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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mortaria Noctis alternate head and Nertha the Faceless Mother WiPs

 Its been slow going between the time sinks of Pillars of Eternity and the forced stowing of my painting area to show the house to prospective renters but a little more has been done.  I've got two more days of showings this week and then we have company at the weekend so I'm making a note about where I've left off!


 This is the original head I think... the maskless one is technically the alternate.  I did the alternate first some time ago so.... this is the new alt!

I'm doing some additional things this go round, adding some details to the rifle... which I am also retrofitting to the earlier model, which was very plain, adding some color patterning on the scope, some more subtle patterning to the cape and some other bits of color detail... mostly to spice up the rifle.
 This model has a bit of a hulk thing going on with the right arm... which I added with greenstuff to replace a damaged rifle arm.  I could have pinched an arm from another model but I kinda liked the idea of an overdeveloped or augmented arm to aid in using the long rifle without its bipod. 

The Long knife was also damaged and it resisted my attempts to lengthen it... so I've shortened this one from a long serrated Eldaresque blade into a more traditional dagger or combat knife.
 Here is the first one I did... actually the first TGG model I painted I think.


Nertha the Faceless Mother has to be one of my favorite concept characters for the Iron Empire.  I've primed her black and brushed her up with Ivory.  Next I'm going to try some subsurface patterns on the hood and cloak before burying them in a couple of wash layers... that's the plan anyway!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

WiP Foxy Dynamite and Weapon Comparison Charts for the Jailbirds

 Its been a rough week with a lot conspiring against the paint! 

There are some bright spots however and one of them is this great weapon chart for the Raging Heroes Jailbirds. I'm now sorting these into 40k equivalents with an eye towards making them special weapons instead of heavies as the heavy weapons should generally be crew served and these are carried by individual troopers.


Speaking about Raging Heroes the TGG2 Light and Darkness Kickstarter is in its last couple of days. If you like militant nuns, dark elves, or odd chaos elves... check it out!  If nothing else the pictures and renders are amazing.. and free to gawk at.

I'm behind schedule for painting largely due to the confluence of several house showings... which forces me to pack up my painting space... and the release of Pillars of Eternity... which evilly conspires to prevent me setting the space back up for some clandestine brush time between house showings!

I did get a little work done on two versions of Foxy Dynamite which was originally slated as a Sly Marbo replacement... until he vanished into the void... so now The Jailbirds are designing an 'Infiltration Specialist' from scratch.



Keeping the theme going I've got one done in veteran prison colors and the other in a more generic Freedom Fighter scheme.

This pair is in metal and are quite hefty.

In almost all cases I prefer hard plastic because of its great combination of ease in working, high material strength to weight ratio... which permits some amazing poses that are just not available to resin or metal, and durability over time.
 I tend to prefer metal for small minis that are not getting a ton of conversion, have fragile bits that protrude from the mini's main body, or are bulk troops that don't require a lot of conversion.  I've a long history with metal and the durability of it is ingrained.

I went metal with this pair because of some spiky bits on the base and the antenna of the hand held radio.  Its most likely not an issue in resin but that was my thought about it.
I'm relatively new to resin in these small minis and while light weight and very fine of detail I remain concerned about their durability as playing pieces over the course of years.  I'm generally very comfortable with larger resin constructs like vehicles and buildings which do seem durable in the long term.

The Raging Heroes spin cast resin has done a lot to improve my opinion of small resin miniatures.  It is rigid but retains a bit of give that has saved a few of the models from my sometimes ham handed encounters with them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reaper Frost Giant Royals a Tardis and the Hammer MK 2



 I've wandered back into RPG figures with this pair of Frost Giants from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter.   Boerogg Blackrime, Frost Giant Jarl and Svetlana, Frost Giant Princess.

Like the other minis from the first Bones KS these are made of a material that is just a bit too flexible.  I primed them black and had no paint adhesion problems. 

The bases came from the bones 2 KS and I should have gotten a few more bags of these larger ones.  I also learned that I should use them 'upside down' that would give a very smooth bottom that slid well across most surfaces and provided a retaining wall to help keep the base scenics in place and help to hide the molded on base.  Lessons learned!
 Speaking of bases I went with a frozen rapid theme using some slate, woodland scenics snow, and woodland scenics liquid water.  This water requires no heat to use and seems to cure better than the GW Water Effects, which sometimes remains tacky for months.

The main complaint I have with the Jarl is the downward cast of his head.  It looks convincing when fighting a normal human size model... which is good... but it obfuscates the face from the regular viewer.  The model as a whole is more viewable than the Fire Giant Warrior though so I'm not all that concerned.
 I went very cliche with these because RPG centric minis are representative of their generic class.  The huge bases on these two, and the Fire Giant Warrior I did previously, also help setting the mood of the scene they are used in.

