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Everything posted by Kang

  1. I prefer the term 'darklining', since you don't need to use actual black to do it (and it is usually probably better if you don't, and instead stick with dark non-black colors in general unless you're going for a comic book art sort of look). But in any case, there's a current thread over on the Painting Tips & Advice page where they're discussing the how-to's of lining: Lining Kang
  2. "Forbidden by rating check You are not permitted to access this URL due to the policy of your organization..." (only with the "Forbidden by rating check" in big, red, "ohnoimgonnagetfired"-style letters that my tag-fu is ill-equipped to recreate) Denied! Blast it all! I'll have to try that link again when I'm at home. Sadly, I only have dial-up access there, which is why I do most of this stuff during downtime at the office. It's the one way in which I'm sort of glad we only have 5 tape drives for our mainframe (lots of waiting for queued-up programs to start running, or for completed input reel #1 to get switched out for #2, etc.). But I digress... Maybe I'll find time to check that tomorrow evening; tonight is D&D night... Probably not going to be doing any castle/dungeon planning/building until Saturday at the earliest anyhow. Thanks very much for the link; that's a cool idea, casting up HA bits for fun AND money! I'm always on the hunt for new sources of gaming gear. I'm sure your friend appreciates the plug also; I'll make sure to mention that, if I should end up ordering anything. (Even if all else fails, maybe it'll get you a discount) Kang PS. Still no castle map scans, but I'm working on it...
  3. Hmmm. Well, the castle is from an issue of Dungeon magazine. An old enough issue that no maps are online on Paizo's site... I don't even have the issue # - our group's other DM ran this adventure. So the best I could do would be to get him to email me some scanned images and PM them to you 2 (namely Rast & K65, who've asked to see the existing layout). I'm not sure it'd be wise to post scanned images from the mag directly on the boards what with copyright laws etc! I used to play under a DM whose dungeons always had 5' thick (ie. 1" on a 1" grid) walls. Too bad this castle wasn't designed that way! I agree with Kristof that the basic problem comes from the way the maps were drawn, with walls as thin as the gridlines on graph paper. I realize there's probably no perfect solution to this; if I want to have levels that can be stacked, I need (at least some) real walls, and to make the real walls I'll either have to do some minor redesigning of the layout or try using half-inch-wide tiles to make 'gridlines' thick enough for the walls to sit on without any overlap as per the game board linked in my OP, or be willing to live with some narrow corridors that no minis can fit in. After taking look at the maps yesterday though, I'm now starting to think it might not be that hard to redesign things just a little bit and make it work OK after all. There are really only a couple of places with 2 narrow hallways adjacent to each other that would be the trickiest parts to redesign, and I suppose using cardstock or thin plastic or something for just those walls that have no adjacent large rooms to move over into easily would probably be an acceptable compromise. Once this is settled, me and the guys are gonna have to figure out how to deal with the castle's 3 different diameters of spiral staircases and its round tower section, none of which we have molds for! We may have to actually go out of pocket and pay for some new molds ourselves, as the rest of the group still occasionally grumbles about how little we actually use any of the HirstArts stuff we blew our dues pot on the first time... (not that they've ever taken the initiative to use the D&D fund and add anything to our gaming gear themselves, of course). Guess we ought to start building more of that modular dungeon terrain while we're at it, to keep them at bay... Thanks for all the tips and suggestions, all! Kang
  4. A trick I've been using lately seems to work quite well for me: - Thin your liner a lot, like the 4-5 drops of water per drop of liner someone mentioned, only make one or 2 of those drops flow improver or acrylic thinner instead of water. - Get a pool of pure flow improver/thinner in your pallete as well - Load up a brush with plenty of flow improver, and paint it generously into the recess you want to darkline, making sure to cover the surrounding raised areas as well - While the coat of flow improver is still wet on the mini, load up a brush with your thinned liner. Load the brush pretty heavily, though no so much that there's a drop of liner hanging off the tip or anything - you still want your brush to hold a good point there. - Dip the tip of the loaded brush into the recess to be lined. The thinned liner should wick right in there, and the flow improver in the surrounding areas should keep the liner from staining any areas other than where it pools in the appropriate nooks and crannies. - Rinse the remaining liner out of your brush, dry the bristles with a paper towel, and use it to soak up a brushfull of the excess flow improver, and any extra liner that got into the cracks. Then rinse and dry your brush again (you don't end up accidentally staining an area you've just removed the flow improver from with the liner you just sucked off the mini) and repeat as necessary. You can pull out as much or as little as you want to, really, so darklines that are too thick should no longer be a problem. I can't promise this will win you any trophies, but it works well enough for me and doesn't involve needing to buy any new gear (except flow improver maybe, but that's something you really ought to keep handy anyhow). YMMV... Kang
