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Everything posted by MojoBob

  1. Siri's Guide to Painting Rust

    Vallejo make some rust paints in their GameEffects line. The two I've actually used are 72.131 Rust, which is a bright orange, and 72.136 Dry Rust, which is a dark brown. They both include a rather gritty filler, so you end up with a granular, powdery finish, and you get different effects depending on how much they're diluted. This is a Zvezda 1:100 scale model of a KV2 heavy artillery tank. I've used the Dry Rust on the tracks and as spots of "chipping" rust pretty much undiluted. The track grousers are picked out with graphite from a wide carpenter's pencil, but a dark steel paint works well too. If you look closely at the rust in the hollows of the tracks you can see how it dries with a granular texture, and in a range of brown tones. On the top of the turret and in places on the track-guards I've added some of the orange Rust, applied quite diluted as a wash. As it dries, it kind of crystallizes where it's thickest, and you get rust "bits" forming. Applying them in layers of washes give the most interesting effects in my opinion, but they're not nearly as controllable as Siri's method.
  2. Keeping a mixing tray clean

    I use silicon rubber mini-muffin (I think they're called "gems" or something?) baking cases as my palette. I got a pack of a couple of dozen, and I just swap out grungy old paint-covered ones for new ones as I need to. I've also used silicon ice trays in the past, but I find the individual cases more compact and convenient in use. When they're all dirty, and the paint is dry, I can just stretch and abuse the hell out of them, and the paint flakes right off, usually without leaving a trace. If I get a stubbornly stained or "bitsy" one, I just use it as a mixing tray for my next batch of epoxy or for PVA for basing, and when the glue dries it peels away easily from the silicon rubber and takes the old paint with it.
  3. New Look?

    Sadly, the New New Look just appears to emphasize the things I didn't like about the Old New Look, and reaction buttons are irrelevant to me. The larger fonts mean that everything stretches out vertically, which means even more scrolling. I expect it's probably easier to manipulate on a cellphone, but it's not well suited to a desktop computer display.
  4. For basic airbrush control skills on paper, food colouring is good, as is cheap fountain-pen ink. They don't require any mixing and don't have large pigment particles in suspension, being dyes, and they don't require anything special in the way of cleanup — plain water will do the trick. Things get a bit more complicated when you start airbrush paints, but it's useful to have those basic hand-eye control skills mastered before you start anything more ambitious.
  5. Making a wash

