10 Great Links I’ve Collected

So I’ve been collecting links for a long time, since 1995, my original links page still lives, but I created a specialized one for painting advice and I’ve also put a lot of work into the collecting the links in my sidebar.  I’ve been doing some Googling for tutorials and advice and a lot of what is coming up at the top of the Google results isn’t the best stuff, so here are ten links I recommend checking out ASAP.  All will help you with your painting, modeling, or just provide inspiration.

They aren’t ranked, ten is just the magic number picked by David Letterman.

  1. Blood and Gore using Tamiya Clear Red
  2. Rust Effects the Orky Way
  3. Painting Realistic Flames
  4. Preparing and Cleaning your Model
  5. Painting Rust and Battle Damage
  6. Making ‘Arab’ buildings
  7. From the Warp’s Tips and Tutorial Collection
  8. Massive Voodoo’s Tutorial Collection
  9. Trench Making Tutorial
  10. Sidney Roundwood’s Trench Terrain
Advertisements

I’m going to need more Popsicle sticks

So although I said I was going to switch to working on my Astronomi-con Vancouver army and some more test models, I ended up working quite a lot on the next trench table tile.  This tile is ‘D2’, it has a name too.  I really should put some of my planning documentation on this blog.  I’ll save that for a slow hobby week maybe.  I got a few other things I’m saving for when I’m making less progress.

First two terrain tiles

As someone currently unemployed, who owns too many unpainted models, including a pile of material for a trench themed miniature wargaming table.  So I put another coat of black paint on a tile.  After first test fitting the tiles and scatter terrain, I eventually decided to do the planking last night.  It took quite a while and after only two tiles, I think I may have used half of my Popsicle sticks.  They are cheap and easy to find in craft stores, but this tile isn’t even the one that needs the most planking.  The wider trenches are easier to work with, the narrow more realistic tiles might be quite frustrating to do the planks.Clamps are useful

This time I made the planks fit pretty well.  I even used some balsa wood on part of it to make it level with the foam.  I also implemented my exit scheme.  One of my pet peeves with miniature terrain is the ladders are always modeled too small to be useful.  Miniatures often end their move half way up, but you have to pretend.  Ramps are great to show exactly where a miniature is, but they take more space and are not terribly accurate.  Stairs have to be oversized, but again aren’t something you normally seen in trenches.  I made a hybrid, it is a very steep ramp with two narrow steps on it, so miniatures can end part way into or out of the trench.  I’ll probably make some stand alone ladders that I can just plop down, they are also available for sale.  But I plan to model two more exits.

I’ve also lined one side of the trench with plastic sandbags, but the pictures of that are still on my iPhone and the cable is at home.  This was just for fun.  It goes against my modular everything theme, but I wanted to try them out.  I clipped them all off and put them in a jar.  Some are a bit big for 28mm though both brands are 1:35 scale.  28mm falls between 1:35 and 1:48.  Using pre-made resin pieces is easier, no gluing, no clipping, no cleaning, but I’m not sure which is cheaper.  Making your own sandbags out of a modeling medium might be the cheapest and most flexible, but for speed pre-cast resin pieces is the way to go.

Finished Popsicle planksMy plan for this evening is to put down a layer of black paint and then a layer of grit (cat liter) before bed time.  I plan to use a bit more grit than last time, but the big difference will be using a lot more beach sand.  I also will likely put some scattered bitz down at the same time as the sand.  I already put a drum for rainwater perhaps in the trench.  I have three pieces of resin scenery also on my painting table and will make three more pieces of scatter terrain which will spread into no man’s land.  These will be based on plastic GW tank traps, as although I want an opening in the defenses to slip the odd scout out of the trenches, which is historically accurate, I don’t want it to be a weak point so several tank traps will be further protecting the position.

For the record I prefer the Italeri brand plastic sandbags.  They have more detail, with a garbage bag style end.  Both brands have a couple different shapes, but the Italeri are solid, well the other brand is hollow so you can only put one side up with the green ones.  The green ones are bigger which works less well for 28mm.

