Friday, May 29, 2015

Bolt Action WIP Shots

I've had these two German Desert Afrika Korps vehicles in my painting queue for quite some time, and decided to dust them off and get them painted yesterday. The open topped bus looking thing is an Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track. I've been waiting to try dust effects on a windscreen for a long time, and finally had the opportunity with this model. Unfortunately the windshield wipers on the model are so small that they would be almost useless. Despite this I gave it a shot. The recipe is simple. Mask off the area that should be clean, and just apply matte varnish to the area you want to appear dusty. Simple and fun.

The Horch anti-aircraft truck currently lacks a turret, but so far it looks like it might be the stand out model of the pair.

Neither of these models will figure in our huge Sunday game, but I am happy to add them to the DAK stable for future use.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What's On The Painting Table

Sometimes what's on the painting table is amusing. I have nearly finished Sons of Orar for the NOVA Charitable Foundation army raffle, Palm trees for our big Bolt Action game, and cows. Clearly I don't know how to paint cows, but eventually they will look good enough to use in one of our Normandy games. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sons of Orar Charity Army

Once again, some zombie shots of the Sons of Orar biker squads part of the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation army raffle. (once the whole force is painted Dave Taylor will take army shots and direct people towards ticket sales) The handle bars are drying right now, but once they are ready, I'll be able to mount the marines on their bikes. I'll have to dust up the bikes first, but that is a quick fun 2 minute task prior to gluing the legs on.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Secret Project Revealed 8x6 North African Table

So Steve and I have been building a table. He is going to have loads of table building posts over on his blog. Once we are both cleared to post more photos, you'll find detailed construction info over there. Everything but the palm trees are scratch built. We used loads and loads of plaster, as well as resin for casting building decorations and tires.

So why build a massive North African port town? Well, we've been focussed on narrative play for a while, and have been slowly developing terrain to support it. This table is one of our big leaps. I wish I could show you more of it, but that will have to wait till after our big game. Steve and I are GMs for the two sides, and I don't want to spoil some of the surprises for the players.

One of the benefits of narrative play is grounding the game/units with realistic objectives. For example each player will have specific objectives to fulfill as part of their team. There are also battalion level objectives. Players will know what their squads are supposed to achieve, and will have an overall understanding of what the CO desires. To achieve this realism, Steve, as head GM, is adapting the rules to fit the operation better. Having played two test games now, I am really excited to see how this pans out.

Now, onto the important stuff. As the GM/CO for the South African forces, my officers might be wondering what Scotch to pair with the battle. This is the only important question to ask before game day. There might be other questions once the player packet goes out, but let's focus on the right priorities here. I am going to suggest peaty salty scotches for units involved in fighting closest to the port. For those fighting further inland, I recommend they stick to distillers known for smokey and salty notes.

Scotch pairing for the North African port table game
Peat and Smoke

  • Bruichladdich
  • Lagavulin

Smoke And Salt

  • Highlands Park
  • Caol Ila

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nova Open Charity Foundation Army

It is that time of year again where painters from around the world come together to paint charity armies for the Nova Open Charity Foundation. This year, as in year's past, we are supporting Doctors Without Borders.  One of the especially cool things is that 95% of each donation goes direction to DWB. 

A lot of folks made this happen. Projects like these could not happen without folks like Atlantis Games, KR Multicast, Element Games, and Secret Weapon Miniatures.  They've donated a significant amount of product in order to make it possible for our scattered group of painters to work. 

In the shots above you can see two Sons of Orar bike squads nearing completion. The final paint chipping and weathering is not completed, but enough of the base colors are done that I wanted to share them. We've been trying to keep the SoO a little darker than usual, in order to help highlight weathering and distinguish them from Blood Angels. You might have noticed that the tires do have some weathering. The goal was to use light colored weathering powders to match the bone colored bases supplied by SWM. Tires should be darker where they contact the ground, with dust/dirt build up near the hubs and in the treads. Recipe follows:
  1. Prime Black
  2. Paint with Vallejo Dark Rubber
  3. Gloss Varnish to protect paint
  4. Secret Weapon Miniatures Green Earth weathering powder mixed with Tamiya X-20A paint thinner near the wheel hubs and in all of the tread areas.
  5. Secret Weapon Miniatures Yellow Earth weathering powder mixed with Tamiya X-20A paint thinner near the wheel hubs and in all of the tread areas.
  6. Q-Tips + X-20A to clean up powder and fad dirt into the hubs
  7. Vallejo Black + touch of Vallejo Dark Rubber + Retarder to smudge along the bottom side of the treads to darken them. 
  8. Mr. Hobby Super Clear MatteVarnish
(not all of the wheels show the process. I only painted the parts showing, but as expected the wheels rotated a bit while varnishing them)