    Rather than detergent, I use glycerine as a surface-tension reducer. It has advantages in that it doesn't react with the paints, and it's less likely to create bubbles as the wash is painted on. Transparent pigment-based inks make a better wash than paint, but if you do use paint, cheap artists' water colours work better than cheap craft paints as the craft paints tend to use a lot of opaque fillers and less, and less finely-ground, pigment. Avoiding matte medium is a false economy. A small pot of Winsor & Newton Galleria Matte Medium will make a lot of wash, and your washes will be better.
  6. I've put together another couple of experimental hills. Number 1 we've seen before. Hill #2 has a mix of steep, impassable faces and more-or-less flat terraces that a figure could stand on without immediately tumbling down. It's a bit more usable than Hill #1, while still remaining reasonably naturalistic, but to be truly playable it probably needs to be blockier still. Apart from the flock, vegetation is pretty minimal — just a few areas of clump-foliage — and I think I may add a bit more to make it look a bit less... spotty. I may also have to hit it with the airbrush, as the flock looks a bit more pallid than I'd hoped, but I'll give it another couple of days before I do that as it may just be that the PVA holding everything together isn't properly cured yet so it's still a bit white. We've been having some cool, wet weather lately, and that has really slowed things down. Hill #3 is a two-peak hill; the upper one is steep, with a flat top to allow figures to stand, while the bottom one is much more gently sloped. The slope is still too much for single figures, but vehicles and figures in movement trays will rest there without sliding back down. There's no foliage on here at all except for the flock, which is fine. The figures are a 15mm WW1 British 18pdr and crew. The tank is my own 3d-printed A1E1 Independent. They're all sitting on a GW "grass" mat that I picked up cheap some years ago, and have never used because it looks nothing at all like grass. I live in a Land of Grass, and I've never seen grass that looks anything like that colour. Add to that the fact that it sheds worse than a cat in moult, and it's just bloody awful.
  7. Now I've finished flocking Mount Anthracite, and photographed it out in my rather overgrown back yard. The 15mm T-28 is from Battlefront, and is included for scale. I called it Mount Anthracite because when I first sprayed it all black, it looked just like a pile of coal. It's a bit less anthracitic now, but I'll keep the name nonetheless. I may or may not add some more vegetation to it, depending on my whim. It's quite usable just as it is. There are basically three levels of spaces for figures to stand on, though in many places those grassy ledges are too narrow to support anything bigger than 6mm.
  8. The figures are 15mm WW1 British infantry by Peter Pig The Burford-Kegresse MG Carrier is a 3d-print, designed by me and made by Shapeways. I've tried to make this hill as playable as possible without being too absolutely geometrically regular. It's not terribly naturalistic, but it does look something like some ancient fortification sites I've seen. It's a series of terraces or ledges, so individual unsupported 15mm figures will stand all over it without too may issues. Finding a happy medium between naturalism and usability has been rather difficult. This is my best effort yet in that regard, but I think it could be better — the continuous runs of the ledges tend to draw the eye, and maybe a less regular scattering of horizontals might do the same job without looking so obviously artificial. The bottom ledge runs right the way around, while the others all extend only around three sides. On this side I've attempted a rock face, but it's not very convincing — it looks more like dirt. I have distant memories from childhood of setting plaster on scrunched-up tin foil to make a rocky texture, and as I recall it didn't look too bad, so I may give that another go.
  9. I've started another couple of hills, with the lessons of the first lot in mind. In the foreground is a long (about 800–900mm) rocky ridge. It's got a bunch of flat spaces and ledges in amongst the general rockiness, as it's supposed to be impassable to vehicles, but climbable by foot troops with appropriate climbing skills. The top half is slathered with my texture paint, which I've now remembered to actually add paint to. It's a mix of acrylic filler, paint and sand, painted and dabbed on to the foam, and it fills small seams and leaves a good ground texture. It's only on the top half at the moment, because I've just added a whole lot of clutter and rubble around the foot of the hill, and the acrylic caulk I'm using as glue (Selleys No More Gaps) isn't set yet. I tried gluing sections of this one with construction glue (Selleys No More Nails), and though it creates a very strong bond when it eventually sets, it takes a looooooong time to set. Especially between layers of foam; it's not really ideal for use in that sort of environment I think. There are probably more specialised adhesives that would work better, but the acrylic caulk does a good enough job for my purposes, and is a lot cheaper. The thing in the background that looks like a plate full of tofu slabs is a stepped ziggurat-style hill in its early stages of construction. When the caulk on that is set, I'll start carving and chipping it into more rounded hill shapes. It's going to be a lot less naturalistic-looking than any that I've done as yet, as it's supposed to be climbable all round, so it needs to be stepped all round so that figures can stand on it.
  10. Some time ago I bought a whole lot of plastic trees from China to make wargaming terrain with. I've finally got around to making a start on basing some of them. The bases are 3mm MDF, the brown forest floor is real dead leaves munched up in a little ten dollar coffee grinder, and the grass is old-school sawdust flock. Lurking in under the trees behind the Lanchester armoured car is a 15mm British wireless operator, but so good is his camouflage that you can't really see him. They're not the most realistic terrain pieces ever made, but considering that the trees cost me about fifteen cents each, and everything else was basically free, I'm pretty happy with the results. This is about a fifth of the whole bunch, so I've still got a bit of work ahead of me.
  11. FitzBones: Altar Stone

    This is a piece that came in the Mythos expansion pack to the Bones III kickstarter, a good old-fashioned stone sacrificial altar. Tim the Enchanter I've shown before; he's just there for scale. This is the sort of terrain piece that comes in handy quite a lot. I can foresee getting plenty of use out of it. Unfortunately, I'm a little short of terrified and helpless sacrificial victims; I shall have to see what I can do about that.
  12. Textured paint

    This guy — Luke, from Luke's Affordable Paint Service — has a video on how to make it (and lots of other useful stuff too).
  13. Quick homemade flock

    You can reduce the amount of effort involve in straining the mix if you get a flour sifter. I have one that operates by squeezing the spring-loaded handle (which gives you a pretty good forearm workout on big jobs), but there are models that use a side-mounted crank handle to do the same job and would probably be less effort (and could easily be mechanised with an electric drill, if you felt so inclined). If you don't mind spending the money, there are fancy models available that allow you to swap out different grades of mesh screen, but my basic model does the job adequately well.
  14. "Swampy" wood

    Like exposed wood in any other environment, wood will go grey as its tannins are leached from its surface layers. But in a swamp environment there will be more green in evidence from mosses, slimes, and algae, so some greenish washes wouldn't go amiss. Also, the colour of the wood will be much darker where it is in contact with moisture, so things like moorage piles and things should be painted darker at the water-line and fading to the usual grey where the wood has stayed dry.
  15. FitzBones: Scythe Wraith

