Sunday, January 29, 2012

VIDEO- Prigs in Space

Disclaimer- this has nothing to do with miniatures! However, as I've gotten more and more into using video to promote my hobby (as well as Legio Malaysia's), I figured I'd post a quick one up here.

I'm entering a contest to win a copy of the HitFilm Ultimate software package with a 2 minute sci-fi comedy short called "Prigs in Space". My brother wrote and voice acted the fantastic dialogue, and I created all of the visual effects and the video itself. If you take a look and like it, I'd really appreciate your comments and a "Like" click on there. Every little bit helps!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learning More Video Skills

The last week or so of hobby time has primarily been spent getting ready to start a fairly involved video project with my good friend Khairul from The Wild Host. It's going to take the better part of three months of my hobby time, but if it all works like we're imagining I think the results are going to be pretty sweet. As part of that project, I've recently picked up Hitfilm special effects and 3d compositing software. It's quite a bit cheaper than other popular offerings out there like After Effects, especially when you go for the standard edition as I've done. This, in combination with Sony Vegas, should allow us to up the production value of our work and make the upcoming videos better than past efforts like the Ghemehaal campaign.

In addition, I've also decided for this project to switch from Avenging Sons Space Marines to Orks. I think they'll make a great subject, and has the additional benefit of being a natural foe for Khairul's upcoming Silver Skulls Space Marine project. I've never painted a complete Ork army, so this should be cool. I've come up with an airbrushed & inked scheme for their green skin, and should allow me to finish a test model before I head off to the US next week.

Well, I'm going to get back to my first learning project!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Biermeyer's SS Panzer IVH Platoon DONE

Quick but satisfying post tonight, folks. I've just finished this Panzer IVH Platoon, along with 2 Jagdpanzer IV tank hunters, which means my 3rd SS Panzerkompanie is DONE! Woo hoo! I've got two fully painted Flames of War armies completely finished. The Americans I blitzed through, but I've been working on my SS off and on for over a year. Looking back on this blog the first SS post I made was way back in May of 2010. Yowsah!

Regardless, this means I've got a late war army for both sides now. Much happiness! Sometime in March or April I'm going to bust out a Soviet tank army for our upcoming Bagration campaign on May 5th. That will be sweet. BTW, if you dig the paint job, check out the video below. I did it quite some time ago when we were first launching the Flames of War YouTube channel. The paint job I show in this video is pretty much the same thing I did here

In the meantime, it's back to 28mm for an upcoming event. Gameforge in Penang is running a Warhammer "Border Patrol" 500 point tournament. I had a ball at the last tournament they ran, so I'm going to finally start painting my Beastmen army to play with a brand new army in the tourney.

I'm going to try doing this army with "the dip", in this case Minwax 'Golden Oak'. I basecoated and dipped one Minotaur yesterday, but it's still a bit tacky this evening so it's not yet ready for the matte varnish and finishing up details. I'll post a pic of him this weekend for your perusal. He's more or less a test model, but so far I'm reasonably pleased with him. Until next time...

Monday, January 9, 2012

My First Experience With "3D Printing"


That's the first thing that came across my mind after getting the miniature painted up to this point. Sadly, it's a disappointing conclusion to my first experience with 3d printing that was in every other way phenomenal. Let me tell you all about it.

I've heard for a while now about outfits that use 3d printing / rapid prototyping technology. I've seen pics before that looked pretty good, so I thought I'd jump into the fray. In my first test model for this army, I used a mask to generate the Avenging Sons chapter icon. The results are fine, but ideally I want raised icons on the shoulder pads. They look damn sexy and add interest- I think most Space Marine hobbyists would agree on this point. I felt out a friend for some sculpting help, but he's pretty slammed and hasn't been able to help me thus far. My putty skills are improving, but I was a little leery trying it out myself. So, while checking out the 3d printing thing I stumbled across a blog post that referred to an outfit called "Shapeways".

They're basically a "Cafepress" type business- you upload your design, and they manufacture on demand. After checking out a bunch of 40k goodies on the site I came across the virtual store front of user "Dynath", called Dynath40K. He's got a bunch of great looking stuff there, and in his blurb he suggests folks send him a PM if they have a particular design in mind. So, I dropped him a line and explained all about my Avenging Sons project and what I wanted done, along with a quote request for how much the design would cost me.

He promptly replied in less than a day, saying he'd be happy to do it at no cost, and proceeded to put up exactly what I asked for- a plain Avenging Sons pad, one with laurels, and one with laurels and a cool "Duty, Honor, Vengeance" pauldron extension thingamabob. The designs are SWEET. I was thrilled, and ordered a full set of everything along with some of his existing shoulder pads for Tactical, Assault, and Devastator squads. Shipping was a but pricey, so rather than order in bits and pieces I did the whole thing at once (cue the foreboding music of a bad decision's looming consequences).

When you order your bits, you have to choose a printing material/resolution. The default one is called "White Strong and Flexible". Ten pads made of this material is priced at 3.81 euros, which is about RM 1.52 or USD 0.48 per pad. The highest resolution listed as "Frosted Ultra Detail" comes out to 8.75 euros per 10, which is about USD 1.11 or RM 3.50 per pad. Not thinking it would make a huge difference, I ordered the default "White Strong and Flexible", with the sandy/gritty results pictured in these two pics. These are not usable shoulder pads.

