Necromunda Assembled


2024 has not been shown to be a busy year for me in the usual post-topic work of gaming miniatures and related items and the painting thereof. Barely 1 update per month, and even then there's not much to show for it. While my excuse - do I need an excuse - has been that I'm trying to improve on my technique and not rush through painting minis, a side-truth is that I needed something a little different.

A few years ago I went to a HobbyTown in Georgia and stocked up on some models that looked fun to build. I built one that never saw the light of a camera or blog post, because it absolutely sucked. When I was 10 years old I would crank out a model in 3 hrs that I was perfectly happy with. 45 years later I spend 3 weeks on a model car and nothing lines up, gaps are everywhere, and extra nubs from the plastic sprue are everywhere. I've read a big problem with modern model kits like the car I can never prove I made, are that the kits are cast from molds that are the same as 10 year me used. Or even worse, recasts of those molds, potentially many times over.

Disgruntled old man me decided that it's time to re-learn how to make a plastic model. Model car #2 was a little better, but still crap. Those old molds are not conducive to modern-me learning. So I pivoted to known modern-molded plastic. In this case, some Games Workshop Necromunda (plastic) scenery.

A while back, as I never buy something and immediately crack open a box, I started getting Necromunda Thatos Pattern buildings - Hab Modules and walkways, with Ash Wastes being the set that came with more stuff/rules than I will use, but the price was cheaper than the individual scenery pieces.

I had a fairly simple color scheme picked out (more on that in a later post) which will work better trying to paint everything at once. Which leads to making everything at once. I did say I wanted to practice on plastic models. Two months ago, I started putting together the first Hab Module kit, and then kept on gluing, snipping, and sanding until everything was built.

I had no idea I had gotten so much of this stuff.

Along the way, most things lined up, or at least lined up better than the model cars I've been trying to make. Old man me uses nippers to cut the parts off the sprue, instead of twisting them off like 10 year old me would do. A long time ago, it was twist part off and then glue together. Now, there is snip, and then a long and involved sanding process. I've got a variety of sanding strips to try and clear the mar on the plastic left from separating from the sprue - this was the big new-to-me thing learned from the model car kits. After lots of sanding is good old glue/plastic cement. There's then potential for more sanding, as that's when I look for places that need some gaps filled, and post-filled sanding.

That's where we are now. Glued, sanded, ready for primer. Once the humidity is down to being spray-paint friendly. Plus, I'm not in a rush. I may need a zombie painting fix next.

gaming miniatures models Necromunda

Paint Racks


I have paint. A lot of paint. The main reason for my lofty oversupply of paint is that I can't really tell shades or hues that are close, so when a paint scheme spells out the colors to use then those are the colors I have to use. I also like any paint that brands itself as making painting easier - I'm looking at you shades, washes, contrast, and speed paints. It's only natural that when Army Painter came out with a new.., well, line of paint that I would wonder how I could live without it. I mean, their last Speed Paint line made painting soooo much easier, just imagine what this new line would do. Plus, it's made for hue and shade matching impaired folks like myself as there are tips on the label for what paints match for highlights and tones.

But the problem this begat was... were to store this stuff? Currently (well, at the time) all my paints and paint related tools are in the closet. Mainly on 2 wire shelving racks on casters, each rack is 14" x 16" footprint and about 6 feet tall. 1 rack is all paint in shoe boxes, which I've sorted into boxes in categories that make sense to me. The other shelf has some scenery, bases, and cast-off test minis that will never get finished. I've wanted to use some proper paint racks for a while, but I just haven't had the desk (or wall) space. But maybe I could make something utilizing the shelf racks I have?

