Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 5 Wrap-Up

(I'm legitimately sorry for the pictures, this week -- I couldn't take a good picture to save my life.)

Yeah, I skipped a week -- I ran out of super glue (both brush on and gel), right after a financial emergency, and couldn't afford to spend the money on glue.  That doesn't mean I wasn't working, I just wasn't doing very much.

In that time, I put another coat of flesh onto my Dark Eldar project -- a few of them will need a third coat, then I'm onto highlights -- and, that's really it for all of week 4.

At the beginning of Week 5, my wife was kind enough to buy me some glue, so I got back to work.  I did very little gap-filling (I need to find a less messy way to do it, both for the sake of my living room (where I've been working), and for the sake of my glue, which kept thickening up in the bottle from baby powder that stuck to the brush), and decided to work on bases.  This was mostly for the Salt City Gladiator Games -- with the games coming up, I want to have everything I could possibly use based, at the very least.

First up was my December Acolytes -- simple cork bases with sticks for trees.

Next up was Mr. Tannen (in the background of the Drowned's picture) -- I've made quite a few of these hardwood bases before using HO Scale Milled Lumber, but this time I wanted to fill the gap around the edges using superglue and baby powder.  That ended up being more effort than it was worth -- the glue got all over the edges of the wood, and then I had to carve wood grain into the glue after I sanded it down.  Next time I'll use Green Stuff.

After that, I had picked up some linoleum samples that I wanted to try out, so I moved onto my Drowned -- I won't be using these at the Gladiator Games, but the texture was perfect for a sandy base.  I started by drilling out the center to make fully recessed bases, then cut the linoleum to fit, glued the linoleum to plastic and glued all of that to the bottom of the base -- after that, I lined the edges with cork, and covered the seams with coarse sand and rope made of twisted wire.  I'll fill the bases with water effects after I paint.

Finally, my coup de gras of the week -- Mr. Graves.  I've been debating on how to do him for awhile, and I had various parts of this plan laid out for months.  Over the last 3 or so months, I created a door with my scale lumber and card stock, which I then used to make a door frame in some plasticard.  I didn't like how that looked, so I spent A LOT of time with a dremel, files, and my hobby knife to try and make the wall look like rough-hewn wood.  After that, I lost my door, so I had to make a new one out of plasticard, which I decorated with some Etch-Master brass from their IndieGoGo campaign (I'll get a better picture as I add my doorknobs and hinges).

Next, I needed a cobblestone base, and I've never liked the look of hand-modeled greenstuff cobblestones.  So, I hollowed out another base (I swear there's a tutorial about that somewhere -- if I find it, I'll link it) and capped off the bottom with another piece of spare plastic.  I glued down a layer of fishtank rocks, which just happened to be the right height, followed by a layer of water-thinned PVA and railroad talus which I press-leveled (I took something flat, and pressed it into the base to have a level surface), and finished off with more thinned PVA and the same course sand I used on the Drowened bases.

The final step was putting it all together -- I needed an elevated floor for the "inside" of the door, so I built a hardwood base on a wooden disk which I glued onto the cobblestone base (I made this a bit too big, and covered up way too much of the stones), pinned and glued on my wall, then my door (it's not glued, just pinned, so I can remove it for painting), and, finally, Mr. Graves.

This coming week will be more Dark Eldar -- I need to add flesh highlights, then edge highlight everything, and I'll be ready to base everything! -- and my Fire Gamin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 3 Wrap-Up

This week was slow, but I got a few things done.  Most notably, I finished all of Phase 1, and I'm now moving to Phase 2.   In case you were wondering, the final model to assemble was The Dreamer, as seen on the left.

  • Phase 1: Assembly.  Get everything I currently have from Malifaux assembled.  I should have most of Phase 1 done by the end of this week.
  • Phase 2: Gap filling.  

The first part of Phase 2 was to find an acceptable gap filling medium.  I've used Milliput and Green Stuff (both regular and liquid) in the past, and I've always felt the ROI was really low.  GS can't be sanded, so you have to get it perfect the first time, and Milliput takes FOREVER to sand.

As mentioned in last week's update, I wanted to try Future and baby powder, and I did -- it does dry to a sandable level, but it doesn't naturally adhere to whatever you're filling so I had problems with the dried stuff flaking out of the gap as I worked on it.  Great idea, not an ideal solution.

