Malifaux – Toshiro – Freehand

I wanted to do some freehand on Toshiro’s back, seems like a decent place for it.

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I put a question up on A Wyrd Place on Facebook and got some ideas of how to find an image to use — “japanese mon“. I picked this crane image because it was kind of cool, and not overly complicated. AWP recommended I draw it out a bunch, so I started big and worked my way smaller. Then I swapped to using some watered down black paint on the paper, getting smaller so I could somehow figure out how to put this image on a teeeeny little back.

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I started painting with the beak, because it felt like it was in the most difficult place under the rip in his cloak. Because the paint was pretty wet, I had to to be sure to get most of it off the brush so it didn’t run. I did a couple layers of the black to make it show, and then went back with the Warpstone Green after in places to clean up the work.

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I think it looks pretty good, although maybe not so much like a crane. 🙂 Wondering if there’s anything I can do to make it a little bit more obvious, or maybe I’ll just leave it.

Agrellan Earth…

…I had wanted this to be published on the 7th, so maybe I could get some feedback on it. Apparently I missed the publish button. >.>


 

I saw a video a few months back showing someone locally using the new GW Agrellan Earth technical paint to create a seriously badass lava base. Since lava bases are my thing, I picked up a bottle and then prompted started painting Malifaux, with zero lava.

OFCC is in 3 weeks, and I have a list of things that still need doing – including making a new base for a skink priest. The priest from my stegadon is on pins, and is getting a shiny new base since I need priests, and Engine’s of the Gods aren’t really great anymore.

I started by painting Vallejo Black Lava texture paint onto a 20mm base. In the end, this wasn’t super necessary, but it does make the end result have a little different levels to it.

I painted a sloppy mixture of Mephiston Red, Blazing Orange and Sunburst Yellow on it.

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Then I painted the Agrellan Earth, noting that I’d really just painted a brown slop over my yellow. >.>

When it dried, it looked ok, but not nearly as stunning as some examples I’ve seen. I did some wetbrushing with Chaos Black.

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I watered down some yellow and orange and painted it again. Because of the heavy water content, it slipped into the cracks easily. It was on top as well, but after I was done with my water mixture I went back and wetbrushed the Chaos Black again, and it got a little brighter.

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If I could get the kind of separation as the example, I’d be a lot happier. Anyone have any experience with it?

Malifaux – THE NOTHING

Believe it or not, this is the first non-AdeptiCon related post I’ve written since AdeptiCon. It’s been a long back-log. 😛

I won the Nightmare Tara Transparent Edition at the AdeptiCon Story Encounter. I told Jamie, and he said he’d be happy to trade for her. I told him I was thinking of keeping her. >.>

I had originally planned to only play crews that I could build from what I had already – ie, Ramos from Mei, Hoffman from Ramos, etc. But fuck it – someone gives you a sweet set of transparent models, you play with those!

Unfortunately, I screwed up. I was so worried about frosting the outside of the Nothing Beast, I frosted the inside. >.< I was upset about it, until I had a brilliant idea to fix the problem, and have something original.

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I’m going to paint parts of the model! So parts of it are all smokey and other parts are opaque! It’s kind of scary painting something so unique, but it’ll be awesome when it’s done!

 

If you have the transparent models – buy plastic glue. I picked up Tamiya Cement (but in English) and glued the Void Wretches together. So much nicer. So much less worry about creeping glue.

 

I also bought the Citadel Imperial Primer. It’s a paint on primer, since I wanted to prime but can’t spray. With this stage, this product began to enter “totally f’d up” territory. Apparently you have to shake the ever living shit out of this product. It starts very watery, but after shaking it’s much thicker. Let me say that again, in larger text so everybody makes sure to read it —

SHAKE IMPERIAL PRIMER VERY VERY WELL.

I didn’t on this model. I started to paint the bits and found parts of the primer sloughing off. I tore away large strips and continued painting. After a while, it seemed like it had done coming off but I didn’t trust it. I started to rub with my thumb, and all of the surfaces came away.

To be fair to this product, after I had shaken it very well and tried it on the Void Wretch bases it stuck as well as I expect primer to stick.

