Friday, February 26, 2016

My first model of the year and it isn't even mine...

I painted this model for a friend ("Blondie" in my battle reports) who's recently started a Cygnar army. I've been trying to teach him how to paint (which requires two types of skills I lack: teaching skills and painting skills), and I decided Old Rowdy would be a good "reference model" to paint up for him so he could get an idea of how the techniques I'm trying to show him can look in his colour scheme (at least as it stands right now, he's still experimenting with colour combinations).

The idea we discussed for his colour scheme was basically a darker version of the standard Cygnar colours, with darker blues, and blacks instead of whites. So for reference' sake, I'm listing the paints I used with this guy. These are mainly Citadel paints, and some of them might be out of production (or renamed), so check the paint compatibility chart to see what equivalents are available.

  1. Base with Mordian Blue
  2. Wash with Asurmen Blue
  3. Highlight with Enchanted Blue

  1. Base with Black
  2. Highlight with Codex Grey

  1. Base with Doombull Brown
  2. Base with Gehenna's Gold
  3. Wash with Ogryn Flesh
  4. Highlight with Auric Armour Gol

  1. Base with Doombull Brown
  2. I applied a coat of Gehenna's Gold here, but it's probably not needed
  3. Base with Auric Armour Gold
  4. Wash with Ogryn Flesh
  5. Hightlight with Chainmail

  1. Base with Leadbelcher
  2. Wash with Badab Black
  3. Highlight with Chainmail

  1. Base with Chainmail
  2. Wash with Badab Black
  3. Highlight with Mithril Silver

  1. Base with Temple Guard Blue
  2. Highlight the center of the glowing area with Baharroth Blue

  1. Base with Blackfire Earth (a texture paint)
  2. Wash with watered down Devlan Mud
  3. Drybrush with Bleached Bone
  4. After varnishing apply spots of PVA (preferably a waterproof kind)
  5. Sprinkle on Static Grass
  6. Hold model upside down above the grass container and tap the base to get rid of excess grass and help it stand up rather than laying down flat
  7. Preferably keep the model upside down while the glue sets.

I painted him over the course of about three weeks, which is pretty good for me. I did feel that he was more detailed than I initially realised, and as a result he actually took a bit longer than I expected to finish.
A bit of freehand on the shoulder.
Rowdy has lots of cute little dials and gauges.
Wait a minute, Rowdy has... NIPPLES? Horrifying machine nipples...

About the only blank space on the whole model is that huge empty shoulder plate thing. I kinda felt that it would look strange if it was left blank since it's in such a prominent position and there's no other large empty spaces on the model, so I pretty much had to do some freehand. I decided to get a bit ambitious and try a combination of patterns that I had been experimenting with way back when I painted Dante. I think the results are pretty good, if a bit "uniform". In case it isn't obvious, it's supposed to be a decorated block of "scripture".

For reference sake I've broken down the steps for painting the pattern. First I painted a simple square in Mithril Silver, then drew two a "frame" inside:

Next I painted over the middle bars using black:

Then I painted very thin lines of black to give the pattern depth and make it look like a single line passing over and under itself:

The "spirals" took a lot of back-and-forth, but basically they were a series of diagonal lines, with the first and the last lines extended into a loop. The ends of the lines were then touched up a bit to to go up on one side and down on the other, making them look more like curves:

Finally I painted a bunch of squiggly lines inside the frame to look like text:

I think he looks pretty cool overall, without using any techniques that are too advanced (not that I can use any particularly advanced painting techniques...), with the possible exception of the somewhat mandatory freehand. By the way, this was my first time using my new camera to take photos, along with a Foldio light box and a two-part rotating turntable thing I painstakingly built for creating more uniform animations (this was before Foldio opened their kickstarter for their mini remote turntable thing). I think these are the best photos I've ever managed (I didn't retouch the brightness or contrast or anything in post, all I did was resize them), so that's good. I'll post more details on the turntable later, but I'm hoping to get better at creating smooth turntable animations in the future.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Finishing A Paracord Belt

I can't believe how long it's been since I finished a belt. Well, I just completed my second Derweesh Mark III paracord belt, and it reminded me of Goldilocks: my first one was too short, this one is too long. Hopefully the next one will be just right...

Well, at least I can actually wear this one. Last time I used eight spine strands, and as a result I had to change my weave at the end. This time I avoided the problem by using six spine strands and weaving through the spine "loops" instead of around them (if that makes any sense). I was using 550 Paracord, and the belt turned out to be 1.5" across; just narrow enough for a standard 1.75" buckle. If I had used eight spine strands I don't think it would have fit.

Nice big regularly-spaced holes.
All buckled up.

I had several comments in previous posts asking for more details about how to finish belts. It's hard for me to explain in words, so this time I took step-by-step photos.

First of all, it helps to have a pair of leatherworking needles that will work with your cord. They aren't necessary, but you might have a much harder time getting the cord through the loops on the last row without them.

Second, the key is to leave lots of slack when weaving the last row, then pull it tight afterwards. This makes it MUCH easier to fit the cord through the loops, as I will try to show in the photos.

This is the second-to-last row:

As you can see there's enough room left in the spine loop to pass the paracord through again:

However, we don't pull the cord tight, and leave a generous loop:

We continue weaving:

Always leaving loops rather than pulling tight:

When you pull the weave tight, the cords actually take up more room; by leaving plenty of slack we can actually pull the cords back to reveal gaps that we couldn't have used of we had tightened the weave:

Again, needles help a lot:

In this case I chose to continue the same pattern, but I didn't want to end with a loop-back step as it would have created a bit of a "forked tongue", so I used a crossover step:

This meant passing the cord through the center,

then around the other cord and back through the same hole:

Once the pattern is finished,

you can pull it all tight:

Then of course cut and melt the ends. Not the neatest melt job I've ever done, but oh well.

