Monday, September 26, 2011

Red Box Games Review

I've let you down blog. I haven't had time to paint anything lately between several family emergencies and finally getting a job. The job has really awkward hours so once things calm down, I don't know how motivated I'll be, but at least I can afford new things (that will take years to get painted).

Because of the above, I'm going to post some filler. During Labor Day weekend, Red Box Games had a sale and I picked up a figure that I've had my eye on. With the sale and the free shipping, I really didn't have an excuse not to. Despite my first order getting lost in the mail, Tre was really helpful and sent a replacement right away. This only took three days, so the shipping was free and fast, with excellent customer service.

Since the website only has greens, I thought I'd put up a picture of the model so people could see the quality of the cast and a size comparison.

Reaper, Red Box, Warhammer Fantasy, and 40k miniatures, all similar height

The figure scales pretty decently with other brands, although the head and hands are a little small. When I say this, I mean that when compared to more popular lines that use a goofy, oversized scale, they appear to be small. The proportions of all of the body parts to each other are excellent.

My favorite part about this model, and I'm really, really excited about it, is that the model comes with pre-drilled pin holes. The only thing better than pre-drilled pin holes is pins built into the model. These are tiny pieces, and without the smallest drill bit, they'd be impossible to drill. I broke my tiny drill bit last year and have yet to find a replacement in stores.

 That little dot? That's a no fuss pin hole. 

My life made easier.

I'd recommend and if I had a use for any of the figures, I'd have no reservations about buying them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fantasy Mausoleum Terrain WIP

Originally I had intended this piece to just be a flat, elevated, grassy surface. After thinking about it for a while, I couldn't figure out what need of a flat, elevated, grassy surface anyone in a fantasy city would have.


When I carved the blocks, it was right after I had placed the mud. Although they came out ok, I probably should have waited. The second picture was inscribed three hours later, and as you can see, the area is still wet but drying. Like an epoxy, this was much easier to work with when it was drying.

I textured the top bricks with drywall mud to add stability. If you haven't seen my previous post about DryDex Spackling, you can do so here. I love working with pink foam, but areas like corner tend to become flimsy since only a very small portion of the brick is still attached to the rest of the foam. For this reason, I textured the top surface. Also, I think the bricks being raised above the ground makes the piece more dynamic, not one equally elevated area. I also textured the rest of the top to make the ground uneven before glueing on different sized ballast. 

To continue last week's post on the advantages of drywall mud over spackle, I decided to add some sunken tiles to the ground, to add something decorative to the flat area. At first I was smashing the mud off, with my pen (the bottom right) before I realized I could just cut the area out. Instead of crumbling, the mud dried to a solid patch. Although this isn't terribly durable, I could see it being a cheap alternative to greenstuff in some cases.

As a further test, I added the ballast to the area around the tile when the mud was still wet, rather than waiting and adding glue. Once this was dry, I had to add another layer of ballast. After this was done, I still wasn't sure as to what the piece should be, but I found a bunch of tomb stone bits in a bag of Empire and Undead pieces I purchased on eBay last year. I don't see me ever needed tomb stones for anything else so I decided to add them to this.

With a fence and some tomb covers with shields, I think this is ready to paint. I can't think of any other details that I can add to this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inquisition Henchmen

First off I'd like to thank From the Warp for featuring my blog last week. I'd continue the post about drywall mud but I haven't painted it yet, as I'm not sure what type of terrain piece it should be. I've got lots of WIP pictures though. I've also done a lot of airbrushing but I'm still having trouble getting paint to flow consistently.

If you've seen my blog before, you'd know that I had planned on starting a Fallen Dark Angels count as CSM army. That's probably not going to happen anytime soon. I was looking around at pieces and I can't find the bits I need cheaply anywhere. Most importantly, I need a ton of chain swords, around 20, so I'm going to slowly buy bits for them. I also need some robed Night Goblins, around 15. I haven't made a list yet so I don't know exactly what I need. What I do know is that I normally play Necrons, although I haven't played a real game since January. Playing Necrons, I tend to lose a lot of the time, which is ok because I'm used to it. Not that Necrons can't be competitive, I just have a hard time with them (and so do a lot of other people). Because I want to start a new army and I don't want to use a really old codex, I decided to instead play my first choice, Grey Knights. I had wanted to play Daemonhunters when I got into 40k but they looked like they were too hard to paint so I went with Necrons.

