Monday, 10 June 2013

008. Finest miniatures in the world...

She may not have crisp, sharp detail; rather, some may say she was rounded and squishy; but to our eyes she is the finest miniature yet produced.

Our very own, little miss

This is our first born daughter, born yesterday, whole and healthy - both mam and bubs are doing fantastically.

I couldn't be prouder

Blogging is on hold for the immediate future.

She's a very good sleeper at the moment too - fingers crossed this lasts

Cheers all,


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

007. WIP Orks and Frenchy early looks...

I have a WIP shot of my Ork Nob showing where I got up to today after a couple of in and out, half hour sessions during the day.  The first shot shows the Nob with a base coat of the old foundation green applied which I completely knackered by washing with a Vallejo Game Colour green wash - these are crap and nothing like the GW washes of old (not used the new ones so I've no comment there) - the old GW ones would mix well together and give a nice shading wash (ie black and green were perfect to shade the recesses) - the Vallejo ones are more like a very strong glaze that dried in a thick, slightly textured vibrant mess - not a happy camper.  I have been reading on various tank blogs where Tamiya and Vallejo are the main go to colours, that sometimes mixing your brands isn't a good idea as they do not chemically gel - that may be what happened here by applying Vallejo washes over GW acrylics - otherwise, maybe I just need to experiment more with the Vallejo stuff to get the most out of it.

I recovered the model to a stage I was happy with by washing again with the dregs of my old black GW wash, and then reapplying a secondary base of the old Dark Angels Green followed by a layer of the old Snot Green with a touch of Dark Angels.

'Arry, the photogenic Ork, and my WIP Nob at base coat plus layer stage

Later this afternoon I got another session in where I upped the layer stage by applying a Goblin Green with a touch of Snot layer, before finishing with my usual melon layering of Goblin and Rotting Flesh (I love this colour and made sure to buy a couple of pots before it went out of stock - such a cool colour that I have previously mixed into loads of other colours - kind of like a Bleached Bone or other Buff go-to mixing colour).  I call it melon layering as I end up with various shades of green coming through in stripes, kind of like you see on the skin of a water melon.  

When I painted my first Ork I did it this way to represent really stringy muscles showing through and as a means of highlighting - I had never painted flesh at that point, nor anything green and the effect stuck with me.  I now use it on all my Orks, with each getting slightly different shades of the final mix as I never paint more than one or two at a time - some are lighter and some are darker - no real plan to it - just keep adding lighter stripes until I stop.

'Arry again, with the nearly finished Nob - skin tones and bone stuff all done

I follow this layer up traditionally with another wash to tie all the greens together somewhat (not perfectly as my graduations tend towards big jumps).  Without my usual wash, and stuck with the Vallejos, I struck on the idea of making do with the tools I had and MacGuyvering something.  What I did was mixed up some of the Vallejo wash, with some GW black wash and a spot of Goblin Green, with a bit of Liquitex flow aid and made what may be a new wash or a glaze or something (don't know technical art terms so not really sure what the difference between a wash and a glaze and a juice is??).  I applied this like I normally would and it did tint and ease some of the harsher graduations, although it dried satin which I think is a by product of the Liquitex which I have noticed before.

After that small success I left the skin alone and knocked out the base (which for the life of me I couldn't remember the scheme for so it's now different to the others on my desk, though looking across my painted Orks, none of them have a matching base scheme - I either need to write this down next time I do it, or stick with the same common brown and bone scheme every other force I own sports - for some reason I decided to be different with the Orks) as well as all the bone pieces - ie the teeth, claws, horns etc. 

I'm fairly happy with him seeing as he is the first proper mini I have painted this year from go to whoa so far.  I just need to do all the leather work and straps and I think he is done, then it will be onto the Prospektor Ork who has had some work done to him as I have been working on the Nob.

In response to a comment from Headologist of Do You Have a Flag? fame, I have also posted below a quick snap of my WIP Metro's from my Merovingian sectorial for the game Infinity.  My semi regular gaming group plays this game and I threw in with the Merovingians (the Kazak sectorial isn't released yet) as the models were simply too cool.  I normally run these as my 'cheer leaders' and Lieutenant choice as they are so cheap points wise and in a link-team they can generally hold their own, and mix them up with some Zouaves and Loups and various specialists.  

This is a very slow burn project.  Aside from a few Lord of the Rings minis, I have never painted anything in such a fine scale (true 28mm scale) - the detailing on these is boggling - mad respects to Angel who paints the studio stuff.  Angel will also post occasionally the paints used and method applied which means I have a decent resource to follow and emulate - I did try these in green originally using some Hasslefree stuff as a test base but they looked a bit pants if I'm honest so I'm sticking to the studio theme for now.

My Frenchies WIP - copying the studio scheme

My trial Australian camo scheme on some Hasslefree minis and then transposed on to an Infinity Zouave (minus the camo pattern and in a darker shade of green as I couldn't remember the original mix)

So that's a little of what I have been up to today.  Still waiting on the arrival of the bairn - now at due date + 5, although the missus thinks she may be on the move so fingers crossed it happens soon - the missus is very tired and irritable after being an incubator for so long now!

