Friday, December 30, 2011
Why Don't You Post Rumors, Tim?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I Hate You, Forge World ... Love, Tim
Friday, December 23, 2011
Darn You, Privateer Press ... Darn You to Heck
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The "Collectors" Syndrome
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Converted Inquisitorial Stormtroopers
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tools of the Trade: Outside Opinions and Soundboards
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Tools of the Trade: Rotary and Rivets
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Pushing Around Green Stuff: Barbaric Fur
Friday, November 18, 2011
You do WHAT With Your Time?!
Everyone raise your hand if you've heard that question before. Now those of you who didn't raise your hand, stop lying and raise yours too.
Honestly, I find it easier to describe what a role-playing game is than describe a miniature, tabletop war-game hobby. All I have to look to do is look at the person questioning me on an RPG and say the magic words "Dungeons and Dragons" and a light goes off in their head. Of course, then I usually have to defend that particular hobby against the claims of cults, satanism and drug use, but that's not the point of this article.
For all of you who struggle to describe this hobby, and time and money sink, of ours, here are some suggestions to get you through that awkward moment.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A Matter of Opinion: Primer
Once again, a comment in a recent article of mine prompted me to express my opinion about something intrinsic to our hobby, primer choice. In "A Matter of Opinion: The Glue that Binds", a poster who shall remain anonymous, *cough* OldSchoolTerminator *cough*, mentioned that I shouldn't even get him and his group started on the opinion of what primer works best.
Now who am I to pass up an opening like that, hmm?
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The "Bandwagon" Syndrome
With the release of the new Necron codex and figures, you had to of known this article was coming, right?
After having bought a codex myself this past Saturday, I started looking through it. My first thought was "Ooooh, Shiny!". No seriously, it was. I've already admitted to having that particular Syndrome, so lets not be too surprised over that either. Luckily I got out of my local shop with only having bought the codex.
My second thought though was, "Oh dear Lord, I wonder how many Necron players we're going to see at Adepticon this next year"
Enter, the "Bandwagon" Syndrome.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Grey Knights: Update & Draigo Conversion
After having finally finished assembling my Paladins for my Grey Knights Army that I'll be bringing to Adepticon next year, I took a look at my list of things to finish and pondered what to build next…
1 Rhino with Forge World doors for my Strike Squad
Convert and build Kaldor Draigo
Convert and build 1 Vindicare Assassin
I was beyond done with stock assembly considering that was the vast majority of this army, as well as the reason I've yet to really update anything until now here, so I decided to break up the last three things to model to mix things up a bit…
First up, Kaldor Draigo!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
What Inspires You?
Or more to the point, and the question that was posed to me earlier this week, where do you get your inspiration from?
Good Lord, where DON'T I get inspiration for projects from these days?
Many times I think that I have such a hard time finding inspiration for an army I want to do, not because I don't have sources of inspiration, but because I have so many to choose from! I've started and stopped projects in the past because I've hopped from inspiration to inspiration, and now I tend to over-think an inspiration for an army theme because I want to make sure I can be happy with it after spending hundreds of dollars on it.
Let's take a gander at some of my favorite sources of inspiration.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Joint Blog Project: Arabian-Themed Ogres
Skarvald from over at Wolves for the Wolf God threw out a request to the Blogging community for some help with his Arabian-themed Ogres, specifically relating to some green stuff work that he wanted to accomplish. Instantly my mind started working on not just to figure out how best to sculpt some key thematic pieces, but also how to break down the processes for the sculpts in a manageable way for army-wide production.
After a few emails back and forth, the Arabian-Themed Ogre, Joint Blog Project was born :) Over the next while, Skarvald and I both will be addressing this theme and it's conversion and sculpted components.
Let's dive into 3 key themed conversions for his Ogres.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
New Gaming Charity: Celebrity Dreadfleet!
I'd like to bring everyone's attention to a little something I caught on Dave Taylor's Blog. Looks like Chris Borer and Dave Pauwels, of Golden Demon and Slayer Sword fame, have brought together a whole slew of the miniature painting world celebrities to make an impact and support the Ocean Conservancy!
