woensdag 27 februari 2013

Barbed devils

Here are two barbed devils I finished off recently. They are less saturated green in real life, but somehow I was unable to fix it on the pictures. I shall endeavor to do better next time!

For now: Barbed devils!

maandag 25 februari 2013

Scrutiny: Micro Art bases

Ha I am back from being sick for over a week. That was one seriously nasty fever.

After the disappointment that was the TK-PRO bases a few weeks ago my girl decided she needed a nice jungle base for a PC monkey of hers. This gave me the option to order 'a few extra' bases as she ordered from Micro Art Studio.

I decided to go with 2 packs of 25mm forest bases, a pack of 40mm and both of the 60mm designs. I have a lot of Reaper Bones coming after all. As the bases arrived I was happily surprised. Not only did the order go through rapidly, the shipping was also very fast. Before you knew it I had the bases in hand. Good stuff, extra points. This might have to do with the fact they are based in Poland, so non-european buyers should expect longer delivery times.

Let's talk about the 'bad' things first. On their site it does say that they will select five bases at random when you order some. It is unfortunate that what they mean is they grab a package of 5 pre-selected bases. I happened to get the exact same package twice. It would not have hurt that much to select two different packages. This does not matter to me all that much, but I figured I'd mention it.

The second 'bad' thing is that they are not cheap. You pay 4,92E per package + shipping. I want my miniatures to look good and I do not want to spend forever on the basing, so this is worth it to me. And they do deliver on that quality.

So on to the good. There is a lot of good! Their bases are just the most detailed I have ever seen.

 Primed forest bases

 That is just nuts. These beauties will take as long to paint as the miniature to be used with them. Very impressive quality indeed. Even better the casts are a very durable resin and they have already sanded the bottoms for you so they are perfectly balanced and straight. This is a real big plus, the mark of quality.

It also happened to be my birthday a week or two ago and the people at my job gifted me some of the Micro Art wood bases. Once again I was impressed by the quality and decided to immediately paint one of them.

Top left: Micro Art base, Top right: Ironhalo cobblestone base
Bottom: Wooden base, mainly painted on
The dungeon and wooden floor ones are nice, but the Micro Art Studios base just jumps out at you. I have ordered even more of their bases, their wastelands line specifically, for my demons.

Verdict: If you can afford these beauties, do so! Keep an eye on their site, new bases get added all the time.

woensdag 13 februari 2013

DIY: Low budget paint rack

You might know that feeling of 'I have soooo many paints, but no proper way to organise them'. I always have the feeling I lose hours of my life trying to find the proper color red in my stack of paints. This is probably exaggerated and might just be some of my latent OCD-ness or the likes.

Regardless I have looked at ways of organising my paints properly. I found some interesting options, the best looking being the paint rack line from Back-2-basix. Unfortunately it is quite expensive and I would need several racks to store all my paints. The shipping from australia is not helping, and although I found a company in germant that also stocks them, it just didn't quite do it for me.

I did not want to invest that much to store my paints. So I let the concept rest for a while, until I happened upon a blog that had a very simple solution: Foamcore paint rack!

I seem to have lost the link to this blog, bad, bad me, so I cannot credit the original writer. Regardless the credit goes there! The difference between my paint rack to be and his was that he was trying to store GW pots while I wanted to store Valejo dropper bottles.

First of all take some 5mm foamcore, available in your average craft store. I would not recommend going any thinner, it might not be able to keep the paints up. My recommendation would be to aim for 4 'levels' high and another 'level' on the ground before the rack.

First draw out the 'stairs' like construction on the foamcore. Make sure the height is proper for the sort of paint bottles you want to hold. In my case that was 2" high and 1.5" wide.

Draw it out on foamcore
Now cut it all out. You should make 4 pieces, so you can use two on the sides and two on 1/3rd and 2/3rd 'in'.
Cut it all out like so
Now cut out strips the length that you want your rack to be. Don't make it too long, or it will collapse under the weight of the paint. Then glue it all together. Simple really. Make sure your glue dries, because I tried to put paint on it too quickly and the entire thing collapsed on me. Actually I recommend you strengthen the construction with some tape (which I did). I also based it on a sheet of foamcore for even more stability.
This is the result
Leave it to strengthen overnight and afterwards it will hold about 50 bottles (in my case that is).
All setup!
Now I am going to need a second of these things... hmmm... *grabs more foamcore*

vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Scrutiny: PK-Pro alien base set (part 2)

I managed to take some new pictures of the TK-PRO bases. Unfortunately some of those also mysteriously dissapeared. I have decided to call it quits with making new ones, figuring they are probably cursed or the like.

So I present my findings with pictures that I actually have.

The sculpts themselves are not bad, they are not incredibly detailed, but they are not bad either. I'd call them average. The shipping and shopping process was fine, simple, fast, definitely good.

This is where it started to go a bit downhill for me. Now I do not know how representable of their work the following experience is, but for me it is a reason to beware.

The casts were pretty bad. Entire flat bits of resin stuck on the edges of the bases and bases were not able to stand flat without creating extra gaps between base and floor or simply wobbling. Sometimes several millimeter slabs of extra resin were on the bottom of the bases.

This is not how a cast should be

I would have to say these casts are quite shoddy. I had to try to sand them down. Now there are a few reasons I really dislike doing that.
  1. Resin dust is ridiculously dangerous if you get it in your lungs.
  2. Resin is notoriously hard to sand.
  3. I didn't want to take a sanding machine to them, so it had to be hand work.
This is not fun to do

The results are not all that awesome. To be specific, it is incredibly hard to create an even surface. On the picture above you can see how the darker parts on the top and lower right side are still 'higher' then the rest.
Eventually I decided to simply throw the worst away and call it a day with the rest.

I think this was not a fluke batch of bases since I ordered 25mm, 40mm and 60mm and they all suffered from this problem.

Verdict: Would not buy again. Recommend you stay clear.

dinsdag 5 februari 2013

Stonehaven Gnomes Kickstarter

I have always had a severe lack of certain player character models. I am talking things like half-orcs, halflings, dwarfs and gnomes!

Stonehaven is a new-ish company who have already done a kickstarter, their Dwarves of Stonehaven. It was very successful and the results are quite nice. So when they came up with a second kickstarter about gnomes, I jumped on the bandwagon immediately.

There are a bunch of sets of gnomes slowly unlocking. Picture below is one of them. I am quite intrigued. Keeping a close eye on this one.

maandag 4 februari 2013

Devils galore

I have finally been working on my devils from Otherworld Miniatures. Their stuff is high quality and leaves nothing to be desired. I recommend their mini's to every DM out there.

I have owned quite a few of theirs and I have also had their entire devil and demon range in my posession for quite a while. The plan was to mount all the devils on lava bases and all the demons on some sort of abyssal ground bases.

Then they were 'forgotten' and recently I finally figured let's finish them. So I got started on my bone devil first. This is the result.

I have also been working on my two barbed devils. Here is a WIP shot of one of them.

The lava bases are from Dark Arts miniatures. Good casts, good shipping, good company.