Well, not the actual shelf racks, but the footprint they take up. The Litko paint racks are 22" wide. That's too wide for a 14x16 shelf. I did a quick test, using the center handle on the paint rack. I quickly found that is not a spot of structural integrity to support all the weight at 1 point. The paint rack has holes for screws/mounting on the outer corners to take proper weight distribution into account. So I need something wider. And everything still needs to fit in the same space and through the closet door. With the door open, that doorway is just under 22" wide. The paint racks will have to go into the closet length-wise... The paint racks are roughly 5" deep, which gives me a shelf that needs to be at least 22" long to support the paint rack, and no more than 17" deep for everything to fit through the door. It's a shame I can't just merge the 2 shelf racks I have now. But I can do the next best thing and order the 14x30 shelf rack on Amazon!

The new shelf came in and I assembled it, all while not telling anyone my plan since it started out so half-assed I had no idea if it would work. Thanks to a recent liberal use of zip-ties, I wanted to try using them to secure the paint racks to the wire shelves. But (vertical) spacing was also key here, as I wanted to maximize my usage of what's available. What's something cheap, yet relatively sturdy and straight, to help with that? Yard sticks. Yard sticks with holes drilled in them. And yard sticks have built in measuring for any spacing! And thus I decided to attach yard sticks to the wire shelves, and then paint racks to the yard sticks. All using zip ties.

The damndest thing is, it seems to work.

I now have paint racks with space for 502 pots of paint, all neatly organized and accessible. On the other side, where shelves live, I still have show boxes sorted by categories I'll look for. Along with that are things I can wheel around that come in handy when painting, gluing, whatever. Wheeling is a little more important now as I've moved my hobby space from my office desk (4 ft from the closet all of this stays stored away in) to the never eaten at dining table (2 rooms away).

For the 14x16 shelves, the 2 5-shelf units have been combined into 1 9-shelf unit and moved to a different closet to see if it's going to work for some more dedicated scenery storage (with wheels!). That was kind of a last minute decision, so we'll see if that sticks long term.

feng shui random renovation/remodelling

Johnny Rambo


At some point in the last couple of years I picked up the complete Rambo boardgame + expansions during a really good sale. The game looks like it's fun for solo play and follows the plot of the first 3 Rambo movies close enough to be fun, yet no so close you just copy whatever's done in the movies. Of course, I got the games and promptly put them on the shelf, as is my way. One of the extras for a different game is an unneeded mini of Rambo. I also have this Rambo game, sitting on a shelf. I suddenly don't know why I'm even mentioning these 2 games, as neither are particularly relevant to the mini. But, once you start typing why not just go with it and see what happens - or delete it?

Little mini Johnny Rambo arrived and he wasn't quite as nice as the image shown for purchase. Arms and head has visible seam/gaps that I didn't bother to mess with before priming, and after priming I didn't think would be too obvious. I was wrong. Especially on the arms. Very, very wrong.

Damn the gaps, Johann Rambo would be painted! And painted he became. It's been a while since I played around with a camo pattern, and his britches reminded me it had been a while. Thus, Jojo got some camo pants. I went heavy on the skin wash to try and bring out the musculature on the body, and even lightened the tone on the pecs the way I see other people do... and I'm not quite there yet. A little too light on the pecs, I think.

A little static grass for the base and sealed everything up to be done. For something that was sitting on my desk primed for at least 2 months, roughly 2 hrs of paint-dry-paint-repeat was all that I spent on this one (yeah, sure, maybe it does show). I've been doing more plastic model building over the past month, without anything in the end phase enough to show here, so a quick many to show I'm still alive was a nice snack.

Wow, the lighting in the pics below really make a difference in showing the exact same skin tone...

gaming miniatures

Gordon and Flass


After the Gotham police disaster of the last post, I didn't have high hopes for the companion box I primed at the same time: Lieutenant Gordon & Detective Flass (Year One). Still, once primed something has to happen. Onward!

While not sticking to the color scheme of the box, I went close enough to count, in my eyes. From the onset I wanted to make the varsity jacket standard yellow/black Batman colors. Normally I would have painted yellow arms and black torso, but this time I erred on the side of easier clean up of errant brush strokes. I even went so far as doing the skin last instead of first on both of these minis. Much like the previous batch of police, these 2 received tweaks to their bases. Flass even managed to get a completely different, bigger base more fitting his widened stance. Although I pinned and attached the bases to these two at the same time as the previous batch - these are straight! Probably because both feet are modelled to completely touch the ground.

