Rephotographed Miniatures

A while back I got a personal message over at the Bolter and Chainsword.  I ignored it as I have much more important things on my mind than miniature soldiers.  However I’m not an asshole so while trying to get to inbox zero, I read the message.  It was a request for photographs of the Hakanor’s Reaver model I did as a tutorial when the last Chaos Codex came out.  We were trying to do tutorials for all the new official renegade chapters.  We never made it.  People promised to do tutorials and then didn’t.  I took on two difficult to paint chapters and completed both my tutorials.  I personally think the second tutorial model is far better painted, I allowed myself to do more elaborate highlights on the trim for instance.

Anyway I asked the dude to send a real email detailing what he wanted.  Turns out they are working on some sort of fan publication.  They want photos of all the official GW Chaos Renegade factions and they also wanted action or staged shots.  Now I live in a modest apartment in East Vancouver.  I don’t have room for a gaming table.  I don’t have the vast, vast, majority of my gaming terrain with me in the city.  However loyal readers will remember I started a new large terrain project, but like most things in my life the last five or six years it got derailed…

I told the fellow I only had an iPhone he assured me those were pictures of sufficient enough quality.  So I stopped rioting long enough to take a couple dozen pictures, even setting up my finished terrain tiles in my living room to take a bunch of staged photos.  I put them up on Flickr but I’ll cross post a couple here.









LPL 5 Week 2

I’m at the #EastVanLove Tweetup but before that starts I’ll update ye old blog. The second week of the Lead Painters League is on now, something like 68 new teams of miniatures for you to peruse and vote for. I lost week one badly, but I think I could have done a better job photographing my entry and perhaps gone with one less highlight would have been more natural. I’m used to painting unnatural subject manager, not naked chicks.

I also drew a very good opponent, this week my entry is simpler and my opponent is not as esteemed so perhaps I can win. My OOP Khorne Bezerkers are not going well. I left town to visit a sick friend in the hospital and then just didn’t paint much. I painted some the last two days but I don’t think I’ll make it, oh well Week 4 can be Bezerker week.

In addition I have my first product un-recommendation. Previously while studying for my CFA and just suffering from insomnia I spent a lot of time reading Tabletop Gaming News and other sites and bought a lot of stuff, particularly from small independent companies. I bought a lot of resin terrain which I did wash and have slowly, very slowly been painting as part of my trench table. I also bought a lot of boutique miniatures, including a bunch of cowboys, some WW1 Canadians, some Picts/Celts. I hope to paint most of it eventually, maybe even some of it for the Lead Painters League. The other thing I bought a lot of was resin bases.

Resinforge Bases
Resinforge Bases

Not all resin bases are created equally. I like Epicast and Dragonforge plus I also like the stuff outta Poland. One company I tried was Resinforge. Their bases arrived in a pale yellow color, not ideal. I prefer darker colored resin. They also seemed thinner than regular GW bases. I finally got around to using one and paint would not stick to it. I rinsed it with water. I tried GW spray primer, craft paint, GW Chaos Black. I gobbed it on. But it would just erase, kinda bead off, like a felt pen on a blank CD… It only did it on part of the base. It was annoying. Once applied paint also wiped off easily. So I got out the file and filed off the edge which was the biggest problem. Still didn’t help. I ended up gobbing on more black.

We’ll see if it takes.

Soaking Resinforge Bases
Soaking Resinforge Bases

In the mean time I got all my Resinforge bases and dunked them in a jar filled with dish soap. Hopefully this solves the problems, but I have my doubts after repeatedly sanding off resin only to have paint not stick to the resin underneath. So in conclusion, I’m not recommending Resinforge bases. You should be able to just grab them from a package and glue a mini to them. A little sanding or scraping is OK, but you shouldn’t have to dunk them and leave them soak overnight. You also shouldn’t have to keep repainting your base black…

How’s this for a trench table?

Madscuzzy over at the B&C has built one he built in six large pieces so he has some modularity.  He used a lot of sets of Forgeworld trench inserts similar to what Jason Dyer did a few years back for Astronomi-con.  His table is all done and he’s gaming on it.

Madscuzzy's Trench Table

When I get mine done it will be more modular, but unfortunately I’m doing all my trench lining by hand and I’ve done a lot more texturing of the battlefield.  I’ve gone for a more authentic WW1 look, rather than a pure Sci-fi look of Madscuzzy’s board.  Lets see if I can get some pictures of Dyer Straights and his board onto my blog.

