Saturday, April 27, 2013

Retribution of Scyrah:Dawnguard Sentinels

Funny story about my purchase of the Dawnguard Sentinels. See, I may have mentioned that years ago when Retribution first came out, I enjoyed the power progression article and decided to follow it. While at Adepticon last Sunday, I was in the dealer hall. One of the vendors was selling their Privateer Press stuff for 20% off. Well, most of the vendors were. I remembered I needed to pick up a unit and snagged these guys.

Oops! That should have been the Dawnguard Invictors. The armor is practically identical and the weapons are similar. The paint style is also very similar.

So I figured I'd make the best of it. First off, I hate figures with multiple parts. Every figure had to have their swords and one shoulder pad attached. After a while, I started using the two part spray where you put the spray on one side and the glue on the other. I was dead tired to gluing arms and hands to bodies. At least two of them had to have the torso attached. Ugh. The only good news in that vein is most of the fits were pretty good. In some instances I could have used some green stuff, maybe even liquid green stuff, to cover some potential gaps, but these are for table top play, not display so I said screw that.

They only have part of a tab, on one foot, so that was good news when I snipped them off to put them on the ruined bases. It was bad news when that one tab was too big to fit into the tabbed slot on the regular bases. See, I only had five of those ruins and figured I'd just use the regular bases for the rest. When I went to put my first figure in, well. suffice it to say it didn't fit. Highly annoying.

In addition, the mold lines on the shoulder plates are atrocious. I used a lot of sandpaper and after I sprayed them down, those lines were still visible.

So yeah, not my favorite unit. They would have to perform awesome for me to buy another one.

In terms of making the best of it, I decided to use some bases I had laying around. It's kind of a thing I'm doing with the Retribution where I'm trying to use at least some 'ruin' style bases on them to represent their fallen kingdom.

I also used my air brush for the main body of work. I used a few 'zenith' highlights by doing them all in a dark gray, then at a slight angle with a light gray, then from the top with white. All those primer by the way. Then doing the same thing with different shades of grey and white. I used my Badger and the new Minitaire paints. They worked very smooth. My biggest problem is that I probably needed to let them dry a little more. Didn't have the hair dryer out this time. See, when I finished, the topmost layer, which should have been white, still looked a little gray. Which it should have been pure white. Lesson learned.

I also busted out my Vallejo Liquid Gold set and used White Gold, which is a 'chainmail' color. Ugh. I don't know if it's because I haven't used them in a while but that experience sucked. The pigment was so faint that I had to go over and over and over and eventually wound up using an old brush to break up the bottom 'muck' and get the material flowing again.

So after some of this and some of that, I used a few washes on the blades to try and give them that 'glow' native to the Retribution and the darker metal on the handles.

I hate to say it, but even as I'm expanding my range in terms of the tools I use, my patience is diminishing. My... eyesight is starting to fade slightly. Not enough that I can't actually see the things, but enough that I realize I miss bits here and there. I still don't need glasses yet but... Well, the good news is they're done and I went out to Games Plus and bought the right ones. Now all I have to do is assemble them too.... but first the Mage Hunters and their commander! Who I've already finished... Initially bought him for RPG purposes. Dropped him once while painting and he did not break, but I flattened his nose. Ugh.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Army Painter and Air Brushes

While I was at Games Plus the other day, picking up an advance order for some Gale Force 9 official D&D miniatures, including a Purple Worm.

One of the guys in the store was talking about buying the figures and how expensive they were. Now I'm not saying they're cheap or anything but a few resin figures for $50 bones when Games Workshop and others are selling single figures for the $15-$30 range? Not terrible. We then discussed using an air brush on the Purple Worm. The guy wound up buying both packs.

As I was checking out though, he noticed that I had an Army Painter primer. He was a little surprised that I talked about using an air brush while buying spray primer.

Well, I enjoy using my air brush. I'm still new to it. I have a lot of paint. I have a lot of Vallejo Primers. I'm looking forward to buying some more color style primer from AK Interactive when it comes out to the states.

But to use the airbrush...

1. Get the big old box that sucks up the paint air ready and plugged in.

2. Get the compressor ready and plugged in.

3. Get the airbrush and make sure it's working and plugged in.

4. Test the airbrush on the side.

5. Paint!

Army Painter.

1. Grab the can.

2. Shake the can.

3. Spray.

While it may look like a mere two step difference, there are worlds of set up time that popping the lid off a can and shaking it up don't cover.

In addition, Army Painter sprays are good primers for the most part. Not all airbrush material is a good primer. When I can get primer in a color that's going to go a long way to laying down that base coat, why not? Alien Purple for example, will probably be perfect for the purple worm.

I try never to dismiss a tool that can be useful and while I think that the air brush has a lot more variety and utility in its use, simple is something we shouldn't be eager to throw out, especially when it works.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Retribution of Scyrah

When it comes to actually assembling an army to play one of the many games I own, I'm terrible at it. When No Quarter #34 came out in January 2011, it featured a power progression article on the Retribution of Scyrah. I had a few of the figures and went out and bought some more of them so that I could try out a force for the then new edition of Warmachine.

Well, I finally finished off the "Battle Box List" which consist of Garryth, a Chimera, a Griffon, and a Manticore.

I shouldn't say "finished" as I need to do a few touch ups on Garryth. When I was painting him I dropped him and broke off his arms. I just reglued them and realize I want to touch up his eyes, a few thin layers of pure skull white and a few other bits.

Ironically enough, they NOW have a real battle box for these guys so I may wind up buying that as well and testing out my airbrush. I think since the base body is almost all white anyway, I can build up the layers a bit better than I did with a brush.

I find that when I'm working with thin paint, it's very difficult for me to cover up the brush strokes. They may not be TOO bad in the image but they're pretty visible when the figure is under good light.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Crowdfunding miniatures perfect for OA, L5R and other Eastern Styles

Over here on, we have an Indiegogo campaign for Kensei, Fantasy Creatures. The company has already past its funding. Lot of miniatures and a lot of different levels. Nice thing is that you can get some great deals, some bonus figures, some exclusive figures and all sorts of other benefits.

Over here, we have EastAsian Village. Which has also blown past its starting goals. has a lot of their current material. Some nifty stuff.

I haven't backed either.

With no lease and people looking at the apartment and my future living location up for grabs, I don't think it wise to just up and spend hundreds on miniatures.

Well, that's part of it. There's also the physically moving stuff to storage ahead of time just in case.

There's also just the 'general' money issue mind you. with so many Kickstarters I've backed still leaving the customer high and dry, not only in terms of product, but in being 'part of the process', I'm not really motivated at this point.

When speaking of that part of the process, I've seen too many Kickstarters start off strong. To get the money in, they show WIPS, they show stuff they've done before. They're on the comment board talking about what they're going to do.

Once it actually starts? Maybe a few WIPS here and there and maybe some connection with the crowd, but yeah, that initial rush is dead.

There are a few that do better than that though. The guys at Stoneheaven, , for example, excellent job all the way through the Kickstarter funding to delivery.

I may cave mind you. The Kensei bit is especially appealing but...