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Monday, 30 August 2010

Distracted...

Not much painting done and no real update. Why? Because I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox 360.  No one told me it would be such an addictive game!!!

That's "me"...
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The other reason is that I've finally been given the go ahead by the fracture specialist to start running and going swimming again. So... that's what I've been doing. I have ideally between half a stone and a stone of weight to lose and 2 or 3 inches off my waist.

Pics of my hormagaunts next time.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Tank! Glorious Tanks!

Ok a slightly misleading title as there are only a handful of tanks involved.

Basically I'm a tread head. I don't know when it happened or even exactly how it happened, but I woke up one day and had lots of Imperial Guard tanks.  I used to hate tanks and I used to hate painting tanks, and then I picked up a Leman Russ, and it escalated from there...

I picked up an airbrush (gravity) and compressor with tank from eBay about 6 months or so ago, and I have been getting used to its intricacies.  I think I've finally got to the stage where I am getting the finish that I am after.  The main problem now is that my new tanks don't match the old brush-painted colour scheme of my existing tanks due to the fading out effect that the airbrush achieves.  I haven't yet decided if I am going to repaint all my old tanks to match, or simply hope no one notices (too much).


Here are some pics of my newly painted Manticore and my converted Tank Destroyer, made out of a spare leman russ hull, a piece of Cities of Death scenery and some green stuff sandbags.  The base coat was applied with the airbrush, drybrushing then weathering was applied, before thin washes of badab black and devlan mud were applied to give the dirty oily look.  The tanks were then gloss varnished (with Johnsons Pledge), transfers were applied and some Tamiya weathering powders applied, before being finished off with a light spray of matt varnish.

Enough waffling:

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Note the blue Tamiya weathering powder on the missile exhausts and the transfers on the missile to break up the blandness of the model...
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Designation Defiance - number 01. The plan is to eventually have a battery of three (like all my artillery)

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This has slightly too high a profile for my liking but that is because I am using a standard Russ hull as opposed to a Mars Pattern like the Forge World version.
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Kill markings on the side of the barrel (black skulls)
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And... here's my work in progress Shadowsword. The beauty of this kit is that with very little effort, I can make all 6 variants!

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Finally-another Baneblade and Shadowsword! I purchased these off a chap on Warseer for a very reasonable price. Will be a while before I get around to them though!

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Hope you all enjoy the pics :)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Dipping-an Ape's guide...

I've been scratching my head over what to post as my next topic, and Ant has once again provided the inspiration.

As those of you who know me are aware, Imperial Guard are my main 40k army.  I've spent a LONG time collecting and painting all the models, and it's an army I keep going back to and adding more stuff to (mainly tanks but I also have plans for yet another infantry based force with another colour scheme).  What people don't know is back in the mists of time of 2nd Edition 40k, my first complete army was Tyranids.  This was mainly composed of Tyranid warriors from the classic box game Tyranid Attack (a revised version of Advanced Space Crusade), some genestealers from Space Hulk and the handful of metal models that, given I was only 14 years old with no regular income, I had to wait to get for birthdays etc.  It was a reasonably successful army but lacked a lot of the core elements of a Tyranid army, so no carnifexes or termagants.

So fast forward 15 odd years and I got my sticky hands on three of the old battleforces, along with a few other bits and pieces to make a nice solid core and enough for a viable Apoc force.  But then the question came as to how to paint them? After having spent 2.5 years painting 90 Guardsmen, could I stomach painting 100 odd gaunts?


NO!

So what were my options? Simples! Dipping!

The very concept of dipping an army is anathema to many painting purists. They feel it is cheating, and that it takes away all the pleasure and satisfaction of a nicely painted army that has taken longer than the Great Wall of China to paint.  To me, and indeed to many others, it is a way to get a tabletop standard army onto the table in a lot less time.

So what is dipping? Well, it is basically the process of dipping painted models into a coloured wood stain, shaking off the excess and letting it dry.  The idea being that the stain or varnish naturally highlights and shades the model.  Many painters already use a variation of this technique when they apply ink washes, this is simply taking a step further.

Like any new painting technique, the first few times you try it the model may well look shite, so test it out on some old ones first.

