Friday, August 29, 2014

Great Expectations (and really, really crappy results)

A frustrating week on the painting front to say the least. Since returning from Gen Con, I have started at least 6 or 7 models...and these two are all that is left of the pack. 

Luckily, Russian Guyovich on the right is going pretty decently. Didn't find any flash on him after primering or any awful mold lines. If only the same could be said for Sir Chad on the right. Didn't notice his mold line until after primering. My plan is to paint around it and minimize it...obfuscate it if you will. Had he been a metal model...I'd have thrown him in the jar of Pinesol and started over again...however he's a Bones model and you don't buy those if you are planning to do any fancy painting (Bones are great for monsters but not so much for PCs and NPCs).

Starting this weekend, I'm going to take a couple of steps to increase my focus and productivity. I have a horrible habit of painting with movies or shows streaming on the PC next to my painting desk. While I like to say it's just background noise... I catch myself watching it instead of painting. So, as of Saturday it's back to the good old iPod and headphones approach I used to use before we moved.

Also this weekend, some store nearby is having a 40% off all their GW models. Needless to say, I shall be picking stuff up... possibly even the Stormclaw box. That would mean I would have three different Space Marine armies in various stages (and that doesn't count my Imperial Guard, Chaos Marines, and Space Orks...which are my favorite).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thunderbutt & Mister Smokey...

Quick update from the bench. Little bit of work on Sir Beef and starting on his servant Chad. 

I've based Chad on a metal washer as he's a Reaper Bones he really needs something to give him some weight so he won't tip over. I'm actually considering rebasing Sir Beef on a metal washer just for consistency's sake. Or maybe I might redo Chad's base with similar gravel and sand (I think the one he's on is from four years ago...different sad and I think I even added water putty to bulk up the base). He's primered with Army Painter Uniform Gray...which I then quickly painted with Apple Barrel black paint mixed with little Liquitex Flow Improver. I didn't go for complete or opaque coverage, just enough to get it in the recesses. The orc I did previously had a lot of areas that were difficult to get to and I really regret not giving him a coat of black prior to painting.

Also, cannot stress this enough... wash your Bones models with soap and water before primering. You should actually wash every plastic model with soap and water prior to primering.

Didn't get much more done as I had about an hour and a half to paint tonight...although I'm hoping to score a few hours Tuesday night.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sir Beef Cubesteak

In Progress shot of the week. 

Had a terrible week of painting starts and stops...I think I ended up throwing two or three in the Simple Green and a few in the Pinesol (I use SG for plastics, Pinesol for metal). Incredible frustrating to say the least. Still, those kind of weeks occur and you just have to suck it up and drive on.

Luckily, Sir Beef here managed to avoid "the Dip". I can't remember the name of the model, but I know it says he's a Ranger. Still, I'm going to use him as a Fighter, but I might add some woodland themed freehand to his tunic or cloak to maybe hint he's a fella that likes to hang out in the wilderness.

I have opted for the color scheme used by GW on the LotR Warriors of Rohan (and I swear they used a similar one for Farmir's Rangers). I'm using Soviet Green on his gives it a softer and warmer look...and it looks like it would be awfully snuggly. His tunic got a coat of Ceramcoat Spice Brown mixed with Apple Barrel Barn Red...I think I highlighted it by simply adding white. I sort of did a shaded basecoat approach and pained the recessed areas darker.

For his fleshtone, I mixed a little Testor's Skin Tone Warm Tint in with my usual custom mix to give a ruddier complexion. If you were a fan of Polly S fantasy paints, the Testor's ones use the same formulations and dry with a similar finish. I for one used a lot of Polly S in the 90s...and their black primer is still the best.

I'm planning on going sort of Bruce Campbell with I'm going to keep him clean shaven to really emphasize that chin. I'll also give him a little gray hair on the sides...he's the big beefy hero type for my warband and that will get across the whole "grizzled veteran" thing.

I based him on a Wargames Factory flat plastic base. They are about the right size and style if you want to mix in some prepainted D&D models (or the Pathfinder ones...not judging). I also like them as it places your character a little more in his environment.

Stay tuned this week as I attempt to finish him up and start on one of his companions (or a Vor model...I primed a bunch of stuff and I have a terrible attention span).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Great Gen Con 2014 Haul (Or How I Managed To Not Spend A Ton On Minis For Once)

So this is my haul for this year. Kind of proud of myself as I didn't go completely nuts and purchased every shiny thing I wanted (as there was a lot).

This year's haul mainly consists of the various dog miniatures from Dark Sword (there are a few missing, but I got the main ones I wanted) and various "classic" models from Iron Wind/Partha. Last year I spent $75 at Partha, but this year that honor went to Dark Sword. Still, I did managed to wrack up a healthy $25 at Iron Wind and got some really cool monsters, player characters, and scantily clad women.