The full painted fleet of Dreadfleet, along with painted terrain and gaming accessories and the rules signed by all the artists, will be raffled off at Adepticon 2012 in Chicago! Some of the celebrity painters will even demo the game!
Friday, October 21, 2011
A Matter of Opinion: The Glue that Binds
Yes folks, that right. There is more than one type of glue out there, and don't let your local GW store tell you any different. No matter how much they want to sell you that pretty little (emphasis on 'little') bottle with their logo on it, shop around and try out a few brands before you pick a favorite!
Or just read this article and take it from my experience on what has and hasn't been able to glue my models, and my fingers, together reliably.
Since this is one of the "A Matter of Opinion" series of articles, please note that the only glue brands and types I'll be offering any opinions on will be ones I've had personal experience with. Lets dive in, shall we?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
What Comes First, the List or the Models?
Recently I answered a friend of mine's question about how I go about starting an army. The article resulted in some comments, of which I am always grateful for, that brought up a bit of an addendum in my mind.
In said article, I placed making an army list before purchasing the models. The simple reason being that it saves me money…and makes my wife breathe a little easier when the dent hits my wallet. However, this was not always the case. I didn't always plan far enough ahead so that I knew what to buy. I used to buy what scratched the hobby-itch and build my army from there.
So which is the better way of thinking?
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The New GW Plastic Kits...A Love/Hate Relationship?
As most of you know, I'm putting together a Grey Knights force for the Tournament Circuit next year. One of the best things about this army is that I get to play with the newest, as well as some of the most advanced, plastic kits GW has released to-date. As an avid modeler, you would think I'd be excited to dive into these detail-rich new plastics.
So why do I feel like I'm just going through the motions?
Friday, October 7, 2011
Grey Knights: 3 Dreadnought Conversions
"Mr. Owl, how many kits does it take to get to the plasticy center of a dreadnought?"
You've seen that commercial, right? The Tootsie Roll Pop one from way back they keep recycling? I kind of felt like Mr. Owl when my wife asked me how many model kits I really needed to make just three dreadnoughts. She's been around this hobby as an observer for long enough to realize that typically one vehicle kit equals one complete vehicle.
Of course, she also knows me and how overboard I can go with a conversion to get a model to look exactly how I want it to look. So her question had a bit of a dual-meaning to it; literally how many kits was I going to use, and how much would it end up costing!
Lets find out, hmm?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Army Building: What do I do First?
A friend of mine is new to the hobby, having yet to put together his first army. He's very enthusiastic, has been devouring 40k books like crazy, and has picked the Imperial Fists to be his first major project and completed army. We've brainstormed various conversions for his Fists and he's even bought the vast majority of parts, pieces and bitz to make them happen.
The other day he came up to me after I got to work and asked me something I wasn't quite prepared to answer...
"So Tim, after buying everything I needed for the army... Where do I start? What do I need to do first?"
You just... I mean... You... Crap. No one has ever asked me that before!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
How to Avoid Hobby Burn-Out
We've all done it. Be it because we stayed up until 3 am for three months straight getting an army ready for a tournament, played one system over and over again until we bled plastic, metal and resin, or the latest codex release just irked you so badly it made you throw up your hands and scream "Overpowered!" to the heavens. We've all burnt ourselves out on this wonderful hobby we indulge in at one time or another.
Well if you're like me, you've invested a goodly chunk of change into the hobby, no matter what your game system of choice. Every time in the past that I've gotten burnt out on my hobby, inevitably I look at all my models and kits that I put so much effort into, or have yet to even open, and feel like I'm wasting money every week I'm not playing, modeling or painting.
So how do we avoid hobby burn out?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Hobbyist or Gamer: Do You Have to Choose?
Peruse the interwebz and blogs relating to this hobby of ours, and you're bound to come across the great debate of whether or not you should concentrate on playing to win, or concentrate of the story, modeling and painting aspects of the game.
Are you a Hobbyist, or a Gamer? Do you play to win, or do you care more about how your army looks and the story behind it?
My answer to that is a question in and of itself; Why do I have to choose?
Monday, September 19, 2011
Product Review: Battlefoam P.A.C.K. GO
Among the many things I've learned over the years of attending Adepticon and other GTs, there's one thing that stands out as probably the most practical of them all.
