Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fixing Micro-Cracks in Pewter

Casting errors are an unpleasant fact of life in this hobby.  The ones that can be fixed subtractively (by removing material) are considerable easier to correct than the ones that need to be removed additively.  In the case of the micro cracks seen below in the highlighted area, you will need to fill them or they will show up in your final product.
In terms of additive material, we'll need something that will flow (or be pressed) into the cracks, but not change the surface of the sculpt.  Two part putty is difficult to limit to just the cracks.

The trick is something you probably already have in your kit: Citadel 'ard Coat.  Unlike regular acrylic paint, the varnish is nicely self leveling and isn't as prone to drying with a texture.  Brush a thin coat of varish over the cracks and let dry.  The shiny results are shown here.

After a little Reaper brush-on white primer, the cracks are gone and the surface of the cloth appears unchanged.

Now to go fix the rest of the flaws that show up in the photo....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eldar! Purge the Witches!

Check out the Farseer from my upcoming Biel Tan Eldar army, converted from the limited edition Bonesinger model that was given away with White Dwarf subscriptions a few years ago.  He's mostly stock, with a helmet conversion to move one of the two antlers he had to a rear mounted crest (more in line with the current Farseer models, although I'm still torn on whether he looked better before) and the side "pipes" on the helmet made from Wraithlord fingers (a favorite Kroot snack I hear.)  The singing spear is the Dire Avenger power weapon with a spearhead made from a couple Skaven spear blades from the prior clanrat model glued together, filed, drilled, carved, and now pretty much unrecognizable.

I haven't posted pics on the blogs in a while, mostly because our newer camera is missing again.  I managed to get the eight year old camera and find a huge 16 MB card for it and get this pic.  Why I chose a new conversion over other models I've been dying to photograph is beyond me.  I have painted Bonesingers and warlocks in progress for a conversion job.  I have desperately wanted to photograph and post Matt's huge Tyranid thing that is giving birth to a swarm of rippers.  But, no.  I take one pic and then life get back in the way.... well, enjoy this one anyway.

On a separate note, here are some minis I converted up a while ago but have never painted yet.  You should be able to identify the components, but I'm fairly happy with how they came together.  I was on a bit of a magnet kick, so excuse the minis with different magnetized options shown as different pics.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eldar Help: Mystery Gun

Okay, you old and wizened 40k players.  Please, please tell me what this gun is.  I'm fairly confident the other gun is a shuriken pistol from the similarity to the current miniature range, but what is the highlighted gun?  A fusion pistol?  Something I've never heard of?  I got this fellow (and another old Harly) in a trade and I'm just curious.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Realistic Winter Basing

Materials required: geographic location in SE Michigan.

Yeah, it snows here.  Sometimes a lot.  Then it melts.  Then it snows again.  Yesterday the lawn was almost devoid of snow.

Sorry for the misdirection.  This isn't really about miniature basing... I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of today's fun.  The kids got the day off elementary school but the University is still open, so I'm at work.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

From Wednesday 2/17/10...

Stef: So the girl finished drying my hair and put the hairdryer on the counter, but the weight of the cord pulled it off and it smashed on the floor.  She was bummed because it was a $75 hairdryer.
Me: Does it make me a huge nerd that I immediately thought of the principle of a space elevator when you described that?
Stef: (reassuringly) No....
Me: (whew)
Stef: Sitting there painting a little space alien while I told you made you a huge nerd.

I tell ya, Eldar get no respect.  :-/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Supporting the Narrative

15 years ago, a friend and I were discussing the video game X-COM: UFO Defense (or UFO: Enemy Unknown as it was known in Europe.)  In this game, one controls a squad of operatives as they combat UFO invasion by cleansing crash sites, reverse engineering alien technology and repelling alien terror missions.  This friend of mine told me of another friend of his who played X-COM as though the operatives all had personalities and relationships.  What resulted was as much a one person role-playing game as a strategy game, where she would decide each squad member's actions on the battlefield in a character appropriate way.  If one fellow's girlfriend was in trouble he would take risky action to help protect her.  If a squad member is killed the others would get scared and duck for cover, etc.

I have discovered that this is the most entertaining way for me to play tabletop war games.  Play to win, but do it in such a way that you are telling a story.  When my Harbinger of Menoth was killed, her nearby choir charged the Man-o-war Drakhun that did her in to avenge their beloved leader, blocking the charge of the knights nearby.  Was it the most effective choice?  Probably not.  Did it make for good story?  Definitely.  Was it all the more satisfying when the choir took down the Drakhun on the charge?  Heck, yeah!

So before you drop that unit of Eldar Fire Dragons into the middle of the battlefield with the intent to pop a tank and then get creamed in assault, remember that these are members of a dying race who have lived hundreds of years and tread many paths of expertise.  Would they or their commander throw their lives away in so cavalier a fashion?  Would your Ork warboss hang back from assaulting a unit of Space Marine Veterans because it would leave him in a vulnerable position or would he be barely containing himself to get stuck in?

Give your little toys an identity and you will be rewarded with a compelling story, win or lose.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quote of the Day

Persons A and B are walking on campus....

A: Hydrogen is the most abundant thing on the planet.  Next highest is stupidity.
B: I thought stupidity would be #2.

Neither Scenario Bodes Well

There are only two scenarios I can imagine for how this notice came into being.  Either the public was confused by both "Please Prepay" and "Please Pay in Advance" or someone at the oil company with enough authority to decide the wording on the gas pump signs thought this was a perfectly cromulent use of the language.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Generous Chicken

"Generous Chicken"
Expo Marker on White Board
January, 2010