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Sophie's Revenge, or, how to get stuck in a very very long project...


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I track the number of minis I paint, and have been doing this since about 2015 (I restarted painting minis around 2004, after decades off since tackling the old Grenadier models of the 80s with testors enamel and the ridiculous brushes on offer at the time).  I’m a fast painter (not necessarily a good painter!), and I’m rapidly approaching my 5,000th model since I’ve been logging my projects.

 

And what better model to be my 5,000th model painted than this beast?  Sophie will have her revenge!

 

Let’s get started, then.  I was inspired by a few youtube videos (this one, in particular https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFArYs2NFmk ) to try magnetizing my ship, so that I could keep using the box it came in, which is quite nice.  Some have reported bad warping with their ships - mine wasn’t too bad at all, but I figured with magnets would look even better as they’d help close any close gaps.  Plus it just seemed like a cool project? 

 

This was the worst of the warping my ship had.  I can live with a gap like this on a model this size.  You could add a big magnet here, and that might help close this some.  Or add a magnet, then heat up the plastic so as it cools, the magnet helps keep it closed.  

IMG-7107.thumb.jpg.59e6ec32d792e01644e6ac7d925899f1.jpg

 

Here’s a list of the magnets I used to pull this off.  All magnet id numbers are from K&J Magnetics, in case you want to try something like this yourself.  The N52 is their strongest rare earth magnet and it seems to be working well for me.  I’d recommend getting a few extras, for ones you gum up with glue or lose or your kid demands and takes as a new plaything: 

  • 4 x D32-N52 (3/16" dia. x 1/8" thick, Nickel Plated, Axially Magnetized) & D33-N52 (3/16" dia. x 3/16" thick, Nickel Plated, Axially Magnetized).  The thicker ones are good to sink in where you have the depth, as they hold better.  I only used these as the lower magnets to hold Sophie (the figurehead) to the prow, and for the flagpole at the far aft of the ship.
  • 6 x D63-N52 (3/8" dia. x 3/16" thick, Nickel Plated, Axially Magnetized) for the base of the bowsprit and for under the deck where the bowsprit base meets the ship.  I also used a few of these under the decks to hold the rear cabin in place, and to hold the wheel atop the rear-most upper deck.  
  • 22 x BX022 (1" x 1/8" x 1/8" thick, Nickel Plated, Magnetized thru Thickness)  For holding the decks together.  Most hold the upper and lower decks together; two I drilled into the aft cabin and they are held in place by two of the 3/8" disks underneath the deck.  I might recommend a few more - you could use these (or the 3/8" disks) to help close the gap at the prow if something like that bugs you, or yours is worse - see photo above
  • I also used one very thin bar magnet under the wheel that is magnetized to the aft deck.  I got that magnet years ago, and can't recall the size - but it's strong and thin and fits well under the base of the wheel - I'll try to remember to take some pictures of it as I paint it up!

 

I’ll get into the paints I used for the details below.  Mostly Citadel stuff.  

 

I started with all the magnets, before painting.  The plastic is often quite soft; thankfully I have a variable speed drill that doesn’t heat up the plastic much (it will quickly melt, so be careful), but I did notice that it stretches while being drilled so that a ¼” drill bit will create a hole a bit tinier than a ¼” magnet.  You can still jam the magnet in there, though (with some effort!) so with a little glue, I feel confident they will be in there to stay.  I sometimes took a hobby knife to the plastic, to enlarge the opening a little so that the magnet could enter the hole easier - then just used brute force to jam it in there.

 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  I tested out my drill on this little flagpole that comes off the rear of the ship (and would otherwise project through the back of the box)

IMG-7063.thumb.jpg.b4022ea1c0033cc06536f4ce271215a0.jpg

 

Putting the bars into the decks was a pain.  I had to drill out a line, then use my hobby knife to make it roughly suitable for the bar magnets, then test-jam one in there, then take it out, pour in a ton of Gorilla super glue, jam the magnet back in there, make sure it didn't try to squeeze back out (most would not do this, but a few very annoyingly had to be held in place for a bit), then cover it with another layer of super glue to really hold it in there (these are strong magnets) and wait 24 hours to make sure it had fully cured.  

 

Drilling a line of holes in anticipation of carving it out into a line.

