Friday, May 25, 2018

Absolutely Fabulous!

Between my desire to create my own version of the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers and find a better way to store paint than the dreaded dropper bottles, I ended up with this...

During a recent Models Workshop podcast, we did some on air Amazon searches, and determined that nail polish containers might suit the requirements.  That is, a solid container with a brush inside the twist top lid.

Lo and behold, we found this gem for $15!!

Inside were 20 jars, perfectly shaped to not tip over, sitting inside a soft foam strip that kept them firmly in place... so cool!

Better yet, there were stainless steel agitators and even small funnels!  The brush was perfect, since it reached down to the bottom of the container.  It is also very soft, which means it will be easy to brush out the paint onto a palette.  A harder brush might have caused the paint to fly around a bit.

Here is what I am trying to emulate.  I love my Mig Ammo Oilbrushers, since the paint consistency is just like acrylic paint, nice and thin.  Regular oil paint comes out of the tube like peanut butter, and has to be thinned.

It's not a big deal, but I do so much at once, that does start to take extra time.  It would be great to have my own favorite colors in a similar container as well.

Here you have it... some of the new, more intense oil colors along with the original set, and the  high quality White Spirits.  The idea is to mix in the white spirits and get that same miniature paint consistency.

Here you can see what the consistency of the oil paint is out of the tube.  While it is possible to paint the initial layers of a miniature with paint this thick, you would have to work them around the surface, etc., to spread them out.

As you work in those white spirits, you can see how the texture changes, becoming smoother and easier to spread around.

I wasn't really sure just how useful the funnels would be for this part of the experiment, but they did actually work!  Very cool!

They will be even more efficient when I take my favorite dropper bottle paints and transfer them into these.  No more T shaped pins for unclogging the bottles from then on!  Yay!

I put the stainless steel agitator into the bottle, shook it up, and poof!  Instant deep purple OilBrusher bottle.  Speaking of which, a new set of 20 bright colors has arrived, and here is a live session where they were tested out!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blood At Arras

Here we go!  Battle report number three from the Early War series, this time covering the Battle of Arras.  You can see that one on my YouTube channel here:

It was a bit different from my first couple of reports, with changes in the terrain, and in the armies as well.  I really enjoyed being able to incorporate my scratch built objective markers as terrain pieces!

I also used those new terrain sets that I have shown in recent how to posts.  The roads worked perfectly, and I was even able to use the telephone poles from another step by step guide!

There will be an upcoming blog post with images of the completed 88mm flak gun.  As per the historical scenario, it played quite a role during the battle, especially with Rommel's nearby presence!

This was also the first battle report in which the British appeared.  Their rules are quite different from the French, so that was an interesting twist.  I think I will try to film one more report where they go up against the German forces alone.

Hans Deitrich led his squad in a desperate attempt to cut the communication lines to the French forces... would another hero be created in this battle?

As you can see, this board was much flatter and open than the previous Ardennes terrain set ups.  This was done to represent that flatter more open territory in northern France.

The Luftwaffe makes another appearance in this report, but very late in the game.  Would it turn the tide for good against the Allies?  Check out the latest report and find out!  

Stay tuned, because more is on the way!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Call your Shot

While I have been showing you the completed images of the mobs from Gangs of Rome, there are other figures central to the game.  This would be the gladiators and fighters themselves!

Again, I have not played the game at this point, but I do know that these numbers you see on the red pieces are meant to identify the character and keep track of wounds.

I think you can equip each of your fighters how you wish, and then you keep track of them with a 'roster', matching them up to the number on the left.  The bases have these cutouts already, and the little counters are included in the blister, as well as the cards, dice, and so on.

As I show these various fighters, you will see small portions of those larger mosaics which I profiled in the step by step articles!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Li'l Red

Here's another example of a Necromunda Clan Escher figure painted mostly with oil paints,  As usual, I did some finishing details with acrylics once that was dried.  This was especially the case where I needed to establish some glowing parts on the figures.

I wanted to use my Vallejo fluorescent paints like I normally do for such things.  Thus far, I don't think anyone makes fluorescent oil paints!

Once again, here is the link for the Facebook Live episode where I painted part of the squad:

Monday, May 21, 2018

Minis in Oils

My first experiments in painting figures entirely with oils were conducted on these figures, since they had many of the elements that I thought were well suited for that medium.  First, there are a number of hard to reach areas, and the oils are helpful in that aspect.

Since getting a brush into them would be difficult enough, trying to make shades/blends in those deep crevices and out of the way spots would have been a nightmare.

The oils allow me to essentially blend the colors blind, since there is no 'layering' per se.  I can smush a few colors into the deep recess, and then use another clean brush to blend them together, which will be just fine with the tiny amount that you can actually see!

Finally, these had plenty of earth tones, which matched a huge quantity of other figures that I was also working on.  So, I was able to work on 3-4 times as many figures at once as I could using acrylics.  Not only were the colors staying wet on the palette, but they were on the figures too!

So, that extra blending that I could still do many hours if not days later proved to be quite handy.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ruling the Mob

This is the second mob painted for the Gangs of Rome game.  These are groups of five figures that can react in various random ways to the mortal combat going on in the streets around them.

When you look at the individual figures in each of these mobs, you start to see some interesting characters.

