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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mantis Warriors


 I'm back from an extended stumble around the Balkan States.  Its a fascinating part of the world that I had low familiarity with.  It was an amazing time, I got a lot of great new ideas to work with, and my Romanian is getting closer to being "passable"! 

Playing catch up... again!

Here are the finished Mantis Warriors from Raging Heroes!
 They are meant, as all things Raging Heroes have been to date, as proxies for various games.

This set is based for use with my Dark Eldar or to use as Daemonettes in a Chaos Army for either WHFB or WH40K... I guess that would really mean AoS these days as well!
 The minis are resin, multi-pose able with arms, head, and the torso/leg section ball jointed.  the legs are a single piece so are not individually pose able without major surgery.

I chose woodland colors so they would have a wider variety of potential uses and green can still look quite evil and menacing too!

The water effects were an experiment. My Dark Eldar army uses these Swamp Bases from Secret Weapon.  I was using Citadel Water Effects to fill the bases after painting but have had a lot of issues with the water effect never really setting up.
  Its ok for display pieces but my stuff is almost always for game use so I wanted a more durable finish... not to mention the long term dust and handling problems... like leaving finger prints on the lager water surfaces!

Anyway I tried Vallejo Water effects but failed to notice that they are opaquely pigmented.  I'd asked about how they performed at a hobby shop in Germany and was shown a clear sample... which I mistook to be representative of all their water effects .  I used Atlantic Blue... which completely obliterated the painted insides of the bases... and left a deep blue finish that was very ... un-swamp-like!




I washed over the water effects with Secret Weapon Sewer Water and hit it with some gloss spot varnish.  The results were good and its a lot easier to replicate, not to mention a lot less work, than my original method.  I'd still like to come up with a viable clear solution but it'll do for now!
 I liked the Musician a lot.. having a violin as the martial instrument does seem pretty edgy and ideal for chaotic or evil armies! 
This is the unit champion.  Its most noticeable differences are the head, which sports and elaborate set of horns, and the right arm which has a larger, fancier, shoulder.

Next up... some legacy GW servitors and the rubber vegetation from Atenocities Workshop's Forward Base!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Forward Base Unboxing

Just in time for the Holidays our Forward Base Kickstarter  pledge arrived from Antenocitis Workshop!

Which leads directly to an experiment with unboxing video ... and to a serious attempt to correctly spell Antenocitis! 

This was one of the Forward Base + pledges with a tone of extra stuff added into it... there are five forklifts for example... I really love these non militarized vehicle equipments for objectives and atmosphere, and a lot of different colors on the pre-printed MDF parts.

This Kickstarter had a lot of trouble mostly due to the loss, very early on, of the company's lead resin caster and some other serious health issues.  As a result its been about two years before delivery to the last batch of backers... which included us.

I remain very happy with both the quality of the product and the dedication of the company to seeing this project fully delivered in spite of all the obstacles they encountered.  Communication was excellent throughout the process which helps a great deal when things are not going exactly to plan!  We've since backed a few more of their projects and imagine we will continue to do so in future. 

I'll dig down on the individual sections of this as I continue to work my way through the truly massive size of this project.


 First up is one of the more interesting bits for immediate consideration is the "It's life Jim" add on which is primarily Alien Flora.

Dok Ork standing in for scale!  These fans are a really good size for obscuring LoS.
 There are two primary types of flora here... a thing that looks like a fallen log, or horizontal fungal tube, with big berries and an upright fan with spiky stamens and the big, juicy, berries.



 I'm really interested in the material Antenocitis Workshop used here.  Its translucent and rubbery.  I'm going to attempt to paint it unprimed, or spot primed.. I'll have to do some tests, and try to preserve a lot of the translucent material in the final paint state.


 So things like the Fans, other than the fringe and the base, and the bodies of the berries will get left raw, or maybe veined... hmmm... the possibilities!









This is a "Designed for Inifinty" product so a lot of scatter is included.  While I don't play Infinity myself I'm starting to get really interested in taking a look at it due, largely, to the great stuff that is being produced for it by third party suppliers under license, or with the specific consent of the IP owner Corvus Belli.  This is such a refreshing approach to IP development and product diversity.  So all of our tables can look, and be, compatible but far from identical!





