Something new for the workbench

I went and treated myself to a paint agitator.

It was a relatively cheap one from China, my first impressions were not so favourable but it is growing on me. I really wanted a Lab Vortex Mixer, these really are the creme de la creme of mixers. The hundred quid plus was a big decider against. At the bottom end were the Nail Polish Shakers and although I had seen positive reviews I wasn’t sure about their ability to hold G’Dub paint pots. I went for the next rung up which was the Tattoo Pigment Shakers. As I said my first impressions were not favourable, the actual bit where the paint sits is a quite thin rubbery part and may wear out and I felt that the agitation wasn’t as powerful as I expected. I am wondering if I can craft a replacement from silicon. Let’s see how durable the original part will be before I go any further. As to the agitation, I was simply not giving it enough time. Further use has shown that it is sufficient, patience dear boy, patience.

This week has seen the Black Dog snapping on my heels. I am in the Land of Rinse and Repeat. Wake up. Help get the Boys ready for school. Tea. Email, BBC News and Facebook. Let the chickens out. Go and get the milk. Do some little chores. Prep and cook Boys lunches. Help with homework. If I am lucky a bit of painting. Cook dinner. Get them ready for bed. And repeat the next day. And the next. It isn’t helping that I am feeling drained of energy and any motivation. In previous posts I have decribed it as, “The tyranny of Bullet Journalling” but the Bullet Journal has proved invaluable in keeping me moving and not sinking into a morass of self doubt and pity.

I AM keeping up with the 2020 Painting Challenge. I AM keeping up with my resolution of Repair, Make, Strip, Sort.

Busy

The last couple of weeks have seen me busy. My 3D Printer has decided it wants to start behaving again so for the last week it has been printing pretty constanty. It is slightly stringy but I don’t want to mess with the settings just yet. The strings can be dealt with pretty easily with a scalpel and file. I have managed to print an elemental cavalry unit for one of my Dragon Rampant armies, a skeletal giant for another DR army and on the print bed at the moment is an Ork Gobsmasher, a replica of an old Armourcast model. All of these are freely available from http://www.thigiverse.com. Next up is a replica of another Armourcast model, the Warhound Titan. The originals don’t come up for sale much and when they do they are quite expensive. You can see some images of the Titan here

https://rustymagos.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/armourcast-titans/dscf3252/

Tool making was next on the agenda. Number Two Son has been watching “The Mandalorian” and loves the helmet the protaganist wears. He also discovered on Youtube a cosplay video where they described in great detail, with downloadable plans, how they made one out of EVA foam. He would like us (me I expect) to make it. One of the tools they used was a rounded metal former. I had a cut off section of railway track and with a bit of work with an angle-grinder I ended up with this.

I have a rusty H Beam section which will get the same treatment.

A recent discovery (thanks Daughter!) has been the app, “Wish” where you can buy goods directly from the factories in China. I bought a 2m strip of LEDs for €3, that was including postage! I added them to my photo thing.

This is how it was originally
Now with added lights!

This has been expanded with a paper holder on the back and trays underneath if I want to do some more scenic photography. I will be getting some photographs printed up with dramatic skies. The light is a little yellow but I did a manual white balance on my camera and my first test result seems promising.

I am keeping up with my New Year Resolution, so far and also the 2020 painting Challange.

If doing basic carpentry, remember to keep your fingers BEHIND! the chisel.

Then there is my new paintrack. I had been running out of space for my paints and I had promised the Boys that they would have a paint rack in their painting desk. So they get my old one and I get a shiny new one.

Nice and tidy
Clutter added

Not a resolution as such

In an effort to keep up with the painting I have joined a new Facebook group. 2020 PAINTING CHALLENGE.

The object of the group is to paint one figure a week and post the finished results weekly. If you manage to post 52 figures in the goup album you will receive a specially commissioned figure of “The Painter” sculpted by John Pickford.