This is how I painted mine - hopefully you can learn from my mistakes :) Apologies in advance for the photos-they were taken with my iPhone's outdated camera...

Get a can of wood stain or varnish (you can also use Army Painter-IMO same thing but twice the price...) (other people love it though so horses for courses). Make sure it's a water soluble one as it makes thinning it and cleaning the brushes MUCH easier :)

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Get the models you want to dip - I find organic looking models, or stuff with lots of texture is best for this, so Tyranids are perfect BUT there are many people who have used dipping on different models like Space Marines, Empire Soldiers, Imperial Guardsmen. 

    Paint the basic colours on to them. In this example I have a half finished hormagaunt - the carapace/bony bits will be white, the skin stays red and then some green on the organic bits to add some variation.
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      Give the can of woodstain a good shake and a good stir - a piece of wooden dowling is ideal for this.  I also found that adding a bit of water to the mix helps to ease the consistency.  Then apply the dip with a brush - Yes, I said a brush. I KNOW it's called dipping but I found a much better finish is obtained with a brush - a bog standard GW tank brush is perfect. Make sure you apply the dip in the same direction to achieve a consistent finish.

      The first models I did were my Tyranid Warriors-the final result was pretty much what I was after-a nice slimy organic feel :)

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      As did the Carnifexes

      Before
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      After
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      Unfortunately it was almost 9 months after I finished the Carnifexes that I cracked open the stain again.  Because I hadn't watered down the stain in the first place it had thickened a bit and so my Hive Tyrant came out much darker than I had hoped.

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      So I painted over the carapace, watered down the wood stain and tried again.  I didn't redo the whole model-just the bony bits.

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      The great thing with dipping is different base colours give a different effect.  On the termagants, I gave them an Astronomican Grey basecoat for the carapace instead of Skull White. As you can see it has produced a different finish.

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      Once the stain has been applied I generally hang the model upside for about 10 minutes or so from my washing line to allow any excess dip to drip off.

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      Leave to dry for 24 hours, base and spray with a Matt Varnish to protect the model and remove the sheen (not got round to this on any of mine, which is why they are so shiny!)

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      Et Voila - how to dip models (with a brush).  Like with any painting technique, practice makes perfect.  There are numerous different woodstain shades you can buy so just experiment with different colours and different basecoats.

      For those who want to, you can then go back to the model and add further highlighting if you wish.  This is something I will probably do with some of the bigger models at some point in the future, but my priority is getting them table ready at the minute.

      Hope this is useful to someone out there and that my mistakes help prevent too many of your own!

      I will put up more pics of the Tyranids at a later date when they are finished, and when I have access to a decent camera.

      Any comments, or questions then just ask :)

      Monday, 2 August 2010

      Welcome :)

      Hello - thanks for checking out my blog. I have been inspired to start this after reading Spence and Ant's blogs. So this is an attempt to inspire myself to paint my ever growing collection of models and to document my toils.

      Here is me with my hard-earned bronze Golden Demon trophy.  Some may claim that I stole this trophy, but that would be a lie :shifty:

      So far, I have well over 5 k points of Imperial Guard - this army is my labour of love. I am always expanding it and I don't think it will ever be finished. I will be putting up pictures of already painted stuff and work in progress stuff.  To further expand this force I have scratcbuilt two Warhound titans and a Thunderbolt fighter-mainly because if I bought them from Forgeworld, the mrs would castrate me...

      Here's a quick preview of my two scratchbuilt babys! I will put up more detailed pics at a later date-they are still work in progress and quite rough looking!

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      I am currently in the process of painting a large Tyranid force.  I will be painting this using the dipping technique, mainly because the thought of painting 100 odd gaunt variants in detail!!!  Again, pics of what I have done already will be posted up soon.

      I'm also a big fan of Games Workshops Specialist Games. I have an extensive Imperial fleet for Battlefleet Gothic and an ever growing Epic Imperial Guard army.  In an attempt to get more friends to play it, I also have a painted Epic Space Marine force, a large Epic Tyranid force and an Epic Ork force-which I bought this year off eBay in a large lot, and is still in its boxes awaiting construction!

      Right, well that's enough for now-if you've got this far, then well done :D