Friday, October 28, 2011

Imperial Renegades conversions

After 6 months of inconsistent work I have finally added to my grey plastic squad of Imperial Renegades. The conversions are mostly done. I just need to fill some gaps and do some sculpting on the ogryn and then I should be ready to basecoat and prime them. These models are built for the Imperial Renegades squad in Deathsquads

Officer with flamer.
The models are built from a mix of cadian, catachan, empire flagellant, stormvermin, chaos space marine, space marine, chaos marauders, marauder horsemen, and khorne berzerker parts. There are a lot of random bits in them. Mostly they are kitbashes with only some minor sculpting to adjust joints and things. The cables and jerry can are from Dragon Forge.

The whole happy family. I am undecided about including the shorter model. I think it adds character (I tried to make the models vary in size a lot) but don't want to offend anyone with it.
Officer with flamer, ogryn with buzz saw (need to finish sculpting), Commander with power sword)

Militiamen with pistols and autogun.

Commander poses. I like the evil vibe of this model. I think it is the head.
I am pleased with these weapons. I have just one right now but plan to build a few more models with them as they look cool.
Suggestions, comments, and criticisms are always appreciated!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Completed waste water reservoir

The waste water reservoir is now finished. I did a few experiments with the water effects that turned out alright. In all, I would say this little project took me about 3-4 full hours of work to complete. It took me two weeks to complete due to all of the waiting between steps. It has inspired me to make a full canal and a big reservoir to really add some fun terrain to my table!

Since the last update all I have done is added more layers of Woodland Scenics Water Effects (the one in the bottle). This stuff is pretty easy to use. Just pour it in a few mm deep and let it sit for 24 hours. In the last post you can see it looked cloudy. It dries pretty clear.

I had a few small issues. After pouring the first layer and letting it set, my girlfriend got a bit excited a poked a hole in the first layer! Fortunately I was adding more layers. For the second layer I added GW Camo Green to some water effects in a little dish. I then poured it. It was looking too opaque so I poured some straight water effects into the other side. As you can see, it created an interesting effect where the two colors mixed. You only need a tiny bit of color to tint the water. Definitely no need to go overboard on how much you use. Another thing I tried was adding a few drops of paint to simulate where the water came out of the pipes. I did this on the first layer and it didn't ever really join with the water effects. It pooled in areas instead.

Notice where the two areas mix. Also, can you spot the easter egg?
It would have been nice to have the light green area a bit more transparent. It does add some interesting color to my terrain though.
I also added a small Skaven rat into the drain. The painting on it is terrible. I rushed. I also messed up my Devlan Mud wash by adding too much water to a dried out pot. Now it takes forever to dry. I think the rat looks alright and adds a little character though. The rat looks pretty washed out in the pictures due to the flash. It is not well painted, but it looks ok when it is hiding in the drain.

Welcome to Granesh, Carl Hayman, and Michael, the newest followers.

I'm currently working on getting some models finished for once. I am slowly making a dent in the modelling for my Imperial Renegades force. I am planning to have some painted by the end of November. I have a lot of terrain ideas that I am wanting to do soon too: mainly a canal, warehouse, and some necromunda style terrain.

Update: I added some new pictures as the last ones were not so great. The rat looks a bit better in these two. Still need to work on my picture taking skills...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Terrain update: Waste water reservoir

Here are some more work in progress pictures from my waste water reservoir piece. In the last post I showed the work I had done with the airbrush. Since then I added some chipped paint and rust using a sponge and then water marks and stains with Tamiya Clear Orange and GW Gryphonne Sepia.

I then used Woodland Scenics Water Effects (in a bottle) for the first layer of water. I added a little Vallejo Olive Drab Model Air to tint the water color too. I still need to add another two layers of water to complete it. I am a bit on the fence about Woodland Scenics Water Effects. It is really easy to apply and creates a decent looking water. You have to be careful to only apply a little at a time though as it can cause the paint to crack as it shrinks. I don't really like the final finish though as it collects dust, is a bit hard to clean, and can be deformed by models. Once I finish this bottle I would try to find a resin or varnish based finish to increase the toughness of the finished model.
Water is a bit cloudy after I applied it. Hopefully it will be better once it is set.
The interesting tank at the back is the container that a printer cartridge came in. They are really interesting looking and fit perfectly for industrial terrain. I've been thinking about trying to get extras at the store.
I should have this model finished soon and will post up some pictures when it is done. If anyone has any tips for some additional weathering to complete this piece I would love to hear it. I want to push myself more, so any tips or ideas are always appreciated.

