Monday, February 20, 2017

A sweet little Kitty

Next up from Trenchworx is the M18 Hellcat.  This will also get the winter treatment like the Sherman.  Here's the opening of the box... goodies!

This instruction sheet is really handy.  Each company has a different way of casting things like treads, so it is very good to have a picture of that piece so one doesn't mistake a tab for a gate or vent!

Just like the Sherman, the pieces fit together so well out of the box, it stands on its own, without even a touch of blu-tak.

Once again, a fantastic rare earth magnet set up for the turret.  Better yet, I have noticed that the magnets even change size with the turret.  This is bigger and heavier than the Sherman turret, and  it comes with a bigger magnet

These views were shot right after the assembly.  Since then, I have sculpted a bunch of stowage to give it a lived in look.

The casting is so fine on these vehicles, you have minimal amounts of cleaning, filing and so on.  I didn't have to break out the jeweler's block and the razor saw to hack away  massive gates and vents.  Always a plus.

The tracks and drive wheels are especially clean and straight.  This is the single most variable part in all vehicle castings.  They can be a nightmare to deal with, and it's great to be able to blitz right through the process and have a tank with tread assemblies that are not tilted or distorted!

It's the little things that bring me joy. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Champion of the East

A few of my old Easterling cavalry needed to be converted to create a command set, such as the musician, standard bearer and this champion.  These are the original metal versions of the Kataphracts.

I believe that his sword was from the fantasy Chaos warrior box.  It certainly made him easy to spot, which is very important for knowing the command radius, and if he is the right guy to get into a certain combat.

This Captain was always very helpful in providing a spare might, fate or will point in a key zone!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

If I had a Hammer

This big guy is yet another of the game pieces which might be from the Blood Rage game.  He was painted in a similar skin color scheme as the other troll.

There were a lot of broad, open areas to negotiate on this version, and some crazy mould lines.

Soon you will see images of these guys with all their little goblin buddies!  Stay tuned!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Down in the Trenches

As the winter American army draws closer, it's time to get some vehicles ready for them as well!  

Just in time for the relief of Bastonge is the trusty Sherman... I look forward to "winterizing" this. :-)

I had never gotten Trenchworx vehicles before, but I knew that I was in for a real treat.  Sure enough, all kinds of amazing things were waiting inside the box...

Instructions!  Yes, not something you see very often with resin and metal kits.  Very handy though :-)  Even at the rough stage of yanking them out of the bubble wrap, the parts all looked and felt fantastic.

The resin had a wonderful smooth, uniform finish, as opposed to the alternating glossy/rough like you all too often run across.

The pieces already went together, with no slicing, filing or other machinations!

And yes, each turret comes with a rare earth magnet set!  The holes are already set for you... all you have to do is glue them in.  That saves a whole lot of time, pain and potential suffering!  Love it!

The assembled vehicle.  I have since added some stowage, so that it has more places for the snow to accumulate.  The drive wheels and treads were super clean and distortion free, which is yet another amazing attribute.  Normally the treads get a bit whacky and out of shape.

Not here!

I look forward to working on many more Trenchworx vehicles, since the kits are soooooo easy to deal with.  Every detail is sharp and crisp, down to the smallest tool, hatch or vent.  Painting these will be a joy, because they will practically paint themselves.

I have a link to the site here.  They are continuously adding new kits, so I keep coming back to see what wonderful new tank will be coming out:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

City of the Dead

It's been a while since we have looked in on things with the Army of the Dead!

These figures were a lot of fun, an exercise in working with the fluorescent paints combined with weathering.

The weathering aspect was done as a series of glazes over the top of the much brighter and saturated fluorescent paints.  This not only toned those down, but created a difference in texture as well as color and brightness.

I remembered the decayed, ethereal look to the Army of the Dead from the movies, and this was a nice way to achieve that look without endless hours of layers and other craziness!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Going out Clubbing

I'm not sure where this guy came from, but it was certainly interesting to paint!  The request was to have his skin tones be a combination of pale hues, with a darkened nose.

The figure was the kind of plastic that you find in a board game piece, so I'm assuming that it might be part of the Blood Rage game or something.  Having done all those historical pieces of late, playing with all the subtle differences in brownish tones was no trouble at all!

To get any kind of interest in large areas of similar tones such as this, you have to seek in greens and grays wherever possible.  Not only does this make the brown less monotonous, but it begins to reflect the environment around him, with all the deep green foliage.

That helps to set him into that environment, and make him look as if he were a part of it,  as opposed to simply being dropped into it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Icing on the Cake

For those who were able to check out the three facebook live sessions that I did on this winter vehicle, they got to see handfuls of brand new techniques that I had never tried before!  

I had only some theories to go by, materials that I thought could be used in a new and different way, etc.

The primary goal was to see just how many aspects of the winter whitewash and other effects could be done with weathering powders.

I have a full range of those pigments in both Secret Weapon Miniatures and Mig AMMO, so this meant that I could explore rust, dirt and even some chipping as well!  The snow itself would be done using the Secret Weapon crushed glass method.

To make the powders flow like paint, I mixed them with rubbing alcohol.  This makes the powders flow like watercolor paint.  However, since it does not seal the pigments, you can remove them, or alter them in any fashion, because they are still just powder!

If you need to seal them, you can spray Testor's Dullcoate over the top, or even use the pigment fixers of the companies that I have mentioned.

The mud and rust was also done with the powders.  For the mud, I mixed in Realistic water, which gave the powders more of a thicker plaster look.  The rust was added much like the whitewash.

All of these effects were done in layers, one after the other, with each stage carefully planned to maximize the effectiveness of subsequent layers.  This could mean having a darker layer to show more snow or chipping above it, or mud spatters that are layered onto whitewash that has been wiped away by melting snow and ice.

The most complicated aspect was the snow itself.  I had to be very careful in its placement, or else it would look silly... or worse yet, prevent the turret from spinning!

To give a reason for the whitewash to be wiped away in places, I tried to place the snow where internal heat from the tank would melt it, thus creating water flows across the surface.

Doing this complex layer cake ultimately gave me a reason to try out my icicle technique (liquitex heavy gloss gell) where these melted areas would allow water to drip down the sides of the vehicle!

I did some off the barrel, and more on the rear of the tank.  This was that final icing on the cake!

I will be doing many more of these winter vehicles for Germans, American and Soviet vehicles, so stay tuned!!