Well, it’s been a couple of weeks, but I’ve made some headway on my little test squad of American troops:
Here they are basecoated and washed. For the washes I tried 5 different ones to see how I liked them, but I can say that I don’t think that how I did the zenithal highlighting had a lot of impact here. I’m going to end up priming another figure straight black and see how he comes out as a control, however, it’s not like rattle canning the additional colors took a lot of time, so I’m not really out of anything either.
For the colors on these guys, I went with Army Painter Army Green for the coats and Puttees, Vallejo Model Color (VMC) English Uniform Brown for the paints, VMC Iraqui Sand for the pack, VMC Pastel Green for the webbing and Leather Brown for the boots.
Now, a few of these colors I’ve gotten from the web, and others were kind of ‘eyeball to memory” trying to figure out colors from re-enactor’s gears and the such from Google Image results. I’m not happy with packs (too light) and the pants (just not close).
With that in mind, I decided to order some books from my local library dealing with uniforms and see if I could come up with some more accurate colors. I’m not done yet, but one book that’s just jam packed with pictures is Windrow and Hawkins’: The World War II GI, US Army Uniforms 1941-45 (https://goo.gl/vS28x8). I’ll probably do a blog post on just the uniform stuff I learn from there.
After I was done basecoating, I attacked them with a variety of washes, including some I made from Les Burley’s wash recipe (https://goo.gl/1k2JEc). I made his Soft and Heavy Body Black along with a Sepia Wash. I also used Vallejo Sepia Wash. For the Burley Sepia wash, I tried a couple of different ink concentrations: 40 and 50 drops of the FW ink.
The Vallejo Sepia Wash worked, and would probably be fine for this, but I felt like playing around. The 40 Drop concentration of Burley Sepia wash was really light. A couple of applications would probably work OK as well. However, my goal is speed, so I I’ll probably skip this. I really liked how the Soft Body Black flowed and acted, but it was too harsh of a color. Next was a 50 drop concentration of Burley’s Sepia and this was pretty good. This maybe the way I go. The last one was a bit of a mix that I, uh forgot to write down like an idiot. Of course, I like this one a lot. I think this was the fifty-drop Sepia concentration, with some black ink mixed in. I *think* I figured it would be the fifty-drop sepia with 5 or 10 drops of black ink.
So, I need to find a better color for the packs, the pants and nail down my wash. And then I’ll be able to start.
But I am getting there, and learning quite a bit as I do so, which I consider a win.
Till next time!
Well, after more than a year, Project: Valkdetta is mostly complete. All the major sub-assemblies are done and it looks like what it’s supposed to be. I’m missing the lower vertical stabilizers (I’ll have to look if I ever got them or not) and the front sensor array. If I don’t have the parts I’ll have to see if I can buy them reasonably or if I’ll have to plastic-card them.
Getting the booms and wings on was a bit of pain, what with the original alignment pegs having been broken in the tear-down process. It’s not perfect but I did the best I could. With the wings at least, the old mounting holes were still present, so I used the center of them to drill out holes for pinning.
For gluing all the major assemblies, I used JB Quick 5-miniute epoxy. I wont say it’s indestructible, but if something breaks, things have gone horribly wrong.
While I was test fitting the left wing on, I noticed the wing had gotten horribly warped. I can only imagine that it happened after I broke the model down and must have set something down on it.
Not to be discouraged (I totally was…) I decided to try boiling it and bending it back to the correct angle. Once again, it’s not perfect, but the angle is correct now (even if the wing has some ripples in it) and I decided to go ahead and glue it on.
I still need to fill in some gaps on the wing to fuselage joint and clean up some of the JB Quick that got where it shouldn’t be, but Valkdetta is now clearly a Valkyrie. I’ll fluff her rough appearance to being an old bird with a lot of battles behind her.
So as I’m dealing with a bum ankle, I might as well post some pictures and what not of what I’ve been up too.
Valkdetta is getting along. Engines and center hump-thingy are on, as well at the one boom. The other boom was a bit trickier—I had to clearance the engine to make sure it fit. That’s all settled now, so this weekend should see her getting close to completion. Just in time for the new Death From the Skies book to hit, even though it apparently doesn’t have anything about the Vendetta—or any of the FW fliers.
Here is my Vindicare assassin. I’m trying to follow the tutorial in “White Dwarf” as closely as I can. It’s my fist time painting anything in that style, so… I don’t hate it yet, but those edge highlights are a bit thick in my opinion.
This is my ‘bits’ priest. I picked up a bag of WFB Empire bits at Adepticon for $4 and made this guy. I added boots to him, and cut the spikes of his mace. He still looked more Chaos then not though, so I added an Aquila emblem from the Imperial Tank Sprue. I like him much better now. The autogun was made from a spare lasrifle, plastic tubing and some greenstuff.