Happy hobby all,


Saturday, 1 June 2013

006. Finicky builds...

The itch to crack on with the build on the 1/35 scale Panzer kit struck fairly hard, and since I've started what's meant to be 8 weeks of baby leave (currently sans the baby which hasn't co-operated and appeared when predicted - apparently setting the tone for the next 20 years or so I am told),and have a bit of spare time around running errands for the missus, I pulled out my hobby tools and got on with it.

Looks pretty good for my first 1/35 kit attempt

I've learnt that 1/35 scale kits are not the same as a GW tank kit.  There a quite a few more parts, and a lot of them are very, very small.  The amount of little, finicky pieces that I have stuck to myself or my tweezers is no longer counted.

While I am not a tread head to the extent I can name every part on a vehicle, I am normally able to figure out what most things are/do from an engineering/technical point of  view, but with this kit, there have been pieces that had me scratching my head about a) what it is, and b) why it wasn't pre-molded onto the hull!

Enough of that, while I have done a fair bit of cursing, I have rather enjoyed myself.  Now, onto the pictures.  Below was where I got up to on Thursday evening before calling it a night.  I'd started by attaching the photo etched (PE) zimmerit parts from an Eduard PE kit.  The instructions that came with this kit were a simple A5 double sided piece of paper, with fairly clear diagrams of where which bit of PE goes on the plastic parts.  There was only one part that gave me bother, where a molded on piece of plastic hull detail did not have a corresponding cut out in the PE.  I solved that by using my snips to shape the PE where I needed it.

PE zimmerit detailing on the major hull components.

This Eduard kit also came with a PE front fender flap replacement part.  To use that would have required cutting away part of the plastic fender and front hull, and then attaching some very fine, and very delicate PE parts.  I'm not that much of a 'rivet counter' at this stage to attempt that much 'conversion' on my first 1/35 kit.

I'm not sure if I tackled this again that I would go down the PE route.  I think I would probably try another method, using Mr Surfacer or a putty to texture the hull simialr to the way I linked too last time out by Mr Justin.  Alternatively I would look at one of the Dragon designs where the latest kits come with pre-molded zimmerit or hull texture straight out of the box.  I'm a bit worried that the PE has left a lip around itself that will look unnatural when it comes time to wash/weather the panels.

After applying all the PE, I then got underway with the rest of the kit.  I had it in my mind to make lots of sub assemblies, which I would keep separate to help with painting, and then bring it all together at the end.  My excitement at building the kit got the better of me and that idea went out the window to a large extent.

The four sub assemblies - top hull, bottom hull, turret and turret shield - tracks don't count as a sub assembly

I had at one point attached the top hull to the bottom hull and was quite chuffed with myself right up until I thought I should have a test fit of the tracks.  The kit came with vinyl/rubber tracks which you wrap around the running gear/sprockets and then join together.  The only problem I had here was that the front sprockets wouldn't let the track pass over them as I had glued the sprocket to the hull rather than leaving it off and attaching later, or allowing to free wheel, and the top hull allows little room between it and the top of the sprocket - so basically I had no way to run the track through!  I went into a bit of a mad/frantic panic until I had a look at the top/bottom hull attachment points and realised there was less contact than I had anticipated when I had thought I was gluing them robustly together.  A sharp push/pull and they sprang apart.

Dummied up with the vinyl track laid out next to it
There are loads of added extras with the kit including various tools, spare links, a jack (which is comprised one big part (the main body), a base plate, and a tiny, finicky crank handle) and an MG for the commanders cupola.  There is a tiny antenna point you attach to the back of the hull, but no antenna, which I was going to add using a piece of fine brass rod, but then I haven't seen many antenna on other builds, so I have been dithering about whether to add it or not.

Front aspect - you can see the fine detail in the form of front tow points, spare links, and can just make out the various tools on the top of the fenders, and the MG on the cupola

It's been fun (and challenging) putting this together.  I had a laugh this arvo when a mate sent me a link to a James May (of Top Gear fame) TV show on British toys, where he did a show on Airfix kits of his youth, and his challenge to get school kids excited by them today, and then built a 1/1 Spitfire based of an Airfix sprue design.

Looking forward to painting this (although I really should get on and finish the Orks and Infinity Ariadna Metros I started the other day first) soon.  TO aid in that, the books I ordered by Mike Rinaldi turned up this morning (which was unusual in itself as it is Saturday, and the parcel girl doesn't normally deliver on a weekend).  In book one (which is all about WW2 German Armour) he paints up another version of the Panzer 4, as well as various other vehicles.  One of the vehicles he paints is in the Panzer Grey scheme I want to use, so I'll be following along to his step by step and see where I end up.  Looking through both books, there appears a bit of repetition from Volume 1 to Volume 2 where he is explaining the basis of his techniques, before he runs through end to end examples of various schemes - obviously the allies book (Volume 2) features lots of green whereas the German one (Volume 1) has a mix of grey, yellows and browns.

Mike Rinaldi's Tank Art volumes 1 & 2

Been having a good couple of days of hobby which I hope to continue through the rest of weekend and early next week.

Cheers all,