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Mostly Harmless

Mostly Harmless (2/8)



  1. Yes, Acetone will do nasty things to all of the plastics I've encountered so far that are used to make models and minis. I've heard people who say they can brush Acetone on there and break the superglue seal, but myself, I've never had any luck with the method - I usually need to soak stuff, and that will do bad things to plastic / resin / etc. The usual method I use to break superglue bonds is to freeze it. Bag it in a Ziploc bag or something, and stick in the freezer. Wait like 3 or 4 days. Take it out, the superglue should have become pretty brittle and should be breakable without too much effort.
  2. To my everlasting shame, I only got one of these things like a year and a half ago. Before then, I just did nothing wreck clippers destroying entire minis for some part I wanted to transfer. The Jeweler's saw has made my life so much easier. :) Hmm...so I wrote this huge wall-of-text describing the solution to the problem I think you're having. But it's a little confusing, even to me to read. So I'll use pictures instead. Step 1: Once the blade is screwed in tight at both of the terminals (blade down, of course), gently pull the arm wide until the blade is taut. At this point, you shouldn't worry too much about it loosening up a bit - if your saw has a bit of resistance like mine does, it's important to get it about in the right position. Step 2: Using a hand (we'll say right), hold the saw like in the picture (yeah, my hands aren't good - it's been over a decade since life drawing) and yes, for a jeweler's saw it's huge. Just think of it as oversized for demonstration purposes - most people will not be able to fit their whole hand in there like that. The key is to have your thumb on the end of the arm like shown. Push the arm out with your thumb (or if you have a weak grip you can use both hands to pull it apart taut) and use your thumb to keep the pressure so it remains taut. Step 3: Using your other hand, you can now tighten the top screw or the side screw or whatever that holds the arm in place. Hope that helps. EDIT: As for sawing, I find the less pressure you use, the better. In fact, I give it a super-light touch and literally just use the weight of the saw and nothing else to saw through stuff. Using any kind of force or pushing force with the sawblade is a recipe for broken blades - just a medium-speed smooth sawing motion is best. A lot of people lubricate the blades with beeswax or something. I've yet to need any kind of lubricant myself.
  3. Usually, when I name a sci-fi game, I name them after some specific quality about the campaign plot, usually with an "action-y" bent. For space travel, a nautical theme often works, especially if you're waxing poetic. This can seem a bit cheesy to some people, but usually those people don't have a romantic bone in their body, so who cares about them. "Across the Sea of Suns" is a good example of this. Your own title would work for a game about piracy: Sky Pirates. Or "Pirates of the Stars" if you want to be more lyrical. If you absolutely insist on naming a campaign world with something to do with the Asian theme, unless you're going to be running a tongue-in-cheek game full of stereotypes I'd say away from the more tongue-in-cheek suggestions. Unfortunately, there's a lot of combo-ideas in Chinese that sound really awkward to Western ears (see also, the title of the book "The Joyluck Club"). Chances are names like that would be the kind "really" used. For example, "The Romance of the Joyful Perfume Receptacle" (with the last part being the name of the starship) wouldn't sound too awkward in Chinese, but that's a very odd sounding name to Western ears. Even if you transliterated the name to something like "Tale of the Lucky Perfume Bottle" it still wouldn't sound that great, but imbuing a title or venture with a word of good fortune is big in naming, sadly. Though, "Tales of the Lucky Venture" actually doesn't sound too bad (especially if it's like Serenity and the ship's captain is anything but lucky a lot of the time, where the name starts to sound a little ironic). All that said, here's my ideas. Obviously they won't all apply to your universe (especially if your universe is balkanized and not under some united and ancient Chinese Empire): The Empire of the Dragon Throne (yeah yeah, I know *yawn* but it works) Traders on the River of Stars Tales of the Jade Stars Tigers of the Misty Nebula Mysteries of the Stars of the Jade Fan The Lantern of Stars The Dowager's Mask (which would be the name of a star cluster or something) More military-sounding titles might be something like: Letters of the Invincible Army Banner of the Immortals
  4. Good observations, everyone. :) Thanks for the advice, I'll give it another try. Now, Celestine needs a bath in Simple Green...