To continue the horrible madness of the Nothing Beast. I decided to stick it in Pine Sol for the night and to just strip it and start again. The next morning I toothbrushed the model and got most of the paint away…only to find that some of the pine sol was stuck inside the model. Facepalm. So then I try to tear apart the torso of the Nothing, and find that the plastic actually has a weaker hold than the super glue I originally used and so it ripped the plastic apart.

I rinsed the model off and put it aside. Sometimes you just have to walk away for a bit to clear your head.

 

That afternoon I inspected the model and decided it might be salvageable. But that if anything else went wrong, I was going to stomp on the model and go buy a new box on EBay, even if it cost me $100+.

So far it’s going pretty well. The opaque covering looks really good next to the transparent layer. The primer has stuck. The inside is not filled with fluid. And the areas that were frosted are covered. If nothing else goes wrong, this will look amazing.

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

AdeptiCon 2014 – Thursday, Sculpting Class

My last class of Thursday was the Sculpting class with Jose Orteza.

This class started poorly. I think a few of the guys in the middle row had to much to drink at their events, and they weren’t focused all that well. Jose was either tired or not as organized, and it felt like he was trying to organize his stuff while these guys were joking around, and the class started a bit late. I was sitting around at 10pm for a class that’s going until midnight, and I wanted to get on with it. We ended up going a half hour overtime, which wasn’t great.

After a bit, Jose started. The class started with a number of great basic things (this is Intro to Sculpting), and…a bunch of places to buy specific tools. “You can buy the wax 5 at X”, “this Royal Sovereign set of tools can be found at Dick Blicks”. I don’t even know why I need all these tools, let alone care where I would buy them from. This took up even more time, and I started to wonder if the class was worthwhile at all.

Thankfully, it got good after this for a bit.

Increasingly, I’m finding I have ideas for models I want but I can’t find. I want to work on solo models and make them really nice instead of big units. Malifaux is good for this since everything is solo, but my heart still lies in Lizards even if I’m not overly happy playing Warhammer. I’ve seen what dear Patrick can do with putty, and I’m jealous. I’m jealous because he’s spent years sculpting little things, so that he can sculpt bigger things. I’ve got an idea, but no method of actioning that idea.

Here’s a few tips I left with:

  • He recommended starting with 50/50 yellow/blue extender/hardener, although some items (cloaks, away from the body) need more hardener to survive.
  • Fingerprints are very bad!
  • Pushing “overworks” the GS. (I still have no idea what “overworking” is).
  • Polymeric Systems sells tubes of GS (this was the one “buy this here” piece of advice that I thought was immediately useful).
  • Any moisture between the GS and the surface will prevent it from sticking.
  • If you’re gap filling, fill to 90% and then dry and finish later.
  • Waiting 10 minutes after mixing the GS together is the optimal time for working with it. 90 minutes later it was still malleable, but harder.
  • You can scrape with a hobby knife against the GS to remove any “doughiness” – I think it’s that rounding that you sometimes see.
  • To cut, you have to chop like a paper cutter. Dragging your knife will pull the GS.
  • Almost anything big needs an armature to provide shape and structure.
  • You can use a small mirror to sculpt on, and then transfer your creation to it’s final place.

He provided a lengthy document that contained steps to create a variety of different things like hair, scales, jewelry, purity seals, etc. We spent the middle part of the class working on making a purity seal, a length of chain and a feather on the mirror. This was really good!

The last part of the class he rushed through a bunch of ideas on how to make a cloak, a kilt, a banner but he really sped through it and I didn’t retain anything.

 

I feel like sculpting is the sort of thing where he can show you how to sculpt a feather, and a chain and a purity seal, and then you know how to sculpt a feather and a chain and a purity seal, but you don’t know how to sculpt much else. So I didn’t really learn what I necessarily wanted to learn, but I did gain enough confidence to think I should try. I’m still afraid of trying (and failing), but that’s better than not even thinking I should try.

