This post will mostly be about the fabled hairspray technique.  Believe it or not, I’ve never actually used it before.  Not through not wanting to, just never having an opportunity.  Plus I’ve never actually been convinced of how successful it is as a technique.  Whats always concerned me is removing the sand, salt, sugar or whatever it is you choose to use.  So, this post is mostly about my adventures with this technique.

So what compelled me to use it?  Well, I want the exterior to look like its rusting.  When you see rust on car, trucks etc it generally starts at weld points, joints etc.  To replicated this I couldn’t use the sponge technique.  When you apply a sponge with paint on it, it is applied to raised surfaces.  Not internal corners or where two materials would theoretically join.  By using the sand and my applicator, I was able to ‘mask’ these joints using sand.  Hence, why I opted to explore using this technique.

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My chosen hairspray… VO5 sounded cool.  I made a small applicator out of paper to assist with more accurate placement of the sand.  By the way, I got the sand from a hardware store.  Nothing special.

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Making an applicator seemed like a good idea at the time…

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Did it work?  I think so.  However before I went hell for leather, I painted a small piece (below) and experimented with how I’d remove the sand.  Remember, I’ve actually based some of the sections of this model with craft wood.  I’ve also attached the basing material with PVA glue.  Both of these materials react poorly when exposed to moisture.

I wasn’t too concerned with the vast majority of the pieces of this kit getting wet.  They’re resin after all.  However I was concerned with the modules  This meant I had to be very careful removing the sand.

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As you can see from the two test pieces, the technique is quite affective.  The only thing I found I had to be careful of was using too much water.  This caused the paint to soften and come off.  So I found the best way was to apply a light coat of water, let it sit for a minute or two, and then with a tooth brush and wide flat paint brush, gently remove the sand.  It comes off quite easily.  Then I just gave it a quick rinse.

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After I was satisfied with how the technique was going to work with the model, I then went ahead and added the sand to the rest of the pieces then painted them their top coat.  I was really happy with how it was all coming together at this stage.

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So, as you can see this base is really looking the business.  If I’d had my time over again I would have done a few things slightly differently.  The first one being not so liberal with the sand.  It’s a very small point however there are areas where I feel I went a little over the top.  The other thing I would have done is sealed the brown coat with a clear gloss.  I think this would have assisted in allowing the sand to come off with greater ease.  I don’t know this for certain, just theorising.

So from here, I’ll be applying a clear gloss coat to the model surfaces and applying oils…  until next post!

Thanks for dropping in

John

Welcome back to another Anphelion Base update.  Things are getting pretty serious now!  The models been cleaned and assembled (years of therapy ahead over that one).  It’s been based and undercoated, then the interior was painted.  Its now time to mask the interior and begin to paint the exterior.

First up, masking

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The photos of this stage will be fairly self explanatory, so I’ll dispense with the commentary

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A pretty light on post.  I didn’t want to spend too much time describing what is essentially sticking tape to a model then spraying it.  However what I will say is that the model isn’t going to be brown.  This is the undercoat.  I’ll be using the hairspray technique as one of the weathering stages of this model.  But that will be in the next post…

Until then, thanks for dropping in

John

Hello everyone,

This is a post I’ve been thinking about for some time.  Two things have prompted me into action.  The first one is recently I’ve had a few people actually send me questions that more or less fall into this category.   I thought I could help a little by just putting down a few ideas on getting started rather than answering all the questions individually.  That way there will be something to refer to in the future.  I’ve also made a shopping list PDF that you can download at the end of the article.

The second reason is how much positive feedback I’ve had from my How to buy an Airbrush setup post.  When I wrote that I never thought it would have gotten as much air time as it has.  It seems some people thought my ideas were helpful.  Maybe my ideas on painting area setup will be too.

So I’ve actually been on a pretty hardcore (coffee fuelled) modelling bender for the last few weeks.  The fruits of which you’re seeing now, plus a few others to come.  I actually finished off what I was working on a few weeks ago now and its given me pause to consider what I’d like to work on.  I’ve still got plenty of World Eaters to paint, plus another project I’m going to start in the not too distant future which I haven’t announced yet.  However in the mean time, before getting back into painting, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on setting up a painting area.

