Thursday, September 02, 2010

Coming soon...some actual content!

So, Ive finally recovered from the laptop death of July. My poor ole Toshiba has been replaced with a sexy new Vaio. And I can vouch firsthand that the Vaio is indeed a very competitive product vs the apple laptops.

Anyhow- Ive been itching to get back to finishing my Warmachine Mercs. Gonna be a few days there though :( We've had some....unexpected house guests and making room for them involved piling stuff in my painting room. so I'll have to do some excavating to get my work space usable.

But, there should be some new stuff coming in here in the next week or two!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Technological Terror Strikes!

It has been one of those utter WTF sort of days, my daily side kick and companion of the last 2 years, my toshiba laptop has seemingly expired(looks to be a POST fail or corrupted Bios). The hard drive still seems functional at least- so the data is at least savable.

Then around 9 this morning- I notice its getting warm- and I hadnt heard the air conditioner turn yep- the blower motor wasnt turning on. Not the best news when at 9 am it was already near 100 outside. Made for a long day, and a 200$ repair for a stupid capactior. And that same 200$ came outta the funds that coulda went to replacing or repairing my laptop.....

So, Im on our old backup pc. by old- Im talkin a single core 5 year old 1 ghz processor. So, I may actually get more painting done- since typing on this tiny ass keyboard is a damn nuisance.

Also- might be selling some 40k excess to help fund a decent laptop- so if anyone has any interests/wants let me know and I'll give my blog readers first grabs ^_^

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Devil Dogs! More WM goodness

Ive had this unit of minis sitting around for a couple years- and figured it was about time they got some brush love ;) It gave me a chance ot play with the p3 Cold Steel paint- which I happen to really like. It has good consistancy, covers well ever over black. I didnt do any dry brushing with it however- so I cant vouch for its worth on that.

Anyways- another basic/dirty merc paint job. Wanted them to look like theyd been out in it for a while- mercs arent paid to be clean are they? Although since there are 3 Mr Clean clones with axes- it might be kinda ironic. I might have to give one of them some hair or a hat.

Theyre about 90% done. Stuff like eyes, final brass touches and all that I do after I base my stuff. Keeps the clean up & touch up phase all at once so Im not dropping the paint on the pallette more often than I need to ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New books, lack of pics, fun stuff ;)

Got my Prime Mkii and Merc books last friday, theyre gorgeous books and I tip my proverbial hat to the Pivateer fellows. I had learned about all I could of the rules from the MKII pre release PDF, so the book with actual diagrams was helpful. And the Merc book landed some solid motivation to keep going.

The monsoon here made an effort to get going, which means stupid migraines and the shakes that I get with them- so my paint efforts will get kinda random. I havent even been able to finish Durgen since I posted the last round of pics.

Anyhow, found that the local(which for me means 50 miles away) gameshop runs all nighters on warmachine most friday & saturday nights. Its a 24/7 shop, which makes my inner vampire happy! So, hopefully I can find a few 'training wheels' games if I can make it out that way soon. Maybe even find some sucke-- I mean um, gamers to trade my piles of 40k stuff for more Warmachine :D I also bought my first in store WM purchase, a Highshield officer & Standard bearer UA. I'll need one more for a Tier 2 Gorten list! And got a pot of Cold Steel P3 paint. I noticed the pots had the same lids as the old, old Citadel pop tops- and it turns out theyre made by Coat de Arms! Which is cooo as it means if I dont use the up theyll still be usable in 20 years like some of the Citadel stuff I still have. Yes- that likely means I have paint older than some of the readers of this lil blog- I was once a gamer nerdling too ;)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

More Rhulic Rumblings (Warmachine is addictive!)

Alrighty, had to take a little break after the paint fest of last Friday & Saturday. Mostly because I knew the infantry were going to take more effort than the 'jacks did. Like the last batch, these are about 90% done, and I havent clear coated these so the shades are a tad different still.

So, heres the pretties.

Gorten Grundback. Im not sure I like his playstyle yet, but hes a caster and hes painted! Hes also based on the rough idea I have for basing these guys. Just with cleaner paint, and some weeds growing up between the stones(that I obviously havent added yet o.0)

Next up are Herne & Jonne. I giggled about the idea of a dwarf with a pet ogre that carries a triple barreled mortar. So they had to be done.

