I was not happy with my last batch of painted minis. It boiled down to the paint being too thick. I've had luck with washes in the past, so I told myself to get a batch that would work well with washes, and wash as much as possible instead of glopping on paint. Instead of glopping on paint, shoot for detail work with those fancy brushes I got.
3 of the minis would basically be wearing black suits. Men in Black Agents Jones and Smith, and a Corporate Assassin lady that I honestly thought was a 3rd MiB when I grabbed the blister pack. Another suited mini was secret agent Daniel Sterling, which I'd painted previously in a black suit, so this would be a good excuse to go an earth-tone route. Max Decker, 50's private eye, would also go the earth tone/beige route since he sported a stereotypical trench coat. A mad scientist, with flowing lab coat, would really just keep with the white primer. And lastly, there was the pimp.
The pimp sounds daunting, but honestly most washes seem to be geared for fantasy wizards, and red and purple on a pimp would work!
Instead of pouring on washes to get in recesses like I normally do, I just painted. And it worked, mostly. The black suits required a couple of coats. The secret agent required a couple of coats, and I think I may have used different colors. The pimp, ah, the pimp was glorious! Everything just seemed to work this time. I went back and touched up each mini afterwards and didn't screw things up (for once). Part of the touch up was that after applying my standard dullcoat, I went back and put a gloss sealer on guns, shoes, and belt buckles. Probably not enough gloss to notice, but I'll look closer and swear I see a difference.
Oh, the numbers game. While picking out the above minis, I came across a trio of Chronoscape minis that I'd missed when counting, so those got added to the "To Paint" column. Plus, 2 packs of Star Trek Adventures minis came in (another 20 minis). Since last time, my "Really want to paint" count went from 453 to 469 after painting 7 new ones.
Today, a little bit of everything from the past couple of weeks.
The Wargames Foundry B-Team is all painted up and ready for the zombie apocalypse, or whatever else comes along. It's been a month or so since I painted anything, and I tried to take my time and not rush the paint job, but these still didn't turn out as good as I hoped. Part of it was the molds, but mostly I have a hard time with browns and blues - they just don't go on as even as I like. Must be something about the pigments used and me not doing something properly. I think I've got an A-Team from someone else, too.
This makes a small dent in the overall painting progression.
The painting progression is going to go down sometime next week as 2 sets of minis for the Star Trek RPG game, some Borg and TNG Away Team, come in from CSI.
As mentioned yesterday I got a cheap belt sander so mainly see about sanding down/evening out printed models. The Nascar I had to slice into 2 models to print, thanks to my limited print volume, did not have flush ends to smoosh together where there should have been. The plastic was too thick to cut as I'm still wary of slicing chunks of me off. Running sandpaper over the 2 halves would take a lot longer than I was willing to commit to. Hence, Harbor Freight and a belt sander.
First and foremost, I survived sanding with no injuries, so it's a win there no matter what. Outside of that, sanding is going to be a challenge. The printed plastic starts to melt after a while, which isn't that big of a deal other than something to be aware of and factor in. The hard part, especially for me, is that sanding in 3 dimensions when there's not an even/flat surface to go along with (each outer side of the car was curved enough to not really be flat, even the bottom). It was also the first time I've ever used a belt sander, and with that comes at least a little bit of a learning curve.
In the end, the 2 halves are closer to fitting that when they were first printed. At this point it's going to end up coming together as a wreck of some type, maybe with smoke billowing out. It's going to take some extra practice before I print the A-Team van.
At the first of the month, Antenocitis Workshop was running a sale to (so they said) test out and celebrate their new shopping cart. They've had vehicles on my "oooh, those are cool" list for at least a year, and I had intended to place an order around my birthday but at the time, I just wasn't feeling it. Can I say "just wasn't feeling it" this close to 50? I'll say I can. When they had this sale, I was feeling it.
Antenocitis has 2 lines of vehicles I was interested in. They have vehicles for Infinity which I like to think would fit in my game world set 15-25 years into the future. Far enough to have some curvy, sleek, sci-fi looking cars (as long as they steel have tires) yet still not look too out of place next to a current run-of-the-mill car. They also have a Survival line, which is mostly modern cars and trucks, sometimes with a hint of Mad Max or Kill That Zombie. Even better, they have wrecked molds.
