Friday, October 1, 2010

[40K] Paint, Process and Preferences

I've started to add the red on the Mexi-Marines, and they're starting to take shape and look "real". I'm starting to envision how I'll add details including drybrushing and washes.

Here's an old school metal Dreadnaught (on the right), with the dual colors laid down:

I also have a combat squad done. Only 90 more Marines to go...

I stopped by the FLGS on the way home to pick up some GW Astronomicon Grey- I've heard great things about the "new" foundation line, and I have a LOT of cleanup to do, as very easily seen in the pictures above.

I like the color and the coverage, but I frickin' HATE the bottles they come in.

I'll admit it, I am absolutely spoiled. I have a huge selection of paints available to me. The Dude owns the entire Vallejo Game Color line and is talking about getting the Reaper Master Series line. I have P3 and some older GW paints, as well as (showing my age here) Armory and a couple others that came out between Armory going under and the P3 line.

If it were up to me, we'd also have the Vallejo Model Color line. I adore those de-saturated, subtle, tonal colors. I know they have their place (and 40K really isn't it except for -IG-), but they are the paints for me. It sure doesn't hurt that their bottles are absolute showcases of design genius to me. (The same is true for Game Color paints.)

Those dropper bottles are the smartest thing I've seen in painting tools for a very long time. They're great for keeping you colors wet and well preserved. They make getting just a little paint so much easier, too. I have a couple "custom colors" as well, with the "recipe" on the spare bottles I have laying around.

Example: I wanted a bright, crisp, yellow-ish shiny gold- so I took 2 drops Sun Yellow and 1 drop Glorious Gold and mixed. The result was perfect, and I can replicate it every time with no guesswork or concerns about "how much I used last time".

The GW stuff comes in those crazy hinged bottles, with the big-ass mouth and no easy way to get any paint out onto a palette without a headache or spilled paint. At least not one that I've discoverd- I AM pretty clumsy, so that might just be a personal problem.

Having a palette is part of my painting process- I tend to paint from one well at a time, no mixing or touching of colors. I also paint pretty heavy and messy. There are times when I overpaint, and I grab a nearby brush with short, stiff and dry bristles to wipe away the extra.

I use this "de-brushing" technique very frequently in areas with a lot of detail- I stick a big blob on a section, and then remove, remove, remove. Sometimes, I even do this on areas where I know other colors will end up going (on the Dread above, I did this on the exhaust pipes). I've found that using this technique offers a depth and warmth to parts of models that usually look cold or overworked to me.

These tendencies are just personal preferences. Everyone has some- I'm sure you'll see some more of mine as the Mexi-Marines get closer to completion.

[MtG] Cracking Mirrodin

Last night I was part of a SoM case cracking party for the FLGS so there would be singles available for sale today. We broke 12 boxes into lands, commons, uncommons, rares, tokens and foils pretty quickly.

We then made quick work of the various piles by sorting them alphabetically and playsetting them (putting into groups of 4 each of the same card). We got into the commons and had them done (all except the artifact commons) by 11 pm. [There's a frickin' boatload of artifacts! They're 40% of the set.]

There were 6 or 7 of us at any time, and we had a prerty fun evening hanging out, talking and sorting. With a larger group, we got done fairly quickly, which was a bonus. I love enjoying the company of my friends, doing mindless stuff like this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

[40K] Progress Part II, Painting Problems and Places

I tore it up tonight and finished putting the green on the left side of all the Mexi-Marines for the Dude tonight. I have  the Libby, the Captain/Standard Bearer, The Dreads and the Rhino left to apply green to- but a couple of those need a consultation with my client for a discussion on WHERE he wants what colors.

Here's a shot of most of them hanging out, waiting for the next color. I'm thinking I'll do the red (for the right side) next and then clean up the middle with white when those are done. I'm not particularly clean when getting the initial base color down so there will be a LOT of cleanup to do.

I was watching some TV using my OnDemand feature and drinking a beer while painting. I have a pretty standard process and I was on mental "auto-pilot". I looked down and noticed this:


That's not the left side.

Does GW make Foundation White? 'Cause I sure need some. Or maybe Wite-Out. Oh well, I've dealt with worse mistakes.

I thought I'd close with a shot of my workspace. The miniatures are the Dude's- a HUGE Menoth Army from WarMachine, some HORDES! Beasts, The Mexi-Marines and everything else visible on the table are his. Most of the paints are his; the tools and brushes are mine. (I'm firmly in the same camp as Ron of FTW- cheap brushes are the way to go. I'm very hard on them, and I'm not a good enough painter to justify spending a lot of money on them yet.)