This post is mainly aimed at the beginner, so its a very basic guide.  Getting into this hobby can be initially quite overwhelming.  There are the rules to get your head around, all of the amazingly detailed models available and of course seeing the exceptionally aspirational painting that accompany those models can be quite daunting.  Especially after you have your first  go at painting one yourself.  Finally, some of the starter kits and painting area accessories commonly available are not, in my opinion, very good.

So I’ll break the areas that I think need attention down into four categories.

1.  Painting space

2.  Painting space setup

3.  Painting Accessories

4.  Paints, Brushes and extras

So lets begin with the first area, the painting space.  The most important aspect to your painting space is it needs to be permanent.  It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or even new.  Just somewhere that you don’t have to pack up and pull down every time you paint.  Mine is actually in my garage!  A space of 1200mm x 600mm is more than enough.  In Australia you can buy this desk for $78.  I actually saw a desk at K-Mart the other day for $29! How the hell they do that is anyones guess.

Officeworks desk

This desk will be more than adequate for your needs and won’t take up a lot of space either.  What it does mean though is that you can have your painting space set up and projects laid out.  You’ll know that if the urge to paint comes along, you can just sit down and get stuck into it.  No sitting down at the dining room or coffee table, setting up, getting disturbed etc.

Forget those portable painting stations that sit in your lap.  Not only are they a woefully  inadequate in terms of workspace, but they also promote terrible ergonomics.  Seriously, they’re crap.

Next up is Painting Space Setup.  This is the area where I see most guys come unstuck.  What to have besides paint and brushes at their table.  The first thing you must get (besides a permanent space) is a lamp.  I can not emphasise this enough.  Get a lamp, and one with a daylight globe.  Having proper task lighting is absolutely critical.  Not only does it mean that you can paint day or night.  There are also a few other reasons that this can not be over looked.  The first (and most important) is your eyesight.  Painting models in sub-optimal lighting will ruin your eyesight, and by the time your in the late 30’s you’ll be in serious trouble.  Thats not cool.  Even if you paint in broad daylight next to a window in your bedroom, you’re damaging your eyes.  Count on it.  If you really doubt what I’m saying, speak to an optometrist.

The other reason a lamp with a daylight globe is necessary is colour perception.  Colour and how we perceive it is a massive topic that is far outside the scope of this post.  All you really need to know is that the globe you put into your lamp need to be daylight globes (5000k) and ideally from a non incandescent source.  This just means that the globes don’t get hot when you use them, thus drying your paint prematurely.   Don’t use fluorescent lamps or straight warm or cool house globes.  They’ll severely distort the look of the colours you’re putting on the model.    There are several specific types of lamps now made for hobbyist, some using LED as the light source and have built in magnifiers.

Desk lamp 1This one commonly available from modelling stores for around $60.  I personally do not like them as I find the magnifier difficult and impractical plus they get in my painting space because of their size and lack of adjustably.    I use on my table three (3) commonly available desk lamps that I buy from a large retail hardware chain here in Australia.  I use three for several reasons. First is to get enough task light for my subject, and the second is contrast.  By having light coming from three different directions, I avoid shadows and ‘flat’ areas in my lighting.

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This is the lamp and globe I use.  The lamps cost about $20 each and the globes are about $5 each.  So I have three set up, one in the centre, one on the top left and right hand side of the painting area.

Next up is a cutting matt.  There are many different types available now, I get mine from a craft store, its A3 in size and  cost about $20.  These just proved a nice surface to cut on so you don’t damage the desk or the blade you’re cutting with.

cutting mattThe final item you need is a storage container.  I use Sistema 7 litre storage containers.  Get one or two of these so that between painting sessions your models wont get dust on them etc.  Sounds finicky but is well worth it.  Sometimes I may not paint for a month or two.  Think about how dusty your house gets if you don’t clean it regularly.  Well, that dust will end up on your models if you don’t protect them.  We recently had some summer bush fires about 100km from where I live.  The amount of airborne particles increased dramatically.  If I didn’t keep my unpainted models in an airtight container that ash would have settled on them.  These are about $15 each.

