Sunday, December 30, 2012

The guns of December

So, I took a break from the warhammer 40k modeling this December to make a Christmas Present for a friend.  I've had this cannon kit for some time and decided it would make a great gift if I could make a diorama out of it.

This is a James Cannon from the pre-civil war era.  These were the guns that were originally smooth bore, but were then rifled to extend their range (and useful life).  I decided to make the diorama from the Shiloh battlefield.  The kit was relatively easy to make, but needed a lot of cleanup.  There was a lot of metal nubs to clip and general cleanup to do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Desks and Buildings and Battlescapes... oh my

Delphia, all broke... a sad panda
A while back, there was a night.  A very hellish night.  Lots of things happened, but the end result was this.  My computer desk's glass top exploded into a gozillion pieces and Delphia took a nose dive.  (Delphia is my 27" iMac
with the i7 processor, 16GB RAM and all the bells and whistles).  This was a bad night.  Not only did I spend bowling league night cleaning up broken glass, but I had to sweat out whether or not the Apple guys could fix her again.  Long story short, I got wayyyy lucky.  It was only the glass, and they had one left (yes, 1, uno, singular... the last one) in stock. The great guys at the Apple store in ABQ uptown got it replaced lickety-split and I was off back home in short order.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Templars Mordain - My own Space Marine chapter

Well, it's been a while since my last post, and I do apologize.  In the next few days I will explain why.  Work has been crazy, the holidays have come and gone and travels have abounded.

I have had a couple of major projects  come up that took all my hobby time, but they were worth it.  There was also a small disaster that had to be recovered from, but more on that later, in another post.

I did however, solidify the new Chapter Banner and decided on the back-story for my made-up chapter of Space Marines.  I wonder if anyone can tell that they are an off-shoot of the Black Templars?  Am I that obvious?  LOL.  Designing that chapter banner took WAY longer than I would have ever imagined.  It is not very artistic, but rather highly stylized.  All the imagery on the banner has a meaning.  (I will make a post later to explain all the elements of the banner.)  My Templars Mordain are a rather plain jane chapter, but I did not want to create a chapter that stretched reality or bent/broke rules.  They have no special abilities and are in fact, Codex Marines.  The one thing this allows me, is Librarians, unlike the Black Templars.

The backstory is kind of simple, add 1 part angry Helbrecht, 1 part rebellious crusade Marshall and two parts very angry Adeptus Terra and you have the idea.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How do you say thanks to everyone you've ever known?

  It's the truth, it's Veteran's Day (observed) and I am trying to figure out how to say thank you to everyone I have ever known...

  Most of my friends are Vets themselves, so I have to thank them for serving with me and making my career an awesome experience.  We have, in part or in whole, all served together in peace and in war, and we came through unscathed.  We have lost some friends along the way, on the field and off duty, but we continue on.  I cannot thank you all enough for making my life what it is, and what it shall be.  We are all shaped by our environment, they say, and if that is the case, I am well shaped :)  (Even after losing 70 pounds..  25 more to go :)

  My friends that were not in the military all put up with me being in the military all those years, so I owe them a thanks as well.  It is sometimes not easy to hang around military folks.  We can break long-made plans at a moments notice if the phone rings and we "have to go".  And then there is our way of talking.  The military has acronyms for everything, and even a book to clarify what acronym means what in a certain context.  Listening to a conversation about work between military guys can be like listening to a foreign language.  So thanks everyone who put up with all that!!

  My co-workers.  Well, most of them are military or civil service, or prior military or guard or reserve… you get the picture.  I have to Thank them because they are active duty or in the same boat as me.  So, thanks all you AD guys who are still "hackin' the Mish".  You're doing yourselves proud!

  My family, well, you were screwed all those years ago.  You had to deal with it… :)  But I do thank you for blazing the trail for me :)

  So there you go, I have to go out there and thank everyone I know for serving or putting up with my serving.

  This is gonna cost a fortune in Thank You cards… I'm buying stock in Hallmark!

lol, Thanks everybody, and stay frosty!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Winsor-Newton Series 7 vs. Rafael 8404 Brushes - A non golden demon winner's Review

Winsor-Newton series 7 and Rafael 8404 series Brushes

Just like I started my airbrush review, let me tell you that I am not a great painter.  At best, I am an average to decent painter.  I can usually make my armies look decent, but they will not see the final table of any judging.  I think that is what is going to make my review of these brushes appealing.  I have no mad skillz.  I'm just an average painter.

