Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Painting Moonraker & Spearmen

Work has been as busy as ever and so has home life so I have not been able to break out the paints as often as I would like to relax. However I have slowly made some improvements to the miniatures mentioned in the previous post, as well as another unit of Bretonnians that have been primed ready to go for a year!

I still like the sculpts. I think perhaps some of the hands are a little out of proportion but they have some interesting details and I do not think they would go amiss in the realms of 40K as civilians, advisors, henchmen, background scenary, dioramas, objectives etc.

I also bought a new lamp (Ikea but I got it from ebay second hand) and a daylight bulb (from Lightbulbs Direct - good price and a wide range of stuff). It means I do not have to squint even when I have the 15 bulbs on in the front room (yes... 15 of the damn things and it is still a bit dim for painting)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Moonraker Miniatures

So for Christmas my wife also bought me some miniatures from Moonraker Miniatures.

Moonraker Miniatures

The one on the left I can see as being a governor or official. The second one in I can see as being a security bod. Third one across is an adventure, or inquisitorial henchman. The last one has to be a guards(wo)man.

Left to right we have an inquisitorial henchman, commander/governor, tech guy, civilian, crewman.

The moulds are very good, hardly any flash at all anywhere, crisp detail and quite a complicated model in places.

They took my new Vallejo primer very well and I am now in the process of painting them up. For £1.50 each you cannot fault them in any way and they do not really look out of place next to my other models (pics to follow once painted so you can see them in scale).

To be honest I am not even sure what I wanted to do with them. I think now that I am getting old, and now that I have less disposable income, I am really thinking hard about my hobby purchases. I still am tempted by an awful lot and I still have a mountain of unpainted stuff, but I look through various companies now and I am no longer a GW only person.

GW seem to be getting back on track and I still have thousands of their models... but at today's prices it becomes very hard to justify my meagre hobby spend on their models. At the moment I am really only using birthday and christmas presents as a way to acquire hobby material. I simply cannot afford to outline the average £20, £30 or £40 on a single unit or tank like I might have done when I was younger.

Companies like this offer an awful lot of bang for your buck. I am also of an age and a mind now that the odd non-GW model slipped in among my units and characters adds to their appeal rather than stands out as an eyesore. Some of these models just here are excellent character pieces or special pieces for a unit (or even scenary or background).

This, the aether pirate (see post below) and artillerist (see earlier post) really are in the same spirit of the original GW models and lines. They fit in lovely, the scale difference is no real problem and it gives a big boost (I think) to the look and feel of the army on the table.

Pirate - arrrgggggghhhh

So my lovely wife knew exactly what to buy me for Christmas (well... ok... I made a list and she clicked randomly)

Pirate Captain

I am looking to paint this one up as another 'advisor' - an officer of the fleet - to go with my extensive command models

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Necromunda Repainted: Ratskins and Scum

I loved the idea of the hired scum in Necromunda. A basic scummer with dual pistols went down very well for me long term with my Orlocks and a pit slave with some nasty weapons also chopped a fair few Van Saar heads off. I always thought the Bounty Hunter was a bit over the top but the Ratskin Scout was not a bad gamble every now and then.

These were largely sitting around in my Necromunda gang box for a while, most of them unpainted all that time. I have finally added to them in the latest round of redoing my Necromunda models and they look a bit better than their previous plan white undercoat.

Necromunda Repainted: All varnished up

Now strange as it might seem in all my years of playing and painting I have NEVER varnished a model!

Partly it was because I never really painted any good before so it was not worth it and partly it was because of an element of cowardice in terms of potentially messing up the model. Well this time round I thought I would give it a go.

I read up on a fair few forums about the best varnish to use. Most people seem to suggest a gloss finish for hardness and then a matt one to taste if you don't like it all shiny. However a few more modern posts sung the praises of satin varnish, a kind of halfway house.

There were horror stories a plenty about using spray on varnish, warnings about humidity, bad examples of particular brands that ruined paint jobs etc. I found a few posts from quality painters that said Vallejo did a nice set of varnish that you can brush on. I prefer brush on myself as although I have an air compressor I have not used it in real anger painting wise, just for base coating, and I did not like the idea of doing it outside in the British weather (I do not have anywhere suitable in the house).

They also made mention of the difference between acrylic and polyurethene varnish, with the latter being much sturdier and better. So I stuck with what I love (Vallejo) and ordered a bottle of the poly varnish from Element Games.

I did varnish one of the juves (see below) first and waited 24 hours and it held up well. No discolouring or misting problems. When the varnish goes on it does appear a bit milky in places and I was worried about it pooling whilst using a brush, but in the end it worked out well I think.

Yes it does have a slight shiny finish but I think I will let it be for the time being and see how it goes. I believe I can always come back and put a layer of matt on it to tone it down. In the meantime I have also discovered that the local Range offers a wide, well, range of varnish that is high quality artist stuff at a price that is cheaper than you can get on the net! So next time I might pop in there for a bit of quality Winsor and Newton stuff.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Necromunda Repainted: Based and basics done

Right. I know the minis still need work. I know the highlights are awful. I know the lighting is poor and there is some dust to blow off. But do you know what? I am quite pleased. From a distance (arms length) they look a whole better than they did 20 years ago!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Necromunda Repainted: Post Wash and some highlights

Right. So I like the thick dirty wash I gave them... gives them a nice dull overall look. Was very tempted to leave them there. But this time I tried a few (very dodgy) edge highlights. I am not looking for a Golden Demon finish, I just want something that is not too sore on the eyes from a few feet away.

I know the photos are washed out, still experimenting with everything, but they have to look a bit better than the originals from 20 years ago.

My aim now is to add a few highlights, a few more of the washed down base colours to tone some of those highlights down, then maybe varnish them (which I have NEVER done before... I was going to use Vallejo Polyurethane Satin). Then take them off their slotta bases and start to try and fit them on the finished scenic bases.

This is all just me easing back into things and slowly, one tiny step at a time, improving my technique. All comments welcomes, especially those that point out where I can improve!