Friday, 28 September 2012

Finished Pheonix Guard and a Product review

Okay so the title may be a little misleading but I did get this guy finished today so that bits true, only thing is I want to repaint my entire army like him. I'm really pleased with how he came out, the pictures let him down a bit as my skill not quite up to scratch, especially painting red. I tried painting true metallic metal for the first time (essentially metallics but takes the principle of high contrast from nmm) and I think that came out pretty well. I reckon by the end of the unit it should be looking pretty sharp. Also this is the first time I got nmm looking reasonable in my opinion, I think the uses of washes and the high level of embossed detail on the banner helped a lot. But still a wins a win, whenever I tried it in the past it never worked. So what do you think, is it worthwhile doing an entire army like this?

And now onto the product review of the post. I guess the most note worthy thing of the whole process was that I used my new air brush, though admittedly that was just to paint the base a bit and to undercoat the model. But that doesn't stop it from being great, it was a tonne of fun to use, it didn't break, wasn't to much of a pain to clean and I seemed to pick it up pretty quickly. Leading on from this was the under coat, I tried Vallejo's polyurethane black primer through the airbrush and it worked really well. Here's a more in depth review from Tale of Painters, but in short it was brilliant, cheaper even with shipping and the product being really easy to use with great results. Finally I tried army painters steppe grass on the base, its their version of Games Workshops static grass so here's my experience of it:

  • It seems cheaper, I don't know if it is not having worked out the maths but I don't feel ripped off when buying it like I do with the GW version.
  • It comes in a neat container that opens easily enough that it doesn't fly everywhere when you try to open it but again I have no fear it will spill in storage.
  • The actual grass has a whole lot of different colours so it looks quite interesting and realistic.
  • Finally and perhaps most importantly in my opinion it sticks down well with PVA glue. This was the main problem with the flock I used to use as I would open my case with green fluff covering the foam (the stuff I used under the rocks in the base above is what I'm talking about, in this case after the glue had dried I gave it a wash of 1:1 catachan green and watered down PVA to tone it down a little and make it look more like moss.)
Thanks for reading and I hope it helps even a little.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Urban Bases Part 2: Painting

So after a forced hobby break of nearly a month I was itching to get going again, especially to try out my airbrush for the first time. As a result I thought I'd finish off the jet bike base I'd started a while ago (can be found here). Here's the finished product (the bases at least) hope you like them, I'd really appreciate any feed back on them before I roll them out across an entire army.

Painting the bases:

  • First I primed the base with Vallejo black primer (brilliant stuff by the way I'll be doing a review of sorts of a lot of the stuff I used today tomorrow) masking off the flying stem with tape.
  • Then I sprayed the entire thing with Chardon Granite.
  • Using a zenithal like highlighting motion I used the airbrush to apply a thin layer of scorched brown over the dirt and codex grey over the rocks, making sure you could see the first layer showing through.
  • I then dry brushed all the dirt with snakebite leather before making a wash that was about 1:1:3 catachan green, devlan mud and water and blasting it through the airbrush covering the whole thing. This toned all the paint down and gave it a more natural tinge, blending the separate parts together and making the overall appearance more interesting.
  • Time for another round of dry brushing, this time I gave the dirt a pass of commando khaki and the rocks a 1:1 codex grey and skull white before hitting the entire thing with the wash again, moving it into the cracks of the rocks and off the smooth areas to avoid pooling and achieve a more realistic effect.
  • To do the metal I just painted it bolt gun metal, hit it with the green wash then badab black, quickly dry brushed it bolt gun again and then washed the cracks with thinned bestial brown to simulate brown.
Static grass:

This was the first time I had properly used static grass on a base but I had no difficulty what so ever and I think it really made the base. To apply it I just painted on a blob of static grass, then using tweezers a pushed on a huge clump of the stuff before tipping the whole thing upside down and tapping the excess off.

All in all it didn't take me too long, and I could have sped up the process in parts, I just really wanted to use the airbrush. I think the whole thing looks really good though the rocks could be improved on, but I guess that's just practise.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Birthday Goodies and Furture Plans

So it being my birthday on Tuesday I was very lucky to pick up an airbrush which I've wanted for a while. Besides that though, last Friday I received a replacement order from Wayland Games which included some paints that should go well with my new airbrush. Though it should be noted that when replacing my order (my last one never turned up and I had to but all the paints from Games Workshop) they were really good about it, explaining the situation and offering me credit for the order. So good job Wayland Games customer service.

Compressor kit came with two airbrushes, both dual action

Latest goodies from Wayland Games

But getting all this new gear, and not having any time to hobby, (for the past and probably next two weeks) has given me a chance to reflect on what I want to do. A good thing too as with the airbrush a whole lot more things are now possible.
  • Firstly I want to repaint my Gondor army and build it up to a 1500 War of the Ring army. I already have the vast majority of the army, it being my first but I still need a couple of boxes to bulk out the troops. It being my first army the paint jobs are usually pretty terrible and the paint really thick, so I'll need to strip the lot an start from scratch. I'm hoping with the airbrush I'll be able to move through them pretty quickly. Finally it will also involve converting up about two companies worth of Osgiliath veterans from plastic warriors as I just cant face that many repeats of the same three models.
  • Secondly I want to finish up my High Elves to a 1500 army. Again I want to repaint most of it, as I want to learn how to do True metallic metal (great tutorial here), and see if I can apply it to an entire army. Besides that I can't really decided what to add to it, but I'm leaning towards a BSB and some more dragon princes and an archer bunker for my mage. Finally if I get time I might try and convert some of my spear men to look like this.
  • Finally I have my eldar army, about three years in progress and I still haven't got any where with it. The main problem I have with it is I keep changing lists because I can never make something I'm happy with, as a result of this I have a fair number of models but not enough of anything to turn them into an army that will work. Matters are made worse in that I lost some enthusiasm for 40k by buying the old rule book (hardback) and then getting two games in, one with the other guy forfeiting by the end of turn 1. Right now I'm tempted by Eldar corsairs from forge world and the allying them with some codex eldar. However the cost means I wouldn't get it done by next Christmas and with a new codex rumoured for next year unfortunately this just isn't an option as a result.
So where does this all leave me? Well in between wanting to enter armies on parade next year and commissions I'm determined to at least finish either my fantasy or my Lord of the Rings army and accompanying board. Fight now 40k is definitely on the back burner, though I am thinking of building a 500 point Imperial Guard force around Christmas with the models I already have, pick up the mini rule book and learn the game. (though this time I plan to start 6 months into the new edition instead of 6 months till a new edition)

But if you're still reading (understand if you're not) you may be wondering whats going to happen to the blog if I can barley get any time into hobby anyway. Well it should get a lot better as I'm able to experiment with new techniques, move through models faster (so fewer single model updates), and get on to new projects that I've held back whilst waiting for the airbrush. Any way the next year's looking pretty good , though definitely busy.