Friday, December 21, 2012

Axis Infantry Painted

The sniper's shoulder isn't really yellow, it's just a reflection.
Big day for the Axis cause: frequently-used models have been painted.  The gorillas I did a few weeks ago were selected because they don't find a place in many lists, so if they took longer than expected it wouldn't cause (m)any problems.  Today I took a bigger leap by tackling a unit of snipers, along with a unit of the recently intriguing spotters, both of which have featured in every list I've run since getting the Hades book.  I wanted to take a bigger bite since I felt confident in my at the time untested scheme, but was restrained by my lack of prior preparation.  I'd cleaned mold lines and glued wiggly components on the radiomen, snipers, and medium walkers a few days back and didn't like the idea of painting something that might twist around and rub away my work.  I almost went with the walkers instead but I'm less confident in my approach as it involves a number of techniques I've never tried before, but there will be time for that later.

As always, my pictures turned out dark.
You are no doubt wondering about my amazing approach to these models.  (As an aside, I've spent about the last half hour looking for a close up of just hands, mini, and brush so I could make up a "my painting technique is unstoppable" picture.  You have failed my stock photo needs again Internet.)  To scratch your curious itch, and to keep a record for myself, this is how it went.  Start with a heavy drybrush, or the closest I can manage, of VGC (Vallejo Game Color) Stonewall Grey on everything that isn't going to end up flesh or metal.  Next apply VGC Gunmetal to all metal areas.  VGC Bronze Fleshtone goes where you'd expect.  Follow with a liberal coating of GW Badab Black wash, assuming you still have a pot.  Because I was working with a small batch and had a heavy hand with the wash, I let the models dry for a while before continuing, but once I get rolling on a couple units at once I don't think drying time will be required.  Regardless, after the wash came Vallejo Model Color Yellow Ochre on the backpacks.  After a bit of experimenting, and taking stock of my materials, I went with a Vallejo Umber Shade wash over the yellow to get that mustardy-sorta-brown color I wanted.  I picked out the toes and tops of the boots, grips on the guns, belts, a strip of trim on the bottom of the jackets, the odd strap on a hat, and all the metal bits on the backpacks with VGC Black.  The penultimate step was a VGC Chainmail Silver highlight on the existing metal areas, plus picking out the metal bits on the backpacks.  Another Umber Shade wash on the backpacks, especially the metal bits, and the job was finished.  Basing still needs to happen, but the models themselves are done.

You can see the belts and jacket trim in this one.
The only real hitch in this process was figuring out the yellow.  My initial approach was to thin down the VGC equivalent of Snakebite Leather as a wash.  While this still seems like the right tactic, I watered it far too much and didn't get the results I wanted.  I tried a GW Ogrun Flesh wash on the left backpack, but the result was red instead of brown.  My thought now, and always, was Devlan Mud, but my supply is all but exhausted and it's part of my Legion scheme, so I want to preserve it for that use.  I've had the Vallejo wash for quite a while but never really use it, so I gave it a shot and it was almost exactly what I had in mind. 

Overall I'm happy enough with the result to begin preparations for the rest of my troops.  This batch strikes me as a bit on the drab side, so I may go back and do up some flesh colored hands, but mostly I'm hoping that having a non-grey base will give them some visual life.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dust Up: Supremacy Showdown

Not this kind.  Well, maybe a little.
Special Disclaimer: New ground is breaking in this very post.  Etna's Vassal and I doing something I've been thinking about for a long while, a double battle report.  This is different for me as I generally try to cover both sides, successfully or not, when I do a battle report, whereas this time it's (mostly) all from my side.  You can find EV's half of the story here

You'd never know it from this blog, but I've been playing a lot of Dust Warfare lately.  It took a decent amount of sniffing around and shuffling feet, but I'm now at the helm of a nearly complete collection of Axis forces, thanks in part to the Escalation league that's been running for the last month or two at Huzzah.  (Wednesday nights if you're a curious party.)  I've had a good time with Dust, which is quick and interactive, and am now starting to appreciate the depth of the system.  It's one of those easy to learn, hard to master things.  I've even settled (I think) on a scheme and approach, which should make a certain reader happy.  Once I get going on it of course.  The Huzzah league is wrapping up currently, with EV and I finishing up tied for first.  We hadn't played each other during the league since we get in a weekly game on Tuesdays, so there were no handy head-to-head tie breakers available.  The only way to determine a champion was to duke it out.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Turns out dark models that lean forward are hard to photograph.
I've been a lazy hobbyist of late.  Games aren't a problem, and I'm probably playing more than ever since getting back into gaming a few years back.  The struggle against unpainted (and worse, unassembled) models isn't going as well.  Today I struck a tiny blow against the unpainted masses in the form of four apes.  Before painting began my focus was on speed, but that fell down the priority totem pole in the usual manner as I got to work.  Despite dragging my feet a bit the actual painting went quick enough, though it was accompanied by a large pail of drying time.  I "drybrushed" the fur (aka 90% of the model) straight over the "primer" that the models come out of the box with, then gave it a heart black wash.  Panzerfists got a coat of black, then bronze, then a slathering of Tamiya Smoke (along with the silver generator on Markus' back).  Final details were eyes and tongues, both red, along with white teeth and colored wiring.  I had been set to base my Dust mans in the same manner as my Blood Angels, meaning painted ballast with static grass tufts, but now I'm reconsidering.  My base edges are painted black because I'm not going for a super-realistic style.  These aren't real mans, they're little bits of plastic, so I feel no compulsion to try and camouflage the base to make it look real.  As such I'm thinking about painting the bases silver since they have a diamond steel plate sort of texture, plus the rivets around the edge.  Maybe a silver top and rivets with a black edge, though that's a bit more work than I want to sink into these bases.  Will this be the much looked for start of painting Dust?  Hopefully.  The monkeys were the first because they didn't need any flash cleaned or pieces straightened.  The rest of the stuff?  Not so much, which presents a bit of a hurdle.  Maybe Santa will bring me a fat sack of hobby momentum.