Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spirit Host/Banshee WIP Conversions

     I got these two models some time ago with the intent of using them as spirit hosts and then I thought they'd make good banshees as well. I decided to put little magnets into the bottom of each miniature and then I put a thin sheet of metal on a 40mm base and two 20mm bases so they can act as either a spirit host or two banshees.
     While the miniatures are beautiful, I wanted them to look more scary and more true to the artwork in the Vampire Counts army book. I set about grinding their pretty little faces off with an xacto and a dremel. Then I sliced off the faces from some skeleton and zombie bits and with a little trial and error fit them in place. I think the effect works nicely and they look much scarier.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zombie Unit Fillers Finished

All done and disgusting. First time using Tamiya's clear red (I'm a fan) and employing the piece of hair technique for the string of gore effect. Zombies are just fun to paint.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Zombie Unit Fillers WIP

Got started on these to help fill out my number of zombies. Just using mostly bits left over from the Dwarf and Undead sprues from Mantic's Mhorgoth's Revenge set.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dwarf Warriors (Mantic Dwarf Ironclad)

     It's hard for me to stay focused on one thing right now. I got a good start into my Space Marines and now I'm painting some Dwarfs. And the worst part?, I'll probably work on some undead after these guys are finished. Or maybe I'll go back to Space Marines. Ahhhh, miniature painting ADD!
     Well, last spring I purchased Mantic's Kings of War 2 player set. I painted up most of the Undead half but haven't touched the Dwarf half until now. Got a chance to use my new compressor to basecoat them all in enchanted blue. SMURFS!!!

Warhammer Fantasy uses so many models that I just can't bear to spend ridiculous amounts of time painstakingly painting each model to a high standard, so I will be going the base coat, dip, dullcote, done route for these guys. Here is the initial test model first shown simply basecoated and then dipped and matte varnish applied.

Airbrush and Compressor on the Cheap

     I'm pretty behind on my blog posting and I'm trying to get caught up a little. Over the last several months I started using an airbrush to do my basecoating for all my miniatures. Last year I had picked up a cheap airbrush at Harbor Freight with the intention of trying it out. Couldn't really go wrong for $9.
     It sat in its box for a good year before I finally broke it out to try. I actually didn't own an air compressor but was borrowing a friend's. After properly thinning my paints with windex, the airbrush works quite well for the most part and I've since basecoated several dozen miniatures with it by now. I won't probably be doing much detail work with it as it's not THAT good but for what I need it for, it's perfect.
     Well, I couldn't hold on to my friend's compressor forever and it wasn't ideal anyway as its a pancake compressor meant for nail guns and what not. Compressors are expensive and I'd been eyeballing and airbrush compressor that Harbor Freight had for $65. I had a coupon and picked it up finally for about $50! Not bad!

      Used it for the first time and had a hell of a time figuring out why I wasn't getting paint through my brush. So, the compressor came with a decent coil hose and what ended up being the problem was the little rubber o ring inside the hose end housing was compressing down too much when screwed onto the airbrush and it was blocking most of the air coming through the hose from the compressor. Once I got that sorted out, it works very well, is pretty quiet, and maintains good air pressure. It controls paint flow SO much better than the construction compressor I was using. I might actually be able to do some more detailed work with my airbrush now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

2 Tactical Squads of Space Marines Finished

     Now that the missing bits are casted, painted, and glued on, my second tactical squad can now be complete. Here's a quick pic of all 20 of my painted space marines.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Casting Space Marines Bits

     It's been about a year and a half since I purchased 2 of the Space Marines half of Assault on Black Reach starter set. Decided to finally get started on painting the 2 tactical squads. However, in the middle of painting I realized that I'm short 2 boltguns and 2 backpacks. I vaguely remembered the ebay auction I got these from did mention that a couple marines were missing some pieces. Hmm, well that kind of sucks. I decided I would try and cast them from the ones I had. Problem was I was already finished painting all of them and I wasn't sure if the instant mold would affect the paint. I recently purchased the new starter set "Dark Vengeance" but it hadn't arrived in the mail yet so I decided to wait and then use a nice fresh boltgun and backpack to cast from.
     I'll just briefly go over the process I used. To make the molds I used "Instant Mold". Look it up on the Internet, it's great stuff. There are lots of different ways to cast things. I'm using a very simple method of press molding and will be making a 2 part mold. Do some searches for press molding if you're interested in trying it for yourself.
     The first thing you'll want is something to contain your molding medium (instant mold) while you press whatever you are casting into it.You can use anything really. I used part of a container that my magnets come in.

     I sat the piece of tubing on a flat surface (my work table) and pressed a bit of instant mold in the tubing trying to make it as flat as possible. Then I took my piece and pressed it halfway or so into the instant mold. Next we let it cool. I throw it in the freezer for a few minutes.

     After that I took a bit more instant mold and pushed it into the tube, covering the other half of the backpack and leaving a little bit of room at the top.

I then placed the black end piece in the tub and pushed down on it very firmly with my palm. This is to ensure that the instant mold gets into all the little crevices of the backpack.

Threw it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. Before separating the two sides of the mold, I made a line across the two halves so I can be sure to properly align the mold when I cast my piece. 

Finally I separate the two halves and pull out my original piece. I then go through the same process for the boltgun bit.

     Now I didn't get any pictures of the actual casting process but it's very simple and much like creating the mold. I used Milliput fine cast as my casting medium. I put one half of the mold back into the tube. After mixing up the putty I started with small pieces and pushed it into the deepest crevices of the mold first and worked my way up to a little over flush with the top of each half of the mold. Then, I put the other half of the mold into the tube and line them up using the mark I made earlier. I used the black end piece once again and pressed hard with my palm. I let it sit for about 24 hours and then carefully removed the milliput from the mold. When I pulled them out they had flash ( extra casting material around edges) all around the edges where the excess putty goes when the two halves are pressed firmly together. This is normal and you want some flash. You have to put in enough putty otherwise the putty will not fill the mold entirely and you will get a bad cast. Here are shots of the two pieces after cleaning off the extra flash around the edges. I made two of each piece. They are not perfect but should do just fine. 

And here they are painted up and glued on. 

And some comparison shots

These shots are of the actual originals that were used and the casted pieces.

These were my first attempts at casting with a 2 part mold. For a first effort, I'm very happy with how they came out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Space Marines Tactical Squad

     This has been a long time coming. I went with a pretty simple, quick and easy paint scheme. My base coat for all the armor is plain old Krylon gray primer. I then just did base coat colors with no shading or highlights. I decided I wanted my space marines to be easy to paint so I made up my own "dip" using Liquitex matte gel medium mixed with water and black paint. After some testing to get the right viscosity, I applied it to the whole miniature and what you see is the effect. Of course it's not up to the quality of most of my Protectorate of Menoth miniatures, but I won't be spending as much time playing 40k as I do Warmachine, so I don't plan on putting in as much time or money.