I blame myself for this- I should've asked around more, and made a small test order first to see the resolution. Dynath was a CHAMP, getting those designs done so fast, just like I wanted them in record time. I highly recommend his customer service to anyone looking for that special doohickey for their 40K army. In the meantime, maybe I can use these for a Taros PDF Imperial Guard or Tau force to decorate bases, and let the texture represent corrosion or dust. They will definitely not work for my finished army.

So, what to do next? I think I'll try out one pack of "Frosted Ultra Detail" and see how that works out. If it is reasonably smooth, I'd be fine ordering another set and calling the first one a learning experience. If they don't I've got to go back to begging for sculpting help, or spending some serious time taking a whack at doing it myself. More to come on that front.

Other than that, I'm ready to kick this project off with some serious assembly work. After reading "Brothers of the Snake", I really liked something the Iron Snakes squads do with the "shoulder banners". Rather than having the squad sergeant bearing it like they did back in the day, for the Iron Snakes one member of the squad is a standard bearer and bears it instead. I'm taking that concept and using it for my Avenging Sons. You don't see those banners get used much anymore, and it would be cool to try out some free hand icon painting with laurels, scrolls, and the like. This test next model will have that very thing...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon DONE

At last, my 1500 point American Flames of War army is DONE! Well, pretty much. I could certainly play with the models as is for a 1500 point match and be completely rep/painted. However, like I mentioned in a previous post, I really need to do up some LMG bases to take advantage of the "Dismounted MGs" American special rule. So, I'll do those tomorrow. Tonight, however, it's all good. After getting those pesky MGs done tomorrow, I'll be able to move on to my next project of the 40K variety. Stay tuned for my next post- I've got some new fangled "3D printed" goodies to show you guys....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

M8 Scott Platoon DONE

Nothing crazy on the paintjob here- just the same utilitarian scheme I used for my Shermans and half tracks. I also finished the carbine teams for the M10 platoon (not pictured). The plan for tomorrow is to finish the M10 Platoon completely, and then wrap things up on Thursday evening with some LMG and .50 cal teams to take advantage of the "Dismounted MGs" rule the Americans enjoy. I should've done it earlier, but I only noticed the rule last Friday afternoon. Argh.

Happy New Year and "Da Plan" for 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!

Like many of you, I've reflected over the last year and thought about what got done and what didn't. Hobby wise it was a solid year for me- nothing spectacular but nothing to be ashamed of either. After cleaning up and taking a pic of my hobby work area, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things from last year that I covered on AM (in no particular order):

1. 40K Death Korps of Krieg

2011 was the year I FINALLY got off my ass and made some serious progress getting the army painted. I took a completely different approach from my "ultra clean" paint jobs of the past and went for weathering and toned down highlighting. I'm really happy with what's done this far, especially the vehicles.

2. Flames of War American Armored Rifle Company

The first 1000 points was only finished a few days ago, and I'll have the remaining 500 points done within the next couple of days. I would've finished them over this weekend, but it was cleaning/organizing time (see above!) It's been a while since I got motivated to paint the little men, and our club's ongoing Market Garden campaign was just the ticket. Considering how quickly it's come together, I'm really happy with it.

3. Video Editing Learned

While I'm no pro, I've learned a lot about editing videos and giving them a little production value. Our recent "Ghemehaal: Annihilation" 40K campaign featured video recaps that people seemed to like, though I'm embarrassed to say I haven't finished them all as of yet. Midway through I had severe computer problems, and since the campaign finished I've just run out of gas getting the last two done. However, if you haven't seen them yet take a quick look. You might dig it!

I also produced the first painting videos for Battlefront Miniatures, featuring a variety of stuff including tanks, terrain, and even a helicopter. I had a lot of fun doing them and helping launch the official Flames of War YouTube channel, and I'm sure one of these days I'll make some more painting vids for them.

So, what's the plan for next year? In broad strokes, here's what I'd like to get done:

1. Death Korps of Krieg

Completing this army will be the highest overall priority for the year. Come the end of December, this army will be done to at least 2000 points in additional to at least one superheavy tank (hopefully more).

2. Pre Heresy Word Bearers

I got a start on this almost a year ago, and I still want to do this. My meager sculpting skills have been improving, and I'm happy with the shoulder pads and purity seals I've done for the test models. Ideally I'll get a few local guys into this, and we'll do some kind of Great Crusade campaign. Cross your fingers...

3. More Visits to the Singapore Hobby Scene

There should be a tournament in March and SPORECon sometime in May or June, and I really need to get to both. The Singapore crew have been coming up to Legio Malaysia tournaments since we started them four years ago, and I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been down to a single Singapore tournament. I'm not huge on the tourney scene, but a social visit coupled with some dice rolling sounds pretty good to me. I gotta make this happen.

4. Get Into One New Game

Infinity? Mercs? Malifaux? All of those and many more have their charms, and I want to get into one of them this year. Suggestions, esp. the local guys?

I've got a couple other ideas, including Beastmen, Angels of Redemption, and some other madness, but these first four are the ones I really want to focus on. I'd love to hear any hobby resolutions you might have in the comments. I hope everyone reading this has a fantastic 2012- healthy, happy, and lots of boogie hobby. See you in a day or two with an M10 and M8 American update...