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Lars Porsenna

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Everything posted by Lars Porsenna

  1. Hiya, IIRC Amber is merely petrified tree sap. Presumably it could be found anywhere, but I'll leave it to the experts for more detail... One of the things that has helped me immensely in detailing a campaign world is my history degree. It's one thing to come up with plausable geography and mineral placement, but this will be relatively meaningless if the culture is unconvincing. Through my study of history I can draw upon the knowledge to construct what I feel are fleshed out cultures. For example, I specialize in the European Middle Ages, so that comes in handy in the "standard"n D&D setting. WHen I want to create other cultures or settings I can usually research it and develop something that's convincing and--more importantly--completely different from the modern world and modern concepts. I have a large personal library I've built over the years so most of the time I can just grab one off my shelf, but a local library is a good place to start researching for a campaign world. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in college or have access to a college library then you should have more than enough resources to draw upon. I know I used the Penn State library often when I was a student there... Damon.
  2. I've brushed on Future with fine results. It might require an extra coat (depending on how "glossy" you want it) but it works fine. A shot of brushed on future saved the decals on a model of mine when they silvered badly on top of a future coat (model was from Russia and they sometimes skimp on the decals...)! Damon.
  3. Hiya, For sealing of minis I will first start with a solid glosscote using Future acrylic floor finish. This is a durable, water thin clearcoat that goes on smoothly and dries very glossy. I shoot it out of my airbrush but check the hobby stores for inexpensive (albiet more crude) spray devices. If I use decals on the figure (such as markings on an SF figure or shield transfers on a fantasy/historical figure) I'll glosscote again to protect the decal. Finally I use a coat of Citadel Matte. I've never had any inconsistent results with this and it is now my preferred flat cote. I even use it on my military models. I think its superior to any other flatcote on the market (except perhaps the old Humbrol Enamel sprayed through my airbrush). Some people will say you really don;t need a glosscote first. I find it useful because 1) future is very durable, 2) I know where I've sprayed and what I missed and 3) I can tell when the figure is getting worn because I'll see it start to turn "glossy"...then I can just hit it again with matte to protect it (something not often done by me, btw...). Damon.
  4. I think the white residue mentioned earlier is NOT a reaction of Cyano with water. Rather, it sounds like to me condensation of super glue fumes. As anyone can attest, super glue does give off strong fumes. Over time (several hours or so) the fumes will condense on adjacent surfaces and crystallize. This is the white stuff along the edges. The best way to avoid this is to elimiate the fumes. How do you do this? Get some accelerator. If you don't know, accellerator is a chemical that instantly cures cyano glues. I find this creates a much stronger bond (though the bond is somewhat weak for a few hours after assembly so take care...) and it will also eliminate fumes. Personally I assemble all my figures with 2 part epoxy. Usually I use 5 minute epoxy as this is the most practical and gives me the strength I need. Cyanocrylate cements (i.e. "super glue") has poor shear strength and indeed can be brittle. I find I more often repair minis assembled with cyano than with epoxy. Epoxy can be a pain (I literally hold components together for 5 minutes while it cures...) but the results are very good, and it can additionally be used as a filler as well. Just put a little extra on the joint to be glued, and then use an alcohol soaked cotton swab to clean up the excess... Damon.
  5. Well, here's a question for y'all... How do you paint undead? Skellies are pretty easy, and I've got a good scheme for ghouls. Vamps are pretty easy too (only slight variations from normal painting IMHO). But what about zombies? You know, the guys half decayed, like Reaper's Plague Zombie. I tried uising GW's Undead Flesh which, while ok on Ghouls, just doesn;t look the part on zombies. So what are all of your suggestions. OT note: My best friend is a mortician. He says that bodies that have been dead for a while look nothing like they do in the movies (IIRC he said they become a bit more brownish...). Too bad he's not a mini painter or I'd ask a "real expert!" Damon.
  6. Hi all, Like a lot of people I use a variety of different paints. Mostly I use Apple Barrel Craft paints. I've never had any unusual problems keeping the paint on the mini (half the time I suspect its the primer coat that's the real problem). OTOH I had lots of problems with RP paints coming off so I dunno... I've used just about every paint out there and to be hones the craft paints give me the results I want, suit my technique, and do so cheaply. If I had to choose a commercial mini paint I'd probably go with Reaper with a bit of thinning... Personally I dislike GW paints. Little too satiny for my tastes and don't take washes as well as I would like. Also they don't make too many colors that I want. Most look like they're straight from a Crayola box. Their metallics are good though. Vallejo paints ARE top notch and because they are a little thicker and concentrated than others are really useful for overpainting details in one coat without the base showing through. Currently I use the paints (usually thinned a little) for "specialized" colors with historicals (i.e. Feldgrau for my WWII Germans). I would invest more into them but a) I have to mail order all of them and b) they are expensive ($2.75 per)! Damon.