Two brands of plastic sandbags

Trench with sandbags and planks

Taking and holding trenches in Warhammer 40,000

So now that I’ve finally started work on my modular trench battlefield, I’ve been thinking, how best to take and hold trenches, or more succinctly which armies and units would be best for the task.  My goal with the battlefield is to take Warhammer 40,000 back to its World War One influences, alas I fear no amount of carving foam will stop skimmers, jump infantry, or deep striking.  To that end I think Codex Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies will do the best on this board and the mission that will go along with it.  Those armies are quite versatile and have access to skimmers with transport capeability.

But what about… Eldar and Tau they have skimmer transports?  Eldar in particular with all their specialized troops may do a pretty good job of taking entrenched positions, but holding them?  Eldar are supposedly not geared for a war of attrition.  As for the Tau, even with Kroot I’m not sure they would do a very good job at storming the trenches.  Now Orks and Tyranids, they can send waves of troops at the enemy, but digging in defensively really isn’t their forte.  Deamons are a total wild card and the specialty marine codices, which are getting a lot of love online, mainly bolster the offensive capabilities.  Lots of jump troops may gain you the enemy trenches but holding them plus your own defensive positions?  Space Wolves might do better than Blood Angels at this type of thing due to the awesomeness of Long Fangs and Grey Hunters.

While giving this all some thought I even wrote up a Codex Marine 1500 army list and looked at more obscure chapters, but since I’m trying not to buy any new minis, starting a new army, even Marines is out.  So the question then becomes what can I do with my existing armies and their rule books to make them more effective on the battlefield I’m building?

My trench table is destined for next year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  You could say I’m starting early, or you could say I’m starting too late for this year’s Astro…  I currently have two painted armies in my display case, the Diseased Sons and their non-Nurgle allies the Nefarious Fire plus my old, old Ork army.  The orks will see the table top again, but optimizing them for a mission isn’t a priority, just getting the units legal again is the priority.  This year I am running Chaos Space Marine at Astronomi-con Vancouver, but next year I planned to run the Servants of Decay from Imperial Armour 7.

No one seems to be using that list or building an army for it.  The regular Imperial Guard Codex is too good, most people are using it for their traitor guard too.  Not me, I like to be different and I’m not afraid of a challenge.  I made a quirky assault oriented list, knowing full well that WS2 and WS3 troops with questionable leadership doesn’t sound like an elite offensive force.  While thinking how hypothetical armies would do on a hypothetical battlefield in a hypothetical mission set 40,000 years into the future, well I decided maybe I should adjust my proposed army list.

I wrote out another list, selling back some things, adding others, but I continued to avoid the option of taking plaguemarines.  I wanted a pure traitor guard force, even though taking plaguemarines would save me money an painting time.  Plus when I looked at other army list I recognized the need for elite assault troops to gain the trenches, but for my own army I was trying to make due with Rabble and Rebel Militia.  Finally I said enough is enough, lets throw a squad of ten plaguemarines into the mix.  Plaguemarines aren’t cheap pointswise, I had to sell back Rabble and Plague Zombies, as well as eventually removing my Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices over the course of tweaking the list.

Non skimmer Fast Attack I think will just get bogged down in the mud.  Jump Infantry might work, I intend to try it with my Chaos Space Marine army, but they too could die crossing no man’s land.  Getting rid of my lone heavy support choice may seem odd, but if you’ve read the army list, the command HQ can take a pile of heavy weapons teams.  I’d already maxed out on mortars before I even thought about making my list more effective on the battlefield I’m building.  Hopefully I won’t miss one or two extra heavy weapons a turn.

The army list I ended up with has Plaguemarines leading the assault.  They are supported by Rabble and Militia men.  The Plaguemarines might be able to breach the defenses and/or tie up the enemy for a turn or two allowing the Rabble and Militia to advance.  I bought my militia squad an armored personal carrier, figuring it was worth a try.  If it gets stuck, they just get out and walk.  The plague zombies I feel will make better defensive troops.  They are Fearless and harder to kill, but they are slow.  I think they work better occupying space, though they can tar pit the enemy too, if in sufficient numbers.

Before I added in the Plaguemarines, my command squad were my best assault troops having two models with WS 4, whoo hoo! Alas they are few and they aren’t armored.  I bought them an APC too, but they may be better served getting out and hunkering down.  I now forsee using them as a counter assault force.  The leadership they potentially provide to the rest of the troops on defense necessitates them being placed centrally.

