Archive for the ‘Tutorial’ Category

Although I seem to be known as a Nurgle guy, my first army was Orks in Warhammer 40,000 during the legendary Rogue Trader era.  Why? Because no one played orks in our group and they forced me to.  I never won a single game during the Rogue Trader era.  Things didn’t get that much better in 2nd Edition due to infiltrating Assassins with virus grenades or just the virus outbreak strategy card.  There was a serious lack of play testing involved back then.

My friends made me assemble more models just so they could kill more models.  That’s why my fantasy army sat undone but assembled for years.  Me, I generally only assemble models I plan to paint. So pretty much any assembled but un-primed models in my household were put together at the urging and with the aid of Arden or Kathy or perhaps Paul…  I don’t know what the obsession with bigger games is.  I’m content to play 1500 points, in fact smaller games require you to make harder decisions when choosing your army list.

But that is not what this post is about. I’ve slowly been working through my massive collection of single pose plastic goblins, well massive for me.  However I have almost as many single pose Goffs and Gretchin.  In fact it is these models and a lot of losses to Eldar and Space Marines that moved me towards Nurgle.  Now my Nurgle miniature collection is almost painted out and I’m doing other Chaos Powers, Orks and Goblins are still on my long term “ta do list”.  I regular stop in at the Waaagh forums.  I’ve also starting doing test figures and what better models to test paints on then, 2nd Edition Gretchin. Servant of Decay from behind

The black basecoated one was done up for some contest on the Waaagh that I didn’t have time for.  The first grey one, was a test of Krylon Primer that went badly marring the face and the entire paint job.  The third Gretchin and the 2nd grey one, the one without the squig on the base, was also primed with Krylon Grey primer.  I discovered that Krylon Grey primer is the exact same shade of grey as Adeptus Battle Grey, or at least so close as to not matter.  This may be useful information to Imperial Guard players and will prompt me to paint another test Servant of Decay.

My original test figure for my Servants of Decay army was painted over a black base coat and used Foundry English Uniform Brown triad for the main uniform color.  Brown is a good army color and a good Nurgle color.  However the Nefarious fire are black with purple flames so purple and flames was always going to fit into my Servants of Decay scheme too, but I didn’t want black uniforms.  I was thinking grey uniforms… Now I think a plastic Goliath ganger will be painted up from a Krylon grey base coat and it will have grey clothing rather than brown…

Paints used in highlighting Gretchin

Paints used in highlighting Gretchin

However the point of this post is to show off the three gretchin I’ve been chipping away at, each with it’s own skin color.  The black gretchin got the traditional Ork Flesh up to Bilious Green layer technique that has been used on greenskins since the Rogue Trader era.  I only used a single wash on this model and it was the new Thrakka Green.

The poorly primed gretchin got a Gretchin Green basecoat, a color I never use in painting ork flesh, followed by a Camo Green highlight.  Then the model was given two washes of Thrakka Green.  Next it received another Camo Green highlight as the bad priming job obscures a lot of detail so it is better to paint highlights than rely on gravity to add lowlights for this model.  Finally this model got Rotting Flesh and Vallejo Model Color Green Grey highlights.

Gretchin after 2 or 3 coats of paint

Gretchin after 2 or 3 coats of paint

The third Gretchin is an experiment into the wash your way to victory or at least wash your way to a nice fleshtone.  John Blanche used brown paint and green wash to do some orks and that look has caught on some.  TastyTaste seems to think using Devlan Mud is evil, but have you ever seen a model painted by TastyTaste? I haven’t.  I’m pretty sure he’s not overly burdened by Golden Demons if you know what I mean.

Letting washes dry

Letting washes dry

People on the Waaagh forums have gotten good results using the new GW washes and various colors you wouldn’t associate with painting green skin.  I took a stab at it and started with Dheneb Stone for my basecoat over the grey.  This didn’t cover so well or look quite right so I immediately followed that with a quick highlight of Vallejo Model Color Beige.  Then I got more on script and did a fairly heavy wash of Devlan Mud and after drying time, two fairly heavy washes of Thrakka Green.

