Monday, October 26, 2015

Friends don't let friends bend airbrush needles

  So, guess what happens when you swing your arm around and clip the side of your paint booth with your airbrush!  Yeah, you guessed it.

  Bent the needle on the Renegade Krome.  Damn that hurts.  Took the photos with a celestron digital microscope.

  The lesson... be careful when you have your nice airbrush in your hands.  I guess my zenithal highlighting experiment waits till Thursday when the replacement comes in...  <sigh>

New Walls. For Sigmar or Warmachine

  Well, with all those new Tau moving walls running around, I thought I would cobble some together for my Age of Sigmar and Warmachine games.  Super easy to make, the process is actually in the Warmachine rulebook.  You just cut a small piece of insulation foam, I went with 1/2" by 6" and 8".  They are, of course, 1" tall.  Then I rolled up some tin foil into a ball, to get a nice textured surface.  Press that into the foam, then use a ballpoint pen to draw in the 'mortar' lines for the stones.   For the base, I just cut some dollar store foam core board into shapes, peeled off the top layer of paper, cut a 1/2" groove in it and removed that foam as well.  Then used Elmer's glue to put them together.

  After that just paint and detail to your heart's content.  I did some grey and some umber walls, just to have some variety.  I had the hay bales just laying around from some other project.

  Making them in 6 and 8 inch segments means I can arrange them however I like.  I made some "forts" below just for examples sake.

  Making all 6 took about 2 hours, not counting paint drying time.  Simple, easy sunday project.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tamiya Hobby Drill - Great tool for Pinning!

  Hey folks,  I like to share whenever I see a great item for us hobby crazed folks, and I have found one!

  This is the Tamiya Electric Handy Drill.  I bought it at a hobby store on a lark, thinking it might be a good tool for pinning.  Boy is it ever!!  It uses a regular hobby motor, but has a gearing arrangement that gives it a decent amount of torque.  I tested it on plastic, wood and white metal (Privateer Press minis) and it was great to very good on all of them.  It has a collet lock, trigger lock and even a spare collet for larger drill bits.

  It blasted through the wood and plastic easily.  Even with the small drill bit for pinning, it was very sure and precise.  On the metal minis, it was perfection in a plastic case!  This was the function I had most wanted to use it for, so I was very pleased with that!!

  Drilling metal is a pain in the arse.    Yes, I know, a pin vise works, as does the dremel.  But the pin vise is manual, and I hate work.  The dremel, meanwhile spins very quickly, but with almost no torque at all.  So you usually end up with either a broken bit (the really small ones) or a stalled dremel tool that you then have to work out of the hole it dug.  That and the fact that using the dremel can really heat up a mini.  This drill has a nice gear reduction set that gives it just enough torque to drill the metal, but not heat it up or stall.  Perfection!

  The downsides of this thing?  Well, it is a kit, you have to build it.  Luckily you don't have to drill anything, or you would end up in a Möbius loop forever.  Also, the gearing and everything except the motor and battery parts are plastic.  It is tough and durable, but it will not stand up to too much punishment.  (Take care of your tools, kids, and they'll take care of you!)

  Do be careful, if you run to get one... Amazon sells them for anything from ~$18 to ~$58.  Don't get caught with the expensive one.  Here is a shameless link to one from my Amazon store...

  So, if you need one, you really need one.  It's quite handy and I can give it an unqualified thumbs up!

Who knew, a kit to build kits...  LOL
Side view showing the tool, the trigger lock and the collet stop (Brass button near the shaft)
2 AA batteries required!
   So, if you do a bunch of pinning or anything that needs drilling, this may just be your tool of choice for the future!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Warmachine - Cryx Themed cary-all box

Hiya folks,

  I made a box to haul all my miscellaneous Warmachine/Cryx stuff in.  Thought I would share the results.  It's not a figure case, just a case to haul all the other stuff in.  I have a video and some pics... 

Hope you enjoy!

And now the pics;

  The box in all it's new glory...  It's a plain Michael's (craft supply store) box, painted green, cuz that's what Cryx does.  The corners and pirate logos are also from Michael's. They are epoxied on and the corners have 2 screws in them.  The third (middle) screw head is cut off because of the angle of the box.

