Sunday, March 22, 2009

Completely menacing!

Well, it took a little while, but the Stalk Tank is now painted. Something wasn't working too well when I was taking the photos so they're not the best, but hey, at least you get to see them now.

These will be the last photos I'll be posting for a little while as my baby girl is due to arrive tomorrow morning (she's breech so they'll be slicing my wife open, not an ideal situation). So over the next few weeks I'll be learning how to be a new dad and looking after my wife as she recovers from abdominal surgery and learns how to be a new mum. Fun for all ; )

I hope you like the painting results. I'm very happy with how things turned out. It'll fit in perfectly with the army. Now to work out a way to use it. I'll take some new pics once things settle down.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rivets Galore

I know it's been a week but things have been quite busy. I have been working on a few things (including painting the massive Stalk Tank) and I figured I should live up to that promise to talk about how I do my rivets.

The way I create and add my rivets would just be too simple, so I figured I'd add a few more examples that friends of mine also use. So here goes:

The Carrot-slicing Method (my favorite)

Simply begin by slicing across a plastic rod with a VERY sharp hobby knife. Slice away until you have a bunch of rivets (I typically cut around 20-30). On the right you can see a few slices cut from hex-rod, great for bolts or nuts.

A quick trick I use to keep the slices from shooting across the room (and hitting the cat in the eye) is to slice on my painting palette. Over time I let layers of paint build up (loads in this case). When I lay the rod down and start slicing, it sinks into the paint layers a bit and stops the dreaded "flying rivet". Much less frustrating.

The final step is to glue the rivet to the piece. If you're gluing to plastic then use polystyrene cement, if you're gluing them to anything else then super glue works just fine. As you can see on the left, I carefully pick up the rivets with a VERY and POINTY (x2) hobby knife and dip it in a puddle of glue. On the right you can see how I apply the rivet to the piece. Simply let the glue get a grip, "swirl" the rivet around a little, and then pull the knife blade out. 

Warning: don't push too hard with the knife blade, you'll cut through the rivet really easily!

Summary: I use this method because it is "cheap and cheerful" and I don't really have to plan out where I'll need my rivets until the final detailing stage of a project. It is really easy to cut various sizes (and shapes) of plastic rods too. You can also apply these rivets to any surface (plasticard, resin, plastic kits, metal pieces, etc. etc.).

The biggest down sides are that the rivets will never be completely consistent and you have to cut about 20% more than you think you'll need to replace the rivets that fly across the room or are cut in half by the sharp blade when applying them.

The Grandt Line Method (thanks to Jeff Hall)

A company called Grandt Line make some great stuff for fine-scale train modeling. Included in their range are some very small resin rivets. These rivets come in a variety of shapes including round heads, hex-nuts, and conical rivets. They come on a sprue as you can see above, and are easily cut from the sprue.

You can cut the rivets off at their "head" and apply them in the same fashion as the Carrot-slicing Method, but I decided to show you who they'd be typically applied on the scale trains.
On the left you can see me drilling holes into a sheet of plasticard. This is followed by dipping the rivet end into some super glue. Using a pair of fine tweezers you then drop the rivet into its hole. Finally you can see three rivets in the plasticard.

Summary: This is a great method if you have some more time (and money) but the best things about the Grandt Line rivets are that you can be assured they'll be consistent and they come in shapes you can't achieve from cutting rods. You can also apply these to any surface.

Apart from being a more costly than rod, you also need to be really careful when drilling your tiny holes as thin drill bits can snap just by looking at them.

To find these rivets online, just google "Grandt Line rivets"

The Leather Punch Method (thanks to Dan Cooper)

This method is also "cheap and cheerful" but requires a little more planning than the Carrot-slicing Method. It does require the purchase of a leather punch but once you have it you can create rivets galore. The leather punch has a single "pointy bit" and a disk with various size holes in it. The smaller the hole the smaller the rivet look you'll get. In the center panel you can see me applying pressure to the plasticard and in the final panel you can see the raised bumps that are your "rivets".

Note: this is not your traditional "Hole Punch" as you are not cutting a hole from the plasticard.

Summary: As you can see, this is quick and easy to do. Simply plan out where you want the rivets to go, then start applying your handy tool to the plasticard. The tool isn't too pricey (around US$15-17 if I remember correctly) either and the process is less time consuming and messy than the previous two.

On the down side you can only use this method on relatively thin sheets of plasticard (not thicker than 2mm) and you only get one shape, a round head rivet. For my typically unplanned projects, this method doesn't really fit as you have to know where you want the rivets before you assemble the pieces.

