Monday, December 31, 2012

A new year and a new set of models to compare

Hey all, happy new year!  Post is a little later than I intended, but lets pretend it was intentional to happen in the new year :)

I've been putting off a set of models for a while now, mostly due to not being used to large units to put together.  Anyways, after putting together the super cheap models from Warzone I picked up on Ebay, I found I really liked them

Since I have around 80 of these, I figure I'll be busy for a long time.  While I was at it, I decided to start the Mantic models I bought for a steal.  Here is one of the Corporate guys put together.

Holy crap do I hate this model.  I'm still planning on painting it up to compare it to the Warzone model, but I'm already seeing I won't be relying on this.  Top it off that the plastic is super hard and near impossible to work (I tried to remove the waist area so I could mix and match the top and bottom halves with the zombie/ghoul parts, but it was not to be.

The zombie/ghouls, however, look fantastic.  They require some (read: a lot) of gap filling, but they are so good looking I just don't care.  I can't wait to have a group of these ready to shamble across the battlefield and annoy my opponents.  Give 'em hell, boys!

That's about it for this week.  It's a new year, filled with hobby potential.  Hope all of you take care and have yourselves a wonderful new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Completed unit of 9 Custom Screamers

Welcome back fellow hobbyists.  This project of scratch built Screamers feels like I've been at it forever, but I can finally say I have a completed unit to show off.

While it's been fun designing, casting, building, and painting the unit, it feels like a long time coming for these guys to be completed.  Still, there is one more unit for me to complete before I have the two units of 9 I'm planning on drawing from for any Daemon armies I plan on playing.  Until then, I only have the unit shown below to use.

The bases were done in the same style as the other chaos bases I made, featuring a wetland swamp theme.  These were created using broken up rocks, static grass mixed with leaf litter, and finally filled with clear Realistic Water from Woodland Scenics.  I'm regretting using this a little bit as it tends to shrink when it dries, making things in the swamp look different than when the liquid was poured.  I may look into a 2 part clear resin or other effect for my future water needs.

Other projects are moving along slowly but should have something ready for next week.  Right now, though, I'm enjoying the fruits of my labor.  Till next week, take care and happy hobbying (and holidays)!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Custom Screamers progress report

Hey all, welcome back to Scratchbuilt 40k.  I know, it's been a very long time since I've updated the site, but like in all cases of life taking up too much time, the hobby suffers.

But lets forget all that and focus on what I have been able to do in the short amount of time life has afforded me.  Regular readers may remember I had sculpted a model to represent the Tzeentch Screamers found in the Chaos Daemons codex.  Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to duplicate the model, creating two units of 9 each.  I've mostly painted one unit of them, as we see below.

The other 9 will be painted soon as well, though I haven't had the chance to complete the bases yet.  That project will be for this week.

Additionally, I've received a slew of models to use as cultists/zombies.  When I say a 'slew', I'm not kidding.

I anticipate these taking a very long time to put together in a way in which they are varied from each other.  In the end I will want 30 zombie style figures and 30 gun wielding cultists.  Just enough to fill the maximum unit sizes for the Chaos Space Marine codex.

That's it for this week.  I have a lot of work to do yet on the other models, but thankfully I have a lot of time opened up to me.  Till next time, happy modeling!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hiatus- Just 2 more weeks

Hang tight, folks.  I know I haven't updated in quite a while, but rest assured in a couple weeks you'll have more posts than you can handle.  I promise :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

40k Is As Expensive As You Make It

Welcome back, all.  Today I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart- getting the most out of the hobby.

When I began this this blog in April of 2010, I belonged to a local playgroup in my small city in Wisconsin.  Most of us had a small budget for gaming and it was decided we would limit ourselves to one game to reduce costs.  Since most of us knew 40k and already had models for the game, it made sense to stick with the system.

Since then, however, many in the group have experienced burn-out.  Some have massive time constraints which prevent them from being able to meet up for game nights.  Others never really had the patience for a game of 40k and lost interest half-way through the game.  And yet, still others have said it's far too expensive to play the game.

I hate that one the most.  We all experience the dent in the wallet this game can present, but there are many ways we can mitigate the cost of playing table top games.  Alternate, cheaper miniature options are everywhere and present an interesting visual change from what we expect.  Scratch building the more expensive kits can do this as well.  Creating new and interesting models from existing kits or simply attempting to sculpt my own models.

I know eventually everyone will come back around and want to play some 40k again.  Until that time, I shall continue painting, enjoying the building of armies who may not see a game for quite a while.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Swamp Bases- Step by Step

Welcome back scratchbuilders and 40k miniature enthusiasts.  Last week I shared pictures of the swamp bases I plan to use for my Chaos Space Marine army, promising I would go over the steps I took to make them.

I started out with a bottle cap which was the size of a 25mm base.  I then removed as much of the side ridges as I desired.  Using the InstaMold, I copied the piece a few times to easily make a couple dozen copies.

After priming the bases, I painted the inside area of the bases with Chaos Black.  I didn't worry about the outer area as I would most likely have to go over it again in the future anyways.

Next, I mixed green ink from Liquitex in a bottle cap with some Turquoise paint.  As you can see, it almost separates at random, creating the look of a green water bottom.