Welcome also to new followers Ron (from "from the warp", a great blog, I am a big fan), Chaos Heade, Not so great wolf, and master slow poke.

I've also added a new blog to the blog list. My friend Sean has created a new blog called The War Room. Sean has shared some of his completed minis and is currently working on lots of Flames of War and historical miniatures. He and I had a brief deathsquads campaign last year but have not played together recently as he and I have both moved. Hopefully he will share some squads and conversions!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adventures in airbrushes and aerosols...

This last week has been a bit crazy on the hobby end of things. I had a few mishaps and adventures. A few posts ago I showed some pictures of my new airbrush set up. I have had some great successes with it so far and a lot of frustrations. Lets make this a things I have learned post.
"Arrrr! Lots of learning experiences here"
1. Spray paint outside. This one is really dumb. I decided it would be a good idea to spray paint in my bathroom, with the fan on and a respirator on. Terrible idea. After I painted I discovered that the extra aerosol had formed a grey film on everything in the bathroom. Fortunately it cleaned up well. My landlords also told me that their whole house smelled of it... Not good. Note to self, paint outside.

2. Use a respirator for airbrushing! After my first session airbrushing I had a lot of irritation in my nose. So I buckled down and bought a $40 paint respirator from Home Depot. Expensive, but worth it. There are some nasty things in some of the cleaners and paints.

3. Airbrush paints work well. They are already thinned, they paint nicely, and don't clog. They are pricey though as I know they are mostly just normal paints with thinner in them. As a beginner though, it is definitely worth it. GW paints have worked alright when I think with Testors airbrush thinner. Craft paints are a disaster though. Horrible tip dry and clogging.

4. Airbrush works well for base coating. I used vallejo white primer in my airbrush and got a good priming on my models. Nice and clean, no buildup and I could reach all of the awkward spots. And I can do it inside with only a few models at once. Works well so far.

5. Figure out how to properly break down and assemble your airbrush. Mine came with only one awful diagram. I keep changing things and making it not work as well. I am learning the hard way I guess. Today I had it set up so the needle did not retract far enough for paint to come out. A problem.

I did have a bit of success though. These first pictures show some models I have used the airbrush on. The two highlighted models were just some practice with zenithal highlighting. They came out alright. The white models were primed with the airbrush. The ork that is partly painted was basecoated with a brush months ago and then I sprayed devlan mud on him to try it out. I am fairly pleased with all of them.

These pictures show the slight progress I have made on my waste water reservoir. I basecoated the whole thing with flat grey primer. I then sprayed Vallejo Olive Drab Model Air into the bottom of the reservoir. It looked cool on the sides so I decided to do some nasty reservoir dirt over the bottom of the whole thing. I then sprayed the metal bits with a little boltgun metal. It is looking alright so far. Should be my dirtiest piece to date by the time it is finished.

Hopefully this piece will get finished tonight. I am away for work for 5 days and then I am at home a lot more, so more painting should get done. October has been a little busy so far.

1. Finish reservoir within a week.
2. Paint 14 Imperial Renegades by the end of November.
3. Assemble and paint 7 Death Guard by the end of November.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More industrial terrain!

Once you start building industrial terrain, it is hard to stop! I am fascinated by the different ways to connect shapes in a way that tiny 28mm figures can cross them. As I put them together I like setting up little battle scenes with my models showing how they can flow together. That is really nerdy. Hahaha.

Not too much completion has happened this last week. Mostly due to my aversion to spray painting. I like to have a few projects and then do the nasty job all at once. I thought about just airbrushing, but thought I should have a solid basecoat over the strange plastic pieces in these.

This first piece is the largest. It is some type of refinery. It is two soup cans, some balsa wood, some foamcore, and a cool sprinkler pipe I found for $.89 at the hardware store. I experimented with capping foamcore with 5mm strips of cereal packaging. I think it creates a nice clean look that should paint up well. I added lots of rivets using my hole punch. I also experimented with cutting out little panels of the foamcore to create interesting recessed detail areas. Hopefully all this detail will paint up nicely. This piece will have green cans, I mean tanks (airbrushed them already) and the rest of the details will be flaky grey paint and sections of corroded brown metal.

