Wednesday, 29 May 2013

005. Something a bit different...

While blog jumping (like link jumping only using blog rolls) the other day I stumbled across some coverage from a European model event which had a non miniature game focus - lots of period pieces, busts, and TANKS!!!!

Looking at the phenomenal work on display got me thinking about trying something different for my modelling itch - and so I went searching around forums, and stores, and blogs and the general internet and came up with a plan to build, paint, weather and maybe make into some kind of diorama one of these:

My first WW2 tank kit - looks tame enough

Its a 1/35 scale, Tamiya Panzer IV (J) (kit number 35181 for those playing along at home).

At the same time I also picked up an AK Interactive colour modulation set for Panzer Grey colour schemes as well as some other weathering bits and bobs, and an Osprey Publishing book on modelling late war model Panzer IV's.

The kit with the AK Modulation set and the Osprey 'how to model' guide

A look at the forums helped me understand the term 'rivet counters' when discussing the modelling fanatics who go to the nth degree of minutiae in ensuring the accuracy of the model approaching the true, real life version of the kit.  'Hyper Detailing' as it is known is an art all of its own, and lost upon me, but its also big business.  I have bought into it somewhat as I have ordered some photo etch 'zimmerit' to grace the panels on the tank.  In the real world it was a material applied to the panels that acted as an anti-magnet barrier to stop the allies magnetically attaching mines to a tank.  Aside from that though, I'm leaving the kit as is, out of the box (or OOB) with no other after market (or AM - see I am getting the lingo down).  What I might try though is texturing the otherwise plain panels using a technique described in detail in this video by Mr Justin himself of Secret Weapon Miniatures fame.

The kit itself comes in a massive box - nearly of similar dimensions to a Baneblade box, but only contains 4 sprues, a piece of string, some instructions and decal sheet, and some rubbery vinyl tracks.  The string had me puzzled until I went  through the instructions (which by the way are crazy long and detailed with lots of obscure sprue and part number references which is novel - every sprue is individually granted an alpha identifier and each part on a sprue (or tree in military modelling parlance) is individually numbered) and identified it is intended to be wedded to two tow hook ends and used to represent a tow line.

The kit unboxed - lots and lots of very fine detailed pieces - I may need some of those magnifier glasses and another set of detail tweezers to manage this

Quite looking forward to having a crack at it.  The Osprey book is by a couple of master Rivet Counters who go through in some detail how they used a lot of AM product, scratch built and home molded parts to 'hyper detail' the same (or similar - ie other brand) tank.  It really is something else to see how much detail they apply - lots of it which will never see the light of day - like adding extra rivets a road wheel, on an internal side wall that wont be seen once the track is fitted.  Looking at some of it I would think they were slightly nuts, but like the missus says, it takes all sorts to make the world go round and they aren't harming anyone in their hobby - and it is a hobby which you make of what you want.

I'm going against the real world history by aiming to paint and weather my tank in panzer grey colouring which this tank variant (the J variant) would not have sported.  Per my previous comment above, my hobby, my way.

The AK kit comes with a useful how to apply step by step guide for me to follow

To help me on my way when painting, I have also ordered in a couple of books from Studio Rinaldi (otherwise known as Michael Rinaldi - what many consider a god in the military modelling world - or so the internet tells me).  The books cover in great detail (and judging by the reviews, exacting how to step by steps) painting and weathering advice for world war 2 era vehicles with the first book focusing on Axis vehicles, and the second on Allied vehicles.  I'm keen on the first as it has a detailed step by step on painting panzer grey vehicles (which shouldn't be that hard but I'm hoping there are some tips and tricks in there to expand on my current tank painting approach of layering and washing).  These are basically a military modelling equivalent of the FW Masterclass books - which given Phil Stutcinskas who co-wrote the FW books is a mad military hobbyist outside of his FW gig makes lots of sense.

What I want to start doing with my hobby is push my skills beyond those I have historically used.  So detailing and properly weathering a tank kit seemed like something different, interesting and fun to try.  Plus I like the period represented by the kit and real world nature of it (not that there is anything wrong with far future modelling), it links into my other time waster of the minute - World of Tanks - and I hope to pick up some new techniques I can apply on my abundance of 40K models - namely the fairly large range of tank kits for both Guard and Marines, as well as my FW Titan which is sitting unloved in a state of semi painted condition.

This kit itself is another one of my slow go, medium-long term projects that I will put in the mix with the other things I have on the go - I'm a useless hobby butterfly like that - but it keeps me quiet and entertained, and stops me bothering the missus, so points all round I figure.