The key with this order was to maximize what I could get while minimizing shipping. They have a free shipping option which, for the US, is a special balance of overall order price and estimated weight. I tweaked what I originally had (and took out a LOT of things that I really didn't need, like an equivalent of an Aliens 2 Drop Ship) and managed to get free shipping at 35 British Cents over the minimum. Not bad! My order consisted of 21 items, which after GBP conversion and exchange fee came out to just under $170. Once shipped, it took a little over a week for the order to get processed, it took a little over a week to reach me. England to Alabama, with no problems.
I guess I need to figure where to start on that batch?
I've been wanting an airbrush for a long time. All the cool kids use an airbrush on minis and whatnot. The maintenance and cleaning required has always kept me from entering the airbrush arena. Then, one day at work, Daniel came in with a couple of his airbrushes and showed me how they were different, how they came apart, how they went back together, and then he told me a lot of interesting stuff I forgot. Then I watched some beginner YouTube videos with tutorials on how to get started, how to tell when you've screwed up all kinds of stuff and how to fix it. Important stuff. Then Hobby Lobby reduced some prices.
The Iwata HP-CS was what Daniel told me I wanted. Daniel's always right. Life has been easier since I accepted that. The Lobby dropped the price on that specific airbrush by $75. The Hobby Lobby coupon wasn't good on airbrushes - so no extra 40% off that. It was still cheaper than I could find elsewhere. Being me, I went to JeffyB and ordered the air compressor (that Daniel told me to get) and a 10ft hose. Since then I've been stopping by Hobby Lobby on the way home and using my coupon to stock up on air-friendly paints, because I'm going to need all the help I can get here.
Since getting all my painting loot it's been staying between 90° and 95° in the garage whenever I think about hooking up the airbrush and actually going through the tutorials I've watched, but that's pretty damned hot out there. So for now, I watch tutorials and ponder.
I haev no idea what I'm going to work on next. Paint cars? There's a gas station that still needs to be made. Another small batch of minis? Temperature be damned, get that airbrush brushing? Is there something I need to 3D print while doing all of this?
A It's time to organize my list, it sounds like.
This weekend my goal was to paint some minis (Foundrey Wargames version of the A-Team). They're 90% finished, needing their weapons painted and whatever texture/terrain on the bases
to dry and get the little details I enjoy putting in. I would have gotten them completely done except I spent too much time on Saturday running errands I didn't really need to run, and then
I wanted to keep taking naps on Sunday. But that's part of a joy of the weekend. Procrastination!
One of those errands Saturday swung me by Harbor Freight where I picked up a cheap belt sander, as pictured above. Why do I need a belt sander? Well, obviously I don't. Why did I get/want one? For those times when I tire and bore of hand sanding! My first experiment in belt sanding, no I've never belt sanded before, will be to see what happens when you put a curved yet oddly solid piece of 3D printed plastic against 3400 RPMs of 120 grit sandpaper. The votes are evenly split between "melt" and "shatter" so far.
A-Team to be finished sometime this week!
Once I saw Christian's Moon Light, I wanted a moon light. I saw that Amazon had 16-color moon lights. The lone review on that light stated it was problematic. With only 1 bad review I decided to take a chance and ordered one. It arrived, I charged it up... and the damn thing didn't work. There was another Amazon option that caught my eye - a newer model/print, and larger. So I ordered that one, as I needed a box to ship my return of the non-working light back in. It makes sense to me! The newer, bigger light arrived and it worked like a charm.
I'm not as good a low-light photographer as Christian, but it was fun playing with the different colors.
With the mini mart and coffee shop complete, it was time to add them to the cityscape of the zombie apocalypse (or whatever else might come along down the road). My regular, modular map tiles are 7.5" square(ish). The mini mart had a 6.5" square footprint, which would allow for a 1" leeway for space, maybe a sidewalk around the building. The coffee shop was 8" x 6", so it would overflow a little.
