Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's always nice to get back to fully painted for one of my factions, even if that faction is minions. I really would like to get down to just 1 or 2 unfinished factions, but that's going to take me a while, especially if I stay focused on Legion and keep expanding my model count. However, I can at least say that for minions I am done for a while. Adding Thrullg was sort of an impulse buy. I've fielded him a couple times now and not been particularly impressed yet, but he definitely has a learning curve to him.

Well, anyway, here he is. The picture is terrible unfortunately. There are some subtle details of color that got washed out when I tried to clean up the picture. I'd take another set of shots, but honestly I'm so busy with work and taking care of my son that picture quality is just going to have to slide.

My whole inspiration for this paint scheme was to go for something Giger-esque. It sort of worked, but I think more greys would have helped it. It is funny though how painting the spots, at the time, seemed pretty faked. But now that I look at them a few days later, I really dig them. Anyway, one more model down. Now on to finishing up the Sorceress.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Continuing with the stuff that I finished but hadn't gotten a chance to photograph, here are my Stingers. These little guys were, well, little. The nice thing about the lesser beasts is they are pretty quick to paint. The downside is that painting all the small spots of chitin is difficult and there's no way to use the larger wash techniques that I use on the big beasties. One reason I chose to do the Stingers before the Ravagores is it gave me a smaller test for the "fireball" part of the sculpt.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the results. The big challenge was painting the fireball so that it seemed brightest in the middle and near the front, which I think worked out relatively well. I didn't really match the color of my Shredders but I'm ok with that. The battlebox beasts got a much darker blue color which I'm no longer using (for obvious reasons). If anything, it actually helps distinguish the Stingers from the Shredders. Anyway, that's my update for today. Tomorrow I'll post up Thrullg and then I'll be caught back up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forsaken (number 2)

Well, I finally got the pictures up for this now that I've got my photo studio up. Unfortunately I need to go back and re-tune it to get the photo quality back up to snuff, but at least I'm getting stuff posted again. If you didn't see the previous posts on this project, there's a whole series of them. I'm not going to say a whole lot more at this point, but I did want to make a quick note on the cost of this project and the parts inventory:
Nyss Hunter Leader Cylena body$5.00
Forsaken head$0.50
Forsaken right arm$1.50
Forsaken spine$1.50
Incubus 90% beast legs$3.00
Absylonia, Terror of Everblight left wing$2.00
So yeah, $5.50 more than the stock model, and that doesn't include S&H. But in the end, I'm totally happy with the extra cost.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Legion Tactics: Thoughts on the Legion Book

Ok, so there's plenty of reviews of the new Legion book out there, and I have no desire to do another such review. There are plenty of folks smarter about tactics than me. So instead, I'm just going to share some random thoughts about the book having just finished reading it cover to cover.

Things I learned about the world of the Iron Kingdoms:
The fiction was great. Unlike pretty much every other book, I actually read this one entirely, including the military org chart. I have to say that I really enjoyed the story about Bethayne. It was perhaps my favorite fiction since the Apotheosis story. I also enjoyed the explanation of how the Legion manages to raise such a numerous army. The tie in with the Iron Kingdoms history of Morrdh was pretty interesting as well. Lots of little details in it that were just fun to know.

Things I learned about models I already own:
This part is a little embarrassing, but I have to admit that as a matter of reading everything, I discovered some details about models I own that I just hadn't noticed before. Anyway, lesson learned here is that it is worth taking the time to read your stuff a second time to look for abilities that you missed.

  • Carnivore heals the casting warlock, not the model with the upkeep spell on it - Well, actually I learned this when I was looking up clarifications about rules on the PP forums, but it was still good to find out.
  • Harriers have Sprint - In all fairness, I've only ever fielded a Harrier once before. Sprint is pretty boss for them to have since they are so fast.
  • Shredders have Snacking - I probably already knew this, it just never comes up though. Either a Shredder is alive, or dead. Rarely is a Shredder damaged but still alive.
  • Nephilim don't have Blood Creation - Ok, technically I don't own Nephilim yet, nor have I even proxied them. But this was neat. It follows the fluff about the Nephilim, which I must add was super cool as well.
  • Angelius has Overtake - Huh. Really? Somehow I never noticed this. I had to double-check my card. Yep, there it is. Really? Seems like something I would have used before.
  • General Thoughts on Legion:
    It's nice that Bethayne bring some troop support to the army, but even then I feel like Legion units are under supported by their warlocks. I'm certain this is a bias I bring from having played Protectorate before. On the flipside, warbeasts of Legion get to rock the house. I love how Legion got more beasts than all the other factions (mostly due to lesser beasts). One final note is that this book brought more variety and tools to the game for Legion, particularly in the form of ranged and magic attacks. I'm very excited about the possibilities going forward.

