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Posts posted by Kensboro

  1. Pictures from the MFCA (Miniature Figure Collectors of America) 2018 show.

    The show is every spring, in the Philadelphia / King of Prussia area.




    I arrived a little late, and missed a few pieces as a couple of artists were packing up a bit early. Sorry about the handful of blurry shots of someone's very nice WH40K pieces :(


    As in previous years, image hosting sites don't let you sort alphabetically or numerically anymore (something about being Facebook friendly); so those 4-5 pictures of a German Battleship I took together are scattered randomly through the album, instead of being grouped together. :(


    There was some extraordinary painting skill on display! Enjoy :)

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  2. I was a Blick employee in the past; and we sold a lot of Liquitex.

    At the time, it was owned/manufactured by Binney and Smith (the Crayola people).


    We had asked what was the shelf life of their paints.

    The answer was... for acrylics (which are in those foil lined plastic squeeze tubes); about 5-6 years.

    For oils (in the metal tubes); 40 years.


    Why the difference? Water vs Linseed Oil.


    Sure, paints last longer than that; you have to consider if you used half of a tube of acrylic, and say it's contaminated with mold, then you seal it up for 2-years to have plenty of time to turn into a biology experiment. Molds won't grow in oil like they do in water; and the pigment is easier to remix with the oil.


    The biggest killer of acrylics we had to deal with was shipping in the winter. Once they freeze (and the pigment turns into a rubbery lump), it's game over.


    I had some old Armory paints that were still good (well... and a bunch that went bad). Depends a lot on the seal of the bottle.

    • Like 6
  3. A smaller show than normal, many of the Europeans who come to MFCA to display their figures are saving their vacation time and travel dollars/euros to go to the World Miniatures Expo this fall (in Chicago).




    About the pictures… Imgur used to have a tool to arrange by name/date. That tool has been gone for months; so unfortunately the pictures are in a random order. It's a common complaint by many about changes to how Imgur works, and frustrating as you won't see someone's pieces grouped together as I walk around and take shots. Grrr!

    But enjoy the pictures anyway! :)

    • Like 10
  4. >Is it the same time every year? And where in Jersey?


    Yes, it's an annual show held at a pretty nice hotel in Morristown; which is probably a good half-hour+ away from NYC, so you don't have to deal with crazy city traffic.


    I also went to last year's show, and enjoyed it both times.

    I especially like the seminars/demonstrations the Hollywood SFX guys/girls do.

    It's not a huge convention by any means, it's more on the size of MFCA (if you've ever been to one of those).

    The crowd is pretty friendly, the dealers room is a pretty decent size; and the hotel has food/beverages if you need a quick bite. $10 for a burger/fries/soda, which isn't bad at all for a convention.


    Here's a comment I posted on Reddit:

      >Thanks so much for sharing, a lot of gorgeous work here.

      >Do you know, were a lot of these custom sculpts?

      >I'm particularly interested in the godzilla setups, I've been looking for an affordable godzilla kit for a while.


    There were a lot of kits at the show, including a multitude of Godzillas in various scales and poses.


    I saw several models of airbrushes/compressors, a giant rack of airbrush paint, several vendors with mold-making materials; and vendors demonstrating sculpting resins/epoxies/etc.


    They had some presentations by Hollywood model builders. Jordu Schell's presentation was entertaining, fascinating, and very educational on the history of what movies had a tremendous effect on the model-making/SFX end of Hollywood; such as The Thing (Carpenter), Star Wars, Seventh Voyage of Sindbad, Jurassic Park, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Hellraiser, and American Werewolf in London as examples.


    An interesting story Jordu shared was being asked to build a model/design for the first Incredible Hulk movie. He mentioned getting a call from the head of ILM when he was told Ang Lee (the director) said his Hulk design was too muscular and too angry. Jordu pointed out that "muscular and angry" is in essence, what the Hulk is. His design was rejected for a softer/fluffier Hulk. :(



    The show is 98% large scale resin/vinyl/silicone kits.


    You won't find Vallejo/GW/Reaper paints there, or static grass in lots of shades, but you will find tons of mold-making/casting materials; and the paints seem to be more like the stuff the RC car crowd uses.


    There are some vendors that sell LED kits to light up your Spaceships, haunted houses, etc.


    One vendor selling custom lighting kits had a Shadow Box of a Frankenstein type lab, and Frankie's head was spinning around in a sort of hologram box (like a "Brain in a Box"). It was simple, but very cool.


    It's a very different kind of show, but it's also cool to see the ideas that folks who do "minis" on a much bigger scale come up with, it's a good source of inspiration if you don't get anything else out of it.

    Oh... as awesome as those large scale kits are, the price tags aren't for the faint of heart. I would guess the general cost of the hobby is probably the same, where we buy twenty $5 goblins, they're buying one $100 werewolf.



    I learned something called "Duplo" (sp???) sticks super well to vinyl; I made a mental of note of it as a possible candidate for a Bonesium primer.

    Jordu talked a bit in his seminar about what a pain it is to paint silicone, as nothing wants to stick to it, unless you use some really toxic materials; but the result is incredible (like the picture below that he showed off).


    He was saying the hair always has to be done after it's cast and painted, so you have to be uber careful to not rub off any of the paint; there is a girl in his shop that puts the hair in one strand at a time!