These guys are basically red Ultramarines who are sent out to in perpetual blocking actions. They are the red shirts of the space marine chapters. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Splinter Camouflage Test

Not all tests work out. Usually I don't post up failed painting examples, however this time I think it might be worth it. After a week of diamond mining in Arkansas, I wanted something fun an challenging to paint when I got back. the C-47 model came with a dozen figures perfect for paint tests, so I grabbed one and gave splintered Camouflage a try. (this is only about 30 minutes of painting, so it is a little sloppy) Five colors later, and I had this. I think with proper glazing this could work, which is why I posted the attempt. The next model will start with a shaded base coat before the dots and splotches are added. I think that will help out substantially, since  it will give me a guide tfor highlighting later. After applying most of the dots, I found it difficult to see the curves of the surface.

All things considered, I don't hate the attempt. I think I am beginning to understand the pattern more. I am definitely not ready to tackle my DKoK with a splinter scheme.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

US Paratroopers C-47 Skytrain For Bolt Action

After tidying up my US Paratrooper army, I decided to tackle the huge C-47 transport that will see them into battle. The skytrain does not provide anything rules-wise, but it does give the player controlling the airborne a model to hold over the table as the parachute markers are dropped (you can see the drop mechanic over on Steve's blog). I think it will also make a good piece of terrain for some games as well.

I tackled the model how I usually tackle things these days. I decided I wanted it painted and gave myself a day to do so. On a model this large that was a mistake. It was difficult to make sure I wasn't damaging the paint job as I was flying through the painting process. The plane was cumbersome to paint, and the decals were weird. They are some kind of not-decal that I hope to never come across again. They did not respond to micro-sol at all, and remained kind of rubbery.

The paratroopers are mostly done. They'll get some more vegetation added to the bases at some point, as well as shoulder patches and rank markings. I just have to figure out what ranks to apply to the models.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sons of Orar Marines Part 1

Step 1: Painting White
Add a dark grey base coat using Mechanics Grey. Vallejo thinner works fine with it. 
 Step 2: Using Tamiya X-20A Thinner instead of Vallejo, shade Uthuan grey over the majority of the shoulder pads. Spray the heads from the top and sides towards the front. Do not use vallejo thinner, it will clump the paint in the air brush.
 The gradient can be seen on the shoulders.

Using Vallejo white and Vallejo thinner, add a spot highlight a the top of the pad, or on whichever part of the pad is closest to the light source.

 Gloss varnish the pads in preparation for decals.
 Add a thin coat of micro set to each pad. Then apply the decals. Make certain that there is a cut between the two bottom sides of the Orar symbol. The top won't settle down easily if this is not done. Once the decals are on, apply micro sol and wait. The decals will look terrible initially. This is a patience game. Apply more micro sol as necessary. Go grab a coffee and come back and be surprised!

Marines were painted predominately with Mephiston red thinned with Vallejo thinner. At this stage you can see the colors achieves by layering Mephiston. A tiny bit of Evil Sunz Scarlet was used to edge a few of the plates. Sons of Orar are dark, not vibrant red. This will be toned down with oils and washes.

Soft armor and exhaust vents were painted with blowgun metal, and then washed with nuln oil.

This Zombie marine suffered the result of Vallejo matte varnish. The blue tint of the varnish really deadened the paint job. Some other varnish should be used. I have no idea what to use at this point, but Vallejo is out for red!

 Two oil pin washes were used, dark yellow for the white areas and dark brown around each armor plate.

Chipping effects on tanks and vehicles are easy to apply with wild rider red and german black brown. I usually apply the highlight color first and then add the chip on top of it.

Wheels and any rubber parts like road wheels should be painted dark rubber rather than black or brown. 
Slightly better photos

Pre-Shading Bikes (this can save some coats of mephiston red)