Wednesday, September 3, 2014

40k Beastman WIP - Base and Legs

Well, I guess with the passing of Labor Day here in the USA, it's unofficially considered the end of summer. I'm cool with that, I dig the fall. I'm definitely ready to settle down and get back to doing more work, and mountain biking and hiking in the fall can't be beat.
I did start shipping out the packages for my mini exchange, and it only took my slacker ass two months. So rejoice! If you joined up, your grimy little fists should be all over some sweet vintage lead soon.

I figured I'd post up a little WIP action to let you see what I've been working on lately. I've been making a little bit of progress on the beastman. I'm trying to avoid getting super involved in this miniature and continue moving along quickly without getting held up on one spot too long. I have the habit of starting miniatures for fun, and then I get super involved in the details. Pretty soon I'm 20 hours in, then boredom arrives, and then there is another half finished miniature in my case. I'm going to try to not let that happen. Insert line from everyone's favorite space muppet.

Do, or do not.
There is no try.
I'm cutting it short today, but fear not, I shall return soon. If you joined up for the exchange, you'll have some fun coming to you soon, so keep in touch! Later.

Monday, August 18, 2014

RT Challenge/Clipping and Pinning Tutorial

Sorry dudes. It's been summertime. Lots of biking and skating, and copious quantities of beer has been quaffed. My ankle feels better, and the weather has been nice, hence time around the workbench has been a little scarce.

What have I been up to? Awesome. That's what I've been up to. This was a good day.

Alright, in this post I have some stuff regarding the Rogue Trader Mini Exchange I proposed months ago, and I wrote you up a little tutorial. It's nothing too advanced, but it shows my method to take care of "slotta-style" tabs on your miniatures, so you can pin them to a custom base. Hopefully it will come in handy for some of you.

To the cats who dedicated to the mini exchange, they are all ready to be shipped out, and as always, I apologize for my slacker ass. You're getting free miniatures. You really can't complain too much.

So I ended up picking out an ork, a 40k beastman, and a rare Leman Russ mini. Here are two of 'em all prepped, pinned, and on their completed bases. At this point in the space-time continuum they are primed as well. I converted the Russ mini a bit by pinning on an axe from a Reaper weapons pack, and the wolf tail is from the old Space Wolves sprue. Blasphemy! Sacrilege! You may declare that converting a rare and classic Leman Russ is complete and utter bullshit, but I don't care. I think he was supposed to be holding reins for his pet wolves in his right hand, but I always thought the pose was a bit awkward.

I've always dug this beastman miniature, and I haven't seen any well painted versions of him. I think it is interesting he is wearing loyalist armour and wielding a plasma pistol. Pretty cool. I believe in the olden days of Rogue Trader the beastmen were considered a sub-race of humanity, rather than the spawn of chaos. I'm probably still going to paint him up as a chaos follower, 'cause I feel it's only proper. I'm thinking Khorne.

In case you wonder why my workbench is covered in blue, purple, and magenta metalflake, it's from a board I airbrushed up years ago.

Here are my completed bases for duders. I'm going to try to write up a tutorial on the creation of the slab bases at some point. They involve casting thin sheets of plaster, then breaking them up and carving them. The graffiti base has been completed and kicking around in the stash for years, and I think the ork will finally make an appropriate addition to it. The round wooden base in the middle is from a liquor bottle stopper, and the square one on the right is from a children's wooden block set. The rocks were all made from wine cork, and there are a few miscellaneous odds and ends thrown in from the scrap boxes.

Here is the detail of the base for Russ. As you can see, it's made of a carved slab of plaster, stacks of cork, and a wolf skull from Logan Grimnar. There is some putty on the inside to solidify everything and to allow the pins on the miniature's feet to grab on to something. Note the two holes drilled for the pins.

Anyways, on to the useful bits.

I'm sure many of you have your own style or technique for removing the tabs from miniatures, but I figured I'd let you in on my method. It's all well and good to glue your minis directly into a slotta-base (personally, I prefer the Privateer Press style) and putty around the gaps, but nothing really sets off a mini like an impressive scenic base. Unfortunately, to get that mini on that base you're gonna have to cut that annoying tab off and put some pins through the feet.

Cue "Tools of the Trade" by Carcass. Also, check the ork.
So you can always just saw directly across the tab, however find that to be a massive pain in the ass, and kinda messy. It generates lots of gnarly lead dust in the air, I find it isn't very accurate, and it requires more cleanup and filing than this method.

First step is to saw vertically through the middle of the tab. Careful, don't emasculate the man. The reason I do this is so after the tab hab been sawed, you can carefully grab under the foot with pliers and bend the two sides of the tab in opposite directions with your clippers. I know this seems unneccesary, but the narrow space caused by the saw doesn't leave enough room to properly clip the tab off without distortion, and if you go all in and just try to clip the tab down the center it is going to bend, or possibly break, the lower extremities of your miniature. This beastman had particularly fragile legs, but marines are usually a little more durable.