  5. Sorry about the photo there - I hope it's good enough. So to make a long story short, many, many moons ago now, I posted a thread about doing blending and NMM. At the time, I was told to put up a photo of an attempt. So after moving and generally attending to a bunch of RL stuff I won't bore you with listing here, I finally bought myself a Canon digital camera and took this photo for advice. So this is my first attempt at NMM blending, on a Celestine mini I have lying around. Beyond the fact it seems a little gray (I suspect it's partially my lack of skill in taking photos, and the background, maybe). Looking at the image, I'm wondering what I should do to get away from the "stone" effect I'm getting on the mini (ie; it looks like her armor is made from concrete, instead of metal). Admittedly, with all the fiddly details, it's not the best mini to be working on NMM with, and no, despite the fact I painted the cloak/tail cloth red, besides fooling with the metal, I haven't really done a think to Celestine yet.
  6. I've been sort of curious about this stuff but no experience using it. Maybe I'll get a bottle and find out!
  7. *goes to find a jar* "That's the cheesiest..." *goes to find some blu-tac* "idea for a jar I've ever seen..." *goes to find his cleaner* Thanks. :)
  8. The work on Neo is just great - the quality of the photography is nice too. Great work!
  9. This is a disclaimer: I cannot do this better than you. I would suggest adding in the odd bullet hit or three on the models, especially the shoulderpads. tanker22: Fantastic weathering on that model! I find the dozer blade positively droolworthy. I can see you've studied (or had the opportunity to work from) things rusting away. As an armor builder, about the only criticism I'd have is that the vehicle looks more like an abandoned wreck, rusting away somewhere than something still being used. Mostly it comes from the fact that the rotating/swivelling areas of the sponsons are rusted (I would at least put in shiny metal "swivel grooves") and tips of the exhausts should probably have more soot on them.
  10. W&N 7s for drybrushing? Do you have rolls of gold leaf in your bathroom instead of toilet paper? Can you take photos and share with the class? I didn't know such decadence existed. ;) More seriously, I guess if it works for you - I tear up my brushes fast enough without drybrushing with them - I don't really want to think of what would happen to them if I did.
  11. A lot of companies do them, but I always feel like I'm paying as much for a Reaper fig (or more) for a step down - for something Reaper (or really, Games Workshop, Rackham, or Privateer Press to be fair) would never accept to put into production - except maybe in the bad old days. I'm convinced that historical gamers are so used to 10mm, 15mm, and 20mm minis that there's an acceptance of lower quality to reach the "5 star" rating, even at the 28mm "heroic" scale. I catch myself doing it all the time - my expectations for detail, proportion, and quality always drop when I start looking for historical minis as opposed to fantasy (or to a lesser extent sci-fi). I've seen those Kreigenspiel US Marines, and for me, they just reinforce what I'm talking about - the weird body proportions (like the guys who look like they have necks a foot long - and sure, "pencilnecks" exist IRL, but nobody ever goes to the effort of modelling them, it's just bad sculpting IMO), the badly sculpted guns, the weird press-mould friendly static poses. I think it's honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. For instance, if you look at some Garrity or Klocke sculpt on Reaper and you'll notice the finely done chainmail, the detail on the sword hilts, the attention the folds of cloaks, the way the material of a belt pouch bunches up as it nears the drawstring. Meanwhile, for historical minis, we'll cheerfully accept glass-smooth fabric covers on helmets, night vision equipment that looks like a few pieces of chopped up plastic sprue glued onto someone's head, and so on. What gives? That's what I'd like to see - Reaper to do some historical figs with the same lavish attention to detail that fantasy figs seem to have as standard.
  12. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I'd really like to see highly detailed modern military figures. Most figures I find for this sort of thing just seem off in some way - like their rifles are cartoonishly huge, half of their equipment looks like it dates from the Vietnam era, or they "pull a Foundry" - they insist on putting some female fig in there who's usually more skimpily dressed than her male counterparts and is always using a smaller weapon than her male counterparts (I don't know who thought that's cute, but frankly it really makes me avoid Foundry - enough with the "chicks with tiny guns" or the polar opposite "chicks with huge guns" if I want to cop a feel of some scantily-clad female fig, there's plenty of other manufacturers I can buy from). While I'd be satisfied with just US figs appropriate to perhaps Iraq or Afganistan (no political statement here - I'd just like some guys carrying M4s instead of M16s, the helmet attachments, and so on), "special forces" in other themes would be interesting as well - especially if they're NOT in berets, or standard "fritz" helmets (or God forbid, old metal M1 helmets from Vietnam) or look like SAS from Iran embassy storming (black outfits with gasmasks) - I think the market's seen enough of those styles. Other themes: * A unit of "modern mercs" might also be fun in a similar theme. I don't mean rambo types, or similar "Soldier of Fortune" reading loonies, or refugees from John Woo Hong Kong era gun-fu movies (though ... there'd be a market for those, I think), but people who look like a mix between military people and civilians, suitable for use as merc NPCs or as player characters. I find such a characters to be suitable for use in most near-future and hard sci-fi settings as well. * A sniper in a ghillie suit with a similarly attired spotter (they could even be sold as a pair!). * Guys using modern looking missile launchers - you know, that don't look like bazooka/LAWs or RPGs or if not shooting them, at least toting them on their backs.
