Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My son's first real game!

Well now that we have this gaming table in the basement it was time to play on it. My son is 8, he is awesome and really likes Warmachine. He like Protectorate of Menoth so we got him a 50 point list together. He has played a bunch of caster kill games on our dining room table but never a real game before.

We played scenario and it was fantastic. He lost, but he did really well. I can't wait to play him again.

Here he is deploying his models.

 Hmmm where should I put these guys?

Counting em out to make sure his stuff is all there.

Awe man, is that a Galleon over there? Good Thing he has the Avatar of Menoth.

 Look at that pretty table!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Indulge me in quick diversion or rant if you will. (This is gonna be a long blog post but I think its worth it).

Let's have a conversation about Professional Painting Services. The good, the bad, the downright deceitful.

As an upfront confession. I used to take commissions locally. I stopped as it was killing my joy of painting. I like to paint what I want, when I want, and having deadlines and painting to someone else's vision just was not for me. I will still do models for friends (see the Knight Titan) but I don't charge for it as it's usually something that I want to paint but don't want to buy (I don't play 40k so why have a model or 12 that look interesting paint wise to me).

First let me define what I think a professional commission painter should do.

1. Communication - It is key, they need to be available to you. They need to ask a crazy amount of questions to really drill down on how to make your vision come to life. You need to be able to speak with the person that will actually be working on your models. This should be a priority for the commission painter as well.

2. Pictures - Lot's and lot's of high resolution stuff, taken in a light box. You should be able to see your models. They should be sending you updates along the way. I highly recommend a test model to see if your vision and what the painter thinks is your vision, are aligned.

3. Attitude - You should get the same level of professional enthusiasm from the quote process to the delivery.

4. Timelines - Delays happen in miniature painting, always. You should expect regular updates without having to ask.

Anyway back on topic. You might have seen the shit-storm that is a brewing over Blue Table Painting. They took a $8000+ commision on a Forge World Chaos Dwarf army and basically butchered it. The owner of the army tried to work with them repeatedly and wound up taking his cause to YouTube (please note this video is long, like an hour long but it shows the whole army and all the problems, he also goes over the contract in detail to be completely transparent).

Apparently Blue Table Painting offered untenable solutions and then rescinded them 

Another studio has stepped up to the plate and offered to repaint and fix the models at no charge to the customer and should be praised for being great members of the community. 

Front Line gaming is the company that stepped up and is making the army look like it should. Please go to their website and show your support for them. 

If you feel like reading through 50+ pages of rants, white knights, videos and the like you can find it all here. DakkaDakka Blue Table Painting Issues Thread.

Also if you're that bored or interested you can follow the repaint here. 

I would recommend staying away from Blue Table Painting. They have clearly shown time and again that they can not paint to even a table top standard. I would invite you to look at the Blue Table Painting Portfolio. You will notice that the images are very low quality which prohibits zooming in, but also notice that lines are not strait, highlights and washes are over used and blending is quite frankly atrocious. 

Now onto the good. There are a plethora (yea I used a big word) of good professional services out there. They genuinely care about making you happy and providing amazingly well painted miniatures. 

GMM studios is an example of this. They do amazing work fast. They post very high resolution pics and actively engage the community. 

Jolly Rodgers Studios puts out just amazing work. They are out of Poland but man can these dudes paint. 

Les Bursly at Awesome Paint Jobs is another fantastic painter. The things he can do with an airbrush are just out of this world. I am not sure if he is taking commissions right now but if he is and you are in the market I would recommend jumping on it. 

These guys are my favorites. Some of the things Winterdyne has done just blow my mind. Check out the Titan he did for a client. Just the base alone was enough to make him the man, the Titan it's self is just unreal. 
Per Maz he now uses Facebook

The point is that there are some amazing studios out there doing some incredible work. If you are in the market to have someone else paint your models. Please check around. Don't fall for the Blue Table Painting studio line.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Made a Gaming Table!

I've wanted my own gaming table for years now. I've just never had the space to own one effectively. Well today was the day. My 8 year old has been asking to play Warmachine and I really didn't want to drive the 45 minutes to and from the now not so local game store. 

I found a great tutorial online, it looked simple enough and pretty inexpensive to make. Gaming Table Tutorial. I changed it up a bit as I thought that more than two slats underneath for support were over kill. I also used 3/4" MDF board, its quite a bit heaver but a lot more steady. 

So here is what I bought. As I already had a bunch of static grass from back when I used to base 40k models. 

