#hobbytiptuesday - Priming Foam

 I tend to use a decent amount of foam in my basing, either to build up areas before I add texture, or EPS insulation for large scenery pieces - or in this case, using extra hard foam cuttings for making to-scale wood planks.

 In ay case, using any sort of aerosol or plastic cement will melt foam (I believe it's the xylene/toluene thinners in rattle can sprays that does that). This limits your options when priming foam and likewise limits your options when gluing plastic figures. As a planned workaround for future gluing, I inset cut sheet styrene pieces and built the rest of the base scenery around them - one problem solved!

 But what about priming? An easy fix is to either seal the foam prior to any rattle-can spraying with watered-down wood glue (in the case of larger pieces of scenery), to just directly paint it (craft paints plus large foam scenery are a cheap alternative), in this example: to use a brush-on primer on the foam areas to seal those prior to using my regular rattle-can primer on the rest of the base. Problem #2 solved!


#hobbytiptuesday - Fun with Plastic Glue!

 I'm not sure how many people have ever played around with plastic weld glue or pure acetone, but both can be used to smooth rough features on plastic models or even remove mold lines... if you are very careful! I generally use Testor's Model Master Liquid Cement for Plastic Models when gluing plastic figures together as it has a nice thin metal applicator tube that doesn't clog and comes in a slightly thicker viscosity. After the fact, or if it's parts I can hold together, I generally use Tenax 7R plastic welder (possibly discontinued, I've had it a while) or Ambroid ProWeld (still available in a goodly-sized bottle) for the same thing.

 Now for the tricky stuff - using a fine tip nylon/synthetic/Taklon brush (as this will eat natural hair brushes alive), you can actually apply either of the thin viscosity plastic weld glues directly by gentle brushing and they will smooth out modeling imperfections like file marks, mold lines, and the like. You need to be very careful with the amount of liquid and how much pressure you apply, as this literally melts the plastic of your model, but trial and error are your friend. Acetone also works, but evaporates much quicker and is even more runny. What to do when your nylon brush gets clogged with plastic? Give it a quick dip in acetone and clean it - caked-in plastic gone!

 Hopefully goes without saying that anything that welds plastic is toxic and has fumes you shouldn't be inhaling...


Children of December Based and Primed!

I've got my old DIY spray booth set up and now have the base for the Ice Golem as well as the rest of the Children of December crew primed and ready to paint! They're all mounted on Secret Weapon bases, and although it took some finicky pinning with 20 gauge beading wire (couldn't use my usual paperclip method due to the ultra-tiny feet), they're all reasonably securely fastened.


#hobbytiptuesday - Drybrushing

If you need to drybrush, I recommend a Taklon/nylon/synthetic brush, as the bristles are much more durable than natural hair brushes and won't get chewed up as quickly. What you can do is take a pair of scissors and cut all the bristles to an even length, that way the application of pigment onto your target is much more even and controlled.


#hobbytiptuesday - Brush Cleaning

Don't use dishwashing soap to clean natural hair brushes after use. These will strip the natural oils from the brush hairs and quickly ruin the brush. Ideally, use a purpose-made brush cleaner with built-in conditioner (or even hair shampoo w/ conditioner).


I Can Has Pictures Now? (Malifaux Ice Golem)

It's taken me half a week to find the bracket to mount the old overhead lamp I had been using for my photo booth setup - just found it today! I took some proper pics of the Malifaux Ice Golem finally, which I've been chomping at the bit to do since GenCon last year and our subsequent move - could anyone tell me if the Golem is actually teal-tinged (as it should be) instead of entirely shades of blue?


Getting the band back together...

I've spent the past few days going through my old half-dead paints that I haven't touched since before our move and have been bringing them back to life - 100% success rate thus far! Don't have the photo area set up yet, but I've got everything sorted and available to set up, with a card table cleaned off for room next to my painting desk. I have an overhead fluorescent put up and my painting area more or less sorted, it's just a matter of finishing organizing things and finding room for stuff to go. One set of drawers to build the next time I have a day off, and then hopefully I'll be back in business!


