Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the table: Trollforged Alien Brain

I bought this lil' dude a couple of months ago from Trollforged. And today when I had some time over to paint I really really didn't want to paint more orks. Especially not with 40 more boyz in the queue. 20 more than anticipated since I had to buy yet another AOBR-box due to cats, glasses of water and mini rulebook nearby. So I remembered that I had this guy in the cupboard, and inspiration came along.

I've just finished the carapace thingie (the body is just out of the picture) and put on the basecoat for the fleshy parts so I can glue the head on.

Originally I thought to make it more tyranid-ish. Red carapace and stuff. But the inspiration for this model (I guess) is more of a cross breed between the Alien made by Giger and Cthulhu. Much like the modern day tyranids by Games Workshop. So a black-green and then some hopefully really fleshy / mushy parts for the rest. I'm gonna go to town with glazes and washes once I'm done with the basecoat. :)

Talking about tyranids. Remember these guys?

They were state of the art when they came along. 2nd edition or something? I remember vaguely the first time I saw them on the table when I arranged a one-day tournament at, the then ruling FLGS in Stockholm, Spel & Sånt. The were the hotness! And they completely crushed all opponents at that tourney. :)

In other news... not much. Both me and Boomo are completely hooked on World of Tanks now that it's released. Even though I think they should've stayed in beta a bit longer due to some really annoying bugs it's one hell of a fun game. Especially if you're not as twitchy anymore and want a more slow paced shooter with (although sometimes crude) heavy involvement of tactics.

I'm off, gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal, gotta level up my T34!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick Review:
The Grey Knights

So, I caved in and bought the codex. Really tempted to buy the miniatures as well. I really really like the Dreadknight, although it's limited poseability is a downer. Perhaps some day... when all the other stuff is painted.

I was going to write a pretty long review about the Grey Knights codex, at first, but decided to make it really really short instead. Because, really, this sentence kinda sums it up.

So it was that Kaldor Draigo, Lord of the Grey Knights, came once again to Acralem. Few words spake he, yet his grim purpose was plain to behold as he trod the old battlefields reawakened to fresh slaughter.

Matthew Ward. You are not to write another word in a publication until you leave the fan-fic prose behind you. Ok? I don't expect to pay 230SEK (That's 30USD for you overseas dudes & dudettes) just to read what can only be described as -really-bad- slash fiction. Without any of the hot dude on dude action!

That's all. I will not go into the rules, they give me a psy-headache and I'm psy-tired of reading about psilencers and psyswords. And I bet Long Fang-spamming still will eat the Psy-Knights for breakfast, so vote with your wallet and don't buy this piece of crap. Hell, I'd even wager that you get more value for your money buying a random C.S. Goto book.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quick Review:
Autumn leaves...

Put that one on play, then read the rest. Don't put it on play if you really really dislike jazz. If you really dislike jazz, please go here and reconsider your taste in music. After that's done, please report to inquisitor Franz Carl over at the counter. Thank you.

So, let's get it on then...

Earlier I bought the Mig Jemenez DVD in which he paints a tank with just acrylics. In it, he finished off the weathering by adding some small laser-cut leaves on the tank. Something that really added life to the tank, and another little piece of detail to put your eyes on. So I started looking on the net for some leaves. Ultimately I decided on some of the Plus Model leaves in fall colours.

Birch! I got some linden too... they're different. :)

Now I had no idea on how small they were until I got them. And if the pictures don't tell you enough, let me just emphasise... they're REALLY REALLY small. But the're also very well detailed.

As you can see from the close-up below they actually have a "middle part" on them. Some are even a bit chewed on, due to design or just a mishap I don't know. But it sure adds to the feeling of them.

So I put 'em on a speed-painted nob (awesome tut here) and took some photos, just for you (And you, and you. Not that guy over there though).

I'd say they're kinda worth it. The price might seem steep at first. €5 + shipping for some lasercut leaves? But I really can't see a good way to DIY these and still get the small (and important) detail.

To affix the leaves to the base I just added a drop of matte varnish and put a leaf on it with the help of a tweezer.

Now listen to the end of that song before you close the browser, thank you! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Plastic putty

This, together with the Micro-Mark seam scraper, is one of my most valuable assets. Plastic putty can be used for almost everything. It really shines when you have to fill those nasty joins in warped kits. Of course, you could use Kneadite (green stuff) or Milliput. But that means 5 minutes of kneading and 10 minutes of wrestling with it to go where you want it and not where you don't want it.

Tamiya makes a putty as well. It has more "tooth", but it also requires solvents to thin and remove. Which is a downside. The Vallejo putty is water soluble, and in order to remove the still wet putty you just dab a Q-tip in water and wipe it off. A definite win.

One of the other uses for plastic putty is to quickly add volume to something. In this case I've demonstrated on a dozer blade for a Hellhound.

