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Doug's Workshop

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  1. I lived in Irving (between FW and Dallas) for a year about . . . 18 years ago, so take my information for what it's worth. Yes, it's hot and humid in the summer. Winter was weird for me. A whiff of snow sends the metroplex into shutdown. The year I was there an ice storm hit the area. I drove to work to find that I was the only person on the entire site. Now, driving after an ice storm is not unusual for me, as I grew up in Michigan and lived in Colorado, so I can handle snow and ice. Not so much for everyone else. Hail is as thing in the spring as the storms move across the area. Tornado warnings exist. Dallas is metropolitan - it's the Big City. Fort Worth is (in my opinion) more laid back and "country." I moved there from Denver. It felt like I got a pay raise. Granted, there weren't any mountains, but the overall cost of living was lower. Oh, avoid heading into Dallas from FW when the Dallas Cowboys are playing - traffic gets stopped and backed-up near the stadium. Fun Texas things: Cross Plains (west, near Midland) has the Robert E Howard house. I took a long lazy Saturday and drove out there. It will rain mud in Lubbock. It's so dry and dusty that occasionally rain will collect the dust on its way down and presto! Raining mud. Houston reminds me of New Orleans. It might be the humidity, or it might be the drunken vacation I was on. It was fun in both cities. . . . The cartoon "King of the Hill" - there's some truth about Texas in that series. Texans take their football seriously. I never heard high school games broadcast on the radio until I lived in Texas.
  2. I have both GW and Reaper washes. I also have some Vallejo washes. And I've also made my own. My own are by far more versatile. I have made a Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade equivalent that are far more concentrated than GW's, so I can dilute it to what I want. I can add more medium to make it behave more like paint, or airbrush medium to make it more wash-y. I find Reapers a little thicker than GW's. However, use what you can find. There's only one semi-local store to me that carries Reaper paints, and that stock was pretty sparse the last time I went. Most stores have GW. I have enough experimental urge within me to buy a bunch of inks and mediums and make my own,
  3. Are you in a comfortable environment? Then the temp/humidity are fine. I've painted in 65F and 100F. I've painted in the low humidity of Colorado and the supersaturated atmosphere of Dallas. It doesn't matter. I've primed models when it was winter outside, and I've primed models when it was raining outside. As long as the sky-water doesn't get on the model, it didn't matter.
  4. 1982. It was a good year. My dad bought me my first plastic model, a 1/72 scale A-10 Warthog. I discovered Star Blazers on television. And a school-mate introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons (magenta box). Miniatures came later, at Christmas of 1988. I had finally found a group outside of school-friends to play with, and as I could drive I was able to actually go to other people's houses in order to play. One of the players painted minis, and I was . . . less than impressed by his creations. Certainly, I could do better. So, I asked for the Ral Partha Learn to Paint kit for Christmas. Got it. Went down the rabbit hole of painting. I'm still painting 32 years later. I'm still playing D&D (although I use Swords & Wizardry now), so 38 years of gaming.
  5. I've had this happen to many of my brushes. Invariably, it's the cheaper ones. The W/N and DaVinci haven't done this. But the cheaper ones absolutely. I don't own any Rosemary brushes, so can't vouch for the quality of them. But every company has quality control issues once in a while. I blame leaving the brush sitting in water. If the lacquer gets cracked at all, if there's anyplace water can get through, it will, and then the wood will start to absorb it, swelling. This cracks the lacquer and makes the problem worse. Having said that, it doesn't impact my painting. The bristles are fine. If the ferrule gets a little loose, I can fix that with a small bit of glue.
  6. I don't understand the fetish of watching people play D&D online. I mean, I vaguely understand the desire to watch sports, and I completely understand watching movies. But watching an RPG is . . . not the way to experience it. Watching paid actors do their RPG thing doesn't help me run a better game; I think it sets up a weird expectation amongst players. But, obviously I'm not the target audience. No, an additional sourcebook isn't going to make it's way onto my bookshelf. IMO there's way better stuff produced by others (and if you happen to run a game based in the historical world, most of it is free - the inaccuracies of Wikipedia finally have a use!).
