Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Break up

-Unrelated to hobby-

I've been going through some tough times recently. I am going through my second divorce. I haven't spent hardly any time reading blogs, looking at models or playing games. My last project still sits primed and ready to paint, taunting me. I have also been very busy at work.

Hopefully, as my life settles back into balance, I will have more time to devote to hobbies.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Going to start painting again.

Okay, it's been a long break from painting and admittedly I hadn't got much done before.

So, here's my current project:

Titan Marines from Rebel Minis

I am going to try a suggestion I received before and go with 4 mini's together on a craft stick (I glued 4 together to give it thickness; something to hold on to!) I chose 4 mini's with identical poses, I figure if I am 'assembly line' painting, it'd be easier to go this route.

The mini's are freshly primed and waiting to dry. I noticed some mold lines that I thought I had gotten on there heads that I will need to go back and clean up.

I am considering a dark reddish brown (like GW Dark Flesh) for the cloth and a metal (GW Boltgun Metal) for the armor and a dark gray for the face masks (50/50 mix of Codex Gray and Chaos Black). I'd highlight the Dark Flesh with Terracotta , highlight the boltgun metal with chainmail and the masks with codex gray. Likely wash all the non-cloth with black wash and the cloth with brown wash, possibly chestnut ink or brown ink. This could all change as soon as paint hits the mini, but we will see.

Other news I have played a couple of games of warhammer 40k recently. I brought my Tau out of retirement. It's been long enough that all my armies are in retirement. I went with Tau because they seemed the least changed with 5th ed, which I have not played much.

The 40k games were a bit frustrating, I am so used to 3rd ed rules, I was making tactical errors that were 'rules based errors', like hiding a unit of troops behind a stand of trees. They'd have been concealed before, now they just got a cover save. Not what I was anticipating when I made the move.

So, one game vs. Gray Knights was a spectacular failure for the Tau. No 'Greater Good' came from it. I got to go first and didn't manage a single kill! Second game was vs. Dark Eldar. I one that game, but we made some mistakes that could have tipped the balance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Looking forward to Tomorrow's War

It is so hard to be at work, knowing for a fact that a brand new copy of Tomorrow's War is waiting for me at home to paw over. I have been looking forward to this release for quite awhile now. I have been reading through the Force on Force rules, which I understand to be very similar.

I am really running out of excuses to not painting my figures. I have plenty from Rebel Mini's to work with that I am excited about. Just need to get over this slump I am in.

I'll post some kind of review later after I have had time to digest the new book. Hopefully I will have painted something in the mean time too. I would really like to put some pics up for you all.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I couldn't help myself...

I placed another order with Rebel Mini's. I assume that my pile of lead isn't large enough to motivate me to paint more. (And the pile of 28mm lead and 6mm lead and 10mm lead is too overwhelming).

Maybe I am a 'collector' now. I love mini's. I used to paint all the time. Now I seem to struggle with motivation. Self motivation. Apathy. Depression? Probably. It's been a real struggle to get back on the 'hobby horse'.

My Rebel Minis Order:
Earth Force Marines Infantry
15mm Warlord Class Grav Tank
15mm Thumper Class Grav Tank
MATV Apache
MATV Comanche
Titan Marine Mk.II Recon HAMR Suit

I also placed an order with Splintered Light:
Armed Space Crew
Unarmed Space Crew

It looks like I should receive the Rebel Mini's order today. The Splintered Light order was out of stock, I got an email right away from them saying it would be about a week.

My prior order from Rebel Mini's was shipped right away and arrived quickly. It appears the same for my second order. I am pleased with Rebel Mike's service.

I have never seen an 15mm vehicle in person, so I am looking forward to getting off work tonight and checking the mail. I am really curious what they look like (size). I have heard many die-cast cars (matchbox, hotwheels) can be of similar size (but being more sized for the box, rather than a specific scale.) Seeing a model made specifically for 15mm would give me an idea of what to look for when I am at the toy store! I bought a matchbox Hummer and Toyota 4-runner that looked like they may pass for 15/18mm but when I got them home, they looked a little big. But, those are big trucks anyways... My 8 year old saw the trucks and wanted them for himself. I don't blame him.

I find myself continuing to ponder what colors to paint my FoW Germans. (Again, based individually, plans to play with Tomorrow's War). The only thing I know for sure is I don't want to go with the classic German color schemes. I am thinking of an urban camo scheme at the moment. I really need to just paint them and move on. I get stuck 'analyzing' and never get anything done. (I guess that's why I work as an analyst).

