Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to add battle damage to a Conquest, or how I learned to love foam

I spent some time last night on my Khador Conquest. I've moved to the stage where the model needs to be "damaged" up, to show all of the battlefield scrapes that the constant wars of the Iron Kingdoms would cause.  I imagine that as a valuable resource such as the Conquest would be, it would see a lot of front line use, and therefore it needs a very "used" look to it.  I am applying the same methods I used on some Super Heavy tanks I painted earlier this year, using methods learned in the Forgeworld Book, Imperial Armour Masterclass: Book One. 

The idea behind this method it is to add a lot of scratches with a gray color to show the Conquest's paint has been scratched down to the primer.  After that is completed, I'll highlight the scratches with a bright metal color to show that some of the scratches went down to the bare metal.

This is where the model started the evening.  Nice and clean, but not very realistic for something that spends it's time crushing the enemies of the Empress. . 
 My tool, a piece of pluck foam that has been torn at an angle so that it makes random paint "dabs".  I then dip it in Adeptus Battlegray, to represent paint that has chipped down to primer.
 Here is an unspoiled shoulder.
 Here is the same shoulder after being "damaged". 
 After the whole model has been "damaged".
 The back side of the model.  I also used a metal paint with the same method to "ding up" the black parts of the model.
 After the "scratches" have been added, I started to go through and some highlights with a bright metal color, in this case GW Mithril Silver to show paint that has been scratched beyond the primer level and down to bare metal.  I only finished this side, as it is very tedious, it took a long time to get even this far along.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Actual Progress on my Khador Conquest

After sitting dormant for a few months I finally put some work into my Warmachine colossal, a Khador Conquest. I had put it together back in August though the problems I had with getting missing parts took the wind out of my sails on my level of enthusiasm for this model. The missing part I needed took over two weeks to show up, and that was even after reaching out to Privateer Press on Twitter and emailing the right person directly.

So Saturday morning I fired up my airbrush and decided this model needed it's coat of Khador Red.  I used a Khador Red base for the base coat and highlighted it with the Khador Red Highlight Color.  Privateer Press does make color selection easy with their P3 line.

 I am trying a new method for doing black.  I am doing a grey, in this case the obsolete Adeptus Battlegrey from the defunct citadel foundation line. I am then going to put a coat of black wash on it. I got this tip from a friend of mine who is a golden demon level painter.  It's how he does black, so I figure if it's good enough for him I should give it a shot.
 After the grey I started to work on the metal parts.  I used another defunct GW paint, Boltgun Metal.  I really love the P3 colors, but their metal paints are just way too thin.  I found the coverage was awful when I tried to use cold steel it just smeared.
 During Monday Night Football I finished up the metal bits. I used a tin color on the smoke stacks to differentiate it from the rest of the model.  This was not a small task, I think I Spent two quarters on it.  So much metal...

 The last thing I did was put the black wash on the metal, and grey parts.  I am very happy with how the "black" came out.  It's got more character to it, and I like how it has a dull look to it, unlike a straight black.
My next step is to put some wash on the gold parts, and then do some highlighting.  I've also got chipping and weathering to go.  I figure it will be a few weeks at least, but it should be done before I get going on any chaos stuff. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dropzone Commander Paint Test with Models

I got started on some paint tests for my Dropzone Commander models a few days ago, and made some progress last night.  I had thought I would do a blue with green pattern so I picked out several different blues and greens, and did some tests on some Battlefleet Gothic sprues that were kind enough to do sacrifice themselves.  I figure the scale was about right and would work.

I decided to go with GW colors, as I like the variety of their layer line, and as I wasn't quite sure what I was going for I wanted some choices.  I picked three Blue paints and three Green paints, thinking one of them had to look good.

  I painted on the three different blues, with a layer of Secret Weapon Miniature's Blue Wash on top.  I then decided on the blue color to use.  I found that the wash added a glossy sheen I didn't like, so I gave it a quick coat of Matte spray, a trick I've learned in the last year from painting tanks.

After I picked a Blue, I decided to try the three different Green paints with the Blue I picked.  I ended up picking these colors.

 After selecting my two colors, I decided to try testing one of my models with it.  I decided to go with a Neptune class drop-ship, as it was big enough to see the scheme but not on the expensive Poseidon class so if I had to scrap it, it wasn't the end of the world.

 I mounted it on a stick, so it would easier to paint.
 I gave it a spray of Gray primer.  I went with Gray as it's been my default for a while, rather than black or white, I find it's a good middle of the road color.  Here is where I ran into trouble.

