Shelfari Shelf

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Waterslide Transfers Truddenia Style

There are a few items one needs when using water slide transfers.  First off, a separate cup from your paint water cup is helpful.  Keep it clean and use it just for this purpose, as you don't want to accidentally get any paint pigment on your transfers.  I use an old Garfield collectors mug from MacDonalds that I got when I was a kid in a Happy Meal, but a disposable Solo cup would work just as fine.  The cup being clear helps in case you over soak the transfer and it comes off of the carrier film.  Next is a pair of brushes, the ones I use are old and don't work well for painting any more.  One is for the transfer, the other is for the solvent.  I have an X-acto knife for cutting the transfer as well.  A pair of tweezers for soaking you water slide transfers; and finally a pot of Decal Set.  The one I use is from Testors.  Testors sells it individually, in a set with Decal Solvent and a basic brush, and as a Model Masters version that is slightly bigger.  For those with a Hobby Town nearby, any will do, though on a budget that basic pot is perfect and a little more available.

Before doing anything, make sure that you seal the model with your preferred method of sealer.  I use Testors Dullcote, because that is the finish I like, but whatever you want, is fine.  If you skip this step, the solvent can melt the decal into the model and bleed colors into the decal.  So make sure it is nice and sealed.  Next, apply a layer of the Decal Set to the area you intend to place the decal on.  This will prepare the surface for the decal.  I usually do this while warming up my water.  You can then cut out your decals, and fill up the cup.  If the decal is going to be on a rounded surface, I will generally slit them so that they can apply more easily.

Once your decal is ready, soak it in the warm water.  Cold is okay, but warm water will accelerate the time needed until you can remove the decal from the carrier film.  Some carrier film takes longer for the decal to come loose than others (like those from Forge World), and if you want to protect yourself from fishing in your water, you can place the tweezers so that they cover a small part of the decal as well.  Then, using one brush and the tweezers, align your sheet with the area on the model, and slide the decal onto it.  Be careful here, as the transfer can fold onto itself, or become misaligned.  If that happens, just make sure your brush is wet and play with it until you get it where you want.  Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles as well.

Finally, apply another cut of the Decal Set on top.  This will help the decal melt onto the model.  Once dry, seal the model again and your good to go.  For those wishing a more uniform look, now is the time when you can paint over the transfer and get it looking nice and neat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Ultramarines Librarian

In prepping for the RTT I went to on April 12th, I was able to start winnowing through my current projects to see what I've posted about and what slipped by the wayside while I was working hard, and being a parent.  Quite a few of the newer acquisitions from the release of Codex: Space Marines were undocumented, so I would like to start with the Librarian.

One of the advances GW has become great at is these small sprue character kits, while I'm not a big fan of the price points, they are definitely a step up from the Finecast resin kits that existed only a few years ago.  Now if only they would take the next step and make multi part convertible kits like the Space Marine Captain.  The Grey Knights have shown how easy the kit would be to make.  Any how, the model itself is fairly easy to put together, and comes with a nice scenic base.  I also like the addition of the cherub onto the backpack, it is a nice and characterful touch.

In terms of painting, the big additions here are skin tones, I used P3 Khardic Flesh, a wash of GW Ogryn Flesh (it's old, but I use it so seldom one pot lasts a long while), and a final layer of P3 Ryn Flesh.  When I paint the eyes, I usually do so after the skin tones, touching up as I need to.  Then I use a .005 Micron pen to put in the pupils.  A more adventurous person could try different colors, but I have found they get washed out with the rest of the skin tones and the white eyes.  The Micron Pen can also be used to add faux script on any scrolls or banners, though I left them blank here.  Since he isn't quite done, I will be finishing him up as part of the next blog post which will center on how I utilize Water Slide transfers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting Back In The Game

A long time ago, before I moved to Maryland and started a family, I used to be deep into Warhammer 40,000.  Regularly playing games, buying every book, and playing in RTT's all of the time.  Pretty much the same time that Games Day moved away from Baltimore, I moved away from the gaming aspects of the hobby.  This blog has pretty much been a catalog of my hobby projects, and the infrequency of my postings has really echoed how far I've left the hobby.  Mostly due to time constraints and a general tiredness that made late night hobby projects a thing of the past.

With more time on my hands during my unemployment, I've decided to carve out some time to start playing again.  Probably in the worst possible way, as I am going to an RTT in West Virginia this weekend so I can hang out with an old friend I haven't seen in forever.  This turned into a flurried browsing of my favorite Warhammer 40,000 boards to see what the current meta looks like.  My problem is two fold, first off, I have a vast collection of Ultramarines.  Second, not being up on the current meta, I really build models I like the look of instead of optimizing for tournament play.