A while back, I was painting my Necrons with the brushes I got from citadel in the various Paint sets and the 'eavy metal set I had.  I have to say, I thought I was doing ok, until I started listening to the podcasts.  All of them, Screaming Heretic, Independent Characters you name it, I listen.  Whenever they talked about painting, they all stressed getting good brushes and taking care of them.  Well, I thought I had good brushes but then I heard and read an article on the Winsor-Newton Series 7 (WNS7) brushes.  I went to Dick Blick's and ordered a set of 4.  I have to say, there was an immediate improvement in my painting.  I also learned from the podcasts and articles not to paint with the tips, but the sides of the brushes.  Nifty trick there.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Badger Renegade Krome - The airbrush that makes me look good.

Yeah, that's it.  That's my new Airbrush.  The Badger Renegade Krome.  After listening to Joe from the Screaming Heretics (pre-Accident) and other podcasters, I decided to take the plunge.  Now listen, I'm not airbrush expert, not even that good really, but I am easily swayed to try things.  In the model railroad world, some podcasters convinced me to try the Iwata line of brushes, and I did.  I popped for an Iwata Revolution CR.  I like that brush, it's really nice, but I have to give the big nod to the Krome… WOW.  I got mine from MrJustin over at Secret Weapon Miniatures for a pretty decent price.

Mine came just like you see, a nice black box that housed the brush, plus an adaptor to go from the badger connector to the normal sized air connector, a spare needle, spare tip and a nozzle cover that was nub-less.  I shouldn't say spare needle and nozzle, since they are actually .33mm whereas the one installed is .21mm.  All told, you get quite a bit of awesome with this thing.  I ended up pulling out the fitted foam in favor of being able to store both the Iwata and the Krome in the same box.

The first thing I did with it was take it apart.  Remember, you don't really own it until you can take it apart and understand it enough to put it back together :).  Glad I did to, as advanced and great as this thing is, it needed lube.  After putting it back together, it worked a good bit smoother.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Honored Imperium... Well, maybe

   I did this a while back, thought I might post it here.  It's a bit of terrain/scenery for my game boards for Warhammer 40k.  It came out pleasant to look upon, which is good. 

  The Honored Imperium set from Games Workshop was a nice little terrain package, having this statue, a large Aquila fallen onto a rubble pile and a small piece of ruined wall.  A good little terrain set for a decent price.  Enjoyable to build, and more so to paint!

Monday, September 17, 2012

6th Edition - renewed energy

Well, it's time to try to get back to it again.  Been doing some hobbying lately, but not as much as I would have liked.  I lost a great friend of 20+ years to Cancer last week and that sort of puts things into perspective.  I'm not saying I'm living for the moment, but I think I am appreciating them more as they go by.

Space Marine Paint Scheme v15.1. Basic Black, Sotek Green and Caledor Sky

Anyhow, I have been bitten HARD by the Space Marine bug (again...) and it's time to work them boys into shape.  15 different color schemes came and went, but I think I have settled on a good one this time.  It's basic black, with Sotek Green Pauldrons and Greaves andCaledor Sky highlights here and there...   Here is the first crack at it.  None of the details are done yet.

It works pretty well for me, I think.  My biggest thought was how it would look on a vehicle.

The Chapter Name is temporarily the "Stigmata Martyrs"  (A compliment to Abney Park), but that may also change.  I'll be using the crosses from the Black Templars and it may affect the name as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mini holder for painting

So, I have been painting a lot lately, and it gets me annoyed sometimes to have to figure out a decent way to hold the mini. I know almost everyone uses some of the tacky stuff for posters and what-have-you, but I cannot seem to get that stuff to hold the mini well enough. Then I recalled a holder I had seen years ago and figured I would try my hand at it. What resulted was a quick afternoon project that didn't cost much and is working really well.  The beauty of these is that they are totally adjustable, hold the fig like an iron vice and then pop the fig off with no hassle at all, and no cleaning up tacky residue or anything like that.

