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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
So after finishing my second modular trench tile yesterday I took a break, but I couldn’t sleep so I got up and work on terrain some more. I still plan to assemble and get painting some more miniatures for my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army, but I also worked on another entrenchment. This one entirely scratch built to fill a gap, as Snapdragon only makes so many sizes and shapes. I’m wedded to the 12″ tile for at least the majority of this project.
I also cleaned a lot of resin this morning during the second half of the World Cup game. All these bits are from Ramshackle, they were bought for my ork army to scratch build and customize some vehicles, but a few of them will do nicely as battlefield debris.
I also dug out the photo I took of the drawing of how the battlefield will look. This is the second drawing and it has been fixed to the wall above my painting table for months. I’ve been scheming and planning and preparing for this project for well over a year. So far things have gone according to plan, but if I don’t get a job soon, I may have to put stuff in storage…
Finally I plan to assemble several models. I actually have a written down paint queue which I regularly adjust, but don’t regularly post to the Internet. It is one of the tabs on my army Excel file which lists all the models I have painted for the Diseased Sons and the Nefarious Fire. It also shows real and hypothetical ways to field them. I’ll have to make a similar spreadsheet for the Orks eventually. I’ve held off even making an army list for them, I want to make all or as many of my old ork figures and squads legal before I worry about tactics and optimizing.
I also uploaded the document that details the plans for individual tiles, some have detailed descriptions, others are more vague. I jotted these down one night and have been updating it and the drawing when I feel the need. I’ve even worked on a No Musk’s Land 2.0 tile layout. It requires six more tiles, so that might be for 2012.
Consulting my own Excel file, as sometimes I forget to build things or paint them the correct color. Often I write which squad a model is for on the bottom of it’s base when I prime them, as sometimes models sit on my painting desk for years…
2nd Test Bezerker
Test Servant of Decay
Test WW1 Canadian Corps Rifleman
CSM with Heavy Bolter
Plaguemarine with Melta Gun
For the test bezerker I’m using the old, original, OOP, plastic model, I have five of them still on sprues. That tells you how long I’ve been going to do some Khorne guys for… For the test Servant of Decay I think I’ll use one of the plastic Necromunda figures. He’ll be pretty much as is, but I’ll paint him in my proposed scheme of brown uniform, black boots, shoulder pads, and helmet, with purple accents. The rabble can have a variety of earth colours for their clothes possibly including some greens and reds. The big risk is the skin tone, I’m going pale blue as they are supposed to be Nurgle followers. The Plague Zombies will be more traditional greenish tinged flesh.
I’ve painted a number of Heavy Weapons for the Nefarious Fire but no Heavy Bolter, which as the cheapest will be pressed into duty for my Chosen. I don’t know when the plastic CSM with Heavy Bolter came out, but I’ve never painted one, so that is the fig I plan to use. The plaguemarine is just for looks, I have unused metal Plaguemarine havoc bits, so I figure I’ll paint one up. The plaguebearer is just for fun, I like to have one on my paint table to use up colors or to test techniques, Nurglings are great for this too. I’ve already got a couple on the go, which along with touching up some old models I hope to finish off quickly.
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.
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…
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.
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…