A "Quick" Game of Malifaux

 This past trip to visit the in-laws, my daughter and I both took our Malifaux figures to occupy some time and to see if we could sneak in a "quick" game over the weekend. I had 2 copies of the rule book, I had my stat cards and we were both going to play crews straight out of Malifaux Crew boxes - hers being The Guild's Justice, and mine being The Children of December.

 It turns out that she had misplaced her stat cards - no problem, I figgered, I'll just make copies from the book. We didn't have a Malifaux-specific card deck - no problem, we'll just use a standard deck plus Jokers. We didn't have any scenery - a search for random objects made a passable selection to cover a 3'x3' area of table. We didn't have any way of keeping track of Soulstones or statuses - some rummaging produced enough glass beads that we had enough of both on hand (mostly the status changes would be effects from Rasputina's magic, near as I could figger - but, we had an assortment of colors, just in case).

 We set up the play area, alternated placing terrain (a la Warhammer 40K scenery rules), decided on a 30 Soulstone limit so as to allow for some Upgrades and an extra cache of stones for each of us, flipped for deployment (Corners) and settled on the Turf War Strategy - we opted not to pick Schemes, because at this point, we were already an hour into things with no game yet, and my 10-year-old daughter was starting to get bored.

 Here's a picture at the end of the First Turn - she decided on being Second Player after we flipped for Initiative, we both moved our models, and the next turn it looked like the action was really going to begin in earnest! Unfortunately, I had overestimated her patience and the amount of time we had - the game was about called "done" at that point.

Lessons learned:

Have everything together ahead of time - tokens (we had none), stat cards, models, and scenery.

If playing for the first time, smaller is probably better - neither of us we're really familiar with the rules, and we probably would've had as good a time taking a token model or two each (Minions, say) and just using those to get a sense for the different interactions.

Never underestimate the amount of time it takes to get set up - there invariably will be something lost, missing, or in need of clarification.

Have fun - I enjoyed myself, but I think it was more the anticipation of things to come as opposed to the actual game (which cut off abruptly and didn't quite pan out like we both had hoped.) if you have to go smaller or trim out stuff to get momentum going, that's probably better than the "boring stuff" dragging on due to lack of preparedness.

Know the rules - While I'd given the rulebook a cursory read, it wasn't anything near thorough enough to play a game.  She'd never actually read the rules, so it was up to me to introduce all the concepts ( most of which I was a bit shaky on to begin with).

Not the greatest first game but not a horrible one, either. Hindsight being 20/20, there's a lot of things I would've done differently - I suppose most of this holds true for any game system.


Status Update!

  My family and I moved to a new house and are still in the process of getting the place situated. My prior posts about GenCon were about the last regular access and hobby time I had. We've got everything completely moved and while my painting and hobby supplies take up about a quarter of the basement floor, it's not much resembling a "painting" area at the moment.

 That said, I'll be posting some stuff upcoming: better pictures of the Malifaux Ice Golem, the base I'm starting work on, the rest of the Malifaux Children of December crew, some quality supplies I picked up from Secret Weapon Miniatures while away at GenCon, and a few other odds and ends. I'm thinking I might do some actual product reviews (now that I have various odds and ends I could review) and I really want to get back into the posting of work-in-progress updates.

A lot of stuff in the works, and not enough hours in the day!


Malixfaux Ice Golem Finished - Pics Soon™

So - I survived #GenCon, managed to finish a piece for entry into the Gen Con MHE Painting Competition, and had a great time while there.

My Ice Golem wasn't ever really a competition piece, more a high-end "tabletop standard" that's the first painted figure of my crew for Wyrd Games' Malifaux and a color scheme test for the rest of Rasputina's Children of December entourage.

Much as I'd love to post awesome color-balanced pics of the finished piece, I've been working mostly back-to-back shifts since I got home and time has been scarce.

Soon... (and time also willing, maybe a step-by-step on the other Ice Gamin some time after!)



 I was trying to paint some more on the Malifaux Ice Golem and mixed in one of Games Workshop's new paints for a highlight and some color transitions.

