Friday, December 2, 2011

Status Report

Okay, I'm using Blogger's new format now and it's pretty fancy. It shows me pages views for the entire site and even individual posts. Our most-viewed post is actually my kit-bashed Wracks from way back when at somewhere around 3,500 views! Ha! Suck it, Ian!

...aww, I made myself sad... 

Anyhow! Updates!

I have to admit, I've been having a bit of a painter's crisis lately. I had gotten to a point where I was sitting down, brush in had, going, "Why am I doing this? This is no longer fun". Granted, trying to mesh life, commissions and sanity (as well as some other things SKYRIM) was not particularly helping the situation.

So, in a fit of insanity and anger, I made some weird decisions:
- I've binned all my GW armies with the exception of things I can use to make Ian's armies better (i.e.- Speedy Ork things, Dark Eldar for Adepticon, etc.).
- Bought some Confrontation (from the bin, oddly enough)
- Started scouring the internet for ideas, then subsequently started forraging for sticks, rocks and bark.

Basically, I feel that I completely lost sight of what I was doing as little as 4 years ago. I wanted to get better. I wanted to be off kicking ass in competitions. Instead, I got complacent. I started taking on commissions and starting focusing on "getting finished" instead of "getting better".

I should be able to do this: Examplez

But I can't.

So, I'm starting over. I have a painted army for 40K, Fantasy, Malifaux and even War Machine sitting up in Epic Loot's cases, so I'm good for playing. I'm going to take a break on my commissions whenever I get the current batch done, so that'll give me more breathing room/project table space. I'm going to go through every how-to, tutorial and step-by-step I can get my hands on and I'm going to practice. I will be able to make displays, do Non-Metallic Metals and free-hand better.

I will get better.

I know a few people are peeved that I abandoned the Bad Moons yet again and that I dropped the brand new Ogre army I was starting, but I had to do it for sanity's sake. Maybe once I get better I can do the Bad Moons how they should be done, but right now I can't get my head around the proper weathering of yellow.

Anyway, enough excuses. You'll know when this process starts because I will be documenting it through this website to try and help others improve as well; I just have to remember to start taking the camera home with me.

On a parting note, if anyone still has access to the old Confrontation Clan Uraken Goblins, please let me know. Those were my absolute favorite to paint and I greatly regret getting rid of most of mine.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Epic Loot Iron Builder: Month One (Dark Eldar Assembly)



Alright folks, the fine people over at Epic Loot are officially kicking off their Iron Builder on August 20th. It's $20 to play (which gets you entry into the league and 2 tournaments) and will run for 4 months.

Each month a player will be responsible for assembling and painting 500 points worth of models. The idea is, that after 4 months each player will have a fully painted 2000 point army! It's great fun and I encourage anyone in the area to come play.

I've decided to further add to Ian's Dark Eldar for the League, and as such will be doing 1000 points of Homunculus Coven and 1000 points of Witch Cult.

The first 500 points is as follows:

1 x Homunculus (with Agonizer and other hurty bits)
10 x Wracks (2 x Liquifiers and Acolyte)
10 x Wracks (2 x Liquifiers and Acolyte)
Talos (Twin-linked Haywire Blaster, Chain Flails and Additional CCW)

And the assemblies of said models:








I don't have the other Wrack Squad assembled yet because GW seems to have a 20% Failure Rate when it comes to Finecast troop boxes; and that number is only based off of the ones that I couldn't salvage with Green Stuff.

More to come.

P.S.- Almost forgot. Ian's Dark Eldar won Best Painted at Epic Loots Grand Opening Tournament! As promised, the $50 went to several paint brush sets and palettes for all the new painters who attend Kevin Kirby's painting classes on Thursday evenings at Epic Loot.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to Ebayz you go.

Alright, seeing as how Fantasy kind of died for me, I'm putting some stuff up on teh Ebayz for bills and such. Here's some of the pictures of the stuff and here is the link to my store if anyone is so inclined.

There's a few more things in the store, but Blogger is being a jerk about pictures...





Friday, July 15, 2011

I’m an idiot…

Well, I took about 20 different pictures of the completed Venom last night to show everyone.

The camera didn’t have a memory card in it…


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Completing Ian’s Armies: Part One (DARK ELDAR) and the Ian Villamagna Gaming FUNd.



Alright, so I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile and the opening of the new game store (see: Epic Loot), and their subsequent Rouge Trader on the 30th, has given me the impetuous to do it. So over the next few random lengths of time, I’m going to try and paint up a few things to add to the amazing armies that Ian left us.

I do this in the hopes that the army may well win some Loot of it’s own while at the tournament. These proceeds will be taken and put into an “Ian Villamagna FUNd” at the new store. This money will be used for terrain, demo models, board games, card games and such for the store so that people can, in general, have fun on Ian’s behalf. I also hope to make some form of “New Gamer Kits” that can be easily handed out so that the new blood will have all those little things that you never really think about when you start the hobby (paint recipe book, palettes, bitz boxes, etc).

Anyhow, here are the things I’m going to add to the already beautiful Dark Eldar army (I just hope I can match the painting).

