Thursday 31 July 2014

Red Planet Basing pt2.

Over the course of the last few months I've done a lot of basing of miniatures and thought it was an opportunity to show some the process from start to finish. I've made referrence to my Red Planet Basing tutorial many times but that tutorial didn't feature much in the way of step-by-step so I'd hoped to address that deficiency with a new tutorial. In truth the pictures aren't great but it may yet be of benefit to thos ewishing to replicate the surface of Mars or Ferron Proxima itself.

To complete the process you will need a tube of Vermillion Artists Acrylic [ignore the Yellow Mid] I get mine for Home & Bargain for £1 and it's great stuff.

You will also need a bottle of docrafts Artiste craft acrylic Pumpkin flavoured erm, coloured. You'll also need various washes equivalent to the late great Devlan Mud or Badab Black, I use Army Painters range because it's the same stuff, cheaper, still available and doesn't screw up your miniatures if the batch of 'shade' is deffective.

Now there are two methods to doing these bases that should bring about the same results, heres the first one

This particular group of bike bases is made using my patented mix of 'sharp sand'. This will kill your brushes to paint as it is indeed sharp but I've still got a massive bag in the shed so I sift and graade it for a variety grain sizes. As the bases are separate I sprayed these with Red Oxide car primer.

Because the car primer is darker than starting with Vermillion I wash these with the Devlan Mud equivalent wash. You could try a thinned down paint but we all now washes are the bomb and work better but certainly on a big base or piece of terrain I would opt for a watered paint.

Once the wash is dry you drybrush with the Vermillion.

You then mix Vermillion and Pumpkin 1:1 and drubrush again.

Finally a very light drybrush of Pumkin.

Then you need to pick out individual grains with Bonewhite. Try to look for interesting ones, having a mixed grade of basing material helps here. It's always good to target those grains that are surrounded by more visible shades as the contrast between dark and Bonewhite is more effective. Be very careful not to do too much and make sur ethe individual grains are not too large. You're aiming to make the base more interesting, with a bit of variety not overshadow the model.

This base for 'Pestilence' follows the same principles - Red Oxide

Shadow wash

First highlight Vermillion.

Second highlight Vermillion/Pumpkin 1:1

Add the Bonewhite chips.

Finish off by Mechrite Red [or equivalent - 3 coats of Vallejo Heavy red] and some yellow Autumn Flock from Gale Force 9 [yeah the colours look way different!]

The alternative method of painting is usually when base and model are already attached. In this case you paint the base with Vermillion, sometime adding some water, the craft acrylic is a thick paste. Adding water helps the paint flow into the crevices in the sand, be careful though, adding water may dilute your PVA if it has not dried completely. This will result in a gloopy sandy red mess. Once the Vermillion is dry, usually overnight the proces is the same but the wash will be a Badab Black equivalent. As the base is much brightes you will need a darker wash to tone it down.

Once dry add your Highlights as before and pick out the bonewhite chips.

Add flock, usually in the cracks and crevices. Vegetation will naturally occur in these places and they will likely stick better to the PVA if it's not on open ground. This bit is fiddly but it's worth it.

Pick out any other details on the base, this Hive Node also has gloss varnish applied to the tentacles. it's a small thing, possibly unnoticed by many but I know it's there so it's worth doing.

Apologies again for the inconsistent photography. I may well do another set in good lighting with my digital camera so you have an accurate record, but not before I do my Brown Basing guide, that I used on these guys:

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Armies on Parade board 2014 - Project X continues [just a little bit]

It seems my embryonic Armies on Parade board is worthy of a few extra views. Now if I'm honest I've taken far more pictures than I'll be showing but it doesn't do to show all my cards at this point. What I will do is show you that the base is now complete and I spent a bit more time ensuring all the support struts on the back drop were properly aligned and pre-drilled for the screws.

In the end I added another couple of screws in the back instead of dowling rods, to secure the left hand wall. It takes a bit longer to put together, and there will no doubt be some DiY on the day to put all the pieces in place but a quick buzz with my electric screwdriver will have it in shape. 

So I've got the time done so far and it's about 6 hours so far [I've recorded them all on the back of the pieces, just don't have them to hand], still seems a lot for not much progress but again, it's the measuring. What is disturbing is the wife has already cottoned onto the project. I'd dismantled everything and it was in the same space occupied as the insulation foam used in the construction so I didn't think she'd notice in the garage, particularly as she'd been at work for most of the days I've been constructing. However she went and asked me "what are those wood things in the garage?" To which I had to confess - "a new display board". 