And last up the Highshields. If they take as long to kill off as it took to paint them they'll be worth the effort ;)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Warmachine progress at last! Rhulic rampage begins!

Havent managed to post as often as I'd like- but Ive had a few days of delightfully shake free hands so I made the most of it and painted up some of my Rhulic WM stuff!

The onsluaght of pics is gonna make a mess but I'll edit it as best I can ;) I have more pics, but it seems blogs limit me to 5 at a time. So I can post up more if theres any interest.

These arent 100% complete. They still need basing, and some cleanup/touchup work(and a layer of dull-cote to tame the shiny!). But I think theyre more than adequate for gaming and even tournament usage.

So, heres Thor Steinhammer, the flamethrowing dwarf mechanic. I was origianlly just going to experiment with him- trying the light sourcing highlights coming off the flames. The results were good enough I plan on keeping him. Since the health decline I havent been too happy with most of my paint results, so I was happy I can learn new techniques to replace the old ones I cant do any more.

Heres a Wroughtram Rockhammer. It seems like fun, a giant dwarf robot with a gun & hammer. Nothin spectacular, but Ive seen much worse out there(and much better lol).

So, these are the lil tanks. Often called 'Gun bunnies', I think theyre kinda cute. Sorta like the Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell. Theyre useful & cute, but disposable when theirs a need for it.

This here is the ubiquitous Rhulic Driller. It um...drills things. I still wanna add some highlights to it, and some more weathering & such as theyre supposed to do double duty as mining equipment I see it as bein extra worn & dirty.

Forgeguard, these were the figs that made me decide to paint my Rhulics before my Cryx or other mercs. Theyre sorta like stumpy lil badasses with steampowered hammers. They arent exactly cute, but they have a certain charm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

100 Minions!

So, this morning my blog list hit 100! I hadnt really noticed I was getting that many readers! O.o

I guess that means I'll have to make some attempts to be more amusing and post something worthwhile on a regular basis.

I'm amassing a rather large Warmachine Mercenary force, its not really a coherent roster yet since Im trading for the stuff- its kind of a random hodge podge of units. But many of them have alot of character, and will be fun to paint. The Forgeguard guys look kinda like pot bellied stoves with big ole hammers, Croes Cutthroats look like a buncha D&D or Warcraft rogues gone wild, and the Iridian skirmishers are some of my favorite as they have a very arabic theme(and since I like Tallarns....).

Im hoping, maybe in the next week I'll get some painting up. The health issues havent been overly cooperative lately, but Im gonna try to push past it and see if I can still get some decent results.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Le sigh....I think Im done with GW....

I've played 40k for a long while now. My freinds Bill and Mark sucked me into it back in 98-ish and we had alot of fun with it over the years. But sadly, all the changes have slowly been making it less fun for me. The last time I really had fun with it was with my Orks in 2004.

Granted, since 2005 I havent played much due to life getting in the way. But since then GW has made thier changes. My hiatus saw two new editions, and a variety of game changes, that really just look like the juggling of the meta-game in order to sell a certain type of model(like transports for 5th ed, or anything with an assualt cannon in 4th edition).

The last piece of GW stuff I bought was a BFM box in 2005, and a bottle of Devlan mud last summer. And I will admit they are putting out some great models, which we have to pay through the nose(and other orifices for).

Lets look at some of the things GW has done over the years-
2001- Online Price fixing- GW limits independent resellers to a 20% discount. Prior to this the norm was a 30% discount, and 40% could be found.
2002-2004 Price hikes. There was internet uproar-everyone was gonna quit. no one did. Reasoning from GW 'We need the funds to build our plastics plant in the US so we can keep costs down'
2005/2006 4th ed comes out. Only a minor price hike on a few kits.
2007 a few more kits get a price hike.
2008/2009 5th ed rolls out, Mech armies become king- first rhinos and drop pods are hard to come buy, then Chimeras as the IG codex comes out. Throw in a price hike for good measure- one that covers most of their ranges.
2010 Guess what....despite massive restructuring in GW-US, a move made for 'cost cutting and efficiency' we get yet another price hike. But with a clever bit of PR- they release Spearhead right afterwards- so the sheep get to think 'Oooh wow!! All tank games!!!' and they run out to buy 5 or 6 more tanks to use. Oh- and you have to buy the Spearhead book when it comes out too.

