Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miniart Castle (Part 3: The Kitbash Keep)

Recently, the Miniart Castle project has returned to the workbench to begin the dreaded roofing for the keep. Honestly, the thought of cutting a kerbillion shingles for the keep has kept me from progressing further. With the first coat painted, it was time to start roofing. I started by laying out the beams using plastic and matchsticks.

This was the easy part. This was quick and easy and gave a better idea of how the keep will eventually look.

Then, I began the laborious process of cutting the roof tiles. It is dull and time-consuming, but worth it in the end.

So, it has been a week of cutting and gluing.

As you can see from the Zvezda peasant leader, the keep is quite big.
Now back to roofing.
As always, thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Zvezda Peasant Revolt (Part 1)

The medieval project continues with the addition of some Zvezda peasants. They are quick and easy to paint.
I gave them a simple base coat, an umber wash, and drybrushed here and there.
The bald fellow looks odd. He is my least favorite.
This is one of my favorites in the set.
After I painted up a few, I decided to test out my miniature photography skills. Still a work in progress with the camera but I am getting better.
A fight breaks out in the village.
But they join sides and turn against the photographer.
I hope you had a peasant time!! (Pun intended)
As always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

El Cheapo Terrain Test

While food shopping over the weekend, I came across something useful in the El Cheapo section of the grocery store. When I put it in the shopping cart, my wife instantly rolled her eyes. Here it is.
It is a fake grass mat for people who want to have that 'grass lawn' look for their apartment. Once I got home, I set to work shearing and cutting. My daughter stopped by my man cave for a peek, rolled her eyes and left.
I decided to put one of my peasants to work while I sipped an Ice Americano and admired all of the projects that I have begun but never finished.
My half painted peasant quickly cleared a path down the middle of the mat.
Curious to see how things were looking, I dumped some of my super secret basing goop down the path. Perhaps, I should have had my peasant clear it fully, but I was impatient.
Some of the 'faux grass' covered by the goop and though it looked kind of good, makes it hard to move miniatures about.
The effect came out nice. I call this piece 'A Snowy Day in Mancavia'.
I began painting the goop and grass with raw umber craft paint to try and lose the Merry Christmas feel of the grass.  I shaved off some more of the grass to make it match 1/72 scale.
The paint came on a bit too thick. Next time I'll have my peasant do my painting for me.
As always, this project isn't finished. I have to give it another brush with a lighter brown and then add some flock to give it a more tangled look. These mats are definitely useful. I can use them for difficult terrain, farms, and small patches of vegetation. Not bad for a dollar. As always, thanks for reading and not rolling your eyes.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This Little Piggy...

As always, procrastination is my greatest enemy. To break out of my idleness, I decided to paint some pigs. Pigs are, without a doubt, easy to paint. That is, if you don't go for broke and keep them all the same breed. I chose the Drybrushton as my subject.
The pigs came from Pegasus Hobbies in their farmtastic animals range. I threw in some HO scale pigs that I had lying around. (Don't we all?) The HO pigs make good weanlings.
Here is a half painted Zvezda peasant for scale comparison. (I seriously gotta finish all of my projects.)

I based the drove of pigs on coins and then applied my latest secret weapon: Gel Stone. I don't know if it is sold outside of Korea, but it makes basing a cinch.
It took no time at all to pain them up once the base dried.

At the last minute, I realized that there were piglets and quickly painted them up. Then I realized that I needed a pen to hold the pigs and started to scratchbuild a pig pen.
I used wood to represent.....(wait for it)...WOOD. I found these at an art supply store and look like match sticks without the heads.

I then textured the base with my secret weapon: Gel Stone and slopped some paint on it once it dried.

Though I finished the pigs, I still have to finish up the pig pen and finish up the bases for the pigs.
Not bad for a day's painting.  As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

On the Workbench (Zombie Edition)

I have always been a procrastinator of the highest order, but lately I've become some sort of painting flea. I jump from one project to another, never quite finishing what I started. Case in point...
I started basecoating some Caesar zombies...
Drybrushed some undead wolves....
Gave some Elheim hillbillies a wash....
Primed and drybrushed some Elheim soldiers....
and built a Minart workshop.
The Minart kit was easy to make but the roof is a bit of a pain, especially if you want to make it removable. I'm not sure if I will eventually get around to doing up the interior. I'm sure that if I do, then no one will ever try to enter it during a game.
The interior is pants and has to be based.
While flea jumping back and fourth from painting and building, disaster struck. I wiped my best Windsor Newton 00 brush on a tissue that had some glue on it. So I now have an expensive drybrush. It was my best brush and had lasted for over 3 years. It made my eyes rain.

I'm Simple Jack. I wiped an expensive paintbrush on some glue.
So I decided to go to my trusted art supply store to pick up a new Windsor Newton Series 7 00 brush but they were no longer in stock. They had 0's and up but no 00. Korea can be strange that way. One day you have pretzels and snapple.....then (poof!) gone like they were never here.
They did have some Korean kolinsky sable brushes that were really small and dirt cheap. The name of the brush company is Hwahong.  Each brush was about 2 dollars U.S. I was able to buy 5 brushes for the price of 1 Windsor Newton.
A Windsor Newton 0 is on the top...the rest are Huahong.
The points are really small. One is so small that I think that I might be able to paint eyes. It will be useful for tiny details but that's about it. Only time will tell if these brushes can compete with Windsor Newton for durability. Until then, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Zvezda Thatched Cottage

I finally finished the first house for my medieval settlement. The kit is from Zvezda and has lots of kitbashing potential. I wasn't sure how the roof would turn out as it can be a bit fiddly. I tried to cover as many gaps as possible with modeling paste but I didn't seem to get them all.
One of the things that I liked about this kit is that you get to place the timbers any way that you like. But I suggest that you paint them before gluing to make painting easier.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the paintjob before drybrushing or weathering. It looked quite nice but too clean.
Though I am no historian, I have a feeling that with all the smoke, mud, and livestock, things dirty was the rule.
I haven't decided whether to declare it done or to drybrush it some more.
I think it has the right level of grimy gloom but there are a few touchups needed before sealing.
Here are a few pictures of the walls before gluing or painting. You have to cut out the windows and doors which, though a pain in the neck, let you have more options.
The Zvezda kit is perfect for wargaming. It is sturdy and not too time consuming (looking at you Miniart). It paints up well and if the roof doesn't bug you, well worth the money. With 3 kits, you could definitely build at least 4 houses of varying size.
A house needs occupants and that will be the subject of a later post. As always, thanks for reading.