Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Apprentice craftsman

The final result of my first stab at terrain crafting is pictured above. Partly a revisit to a previous blog entry, but also some new adventures. I have taught myself a valuable lesson here; to be efficient in terrain crafting from XPS styrofoam I need to procure one of these. The task is a bit too arduous and messy otherwise.

Nevertheless, I am somewhat pleased with the result. Some people have questioned my choice of Stonehenge-like gateway. Does it really fit into the 40k universe? Well, perhaps not. But the shape is quite easy to craft, it has a bit of flair to it and it has interesting LOS characteristics.

Note to self: go for lighter shades of grey when basecoating stone terrain. I did too many dark layers on these ones. One basecoat and two drybrushings should be enough.

Peace out,
Painter Dude

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tabula rasa, part 2

As promised yesterday, here is the second part of my effort to make a lightweight, modular full-sized game table. Hopefully I will either help someone make their own or inspire people who think my version is crap to make an even better one!
After drying overnight, the glue will now have a firm grip on the Citadel Battlemat. Time to trim off the excess fabric. I used scissors, but to get really straight and clean edges I recommend using a scalpel or a sharp carpet knife.
Next up I lined the underside edges with masking tape. The idea here is to keep the styrofoam from chipping off, which it has an annoying tendency to do.
And presto! A finished game table with just a couple of hours of work. It can be laid out over almost any table in either 4'x4' or 4'x6' configurations. I must admit it will be rather sensitive to pressure. But not much of it is sticking out on each side of the table, and rule #1 of my table will be "no elbows". Worst case scenario: I will have to strengthen the boards with thin MDF on the underside.
As you can see on this last picture the game table stacks to a pretty reasonable size, which I plan to tuck away in my man closet when not used. Total cash spent is:
Citadel Battlemat: 25 €
Styrofoam boards: 8 €
750 ml glue bottle: 4 € (only used half of it)
The sum of all ingredients thus comes in under 40 €, which is nice.

Please tell me if you did something better or more clever, I am always interested in seeing cool projects!

Be safe,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tabula rasa, part 1

The problem with the imperial system is that noone uses it. Not even standard European dining tables. I don't know anyone who actually owns a 6'x4' table. Playing on the floor is a solution, but with us old dads (passed 30 this year) and the dog running over the battlefield it is just not practical.

Therefore, I needed a modular and lightweight gaming table with a nice texture that I could easily take out and then stow away to keep the missus happy. Cheap is also good when you're a dad, so price was definitely a factor.

Enter the StyroTable! I purchased a Citadel Battlemat, three styrofoam insulation boards that just happen to be 1200x600 mm (~4'x2') and a bottle of white glue. As I am typing this the project is drying over night, so this will be a two part tutorial.

First, cover your work surface in case you are the clumsy type (I am). Then lay out one of the boards.
Yes, the picture shows two boards. Stop being such a besserwisser. Now, grab your white glue and glue the living daylight out of that sucker. No, seriously - don't use too much glue. But pay attention to the edges. I used a spackle spatula to spread it out a bit more evenly. Don't worry, it's easy to fix dry patches around the edges with a bit of glue on your finger when it has dried the day after.
Measure up and cut the battlemat in three pieces of the same size. Folding the cloth over itself and then cutting along the edge helps keeping it straight, but you will have to trim excess cloth afterwards anyway. I used a friend, a wife and household scissors to achieve cosmic straightness.
Put the cloth down over the glue from the middle and out to avoid getting glue on the grassy side. Then stretch along the edges and use your palm to iron out any creases. Break out all your heavy books or other suitable weights to keep the whole thing secure during the night.
Looks promising, eh? Stay tuned for part 2!

Gossip Dad

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Those two empty access hatches in the front of my Rhino looked so shabby and unfinished that I decided to sort it out quickly on this Sunday evening. Two hours later, this is the "quickfix" result. I snapped a couple of pictures during the process to give you something to complain about.

First: basecoating. Mordian Blue, Graveyard Earth for areas to become gold, Boltgun Metal and Mechrite Red for some details.
Then, painting over the brown with Shining Gold and cleaning up mistakes using Chaos Black and Mordian Blue. Clean lines are a must for making the washing and highlighting easy.
Then, like a TV cook, I give you the finished result. ;-) What has happened here is washing - metal parts with Badab Black, Gold with Devlan Mud and blue parts with Asurmen Blue. That then takes a couple of minutes to dry. Next up was coarse highlighting (zenith etc) with Ultramarines Blue. Then sharp edge highlighting with a 1:1 mix of Ultramarines Blue and Space Wolves Grey. The red details got an inner coat of Blood Red, and the black areas were edge highlighted with Codex Grey. The metal paints got some zenith highlights of Shining Gold and Mithril Silver. Done!
The result is not in any way great or outstanding, but I like the wear and tear effect on the closed hatch at least. It was never meant to be excellent, but as a speed job I am very very pleased with the whole thing. And it sure will complete my Rhino.

The barrels will be drilled when I get my Tamiya pin vise I ordered from eBay. That will also be the start of my great magnetizing adventure. Expect reports from that. ;-)

Ta-ta for now,
Painter dad

Monday, January 2, 2012

Strokes and streaks

A couple of weeks ago I assembled my first vehicle, a Rhino. Yes I know - don't buy Rhinos, buy any other rhino based vehicle and get more options for your money. I learnt that the hard way, by feeling stupid when I realised the simple truth.

Now I have started painting it. I threw myself onto the task thinking I could just use the same methods I do when painting a regular ultramarine. However, it seems I might have been a bit hasty.
I'm not saying I need an airbrush, but oh god, I need an airbrush. My paintbrushes are too small and I don't have the patience to keep the paint as thin and paint as many layers as it would take to do the job properly with a paintbrush.

So my friends, what should I do? I can't motivate buying an airbrush right now. Plus it will take time to learn how to use it properly. Is the GW "Tank brush" any good? I would love to hear some top tips on vehicle painting.

Paintbrush Tweetwood