Monday, October 24, 2016

Coldsteel Armor

So I am pretty excited my parts have started coming in for the ZNA Productions armor build (spaulders). Here are what the shoulders look like that we are starting with.

I am not sure whether I should push them up high. To cover my biceps:

Or down low to cover the backs of my elbows:

Either way they make me feel like a complete and total superhero when I am wearing them.

My original concept for the build was just use plates to connect the straps from the suspenders I am planning on using. But what I realized after putting it on and taking it off a hundred times if I use an hard material to connect the front straps it may me harder to get in and out of if I want it to taper. I am thinking now of just designing a tabard for a chest piece. I can still use rigid banded leather strips over a cloth tabard, but it would be a lot easier to slip on over the shoulder harness. Since the original art doesn't even use an armored chest it isn't even necessary.

I still think it is an interesting costume.

But I really do want to see how I can fashion this armor design.

Because I am not that far off after I build the shoulders. In my build it probably won't wrap around the entire torso, but be curved/form fitted attached to a cloth form to hold everything together.

Monday, October 17, 2016

All Apologies

Sorry I haven't been as active on here recently. I haven't been doing a ton of gaming or miniature stuff.

I know I don't have a huge following to my blog, but people stumble across some stuff like this, so I decided to do a little writing. My life has been improving in a lot of different ways. So where should I start. Let's see. We'll do daemons and Thousand Sons really quick.

My horror models are still on 25mm squares, so that project is waiting on some kind of new release to make sure I should base them on 1" fender washers or bump up to 1.25". The newest Khorne Bloodletters are on 32mm rounds, so I am curious to see if the horrors go up in base size to match the marines. Apparently Tzeentch and the Thousand Sons are going to eventually have a release this year. When that happens, then yeah my Tzeentch daemons will all move to round. I have been working to repaint my Thousand Sons. I bought a few units on eBay.

Before

After

More or less the ones I purchased on eBay were just dirty and didn't match my base style or color correctly. So I am slowly going through the process of repainting everything. Just mainly sticking with a pretty straight forward color scheme and trying to be very neat. Once again when they get a new 40k release I will base them on the current base size. I love using the washers and you know I have this cool joint compound, wispy daemon world basing thing I have been using. Guess I should follow in the footsteps of big brother and make some terrain boards for my table that uses the same material, so I can have this entirely crazy looking game board that actually matches by models instead of just always using grass mats.

A lot of my recent painting has been going on at 757 Makerspace. I have moved up to a full membership there to use the laser cutter/etcher. I am loving being part of such a neat, progressive community workspace. I am literally surrounded at all all times by the brightest and most talented people. It is rock and roll. And I am finally to the point where I am producing enough products to pay for my membership.

I am doing some work for my brother and Barry at Beneath the Lily Banners. Here are some pictures of the counters and tokens I am making.

To be honest it is pretty rock and roll.

My next big project is going to be a set of armor. I haven't done a lot of costuming. But I ran across this guy who does amazing 'How To' videos on the internet. ZNA Productions is just awesome. He is smart and funny. He is entertaining in all of his videos. I actually have access to a lot of the tools he is using. There are two specific videos I am focused on right now. I think using techniques from the videos he did on spaulders and the gauntlets are going to be perfect. I ordered some parts today used in making the shoulder pieces and Beau Turner at Makerspace hooked me up with some sacks this week for forming the gauntlets.

I am not following his designs exactly. For one thing I don't actually have a chest piece made. My plan is to use the laser cutter to cut and etch leather bands after I get the spaulders designed. The actual suit I am working on is the alchemist model from the Reaper Pathfinder line.