  5. The more I think about it, the more I think that for building dungeons on-the-fly during a game, Rastl's idea of using thin strips of plastic or paper that can just be stuck between the floor tiles would be the way to go, at least when walls are required - ie. interior walls separating adjacent rooms. After all - Rastl's right that only a basic representation is needed for this usage. Maybe I'll look into some of the cardstock stuff like WorldWorks or what have you for walls. But the castle we're thinking about building is about as much for the fun of building a cool model as it is about playability (we already destroyed or ran off all the vampires who used to live there, hence the castle as our home base, and it's not like we're hoping for a prolonged seige so we can get a chance to use it in play... but the option would be nice should that ever happen!), so I think we're probably going to continue trying to figure out some way to be able to stack the different levels on top of each other so as to be able to assemble the entire castle as a whole when it is not in play. Perhaps we're being overly ambitious about this; time will tell. The castle has several 5' wide secret passages/rooms, etc., which is a big part of the trouble we're having, so I think we're only really likely to do much redesigning of the layout if it's absolutely necessary and we can't work out some other way to deal with the various tight spaces. Thaks for all the suggestions so far, folks! Keep'em coming if anyone has any more - I'll be checking the thread for new posts. I promise to post some pix too, if we ever actually get the darn thing built. Kang
  6. Yeah, that is pretty cool - thanks for the link... But it is also an example of a dungeon where pretty much every wall is an exterior wall, and it is the interior walls that are giving me and my group some grief. I agree this style is the way to go when no 2 rooms are adjacent to each other and there's lots of room in the unused space between rooms where you can put the walls (or not, in this case), and we do have some tiles set up & glued together that we do some stuff like this on the fly with. I'm more concerned with how to set up interior walls that separate adjacent rooms, like you'd find in, say, a house or a castle. The castle we are planning to build also has several storeys to it, so walls of some kind will be a must - the second floor has to sit on top of the first floor's walls, and so on. Hopefully some good-enough method will reveal itself so I don't have to talk the group into funding the purchase of another mold (ie. with skinnier walls), especially since we've gotten so little use out of the first batch so far. I'm assuming you were pointing out the pix in the first post in that link - the linked file in that post with more pictures isn't working anymore, so if it was something in there you were referring to, I guess I missed out on that. Thanks again for the feedback! Hmm. I'm having trouble visualizing what you mean here. Not certain which circumstances you mean that I mentioned would prohibit movement - I am more concerned with places where movement should be allowed, but where the walls keep you from being able to put a mini there. Also unsure what was meant by, "adding that extra space in the tiles into the mix." Could be I'm just having an decades-early senior's moment on something that's obvious to everyone else here, in which case I apologize for spacing out on you like that. But in any case, could you elaborate a bit on those items and on your 'voids' system in general? Wait a minute, you have a top down projector setup?!? [drools enviously] Nice. And I thought I had a big-spending game group, what with all the molds and the big box of plaster and all... That must be fun to use! Thanks for all the feedback so far, all. Kang