4 ft x 4 ft sheet of plywood
3 pieces of 1"x2"x 8 ft wood strips
Playground Sand 
White Glue

I started by cutting the 1"x2" strips into 2 x 48" and 4 x 46.5". Using these I made the under frame. Then laid it on the table top and secured it with counter sink screws (I had no idea what these were but the carpenter helping me got all giddy when he got to take out a jig thingy and use it to make the holes through the frame). The results were fantastic as we had a perfectly flat top surface with no screws. 

 Then it was time to paint it. I mixed the brown paints with white glue and a bunch of course sand. 

 Here is where things went a bit south and I ran out of paint. I was pretty sure I didn't have enough but my wife had assured me I did....

It was time to improvise. I grabbed the rest of the white glue and laid it down thick. I dumped out a bunch of smooth beach sand and laid down some green flock to make an almost beach head out of the corner of the table.

I really like how it looks but I'm a bit biased as I made the thing. 

Now it gets to dry over the weekend (the shop is closed till Monday). Then I'll hit it with a few coats of varnish and BLAM I have my very own gaming table. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Privateer Press Choir of Menoth 1.0

Yay for painting. I was able to set an hour aside tonight and needed to get some painting done. I don't know how you feel but I get a bit shaky if I don't paint for a while. It's my addiction (just like caffeine but that's a whole other blog).

I decided to keep working on my son's Menoth. I wanted to get a good color scheme down so that I could knock out the unit decently quickly. The thing I have noticed about painting PP models is that there are so few in a unit and so few on the table (compared to things like GW games) that I find myself putting a greater effort into all the models. For example a Space Marine might get 10-15 minutes of my time where as a Chapter Master will take hours. Well with PP stuff it all seems to take hours. That isn't really a bad thing just takes a while to get it all done and painted.

Anywho here is what I was able to get done tonight. I got the golds put down. The gold on the Menofex is Vallejo Alcohol based Old Gold. The shoulder pads are Vallejo Alcohol based Red Gold, and the other lighter stuff is Vallejo Model Color Gold.

The dark red/purple is P3 Sanguinary Red with highlights. The dark metalic is P3 P3 Pig Iron, and the light silver is Vallejo Modal Air Chrome.

The model looks shiny as I took the pictures right after coating it with Varnish for the next step which will be washing. I'm thinking a brown oil wash will really help out here, it should highlight and define the edges on the whites as well as the golds.

Well that's all I have for now. See ya'll in a few days. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It's finally happened! I painted a thing in the new house.

So after all the moving, the personal tragedies that struck, the 101 hours I have put in to work in the last 8 days. I have done it. I have painted stuff.

Let's start at the beginning of this story. My 8 year old plays Menoth. He loves Warmachine. He loves that it's his special thing with me. And he like painting the models. The boy has been fantastic throughout the move and I wanted to get him a special gift. Something to tell him that his good behavior was appreciated.
My no not so local FLGS has had a few used menoth models in the show case for almost a year and I figured it was time to take them home and give them some love. I picked up the Avatar of Menoth for him. Here is what it looks like right now.

This is obviously not the best paintjob and this model deserves everything I can do in my power to make it look great. It really is a center piece to a Menoth army, so off to the Simple Green it went. 

This should take about 48 hours of a soak, then I'll wash and scrub the paint off with an old tooth brush, dry it and then off to prime and repaint.

If you have read this far you are probably wondering what I was talking about when I said I painted a thing. Well your patience is just about to be rewarded.

I also picked up a primed Choir of Menoth.
I started by getting the white base coat down using the airbrush. I used Menoth White Base. Using an airbrush is the best/ easiest way I have found to get a good smooth coat of white onto a model. I didn't want it too start white so I sprayed the white over the black primer and it gave me a pretty good look.

I used a kind of highlight that is actually a bit darker. It's also a bit warmer in color and gives what I think is a good contrast. I used Menoth White Highlight which has a tinge of Khaki to it. I then started to paint the unit assembly line style and did all the browns using Vallejo Game Color - Beasty Brown. This is a great base coat for just about any gold. I also used the old GW - Jack Bone for the parchment.

Well it took us a while but there we are. Tomorrow I hope to get the reds, browns for the leathers, and finally the golds onto these guys so they can be sealed and then washed.

Let me know what you think, you people of the internets.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Move.

Well we are all moved into the new house. Most of the boxes are put away, and we managed not to forget any of the kids.

Sadly we have had a personal tragedy that has consumed our family for the past week and half. I have not had the time or really wanted to touch a paintbrush.

But that is passing and I feel the need to paint. That being said. I want to do something great. Something inspiring. Something that gets the creative juices flowing if you will.

I need ideas. Hit me. Let's see if we can get a few options.

Stay tuned, because I intend to start cranking out models real soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Moving kinda sucks.

Ok the part where you pack all of your stuff into boxes, then carry all of the boxes out to a truck, drive the truck to a new place, and then unpack them sucks.