This was a model my brother painted up for our games (yeah and converted as well) for my main warrior/bard Strom Coldsteel. So more or less this design is going to be close to my heart. Way back when we first rolled these guys up in AD&D, before the Quest for the Three Keys, before the other adventures that spanned years of my life with Ghul D'Kat and Carmon Diablo (my real life friends Jim and Tom), my character was actually an armorer. So going full circle to actually design my own armor in true Strom Coldsteel fashion is pretty amazing and cool. I will definitely post pics and design notes as I move along. I really think attaching the armor plates directly to the suspenders will be cool.

My suit will probably wind up being cloth, sack cloth, leather forms layered with the fiberglass resin for plates to connect the suspenders. One of my friends at Makerspace has found a resin product that flexes relatively well without breaking when working with bamboo for bikes. So I need to see if I can make plates and gauntlets out of that instead of the typical fiberglass resin sold at your standard hardware chain stores. I need to catch up with Wes and figure out exactly what this product is. I think it is something used in the marine industry. Which once again makes sense for me since I grew up at a marina on the Intracoastal Waterway in Coinjock. Always been around boats, water, etc.

I have so many more projects in store. Gaming stuff, roleplaying, and now making my own stuff. Pretty awesome boys and girls. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Sylvaneth

All I am saying is Games Workshop makes better models than anyone else.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

By Tooth and Claw

Starting off with a couple of in the works posts. I rarely post painting tutorials and the like. That is more the realm of my older brother. I can't say I haven't picked up a host of tips, techniques, or more importantly inspiration from my brother. But more or less I am a gamer and collector probably more than I am a painter/hobbyist. No kidding though, I have amassed some skill in the field though.

First up here are the Highborn as they currently stand.

So I thought it was time to work on some special kits to add a little beat stick to my infantry.I built two separate characters to ride my dragon. In the Aelf list, there are two casters or a noble on a dragon to field. I will swap bodies to represent which one I am rolling with.

I wasn't sure what to do in terms of a color. So I am just slowly building up layers until I get where I want to be.

I did have to fill a few gaps on him as well, but that was my fault for using super glue - not the kit. Ever grateful my brother had some green stuff. Mine is completely dried out.

Last pics of the dragon where I decided to lighten up the wings with another coat. Same stage just different lighting.

Finally I'll add the current state of my Tree Lord. He got a little bit of a base coat this week. And I am really looking forward to assembling and painting my dryads and branchwraith from Christmas. This is going to be a fast, nice looking army to paint up.

I will try to make some more posts as this group develops. Just been enjoying working on some models again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Round We Go

So when it comes down to what is on my tabletop right now, I have been making a lot of progress. I decided that despite the 'bases don't matter' bit in Warhammer Age of Sigmar, I wanted to be an over achiever. I decided to move my elves to round bases. This is an army I have been slowly collecting. It all started oddly enough with a friend I was trying to get into the hobby. He started buying High Elves on eBay, and before long had more models than anyone would want to paint.

Flash forward a little bit and he had given up. He said, "Do whatever you want with this stuff, I am not going to get around to doing anything with it."

I posted most of it for sale on eBay and gave him the money from the auctions. I did end up keeping the Silver Helms, but that wasn't by design, more of less I was just tired of posting auctions.

Then I met a guy a little further south in North Carolina who offered his services as a painter. The price was just too good to pass up. I shipped him off a ton of elves and he went to work. His goal was just base coating and a little assembly. What I got back was pretty cool, but it took him forever to return things and he didn't finish what he had promised to do.

Note to self, cheap is not always the best. But I ended up with some great looking cavalry and characters. It just bothered me he didn't follow through with it. The entire reason I agreed to let him paint them is because I thought he was going to paint the army. Trying to match someone else's style is very hard.

I know that from inheriting armies from my brother.

But I pressed on and even completed the crew and bolt throwers for this small, all cavalry army.

Not long after that I picked up two units of elven archers which I nearly completely repainted and a small unit of swordmasters which needed a little color swap. All in all though things are looking very good. I kind of like picking up assembled and nearly complete models at this point because it saves a ton of time. But back to the matter at hand. How should I go round?