I looked at the model in Gray for a while, and decided I really, really liked the Gray.  I decided to try doing a scheme that was Gray, so I just added some wash to the grills/dark parts, added a red stripe on the rear, and a bit of metal for the engines.  It is a super simple scheme and I think that's what I like about it.  I'm not sure I won't go back to my Blue/Green idea, but the more I look at the pictures I think I accidentally found a scheme I really like.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Highways for Dropzone Commander

I've been looking for terrain for Dropzone Commander and having a difficult time of it.  Looks like I may have found a highway overpass system online, 

Scratch one item off the Lust List

We all have things we have coveted in the back of our minds, things one day we'll buy, the car, the boat, the big house, you know what I am talking about.  That thing you have told yourself that one day you will have one, when the money and timing is right, it will be yours.  Maybe you even have a picture of them up on the wall, or you have lusted after them having seen them in person, or maybe even gotten close but never quite there.

This morning I just scratched off one of those items from my lust list. 

A lull in my day led me to Ebay to start poking around as to what was availible through one of my favoritie sources of toy soldiers.  I was surprised to see a Forgeworld (sorry, not the cardboard version above) Chaos Warhound Titan in an Unassmbled state, and at a price I would be willing to pay.   It was still about 10% more than what I wanted to pay, but still much cheaper than Retail.  I'm picky about assembly and painting so this was perfect. 

The only problem is while I had planned on picking one of these up, after seeing one at Big Jim's game at Celisticon month, I am still a few months away from having the time to work on it, so it may sit for a bit.  Still, even having one in pieces will be a step up.  While I have owned two titans in the past, one an Armorcast Phantom Titan from the pre-apocalypse time of 3rd edition that mostly sat on my computer desk, and an Ork Gargant find at a flea market, none of them have been destined for actual table time.  This one will be different. 

My enemies will be crushed beneath it's feet!! Well, more than likely it will shoot a couple of times and then explode gloriously.  But it will still be pretty cool.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First game of Dropzone Commander in the books - with pictures!!

Got my first game of Dropzone Commander in last night.  My local game shop, Black Diamond Games, is actually running demo games during September on Saturday evenings, so another  new player and I had a store employee walk us through the game.  The game flows even better than I thought, apart from some line of sight issues I had.  The dropships are on roughly 4" stands though they are actually at 6" making line of sight tough sometimes as you are trying to position your models for shots.

 I really like the alternate activation coupled with activating groups of your army makes for a game you are much more engaged in than 40k,  Unlike 40k, where you move and shoot your whole army army while your opponent watches, in this game you only run one part of your army then your opponent runs a section of theirs.  This leads to a game where you don't spend half the time sitting on your butt watching.  The ironic thing is this is why the Games Workshop designers had an armor save added to Warhammer when they did first edition Warhammer, it was to engage your opponent during your turn, when historical games at the time didn't have that.  Dropzone Commander is a huge step in the right direction of a mutually engaged experience.

After only one game I am hooked.  I've already decided on a paint scheme and I am going to go out and get some stuff for terrain this afternoon.  I don't think this is going to derail my plans for a Deathguard army, but it might, as this game was indescribably fun.  

One of our local players made some awesome terrain made up of buildings with the printable Dropzone Commander buildings available on Hawk Wargame's website..

 Pile of printable Dropzone Commander roads.
 My PHR army getting ready for the game.
 My first dropship brings in some walkers, my Phobos walkers (no arms as they didn't come in my starter).
 Our mission involves picking up intel from a few buildings in the city, and then exiting the battle with it.

 Our first contact!
 Battle in the building.  The PHR infantry were quickly overwhelmed, though not before taking out a few infantry bases.

 My PHR surrounded the main building, and did a great job of keeping the UCM forces from backing up the infantry with their intel.

The game ended with both armies with 1 piece of intel, and the tie breaker went to my PHR as they had inflicted heavy casualties on the UCM forces.

I had a fantastic time, I can't wait to get another game in.  If you get a chance, this is a game that you should really give a shot, it's a way fun game.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Testing out custom colors for my Deathguard or how to measure paint accurately

With my current plan to do a Deathguard army next month when the codex drops, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and do some custom paint colors for it.  I tried looking for something that fit the general color I was looking for, but just nothing GW (or other paint lines that I like) exists.  I wanted something like a very pale green, but along the brown tint.  Too much of the Nurgle stuff I have seen is over the top and I want to go with something a bit less in your face with the "OH MY GOD ITS POOP" look. 