Moving on from that, I went to super glue (CA glue) and baby powder.  Many posts I saw that mentioned this method said to make a paste and mash it in, but it only gives you a tiny time to work with the paste before the entire batch is solid.  Instead of doing that, I used some brush-on Krazy Glue, and used a small spoon to heap baby powder onto the glue.  That worked great (take a look at Lord Chompy Bits' shoulder, on the right)!  It still takes forever to sand, but not as much as Milliput.  Priming and painting will tell how effective this method is, but I think it's the best method I've found, so far.

Let's hope I can finish this phase before the end of October, as projected.

Monday, September 15, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 2 Wrap-up

Matney here.

This was an interesting week as far as the Six Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge goes -- on Monday, I did as I said I was going to and purchased some Malifaux stuff from my liquidating LGS; then, on Tuesday, my GenCon order from Wyrd showed up, adding ANOTHER crew box (The Dreamer) and another Teddy to my pile.  In spite of that, I got quite a bit done.

On the left, you can see the current state of my oil-painted void-wretch.  I'm sad I'm losing those deep blacks I had, but I like the brighter white -- when I'm done, a water color wash will bring the blacks back, which will be fine.  My biggest gripe on this, now, is that it looks like I'm drybrushing, even though I'm not.

At work, I've been picking away at a super long-term commissioned Dark Eldar -- just the Warriors, right now -- and I don't have a picture to follow up for that (I'm not at work -- I'll update this blog, tomorrow, with pictures of those minis.
Finally,at home I've been grinding away at assembling things.  On the right, you can see this week's haul: Teddy, 2 Convict Gunslingers, 3 Drowned, 3 Crooligans, 3 Fire Gamin, Molly, Rogue Necromancy, and the Necrotic Machine.

I spent part of this week considering my plan of attack for the #6MMRPC, and I've come up with this:
  • Phase 1: Assembly.  Get everything I currently have from Malifaux assembled.  I should have most of Phase 1 done by the end of this week.
    • The Dark Eldar project will be included in this challenge.  Luckily, everything for that is assembled.
    • My personal WH40k stuff won't be included in this challenge, as I'm currently sawing all my Tac Marine legs off to reposition them all, and plan on repeating that process with my Terminators.
    • I'm not planning on tackling my Reaper Bones in this #6MMRPC, because that's just outrageous.
  • Phase 2: Gap filling.  Yes, this is normally part of Assembly, but I've put it off so long on so many models that it's a legit Phase, this time.  I'm going to experiment with various methods -- I'll have to order some Color Shapers to try Liquid Green Stuff in a way I've seen be successful, but I'm also going to try simple Green Stuff, Milliput, and a mix of baby powder and Future (honestly, I hope that's the most successful -- I hear it's sandable, but it's also damn cheap).  This should be done by the end of October.
    • Some models will be used at the Salt City Gladiator Games, so they will jump ahead to basing with or without gap filling.  I won't paint them without gap filling, though.
  • Phase 3: Basing.  After all my gaps are filled, I'm moving to basing.  I really prefer scenic bases, so this is going to be slower than the previous two phases -- I plan on only getting one base done per night.
    • At this stage, I will be deciding and documenting color choices to make the next step more effective.
  • Phase 4: Base coating.  After everything is based, I plan on base coating everything.  No shading, and only the most basic detailing.  I plan on doing this with an airbrush to speed things up, so part of making that successful will depend on how well I document and determine all my color choices.  For airbrushing, I plan on only using colors straight from a bottle to make reproduction easier, but also to prevent wasting paint.  After that, I'll clean up my airbrushed stuff with a brush and do the detailing and smaller areas I couldn't hit with a brush.
    • Priming will fall into this stage, too.  Up to this point, I've primed gray with a white overspray, but I think I'm going to move to straight white as it's always proven to be easier to make things darker than to make them lighter.  At least, that's how it has been for me.
  • Phase 5: Clear coating. Once I hit this point, I recognize that my process will slow SIGNIFICANTLY, and I'll return to playing with my base coated models.  The clear coat will be to make the base coats more resilient while they're played with.
    • This may be as far as I get for the #6MMRPC
  • Phase 6: Detail painting.  I want to start painting everything I can in oils, which will slow everything down.  I want to do only a handful of models at a time, one model a night (giving a week per layer to cure), and I don't expect to finish everything I've base coated within the year.

