Archive for the ‘Workbench’ Category

Ogre Kingdom ButcherOk – I really don’t like this model. I already have a butcher model but felt I needed a second one for my army. I bought this one on sale at Dueling Grounds last year, so it was the right price for a model I kind of resented having to use.

The kit comes with 3 variable right arms, and 3 heads. The first butcher I assembled used the best of these, and since I didn’t want an identical 2nd model, I had to use the sub-standard options: butt-ugly head, and poorly sculpted (very rough) poorly fitting cleaver arm. I even had an above average amount of putty work to do.

But he’s done now. Maybe I’ll revisit him in the future and give him a second chance at painting love, but GW really screwed up on this model. It was rushed out the door, and it shows.

Ogre Kindom Butcher
Points on the table: 130     Time to paint: 5hrs(!) (assemble, putty, paint)

Warhammer GiantThis model is a fantastic kit. I remember when it came out – I bought one that week. And since then it’s been sitting around – fully assembled and primed – until I finally decided to “recruit” it for my Skaven army.

Of course the Warhammer giant is usable in many armies – my Skaven, Ogres and TK can use one. (Remember kids, the giant is essentially a Dogs of War model, and the rules for it allow for its inclusion into almost a half dozen Warhammer armies.)

I’ll admit that a giant can be problematic to include in an army. These guys draw a lot of fire and can fight unpredictably. But they’re a terror bomb when you need one, can fight exceedingly well, and just plain look good on the table. Stubborness helps. Jumping up and down helps.

Warhammer Giant FrontThis guy was painted in about 10hrs. While I paint I always leave the pots I used next to my model – it helps me remember what colours I used, and its fun to count up how many were used when I’m finally complete. This guy needed 21 different colours and washes. That’s probably a record for me. It’s very tempting to paint the giant in whacky colours – he’s got detrious from several armies strapped to his body: lizardmen skins on one arm, Bretonnian and Empire shields on the other. It’s obvious he’s scavenged equipment from all over. But in the end I decided to keep his acquisitions in the red and green colour groupings. This would help keep him under colour control, but it also matched the accent colours on my Skaven and OK models.

Overall I love the model, but I particularly like the contrast he adds to any army I might field.
Warhammer Giant
Points on the table: 205     Time to paint: 10hrs

painting-table

Battlemind painting table overview

Here’s a pic of my painting table at the moment. I have a unit of 6 Iron Fang Pikemen on the go – almost complete. There’s also a unit of 6 Doom Reavers too. The reason I’m doing these guys now is my new interest in playing Khador with the MkII rules – otherwise I’d probably have some more Trollbloods done, or be farther along on my new Hardrim army for LotR SBG.

The 10mm guys at the back of the mat are from Battle of Five Armies – I’ve based the goblins up for DBA as Hordes elements, so there’s quite alot of them to paint yet.

I have 2 glazed ceramic palettes that I use for painting. Only 1 is shown, and when it needs cleaning I swap it out for the other one, and clean them simultaneously. These palettes are awesome – but they have to be ceramic if you’re using acrylic paint. When they’re clogged with dried paint, as always happens after a few days of painting, I’ll take them downstairs and soak them in a pot of hot water for about an hour. The water penetrates the paint and you can easily lift it off when you clean the palette – usually just by scraping it with your fingernails. The paint lifts in the same flat puddles it dried in. If there’s any white glue on the palette, it too comes off in a blob. Then they’re like new – ready to use again.

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Battlemind painting table closeup

Here’s a closeup of the minis I’m currently working on. You can see a few Haradrim spearmen in the mix too.

My painting station is where I spend most of my “gaming” hobby time. I get hundreds of miniatures painted a year because it’s an efficient table to work at:

  1. It’s always setup
  2. The paint rack at the back makes it easy to find the colours I need, or remind me what I even have available
  3. The lighting is 50/50 yellow and daylight bulbs, so I’m looking at accurate colour while I paint.
  4. My models are stuck onto film canisters for easy access with a brush – no chance of touching the figures.
  5. Paintbrush roundabout holds my most frequently used brushes, x-acto blades, tweezers – even a tooth brush
  6. Toothbrush – here’s a tip – you know when you’re flashing plastic and you get little plastic bits sometimes clinging to the model? Use a toothbrush and brush the area. The plastic falls off. And yes, the toothbrush is clean – it was bought specifically for modelling, and doesn’t have to have hard bristles. It does not scratch the plastic.

Leave me a comment if you have a question! Now get back to work.

My Favourite Primer

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Workbench

100_1344-primer1I was asked again on the weekend what primer I preferred for prepping my minis. Many gamers have many suggestions, and mine is DUPLI-COLOR SANDABLE PRIMER. Flat black of course.

Why? After many years of priming, I grew tired of GW’s black primer – it was the most expensive (by about 200%!), and each time I bought a can, it was hit and miss as to whether it was going to work smoothly or spatter its paint. Then I was told the new “Chaos Black” can wasn’t primer at all, but just black paint. They’d been forced to remove their primer for health reasons.

Pros: Dupli-Color is $7 at Canadian Tire, has more paint in it (340g) than most others, and, because it’s an automotive primer, you can bet it sprays on smooth. I’ve tried many other rust paints and primers, but this one’s the best. It also has a lever button top – I’d never seen anything like it. The spray-button at the top of this can is easier to depress than a regular can, because it’s levered. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but when I spray-bomb minis, I often do a dozen or more at once, and button fatigue sets in. Your index finger becomes tired, and you’re not spraying properly anymore – spackling can start.