7L Sistema container

Now lets move onto Painting Accessories.  This is basically two organisational aids.  The first is a paint carousel.  Now, there are many paint organisers on the market.  Most not commercially available are the tier variety, or paint stadium as I like to call them.  The reason I don’t like these is that they take up too much space compared to the amount of paint they hold.  They take up valuable real estate on your desk.  This is the one I use.  It holds 80 paints and is very economical.  It costs about $70.  It’s also capable of storing many different brands of paint too.  I got mine from here

Carrousel paint holder

The other item I have on my desk is this rotary tray.  For basically the same reason as the paint carousel, except this is where I keep my brushes, clippers, knives, tweezers etc.  I got it from the same place.  It costs about $30.

Rotary Tray

Finally its Paints, Brushes and extras.  We’ll start with paints.  I use the Citadel range.  I’ve been using the Citadel range of paints for close to 20yrs.  Until they changed their range recently, I would never have swapped.  However I’m not completely happy with some aspects of the new range, so I may change in the future.  So, what to buy?  To start off with all you need to do is buy a neutral red, blue and yellow, plus a black and white.  You may also want to get a bone colour, brown and finally a cool and warm grey.  The last three suggestions are actually difficult to mix, so its easier to just buy them.  Get a light and dark metallic silver and gold too.  Finally, get a red, blue, yellow, black and brown ink (Siena).

Brushes.  You can spend a fortune in this area.  I do not claim to be an expert on brushes either (or anything else for that matter!)  However I know what I like brush wise.  I like to get Winson & Newton Water Colour Sceptor 101 Brushes  What I like about them is they’re readily available and good value.  I typically use a #0, #1 & #3.  Looking after brushes is very important.  This is especially true when using acrylics.  At the beginning of every paint session make sure you have fresh water for washing your brushes out with.  Also, if you’re going to be using one colour for a prolonged period, wash it out very regularly.  Brushes work on capillary action.   Make sure paint doesn’t dry around the region when the ferrule and brush meet.  This will spell disaster for the brush.  So keep it clean and free from dried paint building up and your brushes will last you a long time.

I also like to buy some super cheap brushes that you get in the $1 shop.  I like to get them for just random jobs like putting PVA glue onto a base or whatever.  It means that my good painting brushes only get used to paint with and not trashed.

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Winsor & Newton Sceptre Water Colour Brushes. They have a distinctive red handle

Extras.  Here is a short list of other things I think everyone who’s starting out should get their hands on.  The first item is some stackable storage containers.  I use these to keep basing materials in.  I don’t buy basing kits, I just make my own.  Far more interesting and cost effective.  So one container I keep sand in, the other some kitty litter, the other some random model bits and the last one bits of cork, skulls, slate and whatever.  I pick these up from an automotive store for about $2 each.  Very handy

Stack Containers

Painting palettes.  I get these from the $1 store (while I get my cheap brushes).  They’re $1 each and much cheaper than the brand name option.  Get a couple, they come in handy.

Paint Palette

Last but not least, a hobby knife with a #11 blade, some good quality side cutters, a small pot of PVA glue and some tubes of Super Glue.  I actually get these from the $1 store too.  The clippers are meant for ladies manicures and the hobby knife is located generally not too far from the cheap brushes and palettes.  Again, don’t buy the Brand name option.  

Well, thats it folks.  I know getting into this hobby can be daunting.  There are so many things to think about, however having a permeant work space with good lighting is essential.  I can not overstate how important a good task like is.  Then just get a few basics that will serve you for years to come.  Now, this shopping list runs about about $440-ish.  However remember, these are largely one off purchases.  So don’t get overwhelmed by it.

If you like this hobby, these items will be used countless times and the cost will pale into insignificance compared to the value they’ll bring.  Plus, they are a solid foundation for expanding what you may want to get in the future.  Like an Air Brush

If you’d like to download the list as a PDF, click here

I hope this beginners guide to setting up has helped.  If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section and I’ll be happy to respond to them.

Thanks for dropping in

John

Welcome back!

With undercoating complete, its now time to get down to business.  I always knew this was going to be a big job.  From previous experience making scenery I knew that I had to do a few things a bit differently painting wise to last time.  I ran up a small fortune in paint.  Using those little Citadel paints to paint huge pieces of scenery is not only tedious but also very expensive.  Also, modelling airbrushes are just not designed to paint large amounts of flat surfaces, they lack the paint capacity.

