Archive for June, 2009

More Work on the Manhunter

It has been a bit too hot to paint, lately. We sort of waited a little too long to fire up the air conditioners in our apartment once everything went (literally) to hell and the atmosphere started on fire (or at least feels like it did) so, though it’s currently starting to get nicer inside than it is outside, it was still a bit too hot to sit between my two desklamps and paint little people. Or, at least, until last night.

Manhunter, shot in my windowsill again

Manhunter, shot in my windowsill again

I worked for another hour and a half or so on this Khador Manhunter. He’s been fun, but I’d like to be done with him now and maybe go on to my Widowmakers. I should be done with him soon, I think. I just need to work on his gloves some more, some other little details here and there (like his belt buckle and the clasps on his belt pouches), the detailing on his hat and fuzzy-ass boots, and then paint his base and call it a day. I figure another hour and a half and then I should be able to varnish him.

Maybe before I start painting the Widowmakers, I’ll work on constructing more of the Destroyer warjack. Putting those guys together is such a chore, they always slow me down. Maybe, just to keep me interested, I’ll alternate between painting my four Widowmakers, constructing my Destroyer and maybe building and basing a new fig, too.  Probably another solo, like Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios. She’s kind of a goofy looking fig with that big flowing cloak and odd pose that just doesn’t do it for me, but she’s pretty good in the game, so that’s why I’m adding her to my army.

Peter and I have been doing more work on our new miniatures game ruleset, and we’ve even decided on a name. Maybe I’ll tell you the name next time. Maybe.

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Some Old Terrain

Skeleton Rock

Skeleton Rock

Here’s some terrain I built three or four years ago. I keep it (and the little skellie from Reaper Miniatures that I painted at a Paint ‘n Take at last year’s OshCon) on top of my big four-drawer filing cabinet in my office at work. The skellie stands there and protects the filing cabinet and his rock from all attackers. People come into my office, look at the bony soldier and not-actually-made-of-rock dias, and usually move the both of them over so they can lean on the filing cabinet while they yammer at me (except for Dave, who doesn’t yammer). The poor unholy warrior just stands there, his sword raised in impotent rage.

The piece is mostly all made out of that pink house insulation foam that you see nailed to the outside of houses as they’re building them or putting on new siding. The skull on the rock totem is actually an old plastic Halloween skull ring. There’s also some model railroad talus (small rocks) and some green foam fake shrubbery (on the backside of the rock totems, out of the camera shot).

The main platform was cut with a Wonder Cutter, which is a hot wire foam cutter. It works great, but leaves the edges with a kind of tell-tale signature ‘look’. People who make terrain can tell you cut it with a hot wire foam cutter and then didn’t try to finish the edges to make it look like stone or anything.

The three totems where cut from the foam with an extendable utility knife. I used the tip of the knife to make the striations on the faces of the totems. They actually turned out rather well; maybe I’ll make a mini-tutorial about how to do that some day.

I then painted it all with tempera paints. For the grass area, I added in some painter’s texture, because I hate flock like poison. I can never get it to stick right and it gets all over everything. For the stone areas, it was a dark grey, then a drybrushing of lighter grey, then a drybrushing of white.

What would I do differently? I would finish the edges of the platform. I’d either sand it smooth and paint the edges green like the grass to make into more of a mound or I’d cover the edges with spackle or I’d just chip away at it with a knife… anything to get rid of that hot wire foam cutter look.

I’d also add more detail to the ground. I’d glue kitty litter to the area around the totems and I’d actually paint the talus rocks, instead of just glueing them down and letting them be their own color. I’d also drybrush the grass to give it more visual interest.

I’m planning on making a new version of this terrain piece, using the new techniques that I’ve learned in the last three or four years. When I do, I’ll have to post comparison shots to see if I’ve gotten any better.

Current Work and Skeletal Robots

I’ve been busy with non-hobby intrusions into my time (like working a lot, sleeping a bit, etc.) but I have gotten some hobby-related things done since my last post. I even have some pictures.