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Messy work, but you won't see this ugly slot when you're playing with it....

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I initially thought 8 pairs of bar-magnets would be adequate, but that didn't quite feel sturdy enough, so I added two more for a total of 10 sets of magnet pairs (i.e., 20 bar magnets, 10 in the lower deck, 10 in the upper deck).  Now the decks feel pretty good.  I can grab the ship by the upper deck, and the bottom comes with.  That's what I was hoping for.  I think if I had it to do all over again, I would use the upper deck to decide where to seat the magnets...  As it was, I'd only used the lower deck to decide where to set the magnets - and unfortunately quite a few were right under a gunport -  you can see here, while drilling out the upper deck, I went through the plastic, putting holes into the cannon gunports.

 

Oops.  Judicious application of greenstuff will make this look better! 

IMG-7105.thumb.jpg.e686b048bae65a18e0f1da3a2cba3075.jpg

 

I used two sets of magnets, one larger set of disks and one smaller set of disks, to hold the Sophie figurehead in place.  A little bit of greenstuff on one of the magnets will help keep it in place (and fills a gap as this was a round magnet put into the rectangular 'slot' that was on the prow). She's on there quite solidly now!

 

IMG-7106.thumb.jpg.0062da248d8dd27c09fa8f9e0ed2d2ea.jpg

 

I only used one set of magnets for the bowsprit.  I was able to use the very thick 3/8" discs, one in the base of the bowsprit, one under the deck, to lock that sucker in place.  I very quickly put the (still wet glue) bowsprit into place with the magnet under the deck, so that the bowsprit magnet would "pop out" a tiny bit, and sit flush on the deck atop its counterpart below the deck.  There's a gap between the bowsprit and the deck, and magnetic pull drops off very quickly with gaps - this way the glue dried the magnet so that it was touching the plastic, and the gap between the magnets would be as thin as possible.  I did have to "break" the bowsprit off the deck (as a little excess glue had dried it in place), but it doesn't look too bad.  I kept the tab on the bowsprit intact, as that helps keep it from moving much.  It worked quite nicely!  I did manage to split the base of the bowsprit while drilling out the magnet, so while it glued in place, I clamped it to ensure it dried tightly around the magnet.  

 

IMG-7062.thumb.jpg.86279ad80e77973515dabd51b12a3d81.jpg

 

 

Just today I primered the masts, bowsprit, cannons, wheels (one that came with the Sophie, and another that comes from an ocean-themed undead pack from Bones V), and Sophie herself.  I aim to slap some paint on them this week, and I will keep updating this as I progress.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Posted (edited)

I thought it might be helpful to take a few shots of the magnets holding the decks together.   These are the thin bar magnets (there's another photo above that shows a stack of them stuck together).  I had originally set eight pairs of magnets (four sets on either end of the ship - the middle set wasn't initially put in) but felt it wasn't quite enough.  Adding that last set of magnets in the middle gave the connection enough strength that I could pick up the top hull, and the bottom piece would come with it.  You can also see where I put magnets on the underside of the top deck to hold the bowsprit and the aft cabin.  

 

IMG-7122.thumb.jpg.8dde645a055c4b718a8df9b58f15e90d.jpg

 

Here's where I put two magnets to gently hold the aft deck in place.  There's a bit of warping, so that the bottom stairs don't sit quite flush with the decking.  Thus the grip isn't as strong as it could be.  I may hit it with a hot hairdryer to flatten it, or boiled water or something to get it to sit properly.  And it's not a particularly strong hold, just enough to keep the aft cabin from sliding around a lot.  Without the magnets it was very easy to bump the cabin as it didn't sit terribly well with the shallow tab-and-slot system they molded into the cabin and deck.    

 

IMG-7121.thumb.jpg.a68e63214870a7433bb9abdc24568578.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Thanks for sharing. I probably won’t go to this extent, but you have given me ideas to partially  magnetize to make more useful.  
 

Although, the thought of reusing the box makes sense too…..

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Posted (edited)

Cheers!

 

This weekend I put on a bit o paint.  I used GW Gray Seer primer on the masts, cannons, Sophie (the figurehead) and the bowsprit. The yard arms (the part of the masts holding the sails) are glued in place, as is the whole of the bowsprit - I didn't think those bits needed to be magnetized.  I'll just varnish the heck out of them, so they don't get too scratched up back in the box.  

