Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Modelling Commandments

Another wednesday, another humorous rendition of tips to enhance your conduct and attitude in regard to modelling(and gaming), follow or burn in hell!

This week...

Thou shalt not play to the failings of d-bags!*lightning*

We've all got them at our flgs, the guy whom thinks his unbeatable list makes him an amazing strategist, that one kid that can't stop smack talking about certain armies, or the straight-up bully that pushes around the weaker minded and timid young players.

These are all examples of the phenomena known as the d-bag. An individual who by virtue of their own insecurity uses transferral to take the focus off of his failings and place them on those unwilling or unable to dispute their veracity. He mocks others abilities to win games because he himself lacks any perceptible skill. His opponents are not skilled, they can only achieve victory by luck.

It's our responsiblity as veteran members of the gaming and hobby community to stop this kind of bullying and posturing from polluting our environments. I am not, of course, advocating vigilantism in any form, as much as you may want to curb stomp a deserving d-bag. Nor am I saying that you should get into a shouting match with the same person. The best manner to combat these members of our community are to simply prove them wrong. Quietly stand up for that little kid that is being browbeaten by a rules-bending d-bag, referee the match if you want, but do it politely. Is he insisting his list of spammy-cheese is the height of western military strategy? Remind him 1) his unimaginitive list neither enhances the game nor allows him to progress in ability as a player by challenging his skill and 2) he's playing a damn game with tiny plastic men entirely based on chance and the roll of a six-sided dice, get over yourself, d-bag.

Sorry if this might sound "angry", just read it with a little sarcasm. I seriously dislike d-bags, they make me crazy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Landraider from the Depths of Space Pt. II

Well, the initial 24hr soak in simple green couldn't pierce the adamantium hide of the LR. I'm reimmersing this monster and I'll pull her out again in about two days. Well, back to the hobby table, I have some more Fists to work on. Until next time, I love yellow paint!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1/2 an IF squad, LR from the depths of space

Well, I accepted a commission from my pals at the flgs. The above pictured land raider, pattern terminus(see; titan gut-puncher and carnifex smiter) was apparently buried a year ago under detritus and old issues of Maxim in the back room. It was unearthed and presented to me as a painting/modelling challenge. I don't know who built this blocky turd, but they must have forgotten that this is a $50+ model. The lascannons are all split, the antennae on the top portion have been broken off....and to top it all off, whoever based it black poured a bucket of dust on it right after.

Portions of this are totally missing, like a piece right in the front near the forward lascannon emplacement. First order of business is gonna be a therapeutic Simple Green bath, just to get all that craptastic spray paint off. I'll be doing a WIP this week following my progress day-by-day, so keep an eye out to see where this bad boy goes.+-+

Well, well, well. We meet again my Imperial Fists. These are some of my finished IF, lots of applause for GW, as these guys originate from an AoBR tactical squad! I really liked painting these fellas, I even modified the left arm of the sergeant into a powerfist.

Yup. I chopped his poor arm off at the elbow and transplanted a Powerfist onto the stump. It's healing well, and he appreciates all your "Get Well" cards and phone calls of concern. He insisted that I add some extra rivets on his fist to denote all the mighty foes he's stomped out in the name of the Emperor. I drilled small holes for tiny plastic beads taken from a brita water filter, dipped the beads in super glue, and placed them flush into their corresponding holes. The overall effect is very cool. This is just one of the few things I'm going to work on in making my Fists really customized. 'Til next time, I love yellow paint!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Modelling Commandments

Well, that time of the week again my faithful congregation! Warm up the lightning machine, it's- MODELLING COMMANDMENTS!! Coming to you in full 1080p!

This weeks Commandment hits close to home, so let's get to it...