   The Cryx logo is decoupaged onto the top.  Not the best work, but I don't decoupage much...
  The  marker storage is just cheap dollar store foam core, cut and glued.  I hold the pieces together with pins until the glue dries.  The it was painted... yup, green...

  The bottom holds the rulers, dice, cards etc for the game.  Kinda fun to make.  Hopefully you'll get motivated for your game/race/faction/ thing!

See ya!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Embracing mediocrity - Or learning to love Warmachine minis again...

  Wow, almost a month since my last post.  My apologies for that.  It's not like I haven't done anything though.  I have been busy, even with hobby stuff.

  What has happened is a little odd though.  I got some paint on my Baleful Realmgates, and some of my other Age of Sigmar stuff as well.  I am enjoying painting and building those models, I must say.  But I have also been playing the Privateer Press card game called High Command.  It's a drop dead fun card game set in the Iron Kingdoms.  It has a very good mechanic and is boatload of fun.  This, of course, got me interested in Warmachine again...

  That's when the fun began in earnest.  I had a whole bunch of Convergence of Cyriss models, as well alot of my old Cryx stuff that was unbuilt.  I set out to build up the Convergence stuff, and almost immediately put them back down.

  (Writers note: I am not trying to drag Privateer through the mud here, but I am going to point out some real differences between them and GW.  If you're a foaming flag-waver for Privateer, this may be hard to read :)

  Why put them down?  They are horrible.  When I was playing warmachine regularly (a few games???) the models were metal and had the level of detail you would expect from metal minis.  Not great but acceptable.  One of the reasons I liked the new Cyriss was that they were all plastics.  A lot of Privateer's models are plastic now.  'This is a great step up', I thought to myself...

  Boy was I ever wrong.  Their version of plastic is a crappy resin that has terrible detail and a crap ton of mold release on them.  The detail pieces are so small as to be flimsy, and there attachment points are virtually non existent.  Using super glue on them was chore, at best and what should have been an easy night of model building turned into a frustrating exercise.  <sigh> 

  What's worse is that the battle pack I got had no assembly instructions in them at all.  I thought perhaps my pack was just shorted the assembly sheet, no big deal.  I would go online to find them.  HAH!  Nope, they don't put sheets with any of their models.

  So, I had this ~$50 battle pack, with lots of parts in bags, but each bag has parts from all the different models in them.  The only thing online is an after-the-fact blog post with pictorial assembly guides.  What kind of crap is that?  Would the 15 cents it took to include a diagram of the parts really cut that deeply into their bottom line?

  So, here I am with horrible models that lack detail, come in many tiny parts and have no assembly info.  Online, I find out that this is the norm for their models and packs.

  I step back and think to myself, maybe I'm just too curmudgeonly.  Maybe I need to just knuckle down and do this.  After all, I've got 30+ years of modeling under my belt, I can do it.

  Then I think... why?  Why should I blindly accept mediocrity in exchange for my hard earned cash?  In these days of high prices of models and the 'entry cost' for the miniatures hobby is always rising, shouldn't I expect better? I have the right to expect damned good models, with great detail and good instructions inside the box for these prices.  The level of detail on these models is quite acceptable, for 1978.  This is 2015, I expect, nay, I demand better.

  In reading the forums and blogs that are dedicated to Warmahordes, I noticed this certain air of superiority from the modellers who build and convert Warmahordes minis.  They seemed to exude (and in some cases state overtly) that this is what separates the 'men from the boys' (Sorry ladies, but all the posts I saw were men...).  I say bullcrap to that.  What this does is simply separate those who accept mediocrity from those who do not.

  Yes, I built the minis, and I primed them, I knuckled under.  But I didn't enjoy it, not like I do when I build some other company's miniatures.  I will paint them and I will play warmahordes again.  It's a good game, with good people writing it and playing it.  I just wish people would not accept less than they should for their money.  Someone has to compete with GW, and I thought PP would do that.  Unfortunately, after being away from Warmahordes for many years, I don't see that  growth.   I still see a great, fun game, with alot of involvement and care from the company, but I don't see any real growth.  And that makes me a sad panda!

<ahem... page 5 alert>

Come on Privateer, manufacture and produce like you got a pair!!!!

 <page 5 off>

   Again, I'm not riding them down, They're a great company, with a great game.  But they can do better!