You can of course use plaster of paris together with the pigments in order to bulk it up. But the benefit of using the putty is that you can remove it without damaging your paintjob. Since you put it on BEFORE the paint! ^_^.

In just three-hundred easy steps you can go from grey to rust and mud coloured!
To achieve the effect in the picture I just dabbed the putty on the dozer blade and where appropriate distressed it further with a scalpel blade and toothpick. Make sure you don't go wild (it's easy to do) with it and add it everywhere. For a mud/rust effect add it on edges and where mud would usually collect.

Using pigments over the putty creates some sort of "micro structure" on top of the rough structure created by the putty – that is if you've worked it enough – creating a pretty convincing 3D-effect without much effort.

You can order Vallejo putty almost everywhere. I prefer the one that comes in a tube instead of a bottle. But it's still the same stuff, the tube based putty is just easier to apply. YMMV of course.

Happy puttin' :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DIY Miniature holders

Something that always irked me when painting is that it's kinda hard to hold your mini while painting it, and at the same time avoiding to touch the still curing paint. No matter how you do it's inevitable that you put your greasy paws on it. Unless you utilize some sort of "holder" for it.

The immediate solution is usually a paint jar and some bluetac. It kinda works, but a standard GW-pot (that's usually the best) is still a little too small. And a pot, still filled with paint is pretty light.

I used a bunch of the, now old style black fliptop, filled up with coins and some bluetac. It kinda works OK but it's not ideal. I especially hated to try and remove the bluetac from under the base after the mini has been sitting there for a couple of weeks.

Enter the wooden dowels!

The hate-o-raider, snikrot and some mini-holders.
I got myself a one meter long 30mm diameter wooden dowel that I cut in 10 centimeter pieces. I drilled a shallow hole in both ends and epoxied some left over magnets in the holes. The bottom magnet will hold the dowel in place on a steel ruler (handy if you're painting a squad) and the top magnet holds a mini. That is after you've added some cut up paperclips or similar to the bottom. For squads I guess it's just easier to buy a bunch of metal discs – like these – and glue them to the bases. Easily done when you're basing, and it adds some much needed weight for top heavy minis. (And you don't have to waste coins)

Paperclip secured with some Milliput
Heavier models, like Snikrot, will benefit from having some bluetac on the bottom of the wooden dowel. Lighter ones stay pretty much upright, even when you have two cats running around on the table.

Another benefit is that since the dowel is pretty thick, you can use two pins in the feet of heavy minis and secure them. I had a bunch of pin vices for stuff like this. But heavy models start to spin after a while and you have to reglue. Or you find yourself out of pin vices and have to remove a figure from one of them in order to be able to drill holes in something.

So, there it is! Now stop reading and finish painting that army! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Painting ADD
Forgeworld Hellhound

Is this you Trogdor? Is this me?
I guess it's inevitable. You get a new kit, you paint your orks... but you just can't stop thinking about the new kit. Eventually you break down, get the airbrush and in a haze of ideas you start painting it up. Leaving the orks on the side of the table, looking at them every now and then with guilt in your eyes.

Then you look at the new kit, and it speaks to you. All is forgotten, it says. "Paint me and then kill them. PAINT ME AND THEN KILL THEM!" And you paint... tears of joy in your eyes.

Still a WIP. The hull needs a ton more weathering and detailing. It's a little too non-muddy at the moment. The goal is to depict a vehicle that's been out in the acid rains for months fending of the worshippers of the false emperor. Paint starting to peel and rust, with the crew turning as derelict as their vehicle. Some of them even fusing to the seats like a World of Warcraft player on an achievement grind.

Thinking of leaving the promethium tank either as it is – with some few rust stains – or go all out on it like the tank in this picture. It's kinda nice to have something clean-ish when you do a ton of weathering. It serves as a focal point on an otherwise very busy model.

Weathering is so much fun though... :)

As you can see from the post with the Vallejo-wash-debacle I've stripped it and had it repainted. Together with that some sort of revelation came.

I've always wondered why people talk about airbrush paints being translucent. I could not figure out why. My Vallejo Air paints sure wasn't translucent at all after the second or third layer. Usually a third layer is necessary to get even coverage.

Then I thinned my paints for the brown/rust on the Hellhound, like ten to one... and suddenly it felt more like "it should be". The green was shining through even after the third layer. Making it much easier to build up the brown to the level of coverage I wanted, and to make the transitions much much smoother.

If only I knew a couple of months ago... :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quick Review:
Forgeworld Hellhound kit

It's almost like the UPS-van is permanently parked at my place. I ordered some meltagunners from the Cadian extreme-weather line and a Hellhound.

