Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Tragedy

After arriving at my mother's house yesterday, I opened my mini case to realize there must have been too much wiggle room and things must have moved around quite a bit as my suitcase got thrown around.

Most of my Jagers and Black Mambas got smashed to bits and will have to be repainted eventually. Mostly, it happened to minis I painted a while ago and that had not had their limbs and weapons pinned. I almost cried as I saw all those little arms and rocket pods and guns at the bottom of the case.

So wrap your minis more safely than I did. Or mail them. Or leave them at home.

My heart is broken. I'll just go crawl in a corner and cry myself to sleep.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Travel Abroad

So that my very few readers do not despair in vain of new updates, let it be known I shall be leaving this god-forsaken island (Taiwan) tomorrow for an even more god-forsaken land (Canada).

I'll be back on February 20.

I'd like to wish everybody a happy Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Gear, the Bad, and the Ugly

I've been building more Badland terrain recently, and I've stolen a page from Sergio Leone's book with this piece, though I can't quite remember from which movie's intro this is ripped from.

I've moved away from smaller terrain pieces, which I have plenty of, to larger ones. There's still a bit of cutting to be done on this one, but I should be able to prime it later tonight and paint it tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Quick and Painless Basing by Dummies

Because Unclean, of HeavyGear-France asked me about my basing texture, I'll give quick step by step. I'd like to state first that this is the way I do it. There are many better ways. You will probably prefer some more flashy way of basing, and CMON is full of gorgeous bases that look so much better than mine.

I came up with this basing process because I didn't like sticking minis in slotted bases, and then applying some flock or texture. I like pinning. I love pinning. If you play with HG miniatures for any length of time, because they are so poseable and therefore have a lot of fragile parts, you'll learn to love pinning too. But I also like simplicity. And speed. This method is meant to represent some very broken ground, with lots of slate or maybe something vaguely volcanic. I was also inspired by the way mud dries and cakes in dried-up lakes and such.

The first step is to take your standard hexagonal base and a sheet of cork (the kind that's used for pinning things on your wall, for example). I used to prefer GW's round bases, but after much reflexion, I find the though more expensive, DP9 Hex bases are just of superior quality.

The second step is to plug the slot in the base. I use toothpicks and standard PVA glue.

Then, tear a small piece of cork that will vaguely cover your hex, but leave some clear areas. You want an irregular shape that will look more natural. You also want to tear strategically so that your cork is of the proper shape for your mini's feet to stand on, and also so that you don't have to pin through the toothpick. Glue it in place with PVA glue and let it dry completely overnight.

Apply white primer to the base. I use spray, but you can use brush-on primer if you want. I'm lazy that way.

Next, give the base a couple coats of diluted paint. I use Citadel's Foundation line here (Kalthan Brown, I think) because it has rich pigments with very good coverage. But even so, because you are working with cork, two coats at least will be necessary since the cork will "drink" the first one.

Brush lighter colours on the elevated cork area of the base to give it depth. Apply PVA glue around it and sprinkle on the basing material of your choice. I am a very big fan of the Japanese company Kato, producers of railway models, when it comes to these things. Very high quality, very low cost. Remove any excess material before it dries in place.

Finally, pin your mostly painted model in place through both feet. Here is an unfinished Cheetah on such a base. Make sure to spray varnish on the base after the PVA is entirely dry, as the varnish will provide added solidity to you base.

Ta-daa! They don't look perfect, but these bases are guaranteed to be fast, tough, and provide a feeling of unity to your army. You can add extras such a lichen or rocks, but I like fairly bare bases that don't distract from models. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Two New Gears

I was up painting until late last night and, on top of working on a few other models I have going, I got two new Gears done.

Here is the Southern Snake Eye Balck Mamba, a stealth Gear that I have here painted in urban colors. I was a bit weirded out out that the so-called "matte" varnish turned out so glossy, so I might have to fix that later on.

The companion piece to my Peacemaker Razorback is the standard Razorback with MRP and Snub Cannon. Somehow, I think the Peacemaker turned out better, so I might do more touch-ups on this one, especially after seeing it in a picture just now.