  7. Me and my D&D group took our big pot of unused $2-each-weekly-dues (collected to fund purchases of prepainted WotC minis, dollar-store terrain/animals/various accessories, and anything else that would benefit the whole group's gaming experience, so that whoever takes the initiative to pick up some gaming supplies for the group doesn't end up having to foot the bill) and bought a bunch of HirstArts molds and a 50 lb. box of dental plaster. This was several months ago, maybe more like a year. Maybe longer; I don't actually want to think about how long they've sat there rarely being used. The idea was that we'd build a bunch of rooms, hallways, etc., that we could assemble on the fly during our games, rather than always make do with messy erasable markers and laminated grids. Since then, our party in one of our 2 alternating campaigns has come into ownership of a large castle, which we'd also like to try building with HirstArts blocks. The problem is, after we got the molds & plaster and experimented a little with the bits we'd cast, we realized that just using 1" floor tiles and 1/2" wide wall sections would cause some problems when it came to narrow hallways and small rooms. Most D&D dungeon maps in our experience have interior walls that are little more than just darker-than-usual lines on the grid, whereas the HirstArts walls are half the width of a square floor tile. So if you straddle the walls on the gridlines, they eat up a 1/4" strip - a significant amount of the squares that are adjacent to the walls. Not a big deal in large rooms, but when you are building 5' wide hallways and 5' square rooms, the walls on either side eat up half the width of the hallway or room, leaving no room for the minis. Most of the sample dungeon images I've seen where the builders used HirstArts blocks have either every wall as an exterior wall (where the wall pieces can sit outside the corridors and eat up 1/2" of the adjacent 'front lawn' or 'buried underground' square without bothering anyone much), or only have interior walls in large rooms (where you can put a mini up against the wall and have it hang partway into the adjacent square without causing major problems). I know some of you guys & gals have build HirstArts pieces for gaming, whether it be set pieces or modular dungeon terrain. I know this because some of you have said so in other threads related to HirstArts creations. I didn't want to be a thread-jacker, so here I am in a brand new topic. I'm wondering how you folks who've done some dabbling already have dealt with this issue. Our group thought about putting 1/2" spacer tiles between the floor squares where walls would stand, but then once the map goes through a doorway or the hallway turns a corner, you end up with your grid being out of alignment by 1/2" eventually. We also considered just not having hallways and rooms that are 5' wide (note for non-D&D'ers: the game uses a 1" square on the battle grid to represent a 5' square of terrain), but that seems like an unreasonable limitation for the amount of money we shelled out for this stuff and given the types of dungeons we seem to tend to end up exploring. The latest thing I've come up with was after I saw this game board on the HirstArts site. What they did was to put in 1/2" spacers on the floor between every tile, which would avoid the grid-going-out-of-alignment problem associated with the first option I described above. Essentially, they made the gridlines wide enough that a wall can sit on the line without taking up space on the adjacent floor sections. This leaves room for the minis in every square that is meant to be playable. The only drawback is that there would be all those extra 1/2" spacer tiles between the playable squares where there are no walls, which could potentially get a bit confusing for players who are trying to count up 5' squares for their PC's movements. I suppose one could paint the spacers a different color than the actual floor tiles, but that would change the way the whole place looks. It would also make anything built this way half-again as large as it would be without the 1/2-inch "gridlines", and it wouldn't work well in combination with a regular laminated 1" grid (which has gridlines that don't take up any appreciable space) in those times when you might otherwise want to quickly add some terrain without having to search for the right HirstArts modular bits. But despite these drawbacks, so far it seems like it might be the best option... So, how did all you Hirst Artists out there handle this, if at all? Is there some other trick my group hasn't thought of yet for recreating maps where the interior walls are just lines? I hope I've explained all this clearly enough to make myself understood, and that some other HirstArts users here have thought about this before (hopefully coming up with some ingenious solution in the process). So, let's hear your ideas, folks! Thanks, Kang
  8. I so feel your pain. I had a similar problem with Dullcote going on glossy a few months ago - you may remember me begging for help here - but for me it was my first time using the stuff (had always used a different matte sealer before), so I had a heck of a time figuring out if it was a bad can, something I was doing wrong, or what. I do know it wasn't that I didn't shake the can enough, and I'm fairly sure humidity wasn't an issue. I was using it over top of a gloss sealer spray that I put on to protect the mini a little more. In the end, I think part of the problem - for me, anyhow - was that I was using too much Dullcote. But it wasn't really quite that simple either though; by the time I managed to get it mostly shine-free, I was half-convinced that the Dullcote was just reacting badly to the brand of dealer I had sprayed on underneath it. I don't know if it'll help much or not, but here is the thread detailing the process I went through in trying to solve my own Dullcote shine problem. Very nice paint job, BTW. At least your Dullcote issues happened on a mini that still looks good with a bit of a sweaty or rubbery look to most of its surface... I'll be keeping an eye out for that as well. Kang
