Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Latest Batch of Miniatures: Eolith, Reaper, Games Workshop

So all my airbrush stuff has arrived. I've test fitted everything and itl ooks like it will be a go as soon as I get some time off and I set up a place to, you know, actually start the process.

But in the meanwhile, I wanted to clean out the table of some figures I've had in half states of painting for many a moon as well as some Reven Orcs from Reaper that I just primed so that I coud.... yes, get them off the table.

Those are some gnoblars. The first two have a legless gnoblar on their back. The gnoblars in appearance remind me slightly of the Pathfinder goblins in that they are comical. The bases on the first two were done up with the landscape spakle style product Games Workshop is now making. I wanted to test it out some more. Not bad. If I could remember if while I was working, the third one would have had it as well. I initially bought the gnoblars to work with the ogres I bought for my Games Workshop Ogre Kingdom army that I still haven't finish.

Two 'regular' grunt Reven and a 'choppa' style Reven with a two handed battle axe. I don't know why I have so many of them. Probably for role playing purposes as I tend to use a lot of orcs and other bits in my games. Although I haven't run for a long time which is why I have so many unpainted figures...

This is a Spyglass miniature. It's the way I like to see a priest or cleric style figure. He's got the robes, he's got the mace, and in this case, a lantern. If I had any skill at that off light setting stuff he would rock for it. I'll probably touch up the base later. Sadly, Spyglass is now out of business but Hersey picked up quite a bit of their range.

I had some other miniatures done but they're so blurry that there's no point in posting links to them.

Anyway, it's a good time to be painting miniatures as there are still a ton of options out there and a ton of great manufacturers.

Keep painting!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Painting Sins

Despite how long I've been painting, I still make a lot of rookie mistakes. Most of that is due to being lazy.

1. Shake the paint. Before you even open the paint, you need to shake it. Shake it for a good minute or two if you can. The elements of the paint can seperate over time. This is true of washes as well. Hell, might be more true of washes.

2. Thin the Paint. Paint is generally too thick. For me, for the most part, it's not a problem. The details don't really get covered but the coverage itself isn't necessarily as smooth or taking to the layers like it could. I keep hearing the term 'milk' used as to how thick you want the paint to be.

3. Don 't overload the brush. You just want something on the tip of the brush. You dont' want the paint getting up into the metal part of the brush past the bristles because when that stuff dries, it spreads open the brush and then you're awesome brushes have become the crap.

4. Clean the brushes. There are a lot of good cleaners out there. See some reviews. Do some experiementing. Find the one that works for you.

5. Keep the Brushes Upright. Don't leave them laying down. Don't leave them laying in the water. Don't leave them with paint on.

6. Don't mix paint with the brushes. Use a toothpick or an old brush if you're going to mix paint.

I'm sure there are a ton of things I'm missing but those are some of the sins that even now, as I'm telling you to do as I say, not as I do, I still make. Everything counts in small amounts eh?

Friday, May 25, 2012

I've been thinking of getting an airbrush for a while. One of the painters I follow on Youtube and the other parts of the interwebs, Les from Awesomepaintjob, uses one quite a bit for example.

Anyway, I did some research, felt comfortable with the price tag I was willing to pay and did some more research into all the things I'd need.

Some may wonder why I'd want an airbrush at all.

Part of it is being lazy. If you have ten or twenty skeletons sitting around and want to prime them all at once, well, a paint brush is a bad way to do it. Spray primers will work for that, but then primers have their own issues.

When you prime a model, it can be hell on the brush.  This is true even with some of the new primers out and about.

And speaking of that priming, the new Vallejo primers come in some nice colors and don't have the odor that the Army Painter ones do. Another plus side.

And while I'm never going to hit any high marks with it, when doing things like terrain or large figures? Yeah, base coating will go a long way too.

If it saves me a few brushes, and more importantly, some time, it's a good deal in the long run even if I'm never using it at the higher levels they can be used for or never using it outside of base coating.

I ordered some material from and some from Chicago Airbrush Supply. Why the two? One of the things you need is a spray box so your paint isn't flying all over the place. The latter didn't offer to ship that free and there was a Facebook coupon and I know that sometimes these things get a little weird when you try to use online coupons on a 'small' store so I figured I'd just order X from one and Y from the other.