I went to my favorite local GW, in Alamo, CA where the manager is an amazing painter and due to having multiple degrees in Art, actually understand color to a level  I find both impressive and terrifying.  I told him what I was looking for, and walked out with three colors to use as a start.

The Death World Forest was the color I was looking for as a base, but much lighter.  He suggested using Karak Stone and Screaming Skull to lighten it up.  My next challenge was how to accurately measure the paint.  My problem with mixing paints has always been repeatability.  Anyone can mix a up a great new color to use, but can you do it again later, when yo need more of it.  My problem with this has always been how to measure amounts so you can get accurate ratios.  The Vallejo line of paint makes it easy, with eye droppers, but what about for GW?  I went looking on the Internet, twitter, forums, and couldn't a solution I liked.  So what did I do?

Pipettes, of the 3ml variety.  I found them on Amazon for about $5 for a hundred of them.   My plan was to use whole pots to mix up a large batch of a base coat, but to get to the right color I needed a way to accurately do test swatches.  The Pipettes let me do this, and in a very economical way.

The Pipettes were a bit tricky to use, I went through more than I thought, about 25 or 30 of them to do my test swatches, but all in all, I can't complain.  It was simple, easy and cheap to use them for measuring.  I tried to reuse them, but the GW paint is just too thick and doesn't want to come out.  After you use a Pipette to measure a certain amount the paint covers the measuring line, making it  tough to reuse them.  If they were pricey it might be an issue, but at the price it's not exactly a deal breaker.

On with my test patterns!!

I really like the last one, though I think it's a bit too "tan" and not Nurgly enough.  While I want to get away from the traditional extreme colors for Nurgle I do want to stay in the palate.  At the suggestion of my paint selector, I am looking at numbers 2 and 4 as my primary color.  I have some time to decide, but right now I am leaning towards 2.  I would like to go lighter so it gives me more to shade down with washes.  My next step is an actual model or two, which I hope to get to this weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Most of my Dropzone Commander preorder came in

I was able to pick up a bunch of my Dropzone Commander models from the local shop I had ordered them from.  I don't know if I have said it, but I am way lucky that my FLGS, Black Diamond Games in Concord, CA is one of the few stores that is actively stocking and supporting this game.   The models have been a bit slower coming in than I would have hoped, due to customs and manufacturing issues, but as it's a new game I don't mind cutting Hawk Wargames some slack.  It also doesn't hurt that I have a ton of other things on my hobby plate right now.

Once again, the resin on these models is way easy to work with.  I did have a few problems with miscasts, Hawk Wargames clearly has an issue with air bubbles in their casting process.  Once again, I used some nifty liquid green stuff that fixes the problem way easy.

 I do think Hawk Wargames needs to think about where the flash is.  Worst location ever.

 These models look even better in person, such great designs are indescribably cool.
 My PHR armies in force.  Now I need to really figure out a color scheme.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Camouflage patterns done easy - Imperial Guard Manticore

I wanted to try and see how easy it would be to do a camouflage pattern on a tank, I had done it with my airbrush and masking and I was curious if I could do it with regular spray paint.  I had an extra manticore from a barter I did last year for some Imperial Guard in exchange for selling a hobby collection that I had no use for.  The tank was more than happy to volunteer for the job.  I decided to go with what I had on hand, black, grey and white primer.  What could be simpler?

I started with a black primer, as I had primed it this color in anticipating of painting them for an event that I took a different army too last year.  I would have preferred to do this backwards, start white and work my way back, but it ended up working fine.  All of the colors I used in this are Krylon primers.  I really like this line of paint for priming as it covers well, doesn't gunk up, it's inexpensive (around 5 or 6 dollars a can) and has a great spray head that works in a flat fan pattern, not a cone. 

I masked off the tank using 3M painters tape.

 After masking, I sprayed with the gray primer to add gray stripes.
 The gray stripes came out great, and the tape worked perfect.  Didn't pull any of the undercoat off.

 Another masking was done for the third color, white.
 I was way happy with the results.

I spent some time weathering the model after this and it brought the white down.  You can tell in this picture that the three colors are way too different, and it's a bit distracting.  The weathering helped unify the model.

I'm still not done, but I think I've got a good start towards a great model that I didn't spend much time on.  I think I've spent about 30 minutes of actual work up to this point.  It's not going to win any awards though if I need something on the table quickly this could work.