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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dark Eldar Reaper WiP and Computer woes...

The Reaper is coming along with a lot of the base coats falling into place.  I've already encountered some planning fail in that I put the hull together without placing the decking inserts.  DoH!  This is the first of the new Raider hulls I've worked on so I was bound to get something wrong.  I'll have to do some 'convincing' to get these plates into place but it doesn't look like it'll be THAT bad....

Otherwise I'm happy with the way the color patterns are laying out.  I'll still add the fractile white similar to the one on the Razorwing with the idea that all of the new models will be of this scheme and that they will make a complimentary addition to the older pattern vehicles.   I like the more baroque look of the new models and want to emphasis those elements with the color scheme.

The white build up on the main gun elements is done with P3 paint that I'm experimenting with and I like the subtle, complimentary,  highlights.  With a little more practice I think these will work out.  I'm now very keen to try out some of the Reaper Master series triads.

In mundania...

I'm experiencing some computer fail where my card reader has ceased to be recognized my the computer which makes it a bit more difficult to add photos.  Thus the WiP photo here is not the photo I'd like to display... but, rather, the one that got added to the computer before the card reader failed.... yeeee haw!

Updates may slow down for a bit while I get this sorted.

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Ork status marker mayhem and Greasus Goldtooth WiP

Work is progressing on the Dark Eldar Reaper.  I've added some new paints (P3 Menoth White Base, Menoth White Highlight, and Bone Jack) to my inventory and am still getting used to the way they work.  So far I really like the consistency and flow.

I should have some WiP of the Reaper up this weekend as well as some views of resumed work on Greasus Goldtooth and some other odds and ends.

Here is some more of the Ork status marker mayhem!  I decided to stick with the yellow text for adverse effects and go with white for positive effects 

The release of the Ogre Kingdoms has motivated me to finish up my small backlog of Ogre Kingdoms models with a view to adding a couple of the new kits to the pile.  The new kits are as stunning as they are spendy so I'm waiting to pick them up until I really take a look at the Army Book... which I'll get to as soon as I finish reading a borrowed copy of the Malifaux Rising Powers book.

I've been resisting Malifaux since I really don't need to add another game to my stable at the moment but the models are so cool and you don't really require many of them to play casually... 

Famous last words...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Laser Etched Counters painting tutorial

After seeing the amazing custom laser etched counter sets that Silver Compass Designs put together for the Heroes of Armageddon charity event I decided to look into getting some of them for my own armies. 

I sent Pete an email and learned that they don't really have any standard packages.  Most sets are completely custom!  He was very helpful and gave me some ideas about where to start with designing a set and made sure I was aware that EVERYTHING about the set could be customized.  There is no requirement, for example, that the tokens be of any particular shape and the lasers can do incredibly fine detail so practically anything could be put on them in terms of designs or text.

Caught up in a frenzy of design I came up with counter sets for My Orks "Da Big Red WAAAGH!" and my Dark Eldar "Blood Rain Kabal".  Pete managed to convert my eccentric sketches into polished art and shapes on the first go round.  He even added my Kabal rune to their new three part pain tokens so they would match my theme!

The design process was a lot more fun than I imagined it would be and I'll be doing it again in the near future with a counter set for the Tyranids.

I got the two sets a couple of days ago and immediately set to work on the Ork set just to see how it shook out.  It looks like it'll take me the better part of a week each to get them set up.  I could knock them out in a basic way in a day or two but decided to run a bit amok with the painting!

Of course I'll be posting a picture of each of the completed sets as I finish them.  The Ork set is over 200 counters and the Dark Eldar set is 166 counters so they'll take just a bit to get up to speed.  You could do effective sets at much lower numbers of counters.  These are large sets because  I really liked the large sets that came with the Heroes of Armageddon armies.. and because the design process was so much fun!

I've also added a tutorial page with a detailed tutorial of how I painted these... check it out!

Silver Compass is also putting together Laser etched custom dice where all the faces can be customized.  Having seen a couple of samples I'm looking forward to those as well.

Of course I had to have something cool to carry my awesome counters in so I got looking for something appropriate and found it at Marsbarn Designs.