Unfortunately I can't remember which website I got this from, but a search for leather punches just lead me to the regular hole punch, not this one. If anyone knows where this kind can be found, please post a comment.

The Riveter! (thanks to Thomas Wynn)

When you want some serious precision, The Sensipress Riveter is the Cadillac of tools. At around US$70 it is also priced that way. Designed to punch rivets onto brass sheets for hyper-detailed fine-scale modeling it really is over the top for the things that I build, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to show it to you.

The physics are much like the leather punch above, but there are all sorts of ways to get you some super precision.

I'm not going to summarize this one, as the pros and cons are much like the leather punch, but I will say that Thomas did not buy this one himself, he got it as a gift from a friend.

The End

I hope that helps everyone. I know there are a few more ways to do the whole rivet thing but I think these cover the more accessible avenues (well, apart from The Riveter that is).

Happy modeling!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A busy week but still no new Pact?

Well, this week I actually got a lot of hobbying done, but not a lot of Blood Pact fun to show for it. Here's the rundown of the work I did this week:
• Finish painting four Departmento Munitorium Trucks
• Assemble a full Soviet Guards Rocket Mortar Battalion for Flames of War (that's eight Katyushas that can drop the Devastating Bombardment template!)
• Base 61 Romans from Warlord Games for my Warhammer Ancient Battles army
• Get started on my entry for the Stegadon Conversion Challenge

I was also able to complete a commission piece for a friend of mine who was looking for a "test model" to help guide him through what promises to be a really nice Blood Angels army. The two pictures below are of the ubiquitous Blood Angel Assault Marine. I'll paint the Chapter, company, and squad markings once we've decided which company and squad this guy will belong to.

The recipe for the red was unlike my typical red but I do like the depth it gives. 

The process was basically:
• Primed black and basecoated Mechrite Red.
• Washed with Badab Black
• Highlighted with Mechrite Red/Blood Red mix (60/40)
• Highlighted with Mechrite Red/Blood Red mix (20/80)
• Highlighted with Blood Red
• Highlighted with Blood Red/Blazing Orange mix (50/50)
• Edge highlighted with Blazing Orange
• Washed with Baal Red

That's about five more steps than my typical red, but I'm really happy, as I said before, with the depth.

Anyway, the next project to work on is to take the four kits pictured below (Leman Russ, Chimera, Basilisk, and Ork Trukk), a lot of plasticard, and a few bits of resin, and turn them into the five most "common" Chaos vehicles described in Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series. These items will become the SteG4 armored car, the At-70 Reaver, the AT-83 Brigand, the N-20 Flame Half-track, and the Usurper self-propelled artillery piece.

Should be fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The rumble of heavy armor

Well, over the last week I've been working on tanks and trucks. In an interesting departure from the regular techniques and applications for my Blood Pact, I've explored a new idea (to me of course) on my trucks, but more of that later. 

First on deck is the might Malcador Defender. With 5 heavy bolters, 2 lascannons, and 1 demolisher cannon, it should be able to handle most problems on the battlefield. My Pacters will give praise to Khorne for the support.

The Malcador is closely followed by the Valdor, packing its mighty neutron laser and a lascannon. I'm not sure how this beast will perform on the tabletop, but I'm sure it'll attract a lot of firepower, which is not always a bad thing.

And some folks have been curious to see the trucks from my last post painted. Well here's one of them, resplendent in it's Departmento Munitorium livery, the N-6 Heavy Transport [Military]. As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted these to be useful for many of my IG armies (should mechanized armies be a good way to go with the new codex). I think the generic color works well with roughly half a dozen of my IG forces, so that works well for me.

As I said, I tried something new. 

Rather than paint my rusted/chipped armor back on after the main color (grey in this case) I decided to step into the long-hallowed halls of fine scale modeling. I used an Art Masking Fluid from Windsor & Newton to create the patches on this truck where the grey paint has peeled off.

To do this I simply drybrushed the truck with Tin Bitz and Boltgun Metal, then applied (using an old brush) patches of the masking fluid onto the body of the truck in places I knew the paint would naturally chip during service (on edges and places with high foot traffic). This was followed by a coat of Adeptus Battlegrey, a wash of Badab Black, and a drybrush of Codex Grey. Once the grey was all dry I went back over the areas I had masked, rubbing away with a pencil eraser. This lifts off the masking fluid and any of the paint on top of it, leaving whatever was under the mask in the first place. I hope you like the result. I might try the same technique when I paint my Stalk Tank, and do a step-by-step at the same time, if you'd like.

I'll work on getting the others painted up then I'll be well on the way to a dozen N-6 Heavy Transports for my supply column. More of that in the future.