About Me

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About me - I'm a Christian (Pentecostal), Married to Wendy, two step children Thomas and Natalie, dog and rose-crested cockateel(Beauty). I've been a miniature hobbyist for over twenty years; I occasionally wargame at my local club or at home with friends. I set up my commission painting service in 2014, so I spend a lot of time painting!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Battlefield Terrain - Watchtower

Well it's been I while since my last post, but I have been busy with this project during my free time.  I was inspired to create this when reading an old 'No Quarter' magazine (No3) from Privateer Press.  I have recently discovered Warmachine and wanted some terrain to give my table an Iron Kingdom feel; however, I think this could be used in most fantasy and maybe some historic games too. So without further ado, lets show you some pics.

So here it is in all it's glory; it stands approx. 33cm or one foot tall (not including the flag), it's about 18cm wide.  The main column is made out of an old 'Pringles' carton, the tops foam board and the rest is mainly mounting board and plasticard.
You may just make out from the flag and warcaster at the base that this watchtower is in Khadoran ownership; although the flag pole is interchangeable, which should make for some interesting games.
Here is the entrance (guarded by Sorcha), mainly plasticard. You can also see one of the eighteen firing port holes above the door, more than enough for a solid defence. Also, to the right a notice board; providing important information to those approaching.
Here is a closer look at the noticeboard and the lovely sorcha.  This close you can see that the metal is heavily weathered with plenty of rust. I visualise this being placed in a cold, hard Kadoran border, where the ice has eaten away at the metal surfaces.
The roof was the most time consuming part of the build; each of those tiles were individually cut from mounting board and then glued in place. The metal edging is also mounting board.
I made the roof detachable to allow miniatures to be placed inside. I'm not fully versed with the Warmachine rules yet, but I understand that fighting can occur in buildings. Some of the best games I have played over the years have involved the defence of buildings of this type. 

Hope you liked this article, please comment and ask me questions.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Step by Step Guide - Stripping Painted Miniatures with Dettol

At long last I have discovered a product/method that completely removes the paint from my miniatures; leaves the super/plastic glue in tact, doesn't corrode the miniature and is OK on the environment.

The amazing product is Dettol, that's right the brown stuff that goes white when pored in water just before it stings your grassed knee (those were the days, lol).  One important lesson I have learned during my research for this is that it has to be the original 'brown' Dettol as shown below.  For those of you overseas who don't have Dettol, you may be able to get your hands on a product called 'Simple Green' which works in the same way, using the method below.

The Amazing paint stripper AKA Dettol
Items needed:
Bottle of Dettol or Simple Green
Airtight container (as seen below)
An old toothbrush
Rubber gloves (when used neat Dettol will make your skin sore)
A sink with some hot water; to do the brushing/cleaning in, this can get messy.
A day in time; the soaking process takes about 24 hours.

  1. Take your miniatures and place them in the airtight container.
  2. Poor Dettol over the miniatures until they are completely covered.
  3. Leave the miniatures sealed in the container for 24 hours. I gave them a slight shake from time to time; you will notice (if your container is see through) that after a couple of hours the paint starts to fall off.
  4. 24 hours later, put your gloves on, head to the sink and give each of your miniatures a good scrub with the old toothbrush. You will notice that they come out of the pot a bit slimy and this will cover your gloves and the miniatures as you brush them.
  5. To completely remove all the slime, dip your brush in the Dettol and continue to brush until all the paint has gone. By this time all the paint will have almost disappeared and will not need too much brushing.
  6. Give your miniatures a good rinse in warm water and leave to dry; alternatively use a hairdryer to speed up the process (avoid using high temperature on the plastic miniatures, they melt).
  7. Lastly, give the sink a good clean; by now it will look like a frog has exploded in it. Then have fun repainting your new miniatures.
Airtight container 24 hours after start (notice the colour
change and bit of paint swimming in the mix).
Here is a picture of the first group of miniatures I tried this method on. They have been used as test models over the years and had accumulated several coats of paint. Some had up to two undercoats (Citadel spray) and up to six further layers of paint.  As you can see they look pretty good, with only the odd fleck of paint remaining. All the glue is intact, including stones that were super glued to the base.  All the parts are firmly glued (plastic glue or liquid poly).  The basing material, glued on with white glue has all been removed. I am extremely happy with the results.
I'm sure you will be seeing this guard unit painted on here
some time in the future.
Here is another picture of a group of Tau Fire Warriors that went in the same pot that was used for the above Guardsmen; some fresh Dettol was used to cover the miniatures completely. The results are OK, but the effectiveness was slightly reduced. I disposed of the contents of the pot following this session and wouldn't recommend re-using the Dettol too much.
Stripped Fire Warriors, soon to apear with a little more colour.
Lastly I would like to thank the numerous people who have previously documented this amazing product/method to me on YouTube, blogs, forums and the Internet in general.

Hope you liked this article, please comment and ask me questions.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Eye Candy - Imperial Guard Penal Legion

As promised, here are some shots of my Penal Legion squad.  I really enjoyed working on these, Modeling and painting.  Each one is based around a Cadian trooper, converted using parts from other IG kits and Flagellants (especially their heads). I love to convert miniatures and aim to give each one an individual character. Some of the minis in this squad look like they tell a story with their pose of paintwork.

This Custodian has metal plates on his shoulders to signify his rank, these were added with green stuff. The arm he has in the air is from a flamer, with the handle cut off.