  9. Is this the thread you're looking for? Good luck, Kang
  10. I'm going to go ahead and keep my mouth shut on that one. Oh, but why? I put it out there for discussion, after all! Oh, so that was for discussion, eh? Let's see then... I have 2 options: 1) Swollen gourds? Nun worth mentioning. OR 2) Swollen gourds?!? Dude, she's like... a nun! There's just no way you're supposed to be noticing those. I really don't think you want to get into that habit. Take your pick. Love the paint job BTW - what colors did you use for those robes? Kang
  11. Jester's pinning trick - best pinning method I have ever come across; works perfectly, every time. All you need is a pin, a pin vise & appropriately sized bit, a small amount of poster-tack, and the ability to produce saliva. Oh, and glue of course. I always pin (usually using a bit of a paperclip if the joint isn't too fine to allow it, but any sort of wire or thin metal rod can do the job - brass rods are a popular choice); seen too many arms and wings and heads get knocked off (of minis!) at the worst moments - ie. after painting - to even briefly consider skipping it. If you have a decent hobby store in your area that sells model railroading gear etc., you should be able to find a decent pin vise at a reasonable price. GW stores may have them too if you're willing to pay a little more. Or there's loads online if you're into shopping that way... Mine came with several bits, so if you don't want to have to shop for those too, look for a vise that comes with bits. Most of them probably do, though extra bits aren't necessarily a bad idea - I got a set of all the really tiny sizes a few months back and have had a much easier time matching pins to hole sizes ever since. Choose a bit that is as close to the same diameter as your chosen pin as possible without being smaller, especially if you're using regular crazy glue as opposed to epoxy or a gap-filling CA glue like zap-a-gap. I find drilling a few test holes to find the tightest easy fit for my chosen pin to be a worthwhile practice. Sometimes there's room on the bottom of the base of a mini for test holes in a pinch, but be careful if you do this - you don't want your bit poking up through the top of the base! I only ever do that because I figure I'll get a better test fit in pewter than I would in a block of wood or something. Also, I find quickly going over the pin with a file to rough it up a bit before gluing it in place helps the glue grab hold of it, but this isn't mandatory. I'll leave the mold-line cleanup advice to others; I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said, other than take your time and be careful. I've heard of people using diamond-coated bead reamers and extremely fine grit sandpaper wrapped around a toothpick and jeweller's polishing bits and any number of other assorted arcane gear for trouble spots - YMMV; my half-round needle file has always been good enough for me, though I am sort of yearning for one of the fancy diamond coated ones to replace my cheap one someday. If you post a couple photos of the mold line & shield, maybe people could give you more specific advice on that one. Kang
  12. YMMV; I read about this several months ago and it sounds convincing to me, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet: load up your brush with flow improver (AKA acrylic thinner?) and slather it all over the whole area you will be washing. Then do the wash while the coat of thinner is still wet. The wash should slide right into the nooks and crannies without staining the mid- and highlight tones. If you do go this route, please come back and let us know how it turned out! Kang
  13. I'm guessing you're thinking about one of those 'urintaing cherubim' fountains? I always thought those were sort of gross too, but for some reason they're common enough - go figure. I just had a flashback to that scene in the Autin Powers movie with the fountain statues... Now that was just wrong. But funny too - I'm glad they did it, so I'll have to give you the official go-ahead on your idea too I guess. :o) Nice work on this one, BTW, love the water effects & all. I really gotta do more with my HA molds before my big box of dental plaster turns into a brick... Kang
  14. I noticed it too (so you are not going crazy... unless we both are), and I also thought it was something that a lot of people would probably not notice; they're really not that badly out of focus - it's mostly only noticeable on just the very finest details. So yeah, the pix could be a hair sharper, but it's a minor enough issue that I wouldn't even have mentioned it if I didn't know that Meg's specifically been trying to improve her photos lately (saw another thread on that topic yesterday). The mini itself looks great, as expected, which IMO goes a lot farther than perfect photos ever could. Kang