Thou shalt mentor those of lesser skill than thee!*lightning*

Well, some might argue that those of lesser skill aren't worth your time, save for the moment it may take for you to derisively regard their creative output and wryly pronounce it as a poor effort. But those that choose to ignore the opportunity and responsibility inherent in assisting the less experienced reap a bitter harvest. Without the encouragement and guidance of our community, who would even want to paint well? Or play a game proficiently? It is up to the elders and betters of our hobby to mold and shape the future artists and innovators whom could blow us away with their concepts and ideas.

When you see someone struggling at a task or choosing the Wrong(capitals letters here people) color scheme for an army, offer your services and a helpful critique. Remind them about complimentary colors and dissonant colors. Explain the reasoning behind a color wheel. Show them the logic of why some of the basic paint jobs of the Space Marine chapters work so well(I use the SM as an example, the primary color relationships play a large role in how well the miniatures look.). I would say more importantly than turning them into an excellent painter, showing the new guy or poorly trained painter you care and are willing to help them with a difficult task fosters a brotherhood between members of the community. We can pretend all we want that our main concern is toasting asses at this game or being the dominant painter, but what we truly all yearn for is the simple satisfaction of having friends and colleagues that we can learn from and look to when the going gets tough. A mentor is someone you can go to with embarassing or troubling questions we may otherwise not discuss with our normal compatriots. They can be frank and honest about our progress toward what we can regard as a goal we may have set for ourselves. Instruction from online articles can only go so far.

In becoming a mentor, we also enhance our own abilities. The medical profession has a very common proverb that goes like this, "See one, do one, teach one.". Now while that may apply to procedure done in a hospital environment, it's very applicable to our hobby. We first observe others completing a task, do it ourselves, and then we teach others. This process is of great benefit to ourselves as well as others because it is all about learning. By teaching others we can refine our own techniques and examine the inefficiencies we may have missed in the process of constant repitition. Being a mentor isn't always about the student, often it can be about the teacher.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Modelling Commandments

Well, time for my weekly post on how to be a better Warhammer enthusiast, that's right kids its Modelling Commandments! Now in HD!
This weeks Commandment hits home for all of us, because it's about our home away from home; your Freindly Local Game Store!
Thou Shalt Patronize Thy FLGS!!*thunder*
Our Batcave, our Fortress of Solitude, our Central Perk...the focal point and sanctuary for gaming culture; the Freindly Local Game Store. Maybe it's populated by redshirts. It could be a baseball card store that has had to "diversify" and it has a single table and barely any stock. Perhaps a pal of yours cashed in his Star Wars toy collection to live the dream. Whatever it may be, these hubs of activity are integral to our gaming world, especially because of the nature of our hobby. We need venues and local suppliers to keep our game alive. I have always HATED the toolbox whom walks into my store, looks at the racks for an hour all the while scoffing at the prices of the merchandise, and then criticizes the clerk/owner for "charging too much!". He then leaves in a huff declaring "I'll buy online, it's cheaper anyway!". On the weekends though, he deigns to lower himself and come by the store and use the free access to tables, terrain, and the companionship of other players. Now, I'm not advocating what Ron Saikowski's area store does , but I do see the mathematics behind buying at my local store. I refuse to pay for table access. I keep those tables free by keeping my store open by buying their products. In keeping that store open, I enhance the hobby and keep new players coming in. I live in Maine. Check out the northeast on for stores selling/promoting this hobby. I'll wait. Back again? Awesome. Yeah, slim pickings in Maine. I live near Bangor, and 3 Geek Games is the only serious store for 200 miles. It's one of the only partnership level stores in New England; thats Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, AND Maine. Imagine if 3 Geek went out of business. I would have to drive 2 hours to get a simple game of Warhammer in on a weekend, forget about just popping in to say "Hi" either. The toolbox buying online is robbing himself and everybody else of not only a local venue, but the very culture that grows at these strange gardens. And why stop at just dumping liquid cash into your FLGS? Why not bring the most valuable commodity a store can get; new customers. Introduce someone to the game. If you see someone wandering around the store and they seem lost or maybe the clerk is busy with someone else, take it upon yourself to be a salesman for your hobby(with careful permission from those that work there, of course). A good tip I always follow for people just starting out and who are clueless; AoBR. If you don't know, then now you know. AoBR is the best advice. You could also ask the shop if there is any painting that needs doing. Maybe you could even make some terrain for the tables, or do maintenance on said tables! Your store will appreciate it, and it's owner will be touched by your willingness to really make the venue "owned" by the patrons.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A wild DREADNOUGHT appears!! Duel? Y/N