 This is the first I've used this Ceramite White since I bought it about a year ago - turns out this generically-labeled white paint is essentially a brush-on primer. I've used thick white paints before - VMC White, for one, and Ceramite is something completely different. It even separates differently w/ my thinner mixtures and everything. Wishing I had never bought the crap.

 Unfortunately, I used it as the white base I added light blue into, and then spread to a few other palette wheels. If I wanted to paint with, say Elmer's Glue, it would've been nice to know I was about to do that before I did it. Oh well, it is what it is.

 Guess who's relegated his wannabe Gen Con MHE Painting Competition entry back down to a regular tabletop figure?



Malifaux "Children of December" Ice Golem II

 Here's phase two, after adding in more color to the Ice Golem. The photos don't do it justice IMO (do they ever?) in that it's actually more of a teal-ish blue than an outright green.

Comments and suggestions much appreciated! I'm painting him up for tabletop use, but since the Malifaux crews are so small and the figures are so awesome, I'm painting them up to as high a standard as I can manage and then I'll just seal the heck out of 'em. (Ought to be easy, as I plan on leaving the Ice constructs semi-glossy anyhow - not sure if that'd the be whole figure or if I go in and add gloss to just the flat ice parts, I'm still undecided.)


Malifaux "Children of December" Ice Golem

 I'm making a serious effort to get the 'Children of December' gang for Malifaux painted up, ideally all of them before GenCon 2014, but I'll take what I can get. I'm starting on the big Ice Golem first, and I've finally got a color progression that I like and hope will work out nicely in the end.

 That said, does anyone have any suggestions on painting something to look like translucent ice (or how to get the dark and sinister vibe of the crew box set cover, which I love)?

Two colors in from white primer on the Ice Golem, suggestions/comments appreciated! ( I haven't painted anything serious in a good six months or so, so be gentle...)


Painting Aged Parchment

 I'm in the middle of a slow-but-steady process of migrating all the pages and images from my old hosting to a new custom domain for my painting page. I thought I'd post a slightly-revised tutorial - it feels very odd referring to paints that no longer exist in terms of step-by-step directions, but such is life.

Painting Aged Parchment


Gen Con MHE Painting Competition Rules are up!

So the rules are up for the Gen Con MHE Painting Competition over at http://www.genconminipainting.com/

  After some deliberation, I think I'm going to put anything I finish into Open and let the cards fall where they may. I entered a few things in last year - a Reaper figure I painted up specifically for the comp turned out less well-done than I would've liked, whereas the GW Chaos Lord that I've been using for my 40K (wannabe) Chaos army and put in just for the hell of it - near as I can tell it made it to the final cut.

  I realized I was in way over my head in terms of the sheer quality of stuff put in, but at least this time I have an understanding of GenCon's apparent "painting style" and competition format. All I've entered previously was Games Workshop's Golden Demon competitions a few times (granted, winning a few trophies, but still... apples and oranges standards-wise from what I can tell).

  Now I just need to finish some stuff between here and early August!


When Is A Red Sable Not A Red Sable?

I'll come right out and admit that for the longest time, I was a Games Workshop fanboy. I grew up when the only Games Days and Golden Demon figure painting competitions were in the UK, as well as the majority of the shops, and I daydreamed about visiting them and participating in them vicariously through issues of White Dwarf in my tender years.

I'm much, much older now. There's no longer a White Dwarf magazine that offers store coupons, publishes D&D rules, or offers quality painting articles for an up-and-coming young wannabe. Oddly, it might be the case again that the only Games Days and Golden Demon painting competitions would be in the UK, but I digress...

For a great number of reasons that I won't go into here, GW has lost its luster for me. It just so happened, however, that for a 2013 Christmas gift I received a GW gift card. It took me more or less until May this year to muster up the tenacity to go into the store an hour's drive away, endure the annoying attempts at camaraderie and salesmanship of the resident sales weasel, pick up a few brushes and a novel (gift card gone!) and make a hasty exit.

Everybody in my little online painting community has been talking about the Red Kolinsky Sable hair brush embargo here in the U.S., reasonable substitutes due to the lack of those quality brushes, what's so good about a Red Kolinsky Sable hair anyhow, etc.