    He sells these for $10k.


  5. http://imgur.com/a/n1k6P#0


    "Jersey Fest is a celebration of movies, television, and comic books with the focus on horror, science fiction and fantasy".


    Note... the lighting is mediocre in about 3/4 of the display area (as you can tell by the sepia tone of a good number of the pictures due to the lack of sufficient light).


    Using a flash on your camera can help, but sometimes isn't welcome at exhibits (and considered poor manners) as other people in the room looking at the displays may not appreciate being blinded by flash photography.


    You'll see that Godzilla took a break from the Pacific Rim and paid a visit to the Jersey Shore (A good 3/4 of the Godzilla models are the work of one artist who was kind enough to bring his awesome collection).


    • Like 12
  6. The ProShaker is a gadget made for nail parlors to mix up gel and lacquer type polishes. I found it makes for an incredible tool to mix up your hobby paints.


    Here is a link to pictures and some explanatory text; and a YouTube video demonstrating it in action:



    I like Reaper paints too, but I demonstrate it being used with Vallejo.

    If you're one of those guys on YouTube that made a Frankenstein paint-mixer out of a reciprocating saw welded to a tent-stake... then this is for you! :)


    Note; I've also posted this in Reddit/self.minipainting

    • Like 2
  7. I posted this elsewhere... but this seems to be a more appropriate sub-forum, and some of you might find this useful:


    I understand some like to use "Glass and Tile Medium" (Folk Art) as a primer; but it's pretty hard to find it in a store, and I remember seeing some comments wishing it came in something other than a 2-oz bottle.


    Here's option B:



    Comes in an 8-oz bottle, the price is reasonable, and the shipping isn't bad either.

    Martin F. Weber have been in business for decades; they don't make uber high-end paints/inks, but they don't make junk either.

  8. I understand some like to use "Glass and Tile Medium" (Folk Art) as a primer; but it's pretty hard to find it in a store, and I remember seeing some comments wishing it came in something other than a 2-oz bottle.


    Here's option B:



    Comes in an 8-oz bottle, the price is reasonable, and the shipping isn't bad either.

    Martin F. Weber have been in business for decades; they don't make uber high-end paints/inks, but they don't make junk either.

  9. Interesting. Now I want to go test that.


    Acylic paints all contain some ammonia as part of their stabilizers. It's one of the reasons their pH is so alkaline, which in turn is one of the reasons they are safer to paint lead with than oil paints are.


    I am wondering if the cheaper paints overdo the ammonia.



    I worked there ~20-years, and got to see every kind of paint imaginable; finger paint - tempera - water color - gouache - acrylic - oil - glass window paint - inks for block printing - lettering enamel for the sides of fire trucks/plumbers vans/etc (and the list goes on).


    Pretty much all the water based paints had some sort of ammonia smell. The better the quality, the weaker the smell; the cheaper the quality, the stronger the smell (and that rule was pretty consistent).

    New product line? Low price? Looks like it will take 5-coats to be semi-opaque? Open cap... take a whiff... smells like you should scrub the kitchen floor with it.

    Higher price/better brand/sold as a better quality product; Open cap... take a sniff... subtle ammonia smell.


    Perhaps the reason is simple... better paints = more pigment and higher quality materials.

    Is that pint of paint 50% pigment and 50% binder; or is it 10% pigment and 90% binders? You have to fill the bottle with a full pint of something, if you're selling it as a pint.


    Preservatives are also important! You bottle of black is probably ground cow-bone that's charred. I guess I don't have to explain what happens to something that was once alive that isn't preserved against decay (the smell after a few years is a dead giveaway) :wacko:


    And once acrylics freeze, they're most likely done for. They can get to be damned cold and be just fine, but once ice forms in the bottle it's pretty much instant paint-death (now the water has separated from the pigments/binders).

    It's time to get a replacement, no amount of mixing will bring it back to normal. Obviously, this isn't an issue with oil-based and alcohol-based paints/inks.

    • Like 3
  10. I used to be a Blick employee; "paint life" is a question we were asked a lot!

    At the time, someone asked Liquitex (now owned/made by a different company, but still a quality product) what the typical shelf life of tube paints was.

    They told us it was about 5-6 years for acrylics, and 40+years for oil paints (don't forget that's tube paints, which are quite a bit thicker).


    This was maybe 20-years ago; I'm sure the acrylic binders have improved a bit, and although the plastic coated-aluminum tubes that Liquitex uses are super easy to read (great for a store display)... since you can't roll up the end (like an old-fashioned lead/aluminum tube), you can't squeeze the air out of them completely. Toothpaste tubes are also this way (well... now they are), but toothpaste is used up/trashed in a relatively short time.


    Switching from pots to the Reaper/Vallejo dropper bottles was a good idea for keeping air out, and probably for adding years onto the shelf life of your paints.

    I also had some Armory paint from the 80s that was still usable (thanks to using glass bottles). A nice thing about the newer plastic bottles; you don't need a pair of pliers to get the caps off. :(



    Tip: a rule of thumb I learned about the quality of acrylics that you would like to check out, but never tried/seen before... the more it smells like household ammonia, the cheaper it is (not an absolute, but holds true almost all the time).

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