This Legionnaire has a simple pennon flag, which is for aesthetic reasons only. Were not covered by clothing or hair I have added bar code tattoos to the Legionnaires heads and put collars around their necks (made of paper clips); this adds to the convict theme. The uniforms are also all based on American orange prison style clothing; I batched painted these, so there are several variations of the colour within the squad.

This guy has a real mean look about him, his face is covered in scares and along with the eye patch you get the impression he has seen many battles.  You can also see the symbol I used for this squad on the shoulder; it is a basic skull with a 'PL' marking on the forehead.  This 'PL' can be seen on various pieces of equipment throughout the squad.

The blind legionnaire, one of those minis that has a real thematic look to it; like he's looking for his next victim to stumble into him and his knife. Modelling this was fun, especially the hand which I pinned on and the lasgun strap made from green stuff. You can also see some patches on the elbow and jacket, again made from green stuff.

Another hard looking Legionnaire; the skinhead hairstyle was one I perfected while completing these minis, using a 'painting faces' guide from White Dwarf. The unconverted original head had a full beard and head of hair, like many in this unit, I had to do a lot of shaving to get to the desired look. Any unused green stuff ended up as red/green bushes on the base, as seen at this Legionnaires' feet.

This old wardog has grown his hair to cover his tattoo. His uniform is in a slightly lighter shade to the others and covered in patches all of which points to a well seasoned campaigner.

Another one of the younger 'recruits' to the squad, with stubble and tattoo still showing.

This was one of the first minis I painted with Afro/Caribbean skin tone, again using the guide in White Dwarf. To add a rebellious feel, I gave him bleach blonde hair.

I really like the way the skin tone came out on this mini, it has a real natural feel to it.

The 'stolen/aquired' beret on this Legionnaire along with his jovial face mark him out as the joker in the squad (everyone has one).

So that's my penal legion, which I hope will make for an interesting unit on the table.  They bring some new rules and some much needed colour to my Catachan army.  I hope you enjoyed seeing them, please comment and ask questions.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Step by Step Guide - Imperial Guard Shotguns

As promised on my last blog here is a step by step guide to making Imperial Guard Shotguns, using a standard Lasgun. I have created this post from a word file I previously made and have scanned the pics below from this; hence the poor quality, so apologies for this.  If you look carefully you can just about make out the red cutting lines on the pics I added.

Tools/Items required:
Lasgun (this guide uses the Catachan version)
Sharp craft knife
1mm Drill bit and pin vice
Craft clippers
Craft files
Plastic Glue

Cut off the muzzle of the lasgun by running the knife around the circumference of the barrel. File the end flat and mark were the center of the barrel is by placing a small hole with the craft knife.  Using the Pin Vice, Drill out the end of the barrel and clean-up the edges with a file or knife.

Cut off the top section of the lasgun and the rear of the sight.  It’s best to start with a knife or clippers and complete with a file, stopping when the top of the casing is smooth and level. Using a file put a 45 degree chamfer on the remaining edges of the gun casing.

Using a file, smooth both the front and rear facing of the gun casing; being careful not to remove the Aquila (unless you plan to use with some chaos scum).  Cut off the ammo pack and file down level with the trigger guard; using a file put a 45 degree chamfer on these edges to mach the rest of the casing.

Cut off the butt and using a file put a 45 degree chamfer on the rear casing edges to mach the rest of the casing. Cut off he rear (padded) part of the butt, this will form the cocking handle. It's made up of 6 sections, cut 2 off and clean up the remaining 4 with a file. This is then glued to the casing, underneath the Aquila. This can be placed further back in a loading position.

Here are some examples of the shotgun in action in my second squad.  Notice the bandoleer with shotgun cartridges on the guns and uniform.  These were added with green stuff, the shells being made from paperclip cut to size.

Catachan Battleforce - First Two Units

Catachan Battleforce Box Set
I got this box set at the start of the year after agonising over which Imperial Guard Miniatures to use.  I had a few Cadians, half of which I have converted to Penal Legion (more on those in another posting). I eventually went for the Catachans because I thought I would enjoy painting them more and I liked the idea of fielding them as veterans.  Here are a few pics of what I have completed so far.  In future posts I will explain some of the processes I went through to create them.

This first (veteran) unit is designed for rear support (holding objectives/flanks etc).  It is equipped with Officer, Radio operator, 2 Grenade launchers, a Meltagun and 5 Lasguns.

First Squad - Click on image to enlarge
First Squad - Click on image to enlarge

In terms of the colour scheme, I've kept it simple and traditional looking, with no red scarfs. This keeps the paint pallet to a minimum, speeds up the painting process and overall has a good look.

This second (veteran) unit is designed for capturing objectives and generally getting stuck into close fighting.  It is equipped with Officer, Radio operator, Heavy Flamer, 2 Flamers and 5 Shotguns (6 if you include the Radio operator).  I will provide a tutorial of how I created the shotguns from lasguns in a later posting.

Second Squad - Click on image to enlarge
Second Squad - Click on image to enlarge

Close-up on shoulder ID
To improve identification of units on the tabletop, I gave the second unit red shoulder flashings.  I left the fist unit without any. All future units will have different colours.

To improve identification of units when returning them to my carrycase; I have added a colour dot under their base (matching the shoulder ID).  I also place my signature here, followed by a quick dab of gloss varnish to ensure they don't rub off so easily.
Here are a selection of close-up pics of individual miniatures from these two units.  I hope you like my work, please comment/ask questions.

Second Unit Officer

First Unit Grenade Launcher
Second Unit Heavy Flamer
Second Unit Flamer

Second Unit Shotgun