I just thought I would post a few pictures as I tried out my new GW Detail Brush in comparison to my at-least-5-year-old Winsor & Newton Kolinsky Red Sable #0 brush, and leave folks to ponder a little bit. I am!
All things considered, they handled about the same today - a W&N Series 7 #0 Kolinsky Red Sable with thinned Vallejo Model Air paint versus a GW Detail Brush w/ the same paint applied to a figure. Granted the W&N brush is over 5 years old and the GW brush is new. Could it possibly be a Kolinsky Red Stable brush imported from the UK by way of simply moving stock internally in a product shipment, thereby avoiding customs issues? No idea. I gotta say, though, the brush hair appearance and color are a pretty even match, the hairs have the same individual shape, they have the same body so far as maintaining overall brush shape during use, and load the paint about equally. Hrm. Reasonable price, too. I'm fairly impressed!


GW Bad Moons Ork Nob

 Apparently I've never posted this figure directly on my blog. It's one that I'm actually very proud of, despite the fact that it's not necessarily painted to a display standard and I didn't go all-out with him in terms of difficulty of paint job or anything. This was one of the "free figures" that came with an issue of Games Workshop's White Dwarf magazine way back when as a promotion for an upcoming rulebook/figure combo boxed set - Orks versus Space Marines coupled with an intro to the Warhammer 40K 5th Ed. rules. I traded away all the Space Marines in return for a boatload of Orks - my plan is/was to have an Orky mob that was a throwback to Ork-related books and art that GW put out towards the end of the "Rogue Trader" era - several collections of Ork backstory, with awesome art by, well, just about all of the cool GW artists at the time.

 Anyhow, this Ork Nob figure was painted as a test to see if I could do homage to the "bright 'n' blingy" bright yellow armor and clothing of the Bad Moons Ork clan back in the day while: 1) making it grungy and rough looking, and 2) making it easy to paint and replicable across a whole Ork mob for the purposes of cranking a playable tabletop 40K Ork army out.

 I succeeded with my two aims for this figure... it was painted almost completely with washes of thinned paint over white primer. I started with the lightest color, and painted progressively darker wash layers into the shadows and then towards the deepest shaded crevices. I finished off with a layer of "grime" as a wash over the armor and clothing. The metals were painted with a solid basecoat of mixed metallic paint and dark regular paint, and then just bumped up a bit with a minimum of highlights. I tried some new materials (for me) for basing, essentially some innards from a cheap wind-up alarm clock, and cork - the base was painted with basecoats and washes as well, topped off with a few highlights.

 I think the figure turned out excellently for what it was intended to be - a test piece for an easy color scheme to use on cranking out a tabletop army. Unfortunately, when the time came to paint some more friends, I made decent progress on a batch of 5 with the same scheme... and then got sidetracked by some other "new and shiny" release. Ah well.

 You can vote for him here on CoolMiniOrNot!


Making It Official!

 I've made my mind up to move away from video games and other time sinks and re-invest my "spare time" back into painting and working with fine scale models. To that end I've created a page on Facebook specifically for my artistic activities: https://www.facebook.com/PaintingByTinweasel.
For those of you who are Facebook inclined, please check it out!

 Additionally, I've finally took the (to me) big step of registering a domain name and signing up with official web hosting for a more permanent hobby site, so I'll be working on that behind the scenes and post news when things are a little more cozy. For those of you familiar with my existing website, apparently my internet provider hasn't offered web hosting for a good 3-4 years now, unbeknownst to me - it's an unsupported little chunk carved out of the void that could theoretically disappear at any moment. I'll be shifting things over from the old site to the new and post a redirect once things are all squared away. More to come...


The Disciples of the Four Ride Back Bedraggled!

The following is a Warhammer 40K battle report, so for folks reading who don't play that tabletop game, there's a lot of specific lingo - I'd like to think I wrote things up so they're easy to follow, though.

 So it's been a few weeks since I posted my army list and wrote up about intended plans to conquer and humiliate a friend's Warhammer 40K army in the name of the gods of Chaos using a small no-fuss starter list. I haven't had much time to sit down with a clear mind and write up a battle report, but today's that day, friends!

