All posts for the month January, 2011

basecoat color.

You thought I was gonna say dollar, didn’t you?  Ha!  Horrible excuses for jokes aside, I’ve been crankin’ away on my OGJ models.  With the skin done, the only things left are scale, details (teeth, red gums), and the armor on the Nephilim, and basing of course.

Without adieu…

The converted carnivean:

Nephilim Bolt Thrower


Spell Martyr

And, the customary group shot:
I can tell with every photo that my lightbox desperately needs lighting on the sides.  Someday.
On a completely unrelated note, I am fairly certain that I’ll be attending Templecon.  Enough circumstances have collided that I should be able to go, so that will be awesome.  Special thanks to my wife, for while I’m away having fun and being a nerd, she’ll be making countless trips from old apartment to new condo, moving all our crap.
With that in mind, I’ll be packing as much stuff as possible to make said trips as painless for her as possible.  Between packing sessions, I’m hoping to wrap these up ASAP.  Having a three day weekend this weekend will certainly help.  
Lastly, next week I’m helping a friend polish off his Farrow army so he can run fully painted.  Should be a nice change from the aquablight, and a fun exercise in speed painting.
‘Til next time, Peace.

I had today off because it’s MLK, Jr. day, and I enjoyed a long day of WoW and painting.  Let me start at the beginning.

Saturday, my wife and I got up, got in the car and headed to Baltimore for the tournament.  I dropped her off at a history museum in town, then headed out to Glen Burnie.  I got there, got to the store and realized everyone was playing Warhammer Fantasy.  I pulled out my hand dandy Blackberry to find out that I was off by a day.  My tournament was tomorrow.  My language was colorful, to say the least.


It wasn’t all bad though.  The store did have Old Witch & Scrapjack who I have been having a hard time finding on  They also had superglue.  Yay!

The trip wasn’t a total loss. I found a place that sold the medication I had made my mind I would be taking for my, well, male issue let’s say. I had been hesitant to order it online, I never know if it’ll arrive, or if I will be there to receive it if it does. I was going to order it from its original site, Turns out I didn’t have to because I found a store that sold it!
I’m also very happy to have Old Witch & Scrapjack.  I have a list that I’ve been playing with on the forum that is fairly solid with Irusk, Strakov and Old Witch, so that’s a pretty nice variety with only caster swaps.

So, I called my wife, admitted my mistake and we toured the history museum for about an hour.  They had a cool armory, and I took a picture with this shield gun.  

I felt like a Man-o-War Shocktrooper!  The plaque said the things were difficult to aim since it was too heavy.  Not very practical.  Hopefully the Man-o-Wars are better trained than the guys that used these.
After the museum, we stopped by Mama’s on the Half Shell, and I had the largest Fish’n’Chips, I’ve ever had:


Yes, it’s as long as my torso is wide…



Sunday, I worked more on Karchev.  I built a rear bumper looking apparatus out of wire:
Do you suppose he beeps when he backs up?


I then clad this in plasticard and mocked up a skirt type deal with sticky-tak.  I’m trying to capture the movement as he’s running forward.  The bottom part should be swinging towards the rear foot as the top starts to swing towards the forward foot as his hips are in the process of rotating the other direction.  The yellow doesn’t show it terribly well, but here’s the WIP shot I took:
I’m thinking when it’s greenstuff and I add holes and tatters, it’ll look much better.  If it looks terrible, we’ll call it a prototype and try again.
Lastly, I got my Legion for the Online Gamer’s Journal primed, and I’ve basecoated the skin with GW’s Codex Grey:
Yay!  Busy weekend, and a short week, since this week is our scheduled Friday off.  w00t.



So, while I wait for my Legion primer coat to cure, I’m working on Karchev.  I got the model as a conversion.  I have all of his upper half, but the legs from a Devaatator were used, and there was no skirt for him.  So…

Devastator legs are very static.  I want Karchev to be very dynamic.  Thus, something had to be done!  The following cut was made with my jeweler’s saw (after the tab was removed):

This allowed me to rotate the left leg back into a “pushing off the ground” pose.  With the other one firmly planted, he’ll look like he’s lumbering forward.  I also cut a little into the left foot.  Just enough to ‘score’ the line between toes and foot.  That let me bend up his toes.  Here’s the result with the new left leg pinned to the body (but not yet glued)

So far, so good!  Now, to scratch build a skirt!

Since the Paint Stripping tutorial was a success, here’s the next one.  Spray Painting, or Priming models.

primer is a preparatory coating put on materials before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the material being painted.

 – Wikipedia

There are two questions that are asked frequently:  What paint (brand) should I use?  What color?  I’ll do my best to address those as well as explain my spray painting process.  It’s by no means THE way to do it, but it works for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Choosing Your Paint


First off, you’ll want an enamel spray paint.  Acrylics dry superfast when not speeding through the air in tiny little droplets, so you can imagine why acrylics aren’t practical for spray paints.   (They dry up before they even hit the model…)  Enamels are the way to go.  Make sure your can says “Enamel” on the front.

Flat paint only.  Never, ever, ever, ever (ever) use gloss paint as a primer.  (Ever.)  Gloss paint is formulated to dry into the smoothest surface possible.  That’s how it gets the shine.  Gloss paint will not hold brush on paint well at all.  Flat paint dries into a rough surface (on the molecular level), and since it has that roughness, brush on paint adheres pretty darn well.  So long as you use a flat paint, GW, PP and other hobby paints should have no issue adhering and staying on the model.  If you do have issues, it’s likely bad paint – bad primer or bad hobby paint.