I’m not sure how much time this really saves when you factor in drying time, but if you’re painting 40 Gretchin it probably does save some time.  It is also a bit messy so doing the skin first then fixing the areas that are just primer is easier than doing the skin later and fixing more painted portions of the model.

It looked OK after three washes and just a single highlight, but I was highlighting the other models so I gave it a Green Grey highlight which fixed things some.  Maybe the highlights are less realistic, but they look better especially at arms length.  One thing about this Dheneb Stone and Beige technique is it leaves the eyeballs and teeth looking decent, where as the dark green traditional method you definitely have to work on the teeth and eyes more to get them to look right.  I’m still not sold on painting over grey, tomorrow I will try out red, metallic, and some other common colors.

Almost finished green skin

Almost finished green skin

Stay tuned…

Advertisements

So I’d always planned on doing the Bloodletter’s sword green and the armour of the sorcerer green, so I once again cooked up a one of kind or in this case a two of a kind colour that looks like it glows.  The key to the glowing effect is to go very bright/light with the highlights and start very dark with the lowlights.  Washes and glazes are also essential to my technique.  I’m not sure I can make it work with any colour but it works with green and blue, I generally use it on power weapons or magic weapons.  Purple can work too, but you have to highlight up to pink and that scares some people.

Bloodletter with Green Hellblade

Bloodletter with Green Hellblade

To get the effect seen here I had a black base coat.  I then painted Orkhide Shade over it.  The new GW Foundation darkest green.  Then I really needed an inbetween shade, but I didn’t have one so I mixed Orkhide Shade and Vallejo Game Colour Sick Green.  Then I think I did a pure Sick Green highlight, I can’t remember exactly it was yesterday.  To keep the colour dark and scary I mixed up a wash of about 5 parts water, 2 parts old GW Green Wash, and 1 part Black Ink.  Basically a much darker green wash, but still thinned so it would flow into the recesses.

After that dried I got out Sick Green again and starting working up the highlights.  I didn’t really have a good inbetween shade, so I mixed in an old GW Jade Green.  With the mixed colour and then pure Jade Green painted on as a highlight I then did a second wash.  This time a thinned down Waaagh Green Ink which is an extremely old GW/Citadel product.  When that was dry I started highlighting Jade Green again, but I also wanted to darken a few spots so I used the new GW Green Wash just in a few spots.

Sorcerer with green armour

Sorcerer with green armour

Then more Jade Green and the first green glaze.  GW used to make them, they were under appreciated by their clientele I wish I had them all, but I only have a few, they have red lids.  Vallejo makes some glazes, I saw them at Imperial Hobbies today.  After some Jade Green and green glaze I wanted to go more extreme so I got out this bottle of Green Grey Vallejo Model Colour #971.  I mixed this with the Jade Green on my P3 Wet Palette.  I then painted this pale highlight on.  Then another green glaze then an even paler extreme highlight was done and it was off to my bedroom to take the photos.

As I mentioned I went to Imperial Hobbies today and bought some more paint and a couple of brushes.  The brushes were disappointing but they were cheap.  Tomorrow I will go and buy some Deserres brushes that I’ve gotten used to, they hold their point pretty good and come in all sorts of sizes.  I also bought some very bright or light colours which I’ll use on the Tzeentch and Slaneesh models I seem to be doing up, but mainly they are for the future.  The Mr. Color Steel and the Flat Green will get used sooner, as might the Sky Grey.

The Gale Force 9 flock I bought the day before to use on the Goblins and other bases going forward.  I’m trying to use a variety of material, instead of just sand all the time.

More Hobby Supplies

More Hobby Supplies

Before I went ahead and painting my Forgeworld Khorne Terminator Lord I wanted to get my dark red down.  I wanted a really dark evil looking red, like you see on some of the better figs painted online.  My first test Bezerker didn’t go as well as I would have liked. My second Khorne Bezerker still took too many coats of paints as some of my reds are old and not in good shape.  I think I got a look I’m happy with, which I’ll try to simplify when I paint more Bezerkers and Khorne worshipers.