So, off I went to my local art store to investigate other possibilities paint wise, and to my local automotive store to look at other methods of paint application.  Below is a photo of what I came up with.

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I’ve actually used Liquitex paints before.  Back in my Vinyl 1/4 action hero painting days.  They’re very high quality and also importantly, affordable.  In addition, they also have a range of additive for their paints.  Gel mediums, matte and gloss varnishes etc, plus as you can see in the picture, an airbrush medium.  I thought I’d give it a shot.  I also purchased a HPLV touch up spray gun from the automotive store.  It has a 100ml reservoir, much better than my airbrushes 10ml.

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A close up of the paint and airbrush medium for those of you who like specifics.

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So I purchased a few containers from the local supermarket and got mixing.  I made up about 100ml, didn’t really know how much I’d actually need, but this seemed like a lot!

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So after a bit of wrestling with the paint gun this is what I came up with.  The airbrush medium was ok, however I found that it really helped if I added some mentholated sprits to the mix.  The alcohol helps application as it evaporates quicker than the airbrush medium and therefore assists in paint coverage.  Overall very happy with the results.

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Just a bit of cutting in with a brown ink

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More cutting in of the wall panels… it was a tedious job.

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As you know, my plan for this base is that its been abandoned.  Therefore I want the internals, and externals to be very  weathered and decrepit after decades (centuries) of neglect.

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After a quick gloss varnish, I applied some oil paints to complete the effect.

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A close up of a ‘pod’ or whatever they’re called.  As you can see, it pretty derelict (derelicte)

I’m pretty happy with how this is coming along.  My next step is the mask up all of the interior surfaces and get ready for painting the exterior.  This is going to be a massive job.

Ok, thats it for now.  Until next time, thanks for dropping in

John

Well, I finished off these recently.  I’m actually very happy with the outcome.  As I mentioned in my pervious post, this is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time now.  Just seems like a novel idea.  They’re now molded and cast. The originals are kept in storage, the models in these pictures are casts.  As you can see from the pictures I’ve added roman numeral decals to them.  I got them from the Space Marine transfer sheet.  I’ve done this for the mission in the 6th ed 40k rule book, The Scourging.  I figure that once the objectives are placed on the table and just before the game begins, my opponent and I can randomly generate the objective values

ie objective I = 3, II = 2, III = 4, IV = 1, V = 3 and VI = 2.  This can be randomly generated each game.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the pictures.

World Eater Objective Marker Back World Eater Objective Marker Front

Until next time, thanks for dropping in

John

So, this is part two of this project.  Basically we’re up to under coating at this stage.  Assembly is a distant memory, however I feel that it will haunt me for the rest of my days.  It was seriously hard work.  A task I’m thankful I’ll probably only ever do once in my life.

Ok, lets get down to business.  One thing I really wanted to do to the landing pad is not to have a gap between the ground and the underside of the landing platform.  I also wanted to make whatever I put in that gap be suitable and fitting with the character of the base, and finally, be simple and easy to produce (I’m quite a lazy bugger you see)

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So what I settled on was getting some of the old Necromunda bulkheads.  Remember these?

Big Jim, if you’re reading this, thanks for donating them.

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So basically I chopped a bunch of them up up to make a panel wide enough to span the gap between the support pylons on the landing pad.IMG_339053

Because I needed about eight lengths, I decided to make a quick one piece mold of the newly constructed panel so I can make the appropriate amount of casts.

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And the cast panel.  These will come in handy later on too.  They have a lot of character and will make useful bits later on…

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I also did a test paint scheme piece for the base.  I want it to look very neglected (it is abandoned after all)  I like how it came out.

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Here is a close up of some of the scatter terrain.  I really like the shipping container looking objects.  Again, more Necromunda bulkheads glued together and cast.

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The cast panel in place on the landing pad.  In case you’re wondering, the basing material I use is kitty litter, and a type of small rocks that are used in reptile enclosures.  I just like the consistency.

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The rest of these photos are of the base assembled and undercoated.  As I’ve mentioned, getting it to this stage was a massive mission.  However it’s really pleasing to see it at this stage.  I have to admit, when I saw it all assembled like this, it really renewed my enthusiasm for the project.  It was waining…

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The next few photos reveal the interior.  I’ve started undercoating it grey because I plan on painting the interior white.