Ok, back to work I guess. (reading TMP and whatever else I can get away with at work).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hard to believe I haven't done anything here for a month.

I know I have procrastinated a bit lately, but didn't realize it had been a month! Oh how the time flies.

Okay, so since my last post, I had completely stripped the 8 figures I had been working on. I was not happy with how thick the sand was on the bases. The final soak I gave them got them looking good as new. Unfortunately, there was a casualty. One of the mini's lost the tip from his gun. I'll figure something to do with him later. He was a duplicate from the package anyways. I figure he is fodder for the conversion bin. Maybe use him to practice head swaps.

I assembled the rest of the mini's I had from that pack. I did apply sand, although I was planning on not doing so. The superglue I was using (zap-a-gap) was a bit thick so, I applied more than needed and stuck on the mini, the glue dried and helped form a slope from the models casting down to the washer. This made a smoother transition for the sand. I applied watered down PVA glue to the base and dipped in fine ballast. I did this for all the mini's then applied a layer of glue on top to seal it. There were a few that had some gaps in the sand, near the edges, that I was not happy about, so I just added a touch of glue and re-dipped in the ballast. I have 4 heavy weapon teams mounted on 32mm washers. I decided to add a some larger sand bits I have to break up the open areas on the sides.

After the bases were good and dry, I primed them with Army Painter White primer. I haven't used any Army Painter products before, so far it is working well. I have preferred GW Black Primer in the past, I was never happy with GW White primer, seemed inconsistent in quality.

So, I pulled my airbrush out of storage. (I have moved a lot over the past year so I haven't seen the poor thing.) Apparently, I must have been in a rush the last time I used it and forgot to clean it properly. No worries, I pulled the thing a part and set the pieces to soak. It didn't take long for everything to be sparkly clean. (I did get sidetracked and forgot about the parts for awhile, so they soaked for at least a week or two).  On the downside, I managed to lose a rubber gasket for the hose leading into the airbrush. So, I went to the local Hobby Lobby where I bought the brush to get a replacement. Turns out they sell replacement parts for every bit of the device except for that gasket. So, I had to buy a new hose (which includes the gasket). I probably could have gone to a hardware store and tried to match something up, but figured that I didn't have the patience to do that. Plus, I was already at Hobby Lobby and had what I needed in hand. Also, there was a chance my hose was ruined anyways as I caught my little dog playing with it. (It was not a happy day for me...)

Still frustrated with my lack of progress. I'm not sure what is wrong, but I get home from work feeling tired and lack motivation. I have a platoon of troops just waiting for paint. They are primed and ready. Airbrush is cleaned, parts replaced, everything is in working order. So, I only have myself to blame.

So, I am thinking maybe it is the subject matter that is sitting in front of me. I had bought these Flames of War mini's to test out 15mm, to see if I would like the scale, if I would enjoy painting them and playing games that size. Plus, it was the only thing local I could find. I got them on sale for around $10. Considering most places I would order mini's from, it would be at least $5 in shipping, it seemed like the best way to go. 24 Germans for $10 isn't a bad price either. I decided to place an order with Rebel Mini's, with the hopes that if I had sci-fi models in front of me, I would be more inclined to get them done.

Two things are slowing me down now. 1) I have these germans that are primed and ready. I have a feeling of need to finish them before I begin on my new models. Sort of like having to finish my vegetables before getting desert. 2) I had my boys for the weekend (this is a good thing), but it did distract me from painting. My boys will always come first, so I gladly set aside my hobby time for them. I only get to see them every other weekend, so I like to make my time with them count.

My rebel mini's order:

Titan Marines Infantry   
Titan Marines Command    
Titan Marines Heavy Weapons
15mm Black Widow MERCS    
Earth Force Command Pack  
Earth Force Marines Heavy  Weapons
15mm Post Apoc Survivalists
15mm Street Punks
15mm Goverment Types
15mm Hunter's Pack

I realized when the order arrived that I forgot to order Earth Force Marines. Oh well, an excuse to order more. I want to get some vehicles too. My eyes are bigger than my stomach, I really have got to finish something before I buy more. I no longer have the excuse of not having anything sci-fi to paint.

And Tomorrow's War will be out soon. I am running out of time to get a couple of forces ready to show off the game to some friends.

