromlech 10.5cm Feldkanone 48

Just a little heads up. I saw that the 10.5cm Feldkanone 48 from Kromlech finally is avaliable to buy over at MaxMini. It might make a perfect replacement for a grot kannon.

I guess we'll know in a week or so since I've ordered one to add to the pile of stuff I don't have the time to paint. -.-

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pro-Tip; Additives, solvents & effects

A friend of mine is getting into the hobby after a long hiatus – much like myself – and I was acting "Living FAQ" for him when he went shopping for paints, brushes and airbrush. Most of the paint stuff was kinda easy to explain. Mostly "You want Vallejo colors, buy opaques, washes and some starter set."

Then I went onto the other part, additives. And there was this looong explanation of what things do, what I do with them and what it really was. So I thought I should put that up here as well. LBursley goes through them pretty well in one of his videos, so hit YouTube and look it up. They might work for you, they might not. I know that Natalya Melnik doesn't use any additives at all apart from water. She's a pro though, I ain't! :)

From left to right...

First up is Micro Set and Micro Sol. If you've ever thought of using water transfers pick these up. If you're like I was and thought that water transfers was the suck. Pick these up and try them. Applying transfers is a dream with these compared to doing it oldschool-style and using nothing but water.
The Micro Set is like a slow drying thingie, and Micro Sol is some sort of acidic (don't drink this stuff, don't drink any of the stuff in the picture!) solution that softens up the transfer and makes it conform to the surface you're applying it to.

Next is rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl is the technical name for it. I use it mainly for making washes, it really kills any surface tension and makes the wash behave almost like an oil based wash. You don't need much. A drop or two is sufficient. You can also use it for fixing pigments.

Flow Aid is one of these "Get this!"-items. I use Liquitex, but that's mostly because that's what my local friendly artist store has on the shelves. There are a ton of other brands, I can't vouch for them, the Liquitex Flow Aid does wonders though. I mix a couple of drops together with a 1:1 solution of medium and water to get "Gunk" for thinning paints. This is a great item to buy with friends since the recommended mixing ratio is 1 part flow aid to 20 parts water, so you wont be using much of it.

Slow-Dri, well it works, but it's kinda "meh". Mostly because I suck at wet-blending and haven't really had the time to use it properly. It's great for airbrushing as well since it prolongs drying of your paint which equals less needle-cleaning.

Matte & Ultra-Matte Medium are basically like colourless paint, which is part of the "Gunk" and to make paint a little transparent. The matte medium is kinda semi-gloss, so I went out and bought an ultra-matte as well. It's not noticed much when using it for thinning paints. But when making washes the LBursley-way I prefer the ultra-matte since most artists inks are kinda semi-gloss. Besides, you'd still put a coat of matte varnish on top of your figure when done. So it doesn't matter too much which one of them you use.

Water effects... well. There are better brands out there but it's kinda easy to pick up while you go get the latest issue of White Dwarf. I use mine for... water effects(sic!).

Turpentine! A must if you're going to make oil colour washes or want to fix pigments onto your mini before sealing. Preferred if you're spraying on varnish since it sucks bad if you happen to move around pigments with your airbrush / spray-can. Make sure you buy odourless since the normal one smells really bad. Use good ventilation since even though it doesn't stink it's still not healthy to inhale. (And don't drink this one either, ok? :))

So, that's about it for additives I use. I'd love to hear what you use, how you use it. Or any reasons why you don't use it. Please leave a comment.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So you think you're pretty ace at painting?

Ultarmarines from the Diorama section over at Stuff of Legends.
At least I try to think that I am. Then I look at the US Golden Demon 2010 entries and realize that many of my models that I consider to be "pretty dang good" barely would be able to enter in the Youngbloods section.

Which also makes me pretty goddang impressed! :)

It's also nice to check out the winning entries and see that the highlighting and shading techniques isn't just as smooth as they look when viewed in 1:1 scale or in White Dwarf. Still awesomely good. But not unreachable. Then of course you'd [I would at least] have to learn to do proper NMM, have a good grasp of composition and the ability and concentration to actually sit and do cape-highlights for a whole week. But let's forget that and just think, for a moment, that it's actually within reach to stand there with a golden demon in one hand, while raising a slayer sword with the other. Hearing the crowd cheer, the lamentations of women and...

At least for moment? :)

Don't forget to watch this video from the Spikey Bits blog as well...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Games Workshop is kinda funny...

GW posted on their blog today about the upcoming Realm of Battle workshop. Under one of the pictures the following was written:
When I showed up in the morning, Blake had undercoated the gameboard Chaos Black, and I found 18 pots of Scorched Brown paint and a Scenery Painting Pack waiting for me.
18 pots of Scorched Brown? They're priced at €3 / $4. Come on! That's $70 in just basecoat?

Now I know they have to promote their own product, but sometimes it gets kinda hysterical. But I guess it's nice to give people an estimate of how much paint they'll need to cover a board. And the gullible ones will go buy their RoB and 18 pots of paint.

