Saturday, March 31, 2012

Games Workshop/ Citadel Finecast Orc Shamen Review

A customer sent a GW/ Citadel Finecast Orc Shamen for us to paint up for them. After hearing all the horror stories online I was a bit leery of tackling anything Finecast.  There are loads of stories of poor castings and miscasts with tons of airbubbles and chunks of resin here and there from bad molds. While we've worked with a bunch of different resins before I wasn't sure what to expect with all the bad publicity.

First thing I did was pick up a Citadel Clean Up Kit:

This is a brush and a Mouldline Scraping Tool. The brush's bristles are supposed to be the right firmness for brushing away flash on their resin pieces. The Mouldline Scraping Tool is specially built for scraping off the mold lines on their resin. The kit is a bit pricey, as are all things GW. But they are quality pieces. Mouldline Scraping Tool is pretty heavy and it's neither sharp or dull.

I am a firm believer in using the right tool for the right job. I value my time greatly and the proper tool will help you do the job well and in less time than if you used something less ideal. The Mouldline Scraping Tool was amazing. It quickly and easily knocked off the light mold lines present on the figure. I also used an Xacto blade to see how that would work out and though it works, I feel the Mouldline Scraping Tool does a slightly better job. Overall I like it a lot and highly recommend it. It can't reach all the places but the fine point of an Xacto blade can take care of those spots well enough.

The pieces themselves were well cast. There was a light light mold line around each one that easily cleaned up. Assembly was a breeze. The resin glues very easily with super glue. I used my favorites; the Loctite Gel Control and Precision Max glues and they both worked just fine. The resin sticks together pretty quickly so be careful. There's not much time for re-aligning pieces once they make contact with each other. The fit on the pieces was really good. The only pieces where the fit was not right on was one of the boar's rear legs. In the end after a touch of green stuff, priming, and painting it the seam  could not be noticed though.

Now here's some pics of the cleaned pieces:

 There were only two very casting flaws on this piece. On this pic if you look at the bottom of the right leg you'll see a feather around a thong on the orc's ankle. The very tip of this was missing. Also, there was a very small airbubble on the bottom of the staff on the bone. It can be seen on the right, just above the pouch hung on the end of the staff:

This pic shows the one seam that was not a clean fit. A little it of green stuff hid this just fine:

 Another pic that more clearly shows the airbubble on the bottom of the staff:

The figure was well detailed and the detail was cast pretty crisp. It was almost too detailed as there are tons to things to paint up on it! We've had to adjust prices on GW items to better reflect the time that these castings have been taking to paint.

In all I was very pleased with this piece. GW charges a hefty sum for their models and while I felt the 3 issues I had with the piece were minor, for what they are charging per piece one would think the piece should be perfect out of the package. Would I buy a Finecast piece for my collection? Probably. The detail on the piece was excellent. Is it worth the money they are charging for Finecast? Well, that's up to the individual to decide based on what they are comfortable spending.

Unfortunately I do not have any painted images of this piece. We were in such a rush getting ready for the show I did not have time to image the piece up before heading out. It did paint up well and the customer was very pleased with the piece.

There are 3 more pieces that came in and if there is interest I may do a write up on them as we get to them to get a better idea of what the overall quality of the line is. If they are as nice as this piece was I would be more comfortable with the Finecast line.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

15mm WWII German Nebelwerfers, ATGs, and Vehicles

Here's another batch of 15mm World War II German stuff. These are all Battlefront figures from their Flames of War line. Vehicles are airbrushed and markings/ numbers are decals.

SdKfz 251/1 D's and a Truck

75mm Anti-Tank Guns


This is an addition to a customer's existing German forces. We have one more batch to do and it will round out his German Army.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Display Figures for Scale Creep

At long last! Here's another batch of display figures for Mark at Scale Creep Miniatures. I'm really behind with his order and for that I apologize. We've been running behind for a few reasons and we're trying furiously to catch up. I would like to thank my customers for their patience as we chip away at this lead pile.

Note on the bases because some tool will bring up the odd colors on the base sides: Mark has a system for his displays. The color around the side of the base tells him at a glance who the manufacturer is. Since he imports several different lines he needs a way to do this quickly and easily at a show. The color codes on the sides help him do just this.  Despite the fact that I've taken about 5 minutes to explain this I'm sure someone will not read this part and either email me or post about how the wacky base colors don't do it for them. Reading comprehension is not a skill possessed by a whole lot of people today.

First up are some 28mm alien figures from Black Scorpion. These are pretty cool figures and would work great for your alien games. The castings were clean and required very little prep.  They are a little on the big side of 28mm as are most Black Scorpion figures.

Next is the 54mm Black Scorpion Achilles figure. This is one cool model! It is detailed very well and the assembly fit was excellent. It is a great figure for collectors, or if you do happen to game in 54mm.

The last portion of this batch is some of Mark's own Scale Creep brand 15mm  American Civil War. There are 2 limbers so one is painted as a USA limber and one is painted as a CSA limber. These are clean castings and size-wise will match well with Old Glory 15's and such.

Mark's line also includes a nice 15mm Grant from the famous picture of him:

He also has a set of these guys, the reenactors.  Looking at these figures it is easy to see why the North won with their superior technology:

I mean, who uses a watch anymore when your cell phone has a built in clock?

There's one more batch for Mark I'm currently working on which includes some Martian Walkers and some Victorian style submarines. They are getting various parts airbrushed and Mark wanted the submarines well weathered. I'll post some pics when they are done.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grenadier Red Dragon

Soooo...nope, haven't finished posting about the GW Spider or even the final photos for the two versions of the Wendigo, but here I am posting about a red dragon and the paint job.

