Sunday, July 31, 2011

Scrap Thralls

OK, back to work on the "to do" pile. This week I finished off six Scrap Thralls. I'm a little disappointed that these models only come in two poses, but what the heck. They blow up so fast on the battlefield, there will probably never be more than a few in play at one time anyway.

Keeping up with bad habits, I'm adding to the "to do" pile as quickly as I'm depleting it. These are some new Legion models for Hordes. Oh well.

'Til next time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Hobbit

No a lot of people, I'm a fan of Tolkien's Middle-earth books. When I heard some years ago that two more Peter Jackson Middle-earth movies were going to be made, I was ecstatic. Photos of the cast have started to come's a composite of all the major characters.

What I find amazing is that each Dwarf has his own unique look. Very distinctive and worthy of the level of production design established by the Lord of the Rings movies.

Thorin is not as I'd imagined him, but he looks completely bad ass. If you read The Hobbit when you were young, as I did, your favorite Dwarves are likely Fili and Kili. These young Dwarves look suitably "elven" and heroic.

I'd have to say, I'm really excited about seeing this film when it comes out!

'Til next time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tutorial: Cryx Battle Engine

Well, knocking off models from the "to do" pile turned out to be a bit tiresome, so I figured I'd dive into the new Cryx Battle Engine. This post is sort of a log of step-by-step build notes.

Started with the box and the tools I figured I'd need, including a dremel.

So here are all the parts. Most of them are in a soft, buttery resin. The metal was pretty clean, but the resin was full of horrendous mold lines. 1 - 2 mm mold lines through detail is trouble. I would have expected better for $85...fortunately, the model looked like it was going to be pretty cool and intriguing.

Mold lines were not the worst of the resin problems. Overall fit was pretty bad, and as can be seen in this photo, lining up all the pipes was going to take some work with a hair dryer.

The carapace was going to create a visible cavity in the model's interior, so this required the base model to be painted first. It got a base coat in black.

Moving on to the metal parts, the first thing I noticed was that the left hand was miscast. Great! :-(

As can be seen here the wrist guard and a portion of the wrist joint was completely missing.

Time to improvise! I had a spare Exemplar shoulder pad which made for a pretty good match. This would form the basis of the new wrist and guard.

Here are the two arms with the new wrist guard filed down and glued in place.

OK, all the components are glued in place and primed black. On the base, I've glued down a couple of detail pieces. These will get painted up later when I'm doing more work on the base.

The model is airbrushed with Cryx base and then a top-down overspray of Cryx highlight.

The brass fixtures and the head are brush painted next with Vallejo Bronze. I painted the tubing, which is often done in steel, with Vallejo dark rubber instead. This gives it a kind of PVC look.

This is about the half-way point in the painting. The brass areas got a wash with turquoise and I started into the MIGS weathering powders on the main body. Using rubbing alcohol and turpentine as a base, I worked up from the mud browns to the red browns and finally to the dust and rust patches. I also got the sand onto the base and built up a pile of rocks with cork and slate bits.

Well, skip ahead a few days and the painting and basing is all done now. The PVC tubing got a drybrush of Vallejo light rubber. The brass areas got a highlight of Vallejo old gold. Scraps of cloth are in Cryx base and highlight. Bare metal scrapes are done in steel and silver.

The necrotic Cryx green uses the P3 base color with a highlight of off-white and finally a wash of green ink. Not great, but serviceable.

As for details on the base, this is a Mantic skeleton. I thought the model was pretty cool, bursting out of the ground. I think it makes the Wraith Engine feel like it's rousing the dead as it passes by.

But this guy is likely a little too freshly dead to be roused! This disemboweled figure is from Army Painter.

Well, another Cryx corrosion piece for the collection. Despite the trouble the model molds gave me, the end result was pretty satisfying, and it makes a good centerpiece for the army.

Haha...while I was building and painting the Wraith Engine, I figured it would be little trouble to do a Harrower Helljack at the same time. Two for one!

'Til next time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Paint, But Not Painting

Well, I should have been painting this weekend, but I got paint.

I've been using Vallejo for a while, and recently started up with Reaper paints. I've got to say I really like the dropper bottles. Now, I also really like my Foundry paints, and the pots they come in do a good job of preventing them from drying out (can't say the same for GW paint). However, the Foundry-type pots pretty much suck for everything else. They are tough to get into, the lids snap off, and like all non-dropper bottles, you have to degenerate your brushes loading paint out of them onto a pallet.

The best solution? Get that Foundry paint into dropper bottles.

So, Reaper sells bottles. A solution, and a project.

One thing I like about old Reaper paints is that they put a little BB pellet in each bottle as an agitator. I'm doing the same thing using small fishing weights. The first paints moved over are all the excellent Foundry skin tones.

Currently on the table is the new Cryx battle engine...hope to have an update on that next week.

'Til next time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Middle-earth Denizens

Happy Canada Day!

So, that Middle-earth RPG I was running using the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition rules is still going strong (if somewhat intermittently). The group has four player characters. Scott plays Herdir, a Wood-elf archer currently in the Assassin career. Elliot is playing Addax, a Woodman fighter in the Swordmaster career. Casper is the Dwarf Kale, the group's heavily armored tank. He is in the Mercenary career. The latest party member is played by Chris, who has started a human Acolyte in order to give the group some badly needed healing support.

Every time we run a session, I try to get a new figure or two out on the table. This past week I finished off a new armored Troll.

He's a big fellow.

The campaign year is Forth Age 121, so some time after the War of the Ring. The players are currently helping Durin VII's efforts to retake Moria from the Goblins. They have most recently made it down to the 5th deep of Moria in an attempt to discover the location of the Goblin King's chamber. Well, they found it, and the encounter was hilarious.

Anyway, here is the Goblin King, also recently completed.

Here are some older figures also seeing service in this campaign. A Troll chieftain.

I really like all of these GW sculpts. In metal, and great to work with.

Some time ago I painted up a schwack of undead. The group has run into these guys as well. Incorporeal opponents turn out to be pretty tough to deal with.

And here is a mix of Orc archers and swordsmen. Again, painted some time ago, but seeing service now.

'Til next time!