AdeptiCon 2014 – Thursday, True Metallics Class

I took 3 classes Thursday night. I’m glad I did them early, because last year I did them on Saturday and was to exhausted to learn anything! I recommend anyone to take a class like this – a 2 hour thing at a convention, or a full weekend with a dedicated teacher – you will learn something. Even if you know everything you could possibly know, you still get the chance to sit down and talk with a master of the art. It’s well worth it.

My first class was True Metallics with Dave Pauwels. Dave was an excellent teacher, and had a lot of great examples to show us and was very personable.

I learned a few things which I’ll share with you:

  • wash is a mixture that is designed to fall into crevasses.
  • glaze is a mixture that is not for this purpose.
  • The difference between these two is less than you’d think…mainly in their usage, rather than their mixture.
  • You can add a drop of white glue to help break up the pigments.
  • You should be highlighting your metallics the same way you highlight your regular colours.
  • You should be shading your metallics.
  • Be sure to let each layer dry first.
  • He sometimes puts 20 layers of washes on his metals!
  • He went over some chipping techniques I had learned previously — use foam to stipple on the chip colour, then shade and highlight your chips. 
  • Sometimes you may want to dull coat your models just to make the “shine level” the same across the model.
  • Shadows are more interesting if you start with blue.

Except for the white glue, all of this was something I was working on with my Rail Golem already. That’s not bad though – it confirms that I’m doing the right thing!

 

 

 

AdeptiCon 2014 – Thursday, Freehand Class

Freehand

This was a good class to take from Chris Borer of Full Borer Miniatures. He was also really friendly, supportive and helpful!

I tried some freehand on my Herald of Nurgle a few months ago and wasn’t as happy with the results. I didn’t learn a lot of technique, but I did learn a few important things, starting with…

Patience, bitches.

That’s the biggest problem of it all. I lack patience when painting. I want it now, damn it. Doing this in a classroom atmosphere really helped – you have no where else to go, nothing else to do, so sitting and painting the red straight grey line over a red cloak for a half hour is something I can do easily. Doing it at home is much harder.

I learned a bunch of other useful things as well.

  1. Highlight up, but not to the top. Then do the freehand, then finish your highlighting.  You can much more easily fix your mistakes by painting over with the base colour.
  2. Avoid really contrasting colours, otherwise #1 above will be harder.
  3. Use a reference. For my Herald, I drew out the design. For others, find a photo online.
  4. Make sure your reference is the right size. If it’s huge, and you have a small space you may not know that it won’t fit!
  5. It’s ok to mess up or waver your line a bit – you can go over it with the base colour to fit it.
  6. Focus on one side of a thin line first – you can fix the other side.
  7. For more complex designs, you can draw more than is required and then use the base colour to fill places in. His example was a complex celtic knot thing.
  8. Paint thinner, as it’s easier to fix mistakes.
  9. If you’re writing text, write it down on paper first in the right size and then divide it into sections. Plan those sections on the model and then paint in.
  10. Brown/grey looks better for text than black.

GottaCon – Interlude, Painting Contest

I’ve got a ton of posts scheduled here, and I keep pushing them around so I don’t end up posting several times on one day!

Kelly Kim is a long-time member of the gaming community in Vancouver, and I remember even when I was a young pup of a 14 year old that he was known as a fantastic painter. (Not that I knew good painting from bad…). He’s got a blog where he writes the occasional painting related piece. Don’t expect frequency, but when he does write, it’s good stuff. He also managed the painting competition at GottaCon, as well as holding mini-painting seminars at his desk near the Malifaux/Warmahordes folks.

I had long ago decided that since my Herald of Nurgle failed to live up to my expectations, that my Lizard Riding A Lizard would be a model that I’d see about entering into a competition. GottaCon has been my AdeptiCon practice in many ways, so Mr. Lizard ended up spending the weekend in a glass case with some amazing looking models.

Kelly is writing a series where he posts photos of the models in the competition, along with a few sentences of things he liked and things the person could fix. A big project, and I’m super glad he’s doing so because he directly addressed something about my lizards that I didn’t like!

This is a long-winded way of saying…go read his blog!

http://sableandspray.blogspot.ca/2014/03/gottacon-2014-part-2-single-miniature.html

Super glue – not a gap filler

I’m liking these Friday posts which I’m thinking more as commentary, or a research opportunity. I like writing, so these give me a chance to write even if I have nothing in particular to report about my hobby.