- 4 x Kabalite Trueborn with Blasters

- 1 x Venom w/ Splinter Cannon for the Trueborn

- 1 x Ravager w/ 3 x Dark Lances

- 1 x Razorwing Fighter w/ 4 x Shatterfield Missiles and 2 x Dark Lances

- 3 x Hydra Gauntlet Blood Brides

You’ll notice a theme of Anti-Tank in the additions. Ian made a beautiful looking army, but it just does not have what’s needed to survive against Mech lists (which I assume there will be a ton of).

Pics soon (hopefully) as I have to get this stuff done by the 22nd, as the girl and I are going on vacation for a week then.

Wish me luck…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Finecast Follow-up



Alright guys, quick follow-up on those bugs that I bought.

Called GW Monday and explained the situation, they had 2 new models sent out and they just arrived yesterday.

Elated that I'd basically just gotten $50 worth of extra models, I cracked them open.

THEY ARE WORSE THAN THE ORIGINALS.

The Hive Guard was missing a huge chunk of detail in his collar (where a piece of the mold ripped off on the last model pulled), and the Tyrant guard has a series of air bubbles down his head and torso that follow the mold line.

At first, the Tyrant Guard looked pristine. It wasn’t until I tried to scrape the mold line that the whole front caved in.

Luckily, I got a hold of GW before they closed and I have a second package on the way. We shall see how that goes.

The Tyrant Guard is fixable, but I'll have to fiddle with the Hive Guard.

(I'll try and get pictures up soon.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Finecast





I just picked up two Tyranid Hive Guard and a Tyrant Guard last night and these things are fucking lousy with air bubbles.

The Hive Guards have long air bubbles in their tails that have to be filled with green stuff. The Tyrant Guard had big air bubbles right on top of his head that need to be filled.

However, the most annoying bubbles on both models were those that occurred at the ends of claws/spikes. These completely ruin the detail and there is no "quick fix" aside from re-sculpting the spike. (Technically I guess there aren’t bubbles, but rather the mold not filling completely…)

They're still nicely detailed, light, easily convertible and all that jazz, but damn if the bubbles aren't annoying.

Moral of the story:

Buyer beware!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finecast Review



Alright, Games Workshop kind of sprang this all on us at once. No more metals, everything’s going to resin.

Yay?

Boo?

Well, I picked up a few blisters to look at over the weekend and I’ve got to say that I’m torn. On one hand, they got more expensive (boo) but on the other hand they’re much more detailed and easier to convert (yay). However, with the increased details of resin, you also get things like air bubbles and loss of detail from where the mold has torn off on previous runs (booooo).

I’ve laid out the reviews of the individual models here so you can try and make a decision for yourself.



Ork Big Mek

Looks/Clean-up/Assembly:

Having assembled and painted three different iterations of this model, I have to say that the resin version is superb looking. The Mek’s face is well defined and the armor plates have nice crisp edges. The big downside was the backpack. Resin molds are given to tearing themselves apart when a very finely detailed model is pulled out of them; as the Mek’s backpack has lots of little areas where the mold has to rapidly change angles (the metal ribbing on the Kustom Force Field) the mold is already shot. The ribbing on the backpack was terrible in some places and I had to do what I could with a knife. It doesn’t look too terrible, but its metal equivalent was much better. There was also a major vent covering the right hand’s knuckles, but given how easy it is to cut the resin, it was an easy fix. All the pieces fit together nicely otherwise.

Conversion:

Lopping off the Mek’s arm holding the giant spanner has never been easier either; I just snipped it off, shaved the shoulder flat with a hobby knife and slapped a plastic power klaw on him. Took less than a minute and looks great. No need for hacksaws or pinning here.

Paint:

I just primed the model the other evening and I have to say: BE CAREFUL WHEN PRIMING! Since there’s so much more detail now, it’s very easy to obscure it with primer. Remember, several thin coats are better than one massive coat. When in doubt, use less and just brush base coat what’s left.

Overall:

Very glad I picked him up. The conversion was stupid-simple, meaning that we’ll hopefully be seeing some much more diverse Big Meks out on the table. The biggest downside was his backpack being all fouled up because the molds got run too hard at GW. If you decide to grab one, inspect it carefully first.

Rating: 8.5/10






Tyranid Zoanthrope

Looks/Clean-up:

After cracking this guy out of his package, I was very pleased with how crisp all the armor plates were and how defined some of the smaller detail was. Unlike the metal models, which tended to round off at a sharp edge, the resin keeps its definition. There was quiet a bit of flash on this model, but it came off easily and didn’t obscure any detail, so it wasn’t a problem. The biggest fault of this model is one that it shares with its old metal brother: it goes together for shit. The two little sets of “wings” that attach to its back have never lined up with the carapace properly and still don’t. Granted, now that they’re nice light resin, they stay in place with only a little glue and the whole assembly sits on the base with no wobble. (I can only imagine the joy that will come to a Tyranid player’s face when they can finally put a Zoanthrope on a slight incline without it taking a header into the table.)