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So, next step is to start working on the interior.  This is going to be a pretty straight forward part actually.  Except for the interior panel inserts.  Particularly the ones I’ve chosen for the ‘quad gun’ and ‘comms relay’ controls.

Ok, thanks for dropping in,

Until next post

John

I’ve been wanting to make some awesome objective markers for my World Eaters army for some time now.  I got a bolt of inspiration when I was painting Angron.  On his base (as well as Fulgrims and Ferrus Manus) are dead and dying space marines.  I thought to myself that these models would make great objective markers.  However the thought of desecrating a Primarchs base was too much to contemplate (especially the $$).  However after a lot of thought I decided just to do it… and this is what I came up with

World Eaters Objective Markers

In this photo, they are still not finished, but it’ll give you a pretty good idea of where I’m going with them.  The white plates are for dice to rest on so players can indicated what mysterious objective they represent.  I actually plan on molding these and making casts of them once they’re complete.  I plan on giving them away to participants at The Emperors Legions, a 1000pt, 30k comp I’m running in March of 2014.

Thats it for now, thanks for dropping in

John

I’ve been waiting to tell you all about this for the LONGEST time.  Earlier this year I actually acquired an unassembled (mostly) and unpainted Anphelion Base.  For those of you that don’t know, the Anphelion Base was an extremely ambitious piece of 40k terrain that Forge World made to accompany Imperial Armour IV  – The Amphelion Project.  These kits are very very rare.  When they were released back in the early 2000’s they were over $1,500AUD to buy, and were notoriously difficult to assemble (this one lived up to that reputation)  When I say difficult to assemble, what I mean is, during assembly, most of the time you feel like smashing it to little pieces using a hammer.

So my idea for the base was to make a table that represented some sort of abandoned Adeptus Mechanicus research station, with an entrance to an underground laboratory just nearby.  I’ve been wanting to use the Forge World Imperial Strong Point  I painted for my Carcharodons for some time.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It will act as the entrance to the subterranean laboratory.

Now, this series of blog post is going to be slightly different from my usual ones.  I’m actually going to include work in progress photos along with commentary.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  The first one is this is such an awesome model, I want you all to be able to live vicariously through this blog during the assembly of this amazing model.  The second reason is, I’ve not found many comprehensive blog post on the inter-webs on this model.  I’ve seen a few pics of other modellers here and there, but no ‘this is how I built and painted the Anphelion Base’.  So, in the interests of prosperity, I’ve taken it upon myself to provide the inter-webs with just such a post.

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The first step is to get the layout how I wanted it.  One thing I knew about this kit is that 1.  It was going to be mounted on MDF (Craft wood) and 2.  I was going to have to make molds of certain parts because with what I had, I couldn’t make the layout I wanted.

Lets start with the MDF base.  One thing that really irritates me about scenery mounted on MDF is the lip.  The base for the building or whatever gets cut out of MDF and thats it, just  really harsh shoulder between the board and the model base.  I didn’t want my piece to have this issue, I wanted to make sure that the edge of the MDF was made more into a ramp so that minis can balance properly, and its aesthetically  pleasing on the table.

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The first thing I did was draw outlines of all the various modules of the base on to MDF.  This included the ‘buttresses’

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I then added about 20mm around the module to allow for the ramped lip etc

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Then marked up the MDF ready for being cut out

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The halls were a much easier prospect…

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As was the intersection…

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Then it was time to cut them all out

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One problem I didn’t anticipate was the wide base of the hall going into the narrow base of the intersection.  I had to put my thinking cap on for this one…

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I ended up just making a small modification to the hall base to allow for a smooth transition between pieces.

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So now the hall goes into the module and the intersection smoothly.

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Next up with the very messy job of sanding the ramp onto the lips of all the bases.. epic job.  I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have a good dust extraction method and dust mask.  MDF is seriously bad stuff to breath in.  Maybe thats why no one bothers to make a better lip transition?

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Nice

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After I’d done this, I went back to all the joins and ‘aligned’ them.  Which basically involved going back to each one and making minor modifications to ensure the joints overlaped and joined smoothly.

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Just another pic of a fixed up joint

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The MDF bases of the base all organised.  This didn’t take as much time as you’d think.  The results will be well worth it in the end.