My dark red test Bezerker

My dark red test Bezerker

The keys to this dark red include Reaper Master Series Clotted Red.  This is possibly close to the new GW Scab Red which I don’t own.  I actually used an even darker red from Reaper called Bloodstain Red as the true base, I’d probably skip this for rank and file miniatures.  After the base coats are dry I used a custom dark red wash I made by mixing blank ink, red ink, and water.  This is important I didn’t use the off the shelf GW red wash.

After the wash was dry I did another coat of Clotted Red as a highlight.  Then I used some out of print reds, Go Fasta Red and Red Gore.  These are old GW round pots with white lids.  They aren’t crucial.  After that I think I did another wash, another step I’d probably skip if I was going for speed and not smoothness.

When that is done it is time to paint a more vibrant highlight, for this I’d intended to use the new GW Blood Red in the flip top bolter shell pot.  This didn’t seem to dry the way I wanted, it came too orange and too matte.  I also used old red lidded GW Glazes, specifically red after the highlights.  This was painted over the highlight and the surrounding area.

Ruby Red on the left, Blood Red on the right

Ruby Red on the left, Blood Red on the right

One thing I also did was use some of my darker reds to tone down highlights, I also used straight black ink to shade and even to black line some parts of the model where too much red got into the shadows.  This was done on the fist and on the shoulder pad for sure.  I also kept building up highlights with Blood Red and Red Glaze finally switching to an old pot of Ruby Red.  I think Owen gave me this pot, as I don’t think I would have bought it.  It is almost the exact same colour as Blood Red but I like the consistency of it and how it dries glossier.  It was the final highlight on the power armour.

Next up is touching up the black and the brass.  Then I’ll finish the power armour.  I realized while I was out and about that I don’t actually need to finish the test models, just the key parts of the test models, that I plan to duplicate on the more expensive resin models.  So soon I will work on three more Chaos Space Marines and probably the Sorcerer too.  I don’t know if I will paint much more tonight, but tomorrow it will be more of the same, looking for work and painting miniatures.

This is how the first test model ended up looking:
Khorne Bezerker test model

Cloth after the black wash

Cloth after the black wash

While making the magnetic movement tray for a unit of old Night Goblin archers that I thought was 55 strong, 5 rows of 11.  I discovered that it was only 50 strong, well 49 including the hero.  It was late at night and I had been cutting 20mm squares of magnetic material into the wee hours, so I decided rather than just borrow one goblin from another unit for the game I was planning to play on Sunday, I’d dig out some new plastic Night Goblin archers I got off eBay and paint them up.

I’m a slow painter, so painting five models, even rank and file Night Goblins in basically one day, which was the task ahead of me, was going to take effort.  I would not be able to go at a leisurely pace, nor would I have lots of time for layered washes or trying out new stuff.  I began cleaning the models and though I learned later I didn’t too a perfect job, I had them cleaned and on magnetic bases by 1:38 AM.

Liche Purple Basecoat

Liche Purple Basecoat

Despite staying up late the night before I couldn’t sleep and got out of bed at quarter to six.  No I didn’t start painting then, but I did update this blog and probably give them there first coat of Chaos Black Spray primer.  I had to take care of my daily job search as well as buy groceries, so about 10 AM I had to get serious about painting these models.

I did two blasts of GW Black spray paint, which unlike all my recent Plaguebearers covered pretty good.  I did need to put on some more black here and there.  After I had a good black it was time to highlight it.  I used my top secret black highlighting recipe of Foundry Black Triad number 34.  After quickly putting on B & C from the triad I did a wash of Badab Black.  Then I did a slight re-highlight of 34C.

Applying purple flames

Applying purple flames

That’s it.  Bam! On to the purple.

For the purple I used my new dark purple recipe which consists of Liche Purple highlighted with the entire Foundry Royal Purple Triad, number 19 for the numerically superior.  That was it, even the flames were free-handed in one go.  No washes in this purple recipe.  I did take my second break during this phase.