Amazon breaks up my order into a few bits. Probably because they are shipping them from different areas. No problem as I'm an Amazon Prime member. I don't delay the order. If I did, I would have received credit to purchase music. I figure with two day delivery, that should match the ETA of the Chicago Airbrush Supply timeline.

Paasche HSSB-16-13 Hobby Spray Booth, 16-Inch Wide by 13-Inch High: Arrives no problem. Huge bastard of a box. I'm sure the UPS guy is going to wait for me outside one day and kick my ass.

Model Stand, Badger Air-Brush Co. 50-0052B 3/4-Ounce Jar and Cover, Box of 12, Badger Air-Brush Company Ultra Fine Needle for Renegade Series, 3ml Plastic Transfer Pipette, 500 pack all arrive in another package. Good stuff and Amazon as usual makes it two day delivery bit.

Chicago Airbrush Supply is where I ordered the actual airbrush and compressor. I get the cleaning material, the hose, the filter for the cleaning kit, the gas mask, and... no airbrush and no compressor.

Call leaves me a message that the compressor is too big to ship with the other material and ships it the next day. Uh... I work in a warehouse. If we have to break up an order for some obscure reason, then we ship both boxes out at the same time. We even have special instructions to follow up on these things.

So no compressor. And probably not tomorrow which means at the earliest... Tuesday. Maybe.

And the airbrush? Badger Renegade Krome 2 in 1 with Hard Case . Here's the bad thing. The website is 'dead'. It doesn't list if the product is in stock or not. There's also no option to hold the order and ship it out all at once.

So I find out that the airbrush is on a 2-3 day backorder. I placed the order 2 days ago. Not in. Person I spoke with didn't seem too sure about when it would be in. Ah, phantom inventory. A product that you'd like to carry, that you'd like to sell, that you have no problem charging your customer for, but actually getting it in? Well, maybe wait another 2-3 days... weeks... So that order that I could have held back and received credit on? Yeah, those things are going to SIT until I get.... you know, the actual airbrush itself.

So yeah, Chicago Airbrush Supply, despite being well known for various things, has had fail here. Inventory needs to be live, option for holding the order needs to be present, and you know, shipping everything that you do have in stock out at the same time? That needs to happen.

So I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the situation on the airbrush. There is another one I'm very interested in, but it's so high up there in price and function and I'm a clueless hack when it comes to the things, that it'd be waste for me to upgrade it, assuming that the Krome never comes in. I'll only put up with that 2-3 day crap for a week. I'll be generous and not count the weekend or you know, the holiday so I'll give them till Thursday to have it at the very least in stock and shipped out to me before I put on the steel toes I wear in the warehouse I work in for a different purpose.

People wonder why places like Amazon are taking the lunch for the little guy? With their resources, Amazon is able to deliver the goods in a timely manner and you know when you order, you're going to get it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Reaper Reven: Black Primer Follow Up Post

I can paint at a pretty good clip if I know what I'm painting and have the paints close at hand. The reven skin was done up in Andrea's green set, the armor the traditional old GW metallics with P3 Armor Wash and GW Mud wash. Wood was done up with Old Wood from Panzer Aces by Vallejo and then lightened with Denb Stone from the old GW foundation line and darked with GW Mud Wash. Base is some Army Painter black with some dry brushing over it and some Army Painter plants.

I don't notice any difference between the two sides so it enhances my earlier thoughts that the two black primers.

Golem Final Prep and Paint

So after filling the side with some pumice past and putting down some more Woodland Scenics material on the base and allowing it to dry, I gave it a couple of quick shots of Army Primer's Matt Black Primer.

I then did a little underpriming. Well, that's what I've heard it called. You take another color spray primer and then hit it from an elevated angle so that you're not covering all the old primer. In this case it's Army Primer Leather Brown.

I did several dry brush passes on the base with gray. The body I touched up with the Army Painter's paint. It does a good job of matching the primer color. I then went over the whole thing with Games Workshop Sepia and then Mud. I could have tried out the Army Painter washes that come with their paint set but I'm trying to finish off the GW stuff.

It's a nice sized figure and can have several uses. While it's a Golem for Hell Dorado, I suspect that more people will use it as some type of rune scribed earth elemental for traditional fantasy role playing games.