    Thoughts on Models:
    One model though eclipses all others at this point: Will Bethayne and Belphagore come with an additional model for the two melded? I'm betting no, in which case I may have to get two of each and bodge together my own melded version. The artwork for Bethayne and Belphagore was very exciting and I'm likely to take the time to shell out the extra bucks to make that melded version.

    Well, that's it. To all you painters out there who are confused by this post, take comfort in knowing that I'll be returning to normal painting posts in a couple more days. Sometimes though my gamer enthusiasm breaks from his chains and just has to speak his mind.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    From the Desk: Working in the Raw

    I recently picked up some of the MIG pigments, which for those not familiar with the product, MIG produces a line of raw pigments. I first heard about these from a tutorial from Miniature Mentor on weathering. These are a part of the old school military painters' arsenal that has gained some popularity with miniature painters. Having never used these before myself, I figured I'd do a quick post and share my test model.

    First thing to note, these are not paints. They are raw pigments in dry form. The pigments are actually meant to be used in dry form. There's a nice tutorial online here that gives a bunch of different examples of using the MIG pigments. Given that this is my very first time of using them, I highly recommend checking out other sources for information.

    The first thing I needed was a test subject. This model has served me for multiple years now as a test model. I'm probably due for a new one soon. I've found it handy to have test models laying around for just such purposes, preferably ones that have a variety of surfaces and details. This one was nice because it had smooth cloth, flesh, armored pieces, swords, and other little details. The following photos are pretty grainy due to the zoom effect, so you may need to guess a little bit about how it actually looks in person.

    Step 1 was to basecoat my test area. I opted to basecoat with Mithril Silver, and then hit it with Badab Black. I opted to paint the kneepads just because there was a combination of textured and smooth surfaces. Hitting it with the black wash gave the area more definition just so I could better see what the net effect was. I made sure to let this dry thoroughly, for reasons that I will make clear in the last step. I really wanted this to be a controlled test of the pigment so that I could get a basic understanding of how it behaves. In the future I'll probably experiment more with combining it, brushing it, and layering it.

    Next it was time to break out the pigment. I should note that although this stuff is "dry" and appears like a powder, it will still stick to surfaces and stain them. I definitely advise care when working with it. I specifically used an older brush that didn't keep its tip anymore. This gave me more of a "powder" style brush for applying it (gosh, what a novel idea huh?) and made it easy to dab on the pigment. And yes, dabbing is all I did. I didn't brush it on. I merely dabbed the brush head into the pigment pot lightly, and then dabbed that onto the surface carefully. You'll notice that quite a lot of pigment got on there, and it looks pretty chunky. Given the size of the surface, I didn't try to do anything fancy. Note that I only used the "Standard Rust" color for this.

    Last step is fixing (no, not correcting). Fixing is critical for making sure the pigment stays where it belongs. Now I have to admit my own ignorance on this step: I didn't buy the MIG Fixer product when I bought the pigment pack. However, I've read multiple techniques for fixing, including turpentine and alcohol. So, I got a little rubbing alcohol and (you guessed it) dabbed it on. The key here is to let the capillary action of the pigment draw the alcohol out of the brush. You don't want to brush on the alcohol since doing so would basically turn the pigment into a paint and ruin the random grainy effect that it provides. After liberally applying the alcohol to fix the pigment, I let that dry thoroughly.

    Well, the results are pretty interesting. Layering multiple pigment colors would also add to the effect. It's a little hard to tell from the photo, but it does create a nice random effect which would be really hard to replicate with normal paints. This is where the pigments really shine. They provide a nice random grainy effect, but are at the same time semi-transparent, and do it very quickly. All things considered, I'm pretty excited to add these to my painting arsenal, even if they are only going to be used occasionally.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part the last

    Another quick update on the Forsaken bodging. Or rather, a final update. I finished it off just now, with the exception of sealing it. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out for being a relatively quick project. My original concerns about proportions are completely gone now that it's fully painted. I won't get a proper picture up until my house guests leave and I can set my photo studio back up, so I wanted to get a quick picture on the blog.

    On a different note, I picked up the Legion book today and having a second Forsaken has turned out to be fortuitous: Absylonia's tier list needs 2 of them, and now I'm all set!