The Manhunter, a work in progress.

The Manhunter, a work in progress

I’ve been painting my Khador Manhunter from Warmachine (Privateer Press) with the idea that some day, I’ll actually have enough figures ready to play without it just being a ‘battlebox’ game (meaning just the warcaster and the warjacks that come in the starter box for a given faction). Finishing some solo characters is a good way to break up the monotony of painting a whole squad of Widowmakers or Iron Fang Pikemen (I dread that day already) so I’ve been attacking this guy. This is just a snapshot taken with my little camera in the window on a cloudy day. I haven’t added any base colors to the gloves, the axe heads or most of the base yet, but I like where it’s going. I’ve always felt that the Manhunters wouldn’t be all decked out in red like most of the Khador army, mainly because of their ‘loner’ status. I might add some red to the three bars on the front of his hat or I may just use some thin red paint and an old toothbrush to make him splattered in blood. I’m not sure yet.

Robots + Skeletons = Awesome

Robots + Skeletons = Awesome

These guys I finished painting quite some time ago, but with the release of the new Terminator movie, I thought I would break them out and shoot them in the old lighting box. They’re from em-4 Miniatures in the UK and they were pretty easy to paint. I did get a little fancy with the basing, which turned out okay. It was one of my first attempts to make slightly fancier bases than the usual ‘glue, sand, drybrush’ technique and I think they turned out rather well.

Lastly, on Sunday my good friend Dave helped me by cutting out a whole bunch of MDF board to my specifications (I kind of helped) so I can start my modular urban battle board. I didn’t take a picture because it’s mainly just a pile of oddly-shaped MDF pieces on my kitchen floor, but as I start more serious work on them, I’ll show you some WIP (work in progress) shots.

A Productive Weekend

I got some things done this weekend, and I don’t just mean some cleaning around the house and getting out to a few local shows. I did a decent amount of hobby work and got some miniatures further along on their quest to being finished.

There's a football in there somewhere

There's a football in there somewhere

I bought Blood Bowl (Games Workshop) more than 15 years ago, and I played it a little, then kept it in my various closets from apartment to apartment. It’s a great little game of fantasy football, and not how the term is used these days. In this case, the ‘fantasy’ means elves versus the undead, or humans versus orks, that kind of thing. Though designed by an English company, it’s based off of American football, but it’s a lot more violent, with players being killed pretty frequently. It’s a pretty good time.

Recently I got one of those weird ‘wild hairs’ in my you-know-where and decided to get the figures all modeled and painted up. I pulled out the box, cleaned the flash off of the plastics, and based the ork team with a layer of simple sand. Once that was dry, I was ready for priming.

Since it was a nice day with little wind (important since I don’t have a basement or a garage) I decided I should try and get a few more pieces primed, as well. Besides the ork team, I also primed a unit of Widowmakers and a Manhunter from Warmachine (Privateer Press), and I primed the second half of my figures from Pig Iron Productions.

Newly-painted soldiers

Newly-painted soldiers

These figures are from their Heavy Infantry line and are great little models. The photo above shows the first half of the squad that I just finished painting. Unfortunately, when I primed them last year, I either did it wrong (maybe holding the spraycan too far away from the figures) or the conditions were bad or maybe the primer had just gotten old. Either way, they ended up with a pretty rough, dusty texture once the primer was dry. I painted them anyway, even though they nearly looked fuzzy in comparison to other miniatures I’ve painted. I used brush-on varnish to seal them, and put it on kind of thick. This helped to smooth the texture out a bit, but I’m still skeptical.

I’m going to try to paint this newly primed batch the same way (if I can remember which colors I used) and hopefully they won’t look too weird together when they’re all mixed into one squad. If the ‘fuzzy’ ones just don’t look right, then maybe I’ll get to try my hand at paint stripping, which will mean more research time with the big global info teat. I certainly could have worse problems.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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