Thursday, December 15, 2016

Oi Ladz! Dat's me leg!

 Finally wrapping these guys up!  This was a project interrupted often due to a move of house from Germany to Romania... and I just got word that next year I'm headed to Alaska...  Yeee HAW!  I'm getting whiplash here!

 Anyway here are those fun loving Orks from Kromlech!  The Dok making certain that those lazy Grots keep him in a good supply of "spares" which the little monsters are quite happy to cop from fellow greenskins that might still be "using" them.. such is the life of an Ork physician!

The resin was hard but a little brittle giving good detail but don't drop them!



On the Kings of War front... Bevie can add this Dwarf Drill to her ever growing Throng!  The mini is cast in metal and has the rough-hewn look of the Mantic dwarfs.  The drill is purchasable with Mantic points so can be had as a side effect of building the army.
 As Warmachines go this is a tiny Model.  Based 25x50... same as cav.  But that does make it a bit more handy in maneuver as it scurries about the battle looking for a flank or rear aspect to harry.

Grind 'em up!

 Then comes some odds and ends to finish up a set of terrain and accessories from Tabletop Art.  These are resin and are really top quality.  Good detail and hardness but not brittle and takes paint well.  These will add great atmosphere to the Tabletop World buildings... once I get those unpacked... probably in Alaska! 
Next week I should finish up the Mantis Warrior unit from Raging Heroes and the Legacy Servitors from GW.  I've had good progress on them this week and am ready to start looking for the in line!

Oh... and I just got word that my Forward Base pledge from Atenocities Workshop is shipping!  I'm really excited to see that so... an unboxing of that *might* also creep into the queue...


Thursday, November 17, 2016

A WiP kinda Day... Orks and Elves... ish... and some Legacy Imperial Guard.


 Now that we're moved in and, more or less, unpacked... I've gotten back to painting.  I grabbed the stuff that I was messing around with at the hotel and discovered it needed a lot of repair.. I'd painted them without the aid of my magnifying lenses and, when I got a proper look at them it was apparent how degraded my eyesight has become... so...  Loads of touch-ups and some complete re-imaginings are called for.. onward!

First up is this very characterful Ork Dok from the guys at Kromlech.  He took bit of fitting and the resin was a bit brittle around the tools but he's moving along.  
 I love the grot medical assistants that accompany the Ork Dok!  This one I imagine has been tasked to procure some "spares" from among the dead and wounded Orks for use back at the DoK Shop... a scary little wretch if I  ever saw one! There are two others in the work pile so its a whole field trauma team.  I'm playing around with blood spatter to get back in the swing after my long break and am getting way too much entertainment out of the process!
 Some Legacy Imperial Guard Sanctioned Psykers... They look a lot like clones to me so we'll be fielding them as the "Brothers Frank" these are salvage works and the colors will be changing, except for the purple cloaks, skin, and the red weapon details.  As a clone group I'm still chewing over making them identically uniformed but with distinguishing tattoos (ala Clone Wars) or having a uniform detail variation to distinguish them... hmmm...
 Along the same lines... these legacy servitors are also a salvage job and the color scheme is subject to revision... The skin is the area that I've been working and some browns but the rest is still TBD.











A sample of the Raging Heroes Mantis Warriors in progress.  These were the models most afflicted by my poor eyesight and are taking a lot of work to get back to a good place.  The upside is that the chitin areas are getting some depth.. also the heads on  these are now strongly reminding me of Asari from Mass Effect so the next batch of them might be blue!

... and ... finally... a look at the full batch of stuff on the desk at the moment.  A lot more Mantis Warriors, a Mantic Dwarf Drill, a Legacy Tech Marine salvage, and a Legacy Hero Quest Ogre Salvage...  That pile should knock the rust back a bit...


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Moving in!

 
Testing a new blogging app for posting on the go... a little late in the moving process to be sure but hey! Im having trouble moving pictures around and resizing them is a bit tricky as well.  I'll have to see if I can work round that... Most likely it's operator error!