    Throughout this process, I'll continue to paint the Dark Eldar at work.  HQs and such will be painted with oil paints, but troops and vehicles will remain in acrylics.  They will be the first models through every step of the process (after a few test models from my own test-model pile. (Note to painters: If you don't have a handful of metal models to test out techniques on, GET SOME -- metal models can be easily stripped with Acetone, unlike plastics, which make them ideal to messing up on.)

    This is an ambitious project, but I hope to knock it out.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Return of ACWH and The 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge

Nightmare Edition Whiskey Golem -- Cheers!
Matney here. Well, now, it's been awhile. Coming up on two years...

So, what has happened in the last two years?
  • I've mostly stopped playing WH40K, and instead play almost exclusively Malifaux.
  • I (and my gaming group) started a Twitter account (that we're slightly more regular on) - The Cwimson Fist

And, as far as this blog is concerned, that's really it.  Why did I make the switch?   Well, first off, I was a terrible 40k player -- I believe I've won 4 games, ever.  In addition to that, I love the aesthetic (Steampunk Western with zombie hookers...  What's not to like?!), the mechanics (it's a super clean system, and the deck of cards and cheating mechanic make you feel like you have far more control over your actions than a handful of dice), and the community (I have yet to meet a sore winner when playing Malifaux).  In addition to that, 32mm models are ~O Scale / 1:48, which is a lot easier to find than S Scale, when it comes to building terrain.

But that's not why I'm back to the blog... Sure, there need to be more Malifaux blogs, but I'm not cocky enough to believe I'll ever have anything worthwhile to add to tactics covnersations...

My Jokers
No, I'm back because of The 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge.

You see, I have a problem -- I buy minis and I assemble them, prime them, and never paint them.  I'll try to get a picture together of all my unpainted minis for the next update.

So, over the next 6 months I'm going to try to get that mountain of unpainted stuff taken care of.

But first, what did I do, this week?

Well, I've already used my Jokers (and, to be fair, I may use a few more -- my LGS is liquidating Malifaux, and at my next pay check they'll be at like 50% off) to purchase Molly, her totem, and a box of Hanged.

First foray into oils -- A Void Wretch
In addition to that, I started playing around with oil paints on my Harold of Obliteration crew -- I only have Ivory Black and Transparent White right now (I had them for oil washes), so my options were slim -- I know I want my Obliteration crew (at least the Obliteration part of it) to be monochrome, and this seemed like as an option as any.  And, you know what... I loved working with oils.  I don't think I'm going to go back to trying to blend with acrylics at all.

So... there's the first update -- next week I'll have a little bit more to say. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Secret Bits Site: Shapeways

Matney here, talkin' about bits.  Specifically, an unlikely bits site.

In the last few years, 3D printing has come a very long way -- gone are the days where every printing step is painfully visible, and highly-detailed resins plus the availability of free modeling software like Blender are allowing 3D modelers (who may not have the slightest skill with green stuff) to print off some incredible bits, minis, and terrain (sometimes even as sprues, which is hilarious to me since they don't start out as an injection mold).

Shapeways is a 3D printing site, allowing its users to upload 3D models that they will then print to order.  Over the last year (I don't have proof, but a year ago I was looking for the same thing and found significantly less than I did this year) the custom bits market on Shapeways has blown up, where you can find just about anything.

Looking for Rhino doors for your Ork Lootas? Shoulder pads to make your vanilla marines stand out? A Fleur de Lis dozer blade for your Immolator? A dragon/demon/Tyranid model that none of your friends have EVER seen (see the picture)?  Throw 28mm in Shapeways' search box and go to town!

The only real downside I've found to Shapeways -- besides the prices, which are almost GW in nature -- is that most artists only carry one or two things that are applicable to any given hobby.  Sure, there are exceptions, but you'll have to actually spend time looking.