The next phase was the most stressful, painting a face inside the hoods which I’d already highlighted.  This was a bit unnerving, but I never had to redo any purple or black highlights.  The only time I touched up one dot of purple, was doing one eyeball later on.

Close up of purple flames

Close up of purple flames

I didn’t use the exact green recipe I used on the others.  I probably went further than I needed to, but Goblins have characterful faces and getting the green to pop is the key to painting them.  I used Vallejo Sick Green, Game Colour 29 as my base.  Then I used a less than great pot of GW Goblin Green.  Things were looking OK, but I decided to paint GW Thraka Green wash into the darker recesses of the face and pretty much all over the hands and forearms.

I then had to build back up my highlights so I used Vallejo Game Colour Goblin Green.  This is only slightly lighter than GW’s Goblin Green if any different at all.  Although this was sound blending and colour progression, it wasn’t a big difference maker and was probably a poor choice given my goal of speed.  Then I got serious about highlighting the skin, I used a medium aged octagon pot of GW’s Striking Scorpion Green.  Finally highlights were with a round pot, that is starting to really show it’s age of, Bilious Green.  That pot was one of the first ten or if not ten, twenty I ever bought.  It came in I think the Monster Paint Set.

2 coats of green paint and a wash

2 coats of green paint and a wash

I think I took a break during the greens, I know I took a WIP photo.  The model was basically done, the big three of tunic, trim, and flesh were finished.  So I decided to ‘stick it to the man’ and not highlight the brown.  I quickly put brown over the leather straps, quiver, and arrows and practically ran down the hall to photograph them thinking I was done and it was time for dinner.

I think it was about 5pm.  As I was uploading the photos to my computer from my iPhone I remember, “Oi I didn’t paint the eyes!”.  Turns out I didn’t paint the mouths either.  These are important elements especially for Night Goblins.

This can be a tricky phase as you can ruin or at least damage careful highlights.  I dotted the eyes white, then Sunburst Yellow, another epically old pot, but not as old as the one beside it which will remain nameless (Badmoon Yellow from the Ork VS Eldar paint set).  That was it for the eyes.

Greenskin is good to go

Greenskin is good to go

The mouths I did a bit differently than usual.  I got out the paint colour I’m making famous, Reaper Master Series Clotted Red and painted the entire interior of the mouth with it.  I then got out Vallejo Beige and made sure it was subtle and painted the teeth.  The teeth on these models are like a carved pumpkin they go back as little triangles way into the back of the mouth.  This is not the norm for GW teeth and I wonder why it was done this way, probably something to do with lasers.

Anyway I think I took a WIP photo and despite being tired and hungry I did one more trick on the mouths.  I took a drop of water and some plasma red ink, mixed up a thin wash and filled the mouths with it.  I then leaned the models on their backs so it could colour the teeth and dry.  You have to wash that your wash doesn’t overflow.  If it does, quickly soak it up with a brush.

The false finish

The false finish

After laying on the couch listening to some blues, it was time to re-highlight the teeth.  It was necessary to touch up a lip here and there during the whole mouth painting process.  Highlights were done with Vallejo Beige and boring old Skull White.

Then I took a nap.  That’s right no dinner for me I was beat.

Much later I dragged my ass out of bed, photographed the models as best I could, typed up this here blog entry/tutorial and then gave the models a coal of Purity Seal.

Finally Finished Night Goblin

Finally Finished Night Goblin

Tomorrow I will base 54 Night Goblins and their magnetic movement tray, or die in the attempt.  Well maybe things aren’t that dire, it is just a game.  Damn mandatory mercenaries week in the Mighty Empires Campaign.

Five Franticly Painted Night Goblin Archers

Night Goblin Pose 1

Night Goblin Pose 2

Night Goblin Pose 3

The unit in their magnetized movement tray

The unit in their magnetized movement tray

Good morning sports fans.  I was up until quite late last night cutting little squares of magnetized material so that I could show off a completely built but not completely painted magnetized movement tray for a Horde of 54 Night Goblin Archers.  One of my discoveries late last night was I only had 50 Night Goblins in the unit, well 49 and a hero so I cleaned and prepared five more archers which I’ll paint this afternoon.