Things I did not get this year that I wish I could have:
  • Arcadia Quest - Isn't out for retail sale just yet. Holy crap it looks cooler than Super Dungeon Explore.
  • Various others - Vendors like Center Stage were missing from the show this year. But, I do intend on purchasing some of their items online over the coming months.
<rant> I wanted to buy from many other miniature vendors at the show, however I ran into a major problem... integrated demo tables in the sales space. I understand you need to do demos  to get the fans excited (although how watching a boardgame, roleplaying or miniature game demo is exciting is beyond me...maybe it's like watching football or something), but if I can't get to your stock, I can't buy anything. I won't name any names, but this was EVERYWHERE in there this year. So please, seperate areas for sales and demos next year? Just have one side tables...the other stuff to buy. I realize you all have limited booth space (and did you need to have a 4x6 table in there in the first place), but again...if the consumer can't get to it, they can't buy it. </rant>

Saw a lot of interesting products this year...Star Wars "Descent", Star Wars Armada, Dark Heresy II, Wrath of Kings (although I didn't see any models for sale and it was the second item on my list of stuff to get), and Arcadia Quest (yes, I mentioned it looked really cool).

CMoN had some fantastic dioramas set up for their products. Other miniature exhibitors really need to take note on CMoN's presentation...if you have a game, just having a collection of models on display isn't enough. A really well done diorama can get the feel and mood of a game across better than someone trying to explain it. There was a reason GW used to do those in the back of every WD issue. 

So to wrap up my rambling... lot of cool stuff which I couldn't get to and therefore could not buy.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Finished my first Reaper Bones model....

While I don't think it's as nice as it could have been, for my first Reaper Bones model it turned out pretty well. I decided from the outset that to attempt to do a high end competition paint job on this guy would lead to madness. However, something between a tabletop standard and a collector standard would work....sort of a Dallimore meets the classic 'Eavy Metal style. All things considered, I'm happy with him and I think he'll do nicely as a big bad in a dungeon crawl. I do think I'll hit the edge of his base one more time to make sure it's nice and protected...then he'll get the proper a proper photo shoot.

But as this is the first Bones model, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on them.

  • They are fantastic for adding huge amounts of monsters to your D&D (Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, etc..) collection. Ogres, Orcs, Minotaurs, Dragons, Skeletons...they have tons of models and the prices are right. I myself got about 20 models for under $30...that includes a full 8 man mob of Orcs, a small band of Goblins (6), as well as assorted NPCs.
  • They paint up real nice. The detail can be a little shallow and some areas may not cast up completely, but with a little ingenuity you can disguise these pretty well (or if you are handy with greenstuff, you can fix it up). My tabletop painting style works well for these models thus far, but I do hope as they continue to add releases they will refine their casting techniques.
  • Did I mention they easy on the wallet? Yes, but it deserves a second mention.
  • They are not perfect right out of the box. Some models require blades and polearms to be straightened out. Some require mold lines to be scraped or sanded.
  • They are one piece (for the most part). That means there will be some awkward areas you won't be able to reach on your model. It also means that some of the details will be missing. 
All things considered, I'd give Bones a 4.5 out of 5. Some small production issues, but overall the models look great once painted and their price point cannot be beaten.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hot Sunday Orc Booty

Some sweet, sweet Orc ass to light your Sunday afternoon on fire.

I would like to say one thing about this particular model...there was a reason the metal one was in four pieces. Why in the name of all that is holy would you make it a one part model? I'd have gladly shelled out an extra buck or two for a detached shield arm. Alas, have to make due with what I have. Still happy with Reaper's Bones stuff...just frustrated at the lack of access I have to certain parts of this model. Want to paint the boots and arm behind that shield...good luck.

Okay, enough complaining...let's get on the good stuff.

As you can see, I've done the bulk of the metallics. Not too happy with the Axe but large blade areas are not a specialty of mine. I did attempt to add some shading to it by adding some brown and rust glazes...but again, large blade areas are not my specialty. I had thought about adding some sort of freehand design...but then I figured he's an orc...they don't do that sort of thing. The gold turned out particularly nice although you can't see it in the photo. 

I also finished up his cape/cloak. I tried to mix things up by adding various flesh tones to the it's made of stitched together flesh flayed from his victims. I will probably add another highlight to those pieces to make them pop more. 

The fur...I'm kinda iffy on that. While I'd like to do more with it, the inconsistency in the texture itself makes that kinda difficult. If this were a model I was painting for a competition or commission, I'd probably get a little more detailed in the fur and add some different highlights...but this model is just for fun and testing out what I can do with the Bones stuff. I will say that painting this version makes me want to dig out the metal one I have around here and actually paint it to a high standard (and a much fancier base).

So getting very close to completion...just a few more things and its done. Then, I'm gonna paint something much smaller and less time consuming...and not a Bones model.