My recommendation would be to go to a craft store and buy whatever is equivalent to Skorched Brown – or whatever color you'd prefer as a basecoat – for about a tenth of the price. 3 cans of spray paint from your local graffiti store will work as well. Just don't go and buy 18 pots of Citadel paint. Ok?

The woe of limited edition stuff / Malifaux Rising Powers

I haven't really been able to do much hobby stuff lately. It's one of those periods in life as a freelance designer where you have to work constantly, or think about work constantly. So getting some peace of mind until yesterday which was delivery-day was just not possible.

To my great surprise the stuff I ordered from Wyrd arrived. The limited GenCon version of Lord Chompy Bits and that new supplement Rising Powers.

I have to say I'm a bit torn regarding limited edition stuff. I'm not that "buy and put in safe"-type of guy. But I do know that some stuff will be worth a lot more if you really can say "un-opened box" and put it up on eBay for a stupid amount of money.

More on that later. This is going to be a rant, so I'll put in a page jump here for those of you completely uninterested in Malifaux. Hit that "more" link to read it all.

Friday, August 20, 2010

On the bench: The Short Bus

My sister took of for a vacation to Spain. She has two cats, I have two cats. Now I have four cats! Temporarily at least.

The thing is, pedigree cats are bred for certain looks and characteristics. We both have Cornish Rex (really short haired with big ears). They're bred to be VERY SOCIAL. And I mean VERY SOCIAL! And they're VERY CURIOUS... Normally with two cats that's not too bad. But with four cats, it was a living hell trying to shoo them away from the Shrine of the Aquila while at the same time trying to use turpentine based washes. So I opted for something smaller to work on, something that fit in the spray booth. Like that battle wagon I've been having in the box for a couple of months now.

So... enter "The Short Bus"! Nothing special at the moment. Just primed and the first coats and highlights of yellow on it. I have to figure out a good way to make the stripes on the sides. It's a ton of detail I have to put masking tape on. And how to get red paint in there somehow.

I think I'll just paint the front panel above the window slit in red and write "GO FASTA!" on it. Or perhaps I can try to persuade my opponents that it's actually red?! It's just that the grot painting it was color blind. And it might look yellow, but since he painted it in the go fasta color. It's actually a go fasta battlewagon, in red?

Here's my reference picture. It's gonna be awesome having 20 mentally challenged orks riding around in it later on.

(Riding the short bus: noun. (derogatory) school bus shorter in length than a conventional school bus commonly used to transport students with physical or mental handicaps.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On the bench: Shrine of the Aquila

So, every time I looked at the sluggas I have left to paint I felt like I wanted to poke a brush in my eyes. Or not really, they just had to rest a little. Like most of the WIP stuff. But I had this urge to paint something, something easy. The Shrine I bought a month ago sprung to my mind. Since it's HUGE it would be pretty easy to build up the base and then just airbrush it. Large surfaces = airbrush = fast painting.

Oh how wrong I was. There's of course a ton of details. And the different wall sections are different. Not to mention that there's about a hundred skulls (Seriously GW, why the skull-madness?). Masking everything would take almost as much time as painting by hand. So I started to do a bit of both.

It's perfect for cats to hide behind!
So here it is. Most of the gold stuff is painted and soon I can start to wash and weather. And I sure hope the washes will cover up all the tiny mistakes. With big stuff like this there's usually a ton of small mistakes after a while. And while no one else might see them, I sure do. And that leads to poking my eyes with brushes. We can't have that! :)

The base is kinda bare at the moment. I don't really know what to do with it. One idea is to cover it with debris and stuff. But that also makes it a hassle to place models on it while playing. Any ideas?

DOW II : Retribution...

I giggled like a school girl when I saw this! Orks! Orks orks orks orks! Orks orks! Orks!
Set a decade after Chaos Rising, rather than being stuck with the Blood Ravens, you get to choose your side. Which sides do you get to pick from? Well, as you may surmise from the enormous jaw bellowing at you above, one will be the Orks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, by the way. Say hello to Lifter.

With that rather unfortunate story, Lifter has joined the ranks of posters here at PX40K. I guess we'll have to switch the name of the blog some day now that it's not only me. :)

Lifter called me one day, about a year ago and we talked the normal bullshit we talk about. Cameras, lenses, zombies and then he said "Oh, I've started to play this '40K'! It's actually pretty cool, it's what the stole the setting from and used in Gears of War!" and I was all like "OMG!". Ever since I stopped playing, slightly after 2nd ed., I've had this urge of just collecting figures and painting again. But while growing up to become an "adult" you suddenly get other priorities and if none of your friends play 40K it's kinda hard to motivate yourself to go buy €500 of plastic stuff.

Summer 2009. About a week after I talked to Lifter on the phone.
The first half of the shipment.

