Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of an era. Start of a display.

Bookstores, sadly, are going down the toilet one by one. Strangely huge mark ups have not saved the Borders chain here, and our favorite after work hang out is shutting it's doors.

Sigh. I am very sad.

Anyway, on a brighter note I just bought me a whole bunch of the shop fittings from the admimistrator. Partly as keep sakes, partly because clear acrylic risers would make great display stands for my minis! Plus a mile of black plasticard! Nice.
I am sure the feeling of being a vulture will go away shortly... Perhaps leaving the faint tinge of remorse.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Declutter your studio. Declutter your mind.

I have been trying to sculpt in a very cramped, very dusty room- and yesterday it suddenly got to me.  I snapped.  I had to do something, right then and there.  A massive clean up started at 2pm and went through to the wee hours.  However, unlike my previous attempts at cleaning (think Scott Pilgrim drying his hands), this was a controlled attack based on strategies garnered from a declutter your life book my wife bought to help dig herself out of our dining/library/sewing/piles of random crap room (easily confused with our bedroom/library/piles of random crap room).
The thing I wanted to share in this episode is a few tips on clutter and the psychological, nay, spiritual impact of filing away unpainted minis.

I first went through my shelves and picked out the unpainted and unstripped figures onto a tray. Anything still to be stripped of paint was taken out of the collection and put into a tray ready for the dettol jars.  All unpainted minis where bagged by category and set aside.

Tip of doom 1:
I then created a filing cabinet (of sorts) for my Lead Pile.
  I took two clear stackable storage tubs and divided them into two with foamcore.  The tubs where then broken down with divider cards, and all my minis where bagged, tagged and entered into the correct slot. Look at all those little cards! Fiend Factory, Fantasy Adventurers, Lotr, Paranoia, Rogue Trader, Chaos, Things with Big Heads from Bob Olley, Jes Goodwin Ogres, AD&D - ahhh, the deep, strange enjoyment a mini collector you probably understand.
  The good thing is now I can quickly flip to a section and check to see what I have already got- I have been plagued with doubles of late.  Seriously, part of my brain says I do not own a female night horrors vampire.  I just keep buying her!

Side note:  Space farers- what's with the sudden ebay rush this week?  Months go by, not a single one, then boom- the entire lot every way you like- painted, job lot and still in bag- your choice of these teeny, tiny little sci fi kitch range!

I store my minis in plastic baggies- NEVER store old figures in wooden or cardboard boxes- sometimes these have acids in them, over time these react with the lead in the figure and you got yourself a lead rot nightmare situation.

Tip of doom 2:
I then blue tacked my figures to black pieces of foamcore and board all cut to 3x6inches.  This allowed me to pick up my whole display collection, dust it and move it from shelf to shelf in batches of 24.  A large nylon painters brush for the figures, a damp cloth for the shelves.  Again, no cleaning products- lead rot is such a curse!

Tip of doom 3:
Box of doom.  When de-cluttering, and this tips a corker, rather than moving stuff around endlessly, just carry a box around with you.  Anything that does not belong on the place your working on goes into the box.  This stops you endlessly circling junk around.  This is the best tip ever for me!

Tip 4:
Be merciless.  Little bits you have been meaning to use for scenery, scraps of material, weird tools from gameforce you never actually use... paint pots with a little bit left- just a little.... screw all that its time to ditch them.  You got minis to paint and need that mental energy.

The Dust settles on the aftermath...
The net result of this onslaught is two shelves of neat, painted minis and a floor I can actually see.  That's the physical difference.  The mental difference is suddenly I do not have a thousand unfinished projects glaring at me from every corner of my studio nibbling at my mind.  What I now have is a neatly boxed collection, and a display of finished, and mostly finished figures.  Clean.  Zen.  Achievable.

Tonight I am going to hoover the ever living crap out of the studio and finally transfer the remaining citadel paints into Reaper bottles and ditch the containers.

Once I have the LAM mutants finished its back to Kingsminis business as usual- pictures of old school figures tickled with a hairy stick!

Go on.  You know its time to clean your studio.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Airbrush fun

Tried out an old airbrush I had laying around to see if it was actually useful for mini painting before I invested in a pump and a decent airbrush.

Turns out, quite handy I think.  I base coated the flesh tones for a citadel giant, twenty barbarians and thrud in no time.  If just for that, it would be worthwhile.  If I was rocking a space marine army, or war gaming in general- it would be a must have.

So what are your thoughts and experiences on airbrushes?  Worth getting?  More fuss than worthwhile?

Lipped bases for sale?

I have had a couple of folk ask if I intend to sell my deep dish lipped bases.
Thats a thought, though they would have to be top quality- something my home resin kit isnt really set up for.

