Monday, May 31, 2010

Slow Night & Mulling Over New Project (eek!)

Well, I didn't get a whole lot done tonight- I primed five Panzer IVH tanks to start Biermeyer's platoon, along with a Kubelwagen and staff car that the motorized mortar platoon will need. Like I said not a lot, but it's something.

Paxter, the local forum honch of 40K Malaysia, has announced a hobby contest that will be hosted in the forums. It's a sort of "Tale of 4 Gamers" thing. Entrants have six weeks to finish a brand new project (or close to new). Every week all the entrants post pics and text of their progress on the forums, and they get scored based on criteria like appearance and perceived effort/progress. I really dig the pressure of hobbying to a deadline, but I'm now faced with a bit of a conundrum.

I'm too far along with my Flesh Tearers to really enter them, so they are out.

I don't want to do my Vietnam-themed light infantry Catachans, so they are out.

As far as I can see right now, that leaves me with three viable options, with pros/cons to each:

1) Death Korps of Krieg: The obvious choice, but one that I'm reluctant to make due to the quality levels I'm planning on putting into the hobby work and paintjobs. Extensive conversions, resin casts of scratch built components, weathering, etc... It would take a Herculean effort to actually finish the Death Korps, unless I do a small force like 1000 points or something along those lines.

2) Iyanden Eldar- Another strong choice, but one that I'm not super thrilled to jump into right now. The list I'd do would work around 30 Wraithguard, 2 Wraithlords, 3 Warlocks, and a Farseer. I've got some new tricks up my sleeve that I've been fiddling with the last week or so that will help, but I'm not as motivated to do these guys right now (what can I say? I'm on a weathering kick). However, I know with consistent effort I can finish the entire force within the allotted time.

3) White Consuls Space Marines- I have some resin shoulder pads I acquired a long time ago, and some painting tricks that might make the white a little easier to pull off. However, painting a white army is one of the most painful things you can do to yourself! This one out of the three represents a mega-tangent, solely based on a Chaplain I painted a while back and a friend's cool gesture of putting my name in one of his books. I have to admit, a nicely painted White Consuls army would look stunning on the table... Another option I could do with the same bits would be Raptors. Those guys would look good with some robust weathering as well :)

What do you guys think? I'll put up a poll and get some feedback from you guys- please take a moment to click, and by all means post up some rationale in the comments. I want to register this week and start getting my schedule sorted for this. Thanks in advance for the help! :)

Have a nice night...

1st Platoon Done

All done! Up next, Biermeyer's Platoon (aka the last 5 tanks!)...

Monday, May 24, 2010

1st Platoon Started

Normally, I don't do anything on Mondays. I usually just spend the evening chilling out on the couch. However, I've got some great momentum going now, and I'm going to ride it as long as it lasts!

Tonight I cranked out the first set of airbrush steps, and they're starting to become routine!

Tomorrow I'll finish everything up to the oil washes, leaving only a matte varnish and graphite treatment for Wednesday to finish the platoon. Yee hah!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

SS Command HQ Finished

Huzzah! More progress...

I've finished the Command HQ portion of my Flames of War list- the company commander and his second in command. I used the same techniques as I did for the Sturmtigers, so it's really just a matter of keeping the work going and getting the remaining 8 panzers done. After that, the camouflaged infantry models... ugh.

Here some more pics of my new commanders- enjoy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2 Down, 10 To Go!

The first two tanks for my SS Panzerkompanie are done, and I'm pumped!

While there are things I'll doubtlessly notice later, there's no question that this work is head and shoulders above anything I've done 15mm scale-wise in vehicles. After the oil washes and pin washes from last night were left to dry, I did the following tonight to finish these puppies up:

1) Applied MIG Pigments P028 Europe Dust liberally to the tracks and lower hull area
2) Mixed an approximate 1:1 ratio of mineral spirits and Daler-Rowney Soluble Matte Varnish (pictured below), and applied to both models with an airbrush
3) Repeated the #2 graphite treatment to the tracks and other sharp edged areas on the models that paint would naturally get worn

I can't say enough how much I like this matte varnish I tried. It came recommended from ForgeWorld's Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume 1. It yields an utterly matte finish, and I have no doubt this bottle will last me a LONG time. I think I've bought my last spray can of matte varnish! (Knock on Wood he he he). If you try it, I promise you won't be disappointed with the results. I bought mine at Art Friend, located @ The Gardens.

Thanks for following along with me and my Sturmtigers. Up next, I'll chronicle the painting of a whopping TEN Panzer IVH tanks. I have high expections. In the meantime, here's some more up close photos of the finished Sturmtigers...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sturmtigers Progress

Well, I'm really pleased with my progress thus far with the Sturmtigers. Here's what I did tonight:

1) Painted the rope hanging off the side with GW Bleached Bone
2) Applied Vallejo 994 Dark Grey with a sponge on high wear areas to simulate paint chipping
3) Painted Vallejo 982 Cavalry Brown inside some of the chips to show red oxide primer underneath. Note: this will get darkened up a bit with an oil wash later
4) Painted the tracks with Vallejo 994 Dark Grey
5) Heavily drybrushed tracks with Vallejo 874 USA Tan Earth
6) Rubbed the graphite from a #2 pencil semi-randomly along the edges of the hulls, muzzles, and track links to simulate exposed bare metal from wear

I took the picture at this point. After the pic I mixed up a 1:1 Future Floor Polish and Tamiya Thinner, and airbrushed it on the Sturmtigers for a nice semi-gloss/gloss finish. This will enhance the capillary action of the oil based washes I'm going to do tomorrow.

I'm pumped. I've never really done weathering at all on my vehicles. I learned to paint in the "GW style" vehicles that were essentially "factory fresh". Only recently has GW started showing a lot of weathering, and old habits die hard. The way I'm painting these models right now is completely different then anything I've done before. Even though they are not yet done, I can feel a tangible sense that I'm headed in the right direction.

Many thanks to Nick and Soo Jinn- you guys have been a fountain of knowledge regarding airbrush technique, 15mm scale painting, and advanced painting in general. I humbly appreciate it dudes! These guys, along with countless Osprey books and other publications have really helped my hobby progress. I salute you!

Before I leave you tonight, here's a pic of what's next for my SS Panzerkompanie...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Change of Plans

Yeah, about those Fallschirmjager...

With camo smocks and a butt-ton of miniatures to paint in a relatively short amount of time, I've decided to make a switch. I'm still doing Germans, but this first force will be a SS Panzerkompanie from the 3rd SS "Totenkopf". This will allow me to do a couple of things:

1. Practice painting 15mm scale vehicles
2. Actually get a FoW force done and painted for the Market Garden campaign

Before anyone howls about it, yes, I know Totenkopf didn't fight in Market Garden. However, I love the Eastern Front, and you have to admit Sturmtigers look pretty badass!

The above picture shows only the beginning of the paint scheme that Nick Chew has helped me out with. Thus far, I've done the following (in order)

1. Assembled the models (duh!)
2. Undercoated them in Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown
3. Basecoated them in Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow
4. Added camo stripes in Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown
5. Added second set of camo stripes in Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green
6. Applied a green filter to the entire model(s) with heavily diluted XF-58 Olive Green
7. Applied soot/exhaust stains to muzzles and exhausts with Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black
8. Painted small spots of Vallejo Gloss Varnish to decal sites.
9. Applied decals from Flames of War SS Decal range
10. Covered decals with another thin coat of Vallejo Gloss Varnish
11. Painted tool handles GW Snakebite Leather
12. Painted tools GW Boltgun Metal

Note: Steps 2 through 7 applied with an airbrush

That's all I've done up to this point. Subsequent steps will get the tracks done, gloss varnish the entire model, and then apply oil-based pin washes to all panel lines and whatnot. I'll do some weathering, pigment powders, and finish it all up with a matte varnish to bring it all together. So far, I'm really happy with the start I've gotten this weekend.

Once these Sturmtigers are done (and assuming I'm happy with the results), I'll do the same thing to 10 Panzer IVH tanks. Once those are done I have a full strength SS PzGren Platoon, and a two section SS Mortar Platoon to round out my initial 1500 points. I love it! :)

Until next time...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dangerous Distraction

Note: Above pic for article illustration purposes only. I didn't paint this!

Distractions are dangerous. However, enlightenment is good.

For some reason unknown to me or science, I picked yesterday afternoon to grab a 1/48th scale Jagdpanther from Tamiya off my shelf, and started putting it together. I bought it on a whim years ago, when I first moved to Malaysia and visited Tamiya Underground at 1 Utama. After I got it home that day, I promptly stuck it on the hobby shelf to gather dust until now. I know I have Fallschirmjager to finish, and I know I need to get my Flesh Tearers done. However, this Tamiya kit is AWESOME!

All of my experience with plastic vehicle kits as an adult modeller has been with GW stuff. Until recently I never had much of an interest in anything else. Having only built and painted things like Leman Russ tanks and Rhinos, I considered the detail and quality of these kits to be the standard. That could not be further from the truth. The detail, crispness, and fitting tolerances of this Jagdpanther are WAY better than anything I've built before. It's awesome! For instance, I finished assembling one of the track sections, and there wasn't so much as a fraction of a millimeter gap in the plastic track links. I can't say the same with Chimera tracks- always a gap!

For those of you who are experienced with these kits, I'm sure you're shaking your head right now and chuckling. "This guy didn't already know that? HAH!". Fair enough- I'll take my e-licks on the chin with all humility and respect to the hobby. For those of you who DIDN'T already know this, and enjoy building and painting vehicles, I strongly recommend you grab yourself a 1/48th or 1/35th scale kit of whatever you think is cool and have a whack at it. I think you'll be surprised at just how cool it is, even though you will never play a single game with it.

I'll post pics when I get this thing built, and more pics as I progress in painting. I'm telling myself that this is "training", and that my StuGs will be better because of it. Pre-shading, filters, oils, weathering, etc. will all get tried on this model. I'll make my mistakes on it, and then use what I learn to make my StuGs PERFECT!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

One StuG Finished...?

To start, let me say that I'm reasonably content with this paintjob. It could work as is, but I'm thinking that more needs to be done. I'm going to start with a light/thin overspray of buff or some color like that, to dull it down a bit and make it a bit more dusty. The tracks need that as well. Nick, what would you do from this point to get it looking fantastic? Opinions and suggestions are more than welcome, and in fact encouraged folks. I AM going to figure out 15mm vehicles in this lifetime!

Last night I also put together all my Command Panzerfaust teams, and built a couple of Rifle/MG teams as well. Tonight I'll bulk up the bases on all of them with Apoxie Sculpt, and hopefully get to painting them this weekend.

In other news, I stumbled across this excellent scratch build at Ricalopia. It's an Imperial "Charon" Pattern ambulance. Check it out:

There are more pics at his blog. Once my FJs are done, I'm really looking forward to doing my own interpretation of a Flesh Tearers Stormraven. I've never done something I'd consider a genuine scratch build, and seeing stuff like the ambulance from Ricalopia or Blood Pact conversions done by Dave Taylor really gets my hobby juices pumping.

For those coming to Hobby Night, I'll see you this evening. If you can't make it this time around, have a great weekend...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

FJ Progress Officially Started

I've been naughty, and haven't posted in a while. Let's get that trend nipped in the bud, shall we?

Most of my hobby time since my last post has been me learning how to get in trouble with Photoshop. I'm currently running a Battlefleet Gothic campaign, and part of what I'm doing for it is publishing a newsletter called "The Aquila". Thanks to learning some very basic stuff in Photoshop, and going over several online tutorials, I've been able to spice up The Aquila nicely. Rather than just post pics I've taken straight in the newsletter, I cut a vessel out of the pic and insert it into a suitably cool space backdrop. Thus far my favorite one is the image above. It's a strike cruiser painted by Soo Jinn that I cut out and added to the space field I made. I added "glowing" running lights to the ship as well, and I love how it came out. Over time I hope to get better and better at this.

Last night I FINALLY got started in earnest with my Fallschirmjager company. The first unit I'm painting is a battery of four StuG III D assault guns, and last night I got some nice progress done. I fired up the airbrush, and primed them in Tamiya Flat Black. I then airbrushed on a basecoat of Tamiya NATO Brown on all the armor areas and road wheels. Finally, I airbrushed Tamiya Dark Yellow on top of that to get a decent copy of the German dunkelgelb that all of the Hermann Goring training StuGs were painted during Market Garden.

Tonight, I'll paint the tracks, give them all a gloss varnish, apply decals, do final shading/weathering, and then wrap it up with a matte varnish. Of course, once they're all done I'll post some pics.

Anyone else here planning on painting up some FoW stuff for the upcoming Legio Market Garden campaign?