Archive | November 2013

Pastel Powders

I have yet to try using pastel powders but stumbled upon an tip yesterday:

After paint, but before pastel/weathering powder application, you spray the model down with unscented hairspray. You then add your powder and finish off by spraying your dull coat. I know AK makes a product for sticking the powder on, but I’m going to venture a guess and say that a can of unscented hairspray is way cheaper. If it works, of course.


Armies, Paint Schemes and trying to remember if it was True Red or Opaque Red…

So I have a fair collection of painted and unpainted BattleTech miniatures (many more un-built) in a wide variety of schemes. Which is great for smaller games, or a wider ‘universe’ feel, but makes it harder to track exactly what you painted each scheme with. Unlike other game systems, BattleTech doesn’t have a its own line of supporting paints.  So whereas in Warmachine,  if you have a Khordor mini you know you just pick up a bottle of Khador red, and you’re set.  Instead, for BattleTech schemes,  color call outs are ‘red’ or ‘grey-blue’ which, as you can imagine, offers a wide variety of options.  Now we do have an excellent reference in Camospecs, but the artists rarely share what colors were used.

Which brings me to my dilemma. Whilst unpacking from my move, I noticed a couple of my older ‘Robinson Rangers‘ minis were damaged, and I can’t remember which red I painted them with.  Now I have a pretty good idea which one it was, but I’m going to have to do some experimenting and such to figure it out. Time which takes away from actually painting, which is not good…

So, I’m going to get a whole bunch of those big 5×8 note cards and a holder thingy, some alphabetic sorter tabs and I will be writing down how to do each units scheme, what colors were used, if they were mixed and that type of thing.

Now, hopefully, I can fix schemes or add ‘mechs to units I’ve painted a few years ago.

Bench Organization

I strive to have a clean and organized bench. I really, really do. Sometimes I even meet that haughty goal. But most of the time, it’s a damned disaster. I can’t even use the excuse that ‘I know where everything is,’ because I don’t. I’m constantly looking for the tool or part I just had in my ********** hand. Seriously. I feel that most of the time I’m at the bench, I’m picking through piles of stuff and shifting stuff from spot ‘A’ to spot ‘B’.

So, to help my organization I lifted the below idea from an issue of Finescale Modeler:


It’s a fairly simple thing, an acrylic sheet, a handful of PVC pipe connectors and PVC pipe cement. Cost was fairly minimal, though I don’t remember exactly.  If I were to do it again, I’d use the 2″+ connectors everywhere, as the 1″ ones don’t fit nearly as much as I thought I would.

Rust Monster! OR Don’t Use Zinc Coated BBs in Your Acyrlic Paint…

So, about 10 months or so, I decided to pick up something to help me mix-up my Vellejo and Reaper paints.  I decided on some zinc coated BBs. Why? Well, in hindsight, I’m an idiot. BUT,  at the time I was thinking that zinc coating/paint was used in industrial applications as a rust suppressor. I was also thinking that as the BBs would be submerged in the paint most of the time, there would be relatively little oxygen to oxidize them. Look, chemistry 101 was a long time ago, and I don’t remember much of it.

Anyways, I haven’t used my paints much in the past few months and we recently moved. So, last week when I was unpacking things and setting up my bench, I was horrified to see:




So yea, that sucks…

All told I’ve got 16 bottles of Vellejo and Reaper paints thusly effected, as well as some of my Game’s Workshop paints. I experimented on a bottle of GW Fortress Grey and managed to salvage 99% of the paint into another bottle. But it was a less than efficient process using my syringes and dropper thingy and it took like 15 minutes to do.

So, I decided to buckle down and order these strainers from Micro-Mark to help speed up the process.  The strainers will also be used for prepping paint for airbrushing. I will also be picking up a whole bunch of these dropper bottles to put the paint into as well as for custom paint mixes.

I find using the dropper bottles makes my life far easier. Airbrushing? no need for pippettes or anything. Hand brushing? Just put a few drops on a wet pallete, and BAM!


com·mon·place book


1. a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use
Hello and welcome to my blog!  I plan on using it as an electronic commonplace book for tips, tricks and good ideas I see out  in the wilds of the Internets. How often have you seen a forum post or a magazine article and think “Ohhh, what a great idea!” and then completely forget about it? And I’m sure if I find something interesting, someone else probably will, too.
I’m also doing this to ‘stay in’ the hobby. I’m a relatively new dad with a beautiful 7 month old little girl, who takes up most of my ‘free time’, so I don’t get a lot of ‘bench’ time.
As for what I’m into:  Armor (big fan of 1/72 for space concerns), Military Aircraft (72nd, again), cars( American) and wargaming miniatures (BattleTech mostly, but getting the itch to try some of the other popular systems)  and terrain for wargaming.
I will always try to credit where I got things, but this being the internet and all, I can’t promise they will always be without error.