Monday, February 20, 2017

More Tomb Blades Done!

I noticed quite a few issues on these guys after looking at these pics. I'll touch them up. I messed up the wash I used in the carved lines on many of these, and some lines are really bad.

They look great from afar though!

I also did not magnetize these completely. I magnetized the original three completely but they were very, very fiddly. Most things that you'd normally reach for when picking up the model were magnetized. I only magnetized the weapons this time.

Here are the pics, and thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Newly Pimped-out Workspace!

For the longest time I've been painting using a halogen lamp. It cast white light, it looked neutral to me. But it wasn't very strong. Also it was very hard to position; the goose neck is on the short side, and the base is very light, meaning that the lamp would tip over easily if I tried to position it better.

In addition to the terrible light source, streaming on Twitch was pretty difficult to do at times. The one webcam I have ( a Logitech C920) was terrible at focusing in such a low light. And it was really hard to position too. I have a tripod for it, but where do you put the webcam? Between my single light source needing to shine on what I'm doing, the webcam being able to capture it, and myself being able to see it too, something's got to give.

So here's my new setup!

I've been painting and streaming for the last few days and I'm really happy with this. Here's what's going on:

  • Two long, swing arm lamps. They are easy to move around and stay steady. I can position them right next to my head as I'm painting, if I want. And because there's two of them, there are no shadows to worry about.
  • Two Philips Hue White Ambient lightbulbs. I have these in the bedroom and love them, so that choice was a no-brainer. You can change their temperature (orange/yellow/white/blue and everything in between) and intensity. And because they're "smart", they can be controlled remotely. That means that I have a single switch that controls both (you can see it on the picture, just under the base of the right lamp) and I don't have to fumble to reach two light switches to turn them on and off. The same goes for setting up light intensity and temperature; the two bulbs are in perfect sync.
  • Another webcam! You can see it on the left lamp, taped to it with some black electrical tape. It's a Logitech C922. It captures great, especially in low light (although that's not a problem anymore). Since it's attached to the lamp I can move it around easily, it's never in the way. The light source is right there for it so it really makes a clearer shot compared to what I've been doing before.
  • My webcam is now to my left, not to my right. It makes sense since I'm right handed, so my hand was always in the way.
  • The old webcam is still on its tripod, but used as a face cam now.
I'm very happy with this setup. I'd like to spend some time watching my streams to optimize my camera and streaming settings. For example, I'd like to try streaming at 20 frames per second but offset that with a higher image quality. That seems like a good idea for streaming painting, but we'll see.

Hope this inspires you to reevaluate your painting environment. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Truescaling and Reposing Adventures!

This is an SM post, although I've been working on my Necrons some more since the last post. I have a unit painted and ready for a photo session, although I'm waiting for weather to clear up first.

So, Space Marines! They squat and look silly. Kinda like my Necron Warriors, their legs need to be reposed, and they need it bad.

However, as you may or may not have noticed, Space Marines also have short legs. And no waist. Their hips extrude right from their rib cage. Maybe that's why they're squatting? I don't know.

Inspired by this blogpost, I got 1mm thick plasticard to extend their legs at the shin and at the thigh. I used the same plasticard at the waist.

As you can see, I used Milliput to try to fill up the gaps and make the extension smooth. That didn't work out well for me. The plasticard was hard to file compared to the plastic. I was very hard to achieve a flat surface, and as of right now, this model is still lumpy. Back to the drawing board.

Next up, I tried to make sure that the extension is as seamless as possible, I cut the legs at flat areas for the armor (as much as possible). I also made the plasticard bit smaller than the outer diameter of the armor, so I can use Milliput or something like that to fill up the gap and sand the extra material smooth.

This time things looked much better. I could use Milliput to properly pad the legs!

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - for now. When I start painting, it will be much easier to see if the end surface is lumpy in any way. And while I really tried to sand things as best as possible right now, I expect to be stripping primer, sanding, and repriming when the time comes to paint.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Converting Space Marine Helmets to Crusader Helmets

One of the more iconic features of a Black Templar army are their helmets. I couldn't find a specific name for them, so let's call them crusader helmets. Here's one!