So, since the idea has been mooted  I am looking into professional resin casters in Australia to see if someone can vacuum cast them for me.  I am also getting some prototype digital printed masters done with a few extra features that could be integrated into the base for extra handiness.  I dont sell tat.  :)

If you would be interested in such a base system, with reversable base cappers (in metal), deep cappers (in resin) and seperate lips that can take a regular 25mm round base, either temporarily or be glued in- drop me a line or comment below.  If enough people are keen, I will add them to The BeDerken line.

It would be uber cool to get the base made in black plastic- but none of the companies I have spoken to are willing to take the punt.  Shame really.  Resin it is.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

F'Nurgle old tat

Since I have not had a chance to post some finished work in a while, what with being far too busy with sculpting work, I thought some old tat would suffice.  Here are a couple of old photos I took of some paint jobbies I did on my brother in laws Nurgle army a while ago.  Yep, my bro' is a big 40k mythos fan- though he never plays the game itself.  He buys me figures in exchange for painting and assembling his.
Now he gave me a chirurgeon back pack to add to another figure, but when I tried it on the early 1990's Plague Marine, it was love at first sight.  He looks made for it, and so fiendish I have to make myself one first chance I get.

Forge world aero bars and my fave plague marine conversion

I call them Aero bars because they are full of bubbles.  Note the dude with the speakers gun arm and wire pipes- practically all that had to be rebuilt from scratch after breakage from under the surface bubbles.  The pipes where virtually non existent to begin with.  Really a shame, because these two are some of the coolest looking minis GW produce.  Hopefully once all the issues with finecast is ironed out, they may transition over to the main range.

Two more early marines.
Damned grenade!
WIP of one of Ed's, modern Legion of the Damned
I like these minis.  One of the better releases of modern times.

I actually painted my original plastic marines as legion of the damned back in the 1980s- I think its a bit of a shame how the mythos has changed them to a pop in special unit.  Never mind, not like I am playing the game any time soon.
I do have some placcy marines laying around that one day I may paint up.  I think probably original mentor legion- back when they had the owl logo.  Then again, maybe I will go get a life instead.

Hardcore base traitor

I am a traitor. Yes, it's true.  After dedicating many hours to gluing sand to hex bases in honour of olde skool righteousness, I have, dear reader, fallen in one night to the charms of the "modern lipped base".

Faced with a very short amount of hobby time this weekend, I decided to push on with my c100 kill team charlie project by running off a few more resin bases.

Yep.  I make my own resin bases.  Hardcore huh?

Since I made only two moulds for the original hyperbole base, I realised it would take a fair while to base all my c100 figures up.  Hmmm.  The only route to getting this project done was to bite the bullet and make a mould that could churn out a whole mess at once. This meant blood.

My deep dish bases are made by hollowing out a plastic base- very fiddly, as a single slip can snap the rim. Or, az the case was, a finger.  Carving out nine of the bloody, and I mean literally bloody, things was a big decision. Better than manually casting bases one at a time though.
So, ten bases, three blades and a huge vertical cut on my right thumb and my new mould was complete.  A quick foamcore box, pinkysil 2 part silicone and a can of mould release and voila...
1x 40mm, 9x 30mm, and 5x20mm bases from one pour.  My master is reusable, so I can run off another silicone mould and do two lots very 10 minutes.

Silicone mould, resin bases(black), resin cappers (white),
Citadel Chaos Dwarf, C100 Space marine (converted)

So you can see the bases I made are hollow and deep, with a wider mouth.  As you may know from my previous rants about bases, this is so I could sculpt base detail on a ten cent coin to be cast separately.  These 'cappers' just snap in.  It saves making lots of big moulds for base styles I rarely use.
My gripe with plastic lipped bases are they are too shallow, which makes them hard to pick up- especially on heavy metal figures. I deepened mine by gluing a disc of plasticard to the masters and sanding them down to a smooth edge.

However, (and here is the beginning of the end for my Hex cult membership), the first batch came out so well I immediately saw the potential that the deep dish gave me.
I could rebase minis really quickly- I need only clip off the sides of the slottabase and I could transplant the whole base decoration onto the lipped version onto a ball of 5 minute epoxy putty.  (Note the poor little chaos dwarf in the above picture suffering this fate).
  The second feature was that preslotta bases could be glued in and their feet would be level with the lip.  Hmmm... this could be good indeed.

My skirmish rules Skulldred (see links) plays best when figures have the larger bases, since figures get into base contact a lot- scratching was occurring on my fave gaming figures.  Lipped bases seemed a good idea.  I decided to base up some of my new chaos Dwarf ebay acquisitions as a warband and see if I liked it.

[Insert suitable Top Gear style pregnant pause...]

I liked it.

Works in progress.  Citadel Chaos general (Earl Harkness from McDeath), Bederken Dwerg,
Citadel Minotaur, Citadel Perry Bros. Chaos Dwarves and the orc from the White
Dwarf Boxed Set
I ended up getting all the above bases out of the first mould.  A ball of 5 minute epoxy, and twenty minutes later I had all these guys done.  Procreate stick putty is brilliant for making rocky textures- check out the chaos dwarf on the raised stone.  That took, literally, ten minutes to make and cure.

