Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What to do when bits are not readily available? (pt. 2)

My experiment worked!

The first batch of freshly minted bits looks very good. There are a few air bubbles, but the mold works as intended.

The mold is now a bit dirty with residue, but that is not a big deal. Each successive cast will clean it up a bit more :)

And here are the new bits themselves

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First attempt at sculpting

I want to start finally playing my Circle Orboros army, and one crucial unit that is still missing are the shifting stones.

The problem is that currently I cant find this unit anywhere to buy, and its actually on order in two different web stores for a few months already.

This lead me to try and sculpt myself a unit of stones:

This is basic shaping. I used two paper clips as armature for each stone, and flattened the sides with Lego bricks. I also used Vaseline to prevent milliput from sticking to the Lego brick.

Here I added some more detail like the raised edges

All three stones are now on legal PP 30mm bases, and i did some relief work. I'm slowly getting the hang of this whole sculpting shebang :)

What to do when bits are not readily available?

My solution is make your own bits.

Here is the problem at hand. I want to create a Space Wolves army, and I have a very specific 1750 point list in mind. Backbone of my list are two squads of Long Fangs, each squad consisting of a Sargent, and four long fangs with missile launchers.

The problem:

Devastator box has only one missile launcher, and I don't need tactical squads (one missile launcher per box) or sniper scouts (yet another single missile launcher per box).

This means that in order to have eight units with a missile launcher each, I need to buy eight boxes of devastators, which would bring my total to a pretty large crapload of units I don't really need (not to mention the $$ involved in the whole story).

The sollution:

Make your own bits!

I found an amazing tutorial on making silicone molds, and this is my attempt at following methods and techniques mentioned there.

I first took a piece of Plasticine (non-sulfur kind) and laid it flat on a piece of white paper. I approximated the size I will need for all the bits i want to make the mold of. and created a Lego frame to hold it all:

The two little bumps in the corners will create my "pilot holes" for the top part of the mold.

I also sealed the sides of the Lego frame with plasticine, just as shown in the Ultrawerke blog.

Before embedding the parts in plasticine, i sprayed a generous layer of mold release on top, since in my last attempt plasticine got stuck in all nooks and crannies of the piece I wanted to reproduce, and it took me a very long time to clean it all up. Of course, I tested this with a scrap piece, plasticine and mold release before adding all of my nice, important and unique pieces.

Then I mixed a decent amount of silicone rubber (Here I used Smooth On Mold Star 30), and using an old bristle brush, I painted the silicone rubber all over the parts, taking special attention to push rubber in all the little holes and lines. Painting the rubber on helps avoid trapped air bubbles and such.

Once everything was painted, I just poured the rest of the rubber in the Lego frame:

The old and dirty knife was used to trim the plasticine, and the brush in the photo is the bristle brush used for painting the rubber all over the parts.

I will finish this with a disclaimer:

Dear GW, even though I'm duplicating your IP, I'm doing it for my personal use only. The casted pieces will _NEVER_ be sold or given to anyone.

On forums, on people, and generally on very interesting behavior

For quite some time I've been active on various forums that relate to various aspects of the miniature wargaming hobby, and on forums that are generally Fantasy/Sci-Fi oriented, and one thing I noticed is that all these forums tend to attract certain types of people that I will try to classify here.

Type 1: Average Joe

Average Joe comes to the forum, reads quite a lot, posts once in a while, asks a few questions and generally doesn't leave many comments. I have absolutely nothing to rant about when it comes to the Average Joe. The Average Joe's are in most cases 90% of the forum visitors, and they are pretty much nice and well behaved.

Type 2: Grizzled Veteran

Grizzled veterans have been on the forum for a long time, they have over a few thousand posts under their belts, and in most cases they know what they are talking about, their posts are short, well worded, and generally straight to the point. Again, nothing to rant about. You Grizzled Veterans rock!