That's all for now - next weeks post may or may not be delayed as my missus and I are expecting the birth of our first bubs any day now (official due date tomorrow) - so depending on what happens there my hobby time may disappear for a short bit while I figure out a new routine around the tasks associated with raising a little one.

Cheers all, and happy hobby in whatever form that takes,


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

004. Laying down some colours - Ork Nob...

Back again for another go round, proving my aim to make time for hobby each week is succeeding, with the missus getting in on the act too, chastening me if I put off some form of hobby two nights in a row.

Tonight I sat down while she finished the preparations for tea, I got in 45 minutes in which I started on some of the colour components on the Ork Nob.  My aim tonight was to get the red bits (technical term that) done, so I pulled out a Scorched Brown, Mechrite Red, Blood Red and Blazing Orange and cracked on.

'Arry, the photogenic Ork, and my current painting target modelling with some paint

I also figured out tonight why my camera is making things have a blue tint like the exhibit above - it turns out the missus had changed the settings so the light source was set to an indoor light setting rather than an auto - easy fixed once I figured out how the menu screens worked.  On another note, I've asked the missus for a new fancy pants camera and tripod setup for my birthday this year which she is now pondering.

First layer down consisted a mix of Scorched Brown and the Mechrite Red.  It gives a nice base to work from for the later mixes.  I use an old synthetic paint brush that I think came from a starter paint set for this as it is slightly splayed and perfect for giving a random pattern.  I generally splotch the base colour down, leaving metallic bits showing through on most of the edges and other high spots.

As an aside, one of the things I was talking to Col. Scipio about in the comments on my last post was  that I put down the metallics first and then the colour over the top, leaving bare metallics showing through for the wear and tear look.  One of the old GW manages once pointed out to me that when you scratch paint of something the result is layer of paint, layer of primer, then bare metal.  As a hobbyist, I used to paint the top colour and then add the black primer and then the metal layer for scratches - the reverse of what happens in a natural setting.  You could achieve a natural effect with the salt and hairspray/other masking method, but I find the approach I have with the Orks the easiest one for me for infantry figures.

First splotchy layer - Scorched Brown and Mechrite Red - leaving metal showing in prominent areas

Next I added some Blood Red to the mix and dabbed that around over the last layer, as well as in some places, over the bare metal.  This represents the top layer over the top of the primer layer, or straight over the top of the metal where a scratch has stripped straight back to metal.

Second layer - with added Blood Red

The final step is to add a bit of Blazing Orange as a kind of highlight layer. Again, I just splodge it around, leaving parts of the previous layers showing through.

I may have got my images out of order, or doubled up - but pretend this is showing what I described above.

The final process was to add some highlights (not shown in pictures unfortunately as I forgot I was meant to be documenting these steps) to the bare metals as the previous posts washes had really knocked all the shininess from the paints.  I'm in the process of switching over my paints to Vallejo Model and Game Colour series' dropper bottles and have the Gunmetal Grey and Oily Steel metallic colours.  At the moment, Id have to say they aren't as good as the old Bolt Gun Metal and Chainmail that I had grown up with.  They are quite thick, and thinning with water or an acrylic thinner doesn't seem to do anything but stretch out the pigment (another technical observation!).  I must investigate some other metallic paint ranges.
Now at this stage I should have stopped, but I didn't, and I did my usual thing of washing everything I have just done with a Devlan Mud wash.  Washes are evil.  No there not.  I just don't have the control to leave things well enough alone.  As usual, the wash while wet made everything pop, but that's the effect of having a satiny product on top of something matte, and not the natural state.  After it dried, all my layering looked a bit pants, and the colours washed out, so I went back and reapplied the last red mixture.

At this point I also went ahead and added some checks to the war axe (not shown in picture below so you'll have to trust I'm telling the truth) and whitened the bones on the Boss Pole.  For both I started with a Shadow Grey base, then progressively added Skull White.  My love affair with Orks stems from the ability for somewhat sloppy work to fit right into the theme of the model.  For example, for the checks I dutifully laid out a basic grid pattern and then sloppily filled it in - it was a neat sloppy and not a sloppy sloppy - so its intentional sloppy if you get my drift.

WIP Nob posing with un-named grunt and 'Arry, the photogenic Nob

And there we are.  Thats where I left it for tonight.  Tomorrow I will paint the base and then lay down the skin base and probably work that right up before moving onto everything else - skulls, braces/wrist straps, pants etc.