 

I'm planning to use an airbrush with Vallejo German Red Brown - and am hoping that GW contrast Gore Grunter Fur will be a match (ish).  We'll see!  The dang thing comes with 20 cannons, and I am *not* looking forward to the assembly line work on those guys.  I'm planning on doing Sophie in a colorful, gypsy-pirate thing - I have some great contrast paints for that.  

 

Is there anything as daunting as a huge line of the same dang mini that you gotta paint... 

IMG-7125.thumb.jpg.b1cace4bef772246af7b71f8921f4be9.jpg

 

 

A wee bit later...

 

Got some paint on Sophie and some guns today.  Sophie is Wyldwood (skin), Black Templar (hair, boots, belt), Magos Purple (hair bandana), Nazdreg Yellow (shirt), Blood Angel Red (top skirt), Griffhound orange (middle skirt), volupus pink (bottom skirt).  I used Scale 75 Gold for the guns, necklace, and belt buckles.  I think she looks magnificent, and really appreciate the quick painting time for contrast.

 

The guns are Wyldwood and Black Templar, with Aggaros Dunes for the rope.  Leadbelcher for the metal details, and the guns themselves are drybrushed with Iron Warriors (black metal color).  The wheel is from the Brinewind Expansion (Skeletal Captain, 712) from Bones V - it has a better base to take a thin magnet than the wheel that comes with the ship.

 

I think she came out A-OK - what might you do to give her that extra je ne sais quoi?  

IMG-7132.thumb.jpg.d868096584f20126a4ca3db31aa0cf73.jpgIMG-7133.thumb.jpg.5652552f1a15212c0324b06746b530ae.jpgIMG-7134.thumb.jpg.2c1505170d81873e818c09b379684559.jpg

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Enjoying watching your progress on this. I also had the idea to use magnets. but having never magnetized anything before it's been slow going. I've made it as far as being able to attach the bowsprit in much the same manner as you and have done the same for the sails and the masts. But have been stuck since getting those done. But I think I'm going to use some of your suggestions for what magnets to use and where at to give my own boat a jump start. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted (edited)

Another burst of project energy as the month of May winds down!

 

I varnished the cannons, wheels, and Sophie - something I'd planned to do, but my 6-year-old demanded it sooner, as he knows he can't play with daddy's toys until they're well protected.  (and Daddy isn't letting him play with Sophie anyway!)  He loves the toy cannons, ha.

 

As I noted above, I primered a bunch of the ship in GW Gray Seer rattlecan (masts, bowsprit, cannons, etc).  This was mostly because I was nervous about the airbrush I'd borrowed from a friend, and was worried I would just end up brushing on the Vallejo primer.  That airbrush is an intimidating piece of technology!  As it turns out, the airbrush wasn't bad at all, and once over the learning curve (thanks for the practice, left over Reaper Bones minis from previous kickstarters!) I was able to quickly lay down a layer of the base brown I'm using for Sophie's Revenge.  If I had it to do over, I think I would *not* have primered the masts and bowsprit with Gray Seer, asusing the airbrush to "re-primer" them with the Vallejo German Red Brown primer was perfectly adequate.  I did the masts, bowsprit, lower hull, upper hull, and sections of the aft cabins.  I *still* can't find the gunport covers, but if I ever do, it'll be easy enough to airbrush those, and pop them into their joints in the hull.  But for now, she's going with open gunports!

 

Much easier to use than I feared!

IMG-7200.thumb.jpg.8fd3e528b4b6a34f2426cecbc242521a.jpg

 

A few hours later, here's what was covered in brown: 

IMG-7205.thumb.jpg.d7ff7005e3c26bf522b373b9bc14acb2.jpg 

 

The next day, I then put down a layer of Vallejo German Dark Yellow as the decking for the upper decks (on the upper hull, and the aft cabins).  Being new to the airbrush, I didn't have too much control here, and will have to go back over some of the sections with the German Red Brown.  That's to be expected for a newbie like me...!  But at this point...  It didn't look half bad!  In fact, using the magic of the "three color rule", I could at this point, call it a day, and claim she was done!  (where the three color rule is the minimum amount of colors required in many tabletop wargame tourneys to call your army "painted")