I should add into all that- the heart breaking decline of White Dwarf. The once noble dwarf used to be a useful read, hobby tips, chapter approved articles, short stories, painting tutorials, Army Spotlights. Then they pimped it out to some whorbits, er, I mean hobbits. After that it circled to bowl a few times before being flushed down the toilet into the realm of total crap.

I still like the the 40k fluff, and modeling. I have like 20 armies worth of crap to prove it. But Im going to whittle that all down to 4 or so. Pet project armies that may end up with no gaming value.

For gaming value- Im setting sail with Privateer Press. Thier prices may not be much better than GW's, but thier core product and rules are more functional and smooth. It evokes the sort of fun feeling that 2nd edition 40k did- but without the confusing complexity. Theres guns, robots, magic, and a variety of other goodstuff that make for plenty of eye candy and fun stuff to paint. And in all- the people into it seem to be more of a mind to have fun- the PP forums in general are much less tense than the 40k forums. A better vibe I suppose. And the artwork theyre putting forth in thier new books is impressive- along with thier sculpts improving over the years this makes me happy to see such progress.

Anyhow- for those that follow my bloggity goodness, you can expect to see Warmachine stuff taking precedence over 40k for the forseeable future. Something might change that, but Im really sick of GW so it seems unlikely I'll ever embrace thier game to the same extent I used to.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Finally- a tallarn with paint on him!

So, Ive been converting some tallarns(as anyone who reads the past posts should know!). But with my twitchy hands I havent been overly motivated to paint anything, as its just generally frustrating.

But, one of my fellow bloggers ( had a lil painting contest for May that got me motivated enough to paint up at least one guy!

Im probly going to convert up another 30 or 40 of these guys(have 25ish already) so I can have a super blob or a couple smaller platoons. I think the paint process I used will work well assembly line style- and the airbrush made for easy base coating with the VMC Yellow Ochre over grey primer. And it was really handy for clearcoating the model. For table top use I'll hit these guys with a layer of krylon gloss, then matte coat them with the airbrush. This will get me a good protective layer- and a nice flat finish I dont have to ever worry about fogging up on me!

C&C and questions welcome :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ultrasonic goodness. Or is it?

So, the health issues have flared back up. Notably a brief blackout last week on my way to the post office. I at least steered into a curb as it started- dunno if that was deliberate or blind luck, but it kept me from running through an intersection and possibly hurting someone.

This means no new tallarnish goodness. But- the post is not without nerdgasmic merit.

Now, after reading the description of Ultrasonic cleaners- I had these visions in my head of a dream machine I could throw a bucket of figs into and 15 minutes later whip out some cleaner than new shiny toys. Thats a bunch of crap.

Supposedly working with jsut water and/or special cleaner stuff(which I will admit I havent tried yet)- water did nothing. Made some bubbles. but thats about it.

But- lose not hope! The unit I bought has a stainless steel pan. So I thought- why not put my regular stripping solution- Superclean- in there? So, in went some super clean. A test run showed that it didnt foam up and cause a diasaster. So in went some figs. A variety of metal tallarns I got from several sources that had a menagerie of hideous paint on them. I also threw in a space marine and some drop pod pieces I got in a trade. And I topped it off with a chimera (the cleanr I bought will fit a land raider).

I flipped the timer to 6 minutes(the longest cycle it will run) and turned on the warmer. Now the warmer is a feature I hadnt thought about much- but it only heats the fluid to like 145 F, so no where near hot enough to melt plastics. But, then I rmember I used to heat up simplegreen on the stove to strip metal figs super fast.

Within a few minutes the figs were getting little clouds around them- and by the end of the 6 minute ultrasonic cycle- I couldnt see the bottom figs. I let it sit for about an hour then came to check, I pulled a metal fig out- one of my old ones that was based with krylon black and had a ton of dry brushing- and the paint wiped right off- no traces in the creases- nothing. It didnt have that silvery new look- but it just looked a bit aged(as Im sure many of us have noticed minis get darker with some handling and time in general). So, it doesnt look out of the blister- but it looked like it had never been touched by paint. The same was true for the rest of the metals- the paint came off with ease- a couple needed a brush or two. And of 10 random paint jobs- all came off spakly except for a blob of black that may be some sort of oil based paint- even with brushing it didnt budge out of the creases. No biggie really.