I just counted and my proposed 1500 point Servants of Decay army list with the 10 Plaguemarines, has 14 models with WS4 and 18 models with BS4.  My Rabble alone have more models than that, they are WS and BS 2, booyah!

My mortars will go in my trenches or behind them.  Massed mortar fire isn’t popular in 40K, but I’m still going to try it.  It is historically accurate and with a little luck could pin the enemy in their trenches allowing my Rabble and Militia men to advance across the battlefield.  Also to be used in a defensive role are the best troops available to a Rebel Militia commander, the Disciples of Xaphan.  These are basically veterans with superior moral and access to a wide variety of guns and equipment.  They have BS 4 unless they take a heavy weapon in which case their ability to aim magically decreases.  This is an odd quirk of the list, it is impossible to get heavy weapons with BS 4.  I think regular guard can do this, or through orders or special characters or something can improve their aim.  Regardless, even with the addition of the plaguemarines, I’m still treating my Disciples as an elite unit.  They are basically my sharp shooters.  They’ll be deployed with the best field of fire and will pick off advancing enemy infantry.

That’s about the gist of it.  Assault force of plaguemarines supported by Rabble and a few Militia men.  Doesn’t sound too intimidating, most armies should either be able to out shoot my army or out class it in close quarters fighting.  That’s the lot of traitor scum I guess.  Even sending out almost 50 models into no man’s land I’m not too confident I can take the enemy’s position.  Sending that many models to attack which is both likely necessary and historically accurate leaves my sharp shooters, my mortar, and my command HQ defending my lines, plus of course zombies.

“Using zombies to bolster your line” by Muskie McKay coming to Osprey soon.

I gave a go at making a Chaos Space Marine army list that might excel at trench warfare, but I’m going to experiment some more with it.  Astronomi-con allows the use of Imperial Armour rules so that makes things a little more interesting.  I still think Marines and Guard will be best for this mission, any one else have an opinion?

I own too many unpainted models

I blame the internet.  Plus the fact that I’ve moved around so much my greenskins in particular were in storage for maybe ten years or longer.  I just went through an old home made case I thought was mostly empty of miniatures to discover it was more pieces of my WFB Orcs and Goblins army.  I knew I owned that stuff, but I’d kinda given up getting it painted after burning out paint a 100 plus plastic goblins.  I also discovered in another twin case that I had more OOP 40K ork stuff.  I even told the Waaagh as they have some other old timers who would take my collection off my hands.

My current unemployment has hammered home that I have just too much hobby stuff.  I mean armies I haven’t used for a decade… If I could host, I could invite people over to play, so I’ll keep working on terrain, get a new job, and then afford a bigger place.  However no matter how much painting I do in the next two years I’m not finishing off all the unpainted Chaos and Ork models I have no way.  In order to give myself a chance I’m done buying new stuff, especially impulse new stuff that doesn’t even fit my core two armies.  What I don’t paint in two years or at least think about painting or incorporating into my painted miniature collection in some way will be sold informally or eBay’ed.

We’ll just have to see how well I do, what’s the date, June 26th 2010, so we’ll see what June 26th 2012 brings.

Of course there are exceptions, one thing I’ve been collecting bits for and pricing out new models, expensive Forge World models is a Rebel Militia army.  I couldn’t afford to and didn’t have the time to paint an entirely new army by this years Astronomi-con Vancouver, but to coincide with the debut of my trench table, I plan to have a new army too.  This will require buying some Imperial Guard and Forge World bits.  However since this is my first new army since 1996 I’ll make an exception, it is my older armies that are too big.  The rules keep changing so project priority changes and I’ve just bought stuff during deals or even won stuff to accumulate my unpainted, even unassembled, and unopened horde of metal and plastic.

Enough or too much.