So... I bought €500 of plastic stuff. Lifter bought a ton of plastic stuff as well. And here we are, one year later and it's "all 40K, all the time". (We do shoot the shit about cameras, zombies, BBC documentaries and stuff as well. Don't worry.)  Lifter paints extremely well (just not RoB-boards). I hope he'll put up some pictures of his marines later on. And I think he'll be the perfect co-host of the blog since he's more of a beginner and I'm more of a "Remember when there was mad boyz?".

So. With that said. Say hello to Mr. Lifter! :)

How NOT to do terrain.

Ok, so PX has had a good time showing of some extremely nice and well done terrainpieces. I know him personally and trust me, there's alot more than you can se from this page.

However, the rest of us (I imagine. I hope) are not made of pieces of the emperors armor. We are not demi-gods. We, or should I say I, just do not have that godly hand with terrainmaking. I can fend for my self when it comes to painting miniatures, there I would rate my self just above avarage. Avarage of the beginners.To the point then. PX made me a delicious GW Realms of Battle Board (RBB) with a couple of houses. They all looked top notch so I figured I'd put some sand on the board and re-paint it.

Yes, you heard me.

The decision was a fast one. It basically just popped up when we had finished the Thunderous Tournament I Finale, a good friend and also the winner of the tournament Kristian had heard me talking about putting sand on the board for a long time becaus of the fact that models slide and fall over quite alot on a RBB and asked "Why not do it now?" and of we went and we went at it fast.

Within one or two hours all six pieces of the board had sand glued to them and we felt we could do more with the board since we were all there and all eager to work on it (we were four people, so alot of hands) so we started painting a black protective paint layer over the sand on the pieces that felt kind of dry (yes, this is where the mistakes start stacking up).

When the first layer of black paint was on the board and started drying (not being completely wet that is) we could see that the sand was visible through where the paint was as thinnest. Remedy for this? Why yes, more paint. Right away. Loads of it. I have no idea why we did this, all of us beeing quite familiar with layer painting. All of us knowing that you have to wait for the first layer to dry up before applying the second.

When this had been done to all but one part of the board which still had wet-wet glue (there are levels of dry/wet; wet-wet, wet-dry, dry-wet and dry-dry) were painted with a thick layer of protective black paint that coverd almost all of the texture of the sand (the entire reason to put sand on a board in the first place) and the paint was so thick that you could see the brush strokes in it. I kind of backed up and had a overview look at the work we had done and immediately thout to my self "Crap. We failed it". It felt bad. There was a snowballs chance in hell that this debacle of oil-thick lava (not lava in a cool way, lava in a wreck-your-home and make-you-a-refugee kind of way) looking mess of a terrain board would dry up nice and good. Fortunately that marked the end of the paint session and I was left to my own misery but still hoping for the snowball that could.

Kind of knowing the board was ruined I went to bed with a small hope that maybe the paint would dry down and the texture of the sand would, I dont know, pop back up again? Maybe, just maybe the little snowball actually could. Well, it may not come to a surprise to you that it couldn't, I wasn't surprised either. However I was suprised to the magnitude of the horror that was staring up at me when I woke up the next morning to check on my miseryboard.

Craters. The thick paint layer seemed to have dried up wierdly and broken up in wierd craters all around the board. Looking down I could see not the sand glued to the painted board but the painted board with the sand lifted of it.

I tried peeling away at the edges of the crater just to get a feel for it's consistency and it felt like some wierd thick skin laying down on the board. Turned out the paint had bonded with the glue under the sand, leaving the sand in between the two and none of the components stuck on the board and creating a air-tight layer over the board so the glue underneath it had no chance of drying up, so with very little effort the entire board could be stripped of it's paint-sand-glue skin covering it in almost all of the places on the board. Some places, where the black paint had been applied with a normal amount it was less bad (still very far from good and no where nere where I wanted it).

This was on the piece of the board that was in worst shape. Where we had used most glue and waited the least amount of time before applying the black paint. The rest of the board has the same craters where the "skin" has broken up but it is mixed in with places where the glue keeps the skin down and it has to be removed with a little more force.
So there you have it, a fast way to wreck a board. The complete school of how not to do it.

What you should do is this;
  1. Make sure you have a PVA glue of good quality. Don't try to shave of a few bucks by getting the cheapo variant. It's just not worth it (this generally goes through the entire hobby so keep it as a general rule).
  2. When you have applied the sand/gravel/grass let it dry. When I'm going to emark on doing this again I am going to let the glue dry for at least 24h just to be sure.
  3. Fix the sand with something, PVA glue mixed with water, maybe primer spray or some other form of protective paint but apply it moderately. You're still going to paint it in the final color you want and after that apply some other protective varnish. It's important to fix the sand so that it doesn't come of, but as with everything else do not over do it or the sand will lose it's texture.
  4. Read as many "how to make terrain" as you can find. I didn't.

I'm now off to persuade my future wife and co-player that even if it is unfortunate we still have to buy a new board and do it again but without the mistakes. I will return and let you know how it goes.