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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

For the horde!

Hello wonderful guys and girls,

I am sorry for my absence, but I had a bunch of stuff going on after moving house. Still a lot of chores that needed to be done, so not a lot of time for painting or other hobby related stuff.

I do want to share something cool I recently got, in the wake of the movie Warcraft: The beginning.

Intro

There where two sculptors I follow on Facebook that where working on some very interesting busts.

The first bust I found was sculpted by the well known and very talented Joaquin Palacios, sculptor of the Crystal Brush 2016 award winning piece Garrosh. The piece is 55mm tall and consists of 7 pieces, depicting a nameless orc with a resemblance to warchief Durotan.


As you can see, it is a very detailed, beautiful piece. It is currently available for pre-order till the 15th of July. The pre-order price is €38 + shipping. After the 15th of July the price for this bust will be €40. Contact freemansculptures@hotmail.com to order or for more information.

The second sculptor, Przemyslaw Szymczyk, made two busts based on the orcs in the film. One 58mm bust called Commander Baldum with similarities to Orgrim Doomhammer and one 70mm sized bust called Overlord Hard'al that depicts Durotan.

click to expand

Both busts are incredibly detailed and have a lot of character. The 70mm bust consists of 2 pieces. Durotan is being sold for €34,99 (pre-order price) and Orgrim can be bought for €29,99. For more information or to order contact areswarforge@gmail.com.

I had a hard choice to make. As you can see all these busts are beautiful and will be a joy to paint. Eventually it was the expression in the faces that tipped the scales. I ordered the busts from Ares Warforge and received them a couple of days later.

Review

I would like to start with the packaging. I received the busts in a box with styrofoam 'cheeto's'. This doesn't allow the figures to move inside and damage each other. While everything got to me fine and in perfect condition, some individual packaging (blister pack or ziploc bag) with some sort of inspirational art for the buyer, is something Ares Warforge could maybe improve on in the future.


Moving on to the busts. The busts did have a little flash and Overlord Hard'al has small mold lines running over his shoulders. Nothing fine sandpaper and some putty can fix though!

click to expand
the busts are very detailed and the skin, hair and teeth all have a really nice texture to them. There is a separate piece for the necklace with tusks or claws hanging from them. They are probably from a bear he killed with his bare hands!


I couldn't detect any mold lines on the 58mm sculpt of Commander Baldum. Only on the underside of the bust could I detect mold lines. The perfectionists under us will want to sand that away, but it would be OK to leave it. (Who am I kidding? We are all perfectionists in this hobby!)
There was a little bit of flash (or casting vents) underneath his beard and under the claws of the pelt he is wearing over his shoulder. A sharp knife made quick work of that. This might be my favorite figure due to the expression on his face. He looks agitated! A true orc!


As you can see all these busts are stunning and I can't wait to start painting them! Currently I am trying to plan out how to paint them and to get the required materials. Once they are done (if ever) I will share the results with you!

If you are interested in getting these busts for yourself be sure to use the contact information provided in the intro part of this article or look them up on Facebook!

For now thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below with questions or suggestions. You can also click the 'Join this site' button on the right side column to subscribe to my blog or share this article with your friends. Thanks in advance!

I hope to see you next time but for now, happy painting!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bandai Star Wars 1/72 X- Wing Starfighter

Hi guys and girls,

I'm sorry my articles are not as frequent as they used to be. I just had a lot of stuff going on in my life (moving house and even worse, having to move my hobby stuff!!) that took a lot of my spare time that I would otherwise had used to write this.

The box art looks very cool! 

Acquiring this model kit can be tricky. Officially, Bandai can only sell this in Japan. So if you want to buy this you need to turn to Ebay, Amazon or a so called proxy buying service. The original price is 2.592 Yen (about $23) but this might get up to near $40 for some online retailers.

To me, Bandai was best known for their Gundam kits. These rather large, detailed robot kits usually have loads of moving parts like arms, legs, torso's and head. With this in mind I expected a lot from this kit. I was not disappointed!