Svetlana is one of my favorites from the first Bones KS just because she captures the whole Edgar Rice Burroughs 'Savage Princess' vibe.  I always think of his book covers when I see her although I'm sure she owes more to Frazetta!~


The Jailbirds got some love with the Hammer MK2 which will be the low budget Hydra equivalent.  I had some trouble with the gun barrels warp.  I straightened them with hot water prior to painting but the seem to be slowly returning to their warped condition.  Has anyone tried to fix warped resin after painting? I'll give it a go sometime later this week and see what happens with it.  I'll likely have to replace the barrels with something more rigid.  They are magnetized so popping them off to address it later won't be a big issue.

Finally, a couple of Iron Empire folks hanging out near a Tardis from Reaper Bones 2.  I'm thinking I'll replace the Police Box lettering with something from the printer to make it look more official.  The wobbly hand drawn characters on the Jailbird vehicles is by design... to make it look like their crews did it themselves in the field.  The Police Call Box though needs to look more mass produced.  I'll have to play with the printer and see what I can come up with.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

All the Jailbird Special Weapons and a new Raging Heroes Kickstarter




 Here are the special weapon options that come with the Jailbird Troopers and Command packs.  There is also a sgt type with a bolt pistol and chain sword that did not get pictured.


 But first!  Raging Heroes is launching a new 15 day Blitz of a Kickstarter featuring Dark Elves and Warrior Nuns... I am DOOMED! 

I'm not a big fan of the 15 day projects for a lot of reasons but... I'll still pile on this one!

Seriously, RH makes some really beautiful stuff so why they gotta PUNISH me by releasing two of my favorite faction at the same time!?!
 
 ... anyway... These Jailbirds are from Raging Heroes Toughest Girls in the Galaxy Kickstarter so you can see what kind of minis they turn out.

Now to the serious business of deciding what these things count as in my 40k compatible lists.

This picture looks easy with the plasma pistol but I'm at a bit of a loss for the big gun... kinda looks like an old school C-Beamer in a way... what do you think?
 Flamers!  Gotta lurves sum Flamers!

I'm still liking the Prison Pride theme for the Vets so all these are done up Veteran Style.. in Prison Orange and White.
 I'm guessing the gatling gun could count as a heavy stubber but the Ion Gun looking thing... hmmm... suggestions?

You can see Ion Gun girl is running over a ruined sign referring to the Cult of the Harbinger!  Thanks for the fluff angle Tanya B!
 Grenade launcher and a triple barreled heat weapon... maybe a volley gun?

The Jailbird list is a modified Astra Militaria based list so these really should be special weapons in general as the heavies are actually crew served...


On the bottom another easy call... Plasma Guns!  a little on the large side but still clearly Plasma.




Friday, March 13, 2015

Warchimera Bunker and a Reaper Dumpster




 I love when stuff is  ready to paint right out of the box/bag.  Cleanup and prep has to be the most onerous task in the hobby for me.  So I was very excited when this Bunker from Warchimera required zero clean up... which means it gets to move to the top of the paint queue!



I'm trying out a new workflow to mix up my paint subjects and add in a single simple project that can be completed in a short sitting before proceeding to the more complex job of the day... kind of a warm up piece.  This Bunker is one of those.





I like the paint and glue friendly resin on this and painted it largely with various primer sprays (all Rustoleum this time since they were on sale for $3.00 a can...  flat black, for the floor, Camo Beige and Camo Green for the walls and roof) before adding some weathering effects via Forgeworld powders and GW technical paint.









 I added some signs from Verlinden spread the Forgeworld Powders dry and then set them with Rustoleum (That sale again!) Matte Sealer.



One-Shot Blondie has discovered Charlie rooting through the trash! 


The Dumpster is from the Reaper Bones II Kickstarter and is really a white hard(ish) plastic and not terribly similar to the rest of the bones material being , thankfully, quite rigid.  It opens up so will be great for hiding stuff during games. It was the another basic session starting piece done with green camo spray paint and weathered with Secret Weapon Washes, GW technicals and dolled up with some signage from Verlinden.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Warchimera Hammer MK I APC Joins the Jailbird Division

A huge box arrived from Warchimera which contained the much anticipated APC and AA sections for the Jailbird Division and a very cool Bunker. 

Here you see the weapon options, Autocannon (from the vehicle accessories kit) a heavy flamer, a Heavy Bolter, er Machine gun, and a Las Cannon.









The goodies as they appeared right out of the box... a plethora of zip-lock bags.  These were loose packed in the shipping box with no padding or wrap other than the ziplocks themselves.  There was a fair amount of damage in the form of several cracked pieces but the shipment was generally intact.  Good enough for resin models anyway and certainly nothing a little glue won't fix.


You can catch the unboxing video here if you like.

To be fair these were relatively inexpensive as original 28mm resin vehicle kits go so no frills packaging was not a surprise.


