Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Long gunners WIP

Its too easy to forget color mixes :)


1. true red : beastial brown  2:1
2. desert yellow drybrush
3. bubonic brown drybrush
4. rust wash
5. bubonic brown light drybrush

Uniforms: khaki : dark fleshtone : electric blue  8:2:2

And here they are almost done. Just to finish the front arcs and add the grass:

Finished Jeremiah Kraye

Here is Jeremiah Kraye, finished to my standard

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cygnar long gunners

After someone scared me on the WAMP forum that after stripping with oven cleaner models might be unpaintable due to residue left from the oven cleaner (damn this is a long winded sentence) I just had to make sure that primer will stick on them. For now it looks good :)

Their turn for paining will come very soon (as soon as highlights are done on Jeremiah Kraye)

Paint stripping part 2

A new day has dawned, and all the models are now out of the oven cleaner.

The metal models that soaked in acetone for 3 months or more are now squeaky clean, and the test plastic models are completely unharmed. The next step is to prime the metal models and see if there is no nasty residue left on them that would prevent the primer from sticking (I sincerely hope there is none).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paint stripping pains

Once in a while our miniature painting hobby requires us to the unimaginable:

Take an old model, strip the paint, and paint it all over again.

I won't get into all the reasons as to why this is necessary, but once it comes to it, there are probably 300 different ways to do it, and every hobbyist will tell you that their way to strip paint is the best, and in the end unless you try it for yourself, you wont have a clue what really works and what doesn't.

In my case all the nice products people keep using to strip their miniatures are just not available. There is no simple green in Israel, no purple cleaning stuff, no pine-sol, or other fancy liquids people use to strip paint. All i have available is acetone (pure hardware store kind of acetone) and various household cleaning products.

In the past I used to stick my metal models in acetone, let them soak for a while, vigorously brush them, clean all nooks and crannies with a needle, and call the job done. I would often have little spots of paint left over, but I would just prime over it and ignore the fact that what I started with wasn't pristine clean (I know I have a problem, don't laugh :)

Just before I left on vacation 10 days ago, i stuck a unit of Cygnar long gunner in the acetone bath (as usual) and left them to soak. Now, these models are not something I painted in the past. They were primed by a friend of mine, and there was a little paint on them (cloaks and boots mostly), and I have no idea what kind of primer was used on them.

After a 10 day soak in acetone, the paint was barely touched, and even after vigorous scrubbing with an old toothbrush, there was just too much paint left on the models.

That is when I remembered that a friend of mine, who is a model airplane builder, mentioned that he uses a simple oven cleaner to strip his models.

All that was left to do was open the cupboard, take our oven cleaner, spray it all over the miniatures, and give them another soak. Imagine the surprise on my face two hours after i left the models to soak, when I saw all the paint just coming away from the models in strips. I took them all out, gave them a rinse, and they were 100% pristine clean.

Then I decided it's time to test the same oven cleaner on other miniatures. I have two Infinity models that a friend gave me a while back that were basecoated with automotive lacquer, and the acetone just wouldnt touch the paint. They were soaking in acetone for 3 months, and here is how they looked after that:

The two models were just full of paint that wouldn't come off.

I also decided to test the oven cleaner on some old plastic models to see what happens If i soak them in it for some time, and whether the plastic will be affected. The three plastic orcs in this picture soaked in engine degreaser for over 4 months. Only effect was that all glue bonds were destroyed, but the black primer was untouched:

Jar on the left and on the right have the same liquid. Left one got a red tint after some miniatures soaked in it. The jar on the right is the oven cleaner with the plastic models inside.

As soon as these two jars are tested for effects I will make sure to post an update.

For now here is a photo of the 6 long gunners that got the oven cleaner treatment:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jeremiah Kraye

Jeremiah Kraye is one of my favorite, if not the favorite caster in Cygnar army.

Here is my take on him :)

After the horse was done, it was time to start with the rider:

All that needs to be done on this model now are highlights, and he will be ready to join his army :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

With a little advice from some really really good painters

Today I got some good constructive feedback on my painting, and after implementing the advice to the poor little Coleman Stryker model, this was the end result:

Some little touches definitely do a world of difference, and Adary is one happy wargamer :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

One Coleman Stryker is ready

This model was loads of fun to paint :)

How to make very decent photos of your models with a minimal investment

After a lot of trial and error I found a very good way to take decent photos of my models with very little effort, and without using anything fancy like light boxes, expensive cameras, flashes, diffusers and whatnot.

So here is how I do it:

1. Get yourself a half-decent camera. I use a Canon PowerShot A540. It's an old point and click camera, 6 megapixels, and you can get it or something similar for $35 on ebay.

2. Get some nice backgrounds for your photography, and print them out. The ones I use are available at:

3. Print out your backgrounds on a high quality color laser printer, on slightly thicker paper (you want this thing to last you for a bit)

4. Set up the area where you will take the photo. I do everything on my busy computer desk. I use my netbook and mouse pad to hold the backdrop:

5. Get a little tripod for your camera (here is the one I have):

6. Get a dual light source (I use a fancy Ikea lamp :) )

Have one light source pointed at your model, and the other toward the ceiling. Also, make sure to take your photos in the evening if your setup is right next to the window (like mine is).

7. Set up your camera! This is by far the most important step. First thing you want to do is set your camera to manual. Set it to lowest ISO value it will do (higher iso means more sensitivity, meaning shorter exposure, meaning more granulated pictures). Set the timer, turn off the flash, and choose macro mode. Play with Aperture and Exposition time until you see something you like on your camera LCD screen.

8. Focus your camera, start the timer, and stop breathing for ten seconds :) Using low ISO setting and no flash means that your camera will need a rather long exposure to take the shot, so you don't want it to move at all while taking the photo.

9. Here is how your photo should look like at this stage: (this is a bad photo actually since I didn't position the model as I wanted with white clouds in the background, but it will serve the purpose)

10. Now is the time for some post processing. Open the photo in your favorite image manipulation software. I use GIMP, available at, which is open source, free, and almost as powerful as Photoshop, to crop the picture, do color leveling, and scale the cropped photo to 800 px width. For color leveling I don't play with curves, and just let GIMP automatically adjust it for me. Feel free to play around with the photo until you are happy with it.

11. The end result should look like this:

Hope this tutorial helps you folks out :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ironclad - all done

The Ironclad is all finished. Here is the showcase photo :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cygnar to the max!

Ironclad is ready for action! (not necessarily Ironclad since his arms and head are magnetized)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Waiting for colors to arrive

I ordered a bunch of new colors that will be needed for the Cygnar army (never did much blue stuff on the models), and while waiting for the colors to arrive, all there is to do is more bases :)

Here are three more:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finished bases for Cygnar jacks

First bases for Cygnar jacks are ready. Grass over terracotta red earth:

The road base for the heavy jack is done already:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Beginings of a Cygnar army

In the past few months I came to the conclusion that even though Circle Orboros have probably the prettiest and coolest models, I really don't enjoy their play style. After some research, I decided to start a Cygnar army, and as always, I will start with the bases :)

First models I will work on are 8 light jacks, and one Ironclad. The general idea for the bases is to go for red earth/terracota color, with a lot of texture, and a lot of green grass. I also decided to throw in some roads, and the Ironclad will get the first road/earth base :)

Here are some in-progress photos:

 Cobblestone road is made of cut sheet cork (2mm thick) and just laid down to look like cobbles. The "ground" is a mix of mid ballast and shale (some sand will be added later on to smooth it out).

Red earth bases are based in mix of dark umber and red (looks like terracotta to me)

And here is the final product (without grass for now, and with primed-only jacks on top):

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