I thought I’d follow-up on my post from last week about the use of cyanoacrylate as a gap filling solution.

Companies have certainly made huge strides in making sure things fit together well. I remember assembling my Ork Battlewagon, with it’s amazing fitting panels, and believing it to be the work of the divine. The Jaws of the Deep models I assembled last month were pretty good as far as fit goes, having a solid post and hole to give the glue more flat surfaces to adhere to. This can be tricky though – if the post and hole end up different sizes, you have a problem again.

But as hobbyists, you and I both know that sometimes the pieces just don’t fit together well. What solutions do we have? A lot!

 

Damn the research, glue it anyway.

This works well, if you never need to transport or drop your models on the floor. You’ve probably spent most of your life putting glue on a model, putting the other piece on the glue and holding it for a bit. Sometimes it doesn’t work out great, but if you have patience it will always hold eventually. Sometimes you have a point you have to glue, sometimes you have irregular pieces. More glue will work! …for a time. I’ve done this a lot. Let’s call this the “prayer” method, with all of the connotations that go along with that name.

 

Grab your hobby knife and file.

Certainly an option, you can cut your model up until the two sides fit. If you have steady hands and a good eye for 3 dimensions, you can create your own flat surfaces to ensure that the pieces all fit together. I’m really bad at this, and tend to make the problem much worse.

 

Glue:Filler:Glue.

An idea which I’ve heard about recently is to use something in the middle to allow the glue to adhere to. From the last post, we know that the problem with globs of CA (aside from the fact that the word “globs” just sounds awful), is that it can take longer to cure, sometimes will never fully cure, and when it does cure, it creates a weak crystalline structure in the joint.

So instead, you roll up a batch of putty, put a small amount of glue on one side of the joint, a small amount on the other side of the joint, drop the putty ball in the middle and squish. The glue will adhere to both sides of the putty, the putty is malleable and will change shape to fill the available space and after it dries you have a solid object in between two thin layers of glue. That sounds alright!

Liquid vs Solid Putty

I would use the solid stuff. The liquid feels more like it’s good for filling tiny gaps after you’ve glued. It doesn’t “squish” in the same way, and the squish is important to making sure that you get a filled joint. As well, the liquid is meant to be applied with a paint brush, and you’ve got CA in that mixture and if you do this you’ll never be able to use that paintbrush again!

Excess

After the squish, you’ll almost certainly have some putty sticking out of the edges of your joint. You can try to remove it immediately with a putty tool, but that CA will get in your way and all over your tool. It’s still an option, as you can clean that tool easier than the paintbrush! Also, while the putty is still uncured, you risk taking some of your structural putty and moving it out of a useful position or putting holes into it.

You can also leave the putty/CA combo to dry and clean it up afterwards. Most two-part putties can be cut and sanded after curing. Be gentle though – when cured the putty is a flexible substance (so when transported it may flex and bend, rather than snap. This is a good thing!) and if you put to much pressure on it, it can still come apart. If this happens, clean it all up – the putty, the CA, all of it – and try again.

After you’ve cleaned the edges of the joint up, depending on your skill, you may not have left the best looking area. My last attempt was a little ragged. I watered down some of the liquid green stuff and painted it onto the now dry area, which smoothed the whole thing out.

 

I’m using this method on my plaguebearer conversions, so I’ll see how it turns out. I suggest it in the first place because my hobby hero, Mr. Wappel, recommends it, saying:

Now for the wings.  Once again, glue /gs/ glue.  First wing in position.
The idea behind this technique is twofold.  First, it fills in some of the gaps that can happen in these kids of joints where pins are not always the best idea.  It also means that I don’t have to sit there holding it in place as the glue sets!  You can see the bead of glue in this image, with the green stuff on the inner wing surface.

Public service announcement – super glue

I’m fixing and converting some second hand models tonight and wanted to toss this out there, since it’s on my mind.

When you use super glue, use as little as you possibly can.

I tried to do some research to grab a second source on why this is, but it seems that modellers aren’t the target market for most cyanoacrylate (CA) glues. There are lots of other applications, but they don’t seem to care how much you use!

My first guess at why you use as little as possible was that because it has a very poor shearing strength and because it’s very brittle, the more you use, the more weak link you’re adding to your model. (in a perfect world, your model would just be entirely plastic/metal/resin, with no glue, which would be much stronger of a join!) The problem with this idea is that it really shouldn’t matter how much you add, since adding any is weakening.

I came across an article that finally gave me a decent answer.

The cyanoacrylate glue hardens very quickly when trapped between two surfaces. The reaction is caused by the condensed water vapour on the surfaces (namely the hydroxyl ions in water). The water comes from the surrounding air, so obviously the air humidity is a factor that may affect bonding capabilities, or cause them to differ from application to application.

The curing reaction starts at the surface of the bonded material and develops towards the centre of the bond. Because of this, thick seams or large blobs of glue may harden less satisfactorily than surface-to-surface bonds with good fit. In a thick blob of glue, a polymerisation reaction may stop before it reaches the centre of the blob. A rule of thumb is that seams thicker than 0,25 mm should be avoided. Thick seams will also take longer time to cure.

The other thing I’m thinking about (not a chemist), is that CA joins two things because of a chemical reaction between molecules, in particular the moisture on another object. But the stuff in the middle crystallizes, and rather than creating a strong bond between molecules creates a lattice of CA molecules that just isn’t as strong as if you have moisture:CA:moisture molecules all touching.

Regardless of the science behind it, we all know that thick applications are just more brittle and break easier. Don’t do it, you’ll thank yourself when your model stays in one piece in your case when you’re traveling by plane! (baggage handlers…*shudder*)

More airbrush

I bought some airbrush things.

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I bought two things of airbrush-specific paint, and a large thing of airbrush medium. Reading a bit today, I discovered that the problem I was having (which you probably couldn’t see in the last photo) was because of the surface tension of the water I used to thin my paint with. Droplets are formed when there is to much water. I could add less water…or solve the problem by throwing more tools at it. 🙂

I did a bunch of tests tonight, which again, the camera does not properly show. >.<

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Left: Pthalo Blue Airbrush Paint, Center: P3 Exile Blue+Airbrush Medium, Right: Altdorf Blue+Airbrush Medium

The airbrush blue is very striking! You can see some “basic highlighting” here, but I think that’s just because I’m painting over top of my previous test paint jobs which had dried with some darker sections and some lighter sections because of the water content and how the pigment moved around with it. The right two look green…but I feel like I should take new photos because I’m looking at them on my desk here, and they are definitely blue – damn white balance!

Something that was nice about the airbrush thinner was that it came out of the pot in small droplets so you can control how much goes into the airbrush. Also, there were no tiny droplet puddles formed on the models, so I call that a success.

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Left and Center: Scaly Green+Airbrush Thinner, Right: Pthalo Green Airbrush Paint

The second part of my model test was to apply some green, this failed quite a bit. I have an older Scaly Green and it was dry. I tried to liven it up with some of the Golden Matte Medium, plus the Airbrush Thinner, but it doesn’t look like it did anything – on the camera or in real life. My second test was to use the Airbrush Paint Green…which has the word “transparent” at the top of the bottle. >.> Not…intentional. I applied this several times to the bright blue model, but it kept pooling in the recesses (bad) so I kept wiping it off with a paper towel. Didn’t notice it said transparent until I looked at these photos now…whoops.

Having said that, I’m liking how the GW paints are turning out, I just need a modern colour that isn’t dried up! The airbrush paint really is that shiny! At least with the GW or P3 with the airbrush thinner it comes out semi-gloss, much easier to fix with a dullcoat layer at the end.

The next thing to figure out, is now that I’ve got my colours and such, how do I plan on highlighting? With the ork plane, I could just mix in more bright blue and it highlighted very nicely. This is a much smaller application, with fewer sharp edges. I could try the same, or I could accept that the airbrush is applying a base coat and shade with a brush from there. If I’m using GW paints, this is also a bit easier since I can use my techniques as normal.