Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Tools

Picked up a few new tools today:

I have really bad luck with files - I loved the first set I got off eBay years ago, but a few have broken, and the rest are clogged with Green Stuff (no matter how much I've tried cleaning or wire brushing them).  The next set I got just plain sucked - the abrasive sections weren't cut deep enough, and they didn't do anything.  Then I bought a fancy name-brand set where the files screwed into a handle - sounds good, but this really hampered my ability to get into tight spaces.  The ones above finally seem to be what I'm looking for, and there's enough of them to outfit two hobby kits (more about that soon).

I realized lately when I'm pinning a model, I spend more time struggling with the drill and breaking bits than making progress - probably because all my bits were five years old and so dull they wouldn't make a hole in warm butter.  I decided to chuck 'em all and start over.  One of the few places I've found that sells a set with reeeealllly small bits included is Harbor Freight - the quality is kinda crappy, but when you get this many without the "repackaged by a hobby company = 300% markup" factor, I can live with it...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dwarfs Part XIII: Final Product!

Well, it was a journey, but here's some pics of the finished Dwarf army:

...I'm happy to report that the Dwarfs have already been sold to new owner in Georgia, and are hopefully kicking butt all over the South!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dwarfs Part XII: Movement Trays

One of the "final touches" that I thought would be a relatively cheap & easy way to give my army a little extra pizzazz was to build movement trays - although I've never played a game of Fantasy, these seem pretty useful when you're playing a game that uses ranked up models.  Games Workshop sells a kit to make your own movement trays, but I would have needed a couple of them, and didn't want to drop $30+ for them.  I decided to see what I could put together more cheaply.

I went buy the local big-box home improvement store and picked up a blank sign made of corrugated plastic (these will be located with the signs that say "Garage Sale", "Car for Sale", etc) for $3.98.  I also got four basswood square dowels for .93 each.  Total cost: under eight dollars.

I gathered up the models for a typical-sized unit:

I arranged them so I had the (#number of models) (width) x (depth) and marked it with a straight edge:

Then I cut it out with a utility knife:

Next I measured the wooden dowels, and cut them using my hobby saw & mitre box so the corners would be neat:

Then I glued down the dowel rods with PVA glue, setting them on some newspaper to dry to catch drips.  (Actually, I used some old glossy mailers in the hopes that the glue wouldn't stick so badly).  I "squeegeed" some glue into the cracks with a spare piece of wood to fill gaps:

Then I backed them with some scrap cardboard:

Then I made some for the artillery units, with cutouts for each model:

Then they all got a coat of primer:

For painting, I mixed up a somewhat close match using mostly craft paint, as it's much cheaper than hobby paints:

Then, the edges got the same basing treatment as the rest of the army:

Finished product:

Next: Final product!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dwarfs Part XI: Basing

Now that the building, dipping & painting are done for the Dwarf army, its time to finish the bases.  Originally I just started painting the bases with Vomit Brown, but I soon realized that it took a ton of coats to completely cover the Gun Metal primer.  This mainly concerned me because my pot of Vomit Brown was almost empty, and it was bought before The Great Paint Reformulation of Ought-Thirteen - "Vomit Brown" is now called "Tau Light Ochre".  I had heard some forum folks complaining that some of the new colors didn't quite match, and I didn't want to run out of paint halfway through the army. I solved this by giving them a coat of Scorched Brown first, then a layer of Vomit Brown:

Next, the bases got a coat of PVA glue and were sprinkled with Woodland Scenics Medium Ballast:

...they were given a coat of Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement to "lock in" the ballast:

After that was dry, some small stones were glued to the bases as accents, and the whole thing was given a heavy coat of Devlan Mud wash:

When that had dried and the models had been clearcoated, static grass was added:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Adepticon 2014 Recap - Part II


Saturday at Adepticon turned out to be mostly a social day - we spent most of the day wandering around, meeting people, reconnecting with friends, and generally hanging out.  One of the first things we checked out was the Warhammer Fantasy hall, which had some amazing display boards:

Out in the hallway, we met James Wappel and his amazing Imperial Guard display:

Next, we went to the display cases to check out some of the awesome Crystal Brush entries:

Next, I made another run at the vendor hall.  One of the things I was thrilled to find were these paint & brush racks from Ironheart Artisans:

I've been looking for something similar to these for a while, ever since I saw the very cool ones made by CNC Workshop, but the problem is that they're in Australia - which means the cost of shipping the items is actually more than the cost of the items themselves.  These paint racks are very similar, for a fraction of the cost.  I wanted a paintbrush rack ever since I saw the ones from Games & Gears, but those are hardwood, very expensive, and (again) ship from overseas - this is a very similar item for a much lower price!

Another cool thing that Ironheart Artisans was doing was to sell commonly needed items for a lot of the classes at Adepticon - Raphael brushes, hobby supplies, etc.  (I've needed to buy a brush at Adepticon before, and it's INCREDIBLY frustrating to be AT A MINIATURE GAMING CONVENTION and nobody is selling brushes.  One of the items they had that I've meaning to pick up forever (but always manage to forget while I'm at the art supply store) was a small color wheel:

Next, I stopped by the Cool Mini or Not booth and picked up some of the Instant Mold that I've been meaning to try:

I also swung by the merch booth and picked up the requisite t-shirt:

When I met back up with my friends, they presented me with a gift (Saturday was actually my birthday) - a Kossite Woodsman unit!

Next we went foraging for food - we happened upon a burger joint called Tom & Eddies, and it was fantastic.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel to unload our purch
ases and unwind.


Sunday I woke up early and headed over to my last class, Airbrushing Miniatures with misterjustin from Secret Weapon Miniatures:

Although it makes for a lousy pic, this was actually a pretty good seat to have for the class - I was able to see over Justin's shoulder for a great view while he was working!

I have to say, when I first decided to try airbrushing, I think I took three different classes at conventions about the subject, and to be blunt, they all sucked to varying degrees.  In the long run I wound up puzzling through it by myself, making a lot of mistakes, and wasting a lot of money - I really wish I had taken Justin's class first, because it was excellent.  He presented pretty much everything you would want to know about airbrushes, paints, additives, safety, and some basic techniques.  (It was also more than little validating that a lot of what he taught in the class lined up really closely with the airbrushing guide I wrote a few years ago).

After the class, I went back to the hotel to eat breakfast and start packing up.  After lars4life and I loaded up the car (which was substantially more full than when we left) we made one last run through the vendor hall, but I couldn't find anything that I couldn't live without (even though the guys at the Black Library booth tried their best to relieve me of my last few dollars).  We headed home, another Adepticon in the bag!