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So I also wanted some scatter terrain too.  I made a mold of the ‘containers’ so I could have a few floating around the base.  You’ll also notice the landing pad has two ramps indicated on the base.  So yeah… I’ll mold that section too.

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So I mounted the scatter terrain on MDF bases too.  I also added a few barrels etc to give it some more visual interest.

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There you go, the Anphellion base is now ready to be glued onto the MDF, then undercoated.  I don’t know if its clear in the photos but if you look closely you can see the that the layout I’ve come up with is different to the actual models that I’ve got.  So I’ll have to make molds of the pieces I need.  This will be a pretty big job too.  I won’t do a post on the mold making process as thats a series of post in its self!.  You’ll just have to believe me that it happened and I achieved the desired results.  In future posts though you’ll notice the molded sections because they’ll be white.

Ok, thats it for now, until next time.  Thanks for dropping in

John

So, that time of the year has rolled around again where I’ve made the epic journey upto Townsville for the annual ADFWGA fund raiser.  Do you remember last years post?

I’ve not really participated in that many tournaments in 2013, in fact, I’ve not even played that many games.  I’m more about 30k or social playing 40k these days.  However, the ADFWGA put on a great show, and its for a very good cause.  This year the 40k tournament was 1750pts and I took my Iron Hands.  I didn’t use the new mini dex however.

I also ran the painting workshop, which this year was focused on batch painting.  I believe we raised $500.  Also, one of the guys who attended won an airbrush set up in the raffle at the end of the comp!

So I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

ADFWGA donation

So all the models and paint for the painting tutorial were generously donated by Battle station Ipswich.  Roughly about $700 worth.  Extremely generous

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The painting workshop in full swing.  There were many skill levels and painting backgrounds represented.  Everyone learned some new skills and had a good time.  It was a seriously long day though.  I was exhausted! Having only gotten back from my trip to Europe 3 day prior didn’t help either… Next year I’ll stick to painting sides of tanks!

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The calm before the storm.  One thing I really like about the ADFWGA comps is how well they are organised.  They are by far and away the bench mark for tournaments in Australia.  No other events even come close to touching these comps.  IMG_329104

The scenery is always very high quality too.  The tables have a great admin area on them to put your army, books etc.  They even have a table to follow so you dont forget any pre-game admin, like warlord traits etc.  Very helpful, especially for people like me who don’t play that often anymore…

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As usual, the armies are all really interesting and high quality.  This one was one of the more interesting ones.  Its and Eldar Exodite army.  Tones of converting and custom work were put into this army to get it looking right.  Not only that, but the paint job was excellent too.  Sadly the owner didn’t manage to get it finished in time, so they were ineligible for a prize etc.  Pity.  Pardon my crappy iPhone photos.

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This was an army I actually played against.  I was really impressed with the paint job.  It was well thought out and skilfully executed.  I was genuinely shocked that it didn’t get a better painting score, or even a place for that matter.

Lots of nice blending and freehand work.  But yeah, Eldar.  My least favourite army to play against…IMG_329810 IMG_329911 IMG_330012

So overall I came 6th.  Which I was seriously surprised at.  I only won two games, and drew the other three.  My army list was just a very basic marine one.  I did however have A LOT of stand off fire power.  Which worked quite well actually, however I didn’t really have anything that could deliver the killing blow.  No heavy hitters that could get up into the enemies grill.

The Iron Hands also got second place for the painting comp too.  Which again, seriously surprised me.  The Iron Hands are quite an old army now, and I’ve come along way technically and creatively since I first painted them.  So to get that sort of score was pretty overwhelming.  I wish I’d actually taken the World Eaters and played them as CSM.  But I just didn’t have the time to paint what I wanted… And my Iron Hands army is MASSIVE, so lots of different choices available to me.

So overall the weekend was a great success.  The ADFWGA raised over $12,000 for Soldier on and many good games were had.  A big improvement on last years efforts, raising $10,000.