On the plastics- the chimera was based in krylon brown(from the camo line) and had a speckled camo on it- topped with a layer of krylon clear to seal it, and a coat of flat clear. I was thinkin it would take some work. But- alot of the paint just sloughed off and the rest came off with a light rinse in the sink. totally bare plastic O.o I will add at this point- chimeras really ARE AMPHIBIOUS. It floated for over a week(upside down) so theres a definitive line right where all the track hubs are where the paint didnt come off- but all the submerged stuff- gone- every bit without brushing.

The marine did ok. Its an AOBR guy and whatever it was based with seems to have stained the plastic a darker grey and needed some brushing- end result is it looks like its had some ink slobbed on- so will look fine once painted- no loss of details.

The drop pod parts. I was hoping the soak would kill the glue bonds(super clean NOMS NOMS superglue!) but sadly it seems to have been a solvent based plastic glue that was used with a low skill level- end result- a drop pod thats very likely conversion parts. But- the paint came off! It took some brushing, and seemed a bit oily since it stained the brush I was using. It came with the batch teh MS above did, and didnt seem stained but fine detail parts look like theyve had some black ink applied.

Im happy with the results- but was just hoping they would happen faster ;) Im running a test now to see if its the ultrasonic part that does the super stripping- or the heating of the solution and keeping it warm as often as possible( it only warms for about 30 minutes then shuts off- and the fluid stays warm for about 6 hours) If I hit the warmer button once a day I'll be doing good. And hopefully will have some results before next week. Im strippin a chimera identical to the first- so its sort of my 'control'.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Tallarn PICS!! 5-7-10 update

I found a way to hack the auto focus on my crap cam- so, we can has pics!

First up, some of the keffiyehs I did quick sculpts on:

Then onto some shemagh shots:

And here we have Omar Marbo, Sly's desert dwelling 54th cousin by marriage.

And here we have a very WIP Straken. He still needs his plasma pistol, headwear, and some detail work on his robe and a sash.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Fun stuff!

I got my stuff from Blick Art today. They were out of stock on the 2 oz dropper bottles, but other than that I got all the stuff to make a couple gallons of washes. Yes, gallons.

I realised though, I accidentally ordered Sepia instead of a yellow. So I dont quite have all the base colors to mix a full spectrum. But, that no biggie, I can make my own versions of Devlan mud, badab black etc etc. Can make blues, greens, and reds too. I made a quick test batch of the sepia and indigo, and having access to large quantities of washes is going to make me an incredibly lazy painter ^_^ Dippity dippity dippity!!

So, while Im waiting for the bottles to mix the rest, I started playing with the box of Super Sculpey I ordered. I've used regular sculpey years ago, and wasnt impressed much, at all. But the Super sculpey, I like it so far. I havent baked it yet, but the handling qualities are very nice. Using a layered technique I can see how some sculptors build up really good detail with this stuff.

Its really going to be useful for the tanks Im going to start working on very soon. I think I can use it to sculpt out armor plates & sections in the exact shapes and thicknesses I want. Im gonna do it on thin sheets if styrene to keep it flat. Then pop it in the freezer to temporarily harden it- pop the stryene off, then into the toaster oven for its 275 degree bake for 15 minutes (thats not counting thaw time). Tomorrow Im going to spend most of the day arranging my work area so I can work on the first tank design without having to continually clean little spaces out- I clutter up horribly when I get into a project....

And, a bid is in on a digital cam, cross your fingers that it stays under 150$ ;) Its way more cam than anyone would ever need for taking pics of figs, like a 24x optical zoom is a tad overkill....but my roomie can use it for landscape type pics too ^_^

Tallarn update: HW teams

So Im still waiting on my goodies to arrive, the tracking numbers have it getting here tomorrow, so we'll see ;)

In the mean time I decided to work on my heavy weapons. Last summer I traded for a pile of Cadian infantry, and in that trade was 15 weapon teams. ALL were frikkin ML's, but, fortunately I got the sprues for the spares ^_^

So, with the tallrn conversions Im doing Im trying to decide if I just want to keep that trend going, as in jsut slap the shemaghs or keffiyehs on the crew, or go with another idea I've had brewing for a while.