Flass received my go-to of Citadel Drakenhoff Nightshade on top of white primer for the stonewashed denim look. This is the one technique I seem to get to work consistently. After the previous post, I needed some good consistency. The yellow and black on the jacket worked well, although the black lettering for Gotham High on the back could be better - both for how the paint bled in, and the print of the model could have used some cleaning up that I didn't see earlier.

I'm a little disappointed with the speed paint job on Gordon's clothes. Too much pooling in crevasses again. On the other hand, his hair and glasses feel spot on to me. I managed to paint the glasses frames and the skin behind the lenses without messing up everything else - such as smearing everything on the rest of the skin. While the pics don't really show it, each lens in the glasses have a dot of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to really make it feel like there's some glass in there.

A 2-mini completion post. Better job than the last post, yet still not as good as I originally hoped. At least more things went right this time.

Next up is some scenery/post-apoc buildings. I'm not sure if I'll work through one with enough to post something interesting, or get bored and sidetracked with something else person-sized to paint.

Batman Miniature Game gaming miniatures Knight Models

Gotham Police Trio


After years of accumulating minis for the Batman Miniature Game, I finally grabbed a pack (or two, but that could just be a teaser for later) and started with a trio of Gotham Police. I had high hopes, but also a little trepidation before starting out because as far as I know I've never made anything from Knight Models.

Instead of going step by step with what I was doing or tried, a simple comparison of the pics below with the Knight Models site shows that I didn't get anywhere near the quality I might have hoped, but it was a good learning experience.

Resin Minis - I miss metal minis, and for whatever reason I'm still having problems with these printed minis. They required simple assembly - arms and heads. I've yet to find how to get resin pieces to fit flush. Arm gaps are pretty bad at the shoulders.

Wrong Speed Paints - The blue(s) I picked for the uniforms and vests are too dark, and the pooling in the wrinkles is way too deep. I usually do this at least partially intentionally as I like the looks, but not this time. It really covered up the details this time. Especially on the badges - the badges don't look good.

Pinned the Minis - This part went awry lots of ways. The minis were printed with the bottom to fit in slotta bases, and the included slotted bases had a brick texture. A brick texture with a big gap in the middle for the mini to fit in. I liked the brick bases, and it was going to take some finagling to fill in the gaps after fitting in the mini, so I decided to just fill in the gap completely and then pin the mini to the base. Great idea! Problem 1: While I'm pretty good at gilling in these gaps with putty/plastic, I'm not so good with leveling and smoothing things out. There wasn't a gap, but you could tell it used to be something. Problem 2: This was my first time pinning resin, and evidently I don't know how to make the pins straight. Each one of these minis ended up crooked. And crooked in a way I couldn't straighten up. Problem 3: I tried painting these with a pin in 1 foot/leg before attaching them to the bases. They wiggled and spun enough that I feel blaming at least half of the resulting paint job on that is valid. This was my biggest lesson learned - when it comes type to apply painted brush to mini, that mini has to be stable in my big elderly man-hands.

As much as I complain above, it wasn't all bad. Granted, I can't find a silver lining to write as an example, but they're not total crap. Maybe the silver lining is my skills have generally improved over the years to where I recognize all the things that went wrong here instead of thinking that painted = done and good job. Jerry asked me the other day if I paint things to play games or for the process. While I paint things so that they may be played in games, I don't really expect them to be played. So truthfully, it's the process. I paint something, and after it's sealed and had pictures taken and posted here, it goes in a box or on a shelf and is quickly forgotten as I move on to the next thing. But I do enjoy that process, even when things go wrong.

Next up will be Lt Gordon (or I might promote him to grey headed Commish) and a baseball bat wielding lackey. Honest, that's next. They're even 70% painted already.

Batman Miniature Game gaming miniatures Knight Models

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