I have a few unfinished projects sitting on my desk for far too long so this might be an incentive to get them done. First up are the nine remaining figures from OS Miniatures Alpine Dwarfs. Coincidently they are also sculpted by John Pickford. They are halfway there and it wouldn’t take too much to get them done.

Here they are based and ready to go, three years ago!

Getting the desk clear of old projects would be quite motivating, nothing worse than staring at half done figures. And then, one project at a time on the desk.

Yeah right!

My product of the year 2019

I have been greatly impressed by Reaper’s Bones Black range. Reaper’s figure range are sculpted by world class sculpters, really charactorful and lovely to paint. Just a pity I can’t quite afford them. Then a couple of years ago Reaper brought out their Bones range. These were white plastic versions of existing sculpts (and a lot of new, funded by various Kickstarters). I had a look but I wasn’t impressed. The details were soft and soapy (Mantic anybody?) and the plastic was bendy. Then, very recently, Reaper announced that they were bringing out a new range of plastic figures in a harder plastic, Bones Black.

I picked up three figures in October to have a look at the quality. And I have been impressed. Not quite as crisp as metal, but if you apply the “Three Foot” rule you would not be able to tell the difference on the tabletop. As all cast figures there are moldlines. I haven”t quite perfected the technique of removing them, but that is down to me not to any problem with the models themselves. Primer was applied, next time I might give them a quick scrub in warm soapy water, and it stays where it should.

Here is the first figure I have been working on. As I said in previous posts I haven’t had much painting time in the last couple of months. Something I intend to remedy next year.

I am very enthusiastic about this range which is being added to every month. December’s releases have two figures which have been on my wishlist for a while. The prices are affordable, quality sculpts what is there not to like?

I would like to take this oppurtunity to wish everyone (and you Ruth) a Happy New Year!

Frohe Weihnachten

This last couple of months has seen me busy, but not, sadly, painting. First point of atta ck was my workshop. I am due to inherit some tools and workshop furniture from my departed father-in-law and I want to get everything ready so that the bits can slot into place with the minimum bother.

One view of how the workshop used to look.
And now the new look.

The cabinet in the middle, with the blue drawers, has been made to house various small bits and bobs that had been floating around without a place to live. The carcass was made from 12mm plywood generously supplied by Electric Love. I even had a couple of young lads who were at a loose end cut the timber for me.

I’ve made some more screw boxes as I have a large collection of unsorted screws. The screws were collected from Electric Love, at the end of the festival the tool cases were emptied and all the loose screws were binned.

Having to get up at a rediculously early hour to get the Boys ready for school is that there have been some quite amazing sunrises. Here are a couple, unfiltered or tampered with.

The next job which has taken the most time was making a painting area for Number Two Son. This necessitated moving book cases and vitrines around the Hobby Room.

He will be getting my old paint shelves and I shall make some expanded ones for me seeing that my paint collection has grown. I will take more photos of the Hobby Room once it has been cleared. My Daughter, Boyfriend and my Granddaughter stayed for ten days, so all the excess furniture we had been storing in the Guest Flat got decanted down into the Hobby Room.

Finally I would like to wish you all Season’s Greetings.

This Years card

The brush is dead! Long live the brush!

I have been meaning to replace my brush for the last year as hairs got less and less. But it was always I’ll do one more figure. I did briefly toy with another brush, but it split so I went back to my old faithful.

I bit the bullet about a week ago. i was sorting stuff out to make a painting area for Number Two Son when I came across a box of brushes carefully stored. Read hidden. In it was another of the same brush. Foundry Sable Mix General Detail.

If this new brush paints as well and lasts as long as the old brush I will be buying a few more.

Orktober

Orktober this year has been rather busy. A trip to London and reorganising the hobby room so I can put a painting desk in for Number Two Son.

I did however manage to finish this little tankette.

The main chasis is from Ramshackle Games.

The main part of the turret, the exhausts and the Schürzen are scratch built.

The Ork is from Kromlech

https://bitsofwar.com/home/125-orc-tank-crew-.html

Some adventures in 3D Printing

Last year I stepped into the exciting world of 3D with an Ender 3 printer. It hasn’t been an easy ride, it is something that needs a big learning curve. It doesn’t quite work straight out of the box, requiring some tinkering. Also having an antiquated computer doesn’t allow for the installation of modern slicing software. The whole process has been a slightly frustrating hit and miss experience.

Here is my printer set up

I seem to collect rule-sets in the vain hope that my Boys might want to play with me or that someone in the area would have an interest in playing. HINT: if anyone in the Salzburg area would like to game, I have a nice gaming area and multiple rule-sets.

One set of rules that caught my eye and seemed to have a following, in the UK at least, was Dragon Rampant by Daniel Mersey. One of the rulebooks published by Osprey publishing. Osprey are producing some interesting and inexpensive rules covering a very broad church of areas. Worth checking out.

This interested me as you could play a game with nice streamlined rules and build an army with relatively few miniatures. I have enough Orcs and Goblins kicking about to make an army with zero expenditure. A friend, David Wood, scored a massive haul of Essex Miniatures Undead and sent me his spares. Some minor expenditure and voila a beautifully sculpted Bob Olley Undead army. A recent Kickstarter provided me with most of a Renaissance army.

If you are not aware of Thingiverse and are into 3D printing I would recommend that you go and visit. It is stuffed to the rafters with Arduino projects, electronics and workshop tutorials and of course 3D printer files.

http://www.thingiverse.com

Browsing through this cornucopia of stuff, this place is brilliant for gaming accessories, I came across some Mud Elementals. They looked so cute I had to print one.

And then another.

And another.

Soon an army emerged.

The Leader
I had some issues with layers so I may reprint.
Elite Foot
Magic User
Bellicose Foot
Heavy Foot
Light Foot I have another unit of these guys waiting for arms
Light Artillery
Ravening Horde Scaled down foot troops

These all came from a creator called Dutch Mogul

http://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/designs

Check his designs out it is a one-stop-shop for gaming goodness. he also has a Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/IllGottenGames

Now I’m off to check on my printer and maybe do some painting. If I don’t get distracted by kittens.

Paint a Bob

Another favourite thing. The Oldhammer Community Facebook page is running a “Paint a Bob” competition. During the month of September paint a figure sculpted by Bob Olley. To prevent any duplicity entrants had to post a photograph of their chosen model with this image as a backdrop.

I was undecided which model to pick, these wer my selections.

Sat at my desk this morning I decided on the Dwarves. Then I realised that they were a set of four, I dug the last one out.

#paintabob

Arsie’s Painting Toolbox

Now I have successfully trashed my following I can get back on track.

ars2Confession time, I love painting books.

ars3From G’Dub to Kevin Dallimore to CMoN via Angel Giraldez and Picca and Lappat. They are on a shelf above my painting area and frequently beside my bed for late night perusal. ars1This book was recommended on the ‘Eavier Metal painting group on Facebook. I ordered it, it wasn’t cheap, a bit out of my current financial comfort zone.

The book arrived fairly promptly and I sat down to study it. People say that first impressions count. I was hugely dissapointed and I have had great difficulty picking it up again to look at. I’ve had several attempts and each time is the same.

In his defence Javier Gonzales is a hugely talented painter as several Golden Demons and Slayer Swords attest.

So what is putting me off this book?

It is a combination of small things, the sum is greater than the whole.

The paper it is printed on feels cheap, slightly rough. All my other books, with the exception of the early G’Dub painting guides, are printed on coated stock. They have either a satin or glossy finish. They feel pleasant to handle. One factor in the perceived value of the book.

The next item is a design oversight which should have been picked up in the proof stage.ars8In the corner of each page is a little black paint splash which is intended (I think) to have the page number in. What really annoys me is that this is the second edition of this book and this should have been picked up. Numbers have been added at the top of the page but they feel just like an afterthought.

The type has been set Justified and leaves too many widows which makes for hard reading.ars6

ars7

Text aligned left and less leading. Much easier to read.

Visually there is too much leading, the space between the lines, dropping down a couple of points would have helped.

It definitely would help with the next problem, the layout of the step-by-steps. Less line spacing would have freed up more space to enable better layout.

ars5ars4If you look at the other layouts you can see that every picture clearly references a corresponding block of descriptive text.

ON THE SAME PAGE!

No flipping back and forth between pages to read about the techniques applied in the image. This really disrupts the flow of the tutorials. The Author references other instructional painting books yet fails to apply what makes them so good to his own work.

In chapter two, “Preparing the Figure” the Author has a picture of the various tools he uses. ars9Underneath is a numbered list of tools. But the numbers don’t refer to the picture which is unnumbered and some tools are missing. A couple of page later he refers to using a brass disc with a hand-drill to polish the surface of the model. What does this brass disc look like? How does he hold the model?

I wish I could read Spanish. Miniature painting is a subject the Author knows well and he has a passion for it. I think the translator has done him a disservice as at times the text is stilted and at times hard to make sense of.

Some of the images are out of focus and some diagrams are pixelated.

Is this book worth buying: No.

Would I recommend this book to other people: No

BUT with some work, noted above, the third edition may be worth considering.

 

I made a thing

Tired of taping bits of paper to books in order to photograph figures I made a thing.

It is big enough to hold a piece of A4 paper and the paper is held in place with magnets. There is not much more I can say about this. Once I’ve painted more things you will be able to see how useful it is.

Picture this

One day I will learn how to take decent photos of my painting. Maybe if I stop gadding about from project to project? One thing that I have seen has been a little photographic scenic corner made by one of the Oldhammer Community. That would be useful and wouldn”t take up too much space. So I set out to make one. This is my work in progress and I’ll post when finished.

Basic shape cut from MDF and steps from foam
Detailing of door using coffee stirrers from your favourite tax avoider
Foam detailing of arch
Lentils
A lot more lentils and some foam sils
Arial view of lentils, foam blocks and roof tiles
A coat of household emulsion
Wash to pick out a bit of detail
Miliput vine
Bit of whitewash
A wash on the stonework
Windows and woodwork. When was this taken?
Sponging of stonework
Starting work on sky and rooftiles
A notice board

Some bits and bobs from 2018

Here are a couple of bits that I painted last year that I think I didn’t post up.

One of Citadel’s Giants

Quite tiny compared to todays giants
Battle Standard Bearer for my Albion army

This is from Hasslefree’s Kickstarter
Some quick and dirty Genestealers from Lost Patrol
Lost Patrol (not my image)

Got it for a bargain price, but sadly missing a few figures
Plague Demon sculpted by Kevin “Goblinmaster” Adams

August progress

Here are some work in progress shots of my command vehicle used in my Not DKK Army. Vehicle by Ramshackle Games from the recent Kickstarter.

image

Undercoat and the start of weathering

image

Weathering finished and dozer blade.

image

Rubbing away the white paint. I used the Hairspray Technique for this. It is a bit disheartening to spend hours painting on weathering for it all to be painted over.

Masking for the blue paint

Masking for the blue paint

Blue paint applied

Blue paint applied

Cutting the masking for the black stripes. This camouflage scheme was inspired by the film, "Inception".

Cutting the masking for the black stripes. This camouflage scheme was inspired by the film, “Inception”.


The original design

The original design


Black stripes. I wasn't as successful as I had hoped with the masking and had to do a fair amount of retouching.

Black stripes. I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped with the masking and had to do a fair amount of retouching.


Start of muddying up the dozer blade. I used weathering products from AK Interactive.

Start of muddying up the dozer blade. I used weathering products from AK Interactive.


And the finished result

And the finished result