One issue is I'll be starting shaping the walls next and to make it look effective I need to add as well as take away to each fascia but if I add then storage is more difficult as added elements will 'stand proud' instead of allowing it to lie flat. This then is the next stumbling block to progress and why there are only two pics to show. This did give me the impetus to finish off the 'not Pyrovore' and press on with the Dark Vengeance Tactical Squad so I'll take whatever motivation I get in those directions, even if it's borne from a creative block.

Additionally I've been thinking some of the other decorations and there are a number of technical hurdles I need to overcome. Once again I'm thinking of transparency effects and once again I'm struggling to reconcile how to achieve them, and to do so cost effectively. I've since found out that there is no National Armies on Parade event. It will NOT be part of the new Warhammerfest, so although I think AoP is about taking part I had always hoped to go on to the Nationals and not win, but perhaps take one of the 2nd or 3rd places.

Of course with that not happening there is less incentive to go completely OTT but there are still some things I want to explore. I just have to weigh up whether solving them is entertainment for me or is the specific effect I'm hoping to achieve too much hassle and ultimately resort to what I'm familiar with [you see you don't need to use the phrase 'comfort zone'] and just sculpt clay. If only there was a transparent medium with same properties as clay, or even Milliput - a maleable epoxy resin instead of a liquid one...

Sunday 27 July 2014

Dark Angels - Watcher in the Dark

A lot of my hesitancy about painting some of the more fun characters is my problem with cloaks. So far anything cloth has come out a bit pants, which would be good if I was painting pants I suppose but in this case I'm not and it sucks. I really wanted to do dark cloaks but given my lack of success I decided to just go with the prescribed GW colours of Bonewhite because I know I can get that look down.
So I painted this little guys cloak in one sitting, and his little red sash.

I'm really glad I added some liquid Green Stuff to the edge of that cloak, so it looks like it's draping over the side of the boulder he's standing on.

Shadows may be a little OTT but I'm quite chuffed.

Wings on the Lion Helm are going to be red, tie it in a little with the base, need to do the eyes and the Dark Angels green on the helm and his boot. 

I'm amazed I spent an entire evening on a model is worth practically zero points in my army, but it was fun to do and you go with the flow, right? Then again he could be the Watcher holding the Perfidious Relic, what's that 20, 30pts? Not a total waste of time ;) 

Friday 25 July 2014

Dark Angels - Watcher in the Dark and his mates

Micro blog alert - this is my Watcher in the Dark conversion for Azrael, holding the Lion Helm.

All the Tactical Marines from Dark Vengeance, plus Rogue Trader Devastators and some assorted characters.

In particular my Azrael conversion from the Dark Vengeance Chapter Master in the background and Asmodai, who I got because I loved the idea of his two melee weapons - the Crozius giving +2 [or is it +1 Strength] and the Blades of reason causing Instant Death, with two assault weapons that's 3 attacks ont he charge! Then after ordering him I only went and found out he can only choose one of those weapons to fight with, which seems a bit rubbish but that's my 'nid hat on.

Also my Techmarine is on the go, because apparently every Dark Angel force should have one.

Foolishly though I've bought Asmodai, when I could have used my Limited Edition Chaplain and I got a Techmarine when I already have a Rogue Trader one, I love the model though, although the back-pack is a bit of a nightmare. I do think though, given I have a number of chaplains that a Dark Angel force could use them as their Veteran squad, half a dozen Chaplains on the rampage would look cool, and I have my tiny RT Chaplain hiding out in one of the pictures too.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

'nids part 149 - Not a Pyrovore

I don't know if this fella ever showed up in the background of any other WiP photos but in typical 40kaddict fashion when in doubt - paint a Tyranid! This Pyrovore, which I got from Otty about a year ago to use as a Biovore has been sat on the table for quite a while. Initially this was because I didn't want him on a 60mm and he's too big for a 40mm. Now I know there's 'legal' issues with putting him on the correct sized base [i.e. the one it comes with] but as far as I'm concerned this model fits a 50mm base, so that's what he went on. And really the basing issue mainly comes down to assault [although being hit by blasts is another issue...] and Biovores hardly ever get into assault.

There were some issues with the super glue breaking and needing to be reposed and pinned which delayed his progress but eventually he was primed and ready to go. I'd painted the base, alongside all the Dark Vengeance marines and then in a burst of activity did the Bonewhite and Chitin [DoCraft Bahama Blue] just because.

