Thursday, January 30, 2014

The 3,453rd quick and easy stone base idea!

   Howdy folks.  I know, I know, there are about a gozillion "EASY" ways to make stone bases for the minis.  Here is gozillion and 1.  But no, really, this is really easy, and fun, and simple...

  At the railroad hobby stores they have plastic sheets with textures already imprinted on them.  These textures are very deep cut and are perfectly easy to use as press molds.  Here are the simple steps;

1.  Get a sheet of stone, brick, cobblestone or whatever you like.  I got mine from Caboose Hobbies.  Mine is called "Crazy Paving" and it is a G-Scale material.
2. Get some epoxy putty.  I used milliput white for these bases.  Mix it up, roll it out or whatever you have to do and put a big glop onto the base.  Get your fingers wet and smooth it out.  You don't have to be too smooth, just enough to make a good impression.

3. The sheets are HUGE, about 1ft x 1ft, so you'll have plenty of different areas to choose from.  Spray the area you want to have with some WD-40 (Which is, incidentally, the worlds best mold release for virtually anything.)
 4. Press the base into it and roll it around a bit.  You want to be sure to get it all impressed.  It's pretty easy if the epoxy putty is still a bit soft.

5. Remove the base, let dry overnight and paint to your heart content.  These really are just that easy, and one sheet of the "crazy Paving" will last several armies.  They are big enough to not make the same base twice, ever.
And that's all there is to it.  Super simple, and easy, and fun, and inexpensive and it's Internet basing idea #3,454!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick Tip - Airbrush cleaning with interdental brushes

  Good morning all.  Just a quick tip for those with, or considering airbrushes.  Rule #1 for good airbrush use is to keep it clean.  That means a good scrub now and then.  Well, I went and bought the set of 5 airbrush cleaning brushes from a well known source and was mightily disappointed.

  First, they tend to loose bristles, and that makes cleaning even harder.  After a few of the bristles come out, I get nervous about using them, because they are rolled wire and I think it may scratch the soft brass of the airbrush innards.  Also, there are three sized of brushes on the ring that you will hardly ever use.  So you pay that extra bit for nada.

  Enter the interdental brushes.  I got my package at a CVS pharmacy, but I'm certain any decent druggist or pharmacy will have something like these.

  The great things about these;

  • Cheap - I bought a pack of 36 for about $6
  • Graduated size of bristles.  You can use 'just the tip' (sorry Screaming Heretics :) for detail cleaning or stuff it all in for deep cleaning
  • Tough - The bristles do not fall out, nor does the wire bend leaving you with a crooked, useless piece of scrap.
  • Disposable - use it and trash it.  very simple.
  So, just a quick tip for you to enjoy.  Give them a look, they may save you some headaches.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lessons learned BatRep - 1750 Necron vs Space Wolves

  Wow!  What a game.  What a great freakin game.  It was infuriating, excellent,  really long and gobs of fun.  I don't care what anyone says about 6th edition, I'm having a lot more fun with 6th than any previous version.

  Devin came over last night for a rousing, pre-tournament shakedown cruise for the lists.   Devin brought a bunch of Space Wolves, decked out to destroy!  (Hopefully he'll post his list...)  We rolled up vanguard deployment and Purge the Alien for the mission.  That was HUGE for me, since I only had two troop choices, an objective mission would have been devastating for me!  Kills worked just fine!  We both had some pretty good HQs, with Njal and a wolf lord on his side, plus those damnable rune priests ;)

The table layout

more table layout

And more...
Here was my list;

1750 Pts - Codex: Necrons Roster - Phalanx OU-812-1750 V5
Total Roster Cost: 1743

HQ: Imotekh the Stormlord (2#, 305 pts)
   1 Imotekh the Stormlord, 225 pts
      1 Catacomb Command Barge, 80 pts

: Royal Court (2#, 180 pts)
   1 Royal Court, 0 pts
      1 Lord, 90 pts = (base cost 35 + Warscythe 10 + Mindshackle Scarabs 15 + Resurrection Orb 30)
      1 Lord, 90 pts = (base cost 35 + Warscythe 10 + Mindshackle Scarabs 15 + Resurrection Orb 30)

Troops: Immortals (10#, 170 pts)
   10 Immortals, 170 pts = 10 * 17

Troops: Warriors (11#, 143 pts)
   11 Warriors, 143 pts = 11 * 13

Fast Attack: Destroyers (3#, 140 pts)
   3 Destroyers, 140 pts = 3 * 40 (base cost 40) + Heavy Gauss Cannon x1 20

Fast Attack: Canoptek Wraiths (3#, 130 pts)
   3 Canoptek Wraiths, 130 pts = 3 * 35 (base cost 35) + Particle Caster x1 5 + Whip Coil x2 20