That being said. I'm glad to be in the new house. It's huge and beautiful and has nice big windows in the basement. I got the painting are set up and now I'm about ready to get some acrylic stuff onto some plastic stuff.

Check out the new digs.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exciting news.

I have not posted in a while and I am truly sorry for that. I love finishing models and putting them out for the wold to see.

However we are packing up the family and moving to a new much bigger house that will actually not be busting at the seems. Sadly this means that I need to pack up my painting area and everything that goes along with it. I am going to try to finish at least one more model and post it up tonight or tomorrow to tide you and me over till we get moved in and all set up in the next two weeks.

On the positive side, my new painting room will actually have real windows that actually will have sunlight! I will also have more room and will be able to set up a light box to take much better pictures.

I look forwarded to sharing more work soon.

Till then pray for my sanity and that nothing gets lost or broken in the move.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

I started working on this guy tonight. I felt the need to paint but still couldn't bring myself back to MacBain.

I like the piper he is a fun model, but I really do not like the studio scheme. It's really bland with too much Khaki for my tastes. I would imagine someone who was crazy enough to go into "battle" with a set of bagpipes would "spruce it up a bit"

All thats really left on this one is to wait for the wash to dry, put him on a base and seal him up.

This picture was taken under my Day light lamp I'm not sure why but everything I do in dark grey just shows as black in the pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2014

2 for 1 night here at the Blog!

Tonight was a bit of magic. Everyone in the house decided (or was told if under 18) to go to bed early.

So what is a man to do? Well if that man is me (and it was) I went and painted. I started out with Orin Midwinter PP solo. The sculpt is a bit dated and the head is particularly bad but hey its a model and so deserving of paint. I went pretty much by the studio color scheme and I really like the subtle gold accent on the cloaks.

He was quick and easy so I decided to knock out another model. Who better than Dirty Meg? Such a cool looking model with lots of tools. The trick I think with her was to add as much color into the accents as possible because of how much metal and how big the apron is compared to the model. I really like how she turned out. 

  Now to let these two dry over night. put them on some nice bases, varnish them up and call it a really good painting day.
Snap Jaw!

I painted this model up about 6 months ago but didn't have a suitable base for him. I finally got some swamp bases from Secret Weapons Miniatures and was able to get him squared away.

Normally I would not leave a model glossy but I figure he is a Gatorman and he would be all wet from jumping out of the murk.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Harlan Phineas Versh, Illuminated One

I went downstairs to paint last night with the full intention of working a bit on MacBain. However I felt completely uninspired to work on him and caught poor Harlan who had been sitting on my painting table for a few months with just the first coat of brown on him, he was just sitting there looking all sad and forgotten....

TL:DR I painted up Versh real quick. This was another one of them "Let's see how it looks in an hour" models. I think it came out really well. I like the tones of browns, I really like the green of the pants and am especially proud of the boots. The only real spots of color that stick out on this model are the golds and the book I did in purple just to add a stark contrast to everything else. I debated between that or red but felt the red would be too close to the brown.

Now just waiting for my new drill bits to get here in the mail and he will be put on a Secret Weapons Miniatures trench base that is already done.

If anyone actually cares, here is the color list

Brown Base - P3 Boot Strap
Grey - Vallejo Model Color -Dark Grey
Gold - Vallejo Model Color - Bright Gold
Silver - Vallejo Model Air - Aluminium
Green - P3 Traitor Green (never used this one before)
Skin - Vallejo Model Color - Flat Flesh with Devlin Mud wash
Purple - Old GW line cant remember the name off the top of my head.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MacBain! 1.0

The one and only Drake MacBain, Ladies and Gentlemen. This model is amazing. It has a ton of detail and really good lines for shading and highlights. At first I was thinking this was going to be another in the line of 1 hour models. I soon realized that it just was not going to happen. So lets see what we can do with him..... I am going to try to get him to a really high table top quality. I will attempting some 2 brush blending on the armour and maybe some shading/highlighting instead of line highlights on this guy. So we shall see how I do.

Here he is primes so you can get a good look at all the detail.

These are what I was able to get done so far. Mostly just laying down the base brown for what will be gold and brass later. The brown I used is Vallejo Game Color Beasty Brown, its a good mid tone and works well for just about all golds. 
The "grey" you see is P3 pig iron. Its a dark metalic that you have seen me use on other models. The flesh is Vallejo Model Color Flat Flesh which is one of the best base colors for skin I have seen yet. 

You will notice in the pics that the sword arm is absent. I took it off for easier painting and will be put back on when its time to complete the model. 

I hope to get the rest of the base colors down tonight. Stay tuned.... Its about to get real (as the kids say).