Since blog article topics don’t always come easily to me, I have decided to do some shorter articles in between the lengthier hobby musings. There is always something on my hobby desk, either models in progress from parts to finished, or sitting in the actual paint queue. I am lucky enough to have a second hobby area for terrain builds. Any number of half-painted or incomplete terrain build lurk over there. Both piles of unfinished things mock me, the mountains of projects laughing at my despair.
Some weeks the progress is measured in single wash coats over a set of models. Some weeks I am a hobby machine, churning out whole units of Saga or WFB or 40K miniatures. The past two weeks have been mixed. I did punch out 18 Empire spear men for WFB. I used one of the Games Workshop Contrast paints for the first time. I’ll talk a bit about that in a second. Last week I started and mostly finished a High elf dragon and lord. I also put the contrast paint on another 6 spear men. I feel like I got less done, though the dragon was a fair amount of work.
One coat of Blood Angels Red contrast. Finished dragon.
I still need to paint the reins, shield, sword and head for the lord. The dragon needs a matte varnish, but since its been raining for two days straight here, I am going to hold off spraying the model and potentially ruining all the work so far. The dragon was painted for Monster May(hem) (there ya go Roger!) over at Dead Dick’s Tavern. When an Angry Piper asks for volunteers, well, ya just gotta get to work!
The dragon was languishing in an unbuilt state at the bottom of a pile of boxes of minis. I have had the model for at least 4 years, but the task of painting a dragon seemed beyond my abilities for so long, it sat there. last month I finally attacked a metal wood Elf dragon since metal is so much easier to strip paint from, I figured I couldn’t screw it up too bad. It turned out better than i hoped even though i rushed it a bit.
Finished Wood Elf dragon.
I apologize again for my pictures. Adding a light box was not enough. I still need more light. And an actual camera. I can’t find one with a decent macro feature for under $300 (the max price as set by the CFO and my limit for such a limited-use object).
Games Workshop came out with a line paints to speed up army painting. Since I primarily paint with Vallejo paints, I paid very little attention. Lately though, I have seen a few YouTube videos and noticed a few bloggers using the contrast paints. I had a pile of 6th edition WFB plastic spear men for my Empire army that needed paint. I had already decided to paint them in the blue and white of Middenheim to go along with my Middenland themed army. Since white was half the paint, i decided to use a white primer (i typically prime light or dark grey) and give a contrast blue a try. Luckily my FLGS had just opened back up for curbside service and still had the blue i needed in stock. With Talassar Blue in hand, i used the one piece of advice i wish i could attribute correctly. Use the paint carefully, don’t just splash it on. The pigment load is extremely heavy, and if you let it pool it will create very dark splotches.
One coat did not give me the color i wanted. In fact, i wasn’t sure i liked it initially. It is much brighter than many of the colors i use. Probably because of the white under coat, but also because GW changed the color tones for the Empire some time ago. The duller, darker colors of 7th edition changed for 8th and beyond, becoming much brighter and more vivid. A second coat changed the tone a bit and was more where I wanted to be. I let it sit for a day or two to see if it was something i could live with. Since this unit is to be large (48 modles) and a named unit (The Wolf Guard), i felt that a bright color might work. As an elite unit, the regiment would be mindful of their appearance and use newer cloth and uniforms, maintaining a fresh, bright appearance. I’ve finished 18 models so far.
18 finished Wolf Guard spears. Two coats of Talassar Blue contrast over white.
I’ll be honest, the two contrast paints i used blew me away. I haven’t inked or highlighted either the blue or red, and i like how they turned out. If you wanted stronger highlights (i don’t care for extreme highlights) those would be easy to add. I will definitely be using blue and green contrast paints on my Lizardmen. I’ll be looking for places i can use other colors in the future as well. The paints are pricey, I think i paid $7.80 a bottle. Being able to one coat a model is completely worth it.
I added another tool to the modeling arsenal in the last month or so. After wanting one for more than a year, i finally broke down and bought a Proxxon Thermocut hot wire tool. Jeremy over at Black Magic Craft has been using one as long as i have been watching his channel. The ability to create blocks, and consistent sizes, from XPS foam is incredibly useful. I’ve cut blocks and built some terrain, but XPS foam is hard on blades, and a dull blade tears the foam versus cutting. A hot wire zips right through it. Its magic. I’ve sat and just cut and cut, its kinda satisfying in a weird way. I love this tool!
In about an hour and a half i went from a 24″ x 48″ piece of XPS to a box full of stones or bricks or pieces. A box full of raw material to build with. I can use these to clad foam core buildings and structures, or i can build with the foam blocks. Endless possibilities. I definitely want some of the extra tools Gerard over at Shifting Lands has created. Ripping taller pieces, creating circles and consistent angles are just some of the things the templates and tools let you create out of XPS foam.
New tools and techniques will hopefully allow me to be more productive. Sitting here typing isn’t the productive that gets models done, so off I go!