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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tabletop World Stone Bridge adventures and some early WiP on Carneval Strigoi

"Nice bridge ya got there Swelter... except for the bit where the shingle is all funny shiny and... odd..."

"Thanks!"  I says...  "and did ya notice that the whole model has that funny effect?  Did ya?  .... uv course you did!~  You was jest bein' polite and mentioning the shingle 'cause its all kinda pink like....."

Well... lets jus get the FAIL out of the way!

What you have here is a clearly labeled can of Plastic Primer.  Its transparent and in a matte finish... but its still Primer and not the Sealer top coat that I was looking for! 

Still I've had a lot worse Primer fail.... heck... I've had a lot worse Sealer fail for that matter.

So yeah... basically I seized that last best chance to destroy a model and sprayed it down with Primer. 

It dried transparent as the can suggests but there is a bit of shiny-ness to it and some color shifts... most notably on the red/brown shingle on the main house. 

I think its recoverable with a little effort on the shingle and some Dull Coat... once I'm able to get some...  but otherwise the thing looks ok..... the rest of it seems mostly to just be a bit shiny.. which the Dull Coat should solve... Famous last words!

On to Carnevale  and some very pasty Strigoi getting their subsurface done...  mostly in Reaper Vampiric Flesh triads... because... Vampires!... and some Blue... just because I spilled a bunch... its been that kind of day around the studio!

Time to but the brush down and grab a beer! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tabletop World Stone Bridge WiP

 Here is the fabulous new Stone Bridge from Tabletop World.  It's still under construction as you can see but its a great model... just as you've come to expect from these guys!

It was also a good opportunity to knock some rust off the painting by walking through a process piece that should be familiar and easy... famous last words!  I got off to a rocky start by priming the model in a dark brown... this hasn't worked our bad but I want to sit it next to the rest of the village to see if the hues are a good match... have to wait for them to show up to see.

Normally... I now recall... I work up through the greys and then line with Secret Weapon Sewer Water to  cover holes and add some definition.  This time I discovered quite a lot more primer holes than usual and, after the base grey coat ended up washing the whole model, except the shingles for some odd reason) with Sewer Water!  Take that pin holes!

I then repeated the stone grey base (Reaper Stone Grey) as a medium coverage dry(ish) brush and move on to Reaper Weathered Stone for a light high light brushing.  You can see the two steps side by side on these guard huts.  I kinda like doing the green this way as it takes way less time.

I'll have to find and get me foldio 2 set up and see about controlling some of the light a bit better... the huts kinda washed out a bit but hopefully the difference between steps is visible.

On to the whitewash process.  Watered down GW Deneb Stone followed by a brush up of P3 Menoth White Base and finally a Menoth white Highlight top brush... all this over the brown primer coat liberally washed with Sewer Water.

I'm not sure but I feel like this came out with a little bit warmer tone I the whitewash process... I'll have to look and see if I've changed something...

Next I'll move on to the roofs followed by widows and details... then tidy up the over brush and placing the loose bits round.  I think I'll leave the lamps socket-able for transport and add a magnet for the winch over the loading doors.

 Anyway... feels good to be working on the tiny toys again!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tabletop World Stone Bridge Unboxed and Primed

 Getting things started in the new digs with a project from Tabletop World!  The brand new Stone Bridge just arrived this week so here it is.

As you can see the box has been dropped on a corner and looked like it had gotten wet as well.  Needless to say I approached opening this with some trepidation.  I did notice right away that this was a sturdier box than TTW usually uses.  There regular boxes are thin with a lot of give but the packing method compensated for that as you will notice.

As per usual with TTW the box is well stuffed with old newspapers wadded into balls and used as very effective shock absorbers.

You can the bridge emerging from the newsprint wadding.  Completely cocooned and well protected from shock.

 It needed that protection this time and it worked very well.  No damage to the model at all.

One of the big reasons I'm a total TTW fanboy... aside from how cool all there stuff looks... is the amazing care and attention to detail in the model prep and shipping.  Here you see the pieces right out of the box come pre-cleaned and pre-fit.

 I literally just placed these guard shacks into their snug fit slots... no gap, no irregular surfaces to file.... heck... it might even have made a small "click" as it sat into its position.

The lanterns for the bridge lighting fit the same way looks like I'll be able to leave them as separate components for transport purposes.

This is exactly what I want when I buy a premium kit... no tools required, especially no power tools, to beat the kit into shape...... BooM! There it is!

The roofs come taped onto their building structure and it seems to help with the transport survival.   It also makes a great box for the fiddly bits!