I’m up obscenely early bringing you the freshest miniature painting news from my painting table.

Making a magnetized movement tray isn’t any harder than making a non-magnetized one, but it does take time.  The most time consuming part especially for a Horde of 54 Night Goblins is cutting the small squares of magnetized material and affixing it to the bottom of each miniatures base.  You could use regimental bases to speed up the process, but I did 55 individual bases.  The hero was of course magnetized too.

Piece of balsa wood is too narrow

Piece of balsa wood is too narrow

The first thing you need to do is determine how large of a movement tray you need to make.  In GW land the most common base sizes are 20mm square and 25mm square, so the interior size is likely some multiple of those two numbers.  I’ve found they are sometimes a bit bigger when they have a miniature on them so it is good to leave a few millimetres wiggle room.  The movement tray was to be 11 goblins wide and 5 goblins deep.  I grabbed the piece of balsa wood I used for the Plaguebearers base and it was just a little too small.

Depth is close enough

Depth is close enough

You need to allow 3-4 mm depending on the material used for the edges.  I make my bases with three edges just like the ones GW sells.  Maybe four edges is better, I don’t know I’ve only made a few movement trays in my time.  I play mostly round base games where you deploy in dispersed formation not ranked up.

Measure twice and mark before cutting

Measure twice and mark before cutting

After cutting out the bottom of the tray it is important to check your measurements two or three times.  I used a metal straight edge and an exacto knife to cut the balsa wood.  Go slow and apply moderate pressure, eventually you may need to apply more pressure but by scoring it once or twice at low pressure you have a good groove to follow.

With the bottom ready it was time for the front and the sides.  I measured and cut the front first.  Then I use the front in measuring the sides.  I measure and cut one side then I make a twin.  When all three edge pieces are ready it is time to glue them to the bottom of the movement tray.  I used balsa wood for the sides as well, a little deeper piece than before about 3-4mm wide and about 5-6 high.  I wanted a deeper tray to accommodate the magnetic material.

Clamp and glue movement tray sides

Clamp and glue movement tray sides

Now you have to measure the inside space of your tray.  You only really need to measure the width.  Once you have your measurement transfer that measurement to the magnetic sheet.  I used a silver sharpie to mark the black magnetic material.  I again used a metal straight edge to cut the material.  I used a depth of 10cm for the other measurement, it overhung the wooden bottom by a couple millimetres but I figured it was worth it.

I used simple wood glue (Weldbond brand if it matters) to glue the magnetic material to the bottom of the tray.  Make sure you get the poles correct.  The other magnetic sheet I used had adhesive already on one side so it can only be applied one way so make sure the bottom of your tray isn’t repelling.  I then put something that weighed a kilo or two on the tray bottom and let it dry.

3mm extra space

3mm extra space

I was working on a number of different little projects at the same time, including how I was actually going to finish the bases of the model.  I have Autumnal materials which look alright but some of them I’m unfamiliar with.  Peabody wrote a tutorial on how he does his bases and I’ll be doing something similar.  I actually have the Matte Medium and plenty of pigment and ink, but I think I’ll just use white glue, that is how the test model was done.  I don’t want to make a mess of the entire unit.

Magnetized Night Goblin

Magnetized Night Goblin

Now after some drying time, which you really don’t have to wait for if you’re a keener, it is time to affix the magnetic material to the bases of the miniatures.  This is made really easy by the fact that I bought two types of magnetic sheets.  I bought both types at Urban Source on Main Street in Vancouver, but you could order the stuff off the internet I’m sure.  I carefully measure 20mm and then using the metal edge and the exacto knife cut out a long thin strip.  I actually needed four of them.  I could fit 15 bases on one strip.

It is actually pretty tough making a long perfectly straight cut with an exacto knife so in hindsight I might have been better off marking it with a pen and using scissors.