Next stop, the ANZAC Cup in April

John

So I’ve decided to run a 30k tournament.  I’ve actually wanted to run a tournament for some time now however I’ve just not had the time or whatever.  Late last year, around November I think, I decided to just get it started.  One of the reasons it took me so long to get it going in the first place was all the ideas I’ve had bouncing around in my head for a tournament.  It was a little overwhelming.  Then I thought, I really am enjoying 30k, I can keep a 30k tournament manageable size wise, and I’ve pretty much got enough scenery to run a modest sized event.  I didn’t want it to run along the usual tournament formula that we have here where I live.  No disrespect to our tournament scene organisers, TO’s are seriously unsung heros, and endure a lot with little to no thanks or rewards.  So much respect to all the TO’s I know.  I just want my event to run along a different formula.

So basically what I’ve done is put together an event that is something I’d really like to go to myself.  I also wanted to explore a few e-commerce tools I’ve been wanting to use for some time now.  e-commerce intrigues me, and to incorporate what is now available (most of the time free, or very cheaply) to increase efficiencies in the planning, administration and delivery of a tournament was an aspect that interested me too.

So I’ve played in enough tournaments now to know what I like and don’t like about them,

Some of the things I like about attending tournaments is;

  • meeting other hobbyist and making new friends – some of the most talented modellers and painters I now count amongst my friends I met through the tournament scene
  • getting to show off my army to other players, and have their army shown off to me – there is nothing like two really well painted armies clashing over a tabletop

Some of the things I don’t enjoy about attending tournaments…

  • Two day events – a whole weekend of gaming is a bit too much for me to bear
  • crappy scenery/tables
  • unpainted armies
  • I hate to say this, but I’m going to – the 40k meta game.  It’s way beyond a joke now.
  • The ‘hobby’ side of our hobby is marginalised/lip service given to.
  • Difficult to access for new hobbyists – going to a tourney can be a little scary, and if you go and find there are a lot of WAAC players, crappy scenery, unpainted armies it may put new players off – I really don’t like this.
  • Tournaments that are set up to cater for player tournament ranks maintenance

So I’ve spent the last 3 months planning a tournament I’d like to attend.  The Emperors Legions is what I came up with.    It’s a one day, Horus Heresy, 1,000pt, 5 game event that concludes with a meal, a few drinks, a 30k triva quiz and awards ceremony.  It’s limited to 10 players too, and is being held in a quality inner city hotel.  There is a strong emphasis placed on painting, sportsmanship and army composition.  Obviously winning games is important too, however this is not the man focus of this event.  In fact ‘generalship’ makes up only 25% of the overall score.

All the tables are going to consist of high quality scenery.  I’ve got some posts in the pipe line documenting the construction of some new scenery too.  They’ve just not come up yet as I’ve had other things to post.  They’re there, all done, just waiting in the que…. You’ll be in for a pretty big shock when you see what I’ve been working on too!

I’ve put together a 30k triva night too (with some help from a good friend of mine who I call a ’30k scholar’) I wanted to do this so that at the end of the event, all the players can hang around, share a meal together, make some new friends, swap stores of the day, and have a laugh.

I’ve made it 1,000pts so that we can get the event over and done with in a day.  Spending two days wargaming is a pretty big ask for me, and I’m guessing a lot of other people too.  1,000pts is a good size force, but isn’t too difficult to put together either.  So its accessible for new players.  One of the army lists I’ve received for the event already is 11 models!  If you’d like to see how a game of 30k plays out, have a look at my World Eaters v Iron Hands battle report

It’s also been interesting for me actually planning the event and incorporating some of the e-commerce solutions I’ve been wanting to explore.  Currently all tournaments (to the best of my knowledge) are advertised on a local forum.  I really wanted to move away from that and have a stand alone site dedicated to the administration of the tournament.  So it’s been enjoyable learning new skills (Thanks Jen)  and putting these things together.

If this tournament formula is successful, I’ve got some pretty big plans I’d like to see rolled out in subsequent events.  However this one is all about laying the ground work, getting a few of the bigger planning aspects proven.  I’m really excited about it and cant wait to see how it all goes.

So, if you live in Brisbane (or are willing to travel for the day) head on over to The Emperors Legions, download the players pack and register (there are only a few spots left though) Also, go like the Facebook page too.  You’ll be able to see plenty of pics of the day when it rolls up if you don’t live nearby.  If you just want to come and look, you’re more that welcome too!  If the painting standards of the current attendees is anything to go by, you’ll be seeing some of the best 30k armies on the planet (and scenery too)

Thanks for dropping in

John

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