Inside the box are four plastic bags containing sprue's, decal- and sticker sheets. First impressions are really good! The detail on the model looks crisp and to the naked eye looks just like in the movies!

As you can see they got multiple colors on one sprue.
White, red, transparent and transparent red.
This package also included the sticker sheet.

Hull parts, details and pilot parts.

Engine- and gunparts.

Wing parts.

The decal sheet

The base and stand of the model.
It comes with 2 parts.
One of them representing the 'thermal exhaust
port' leading to the Deathstar's reactor core.

The whole model is snap-fit so no glue is required. The tools Bandai recommends are clippers and a hobby knife, although I would add some small files and fine sanding paper to that list. No glue is required!

Do keep in mind though, this model is made for the Japanese market. This means that the instructions are also in Japanese. Luckily the pictures explain everything clearly, but you might want to double check some actions before cutting or forcing two parts together.

Clear steps to follow

The model is an absolute dream to put together! I had loads of fun and it was an 'easy' build for me. I ended up having some trouble painting the model though. I did wash the model (something I rarely have to do with plastics) but the paint and primer kept rubbing off. Also masking tape from Tamiya, generally known to be one of the best masking tapes out there, pulled the primer and paint right off! That is when I decided to use the decals instead... And they have decals for everything!!!

Stickers for the little side panels in the cockpit

The whole kit comes with tons of options! You can pose the X-Wing in a flying position or in a landed position. With the ton of extra bits (and some of your own) you would be able to make a diorama of it undergoing maintenance or something. It comes with one seated and one standing rebel pilot and with an R2 and R5 astromech droid.

Check out the cute little R5 droid!

If you want to paint this kit, I suggest painting some parts before assembling the model. For example, if you'd like for the astromech unit to be removable (yes you can switch the two out if you don't glue them in) you should paint them before placing them into the hull. (or you can use the decals they provided. TINY DECALS!!) Same goes for the pilot and the cockpit.

Painted rebel pilot.

Pilot placed inside the cockpit.

For the metallics (cockpit, engines, mechanical parts on the wings) I used AK-Interactive's X-TREME Metal paint. Earlier tests have proven that this paint is supposed to be very durable. Still, I was able to peal it clean off when using masking tape. It might have something to do with the type of plastic, so handle with care!

The rest of the model was primed with Vallejo airbrush black and light grey primer. This usually gives me great result but the paint stayed very fragile! I applied several coats and let them dry for 24 hours before applying the next layer. It might have something to do with the type of plastic.

I then continued to paint the hull with Vallejo offwhite. I applied thin coats and tried to make the center of the panels more opaque and the edges (near the panel lines) more transparent, showing some of the grey primer underneath.

The hull painted white.

After applying the white paint, I applied several thin layers of gloss varnish to protect the paint and prepare the model for the decals.

I loosely assembled the model .
At first my plan was to manually scratch up the decals to create realistic weathering but seeing how easy the paint came off during the painting process I chose for a different method. I sponged on white paint matching the original basecoat so the markings would appear to be worn and damaged.

After applying and weathering the decals I proceeded with the details on the rest of the model. I did a pin wash to bring out the panel lines and details using brown enamel wash by AMMO and I cleaned up using a cotton swap.

I used black pigment powder, engine grime, engine oil and fuel stains from AMMO to weather the engines.

I used a sponge with rust colored pigments to create streaks
After sealing all the progress so far I created the final chips, scratches and cracks by freehanding them all over the model. This was a lot of work but a lot of fun to do. You can also create some paint chips using your sponge by lighting dabbing your sponge against the surface you want to be weathered. This gives a more random effect but can also be messier. For the chips I used a dark brown paint by AMMO.

Freehanded chips on the wing and engine.
The final result is something I was quite proud of! I really enjoyed building and painting this model and I am more then sure this is not my last Bandai Star Wars kit. I still have the TIE Fighter, Y-Wing and maybe even the Millennium Falcon. The kits are super detailed and you can do all sorts of cool stuff with it like creating a crashed fighter or implement lighting effects with LED's and fiber glass.