Pack less crap!!!
This coming Adepticon I'm taking my own advice, and planning out a more efficient means of transporting what I need to bring. This includes the army case. Since I'm bringing Grey Knights this time, the P.A.C.K. 720 is a bit much in terms of space. I knew I wanted another Battlefoam product, but wasn't sure which one.
Then I found the P.AC.K. GO video and preview. Guess what arrived on my doorstep last Thursday?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Project Grey Knights: From the Ground Up
So I've taken my Centurions to Adepticon now for two years in a row, and wanted to bring something different to the table this next year. I've got a ton of ideas in my head for future armies. My next huge, army-wide conversion endeavor will most likely be a Tau force. However, since their new codex is rumored to be released sometime late next year, that ambition is a ways off.
So now what to bring?
After already painting an entire Deathwing army on commission, and committing to entering at least three figures into the Crystal Brush competition next year, I didn't want to invest as much time as I did into my Centurions. Considering that my first purchase when I got back into the hobby back in 3rd Ed. was Grey Knights, and that they have the potential for a low model count, they were a logical choice for me!
And no, it doesn't hurt that they have nice new, shiny plastics and a great new Codex.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Pushing Around Green Stuff: Chain Mail
Sculpting your own chain mail for tabards, shirts, and cloaks is honestly one of the easier things to try when getting your toes wet working with green stuff. The two key parts to it are the proper tools and the right technique. Once you've got those two things, you're ready to outfit an army in custom chain mail.
And yes, I'm even venturing into the realm of video tutorials here with this one.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Why Do More than Just Tabletop Quality?
Ever heard of the "Three Color Minimum" requirements for painting when looking into tournaments? I've seen some armies where that was taken quite literally. Heck, I've seen that recited as a mantra in the past. Luckily for the sake of our eyes, the prevalence of these paint jobs are not the average, and in fact have been in decline for quite a few years now.
So what is the average? That's where a much more common mantra enters into play... Tabletop Quality.
Let me first say that there is nothing wrong with a Tabletop Quality army. The vast majority of them look excellent on the tabletop... Hence the term itself. I'm not trying to preach some elitist opinion that everyone needs to spend 10 hours per fig, I'm just trying to avoid a reinvention of the "Three Color Minimum".
It doesn't take much, so let's dive in.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Black Templar Chaplain Conversion
The Black Templars were really my first true army. The first one I ever built from the ground up and took pride in.
And then I sold it.
Yes, yes I know. Even though the funds from that sale made my Centurions possible, I still regret that decision somewhat. At the same time, though, I really dove into converting head-first with this army. Today I'm showcasing the Chaplain from it.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
All Your Basing Techniques...
...Are belonging to Cast Resin? Ballast and Static Grass? Rocks and Bark from the backyard, or Cork maybe?
With all the options we have available to us in the modern age of the hobby now, what do you use to base your models? Is it really that important that the base your model sits on look good? Does it warrant the price of the more modern, third-party resin bases or are the tried and true methods of yesteryear still classic, and classy, enough to showcase your hard work?
How do you choose?
Friday, August 26, 2011
The Right Light
In "Tools of the Trade: Painting", one of the tools I mentioned that I believe is essential for painting miniatures is the right light to paint them by.
"But Tim, isn't light, light? How different can light sources really be? Does it really make a difference?
Take a piece of white paper outside and look at it. Looks white, doesn't it? Now take that same piece of paper inside and look at it next to the lamp by your couch. If you have normal, everyday bulbs in those lamps like most do, it will now take on a bit of a yellow hue. See, even though the color of the paper did not change, in different light the color of the paper looks different.
So how does that affect painting miniatures?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Test Figures... Are They Necessary?
Yes. There, that was a short article, now wasn't it?
Wait...you want the "why" they are necessary? Oh fine, don't just take my word for it. If have to explain myself, we might as well get into specifics as to why I think painting up a test figure for your army concept is important.
The model above was actually my second-to-last test model for the Centurions. The next model is one of the finished models from my actual army.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The "Oooooh, Shiny!" Syndrome
We've all done it. Walked into the local shop and saw the new codex, army book or boxed set that just came out, and your hobby A.D.D. kicked in. The next thing you know, you've got a new army, whether you finished the one you were in the middle of or not, using previously mentioned new, shiny codex/army book/boxed set.