Once I had the strips I just grabbed a mini, put it on the white side, traced the edge and cut it with the exacto.  Eventually I switched to cutting the strips with scissors.  Once you have your little square just peel off the backing and put it on the bottom of the miniature.  It is better to have a little bit too much magnetic material than too little.  It cuts easy so once you have it on the bottom of the base you can use your exacto knife to trim it off, just like cleaning flash from a miniature.

Mostly magnetized unit

Mostly magnetized unit

Now since I’d let my glue dry on the movement tray, I could rank up my models as I magnetized them.  I did do the upside down test, all three plastic Night Goblins stayed affixed to the tray, even using less powerful magnets.  I never tried this test with my metal models in the unit nor did I tip the whole unit upside down.  The models stay put quite well and make it so it is easy to move the tray and the unit around.  Tipping your whole unit upside down and shaking it is just dumb.

Once I discovered I was a few goblins short of my desired unit size I got out some more Night Goblin archers that I got off eBay.  I cleaned them and magnetized their bases too.  Then I ranked them up, took a picture and went to bed.

Night Goblins from eBay

Night Goblins from eBay

See that wasn’t so hard, you can base the models however you want and use a little bit of basing material along the edge of the movement tray to help it blend in some more.  The models, even the metal ones, stay in place when you tip, tilt, and jostle the tray.  None of them tip over or fall out.  Yet you can pluck them out without any trouble as well.

Yet more basing materials

Yet more basing materials

Today I’ll be painting five more archers as I’d rather have one unit completely finished than borrow an archer from my other unit for the game on Sunday.  I’ll also be test basing another archer and my fanatics until I’m satisfied it looks as good as I can get it in the time allowed.  I dug out yet more basing material, including some fancy leaves I got off of Antenociti’s Workshop, they almost seem too nice to use on 15 year old, not terribly well painted, plastic goblins.  I’ve been stockpiling stuff for years and it is time see it on the table, so some of these leaves will find their way onto goblin bases, maybe just the front row, I painted them nicer too.

Autumn Test Goblin

That is the first test goblin base.  It was suggested I wash the ballast, I tried too washes, the ballast like cat litter is absorbent so it came out looking messy.  I don’t mind it as is, it is the weird red stuff that I bought so much of that doesn’t look too good to me.  It will be used judiciously, perhaps mixed in with some ballast or even some green flock.  I believe I still have some of the original green flock I bought over 15 years ago…

Test Fit Steed

Test Fit Steed

Welcome back intrepid readers to another post on working with miniatures completely devoid of stylish purple text. After letting the glue dry on the multi-part OOP Daemon models and more importantly between the cork tile and the plastic GW cavalry base, it was time to finish off the base and securely mount the model.

The first thing I did was test fit the model and I got out a sharpie and traced roughly where the feet would go.  Then I looked in my toolbox for two part resin epoxy.  Finding none I decided rather than bike to Canadian Tire I would just use super glue to pin the model to the base.

Perhaps if the model was plastic this wouldn’t be necessary, but as this model was multi-part metal and was to serve as a Herald of Slaneesh in a Chaos Daemon Warhammer army, pinning the model to the base would be the wisest course of action.  I got out a piece of metal rod that I got in a whole bag from a hobby or craft store.  I got about dozen two feet long pieces in 1994 and I think I’m on the second one.  I estimated how long of a piece I need then got out heavier-dutier snips and voila a short ‘pin’.  I made sure it was long enough to go through the cork and the plastic by comparing it to the thickness of the base.

Measuring the pin

Measuring the pin

Next I used the pin vise to carefully drill into the rear foot of the Slaneesh Daemon.  I didn’t want to drill through the foot, which wasn’t exactly thick.  After a few minutes of patient twisting I had a hole of sufficient size.  I then used super glue to fix the metal pin to the model.  Then I place the model over the cork base and figured out approximately where I’d need to drill a hole in it.  Go slow with your drilling and this time you do want to go all the way through.

