Oct 31, 2012

WIP: Cawdor Gang Details

So, before moving on to blending and highlighting, I figured that I needed to fill in the gang members' details that up until now I had left unpainted.

This included the partially-finished gun casings, barrels, and stocks, knifes, canteens, belt and gaiter buckles, pouch buttons, and glove and tunic studs:

The gun casings, canteens, and knife sheathes received a coat of Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Camouflage Green, and a glaze of heavily watered-down VGC Cayman Green as a shade.

Gun stocks and knife handles were covered in Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Natural Wood (834), which is very thin straight out of the bottle and requires several coats to get good coverage.

Gun barrels, knife guards, butts, and sheath tips, buckles, buttons, and studs got a base coat of VMC London Grey (836) and, depending on the color behind the object, either a wash of old Citadel (GW) Shadow Black ink or old GW Skaven Brown ink.

The bullet casings in the Heavy's ammo belt are also VMC London Grey, while the tips are roughly a 3:2:1:1 ratio of VMC Light Orange (911), GW Golden Yellow, VGC Bronze Fleshtone, and VGC Charred Brown. I was going for a faux-NMM brass. The ammo belt webbing is VGC Earth.

Looking back, I should have painted the details on the gloves, robes, belts, and gaiters before I shaded the models, as it would have reduced my work time. But, with the details filled in, I can start blending and highlighting!

Next up: blending and highlighting ... really.

So, until next time, keep painting!

Sep 30, 2012

WIP: Cawdor Gang Shading

I've spent the last few painting sessions applying multiple layers of shading to the first batch of my new Cawdor gang. Excusing the initial coats of Citadel (GW) Camo Green on the weapons, the boys are starting to show some depth:

The tunics and pants have numerous layers of a rough mixture of Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Burnt Cadmium Red (814), GW Liche Purple, old GW Shadow Black ink, Vallejo Glaze Medium (596), and of course "Gunk." I kept mixing until I had a deep purple color the consistency of skim milk.

The glaze medium does a nice job of making sure the shading creeps into the crevices and stays there as it dries. Starting in the deepest recesses, I built up multiple layers and worked outward toward where I will next apply highlights.

The gloves, boots, and masks got a once over with an equal mixture of old GW Skaven Brown ink and GW Shadow Black ink; diluted further with a couple drops of glaze medium and gunk.

Skin, undershirts, and gaiters received a couple passes of a mixture of GW Skaven Brown ink and old GW Flesh Wash; again diluted with glaze medium and gunk.

I'm also about finished with the gang's Dragon Forge Goth-Tech bases, which were a lot of fun to paint and have some great details. Stones received a 1:1:1 basecoat of VMC Sky Grey (989), VMC London Grey (836), and Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Khaki, and a wash of Skaven Brown ink. Metal areas received a basecoat of London Grey and a wash of Shadow Black ink:

The bases then received further washes of Skaven Brown ink and Flesh Wash, as well as selective drybrushes of Sky Grey, Khaki, and VGC Earth:

I'm thinking of adding some glowing toxic sludge in the recesses where the pipes open up on the base in the middle, as well as some rust and/or dust effects with modeling pigments, but haven't decided yet.

Next up: highlighting. We'll also see if I can pull the shading, midtones, and highlights together.

So, until next time, keep painting!

Aug 31, 2012

WIP: Cawdor Gang Basecoat

One of the things that drew me to Cawdor was their compelling backstory. There's something interesting about a group of religious zealots running around the underhive "purifying" infidels. I also happen to be a sucker for mid-90s GW minis, and these Alan Perry sculpts are certainly no exception.

When I started this project, I decided to name the gang the Crimson Brotherhood. I wanted them to have a monk-like feel rather than the court jester vibe they give off on the cover of their box. To represent this, I chose a dark red color scheme combined with earth-toned accents:

I ended up disassembling the Heavy for ease of painting:

The tunics are Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Burnt Cadmium Red (814). Pants are a 1:1 ratio of VMC Burnt Cad and VMC Red (926). It's a little difficult to make out in the pictures, but the Burnt Cad and Red combo makes the pants just a shade lighter than the tunic.

Boots, gloves, and masks are Citadel (GW) Scorched Brown, while the gaiters and undershirts are Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Khaki. Belts and pouches are VGC Earth.