 The Bunker looks very cool.  Almost no flash and the parts fit together very well.  Shown here with an Iron Empire for scale... shhh.

This will get fast tracked since its in such great shape.

Warchimera's resin is very hard, slightly brittle, and very dry.  Often resin has an oiliness to it that interferes with glue and paint adhesion even after washing.  This is not the case with Warchimera's material which almost instantly bonds with superglue, takes paint readily, and dries rapidly.  We'll have to see how it holds up over time.

The Hammer itself is not in as good a condition as the Bunker but this was primarily due to irregular quality control in the casting process.  The example that got painted up was in the best initial condition.  It required a lot of cleanup in terms of flash but the parts all lined up and fit snugly wit zero warping.



Between the Hammer MK I APC and the Hammer MK II AA version I ended up with eight vehicles which gave me a good look at Quality Control.  Most of them are reasonably well cast although there is a lot of cast on debris but several of the pieces were misaligned.    The most egregious of these involves the top half of a hull completely missing the mark at the rear doors.  This will have to be split and straightened.  Not impossible to work around but a bit of a pain.  Many of the fenders and even some of the rear door panels are significantly warped.  The fenders are an easy fix but the rear door panels are thicker and are warped in a transverse direction that will bit tricky to sort.



On to the worst bit.. the wheels.  OMG these suck!  They are difficult to separate from their sprue given how much of the tire is covered by the pouring block.  The brittleness of the material comes into play here as undue stress on the tab frequently damages the actual tire.  But the worst thing about these tires is that the tabs don't fit together.  all of the tabs are longer than the slot they are intended to mate with resulting in some minor surgery to shorten the tabs when assembling the tire.  The firse tire took me about 40 minutes to remove from the sprue and assemble.





Eight vehicles with six tires each..48 ties or 36 hours of work....erm... no!  After the first wheel I was much less careful separating the tires from the sprue and just accepted that there would be a bit of damage and that it was faster to back-fill the resulting gaps with greenstuff and re-sculpt the tread... not that the original tread sculpt was in great shape.  Using this method I was able to knock out the remaining five tires in about an hour.... much more acceptable.





Here are the parts all laid out for view. You can see the flash is typical of kits of this type although the center bench seat for the crew compartment is a hot mess the rest of the set looks pretty good.


 Here you can see the Hammer MK I with the Secret Weapon Rapid Assault Vehicle (RAV).  The Hammer is a bit larger and more boxy looking as I'd expect from a dedicated APC while the sleeker and more deadly RAV looks the part of dedicated fighting vehicle.














I got some barriers in the Bones II kickstarter.  These are from expansion set 3 and are already marked by the Cult of the Harbinger.  Mimi is calling it in.  The Expansion 3 has a pile of shipping containers, dumpsters, telephone booths, etc... more on them in future.

 Yoko the Psycho leaves the Hammer to check out the area.  The flagstone space is a Tabletop World Town Square.
 I added the vehicle accessories set to this model as well. That includes a female commander, an autocannon, and two stowage boxes that fit in the wheel wells between the front wheel and the middle wheel.  The clearances in the wheel wells for the stowage boxes is very tight but it looks pretty good when done.  the Autocannon is a great addition and the female commander is very in keeping with the Jailbird theme, although the quality of the commander's sculpt is a little crude when presented in the company of the RH Jailbirds.... shhhhh!
 Side by sides with the Hammer and the RAV.
 Bernadette getting ready to go to work!

 The Hammer deploying some Jailbird Division Veterans.

 Free Will... a good name for a Jailbird Division Vehicle!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Santa Ork and a Street Level View of Greystone Village


 Orks were one of my two original 40k armies... a dubious honor also shared by the Harlequins. I'm such a Xenos fanboy!  At any rate... I had a Santa Ork character, actually a Madboy with a Santa hat/suit and a 'sleigh'... really the original plastic GW Battlewagon... dolled up with some christmas type decorations and some sacks full of toys

.





Santa Ork!  "He comes to TAKE DA TOYZ!  AHA!"





Although that venerable figure, sans the sleigh... which I gave to a friend and fellow Ork Warlord when I left for Japan in the mid 90's, remains in my collection it has been returned to the Madboy unit as a new Santa Ork emerges!


  This guy is from ArmorCast and is an old skool hunk o freakin metal... the detail took a bit to sort out but is full of character and will make a great commander for a new sleigh.... I'm still settling on what model the new sleigh will be based on but there is a lot of unbuilt plastic and resin in the "Projekt Ork" boxes... more on that later!
















Today is also an experiment in video... a street level flyby of the Greystone Village.   I blame Greggles for that and you can too! :)




In spite of my one true talent... technology destruction... I managed to get a video on the page.. woot!  Of course I completely failed at any sort of editing but... a challenge for another day!  Thanks for the push Greg!  More videos in future.

There is a lot on the table at the moment.