Now is the super cheap part- collect some rocks.  I don't care from where, and I certainly won't tell anyone you took 'em, but rocks are everywhere.  Break them up into manageable pieces using hammers or various vices.  Glue one or two into each of the base areas for a place your model is going to be standing.  I also painted the outside area black.

Mixing Woodland Scenics various static grass flock, such as harvest gold, light green, and medium green, I was able to create grassy areas where  the grass didn't seem all the same.  I also included Secret Weapon Miniatures leaf litter to add the extra variety needed.

In order to add some depth to the grassy areas, took the same mix above and stirred in some Elmers multi purpose glue (aka white glue).  Taking bunches of that, I added them to the base, covering any areas which might need a bit more grass to hide the gaps.

Finally, the two above images show the Realistic Water added to the bases.  This was easily the part which took the longest as Realistic Water has a habit of shrinking... a lot.  In some areas it took 5 fillings to remove the areas in which the Realistic water pulled away.

As of now I have 25 bases.  Hopefully I can find a faster way to create these bases and get them ready for the invading Chaos force which will occupy them!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Swamp Bases

Welcome back, scratchbuilders!  Today I'm going to show off some swamp style bases I created.

When I first began these bases, I thought it would be a simple case of taping up the sides and filling in the extra spaces with some water effects.  Boy, was I wrong!

Check out that disaster!  I liked how the water and the other swamp area looked, but the outer edge of the bases are horrible.  This is when I decided I had to make my own bases with a closed in area to ensure the water effects don't spill over or look uneven, not unlike the bases used in Malifaux.

To do this, I used a bottle cap which had the same width of the bases, 25mm, and then then duplicated them.  I won't go into how I created the bases this week, but I will happily show off the bases I made.

I love these bases.  I can't wait until I have enough for all the Chaos models I plan to put on them!  Next week I will go step by step on how I made the bases and explain just how simple they were to make.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Painting Typhus- From Beginning to End

Hello fellow scratch builders and money savers!  I've been working on the Typhus model i received with my Chaos Codex and thought it might be fun to go over the thought process I followed in painting him.

Here we have the primed, unpainted model.  This being my first Finecast model, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it looked.  I've heard a lot of concerns regarding Finecast, but it seems as thought GW has worked through most of the early problems they had.

Base color put onto the model, a Vallejo green color I found at a local hobby store, German Fieldgrey WWII.

Here I used Liquitex's green ink added to the model to add darkness to the recessed areas.

Yes, I drybrushed over the ink using the German Fieldgrey WWII, and no matter how often I see people complain about the technique, I can't help but continue to use it.  It's fast and effective.  I also mixed the Fieldgrey with Game Color's Bone White.  German Grey was used as the base coloring for the grey areas, highlighted with White.

Began painting the browns on the scythe, the nurgling, and the pouch.  Game Color's Chocolate Brown as a base color for the wood, highlighted with Game Color's Filthy Brown.  For the Nurgling and the pouch I started with Game Colors Chocolate Brown, highlighted with Filthy Brown and Green Ochre.

Here we see an actual divergence in the model, noticing more highlights, the reddish/brown coloration to the bulbous areas and the highlights to the pouch and Nurgling.

And here is the base I decided to create.  I wanted something somewhat swamp like.  I knew vegetation would be essential to the base, and was unsure how to create the proper look to thick vegetation.  To solve this, I decided to take the static grass and leaf mixture I created and simply added some PVC glue (commonly known as white glue, like Elmers) and stirred it up.  Instead of appearing thin, the base looks full and filled with vegetation.

Here I've added more highlighting and added an arm under the vegetation.

And the 'final' images.  Added additional details to the Nurgling such as the teeth and eyes, some more brown highlights on the armor, and detailed the scythe.  On Monday I plan to pick up some easy water effects to add to the outer areas where the swamp water is meant to be.  I may do some testing on another base first to ensure I don't make a horrible mistake on this model as I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Till next time, take care and happy gaming :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Taking Pictures- An Amateurs Journey, part 2

Welcome back everyone to SB40k.  Today I continue my thoughts and experiences in taking pictures of my minis.

As a continuation of the post I made last week, I'd like to look at past images I've taken of models and what they look like now with proper lighting and no image editing beyond cropping the image.

Lets start with the Gaulrach model I've been using as Fateweaver-

This is the old image I had been using for quite a while now.  There seems to be plenty of lighting, but the colors seem off, don't they?  The blues appear to be glowing, the purples unnatural, and the plane is obviously apparent by the background line.

These two I took a couple days ago with the new camera and lighting The lighting seems more natural, not overly filtered.  The blues no longer look like they glow and the contrast isn't as obviously tweaked as it was in the original image.

This image would look fairly well if it wasn't for the poor lighting.  As you can tell, there is more light coming from the left side of the image, leaving the area underneath looking overly dark

In the new images, the lighting is more even, using lighting from above, the front left, and front right areas to evenly distribute the light upon the model.  Also, the flash was used in this image, filtered through multiple layers of tissue paper to get just the right effect.

Overall, I'm much happier with the new images.  They are cleaner and display the models as they appear without requiring a lot of touch up in paint programs.

Instead of babbling on, I'll just share a couple more photos I took and leave it at that.  Till next time, happy gaming!