My first objective was to decide on the core of my army.  I'm going to play with my Ultramarines, because they are my true 40k love.  Being a flyer afficianado, I will be using two Storm Talons, they are configured for anti tank duty, and should help in that regard.  I also found a suggestion to use Telion in a scout sniper squad.  Stick them behind an Aegis Defense Line with an Icarus pattern lascannon and let Telion precision strike specific threats.  Next on my list is a lascannon, plasma gun tactical squad to fill out my second Troops choice.

For a basic HQ choice, I'm opting for a no frills Librarian to sit back and Prescience at will.  Next, I will be using my Centurions, they are equipped with lascannon and missile launcher, and coupled with the Storm talons should form a good anti-armor core.  I know that I will be facing Baneblades and Knight Titans as it is an Escalation tournament, and not wanting to bring a super heavy of my own (as I don't own Escalation yet) I would rather be able to counter any threats.

As for the rest of my force, I am still debating on what will work best, for example a drop podding Sternguard squad with combimeltas could be a nice addition, as would a Land Raider Redeemer with some Assault Terminators inside.  A Storm Raven could also be a nice addition, and I have a third Storm Talon to put on a pretty nice aerial display.  I just don't know how effective these elements are.  I will be posting the final list, as well as the results of the tourney next week.  It should be fun, and I thoroughly expect to get wiped off the table.   But it will be a good indicator of what i need to think about in games to come.

Just as an update, I've decided to add on a tactical squad with lascannon and plasma gun, a tactical squad with Missile Launcher and Flamer, and Ironclad in a drop pod, and a Venerable Dreanought in a Drop pod.  Should be fun.  Pics next week after the Tourney with a write up.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ultramarines Sicaran Venator

One thing I have learned about Forge World over the years, is that unless you fall in love with the first version of a model they have produced, be patient.  Not only is there a demand crunch that can make wait times for delivery lengthy, but Forge World will often produce variants that can be more interesting, or effective in game.  For me, this was the case with the Sicaran Battle Tank.  When I first saw it, I liked it a lot.  But the armament wasn't exactly my cup of tea.  So I decided to wait - I've taken the same approach with the Spartan, and though liking a lot of the variants, just haven't been able to afford it as of yet.  Well, I can be honest, there are cooler models I would rather have first.

The Sicaran tank is a pretty easy build.  It is a complete resin kit, and the sides are all of one piece.  This means you don't have to worry about adding in a whole bunch of separate track pieces, and then not being able to get them all to fit properly.  The most difficult part of the build is probably the power coils, but even they are only problematic because of the tightness of the space they go into.  There is no crew to be added to the heavy bolter sponson, however anyone who wanted to spend the extra money or put together one from spare bitz could do so.  I chose not to as, more often than not, I prefer the buttoned up look.  Once built, I chose some brass etched pieces from  the Ultramarine Brass Etched sheet that i still had left and added them to the sides and front.

When painting, I always use black primer from Duplicolor.  It has good coverage, but should definitely by used out of doors as if you are not using a deep box (mine is an old army boxed set) it can splash all over the place.  For those interested, Duplicolor is available at Advanced Auto Parts, and is a sandable primer.  It is about $7 with tax and is infinitely better than the GW product both for price and coverage.

Finally, I use almost exclusively the new GW paints (only occasionally using P3 or old GW paint pots).  I start out by layering the colors that I want to shade, so all of the silver gets a coat of Leadbelcher, the gold Sycorax Bronze and any bone gets Zandri Dust.  Then all get a layer of Argax Earthshade.  Next, the silver gets a layer of Ironbreaker, the gold gets a layer of Gehenna's Gold and then Burnished Gold (as it is a highlight I don't use too much of it and it is still an old paint pot).  The Bone gets layers of Ushabti Bone and Screaming Skull.  The black is just straight up Abaddon Black, with a highlight of P3 Coal Black.  Then I paint all of the reds, which are layers of Khorne Red, Evil Sunz Scarlet and Troll Slayer Orange.  Finally, I paint the blue, with layers of Macragge Blue, Altdorf Guard Blue and an edge highlight of Calgar Blue.  This process is counter intuitive, as most people will start with the largest areas and then build up to the small details, however it's what works for me, which is the best painting advice for anyone.