The fig holders are adjustable to hold any mini from 25mm base to 70mm base, square, oval or round. Very handy. Here is what you need to make a set of 10.  The total cost for me was about $25.

- 40" long 3/4" dowel rod, cut into 4" lengths - I find the 4" gives a good handle on the fig without being too big.
- Some Matte paper, heavy card-stock or even sheet styrene, cut into 2.5" squares. Need a total of 11 of these, 1 template and the rest for the mini holders
- 40 #8 Machine screws - 3/4 Long
- 80 #8 Washers
- 40 #8 Nuts
- 40 Rubber faucet washers (My ACE hardware had these for $0.20 each, most expensive part)
- 10 Flush head nails (Make sure these have a very low profile but wide head (keep the jokes to yourself)).
- Wood glue - use your fave, I used Elmer's carpenter glue
- Compass to draw lines on the template

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Doomsday Ark - Hawtness

So, I had some time tonight after my toothache turned into an extraction because the tooth broke below the gum-line.  Wonderful USAF dentistry the culprit here, it rotted from the inside out...  Anyhow, I got to finish the assembly of my Necron Doomsday Ark that I started on Sunday.  This is the first model that I actually built in small stages and painted the sub-assemblies as I went.  Very hand y way to do it.  I'm kinda bummed that I didn't clean up the model more, there are mold lines that stick out like sore digital-metallic appendages.

Here are some shots... enjoy...

Still some edge highlighting and touch-ups to do, but mostly done...

These are also on my Flickr Page if you like that better...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BattleMarkers - Great stuff!!

So, every now and then you come across a great product that fills a great need.  Battlemarkers is just that deal.  Imagine all the markers you would ever need for your 40k game, without hassles and without breaking the bank.

Imagine, if you will, That these markers are just like buttons without the pin in the back.  They are metal, excellently printed and clear coated to that they will last a long time.  That's what these markers are, and they ROCK.  They are great looking, and durable as hell.  These are not going to wipe off or fade out on you.

I needed these for my Necron army, but they also have a ton more.  In fact, I got a great deal on a Necron Package that had just about every marker you could think of for a necron force to use.  They also have a ton of markers for other armies and for the game system as well.  For $6 for a single set of markers, you cannot go wrong.  My Necron Package was $20, and it had 4 sets, so that saves you $4 over and above.  The guys shipped them out so fast I had them before I knew it.

Definitely use the link above to check out all they have to offer.  They sell through ETSY, so you know you're not getting hosed and they have to maintain a standard there.

Seriously, Run, don't walk, to this store and grab these markers, you're game will be improved.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Back 2 Base-ix Tool Rack system - freakin' great

  Very rarely do i see something online that I just have to have.  I am impulse driven, I admit, but most of those are "wants", not gotta haves.  When I saw this item from Back 2 Base-ix online, I knew I had to have it.  I wanted to rebuild my old Citadel paint station (I had the wood one, not the new plastic PoS) anyhow.  I had some 1/4" MDF here anyhow, so I ordered 2 of the Racks and a corner paint holder from them.  They are in Australia, so there is a currency conversion and the shipping is kinda high... but...

WOW!  They are totally cool. They hold every-freaking-thing and they are a joy.  I'm not sure which was more fun, building them or magnetizing them.  They have great videos to who you how they are built, and unless you are 8 or a moron, you can figure it out pretty quick.  Once together they are very strong and solid.  They are laser cut, so there is the typical burny-scorchy marks on the, they say you can sand them off in seconds, but I love that look.  Then you get to magnetize them, a job which, if done in accordance with the video, is easy and makes it so you have a perfectly mated system, where any part joins with every other part in any configuration.  Brilliant!

The racks come with jars and bottles to hold all manner of bits and bobs, and the drawer is very useful also. The paint holder is great too, but all it does is hold paint and brushes.  While it does it, and does it well, it doesn't get the fame that the Rack does.

Cons: Some of the holes for brushes could be a tad bigger.  A lot of brush makers are going to larger widths for their handles.  I have handled this small problem with a drill...

Pros: Amazing system, and the pieces they have on the site are just the beginning.  There is more to come!  Yay!

Here is a couple of shots of my new paint station with the Racks from Back 2 Base-ix...