  15. Does your camera have facial recognition? If so, try turning off that feature. I know my camera doesn't recognize the faces of miniatures as faces (at least not when I paint them ), so if I leave it on it often tries to focus on some random part of the frame that its tiny brain decides must be a face, for incomprehensible reasons of its own. With facial recognition turned off, the camera simply focuses on the center of the frame and it is a simple matter of making sure that is where the mini is. I have no idea if that's what's been happening to you, but you never know, maybe it'll help. Liking the HirstArts backdrop, BTW. Cool mini too! Kang
  16. A little help here... I tried to add myself to the painter's map, managed to get my name, email, photo in (I think), but when I tried to type in my address it froze up on me, showed no signs of progress (I didn't see any buttons for satellite or hybrid view here either, maybe it's me?). Closed it down, tried to go in again, but now everytime I click the button to sign up, it wants me to edit someone else's pin. I think it would even let me do it, so I immediately shut down. Sorry if a couple of your pins had the email addresses overwritten by my own (not something I did myself; your pins popped up with my email address already listed there). Anyone else see a glitch like this? Also, any tips for easy ways to change the location? I'm in Canada, so no states, zipcodes etc - just provinces and postal codes. Often for stuff like this I can put my province in the state box and my postal code in the zipcode box, but since I might have already inadvertently corrupted other people's pins I wanted to ask for advice first. Thanks for any tips, folks! edit - I used the photo of my grandfather holding a skull that is also my personal photo in my profile, if that helps anyone track down my pin... pin was somewhere in Manitoba when I last saw it, though I live in Ontario. Kang
  17. LOL, I get what you're saying now - it's tiny painting used to simulate a life-sized decal, as opposed a tiny decal used to simulate life-sized paint (per usual with minis). How ironic! Kang
  18. Several posters called it a freehand, and the OP didn't correct them when replying - I don't think that is a decal. As a freehand, of course, it makes the whole mini all the more impressive - great work! Kang
  19. Don't use additives unless you have a good reason, ie. unless you know why you are using them. That is my best advice, and it may save you a great deal of time, effort, and money spent in chasing down various "must-have" additives and experimenting with numerous brands of each type in a seemingly endless quest for the perfect 'gunk' recipe for universal use. I'm not saying some painters don't have good reasons for always using additives; just that this is not likely the case for everyone. Start by just using plain old water to thin your (acrylic) paints. If you thin your paint enough and still find that you are having to poke the tip of your brush into each hole in the mini's chainmail to get the paint to go in there, or if your washes leave unsightly rings of your shading color behind, you may have a reason to experiment with flow improver. Likewise, if you are finding your paints dry out before you have even covered a small area with them, or if you are doing wet blending and finding that by the time your second color is mixed, there is no 'wet' left on the mini to blend it into, then you might consider using a retarder. Cases like that are what I mean by using additives only when you have a good reason. "Because I heard you always should" doesn't count. Good luck! Kang
  20. Laszlo Jakusovszky's technique for painting/texturing granite has worked quite well for me a time or 2, mostly for stone bases. The pix you posted don't work for me from here (stupid filters!), so I'm not sure if this would work well with the type of rocks you're using, but in any case it's worth a look. Note, it involves spattering paint on with an old toothbrush, so you have to either do the rocks first or attach them to everything else later. Good luck! Kang
  21. You have to go all the way to...oh...ummmm...Well, you can go to Gen Con too if you can't come to ReaperCon The handout only goes with the class and I only give it here at home by appointment, at Gen Con or at ReaperCon. Some who mention it here have received it for being good minions. ;-) On that note, have I mentioned Sue's awesome hair handout here lately?[/miniony begging] ;o) I hear the class is great too; sorry I won't be able to make it out, as painting miniature hair is one of those things that always gives me trouble. Sadly, Gen Con's no more likely for me - really busy at work, all vacation leave used up, 20-month-old son & 5-months-pregnant wife at home; I've done the math and that kind of road trip just won't fly. And now, back to your regularly scheduled thread topic. Kang