Idea #2 is putting my weapons on small tracked carriers, like a mini Thunderfire or old Rapier laser. I have the bitz for a bunch of them, Im using the tracks off the old ork warbikes, when thinned down a bit they fit nicely inside a short section of the newer IG track guards. Add a few bitz and it looks like a little ROV with a weapon on it, and has room for some stowage bits like water cans and ruck sacks. Since Im eventually going with upgraded tank designs, these lil platforms should fit in pretty well with the theme of my army and provide some more conversion and mini diorama possibilities. The only dilemma Im having, is if I do it, should I keep 2 men on the bases, or 1 man and the platform?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tallarns with hats! 5-4-10 update.

So, Im still waiting for my canoe-load (I dont think my lil splurge warrants a boat-load label!) of goodies, so I wanted to figure out a simple way to do the shemaghs.

I've got the keffiyehs down pretty good- but I want some variety in head gear amongst my guys. A war torn, worn down, using whatever gear they can get sort of look. So, shemaghs are like huge scarves that work as head wraps/hats, and a face covering to keep dust & debris out.

So, enter an old gizmo I recently rediscovered. Years ago I bought a lil clay press- it looks like a retarded chrome syringe- but instead of a needle, theres several various discs that attach to the front. The discs have differently shaped holes in them- if you think back to childhood, its kinda like the PlayDoh-Press that some of us used to make neat shapes with. What does this have to do with anything?

Well, its pretty small- the discs are about the size of a dime. And years ago I tried to use it with Greenstuff. But, lacking the hand strength of a PowerFist, there was no way in hell I was able to get the green stuff out in any extruded shape.
So, it sat unused for years. Until I had one of my brilliant ideas. I discovered that it would fit into the front of a caulking gun! So the plunger on the bottom could be pressed with hte caulking guns ratcheting strength...and its now strong enough to push ProCreate (grey stuff) out of a 1. mm hole. Just about the same size as a las gun barrel.

Now- you might be wondering- "wtf does that have to do with hats on tallarns!??!"


Previously I was rolling thin cylinders of this stuff out by hand- which isnt super difficult, but it takes time, during which the stuff is curing, so its a waste of sculpt time and makes me mix smaller batches(also tedious).

So, now I can squirt out about 2-3 inches of 1mm 'rod', which I can then flatten out with a roller into thin strips- which is the right width for the cloth I want for my shemaghs! So, rather than blobbing on putty- then forcing it into as shmagh shape- I can actually wrap it onto the fig like an actual piece of clothing- From there ifs pretty simple to shape it with a sculpting tool. Pushing into the recesses, ans using a point to pull down sections to open them up. And, rolling the edges a bit to emphasize the layers and shape.

For me, another apparent use of being able to easily make the 'rod' shape with the putty- is the ribbed power hoses. I have a tool that makes it super easy to put the ribbed pattern onto a piece of putty, but rahter than explain it I'll eventually just get pics up of all this. Still working on getting a more suitable cam for all this ;)

And my pipettes arrived today, small batch resin mixing is now possible- so I have to find the mold for the shoulder pads I want- or make a new mold :/

Later this week should be the Ultrasonic cleaner, the ink/wash making supplies, and some Fimo to sculpt some stuff that regular putty wont work for (mainly prototyping parts for the line of armored vehicles Im planning on replacing the IG tanks with).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tallarn Progress Report ^_^

So, still no new cam. I may try for a group shot to see if the cam will focus on some of the guys. Since it focuses behind the minis on macro shots, Im hoping a group pic will 'trick' it into focusing on something usable :)

I've got several more kheffiyehs sculpted up on my Labor Platoon. A lack of shoulder pads is slowing me down. Ive been sculpting them in the same shape as the cadian ones, but thats getting tedious. So, Im going to break out my old mold for some shoulder pads that are very similar to kroot shoulder pads, and the look good on catachans and cadians. Its a really small mold though, so mixing resin in super small quantities like that will require some pipettes (ebay!! 100 for 7$!!).