The finished result
I really hope you liked this review and walkthrough of my experiences with this kit. If you liked it and would like to see more feel free to follow this blog using this link or to leave a comment down below.

What are your thoughts about the kit? Do you like it enough to try and get one or do you prefer a different brand?

As always thank you for reading and don't lick your brushes!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Quick tip for removing emblems

Welcome back dear readers and followers!

Most wargamers will know this pain, trying to paint that one model to fit your army but the iconography is from a different army. Companies like Games Workshop are making it harder and harder for people to cross certain models over to other armies. For example Space Marines are getting more and more chapter specific iconography.

Last week I found a really good way to remove that. Dewey Haines shared a picture from Nova Open Tabletop Wargaming explaining how to do this.

Credits for the picture go to Dewey Haines
As you can see he used a chisel shaped scalpel blade to remove the Ravenwing icon. This would have been really hard to do with a regular knife, a hobby file or sandpaper.

If you want to know where to get blades like this, a quick google search on the words 'hobby knife set' led me to this Amazone site.

So I really hope this quick tip helps you in your daily hobby.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you next time!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Quickly paint engraved glyphs / OSL

Hello everybody!

Ever got a model that has those engraved glyphs that you would like to stand out more but all you have are dark washes? Ever tried to paint those glyphs and ended up in an eternal circle of going back and forth cleaning up mistakes?


Well that is what I had. I was painting 40 Necron warriors with converted weapons (engraved gun barrels instead of the green clear plastic ones) that I wanted to paint like the engraved detail was glowing. The easiest way to for me to do this would be to paint the glyphs white and airbrush some green glow over it.

Painting the white was a hassle and took way to much time to get it neatly done, so I set out to find a better way.

I found this by using the pin wash / panel wash technique, mostly used in historical scale modelling to darken the gaps between panels but this time, with a twist.

When you look online for panel lining you will find a bunch of video's and articles about black or brown oil washes. I used the mechanic behind this technique but I changed it by using white oil paint.

So what you need for this is:

  • White oil paint (titanium white)
  • (odorless) Thinner
  • (preferably) synthetic brush
What you want to do is first protect your paintjob with a layer of gloss or satin varnish! 
Next you will want to take a bit of the white paint and thin it down with the thinner. The thinner can really mess with your organic brushes. (they will ruin your red saber brushes)
Once the mix has a wash consistency it is time to take it to the model. 

Next step is SUPER easy! (as seen in the short video below)


After this step you can clean your brush in some thinner and dab the brush on a paper towel or cloth to get rid of the excess thinner and then use the damp brush to clean up around the edges.

Once the white wash is dry all that is left to do to create a simple OSL (object source lighting) is to airbrush some green over the gun barrel.

An other example of this technique is on the glyphs on the forceshield of an Eldar Wraithblade. 


As you can see it is super quick and easy. If you would like to make them glow you could airbrush some light blue (or any other color) over them to create a mystical effect.

Another application of this technique would be on for example, powerfists and plasma coils. Here it would be logical for the crevices to be the lightest. So you airbrush or paint your fist or plasma weapon in the desired color, use a white oil wash, and then glaze in some color. to make it blend in. 

I hope this article helped you to speed up or improve your painting. 

If it did please share your results!

Thank you for reading and leave no model unpainted!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cheat edge highlights

Edge highlights... You either love them or hate them.

Personally, I love them on some parts of miniatures and hate them on other parts. But what I really hate about them, is having to paint edge highlights. It is one of the most fiddly, time consuming parts of painting a model. Your brush tip must be near perfect, your paint should be diluted to get a nice flow but not too thin and some area's are really, really hard to reach and not paint on other parts!

That is why, dear readers, in this article I will tell you how I cheat my edge highlights.

In historical scale model you see people using graphite pencils to create metallic welds and edges. This gave me an idea and I set out to my art store to buy artists watercolor pencils.