Then I went and did all the washes and unusually did the Bonewhite highlight first. I always tend to do the Chitin first but there's nothing like messing with your process to keep things fresh.

It's really weird just to do one model, quite satisfying though. I enjoyed doing the 4 Horsemen but that was 4 models and this sole one in amongst all the other Dark Angel and Parade board stuff is like an 'amuse-bouche' - cleansing my palette while I struggle with the other projects that are less straight-forward.

I really think this may be a way to work through the Fallen, always have a 'nid on hand, I just have to make sure I'm not spending hours on them instead of hours on the Dark Angels and a little bit of time on the 'nids to help get me through.

Anyway, next up more highlights, you know how this goes by now.

It'll be nice to finally have two 'Biovores' now. I know it's still proxying but it's much better than proxying a Warrior and this is such a decent model, even if the Codex unit is pants, can't wait to have fun with the fluff on that!

Monday 21 July 2014

Armies on Parade board 2014 - Project X is go!

Moving on from Saturday's doom laden post we are down the rabbit hole now folks! Armies on Parade is a go, despite my fear-mongering to the contrary. I hope anyone reading this blog, in particular my gaming buddies, enters a board. I see it as a showcase of what you've done all year, a 'parade' of your painting and hobby efforts so I hope everyone tries, they've already put a lot of the effort in afterall.

Last year it was all about the army, a simple board swamped with the Ferron Splinter Fleet of Hive Fleet Gorgon. This year I'm going to run with the OTT idea I alluded to here and here's where it begins. I'm a little paranoid, unrightly so, but isn't that the nature of paranoia? So I won't be revealing what the plan is, you can just try and imagine initially hopefully guess along the way, it should also help with the blog because I can just show pics and micro-blog the progress with less explanation, at least that's the plan.

Firstly I have about £10 worth of MDF and wood. I went to the local GW to confirm I could enter the same army and they did offer to sell me a Realm of Battle tile. They'll do this individually for AoP entrants, in case you didn't know, I think they're £30 each, though I'm not sure if you can get the hill sections, just the flats or even the new Sector Imperalis boards [although I doubt it]. At any rate mine is going to be covered a lot with insulation foam so really MDF is fine.

Once again I'm making a corner piece, here's one of the 18" high back walls with wooden batons at the edges to make it more stable. These have three wood screws in the back and wood glued in place.

Here's the second wall, it only has one baton as it will fix to the first one. I'm thinking of using dowel rods to secure it horizontally in place.

Here's the insulation foam, cut to fit the first wall

And the second wall is also trimmed.

The foam is glued in place using foam panel coving adhesive.

The second one is also glued in place, you can see the overhang where it can slot behind the first piece.

Here's the base, I went for 8mm MDF for stability this time, it's going to have the walls mounted to it afterall. I'll start marking where the foam is going to go on top, to join up with the walls next.

And this is how we stand after 2.5 hours, doesn't seem much really considering I completed my last board in about that time but 'measuring twice and cutting once' is a little more time consuming. Going to have to find a way to tidy up those edges.

Once the base foam is in place this will give me a great starting point for the next phase

And to allow your imagination to run wild, this is sort of where I'm going, lets remind ourselves of my brother's Vivarium. These [never before seen] pictures show what happened when I added some green to the stone to represent slime from rain fall.

It worked really well, although there's no Chlorophyll on Ferron Proxima so I'm not sure what to do painting wise, yellow would look very odd as people won't be able to process what it actually is as the visual reference wouldn't fit what they see on Earth.

 However, it ended up nice.

And the lizard approves, it's laid 102 eggs so far, in four clutches, so it must be happy.

I'll be undertaking a whole host of other terrain element while building the board. I'm hoping to make many elements removable, taking inspiration from Grubnards Swamp Table over at the Mandulian Chapel.

This will  both make it easier to store/transport and allow me to reuse the terrain components should I ever run a game in my own house! It is considerably more challenging for me to do this though as I'll have to work out the attachment mechanisms - lots of magnets, maybe some lego.

Each item will be a mini project in it's own right which means once I've finished the board itself all these other elements can be added piecemeal so any that fail to be finished will not jeopardize the whole. Hope that's whetted your appetite, obviously my last post was a bit 'down' clearly this seems a little contradictory to that but I'll be blogging as and when I can.