Here's what I mean. A default helmet is to the left, and a crusader helmet to the right:

It's very much like a Grey Knight helmet, but without the excessive underbite that Grey Templar helmets have.

The Black Templars conversion kit comes with a few helmets like this, but they're not cheap on bits stores. Similarly, Forgeworld offers some (look at 30k Imperial Fists), but it's not cheap. So convert your own! It's basically free and looks great. It's not that much work either.

It's a pretty simple conversion. All you need is a normal helmet, some milliput, and some delicate files. I don't think green stuff would work as well as milliput because it's not as sandable, but I didn't try.

The steps are straightforward. Take a default helmet:

First cut the helmet's mouth grill off. The best way to cut that I found is to make a vertical cut that goes as deep into their face as possible; typically just until you touch any hoses or other detail that goes along their jawline. Then grind their cheekbones down a bit, because after this cut, there'll be a bit of a protrusion just under their eyes that used to follow the curve touching their mouth grill. That curve will be gone. You can see traces of sanding on the second and fourth pic below:

Finally, use some milliput. Try to just follow the curve of their cheeks and end up in a straight line down the middle of their face. I try to keep the upper edge of the extension flat. I curve their chin a bit, initially accidentally but the look worked. I suggest using clay shapers to achieve straight surfaces and blend the extension into their cheeks. That's hard to see on this guy considering his face already has a lot of detail, but the more plain helmets really benefit from clay shapers.

You may engrave something over the extension as it dries. I added some holes on a few, and I'd like to try making vertical grills on a few as well.

Finally, when it's dry, sand it smooth. These pics were taken before that step, sorry.

But that's it! Pretty easy. Now to do this for every single one of them...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


What is this!?

That's right, time to start something else. I'm not done with my Necrons, but my last two units are already converted, primed and partially painted. But that's a topic for another day!

The Fluff

I've been toying with the idea of starting a Space Marine army for a while now, but I've been hesitant to start. I don't like Marines much. Especially the goody two-shoes type like the Ultramarines or the Grey Knights. I like Dark Angels, because they're nuts. And Blood Angles, because they're nuts. But I think Dark Angels are nuts in a better way; because you could say that Blood Angels have some form of mental illness, whereas Dark Angels are pure, honest, down to earth nuts.

But the most nuts of them all are Black Templars:

They are space crusaders, out on a mission to kill anything non-human that moves. Or that has said or thought, actually or allegedly, anything they don't like. And they do so with a religious fervor that really makes little sense in context. In short, they're proper nuts. I love that. I love how they are supposed to be the good guys. It's stuff like that where 40k is at its best.

So, the fluff works for me. It's definitely an army I could fall in love with, and as someone who paints rather than plays, that's important. It keeps me inspired and driven, and makes me proud of the models I end up putting in the display case.

But the thing that really pushed me forwards starting this army is this music video. Don't listen to the music much, instead observe their costumes, motions, postures, and the environment:

I fell in love with it immediately. While Powerwolf is all about Catholic vampires and werewolves, the religious fervor and the evil they radiate is something I'd love to try to capture with my army. It's not a 1:1 match for Black Templar, but it's just different enough to give the army a unique spin.

Instead of filthy 12th century crusaders in space, my Black Templar will be evil and super-corrupt 17th century high clergy. Everything evil about the Inquisition in Space Marine form. Fanaticism, pride, opulence, self-aggrandizement. Gold, religious symbols, elaborate elegant garments, but in poses that communicate rage and disregard for anything good.

Will I pull it off? I don't know. It's a tall order, but I'm not going to miss this idea. I'm feeling so driven to do this, and I'm going to give it my best.

It's late and I'm tired, but I started working on my models already and I'll continue writing in the following days. I'm still experimenting with the color scheme, I'm learning things as I go, browsing the internet for inspiration and motifs I can incorporate.

Anyway, if you're still reading this, look forward to additional posts in the following days. And thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Destroyer Lord Done!

I took these pics a while ago but it took me a lot of time to get around to going through them.

Since I'm taking pics with my phone and outside, it's really difficult to see if my pics are in good focus all the time. Which is why I tend to take 50+ pics each time, and only keep 40% or less. This time I only took about 20!

Thanks for looking.