 Well, the overall result was that the Disciples lost. I don't consider it a sound beating, though, and I'm not going to say that the dice weren't completely unfavorable - it was more a combination of things. (You can see my army list here: The Disciples of the Four Ride Forth Again!) I managed to keep things going (on less and less of a roll as time went on) and my army ended up getting whittled down completely by the end of turn 4.

 My friend fielded a pretty solid list of Space Wolves - a Wolf Guard Battle Leader fronting a small squad of Blood Claws, two small squads of Grey Hunters, and a Dreadnought - not being so familiar with the Space Wolves of 6th Edition 40K, I didn't exactly know what I was up against. We rolled off to see who went first, it ended up being him and me not able to steal initiative. By way of explanation, all I've ever played the few times I've played 40K, it's just been generic "annihilation" missions where I straightforwardly try to cut down the opponent - this time we had decided on claiming table objectives, 4 of them with random properties once discovered. I went with a strategy of "charge in and cut them down" while trying to dispute his objective claiming - it worked (at least initially)!

 In hindsight, I made some bad decisions in planning for a game other than "Annihilation" - I likely could've gone without transports, I could've went with cheaper troops, I should've picked better targets to start with; who knew? My plan was to rush the Rhino troop transports forward, pop smoke grenades for cover, disembark using the Rhinos as cover for my troops, and then charge a good target with my Lord and Berzerkers. The rest of the troops in the other Rhino would do similar so far as using the Rhino for cover, except hold in cover and act as a gunline.

 The first turn, my non-'Zerker Rhino lost a hull point and was immobilized between autocannon shots from the Space Wolf Dreadnought and a Plasma Gun in each group of Grey Hunters. I moved my Rhino full of "choppiness" up and deployed the Lord and Berzerkers with the Rhino for cover. Since I couldn't move right away, we exchanged pot shots and I killed off a Blood Claw or two. I kept the gunline CSM's in the other Rhino within the deployment zone.

 Second turn, I was able to charge with my Lord and 'Zerkers - in hindsight I should've went after the Dread and took that out right away between the Melta-bombs and increased Strength on the charge. No, instead I waded into close combat with the Blood Claws and got about 20 hits on them taking out only a few Claws - armor saves were coming out well for his guys in droves... Under the 6th Ed. CSM rules, my Lord has to make Challenges... so then I ran into his Wolf Guard Battle Leader: a guy with a Frost Axe (now an AP2 power axe), a magic necklace so he always hit on a 3+ in CC, magic power armor so he had a 2+ save against all conventional damage, and at least 3 attacks per turn. Needless to say my Lord didn't last so long, but at least his Ichor Blood splattering everywhere when he died killed off a few more Blood Claws. Oh, and my other Rhino was able to move forward and drop a smoke screen - because I moved so far, all I could get was a Meltagun snap shot and a Krak grenade at the Dread, but at least I knocked it down a hull point.

 The third turn, his Dreadnought blew up my assault troops' Rhino in a volley of gunfire and I lost one Berzerker in the blast. Did I mention each of his Grey Hunter squads had a Plasma Gun? Yeah? Well, they blew up the 2nd Rhino with rapid firing before my troops could deploy and I lost a few of them due to failed armor saves. I lost a few more of them from firing from his other Hunter squad and their Plasma Gun overheated - but his Hunter made the armor save. His Wolf Guard Battle Leader moved on from the remains of my Chaos Lord and started chopping down all my remaining Berzerkers with help from the few remaining Blood Claws, starting with the Berzerker Champion who was obligated to make a challenge. I managed to knock his Dread down another hull point with another Meltagun shot as I figgered that it was the most significant threat to my remaining troops, but that was about it.

 Fourth turn? My opponent's Dreadnought turned its full attention to my regular CSM's, who despite moving into cover and getting a better bonus cover save from the claimed objective, basically started dying en masse. Following a hail of fire from both the Grey Hunter squads, the Disciples of the Four ended up as nothing but a mass of corpses on a battlefield.