Cons: Smelly, but no more than most. It’s also a very fine mist for black – wear a mask if you’ve got one.

Go out and get one, and give it a try. GW cans are only 280g, to Dupli-Color’s 340g, and Dupli-Color is half the price! (BTW – For white primer I use GW’s Skull White spray. Ya it’s expensive, but the spray is the finest mist you can get – and because it coats quickly, a 290g can lasts longer than their black.)

100_1319-dwarves-on-trayThis past weekend I received my War of the Ring rule book – yay! But I’d already bought some WotR movement trays weeks ago to use with the skirmish game. Why? They’re an awesome way to move your men around in the SBG game’s early phases, and help speed things up. When you’re too close to the enemy to use them, you start removing your models and splitting them up as necessary.

So, crazy me, I started painting these trays, because I know they’re going to get a lot of use whether I play WotR or not. WARNING: DON’T DO WHAT I DID!! Here’s what happened to the 6 trays I bought:

1 – I glued fine ballast to their tops (like I do with all my models, as pictured above)
2 – I spray-bombed them black (this adds an additional adhesive to the ballast)
3 – I drybrushed the ballast (like I always do)
4 – I painted the edges and some interior well tops brown (like always) and allow to dry
5 – Flock with static grass – done!
6 – Reinsert models into tray and display on shelf – ACK! THEY DON’T FIT!?

WHY?! Because, after you’ve gone through all this work, chances are a couple of things have happened:
1 – Your rock or flock has gotten inside the tray wells, and because they were a perfect fit to begin with, they no longer fit (even by 2mm).
2 – Your spray paint and final colour paint are too thick inside the well to allow a fit without scratching the well’s interior

So I started reaming the tray wells with an Xacto knife and making sure each circumference was clear of debris. But because I’ve glued everything so well (remember there’s a black primer over all the ballast too), the rocks and what-not come off in big chunks; and now I’ve got exposed gray plastic everywhere and chunks of crap all over everything.

Here’s what I’m doing in the future
1 – Glue ballast to the tops, but use sand and/or ream every interior well before the glue dries
2 – Use static grass sparingly in my final step.

Let’s face it,  the model bases in the trays do most of the work of decorating them. Be sparing with the tray’s own decoration and you won’t have the problems I did. You’ve been warned…

Realm of Battle Board is Complete

Posted: April 6, 2009 in Workbench
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realm-of-battle-boardJust under 3 weeks ago I convinced Jordan of Jeff’s Cards & Comics, to let me paint up his Realm of Battle Board from GW. He had bought one as soon as it came out, and set it up for all to see in the store. Cool. But it was always just gray plastic. Now it’s complete!

Along with the board tiles, (I’ve only photographed the 4 hill tiles) he had purchased the Citadel Scenery Painting Pack – a simple kit of two colours of brown, 2 colours of static grass, a bottle of PVA glue and a 2″ brush. This kit is more than enough to get the board painted and flocked, although I did use my own greys for the rocks and broken ground. (And of course the skulls.) I don’t know what to think of the main brown – it’s a very red brown. Fancy having a battle of good vs. evil at a beach on Prince Edward Island?! Use this brown…

I squeezed all the PVA into a mason jar, and mixed it with an equal amount of water. I used almost all of that mixture doing the patchwork grasses. I used probably half of the dark brown painting the 6 tiles, and almost all of the lighter ochre drybrushing them. There’s mounds of static grass left over – scorched grass is the main darker green – and the bright green is almost half gone. I poured these grasses into tupperware containers so I could shake them out onto the tiles – it worked perfectly – and when you’re done, the containers store the grass for future projects. You’ll be using it for years.

Since Jordan had supplied me with the Scenery Painting Pack, I followed the directions to use it to the letter, and it turned out great! I think. I hope he likes it. If it were mine, I’d probably put some more time into the rocks and details, but it looks pretty good right now – and definitely better than gray plastic. I encourage anyone who has one of these things to spray it with a sealer afterwards – it’ll make the paint more scuff resistant, and the grasses cling longer. That’s been my experience with my own flocking projects, for sure.

Oh and clipping the tiles together? (Which I hear is a major pain.) Just set the tiles up on a blanket or cloth or something. When they’re all pushed together, the bottoms will grab the non-slippery surface, and they won’t come apart during play.

Realm of Battle Board
Points on the table: 0 – it is the table    Time to completion: 10hrs (includes priming)

100_1212-table-Dec08-08Here’s a look at what I’m currently working on as of today:
• 1 assembled Mordor troll – ready for priming
• 6 wargs for LotR – unprimed plastics to the right are the riders
• 1 Dwarvish captain
• 10 ships of an Uncharted Seas Dwarf fleet

I’ve gotten alot of LotR miniatures painted recently, as my renewed interest in the game has demanded it. I’ve been playing with William of Hatton at my local FLGS, and we’ve split 2 close games. Unfortunately, if I want to keep some variety in my forces, I need more men to do it; as I have about 500pts of good and evil fully painted. The wargs and the 2nd Troll will lend interesting add-ons to my bad guys – as I’ve never played a game with 2 trolls ever, and the wargs – well… I rarely ever play with fast troops. I think I’ve used cavalry once in all my LotR games. They do make the game much more interesting, as cavalry are much taller than men, and can simply stride over obstacles that most models must roll to climb successfully.

The overexposed white blob is a white-primed Dwarf cruiser – my prototype paint job for my Uncharted Seas Dwarvish fleet. I’m pretty sure it’ll be finished by the end of the day – stay tuned…