Type 3: Amazingly Talented Pro

Amazingly Talented Pro's are the reason i visit all these forums and participate in them. These are the guys that did it all, tried it all, and are fountains of knowledge (and I'm not being sarcastic here, seriously). These guys are the best. When they post their work i usually start looking for my jaw around the floor. All I can say is: Keep up the good work, and post more amazing stuff

Type 4: Flashy Pest

Flashy Pests will do anything to be noticed on a forum. They also have a few thousand posts under their belt, but most of their posts are composed of three to four words (sometimes even less) and they generally tend to agree with everyone and say things like: awesome, cool, amazing, good work...
They also tend to have very flashy signatures, interesting slogans, and more or less anything that will get them noticed. All I can say is: Guys, give it a break. Think twice before you post anything, and see if there is any meaning to it. Seriously, give us a break (of course this applies to you Flashy Pest if you are older than 15. I do expect 14 year old kids or younger to act like you do)

Type 5: The Critic

The Critics are an inseparable part of any forum that has to do with crafting. They will comment every posted photo, and they will find something wrong with everything that anybody posts. They will always try to make it sound gentle, yet patronizing.
The only beef I have with The Critics is the volume of their work posted on said forums, which usually amounts to zero. Seriously guys, before you bash everyone's hard work, post your own to be bashed as well.

Type 6: Know-it-all Smartass

Know-it-all Smartass is someone who wants to be taken for a Grizzled Veteran, but they seem to fall just a little short. They will answer everything, comment everything, and they will appear to be venerable fountains of knowledge, and yet from their posts you can feel that their knowledge is off another forum/blog and not experience.
Don't get me wrong here. I have nothing against Know-it-all Smartasses, in fact I think they are needed on every forum. Just a word of warning, doublecheck your sources before you give advice to people, or you might end up giving wrong advice to someone who might find your address and come to break your kneecaps

Type 7: The Innocent Bystander

The Innocent Bystander is the lurker who rarely writes anything, and when it does its usually to get advice. The best part about The Innocent Bystander is that they will ask for advice, and they will get a plethora of good advice, mostly for Grizzled Veterans, and from Know-it-all Smartasses. Their special talent is to take all that advice, shove it under the carpet, and adopt the worst advice possible that Type 8 left in the thread.
My advice to you Innocent Bystanders: When a Grizzled Veteran gives advice, it came from years and years of experience. It will usually be the best advice you can get. Cherish it.

Type 8: Clueless Flamer

This is my favorite type. Clueless Flamers are convinced they are God's gift to the Internet and forums, they did almost everything exactly once, and they are convinced that their words are golden. They will also defend their convictions zealously and they will bash almost everything they don't understand, or disagree with.
Flamers, do us all a favor and get a life. Internet forums don't replace real life. Really. Trust me on this one.

Type 9: Fanboy

Fanboys will stick religiously to a manufacturer/supplier of models/paints/brushes and they will take every possible opportunity to bash everything that he is not a fan of.
All i can say to Fanboys is the same I can say to Flashy Pests: Keep up the good work if you are younger than 15. If you are 15 or older, you should already know that the world is far from being only black and white.

This will sum up my rant for today. If you are reading this and recognize yourself in one of the nine listed types, take it with a grain of salt. I for sure recognized myself in a group or two after re-reading the whole text.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The whole shebang

First shot of all painted Circle models together

(I can probably put together a playable list here)

Woldwyrd joins the herd

Not much to say about it. Nice, little, easy to paint construct :)

I cheated

In fact I didn't cheat, but I read on some forum that using an airbrush to do gradients is cheating. If that is so, I did cheat, but I do like how the purple gem came out :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today I'm on the roll!

Painting this guy was a wonderful experience, and way easier than reposing him.

I just wish all models were this easy to paint :)

Kaya the Wildborne - finally finished

This is one of my nicer works.

Kaya the Wildborne

This is a beautiful sculpt. So beautiful that I'm paying it extra attention.

This is very much a WiP, but it's already taking shape

If I manage to keep this pace up, I should have a playable painted force soon :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tharn Bloodweavers, unit one out of two

They are officially finished. In a few months one more unit of these will need to be done.

Zenithal Highlighting pt. 3

It looks like I got it this time.

