01 – a Thousand Trees

image

“But it only takes one tree to make
A thousand matches
Only takes one match to burn
A thousand trees
A thousand trees”

It’s not often a modelling blog starts with the Stereophonics but I thought it was apt, it does, however, give away the easiest way to destroy a tree which probably isn’t the wisest thing to give away if you’re starting an army based on wood. Anyway, around a year ago I was browsing the armies with the wifey at the Liverpool GW store. As we looked at the Sylvaneth Treelord my wife said that it looked cool and I have to admit that it did. After that I picked up a box of dryads but they just ended up in my “to do” pile. With the release of the Sylvaneth starter set that contains a Treelord, a Branchwych and 16 dryads, I decided that it was time that I picked the starter set up and start my Sylvaneth glade.

So with a Branchwych, Treelord and 32 dryads to paint I needed to decided on a colour scheme. I wanted a colour scheme / theme that would work across several different order armies so that they’d look themeatically the same on the battlefield just in case I wanted to add some allies at a later date.

For the Sylvaneth I started looking at the different seasonal schemes other painters have used. The ones I was really drawn to were the autumnal ones that used brow, reds and yellows. There were two reasons why I decided against this, the first is that I wanted my Sylvaneth to represent a resurgence, a fresh start, a new hope, so that meant I’d have to go with a rich spring scheme. The second reason why I decided against an autumn theme was that it seemed really popular and I wanted to choose a scheme that was a little more unique, especially if I was going to base a combined order Order army on it.

After doing some searching online I came across a cherry blossom theme by Awaken Realms that this really inspired me. I just loved the way the pink popped against the white. The cherry blossom theme obviously lends itself to an oriental scheme which I thought might be cool to explore further as I build the glade and perhaps incorporate different armies.

image

So now with a scheme in mind I just had to work out what colours I needed to use in order to create the look I wanted but I’ll leave that for another blog.

05 – Terminator Captain

I have to admit I approached this model with a little trepidation as the captain wasn’t wearing his helmet, which meant i’d have to paint some flesh. I’ve always shied away painting flesh as there tends to be no middle ground in that it either looks good or crap.

So with this in mind I cracked open the various flesh shades contained in the Scale 75 Scalecolour range, Pink Flesh, Basic Flesh, Golden Skin, Light Skin, Pale Skin, along with Citadel’s Lahmian Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.

CkHTUedWYAIA9X6.jpg

I started with a base layer covering of thinned Pink Flesh. It took a few coats to get the colour uniform.After that it was just a case of building the highlights up but instead of thinning the paint with thinner I used the Lahmian Medium as I’ve found this is great for blending. After I’d added the first highlight of Basic Flesh I used a thinned wash of Reikland Earthshade just to pull the blends together. I then highlighted further with Golden Skin, Light Skin and a final highlight on Pale Skin. In between these layers I added every increasing thinned layers of Reikland where needed.

CkIG0qyXAAAab-6.jpg

After the flesh was painted I thought I’d try my hand at adding some details. Firstly with a really light purple mixed with a little Pale Flesh I started to pick out the veins in the head. It took my ages to do this but sadly I couldn’t get the camera to to pick them out.

After this I started on the facial and head stubble. This was done by mixing a light grey with some pale skin and applying it to the correct areas. Applying several coats made the hair look thicker. Once the hair was dry I applied a super thin wash of pale skin mixed with Lahmian to pull the colours together.

ClAxX-sXIAAjCmA.jpg

The only other thing of real note that I did differently on this model was to add some Emperor’s Children transfers to the cape as I wanted the cape to show the prestige of the Captain. The transfers were added using Micro Set and Micro Sol which is a must purchase if you’re adding transfers (I have a blog on Micro Sol and Micro Set in the pipeline). Once the transfer where set I added a layer of anti-shine, see here.

Cl_G3sFWEAYPuMo.jpg

Cl_G2cHXIAEpxz3.jpg

I’ll add some piccies later once I’ve finished the base!

Sale 75 – Scalecolour

scale-75.jpg

Last Christmas my wifey bought me the Scale 75 Colour Collection. The Colour Collection contains all the 63 ‘basic’ range colours that Scale 75 produce and it also comes with a large aluminum paint tray that can hold 70 bottles of paint. The paint colours are as follows:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The images above where taken from PaintRack app (see here for further details), it’s also worth noting that the Inktensity, Viking Gold and the Alchemy paints, although are Scale75 paints, are not part of the Colour Collection set but I have them listed in the slides above as they’re part of my Scale75 paint collection.

So after nine months of using the paints I thought it was about time that I wrote up my experience . The ScaleColour range is listed as having a ‘super matte finish’ and I have to admit that the paint finish is matte to the point of being almost chalky. Now I don’t want you to think chalky is in anyway bad it’s just that the ScaleColour has a really soft pastel finish to it which makes it ideal for blending. This chalky pastel colour range is fantastic for the foundation paint collection but there have been times where I’ve needed a really vibrant colour and I’ve had to use either a Citadel or Vallejo paint. To tackle this I’ve picked up the Scale75 Inktensity range to see if this will add some vibrancy when needed. I also expect that Scale75 Fantasy  & Games Collection will fill this gap. If Scale75 start selling the fantasy paint separately then I’ll pick some up to test but at the moment I don’t want to sink £118 into more paints.