The layout- where things are and why- as well as the desk are mine. I was single-handedly responsible for that desk making it to the new house and organizing it so that I can kick ass while painting. Enjoy!

[HS6E] Hawaii Action (Session 1)

/Ribonucleic acid freak out, the power of prayer
Long halls of science and all the lunatics committed there
Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!/ Clutch, 10001110101

/What's The Hell's Going On Around Here?/ Suicidal Tendencies, You Can't Bring Me Down


It's taken a lot of work to get used to this new life. Being heavy,being tough, being strong- I've adapted to those pretty well. Aside from not being able to surf anymore, not looking at hot girls is probably the strangest adjustment. This is Hawaii; I see them everywhere-bikinis all around. I'm just not interested in scoping them out. I mean, what's the point, given what I have at home?

Hawaii is my normal now. I'm shopping when things get weird.

[Diamond is at a local surf shop looking for some new outfits. While she is there, a large commotion strikes up outside the building. She decides to investigate.

Across the boardwalk, there's a guy trying to beat a hole into the side of a building. He's just a normal guy from all appearances, but he's whacking away at the building like there's no tomorrow. Diamond heads over to stop this course of events.]

I guess I'm what's called an “Ultra”now. It's hard not to be when I weigh 10 tons and it takes a blow torch to do any real damage to me. I know there are others out there. I just didn't know any were in Hawaii.

I was wrong.

[A large amount of Ultras are all at the same place at the same time. They all converge on the scene to stop the demolition crew. They're quickly contained, but these guys aren't quite right in the head. They're more like zombies than people. After a quick mop-up, more zombies are discovered further down the beach, assembling what appears to be a bomb.

After a few minutes of discussion, lead by Jerry Riggs, the group believes the device is a biological weapon of some sort. We decide to take it out to sea so it has less chances of hurting people. Steel Warrior escorts it out to sea, and manages to disable it (for the most part- a few drops of the liquid escape).

At this point, the local H.U.R.T. (Hyper/Ultra Response Team) guy (Agent Williams) shows up. He wants to take us down to his office, where he can talk to us away from the general public.

A short discussion and vague introductions happen. Phone numbers (or radio frequencies) are handed out. Nothing formal-just a general agreement that if more strangeness should occur, then we will try to help each other out.]

I guess my normal just got interesting.Why does interesting have to mean confusing?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

[Minis] Primer Problems Part II

Yesterday I discussed my troubles with a bad primer job. I failed to mention the issue I see coming up with future attempts to cover my miniatures; and that's LOCATION.

At my old abode, we had a very! large yard barn (actually bigger than two separate bedrooms inside the house) with a chest high shelf built along the right side of the barn. We had a large designated area for spraying primer, complete with a couple of cardboard boxes to keep minis stable and for preventing spray from blowing (a cover, if you will).

This set up was pretty sweet- it allowed for spraying even when it was wet or conditions were not perfect. We used the heck out of it (as evidenced by the hundreds of dollars of primed Menoth) and I never quite paid attention to what I'd do when I didn't have it available.

Well, I don't. My new home has a SMALL shed under the carport. It's full of well placed and well organized things we used to store in the yard; plus 25 or more folding chairs (don't ask). Trying to shovel out a space for me to spray would not be feasible at all.

The other day, I simply laid a piece of cardboard on the ground on a relatively flat space (gravel driveway, not terribly flat) and sprayed away.

I discovered quite a few issues with this setup. First, I missed the underside entirely, several times. I couldn't SEE that I missed until I picked the guys up, which was it's own problem. Second, attempting to turn the cardboard for better angles resulted in upended dudes due to dangerous terrain. Third, the area or minis were not protected so crud was blowing around as well as spray and I had to remove a couple pieces of grass and a spider from minis. (Though that spider would have looked great in a Nid army!)

What's my solution? I'm not sure. I am considering a couple super cheap plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Store and a folding table, with a couple cardboard boxes. This idea will only work for a couple more weeks at absolute best, so any priming I want to do has to happen like NOW. (The Dude has unprimed Hordes guys but they are NOT a priority to me in any way. If it works that I get them sprayed, great. Otherwise, no big deal. They can wait for next spring/summer.)

There might be other options- I heard a rumor that a friend has a spray booth in his garage. I also have access to a covered sidewalk area (so at least it is flat), which I could use while it is still warm-ish. I'd need to build a box for dudes, but that's pretty straightforward.