  7. I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest instead of buying a whole bunch of new paints, effort should be made into learning color theory and how to mix your own colors from existing shades. There's really no reason to have 18 shades of blue. I say this as someone who has 18 shades of blue from various manufacturers. Or, I can take a mid blue, add a bit of blue or brown liner to darken it. I can add a bit of dark liner and a lighter color to desaturate/gray it. I can add a touch of orange to make it a different gray. It makes for faster painting, and trains you to use your eyes to see colors instead of color names (the "I have to use leather brown because I'm painting leather" effect). The necessary paints? Liners, several lighter colors, the clears, and a selection of mid-tones.
  8. As an aside, you should kill the links, as commerce links aren't allowed on the forum. With Black Friday coming up, I'd sign up for emails from USA Airbrush Supply and see if a decent deal is offered. My first airbrush was an Iwata, that I bought as a kit. Cost me somewhere just north of $300, I think, but I'd learned enough about airbrushes at that point to know it was something I'd get my money out of. And it is. I also purchased a cheap Harbor Freight one, just so I'd have something to beat up. I can feel the difference - Iwata's is smoother, with a better finish, and heftier. HF's feels light and cheap (because it is). HF's is also a bottom-fed brush, so not nearly as useful for painting miniatures, but good for me to practice with on paper to learn spray patterns, what different pressures do, etc. I learn by doing, and I can learn the basics with a $20 brush, I'd rather risk clogging that one. Compressors are basically all the same - there are some cosmetic differences, but it sure looks like one company makes most of them, slapping different labels on depending on who the customer is. There's nothing wrong with that, but my focus would be on the airbrush, not the compressor.
  9. The smallest brush I have is a Winsor & Newton Series 7 at 3/0. I don't use it very often, since the paint tends to dry before I can get the brush to the miniature. The usual brush for details is a W & N series 7 size 0. Eyes, stippling, freehand, thin lines, it does it all. My normal brush is a W&N size 1. I can do eyes with that one as well.
  10. Slightly off topic, but I put my Bones Jabberwok in 90% isopropyl alcohol for about a week. In the two weeks since, I haven't seen any issues with sagging.
  11. Personally, I've never seen it. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, of course. It would be a red flag to me about the store, because either they don't know the MSRP of their product, or are hoping their customers don't know. But, note that there are some Bones figures have a metal counterpart. The price difference between the two could be double.
  12. Well, as has already been pointed out to me, there are far more guns on it than the Dark Maiden had (according to the 1st edition fluff). Pretty sure that won't stop me from getting it . . . .
  13. Kicktraq doesn't account for the initial surge nor the last-minute surge. It simply goes off the most recent trend. As an example, it forecast on Day 1 that this KS would do in excess of $30 million. I believe Reaper aims for about 1 stretch-goal per business day, and Reaper the last campaign was run very successfully this way, so I'd say it's probably going to be about the same. I'll say low-to-mid-3, since that keeps up with the past campaigns. And with luck I'll be pleasantly surprised.
  14. The thing about gems/crystals/glass - light enters the top and then diffracts out at the bottom. So, the top part is best painted dark, with the bottom part holding the color of the gem. White can be used to catch the edge of the crystals. If I'm lucky I posted an image of what I'm talking about . . . . (note not my original picture)
  15. For what it's worth . . . My KotB has the Caves as an outpost for a group of beastmen/orcs. The various humanoids become orcs, of differing tribes (some are larger but few, some are smaller and more numerous). The kobolds became fey kobolds, the mining race from the British Isles who inhabited the caves first, and are more than happy to get the big folk out (and are most likely to ally with PCs). The various orc tribes are being gathered by Evil Cult, but the cult leaders didn't predict that the orcs would be at each others' throats, so the plan to conquer the surrounding countryside has stalled out. The owlbear is still an owlbear, and the orcs tend to not move around much at night while she is prowling around. I link the Keep with the Village of Hommlet, since both involve an evil cult. Depending on how the group wants to handle things, I can keep the cult-plot going for a while, having the PCs chase various cult leaders to other dungeons. Thus far, no one has tried to take over the Keep and use it as a base to start their own kingdom, but I've just introduced Adventurer Conqueror King rules, so that might happen some day.
