Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Day Job

Sometimes I like to bring a little something from my day job here and have it feed into discussion.

Here’s a quick piece of work I made while sitting noodling around at an open event..

whiteorc orccolour

He is a 3D model, sculpted and coloured in ZBrush in about three and a bit hours, I intended to do much more to him, but as always, once I have solved the design problem and “know” what it will look like, unless a client is evolved, i lose the urge to complete the work.

A bit of explanation might be required, If you’re new to the blog, well I teach Games Design. mostly that means teaching students art, computer based art packages, 3D modelling and working with assets in game engines.. as well as teaching the principles of design and of game design.

One of the things I’ve seen a lot of recently is the use of the very technologies I use, being used in my hobby. and its all thanks to 3D printers.

People model and object, print it, and use that as a base for casts, GW now use CAD for a lot of their plastics, and some even say its the future of the industry, or a giant whole where miniature piracy becomes the next big thing.

personally I’m very excited by the possibilities that 3D printing brings up, I use one in my work, but only as part of a ZBrush based character design project.

here’s some student work:


Not very easy to see, the pic is from an event we did for younger students, and of course, I cant use any pictures with people in :)

These small busts, (about the size you would buy an andrea bust or such) were sculpted digitally by students and printed using a powder/resin printer.

The college has ordered a mixed media higher resolution printer for next year!

If anyone is interested in this stuff, I’ll get some better pics of the work during end of year show, and I’m happy to discus/demonstrate this technology and it’s applications further if you are :)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Forge World Lucius Pattern Warhound Titan Project

Not mine, sadly, but still going to be a pleasure to work on.

I’m not sure at what point “I’d be glad to help you with that” turned into “I’ll be glad to build paint and convert that for you” but such is the persuasive power of Zzzzz ( Zzzz can be found blogging over at Devos IV)– whose titan this is.

Not much hobby done this weekend however as the garage was beyond 2in need of attention” and looked like even your average ork Mekboy would throw up his hands exclaiming “I cant wurk in dis!”

So I present for your delectation an unboxing video, showing you just how many bitz you get in one of these kits.

I need to order a few bits, such as magnets and so on, and I must also mention that this Titan is also going to have some conversion and customisation work done, see Zzzz likes the Lucius pattern… and the titan is for his traitor guard.. so it needs to be made to have “fallen”

I’ll be talking about and showing some of the ideas in that directio0n on here as we go through, I'd also appreciate any advice or tips form anyone who has built one of these suckers, so i can avoid any pitfalls that might exist.

Content for this project will appear on both blogs from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Space Wolf Land Speeders Painted



I tried a few new things here.. some of it worked.. some of it not so much.. On balance, I’m okay with how they’ve turned out.

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Individual shots:


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Oh and due to issues in the past with that “ball and socket” joint on these models, I decided to magnetise them. working okay so far!



Thanks for stopping by and reading everyone!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Books


This article started as a short review of the second book, and I soon realised I was talking about it more in terms of it’s relationship to the first book, than on it’s own merits, so I decided not to fight it, and to talk about both.

A bit of background - I came at these books having been involved in model making and specifically wargaming for many years, I’m a digital and creative art teacher, and so a lot of the stuff contained in the books was not new to me, but some was, moreover, some were techniques i knew but just hadn't shifted paradigm to even think of using them in my hobby modelling.

I don’t often do product reviews on the site, only really when something exceptional comes along, and these books are certainly that, but let me know in the comments if this article was any helps, and if you;d like to see me write like this more often.

Both the books discussed are available through Forge World. both are priced as £26 at the time of writing.

Volume one.

DSC_7174The first model masterclass book is incredibly useful, and I think every modeller who works with vehicle kits can get something from it, no matter that it’s called a “masterclass” some of the very easy and effective techniques can help out any modeller.

Now, is it essential? no, not at all.

Can most of the stuff in it be learned form the web? Sure, you need to trawl through military modelling website though, and have a rough idea what you want to achieve.


Where this first book wins is in gathering all these techniques from the scale and military modelling worlds together and showing how they are done in one neat package for the hobby modeller, I cant recommend this book highly enough to well, everyone.

DSC_7175  DSC_7176

This book covers some advanced modelling and painting techniques and is very easy to follow, it’s strength lies in it’s simple layout and good, step by step instruction.

It’s also packed full of stuff you just haven’t thought of.

Volume two.

DSC_7174Now we come to the second book, and where things get stickier. it’s much lighter on actual techniques, having shown most of it’s aces in the first book. the whole book lacks that level of simple, step-by-step instruction that the first has.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, to repeat all the steps of book one would be pointless, but it for sure assumes you have the first volume. I think this is exactly what this book needed to be, but I can see some people being disappointed at that lack of clarity of technique.


it’s still got the same excellent photography and production values, it still has a decent price point, and I find it contains plenty for me to both be inspired by and learn from.