One Down, Twenty-three to go

So it took a while, and the last wash is still drying, but the first tile in my modular trench table is finished.  Now I only have to make 23 more.  Even at one a week that is 23 weeks and that doesn’t even count all the time I spent already, especially doing research.  I scoured the internet for bits and tutorials. I bought books, I’m going to see a few movies, but basically I got it right, not historically perfect, but good enough. Almost Done

Things to improve, more grit.  I will put beach sand over most of the tile next time.  Cat liter can bunch up and not let scatter terrain sit on it very well, but beach sand, nothing I make is going to be so delicate that it can’t sit on top of beach sand.  I’ll still have the really fine sand for some spots, but their won’t be bare foam showing like on this tile.  I drybrushed it, but the grittier stuff takes the drybrush better.  I could do a heavier drybrush but I’m trying to get better at drybrushing not worse.

I wish I would have put another piece of battlefield debris by the crater I carved into the tile.  That didn’t come out as nice as the ‘bought’ craters, but it may be cover-able with scatter terrain, if not on this tile then on some other.  The other option is to put a lot more grit, maybe even some foam or cork.  I bought some scrap cork the other day, as part of my two dollar expenditure at the strange craft store on Main Street.

Awesome Paint Job Rust PigmentsThe next time won’t be done for a while.  I need to finish off my army for this years Astronomi-con Vancouver.  I think I need to paint five more guys, a couple rank and file and my HQ.  I put enough effort into this tile, hopefully I get better.  I plan to thin the Terra Cotta paint next time, this time I just put it on pretty much out it came out of the container.

One last thing I tried out was some pigments I got off of AwesomePaintJob.com, this was a bit of an impulse buy, as I already had some pigments, but I was big into trying out new techniques, and one I’ve never used much is pigments.  I also mixed into my rust mixtures, Rust Brown Ink, water and later, the Foundation Orange.  I’ve tried out a lot of new, small, one person hobby companies, after reading about them on Table Top Gaming News or elsewhere.

Down in the Trenches

The Finished Tile

One tile nears completion

I’ve finished the scatter terrain, I’ve finished the dry brushing, I long ago finished construction.  All I have left to do is some fine detail work and take some decent pictures for the fanboys.  ;-)

However since I want to get out of the house, maybe watch some World Cup, try to find a job, I’m going to quickly update this blog, as I do have a lot of new pictures to show off, and I want to write down what I did, in case anyone wants to try and duplicate it, or in case I forget what I did myself…

First of all some eye candy, this is my test model, posing behind some sandbags made by the guy who runs EllaDan.de, these are about the nicest sandbags I’ve found.  He may sell you some if you ask nice.  I painted them with GW colors, the greens are Gretchin, then a no terribly effective drybrush of Camo, followed by 1.5 washes of Gryphon Sepia.  Then I did a dry brush of Rotting Flesh which was more effective.  I painted the dirt: Scorched Earth, Snakebite Leather, and Bubonic Brown in progressively lighter drybrushes.  That’s it, quick and relatively painless.  To speed up the process skip out the Camo green and the Sepia wash.

IMG_0010

That above picture is on Flickr along with some of my other finished models.  The Sandbags are a bit shiny, I think they will be getting sealed with a Matte sealant.  Darren was recommending Testor’s the other day, may have to invest in some when I’m gainfully employed again…

So what else do I have to show you, why lots of browns of course.  This project requires lots of black and brown paint so I bought a bunch and chose the ones I thought would work best, lets see how I did…

Chosing the best browns

So I gathered together all the new and old browns I’d bought and chose the following, for dirt Brown Velvet followed by Raw Sienna.  These are then labeled D1 and D2 as that is the order I will drybrush them on to the rocks and sand.  The final dry brush will be GW’s Bubonic Brown as it will help the terrain match my armies bases some.  For the wood I wanted contrast with the dirt and the GW colors and ended up chosing Terra Cotta and Golden Brown.  All these craft paints are made by Delta, three are labeled Delta Ceramcoat and the third is just an older or newer style bottle.  They are 2 Fl. Oz. and available at craft stores for about two bucks a pop.

Hopefully these four bottles which are basically new and full will last the duration of this project.  The From the Warp guy is a fan of these paints, he uses them on his miniatures I believe.  They cover pretty well, I just straight drybrushed them on except the Terra Cotta…

Terra Cotta which is what I painted the planks goes on pretty orange, especially if you paint it thick.  Try to avoid putting too much of it on.  When I paint wood grain, which is the case for the foot bridge and the planks in the trenches I try to paint in the direction of the grain.  This lets the brush lines sink with the wood grain and with a black undercoat is a quick way to add detail.  Again too much Terra Cotta and this works less well.  That said wood shouldn’t all be the same uniform color, especially not in the trenches so a little darker or lighter base coat here and there shouldn’t matter.

