Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stupidly Easy Tabletop Gold

I'm painting some gold power armor, and I am pretty happy with the gold tones I'm getting currently. Here is the stupidly easy recipe. It works great with you have multiple models to paint gold. Remember to let each step dry adequately before going on to the next.
1. Paint the area (or entire model in this case) Vallejo Model Air silver. The brand is important here. Model Air silver goes on incredibly smooth and even. What you are seeing in the pic is one coat, and not a thick one. It comes fairly thin out of the bottle. Once you try this you will abandon all others.

2. Wash with yellow ink. In this case I used Privateer Press's version. Keep the ink moving to avoid it pooling any one place too thick. It's hard to screw this step up unless you didn't wait long enough for the silver to dry or to proceed to the next step before the ink is dry. I tried mixing the yellow into into the silver to try for the same effect but it came out looking like antique gold, not nearly as vibrant as I wanted.

3. Heavy wash sepia. Use this to get contrast where things connect and basic deep shadow washing. Try not to let it pool on a surface too bad, but even if it does that's not terrible.

4. Heavy drybrush bright gold. In this case I used VGC Polished Gold. Make sure to hit any areas where the wash made tide marks. After gold, drybrush very selectively with silver to get top highlights.

That's it! You could probably go more lightly on step 4 if you wanted the gold more yellow, or maybe just apply the sepia wash more precisely so less correction is needed.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Die In 1000 Fires

I cannot say enough good things about FTL. After hundreds of plays, I still have not won it, and yet I keep playing. In that sense it's like Nethack, and just like that venerable favorite death is permanent, "hardcore" if you will. It's hard (at least to me.) Most games I play end something like this:
The game itself is a race across a series of randomly generated star maps, jumping from system to system and either fighting other ships, rescuing castaways (who may be helpful or suicidal and destructive) and trading at shops for better weapons and systems. 

Eventually you will encounter all the various planet/ship combinations, but the game continues to be fun. Unlocking new ships though various challenges only adds to the challenge. I have taken to calling the game "Die In A Fire" for good reason. Like Nethack, dying is frustrating and so very much fun.

It's available for only $6.99, for Windows, Mac and (gasp) Linux. I play the Linux version. Go buy it! Now!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Standard Template Construct Contest Voting

Voting is open in the Standard Template Construct Champion of Chaos contest. There are some fantastic entries, too!

So go and vote on best painted and best converted. Of course, if you wanted to cast your vote for Chaos Fan I wouldn't be disappointed.

Converting the Helbrute With No Plan .. Part 3

So in my completely unplanned quest to make this gentleman of a Helbrute look something different than the stock model I decided that the very prominent "halo of horns" should be changed. I liked the multi-level mouth thing, but the big rack is too much. So I cut that piece in half...
 ...and the result definitely reveals the crazy face better. It has more of a dreadnought feel too. The other Helbrute I have uses the horns, so this one should look different.
 One thing I never noticed us how much that front armor piece looks like a cyclops face. Also, his many, many abs kind of resemble the roof of a mouth. Maybe if I...
Oh yeah. Big scary mouth ready for more converting. It's just poster-tacked in right now, and I can't decide whether to remove the large horns. I could also add a tongue. Since I already have one Slaaneshi Helbrute I figured when I bought the thing that I would make this one Nurgle. Now as I convert him I don't know which direction to take. Deciding Nurgle or Slaaneshi would definitely affect how I model a tongue.

Anyway, this continues to keep my attention, so stay tuned for more!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Converting the Helbrute With No Plan .. Part 2.5

Not quite enough for a part 3. I worked on the scourge base/ends some and modded up a Reaper Autocannon for him, and I'm getting happier with the results.

Maybe I'll sacrifice a plasma cannon from my loyalist venerable dread for this guy, or maybe a devastator plasma cannon. I will probably scratch built lascannons using styrene and vehicle sprue bits.

No more converting tonight.... part 3 sometime in the future!

Converting the Helbrute With No Plan .. Part 2

So last we visited this guy, he had lost his multi-melta barrels and his power fist arm and gained a couple styrene tubes on which to mount future weapons (I guess everything in 40k counts as "future weapons" but that's not what I meant.)

I still don't have a plan. Well, I have the most basic of guidelines... "make him look different."

Okay, the gun arm needs some changing. Let's saw it off. It's almost like this model was designed for straight saw cuts. I'm really liking the alignment of everything.
This would be much more difficult without a saw.
 Next, that odd "left arm up" pose needs to change more, so let's cut the legs off.
Count the arms, the legs, the heads and then divide by 5

 Now put the legs back on, but trying now to give him a more upright posture. To accentuate this I elevated the right leg a little and cut the integral basing off the left leg. I positioned him squashing a Striking Scorpion. Someone had given me the model without a sword arm, so I cannibalized one from a Harlequin (assuring the Harly that he would get a H's kiss later) and semi-buried the sword to look as if the SS is being embedded in mud ... or something.... I didn't have much og a plan.

That said, the posture a quite a bit different. I decided to keep "crazy face" as is. That's a little too much conversion for me right now. Maybe on another one I'll just make that a big mouth with a tongue coming out. Hmmm. Maybe I'll still do that....
Next, I figured I'd give him a power scourge. S8 AP2, and it lowers the weapon skill of models in base contact. While this may be good against a small unit it falls apart against anything with more models engaged (within 2" of a model in base contact) than actually in base contact. Since you use the majority weapon skill of the engaged models, this guy won't be getting an advantage from the lower WS on any unit larger than about 5 models. Those in base contact use their actual WS to attack, so theoretically he could get hit on 5+ instead of 4+ or on 4+ instead of 3+. So why take a power scourge if it costs 10 points more and is on the whole worse than a power fist? I don't know! You act like I had a plan in all this! I just wanted it to be different.

In coming up with a mounting for the power scourge, I ended up gluing the arm that I had just cut off right back where it was originally. That's the risk when you don't have a plan I suppose. I then cut the arm at the armor point and carved down the back of it enough to fit the forearm shield over it. Cutting left a hole in the arm, which I used to connect the individual lashes of the scourge. I wanted something blade-like at the end of each, so I cut the fingers off the power fist and attached them.

The end result? I hate it. 

Seriously awful. Let's see what we can do to fix that.
First, I shortened each of the lashes by about 30%. Then I rebent them to go up instead of in front of him. I was really hoping to avoid the pose with the left arm in the air again, but oh well.
Is that better? I'm pretty sure that's better. I still need to do... something to it. Something on the end would be good. Maybe I'll thread styrene tubes on makes a more mechanical looking connection for each of the lashes. Also, I use Privateer Press palette paper but not the Privateer Press wet palette. It's pants.

So, more unplanned conversion to come! Maybe!