Hobby tips and tricks. Part two

Have you noticed that when you spray modelling foam with an aerosol it dissolves. You can use this to your advantage.

I’ll tell you how I used this technique to make scenery.
I cut some blocks of blue modelling foam into house shapes. The roofs were made either with cardboard “slate” or teddy bear fur for thatch. Then I stuck on some resin doors and windows from an inexpensive Fleabay seller, Foundations of War. The final part of construction was to paint on a timber frame pattern with PVA glue.
Let this dry overnight and then give the building a liberal spray of black undercoat.
Hey presto! Before your very eyes you see the timber frame standing proud of the walls which have been eaten away. Once dry all that remains is to lightly sand the walls to smooth them. Finish the roofs as you see fit.
With this technique you can make a whole village over a week without too much impact on painting time or your wallet..
This technique can be used to replicate stone, with a bit more time and patience.

The November issue of White Dwarf

OK what happened to the Wood Elves? They were promised in the last issue and I was interested in seeing how they painted up the Wardancers. Maybe the December issue?

I would like to touch on the six new technical paints released. I’m making some assumptions as I can’t read German and there is no GW store nearby to actually see them for real. Please note I may be talking out of my bottom.
First up, Ryza Rust: does this have some texture or is it just orange paint? Do you want just one colour of rust? Back in the days of Rogue Trader (go and ask your Dad) WD suggested making textured paint by adding a little scouring powder. A more modern suggestion is from the vlog “Tabletop Minions”, use Liquid Greenstuff and carefully stipple some with an old brush where you want texture. Paint with your preferred rust colour.
Typhus Corrosion: is this just colour in a medium?
Blood for the Blood God: good old Tamiya Clear Red, what everyone has been using for years.
Nhilake Oxide: again, is this just a colour in a medium?
Nurgle’s Rot: this might call for some experimentation, but would ink/paint mixed with PVA do the trick? Or ink/paint mixed with a satin varnish?
The last product, Agrellan Earth, was the one I was most interested in. Again, why be restricted to one shade of cracked earth? With Vallejo’s Crackle Medium the world of colour is your crackled lobster.
Interesting products but with a restricted palate. So if you want your models to look like the product of your average teenage fanboy these are for you. But with a tiny bit of effort and probably less money you can have some more tailored effects on your models.

More thoughts from the void

First off, a confession. I have bought two copies of White Dwarf. Admittedly they have been in German, so I have just been looking at the pictures. I do wish I had looked before I bought the last copy as it was just full of Space Marines tm and bugger all else. The new edition is devoted to the new Dark Elf releases so I will carefully examine it before purchasing. I still do not think it is worth the money, especially as the first forty odd pages are a glorified catalogue and twelve pages are store directory.

Something that I have done over the last year has been to support crowd funding projects. The first was Mantic’s “Kings of War” Kickstarter. This was a huge disappointment. The Goblin figures I received lacked any sharp definition, as if they were cast in soap. When I rang to complain I was told, “Well they paint up OK.” I don’t want to spend my painting time fudging up details that should have been there at the start. Subsequent stretch goals have been received and on the whole are jus as poor. This was one Kickstarter I wish I hadn’t backed. As a result of this and the poor customer service I won’t be buying any new Mantic. The new Orcs from the Deadzone Kickstarter look rather nice, but I’ll wait and get them from Fleabay.
The second project that I backed was an Indiegogo one, Goblin Pirates sculpted by Kevin “Goblin Master” Adams. I’ve been a fan of his work since the eighties when I first started gaming. Nobody makes Goblins as charactorful as his.
A quick digression, sorry, I do this quite often as my thoughts often flit round from topic to topic without rhyme or reason. 4A Miniatures produce some beautiful Sea Goblin figures sculpted by KA. They have some more miniatures in the pipeline which I await eagerly. If you are lucky enough to attend Salute, go and visit their stand.
There is another collector who is commissioning KA to sculpt an old skool Goblin army. Search for Crooked Claw Miniatures on Goggle. I bought the Catapult and it fits in beautifully with KA’s “Machineries of Destruction” released by GW in the eighties. If I can justify it (not really as the lead mountain is high enough already) I’d love their Goblin Infantry.
And finally, Ral Partha Europe have released all the Goblinaid figures sculpted in aid of Kevin Adams after his vicious assault earlier this year.
Back to the Pirate Goblins, I had some problems with delivery and had to contact the guy via Facebook to get a result. Nice figures worth the wait.
Massive Voodoo was the next project I supported. MV are two German professional painters, Raffaele Picca and Roman Lappat, who blog about their work. Their blog is worth looking out out for not only for the figures but also for the tutorials. Their goal was to raise enough money to print a book of their work. I got it in the post a couple of months ago along with a bonus documentary book and some stickers. No regrets with this campaign.
The Iron Brotherhood was a Kickstarter campaign by Ramshackle Games. If you haven’t as yet encountered RG yet, please do. RG produce resin figures and vehicles. The vehicles are multipart and individual parts can be purchased from the website to form your own creations. The models aren’t quite as detailed as Forgeworld’s, but the casting is crisp and you’d be hard pressed to find any bubbles. Did I mention free worldwide postage and excellent service? RG’s Kickstarter aims to produce two squads of troopers, heavy weapons and a support vehicle. The troopers look as if they are wearing heavy chemical suits and I think they may fit thematically with my next Kickstarter which is from Raging Heroes, “The toughest girls of the galaxy”.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Forgeworld’s Death Korps of Krieg, who honestly hand on heart hasn’t? Raging Heroes produce the Kurgonova Sisters, female DKK kommisars, fetish stylee. One of the three factions in the Kickstarter campaign is the Iron Empire, basically female DKK troopers. Some of the fluff mentions dark necromantic powers and I thought the RG troopers would fit the bill as rather squishy reanimated corpses contained within a chem suit.
On the topic of DKK proxies, have a look at Anvil Industries “Tox Troopers”. A very passable and affordable alternative. I visited them earlier this year at their studios and very affable they were.
The one project that got away from me due to funding problems was “Arcworlde”. Run by a young chap who is showing unbelievable sculpting talent and deserves a huge following.
Not quite a crowd-funding, or maybe it is as it started before this particular wave, is the Heresy Dragon. An immense beast, look at the photos on the Heresy website. I don’t know how long this particular saga has been going on, but there have been some major casting problems due to the size and complexity of the model. It’s flipping huge and I can’t wait to get it.

Purchasing history

The last couple of months haven’t been totally hobby free. My rather expensive cats had a box of hobby bits brought over with them. I thought I could use this interim time prepping some figures. This is the part of the hobby I like least. I managed to squeeze into the box all of my Napoleonic infantry. Five centre companies, two Highland flank companies, a unit of 95th Rifles and a Portuguese line company. As you can imagine, me being me,they are from a mix of manufacturers so the units would have some variation in height as they would in real life. I used a mix of Foundry (thanks to a Central Saint Martins redundancy retraining grant ), Victrix, Perry, Front Rank, Essex, Dixon and Offensive Miniatures. I like the Foundry and Front Rank metal figures, the heft of metal. But what I don’t like is the lack of variety in the poses. That is why I am mixing and matching manufacturers. The Perry and Victrix figures are plastic and I much prefer the Perry figures. Much crisper detailing and not so fiddly to put together. But you do get more in a box with Victrix especially if you go to a show or get a multibox deal.

I’ve been making my units twenty four men strong as recommended by Michael Perry, but Black Powder suggests units of thirty six. Well as I tend to get a bit bored painting large units the smaller number wins.
The figures are mounted on MDF bases from 4Ground which I spent a few days drilling and inserting neodymium magnets. Movement trays are made with sheet metal and plastic courtesy of Central Saint Martins. I spent the last seven months there when I knew I was being made redundant acquiring materials and getting as much laser cutting done as possible.
Unit flags are by GMB Designs, as recommended by the Perry’s.
I am itching to get my stuff from Blighty as I want to try out my Foundry paints. Part of my redundancy package was a retraining grant. Wargames Foundry very kindly did a little creative invoicing for me and I got the complete Foundry Paint System, a British Napoleonic Army and a WW2 Home Guard force. I’d tried one triad of paint and I was highly impressed. So the opportunity to get the whole range for gratis was not to be sneezed at.
Forgeworld also did a little creative invoicing, so I have a Titan which I’m going to Orkify. I’ll be writing about this project at a later date.
There are some regrets about not being greedier as I still had a thousand pounds worth of retraining left at the end of the spending deadline.
Something that I have not regretted is a years subscription to the weathering magazine published by AK Interactive. Thirty eight Euros for four issues including worldwide postage. What I do like about the magazine is that although it is published by AK Interactive who produce their own weathering products, they are more than happy to showcase other manufacturers products. Unlike other magazines out there where it is heresy to admit the existence of a wider hobby universe. I also forked out almost fifty quid for FAQ 2 a huge book of weathering techniques published by AKI. Unfortunately when it arrived a pot of dark mud pigment had burst and coated everything in the package. AKI very quickly sent replacements (excellent customer service guys!). I carefully cleaned the book and was able to sell the “soiled” copy ¬†on Fleabay which made it an affordable investment.
Continuing in the weathered tank theme I purchased “Tank Art” volumes One and Two published by Rinaldi Studio Press. Volume One is about WW2 German Armour and Volume Two is about WW2 Allied Armour. There is a forthcoming Volume Three on Modern Armour but I think I’m pretty much covered. These are lovely books full of good step by step photographs and well worth investing in.
If I can learn to paint half as good as these guys I’ll be well pleased.


Hobby tips and tricks. Part one of a very irregular series

Meditation is good for you.

One of the key factors for being a good painter is a place for quiet contemplation. I have a small room set aside for this purpose. It is plain, warm, well lit and stocked with a few choice volumes for careful study. The only piece of furniture is a porcelain throne.

In an ideal world, with no stress and a good diet a twice daily visit would be beneficial.

May you achieve enlightenment.