Glue the pin into the model

Glue the pin into the model

Using a judicious amount of super glue on the pin and both feet of the model I fixed the model firmly to the cork flooring material.  Then it was time for some more test fitting, I even decided the model deserved a head.  It also deserved ‘scenic scatter’ basically little bits and bobs to make the base unique.  I tried one of the big resin skulls, but in the end didn’t like it and went with a piece of an old 2nd Edition 40K box set Goff and another 28mm Black Cat Bases skull.

Drill through the base

Drill through the base

After they were secured to the model using Weldbond, it was time to thin some white glue and put it strategically on the base to secure beach sand.  This needs drying time, several hours, but when that has past shake off the excess glue and seal the entire cork and sand base with another layer of thinned down white glue.  This is apparently important.

Scenic ScatterThis was my first time using cork to fancy up a miniature base.  It wasn’t hard at all.  Remember to go slow, use solid basic techniques, measure twice, cut once, and when in doubt pin the model.

These Slaneesh Daemons are not a high priority in my painting queue, in fact I have to make some custom movement trays again and do yet more basing, this time 54 Night Goblins.  Oh boy! Eventually they will be primed grey as discussed previously, but first I may use a little green stuff to fill gaps in the multi-part metal model.  I’ll leave the ride unmounted until most of the way through the paint job.

Another test fit

Another test fit

Finish Base with Beach Sand

Finish Base with Beach Sand

Basing with cork

Basing with cork

Welcome back to the part of the Internet where random purple text and owning a domain called BloodOfKittens is not considered cool, where once again we will try to focus on the miniature painting hobby specifically how to give your minis that extra special base.  Hobbyists with Internet access and a credit card are spoiled these days with specialty pre-made resin base manufactures.  I’ve tried several and on my recent trip to Strategies Games and Hobbies on Main Street in Vancouver, I picked up some square bases covered in skulls manufactured by Micro Art Studio and Reaper Miniatures. I couldn’t find any cool cavalry bases (or 25mm by 50mm outside of GW land), so I was stuck with making one somehow.

Now I’d read online of the miracle basing product known to the rest of the world as cork tile.  Basically they are a form of flooring for homes, I found some excess thin cork at Urban Source, also on Main Street in Vancouver, which was 50 cents a piece.  You can use this cork to make bases, or rubble, or even buildings for your miniature wargaming needs.

Clamp and Glue parts together

Clamp and Glue parts together

First you need to cut out a piece of cork about the size of your base.  It can be a bit bigger on the front and the sides, but for ranking up not too big.  I don’t really plan to rank this model.  After you cut the basic shape you just randomly bust off, or pinch off, little bits of cork around the edges until you end up with an irregular shape, that fits basically on top of your plastic GW cavalry base.

Trim model tab

Trim model tab

Once you have a suitable shape, you get out your white glue, in my case Weldbond brand and you coat the cork with it on one side.  You then position the cork on top of the plastic base and clamp it tight.  Now you really need to give the glue time to dry, that is why I started with that part of my basing task.

Next I started cleaning up the bits and pieces that make up an old Chaos Sorcerer, an old Steed of Slaneesh with Daemonette rider, and an old Fiend of Slaneesh.  I used a file and in some cases an exacto knife.  The Steed did not have a tab, but may have had one originally, I got the model in a trade of sorts in about 1996, maybe be a bit after.  I filed down the feet so I’d have a nice flat surface to work with.  I test fit the legs and put weight on the back to see which position would be most solid.  Then I put super glue in the molded holes and glued both legs at once and let it sit.  It stands upright as you can see in some of the photos, this should make mounting it to the base easier.

Marking hole with white paint

Marking hole with white paint

After that I glued the rider together.  I twisted the upper torso around quite a bit, not to be dramatic, but because that was how the model fit together tightest.  You can do a certain amount of filing and adjusting, but sometimes you just have to go with whatever pose works best.  Finally I glued the lower jaw to the head and let the Steed sit on my hobby table in three separate pieces, four if you count the base.

