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).