Monday, September 16, 2013

Dirt Nap and Tubby Castings.

The final two zombies have been cast and will soon be shipped to supporters of the Zombie Plague Miniatures Kickstarter. These are Dirt Nap who was buried in the flower garden by his panicked wife, Tubby. Unfortunately after being bitten by her husband she soaked for far too long in the tub.

Once these have been shipped to supporters they will be made available for general purchase.

Friday, September 13, 2013

THI Utility Industrial Power Frame Painted.

I took a couple of hours today and painted the THI suit from Sedition Wars. Although I still think there has been some overreaction against the material these minis are made from I can honestly say now that I'm not in love with the stuff. After painting there are still a ton of moldlines visible even though I didn't see them before it was primed. This is disappointing since I really like the design of this suit.

I'm still not unhappy with my decision to support the Sedition Wars Kickstarter but I also wish that this material was easier to deal with. C'est la guerre.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sedition Wars Gnosis Battlesuit and THI Utility Power Frame First Impressions.

I got my second, and I believe final, box of minis from the Sedition Wars Kickstarter today and spent a little time tonight putting together two of my favorite miniatures from the set, the THI Utility Power Frame and the Gnosis Battlesuit Kara Black. 

I love armored suits so I was really looking forward to these. And I'm not disappointed by them in the least.

There has been a lot of downright anger towards Cool Mini or Not and Studio McVey about the Sedition Wars Kickstarter that seems to be at boiling point on some of the forums that I frequent. Part of it is unhappiness with the material that these miniatures are cast in and part of it is accusations of miscasting and overall shoddy production.

The material complaint really seems to come from the fact that these miniatures are made from a plastic that doesn't clean up the same way as styrene or more traditional resin. The mold lines need to be cut off using a hobby knife since they don't want to scrape off as easily as they would with styrene. This is not a satisfactory method since it takes far longer than scraping and still leaves a lot of fuzzy plastic around the moldline.

I have found that using a fine bristled brass brush takes away a lot of this frustration and combined with basic scraping with the edge of a hobby knife can really make a nice clean miniature. Vigorous brushing with a brass brush removes any fuzzy bits and smoothes the line even further without destroying any detail on the mini. These miniatures do seem to take a bit more time to clean than other materials but I think that part of that is just getting used to them. I also used a fine sanding stick to further smooth them.

I went through the other miniatures included in this set and didn't find any that I would describe as miscast or incomplete. Yes some of them had a good amount of flash on them but using the method I've described really helps get them ready to paint. And I am really looking forward to painting these.

The miniatures industry is in a massive growth spurt and with all of the Kickstarter campaigns, all of the promises, and all of the disappointments it is easy to forget how amazing this hobby is currently. We are in a golden age.

There is always a place for solid criticism and trying to make things better. But the level of anger that I've seen towards this project seems disproportionate to the actual situation and just gets in the way of enjoying our hobby. And that seems very counterproductive when we're all just trying to have fun.

The Gnosis suit without the Kara Black head.

With a GW Space Marine.

I always see flash that I missed when I take close-up shots. Rats.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fantasy Modeling #6

Sadly I post the final issue of the excellent 1980s hobby magazine Fantasy Modeling. This one is a doozy featuring two articles by my spirit ancestor Andrew P. Yanchus, space ship building on a budget, building a spray booth and other great stuff. Read it slowly, soak it in, for it's the last of the good stuff.

5 Editorial
6 Space Age Modeling on a Budget
12 Beauty in The Beast
18 Star Wars Mini Rigs
22 Computer Gaming Part 2
26 All Weather Spray Booth
28 Converting Non-Flyers
32 The Beast Bust
36 Horses of a Different Color
38 Building The Ark of Space
42 Points to Remember
43 Reader's Photo Page
44 The Competitive Edge
46 Odds and Ends
48 Collectables

Fantasy Modeling #6 -  

And be sure to check out the other five issues:
Fantasy Modeling Issue 1
Fantasy Modeling Issue 2
Fantasy Modeling Issue 3
Fantasy Modeling Issue 4
Fantasy Modeling Issue 5

Quick Imperial City Base.

I've been playing Fantasy Flight's Relic lately and really love the character pawns it uses. So I boiled up some Instant Mold and made a quick casting of the Ultramarine pawn. This was stuck to a base and Celluclay used to fill in around it. Then sand, "rubble rock", and a couple of Imperial Guard bits. Rubble rock is Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty that I put in a coffee grinder and then sieve into various grades. It looks a lot like exploded brick rubble and works well for urban themed bases.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Painting a Reaper Bones C'thulhu.

While I'm waiting to get the last of the Zombie Plague minis wrapped up I decided to get my painting chops back by tackling a Reaper Bones C'thlhu mini. I traded this with a buddy for the soon to arrive Riddick figure from Sedition Wars so I made out like a bandit. Now I just need to get Ol' Squid Head painted up.

First off I did some reading about how to paint Bones and as is often the case I got several different opinions about how best to handle it. Some said no priming was necessary, some said to prime with certain plastic friendly spray-paints, some said to only prime with acrylics etc. I decided to go with brush priming with acrylics since too many times aerosol enamels will make this type of vinyl tacky and never completely dry. I've had this problem while trying to repaint toys and wanted to avoid it at all costs, even if it meant brush priming. I washed to pieces thoroughly with Lestoil and let them dry overnight.

I hate brush priming. Even with two coats I kept getting small divots where the paint didn't want to adhere. But I finally got a solid base of black down and let this completely dry.

I decided to not be overly precious about how I painted Mr. C'thulhu and instead went with what seemed right at the time. I let myself quit worrying and just enjoyed myself. I think the paint job turned out better because I wasn't being overly fussy.

Painting was a few layers of drybrushing followed by copious layers of Citadel Washes. I used a 1" hog bristle brush to create mottled skin coloration, especially on the head and 

Black primer with a damp-brush of Scorched Brown.
Damp-brush of Orkhide Shade.
Dry-brush with Orkhide Shade lightened with Khaki and then White.
Washes of Thraka Green, Agrax Earthshade, Reikland Fleshshade, and Leviathan Purple. On the flat smooth areas this was stippled with a bristle brush to create a subtle patterning.
Otherwise I didn't highlight things to too many levels, maybe three maximum.
I tended to drybrush far too much and then knock it back with washes/glazes. This creates a depth that I like. I'm doing something like a dip method but just trying to control it more. It's fast, fun, and effective. 

Right out of the box.

All ready for color.

The base.
First few layers of washes.

Painting the head was easier with it separate.
More layers of washes and some detailing.

Comparison with Horror Clix Great Cthulhu, Reaper Eldritch God,  and Little Cthulhu.