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.
for
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.

Thanks

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wet Palette

I am going to give the 'wet palette' technique a try this weekend. I purchased some easy to find supplies at the store this week, based on recommendations I found all over the web.

  • Simple roll of paper towels, plain white
  • Baking parchment paper
  • Small plastic, low profile, container. Resealable.
  • Empty squeeze bottle
I'll post up some pictures when I get it done and a review of the process. Worse case, I am out a couple of bucks.

I am still working on the same 8 mini's. It's not a matter of speed or technique, just motivation. I do want to get these done so I can justify buying more!!

A side note. This is the first real post for my blog, on Blogger.com. I just completed the port from 6sided.net. So far, I am happier with blogger.com. I haven't dug into the fine details yet, but editing seems easier and I like the idea of connectivity with Facebook and other programs. It also ties in better with the blogs I follow, which are primarily on blogger.com


Shawn

Monday, August 15, 2011

30 minutes plus contemplating new paint

I got a little work done yesterday (Sunday). I painted the pants on 8 mini’s plus painted the base of one of them. Not a lot, but it’s more than the whole last week.

I got a little disappointed when I opened some of my paint pots and found them nearly empty or dried out. Almost all of my GW Foundation paints are useless. I wonder if the newer style paint pots aren’t as good as the previous. Most of my paints are GW with the screw on / flip top bolter shell style pot from about 2004-05. Those ones are fine, just upset about the foundation paints. Oh well, I wasn’t all that impressed by them anyways, but had looked forward to using some of the colors.

So, now that it is getting near time to start replacing paints, I am considering my options. Unfortunately, where I live there is little in the way of hobby stores. (about an hour drive). Sampling different brands will be difficult. Other than my foundation paints drying out, I’ve not had trouble with GW paints. I have noticed the newer bottles seem to be the same as the foundation, so that worries me a little. My mind is leaning towards Vallejo paints. 1) they have a selection of colors that match GW paints (game color). 2) I kinda like the idea of a dropper, but have had practical experience with it. 3) There are a lot more colors available beyond the GW color range.

Shawn

Friday, August 5, 2011

Still around

I haven’t gotten to the paint table in awhile. I just started work again on Monday and the same day my grandfather passed away. I keep meaning to paint some more, but have lacked the energy. Ever find yourself painting in your sleep / your dreams? I could get a lot done that way… oh well. Here’s hoping I get something done and some pictures to post by this weekend.

Shawn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Messing with settings

Frustrated by last nights camera failure, I decided it was time to mess with the settings and see if I could figure out something. This camera had to be able to do a better job. I read some threads on TMP and followed some suggestions there.

I brought a florescent desk lamp out to provide better lighting. I also removed the white background. Normally, I paint with black primer. I figure the white primed models on a white background was a recipe for disaster. I set the camera to its lowest ISO setting. I played with the white balance until it looked right. Then there was an exposure option with 3 settings. I didn’t know what they meant, but that’s not the kind of thing that would stop me. :)  The first two, of course, didn’t help much. On the third, a neat little thing happened, no idea what it’s purpose was, but a little cursor went tracing around the models when I held the button down to focus. I let it run around for a little bit and then took the picture. I am guessing it was doing some kind of range finding to determine distance to the models. That’s my guess anyways. Here are the results:

Thanks,
Shawn

I thought I had a good camera


…it’s sad that my camera phone out performed. I don’t know what went wrong… I noticed this camera didn’t have a macro size function, like my old camera had. Sad that a newer camera is worse than the one it replaced…. but more so that the camera phone did better.

Any advice on mini photography is appreciated. I know I could do better with lighting, I didn’t go to a lot of effort when I set up this shot.

I didn’t get as much work done in the past few days as I would have liked, but I did spend a lot of quality time with my boys which is always far more important.

Anyways, I managed to prime my mini’s and I put a light brown wash on them to make the details pop out. I probably won’t bother with that step in the future, but for the first time painting 15mm, I wanted a good eye on where the details were, that and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.