 

Here's where things were yesterday midday: 

IMG-7206.thumb.jpg.e7b91fafb407ca09531590df7ce65d10.jpg

 

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Posted (edited)

Rounding out this month's activities, I managed to put paint to a few other things.  I did one mast and the bowsprit with these colors - starting with Contrast Snakebite Leather, I did most of the wood (see pic below, sorry it's a bit dark, I'll try to get a better shot for a future post!).  This really brings out the grain, and darkens the wood a good bit.  I liked that choice, but had considered going darker (maybe Wyldwood Contrast?), but that would have been really dark (it's what I used on Sophie's skin, see above).  Following that, I picked out the details I wanted to be lighter (the sail, the rope) with brush-on GW Gray Seer.  I oversprayed a lot with the airbrush, and was a little sloppy with the Snakebite Leather, so this helped clean that up and get it ready for most Contrast Paint.  The rope I went over with Contrast Aggaros Dunes, and the sail I went over with Contrast Apothecary White.  The metal details I did with GW Warplock Bronze (a darker shade of bronze).  Finally, I did the yard, base, and a few other details in Black Templar.  Finally, I used a thin layer of white PVC glue to attach felt to the bottoms of the masts and bowsprit, to help with scraping against their respective attachment points.  These pieces of felt dried nice and soft (and in the picture below, haven't yet been trimmed, so there's a lot of felt sticking out around the edges) and I think will go a long way to helping keep the model looking good, particularly after I've varnished it too.  Once everything was good and dry (about 24 hours after last paintstroke), I applied a paint-on varnish to the tops of the mast, the ends of each yardarm (the little nub of yard out beyond the rope), and to the black base that sits on the deck.  I also applied a little of the paint on varnish to the tips of the bowsprit.  This was to help keep the paintjob well-protected, later I would apply a spray varnish to everything.  

 

While some of that dried, I used craft black paint to paint up the latticework covering on the lower deck, and GW Agrax Earthshade on the same covering of the upper (main) deck.  I think the latter might be just a bit too light, so I'll probably add some GW Nuln Oil to darken it down a bit.   

 

One mast down, two to go!

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Edit: here's a better shot of the painted mast and bowsprit

IMG-7211.thumb.jpg.0ed49ef3074ea643cca508819d3b66c6.jpg

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Posted (edited)

Finished up the last two masts last week, and began washing the decks.  The Vallejo German Red Brown got GW Contrast Snakebite Leather as I really like how it darkens the Vallejo primer into a nice deep wood color.  The German Dark Yellow on the decking got Seraphim Sepia - I really like how that turned out too.  The washing went surprisingly quickly, and once I'd finished it, I was about 30 hours into the project, and at this point, I think I could call her done!

 

But I want to add a red stripe up the mid section of the hull (the lighter, unwashed hull with all the gun ports), some black lines running along the hull, ropes here and there, and there's lots of details around the figurehead, and on the aft cabin.

 

One very annoying point - a "Bones Issue" - is that the dang thing is slightly tacky, particularly those areas where I've washed it.  Nothing major, but I notice it, and it bugs...  I really wish Reaper could figure out what the culprit here is, and fix this "tacky" problem.  I have a few cans of testors dullcoat, and I think that should fix the issue, but it's still annoying.  

 

At this point, I think she's table ready!  But also at this point...  The detail work really begins!  Sigh...

IMG-7222.thumb.jpg.0ec431df575a4da1cb5c29d90cad3633.jpgIMG-7223.thumb.jpg.b9e580d3ea97fabce61d4708b40f6f79.jpgIMG-7224.thumb.jpg.ff0c1c460b4e41b35e30bf40b719cf71.jpgIMG-7225.thumb.jpg.530fab82783e249fcf5675f12e0b6961.jpg

Edited by Pancakeonions
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Very nice!  I've also got an airbrush I've been too intimidated to use but....man, painting this all by brush would be a nightmare.  Excited to see the next update!

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6 hours ago, AlonTey said:

…painting this all by brush would be a nightmare.

Brushes exist in larger sizes. Scale up the brush. 

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