Friday, March 31, 2017

Salt weathering Warhammer 40K terrain pieces

A few years ago I saw a tip in White Dwarf about salt weathering a tank. It is an effective technique to get a 'rust coming up through the paint look'. I thought it looked very interesting but as I was busy painting Tyranids at the time I did not have much of a chance to paint rust. My current project with rusted space ship (or industrial) terrain gave me a chance to grab the old White Dwarf and look up how to do this:

Oh no! Rusty surface upset Genestealers! You don't want Genestealers to be upset! Or do you?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Making your own Typhus Corrosion

I love the Citadel Technical paint called Typhus Corrosion. It adds a grayish brown color to whatever you apply it to while at the same time adding texture. I've used it on tank tracks, Nurgle daemons and various undead models. As an example the sword of this Great Unclean One was painted with Typhus Corrosion then drybrushed with Ryza Rust and Leadbelcher.

All that and halitosis too...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

First set of four tiles for my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 4)

Okay maybe I'm making slightly too many updates, but I have gotten carried away a bit here so why not... Using my patented quick and sloppy painting style I've decided to call the first four tiles for my modular space ship interior (or industrial) terrain set finished (for now). I'll probably add some more detail after expanding the set and painting more. Now for the big question, do I go for the fun of showing what I have, do I type an exciting tutorial on my own Typhus Corrosion mix or do I spend some words on salt weathering. Nah, finished terrain first, lots of words later (this week probably).

Watch out where the Space Wolves go, and don't you eat that yellow snow.

Rattlecan gun-fu on my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 3)

Yesterday saw the start of Dutch spring with temperatures reaching a scorching 20 degrees (Celcius which equals 68 Fahrenheit. Yes, I'm not a summer person so don't get me started on 30C+ peaks in high summer! Anyway with a late-afternoon hour to waste I had a chance to do some rattlecan gun-fu in the garden instead of in the shed. Who can say no to an escape from poisonous fumes (although my paint filtering mask helps there (hint hint to everyone not owning one of these)). As an added bonus working outside adds a chance of unwanted sand and leaves falling on your terrain. A chance at some chaos! Nice! I went for it. For the curious here is the end result of an about an hour of spraying with rattlecans.

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only rust.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More test buildings for my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 2)

After a successful start on the first tile for my modular space ship interior for Warhammer 40K and most likely the upcoming game Shadow War: Armageddon I spent a large chunk of my Sunday filling more tiles bringing the total to four.

With a bit of imagination this is starting too look like something sci-fi.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Materials, plans and a test building to build a Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 1)

White Dwarf magazine had a beautiful bit of space ship terrain a few years back. A complete 28mm scale half-open Ork Kruiser for toy soldiers to fight over. At a glance I would guess it to be around 120cm x 60cm x 60cm big. I want to build something like that but, as my mansion is currently in the 'aspiring to one day maybe live in one'-stage, I don't have the room to store or display a model of that size (don't get me started on the storage of my vampire castle). So I have been planning to build the next best thing for quite some time now: modular space ship interior terrain.

Yes this modular bit of 40K terrain still needs some paint...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Warhammer Age of Sigmar app on the desktop

Wouldn't it be nice to have the Age of Sigmar app available on the desktop? I thought it would, but unfortunately right now Games Workshop focuses its development on Apple and Android (and thank you GW for not going Apple exclusive!). Luckily development for Android solves the problem.

Through emulation the Warhammer Age of Sigmar app is available on your desktop.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finished the Spire of Dawn Aelfs

As I mentioned in my previous post, returning to Warhammer Fantasy at 8th edition was not a pleasant experience. As a result I never finished painting the High Elfs or Skaven in te box. I did paint a Dragon Lord as a fun project and a Dark Elf Sorceress because that miniature is awesome. But it took Age of Sigmar to get me fully back into the hobby. I focused on my old Skaven then got into Death and Destruction until finally landing on my old High Elfs or Aelfs as they are called now. Last week I decided to rebase the old miniatures and started painting the last unpainted unit from my box: the Lothern Sea Guard, now known as Spireguard. And with some pride I can report that they have been painted. Here is my small Aelf army as it stands.

The warriors of the Spire of Dawn (and friends) stand ready to defend it against the insidious Skaven.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rebasing the Island of Blood to Spire of Dawn

The Island of Blood boxed set was released in 2010 to go along with Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th edition. As I wanted to get back into fantasy to complement my 40K stuff I got the box (and a collector's edition of the 8th edition rulebook). I started off painting a Skaven clanrat. Then tried a few games in 8th and quickly dropped that idea. To each his own, but my experiences playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th where not positive.

The Island of Blood set languished in the shed. As this was before I thought of project boxes the miniatures kind of spread out ending up in bits boxes, behind paint pots and beneath the workbench. When AoS launched I grabbed my ancient (1991) Skaven Army and had fun playing fantasy for the first time in (literally) decades. I quickly (it took a whole day (messy me)) cleaned out my work area in the shed and to my joy rediscovered my Skaven. These have all been painted and the Skaven half of a second IoB set joined the first.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A bunch of Kairic Acolytes join the warband

Aside from the project boxes I mentioned earlier on my blog I also have project trays. These are actually just box lids that contain models I'm currently working on (or that I'm planning to work on). On one of these were twenty Kairic Acolytes. I finished ten of them about a week ago and this weekend I made myself sit down and finish the other ten. Here is the glorious unit of twenty ready to wreak havoc on the battlefield (or more likely die in horrible squishy ways).

Hi would you like to join our cult? We offer a free gym membership to every acolyte!

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Siege of Fictitia

To celebrate the fact that I finished my new siege towers, I placed my Realm of Battle board outside, took some old Morheim terrain and a city wall out of their storage containers and made a little display I dubbed 'the Siege of Fictitia'. The ragtag defenders serve as a reminder that I really should build a full Order army somewhere this year. Let's not waste to much words and just go for a bunch of pictures now.

Here is a birds eye view of the final assault on Fictitia by the Warband of Malagor the Malicious, sorcerer lord of Tzeentch.

Painting the Age of Sigmar siege towers (part 4)

There is going to be a murder of posts today as I finished up the paintwork on my siege towers. To celebrate (and to show off) I made a separate series of 'narrative' photo's that will be posted in a second post. First the finished paint job.

You're facing the wrong way you idiots!

Khorgos Khul, mighty lord of Khorne

Sometimes I need a quick break from one project to start a new one. At other times (better times?) I use the need to take a break to quickly pick up a project I left (years) earlier. In this case I left the ink on my siege towers to dry. picked up Khorgos Khul and bravely tried to follow Duncan's example of how to paint him. I'm not Duncan, but I'm still pretty pleased with how he turned out.

He's mighty, he's a lord and he has a gigantic skull rune on his back, he must be a mighty lord of Khorne!
I think the models in the Age of Sigmar starter set (and most models that have been produced in the past few years) are awesome. But painting them is turning out to be harder then I expected. Maybe it is all the detail that is there waiting to be screwed up by me, but it is giving me trouble. Still I will not be ashamed if I put this guy on the tabletop. I'm especially happy with the evil eyes on Grizzlemaw (the Flesh Hound). The old paint white first, yellow second rule still applies there.

I Duncan'ed the hell out of that yellow stripe on his back (well I tried to).
I started painting this model the week after the Age of Sigmar Starter Set came out. I was just trying some new things with my airbrush and discovered just how much paint you can accidentally apply to a miniature. I also learned that you should not try to fix too much airbrushed paint by 'wetblend airbrushing' another color on it. To spare you (or myself the telling of) a lot of embarrassing mistakes it was a mess drowned in paint.

Hide the keys to the blood bank! A Mighty Lord of Khorne approaches!
Khorgos spent the last few years on 'to do trays' in project boxes and for a while discarded on my workbench ready to be thrown into the trashcan. That was until I decided to test a new paint stripper and write a blog about stripping paint from miniatures. If you look at the last picture of that post, you can see Khorgos's cloak on the same tissue as the Tree Lord. I had to reassemble to model, discovered his 'kinky handcuffs' have gone missing and had to pin and reattach his axe. I also had to green stuff a rather big gap on the right shoulder (his right) of the cloak.

Now to paint the rest of his friends....
The base is a story in and of itself. I was planning to make lava bases for my Khorne host, but it turned out te be a bad idea. Lava is orange/white and the base of my Khorgorath did not give a proper contrast to the model. As I had already pre-textured all the bases for my Khorne characters I had to do something with it. I decided to go for a filthy shallow stream. This give me an excuse to paint it green which makes for amazing contrast with the red armor. I added some Vallejo water paste to  the textured and painted stream for even more watery effectiveness.

All in all, I'm rather happy with the result and glad I did not bin this champion. Now back to the siege towers....

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Detailing the Age of Sigmar siege towers (part 3)

Now this project went rather faster then expected. I planned to be working on it over the course of a few weeks, but I seem to have finished it within three evenings (and a few lunch breaks and a bit of a Sunday afternoon). Lets start of with the result just prior to painting.

"Where is the castle? Why didn't you stop when we passed that nice looking peasant to ask for directions?"

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Paneling the Age of Sigmar siege towers (part 2)

On sunday I built two barebones skeleton to make my siege towers. Yesterday evening I continued with the project, first focusing on paneling the towers (and putting floors in) and making a start with the detailing. This morning my towers looked like this.

The siege towers need a bit more work before they can be used to storm the walls.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Scratch building siege towers for Age of Sigmar (part 1)

This weekend I decided I need siege towers in my life. That is to say on the battlefield. I have scratch built a rather nice collection (IMHO) of ruined Mordheim buildings, I have a plastic city wall and there is an amazing collection of war scroll that allows you to host some spectacular sieges using Age of Sigmar rules. What is lacking in are a couple of siege towers (and maybe a battering ram). So without further ado let's go for minimal planning and maximal cutting. Measure once, cut twice and other idiocies that make scratch building fun. To relieve the suspense slightly, this is the result of a few hours of hacking and slashing.

No plastic wall will be safe once these siege towers are finished.
Before I got there I had to pick up my bundle of balsa wood. I love this for scratch building. It is extremely soft so you can cut and modify it with fancy tools like a blunt scalpel, you fingernails or whatever you grabbed when you randomly took something of the table. Balsa wood is available in different thicknesses and sizes, I occasionally take a bundle of 5mm x 5mm 'beams' and 5mm x 1mm 'planks' with me from the local crafts store, it helps to have some to hand if the hobby itch takes you in directions that require balsa wood. Next up was laying out some tools and eight Lego wheels (I bought too many of these when I discovered the size was only slightly too large for Warhammer/Aos purposes.

A pot lid full of paint and PVA, cocktail sticks, cotton swabs and Lego wheels, I fear we've entered the home of a wargamer.
In the meantime these Lego wheels served me well to spruce up the Black Coach (the wheels that come with it are too tiny I think).

I love this model even more with the larger wheels stuck on, it just feels right.
For the next step consisted I looked at pictures of the old Games Workshop/Citadel siege tower and found some directions as to the size of it of (a touch under 4 1/2 inches wide, 7 and 1/3 inches tall and the bottom of the door is 3 1/2 inches from the ground). I took a wall from the old plastic Citadel fortress and used it to take my own measurement and draw up a quick sketch of the tower to be (pictured on the red post-it below).

Bits of balsa wood cut to size and my deeply thought out construction plan (har, har). Also the protective cap of my scalpel without the scalpel in it. That is troubling if you consider my long list of self inflicted scalpel cuts...
One of the many great attributes of balsa wood is its ability to act as a sponge for PVA glue. I have a technique for making doors with it. It consists of gluing the bits that will make the door to some masking tape, draining it in PVA and removing the tape after drying (maybe I should make a tutorial on this later on). I tried the same on the frame of the siege towers.

The front sections of the siege towers have been covered in PVA, next up using a cotton swap to flatten down the layer of PVA.
For those of you wondering why I'm working on two at the same time. I think a single siege tower will look lonely on a battlefield. Knowing my own fickle mind the odds of me making a second siege tower after finishing the first one (within a normal human time frame) are rather low. So I made two instead of one. The beam on top was supposed to be the 'roof' of the tower that will feature wooden battlements for archers to shoot down from.

Getting carried aay, glueding side beams onto the side sections of the siege towers. Also the scalpel is still uncovered and at large somewhere.
Here is a shot of all sides from the tower drying before final assembly. I usually take my scalpel to all balsa wood prior to assembly, cutting of random slivers to make it look well worn. I decided not to do that yet on these towers. The entire frame will be dressed with more wood anyway and I'll just cut a bit into the visible parts later.

Removing masking tape from a glued join. 
After giving the glue (barely enough) time to dry I took the masking tape off to check the connection and assemble the towers. This was a bit disappointing a the construction turned out to be very rickety. Now I might assume the towers will get more strength and body as I add planks to them (and after I have given the glue a proper amount of time to dry), but I'm worried that the pieces will fall apart under the stress of gaming. So I decided to skip the glue and use needles for the construction instead. Did I mention everything works on balsa wood?

Glue not working, let's use needles instead. Happily I had a box of these around to simulate rivets with.
As needles require somewhere around zero minutes to dry before forming a connection I could assemble my two towers at a remarkable speed.

Well they are starting to look rather siege towery, aren't they?
Next came the important bit. Finding out if 'measure once, cut twice' is a smart replacement for doing this the other way round.

Now I know why the defenders kept giggling during my construction, perhaps I should build a wooden rabbit in stead. 
It turns out, that it isn't. The tower will have three floors. The top one will be the battlements that need to be higher than the city wall (that will work with this model). The second floor will feature a large drawbridge that the invaders can use to assault the battlements on the city wall. In the current design the invaders will have to crawl onto the drawbridge as the ceiling is too low to stand up. Now I have to admit that I'm not a HEMA-expert (neither Historical European Martial Arts nor the Dutch HEMA store), but I think crawling towards motivated defenders is not the best approach to combat. Luckily I used pins instead of glue. That made it possible to pull the top off the siege tower and replace the rear beams with longer ones. This raises the siege tower to proper heights.

The giggles have been silenced, my siege tower is officially high enough!
Next up was an easy part, cutting axles for the Lego wheels. I glued these in with a drop of PVA to each side. I'll see how I'll mask any ugly bits after the towers are fully assembled.

Let's put some axles to the wheels!
As the last step I glued a number of wooden coffee stirrers to the sides of the tower to start dressing them up. The nice thing about coffee stirrers (aside from being extremely cheap and managing quite well to look like heroic scale planks) is that these can be cut with scissors. So I just glue them on whole and cut them to size after they've dried (this also answers why you see all those bits of coffee stirrer on my work area). I also remembered (just in time) to add 'beams for the two floors inside the towers.

Okay, they still need quite a bit of work, but the basic framework is place. 
At this point I really had to step back and give the project a bit of time too dry, but I think I'm heading in a reasonable direction (towards the walls so to speak). Next up floors, ladders, walls, an interesting drawbridge and the battlement section on top. After that see how motivated I am to add some impressive details. Oh yeah and painting them.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Badlands scatter terrain for Age of Sigmar

With the sun up and the glue (mostly) dry, I had a chance to make a few pictures of the new bone terrain. Here it is. If you want to replicate this project click on the Badlands terrain set link to the top right of this page (or beneath the second home button if you're using a mobile device). I've added some models to give a better sense of scale.

Painting and flocking badlands scatter terrain

Thursday over lunch I remembered I had a small dropper bottle of the Vallejo Wash I was waiting for. So why not use that and refill the bottle from the big tub when it arrives. Well done me! And it only took me a week to get to think of that... Anyway that gave me the chance to wash the bones and let them dry making it possible to finish this terrain project last night. Without further ado here are the bones for my Badlands Terrain set.

Now these are some bones to cower between. Or was that to take cover between? However you wish to use it, it is a finished set of badlands scatter terrain.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Stripping paint from plastic warhammer miniatures

Getting rid of a (bad) paint job on a Warhammer miniature is a universal wish. With metal miniatures it is easy. You toss them in a pot of aceton (or in the bad old days in paint thinner) let them soak for a day (or a week), grab a (hopefully old) toothbrush and start scrubbing. Dump model back in the aceton and repeat as needed. Stripping paint of metal is easy and I'm not going to waste more words on it. In this post I'm more interested in stripping paint of plastic models. As the wait for my order of a large tub (bathtub full) of Vallejo Sepia wash is slightly longer then expected I got a chance to try a new method of stripping paint of my plastic models.
(update with extra scrub at the end of the post)

Who will rid me of this turbulent paint job!