I used a pencil sharpener to get rid of the protective coating on the tip. Now, as you would with a brush, run the side of the tip over all your edges. Its really quick and easy! You can even erase errors using an eraser or a wet brush. You won't have to mind paint drying in the tip of your brush or paint drying on your palette.

** Make sure to varnish after applying the edge highlights. The watercolor pencil is not very durable!**

Some examples of my first trial run:




Overall I think this is about four times faster then using paint. I bought a bunch of different colors so I can have several stages of edge highlights.

The watercolor pencils could also be used to draw a sketch for if you want to freehand. You can blend out the pencil drawing with a wet brush or just paint over it.

I hope this quick article helped some of you.

If it did, feel free to share your experience in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading and hobby on!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: WAMP brushes

Hey everybody,

As some of you might know I made the decision to buy an airbrush early on in my 'painting career'.
The result of this is that I taught myself a bunch of cool masking and airbrush tricks, but I kind of neglected my brush skills.

Some of my more recent projects required me to do some more brush work. The kickstarter from WAMP launched around that time. This was a great opportunity to get myself some good brushes to 'brush up' my skills.

The kickstarter was a success! They got £42.843 while their goal was only £850. I got the starterset which includes the fine detail, detail, basecoat and freehand brushes. When I received the brushes this summer (2015) I decided to try them out and write a review.

The brushes are labeled with the task it was designed for. No more numbers like 00, 0, 1, 2 or 3 but clear names like fine detail, detail, basecoat and freehand. This doesn't mean you cannot paint details with your basecoat brush but it is more of an recommendation. This is supposed to make it easier for beginners and I think it really does!


The brushes are handcrafted by Rosemary & Co. This is a UK based company with a long track-record of making high quality artist brushes.

The handles of the brushes are thin and very light. The detail and freehand brushes have a nice and sharp tapered bristles where the basecoat brush is a little bit rounder, so it can hold more paint. The overall impression of the brushes is very positive!

This is how the brushes look after a few weeks of painting

I was happily surprised by these brushes. After months/years of trying to replace brush techniques with my airbrush my experience is that having the right tool does matter! Buying good brushes will not buy you skill but it does make it a lot easier and more enjoyable to learn new skills and try out those hard to master techniques.

The bristles have a nice 'flick' I think its called. That means that the bristles snap back into a point after you made your brushstroke on the model.

The only downside, for some reason they are not on their website. I don't know if the brushes have been released to the public yet or if they where kickstarter exclusive. I doubt this is the case though. There might be a delay before they release the the general public or they are currently sold out. If anyone knows please let me know in the comments!

** In the comments you can read the comment by Brett Johnson, stating that the brushes will be available soon but that they are waiting on some more stock before releasing them.**

So, that rounds up my review of this product. It is not my intention to push or promote this product in any way. I would like to explain my thoughts about this product and judge if it would be a safe investment or not. In my honest opinion: YES! I personally didn't have this much fun with 'analog painting' in a long, long time.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you next time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Custom paint rack

Hello dear readers!

Today I want to tell you all about this amazing custom paint rack I ordered.

Through Facebook I came in contact with Manuel, who apparently builds paint racks. I wanted to fit the paint rack inside a closet drawer so I had some specific demands when it came to size. After talking through the options we decided on a size. The rack would hold 60 paints. Then came the big question; 'how much is this gonna cost?' I was amazed to find out it would only cost me €14!(about £10 or $15,50) Of course you can get laser cut paint racks for a similar price but do remember that this is a custom build to my specifications!
The rack arrived quickly and well packaged

It arrived fully assembled

It's a perfect

Witness the power of this fully operational paint rack!
If you want your own custom paint rack you can contact Manuel through Facebook or by email (just click for the email address) His pricing is very straight forward. His standard rack holds 100 bottles of paint and costs €20. For every 50 paints you want it to hold the price goes up €10. For detailed information I recommend contacting Manuel. 

I want to thank Manuel for helping me clean up my workspace and I want to thank you for reading.
Till next time!