Thursday, 19 September 2013

012. Simple Green...

The good Col. Ackland queried my reference to Simple Green in my last post.  Its a tool many hobbyists I've seen around the blogs use to strip miniatures.  To my knowledge its a yank invention and unlike Dettol or Brake Fluid, isn't harmful to your health, although I have worn gloves when handling it at stronger concentrations.

Simple Green in some of its varied forms
I normally use the basic green flavoured variety but my local stockists (Bunnings) stopped selling the concentrate version, instead picking up the same formula in Orange scent - same product, this one simply smells fruitier.  They also did a two pack deal including the concentrate with a premixed spray.

When I last popped into the shop though (Bunnings at Noarlunga Col. - not sure if you are that far south or further North but I know the Marion store also had it in when I popped in there - its in the cleaning aisle) they had the trusty green in a pre-mix back in so I picked up a bottle.  Not only is it good for stripping minis, but it actually does what it says on the bottle - all purpose cleaning.

After first picking it up a while back I swiftly converted the missus to its varied uses around the house - its a really good cleaning product.  The red version (not pictured) is a great carpet cleaner - perfect for all the little miss's various bodily explosions; while the blue one is a decent window/mirror cleaner (although there are better products out there for that purpose).

I generally chuck things into a deep bowl and cover with diluted concentrate (no real ratio used - a guesstimate is fine, determined with reference to how much gunk needs to be stripped (paint or mold release agent)) or straight out of the bottle for the mixed variety.  I then leave it for a number of days - the latest one has been a week but every couple of days I add a few more minis I have stumbled across in my current clean up into the bowl and give it a good stir.  Occasionally I'll pop a mini out of the soup and give it a little scrub with an old toothbrush.

After a while its a case of getting the mini out and generally the paint layers will come straight off down to the primer layer - I've had a bit of luck getting that off if I scrape a blade across the surface to break it up a bit and then re submerge it in Simple Green, but generally I leave it as is.  I'll give the mini a rinse with warm water to remove any lingering Simple Green and then its good to go again.

Good stuff, and cheap enough for what I use it for.  The only thing its ever balked at was the last packet of Heresy Armour I got from FW which had release agent about 2mm thick - I'm slowly having to carve that stuff off as nothing I have hit it with has even touched it yet.

So there you go, a look at the cleaning products in use in the Muppet household!!

Cheers all,


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

011. Gorka Morka Ork Nob finished...

Finally finished!
I think the title says it all.  I sat down last night after the wee one had gone to bed and finished of this Nob who has been on the go for a couple of months now.  Its an old Gorka Morka Nob which I swapped out the left axe hand for a plastic Nob pistol, and the entire right arm for another plastic Nob Choppa.  I also switched out the head (the original had a much smaller head - obviously GW have played with the proportions since this mini was originally made ~1999) for another bit from my Bitz Box - useful thing it turned out to be for this job.

Colour scheme is straight out of my normal Ork approach as is seen in my next picture - the family shot of all my Nobz / Banner Boy / Warlord.  The new one is a bit of the runt.

Family Photo - 'Arry the Photogenic Ork looks massive next to the new one
After finishing up the Nob I picked up the Prospektor Ork I had started around the same time (also from Gorka Morka I believe) and laid down the base coat for the skin.  I'm hoping to push him on a bit this week.

WIP Prospektor Ork
And finally for tonight, a look back down memory lane.  These are the very first miniatures I painted up when I was about 12 or 13 - they came in the old Citadel Paint Set circa 1997.  I hand painted a Skull White base coat and then applied some very uneven layers of blue, red and yellow.  The notional Sergeant got a yellow skull to distinguish him from the scrubs.  

Looking back in time - circa 1997
These guys are currently in a bath of Simple Green.  Garfy's post over on Tale of Painters (here) plucked at my old nostalgia heart strings and made me dig these out of the back of a drawer.  My interest in Space Marines was rekindled following last posts launch of the new Codex and thought I might have a go sprucing these guys up a bit.  I did keep a set of plastic Terminators from the same era in their original paint scheme so all my original efforts are not lost.