Fast Attack: Tomb Blades (3#, 75 pts)
   3 Tomb Blades, 75 pts = 3 * 25 (base cost 20 + Nebuloscope 5)

Heavy Support: Night Shroud Bomber (1#, 225 pts)
   1 Night Shroud Bomber, 225 pts

Heavy Support: Monolith (1#, 200 pts)
   1 Monolith, 200 pts

Heavy Support: Doomsday Ark (1#, 175 pts)
   1 Doomsday Ark, 175 pts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tools: The $2 Paint roller/mixer for Valejo pots

  Howdy all,  been a crazy week so far, and shows no sign of improving.  I was watching some YouTube videos, and Les Bursley has a good one on rolling Vallejo paint pots instead of shaking them like I would normally do, using my paint shaker.  Well, that method always led to bubbles in the paint and paint that just shot out of the bottle when I opened it.  I hated that.  So Les was chucking the pots into a drill and spinning them.  I switched to that method and it works, but it is not very handy.  So, I came up with this...

  Yes, the $2 paint roller that is semi-guaranteed to not spin the top off or send your paint flying across the room.  All you do is put the paint pot into it, and spin the pot for a little bit.  you'll see how long it takes to mix the paint. 

  Here is my YouTube video of the creation of that bad boy, and then the picture tutorial will follow after the "read more" jump break...

And now, on to the tutorial (picture based)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The gift... The Armorcast Reaver Titan

  There are days in your life that you just wonder, "What have I done right?"  Friday was one of those days for me, in a big way!  Let me tell you a story...

  So, my friend Matt, a long time WH40K aficionado, former store owner and general font of knowledge has been dangling a Yule present in front of me for a while now.  He has been dropping hints, teasers and otherwise taunting my very presence!  The latest hints were the worst...  'Oh yeah, part of your present just came in today... from England...'  And then, Thursday, the picture came in a text message...  No, not a full shot of what the gift might be, but a macro shot of a small part of what it was.  I am not ashamed to say, I had my head in the GW and FW catalogs for quite a while, and I still couldn't place the part.

  Well, Friday night was game night at Matt's house (Zombicide, for those of you who care :), and of course, the reveal was in full swing.  When he told me to look on top of the mantle piece... I think my draw dropped off, and I remember making a comment on the order of "you dick!"  (A really nice thing to say to a friend who just caused your mind to explode... LOL).  To be honest,  I was speechless and floored!  It rocked my entire night, I don't think I had a cohesive thought for the rest of the evening, and not even from the wine :)

So here is what was on the mantlepiece...
  Yes, that is what you think it is, and for those of you who don't recall, it is the genuine Armorcast Reaver Titan.  (Armorcast is the entity that was around before ForgeWorld, not the new company that does scenery and special effects.)  This is a BIG monster, and heavy too.  This particular Titan came with a power fist arm, chain-sword arm and the Vulcan Mega-Bolter.  Of course, the Apocalypse missile launcher on top, in case you need to... WIPE OUT THE BOARD!  32 tons of sheer bad-assery!

  I had so much stuff to do today (The wife informed me we were going to movies today...) that all I have had a chance to do is mock him up for the pictures.  Tomorrow starts the prep work, preliminary design and soul searching.  I have to get the paint on this guy right, no excuses here.  He is too big and way too cool to take chances with.  I will be making some 3D printed icons for him to bring him into my chapter (Templars Sanguine).  I also have my etched brass making kit, and I think he may be the first recipient of that little gem as well.

  Yes, my head is still swimming from the enormity of it all!  I don't think I have ever gotten a gift like this before, truly unexpected and absolutely amazing.  You can surely say, I am blessed with greatest friends.  I honestly do not know what I have done right,  but I have the coolest Titan on the block!!!!

Here is one painted up, so you can see the coolness...  Just snagged the image from the web, it's not mine or anyone I know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Inquisition in under a micron

  Ok, just a super quick post about something the wife sent me.  The picture above is an actual defect on a processor chip that came from a very well known microprocessor maker that my wife works for.  Now, is it me, or is this proof that the Inquisition sees all!!!

  This defect is under .02 microns in size, she had to take the pic with her electron microscope.  Just so you know, a single strand of human hair averages 100 microns in diameter.  This image is not Photoshopped or retouched in any way :)

  And the best part, this little defect was not thrown away, it was re-worked (or worked around) and that little processor shipped.  It could very well be in the new phone you got for the holidays, or that laptop you were looking at yesterday, or that tablet....

  Sleep well... the Inquisition protects us from heresy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Woods! I need more Woods

  So I've been thinking, I have made a ton of urban scenery for my board(s), but I like the mysterious woods as well.  Soooo, I needed some woods.  I made a base and was getting ready to magnetize some tree trunks when I went to the GW store in Denver.  There I saw the Citadel Wood.