Let's not confuse this with "Bandwagon" syndrome... Though similar, the "Oooooh, Shiny!" syndrome refers to anything brand new, whether it is competitive or not.
So how do we avoid this wallet-sucking syndrome? Do we even want to? I mean, just LOOK at the new Ogre models!
Monday, August 15, 2011
A Matter of Opinion - Paints
Tools of the Trade: Painting, included pretty much everything I currently have at my disposal at my paint station...except the paints. This was done purposefully as I have what I think people should have as a matter of fact, when painting. Then I have what paints I use, as a matter of personal opinion and, what works for me.
Since I didn't want to leave the topic hanging, we're going to start a new series titled "A Matter of Opinion", and we'll dive right on in with the paints I use, the companies I buy them from, and even a bit of what I'd like to try in the future.
Let's divide the paints into three categories; opaque, metallic and wash.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Deathwing, Black Templar Style - Finished!
Yes, you read that correctly! The Black Templar Deathwing commission has been completed! There wasn't that much left to do after the last update with the HQs and the Dreadnought...
Or so I thought.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Deathwing, Black Templar Style Update 3
HQs and Dreadnought are done!!
Two of the best things about this commission was that I got to paint one of the new Grey Knight plastics for the first time, before I started my own, and I finally got to paint a conversion I started over 2 years ago. The figure that is being used to count as Belial originally started out as a Lone Wolf for my Centurions. When my friend needed a figure for Belial, and he wanted him with twin lightning claws, I quickly offered up the conversion I never used for him, as I still really wanted to see it hit the tabletop. A few tweaks later, he was ready to lead the Black Templars' version of the Deathwing!
Friday, August 5, 2011
The Importance of Good Criticism in Our Hobby
I had an Art Professor back in college that was known for many things, but one was his brutal art critiques. There were horror stories about critiques in his classes... So when I scheduled my first of many of his classes for the first time during my freshman year, I was terrified. I mean, how was I going to deal with such harsh criticism of my work?
Our first critique came and went... The world didn't end, and my personal view of my art didn't come crashing to a bitter fall. So what did happen? Probably the best and worst thing that ever could have...
He was honest with me.
We're going to take a look at how Good Criticism plays an important part in our hobby, concentrating on three key areas; Giving it, Receiving it, and most importantly Asking for it.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Games Day and Golden Demon 2011
I will say that this was the most fulfilling Games Day I've ever attended. Why, you ask?
The people. Not the event itself, but the people who I spent time with.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Games Day Chicago Bound
A quick roll call to any who are heading up to Chicago for Games Day! I'll be up there, entering my Xenos Inquisitor into the Golden Demon, and hoping to meet anyone who sees me with my shirt on! Of course I'll be wearing a shirt, but I meant the shirt pictured above! A friend and I will both be wearing one... I'm the guy without glasses... who kinda looks a little like the cartoon at the top of the blog... kinda.
I also encourage everyone who attends to visit the Heroes of Armageddon table in the club tables area, and would like to extend my thanks to everyone who donated. It's an amazing sight to see what our community can do when we pull together for a cause like this.
Time to finish packing... See everyone there!
Finished Xenos Inquisitor
So my first competition level figure is finally complete. "Complete" being a bit of a relative term, mind you. There are still quite a few freehand elements I'd love to put into this miniature. However, I also know that I need practice free-handing details on a fig, so rather than mar the finished figure with practice, I'm leaving it be so that it doesn't potentially hurt the overall figure if I do the freehand poorly.
The roller coaster ride of painting this figure took 4 days in total.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
WiP Conversion: Xenos Inquisitor UPDATE 2
Let me tell you, when people like Chris Borer and Mathieu Fontaine tell you that they can spend 40 hours on average per competition miniature, they weren't kidding!
Currently I'm about 10 - 10.5 hours into the painting of the Ordos Xenos Inquisitor for my Golden Demon entry. If you include the time spent converting and sculpting, as well as the time spent on the base during my vacation, I've got over 20 hours worth of work in him.
