Sunday, 28 September 2008

047 Snipers!

The people spoke...and the people demanded snipers. I hate the Ratling models, so I use these instead.

Well - here's five of them. I was going to do six (I have 10) but wanted to finish something! Please explore the pics below: I didn't crop them as I liked the scale, but the early evening light seems to have given everything a blue tint that it doesn't actually have - sorry! Behind them you'll note the upgraded (read: "rusted") tin-can storage tank, and I've included a back view to display their camouflage cloaks (evidently not chameleoline!). I also did a bit of masonry paintwork on one of them, just to try it out. That's the last pic:


- Drax.

046 Tin Can Alley (Now with 25% Extra Free!)

Hullo, All.

Just thought I'd share somethig I'm happy with. Compared to some of the awesome projects going on in this blogging community it pales into insignificance, but I'm rubbish at getting scenery done, so I was pleased to finish the following storage tank in one afternoon. It's taken from the idea in the Apocalypse book (I think), and since I took this photo I've added a fairly effective rust effect - again, a first for me. Here it is (balanced - for some reason - atop a bedsheet):

Oh, and those snipers are very nearly done. Watch this space. And Kate'll be home soon, so that'll make Drax happy!

Here's an update, in the wake of Ron's query (see comments):

I might do a step-by-step if I make another storage tank (I probably will), but in the meantime, here is the sketch I made on the back of the cereal packet afterwards, so I could remember the dimensions:

NB: This is a standard British food tin (420g of baked beans, in this case). 420 grams is...some ounces. But please note, if you're on t'other side of the Pond, your tins come in different shapes and sizes to ours.

Also, the annotation from the diagonal cross-beam reads as follows: "rule the diagonal; guess the width of beams" (I did this freehand).

Dimensions: In this example, the main measurements (on appr. 1mm thick cereal packet card) are: 232mm x 125mm. That 125mm width is actually slightly narrower than the label, but it's fiddly to measure 125.5mm! The length divides into four panels of 58mm, and all the uprights and horizontals are 15mm wide, as is the top cross (cut to fit from a broader cross). The extra girders on the uprights give it the appearance of rigidity and were just quickly cut freehand, about 3-4mm wide.

Rivets: These were 'drilled' through with a mini screwdriver (about 2mm flathead with a rotating base, like a pin vise. I don't know what these are technically called, I'm afraid,) and although I didn't measure them, they do follow the patterns marked on the first and second panels in the sketch.

There you go!


- Drax.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

045 Games Day III

Hey all,

This, then, is the third installment of Games Day pics. There may be more when (if) my mate forwards them to me, but as I think he's about to go to Canada for a while, this may take some time.

Basically, the other thing that really took my notice there was the display from these guys: The Ammo Bunker. I was impressed by the scenery and massively moreso by the IG conversions by 'Digits', one of their senior bods. Digits was also particularly friendly and helpful with explaining his techniques, many of which I'm now itching to try. All these pics are of his stuff, and they're worth looking closely at:

I did sign up for The Ammo Bunker (do check it out - they've some smashing stuff!), but sadly I can't even begin to understand how the forum-thing works, so I think I'll stick to blogging for the most part: Drax has not left the building.

As for my opinions of Games Day UK '08? Well, it was definitely a great deal of geeky fun, but I think I was - at best - whelmed. Not underwhelmed, and not hugely overwhelmed...just whelmed. It didn't help that the sales staff apparently didn't figure that a lot of people might just want to buy the new stuff - they seemed to sell out of all the cool toys (eg: I thought I'd buy Apoc: Reloaded; my mate fancied the new Codex: Space Marines) within about an hour. Surely they could have anticipated such a's not like they're amateurs at making a quick buck! Ah well...their loss.

- Drax.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

044 Secret Shame

Just a few passing thoughts today, as I'm stuck back at home instead of partying hard at an old mate's wedding in Birmingham. Bah! - damn public transport. Damn you, Dr. Beeching.

How proudly do you embrace your hobby? Are you an upright member of a local group of die-hard fanatics, wearing your heart (or your aquila) on your sleeve? Or are you the guy who slips his copy of White Dwarf inside a copy of The Sun simply to make the buying of it somehow more socially acceptable, like some sleazy old man in a 1970s newsagent's?

Personally, I'm nearer the latter camp, although I do take the precaution of having White Dork delivered these days.

I don't know why the shame burns so strongly. I'm successful in my career, a pillar of the community and happily married to someone who doesn't speak Klingon. At 28, I don't still live in my childhood home, I've mastered basic personal hygiene, and I've never owned any 'Buffy' why am I so ashamed? - No offence, Inner Geek, but I just cannot seem to publicly embrace my Inner Geek.

It probably doesn't help that the only 'gaming community' I have is online. Other than that, it's two good mates who - like me - live very busy lives and live them very far away. And one of them got married a few hours ago, so we'll see what the future holds for him!

The few people who know of my Secret Shame are pretty good about it, really, but I daren't tell any of my new colleagues yet (I even covered my painting tray in The Shed the other day in case one of them who was popping round happened to glance in). Why? - What am I afraid of? It's not like I'm trying to impress anyone, or trying to pull. Obviously I don't tell the kids. Imagine my shock when one of the eagle-eyed little tykes spotted me at Games Day last weekend (luckily I don't teach him, but it'll be interesting to see if he asks me about it at any point...: "Er...I was there to...uh...keep my mate company..." - Really?

