Sunday, 28 April 2013

Painted Dwarf Cannon and Some Photographing Notes

The proud dwarfs of Karak Azul now have a cannon to help stem the tide of greenskins that threaten to seize their mountain home. I finished this earlier in the week, when I decided one morning before work to quickly dip the crew and the dwarf lord figure that came with the Skull Pass boxed set. A word of advice, don't try and dip figures before work whilst on the phone, you will drop your dwarf lord into the pot of quickshade. And then you will try to dab the excess quickshade off with a brush loaded with dirty water, and then you will end up with a horrid looking model with greyish muck patches. Sigh. Needless to say the dwarf lord will need some clean up before he is ready for photographing. 

Some notes of the photos. First off, I finally got around to building a lightbox. Nothing fancy, just a box with white paper sides and three lamps to bombard them with. I bought a lamp yesterday which produces a nice white light, but the other two are quick yellowy and feeble. However, as the photos show the shadows are eliminated and the light is pretty decent. I would like to invest more into my lampage, but at the moment I simply don't have the space to devote to the hobby. Hopefully as I clear out the house I will claw back some room to store lamps etc. I also don't have a tripod, which is an oversight on my part. It's going to be a tight month monetarily, so I'll have to hold back on the spending majorly. A tripod would make the camera steadier and allow for longer exposure times without the risk of blur. 

Now, in all honesty, I really don't like these miniatures, but they are what I have. At the moment, the mighty army of Karak Azul consists of 25 Warriors, 9 Thunderers, 8 Miners, and 1 Cannon. I haven't got a Dwarf army book, so I can't work out the points value for this little force. However, I think I might be approaching a point where I can start playing small sized battles to familiarise myself with the new rules. 

That is all.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Basing 15mm World War II Russians

I've started basing up the Strelkovy Company to fight the Finns in the Jatkosota, or Continuation War. These figures have been painted for some time and have been awaiting completion, and frankly World War II isn't a priority for me. In any event, I did a test model using Polyfilla to build the base up to the metal feet of the miniature followed by Games Workshop's Stirland Mud texture paint and a drybrushing of Steel Legion Drab, and then some flock and stuff for a Autumnal look. Not really happy with the result, which to my mind was flat and just not rich enough. Here is a rather poor photo:

I then did another element using sand, and a base coat of Rhinox Hide followed by a Steel Legion Drab drybrush, and more Autumnal flock. The result is far more to my liking, it looks richer and creates a better blend with the figures on the base:

Once I have built my fabled light box, which might happen on Thursday if I am not in London, then I will post a step-by-step tutorial on how I do my bases with some better photos. In the meantime, please have a look at the photos below and let me know what you think.

The flocking materials I used are Games Workshops ancient green flock, and Hornby Skale Scenics foliage fibre clusters, late Autumn medium and a bag of fluffy yellow flock, also from Hornby. I was inspired by Doctor Faust's Painting Clinic on Youtube when it came to the bases, especially picking out the largely gravel bits in grey to break up the base. I also realised that I really made this harder than it needs to be by painting the figures unbased, and in the future I might just paint the figures in situ like he does. Have a look, I think it is a worth a watch.

 More to come of course.

Carry on.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Completed Imperial Navy Marine Landing Party Outdoor Pictures

All fifteen Imperial Navy Marines.
I keep calling these guys 40k Imperial Navy Marines, which has led to some confusion, because in 40k Marine means power armoured superhuman. The basic idea here is that they are a sort of "shore party" that escorts the Fleet head-shed when they go planet side. I decided to go for a uniform inspired by Imperial Russian Naval uniforms and I will use these figures as VSF Russians too. I am a big fan of reusing figures if I can, and these chaps have a nice late Victorian style to them. Onto the Red Planet perhaps?

The weather has been glorious today, so I had a chance to take some pictures outdoors. The lighting is good, but there are still some shadow. I think the ultra-controller environment of a lightbox is better, but I haven't had a chance to get my hands on some lamps for it, so here you go:

The quality of the paint job is okay, I am not one hundred percent satisfied with them, but at least they are done. In the flash they look much nicer, although there seems to be a little frosting because of the varnish. So there, fifteen chaps done. I plan to run them as a section of two fire teams, minus the heavy weapons team. So a team of seven and one of six. I might pick up a junior officer to lead them. Once I have the light box up and running I'll take some more pictures so that we can see the difference.

Carry on.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Playing with the Citadel Wood

I finished the Imperial Navy Marine landing party the other day. They are all varnished and waiting to be photographed, but sadly I haven't had a chance to photograph them properly. Photographing miniatures can be a real challenge. If the weather is fine, natural light from the sun usually does the trick, but this is England. Indoors things get complicated, even with a good light source shadows can ruin your shots, no matter how good your camera. One solution is to build a lightbox, but space is an issue for me and frankly I haven't had the time to make one. Furthermore, to take really nice pictures a tripod is ideal, and I don't have one. I am hoping this weekend, in between felling a pine tree in my garden, to sort out my rig and take some pictures. I'll post my how-to and where I learnt about it all when it is done.

In the meantime, I have been basing my 15mm WWII Russians, again I'll knock up a tutorial showing a step by step when I get an opportunity. I wasn't keen on the first technique I employed, so I decided to try a little something different and am happy with the result. Again, I'll do a post on it as soon as I can.

I've also got the terrain bug again, and with the Marines done I can start thinking about my scenarios for them. Terrain is a must for me, so I got started on a Citadel Wood I bought a while back. It really deserves a post in its own right, but here is what I've done on the base us far:

So there, proof I am still ticking along. I have the weekend off so I hope to get some photographing done so that these posts aren't just wordy.

Carry on.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

15mm Napoleonic Austrian Army 1809 on eBay

I finally decided to get rid of my Principles of War 15mm army. I commissioned it several years ago from Principles of War, and then received a package from him a long while after. I didn't actually open the package completely for about a year, and then found that various bits and pieces were missing. Needless to say I was disappointed, and even more so when I found that PoW had gone out of business and I was never going to get those last few bits. It isn't the end of the world, but there are no division commander figures, or a C-i-C, but that is easily remedied.

Anyway, as my earlier posts show, I am a sucker for 28mm Napoleonic, and with the proliferation of plastics it is becoming more and more affordable. Therefore, there is no reason for me to hang onto these figures anymore. They are currently on eBay:


I hope they go to someone who will get some actual use out of them.

PS Has anyone else been burned by a company closing half way through a job, or before delivering entirely on an order, but after taking your money.