 The small parts are bagged and placed inside one of the building sections which is then taped shut with packing tape.

  The smaller parts are expertly cleaned and pre-fit just like the big parts.   This step save you some serious time and moves the risk of breaking a part during cleaning away from the purchaser and onto TTW...just WoW!

So the unboxing went well and its time for the Primer.  Yep... from previous experience I know that these things have already been washed and have practically zero mold release residue... I've occasionally given myself an adhesion problem with a sub par wash job so well just shake up the can and let it rip!

.... aaaaand FAIL! 

Your fabulous host is demonstrating just how rusty you can get when you step away from the bench for a couple of months....  I was certain that I was spraying these black!   Guess again.... its a dark camo brown... AAAiiiieeee!!! I had to spray ALL of it.... seriously!?!...  ack!  

Ok , ok, breathe.... Imma go with:

"I primered the model this brown color instead of black because its a water feature and it would have a different tint to the weathering due to all that muddy water being splashed all over it during every day and night of its working life.... not to mention storms!  Did I mention storm surge and .....browwwwwn?"

Yep THAT is my story and I'm sticking to it!  Yep... I suuuuure am..... really.... it's true, I say,  TRUE!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The new Studio Swelter

 I've finally managed to move into the new place and have started setting up the new painting studio/game space.  This will be the work and play space for the next three years unless something changes dramatically.

The main game room in all its empty glory! 

Complete with its own attached bathroom.

 The sun room.  Great light.  It'll likely be the lounge.

There is a balcony with great views and a lot of space.  Likely for scheming with allies or just having a cold one outside.

The entrance to the balcony and the bedroom.

The bedroom will serve as a storage area for active projects and the walk in closet becomes a marshalling area for finished armies in their transport cases.  Storage for completed armies in their cases has become a significant issue so the dedicated space for it is a great feature

The kitchen will become the painting space which may be expanded with the addition of a desk.  Most the cabinets will help organize my tools and supplies but I'll make sure it remains an operational kitchen for snacks and light meals.  Can't go to war... even in miniature... on an empty stomach!

Hidden behind the kitchen is a space I call 'Cousin It's Closet'  this area will house legacy projects that are not currently active and some large terrain items.

I'm still waiting on my main household goods to arrive but I think I'll be able to start putting paint to the tiny models, on a limited basis, in about a week.  The dust still hasn't settled from the whirlwind trans-Atlantic move but that is....'the plan'...

... and just to full the spot where the dishwasher used to be... a small party fridge, equipped with controls that go up to 11 ... just because!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

On the road again

We've finally got a destination... Germany!  I'm packing up the toys for the big move so it'll be All Quiet on the Miniature Hobby Front until I get landed and sorted!  Realistically I'll probably be very spotty painting, much less posting, until August... but this time I'm setting up a dedicated painting studio so no more timeshare with the kitchen table!

See ya soon!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nertha the Faceless Mother and Foxy Dynamite

 Its getting to crunch time where I have to start packing up the minis and the tools for the upcoming move to .... an unknown destination!  Still no word on where we're going... only that we are going somewhere soon! 

At any rate that meant trying to wrap up a couple of WiPs so I don't have to worry about finding them immediately on the other side.

Nertha is a great mini and very spooky!  While my Iron Empire is turning up mostly in purples I thought this undead mother would stand out from the crowd in blue and green.
 I used a lot of washes for this and a bit of subsurface freehand which worked on the armor but may have turned out just a tad too subtle on the hood and robes.  I have a couple of shots at it so I'll experiment with it and see how I can improve the effect.

Its still dialed into the Spooky faux Egyptian theme.  Its frayed and worn looking but colorful as well.

 The Foxy Dynamite Duo turned out to be heavy, especially after it turned out to be a tad top heavy and I opted to add a washer for better stability when playing on uneven surfaces.

This one is a Prison Pride Veteran. 

 The weight of the metal had me rubbing off more paint than usual when handling prior to sealing and will probably require touch ups a little more often than usual.
 More shocking blue hair!  Hair is such a dilemma...  I like the Tank Girl hair shock but If I get too many colors in a unit they look a little too ad hoc... while too few colors looks too uniform.  I'm thinking about using hair color as unit identifiers... I do that with my Dark Eldar and it is pretty handy.
 This one in regular urban colors and sporting a carrot top.

The base is very signature but retains some converting potential.  Looking at it now I see it would be easy to replace the wood stakes with a light post or damaged telephone pole.
 I'm off to start the packing.  I might get more painting posts in prior the move but its likely to slow down for bit... looks like I'll get back to writing stuff!

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!