Thursday, May 23, 2013

Great Bears of Gallowswood

I finished building the Great Bears of Gallowswood that Funderhammer got me for my birthday at Adepticon this year:

(Note: those axes are stoopid and fidgety, and I hate them).  Looking forward to trying this unit - Funderhammer seems to think they will address some gaps in my Khador force, and he's the one that's going to be facing them 90% of the time, so we'll see if he's right...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lego D00dz!

Hey all -

     Not really wargaming-related, but I've seen a bit of crossover between wargamers and Lego collectors, so I thought I'd share a quick pic of some cool birthday presents I got this year:

Proof that my friends are awesome!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"...and then the guy jumps out and yells, "Supplies!"

One of the places I've been meaning to take a trip to forever is Dick Blick, a "fine art" supplies store that happens to have a brick-and-mortar location not far from my neighborhood.  I budgeted a little bit of money and made a trip there the other day to get some things I've been meaning to pick up for quite some time:

Airbrush Medium:

Until now, I've been using rubbing alcohol to thin my hobby acrylics for airbrush use, which has good points and bad points.  I've been meaning to try dedicated airbrush medium for a while, but none of the Michael's / Hobby Lobby -type store carry it, so I finally made a trip to pick some up - details as I experiment with it.

Water-Mixable Oil Paints:

At Adepticon this year Les Bursley gave us a demonstration of how he uses oil washes . Needless to say, I immediately wanted to try it.  During the demo, Les actually used Winsor Newton water mixable oil paints & water, as opposed to traditional oil paints & mineral spirits - The trade off is it's slightly more work, but less cleanup & toxic nastiness.  I grabbed Lamp Black & Burnt Umber to experiment with.

Ceramic Palette:

I've seen painters use these at cons for years, but I was never able to bring myself to pay for one, instead opting for the $1.00 plastic versions.  I realized I've bought dozens of those over the years (I throw them out when they get too hard to clean), and I could have had several of these for the same price.  I find myself using a wet palette & airbrush more & more often nowadays, so I only got one for now.

Colour Shapers:

Colour Shapers are actually tools meant for blending & texturing oil paints on canvas, but they are perfect for something else, too: sculpting.  I've taken several classes from professional sculptors at conventions in the past few years, and always loved playing with these - they work a lot better with something like ProCreate putty rather than Green Stuff, but you can really accomplish some cool details with them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Khador Warjack: Torch

I bought a Torch Warjack ages ago, and he's been sitting in my bag half built forever - I finally got him built & primed:

In the process of painting him now - I'm really looking forward to playing with him, as I think the ranged attacks / ongoing damage could fill some gaps in my Khador force...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Restocking Supplies

One of the problems with not building or painting anything for the better part of a year was that when I was going through my paints, there were quite a few that had dried out almost entirely.  I swung by the hobby shop to replace the more frequently used ones that needed replaced:

The Zap-A-Gap was because I like to keep a bottle in my travel kit, as well as one on my desk at home, and the one at home dried up on me.  Replacing the Citadel paints required a bit of research with the Citadel Paint Conversion Chart, as the "new" paints appeared during my downtime, and all the names had changed - most importantly, I was out of Orkhide Shade, and finishing my Orks is pretty high on the priority list.  I didn't notice until later that GW is listing "Caliban Green" as the equivalent for both "Orkhide Shade" and the old "Dark Angels Green" - I have plenty of Dark Angels Green left.  Guess I'll just have do some tests to make sure they match - luckily, the vast majority of my Ork troops are already painted, it's mostly vehicle crew that need finished at this point.

The Vallejo Model Air Fire Red had to be mail-ordered, as none of my local hobby shops stock the model air line, and it's what I use as the base red for my Khador.

Another problem I ran in to was that when we moved last year, our new place has hardwood floors - and my wife used all of my Future floor wax, which I like to use in certain washes and as a flow agent for certain paints.  A couple of years ago the trademark changed hands and SC Johnson renamed it from "Future Floor Finish" to "Pledge With FUTURE Shine" - but the product was still recognizable, because it still had the Future logo on the label.  Well, now that's gone, too, and the product is just called "Pledge FloorCare":

Searching the scale model & rocketry forums, there seems to be a consensus that this is the same product, or at least as close as we're likely to get.  Regardless, I find myself moving away from using this more & more often lately, but I do have some flyers waiting to be built, and it's awesome for treating canopies.  Now I just have to hide it from my wife...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Old Witch of Khador & Scrapjack I celebrated my return from Adepticon 2013 by building a model I got at Adepticon 2012 - the Old Witch of Khador & Scrapjack:

I really like these models fluff-wise & aesthetically, but the sculpts are shamefully bad - I know this isn't really a hugely popular caster choice for Khador, but Privateer Press should make re-releasing this model in plastic a priority ASAP.  You pretty much have to sculpt the entire back of the Old Witch freehand to have a usable model, and there is literally no way to pin the legs on the Scrapjack to give it any structural integrity - I had to sculpt "bands" around the knee joints out of Green Stuff (I gave them the impressions of rivets using a pen barrel) to hopefully help them hold together.  This was my first attempt at a significant amount of freehand sculpting / gap filling in quite a while, though, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Adepticon 2013!

...okay, back to it - after moving, having surgery, and dealing with numerous issues for the better part of the past year, I've got a hankerin' for some hobbyin'.  We might as well get back into the swing of things with an Adepticon recap!

Funderhammer and I set out for Chicago on Thursday.  He was in charge of the reservations this year, and I have to say he did an outstanding job - as a former hotel employee, he knew enough to get us an upgrade to a junior suite:

This room was freakin' huge - king size bed, TWO sleeper sofas, and a kitchenette.  We're planning on booking one of these next year and just trying to find four other people to split it...

One of the things we talked about on the car ride was Hordes, and while I have an incredible backlog already, I think I'd like to give it a try.  Look what I just happened to get in my swag bag:

...after looking into it, I think this would even be my preferred faction, so it's definitely going into the "build" pile.

On Friday, we hit the dealer room early.  I was hoping to get a Conquest at the show, but nobody had one available.  I had been using a too-small, discontinued Reaper bag for my Warmachine army, and had been plagued by broken models - I decided to step up at the Battlefoam booth and by a new Warmachine bag, a P3 bag for my most-used paints & tools, and some extra trays.

(...and no, I'm not going to address all the recent drama regarding Battlefoam in this post.  Suffice it to say, the staff at the booth was very helpful, and I like to bag a lot).

Next up was the Forge World booth.  They implemented some screwy system this year where they stored pre-orders somewhere else in the building - you had to got to the booth and tell them you were ready to pick up your pre-order, then they would tell you to come back in an hour, and in the meantime a runner would go pick up your order.  I was a little miffed about this on my first trip to the booth, but it did seem to put an end to the 3- and 4-hour waits of past years - I was only in line for ten minutes or so each time.  I did a pretty small order this year - just some psycannons & Land Raider doors for my Grey Knights, and the new Model Masterclass book:

(I will go into detail about the book in a future post).  The rest of Friday was pretty much hanging out, meeting people and seeing what was going on in general.

On Saturday I had a class with Les Bursley from Awesome Paint Job:

This was a very cool class, and I learned a lot.  Needless to say, Les has a real talent for making things seem less intimidating, and it comes across in person as well as it does in his videos.

Les was also demoing stuff at the Badger booth during the con, and he gave us a "code word" to give to Ken at the booth - I dropped by and talked with Ken, and the code word got me a free set of Ghost Tints from their new Minitaire paint line:

Funderhammer & I were both trying to keep the food budget under control this year, but that night we headed out for dinner at Claim Jumper:

...and of course Funderhammer harassed the staff until they gave him a bib & crayons:

We headed back to the hotel after dinner - we were both stuffed, so we just hung out in the room for a bit.  Funderhammer headed downstairs for a while to check things out, and returned with a birthday gift - a set of Great Bears of Gallowswood:

Later that night, we tried out Bodgermania:

This was actually a lot more fun than I expected - it's a pretty standard "trick-taking" -type of card game, with Privateer Press' kid-friendly "Bodger" theme hung on it, but I actually really liked it.

Another thing we picked up was Dreadball:

I was seriously considering backing the Kickstarter, but never took the plunge - Funderhammer was a huge Blood Bowl fan back in the day, so he was on board.  I grabbed the Kick Off box and he grabbed some expansion teams, the Trontek 29'ers & the Void Sirens.  Mantic threw in some goodies with purchase at the convention, I'm looking forward to getting them painted up and trying it out.

Sunday was mostly spent packing and making one last lap through the hotel - overall a pretty low-key Adepticon this year, which I think Funderhammer & I both needed.  But we're already planning a group outing for next year, with a possible team-tournament appearance...