Let's see where that's gotten me.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
WiP Conversion: Xenos Inquisitor UPDATE
Vacation is over, and the Inquisitor build is complete! Above is the bare model and base, awaiting primer.
I ended up spending most of my time on the base, trying to create a story of sorts in his little 28mm environment. So let's dive into that first...
Friday, July 15, 2011
"Investing" in Your Hobby Future...
This was the first Forgeworld model that I finally assembled, painted and actually used in an army, much less a game of 40K. Note that I didn't say this was the first I ever bought! The first I bought was a Grey Knights Dreadnought... About 7 years ago. That I lost about a year later when I moved.
Losing that Dreadnought didn't really teach me a lesson though, as the next year I bought at least 4 squads of Red Scorpion upgrades, and some various other bits and bobs at a Games Day. Those ended up sitting in my Bitz Box for 3 years before I finally found a use for them
But I DID use them eventually, and for my Centurions even!!!
That got me thinking though, did I "invest" in the future of my hobby, or just waste money?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
WiP Conversion: Xenos Inquisitor
I've always been enamored by the Inquisition, particularly the arm of the Ordos Xenos. When the new Grey Knights codex came out, I knew I had to finish a conversion I started quite some time ago.
The fun part about this? I'll be entering him into the Golden Demons in Chicago this year! It'll be my first foray into the competitive painting arena and I wanted to start small, get my feet wet so-to-speak, and see if I can't feed on any advice and criticisms I hope to receive from you, and by talking up some seasoned vets and the judges at Games Day. We all need to start somewhere, eh?
Let's take a closer look at some work in progress shots and see what you think so far.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Deathwing, Black Templar Style Update 2
The Devastators are done! It always surprises me how much more time Terminators take me to do than a powered armor marine does. They aren't that much bigger, and the painting premise is the same, but it usually take me about half again as much time to paint one Terminator as it does to paint one standard marine.
I approached the two Dev Squads armor the same way I did the Terminators, in reference to the black to granite shading, highlighted with the 1/1 ratio of granite and bleached bone mix for the highlight. Once I finished that, I dove into the tabards...
Monday, July 11, 2011
Deathwing, Black Templar Style Update
It's been a few weeks since I first posted about this project, and I wanted to share an update! I've gotten the last three Terminator squads done, and that includes the "Command Squad". The squad that Belial accompanies, really, that also has the Apothecary (shown above) in it.
Using Charadon Granite as the mid-color for my blacks really has paid off, I think. The black has a bit of warmth and life to it that I like. Pre-mixing the highlight also has saved me quite a bit of time and it's nice to have the consistency of a standard paint pot color in a custom mixed color.
On to the updates!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tools of the Trade: Painting
I wanted to conclude this impromptu series with what you might find in my toolbox for the painting aspect of our hobby. More than just brushes play a part in producing a quality paint job on a figure, and we're going to touch on what I think you need to stock your own proverbial toolbox with to get the most out of your hard work and hours of dedication.
Let's dive right into the meat of the matter with what brushes to use, and when to use what style.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tools of the Trade: Miniature Photography
Let's take a look at some of the ways we can improve the pictures we take of our miniatures and models, and the tools we'll need to do so.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Tools of the Trade: Modeling
"But Tim, honestly, how many tools do you really need to slap some plastic together?"
Ah, but this article is going to assume that you want to do more than just clip sprue and slap plastic together... You do, right? Of course you do.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Storm Raven Commission
"Hey Tim! Would you consider painting up a Storm Raven for the Fantasy Shop on commission?"
After a little negotiation and deliberation, I had a new Storm Raven kit delivered to me for assembly and paint. My first thought was, "This is great! I get to experience the new kit and get paid to do it!". Unfortunately my second thought was, "Oh crap! I just agreed to a fairly large project, and Adepticon is right around the corner!". See, I still had a Rhino, Predator and Drop Pod, along with a few other bits, it paint up for the tournament. Thank God I have an understanding wife, otherwise I wouldn't have finished anything before Adepticon.
Friday, June 17, 2011
How Many Bitz Does it Take?
Lets take a look at the parts list for the Wolf Lord: