There I was, being disciplined in my painting, and along come the Orcs from the Lancer Miniatures Kickstarter.
So what happens? I stop painting what I was doing and start these.
Here is a view of my production line. This is pretty much what I do when I have a unit to paint.
Magnetising the bases with neodymium magnets
Cleaning the mold lines with my new Dremmel attachment
Basing with sand and PVA
Undercoating the shields. I’ve been a bit lazy and used an old can of yellow primer that I had lying around rather than using my airbrush.
Metal painted. A test shield with wash and in the background you can see the beginnings of a movement tray.
Test shield with rust, wash and wood highlights.
Well I managed to finish painting the thirty strong unit of Celts from Warlord Games. All that remains is to finish the movement tray and the shields. The shields can wait because the transfers provided by Warlord were frankly very disappointing. They looked as if they had been printed on a cheap laser printer that was running low on toner. I’ll wait until I get to Salute and get some shield transfers from Little Big Man Studios.
This month is not going to plan and this month’s work is going to probably be finished in September.
Days out at Wallersee, our local lake.
Mountain walks with Number One Son
And wanting to try out some weathering effects on the Command Vehicle from Ramshackle Games.
Here it is with the chipping waiting for a coat of hairspray.
Then sprayed white then distressed with warm water and a cotton bud. It is slightly depressing to see the hours worth of painting disappearing under a coat of paint only to reveal a small part.
Next I get to try out some AK Interactive weathering products on the plough. So far my impression that it isn’t that amazing. It’s basically an expensive jar of Humbrol paint. This may change with more use. Next to the plough you can see that I have been making a start on the Celts. It has been a bit of a slog, clipping, cleaning mold lines, basing and then painting the flesh.
This is the unit with the flesh starting to take form. I’m using Foundry paints for this. Standing on a pot is the unit champian.
These are the ten books I would recommend for a bookshelf. Bear in mind that this is my choice and that it isn’t to everybody’s taste. I would welcome any suggestions as there is always something new to learn regarding our magnificent obsession.
So here they are in no particular order.
Editing is an arse on WordPress. I want my text aligned left and the bugger centers it!
FAQ 2 by Mig Jemenez. It was a toss up between this or the excellent Tank Art by Michael Rinaldi. This won by a gnats as it covers so many techniques. Military modelling is leading miniature figure painting and these techniques can feed into miniatures. As an aside, I am really surprised there is no brass etch after market for GW/Forgeworld vehicles. I suppose I could just look out for 1:48th scale accessories. You are going to see these techniques more and more often so it doesn’t hurt to be ahead of the curve. Don’t be surprised if GW bring out some form of chipping medium in the near future. In the also rans is Forgeworld’s Model Masterclass Volume Two
Art of War published by Battlefront. This is a bit of a cheat as it is two magazines. Sadly Battlefront haven’t followed up on these. This has proved to be inspirational showing it is possible to paint 15mm figures to the standard of 28s rather than the blobs of paint that I see so often.
These are great for seeing the uniforms of the armies I am painting “in the flesh”.
British Napoleonic Uniforms by C.E. Franklin. A bit dry but a useful reference. The only things missing were Aide des Camp (?) and artillery which is covered in another volume.
Foundry Miniatures Painting and Modelling Guide by Kevin Dallimore. The three colour paint style popularised by Kevin and supported by Foundry’s paint system is a bit cartoony, but when you apply the “Three foot rule” (ie you look at the figures on the tabletop, not in your hand) it works very well. I want to perfect this technique. My figures look quite good close up, OK not competition standard, but tend to be indistinct at a distance. I have a friend whose armies (he has quite a few) really Pop on the tabletop but are a little disappointing close up. My aim is for Pop and Wow. This book is full of examples and step by step guides. Starting with One Colour models, tournament basic standard, then Two Colour and finally Three Colour painting. Helpfully the guides use the same model so you can compare and contrast. If I had to pick one book from this list of ten, it would be this one. The techniques can be applied can be applied to any manufacturers paint system. Or a mix’n’match as I do.
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rules Third Edition and Warhammer Armies. A bit of a cheat again again having a two in one. There is a joy in these rules. A game can be fun. I do miss the humour of the Fluff from the eighties. This is what got me into gaming when I was reading my friends White Dwarfs. I think I’ll stick to these rules rather than spend another fifty odd quid on yet another humourless set of rules and army book. Rumoured for later this year. There is a growing community of gamers going back to Third Edition rules with a friendly forum to exchange ideas. Oldhammer http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk Saying that I’ll probably get some of the new Orc figures when they come out. It would be nice to see some new Orcs, Goblins, Wolfriders and Chariots.
Cool Mini Or Not Annual. Sometimes the photography is a bit iffy. But it is so inspirational to see figures from manufacturers you’ve never heard of painted to really high standards. I’ve bought figures on the basis of what I’ve seen. Reaper I name and shame you! I haven’t yet dared to enter any figures on the site, but nothing ventured etc. I’ll post when I have.
This one is a toss up depending on your tastes. Sadly Rackham are no more, so unless you have won the lottery their figures are out of reach of us mere (skint) mortals. So this is just meditation material. Gaze with amazement at the figures you’ll never be able to paint. The GW catalogue is also another dreamers book. I would love to have pictures of the individual sprues next to the models. Sadly GW no longer do parts, just imagine the kit bashing opportunities?
My plan is to have every unit in my collection kitted out with a movement tray. This has been easy for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Black Powder and Field of glory. I spent the last few months at my last job, when I knew I was being made redundant, making stuff in the workshops. Three aluminium/brass carry cases and more movement trays than you can shake a stick at. They’re easy: a rectangle of plastic cut to the right size, a border strip made of six mil plastic and a thin sheet of mild steel cut to the unit’s size. Glue together, Dremmel sides, superglue some sand on and undercoat. Job done, ready to be painted up when the unit is ready so that the bases match the movement tray.
Now with 40K and Bolt Action there are round bases. Not so easy. 40K uses, for the main, twenty five mil circular bases. Bolt Action uses two pence coins. Foreign readers may question why so many English wargamers use money to base there figures on. Are we extravagant? No, the answer is that the two pence piece is more enough worthless. Plastic bases cost more to buy. Plus, if you get the older coins, they are attracted to magnets. Another love of mine is magnetised units, I have seen plenty of instances where an opponent has placed a unit on a hill only to see them slide away. Not me, I’ve magnetised more or less everything.
Anyway back to the circular based movement trays. 40K has twenty five mil bases and Bolt Action has twenty six mil bases. So what is one millimetre between friends? I don’t think anyone will notice a slight gap on my 40K units between base and movement tray.
OK. Time rich money poor. That’s me, plus I’m a tight bastard. I have seen some laser cut trays on Fleabay for between two and three pounds each, plus postage. I’ll probably need thirty odd. So the money mounts up. So what does one of these fancy laser cut movement trays consist of? Two sheets of MDF. The bottom one is plain and the top one has holes cut in it.
What am I not capable of doing?
I drew up some templates in Indesign, just to work out the size of the base. A ten man movement tray worked out to be ninety five mil by one hundred and thirty mil. Wouldn’t mind some five man movement trays and some twenties. Bauhaus has one square metre of three mil not-quite-MDF for four Euro something. From this I can get thirty nine movement trays. Went to Bauhaus on Monday morning armed with cake to bribe the wood cutter. Got the wood cut and purchased a twenty six mil hole cutting attachment for my drill. In all it came to twenty one euros on the nose.
All that is left is to drill the holes for the bases, stick them together and finish as appropriate for the unit.
The biggest chunk of that was the drill bit at Fourteen something Euro. But I have that now, so any time I want more movement trays it’s just the cost of the wood, which is minimal.
You can see in the background a squad of Tox Troopers from Anvil Industries. I often undercoat several projects in one go.
Just picked up a GW brush to block in some colour. Absolute shite. I’d picked a few up at the Artisan’s workshop a while back. At the time they had to give me a non GW detail brush because I complained so much about the quality. Still it’ll do for glue or something.
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.