I did some Google image searches on Roman fashions and mosaics.  You have already seen the previous posts regarding the bases.  In the same way I had to guard against getting too elaborate with the mosaic patterns, I could not get too "busy" with the figures themselves.

Without even realizing it, this became the green mob.  This allowed me to make the Senator stand out even more, despite how mostly white robes.  That bit of red could contrast with all of those shades of green, while the occasional tan colors would tie in to those on the base.

The veil of the lady with the jar was made light blue to do the same thing... tie into the blue wave of the base.

For those of you who may not have seen the step by step post, here's a link for you:

In future posts you will recognize bits and pieces of these overall patterns on the gladiator bases.  After all, they are supposed to be walking down the same hallways and streets!

The first time I saw these "street level" views I noticed the individual character of the figures much more than when I was painting them!  You can tell that a few of the citizens are less than pleased with the mayhem taking place.

When I looked for the various Roman fashions, there was a lot of 'trim' on the edges, in a few repeated patterns.  They were quite a bit more colorful than I originally anticipated.  The temptation to go wild with all kinds of colors and patterns had to be resisted, since there was already a great potential for visual frenzy.

I also did not want the expressions of the figures to become secondary.  Keep in mind as well that most of the skin tones were painted in oils.  That was the easiest way to do that on 24 figures all at the same time!

This lady in particular seems to be someone that not even a gladiator should cross.

Meanwhile, a hapless Senator appears to have lost all control of the situation!  Stay tuned for much more from the latest new game from Warlord Games.  You can check out the Gangs of Rome Facebook group to see more info, and check out the nifty terrain that they are creating too.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Death in the Marshes

Following their successful defense of their base in the last German assault,  the Red Army decided to push forward to reclaim the ancient wooden cathedral of Korbyn on the Pripyat river.

No sooner did they arrive in the center of town that they learned a new German column was advancing in their direction.  Unlike the advance guard which had previously been turned away, this group had heavy artillery, mobile assault guns and battle hardened veterans.

This did not leave the defenders much time to prepare their positions.  They hastily set up a perimeter around the church, leaving much of their own heavy weapons behind.  Those would have to catch up in time before they themselves would be encircled by their enemies.

The Soviet troops did attempt to conceal themselves using all the dense foliage in the heavily wooded landscape.

No sooner did they complete this process than heavy shells began to rain down upon them!  Perhaps their mastery of camouflage caused many of the shells to miss their marks...

While a few of the more nervous squads and weapon teams were pinned, most simply shrugged it off.

However, one shell landed right next to the church, killing Commissar Royitski!!  The inexperienced squad now found themselves wearing what little remained of the dreaded political officer, but it almost seemed like a relief for the raw recruits.

They had heard many stories whispered among the survivors of the last battle of Comrade Royitski shooting several members of the unit to "encourage" them to continue moving forward.

The Soviets were stunned to find that they now would have to protect their command post in the church from the Deadly 88, and a Stug.  Their anti-tank rifles would do very little against such weaponry, so they had to place their trust in the Anti Aircraft truck to keep the Luftwaffe at bay...

The Red Army commander Major Albertovsky did not panic, however, and instructed his anti tank units to set up in ambush on one flank to discourage any transports or light support vehicles from moving in to surround them.

This was a crucial position which must be held, for if the Germans could race across this bridge they would be well on their way to Minsk!!

Angered at the death of Comrade Royitski, the NKVD units started to rush across the river to engage the German infantry.

It became apparent quite early that dislodging the fanatical units from the command post in the church would take drastic measures.  The crew of the 88 flak gun was ordered to fire directly at the wooden cathedral, and turn it into firewood if necessary!

The ancient church did not fall, but the ensuing fireball killed an entire NKVD unit attached to Major Albertovsky... this left him with little choice but to evacuate the position with what remained of his command staff.

While the Stug pressed its advance toward the river, a few of the Red Army reinforcements arrived.  They immediately took aim at the German weapon teams placed on the left flank, wiping them out.

It was hoped that this action could draw the approaching veteran units as far away from the abandoned command post as possible.  The Major could not be allowed to fall into a Wehrmacht prion camp!

No sooner did the inexperienced units on the flank dispatch all German resistance on their flank than they heard the terrifying sound of aircraft overhead!

Much to their disbelief, the plane soon caught fire and crashed harmlessly in the woods outside of town.  They had been saved by the Quad Maxim truck, which had come from reserve not long before.

The celebrations were cut short when a German armored car zoomed out from behind the smoking church, putting a well placed autocannon round into the soft skinned truck.

Yet another noble sacrifice by the Red Army, who had already suffered horrendous casualties.

Seeing that the Soviet defenders had been severely ground down, the German commander personally led a last minute outflanking maneuver which placed a full squad of Heer soldiers right behind the evacuated command post.

Major Albertovsky attempted to use the river itself as a hiding place, as he found himself completely surrounded by German armor, artillery and infantry.

After a few games of cat and mouse, and more artillery rounds, the Axis invaders decided that a dead enemy commander was better than an escaped officer!  The Stug drove towards the hidden officer team and fired a howitzer round into their position, killing all of them.

Life is certainly proving hazardous for Red Army officers in the Marshes.  Who will take Comrade Royitski and Albertovsky's place?  The Stavka High Command is already sending a replacement, and perhaps some more armored support to the area.

It is vital not to allow the rampaging German army group free access to the approaches to Minsk...

Stay tuned...