All that remains now is to save up my pennies to get some clear resin and a black resin colourant- and I can make nice, pretty, chip resistant black bases.  Lovely.

So that's it. Hexes no more.

Once the feeling of treachery wears off, that is.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

eighty one today!

Hey, I passed the eighty reader mark!
Lets celebrate... you grab yourself a drink from your fridge!  Mail me one whilst your at it.

When you start a blog, you kinda feel like your shouting into the void.  But your mossy stone keeps a rolling... and before you know it your linking up with the coolest droogs from around the world!

Sculpting has taken up my hobby time this week, so no pictures to celebrate the 80 mark.  The good news is that I should be finished sculpting the ten Mutants for Lead Adventure Miniatures shortly, then, once I have finished basing the new releases for Bederken, its mini time and the next episode of 'eavy dave.  :)

Right now I have a warband of dwarves on the go which I will be posting soon.  Great fun.

Anyway, its late and I have to go.  Enjoy your celebratory drinks- and thank you for your readership!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

15mm madness, Stick Putty, Kill Team Charlie Update

So now a break from the normal, after another food allergy related fit of insomnia, I went to the light side of minis and attacked some 15mm scale figures I have had sitting around forever- and you know, darn it, I really, really love 15mm figures!  When they are well sculpted, they are total gaming joy.  Nil time commitment, no fussing over details and repainting, basing and converting takes minutes- you can pack your whole game in a lunch box!

At about 2 am, I decided sleep was not going to be an option, and decided to go play with the stick putty I got recently.  Stick putty is a new product from procreate, and its supposed to glue together minis.  I tried it on a Ral Partha Djinn, and it does work to this end quite well- about as strong as superglue.  However I probably wont use it for this purpose much - its just begging for basing and armatures!  Why?  It has a 5 minute cure time.  Yes!  Five minutes from mix to a firm, but flexible set.  And its utterly brilliant for filling and gripping minis to bases, and blocking out mini armatures.  I will be buying lots of this stuff.

5 minutes.  5 freaking minutes.  Awesome.

Once set, you can tear up any left overs it to get nice ruined concrete effects for bases- so there is no wastage.
Now if you think its going to replace your sculpting medium, think again- five minutes is just too short to do much work, so cut off small amounts (I use artists palette knife) and do it in stages.  Now if you mount on washers, procreate stick putty is your beotch!  It fills the hole and sticks the model onto the surface, and rounds the edges so your scatter does not show that little integral base give away that makes some armies look crappy.

Now the down sides.  It smells awful for starters.  Keep the clam shell it came in to save your nostrils.  I am not allergic to epoxy putty usually- milliput, that little rascal has no perceivable effect on me- however this stuff is nasty.  As part of the test, I used bare skin.  My palms have been itching like mad all day.  Short story- wear gloves.

I decided to base up my post apocalypse road outlaws, and if sleep denied me after that, paint them  I managed to greyscale two packs, but only painted two- but it was delightful!  Definitely going to build a post apocalypse game board when I have some time.  By the way, if you want to be able to write little names on the side of a 15mm base, paint a white stripe, then using a 0.005 technical pen, etch in the negative space of the letters.  Far easier than trying to paint the letter strokes.

Khurasan Road Outlaws (15mm scale)
 I feel I am getting much better at 15mm- my first attempt was for a small Gauntlet style dungeon bash... I grabbed these minis from  They need some baddies to fight now- but I have yet to find anything that floats my boat- it may be time for Bederken to release some 15mm!
For my 15mm I decided to use non metallic metals and work up strong contrast, so they pop off the table. dungeoneers.  In... er... 15mm scale.  Strangely.

If you have been wondering about my other projects, Kill Team Charlie has progressed a little since last I posted, though I just have not had the time to clear my sculpting desk to get the hyperbowl bases cast up- so its stalled until I finish the Lead Adventure Mutant Sculpts (which, btw, are soooo going to be part of this game set once I have finished).
Here are some work...

Kill Team Charlie progress continues!  C100 forever!
For those who missed earlier posts, these classic C100 space marines are mounted onto home made custom resin bases featuring a modular detail insert.  The actual outer base forms a deep bowl for scenic features such as deep puddles, hatches etc- and the sides have been extended so you can easily pick up the model by the base.  The bowl has been widened to fit a 10c coin, which is what I sculpt all my inserts on.  The whole lot is cast in resin.  I only have one polished and finished here, the others are pretty crude at this stage.
The Kill Team features mostly natural C100, and converted C100 models (20 odd at the moment), some early rogue trader era figures and a host of scratch built and converted figures from Reaper and Hasslefree- do check out the earlier posts!
I am also moving my Judge Dredd collection onto the same basing system- but thats way off in the future!

Hope you enjoy these!