The Hellhound is apparently not updated since they re-made the Chimera kits. The instructions are as abysmal as on the Warhound titan, but fortunately it's not such a komplex kit. You get an inner hull, the big-ass tank, some sort of front plate, the turret and a separate two-part hatch and the huge flamer thingie. All in bags marked "Non sale".

And of course, the hull sprues for the Chimera. No spare multi-laz0r turret, which is a shame. No Chimera instructions either. Not that it's needed since you only need to assemble the sides, but it would've been nice to have some sort of explanation of what the other stuff is, and how it goes together.

We heard you like tanks, so we put a tank on your tank so it can burn while you burn.

My resin-parts were not chipped or bent or anything, your mileage may vary. Not that I understand what the hub-bub is all about. If it's bent, use a hairdryer or some warm water to soften the resin and bend it back. It's like a minute of extra work.

If you're like me, addicted to the resin, it's a pretty nice kit. Everything fits together pretty quick, without the need for much filling or sanding gaps (unlike that neglected Warhound that's in my cupboard, still). And it is a pretty mean looking thing you get. Much less cartoony than the regular Hellhound, and that huge "shoot me here please!" tank on the back is hilarious!

Hellhound "assembly instructions"

The rating for the Forgeworld Hellhound kit is: Four burning devotees of the false emperor out of five! If it wasn't for the poor connection between the hose for the promethium tank and the hull together with the really poor instruction sheet I'd give it a five. Easy to assemble and pretty menacing once you're done. Looking like it'll be a blast to paint as well...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Watch out for Vallejo Washes!

Look at the areas around the flamer. Notice the lighter areas.
Totally unacceptable. And yes, I shaked it for about 3 minutes, only water added for dilution. This doesn't happen with Games Workshop washes, or any other washes I have around...

So... test your newly bought washes on something other than your brand spanking new FW-kit before using them. They're supposed to darken, not lighten the areas. Luckily this was the first of many layers and it can be rescued.

I Fear The Greeks, Even When They Bring Gifts

I scrapped my Cyborg-daemon-ish project and found myself plus one Sentinel-kit all of a sudden. My painting muse has shriveled up and died, but I still needed to do something warhammerish. With Pixel returning (probably) on sunday for another bash, I decided to build the sentinel up as a gift for his fancy new Renegade IG. I don't know what he will arm it with so I magnetised everything up for him.

I just want to make ED209 sounds when I hold it

Tomorrow it will get airbrushed (Flaming Hot Pink sounds good eh Pixel?) and if time permits it will be done by sunday.

Fuck it, I need a good play session this weekend, I have felt quite burnt out with the whole hobby thing lately and I have no desire to paint any of my thousand things that NEED to be finished. I had a good game last time, winning against a BA and GK Team, but I walked away feeling empty and quite melancholic. Perhaps I should try with another game system or start my Xbox for the first time in months [/rambling]


Monday, April 4, 2011

Resurrection Of A Land Raider
The Project Hate XL part II

It's the grey knights?
Primer on and pre-shaded. I think I'll go for a pretty heavily modulated paintjob on the hateraider. Mostly because there are so many flat surfaces. But also in order to make it look really cartoony. Fit's the "Hey, we're kinda retarded-looking, but killy!"-look of the Khorne Berserkers that's gonna ride in it.

Srsly, what's up with those legs on the zerkers? It's not "dynamic". It's "ballet dancer-retarded". Not that ballet dancers are retarded, not at all. Unless they strap on power armour and scream about thrones for the throne god and false emperors. I think almost anyone can safely be called retarded by that point.

One of the upsides with an old and resurrected kit like this is that there's already a ton of blemishes, making it way easier to decide on where to put battle damage and rust and stuff.

Check out part I here and stay tuned for part III.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Leader of the Cow-Man-Doz

Started to paint up the Forgeworld Kommando nob today. Not much to it. He's getting a straight forward, formula A ork, paintjob. I did some freestyling and added facepaint to him though, but I'm sooooo tired of painting orks that I really cannot come up with something that feels "Yeah wow!" anymore.

Luckily I've still got the joy of painting in me. I hope it lasts for the next 20 orks. 'Cause then I get to paint something else! \o/ Haven't really decided on what. It would be cool to speedpaint all the Ultramarines, but that's also pretty monotone work. Meh... let's worry about that when the time comes.

I put on a regular nob head on the figure. He'll be moonlighting as a regular nob in a shoota mob, so the gas-mask really felt out of place. And if I really really want to run a bunch of kommandoz without Snikrot or a nob with powerklaw (would I, ever?) I always have another one.

In the background is a bunch of 'zerks I promised Boomo I'd paint up for him in exchange for him painting up ten boyz for me. Even further back (cropped away) is the land raider featured over here. It's gonna get some airbrush and stenciling-love once I get around to cut out all the stencils I've planned for it.

And once I've cleared the workbench of all the stuff currently crowding it... Hoarding minis for the win! -.-