The sorcerer was going to be the easiest, but still might provide a lesson in mounting models to resin bases.  That is right I’m using pre-cast skull bases that I bought in a blister.  I clipped off almost the entire tab on the sorcerer.  When mounting metal models to resin bases it is best to leave a small spike of metal jutting out from the bottom of the model.  I didn’t take the best photo at this stage but I was busying working away and all these pictures were just quick snaps with my iPhone.  After filing the the tab as level as possible I then test fit it on all five skull bases in the blister.  I found the one that seemed to work best with this model and I painted a dab of white paint on the metal spike.  Then I again test fit it, now there is a little glob of white paint on the base where the spike should go.  You then drill this out with your pin vise.

Adding plastic to the metal base

Adding plastic to the metal base

Then you test fit the model again and assuming all is well glue the bottom of the model and the spike to the base.

Setting aside the sorcerer I turned to perhaps the most problematic of the three models, the circa 1995 Marauder Fiend of Slaneesh.  I gave this model a good filing and test fit the various pieces.  The main torso is in two pieces and the base I bought for it is solid metal.  The first thing I did actually was trace out a 40mm by 40mm square of sheet styrene.  I scored it and broke it off like it says to do on the packaging.  Then I glued that to the bottom of the Reaper skull base which I’d also cleaned with a file and exacto knife.

If you use super glue like I did you only get one chance to do this.  If it is a little off you can just file and cut off the white styrene that sticks out.  Even before I opened the blister I’d decided to do this, I thought the model would slide better on the table and it added a little bit more height to the small Fiend of Slaneesh.  Turns out the base is partially hollow, I don’t think the sheet styrene was absolutely necessary, but I had it at hand and it does slide nice on my hobby table.

Hollow underside of metal base

Hollow underside of metal base

After basing the base I decided to trim off the tabs from the two halves of the Fiend torso.  I had already decided it was best to get the torso together before trying to base it.  I left a single spike on one leg and filed the rest flat.  It actually fit quite well on the base with three legs supporting it upright.  I’ve gotten ahead of myself, old multi-part metal models are often notoriously difficult to get a good fit.  This model wasn’t bad, I didn’t get out greenstuff, but I did file it a lot before and after I super glued it together.

With the model together and an optimal position on the base determined, it was time again for a dab of white glue and the pin vise.  I didn’t drill into the styrene, the base is plenty think enough to accommodate the spike.  Again I put super glue on all four paws and the spike and set it down on the base.  I held it together for 30 seconds or whatever then got out the arms.  I test fitted them and though the pose might not be the best, again I went with the tightest fit.  One arm fit better than the other so I did yet more filing.  At some point the model came partially unglued from the base, so more super glue to the rescue.

Fitting the Fiend together

Fitting the Fiend together

With the arms on the model, it was time for the head.  This had lots of surface to glue to, but not the best fit.  I may get out the green stuff for this, but I might just go with it.  It’ll likely never be an award winning model but I still think I can make it look cool.  I dubbed it “Retro Demon” and it will get a suitably disco paint job.

I flipped over the cork base and could still see white glue.  White glue, the brands I prefer anyway dries clear, that is how you know it has set.  So it was time for lunch and a blog post, not exactly in that order, but I’m getting hungrier as I type.  Later tonight I may finish off the cork base and the Steed of Slaneesh which is the most instructive half of this little project, then it is primer and back to brush work for me.  Though before that I may build a couple of movement trays and there is also 54 Night Goblins that need to have their bases finished.  They’ll get less elaborate bases to be sure.  I have a lot of work to do in order to play in the Warhammer 8th Edition Mighty Empires campaign.

Mid 90s Fiend of Slaneesh

Mid 90s Fiend of Slaneesh

Apparently one of the tutorials I’ve written has been added to the From the Warp tutorial section which I link to from my Painting Advice page but not in this blog’s sidebar.  I’ll have to fix that.  While looking for my name in lights so to speak and eating my sandwich, I discovered this tutorial on using cork in basing so you can see where I’m going.  I tried test fitting the Steed just now, it’ll work but I’m not sure whether pinning is necessary, I was going to and I think it is for the best…

Remember to let the glue dry

Remember to let the glue dry