Monday, January 31, 2011

Sorting things out.

I never realized how many small items I have cast over the last year or so. Luckily a 50% off sale it Hobby Lobby made it a little easier to tell. I picked up 3 craft organizers and went to work. Here is the result.

First up we have the terrain box. This one is full of cast barrels, d-fish doors, sandbags, bricks, random COD pieces and Tau objective markers. 

Next is the suit workshop.  If you wonder where all the parts for my battle suits are this is it. Shields, torso bits, weapons, arms and shoulder pads. It is all here. This box also holds more d-fish and drone upgrades waiting a future project.

Final box is all about plastics. Nothing out of the ordinary here.  At least there is still room for more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Firewarriors Second Squad

This is another squad of Firewarriors I put through the dip. They were recovered from a trade day at GW. The assembly on them was horrible. I think I got a total of 15 in the trade and a dozen survived cleanup enough to be redone.Of those 3 had carbines so they will likely be turned into Pathfinders, if I ever get around to working on them. Always remember, friends don't let friends poorly assemble models.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Over a barrel

I completed  the test barrels and pallet. They turned out pretty well as a test. I am still trying to decide if I want to stick with the 4 barrel setup or if I want to go with a 9 barrel cluster. The smaller setup is a little easier to work with but it is a little small for a 40mm base to sit on. Either way I now have 2 new molds to make, 1 for the pallet an one for the barrels.

The painting on these was dirt simple, just a silver primer and blue top coat. I then dipped them. When they were dry I hit them with a boltgun metal and browwn/orange mix to give them a little weathering. If only the rest of the army was this easy to paint.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Band of the hand

I love my Tau army but I have had this issue since I first saw them, the retractable hands on the Crisis suits and GW not selling a decent looking one that didn't require me to do a ton of modifications to make it work. I have tried Space Marine powerfist and Necron hands but neither worked. Next I tried The Farsight model. But it only comes with one, metal, left hand and it is a $35 model. This will never work.

Thank you Ban Dai for making Gundam models in all different scales. I picked up a bunch of different models and after some trial and error I found a scale that worked. Even better both right and left and open and closed. The scale that worked is from their Fighting Action Kit series. This group is very simple with only about a 1/3rd the parts count of then normall 1/144 kits. Even then none of the normal detail is lost. The kits are also cheap. The ones I purchased were $6.50 each. With the number of usable parts in each kit being pretty high I think it is a very good deal. As my first pass over the kits I able to use the hands, weapons, backpacks, shoulder guards, heads and leg jets.

The only downside is most of the parts are single sided so I will have to do a little sculpting but no worries.

So next time you see these parts that will be on my Appleseed Landmates. Eventually I will call them done and get to cranking out the final design.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review - Firedrake

I just finished the second book in the Tome of Fire trilogy, Firedrake. This book takes place some time after the first with quite a few shakeups in the Salamander 3rd Company. If you have listened and read the connecting stories for the trilogy this isn't a big of a shock and even it you didn't allot of it was predictable. This time we are given 3 intertwines stories that dive deeper into the mystery posed in the first book. There is Dak'ir ascension and first trials, Elysius's capture/escape and the appearance of Vulkan He'Stan in a quest to recover an artifact. This is a lot of ground to cover in a short time and I have to give credit to Nick Kyme he does a good job tying them together.

His style compared to the other Black Library writers is a little heavy handed with not a lot of foreshadowing or hiding of purpose. Each character plays their part and though they grow throughout the book the growth  isn't in dramatic changes. It feels more like I am playing the cards I am dealt. This does lead to a few characters ending up in predictable situations with the classic saved at the last minute solutions.The pacing on this one is better than the first book with each segment moving forward to a logical breaking point before the next story arc takes over.

The biggest change is the detail level he gives in this book. 40K authors are know for creating lavish worlds full of little details and that is the shining point of this book. There are no blank walls or empty battlefields. You are given everything from the scale of the room to the dust floating in the air. If you are into building terrain and looking for ideas this book is great for that. I am already picturing a couple of custom tables from the book.

Over all I liked the book and it is pretty fast read with only a few gripes. The gripes being the same ones I have with all the 40K book where once an objective is reached the story ends with a short hop back to their ship/home world to await the next mission. Just once I want to see a real fighting escape. The other issue is the epilogue feels more important than the rest of the book. This could be due to it being a middle book in the trilogy. They normally server as a place holder for what is next. On the plus side it answers almost all the questions asked in the first book Salamander even if we were about 80% of the way to the answers already.

