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Everything posted by Kang

  1. Those trees look great, I especially like your birches, the trunks look just right. Anyone here ever try pickling and dying your own lichen for foliage? A friend and I found huge patches of the good type of tree foliage looking lichen (IIRC one name for it is Norwegian Lichen, though we live in Canada) in the woods near his Dad's house and followed a pickling recipe from an old model railroad scenery book years ago, I remember glycerine being one of the pickling ingredients to keep the foliage from drying out and crumbling, and we used fabric dye for the colours. We never had much luck getting the pickling to work right, but we sure did have fun trying... Lot of good scenery projects in those old train hobby books, we made some cool rock molds too with liquid latex and gauze strips. Smelly and very time consuming, but it worked better than pickling the lichen... Kang
  2. Nice work! Looks like an Otyugh to me. The Otyugh is the portcullis of monsters. Meaning, people have come up with an astounding number of ways to pronounce it. To me it's an "oat-you" "Por-tic-you-liss"... Seriously?!? :) Anyhow, nice work on this guy... whatever he's called. :) Kang
  3. Yeah, you could still Dullcote them or use a brush-on matte sealer (IIRC Reaper sells one) if you don't like the shine and are worried about a spray-on gumming up your static grass. They look good despite the glare though, great job! Kang
  4. Quick update: Some sandable primer and a few coats of gloss enamel spray smoothed over the slightly porous parts of the raised border very nicely; it's smooth as can be now. I expect prying numbers etc. (not yet finished in this pic, needs some putty and sanding and more of the glossy paint coating) off of the recessed face of the pattern will ruin the paint job there, but that will be easy to fix by sanding, I really only wanted to smooth out the borders, that is the reason for painting the pattern. But smooth is good, makes it easier to draw the pattern out of the mold without breaking the sand. Hence the glossy finish. I also added another 'Squadron Green Putty' fillet before painting it, to gently radius the sharp corner where the runner (vertical section on left of frame) connects to the knife gate (which connects the runner to the pattern proper). Stuff is a little easier to work with when you're smooshing it against cast aluminum than it did against the baltic birch plywood the original pattern is made of. Or maybe I just have a little more practice using the stuff now... I also drilled a 1/2" hole in the cope side (ie. the top, as oriented in the mold, ie. upside down relative to this pic if that makes any sense) so that my new (turkey baster tube) tapered sprue pattern has a snug place to sit without wiggling around much while I'm ramming up molds with this pattern. That is not shown here; I don't have a pic of the other side to post, perhaps later. Looking forward to getting those house numbers cast! And also to making other removable patterns for sticking to the background and casting up. Sets of letters and numbers (got a friend with a sign shop and a CNC router who's offered to cut me a set of reusable numbers and maybe more in thin sign plastic, sometime after the holidays), maybe some A Song of Ice and Fire house sigils, some kind of design for a sign for my foundry, and so on... The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to cast this, just not sure if I should hurry up and do it in aluminum or wait and see if my folks get me the bronze ingots I asked them to consider getting me for XMas from the sculpture supply place in Toronto to try out... They are in T.O. now at my sister's place, so it's a real possibility I'll be casting a bunch of stuff in silicon bronze next year, woo-hoo! That stuff is supposed to be a dream to melt and cast. Kang
  5. Reminds me very much of the 'Delera's Graveyard' area in the old Dungeons & Dragons Online MMO. Great job! Kang
  6. Garrity eyes have always been tricky to paint IMO, it's not just you. Good job! Kang
  7. Don't smoke around where you are working on anything made of lead. Sucking lead particles/vapours through the cherry of a lit cigarette is one of the best way to get lead poisoning (maybe even better than being a very young child chewing on the window sills in an old house); the heat oxidizes the lead and activates its toxicity. Wash your hands carefully and go outside before you light up. If you must light up. Really not a big concern for a hobbyist working on a handful of lead-age minis, but its one of those things people get worked up about more than what might be reasonable. So I say, better safe than sorry. Even if chances are you're really only saving your own peace of mind. FWIW, I seem to remember my friends and I having not much good luck stripping the Testors Enamel paints off lead minis with Pine Sol back in the day. It seemed to cause corrosion of the minis. Possibly we let them soak way too long, but there are definitely better paint strippers (and paints) available these days to chose from... Good luck, looking forward to the pictures - I love old school minis from back in the day! Kang
  8. Not too blue at all, it looks just like the real ones. Awesome stuff, wow! Kang
