Archive for September, 2011

My First Foamcore Ruins: FINISHED

Several years ago, I started a project. I designed and built a ruined building out of foamcore. I added some details and some debris, made a blog post about it, and then it sat on my printer for A Long Time. Then, I finally primed it and painted it (half-assedly, I might add) and then it sat on the printer again, for A Long Time. Eventually it ended up in a photo on my blog related to something else. And then we moved, and it sat in the basement again for A Long Time.

Earlier this spring, I repainted it and it was finished. And this past weekend, I finally took some decent pictures of it.

I'm sorry, I will not stay at this hotel again

I don’t think it has a great amount of detail, but it’s got more detail than many foamcore buildings you see on some gaming tables, so I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. There’s a fine line one must walk between making something that looks like a diorama (this is nowhere near that quality, obviously)  and something that’s actually playable and will allow you to stand some models on it.

I think it needs a little more detail on the outside

I repainted this with my first airbrush lesson with John back earlier in the summer, and added a few more visual details after the new coats of paint. If you plan on doing a lot of terrain, picking up even a cheap airbrush will make your work so much quicker and look quite a bit nicer as well. Painting large areas with a brush is really time consuming and difficult to make look good.

I really should've put a figure in one of these photos for scale purposes

Also, you want to make sure to add details. If you have ever seen a building before (and I suspect you might’ve) you’ll have noticed that they have details on them. Things like pipes, vents, junction boxes, heating and cooling units, etc. That, and simple surface details and window sills and the like, really enhance the look of a building. I should do a post or two just about those kinds of things.

Airbrush Lessons and Terrain Painting

Multiple Golden Demon-winning painter and good friend Sam and his brother John came over on Saturday to show me some airbrushing tricks and best practices. I learned tricks on cleaning my airbrush, how to properly mix color and how to apply and blend that color on the model you’re painting. I learned a lot and put some of it into practice before Sam left. I’m really looking forward to trying it out on some figures soon (probably USCR guys from MERCS) and another Chaos Rhino or two and some terrain, of course. So, so much terrain.

Sam working on a Blood Angels Land Raider (for my friend Eric) while explaining the finer points of airbrushing

However, between coats of color on the Land Raider he was painting to show me examples, we stalked about the Nerd Bunker to find something for me to practice airbrushing. I usually have a bunch of primed or half finished projects lying around. One thing we did find (but decided not to airbrush) was a statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain set from Games Workshop. After looking it over and discussing how to best paint it, I got to it.

A work in progress, but it's looking good so far

It’s turned out pretty well so far, especially the green patina effect on the bronze statue. I need to paint the base of the statue to look like stone, and then do a few touch ups with a wash in some of the darker areas, but then it’ll be done. Maybe, if I ever get a second one of those statues, I’ll do a step by step tutorial about it if people are interested. Also, I’ll make sure to take fancy photos of this project when it’s all done.

Recent 40k Combat Patrol Tournament

I played in a Warhammer 40,000 Combat Patrol tournament this weekend at Chimera Hobby Shop in Appleton. The Combat Patrol format is really interesting to me, because it only allows 400 points in your army, instead of the usual 1500 to 2000 points that are the norm. That means I only field 16 figures and one vehicle instead of four or five dozen figures and half a dozen vehicles. It’s an easier goal to paint and get finished, plus I can switch up my army list and try all kinds of new things.

A blurry photo I took upside-down of my Plague Marines dug into cover

Overall, I did pretty well. I came in fifth out of 14 which I was pretty happy with since I’m a relative newbie to Warhammer 40k. I also got a 32 out of 40 in the painting category, which I was kind of proud of. I worked pretty hard to get my troops all painted in time for this event. You’ve seen the Plague Marines in a previous post, and I hope to have fancy shots of the other troopers up here soon.

Also, I made a short video of the event so our friend and fellow player Ted could see how it went while he’s away in Afghanistan. He won Best General at the Combat Patrol event a few months ago, so he wanted to stay up on the competition so he’ll be ready to jump back into the ‘local scene’ when he comes back in the summer.

Finished Plague Marines

Yesterday was Labor Day in America, and I did do a bit of labor while I was home from work on a Monday: I mowed the lawn, I raked the yard a bit, and I finished my Plague Marines for the Combat Patrol tournament this upcoming Saturday.

Touch Me, I'm Sick

I like the way they turned out; they’re subtle. I wanted them to look a bit moldy and rusty and dirty, but it still wanted them to have the Black Legion gold and black shoulderpads. The rust wash that I applied worked out pretty well, but not as well as I had hoped. In my mind, it was going to be much brighter and stand out more in the crevices, but maybe that would have been too much, now that I look at them.

Two 'akimbo' style plague marines and my first plasmagunner

I didn’t try to get too detailed and fall prey to the dreaded “paint each piece of detail a different color” because I wanted them to look as if they were covered in a layer of something, and that something is something that you don’t want to get on you. I still did some little details like the skulls and arrows and hoses on the backpacks and the weird bumpy icky things on some of their leg armor, but I mainly tried to let the many layers of washes and drybrushing speak for themselves, I guess.

Chainswords and pistols

They’re been sprayed with Dullcote matte varnish and I’ve decided to not add any glossy “wet” looking bits to this batch. Maybe the next group of Plague Marines (this is less than half of what I eventually want in my entire Chaos Space Marine army) will have some “wet look” sores or other generally icky bits that I’ll brush on with a gloss varnish after the matte spray has dried.

Another labor that I undertook during my Labor Day weekend was the priming of the next five ‘regular’ Chaos Space Marines for my overall group of ten for the tournament, and I finally used my airbrush to prime and highlight my crooked Chaos Rhino. The airbrushing went without incident and the effect turned out pretty well, but that’s more for another post.

Plague Marine Update

I’ve been working on the Plague Marines that I need for an upcoming Warhammer 40k Combat Patrol tournament that I’m playing in on September 10th, and they’re coming along pretty well. They’re starting to get close to done; I’d say they’re at 70% or so.

The group of them are getting a bit closer to completion

Their weapons and bases still need to be painted, obviously, but their main armor and whatnot is mostly done, minus some details here and there and a final, all-over rust wash to really make them look a bit dirty and gross.

Next step: painting the weapons

There are a lot of layers of Games Workshop washes on these models, from brown to sepia to green to even purple in some areas. There’s a bit of drybrushing here and there and some watery metallics (like on the trim of the shoulderpads) to act as old, tarnished gold.

Next, I’ve got to come up with a good color scheme for the marines’ bolters and chainswords, then I’ll try out the rust wash (video tutorial from Awesome Paintjob) for the first time and then be ready to hit ’em with the Testors Dullcote, which I still find to be the best clear matte varnish spray, even if it does probably change your DNA if you inhale it.


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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