And that's it for tonight.

Happy hobby all.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

010. Sucker for new shiny stuff...

Hi all.  Long time no post.  Babies are time whores - between work and baby commitments there has been little time for anything at all hobby related, although I wouldn't change our current situation for anything in the world - she is the best decision the missus and I ever made - a really gorgeous little thing (I know I am biased but I figure I'm allowed to be).

The two hours I spend on a bus each day doesn't let me get any hobby done, but it does give me plenty of time to follow the goings on of my fellow bloggers and the broader hobby world. Its been a bit hard to miss the impending release of the new Space Marines range and I am the first to admit it caught me up in all the hype and hasn't let me go.

Opening spread artwork - Wow - this in black and white would be something else
Earlier this week, as soon as pre-orders went up, I put in an order through a LGS (not actually local as its in Canberra and I'm in Adelaide - Black Cultist for anyone playing along at home - they provide a handy 21.5% discount which helps ease some of the 'GW Australia Tax' pain) for the latest Codex and the plastic Librarian.

New Codex - I didn't splash out for a fancy one
The new Libby - best of the new plastic characters - but pricey
This has been my  first GW (not counting FW or eBay pick ups) purchases in around 18 months.  The prices didn't shock me as much as I thought given I had been following that trend as well across various blogs/forums.

Some of the new artwork - reworking an older theme
Although I haven't liked GW as a corporate entity for a long while now, I cannot doubt they do have themselves the best game setting (in 40K at least - my interest in the Old World is not what it was), and they can churn out some of the most visually stimulating miniatures (as well as the odd pile of crap - I'm looking at the Centurions here - simply boggling what they were thinking they needed those for).

Classic image - now in colour
Another classic re purposed in colour
And its not just GW. More and more its FW that I turn too if I am looking to ease my craving to look at something pretty and drool.  And this morning I woke up to these guys.  Wowsers.  I wouldn't buy them as I don't fancy ever painting pink/purple, but, they are stonkingly good looking miniatures.

Wowsers - awesome stuff here
I had fancied picking up some of the other new kits too - the Sternguard in particular are another 'Wow' kit - the old metal versions were good, but there is something else to be said about plastic - and with the Marine range everything benefits from being multi part and plastic - the bits swapping opportunities are huge.  Although I didn't get them immediately, I imagine at some point a box will work its way to me along with the new Tactical kit, just for sheer bits madness.

Oh yeah - these guys look the part
Looking at what I already have on the shelves of shame in the form of Marines in various colours, it got me thinking about re purposing, recolouring, re branding and relaunching my oldest army on the shelves.  It might be time to bring out the simple green, strip my old 'grey' Marines and reinvigorate them as the boys in blue of yester-year (my very first painted miniatures [like many other bloggers I would assume] were Ultramarines - couldn't help it when all the box art pictured the boys in blue and as a young lad I didn't have a lot of other influences that could have led to alternate colour choices).

Now painting time is still a challenge, but as the little miss starts forming a decent bed time routine, I am finding I have a spare 45-30 minutes each night before I head of to bed which I could start re purposing for me / hobby / painting time.  I'm accepting the fact the days where I could spend a whole day / weekend faffing about in my painting / hobby space and do what I like are over.  But that shouldn't stop me letting the inner man-child geek side of me loose every now and then and push on with some hobby!!

GW at its finest - multi part heaven
So hopefully over the next little bit I can start my painting up again, and start showing some more progress on my hobby stuff.  My Ork Nob from months back is still sat on my desk so close to being finished.  It may be the right time to look at getting him done and maybe play around with some Marines again.

Happy hobby all - and keep pumping out your posts - it really does help pass the hours of boredom on the bus to and from work!