Rope is VMC Sand Yellow (916), which is a little too bright for my tastes and will be toned down in future stages. The skin is a 1:1:1 ratio of VGC Dark Fleshtone, GW Rotting Flesh, and GW Bronzed Flesh.

Hair is GW Snakebite Leather, which ended up redder than I thought it would. I'm still going back and forth on it, but it might be funny/cool for the Crimson Brotherhood to be an all-ginger group of religious fanatics.

Metal objects have been given a basecoat of GW Chaos Black. I've decided to go with a faux non-metallic metal (NMM) look, so these parts will get a coat of either a grey (gun barrels and knifes) or camo green (gun casings and canteens) later on.

It's worth noting that once dispensed onto a wet palette, all paints are watered down in a roughly 1:1 ratio with an acrylic solution comprising distilled water, flow-aid, and slow-dri, also known as "Gunk."

Watered down like this, the paint can require several passes before you get a good, even coat (VGC Earth was especially tricky), but you end up with solid coverage and the mini's details intact.

Next up: shading and progress on the gang's bases.

So, until next time, keep painting!

Aug 2, 2012

New Stuff: Vallejo Paints

Boy Howdy, do I love getting new hobby purchases in the mail. Who doesn't, right? Yesterday, I got in an order of new paints.

They're a combination of Vallejo Model Color (VMC), Game Color (VGC), and Model Air (VMA) colors:

VMCs include Transparent Woodgrain and Natural Wood, which I'm going to try out on the stocks of my Cawdor gang members' weapons - decided to go for an old school look. I also got Transparent Red (blood effects!) and Orange (wood tint).

Game Color paints include Wolf Grey, Dark Fleshtone, and Filthy Brown. I always meant to pick up the Citadel equivalents of these (Space Wolves Grey, Dark Flesh, and Vomit Brown, respectively), but never got around to it. And since GW doesn't make them anymore, I went with Vallejo.

Lastly, we have a selection of VMA metallics, including Aluminum, Chrome, Steel, Copper, Rust, and Black. I've been meaning to try these out, as they look really cool and I've read nothing but great things about them online.

I ordered these paints from the War Store, which runs a first-rate online hobby shop that fills in nicely for my FLGS when the latter doesn't have something I'm looking for. I say first-rate because I've always received good service from Neal and his crew, and this time was no different.

If you look closely at the picture above, you'll notice that instead of Black I actually have Metallic Gun. Turns out they packaged the wrong paint. But I sent an email last night and by this afternoon I had the correct paint on its way to my door.

These new paints will fit in nicely with my collection, which consists of a ton of older Citadel colors (Deadly Nightshade FTW!), some VMCs, a handful of VGCs and VMAs, a few Reaper pots (including some of their MSP HD series), and one P3 (Coal Black is kind of awesome).

You may have noticed in the pictures of my last post that all of my paints are in dropper bottles:

A few years ago, I bought a bunch online and transferred all of my Citadel colors into them. I would highly recommend this, as I haven't had a single color dry out on me and the droppers provide a high level of paint dispensing control that flip-top pots just can't reproduce.

Anyways, I'm gonna start trying out some of my new purchases, so, until next time, keep painting.

Jul 29, 2012

Showcase: Painting Studio

Because I'm still basecoating my Cawdor gang, and posting workspace photos seems to be all the rage these days, I thought I would share some pictures of my studio.

My painting studio is in my bedroom, so I don't have a ton of room to work with. I've attempted to make the space as modular as possible, which allows me to put up and break down different setups when needed.

Hobby and painting setup:

The table is an old IKEA piece. It provides a huge amount of workspace and the wood/laminate combo is pretty cool too.

The wall-mounted storage bins are Stack-On, while the paint holders are actually nail polish racks. Both work great keeping my bits, tools, and paints visible, organized, and off the tabletop.

The drawer unit under the table is also IKEA, and works like a charm keeping bigger tools and supplies out of my workspace (if you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a neat freak).

The big, heavy-duty task lamps - the grey and black ones are from my father's old home workshop while I bought the brown one at a neighborhood flea market a few months ago - are bolted into the table for stability.

The lamps on either side house OttLite bulbs while the one in the center uses regular daylight florescent tubes. Together, the three lamps provide more than enough light for hobby work, painting, and photography.

Airbrush setup:

I purchased the spray booth new, then built the rest of the extraction unit out of a piece of scrap wood and a dryer-hookup kit from a local DIY store. It goes together fairly effortlessly and I haven't passed out from paint fumes yet, so ... that's good.

Photography setup:

The light box is a generic kit you can acquire through any number of merchants on the internets. The lights that come with the kit are garbage, but the light box and tripod are really useful.

At the other end of the room I keep un-built kits (yeah, I have a lot to get through), supplies that I don't use on a regular basis, and my White Dwarf collection:

Big surprise, the above shelving unit is also IKEA, which I'm pretty sure is the official furniture outfitter of hobbyists the world over.

Overall, this setup works well for painting toy soldiers part time. Of course, a dedicated hobby room would be nice, but that's just not in the cards right now.

Till next time, keep painting.

Jul 25, 2012

WIP: Cawdor Gang Undercoat

After prepping, the four Gangers and Heavy went into the spray booth to receive a coat of Vallejo grey Surface Primer:

I'm still getting the hang of my airbrush, but I think the pieces came out pretty well. I have a dual-action jobber, which, from what I hear, has a steeper learning curve than a single-action airbrush, and there were a few occasions where I laid down more paint than I wanted.

Overall, the Vallejo primer went on remarkably smooth and, luckily for me, is fairly forgiving. Only one of the Gangers developed a trouble spot of built-up paint (circled in red below):

Bases undercoated:

Next up: Basecoating.

So, until next time, keep painting.

Jul 21, 2012

WIP: Cawdor Gang Final Prep

Because my Cawdor gang is small and because I didn't want to construct the elaborate bases I felt they deserved, I decided to go with resin bases. I made an exhaustive search before I settled on Dragon Forge Design's Goth-Tech bases.

I'm really happy with them. They were well cast and required only minimal cleanup. Moreover, I think the bases convey both the grittiness and future-like industrial nature that would constitute Necromunda's underhives.

Current batch of gang members matched up with their bases:

Because these are resin bases, obviously there's no slot for a mini's tab to fit into. This means I had to remove the tab from each model, which you can see I had already done to a few of them in the photos above.

This was as simple as securing each model upside down in my vice and carefully running a razor saw across the bottom of their feet.

Next, I drilled holes into the bottom of each model's feet and then corresponding holes into their base. I did this by temporarily fastening paperclips with a sharp end into the feet holes and then pushing the model down onto the base to mark pilot holes.

The models and their bases attached to corks, ready for undercoating (note, I hot-glued a large washer to the bottom of each cork to keep it sturdy):

It's also important to note that I lightly washed both the models and the bases with a soft toothbrush in cool, soapy water before I attached them to their painting stands.

This removes any oils that built up while handling the pieces during prep work and also removes the release agent from the resin bases, both of which can wreck havoc on a paint job.

Next up: The gang enters the spray booth for undercoating.

Until then, keep painting.

Jul 17, 2012

Inaugural Post and Cawdor Gang WIP

Welcome to "So, ... I play this game," a blog where I will chronicle, hopefully on a semi-regular, ideally weekly, basis, my latest adventures in painting toy soldiers.

First up, a Cawdor gang for Necromunda that I picked up on Ebay a few months ago:

At the same time, I also picked up an additional blister of Gangers, and the two other Cawdor Heavies (the grenade launcher and the heavy bolter):

Funny story/cautionary tale: While bidding on the above items, I was also trying to score a blister of the two other Cawdor Juves but lost out to a higher bidder. The Cawdor box above was sold as sealed NIB. When it arrived I noticed that the cellophane on the box looked odd for a GW factory job (crinkly and yellowing), but shrugged it off.

When I opened the Cawdor box, however, I immediately knew it was not originally sealed, as all four Juves were included (the box is only supposed to come with two of the four) along with the four Gangers, Leader, and Heavy.

I don't know how they got in there, and I came out ahead on this one, but it just goes to show that sometimes you can never be sure what you're getting off Ebay and that you should always scrutinize your purchases.

Anywho, I decided to paint the gang up in batches of five models, which should allow me to spend enough time on them - hopefully bringing them up to a high tabletop standard - without losing interest.

Two of the four Gangers and the one Heavy with mold lines and flash removed, gun barrels drilled out, and gaps filled with liquid greenstuff:

I later sanded the greenstuff down to get a smooth finish. As a side note, I'm a pretty big fan of the liquid greenstuff. I know it's gotten some mixed reviews, but I've found it to be extremely workable in filling gaps.

Next up: Final prep work and undercoating!

Till next time, keep painting.
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