And that's all he wrote....

"Hot Lead" DVD Review

  Ok, so I last reviewed the set of Painting Academy video's and I liked them.  The DVD production was terrible and the music was worse.  Now, alas, I have the "Hot Lead" 3 DVD set and it is AMAZING. The guy in the video, I will call him Lazlo, is amazing.  The things he does with paint on a fig is crazy cool.  And the video has great production value.  The menu system is easy to use to drill down to what you want, or you can play through an entire subject area, or the whole DVD.

  Lazlo is not a WH40K painter, or at least he doesn't paint army style.  He paints individual figs amazingly well, and the techniques he shows are phenomenal.  So while the approach isn't stylized for 40k, it suits anyone who wants to learn all the techniques and learn them well.  he shows it all, by brushstroke in great light and with great explanations.  You won't find a lot of "Missing Info" here.  What you need to put great paint on mini's is here.  He has a whole section on blending that, while a bit long and overdone, is great to learn how to soften and highlight different colors as well how to achieve the very subtle blending that makes a model POP.  The section on Non-Metallic metallic is great, as is the gems chapter.

The good and the bad

The bad = not much, there is a section on advanced basing that seems weak, but all in all, this is great stuff presented very well with very high production quality.  You can even tell where voice-overs were done after the video sessions to make it better.  That means some effort went into the editing and mastering of the DVD.

If you need/want help with your mini painting, I don't think you have to look farther than this set of 3 DVDs.

Overall = A+.  Well done!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012's Painting Academy Review

So, I have been back into the 40k hobby for a while, and I have a confession to make.  I suck at painting Minis.  I mean, I am not good at it, so I get frustrated doing it and then I turn out worse stuff.  A vicious cycle.  Then I stumble on the MiniWarGaming site and I start to like the videos they have on the site.   Then I am at my FLGS (Ares Games) and, lo and behold, they have the Painting Academy set of DVDs...

<chunk> goes the plastic and home go the DVDs.  What a great deal, I think to myself.

 good and the bad...

The good - The painting tips and techniques are ROCK solid.  They start out with basics, and move along to some very advanced stuff.  You do get your moneys worth with the content in a big way.  They cover dry brushing, highlighting, blending etc in a well lit, well produced method that makes it easy to learn and you can actually SEE what they are doing, unlike some videos where they folks cover the mini with their hands or have horrid lighting.  A great deal of thought went into the minis they demonstrate on and the techniques used on each.  The videos made me want to try the techniques (and fail, but that is how we learn).  So, content gets an A-.  The minus is just because I don't want to sound all fanboi...

The bad - As good as the techniques and videos are, they really fall short on production.  #1 - the music track is at times, too loud and at all times, HORRID loops of some canned crap tunes that make you want to vomit.  #2 the DVDs seem like they just grabbed the video's from their site and tossed them onto a DVD program and hit "create".  There is no "play all" so you have to select every video scene in every menu heading.  The menu structure makes it even harder to navigate.  20 minutes with iDVD on a MAC would have made a tons better structured DVD set.  This is more like picking videos from YouTube than a well made DVD.

Overall = B.  The presentation and video quality far outweigh the bad production quality of the DVDs .  You WILL learn alot from the DVD set and it will get you in the mood to paint!  They succeed here in a big way!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Star Trek Geekness

You know you want this.  It is the coolest toy of the week.

Yes, it does what you think...  When you enter the office, it makes the "wusshhhhh" noise of the STar Trek Doors.  Hit the comm button and you hail the bridge.  A button on the back switches the sensor from right to left side detection or both.  A volume switch will tone it down a bit. sells them...


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Necron-Metalman-Teminator Goodness

Ok, so I'm back into WH40K in a big way.  I have the beginnings of a decent Space Marines force, an Eldar Battleforce (still in the box) and now...  There is Necron goodness...

I am totally digging on painting these guys.  First, I have always really loved Necrons.  Second, the new codex and new minis are a joy to behold (except for the FineCrap minis... different rant).

My forces are going to be basic black with Copper and Blue highlights.  These guys were dry-brushed with copper and highlighted with three different shades of blue.  I also am going to replace the ghastly green weapon barrels with a far more sedate blue acrylic version.

It's so nice to be back into 40k!!