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Thursday
Sep112014

101 Things to Do with Craters #2

Terrain Making – I finally had a chance to get back to the series I started a few weeks ago. As I mentioned then I have a mold I made for craters back when they were a thing needed for Warhammer 40K. As such i don't want it to go to waste so I'm working on various terrain sets that use some or all of the crater to create unique items from a common mold.

The set I'm working on now is a themed board that uses the colors I typically use for a desert set combined with some plastic plants to make a jungle-esque set of terrain. I'm planning on redoing my main 4'x6' board and as such I want to make most of my new terrain sets in colors that will match what I have planned. This will hopefully make it so I don't feel obligated to do a new board base every time I make a new set of terrain.

Anyway after constructing the rocky sections using my craters and insulation foam I glued them down to some 1/4" MDF shapes. I find using this for terrain is very sturdy and it's easy to cut. It does take a bit more work as you need to sand the edges to get a good transition but in the end this is worth the work.

After gluing everything down I coated it with thinned down wood glue and covered it with my mixture of sand, kitty litter and various broken bits of plaster. I allowed this to dry for a few hours in the sun.

While that was drying a made a quick trip to Home Depot and had them color match the hobby colors I use for my miniature bases in a flat latex paint. A quart of each should last me through several sets of terrain so it's well worth the investment. I've also found that premium house paint stands up to the rigours of game play for terrain sets better than craft paint.

I based coated everything with my brown and then went back in to dry brush with the sandstone color. At first blush these look pretty good. I then went into the pools and painted them with a bright green. I plan on making these slim/acid pools to bring in some more color to the set as well as giving it a slightly other-worldly appearance.

UP NEXT: Apply a wash of brown ink to get the color to match my bases better and to do more detail work on the slim pools. Then glue down the vegetation.

Tuesday
Sep092014

On the painting table ... Guard your Grill

Warhammer 40,000 – I suck. Plain and simple I've been sitting on this job for far to long. Part of the problem is the client has provided no deadline and has most of his other stuff that is playable so this is really just a bunch of stuff he got a good deal on and wants to match his other models. This is great for me as it means I just paint when I have a chance between other jobs but it also sucks because I feel guilty for having this for so long. 

I've been swamped with some more recent jobs lately mostly Relic Knights stuff because the game finally released and seems to be doing well with my client base. With summer coming to a close I'm hoping the kids will get back to their regular sleeping schedule as it gets dark sooner and I'll be able to pick up a few more hours of quality painting time. With a one and three year old running around it's hard to set up in the family living spaces to paint as they have a tendency to want to look with their hands and distract me from what I'm doing. Which is cool because they both love what dad does but it also means it's hard to get in the groove. My wife is cool with me setting up in the basement and griding away on my modeling projects but I feel guilty not spending time with the family.

So I've become a bit of a late night painter and as a result have gone back to relying on Red Bull to get me through the day. (which is not good as that stuff is terrbile for you) Let's hope I can work out a happy medium with the changing seasons.

On to the actual work. These are pretty straightforward Three-Color++ jobs, basically a basic paint job with a wash and some minimal base work. With guard armies this tends to be what you see most of the time just because of the sheer volume of models on the table. (not to mention the limited time they live on the table before being relegated to the dead pile) 

Thursday
Sep042014

Comic Sans ...

Random – As of late I've been reading a lot of graphic novels. I recently found that through our library collective I'm able to put holds on books from any library in the system and as it turns out that system has a bunch of comics. So I've taken a break from novels as I wait for the Horus Heresy stuff to be released in mass market paperback (I refused to pay more than $10 for bolter porn). I've been catching on on stuff that I missed.

When I was younger I spent every dollar I had on comics and was big into them throughout the early nineties. High school and college took my interests in other more social directions and as such I pretty much abandoned buying monthly comics. I'd still pop into the books stores on occasion and pick up stuff that the cover caught my eye but I wasn't really following much. Flash forward to the early 2000's and I got back into gaming and started picking up some trade paperbacks to see what I missed and wasn't really impressed so comics once again took a backseat.

With the boom of comic movies I found myself back in the comic shop picking up random books and was lucky to find some stuff that was really good. As an adult I can't really justify dropping $50+ on comics each month to keep up. So with the amount of trades the library has available I'm catching up again.

The first thing I checked out was the complete run of Classic Deadpool. The series started strong but towards the middle things got really weird and I started to lose interest. Then it picked up again at the end of the series and transitioned to Agent X. That run of the book was really fun and I was a big fan. There is an arc that is a play on Three's Company with Titana and Constrictor which was also really good. The book is really all over the place and Deadpool's nemesis T-Ray is a super lame character whcih drug it down for me quite a bit.

Next up I re-read the Infinity Gauntlet. It doesn't hold up as well as one would expect but I still really liked it. Part of the issue I think is how lightly killing half of the universe is handled. One or two pages doesn't have quite the impact you'd expect.

The Infinity Gauntlet lead me into some of the more recent Cosmic stories. I used to really liked the 31st century Guardians of the Galaxy. I really like what they're doing with the Marvel Cosmic stories War of Kings and Annihilation . So much so that I have every single thing that has Marvel, Cosmic or Thanos tagged for a hold so I can read it.

I also gave the Marvel Zombies stuff a second try. The first time around I didn't really like the first book. That hasn't changed, the concept is way better than the execution in my opinion. With the third series and the ones that came after the story was much stronger and I really enjoyed what they did with Machine Man and Howard the Duck. It was a fun read and kept me engaged throughout the whole story.

Finally I picked up Thunderbolts and some of the Civil War stuff. Not a big fan of the Initiative. The concept was good and it started strong but they just couldn't keep it up and I lost interest towards the end. The Thunderbolts was the same it started strong with a cool team and then transitioned to something I had no interest in. (I picked up the first issue of the current series for the cover and hated the interior art).

In summary it seems that comics are way to hit or miss for me these days. When I find something good it's amazing. But when it's bad it's awful and much of what's out there doesn't interest me, so I'm going to stick with my current plan of only buying covers I dig to use as art in my gameroom and make use of the library for the rest of my reading. If you're interested in what I've been reading check out the link to Shelfari in the sidebar, this is a cool little site that helps me keep track of what I've read and share it on my blog with the widget.

Sunday
Aug312014

Five Years...Wow

Today marks the Fifth Anniversary of this site. I'd like to thank all my readers old and new for your support.

It's hard to believe how fast time flies. When I started this site my wife and I had just moved into our home and I was primarily working as a freelance designer. I launched this site to pursue my dream of turning my hobby into a primary job. On the hobby side Malifaux was just launching, Kickstarter didn't exist, and smart phones were just beginning to take off.

Over the course of the past five years I've welcomed my two sons into the world, got custody of my daughter, found a stable graphics job and buried our two dogs. This site has grown and I find it amazing the number of people from all over the world that regularly read about my hobby adventures. (Of course it'd be nice if there were more comments...Hint, Hint.) Through this site I've also met many interesting people and want to thank my clients for their patronage. 

Check back often as I intend to continue to provide hobby tips, reviews and commentary on a regular basis.

Thanks again for your support! 

Friday
Aug222014

On the painting table ... boosted

Relic Knights – One of the cooler thing about Relic Knights is the idea of boosts. These are small tokens/models you can buy with extra points to fill out your list. Not only does this give you something to spend that random 1-3 points on but it also adds a cool little "power-up" that you put out on the field. 

As part of the Kickstarter they included a set of these for every two factions you purchased. They should match up with the boosts so it's easy to recognize what they are on the table (although I wish they included a key on the box so it was easier to tell what's what).