  16. The First Wave at Omaha Beach While my children are still too young to understand war, it's not too early for me to gather information to pass on to them.
  17. Definitely using OSL. Night seems to work well with deep muted blues/blue-grey. Which it does because night is really a super-deep blue. Black is reserved for total absence of light (like cave tours when they turn the lights out). The light from the moon is a blue-ish light. As SGHawkins09 shows, muted colors surrounding the light source. Victoria Lamb's "Fiery Angel" and an diorama with a soldier being stalked by an alien (no name, but do a search for Victoria Lamb OSL and you'll find it) are excellent examples, and are two opposite color schemes. One is hot, the other is cold. In both instances, the darkness is accentuated by the OSL.
  18. White is a difficult color. For your bear, obviously you can't highlight white. Plus, if you're like me, I put my polar bear onto a snow base . . . and the snow has to be the whitest thing there. Looking at pictures of polar bears, I'd say you needed to focus more on bone and linen colors. I'd probably do bone as my base, linen as highlight. I'm not sure what color heartwood brown is; it might be a decent shadow, but I suspect it's too dark. I'd probably use one of the darker ivory colors. White I would keep minimal, probably touching lightly around the face and ears. James Wappell did a tutorial on white fur, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB4qtag5r9g&feature=youtu.be I'd suggest that, since adding lots of variation to the basecoat is pretty cool, especially for something as big as the bear.
  19. The minimum amount of time is until the primer is dry to the touch. This could be tricky because if you touch the model and the primer's still wet, you've ruined the smooth primer layer. Primer also takes a little time to "cure" and that chemical reaction takes about a day. So the reality is somewhere in between. Usually, due to other work, I'll wait at least an hour after priming. I'm reasonably sure everything's dry at that point. Of course, I also prime and let minis sit for a couple months prior to painting (winter priming sucks).
  20. I’ve never counted how many books I have. Did I once have too many? Yes. How do I know that? Because I kept an entire series even though I was 99.9% certain I wouldn’t read it. When I finally did start to get rid of books, I didn’t miss them. My wife found a huge collection of Fantasy/SF paperbacks at a garage sale. I pounced, snatching up a bunch at a quarter each. I kept them for a year, realized I didn’t have room for all my stuff, and started to read them. I discovered I didn’t really like most of the, and I the ones I did read I didn’t feel the need to read again. So as I read them, I gave them away or otherwise removed them from my house. Today, I have a strict limit on the books I buy. I’ve got a complete collection of Lovecraft, so I never need to buy more of his stories. I’ve got a complete collection of CA Smith’s works. I’m working on Robert Howard’s works. Reference works get extra scrutiny these days, as many things I “need” I can find online. So my list of bookmarks is long, but the number of reference books on my shelf is not quite so overwhelming. I've discovered I don't really enjoy most modern fiction writers, so the library is a great resource. I will keep classics (Shakespeare, Socrates, E.A. Poe) because I either reread or make reference to them. But while I really like lots of RPG material, I'm sore-tempted to divest myself of Pathfinder stuff because it's either not that interesting, or I probably won't use it. Ultimately, and as others have pointed out, it's about understanding why you want to keep something.