My brand of choice is Testors.   I have also had success with Krylon, but it tends to be more temperamental about weather.  I would discourage Rustoleum, since it’s mainly formulated for cars and outdoor applications.  I would also discourage any house brands your local hobby store may have – I tried them once and it was horrible.  Some folks swear by Krylon’s Sandable Primer.  I’ve not used it, but that’s mainly because I prefer flat black, and I’ve only ever seen this in grey.  The sandable primer is said to have the mildest of acids, so it etches itself into the surface, giving it tremendous hold.  I can only speak to what I’ve used.  Testor’s is for me.

Testor’s uses a standard cone nozzle.  The spray is fairly uniform, and if you were to shoot a wall without moving the can, you’ll get a circle.  Krylon sometimes boasts a flat nozzle, so what you get is more like a line.  If you shoot a wall, you’ll get an ellipse or oval shape.  Both work fine, and the flat is in fact more forgiving.  However, it does not cover as well because less paint is being applied.

Coverage is the bastard child of paint formulation, nozzle shape and painter technique.  Mess up any of the three, and you’ll have to do a second coat (or third).  On the other hand, if one is bad, the other two can make up for it (often at the sacrifice of detail).  

If the paint in the can is too diluted, it’ll go on thin, may not stick, and you’ll get bad coverage.  You’ll know this is the case because it looks more like a wash – pooling into recesses and all the raised detail shows shows through the coat.  This is fixed by doing two super light coats, paint slower (so more paint gets on the model, or by using a different can.  Only the third option saves detail.

If the nozzle doesn’t put out enough paint, you’ll get a thin coat and the paint may not actually be able to smooth itself.  By smooth itself, I mean that the droplets on the model mesh together (as a liquid), and flow into each other forming a uniform coat.  If the droplets can’t reach each other (because there aren’t enough of them to bridge the gaps), no smoothing, it’ll feel like sandpaper.  This is fixed by painting slower, so more paint gets on the model.

All spray paints work on all types of models.  All brush-on paint should work just fine with all primers.  Nothing is exclusive, and to my knowledge, no particular combination gives you the “best” results.  Much like which paint line to use (GW, P3, Reaper, etc) your primer choice is up to personal taste and experiences.  If you’re just starting out, give what I do a try.  If it doesn’t work for you, start changing things one at a time until you get the results you want.


The biggest factor in choosing a primer color is your scheme.  Is your scheme bright, like Menoth’s studio scheme?  Is it dark, like Cryx?  Is it somewhere in the middle, with lights and darks?  Are you using warm colors (red, orange, yellow, brass) or cold colors (blues, greens, purples, steel, brown).

Here’s my “rule of thumb” – If the scheme is mostly bright colors, go with white primer.  Everything else, go black.  If you really aren’t sure, get a can of each and do two test models.  Whichever is easier / faster / looks best – that’s the primer for your scheme.

Alternatively, if your scheme is mostly one color, you could always use that color as your primer.  Doing Khador?  Pick up some flat red for example.

How to?
A step-by step…

  1. Make sure the models are clean.  Dish soap and water before or after assembly will get rid of mold release (an oil used in manufacturing to ensure the parts slip from the mold easily).
  2. Find a place.  It should be well ventilated (outdoors is best) and you don’t want anything you care about nearby – you don’t want to accidentally spray paint your car or pet.  If you must be indoors, use a large box to contain the worst of the overspray and use an open window and fan.  Breathe as little as possible.
    1. Be somewhere where the air is calm.  Wind will move the paint around, and you’ll have a heck of a time getting it to hit the model.
    2. Humidity can be an issue.  Too humid has never hurt me, but too dry and the air sucks the moisture out of the paint, and it lands dry.  Then it won’t pool and your models feel like sandpaper.
  3. Prep the models.  I prefer to do each model individually in its entirety before moving on.  I use stick tac to adhere my models to old cans of spray paint:
  4. Stick to the base first…

    … then to the cap.

  5. Shake the can well.  2+ minutes is sufficient.  (I play a song on iTunes and shake for the entirety, which is usually 3+ minutes).  If the paint feels like sandpaper when it dries, it could be that the paint and propellant weren’t mixed well enough.  Shake it, baby!
  6. At about arms length, spray the model evenly.  Check out this video…
  7. It’s 40 degrees out and I’m using a still camera to tape this.  I apologize for how horrible it is…
  8. Don’t touch the models for however it says on the can.  My stuff says dry to the touch in about 12 minutes.  I give ’em an hour or overnight.  Better safe than sorry.
  9. Fix anything you missed with black (or white) brush-on paint.  Invariably you’ll miss something.  It’s not worth waiting half a day for spray paint to dry.  Just use brush-on.

That’s the jist of it.  I hope this has been helpful!  Please post any comments or questions below or on the PP forum.  I’m by no means an authority on this, but I’ll do my best to get you an answer promptly.

So, I was so stoked about this project, I just kept on going.

It’s subtle, but sometimes the simplest conversions look the best.  I hope this falls into that category.  I went back to an original forearm.  There was too much work involved for not enough gain.  Besides, with a completely changed flipper, no one will be looking at the forearms anyway.  In my opinion, he looks as if he’s in mid stride, looking for a target.

So you can see all the alterations were done on one side.  The rear leg was extended just a bit, looking like it’s pushing off the ground, and the arm on the same side bent roughly 45 degrees forward and about 20 degrees in ward, adding a forward swing motion.
The greenstuff on the arm looks bumpy, but I assure you, it’s sculpted to look like folds of skin.  Hopefully it’ll look good when painted.
Him and the rest of the OGJ crew will get paint tomorrow.  I’ll be doing double duty by attempting to write a spray painting tutorial while I prime them.  In mid-winter.  In an apartment building.  I’m still not sure how I’ll pull this off.
Wish me luck at the tournament tomorrow!