So, thats sorta stalled the progress of working on the troops. So I started workin on another character model. My very own Ironsand Strakhan :) IG figs with power fists are kinda rare, so I found the catachan Capt. and after some work he's got a nice flowing robe. His 'high &tight' hair do got filed down and he'll be getting a slightly more ornate kheffiyeh than the troops. Add in a sash and I should have a pretty bad ass Ironhand counts as.

Im also considering purchasing 3 1/48th scale Hind 24d helicopter models to convert to Valks/Vendettas. Why you ask? Theyre almost the same size, with a little work they'll make a nice substitute and will fit my army theme better. And, the biggest factor since Im CHEAP- 3 of them will cost about 45$. So, yeah, thats like a 4 to 1 price advantage over a Valk kit.

Oohh ohh, I also just acquired a 160 watt Ultrasonic cleaner, should be big enough to fit a land raider in. If it works like I anticipate- stripping will become rather simple. SuperClean soak, sonic cleaner for 5-10 minutes, poof, naked figs. If it does work that well, I'll have easy access to another 100 or so cadians and 160+ catachans to convert & fill out my IG ranks (I got them in various trades for cheap due to hideous paint).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tallarns: Sculptin update :) 4-19

So, did a bit more sculpting to day. Added some sashes on the 2 shemagh wearing figs I did the other night. The outcome was acceptable, but Im not sure if sashes are going to be something I consider necesarry on all the figs, or jsut as a method of denoting officers or maybe veteran status.

I also dicovered the standard cadian bayonets when removed from the rifles can easily be curved into a jambaya styled knife knife- this also goes for the sheathed knife bits. This was a relief as it means I wont have to sculpt a ton of knives onto the guys ;)

After the sashes I decided to try giving a fellow a Keffiyeh to see how it worked out compared to the shemaghs. Conclusion- keffiyehs are alot easier and fast lol. It took about 10 minutes, most of which was getting the head band thin enough. Most of the sculpts Ive seen others do they do the head band very thick, and it seems ot throw off the balance of the look- so thin head bands for my guys :)

And last, but defintiely not least, I decided to add a character to the conversion pile. I had a bit of putty left over- and decided I wanted an Arabic styled Marbo stand in. I saw someone else using Shiv from the Last Chancers set, and I happen to have one!

Having just had success with the keffiyeh, I noticed Shiv's hair could easily be smoothed to cloth, thus using the head band he has as part of the head gear. so I puttied over the hair, and made the keffiyeh. His power blade I curved into a bit of a shamshir shaped blade, and in his right hand I added one of the jambayas I had jsut learned to make with the cadian knives. He still didnt look quite right, so I added a goatee, which I will enhance a bit more in the painting stages.

Note: pics were an epic fail. Between a shit cam and my shaky hands everything was blurtastic and not worth posting :( (and it was tripod mounted) Will attempt pics with my older camera- its got more manual features I can adjust.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Airbrushing-How to make a portable air tank

Ok, so, alot of people seem interested in airbrushing. Its not a cheap portion of this hobby-a quality brush can run upwards of a few hundred bucks, ditto for an air source.

I've talked about affordable quality brushes in other posts. Today, Im going to help with the second part- the air.

Some people swear by the little air pumps that the air brush companies sell. And sure, they can puff air out and make the brush work. But, like many things, you get what you pay for. The drawbacks of the entry level units include a pulsing air flow. Whats that? Well, basically everytime it the diaphram inside pushes air theres a push, then when it goes back down- no push. Its not much of an issue at lower pressures, since the hose will absorb most of that energy. If you start getting close to the lil compressors rating though, the pressure fluctuates a bit and gives the pulsing effect. If you're attmepting some fine finish sort of effect the pulsing can screw up the results you want.

Some of these lil compressors will list two numbers. Peak Airflow/pressure. And Continuous airflow/pressure. Peak airflow isnt really important on a practical level, but the continuous air flow IS. Continuous is how much air it can pump out all the time while you're spraying. Most of the affordable AB compressors like this, get up to around 25-30 countinuous PSI.

Another aspect of these lil compressors- some are noisy. And they tend to vibrate alot- so if its sitting on your desk or table, its going to shake things a bit. For the quiter ones that vibrate less, you're again adding cost.

