Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mud and Guts


The early war German Heer forces have been an interesting laboratory for various basing materials.  While I need to continue that May/June forested look to match the French and BEF, I have been working in various foliage and Mig AMMO products


Since I did this artillery piece, I have gone back to using the Woodland Scenics fine foliage.  It is perfect for the forested gun emplacements.


I have also included the use of the heavy mud paints from AMMO on all of my bases, since I love the textural difference that provides, and it also helps to tie in the figures to the base, as if they are genuinely interacting with the surface.

This also has more of a fresh turned earth appearance, which is even more important on these weapon teams.


The positions look more like they have been freshly dug... especially if I can save a few shovels from the infantry sprues!!!


The view from above shows off the mud.  While you can make the usual sand and gravel look like dirt when it's painted, that still does not have the extra touch of the Mig Mud.


Many more gun teams are on the way, including the heavy howitzer and its five man crew.  Stay tuned!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hail the Chief


This Skink Chief was one of the little surprises that I would have in my Skink and Kroxigor units.


He, along with a Skink Priest, would be embedded in the largest of my "Skrox" units, which contained 36 Skinks and 4 Kroxigors.  This was known as the "Skink Tank".

Despite it's size, it was very fast.  It had a lot of firepower with 36 shots, and had the 4 big beasties to lend some heavy hitting in combat.


It also had lots of ranks, banners and so on.  By placing a Skink Chief and Priest in the unit, it also had magical protection along with whatever special armaments the chief had.


I varied what each Chief would carry from unit to unit to match a certain purpose.  I think this guy would take the Ogre strength weapon...


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Charging doom!


While all of the Army of the Dead figures have interesting poses, armor and weapons, this one is a favorite.  I even added a few extra streamers of cloth, putting a thin layer of green stuff over a strip of tin foil.


The tin foil provided the stability, allowing the green stuff to set in place.  


Just as I did with the other Army of the Dead, I combined the use of intensely saturated fluorescent paints and the weathering techniques.  It is easiest to see on the edges of the robes, the shields, and even on the weapons and armor.


The application of those weathering techniques, which was as simple as modified glazes, made the brighter fluorescent colors even brighter, and more ethereal as opposed to a 'light source' of its own.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Face of the Gorgon


Ever since I began my French Bolt Action army early last year, I began to think about various ways to incorporate Foreign Legion troops in some fashion.

There are some options out there, especially for North Africa theme FFL.  However, I was really intrigued when I saw the various early war armies that are available from Gorgon Studio!

I have some images of the French Foreign Legion in sheepskin coats.  As you can see, there is a nice variety of poses and gear, everything you would need to create that early war Norway force.


The army has weapon teams, command figures, as so on, and the sculpting is first rate!  Many of you will probably recognize Artizan Designs and their WW2 miniature line.  Well, the same sculptor has been hard at work creating these for Gorgon Studios.


I will include a link for you, but be sure to check out all the armies that are available.  For the German player, a host of options await, no matter what theater you desire.  There are also British, Polish and even Norwegians!

That's another army that's coming too, so stay tuned later in the week.


I'm going to have all kinds of fun painting both these armies, especially if I enjoy them as much as I did painting this guy.  There are very clean lines, and most figures are one piece casts.


These have also provided me with a chance to paint some very interesting uniforms, and work within a slightly different color range.


Hopefully you can see some of the subtle color changes in the coat itself, where I tried to incorporate some of the grayish greens on the sleeves.

Here's a link to the French Foreign Legion:



Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Big Pig


I'm not really sure what these guys are, but this was an interesting challenge.  Once again, a compressed color range, but very fun to try and get as much variety in that range as possible.


I tried to have a warmer flavor to anything that wasn't armor.  However, reflecting those warmer earth tones on the metal was very important.  Not just as a straight reflection either, but using those browns and blues together to create more interesting grays.


I had to keep one section of the range isolated just a bit for the base, and that was in the greenish tones.  A few of those shades did end up on the metals of the weapon and the mask, in order to continue that color all across the figure.


Color balance is always important, even on high saturation pieces with all kinds of bright colors.  I suppose that it's just more important when you are dealing with mostly mid tones and muted colors!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tiny Skink... Big Shield


This little guy was one of a few dozen minor conversions done to create a huge 50 Skink block equipped with javelins and shields.  I am not sure which old plastic set the shield came from... possibly dwarves or even chaos.  The large shield did give me a nice surface to paint a fun icon on it!


This was also a color test that I chose to forgo, due to the scaley nature of the newer Skink sculpts.  I may just go ahead and do an entire unit comprised of only these older Skinks so that I can go ahead with some of these fun stripe patterns!!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Making a solid case


I am often asked how I transport all these armies of mine around, so here's a peek!

Long ago I tried to do the foam case thing, which was expensive, time consuming to pack and unpack, and kept everything inside completely invisible.  This would sometimes lead to me taking the wrong army, or worse yet, an empty case!

The stuff inside was not very well protected either, because the act of taking them out and packing them back in again rubbed the figures against the foam, with the result you would expect.

It also took forever to pack things up, as I had to remember where each figure went, like Satan's jigsaw puzzle.

I think it was 2009 when I began magnetizing my armies, and putting pieces of metal or something for them to grab onto in cases.  When I was introduced to these stacking cases from Sterlite, I thought that they could be pretty amazing.


These are pretty roomy (you will see when they have figures inside), and interlock very well.  They come in a set of two, just like this.


When we had our furnace replaced last winter, I took minor solace in that I was able to "requisition" a large chunk of left over sheet metal.  You can find smaller pieces at any kind of home improvement or hardware store.  There are even pieces of metal at Hobby Lobby these days.

A pair of tin snips is all that I needed to cut them.  I have a few "directional" tin snips left over from construction days many moons ago.  These bend the metal in a certain direction as the snips cut through the metal... especially away from your hand holding the snips!


Since I wanted the option of using these for other tasks, I attached the sheet metal to the case with heavy double sided tape.


Success!  Sheet metal solidly ensconced in the case, ready for magnetized miniatures.


And voila!  Army guys!  Specifically Norwegian and French Foreign Legion troops from Gorgon Studios.  There are over forty figs in here, with room for many more.

I will do a separate article on magnetizing the minis, but for now I can say that refrigerator style magnet sheets work very well.  They have a self stick backing, and they have the correct 'balance' of holding power.

That is, they stick just enough to keep the minis in place, but not so strong that you will rip the figure from the base!  Believe me, that has happened to me with other much stronger magnets.


Now for some armies.  You can easily fit 1000-1200 points of Bolt Action figures in just one case, or a few Warmachine armies, etc.  Definitely enough to hold a few Blood Bowl teams as well.


Since I can see through the boxes, I can tell from a distance which army is inside, and I can take the one that I need, instead of guessing or having to write on the case.


It is very easy to deploy an army directly from these cases, and also put them back in.  Since there is minimal handling, you probably give years of additional life to your hard earned paint jobs!


Did I mention stacking?  Yes you can, and in any order.  The tops will fit on any other Sterlite set.  I have gotten these at Target, but also on Amazon.  

One piece of advice I will offer is to be aware of weight.  Stacking 5 cases filled with metal minis will be very heavy, and put a lot of strain on the handle.  If I have a bunch of cases with me, I use a very small folding luggage trolley that holds them all together, and means that I don't have to carry them around by the handle.


Another advantage of that stacking ability is space savings.  I have made a stack of containers 12 cases high, which takes up almost no room... but holds hundreds of minis, vehicles, paint, brushes, tools, rulebooks and much more.

Better yet, these cases usually cost around $10 per pair!!