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 6

    Another quick update on the Forsaken project. I got a bit more painting done tonight. The flesh is mostly done, and most parts are base coated now. At this point things should move along a little more quickly provided I can carve out painting time. I have to admit, now that I've got paint on the majority of the model the concern I had about the proportions is dramatically diminished.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 5

    I finally got my converted Forsaken primed and started on it tonight. Please note the special guest: Thrullg. Anyway, the painting so far is pretty minimal of course, but I wanted to go ahead and get a picture up, even if it's a terribly saturated picture.

    I also wrapped up the pair of Stingers the other night, but we have family visiting and my photo setup is torn down while the guest room is in use for the next couple weeks, so they will just have to wait before I get pictures of them up.

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 4

    My new drill bits arrived and I wrapped up the assembly. The drill bits I got were not so great. Note to others: Make sure when you order bits online that they are rated for metal, otherwise you'll be drilling for a long time. However, no point whining about it now. I pinned everything together and did some minor greenstuff work. There's definitely some additional GS work that I'd like to do, but I need everything to set properly before I do anything further.

    I snapped 3 pictures to give an idea of what it looks like from different angles. There's definitely some oddness to the proportions. There are really only 2 options to deal it: either resculpt it somehow, or paint cleverly. Since my skills are stronger on the painting side, I'm going to purposefully not try to adjust the proportions and see if I can use color to affect the appearance of the proportions.

    The next step is to prime and paint, which may take a while for me to get to. However I will definitely post an update as I make progress.

    Sunday, October 03, 2010

    From the Desk: Chaos and Tragedy

    Quick post to share the status of my desk. First, the tragic news: I broke my last smaller drill bit. I've been trying to find new bits for a while (and in fact have an order on its way currently), but I'm having a heck of a time finding a good source of micro drill bits that work well on metal. I was tempted to pick up the only set of bits at the local hobby store, but paying $15 for a set of bits that only had one in the whole set that I wanted seemed silly. So, work on the Forsaken bodging is on hold temporarily while I wait for the new bits to come in.

    Now the chaotic news: This is a picture of what's currently on my desk. This is just the active stuff. Now normally I only work on 1-2 projects at a time (it's my process and what works for me). But somehow I got into a mode where I was working on a bunch of things all at once and some stuff started jumping ahead in the queue. The 2 Ravagores (partially assembled) jumped up in the queue so that I could have them for an upcoming Mangled Metal tournament at my LGS this coming Saturday. The Forsaken of course is an active bodging project. The Harriers and Stingers have been sitting in their current state for a couple weeks now (since I finished the Teraph). Corbeau has been in her state for even longer, and is in danger of getting demoted back into the storage container soon. The Sorceress was a recent assembly completion, even though I'm deluding myself into thinking I'll start painting her soon. And Thrullg is something I was hoping to just start throwing washes on, but again, mere delusion I suspect. Not pictured are a primed McBain, 3 Spell Martyrs, and a half assembled Absylonia which I have demoted off of my desk and back into the storage bin. I'm trying to stay purely focused on my Legion force just to stay focused, even though I'd love to start finishing out the lingering couple of models for all the other factions that I have.

    Anyway, that's it for tonight. Apologies to those looking forward to the next installment of the Forsaken bodging. It'll probably be a few more days until I'm back to work on it.

    Friday, October 01, 2010

    From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 3

    Another small update before sleep claims me. Tonight I started putting pieces together. Well, just 2 pieces, but I wanted to use this step to provide a couple tips I've learned along the way. Now I should point out that I'm going to real extremes for pinning and joining here. The first tip is that it really helps to score the joining surfaces with a utility knife before putting them together. This creates a rougher surface which allows the greenstuff to really do its job. Here I've scored the surface of the legs as well as drilled a hole for a pin.

    The next tip is to do a dry fit. With these pieces in particular it was helpful to do a dry fit and get an idea of how to line them up. I knew ahead of time that the scale of these pieces was off, but this helped me get an idea of how to deal with that. I decided that if I put the torso at an angle, I could offset the difference and create a slightly more dynamic look to the model. However I knew this wouldn't be a perfect fit no matter what I did. Hence I would need to do a little greenstuff work.

    Now, you'll notice there's no green here. That's because I'm using the GF9 "grey-stuff" product for the first time. My first use of this seems to perform pretty much identical to greenstuff (and for the purposes of this post, I'll continue to refer to it as greenstuff). When doing this join, I initially used more greenstuff than necessary and then carved away the parts that I didn't need. I find this technique works best so that I'm not trying to add more as I go and having to smooth out the additions. The join here isn't great, and I may put a little further effort into sculpting in some details later, but I need this batch of greenstuff to dry before moving on.

    Well that's enough for tonight, and I'm trying to get my Ravagores assembled so I'll hang up the tools for now and work on it some more over the weekend.