So- I'll stopping pissing on the little AB compressors now. They'll work, but they arent cheap and they can only do one thing - work an air brush.

Now comes the useful part- the alternative to the noisy, rattling over priced AB Compressor.

The portable air tank. Think of it like a Mime thats good for something. Its quiet, and it blows. It doesnt vibrate, no pulsing air flows. Sure, its a little bigger than the AB compressor, but you dont have to plug it in either- so you can pretty much take it and use your AB anywhere you like. These tanks arent very expensive at all:

So, it wont work by itself- you need a pressure regulator- so you can dial in the proper amount of out going pressure:

Thats about as cheap as a regulator gets, but you dont need a super precision piece, so its good enough. Now, Youre also going to need some connectors & fittings.

Now, you have everything you need for the tank- minus a couple wrenchs to assemble it. Which is easy. Righty tighty, lefty loosey. The stubby little hose that comes with the tank is removed. Thats where the pressure regulator gets screwed in- make sure to use the white teflon tape on the threads- otherwise it will leak. Once you get theregulator attached- you connect one of the female couplers to it(it has another hole for the outgoing air) again, use thread tape.

After that done- all you have to do is play with the various connectors to get you brush set up and connected to the tank. But- we still have one more step!

We gotta air it up and make sure it works. Now- some of you are now thinking "Wtf!? I dont have an air compressor!!" Thats ok Heres a list of where to find air compressors-
1-Your parents garage. Go hang out with mom & dad for a lil while- so they dont feel liek youre jsut using them for the compressor
2-Your redneck neighbor thats always working on his cars- pretty good chance hes got a compressor.
3-Local gas stations- that tire filling station will fill your air tank. If you look around a bit some of them even have free air. Truck stops in particualr are good for this- since their compressors have more pressure for the truck tires. It might cost a dollar in change, but 80 or 90 psi in a 5 gal tank will last you quite a while (mine will run my brush at 30 psi for 40 straight minutes).

Once you find an air source and air it up- get it to about 80 or 90 psi. Theyre rated for 125, but airing it up that much wears it out faster, and isnt really needed. One its aired up- watch the pressure gauge- and see if its losing any air- check the valves and make sure theyre all off. You can also spray some soapy stuff on all the joints- if theres any bubbling thats where the leak is. Take that joint apart- add more thread tape- reassemble- and try it again

Other benfits of this tank- if you get that full connector kit- when your freinds have a flat- your portable tank can be used to rescue them and get them down the road without having to use that ridiculous donut tire.

And last resort- it will also inflate the chicks for the bachelor party

Parts list:
Portable Air Tank-25-35$
Harbor Freight Regulator-7$
Fittings & Connectors- 20$
Total- 50-55$ (not counting tax of course)

Compare that to 8.25$ that Gw sells a can of propellant for their crap sprayer- and you're coming out ahead after the first hour of spraying.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tallarn WIP heads/shemagh sculpts

So, an actual WIP pic! Its a craptacular pic(paarticularly when you look at it in high res lol) , but I'd rather spend another hour sculpting, than setting up lighting to get a better pic.

So, today we have the first attempts at a couple of shemaghs. They seem to be an adequate start to Tallarn-izing cadians.

I think otehr features Im going to incorporate, is trimmin the torso bottoms down-like remving the belt section. This should get the plastics down to about the same height as the metal figs(which are smaller). Then, to cover that gap I can sculpt on some sashes to tuck thier jambayas(curved knives) into. The other trick I may use is shaving the cargo pockets off their pants. Combine that with a cohesive paint scheme, and they should mesh in quite well with the existing tallarn line.

Mostly these guys are going to bolster the special weapon slots(esp flamers) and step up as Sgt's. And likely there will be some done up as veterans.

To get the lasguns to match up, I may be shaving the e-clip slots off the plastics to fall in theme with the older lead versions. Im considering doing the stocks as wood, since its rarely done, and I think the contrast of wooden stocked rifles may add to the theme of my army.

And now- back to general sculpting ambitiousness while my hands aren't shaking!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tallarns!!! An army I can stick with?