I’ve been working on my Tau infantry at work during my lunches (cleaning them up and such) and decided I might as well throw paint on them. These are all second hand, and let’s face it, the old sculpts weren’t so great to begin with. These will be fluffed as a backwater garrison that suddenly got reinforced with some front line units. That’ll explain the old metal stealth suits I have as well as the old Crisis suits.
I have to many damned projects started and not enough finished.
So for now, I need to concentrate on what I have started and what can be quickly finished. Like a reverse triage system.
Projects like Project:Bass-ilisk. She’s currently been undercoated in a metal color, I just need to get some rust on her and then I’ll be ready for chipping medium and painting.
I have a few other not-named projects that have been shot with primer (a re-hashed Demolisher and a couple of Chimeras) that need the metal basecoat for weathering applied.
My Vindicare assassin is…oh 60% done. He’s turning out pretty good. So he should be pretty easy to finish quickly.
Project Valkdetta is getting there, one of the booms has been epoxied on, and the other side I had to clearance the engines, but the other boom is ready to go on, then it’s just the wings, doors, weapons and canopy. And paint. So yea, like almost done.
Then there’s the ‘Pile o’ Russ’, 5 Leman’s (three old style from the ARMAGEDDON boxing and two newer ones) that have their hulls done, but I need to work on the turrets yet. I’m thinking of just magnetizing them (perfect candidates from the ‘Single Magnet Magnetizing’ but I do have to re-barrel the battlecannon—I can’t stand the stock one.
I’ve managed to primer the vast majority of my built Cadian and Catachans. I’ve also got almost all of my Tau infantry done as well. Though those I mostly prep at work on my lunches, so they haven’t yet taken away from my ‘regular’ hobby time. But painting them is going to be a huge time sink.
Hmmm, what else… Oh, making my Valhallans. Though I need to come up with a suitable name for them, since they aren’t strictly Valhallans. Due the the Ushankas hitting on the molded in greatcoat collar, I’ll have to clearance them, so while not the quickest conversions, it’s not too involved.
Oh, right, my Mantic Space Dwarves. I’ll have to finish those too.
Damn. I have a lot to do.
So I guess in order of quickest time to completion and to maximize tool usage time:
Do metallic basecoat on primed Tanks and Chimeras
Add rust to Project: Bass-ilisk and tanks and Chimeras.
-Apply chipping medium
-Do paint and remove medium (if you wait to long, the chipping medium doesn’t release right…)
Vindicare finishing up.
Do magnetizing for Pile o’ Russes and make new Battlecannons
Paint my primered infantry
Work on my not-Valhallans.
While it’s been nearly a year since I’ve documented any progress on my old, second-hand Forge World Valkyrie, I have occasionally tooled around with it here and there.
Since the last update, I’ve attached the cockpit assembly to the fuselage. Now it’s still not perfectly straight, but it’s now barely perceptible.
However, there has been a crap load of filling and sanding and filling and sanding and… Well, you get the point. The transition between the fuselage and the cockpit on the bottom has been a huge pain, but it’s getting there. Right now I have the top…hump? epoxied to a sheet of plastic to make sure it’s flat and give it a bit of a height boost, as I think the cockpit module sits a bit higher than it did before—here’s hoping that doesn’t mess everything else up. I also need to figure out if the engines go on before the tail boom, or if it’s the other way around.
Here’s some more pics of the old girl, which I’m thinking I’ll name Phoenix.
So I have a ‘thing’ for World War Two and Cold War Soviet equipment. Their rugged simplicity and reliance of quantity has always appealed to me. So it’s no wonder that I’ve always liked GW’s Valhallan Ice Warriors and their Soviet influenced design.
Between the greatcoats and the Ushankas (fur hat), the Valhallan’s are dripping with Soviet imagery. It doesn’t hurt that the Imperial Guard has a bit of a resemblance to the Red Army, what with it’s Commissars and reliance on sheer numbers.
Anyways, a few months ago I saw an ebay listing for four of these, loving the BMP-1 look I put a ridiculousness small bid on them…and won them all for the princely sum of $20 (The casting is beautiful on them, by the way).
Since I now had a suitable transport for some Valhallans, I figured I should probably get some troops.
The good news is that they are still available on GW’s website, but they aren’t really cheap, not-quite twice the price of a squad of Cadians, so I was hopeful I could find something else.
I really liked the look of Mad Robot’s Kurgan but they we just as expensive as the GW stuff, though they are a multi-part kit, which has a lot of advantages.
So I kind of just sat on the idea for my Valhallans. I occasionally would check ebay, but that’s about it.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple of boxes of Wargames Factory Shock Troops (AKA Greatcoat Troopers) for dirt cheap, two boxes of 18 for $30. I figured if nothing else, I could use them somewhere and threw my money at the seller.
Doing some research, I discovered that Cadian arms are a direct swap, giving the figures a cheap and easy method of matching GW’s weapon aesthetic.
At this point, I still hadn’t thought to use the WGF Shock Troops as Valhallans, and was just figuring I’d use them as either conscripts of maybe a future Blood Pact force.