Cheers all,


Saturday, 18 May 2013

003. Long term projects - Heresy Ultramarines...

Hopefully clean resin goodness

A cheeky mid-week post after saying last time out I would only be posting on Wednesdays.  Its cold here at the moment, finally letting go of the lovely spring weather we have been experiencing recently even though its nearly Winter - Autumn here has been tame.  Being cold, I didn't fancy sitting in my back room painting today with my spare hobby time, so instead i pulled out all my little baggies of resin that I have been stockpiling for the six months or so and put it all in a big bowl with some washing liquid and warm water and gave it a good rinse or three.  I've laid it all out in front of the gas heater (much to the delight of the missus) to dry.

I've been building a Cataphractii Terminator a week for the last little bit after work while reviewing other peoples blog posts so they are mostly ready to base, but the rest of it is not being touched for a bit yet (at least until I see what else FW has in store for the boys in blue).  

As the title to this post says, this is one of my longer term projects (who am I kidding, aren't they all that) that supplements my insatiable need to build Space Marines and never paint them - by the time I'm old and done with all this toy soldier malarkey I will probably have every Legion and named Chapter built and based in a primered only condition on my shelves.

While I am waiting for this all to dry so I can bag it all up and put it all away again, I am settling in to read Col. Scipio's rather charming PDF Codex Imperialis: Palladin Guard - a nicely put together fluff codex for his home grown Imperial Guard regiment.  It's pieces of hobby like this that remind me why I'm in this game - the joy of the hobby shines through when you stumble across blog's like the good Col.'s where their love of the hobby is genuine and obvious.

Happy hobby all,


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

002. 18 months on, finished Grotz - finally...

Finished off the little buggers last night, although if I'm honest, the lad with the hair could do with another look in once I figure out what the Ork's hair in the main mob will look like.

Anyway, pictures:

Not sure whats going on with the camera but that blue tone is unintentional

Happy enough with these little buggers - wasn't much more work on them to be honest, just a few bits and bobs and then tidying up the bases.  But they are now done and can join the rest of the buggers I did nearer two years ago.

Group shot - I do love the Ork range

Started laying down the base colours for the next two Orks - a Nob and a Prospektor Mek from the old Gorka Morka range.  Looking forward to getting on with these and they will  be my focus this week.

Base metallics laid down (Tin Bitz and dry brushed Gunmetal Grey and Oily Steel) and first wash (Devlan Mud) tinting applied

I'm aiming for a weekly post for now, and have designated Wednesday nights blog posting night to start adding some regularity to my hobby time (a simple idea institute after reading this post here at Miniature Tim's fine blog).  Every second Monday is Infinity games night with some of the lads, and I'm trying to do at least 30 minutes to an hours worth on Saturdays and Sundays around family commitments, plus whatever spare half hour I find during the week assuming I'm not completely knackered or spending time with the missus.

And with 'Arry, the photogenic Ork Nob

So what does that mean for the blog?  Well it can expect an update hopefully every Wednesday night after work - either a finished mini, a WIP shot or a game run down or some similar musing.

Cheers all,


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

001. Lets keep it simple then...

Keeping it simple for my first proper jaunt out and about in a while.

My paint station

This is my current painting space although if the missus had her way I would be out in the shed - lucky she's not having her way as its cold and dreary out there with the spiders.

I picked up a Back 2 Base-ix MDF rack system as they are local to me and it looked the biz on the website.  I wasn't disappointed in the system itself, more my ability to do a simple addition of paint pots to judge how big a system and what type of rack would be needed.  As you may see, i could have done with another larger section cut to GW sized pots - but I'm happy enough with what I have and its better than the old system of stacked pots where the one I needed was always at the bottom.

This months targets

My aim with the balance of this month is to see of these Grotz and their handler which I started over 12 months ago by my recollection prior to having a bit of time away from the hobby.  Now that I am feeling the painting itch again I figured it was high time they were done.  The ones at the front with the flocked bases are part of a group I did a while ago and are my reference.

Those two black Orks are next I think - a couple of old Gorka Morka figs if memory serves, with a few alterations to the Nob to use a current axe and pistol - swapped hands at the same time and as good a conversion as I'll do.  The large Nob waving his fist around is the guide for how they may look.

The Infinity Metro's are also something I am slowly plodding away at (those large swirls of blue on the tile may have been a give away) and they might get a look in this month too seeing as they get actual game time whereas the Orks and other assorted miniatures on the shelves of shame do not.

Simple enough for a first post.  lets see where this takes me then.

Cheers all,


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

000. Under construction...

A wandering Pom's return to the blogging fold.

Place holder post - blog under construction