The Skull bag is a square bottom dice bag.  Great bag at a decent price with really fast turn around and a huge selection of fabrics and patterns to choose from.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grotesque Wracks

 The Wrack group took a little longer because I spent some additional time on the bases. 

I've painted up a dozen old metal Grotesques and swapped out the spare weapons and arms from the Finecast Wrack set to make them look a little more like the current Wracks... of course I haven't added the namesake bony rack!  I'll do the next batch up basically in Gray on this same format of 5 new Wracks and 12 old Grotesques to fill things out.

I can still use the Grotesques as ... Grotesques!

Which will be handy until I replace them with larger models.  I know its more efficient to keep using the old models with their conveniently smaller bases but I like the idea of larger grotesques.  That said I'm not at all happy about the price point of the new Grotesque model... especially since it is cast in such a dynamic pose that all of them beyond model one will have to be modified to avoid the appearance of the unit being stuck doing The Monster Mash!  So I'm looking for a model to use in place repeating the Current official model 10 times.  I have two of the new model and think I would like to look at a half dozen alternative models that have the right ambiance.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.  I think Ogres would be workable of course but some of the Steampunk stuff that is out there might have application as well.  I'm not a tournament player so it can be a non-GW model if there is something out there especially cool and appropriately horrific!

 I had a great time working on the bases.  I was going for a swampy effect and am pretty happy with the result.  I still have some work to do with making the water effects deep enough to be convincing on this size and style of base but I think I can sort that out.  These did eventually achieve enough depth of water effect to make a believable surface texture and I was really pleased with the way the stones turned out... they even look a little mossy!

The skin on these fellows looks particularly mottled and unhealthy.  I like the pastiche of color and, although they are too textured and splotchy for the GW style, I think it has a good B-movie horror feel to it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Forge World Dark Eldar Reaper begins construction

I got the Reaper out of its package and immediately noticed something different!  This is not the same Forge World resin I've been dealing with over the years.  First there is effectively zero mold release.  I've washed them up since this shot and there was no evidence of mold release at all.  Second they are not brittle or stiff at all.  The texture is much more like vinyl than resin.  Its very shiny and bendable.  The Enhanced Aether Sails are actually kind of floppy!  There are some familiar points like... the huge blocks and thick resin channels but the pieces are so flexible that I feared I was going to break the join between the Reaper Cannon and the fill block. 

I'll start the actual cleaning a little later today.  I'm very interested to see how this will respond to tools and... how well it holds paint... I've had trouble with Anime Vinyl kits holding paint in the past so I'm curious.  If it holds well I may just like this new stuff.  Its softer than the other formula but having some degree of flex in the parts may make them less fragile.

I've also included a picture of some filler projects that will keep me occupied while the Reaper bits dry, or for when I just want a break from the Reaper.  There is a Foundry Fantasy Orc a couple of Tomb Swarms and the third objective counter for my dark Angels using the Space Marine casualties and.. a couple of pugilistic snotlings courtesy of Foundry Fantasy.

The filler projects were chosen because I found them while doing figure inventory after my move... they were out of their packages so got dropped on the pile!

Monday, September 12, 2011

We were told there would be a balloon...

It was a near thing but Dorothy and the Gang finished up before the Wracks.  They were captured on CCTV roughing up a Dark Angels Space Marine who steadfastly refused to answer the questions concerning " Emperor and a balloon..."  I am certain that the Witch Hunters are hot on the trail of these miscreants!

These figures are form Studio Miniatures Chronicles of U1:EVE Z-Clipz (Apparently derived from Zombie Apocalypse!) line.  They are available in white metal or resin I believe.  This is the white metal version.  This metal mix is fairly brittle making it a little tricky to bend stuff.  Just cutting down the tabs to prep them for mounting resulted in several ominous cracking noises although he figures seem to have come through the ordeal in good condition, no visible cracks or apparent weakness etc... I did not drill into the figures so don't know how well they tolerate that.  All in all I really like them and they were a great deal of fun to paint.