Here are some more WiP shots

More photos will be available soon :)

Zenithal Highlighting pt. 2

Here is another attempt at zenithal highlighting. This time i will get some WiP photos like these:

Primed, based, and base coated black. Color used is GW basecoat black.

White was airbrushed from above, and from sides, leaving darker shade areas. Color used is Vallejo model air white diluted 1:1 with Vallejo airbrush thinner

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Water effects get me every time

Actually the stuff gets all over me every time, and its not that easy to get rid of :)

And to cut the rant short, here are the photos:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Gorax finished to my tabletop standard

I'm happy with how he came out (considering that only one hour went in him)

Playing with the airbrush

I decided to test out the airbrush, and tried to do some zenithal highlighting. I did fail miserably, but this little Goras doesnt look all that bad :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Milliput basing explained Pt. 4

And almost done.

All that is left now is to add the water effect, and for that I need a slightly different state of mind (and I should probably do it when I'm completely sober, unlike right now :))

All bases are painted, watery areas are painted green, and they already look pretty good :)

I also decided to take care of the rims at this stage, and not wait for actual model placement. Its a lot easier to paint them neatly when there is no grass or leaves on the base. Adding gold later for front arc is a lot easier when the brown is already laid down.

Milliput basing explained Pt. 3

Time to add some tree trunks to the whole shebang. These are the same twigs used in the previous tutorial.

Actually these bases are made for the same army, so they should remain visually compatible.

Once all the glue is dry (and i mean completely wait for 10 hours at least dry) the bases can be primed. This time around I'm going with black gesso instead of just drowning the base in brown paint, since I have the milliput to think about, and I don't want to destroy all the nice patterning on it with tons of paint.

After this it will be painting time :)

Milliput basing explained Pt. 2

A very important thing when customizing the bases is to close any slots (especially on 30mm and 40mm bases from Privateer Press and similar). All those open slots mean that a lot of glue will get all over your hands/desk/everything else.

Once that is taken care of, It was time to add some ballast to the bases.

Followed by a little sprinkle of sand

One very special base got some more milliput, and it moved completely from the concept I had in mind originally (which doesn't matter since it will become way cooler than originally imagined)

And now it's time for the most exciting part of making bases: waiting for the glue to dry :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Milliput basing explained Pt. 1

Here is how the whole idea of using milliput for basing looks applied

Here are the models with their respective bases:

For each model I approximated where the feet will be connected with the base, placed a blob of milliput, and textured it to resemble rock:

This is how it looks up close:

And here is the secred tool used to apply the natural texture to milliput:

There is nothing better than crumpled up aluminum foil for random pattern texturing :)

I will go on a milliput rant again, but the more I use this stuff, the more I like it. On these bases I used standard grade milliput that is a bit rough for fine detail work, but lets face it, bases don't need fine detail work. Bases need rocks! Milliput cures rock hard, and is very easily drilled, which makes it perfect for basing :)

Maestro at work

Yesterday our local wargaming/cardgaming convention took place, and of course I was there to help out, mingle, and in general have a great time. A good friend of mine who is an incredible painter/modeller was also there with his WHFB display, and while we sat there he made a very nice base for his Nurgle Daemon Prince.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves :)

I'm looking forward to see his paintjob on the model :)

Basing tip or how not to destroy too many drill bits

One of the issue I face with the bases i make using ballast and sand is that once my models are ready, and need to be joined with the base, I have to drill through sand and ballast to make holes for the brass pins I have attached to model legs.

The problem with this is that drilling through sand and rock is the best way to destroy those nice 1mm or 1.5mm drill bits.

There is a very simple solution for this problem though :)

Make little mounds of Milliput around where the feet of the model will connect with the base, press the mini on them to make light impressions, and let milliput dry before adding ballast and sand to the base.

The reason for using milliput is that it cures rock hard, and is a lot easier to drill through than green stuff.

When making impressions in milliput, make sure that either milliput or model feet are lubricated so they dont stick. I use petroleum jelly (Vaseline), but you can use anything that works for you as long as you are sure it can be easily washed off.

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