Sorry for my inconsistency, I've been busy.  For a while I was doing a long-term substitute position at a local school, then I had to get ready for the HMGS East, Cold Wars convention.  Bob and I were busting out butts to get ready for that con and now we're busting our butts to get orders done that should have been done prior to Cold Wars.  Aargh!  It's nice to be busy, don't get me wrong, but that leaves little time for other things, like blogging.

This Grenadier Red Dragon is part of a larger order of miscellaneous TSR AD&D miniatures.  Frankly, those minis are pretty cool and I'm excited to see if I can put a spiffy paint job on such, how to say it politely, roughly sculpted minis.  I'll make sure I post those TSR miniatures as a whole when I get them all finished.  Unfortunately I didn't have the time and luxury of taking photos as I was working through the steps, sorry.

My inspiration for this red dragon is from the AD&D cover art:

Body Scales
Here you can see how the Yellow Orange is most noticeable nearest the belly scales.  It is also on the hindquarters, shoulders and spine to give it a flame-like glow.

First, I base coated the dragon with Vallejo Red except for the belly scales and the wings.  I did the wings last because I knew I'd be bumping and handling them during the painting process and obviously the belly is done in an entirely different color.

Second, I dry brushed on a coat of Cel-Vinyl Red, making sure that some of the darker Vallejo Red was still showing beneath the round scales.

Next, I lightly dry brushed on Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  I didn't want to cover up the Red entirely, but the Vermillion really makes things pop.  You'll notice that the difference between the Red and Vermillion is very subtle, if you feel like omitting the above Cel-Vinyl Red step, so be it.

Lastly, I dry brushed on, with a very gentle hand, Cel-Vinyl Yellow Orange.  Again, this is to make things glow and pop.  In most cases I only got close to the belly scales and a little on the higher points like the shoulders or top of the back scales.

Belly Scales
This part is easy because it uses only two colors.
When you dry brush, the Ochre 11 will only end up on the edges of the belly scales.

First, paint on Cel-Vinyl Ochre.

Second, dry brush on Cel-Vinyl Ochre 11.


I wanted the wings to be a little lighter than the body because I want them to appear translucent or thin and leathery like the membrane on flying lizards.  Since one can't (or at least I can't) make them appear truly translucent making them lighter is the best way I know how.  However, I kept the bone areas of the wings darker like the rest of the body.

First, paint the membranes of the wings with Cel-Vinyl Red.

Second, paint the bone areas with Vallejo Red.

Next, dry brush the bone areas with Cel-Vinyl Red.
Notice how the Yellow Orange is really only pronounced on the scalloped edges of the wings.

Then, dry brush the entire wing with Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  Make sure on the membranes that you apply a heavier hand when dry brushing at the scalloped end of the wings (on both sides) to make it appear thinner.

Finally, dry brush, very lightly, the Cel-Vinyl Yellow Orange.  You can do this all over, even on the bone parts but make sure that you hit the scalloped ends of the membrane to emphasize the thinness. 

This is pretty much the way I do all claws or horns.  I have some other variations, most take more steps.  This is a quick one with pretty good results. I do this for teeth a lot of the time, too.

First, paint the claws and horns Reaper Stained Ivory.

Second, using a very small brush like a 10/0 or 18/0, apply strokes of Reaper Creamy Ivory that begin at the pointed end of the claw and end sharply at the base.

Then, apply white in the same manner as the Creamy Ivory only this time do so in a smaller fashion so that really only the tip of the claw is pure white. 

Finally, after it has dried, using a small brush apply GW Devlan Mud wash to the base of the horn/claw right near the flesh.

They are simply GW Burnished Gold with a black pupil.  I also used a little GW Badab Black wash around the eye in the socket to make it stand out.  You could paint the eye and socket with black prior to applying the Gold, I do that frequently.

First, paint the tongue with Reaper Antique Rose.
Then, paint only on the ridge points, Reaper Porcelain Rose.

And, well, that's it for the dragon!

Red Dragon Shrine

There is also that odd dragon shrine kinda thingy.  Bob has a Tiamat mini and it has the same shrine.  I never knew what to do with it but this time I decided to give it some color instead of leaving it strictly gray stone.  Looking at the sides of the shrine it has these odd cobra designs so I went with an Egyptian feel by painting them in instead of leaving them carvings.  Personally I think it adds some punch to an otherwise dull piece.  Additionally there are the incised letters/symbols on the front and back and the words Red Dragon on the base.  I suppose I could have used "green stuff" to fill in the words Red Dragon but Bob simply suggested that I fill the incised letters with gold.

First, paint the entire piece with Reaper Shadowed Stone.

Second, dry brush it with Reaper Stone Gray.

Third, dry brush lightly with Reaper Weathered Stone.

Fourth, using a small detail brush paint the cobra design with Vallejo Red and Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  Also paint the 'tail' of the cobra on the base with Vallejo Red. 

Fifth, paint the belly of the cobra design with Cel-Vinyl Ochre.

Lastly, paint the teeth/fangs white and the eyes gold.

The Tail of the Cobra on the base:
To make belly scales on the tail of the cobra, use black to paint a long rectangle that starts at the base of the cobra belly design and curves into the base.  Using a detail brush paint smaller rectangles of ochre onto the rectangle of black.  Leave slivers of black between each ochre rectangles, this gives the impression of belly scales without too much effort.  The ochre rectangles were also highlighted by painting a dash of ochre 11 onto them.

Then, to mimic scales, make small dots of Vermillion near the belly scales, and dots of Cel-Vinyl Red further away.  You could add the Yellow-Orange nearest the belly scales but I thought that would be over-kill.

Well, that's all it takes for this piece and the shrine.  Enjoy!