Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I am indisposed

It's that time of year.

The beggining of the academic year always takes a large chunk of my time and energy away and its not untill things calm down that i get my hobby time back in any major way.

However, theres a further complication this year.

Deus ex: Human Revolution has me. I've clocked it once, on hard, but to make my life more awkward I've decided to chase the pacifist and "no alarms" acheivements.

So all my free time is being taken up by my xbox. it's a bout time, there hasnt really been a game since fallout new vegas to get me this interested.

rest assured normal service will be resumed once things quiet down. at the moment however i'm preparing to tech game design for another year, and playing the heck out of DX:HR.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

New Banner?

I’m considering changing the banner above.. it doesn't reflect my main in development armies anymore, and on what is becoming a very busy blog, I feel I need something a little more simple,

I knocked this up earlier, and wanted to garner any thoughts from you. which you prefer, pointers for development, imagery, typography colour/b&w etc etc..

newbannerBW copy newbannercolour copy

It’s a characterful leader(ish) type from each of my 40k armies… and should tone in with the BG colour of the site.

I’d like to hear your thoughts..

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wolf Guard 3, completed paint

These are taking me a while to paint. each one is more involved than my average guard squad, and taking me about as long to paint. though I do feel now that I have the method down, if not the technique.

For your perusal then, a standard-equipped WGT.

 DSC_6745 DSC_6746 DSC_6747 DSC_6748 DSC_6749 DSC_6750 DSC_6751

Can you believe I missed a purity seal? I didn't even register it was there until I took these shots, damn. (and yes I can the the tiny mould line on the back of his hand too dammit.) I should just stop taking photos, it always shows me my mistakes!

The scheme is the same as posted elsewhere, with a little more contrast on the power weapon and a little more time spent on the face. as I “get” each part of the paint such as the NMM gold, I’m pushing myself to work more on another area.

The gunmetal NMM is still probably the most problematic thing for me now, and I think that’s largely due to the wildly differing concentration and quality of pigment across the white/black ranges I have (GW and Vallejo) (if anyone knows a UK distributor for Reaper paints I’d quite like to give them a go!)

On the topic of refining technique, I’m giving serious consideration to adding more weathering to the process.. some muzzle burn on the bolters, and some rust streaking down the armour….. possibly, let me know what you think.

Oh and I’ll leave you with a group show so far..


Any bets on when I’ll be finished? :)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Brushes.. What’s the Diff?

My recent post about brush sizes made me think and so I ordered a few brushes….

I’ve been using Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes for about ten years. sure I use cheapo synthetic brushes for suicide missions and as dry brushes and stipplers etc, but any “proper” painting has been with the W&N.

You’ll see also from an earlier post that I’ve been using size 0 as my “goto” size, with smaller for more detail. and if you read that post you'll see I went up to a size 1.

This change, and subsequent improvement in my painting, even if it’s only “feel” has led me to re-examine my other “known truths”

You see it was a “known truth” to me that size 0 was the best for basing and general use.

I decided to question my choice of manufacturer and subsequently ordered a 1 and 00 from both DaVinci and Raphael.

the first thing you’ll notice is the size diff.. now there isn't an industry standard for the brush sizing among different manufacturers. you can see this here. (scale is CM)


(top to bottom, Cheap synthetic, Da Vinci, Raphael, W&N series 7)

You can see there's not a lot in it.

The Raphael range is noticeably much larger for the “same” sizing. the davinci is the smallest of the four, and the girth as well as bristle length varies. you can see that all three sable brushes have decent tips, but the synthetic is hooking.

The 00 again show large variance, with the raphael noticably larger.


(top to bottom, Davinci, W&N, Raphael)

in fact when we put the Raphael 00 next to a da Vinci 1…


And when you start using these brushes you notice further differences.

The larger Raphael has a very soft tip, with good spring. it’s long hairs and good flexibility reward a firm controlled use of quite wet paint. my only criticism is that the tip on the 00 isn't as crisp as the others. my conclusion – excellent base and wash brushes, good for all painting if you use the juices technique and use with dilute paint for best performance.

W&N I've used for a long time, and can be considered my baseline. it’s hard to fault these brushes. if you overload them of course they will splay at the tip, and they need to be looked after, but they have good firm spring and hold fluid very well.  the substantial feel of the heavily lacquered handle is something the other brushes don't match as well, and as a result it feels the best constructed of the three.

da vinci brushes seem very comparable to the W&N in both size and feel. as above they feel a little lighter and less substantial through the handle but the bristles are good quality, hold paint well and hold their tips well.

baseline cheap synthetic. utterly horrid. hooking at the tip after 1 use, splaying with minimal water on the bristles. ugh.