There are articles covering some of the famous, high visibility models and dioramas to come out of Forge World, and as such it is a very informative books, but i wouldn't recommend it as widely and universally as the first book. it’s much more about finesse, ways to combine techniques for subtle variation of finish. and it is much more a book about how certain effects on certain models were accomplished.

This is not a book everyone needs, it wont give you the same feel of a new technique on every page. it does have some beautiful models in it, and it does tell you how techniques were applied to create effects, but it’s much more a book about how to achieve certain effects, than the first, which reads much more like book about universal techniques.

So do you need both? no. but if you’re like me, you might want both.

Do yourself a favour and don't buy the second book expecting the same amount of new and revelatory techniques as the first, buy it to see some of the best our hobby has to offer, and maybe pick up a thing or two on the way.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Puppies! – Okay, Fenrisian Wolves.


Just a painted post for these, no build, to be honest they go together embarrassingly easy, and there’s no real poseability built into the kit, so paint is all I thought was of interest.


I got a bit more light into the photography, oddly by cutting out some light :) and the light i have is very flat and cool, so this is pretty good colour reproduction.

A fairly large proportion of the paint on these fellows was airbrush work, so they went very quickly.

Individual shots:

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I will need more of these fellows, so the question I face is whether to paint the next batch the same, or a different brown, or even paint some grey wolves.

Thanks for dropping by and reading, I appreciate your thoughts!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Mark of the Wulfen - Modelling

Having decided to enter into a bit of Bran Redmaw’s shenanigans, I figured it was time to model up a few of these.
DSC_7035 DSC_7036 
Of course I cheated, and instead of getting busy with the greenstuff, I ordered some bitz from puppetswar, who is a sculptor/bitz manufacturer in, I believe, Poland. He produces a pack of arms and heads, for 14eu you get enough arms and heads to convert up 10 Wulfen.

The kit arrived in just about 4 working days and is well packaged for transport, The bitz themselves are well detailed and although there is some flash, so far I’ve seen very few casting issues and they are very minor (such as an air bubble at a fingertip that will take seconds to deal with). All in all very good quality.

I’ll certainly use these guys again, and with the breadth of products on their site, maybe more than once.
The guy pictured above is my first test case model and I think he’ll paint up well. leaving only the one question… Shoulderpads?


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Making Space Wolf Objective Markers

Oh I went right round the houses making these!.
I decided I wanted to make Norse style runestones, Menhir, which meant I needed to carve “runes” into stones.. now I don't exactly have the equipment or skill to start chiselling away at rock in 28mm scale.. so I decided it had to be plaster…

First job is to head out into the world and pick some suitable “scaled” monolithic rocks.
Once you have enough, return to your lair and what I did was mount them on a firm base using blutak. this was a bit of a mistake, and I knew it at the time, but I didn't have plasticene (which would have been Waaaaay better) but I did have blu-tak.

The next task is to build a support structure around the rocks to prevent your mold making materials from going all over the shop.. I see a lot of people online use lego for this, but again, not having any I use old off cuts of perspex, and glue them with hot glue, as I know i can break this apart with relative ease later

DSC_7053once the structure is complete, it’s time to start making the mold 
I used laytex for this, as I do for any rock castings, such as the rocks on bases or in larger terrain pieces. although you could use rubber.
the first layer is “neat” laytex brushed on so as to capture all the detail.


The next layer is with added thickener and goes on heavy.
you can keep adding layers slowly, and indeed should, but my laziness will not allow this, so I put a quite thick application on, and walk away for 24 hours.

24 hours later….

And it’s time to pick apart the mold and see what we made… as you can see, clearing away the blu-tak was a bit more difficult that I would have liked.. note to self.. buy plasticene…

The empty mold…

not going to be easy to cast from this.. a support structure is needed…
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metal rod, box.. hole.. sorted. Now in the past I’ve used plaster and mod-roc to make a plaster outer support brace but this really wasn't necessary for this, it just needed holding 2upside down” for plaster to be poured.
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plaster of paris is tricky stuff. it can sometimes be so exothermic it will burn you quite badly, and it contains lime, so watch your eyes.. that said, its awfully useful stuff.

most packets you can buy in the hobby shop have instruction, I would suggest following them, as I never do.. been using the stuff so long i tend to eyeball it. in this case I made my plaster a tad too thick for the mold, and got a few more air bubbles in my cast that I would have liked, but no matter, gave me an excuse to explain how to fix them :)

Two hours later, I can de-mold and look at my cast stones.

The air bubbles are filled with GS and the texture applied by pressing one of the original stones into the still soft GS to transfer the correct texture.
Also, at this stage the castings are glue gunned down to 40mm bases.

The design is carved into the surface of the soft plaster with a needle mounted in a dowel


And the newly created runestones Menhir are dressed with Bitz…and based in keeping with the army.


And here they are in primer.
For painted pics, see the post here.

Thanks for reading, comments or questions always welcome!
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