Madscuzzy's Trench Table

The first two images are from the Bolter & Chainsword thread and are copyright Madscuzzy who has an overly fancy website where the 40K section doesn’t work quite right…

Below is a picture of Jason Dyer’s table and the Egyptian table formerly at Checkpoint Charlie’s in North Vancouver and now in the Astronomi-con terrain collection.

Jason Dyer's Trench Table
Jason Dyer's Trench Table

I played on it and that was another of my Astronomi-con armies that finished tied for second or third in appearance.  Yes once again I’m playing James Russo’s tyranids for the hawk-eyed among you.

Gaming terrain formerly at Checkpoint Charlie's
Gaming terrain formerly at Checkpoint Charlie's

Additional Trench Tables

Today someone posted pictures of this trench table done up for the game Warzone by a fella in Switzerland, at least I’m assuming it is a guy. Here is a picture from his photobucket account. I don’t understand why people still use photobucket when Flickr is so very superior…

Remember these models?

Work In Progress Models
Work In Progress Models

Well they are still not finished.  Finishing up all the models on my desk and in my painting queue was another post-Astronomi-con Vancouver goal.  Speaking of Astro Van the official scores were released today.  I finished tied for 2nd in Best Appearance and lost the trophy due to tie breakers.  Apparently no one voted for me for best army, while 3 people voted for Will’s Iron Warriors.  Oh well perhaps if I finish my army before 4AM the day of the tournament…

I’ll have to see about improving my appearance score by one more point, it’ll be tough but not impossible.  Maybe I should join a club and try to get some friends and family votes…  I finished 12th overall which is another personal best, but I think I could have done better in Games 3 and 6, if not winning at least getting a draw.  So the goal for next year is to finish my trench table, try to improve my painting score some how, and to win at least three games, hopefully four.  Given twelve months it might be doable, though it has gotten hot again.

Primed or mostly assembled
Primed or mostly assembled

First thing I need to do is apply for more jobs.  I’m still waiting to hear back from some company that might want me, but I found a few jobs yesterday that I was just too tired or lazy to apply for.  I think I’ll be applying to those this afternoon.  Then this evening back to the painting desk.  I gotta finish the 2nd test bezerker and the purple Bloodletter.  Both are only an hour or so away from being done.  Then I think I might paint some Gretchin…

That’s right three Gretchin have wormed their way into my paint queue and I think I can clear them out pretty quick.  Then there are a bunch of Diseased Sons that I’m going to do to complete certain units for this codex.  A new Chaos Codex would complicate my life but I think it is more than 12 months away, so eventually I’ll be doing Bezerkers, more Chosen, and some giant robots in theory for next year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  The Servants of Decay might have to wait another year, as will my orks.  I only paint so fast and the trench table is going to take most of my hobby time I think.

2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver Army Preview

I haven’t been able to sleep the last three nights.  This evenings insomnia accomplishments was getting up to write down the back story for my 2010 Astronomi-con army.  I already knew the back story, I thought it up after all when I was picking the army list. I’d submitted the army list to Mike and Christian a month or two ago confident I would have no trouble getting it all painted seeing as I was unemployed.  In my last revision I had thrown in a Greater Daemon primarily for visual impact and as a nasty surprise for an opponent who didn’t read the fine print in my army list.

With about two weeks to go I realized I wasn’t going to have time to do justice to the Ultraforge Wardemon model I had bought to represent a generic Greater Daemon.  I actually had quite a few models I could use in my miniature display case so George was pressed into service.

After writing out the back story ensuring that it jived with all my previous back stories for major tournaments I went back to bed and tried to sleep.

I couldn’t.

Besides not finishing a new impressivly large demon model, I was really worried I wouldn’t have time to do a good job on my original two HQ choices.  I had converted them previously and a lot of planning went into them, especially the one based on a Forgeworld special character.  I never use the rules for special characters but this model was too cool and I had a unique idea for a Khorne Terminator Lord, so… I’ve had the idea for a while and told it to Craig at the Mini Astronomi-con.  Then I told him I was crazy enough to do it.

I’ve been working towards getting my army finished every since.

There are lots of things I had planned to do besides paint up some new army centerpiece models.  I had planned to improve the bases of some of the models, say with the 100 28mm skulls I got off of Black Cat Bases.  Mike and others are obsessed with drilling out bolter barrels or at least painting the black dot so I was going to go through every model and make sure that was done…  There are lots of little touch up and detail work I could do to my miniature collection.  I seem to have been touching up and improving models for the last eight or nine years.  I’ve finally getting around to starting to paint a new non-CSM army only in the last month or two.