Now things weren’t looking as nice as the footbridge I did with GW paint, but just tell yourself it is the aggregate effect that counts.  It doesn’t matter how well you highlight a given plank, the effect you want is a whole battle field.  Hold the terrain at arms length and it will start looking better, this is about how close people will get to it.  People pick up models, terrain generally just sits there.  Also tell yourself you have to paint at least 23 more tiles and that it will look better when you finish.

So after the orangy and a bit patchy coat of Terra Cotta dries I then finished off the scatter terrain and the next morning begain the drybrush fest.  First I drybrushed the scatter terrain, then I drybrushed Golden Brown on the planks.  Then the three browns mentioned above onto everything else.  I never touched anything up if a little brown goes on the wrong spot push on.Stockpile of modeling stuff

The final touch is tiny details.  Over the last few years in addition to collecting resin terrain, balsa wood, and foam, I also bought up on eBay and elsewhere random battlefield accessories.  Warhammer 40,000 is heroic 28mm so I tried both 1/35th and 1/48th scale, both kinda work.  Lots of companies make bits in 28mm too and you can just use most anything to provide that little extra detail to your terrain.

I glued these on with white glue, then painted them black.  The last step will be to paint them and assemble the tile and take a decent photo or two.  You can add the detail earlier when you are doing the grit, I’ll experiment more going forward, but basically a bayonet here, a canteen there gives the terrain more personality, I plan on adding a lot of personality to this table…

Battle Field AccessoriesMore resine bits I bought on eBay.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Small realistic details, bucket, canteen, knife, etc.Almost finished first terrain tile.

One More Colour

Well I’m back.  Today has been a bit strange.  I did a little biking, found out quickly how fat and out of shape I am.  I also had a totally flat tire, so I got a new tube.  I also visited the art supply store, the local game store, and this weird craft store on Main Street.  I invested about another $25 into this project.  That is starting to seem like a lot of money seeing as I’m unemployed and have not received a cent in government assistance in almost three months of waiting now…

Enough of that, I still don’t sleep, at least not at night.  I worked on the terrain tile in the wee hours.  It should be done today.  The one thing I haven’t done that will take a bit of time is to go through my bitz boxes and various battlefield accesory kits I’ve acquired in the last three years while scheming up this project.  I have too much hobby stuff, I’d like to have a little less hobby stuff and a little more money right about now.

Colour Samples

Anyway I also bought a lot more paint, mostly browns, trying to better match the GW browns I use to do my basing on the Diseased Sons and the Nefarious Fire.  I generally do Scorched Earth, Snakebite Leather, and Bubonic Brown, all dry brushes, all the newest versions of those colors.  From my previous terrain and display base projects I learned that the cheap craft paint I bought didn’t match very well. I ended up using some of the GW paint, basically you can use two or three craft browns, but if you do the last drybrush of Bubonic Brown it looks alright.  I think I did better at matching the GW colors this time, thanks to the swatch I made.

Old Craft Paint

I also bought some browns that contrasted with the GW browns, generally some tan, beige type colours.  These will be for the trench lining.  I’ll use some GW browns for some things, especially detail work.  I think I’ll stick with a trifecta of Gretchin Green, Camo Green, and Rotting Flesh for the sandbags, likely with some Devlan Mud or Gryphon Sepia washes.

Everything should go quick and easy now that I got a good coat of black.  Waiting for the thick coats of black and the glue to dry is inefficient working on 12″ square tiles.  I’m going to work more on scatter terrain and models in the down time.  I have lots of stuff to paint.  I plan to build a few models soon.

New Craft Paint

One last tip, to coat the really rough grit, it is best to get a gob of paint on the tip of your brush and jab or dab it on the grit.  Trying to paint normal brush strokes doesn’t work so well and ends up knocking off some of the grit.  You can paint the really fine grain sand normally.  After the drybrush fest we’ll see if I’m full of shit or not.

Did anyone get the Rheostatics reference?

Three Layers of Grit

All Black Tile?