 

The empty space before the minis arrive! I'm really digging all the 1960s style hanging lamps! They add to the whole Retro Sci-Fi feel of the place.

The last granny flat worked out really well as a combination studio/game room so we decided to go that route again this time. Having a working kitchen in the space is really handy! 

 The place came partially furnished so the studio now features a comfy lounge area... Perfect for plotting strategies, having a coffee, or settling into an RPG session.

 The attached dedicated storage room to organize the backlog and, as a bonus, enough room for an extra table or two if the gaming is really crazy.  I'll also put a spray booth in which, I hope, will get me past my airbrush learning block... And will, at least, make priming and sealing a lot easier to manage.

Stuff arrives next week but I think I'll get a few more things painted before it does.  I brought a sturdy travel kit and a pile of minis... And... I just got the "Post apocalyptic dwarf bikers" Kick Starter in so I'm looking forward to busting that out of the box as well!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mantis Warriors and Ork Dok & Grots WiP

We've been living in a hotel room for the past month which has played Havoc with my Hobby time!  I've got a few bits of work done but have mostly been consumed with the moving process.


Anyway I did manage to build and prep some of the new Mantis Warriors from Raging Heroes TGG 2, a Dwarf Drill from Mantic's Kings of War bonus points program, and an Ork Dok with some Grot assistants from Kromlech via Bits of War.  All are still very much WiP.





The Mantis Warriors are brilliant sculpts with fixed leg poses and ball joint shoulders.  There are, as is typical with RH kits, a fair amount of spare bits... in this case mostly claw arms in different poses, or heft. 

 I'm using the basing scheme I used with The Blood Rain and painting these in sort of an earth elemental style with the idea that I might use them as alternative Wracks for Dark Eldar, as Wood Elf Dryads, as part of a Forces of Nature collection for Kings of War, or Daemonettes.




I've based these Vallejo Foundation White and then base coated Vallejo Dark Flesh. In the test model I've followed that with an application of Secret Weapon Green Wash to hair and clothing bits then washed the whole thing with P3 Flesh Wash... which is a purplish flesh and seems to sit well with these colors.




The Kromlech Orks are hilarious sculpts and easily large enough to stand with GW Orks. they cleaned up well and take paint quite well but are a bit on the brittle side, as resin goes, so there was some breakage, particularly among the tools, that I'll have to patch up.





I've been experimenting with an ultrasonic cleaner on these new models with mixed results.  Hopefully that will improve as I get more practice using it.  Basically it does a great job on metal but resin is still hit and miss.  The Kromlech stuff came out clean on the first bath but the RH models took about four baths with some good scrubbing in between.










Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tabletop Art on the road

We've arrived in Romania!

Of course, we're holed up in a hotel while getting the house hunting, residency permits, car details.... phone... etc... all sorted.


I did manage to get a travel kit together and these are the first results.

At right are some terrain pieces from Secret Weapon.  They are great transformer/generators and large enough to provide cover in any system.

I got them in a "Bag of Crap" which is basically an assortment of the miscasts and seconds that Secret Weapon periodically bags up and sells for a song.  These had some air bubbles on the underside that I pilled with putty and they'll see plenty of years on the tabletop.

At left are some accessories from Tabletop Art that I picked up at a shop in Saarbrucken.  I'm really impressed with the quality of the casting, the crisp details, and the very paintable resin material.

Since we're in a hotel and there is very little ventilation possible I used brush on primers and sealers from Vallejo.











Finally... I remembered to include a mini for scale!  This one is one of the new renditions of the Mantis Warriors (WiP) from Raging Heroes TGG2 Kickstarter that just arrived on the last day that I got mail at my old address!  That was a bit of luck!

We had a bit of a scare on the way here as I somehow managed to leave the whole of the unpainted TGG1 kickstarter, and a Dwarf Mega Army from Mantic.... and some other stuff..... wow in the hotel room! I remembered it as we were fueling up and returned after 40 minutes to find that one of the maids had rescued it and stashed it for us.... lesson of the day .... remember to chat with, and to tip, the maids!  She really went above and beyond to save me from a disaster.