You can see here how two of the new pieces nest inside each other for easier storage.
I also built a small waste water reservoir. I built it mostly from scrap foamcore and bits I had about. I have a big bottle of water effects that really needs to be used for something. An $18 bottle means I need lots of interesting scenery from it (Any ideas for more good water projects? I am going to make canals with a harder resin). I think this little reservoir will look really nice when painted up but will be pretty bland as far as playability as it is mostly just a line of sight blocker with a tiny bit of cover and some dangerous or impassable ground...

Finally, I made 7 connecting walkways for my walkway system. These will help to connect different terrain pieces for exciting skirmish battles high above the ground. After I made them I realized they also looked nice laid out end to end and would actually work pretty well for a space hulk/underground lair/factory/other things. I really like the asthetic of cramped tunnels and walkways and think that these will look pretty good if I combine them with rooms and other levels and different walkways and other cool things... Multi-purpose. That is what I like.

Whew. It feels like I haven't gotten a whole lot finished recently. There is a lot on the go though. I did a little more assembly for my Imperial Renegades deathsquad as well. I have a great leader that just needs arms pinned before I post a WIP shot of him up here. I need to get back into painting mode again though.

Last week was a very exciting week for the blog as well. I got a mention in From the warp's Weekly blog feature which was a great honor. I added a few new blogs to the blog list including Santa Cruz Warhammer and Stahly's Tale of Painters. Check them out in the blog list of the side. I also added a deathsquads banner to the side. You can check out the deathsquads website here. They have the rules for their great 40k skirmish game available for free if you register. I have played a few games with the rules and really love them. It is a great community too.

Finally, welcome to all of the new members including redscorps (fan of your tank weathering!), MSP, samson, hivemind, son of taurus, Olli, Karrde, and Matt. Bring your friends! Comment here and I can add you to my blog list! Come back soon when I have some paint on my mountains of terrain and minis that are needing paint...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My first airbrush

I took the plunge. After a few months of indecision I decided to purchase an airbrush and compressor. I bought a TC-20T compressor and Master G34 airbrush from TCP Global. I looked locally but couldn't find any hobby compressors (I live in a basement suite, so noise is important) that had tanks. 

Compressor: TC-20T 
Airbrush: Master G34
At first I couldn't get any air to flow through the regulator. I got air into the water purge but couldn't get any psi. Eventually I figured out that the stop knob of the regulator pulls up to adjust and goes down to lock. The instructions were a little vague.

Why did I get an airbrush? Many reasons really. Although I like painted models and cool color schemes I have never really liked brushes and using brushes themselves all that much. I find basecoating models to be really tedious. I am excited to try painting from an airbrushed base and highlights as it should speed things up quite a lot. I also wanted an airbrush to speed up terrain painting and to allow me to spray foam.

I did a quick test on some old minis last night to try it out. I have a zenithal highlight scheme from Les Bursley's site ( in mind for my death guard. I thought I would try it out quickly on an old eldar and old Bretonnian bowman. I based the models quickly with vallejo olive drab and then did zenithal highlights with bubonic brown and vallejo dead flesh. It was surprisingly easy to do. I am hoping that I will only get better with practice and new thinner (bought some today).

This picture is pretty bad but you can see the basic zenithal highlights. Will be much better after a wash. The bubble on the leg is from my poor primering job about 14 years ago... This was one of the very first models I ever got.
Lots of news on the blog sharing front this week. I've been bugging lots of the blog exchanges and got added to a few. I've joined the blog exchanges on International House of Paincakes and Faeit 212. Naftka from Faeit 212 was also nice enough to feature my blog here and House of Paincakes here.

Welcome also to new members jabbajabba, WarlikeRogue, CounterFett, O'Shashar, Lorenzo Calvi, and Alviro.

Two members have asked me to add their blogs to the blog exchange as well. Check out O'Shashar's blog as he completes a Tale of 3 Gamers over at Also on the docket is Vitor's blog Vitor's latest post focuses on weathering, a topic close to my heart.

If you are interested in joining my blog exchange just post a message in the comments section with your url and I will be happy to add it. Feel free to add me to your blogroll if you find this blog interesting. Drop me a line so I can check your blog out in return.


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