But now I've come full circle. I've looked around on some forums, looking at different people's lists and I don't really like any of them. I don't have any actual experience, but spamming paladins or purgation squads doesn't seem like fun. I think I'm going to run a hybrid force, since I don't plan on attending any tournaments. A Grey Knight HQ, an Ordos Xenos Inquisitor, one squad of henchmen, a dread knight, maybe a dreadnaught, some grey knights and some terminators. I don't know how that list will look, and I don't really want to use land raiders. If I don't use land raiders, I might use storm ravens or deep strike. If anyone has any advice with this type of list, I'd appreciate it. I'm sure I'll make a few forum posts when I get more specific.

Anyways, here's some henchmen I painted up from the Witchhunters Inquisitor and Henchmen set.


A crusader WIP. I don't like the blue so he's going to get a darker coat, I thought I'd try something different first though. He might need stripped at this point.


I don't know what this model would be used for, maybe a mystic? For his scrolls I found some Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, although I'd like to get a set with a finer tip. Can't beat free though.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Using a Drywall Patch for Terrain

I decided to start some terrain again since the weather is bad and I can't go spray. For this terrain project, instead of carving bricks into pink foam, I was going to sculpt them out of a drywall patch.

I've used different patches before, and I've seen terrain tutorials where people use spackling, specifically DryDex Spackling. It goes on pink and drys white, which is fantastic. Spackling is light, thick, and spongy. When it dries, it has a tendency to crack on terrain surfaces. I used some for about half of my fantasy house walls and had to recoat all of it with mud so I wouldn't be afraid of people touching it. Spackling is great for filling in cracks or small details like that, but I don't recommend it for large projects. I think it dries inside the sealed container faster than mud does as well.

I'm super dried out!

I'm not saying spackling is bad, as there's a place for it. I just don't think that place is terrain projects.

For the rest of the fantasy house, I used Sheetrock Ready-Mixed All-Purpose Joint Compound, which has turned out to be pretty sturdy. It doesn't dry as fast as spackle does, but the additional strength that it adds to the piece is worth it. This also means that it'll stay fresh longer.

You make me so wet.

I haven't done too much with the mud yet, but since I don't have a foam knife I decided to cut out some stairs in my next terrain piece. While cutting, I made a mess out of the foam. Because the stair area was so damaged, I decided to cover it with mud and just sculpt the brick onto the foam. 

The area is still wet, so I don't know how it'll turn out. It was much faster than carving into foam is, and there's already a natural texture to the blocks. When it's all dry, I'll compare it to carved foam. 

So what I really wanted to say is, I know a lot of you (who make terrain) use spackle. There's a similar material comparably priced that works a lot better (as far as I can tell).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Airbrush Practice

Now that I have a place to use my airbrush, I started practicing so I can actually get some use out of it. I'm having trouble thinning paints out within the airbrush, although Vallejo Model Air paints are working great by themselves.

I made a mold of a Menoth Heavy Warjack to practice on, mainly so that I won't need to strip the model afterwards.

I used a Tamiya putty rather than green stuff because it's about three dollars instead of fourteen. I also used Instamold.

When painting, I covered the whole thing with black paint, the airbrush does a great job making a smooth base coat. If nothing else, at least I have this use for it. I then painted almost all of the white areas with Vallejo Model Air Light Grey. Next I mixed up some Skull White  with some diluted Windex in an effort to thin my paint. I don't have the ratio right because shortly after I began spraying, the paint began to spit out of the brush, I believe because it was too thick. I added more dilution but the paint would always revert back to spitting, so the model looks very messy. Afterwards I attempted to touch up the black, and to paint the Menofixes black, as I don't have a red Model Air paint and mixing isn't going so great right now. The black came out too watery, combined with my lack of control, ended up going where it shouldn't have been.


Overall, I'm really happy how the back of the model turned out, although the front is fairly messy. I like this darker look a lot better than my current scheme, so I think I'll be painting the rest of my warjacks in this fashion. I'm going to get some Model Air paints first, so that I don't have to thin down paint and hope I get it right every time I use white.