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 ^_^