Another thing that caught me out when I first came to use the paints is that each paint has a seal that needs to be broken before you can start using them. I presume this is to keep the paints fresh whilst they sit on a shelf in shop or a warehouse but if you’re not expecting it you can waste a few minutes wondering why no paint is coming out of the bottle when you’re squeezing it.

I also found that all the paints need a shake before use, and I mean a really good shake. One thing that did surprise me about the paint was how thick it is which means you only need a small amount, mixed with thinner, to go along way. In terms of thinner I’d really recommend the Scale 75 thinner as it seems to thin the paint Sioux diluting the pigmentation of the paint.

I’ve used the paint with a brush and also ran it through a paint brush and the coverage is great in both instances. Below is a picture of some Tomb Kings and Emperor’s Children that I’ve painted using the paints, I’m not the best painter but you get the idea.

IMG_3808

DSC_0816

In conclusion I really love these paints, they have a lovely soft, chalky, matte look to them. They provide good coverage but they do need to be thinned. They’re a quality product.

paintRack – the Greatest Painting App around

Capture.PNG

Like most hobbyist I’ve amassed a small* collection of paints in every hue imaginable in order to paint my battle hardened plastic warriors.

*read large collection, however, if anyone asks I will never have enough paints.

I own paints designed to be used with a brush, with an airbrush, to be dry brushed on, and to be washed on and they’re all from several different paint manufacturers; Citadel, P3, Vallejo, Scale75 and Army Painter (this doesn’t even cover the oil paints and pigments).

What I’ve found, however, is that I get colour blind with all the choice so I end up painting with my favorite paints at the moment, which is currently Scale75, and ignore the rest.This both limits my pallet and is a waste of the paint I own but haven’t considered as it wasn’t immediately at hand.

So the other night on twitter I asked the question to the #warmongers community

I recieve two responses to this question with both recommending paintRack

After downloading paintRack by @courageousocto and using it for a few days I can honestly say it’s excellent. The app allows you list paints from the Citadel, P3, Reaper, Vallejo, Warpaints, Tamiya, Scale75, Coat d’Arms, Citadel Classic, Minitaire, Watercolours, Humbrol, Andrea Colour, Ammo and Secret Weapon. You can add the paints by a simple click or just scan the barcode.

They’re two features however, that really make this app stand out for me. The first, is the library feature that lets you organise your paints, irrespective of brand, in colour order. I’ve found this really useful when picking out shades of paint for new schemes. The second features I really like is the ‘sets’ feature that allows you to store the colours you’ve used for specific models and their different elements, there’s even an area to add your mixing ratio notes. This for me is a great as I normally write my colour scheme down and then I lose the book a few days later.

So if you want an app that will list, organise, create sets, have a wish list and colour tools for your paints then this app is definitely worth looking at. I believe there’s a trial version but I immediately forked out for the full version at £2.79 after using it for a few minutes as I was really impressed. If you’re still not convinced then you can watch the promo video below.

 

And the link to the app on the Android Play store is here. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is available for the i-People.

Anti-Shine

During the continuing course of painting my Emperor’s Children I’ve started to use a lot more transfers. In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with transfers. On one hand they add a level of crisp detail that I don’t have the ability to match with a brush but on the other hand they always have a slight shine to them making them look as false as politician who is asked to carry out a normal activity in front of the press (for examples see the pictorial evidence below).


To try and remove the shine of the transfer I thought I’d try the Anti-Shine Matt Varnish by Army Painter. To apply the varnish I brushed it on like I would with paint. I applied a few layers over the transfer and the shine, at least to my eyes, was reduced. The Anti-Shine doesn’t seem to have affected the colour of the paint either which would have been a massive disappointment if it had.


In short along with the micro-set and micro-sol the Army Painter Anti-Shine will become a mainstay in my transfer arsenal. Buy some and use it for all your anti-shine needs.

Paint Killing

Whilst working on my EC chaplin’s cloak I noticed that some of the paint was starting to the rise off the model. I imagine that something stopped the base layer and the highlights from drying properly.

Using a brush and some water I managed to get most of the paint off the cloak but there were still some stubborn areas of paint left. As I wanted the cloak to be as smooth as possible these had to go before I repainted the cloak.

image

If I could avoid it I didn’t want to strip the rest of the paint off the model so I decided that I’d give Scale 75’s aptly named ‘PaintKiller’ a try.

image

Before buying the Paintkiller, from Elment Games, I did a few internet searches for reviews and couldn’t find any. Now I’ve been using the Scale 75 Scale Colour range, and they’re excellent, so this gave me some confidence that the PaintKiller would be a quality product.