Seriously: I told my work friends that I was off to Birmingham for a "pre-wedding get-together". By no means a lie, but I did omit to mention the geektastic location of our "get-together".

So - you lot all seem fairly confident in your geekiness: I'm intrigued. Can anyone shed any light on this one, please? Just for fun...!

- Drax*

*Not my real name.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

043 Games Day UK II - Photos


Okay, seeing as a few of you asked: here are some piccies from GDUK 2008. Sadly, 'coz I don't pay attention, I'm afraid I haven't a clue what or whose some of these things are, but here you go (no particular order, and you can enlarge them all, I hope):

A rather cool Warlord Titan. Look at the figures there too - it had glowing eyes though, which made me wonder if the crew were having a disco...:
Another Warlord:
A great FW sketchbook - this excited me:FW goodness;
Siege of Vrax:

The extremely well converted ex-432 - now a Blood Ravens rhino. And no - you couldn't get inside. Mind you, neither could 10 eight-foot uber-men in power armour... The little girl gives a great sense of scale:

Some marine models:

And finally, my two pasty mates, confused:

Also, look out for my next post, detailing some of the awesome models from The Ammo Bunker that we saw right at the end!

- Drax

Sunday, 14 September 2008

042 The Best Image from Games Day UK

So...Drax went to Games Day.

I went with an old mate of mine and met another there. We had a laugh, and largely enjoyed ourselves (I might post some more photos soon) but this really made my day - an inordinately vast collection of assorted Thermos flasks next to the Forgeworld tables:
I particularly like the fact that the chap on the left seemed to be guarding them!

I'm tired. More soon perhaps...

- Drax

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

041 Painting Chart

Following the lead of (or 'copying') the masterful dvdhwk over at Running from the Law, and following his guidance (thanks!) i've knocked up a chart of my infantry painting progress. It's fairly depressing to look at; not least when you realise that 1 Platoon alone comprises 40 models and I'm a really slow painter!

Here it is; the key's below (I forgot to include it). Green is finished; yellow is W-i-P. All are undercoated and the extra bits bottom right I have, but I haven't organised:

SO - Snr Officer; JO - Jr Officer; Cr - Commissar; V - vox (incl. mastervox for Coy HQs); Psy - Sanctioned Psyker; Md - medic; St - standard; Sgt - sergeant; Gr - grenade launcher; Me - meltagun; Pl - plasma gun; Fl - flamer; ML - missile launcher; LC - lascannon; AC - autocannon; HB - heavy bolter; Mor - mortar; SN - sniper. 14/09/08 - Oh: I just realised I forgot to include my 50-odd stormtroopers of three different generations! D'oh!

NB: D Coy's HQ is in a different shade, because although they're finished, I didn't finish them! I got them as a freebie with an eBay order and they're really well painted!

- Drax

Sunday, 7 September 2008

040 Painting DPM Camouflage

Wow - who'd have thought it? - Drax giving a painting tutorial*!
We've established by now that painting is not my forté. Mostly I like modelling, and I've been sketching plans recently for a one-shot front-loading chimera conversion. But that's another story...

First, let me make two points clear:

Firstly, GW 'Eavy Metal tutorials on painting DPM point out QUITE RIGHTLY that if you do it to a life-like scale then it looks too busy and the detail is obscured. Fair point - especially with fatigues. But here's a thought: it can still look good on large-ish areas, like the backs of cloaks, hence its application to my snipers' cloaks.

Secondly, I do not pretend to be great at doing this. Not only am I an entry-level, quotidian painter (I use no washes, inks, layers, highlights, shading, blusher or mascara on my minis), but the pattern is not flawless. Personally, I have tremendous trouble paiting random patterns. Frankly, I think I'm a tiny bit autistic at times (but then, maybe a lot of men are!) but I like straight lines and clearly marked details to paint. Random squiggles are a horrible challenge for me! Anyway:

For those of you who wanted to know, here is the step-by-step to painting the temperate DPM as seen on my W-i-P veterans and snipers. We start with a Chaos Black undercoat, and then a basecoat of Dark Angels Green:
Next, squiggles of Bleached Bone, about 2-3mm long. I try to switch between splodges, C-shapes and Y-shapes:Next, repeat with Scorched Brown (I try to overlap each of the Bleached Bone squiggles as it keeps the overall pattern darker and greener:Finally, slightly less substantial squiggles of Chaos Black. This adds depth surprisingly well! Mind you, this probably wasn''t the best model to choose: it was my earliest attempt and it's scruffy. [NB: These are better, finished examples.] Oh well - you get the idea!
I made a note of this process on my home-made painting tray too, for my own reference:
I know this camo ain't perfect, but I reckon it works well enough. It doesn't help that since starting this DPM I've opted for urban basing...but then, when did any army get to choose its ground to suit its sartorial style, eh?

Well, I hope this was of some little interest to you...

- Drax.

PS: Anyone here off to Games Day UK?

* Tutorial, that is, in the loosest sense of the word!