  22. For all you kids out there who just spilled paint on the carpet again: Don't try letting it dry in the hopes it won't sink in much, then expect to peel it off the top of the carpet in one easy piece. It won't work; it'll sink in a bit no matter how thick it is. Likewise, once you have foolishly done just that and peeled away as much as you could, don't think you can give the carpet a careful haircut to remove the remaining traces - unless you have the time and are willing to do the whole room, a small area where the carpet isn't quite as deep as the rest will remain. You won't be able to notice it at all, but it will instantly alert your Mom. She will not be as happy about this as you may believe, even if it did get rid of the last of the offending paint. Trust me on this - you don't want to be banned from painting minis in the house - the lighting sucks out in the garage, and since I know you're probably thinking it, no, making an even bigger mess out there will not get you kicked back into the house for painting. The real secret is to blend in more colors while it is wet, until the paint in the carpet exactly matches the color of the unpainted carpet. If you need to do a little glazing to smooth the transitions, fine; just don't go overboard. Once it dries, if you can still see the paint, a careful drybrushing of the tips of the carpet fibers with paint that more closely matches the carpet should do the trick. It might feel a little crusty to the soles of the feet at first, but if you work those fibers a bit it should soften up some. I don't own an airbrush, but I hear they work wonders. If all else fails, put an ottoman on top of the stain and hope nobody ever moves it or looks underneath. Start painting in another room as of that very day. About a month later, enough time may have passed to feign ignorance should anyone ever move the ottoman and ask you where the stain came from. Unwanted siblings make great scapegoats at this point; play your cards right and you won't even have to openly accuse them - just drop a few subtle hints and let that good old fashioned natural parental suspicion do the rest. Good luck (you'll need it), Kang
  23. NMM, OSL, Basing, Demimetallics, hair, skintones, layering/blending/glazing, color theory, working with putty (ie. green stuff, etc). Those are the most obvious to me. Oh, and if you could move the con up here to Ottawa just for this one year, that'd be great! (seriously though - I'd even be willing to travel to Toronto for this... OK, so I'm not really that serious - I know it ain't gonna happen. Oh well.) Where can I get a copy of this wondrous handout I keep hearing about? Can't seem to track it down. Please don't tell me I have to go all the way to Texas to get one... Thanks for any hints on that, and feel free to ignore my suggestions since I am definitely not likely to make it out to the con in any case. Kang
  24. Wow, what a brute! He looks a bit like my sister-in-law's father-in-law (the sister-in-law is my wife's sister, not my brother's wife - I don't have any brothers, and for the record, my dad barely looks like this guy at all ). The photos look awesome; very nice, smooth skintones. I have to wonder where such a big, ugly, mean-lookin' sonofagun got such a beautiful tattoo? Must have taken all of a true artist's skill to keep his needle hand from shaking in terror when working on this fella. I'm really sorry to hear about that chalky film, but I've never worked with anti-shine additive so I'm afraid I can't help you there. It'll be a shame if you can't find some way to fix it! Sad thing is, I actually can't really make out any sort of shininess in the pix. Maybe you thinned the anti-shine too much, or not enough, or with chalky water? Tough call; just tossing out guesses here. I'd suggest a coat of gloss sealer then a coat of Dullcote or some other decent matte sealer, but you say you already sealed it and it didn't completely fix the problem; plus, I suppose that if it didn't work, it might end up just protecting the chalky film... Worst case scenario, you could always redo the base to include a burst-open bag of chalk dust that someone just dropped on his head from a 6th storey window. OK, OK, I guess it's nothing to joke about. Best of luck, at any rate. Hopefully we'll be seeing some chalky-free images in the Show Off section soon! Kang
  25. That might apply more to primer used on vehicles than on minis - sitting out in the rain/sunshine, driving through clouds of exhaust on the highways and all that. That's just a theory, mind you; I've never considered primer getting clogged up as you've described before. Nor can I say I've ever noticed any difference between a mini primed a couple years ago vs. one primed a couple days ago. The size and shape of primed surfaces may also make any loss of effectiveness more or less drastic and/or noticeable on cars vs. minis too, I suppose. Interesting question; I'm hoping priming minis long ahead of time like I did quite a while back wasn't just a new and improved way of shooting myself in the foot! Kang
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