And that overflow option bothered me. I wanted a parking lot for these shops. I'd made some parking lot tiles for the map before, but they didn't really work. The spacing was all off. I opted to try to layout something using some multiple(s) of 7.5" that I could keep together instead of cutting into sections, and it would still work with the pieces I'd been using. After some fiddling, I settled on a 22.5" x 15" layout - it would fit on foam board that I already had, and it would give me enough room for the 2 buildings and a little parking. Even though I made everything in Paint Shop Pro using a 22.5" x 15" image, I split it into 7.5" squares for printing. Gotta love letter size paper. Everything printed out fine.
Learning my lesson from the Gaslands track where the glue I was using made the board bow, I taped the 6 pieces of printed map together to line everything up. From there, a light spray of (Locktite) adhesive on some foam board and it was stuck good enough for me, which is good enough for someone who's had glue problems lately.
And then, I had to play around with actually setting things up. New buildings! Moon light! I even remembered I had a star field for X-Wing that I could use as a backdrop!
I look forward to using more of Christian's ideas. Between the Walking Dead Lucille threat tracker and moon light, I've got to make sure he doesn't start charging me royalty fees.
It's been almost 2 months since I first mentioned working on the TTCombat buildings. Beleive it or not
it hasn't taken that long, I just keep going back and tweaking things.
The TTCombat buildings are more of a budget line of MDF building. That's not a bad thing. While I really like the 4Ground buildings, they can get a little pricey. Nice, but pricey. TTCombat would give me a chance to exercise my skills at nicing up some buildings. The first 2 commercial buildings in what constitutes my zombie apocalypse thus far.
At some point I'm going to have to explain the setting for my scenery and how it's not just for The Walking Dead.
The first building I worked on was the Convenience Store, well really a Mini Mart. I was shooting for a 7-11 color scheme thanks to a batch of spray paint that I picked up when Hobby Town USA was closing up. Honestly, how often am I going to get to use orange? I primed the interior and exterior white, masked off the middle and added some accent stripes of red and orange. It turned out pretty good. I then got cocky and tried putting a red strip along the top of the interior. Either I didn't mask it properly, or the paint just decided to bleed. It did not turn out well. I decided to go work on the second building while mulling over how to turn a messy red line into a happy mistake.
For the Coffee Shop I wanted to go with the overplayed Starbucks color scheme. The problem I would have to avoid is using too similar a green that I used on the Mini Mart roof. I thought I was going with a lighter green with the can of something Dodge Charger Green something something. I was going with a brighter green. Way brighter. but at least it wasn't the same! I stayed away from masking frenzy on the coffee shop. I started having fun adding printed out what not to the walls - a menu, random coffee propaganda. The kit came with a counter, table, and chairs, and it fleshed out the interior really well.
I returned to the Mini Mart after the coffee shop was done, and there may have been a sale at Hobby Lobby. To cover up the bleeding red line, I picked up some clearance duct tape that was lacking most duct qualities. It didn't stick very well. It was a decorative dark red. It was thin. No wonder it was on clearance. But it suited my needs as a replacement stripe to go along the top of the wall. I'd also been 3D printing shelves to go along the walls. I tweaked the settings of the shelves - I'd learned when getting furniture printed for the houses that the default "real" volume makes everything take up too much room. The first thing I did was change the shelves from 15mm depth to 6mm. Yes, that's tiny, but I wanted something with just a little relief on the walls - honestly I'd been thinking of just printing a picture of shelves to glue to the walls until I thought it'd be cool to use that printer I've got! The best part is... it worked! It took a while, as I printed out 15 shelving units that took anywhere from 2 hrs to 8 hrs (I was learning how to tweak things!) to print. Once they were primed, I figured grey was a good shelf color, and the random products painted I used the sticky tac to hold it all against walls or floor, where appropriate. I've got plenty of sticky tac as that's what I use to mount minis on blocks to hold when I go to paint them, yet most people use it to hold up posters. After the walls were lined with shelves, I decorated the otuside with some random sales propaganda. The Mini Mart turned out a lot better than it was looking when the coffee shop started.
I really need to work on some proper map tiles for these 2 stores. Parking with an entrance, and how to deal with the footprint of the buildings. I've been meaning to work on this for a while, but I keep putting it off.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
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