It seemed like busting them off their 20mm squares would be insanely annoying. It would require more work than I wanted to put into it. I previously realized that the traditional GW 25mm rounds were basically an inch across if you measure the bottoms, so I started thinking about the best way to proceed and decided on 1" fender washers.

You can snag a box of a hundred for around ten bucks. Spray one side like I have pictured above and then it is time to break out the clippers. By nabbing off a few corners with your snips, the models fit perfectly in the diameter of the circle.

I love using joint compound as spreadable basing material. I lathered that around the edges and painted it up in a three stage process. I tried to pick out just the joint compound with brown. I doesn't matter too much if you make a little mess. The next stage is picking out some spots with black and then highlighted them grey. Finally we highlight the brown spots and basing sand with a lighter brown color for contrast.

I am really in favor of matching GW colors at the local hardware store when I am working on big projects. I don't bother with little paint pots for many traditional colors. My brother bought me some quarts one Christmas, and I have hardly put a dent in them.

What I ended up with is a mix of cool, unique bases throughout the army. When you are rebasing 75 plus soldiers on foot it helps to develop a system that works well. Since my models are not overly detailed I will probably push in some highlights, washes, and touch-ups in one fell swoop.

Since the GW plastics feel awful fragile to me as an old-school gamer, the addition of some extra weight to the bases is absolutely perfect. You feel the archers when you pick them up. And ferrous metals make things like magnets possible. I was telling my brother I wanted to build a gauntlet and vest with rare earth magnets to wear my army to a tournament. Even if I just make movement trays the metal washers will work well.

My plan on swapping the calvary is a little more complicated. I need about 25-30 ovals and finding washers won't work. I guess I could just pick up the Games Workshop sizes that I want to use (Yeah, I am that guy who asked them on Facebook what would they recommend for the Silver Helms because that is one box that hasn't been repackaged).

If I choose a DIY option I can always use the laser cutter/etcher at 757 Makerspace and cut my bases out of wood. To me that is the most affordable option because I have been paying for a membership since December and haven't visited much. I will definitely post some more pics when I get a little further along, but until next time have fun everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blind Painter

So I sat down and started working on the small unit of chaos space marine possessed I need to finish for my Khorne Daemonkin army. What I immediately realized is that when I am wearing glasses it is so much easier. I had some very cheap reading glasses I picked up and things are so much clearer. I have been trying to only paint in the morning because the light in my house was better. But damn- I could see everything. I could see the brush, the details on the models. For years now I hadn't realized my vision has been declining. It was like night and day. Like my technique is a lot better than I thought. They are coming right along.

The only thing and I noticed this while only after working 15-20 minutes these cheap glasses produce way to much eye strain. While I was concentrating on what I was doing things got blurry quickly. I can put them on and focus initially, but they are not going to be good enough to use on a long term basis. Might need to make my first trip ever to an optometrist.

The other weird thing I am dealing with is a strained muscle in my left forearm. It is my abductor pollicis longus, it is used in opening and closing the hand as well as tilting the palm up and down. Brutal injury from my day job as a commercial fisherman this week. I can't grip a 4lb bag of sugar or even was in pain when I picked up a half gallon of milk. Since I was holding the brush with my left hand, I knew I wasn't going to be able to get through a lot of work with my models this morning, but I thought I'd give it a try.

I just can't believe how much clearer everything was wearing glasses.

Friday, September 25, 2015

State of the Game

Sorry if I haven't been making as many posts recently. With summer winding down, I ended up hopping back into the world of MMORPG's. It is almost like you have time in your life for so many hobbies. The more time I spend on ArcheAge, the less active I am in other areas. My character is on Aranzeb if you ever want to check it out. Send a message to Maceo. I am going to work on a little more balance in the upcoming weeks and try to get back into doing more outside of this one particular game. But I'll just leaving this here in the mean time.

Yeah, that is me with a trade pack on a skateboard.