So, my goal for today is to get something done with my mini's when I get home from work. I may also be playing some Warhammer 40k tonight too... I am losing a lot of interest in the game, but it is what my friends are playing. I am happy they are leaning towards Warhammer Fantasy, but I look forward to the day they look past GW games (which I can see a hint in there eyes of doing so)

Okay, so I am at work, so I better get back to work. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Frustrated and starting over

okay, so i got to work on my 15mm mini's. It has been a good learning experience, but I had one fatal mistake from the beginning. I am not happy with the way the sand built up on the bases. It's probably due to the use of superglue. I never used super glue before to adhere sand, but I was a bit nervous about it not sticking to the metal washer (i am used to plastic bases). I am also not used to the bump up the mini's base has on top of the washer. I tried to be careful. I think the super glue must have been absorbed into the sand causing the layer above to stick. This made the sand layer up pretty thick and go well over the feet of the mini's. I just wasn't happy.
I intend to get a good process start-to-finish, before I buy the mini's I really wanted. (I got these Flames of War Germans cheap at a local store when I used to live in Washington State). So, i dunked them in acetone for a little while and scrubbed them clean. I normally wouldn't have used acetone, but I wanted to break down the superglue holding all the sand on. So far so good. I've got them down to bare metal and a little bit of sand remaining. They are in their 'final soak' right now. Later today I plan to get them finished up. Washed (soap and water), dried thoroughly (probably enjoy some sunshine). and then back to the paint table.

For attempt number 2 I plan to NOT put sand on until the model is completed. I will NOT use super glue for the sand. I am hoping that a roughed up washer with a little primer on it will give enough hold with PVA glue for the sand. I probably worried for nothing, I should put my paranoia energy towards something better, like the aliens that steal my underwear at night. Damn them...

I also plan to use my airbrush to lay down my initial base color.

It really shouldn't take a long time to paint these little guys up. I think I am spending too much time thinking of the details (which leads to procrastination). I also know that I will not be taking these to any award shows. (I have pride in my work and like a well painted model, but they don't all have to be 'winners'). I have to balance patience, lack of attention span, quality and quantity. I believe that if I can produce good looking models at a decent pace, I am more likely to return to the paint table sooner.

I had thought about mounting the models in a row on a craft stick but I really had no problem holding onto the mini by its washer base. I suppose if I hadn't mounted them on the washers, I'd try the craft sticks.

Well, more later. (no pics this time since the stripping of mini's is not that exciting to look at.)

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some progress 21 Aug 2011

Okay, so I managed to get some painting in yesterday and today. I experimented with my wet palette.

Wet Palette...  where have you been all my life!!!

I loved how the paint stayed wet on the paper the whole time I painted. It was as if the paper new just exactly how much to thin my paint and to keep it that consistency the whole time! I absolutely loved not having to re-wet my paint or to have to go back to the paint pot for more. I am certain I would have used 2-3 times more paint, for the short amount of time that I was painting. In addition, it is still wet inside my sealed container! I look forward to seeing the results of that tomorrow. This will change a lot in the ways I paint. If I can just sit down, open my palette and get 15-20 minutes done and then seal it up... it will be easier (for me) to accomplish more during the week, when I don't have the time to devote to multiple hours of painting.

I find that every time I sit down to paint, I feel better overall about painting and more excited to get more done. It has been a hard slump to get over. I had gotten so burnt out on "The Hobby" that is has been a difficult road of recovery. Fortunately, the medicine is to paint more!!! :)

So, yes I am still on the same 8 mini's pictured earlier in my blog. Difference is, they are almost done being blocked in (faces, guns and accessories remain). Shade and highlight will go quick and the sand on the base is already painted. Need highlight for the sand and then a little flock to mix it up. I can see the end of this project drawing near. My reward? Go buy some excellent mini's from Rebel Minis, Khurasan and Critical Mass. I've also got my eye on some over seas companies like Ground Zero Games (where I plan to also get some Full Thrust ships!)

Oh, I also made a mental break through today. Nothing I didn't know before, but some knowledge has to be reacquired as you get older... (and suffer from some burn out). So, at the start of this blog (1 month ago), I had begun my first 15mm scale models. I have done 6mm, 10mm, 25mm, 28mm, 54mm, etc.... So, when I first started, I looked at the little guy and thought, oh... it's just a small 28mm. Sort of like painting a goblin or some other shorter mini. No... What I should have thought was, oh these are like Warmaster (10mm) only a little bigger! This would have saved me some hassle. Once I changed my mindset, the mini's started painting up a lot quicker.

Okay, off to eat some spaghetti and hopefully paint some more tonight! I realize I need to get some pictures up.