Here’s the crappy pic my camera took:



Feeling sad about my camera now… I had put some effort into picking this one out, but I wasn’t considering mini’s at the time. Maybe it’s just a low battery. Before I give up on the camera, I am going to try a little harder tomorrow with better lighting and backdrop. I researched a little on TMP and have some ideas.
Thanks,
Shawn

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

25 July 2011


I made some progress today, but not as much as I hoped. Although, trying to maintain at least an hour a day has yielded a lot more than I was getting before.

Today I cleaned up 8 models and mounted them on washers. This is my first time working with 15mm, so I am learning as I go. I like to experiment so we will see what kind of techniques I develop. I did do a lot of reading on The Miniatures Page and several of the members blogs and had some ideas going in.

I played around with my Dremel to see if I could shave down the thickness of the bases, as I didn’t want too much of a lump between the base and the models feet. I had put a sticker on the bottom of the washer and filled the hole in with Spackle. Probably not necessary but for some reason I just don’t like the idea of the whole. In the future, I think I will get bases from Lithko. Then again, washers are easy to get at the store and do add a little weight to the model.

When I applied my super glue it ran a little wider than I had expected on the washer. I figured this would be okay, as it might set up a little, providing a slope between the washer and the models feet. Of course, My ADHD wouldn’t allow me to just wait and see if that worked. I dipped the model in sand. I liked the way it worked, so I added a llittle more glue to bring the sand to the edges of the washer and dipped again. I also ran a nice thin line of glue on the flat part of the models base. I am happy with the results.

Tomorrow, I am going to scrape of any bits of sand I don’t like and then prime the models. Hopefully I will have at least 4 painted up if not all 8.

Below is pictures of my progress. Pics aren’t very good, they came from the camera phone. My real camera is out in the car and I didn’t want to bother with going out to get it.









Thanks for looking,
Shawn

Sunday, July 24, 2011

24 July 2011

I got a little work done today. It doesn’t seem like much when I look at my work table. I began prep work on some 15mm Germans. I am basing them individually and am mounting them on 3/4″ washers. I spent some time gathering and organizing my hobby tools (remember, I just moved, so most everything is in boxes.)

Tomorrow I plan to have these mini’s based, primed and hopefully some paint on them. I have 20 mini’s to do, I am going to paint them in sets of 4. If I get 4 completed tomorrow I will put up some pics.
Until then…

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's a start...


Please read the About me section for a little more on me.

A friend of mine once said, “It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you dedicate just one hour a day to The Hobby”. This was in reference to painting Warhammer models.

I have lost touch with my hobby for a number of years now. This was a result of a path in life I chose.

I had become burnt out on war-games. I had built some Tyranids back in 2006 and painted a few of them. By 2007 I assembled and base colored a 10-man squad of space marines. I had also started playing D&D again, a campaign that lasted about a year. It was good to make new friends since moving to the Midwest.

Unfortunately, my life would take an unexpected twist. The next few years were chaos as my marriage fell apart. Aspects of work and social life began to crumble. Okay, enough of that part of the story, back to my hobby. By late 2009 I assembled, and began painting about 1000pts of Space Marines (Salamanders Chapter). I had also found another gaming group and started playing D&D and Savage Worlds. It was also in this time that I played a war-game since 2005!

It was also in this time that my life would take another twist. I would never have expected to meet someone so soon after my leaving my first wife. So, my hobby took the back seat again as I explored this new relationship, got married, moved back to the Pacific Northwest and a year later moved back to the Midwest… again.

I did manage to introduce my new wife to gaming, we’ve played a few role-playing games together (Savage Worlds and D&D). She has also taken some interest in painting miniatures, but has not yet. Our living situation back west did not make gaming or painting easy.

So, here I am. Settled back down in the Midwest, ready to get back into my hobby.

I’ve got a pack of mini’s sitting on my table ready to be opened up. I unpacked my paints on last Tuesday. I still need to find the box with my other modelling tools. My goal is to put something together tomorrow, post some pics and tell you all about it. Ultimately, I aspire to the ‘hour a day’ philosophy. We will see.
:)