It was a figure very easy to fit together. The arms and torso didn't require a lot of prep work. The surface has a lot of sculpting to it if you're the type who wants to do intensive highlighting and shading unlike myself.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Games Workshop Imperial Primer and Vallejo Primer

Many moons ago, brush on primer was in white. I bugged Reaper about it on their forums and other people did as well and hell, black brush on primer. I still have several bottles. See, I live in Chicago and well, this cursed land and humidity go hand in hand. Brush on is always a sure bet.

Still, other companies have come a long way. Vallejo for instance, now has several brush on primers. Games Workshop has a new paint line and their new primer is a black brush on primer, Imperial Primer. When Hobbytown had that sale, I picked up one of those as well as the texture.

So how does it work? I took another old figure I've had just sitting around for like a thousand years. In this instance, one of the Reven for the Reaper Game Warlords.

I did the figure in both primers. This side is the GW side. Overall not bad. Doesn't take to water real well though. Gets somewhat splotchy. Dries to a matt finish. Coverage seems pretty good. Doesn't pool too much.

This is the Vallejo side. It dries a little satin like. Not quite shinny but not quite dull either. Coverage is very good. Same problem with water though in that it gets splotchy and would require a lot of repeated efforts which isn't a bad thing when the weather is against you. Also seems to dry closer to the figure if that makes sense? Gives it a nice look.

Some people might talk about smell. My nose is weird. Come around with me with  perfume or cats and I'll be out of there. Primer, sealants and other chemicals of that nature don't bother me. Might be my long exposure to them. (Look for post on lung cancer ins 2022 or so) but I can't comment on it because I don't notice it.

Overall not a huge amount of difference and if you're a fan of Games Workshop this isn't going to stop you from using it.

Biggest difference though? Look at the size of the bottles in that first picture. Quite a difference. Now if you will, imagine the price difference.  It's a 200 ml bottle. I don't see a quick price anywhere so the 60ml bottle is like $7.00. So that's like $1.20 per 10 ml? And the larger bottle is less expensive per ml I believe. The Games Workshop one is something like $3.70 for 12 ml. Which is under $3.70 per ml but not much eh?

I'll post up pics of the orc when I finish painting him (whenever that is) and see if the different sided primers had any real effect so to speak.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Drakon-Sul, Male Elf Hero - Sidhe for Celtos

I've had this figure for many a moon. Like others in my collection, I bought it because it looked cool. The whole thing has a great Sidhe feel to me. Something like out of Naudia of the Silver Hand bit going. The whole range has some great Celtic feel to it. Some of their barbarians are top notch and would make great heroes for any RPG.

I did this guy with a lot of Andrea Paints. Mostly known for their high end miniatures, Andrea also makes paint and other miniature hobby tools and utilities like putty. Several of their boxed sets come in one color with six variants. It's what I used to paint the blue cloak, the silver and gold armor and face. Mind you the metallic colors only have three paints with the other three being inks and I used some of that ink on the cloak as well which somewhat muted the highlighting and shading. On the face I should have painted it before putting the sword arm on but lazy me did not do this wise thing.

The base is cork with some Vallejo texture thrown over it to try and disguise it a little. Not too sure how well that worked. Also did a few scruffs of dead grass from an old Games Workshop tub I have lying around here. Probably could have given that a highlight of white or something but I was tired of looking at the thing at that point.

After giving it a spray with the old sealant, I went over the armor with the gloss again. I tried to avoid the cape and face.

Overall, the figure is fairly simple. Lots of large flat surfaces on the armor and cloak. The face is partially obstructed by the arm when assembled so make sure to paint them separately. Not a lot of accessories on this guy like darts, daggers, belt pouches, back back or other hanging on riff raff.

Game use? He fits as an elf prince in a role playing game and while he is a bit bulkier than some of the Games Workshop or Mantic Elves, I don't think I'd have too much problem throwing him in one of those games or even one of Reaper's Warlord games.

Miniature Prep

I have a bit of a collector's problem. If I see a really good sale and some other bits of nonsense logging around my brain, I tend to buy even if it's not something I need or something I'm playing at the moment. Take the golem up above in four pieces. Miniature Market often has sales and clearance items. This guy is from The Hell Dorado game. It's also in French. Not something I'm not unused to as Confrontation, prior to being a kick ass game in English, was actually some kick ass miniatures in French. But I'm always up for a large figure and it comes with a spellcaster that controls him as well.

So in prepping this guy, what were the stages?