Here it is, fresh off the bench! Meet my Ironclad Dreadnought, Malatesta! I put a few more coats of yellow ink on him(thanks BigWill for pushing me not to give up on the Wil Davies method), and this is the result. I went whole hog and built the base all from scratch to match the base on my Mortis pattern Dread, I cut up pieces of plastic card, glued them together by their flat sides, then filed and drilled them to look rocky and craggy. I included some debris to aproximate a piece of vehicle armor, which you may not be able to see the Iron Warriors logo on, but the hazard stripes do a good job of intimating it's origin. The banner is my favorite part on this piece. I have always wanted to freehand a starfield onto a banner...and when the idea well ran dry, I figured to try my hand at it. I started with a chaos black, good and thick for consistent coverage, moved it to midnight blue, then enchanted blue. I ended the color at a lightened sky blue. The effect I wanted was the gloaming before the dawn, as the latin phrase on the right and left sides reads "Ut duliculo, sic nostromo justicia", or, "As dawn, so our justice". The motto means that, well, you pretty much have as much hope in stopping Malatesta from getting where he wants to be as stopping the impending dawn from breaking. The stars were accomplished by painting skull white in "+" signs and then rounding out the insides(does that make sense?). They still needed more, as all stars I think of ever seeing in pictures have a fuzziness to their shape, like a lack of defintion. I watered down a bit of skull white, maybe 10:1, and lightly applied it to the compass points of the stars. I then did some pointalism back ground stars for a bit of contrast. The three stars represent the three main branches of the traditions of the Sons Of Dorn; Imperial Fists, Black Templars, and the Crimson Fists.

Here on the right knee pad, I had a bit of a happy accident. I had given these pieces a simple green bath and while cleaning the knepad for this shin...I lost it and it fell down the drain. I was LIVID. I nearly scrapped the whole project, then and there. I dove into my bitz box for an answer. While sorting sort Empire WHFB bitz, I came across a sprue of unused shields, Lo and behold! a beautiful shield depicting a skull and a laurel! I based her black, threw on some red foundation and highlighted it, POW! instant kneepad replacemment. I call the decoration this modification represents "The Crimson Laurel". The story behind it is that any battle brother recieving, and surviving, grievous harm in the service to the Imperium is awarded this Laurel, representing his blood spilt for the greater realm of man.

Friday, January 1, 2010

When is yellow not yellow?

When it's vomit brown! I've finished a brand new Ironclad Dreadnought and I tried some new things with my layers to make the piece more yellow. I even switched up my brand of yellow ink to match what Wil Davies did. Alas, I was disappointed. The color can't seem to get to that yellow. They would make an excellent group of Howling Griffons.....but not Imperial Fists. I have to scrap my whole group of IF marines I have done; 5 devastators, 2 dreadnoughts, 1 razorback. I'm doing some experimentation with Sunburst Yellow and Vomit Brown, and I came up with some really nice mixes with a 2:1 ratio. I'm also going to bring the design on home as it were, and make the trim color the traditionally seen red on the shoulder pads and chest design.
This has been bothering me for a while now, when Johnny Buzzkill at my FLGS said "Wow. those are orange." I tried to keep myself on track and ignore his criticism. But I couldn't, cause he was right. It's never easy to admit that something may be beyond your skill level, and I'm afraid this task of turning my hand at this technique of painting yellow has eluded me. Not to despair, I can develop my own system of painting yellow! I should have a group painted up by the end of sunday, so I'll try to post 'em and get on top of developing my paint scheme. Perserverence!!