Then yesterday, while I was looking over some Soviet Bolt Action minis (because I need another army for another game…) I discovered these:
These guys are Soviet Assault Engineers and they were equipped with with a primitive steel body armour (not unlike World War One German Storm Trooper armor). It turns out that the WGF Shock troopers have molded on body armor not dis-similar to the above. Which is what made me realize I’d found my Valhallans.
Now, the basic troopers are pretty simple, with only a couple of poses, but they are well cast and with Cadian arms, will—I think—offer a good compromise. I splurged on some Ushanka heads from Mad Robot (like the head of the above ‘Kurgan’) and I think they will be easily recognizable as Valhallans and as their weapons will be Cadian, table top usage should be fairly problem free.
Of course this solution isn’t without issues as it turns out Warlord is taking over distribution of the old Wargames Factory line. When I messaged them asking if the Shock Troops would be re-released along with the historical ranges, I was told they would not be. Which means they may get harder to find. Luckily, as I’m using different arms and heads, there are some bits dealers selling the bodies, but I have no idea what the demand is for these guy, but we’ll see.
Now all I have to do is build a T34/76-esque turret (easier to tell what it’s supposed to be evoking rather than the /85) for my Leman Russes…
So while I was looking over my box of Scions, I noticed that the “Tempestor” (basically the squad sergeant) has quite a few arm options—options that begged to be magnetized.
Now I’ve magnetized a couple of Leman Russes, but doing something as small as a figure is a totally different ball game. I have a sample set of magnets that do have some reallllly tiny ones in them,so I was ok on the front. However, while I was looking of the model, I began asking myself why everybody always uses two magnets? While I know it probably makes the joint fairly strong, it seemed overkill—especially for something like an arm (however, please correct me if I’m over looking something). Plus there is that whole polarity thing, which has caught me once before.
So, I decided to do some SCIENCE! and see if there was a way I could get away with just using one magnet for the joint.
Idea 1: Metallic Epoxy
OK, so this wasn’t a completely honest effort—more curiosity than anything..
First thing first, WEAR GLOVES with this stuff (I know I always should, but, you know…). Anyways, this stuff STINKS. And the smell doesn’t come off for quite sometime.
Otherwise, this stuff is an epoxy putty, but it’s already kinda pre-mixed. You just cut a chunk off and work it till its all one (stinky) uniform color.
After it hardened I was absolutely floored that it actually had some (incredibly small) magnetic properties. My little rare earth magnet tugged ever so gently towards the lump of cured epoxy, and stayed put when I set the magnet on it. Now, it’s not going to hold anything on, or anything like that, it’s a verrrrrrrrrry weak bond and wont do anything for us. But, like I said, I was surprised there was actually enough metal content in the putty to do anything at all.
Idea 2: Nail Head
I found a pack of small nails that had a really small diameter head that was also quite thin. I was looking for tiny washers when I came across them. Turns out they were way smaller than any washer the store had, so I picked them up.
The head is about 3mm in diameter and half a mm thick.
I was an idiot on the initial try and placed the the entire nail on the arm, thinking it would be easier to cut the head off after the glue had dried.
Because it’s still a nail and kind of hard, when I used my wire cutters to cut the stem off, it broke the nail loose. Also, unless you have better wire cutters then I do (or find a softer nail) you’re probably going to leave a bit of a nub on the head, but that’s ok! I just drilled ever so slightly into the limb we’re magnitizing and basically pinned the nail head onto the arm. I think that will actually help the nail head stay on. I’m sure you could file the stem nub off if you so desire.
And because the nail head is so thin, you really don’t have to counter sink it into the limb if you don’t want to, which can save a fair amount of work.
So how did it work? Perfectly. I was able to pick the Scion up with the arm and even after flicking my wrist a bit, everything stayed stuck together.
Idea 3: Magnetic Sheet
This stuff actually worked better than I thought it would. I just cut a small bit out and superglued it to the powerfirst arm, and it stuck. Now, I couldn’t pick the mini up with that arm, but I don’t see it just falling off in a game either.
The Ferro-Epoxy is not going to do anything for you except stink up your hands, avoid this unless you need a super weak bond that can’t do anything.
On the other hand, the nail head is perfect, not a lot of prep work, no polarity to worry about messing up and it was dirt cheap—like a $1.50 for a couple or dozen. It was also more than strong enough.
Finally the magnetic sheet worked ok, as the arm stayed put, but really didn’t like to be handled. On the plus side, polarity wasn’t an issue, so that’s helpful (and maybe kind of weird—much like ICP, I’m not sure how magnets work). I could maybe see it being useful if you had a weird shape to magnetize, cutting the sheet would be pretty easy to match a shape and it’s fairly thin, so you wouldn’t need to counter sink it.
I’m sure someone(s) have already posted something like this, but I couldn’t find it, though there was no easy way to search—everything came back with two magnets, which is why I’m calling this single magnet magnetizing.