Saturday, July 26, 2014

Say's been while.

     See, I told you.  I have a short attention span.  The last time I updated this blog was before Adepticon of last year.  Not last Adepticon, the one before that.  If you have been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next exciting installment, I apologize.  Here's a quick wrap up for the previous entry that I hope will fill that empty place in your heart.  I did manage to finish my Gremlins for Malifaux just enough to field a crew.   I'm pretty happy how they turned out and I'll try to post pics of them later. I also finished my Wood Elves though I did not use the wood slice bases I had planned. They turned out okay, but they were a very quick paint job.  I also did a horrible job coaching them.
      Earlier this month I attended Zlurpee Bowl X, a Blood Bowl tournament held in Indianapolis, which hosted some sixty other coaches. Zlurpee Bowl encourages "fun" teams so I took a halfling team that I had already painted and played with before, Van Gor's Green Fairies, who I will do a feature on in the future. This year however I left my treemen, master chef, and rerolls at home,and instead opted to include four Zlurpee Stars which is the tournaments own brand of star players. I already had a painted Cromnard Dung, a performance enhancing potion abusing orc star player, who I also used last year, so I only had to paint three players. I of course left them until the last minute, and was dullcoating them the day we left for the tournament and had to apply static grass in the hotel. Still, they were a lot of fun to paint and I didn't really feel overwelmed by the task of getting them done.
Cromnard Dung


Larry Da'Zonk

Zlurpus Zembashki

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Mid Game

This project is much smaller than it appears.
It's a little more than three months until Adepticon, so let's see how far along I am with my projects. I can tell you this much, it's not as far as I hoped.

First, the the Lucas box set for Malifaux which I didn't expect until this month, I was able to get in December from special sale Wyrd Miniatures put on. However, all I managed on them was to get them put together. So far I haven't even played with them because I'm not sure how to transport them. Note sure if I need another bag or fit them in the one I have. So you see, I don't want to mess up the pluck-n-pull tray until I decide. Lame right?

My Malifaux gremlins, which were not really a major concern for Adepticon, kinda moved to front. I am currently rebasing all of them onto inverted bases. These bases have the hollow area on top instead of underneath. I am going to use water effects to make some fun bayou bases. Hopefully they will turn out. Hope to keep track of these with pics so I can post a step by step at a later date.

My wood elf Blood Bowl team are sadly still in the box. I did wind up getting some wood slices to base them on which hopefully will look cool. I'm a little nervous about doing it though which has caused me to stall a little bit on those. Using these bases will require pinning and elves are not exactly known for having big ankles to jam wire into. This is another item I hope to document for later.

Not a whole lot accomplished so far and definitely not what I had planned out in my head. My focus at this point should be Lucas for Malifaux events and wood elves for Blood Bowl, but really want to have gremlins to take as well to mix it up. Well back to it for now.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Long Game

(I actually blogged this a couple months ago on November 5th, 2012. I thought it would be fun to repost it here so I can do an update on where I'm really at)

As I may have alluded to, I’m a bit slow when it comes to completing projects. Wether it’s home or hobby, I just not a strong finisher, assuming I even get started in the first place. I have found however that for my miniature hobby there is no greater motivation for getting stuff done than an upcoming event. For conventions and tournaments, a brand new freshly painted pile of minis is a must. In fact, I believe a lot of events require fully painted miniatures for any kind of official play.
The next upcoming event that will be the driving force behind me getting stuff done is Adepticon. Now Adepticon is about 5-6 months away so I should have plenty of time to get everything done I possibly need. And yet, even though I wanted to start early last year, I was still painting up the to the wire. In fact, my Malifaux crew selections were slightly limited last year because I didn’t have everything I wanted to take painted in time. Well not this year. I’m making sure I get a good lead on things so I have to leave nothing behind. More on my plans later.

I was initially planning to take part in two events at Adepticon, the Malifaux story encounter and Stupor Bowl, which is a two day Blood Bowl tournament. It looks like I’ll also be taking part in the Malifaux team tournament which is going to be a crazy time, but luckily shouldn’t add any extra work for me. There is also going to be another Malifaux event that will run the entire weekend where you can play as much as you want and accumulate points, but that’s kind of on the side and I’m not too worried about it. 
For the Stupor Bowl my plan for some time has been to take Wood Elves. Now I’m not a wood elves player, in fact I’ve never played them, but I won a team box from Impact at the last Stupor Bowl and thought it would be really cool to bring them back to the next one. I want to give them a couple play tests and if I really don’t like them, there is a rat team from Greebo Miniature I’ve been eye-balling for a while, and plan to pick up. I’m planning on painting the wood elves in warm, fall color scheme and use some leaf litter on the bases. I’d actually like to make some type of wood bases for them. Picture those tables and chairs that have been sliced from a giant tree truck and you’ll see where I’m going. It may be too much to bite off though, but we’ll see. 
For the Malifaux Story encounter I’m planning use the Lucas crew which is the the new Guild/Ten Thunders crew from the Storm of Shadows book. The Story Encounter is straight faction, which means you pick a faction and may use any master throughout the event. Last time I switched back and forth between two masters but this time I’m sticking with one to keep it simple. I may also use Lucas for the Team Tournament but not sure. I’ve also been needing to get my gremlins done. If I get them painted up I have another option for the team tournament and that weekend event as well. 
The Lucas box set won’t be available until January with more models I need possibly trickling in the following months. This means to be stress free, I’ll need to get all my Gremlins and my Wood Elves team completed between now and January so when Lucas comes out, I won’t be backed up and can build and paint models as they are released. I also want to leave room for anything I decide I need to add to my crews or teams at the last minute. It’s a full plate, but as of right now, I have plenty of time to get everything done to the standard I want them at. But, I know from last Adepticon that window can close very, very quickly. As I start working, I’ll add progress pics and such.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Keep It Stipple Stupid

Let me just say, I’ve never been a big fan of blood and gore on miniatures. Usually what I saw looked forced and out of place on what would otherwise be a well painted piece. In my limited painting experience I don’t remember ever painting blood on a miniature. That was until I painted my McMourning crew for Malifaux. A coroner and his cohorts, dressed in gloves and aprons, sporting nasty bits of cutlery including a bone saw. Really, I had no choice.

But how to go about it? I wanted some natural looking splatter about their apparel to go along with the stains. I didn’t wanted to brush it on since, while possible, I don’t think I could pull it off at my level. I also didn’t want to use the age old toothbrush flick method. It’s good for creating a random pattern, but there is little to no control and you can wind up with paint where you don’t want it. I decided to use a method called stippling, at least I think that’s what it’s called. Basically you take a sponge dip it in paint and dab it on, creating a random pattern. In miniature painting I’ve seen it used to create the illusion of chipped paint, rust, and other forms of wear and tear. It turns out it works really well for making natural looking blood (or other fluid) splatter. You get both a random pattern that looks natural but with the ability to put it exactly where you want.

It was such an effective technique that when my brother wanted some blood splatter on the arms of his Mr. Graves. he asked me to show him how it’s done. Great, I can make a tutorial out of it.

First off, you need some sponge or foam. If you’re a miniature gamer, you’ve probably come across some bits of foam at some point or another, either from miniature packaging or from storage cases. Now if you hoard everything like me you’ll have some around. If not, you should probably go buy some more miniatures. Go ahead we’ll wait.

I’m using a bit of foam from a pluck-n-pull storage tray. I looked for foam that was a little stiff with larger bubbles. I feel that usually a denser foam will soak up more paint and will just leave solid blob when dabbed and I want my paint to be broken up. Feel free to experiment with different pieces of sponge and foam for a variety of effects.

After I’ve picked out my foam, I pick little pieces out to form sort of a point. This will help break up the paint pattern and also allow you work smaller areas. For Mr. Graves we’re only working on his fists and arms and don’t want paint getting onto other areas. Now that the foam is ready, we prepare the paint. Your blood color is probably a matter of preference and what your painting. I find bright reds to be distracting unless you really want it to be the focus. I usually add a little brown or even black to the red to make it deeper. It also depends if your going for fresh (brighter) blood or old (darker) dried blood. Experiment with your color. You should have in you head where you want the splatter to be. Why is it there and where did it come from. Was flung of a chainsaw, a quick shot of arterial spray, dripping down the front of zombie’s shirts from his gaping jaws? For Mr. Graves, he has just given someone the beating of their life leaving his fist bloodied, forearms spattered, and a some will have gotten on his crisp white shirt which will most surely not come out in the wash.

Begin by dabbing the foam in your paint which should be a little thin. You just want to get paint on the foam, not soak up paint into the foam. Now dab the foam on a piece of paper or something to remove the excess. I start on the area of the mini I feel should have the heaviest splatter and work out. By having more paint on the foam and pressing harder you can creating large splotches, while having a little paint and barely touching the miniature you can created small droplets. Rotate the foam between dabs to keep the pattern varied.

Do this until you are happy with the results. It doesn’t take much, in fact I usually cut myself short before I get carried away. Done properly, you easily create a very subtle and dramatic effect without making it look hokey or over the top.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Got Wood?

Got Wood?
Here’s a little tutorial for making wood planking from styrene sheet or plasticard. FYI, I get my styrene sheet cheap in the form of plastic “For Sale” signs. I’ve used this technique for making old west buildings, fantasy style doors, and base inserts which look like plank flooring which is what I’m doing here. I first start with a piece of plasticard and put down lines 1/4” apart. These will the planks.

With a nice sharp hobby knife cut along one side of the line, keeping the blade at an angle and being careful not cut through the card. Repeat cutting along the other side of the line also at an angle cutting into the previous cut. Your goal is to cut out a “V” shaping channel.

With practice and luck the sliver should pop right out, but will probably require a couple extra cuts here and there. I’m not using a straight edge because I want an uneven appearance to the planking.

Once done with the planks I scrape in the grains keeping the pattern erratic. I’m using a special carbide scraper but a hobby knife point works as well. Don’t forget some knots here and there. I also cut out little segement here and there to break up the planks. You also use a pine vice to drill little nail holes.

This technique can be fairly time consuming and for the most part it’s just easier to use balsa, however this gives you all benefit of using plastic cement and will take dry brushing better than balsa.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Here we go again.

Well, this is the start of my new blog. I had one at another site but I think this place will suit better. Plus, I have some cohorts around that will easier to keep track of if we're all in one place

The focus of this blog will mostly be about my miniature gaming hobby and anything related to it. Mostly in the form of half finished projects and tutorials, and possibly the odd game report and coverage of events I attend.

The next few posts will just be some tutorials I'm transferring over followed by what ever I'm working on at the moment. Every so often I'll dig out and feature one of my half finished projects to show off. Enjoy.