  21. I'm a chemist. I work with lots of things that you'd rather not get into your body. I've had lead miniatures around me for 30 years. I shoot firearms (lots of lead in bullets), and I fish - I've put lead split-shot sinkers in my mouth and bit down on them to fasten them to my line. My current job tests me for heavy metals on a yearly basis. There are no heavy metals (that includes lead) detected in my body. Did you know there's lead in your drinking water? If you ask for a water quality report, you'll find a line for lead, and you'll see something along the lines of "ND" (meaning not detected) or LT x ppb (meaning it's below their limit of detection). You will never find a zero. Because that's not how it works. Water dissolves pretty much everything, and there is a tiny little bit of lead in your tap water. Don't worry about the miniatures and your kids. Take normal precautions about keeping small things away from toddlers who like to put everything in their mouths. That pacifier that fell on the floor and you were too tired to wash, instead just wiping it off a bit before shoving it back in your baby's mouth? That's more worrisome than lead miniatures.
  22. As lowlylowlycook says, it's the base size of the unit that matters. So, the smallest unit of ghouls is 40mm x 100mm, which equates to two rows of 5 miniatures on 20mm square bases (10 miniatures total). There are some guidelines about how many miniatures should be on the unit base, but that's more for tournament play than friendly play. Basically, they still want you to play with lots of miniatures; having one miniature zombie on a horde base and saying "that's a massive unit right there!" is frowned upon. I believe the rule is that you should have 60% of the required miniatures on the unit base. There's nothing stopping you from just cutting out the correct size template and moving rectangular shapes around a board, either. The nominal base sizes correspond roughly to GW base sizes: Orcs get 25mm bases, elves and dwarves get 20mm. Ogres get 40mm. But ultimately the base size is basically immaterial (my totally not-a-tournament army has ghouls and mummies on 25mm bases, because that's what Reaper's Warlord game has), because the unit size is what matters.
  23. I've got two swing-arm type lamps. One is an Ott Light, the other is just a normal $15 lamp I clamp to my desk. Throw in a 5000k bulb and you have as much bright white light as you need. The Ott light is great, but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra money when I can get a non-yellow bulb for a heck of a lot less money. LED lights are much more "white" than traditional bulbs, so that removes another issue where Ott usually wins. I prefer 2 lamps as it reduces shadow on my working area (one on my left, one on my right).
  24. Friday night, after I picked my kids up from their after-school karate club, I asked if they wanted pizza for dinner. Naturally, they said yes. So, I drove over to a Little Caesars for a $5 sausage pizza. They're cheap, the kids like 'em, win-win. Paid my money, and then heard one of the chefs call out "Anything other than [pepperoni] is gonna be 20-25 minutes." So it's a very popular night (Friday), and obviously the store should have forseen that lots of people were going to come in for pizza, because it's freaking Friday, and $5 pizzas are popular among the cheap/frugal minded. I could have groused about how they don't know how to run a business, how I spent my money already and by golly they should give me my pizza dangit, and how my poor starving kids are going to go hungry waiting for them to fix their mistake. Or . . . knowing it's Friday, and things happen, I just waited. Eventually they got the pizza out. I took it, went home, had a nice evening with the kids. I often wonder how people are going to react to a real crisis. Like, say, their furnace going out during the Polar Vortex (ask me how I know). Or "Hey son, just calling to let you know I've been diagnosed with cancer." Getting twisted up about toys not making it to their destination "on time" seems like a heck of a lot of wasted energy. Reaper-Peeps, thank you for your hard work on this project. I know when it's all done you'll be able to relax a bit and enjoy a short period of rest and recuperation. Thanks for putting out fantastic models, even if I prefer metal to Bonesium. I get to buy my kids miniatures and not care if they make the guy look like he rampaged through a Sherwin-Williams store while drunk on bootleg vanilla extract. I get to paint Happy Murder-Hoboes and silly dragons taking wing to defend their ill-gotten gains. This is a pretty good thing in my book, and having to wait just a bit longer isn't really that big of a price to pay.
  25. Yep, same guys. They took the worst-offending miniatures out, renamed a couple others, but there's still a Steven Tyler pirate; a Keith Richards Pirate; as well as Orlando Bloom's, Keira Knightly's, and Naomie Harris' characters. So, buyer beware. Disney has the time and money to mess with this project if they want.
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