In fact painting non-CSM stuff is what got me in this predictament.  I’ve been planning a Servants of Decay army for years. When I became unemployed I couldn’t help but do a test model for it.  I also did not one, but two test trench tiles.  My modular trench battlefield wasn’t going to make it to this year’s Astronomi-con no way no how, but even though I knew it was needed next year I spent about a month working on it and some test WW1 figures.  I figured if I’m going to build a trench battlefield, I might as well make a WW1 army to fight on it, or two WW1 armies as I’ll probably end up doing…

All this was fine, I had months to finish basically 5 or 6 models.  Then Warhammer 8th Edition came out and I got talked into joining a Mighty Empires Campaign at Strategies, which I have to play in tomorrow, err today actually seeing as it is 3:11 AM.  In about 1998, Owen Curtis figured out that I had almost enough Nurgle Daemons painted and on square bases that I could just play in the campaign he was organizing for Games Workshop Victoria, which he was managing at the time.  We were roommates so I dutifully converted up some Plaguebearer command and played several small points games of Warhammer.  It was a builder’s campaign eventually I was supposed to have say 2000 points but we started out at 750 or a 1000.  I got absolutely crushed both times so I think I grew disgusted and didn’t play Warhammer Fantasy Battle again for 11 years.

What about my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver Army you say? Well, while laying in bed on top of my covers because it is quite hot in Vancouver right now.  I’m sweating as I type this. I realized that I wasn’t going have time to do all the little things I had planned to do this year to try and make a run at Best Painted Army.  I’ve finished close at Astronomi-con before but I’ve lost points for not having bolters drilled out or having not 100% finished models.  Last year I stayed up for 24 hours straight trying to finish my army and in the end my Chosen weren’t fully painted and something like 15 bases weren’t painted.

One thing I always lose points on in tournaments recently, is not having a display base.  I was going to build a reuseable display base this year.  I’d built display bases before, in fact the original one served as inspiration for my trench table.  While lying awake I thought, that display base is just leaning up against a shelf in my living room, I should just take it to this year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  I made the display base for the very first Vancouver Grand Tournament.  I totally busted my ass painting and converting for that tournament.  I wanted to show those Calgary guys where they could stick their paintbrushes after the score they gave the Diseased Sons in my first Grand Tournament.

I think I ended up finishing tied for third.  I was alright with that as Vancouver has some great painters and I kinda bit off more than I could chew with some of my paint jobs and conversions time wise.  Ever since I’ve had more modest goals for getting stuff painted for tournament armies.

So anyway unable to sleep I got up and grabbed the display base that has sat unused pretty much in my mother’s basement for seven or so years.  It was in Vancouver as I wanted to see the brown dryburshed dirt and I decided I was going to rip out the tank traps and stuff to use as part of my trench table.  Since I hadn’t gotten around to that, I decided just for fun to set up my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver Army in the display in my living room at say 2:30 AM.  Then after staring at it a while, adjusting a few models, adding in George and the unfinished stuff, I thought of all the things I wouldn’t get done, all the things I’ve been typing about. Then I got my iPhone took a picture or two.

They weren’t very good pictures, there is no light in my living room, but I shone a lamp onto the display base and retook the pictures and deemed it worthy of a blog post.  I had another beer to try and keep cool and ended up typing a much longer post then I originally intended.  I wanted to show a few people that one of my major hobby projects was actually coming together and although it wouldn’t be as good as I could make it, it still looked pretty good, and despite everything, and by everything I mean a whole lot of setbacks and problems in my life, I was still going to Astronomi-con 2010 and people better look out because this year I might actually win a game.

WIP 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver Army

I hope to win more than one game actually. I haven’t been able to stop the Landraider full of elite close combat troops or the Orky equivalent in the last few years.  So since I was going Chaos Space Marines again I decided to join them and devised my own “Landraider of Pain” army list.  Since I’m a Nurgle guy and I had decided Bob the Necessary Evil’s adventures would continue I thought what could I put in a Landraider to help the Plaguemarines out?

Plaguemarines are tough, but they have low initiative and generally win by attrition or more accurately just refuse to die thus spoiling the enemy’s plan.  They don’t kill much even with two special weapons and a champion with a powerfist.  I had dreamed up the Khorne Lord with Chainfist, who also goes last in H2H so I added a ‘right hand man’ for him in the form of Chaos Sorcerer of Slaneesh who hopefully would strike first and with his Force Weapon get rid of some annoying opponents who might kill my Lord or the Plaguemarines before they get to fight.