Extra Work:

As I stated, the model has never gone together well, so I’m going to have to break out the green stuff and fill the back joints up. The real test of these new kits will actually come around when someone unboxes a Hive Tyrant. The 3-piece assembly that makes up its back is also notoriously bad.

Conversion:

I plan on lopping off the little Tyranid plant/branch thingy that the model’s tail rests on so that I can have it floating over something else. With as easy as this resin is to play with, I foresee no complications.

Paint:

Again, be very careful when going to prime this model. There is quite a bit of fine detail you might lose, especially around its brainy bits.

Overall:

While still very pricey ($25!), the model is very nice and well worth picking up, if for nothing else just to have a Zoanthrope that can actually stand up. Keep in mind, you’ll need to bring the green stuff along for this one… but Tyranid players should be used to that by now anyway.

Rating 8/10






Grey Knight Lord Kaldor Draigo

Looks/Clean-up/Assembly:

This model is absolutely gorgeous. We compared it to a few Forgeworld Models and the detail was just as good if not better. There was very little clean up as far as mold lines, but there were quite a few vent nubs on the model (which I was fine with, more vents = less bad casts). This model would have been perfect if it weren’t for the air bubbles in his sword arm. Most of the bubbles were small and minor, but a few were actually in the sword, causing it to sort-of “peel apart”. I repaired it with a little glue and hopefully it will look fine once primed.

Conversion:

Luckily, Curtis was at the store and I was able to bum some Grey Knight bits off of him to make a new left arm for the model (Draigo never struck me as that awesome of a character so I made him a regular HQ dood). All the bits connected easily with the resin and there was no need for additional pinning or glue.

Paint:

I know I’ve said it before but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BE CAREFUL! This guy has got so much tiny detail on him that a heavy-handed prime job could obliterate it.

You have been warned.

Overall:

An otherwise perfect model marred by some unfortunate casting problems. Always check out the model in the blister before you commit to buying. With such small detail, the mold is sure to go bad sooner or later.

Rating: 9.5/10 (Bubbles brought it down slightly)


Please feel free to leave any feedback you have with your own experiences. I'm curious to see what luck people have with these...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bad Moonz Army (7th time's the charm, right?)



Two weekends ago, Brian Smith and I got the crazy idea that we should drive to Chicago for Adepticon. Like all truly great ideas, this one was formulated at the last minute. So perhaps it was the lack of sleep or the incredibly savvy Brit who was working the booth, but we both walked away from the Forge World booth with much more than we had anticipated.

Without intending to, I’ve apparently re-started my Bad Moon army; I hope to finally get it to feel right this time. Each time I’ve started the army previously, it’s just never quite felt Bad Moony enough; the army hasn’t felt like it’s had enough Dakka.

Well, I think I’m on the way to solving that little problem. I give you the Dakka Trakk:







For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Forge World’s “Imperial Armour 8: Raid on Kastorel Novem”, there is plenty of tasty Ork goodness contained within. One such vehicle is the Ork “Big Trakk” which can be taken in squadrons of 1-3 as a Heavy Support slot.

These bad boys can sport a whopping 6 Big Shootas, plus a Flakka Gun that basically has the same stats as a Hyrda (minus the twin-linked, dammit). On top of all that shooty, they still have a transport capacity of 6 and Front Armor 12!

Now, to be fair, two of the Big Shootas are actually “Grot Sponsons”. Meaning they get one higher Ballistic Skill, but have the chance of getting smeared across the hull every time your vehicle takes a Glancing or Penetrating hit. Forge World makes their own kit for these little guys, but I just slapped together some random bits to create mine:




Next up, I’ve got a unit of Nobs with lots of nice, loud twin-linked Shootas. Granted, it’s not the best kit-out for a Nob squad, but they look flashy and that’s what being a Bad Moon is really about. The models are based off of Micro Art Studios Long-Coat Ork Torsos . Ian converted up all the guns for everyone (plus the Painboy), I simply added the Nob heads and Armored Gubbins.









So, all in all, I think I have a good start towards an army with more bullets than sense. I’ve still got a second Big Trakk to build and I need to make a Big Mek Junka with Kustom Force Field to protect them.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Passing of a Titan



For those of you who may not have heard, my cohort Ian “Funk Master” Villamagna passed away on Friday, March 11th after what is assumed to have been a seizure.

This will come as a shock to many, I’m sure, as he was only 24 years old and had no prior medical history of such things.

I would ask you all not to be saddened by his passing, but rather, happy in having shared in his wisdom on this site. He was like a brother to me and I will greatly miss him, not only for his companionship, but also for his great knowledge of the hobby. I am so very grateful that he was the more prolific of the two of us and that he chose to share a fraction of that know-how here.

I will eventually be posting pictures of all his finished work on this site and, most likely, some sort of Photo Bucket album so that all of it is on the web for people to enjoy and draw inspiration from.

I’ve got no good way to finish such a sad article, so I will leave you with some words of wisdom from Ian,

“Hang on, let me finish this color.”

We'll miss you, little buddy.