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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