Basically, any of the three ranges will reward you, they are all good quality brushes with noticeable differences in size, and between the W&N/Davinci little difference in feel, whereas the Raphael does give you something different. which you choose, would I think be down to personal preference.

I think I’ll be using the Raphael's when I work wet more often, and the more solid brushes for thicker pigments and smaller details.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Video - How to paint Space Wolf Armour with Rust Chipping

As promised, a vid on how I go about this.

It’s a bit long, but that’s Youtube’s fault for lifting the restriction on time :) ordinarily this would have been a part 1 and 2 affair.

I’d give props to the people whose recipes I read through and experimented with before arriving as this way, but they are too numerous to mention, so I’ll stick to the most influential, two painters I admire greatly both contributed either recipe or technique Ideas to this method, the Brush Bros and iguazzu art studio, two truly astonishing artists, who I cant even hold a candle to.

Anyway, here’s the vid.

I’d really appreciate any feedback both on what’s in the vid and on the vid itself, I’ve not made too many of these, and I do worry about quality, clarity, length etc, and even if these have the same value as the still pic tutorials I do.

(for some reason YouTube has altered the aspect ratio, I’ll have to look into that, but it seems to be still watchable..)

Anyway thanks for reading, and watching (even if you only scan through)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Is yours too small?

Brushes of course.

This is my current set of “go-to” brushes. now for the last couple of years I’ve used a 0 for almost everything, reaching for the smaller sizes when I needed to dot an eye or paint a pattern etc.


Then I bought the 1. (or rather it was bought for me) I find the quantity of paint it holds and (as its new) the sharpness of the tip combine to make be better able to get smoother blends.

I can paint detail as well as ever as the brush and tip quality are still very good, but I can keep that “sweet spot” of brush loading going for longer, and get less “dry out” and less “flooding”.

It’s a revelation to me, thinking that a larger brush (just a bit mind) can give you more paint control, and that detail isn't entirely reliant on tip size. The recent wolves and tiny cyber spiders were painted almost exclusively with this brush.

So I ask you..

Is yours too small?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Malifaux – Post first game musings

Okay, So I played a game.

It’s very interesting.

I love the mechanic, the small stage, the various game objectives. I love that even though I don't know what everything does when it’s that models turn i can grab a card and see my options.

I’m not playing Ramos right, as the game progressed I could see so many things I can do, and synergies between models, but by then it was too late. Nicodem beat my ass.

As a pair of summoning casters I found the styles required very different. we both approached this first game keeping our masters to the rear, and while this works quite well for nicodem it’s too far for Ramos. he needs to be closer to the action. but he’s slow.

So I think I’ll be need a brass arachnid and stoke, just so Ramos can keep up with his crew.

The crew is also seriously lacking some ranged goodness, So I’ll be looking into that.

I’m eager to get another go in and see if I can put into practice some of what I learned.

Oh and Nicodem is a summoning monster!

(pics next time, I promise)

Monday, 1 August 2011

First Finecast Experience – Najal Stormcaller

Or Nigel as I like to think of him.

Either the Quality control has improved, or I got lucky, as I didn't really see any major flaws with Nigel.

He was purchased by a friend as a gift (I got older recently) online and so was “selected” by GW staff, not someone in a store.


at first glance the sprue seems a bit flashy, but most of this is structural, or paper thin, and it cuts very easily


Once separated from the sprue you can see the “real” flash mostly from vents, as we used to have with pewter but with the added bonus that they stick out, so you can see them, rather than those old sneaky spidery threads folded in under a hand or whatever.


The material itself is very flexible, and the one downside I can foresee is that it’s very elastic.


Springing back and holding its form very well. That means you will most likely need heat to deform the material. so no more quick bendy limb pose adjustments as with pewter.



I assembled him without any pins, so we’ll see how he holds up. the material takes superglue very well though, so I am hopeful.

I don't miss the heft as much as I thought I would, but maybe that’s because I went for a very heavy base for these wolves.

Anyway he’s an awesome sculpt, with good detail on the new material, I didn't have any issues with the resin or flaws, so I find I have to say, thumbs up.

I know many peoples finecast experience has been significantly sour, so take care before you plunge in, but this is one model I look forward to painting.

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