This adventure alerted me to a concern I didn't know I had, and I have the fun challenge of coming up with a solution. Maybe someone out there has a brilliant solution for those of us cursed with cold and wet winters, or has ideas I haven't yet discussed. I don't know, but if all else fails, I have all fall & winter to try to figure something out.

Monday, September 27, 2010

[40K] Progress; Primer Problems

I finally quit my procrastination and began work on the Mexi-Marines for the Dude. I gave up trying to overlay primer or paint by hand on the already black-primed figs and hit them with some white spray primer.

There are far more than I originally guessed. I have five 10 man squads, two 5 man assault squads, two 5 man Terminator squads, a 5 man Scout squad, a standard bearer/captain type, a Libby, 2 Dreadnaughts, and a Rhino to work on. [This is probably my fall/winter project.]

Because this is truly a three color army, I am doing all of the green first. I have well over 20 Space Marines with green left arms right now, like so:

I honestly would probably have a great deal more, but I encountered a self-induced problem.

A BAD primer job.

I was warned the bottle was almost empty, but I thought I could eke out enough to cover all the guys I needed to get painted. It's finally becoming fall here in the land of the corn, so I also knew my choices for days to spray were limited. I had a warm night last week and I took all of the figs outside to get them covered before it rained or got cold (which it did the following day).

I have more than a couple guys with sandy and gritty spots as well as a good number that got primer on the top arc but are missing coverage on the undercarriage.

You can see a good example of this kind of problem here, on the guy on the right front, and the worst of the bunch in the back on the right.

For these guys, I am spot priming by hand. I'm also removing flash and molding lines after priming (bad form, I know) because those elements were not nearly as visible before being primed.

Despite all of that, I have a bunch of guys in white, waiting to get painted.

My hands will have plenty to do while I watch my fall shows: House, Bones, Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and Justified.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

[HS6E] Honolulu Intro

There are three HS6E games going on at the FLGS right now. They are all superheroic in scope (400 pts). Two of them are being run by the Dude. Those two are set in Chicaco (home of two or more previous campaigns) and Phoenix.

The Dude wrote up a campaign standards document, to give players an idea of the history, feel, social and political scene for the game in question. It's a little more than an abridged timeline, but it's pretty effective at giving just enough information while leaving a lot of room for growth and development. He also wrote up a list of known villains and scored them on a scale of 1-5 stars, with 5 being the most powerful. There are only three 5 star individual villains in the game. (There are a couple 5 star teams but I can't remember how many. ) Of course, there was a list of known "hero" teams (with their respective cities) included to help flesh out the information known about the world.

After a bit of play time (and learning the system), one of the Dude's players in the Phoenix game decided he wanted to run a game. (He's a longtime friend as well.) He spent some time debating whether he wanted to use the "universe" as the Dude had written it, or go about making his own. He decided to use the Dude's world, but with the understanding that his own flair and color would be going in the mix.  Then the new GM had to find a location for this team to go, as most urban cities had teams assigned to them by the Dude's campaign/universe document.

He decided on Honolulu, Hawaii.

This is where I'm playing Diamond, a brick (strong/tough type).She's a very attractive surfer babe,and quite often gets referred to as "Hot Chick".

A lot of the back story I discussed earlier has either been adjusted and modified as my vision of her became more focused, or tossed out entirely. Look for updates at a later time. The scrapbook is pretty accurate, though.

The Dude is playing Jumpshot, a former NBA player who got wuji energy projecting abilities. His projections usually take the form of orange spheres, and almost all of Jumpshot's abilities have some basketball oriented themes and skills. Jumpshot is also a motormouth pretty boy.

There's Freestyle, played by another (but different) long time friend.  Freestyle is a parkour/street runner with mental abilities. He wears a kitbash of hockey pads, skate pads, motorcycle helmet and so forth as his makeshift armour. He's the only member of the group with a secret ID, and it was learned at last session that he's a teenager.

Next up is Steel Warrior , a mostly normal human. When I say mostly, he's pulled a Bruce Wayne sort of thing and topped his body out in every possible way. He's learned to tap into chi forces to increase his combat effectiveness and ability to damage stuff. Martial Artist, he is.

Jerry Riggs is his friend, a mad scientist inventor type, who's learned how to use the same chi stuff Steel Warrior uses to power gadgets and weapons. He has his own little lab, which is a mile out under the ocean. It is often referred to as "The Pineapple" and he often gets called "Spongebob" (mostly by Jumpshot).

Last is Syphon (I think I spelled it right), a mute drainer/absorber with her absorbed abilities going to strength. She's a little unusual looking on top of being mute, but she's highly effective.

Now that we have the introductions and basic details out of the way, look for write ups to come.