Well, there it is. It's a lot lot lighter and easier to use than my Slatt's belt. I might make a shorter one with a nicer buckle at some point, although I'm considering trying to weave a KBK Bar as thinner, lighter belt next.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Turning Tables

Got my second game in with MacBain!!!!. My main plan going in was to try to use Countermeasures; the idea was to put it on the Cutthroats and jam them forwards.
Nyss Hunters
Croe's Cutthroats
Alexia & the Risen
Kayazy Eliminators

Blondie was trying his Sword Knights for the first time. Also, as Rowdy and the Squire were on the painting table, he put together a list without them.
Stryker I
Journeyman Warcaster

Sword Knights (max)
Sword Knights (max)

Turns out a white and grey gaming mat covered with white and grey primed models is not very visually interesting... my camera doesn't seem to photograph it very well either. Because I had forgotten to bring terrain or objectives or anything with me, we picked the simplest scenario with just the two medium bases as flags. He won the roll and chose to go first.

Blondie lined up his Sword Knights, with the Gunmages to my left. I put Alexia in the middle for best soul collection, Maddie next to her to increase her collection range, and MacBain!!!! facing my flag. The Cutthroats faced off against the Gunmages, with one in spell range of MacBain!!!!.

Round 1:
Blondie ran his Knights forwards in base contact. The Gunmages moved behind them. Stryker put Snipe on the Defender and Arcane Shield on the Gunmages, while Junior put Arcane Shield on the Centurion. The Defender took an optimistic shot at my army, but even RNG 20 wasn't quite enough yet.

I put Countermeasures on the Cutthroats and spent the rest of my focus to run and Energize my battlegroup forwards. Everything ran.

Round 2:
The Defender put 6 damage on my Mangler. He Sword Knights charged my front lines, with one group putting another 6 damage on the Mangler and the other unit taking a bunch of Cutthroats. His Gunmages then shot through the gaps to take out some more Cutthroats and some Nyss Hunters. The Centurion charged a Nyss Hunter but missed all it's attacks. Stryker popped his feat.

My plan this turn was to clear my flag and start scoring. Alexia put down a bunch of Risen behind his Sword Knights. The Mangler killed a couple of the Knights engaging it with a Thresher. Reinholdt gave MacBain!!!! Lucky Charms. MacBain!!!! then took an aimed shot at one Knight but missed (I was saving the charms for the damage roll as it was in the feat). Jackhammer on the Mangler killed the remaining Knights engaging the jack. I put Fortune on the Nyss at last. The Cutthroats only killed a single model I think. A 5-man CRA from the Nyss killed one more Knight. I think I moved the Risen but forgot to make their attacks for some reason. In the end there was one knight left contesting my flag.

Round 3:
The Centurion finished off the Mangler. The Defender shot Alexia and forced her to sacrifice a whole bunch of Risen. The Sword Knights took out more Cutthroats, leaving only Croe. The Gunmages killed off Alexia, some Nyss, and all but one Risen. Stryker moved towards the flag.

Well, my army was almost completely gone, so all I could do now was go for assassination. MacBain!!!! used Intrigue to move forwards a bit, passing through the flag. Maddie seduced a Knight to get him out of the way; he walked over and missed a swing at a Gunmage. Croe killed a Knight because why not. One Nyss Hunter ran over to engage Stryker, while the rest killed a couple of Knights. Reinholdt gave MacBain!!!! Lucky Charms. MacBain!!!! cast Fortune on himself and charged Stryker, surviving a freestrike from the Centurion. With the Gang bonus from the Nyss, he managed to pull it off.

Wow, I was getting murdered! My plan to use Countermeasures backfired, as I was never able to reach the Gunmages so my Cutthroats just ran forwards to get themselves slaughtered. Meanwhile my completely unnecessary use of Energizer just meant that I couldn't afford to get Fortune out; in hindsight it would have been more useful to put that on the Cutthroats then swap it to the Nyss. Plus, you know, I completely forgot to feat. I kept saying "I should feat this turn", then forget until two activations after MacBain!!!!.

I underestimated the range on the Defender; he could have been putting boosted POW 15s on MacBain!!!! from the second round as I actually left line of sight, but he probably forgot that the flag doesn't block sight and focused on the Mangler instead.

In previous games Blondie would always use his feat a turn later than I thought he should, I think he picked the timing better this game as I suddenly found myself engaged by ARM 21 Knights, and an ARM 29 Centurion! My Nyss Hunter was at dice -20 on the damage roll on the jack!

I guess he still needs to work on his threat-range estimation and remember to protect his caster, though that's a skill that takes time to learn; I myself left MacBain!!!! pretty exposed this whole game. Plus Macbain!!!! has a slightly longer threat range than you might expect, especially with Maddie. The Gang bonus and ability to cast Fortune on himself also makes him a bit more dangerous than the average Warcaster.

I forgot to take the Eliminators out of the box again. I don't know why I keep forgetting those two, though they are stealthy ninjas after all. I don't think that they would have made that much of a difference to the game though.

I guess Maddie won me the match, as I wouldn't have had enough focus left for the kill if I'd had to use Energiser to make the distance.