    My Bones III Kickstarter fulfillment arrived a couple of days ago, and I've been happily sorting through them. I've engaged in all three Reaper kickstarters so far, but I doubt that I'll do another — it's not that they're not a good deal, but there's always a very, very long wait for them to arrive, and they've all been very heavy on the character figures, of which I really do have an ample supply. I mainly want the monsters, and it'll be simpler just to buy them individually when they eventually appear in the shop. I chose this one to start the painting with, mainly because it would be very quick and easy to do, and in fact it only took about twenty minutes. It probably would have taken longer if I'd actually removed any of the mould lines, which I kind of forgot about in my enthusiasm. I don't know what its SKU is; I couldn't find it with a (fairly brief) search in the online store.
  16. FitzBones: 77041 Harpy

    I thought it had been too long since I painted a fantasy figure, so I reached into my Big Bag O' Monsters and this was the one that came out. (Full multi-angle image linked due to excessive boobies): https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rmDg_Rk9xkw/WYFH353IOlI/AAAAAAAAIps/cuqeA94FFScu0brueXZlQcGYawXQthsuwCLcBGAs/s1600/20170802ReaperHarpy.jpg It's 77041 Harpy by Julie Guthrie. As usual for me these days, it's one of the plastic Bones miniatures, and if you want one it will cost you the princely sum of about three of those Yankee dollars.
  17. FitzBones: Scythe Wraith

    No, that's a single figure viewed from four different angles thanks to the magic of Photoshop.
  18. Any Tips for Painting Gingham?

    Paint a white base coat, then a grid of pale pink stripes, and last of all, dots of a darker pink at the intersections of the light pink grid. Easy-peasy. Note: doesn't have to be pink, of course. That's just the colour I immediately associate with gingham.
  19. Roman army colours?

    Roman red military cloth was usually dyed with madder, which gives a fairly dull crimson red. It would fade to a brownish pink over time. Really bright red dyes were phenomenally expensive, and didn't become common until the late 19th century or even later, when synthetic dyes made the colour relatively cheap.
  20. Spatter while dry brushing?

    Dry-brushing requires, not so much little paint on the brush, but definitely almost no liquid. I brush out the paint on a paper towel until I can't see any more colour coming off, and only then do I start on the model. When I do start, I either start on a sacrificial model to test the brush loading, or else on an unimportant bit of the figure I'm working on. If I get too heavy an effect too quickly, I go back to the paper towel and take more paint off the brush. Most people, when they start out with dry-brushing, don't trust that they need practically nothing on the brush, and start on the model too soon. But believe me, it's almost impossible to unload your brush too much. It's much, much better to build up a dry-brush effect rather than trying to get it all down in on hit.
  21. I've painted this figure before — I got two of them in one or other of the Bones Kickstarters. Both of them ended up with decidedly unhappy facial expressions, but of the two this is the one that looks the least trustworthy. He really seems to be holding a grudge against his exploitative employers, and no wonder.
  22. 1980s Essex Foot Soldier

    Here's an old Medieval wargaming miniature from the 1980s, produced by Essex Miniatures. Essex were among the first to start producing larger scale 28mm miniatures, although they actually advertised them as 25mm. Up until then, 25mm had been the standard, and Essex armies towered over their opponents on the wargames table. Basing systems had been designed for 25mm figures too, so Essex figures tended to be very crowded on bases designed for the smaller scale. They tended towards rather caricatured, cartoonish features, but I always rather liked them, except for their horses which looked a bit small and spindly underneath their gigantic riders. Eventually they also started producing 15mm miniatures which were also excellent, and a lot more affordable than larger scale armies.
  23. When you hate your work

    I have minis half-painted that I started painting more than twenty years ago and got sick of. Some of them I eventually finished, some I still haven't. Some I probably never will. I wouldn't stress out over it, really.
  24. silicone caulk as cheap mold material?

    When I worked in the Canterbury Museum's display department back in the late '80s, we were making a lot of large moulds of all sorts of things (bones, mostly), and making them entirely out of RTV was cost-prohibitive. What we did was skin each piece in RTV for maximum detail retention, and once cured, we smoothed on layers of silicon caulk smooshed through burlap sacking as a reinforcing material. A couple of layers of caulk and burlap was generally enough to make a reasonably firm, strong mould, and the caulk is one of the very few things that will actually stick to RTV. The rubber skin-moulds were further supported in a plaster matrix for casting. It's a process that takes a few days; the caulk takes time to cure with each new layer. But it does make a very strong and relatively cheap large mould.
  25. FitzBones: Jenny No-Nose

    I'm pretty sure this figure must have come from Reaper's first Bones Kickstarter, because they had real trouble with facial features not filling out properly in the mould on a number of the miniatures. This is one such. In Reaper's catalogue, this is 80003: Ellen Stone, by Bob Ridolfi, but I always call her Jenny No-Nose because, well, she has no nose. Rather than try to fill in her missing features with paint, I've just painted her with a flat rag-doll face with no eyes or nose and just a gash for a mouth. She's a Weird West gun-babe.