  7. re: sand mixure for filling bases. I actually use this method as well when basing historicals for Warhammer Ancient Battles. Carving out 200 slotta's is not too practical, so I just glue them to the base and use a sand mixture (but with wood glue rather than white; its stronger..) and blend it in. Depending on how much water you add you can get variety of textures (generally. more water=smoother). However, this method is impractical for my technique explained previously since the mix will not have nearly as much structural strength and the whole idea of my method is to NOT add any extra height to the figures (you would probably have to use thiker plastic on the base to secure the figure and prevent it from falling out; also my method is to PREVENT any extra finishing work!). As for Reaper bases, until they release bulk 25mm round bases in bulk its not too practical... Damon.
  8. Hey, I'm not just a history buff, I have a college degree in history... My last Army experience (US army of course...) was with OCS. Bad stuff happened though. Don't like to talk about it. But my Army experience was always positive. I was an Armor guy (I NEVER referred to myself by MOS code...sort of like my buddy who refused to say HOOAH! I guess...). I think my favorite assignment was at Ft. Knox (where I also did Basic). If you haven't been paying attention then you wouldn't know why... For some reason it seems like SF/Fantasy guys have a thing against historicals, or think their "boring". But a great deal of inspiration can be had by looking at an Osprey monograph or going down to the museum. Need a cool paintjob for your 'Mech? Check out the Gate Guard tanks at your local army post or base. Or check out an Osprey. Damon.
  9. Hmmm...camo schemes... The German schemes are quite attractive, and I'm doing a model of a Tiger II in the Ambush scheme now as we speak... My fave scheme however is the one used by the modern Swedish army. A splinter scheme with 2 greens, black and (IIRC) brown. The pattern is quite complex and very daunting to paint. The SS Spring patters camo scheme is probably the easiest for me to paint I've found. I use a pin to put in the little "spots". The Autumn scheme still eludes me... I still have trouble with modern US woodland camo scheme as seen on uniforms. I was in the army and around the uniform every day, and I STILL can't get it quite right. I often have one of my old uniforms hanging on a door when I attempt it... Damon. PS: In the real world sometimes camo schemes do NOT go from lightest to darkest. The example I can think of is that applied to German tanks in the Fall of '44 or so. Tanks were based in dark green and the other camo colors (dark yellow & red brown) were applied over this in the factory. The effect is subtle, but to the trained eye it becomes obvious...
  10. Just a quick note on how I base Reapers... I base my figures on Citadel round slotta's for consistency with my Chainmail and the Citadel figures I use for D&D 3e. For a while I was just gluing the figure on the base. This works well for figures with sculpted bases (the Bugbears come to mind...) but not so well with figures on the old style bases. IMHO this technique creates excessive height. What I've been doing instead is a little more complex, but the figure looks better and more consistent within my collection. 1. Take a standard 25mm slotta base. Using either a hand drill or a power drill (I use a Black & Decker variable speed drill with the smallest bit the chuck could hold...yes this is the hardware sized drill...), drill a number of holes around the perimeter of the base from the inside out. Space them as close as you can. Doing this by hand is tedious but if you have mechanization it's a snap. 2. Using a relatively sharp hobby knife, cut between the holes to remove the flat portion of the base. A little carving is neccessary to remove the portion around the slot, but the plastic is soft and easy to work with. You should now have a plastic ring. 3. Test fit your figure NOW. Sometimes the base may need a little trimming in order to fit in. When satisfied, glue (epoxy) the base to a piece of paper or very thin plastic. Be sure the entire base is glued on and there are no gaps. The reasons will be obvious... 4. Once dry test-fit the figure again, this time for height. Use a few pieces of scrap plastic or pewter to correct the height. When satisfied glue these in and the figure on top. 5. Now the FUN part. Mix up an ample amount of epoxy. Make sure you use the runny stuff and not the gel type. Now, transfer large dollops of the stuff from your mixing surface and pour it into the gaps between the figure and the base (now the part of gluing the base securely becomes obvious...). Fill it up to the level of the base of the figure and the plastic slotta. Pull a little over the edges of the slotta base to hide the rough cuts, and a little onto the figure base to blend it in. 6. Allow to cure and base as normal. I use sand painted a dark loamy brown and drybrushed tan, supplemented by bits of Model RR talus, bits of gear from other figures, and of course static grass. The effect makes it almost indistinguishable from my other figures, and none of my figures are standing on little hills anymore! This technique works best with gaming figures. Showpiece figures might require quite a bit more... Damon.
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