1. Preassembly. I tested each part to make sure it fit.

2. Sanding. I use some fine sandpaper to give it a shallow surface cleaning as well as make sure that when I do glue it, that there are some teeth or marks for the glue to settle in.

3. Wash it. Hot water, soap, and an old tooth brush with patience. I'm not sure that it does all the wonders people say it does but... I figure its only going to add a few miniatures to the process, this is a big figure and if there are oils and other bits from release agents from the mold, get them out now.

4. Super glue! I'm terribly lazy. I should use some pins on him because he is a fairly decent sized figure and it wouldn't take that long to pin. I should especially pin the center as there is a lot of mass there. But there's the lazy thing again. Fortunately this isn't like some nightmare pieces I've had an after cleaning a bit on the chest piece on the bottom, he fits very well together. If I wind up using him a lot and breaking him, then the pins come out!

5. Adjusting the base. I throw some Army Builder rocks on the base and some sand.

6. Attach! Then the big guy gets glued to the base. I have to fill in the area where he didn't fill the tab all the way and I'll need to add some glue to those areas to compensate for the missing basing material but after that...

7. Set. I'll let him set for 24 hours. I know you probably don't have to but I tend to do it anyway. I have plenty of material to work on in the meanwhile.

So after that, I'll still have to prime and paint him. Good thing though is because he's just basically a large walking pile of rock, he'll be easy to paint up.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Texture Testing

Okay, here we have three Reaper Miniatures. The big green guy is an Orc Warlord leader for the Even Faction. The two lizard dogs are from the Dark Haven line. I've owned both for years and decided it was time to paint them. That meant a repaint on the orc whose armor was originaly black. Did I mention I'm terrible at painting black? (Yeah, go ahead and snigger internet. I hear you say "it ain't just black." The lizard dogs I just used brush on Army Painter strong tone after using Vallejo brush on primer that was like German Green or something along that nature.

I decided I wanted to test Games Workshops new Texture Paint. I'm not one of these corporation haters who won't use a product just because it's from company X. On the other hand, GW does tend to be more expensive and well, their decesions from an outside view can sometimes look stupid.

Anyway, Hobbytown had a coupon for $10 off of $40. I figured I'd pick up the new paint set with the high elves. They didn't have that of course. And their starter set they did have was the old one. Not a bad deal if you wanted to hoard that stuff. Anyway, I decided the one thing I didn't have a lot of was something like the texture and the black primer. I'll discuss the black primer in another post if my squirrel brain can remember it.

Anyway, they did have all of the new paints and I picked up the texture, the primer, and a few shades or washes or whatever their calling it these days.

I then used the Lustrian Undergrowth Texture on the lizard beasts and had the Brown Earth by Vallejo on the Orc already.


The GW stuff is like $3.50+ a bottle for very small quantity. The Vallejo is like $12 something for like six times that amount.

But they are different. The GW stuff is almost like dry paint with some large pieces in it to give it some texture. The Vallejo material is almost all texture. Both can go on with a paintbrush and both benefit from multiple layers. But the Vallejo material is almost more like a layer of highly textured material like incredibly fine sand while the GW stuff is like popping down some big hunks in some paint. I'm not sure which one I enjoy more but think that both will have use in my table. If you want some real texture though, be prepared to use a lot of either of them.

This picture is pretty similiar to the other one but with a Celtos elf hero on some cork. I wanted to use the Brown Earth to try and disguise the cork a little. I don't think it really did anything of that nature.

Looking forward to trying out the Snow Texture. I've always had a problem with that as well. Yeah, I know, can't paint black, can't do snow texture on a base, is there anything I can do? Time will tell!

So My Own Miniature Blog

I'm one of the members of 52 Weeks, 52 Miniatures found over here.  Problem is lately I seem to be the only member. Well, the only posting member. A few replies here and there but its pretty quite. So if I'm going to be posting to the void, I figure, might as well post to my own void. If the guys over there start posting or at least start having some interesting conversations, I might start posting back over there but when I'm having most of my miniature related discussions on and am part of a community blog? That's a problem.

So what can you expect to see here? Pretty much the same thing on 52 Weeks, 52 Miniatures. More of my bad photo shots, more of me talking about different things I run across, more of my blathering and occassional ranting. In short if it was a post by me over there, it'll be the same but over here.

Anyway I bough a new lamp so hopefully that will help out. I'll also be trying to keep some of the stuff relatively short and focused save for the rantings.