So, Im gonna dust off the blog here, its been a while since Ive posted anything useful/entertaining ;)

For everyone that replied to my January post thank you. Some of the techniques mentioned have helped deal with the hand tremors. Combining that with my generally lazy nature when it comes to painting, I think I have several methods that should get me back to gaming/modelling.

As the title suggests, Im going to be resurrecting my Tallarn army. I sat down and realized that theyre my most expensive army, and one of the least played in the 10 years Ive owned them, they never even made it to any tourneys. They also seem pretty rare these days, like 1 in 30 or less compared to Cadians.

So, theyre mostly painted, but theyre painted at my 8 years ago skill level. The tanks/apc's have alot of nifty conversions- which have since been done better as bitz on the IG accesory sprue. And I've always hated IG tanks, theyre like some sort of tank caricatures that have ridiculous layouts and features. I know its an imaginary game- but I like to imagine my little toy soldiers with tanks that have evolved past trench warfare.

So, my big plans-
  • 1-Build a playable list with what I have and start working off the 3 years of gaming rust I have.
  • 2-See if the existing paint jobs are worth saving/upgrading. If not, work up a new color scheme and rotate stripping by squads to repaint.
  • 3-Conversions- The tallarn troopers are metal, and hence limited in selections and weapon options(as well as availability). Im wanting to convert some shemaghs (they arent turbans!) and see how they can match up with Cadian bodies. I may just sculpt them onto the torsos if it seems easier to get the cloth right that way.
  • 4-Add in a Combat Labor/Engineer Platoon- mostly catachan models since I have TONS of the lil bastards. They represent a lower caste, hence are the trench diggers and cannon fodder( but not conscripts).
  • 5-Tanks/APC's- This is the most ambitious part, phasing out the craptastic GW IG tanks with what will hopefully be more practical yet appealing models. Best case, the designs can be cast for easy expansion and a fully mounted force. Also designs to reflect desert warfare(water stowage, wider tracks for sand etc etc)
  • 6-After all that crap is done- add an AirCav element. Converting a 1/35th Hind 24 would provide an size and role equivalent model to a Valkyrie.

To keep on top of all this, I could use your guys help :) Any links of well done Tallarn stuff, specifically updated conversions would be awesome for ideas on what to do with my own. I also could do with some of you guys harassin me to keep working on one army- otherwise my 40k ADHD will have me doing ork,sm and eldar stuff all at once and I'll never get anything done ;)

In return for the help Im hoping I can document easy methods of painting and converting, the basics of airbrushing for 40k models, and maybe even some casting FAQ's if I get some good tallarn heads and tanks worked up :)

Oh, and of course some cool figs to oogle over ^_^

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back, sorta, looking for some non-standard modeling ideas/advice...

I know the topic is rather vague- but the issues I'm looking for help with arent exactly typical modeling issues of what glue, or how to prime something etc etc. Ive been modeling for many years and am rather competent at it, better than most- but not perfect in any regard.

Some of you may have noticed I sort of stopped posting rather abruptly at the end of the summer. And thats because Ive had some health issues that went from mild nuisance, to signifigant problem. Now, Im not gonna die, or anything like that.

But long story short, my hands have gotten a bit twitchy, and I drop things rather often. So, lookin back, thats probly why I dropped a rather large pair of hardware shears into my big toe in july (I even started an injury thread off that one lol). So, one of the obvious problems of the hobby- is all the sharp stuff that one can injure themselves with.

The other obvious problem to deal with is detail work on painting, and sculpting. Its probly still doable, but incredibly frustrating having to do over & over what used ot be simple just a few months ago. I mean, just hitting the raised egde on a SM shoulder pad right now has become a challenging prospect where I used to be able to hit a dozen of them cleanly on the fig in less than 10 minutes.

So, what Im looking for I guess, is are there any other gamers that have, or had to transition into any sort of disability with thier modeling skills? Im sorta going nuts with nothing to do, and I cant really play video games because of the same problems(except turn based stuff- and Civ 4 is gettin old!) but every time Ive sat down and tried to use the same techniques that have just sort of become habit over the last 10 years or so- the pitiful results Im getting have me fail my Ld check and I flee for a week or two.

So, any brainstorming on how to get the modeling & painting done while working around shaking hands?