  9. Here's my latest creation: a blank aluminum plaque, with the gating left on. The reason is that I am going to use it as a pattern. I'll simply have to glue house numbers or what have you on it, and mold the whole thing in the drag (bottom mold half) with the sprue (a turkey baster tube) molded in the cope (top half). I don't want to use my wooden pattern plaque to make real plaques, as prying the house numbers back off it to make room for different ones will cause heavy wear and tear if I use the wooden one for that, but the aluminum one should last for a very long time. Hoping I'll get a chance to use it to cast some house numbers for my sister for XMas, but this is very dependent on the weather continuing to not snow or go too far below freezing. My molding sand is water-bonded, therefore it gets far less sticky when it is cold... I'm not sure what caused the ring-shaped markings opposite from the sprue and the in-gate (which is called a knife gate when set up long and skinny like this) on the reverse side. The pic makes it look like the plaque has shrink there, but it's about perfectly flat, it just has a strange surface texture right there. I've consulted the hive mind (ie. forumites from alloyavenue and thehomefoundry) to try and figure that out. It's only on the back side that nobody is going to see anyhow once the plaque is installed, so I'm not too concerned even if it appears on every casting, which I doubt it will. This latest video mainly details how I made the original wooden pattern that was used to cast this aluminum one. Apologies for the minimal amount of fire and the appalling utter lack of glowing hot liquid goo in this video; my phone does not seem to like shooting video in the cold weather, so I got no usable footage at all of the pour. I used an old tube of Squadron Green Putty from my minis toolkit to make the fillets (this kind of fillet rhymes with "spill it", not with "Hill A") which is foundry jargon for the radii inside the sharp corners, added for ease of removing the pattern from the mold as well as for avoiding certain casting defects. I do not believe I had ever actually even used the Squadron putty before for bases or gap-filling or whatever it was I actually bought it for years ago... A little tricky to work with, I found, but it did get the job done. Kang
  10. I've used mineral oil (baby oil) to leach plasticizers out of rubbery plastic toys so that primer would not stay tacky forever on them, and on plastic D&D miniatures to slightly reposition limbs that came out of the package bent/warped and to correct some that were badly leaning. With decent results. Unsure if this would work on Bones (I like metal, plus haven't been minis-shopping much since pre-bones days on account of my many boxes of unpainted lead and pewter), but at the very least it would pretty much have to lead to less dried out finger-skin issues than using iso. Might be worth some experimenting. Here's the thread where I picked up that particular tip: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/33436-does-tamiya-primer-just-not-like-squeaky-toy-rubber-or-what Never tried soaking anything rubbery in branzino, sorry. Kang
  11. Nice work, you're a far better wood worker than I am. Now comes the hard part - keeping yourself from cluttering up that beautiful new flat surface with last week's laundry loads and other assorted random detritus that has nothing to do with lost wax casting. Be vigilant! Kang
  12. Awesome! Missed this at first, but glad I finally saw it. I used to play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), and I have to say, your terrain reminds me very much of an area in that game known as Delera's Graveyard. That's gotta be a good thing, right? On account of it being supposed to look like a graveyard that's fun to play games in and all... :) Anyhow, great job, and the minis look very nice as well! Kang
  13. I liked that marble effect too, but great job on all the characters and monsters as well! Kang
  14. I never understood the 'Bakshi's LoTR' hate, but it never fails to come up. Always been a huge fan of Bakshi's animation, including all the rotoscopy, from the old Spiderman cartoon to Fritz and Wizards etc., on thru Cool World and everything in between. <Shrug>. IMO LoTR' is one of his best movies. Defimitely 100X better than Rankin Bass's Tolkien movies. Can we all agree on that at least?! Kang
  15. Great work on the various fabrics, the texturing on the cape and the green robes are excellent! Kang
  16. OMG, the hairs! Very convincing. Great idea! I gave up on my metal one after it came unglued under its own weight while I was trying to primer it a month or two after my players had already defeated the monster I wanted to use her for. Well, not "gave up"... I'll get back to it one day. Kang
  17. Poor Ser Waymar, first of many doomed prologue characters... You did a good job on him! Kang
  18. Clever how you added the little gates connecting the spiral to the index finger knuckle and the heel of the palm. I didn't notice that on the pic of the wax tree at first until after taking a close look at the as-cast tree then scrolling back up. Great job! Kang
  19. Well, we did get another weekend when nothing wet and gross was falling out of the sky, and the snow on the ground even started melting... so here is my latest casting adventure. Not quite in time for Hallowe'en as I'd hoped, but at least I got in another session before winter (which is coming)... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07UJtifMLmg I've shown a pic here of a skull ashtray casting made from this pattern before, but there was no video to go with it. This time the casting came out almost perfect; last time the sand broke off where the dimple in the jaw hinge is located, so that casting had that area filled in with metal instead of being a smooth indentation. Just a little bit of flashing in one area to clean up on this one, not a big deal. Plus, one guy commented with a tip for avoiding that in the future. Since I happen to already know for a fact that that guy (Clarke, who goes by Porositymaster at the alloyavenue forums (a different forum from the one with the Halloween casting contest, that's thehomefoundry, but almost everyone on there is on AA too)) pours beautiful cast iron and makes it look easy, that is one piece of advice I'm going to take very seriously! Cast iron is pretty much the holy grail of backyard metal casting. Technically casting steel is the actual grail, but iron is almost at the same level. It's been argued that successfully casting iron counts as levelling up from being a mere hobbyist... and Clarke does run his foundry as a LLC these days. Here is my buddy Chirpy's video from the previous Saturday at the 2017 Soulé Steam Festival in Mississippi, featuring a bunch of footage of Porositymaster pouring iron while some of my other online metal casting buddies watch from the background in amazement. I am SUPER envious of those guys who were able to get there, even though they cancelled the big event (the iron pour from the big cupola furnace) this year. I'd almost rather watch Clarke melt and pour iron from his crucible furnace, since that is conceivably something I could do myself one day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIUk1iHvcmM I'm not technically an actual steam nut, but I am crazy for the foundry work that went into making all those engines, and I loved all the footage of the patternmaking work stations, so I would have had a great time if I could have gone in person. Just meeting the guys I've been chatting with on the AA forum for a few years in person alone would have been a blast! Anyhow, I've gotten way off topic here... Kang
  20. Good luck! Let us know how it came out, I'll be checking back in a day or two for sure... Kang
  21. Quick update on the Hallowe'en casting contest results: A pic is worth a thousand words, as they say: Not a huge amount of participation, nor an overwhelming number of total votes... But the contest was held on a relatively new forum that is growing, but doing so rather slowly. In any case, a win is a win! Woohoo! Funny thing about being Canadian when $100US shows up in your paypal account - being converted into our native Québecois Quatloos makes my prize look much bigger! There's a dirty joke in there somewhere... Here's my competition's entry, also a lost foam casting, but far more impressive than mine due to all the skinny legs and silk strands he somehow managed to fill. Frankly, I am amazed he pulled this off. (it did take him 2 tries though...) I would not have thought this piece possible to cast successfully using the lost foam method, so I feel fortunate that the entries were judged on how they were presented in the contest threads, not on the quality of the castings themselves or the skills needed to produce them. Al2O3's experience is mainly with making automotive engine castings, not decorative stuff, making this even more impressive. He has built his own sand-compacting bucket vibration device for making better lost foam molds, as well as his own vacuum assisted lost foam pouring equipment (to suck the molten metal farther through where the foam used to be before it freezes and stops flowing). Really impressive stuff IMO, if anyone wants a look he has video of his setup on his youtube channel, Kelly Coffield. His furnace rig is crazy impressive too, but I digress... My thread was written as a project tutorial suitable for beginners, not to show off a particularly impressive casting. I also had many more in-progress photos in my entry than he did, since it was easy to grab screenshots from the video footage I shot of the whole process. That plus the videos themselves probably helped sway a couple votes my way too... Sadly, I woke up to a snowy lawn this morning, which means backyard metal casting season is almost done. During the winter months I'm hoping to get back into my HirstArts modular dungeon build and some long-neglected minis projects. Maybe I'll get in one or two more weekend casting sessions before my molding sand freezes into a solid block until spring. Actually, I have been contacted by a local guy who wants to build his own home foundry to cast some big wheels for a slow moving tracked vehicle of some kind. If he's serious then maybe I'll be able to get in on some winter casting action after all, since he has a heated shop. A lot will depend on whether he is serious enough to pull the trigger on ordering himself some molding sand. If so, I plan on ordering some more too, to add to my own heap, since we'll be able to split the shipping costs if we go in on it together. Making greensand by hand is one of the few things in my foundry that I'd rather pay for than make myself. That plus crucibles. Oh, and the 3200F-rated castable refractory cement I lined my furnace with... There are DIY recipes for that but not as good as the real stuff... Maybe I'm just spoiled by having started out with professionally made and mulled high quality greensand, but I'd do the 10 hour round trip to pick it up in person before I would try making my own, hands down. Kang
  22. I vote for 3.5e, or Pathfinder AKA D&D3.75 if that counts, which it should. I have not played 5e FWIW, but I'd played every other edition dating back to (pre-red-box) Basic D&D, and the only one I hated was 4th ed., which we only played through one adventure of - if I wanted to play a D&D miniatures skirmish game, I'd have played DDM! They lost me for good when they killed the printed Dungeon and Dragon magazines right after I'd re-upped both my subs. Hence, zero interest in 5e even if it is better than 4th. Our group switched seamlessly from 3.5 to Pathfinder when it came out, though I still have a lifetime's worth of 3.0/3.5 material in my collection of books and mags. Kang
  23. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Translation: Holy moley, that's awesome! Kang
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