  13. I've done my own decals - you're talking about the Inkjet printer paper ones, right? It's not hard, though as is typical with stuff like that, results vary quite a bit. The most painful thing with waterslide decals you make yourself is that you can't really do white. Amusingly, white is like the one color most of us model decal'ers want the most because that will let you make your own stencilled numbers and names and so on. These companies sell you sheets that can technically do white, but I've never had good results with them. Otherwise, the decal making is pretty standard. Find the art you want to use - obviously the more detailed the image is you want to use the more danger there is of it coming out worse. In addition, the more precise the image, the worse it will come out. All that said, you could probably do Transformers symbols without too much trouble. Get the image the way you like it, run it in preview in whatever program you're going to use to make the decal, make sure you like the size...then cross your fingers and try printing it. Obviously, these decal paper makers can't make paper that will work great in everyone's printers so quality will vary from printer to printer. EDIT: I don't know if this really changes anything, but I find warming the paper up over a lightbulb (the incandescent sort) a bit before printing seems to give me better results. Once it's done, I think it goes without saying, don't touch it, let it try for a while - preferably overnight, then spray some varnish on it to seal the ink in. Then let that dry. After that, use it like a normal transfer. Since it's homemade, it won't behave like the ones you use buy at the model store, though if you're experienced in using decals, application won't be such a pain for you - they'll sort of behave like old decals (not exactly, but if you've dealt with 30 year old decals and such, you'll have less problems with this stuff). (Ignore this part if you're experienced using decals) The typical rules apply: Paint (with a brush) the area you're going to apply the decal onto beforehand with some sort of glossy varnish (like most modelling freaks, I use Future/Klear instead), especially if you use matte paints or sealer, let this dry before you start. Before using the decal, warm it up a bit by putting it near an incandescent light bulb for a while - this will soften the decal. Cut as close as you can to the printed area without destroying any detail. Score the decal in the middle with an X-acto knife if you're applying it to a curved surface. While I use normal warm water with these things so far, a friend of mine has used Solvaset with good results. Let the decal soak, but avoid letting the backing paper come off of it - since decals always work best if you can gently slide them off of the backing onto the smooth varnished surface, then gently dab NEAR the decal (never on top) to draw off the water. Once the decal is fully dry (I'd give a day) paint over it with a layer varnish to seal it in.
  14. At some point, I became tired of that exact problem and just started using Micron markers to do my eyes - local humidity matters a lot. I had a running discussion with a friend of mine out in Georgia who never had problems doing eyes until I realized the reason why my brushes would dry out so fast is that I lived in California where our humidity is really low, while she lived out in some part of Georgia where the local humidity is really high. I seriously didn't think humidity mattered from the time I blotted the brush on a paper towel to when I brought it to the figure, but apparently it does. It explained a lot of the problems we had in our painting issues - like she never had "spray clumping" for her paints while I never had some of the problems she had with her sprays.
  15. As someone who does almost all of his 40k fig buying off of eBay... Just to echo what others say, metal GW figs, especially older ones (like your early terminators) sell better and for a higher price if they're not painted. If you can strip them so that they basically look new, very early / rare Space Marine armors (especially Terminators) will fetch you a decent eBay price. As a rule, New In Blister/Box is the way to get the best price for something on eBay for 40k. Unpainted/unmodified/stripped of paint will fetch you the second best price (in some cases, the same as NIB). The minute the brush touches the mini for 40k, its value drops considerably in many cases. Even minis painted well by skilled painters or pretty hit or miss their value - occasionally people will get into a bidding war over the mini, but often contest quality minis go for like half of what you they could have gone for otherwise - unless the painter is known on eBay. The minute someone "converts" their mini (ie; replacing weapons and such), unless the conversion and painting are major Golden Daemon winning quality, the value almost entirely vanishes. I think stripped of paint with a certain amount of provenance (do a bit of research on Stuff of Legends and include the year and production run) and good photos, the early terminators could earn you a pretty penny. EDIT: Your post #28 photos are actually of fairly recent Terminators for the most part. Unfortunately, they suffer from "recently replaced" syndrome - I'm not really sure if you can get a good price at all for those. A lot of people have replaced them the newer plastic Terminators who aren't in that pronounced "coach huddle" and dump them on eBay.
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