Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dwarfs Part VIII: Organ Gun

...still trying to bulk up my Dwarf Army, I found an Organ Gun on eBay:

Again, it came to me in predictably rough shape - one of the dragon heads is broken off, the medallions on the front are damaged, and there are gouges on the sides of the barrel where someone haphazardly cut if off the sprue.  Time for some repair work:

I seem to have misplaced all the pics showing the painting progress for this model - you don't get to see it 'till I reveal the finished army!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dwarfs Part VII: Cannon

At some point I came into possession of a Dwarf cannon crew, but there was no cannon to go with them.  I started searching around eBay, and came across one that looked pretty cool from a seller in Russia:

Auction listing pic - Not my work!

It took a few weeks to get here, but the price was right - I was surprised when I opened the package:

It looks like a kid's cereal box toy - it even comes with spring-launched missiles!  Regardless, it's not a bad likeness, and the scale looks good.  Guess I'll grab the instructions and put it together:

Uhhh, does anyone read Russian?

Anyways, I puzzled through it.  I didn't use any dip on this model, opting instead for weathering powders.  While I wasn't going for "competition quality" while I was doing it, I noticed that Secret Weapon Miniatures was having a contest specifically geared towards the use of weathering powders - I went ahead and entered it, even though this was only the 2nd or 3rd time I'd tried working with them.  I didn't win, but they featured the model on their Facebook page I heard some nice comments!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dwarfs Part VI: Warriors Part Deux

Another eBay addition to bulk up my Dwarf army: I got an additional unit of Warriors on the cheap - they were predictably awful in the paint department, so they went into the Simple Green:

Auction listing pic

Gettin' a bath


Again, there were a few weapon repairs needed:

Big hoarkin' converted Ork choppa

After doing some research, I somehow wound up with an odd number compared to what most people run this army with, so I ordered a couple single models too:

Then they got their basecoat:

I don't seem to have any pics of these fellows being dipped.  

Up next: Artillery! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dwarfs Part V: Quarrelers

About this time I decided that the contents of a starter box wouldn't really be adequate to sell as an "army" - most people probably wouldn't consider a force an "army" until there's 1200+ points of models.  I started scanning eBay for cheap Dwarf units to add to my force.

I came across a set of Quarrelers for cheap - when I got them I realized why they were so cheap:

Honestly, they're kinda equal parts horrifying and adorable.  Needless to say, they went for a bath in the Simple Green hot tub:

After soaking for a couple of days and a few scrubbing sessions with an old toothbrush, I at least had a starting point:

I got them put back together and in primer:

Basecoated and freshly dipped:

Another unit down...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dwarfs Part IV: Everybody in the Pool!

After the previous test proved successful, I spent the next week or so knocking out Dwarfs, and when they were all done they went for a dip:


 Warriors & Miners, just dipped

Removing excess 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dwarfs Part III: Paint & Dipping Test

I spend a lot of time trying to refine my painting skills, but since I know I'm building this army for sale, I want to turn it around fairly quickly.  To this end, I'm going to make my first attempt at dipping.

Most of you reading this are probably familiar with dipping - basically, it's heavily applying a polyurethane-based wash to shade a model quickly.  A quick search on any of the wargaming forums will lead you to dozens of detailed tutorials about dipping, so I don't feel the need to write another one, I'll just be giving a quick overview.

Dipping models is a pretty polarizing topic in the wargaming community - some people love it, others think it's the worst thing to ever happen to the hobby.  Another point of contention is what to use - The Army Painter sells their own line of "Quickshade" - for thirty dollars a pint.  A lot of people swear by it, though.  Others claim that you can get just as good of results using polyurethane furniture stain, which is twelve dollars a quart.  Since budget is a big concern for this project, I decided to try the furniture stain.

After doing some research, it seems the preferred brand is Minwax PolyShades.  Make sure you get the "satin" finish.  There are lots of opinions regarding which color is the best to use, but the one that came up most for use over "warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows, browns, etc) was "Antique Walnut":

(For "cool" colors (greens, blues, whites, etc) the most frequently recommended color was "Tudor Satin", which is closer to black than brown.  I might try that version on my Orks someday).

Anyways, the thinking behind the process is that you quickly put down a limited number of base colors, apply the stain (either through literally dipping the model in it, or, more often, applying heavily with a brush), and you're done.  So here's our test model:

The Army Painter Gun Metal primer has already taken care of all the silver areas.  Next, I hit some areas with Citadel Shining Gold:

Next, I painted the bags/straps/boots with Snakebite Leather:

His shirt got Foundations Mechrite Red, the beard is Space Wolves Gray, the face/hands got Kislev Flesh, and the inside of the horn got Chaos Black:

...and that's it.  It probably took me ten minutes to basecoat the model, and I was being overly careful 'cause I'm rusty.  

Now it's time to stir the dip:

Getting the stain well-stirred is a must - I'd stir it for at least five minutes.  You want to use something that will reach all the way to the bottom of the can, since the polyurethane will settle down there.  Be aware, this stuff is extremely sticky, and doesn't smell very good - it probably goes without saying that it'll ruin any clothes/furniture/pets that you spill it on, so put down lots of newpapers in your work area.  You'll also need turpentine or mineral spirits to clean your brush afterwards, or you could just buy a cheap pack of nylon brushes from the craft store and throw 'em away when you're done.

I don't have any pictures of myself actually applying the dip, because I don't have three arms.  Basically you want to slop the stain on thickly with a brush, wait a minute or two, then use a dry brush to "suck up" the excess where it has pooled on the model.  The Army Painter has a good video tutorial on their site.

Here it is after the stain was applied, still wet:

Before & after:

...and after drying overnight, and giving the base it's first coat of Vomit Brown: overall, not bad - it's not going to win a Golden Demon anytime soon, but I've seen worse-looking models at the FLGS that probably took more time.  I think it even brought out some of the details in the chainmail and the beard quite nicely.  Overall, a good enough proof-of-concept test for me to move forward... 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dwarfs Part II: Build & Primer

Since my previous test of the Army Painter primer was successful, it was time to move forward.  One problem was that one of Skull Pass boxes I had literally came to me in a trash bag with tons of other models, and there was some damage that needed repaired, mostly weapons.  I thought this would also give me a an opportunity to add some custom touches.

This guy got a scratch-built axe:

Then they all went to primer:

After priming, this guy was given a modified Ork axe:

Now we're ready for the paint test...