My resolution for the next several projects is... Stop treating bases as an afterthought! I worked on the bases in this group to create a unified theme that included little portions of the yellow brick road... or maybe the yellow brick rubble might be more accurate (especially in Toto's case).

Next up will be the Wracks which are pretty close to done then some odds & ends while I start the cleanup of the Dark Eldar Reaper.  Since I ordered the cases for the Dark Eldar expansion project I guess I'd better focus on that for a while... excluding some fun fun side trips of course!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Bunker on the Yellow Brick Road!

 Today is a finished model and a WiP unit.

For starters I have an old Forge World Bunker that I picked up second hand about six years ago.  The Heavy bolters are affixed with magnets so the possibility of some weapon swapping exists in future.

I've been playing around with weathering powders and am really liking some of the effects.
Follow the yellow brick road! 

These figures come from Studio Miniatures and are titled "Dorothy & the Gang - Human Surviviors".  One look at the AMAZING cowardly Lion and I was hooked.  I have no idea what system these are intended for, although the packaging imagery implies some kind of Zombie Apocalypse, but I imagine I can sneak them into a few systems just on the merits of amusement!

I've been visiting a couple of painting friends this week and was really taken with the work they're doing on individualizing bases with green/white stuff.  Basically they're making vignettes and creating props that support the character in some way.  Not always in a commonly encountered theme like Urban war etc... A lot of horror settings and some surreal themes...  Awesome!  As a result I'm rethinking some of my planned basing approaches.  I'd been thinking I'd jump on the resin base bandwagon... and I still may for many projects... but the highly personalized settings are very enticing and mainly require a vivid visual imagination and some basic sculpting skills to pull off.   I had already begun mounting this group using bits from a Citadel basing kit and decided to extend and enhance those commercial core elements to make them more unique.  Its not the same as crafting the base whole cloth but its a start!

These guys are competing for place of precedence on my table this week against a large unit of Wracks made from a few Finecast figures and a ginormous pile of last edition grotesques that are being re-tasked to the wrack role in light of their puny stature.  The Finecast kits comes with several extra arms and weapons so I've been able to flavor the old fellows a little more convincingly with the addition of all those modern accoutrements.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bigger than it looks!

 This tiny Sisters of Battle Shrine marks the first actual miniature I've painted for the army. To the right you can get a sense of scale... if you look closely you can see the Shrine sitting on top of a box that is filled to bursting with its companions; a collection that has been growing ever since the first miniatures for this army were released.  It will be my UAF (Urban Assault Force) and should be a lot of fun to finally start painting.

This is not an army designed for competitive play.  Oh I'm sure it'll do OK... but its really a fluff army that will usually play in campaigns and other fluff driven environments.  As such the UAF will  be free to include a lot of unusual stuff like a "Sanctioned Unstable Psyker Evaluation Relocation Containment and Transport ", or SUPERCaT, for psychic prisoner transport (Gotta get 'em to the Black Ship somehow!).  SUPERCaT is not actually a combat vehicle but might have combat applications... and should be great scenario fodder.

The first step is to take a full inventory so I can make  some basic decisions like basing scheme and fill in any gaps in needed models.  The shrine is attached to its current base via magnet so I will be able to use it in the Fortress or on the field and can swap the base out for the actual army base theme.

As usual this project will be interspersed with a variety of other work so there will still be Dark Eldar, Orks, and hordes of other stuff showing up along the way.

Some of you will remember the work I did a while back on the Fortress.  Its come a long way since this shot but is currently boxed.  Its about 50% complete.  The bases are cut and most of the interior appointments are painted and awaiting installation.  That'll be another job for the horde of magnets  so I can make the beastie more portable.

This project will include a large amount of non GW details... like the wonderful decorative plates from Scibor, interior details from Atenocities Workshop, and bases from Dragon Forge Designs.

While the fortress itself is conceived of as a Sisters of Battle facility  I'm going to make the Sister specific details cover-able/replaceable with Adeptus Arbites themes so I can use it as a fortified precinct house when the Sisters are out and about.

Of course there is an evil place that all of this leads... the Adversary Force!  That is still a ways down the road but the groundwork is being laid for PDF gone bad...

Lions and Tigers and Bears...