 Was the game a complete embarrassment? No, I don't think so - we both had fun and since we're both pretty rusty on the rules, we learned a lot about the new 6th Edition's gameplay. Are there some things I should've done differently? Oh, most certainly... targeting the Dreadnought first with a charge instead of the unit with the attached Battle Leader might've been good. Dropping the Chainaxes for some extra points and more troops? Sure. Forgoing vehicles entirely? Quite possibly, as I would've had more guns to fire. Not even using Berzerkers? I like them, but they do cost a fair amount of points and in this small game I probably would've had similar (if not better) results with a lot more regular Chaos Marines and extra close combat weapons.

 Let me know what you readers think! This was my first game in 6th Edition 40K, I have a minimum of models (because, well, I'm more of a display figure painter than an army builder), and I'd say my tactics definitely need work. I did have fun and my friend was a good opponent, so ideally we'd be getting in another game soonish, schedules permitting.


The Disciples of the Four Ride Forth Again!

 I'm planning on playing my first official game of 40K today in about 2 years under the newest 6th Ed. ruleset. A friend and I are only playing a 500pt starter game (as my "finished" model selection is somewhat lacking), but I'm so geeked about tonight!

 It will be my CSM's versus (presumably) vanilla SM's (or possibly Space Wolves) - any play suggestions or gaming tips for a relative newbie would be greatly appreciated!

Here's my army list:

Chaos Lord
- Power flail (power mace, essentially, but my finished Chaos Lord fig has a flail modeled, so...)
- Melta Bombs
- Ichor Blood
- Veteran of the Long War
- Mark of Khorne
105 pts.

8 Chaos Space Marines
- Meltagun
- Veterans of the Long War
Chaos Rhino transport
- extra Combi-bolter
172 pts.

6 Khorne Berzerkers
Skull Champ (couldn't resist, prefer it to Berzerker Champ)
- Power Weapon
- Melta Bombs
- 5 Chainaxes
- Veterans of the Long War
- Icon of Wrath
Chaos Rhino transport
- extra Combi-bolter
220 pts.

Total: 497 pts.

 My thinking is to have the Lord grouped with the Berzerkers, roll them all up in the Rhinos from as far forward as I can field them, and pop smoke grenades for cover.

The next turn, I'll have the Berzerkers and Lord charge into CC against something dangerous. If it ends up being Bjorn the Fell-Handed or something, between the added weapon strength on the charge from the Lord and/or the combination of Melta Bombs, then they ought to crack it open given enough time. Meanwhile, the CSM's deploy out from within 24" using the Rhino or terrain for cover and lay down as much fire as they can (ideally Rapid Fire range) with a Melta for support if anything heavy shows up via Deep Strike or what have you.

 This is a variation of a list I fielded in 5th Edition at a gaming shop again some random guy, where I had a Slaaneshi Lord with a generic Daemon Weapon paired up with my Berzerkers - first charge against my opponent's troops, I had something like 19-20 attacks and chopped up most of his Space Wolves into tiny pieces. He had also fielded Bjorn the Fell-Handed and I ended up immobilizing him before engaging in close combat, but it turned out my opponent was a bit of a poor sport and insisted that despite being immobilized, his Dread was still able to turn to face my troops from any side where they couldn't dent his armor and so I eventually moved off opposite a hill out of LoS of Bjorn with my remaining troops, so the game was pretty much a and he complained about how I should've stayed and fought. (I afterwards read the 5th Ed. rulebook more specifically and realized he actually was playing unfair with Bjorn so far as immobilization and facing, and this same immobilized Dread rule carries forward into 6th Ed.)

 In any case, I added extra Melta Bombs on the Lord and a +Strength weapon to make sure that doesn't happen again, and I'm hoping that anything the Berzerker crew can't take care of, the remaining CSM gunline can with support from the double-bolstered Rhinos (if they survive).

 Like I said, comments and any suggestions on the tentative army would be great, and I'm trying to get my painting mojo back so I can finish up the CoC figures I have pending (from previous posts) - the customer said there's no rush on them and I've been busy with work and family
(and "painter's block"), but despite that I want to be respectable and get his commission done as quickly and as well as I can.


General Statement of Intent

The weather is crappy and my existing plans for tonight have been cancelled. Barring divine intervention or another slip and fall on the ice, I WILL be painting and working on miniatures tonight!


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