  Not exactly the coolest looking trees ever, but it would also save a lot of time and let me get something on the table quickly.  So, "what the hell"  I said to myself, and picked it up.  It turned out to be not too bad, overall.  The leaf attachments were not something I was interested in at all, but they looked like they would be very easy to paint and make look good.

  I wanted each of the trees to look subtly different and even markedly different if possible.  Walking through the forest, you rarely see two of the same trees.  (Speaking as a North-easterner at heart... not desert forests, pine forests, birch groves etc...)  They also needed to look semi alien, but very recognizable as trees.  I did not succeed on the alien part, my forest-sense got the better of me :)

  Basically, the trees and the base were primed with Valejo Surface primer, then I mixed Artist acrylic tube paints to make a suitable base color.  A very light brown.  After that I painted on Army Painter QuickShade dark tone.  Yes, I painted it on, not dipped it.  I wanted it to cover but be streaky and spotty at the same time.  After that came many different dry-brushes with different Acrylic paints until I got three distinct, but decent looking trees.

  The base was just primed, painted and then washed a bit.  Then I hit it with a PVA/Water mix and stuck the flock down.  The rocks were painted gray and then highlighted with black lightly to bring out their textures.  Then the whole mess was matte finished to secure it all.

  Even though it took months to actually finish, this was a really quick project in terms of time spent.  Maybe a few hours all told?

  So, if you're after some pretty easy woods bases for your boards, you could do worse.  Not too bad of a kit.  And just so you know, the trees do pop off the base so you can maneuver figures and hands through there more easily.  They are good and tight fit, so they don't flop and fall down on ya.

More pics after the break...  the jump break that is...  it says  "Read More >>" and it's down a bit :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It was a 3D Christmas!

  Well, we did it.  The wife and I decided to pool our Christmas presents into one big one.  We have both been looking at 3d printers and we decided to finally pull the trigger.  We ended up going with the UP! Mini from Amazon.  They had a good sale price and it has good reviews on the 3d sites as well as good comments on Amazon as well.  

  I won't go into all the details, but it is a very nice printer, all enclosed in a cabinet.  It seems to be pretty darned sturdy and well made,  So far, it has operated really well out of the box.  I have not even calibrated it yet, since it hasn't shown any sign of not being "in calibration".  It has a platform size of 4.75" inches square, and the same print height.  So, basically it will print anything just under a 5 inch cube.  It uses industry standard .STL files, and prints using either PLA or ABS.  All I have is ABS, so I cannot talk to the PLA printing.  (PLA is a softer plastic than ABS used for rapid prototyping ) 

An Aquila that I printed out.  It's pretty darned cool, I have to say.
  I connected it to the PeeCee rather than the Mac, since the PeeCee here is used only for a few things, like the silhouette and some games.  Now it is also the 3D printing station.  The software that the UP! uses is proprietary, but it seems to be pretty decent.  It will normalize faces and set everything up to print.  It does not create or edit 3d images, but most 3d printer packages are the exact same.  For software to create and edit models, I use Blender and AutoCAD for Mac   There is also a whole raft of great software out there for making 3d objects.  I also need to mention the Thingiverse.  This site is a VAST repository of 3d models, already made and ready to print.  It's huge and it has an amazing amount of stuff.  Here is a quick list of links...

UP! Website - the guys who made my printer
Tinkercad - Online 3d Design software - A great website for all kinds of 3d resources...
Sketchup - A free 3d web based modeling program that has a paid version
OpenSCAD - Software based creation of 3d objects, very cool, but blows my mind...
Blender - Open Source 3d modeling.  Goes toe to toe with all the best tools and is FREE
Thingiverse - Aweseomsauce!  Get your models here...

  So, how is this going to help the 40K and/or wargaming effort?  I'm not sure.  Not because I can't think of applications, the problem is there are too many applications.  As you can see from the pictures, I have done some test prints just to get an idea of how this will go.  I can see fro just these how man things I can do.  My first idea is to design the logo from my Space Marine chapter, and also the insignia for my Eldar craftworld (long lost descendants of Alatitoc from a cold world...)

  I also have ideas for custom bases with rocks, cobblestone and a temple look too.  I can see objective markers, different guns for custom units and the list goes on and on.  I think this thing is going to revolutionize how models are looked at and played in the future.  When 3D printing becomes more mainstream  I can see companies that don't even make models.  They just license the files to a user that have limited print numbers.  For instane, you you might buy a tactical marine that has 10 prints available.  You select the poses you want and voila, instant squad...  who knows?

  So, this thing is very cool, i highly recommend this, or any version of a good 3d printer, the gaming applications are incredible!  After the jump I have some more pictures of things printed and how they look.