Saturday, August 29, 2015

NOVA Open Narrative Event Model

I was lucky enough to receive the NOVA Open 2015 event model from the man himself, MVB. Using the only artwork I've seen for these guys, I tried to paint the Virtue in various dark metallics with blue overtones towards the face. One of the things I like about the model is the scale. It looks closer to 20mm rather than 28. I've thought heroic 28mm was too large for a while. After getting into Bolt Action and painting Perry Brothers Miniatures I find it hard to like heroic scale. Smaller scales mean there is more space to maneuver making battlefield terrain more important. If you like this model, then I think the nova store will be selling them. I challenge our community to upgrade the piece to show the marine winning the fight. Seriously who wants humanity to loose!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Krieg Macharius WIP


This guy was banned from the narrative event at the nova open along with all of the other super heavies. So rather than let it go to waste, I decided to add detail and submit it to the Capitol Palette. It is probably a good thing I can't use it in the game, since it is one of my stronger pieces. I am very happy with the overall feel the model imparts. I've got some more painting to do next week before the event.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ferdinand Color Modulation And NOVA Speed Painting Competition

This year at the NOVA Open, there is a speed painting event where the goal is quality. Instead of painting blind folded, or while balancing on one toe, or with a house painters brush, this competition provides real hobby tools, and is aimed at producing great models. It is also sort of a public demonstration, which means you can watch all of the competitors paint. If you'd like to come and chat with me while I furiously attempt to paint a tank in 2 1/2 hours, please do so. I may be a little distracted due to the time constraints, but if you've ever wondered how I work, you'll be able to see it first hand. If you are competing as well, come watch. It might give you ideas for when your round comes up.

Now that that is out of the way, what are you looking at here? This is one of the coolest tanks of ww2 a Ferdinand. This tank was build on surplus Porsche Tiger chassis which ended up not being used. These things were enormous, and bizarrely lacked any anti-infantry weapon systems. After Kursk they were pulled back and refitted with machine guns, vastly improving the survivability of the crew. When they were not busy catching themselves on fire or otherwise breaking down, these were delivering long range pain. If you were a tank, and a Ferdinand had you in its sights, you were dead. This is an actual tank as delivered to the front. Later in its career it gained light green spots. This depiction of it is probably a too dinged up for the pre-spots incarnation, but I liked how it was coming along and stopped at this stage.

The first shots in the series show the pre-shading prior to details and weathering.  The model is meant to be looked at from the front, which allows the high lights to draw the viewer in. The weathering was accomplished with Mig brown oil wash, SWM weathering powders, and a pencil.

Nova Open speed painting competition Thursday 3rd from 3:00-5:30

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Building A NOVA Display Board Step By Step

This year I needed a simple, lightweight display board that would show off my DKoK army well. The DKoK force is so large that I needed to maximize space. To that end, I decided that less was more, and simplified the design. this board cost probably less than $30 dollars to make. This board was fairly easy to build, and if you avoid some of the traps I fell into it can look really good. 

Step 1: Cut pink foam to the desired dimensions using home depot wooden yard sticks as a frame. 

Step 2: Use a wire brush scrape the detail into the board

Step 3: Make a slurry of magic merlin plaster and coat the entire board thinly. This will dry hard to the touch in 30 minutes. All of the details need to be added now. Add sand, small rocks, balsa wood, jerry cans, oil barrels, and chains as necessary. I just pushed these into the wet plaster.

Step 4: Without priming, mix alcohol with weathering powders and paint on the gunk. I used two types of SWM rust colors, as well as their green color. These were essentially wet mixed.

Step 5: Dust the entire board with weathering pigments. Again, this was done with no primer. Once the board was coated in pigments I dumped a lot of alcohol on the board to set the pigments and get them to run. 

Step 6: Dust the board with the mid-tone pigment and highlight pigments. I used SWM green earth and SWM yellow earth to do this. I dusted yellow earth along the embankment.

Step 7: Steal a pot from the kitchen and melt woodland scenics realistic water in it. It comes in little pellets. Pour the water onto the display board and let it cool. I used popsicle sticks to spread the edges of the water/plastic out so a raised lip was not formed. I also poured the mixture into the craters. This is where all hell broke loose. The craters melted and the water started eating through the display board. One you are happy with the water, using a cooking torch I heated the surface to remove bubbles. It was at this point that I noticed that the debris in the river had started to melt, and that paint had come off large sections of it.

Lessons Learned: Use resin for the water, and don't dump so much alcohol on the board that it requires napkins to soak up.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

DKOK Army With Display Board

With an army this large I had to keep the display board relatively flat, and simple. I did want a little bling though, so I followed my earlier sketch and added a river of gunk. It should have been a tiny creek of gunk, but I over poured the water effects, so this is what I have. The real novelty of the board is not something you can see, but something you can feel. The board is extremely light. I made it out of pink foam, but then covered it in merlin's magic, which is a type of hard plaster. Another new feature is a set of guide rails under the board that keep it from slipping off of the stand.

All of the painting on the board was done with pigments. It wasn't even primed. I won a box of SWM pigments last year, and I have been working my way through them at a furious rate. They are simply awesome. The water effects were a hot pour, which meant a lot of my plastic details melted, and a few of of the wooden debris caught fire. There is some cracking around the craters, but I don't think it is bad enough to warrant fixing. Fingers crossed for the car ride over to NOVA. That is when the real damage happens.

let me know if anyone wants to see WIP shots of the board.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Death Korps Full Army With Display Board Mock Up

With the aegis line and quad gun done, it is time to mock up what the display board could be. My original idea was to have a ruined european looking village in the background with the guns emplaced within it. However, with this many models, I think I am going to have to go with a less is more approach. One sharpe and a paper towel template later, and I am happy with the result. The board is bifurcated by a small stream down the center, with the Aegis line behind it, and soon to be build barbed wire sections in front of it. I plan to add two rusty metal bridges on each end of the stream. The front of the board hosts my assault and fast response groups.

My deployment plan is for the Hades drill and grenadier centaur to hold back, while the Death Riders sally forth under heavy artillery support. In the background my HQ unit will issues orders and operate the quad air defense gun. In the far back of the board, the Bombards will blast away at other player's tables. You read that right. I intend to fire those 60 foot range weapons at other player's tables. If one of my teammates calls in fire support I will fire at their opponent. If in a doubles game my team member happens to be outside my minimum range, and our opponents agree to a cessation of hostilities, then I will fire upon my own team if they are showing any signs of fleeing Earth.

The NOVA Open narrative event is mean to bring players together and provide story. My goal is to help players have a good time. As an evolving story, the narrative event has reach the point where the alien "Virtue" who had come to wipe humanity out, and the UN defense forces, have essentially fled Earth. Finding humanity more evolved than they had expected, and their own leaders more evil, the Virtue have fragmented. In a final act of evil, a Virtue battle cruiser was crashed into the earth, causing nuclear winter like effects. Victory is bitter for humanity. U.N. forces have largely abandoned earth and fled into deep space. It is in this context that our games will be played. My force, the Death Korps of Peoria Illinois, have steadfastly refused to abandon Earth. With gas masks and artillery all will be made right. The Death Korps are patient, and their guns have a very long reach.