But, in case you don't feel like sifting through all of that, here are some excellent links for you:
  • Admiral Duck Sauce - Alternative SM models, a couple neat head sprues
  • DW Toys - Backpacks, weapons, stuff for your DIY terrain to look a little better.
  • BlackBits - Dreadnought weapons and top hats (for your fancy IG, I guess).
  • Custom Minis - Shoulder pads galore.  A few weapons, a few heads, and some other random bits, but this is THE place to find shoulder pads.
  • Wolfhound Jack Designs - Dozer blades for SoB, IG, and SM.
  • Vandil - Ork parts for Imperial vehicles, among other things.
  • Dynath - Mostly weapon sprues, but some interesting mech bits are in there, too.
  • GangWar Miniatures - Some great terrain pieces, as well as some female minis that would work well as Guard.
  • ArtisticFiend - A single sprue of Marine stuff and a couple Storm Shields.
  • Random Bits - Not so random as it looks like some interesting Necron alternatives, and some weapons.
  • Custom Bitz - The demon/dragon/Nid posted above and some good looking wings.
  • Saberwar 52nd Century - Chaos flamers, backpacks, and a pair of heads that will keep your bare-headed marines from looking like white supremacists.
 That's just the first few things I found, and I would wager money that there is more out there.

Lemme know if you end up buying anything -- I would love to see how it turns out (And I'll let you know when I buy the dozer blade and probably the dragon thing).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Battle Report: 200 Pt. Kill Team and 1520 pt 2 on 2

Matney here.  Last week, I showed you my DA/SoB roster for our 200 point Kill Team game that we played on Saturday.

None of us had played Kill Team before, and it's kind of a toss up whether we will again.

In addition to my DA/SoB army, Erock played Chaos (I didn't get a roster from him), Ammon played 10 Necron Deathmarks that were 100% identical (and I believe 100% stock), and Aaron played Grey Knights.

In our first games, Erock and I faced off while Aaron and Ammon faced off on the other side of the table.  Erock and I started out pretty evenly -- he killed my Seraphim in Turn 1 with a lucky shot, then our Terminators even destroyed each other on Turn 2 (a pair of sixes To Wound and a pair of ones for the Armor Saves.   He destroyed my Repentia on his half of Turn 2, then in Turn 3 I cut his Berserkers in half with my Retributor's Heavy Flamer (one burst from my half, then a Wall of Death when he charged her).  Unfortunately, that didn't save her life.

At the end, it came down to three of his Berserkers and his Sergeant against my Space Marines, where he whittled me down.

On the other side of the table, Aaron tried to sneak his Knights around buildings while Ammon took the opportunity to get the high ground with his snipers.  It was a slow game, and one that I didn't get a lot of information off of, but Ammon won.

In the second set, Ammon and Erock faced off (I honestly don't know who won, there), and I faced Aaron.  I dropped my Repentia for another Space Marine (I know I had a backup plan, but I nixed that).

We both started by sneaking around buildings -- I got my Space Marines into the same high ground Ammon used the round before, and covered the middle ground with my Sisters and Terminator.

My Terminator took out his all but one of his Terminators, my sisters took out most of his Grey Knights, his Terminator took out my Seraphim while his remaining Knight wiped out all but one of my Space Marines, so my Terminator bashed in his Terminator with a Thunderhammer, and it all came down to one of my Marines, my Retributor, and my Termie bashing on his remaining Knight in assault.  It was probably Turn 9 when the dice gods gave me that 1 on his save I was waiting for.

After that, Erock stated that he didn't really enjoy Kill Team, and Ammon suggested that we play a 2 vs. 2 1500 point game.

Erock and Ammon teamed up with Chaos / Necrons where Aaron and I teamed up across the table with Grey Knights and Dark Angels -- I took the Dark Vengeance set, minus the Librarian plus Belial to fit the FoC.

Turn 1 was where it started going downhill for our side -- Erock and Ammon killed off all but one of my bikes, I don't believe we killed a single thing of theirs.

Turn 2 I Deep Striked my Termies right in front of the Chaos Space Marines holding an objective (also, right in the middle of the battlefield), and Aaron wanted to keep his in reserves longer, but the dice predicted he'd drop his Terminators right behind mine.

So, for the next two turns, our 11 Terminators took EVERYTHING they had.  Monolith, Deathmarks, the Land Raider...

After they killed all 6 of mine and 2 of Aarons, we called it a night (we'd been playing for 8 hours, and it was 11:30 PM).

The two things I learned from this game are: Sisters with flamers are AWESOME, and I need to be more efficient with my Fast Attack.

Weekend Update: November 2-4, 2012

Taken from TSR Info
Matney here.  Most of our geek-stuff happens on Friday and Saturday nights, which is also where we have the least amount of time to keep the blog updated, so I'm starting a new series for Weekend Updates where I'll briefly recap everything and link to the more in-depth blogs.  Welcome to Weekend Update #1!