The other day my Paintkiller arrived and I have to say I was fairly excited, well as excited as a grown man get over a bottle of clear liquid that wouldn’t get me intoxicated if drank it. Now one thing I’ve learnt in the few years I’ve been modeling is to always read the instructions and in this instance I’m glad I did as Paintkiller can only kill paint on resin or metal products. I have to say this came as a bit of a blow as I was after a miracle product that would remove paint from a plastic model.

image

The other reason I was a little bit narked was that I’d checked both the Scale 75 website and the retailers site and there was no mention on either about the restrictions on use. For my part I was probably being a little naive by thinking that a 100% plastic model safe paint stripper had been developed but I live in hope.

I do have a resin Dreadnaught that needs stripping and given an EC colour scheme so I can use the paint killer on that but for the plastic Chaplin I’m unsure of what to do. I will probably try cleaning the cape up a little more and then re-paint the cape OR I could find a plastic safe method of stripping the whole model and paint it all again OR as a last resort buy the model again from eBay as everyone is splitting the sets up.

 

Epilogue

Test 1 – Plastic

So the other night I thought ‘fuck it, I’m going use that Paint Killer on the Chaplin” so I made a little PaintKiller bath, dunked him and watched in amazement as the paint just fell off him within seconds. I used an old toothbrush to get to the paint in the creases of the model but other than that it needed no help. As you can see from the piccy the model hasn’t melted, exploded or gained superpowers. In short I’m super impressed with Paintkiller on a plastic model! Oh Scale 75 I think I love you…. please don’t break my heart because you have it now.

DSC_0693-01 [217613]

Test 2 – Resin

I picked up a Contempator Relic Dreadnought when I first got back into the hobby, it was, and sadly still is my biggest Forgeworld purchase which will now obviously change as I’ve started collecting Emperor’s Children. I don’t know if I got over excited by painting a Forgeworld model but in short I really messed the paint job up. I wasn’t happy with it at the time and each time I’ve looked at it since it seems to have gotten worse (like some 30k picture of Dorian Grey, oh wait that story has already been plagerised in Fulgrim).

image

From my earlier Paintkiller plastic test I had around 3/4 of the bottle left which I poured into a disposal cup and then I part submerged the model. I let the dread soak for around five minutes after this time I took the model out and turned him around so that the other area would get chance to soak. I then started to work on the model with a tooth brush.

image

As you can see the paint comes off easily, even if I does look like an alien that’s just burst from your stomach. The only issue I had was that the PaintKiller quickly became saturated with paint so that everytime I dipped the brush I inadvertently added a thin wash off diluted paint and Paintkiller over the model. This wasn’t a big issue but it did make it hard to see were the stubborn bits of paint were.

It took a bit of scrubbing to get the paint off especially in the model recesses but eventually it moved. Once the model was scrubbed I rinsed it under the tap. If I’m honest, the model could probably do with another wash to get rid of the odd red tint but I’m hoping that when I apply the base coat there will be no hint to its former life.
image

Overall, I’m really happy with the Paintkiller as it removed all the paint on both plastic and resin without destroying the models or any details. As plastic is not listed on the instructions as being safe to use with Paintkiller then I would be very careful if you do use it on plastic. Add a little, don’t leave it to soak and scrub with a brush.

On a final note please wear gloves when using this stuff as your skin will melt.

Give it some Clout

image

Last Tuesday I decided I’d try my hand but more importantly my bow at shooting clout. For those who aren’t down with the toxophilite lingo (someone who loves archery)  then clout shooting is where you put a flag in the ground at a distance of 180 yrds – 140 yrds for the ladies – and try and get your arrows as close to it as possible. You get three dozen arrows shot in ends of 6 and scoring takes place using a coloured piece of rope which you use to see how close your arrows have got to the flag. In short it’s golf, with arrows.

Now I have to admit that I’ve only shot  clout twice before so I am by no means knowledgeable on the subject but I have to say that I enjoy myself every time I shoot it. There’s something really satisfying in loosing an arrow and then watching it sail through the air. I suppose it invokes some romantic English notion of loosing arrows at a French aristocratic. Either way it’s good fun.

image

 

 

Shooting clout however, is totally different from shooting at an upright boss. For one you have to aim a lot higher so that the arrow can get the distance. As the arrow is traveling higher is also a lot more susceptible to crosswinds which can push it off target and slow it down. The arrows are also slowed down by any extra drag or weight which can equate to a loss of distance.image

It’s amazing how the arrows I use for my target archery really impacted on my performance in clout shooting. My target arrows have fairly large fletchings and heavy tips, which is great for shorter distances as the arrow is still full of power so travels relatively flat. Once you get to clout distance, however, any extra drag or unneeded weight can really hinder your distances, as was the case with me as I was around 40 yrds short of the flag on most arrows.

image

To tackle this I believe I have to get some arrows with lighter tips to reduce the arrow weight and get some more streamlined fletchings to reduce the drag. This, I hope, will gain me some distance and then I can work on technique for the rest. The technique will come with practice which will give me some time to save my pennies for new arrows.