Is it worth reading, yes. Though not the best Black Library book it has more than enough to hold its own and is an enjoyable read. If you read the first or any of the connecting stories then you have to continue. There is nothing worse than stopping in the middle. If for anything then to find out if Dak'ir and Tsu'gan kill each other before the series ends.

3 blotter rounds out of 5.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Terrain Showcase

Terrain Showcase

I was surfing around and came across what I feel is the coolest looking sci-fi terrain on the market. I just wish someone in the US sold it. The pieces are by Antenocitis Workshop . This stuff is insane in the level of detail. This is what sci-fi terrain should look like.

Here are a few examples of their stuff. Really though check out their design/news blog at The Alfold Arms.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dip vs Tabletop Painting

I have been getting a few questions about the dipped minis and how they look compared to the minis I normally paint. The differences were not as much as I would have thought. Even before brightening up the new dipped ones were pretty close. Can you tell the difference?

At normal tabletop distances there isn't any. At 1 foot still none. At 3-6 inches there are little things, extra shadows and weaker highlights but nothing that would make them as bad. More like painting when tired or like the tenth fig in a row. Overall I am going to call my dipping test a success. This means I need to get those other troops assembled and with any luck the main force will be done in the next month or two. Now I need to find a way to speed up painting the white pieces of my army. I have 3 or 4 more Devilfish, 6 more piranha and a at least a dozen battlesuits. Looks like I am going to have to get to experimenting.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tools on the Cheap

If you are going to work on models you are going to need tools. The problem is if you are like most gamers you spend as little as possible on tools so you can buy more models. As such you are always on the look out for bargains. Here are a couple I found in a few recent trips to the hardware store.

First up is a $3 knife set. Now I know, but trust me on this one. The set includes the normal assortment of blades than are fairly soft so the won't hold an edge for long but that is not why I got it. Take a look at the handle and the calipers. The handle is a step above the normal plastic stuff. It has a rubber grip so it doesn't slide around in your hand and has a nice shape. It also has an all metal blade chuck. This is great if you have ever tried to tighten the plastic ones only to have the blade fall out or the threads strip. The caliper is another bonus due to its size and that you are not paying extra for it. The markings are rubbish but if you use it like most the measurements wont matter. I normally transfer mine to another ruler anyway, I like to work in tenth of an inch for easier scaling of projects.  Best of all it is disposable. Having bent or lost several expensive metal ones through the usual mishaps it is nice to have a cheap alternative.

Next up are sculpting tools. If you are going to be doing any work with green stuff or other modeling compounds you are going to need something to make it easier. This is another $3 find. It included a decent number of shapes. The tools are all metal and have a good feel in the hand. They are also rigid so no bending when you go to move things around or if you want to use them as sanding blocks in tight spaces.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You must stay on the path.

Pathfinders are one of the more cool and odd units in 40k. They are probly the most specilized thing in the game. They are scouts thats whole purpose is to make other units better. If you play Tau will will need several. So here are 3 new ones I am trying to finish up. These are done the same as the Kroot I did earlier. They are dipped only at this state. I will be adding the rest of the detail shortly. The extra pouches are from Forgeworld Elysian Equipment Pack. They turned out really well and I will likely be adding them to some of the other troops.

I also heard an interesting rumor that has me thinking back to one of my earlier post. Here is the rumor 
Assault Skimmer
Something between size of piranha and hammerhead, fast skimmer open topped, assault on disembark.

It's assault after a flat out move, and has the "drop troops along path" option similar to the storm raven"

This would be a sorely needed addition to the Tau and would be the perfect Pathfinder transport. Looks like I need to dig this project back out and start working on some new plans for this one. This is going to be a very good and long year for projects if this rumor pans out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Birdmen are falling from the sky!

The Kroot have returned. I still need to finish basing them but that has to wait until I get some more flock. These have been hit with matte varnish and touched up so the details stand out a little better.

This is the Kroot Shaper that is waiting for the final touch ups and basing. I will reshoot him when things are all complete. This just gives you an idea of how they look comming out of the dip.


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