With a plan, an army list, a back story, even a display board I decided to blog about it and post to the Astronomi-con mailing list.  A keen observer will note that a few models actually fit perfectly into the display base, they were in my 2003 Vancouver GT army.  I’m not sure how many models were in both armies, you’d have to pick them up and look carefully at the campaign badges.  It is easy to spot the unfinished models.  It is also pretty easy at least for me to spot the model with the oldest paint job, but bolstered by the success I had throwing down models with almost as old of paint jobs in the form of the Beasts of Nurgle, particularily Sluggie, who’s paint job is more primative than even George’s, I decided what the hell, I’ll take a cab and bring an actual display base to this year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  I still doubt I’ll win best painted, let alone overall, but hopefully I still get a good score in painting and even with the comp hit I hope to do better overall than I have at the previous two Astros.

Nick, Malcolm, and Jason have been eerily quite on the Astro front.  Dean announced he was dropping out and Rob, a regular opponent, is also out this year.  Some Americans are coming, some people form Kelowna are undoubtably coming, supposedly even some people from Winnipeg are coming to Vancouver this year.  I may have been correct in my prediction that the opportunity to win a gold ticket to the official North American Grand Tournament of all Tournaments would attract some fresh and highly competitive players to Vancouver’s favourite 40K tournament.

Hopefully unlike the Nova Open and the War Games Con or even worse ‘Ard Boyz, they remember to paint their own damn miniatures, or at least get a mercenary painter and announce they are out of the running for best painted and hopefully overall and are just trying for best general or better still, just playing for fun.  Or I will mock them online, especially the Americans and at least two people will know they are sad pathetic human beings who really need a new hobby as miniature wargaming has always involved painting miniatures and converting model battlefields and no amount of online bluster will change that.

Terrain, Movement Trays, and Miniature Basing Material

Beach Sand ready for paint
Beach Sand ready for paint

So although I got a very late start to the day, it appears at least one Golden Daemon winning or aspiring painter is following my blog.  I don’t really run in that circle, I’m not a bad painter, I can do better, but I paint my army or my toy soldiers to use in games.  People are often surprised I don’t enter more painting competitions, I just don’t need more stress in my life.  Painting 28mm miniatures can be stressful enough without flying to a contest and having them subjected to incredible scrutiny.  I just try to do the best I can, on the models I need to paint to play, in the time I have available.

What did I paint today upon learning that expert level miniature painters are paying attention to my little tips, techniques, and travails? I drybrushed sand! That’s right boring old beach sand, drybrushed a series of browns, that is what I needed to do to get the second movement tray finished for the Neatherworldly Mathematicians.  Since I knew I had to do this anyway I got out two entrenchments that have been off on the side of my painting desk for a month or more.  They needed some sand and drybrushing too.

Before Drybrushing
Before Drybrushing

After drybrushing sand, I painted wood and drybrushed that too.  Then I painted sandbags and drybrushed them as well.  I was running out of dry brushes. That is the thing about drybrushing, you really do need a dry brush.  I painted the other details on my hand built entrenchment and the green growth on the Snap Dragon one and called them done.  Not before I mixed up a custom rust wash and applied it to the metal plate and the pick axe.

More Basing Materials
More Basing Materials

Remember my other big goal for the week, basing 54 Night Goblins?  Well here is the material I bought years ago when I was considering strongly doing a Warhammer Ancients army.  Amazingly I’m tired of drybrushing mud, so I decided my next army, my first new army in decades, would be based with something other than drybrushed sand.  I opted for a fall scheme, now all I needed was to choose a brown.

The Chosen Brown
The Chosen Brown

When I started the Trench Table project I went to Deserres and stocked up on browns.  I picked four I liked best and upon inspecting the alsorans, I opted to use the one I labeled W2.  It is an in-stock Delta Ceramcoat Golden Brown.

Base looks like peanut butter
Base looks like peanut butter

Last night while not sleeping, I remember I had two spare Night Goblin archers painted in my miniature case in colour schemes I discarded years ago when I did up some greenskins to play Mordheim.  My greenskins were deemed such a success and so old school pressure was put on to paint the other 150 and have an army of them.  Now about 8 years later I’m very close to having a playable Warhammer 8th Edition army of goblins.  Loyal readers will know I opted to use Nurgle Daemons in the Mighty Empires campaign at Strategies as it was even less work getting them legal for 8th Edition, however in an unexpected campaign twist it is mandatory mercenaries week, so some of the Night Goblins must get based in time for Sunday’s game.

Base looks like crunchy peanut butter
Base looks like crunchy peanut butter

I tried the Golden Brown on the base of one of these unneeded but still painted Night Goblin archers, it looked like peanut butter.  I put the ballast on, it looked like crunchy peanut butter. I’m not sure I need any more jokes about this, impatiently I put some of this weird red flock, or what I thought was flock on.  It seems to be really fine foam-like material, you kinda have to squish it down with the end of a brush say to get it behave a bit more.  I wasn’t crazy over how it looked or the colour, but it certainly was different.

The final material I bought at Imperial Hobbies years ago, was lichen in Autumnal colours.  I reached for a tiny sprig of a non-red one and I thought it looked much better on the base than the weird red foamy stuff…  My plan is still to go ahead with basing the 54 Night Goblins and their movement tray I have to now make, peanut butter brown, add the crunchy bits and the some twigs of lichen.  Then after all that is dry add very little red stuff.  I also thought of mixing the red stuff and ballast together so I can apply it in one go…

One down, many to go...
One down, many to go...

That might just make a big headache, mess.  The finished model looks OK, hopefully it looks fine with my purple and blue flamed Night Goblins, the Nefarious Fire Tribe.  I’ve even named all the units now.  The one getting based is of course Ickybob’s Boyz still to come are the Prickly Posse and the Blue Bootie Brigade.  My ork unit which isn’t assembled or painted will be called Snaggletooth’s Snappers and will be lead by Ol’ Snaggletooth himself.  The Battle Standard Bearer and the Warboss who lead the other two goblin units might have had names last night while I couldn’t sleep, or perhaps they did not.

After dinner and a fresh round of applying for jobs, I’ll start work on making my custom magnetic movement tray for the 54 (55 with Hero) strong unit of Night Goblin archers, ranked up in five rows of 11.

Autumn Test Goblin

Test Models Inspect Entrenchments

Modest Hobby Update

Today I went to Strategies, wrote out a token Ork and Goblin 1500 point army list, and invest money I don’t really have into Warhammer 8th Edition.  I didn’t buy any minis but the big red book isn’t cheap.  I also am more and more sure I didn’t get the job where they planned to make a decision Thursday or Friday.  You never know I’ll politely inquire Monday afternoon if I don’t hear anything.

After spending too much time hanging around the local gaming store, I spent more time hanging around one of the many cafes on Main Street, then when I got home I read and flipped through the big red book some.  Eventually after a modest meal I took a break and promptly fell asleep on my bed.  I’ve been trying to get out and exercise a bit more and I think it hit me this evening. Freshly prepared miniatures

I had planned to do a little more work on my many miniature painting projects.  I actually laid out two plaguebearers and another Foundry WW1 rifleman before my impromptu nap.  When I got back up it seemed hotter than when I went to sleep.  I started cleaning the models and must not have been fully awake as I managed to slip while rotating my exacto knife and cut myself on the inside of my index finger.  I got a fresh reminder of the true colour of blood and after patching myself up I returned to the modeling table with more focus on the task at hand.

These three newly cleaned and prepared for painting models, will get some beach sand and some black primer before I go to bed and after exciting domestic chores tomorrow I’ll probably resume painting the three models behind them.  They are a test chaos daemon which I plan to paint a very dark purple, a second test Khorne bezerker, and a test Servant of Decay.  Hopefully I can crank them out pretty quickly as my painting queue seems to be getting longer instead of shorter.

I want to finish off my 2010 Vancouver Astronomi-con army promptly, but now I need to paint some lesser daemons of Nurgle too by the end of the month so I might do them before the three rank and file models I need to do for my Astro army.  That still leaves me the big three models for this years Astronomi-con.

WW1 Foundry Rifleman closeupIn other hobby news Zac’s blog network is up and at it.  He came up with some membership criteria which may be even stricter than From the Warp or the Bell of Lost Souls network.  I’m not sure how much traffic these blog networks generate, but the answer is some.  One of the reasons I set up a dedicated hobby blog was to apply for membership in probably all three of these networks.  I may need to wait five more months before I can apply to the Table Top Gaming News one.  Some people in the networks are selling something, miniatures, painting services, hobby products, even ad space, but most are just hobbyists.  I just want some of my ramblings to get read.  Plus if I go to all the trouble of preparing a tutorial I hope it is eventually of use to somebody.

Speaking of my one true tutorial so far on this blog, I sealed the WW1 Canadian Corps rifleman, it made his helmet shiny.  I used Purity Seal but I think a little too much may have landed on his lid.  Anyway it is just a test model, I also took some effort and used the bright haloegen lamp on my painting test to try and show that I did indeed paint the eyes of this 25mm figure.

Well that is all for tonight, look for more ramblings, and work in progress photos this weekend as I have no shortage of miniatures to paint.  I just hope it isn’t too hot in Vancouver.  I still have some terrain work to do on the trench table and will probably do some sort of rust painting tutorial in conjunction with it.

Terrain pieces on the side of my painting table