Now you can simply trim the tab off until it looks something like the picture on the right.

Now we grab that razor saw once more and we saw off the remaining little chunks.

Then simply file his feet (or in this case, cleft hooves) flat.
My pin vice came with a needle sharp punch, which I find excellent for marking where your pin is going to go. You can also use a sewing pin or needle. I discourage the use of the tip of your hobby blade for this, it's easy to slip and injure yourself. It is also possible for the tip of the blade to snap off in the foot, and the tiniest little fragment of hardened steel is going to completely botch your attempt to drill that hole. That being said, it is important to make an indent where you want to drill, 'cause otherwise the bit wont have a proper seat, and it can walk all over the place. Frustrating.

Then drill. Carefully. I used the smallest drill bit and thinnest brass wire I have to pin this mini. Sorry I failed on taking pictures of the wire and finishing steps. Hopefully you should be able to manage from here.

If the mini I am pinning has large enough feet/legs, I'll use a thicker piece of wire for one foot, and a very thin piece for the other. Observe the ork in the first picture of this tutorial. His left foot has a thicker wire than the right foot. This allows you to drill two large holes, and the large wire will anchor the miniature while the thinner one allows easier placement.

Alright guys, take it easy, and I will return soon. I'll be slinging paint on these bad boys, and I have a music article in the works as well. 'Til next time, and let's hope it isn't another two months!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Destroy: Vintage Gator Board

Today I'm gonna show off some pictures of a classic board from one of my buddy's collections. I was at work not too long ago, and he rolled in and told me to check out this old board he had. I was floored. It's a pretty cherry Vision Gator, with Venture trucks and Toxic wheels. Straight out of the '80's, and it even has some great period stickers. I would very much like to thank my buddy, Mikey, for finally snagging these photos.

I'd like to give a little history about Gator himself, but I figure if you skate, you probably know. He's an asshole. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read his Wikipedia article. To sum it up, he's a rapist, a murderer, and he converted to Christianity in prison. Seriously, screw that guy. It's still a treat to run into such a nice example of one of his signature boards.

Vert is Dead did a little article about the Toxic Team if you are interested. You can scope it here. I believe they were based in Ocean City, Maryland, which is probably the closest beach to the area where I reside. It kinda makes sense how they showed up on this board. Seriously, look at those guys. Sick. The Toxic sticker on the tail is a nice touch as well.

Thanks again to Mikey for motivating. I'll have some more paint action up for you guys soon, I'm also slowly working on restoring a Hoffman Dirty One-30 BMX frame, and I have some records to rant about. Keep checking back for more shred!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rogue Trader Mini Exchange

So I've been trying to cut down the lead hoard a little bit these days. Blasphemy, I know. Remember, a miniature painter only dies when his last figure is painted. I. Will. Live. Forever. That being said, I've got a stupid stash of rad stuff, and I want to see it go to good use. My last post was pictures of some old school 40k stuff I did years ago, I got some good feedback, and it really got me to thinking.

I'd like to present a challenge. Maybe it's not really a challenge, it's more of just an offer. I have a major boner for old Rogue Trader stuff done in a modern style, and I have a large collection of classic Ork and Space Marine miniatures. I'll toss serious cats a mini from my collection if you paint it up and send me pictures. Postage is on me. I just want to see you sling some wicked paint. I would prefer to see some reference pictures of your stuff (i.e. I'd like evidence to prove you're not gonna be flipping this shit on the EvilBay), but all skill levels are welcome. I want to trust you guys, but sorry, I don't wanna see my collection weased for someone else's gain. I could sell this shit myself. Don't do it. I will track you down. I will hurt you. That is a promise.

Seriously, that's a drop in the bucket of my hoard. That's predominantly RT Orks and Marines.

So on an old school kick, I decided I should share some of the weirder and rarer stuff in my collection, and I snagged a few more pictures of some way old stuff I painted. I know there is more stuff kicking around here and there, but this is all I was motivated to find while drinking cheap beer at 3 a.m.

I still remember finding my copy of Rogue Trader when I was 18 years old, getting blazed outta my gourd, and flipping through that holy tome. So much killer art, so much weird. The Book of the Astronomican has some wicked artwork, and a huge catalog of painted RT goodness at the end. Somehow there are two copies of the book crammed between that cover. Weird. I still need to get a few pages framed to hang around the pad.
Bolt Thrower's Realm of Chaos on vinyl? Better believe I have that shit framed. Yeah. I know you want it. Ain't leavin' my collection. Absolutely amazing artwork. Gatefold. You need to see it all. I'll do up a whole article about it eventually. I still remember the first time I found a Bolt Thrower album. Again, I think I was 18, and it was Honor Valor Pride. I saw the 40k inspired album cover and I was hooked. Can I just say how awesome early Earache Records was? Like when Carcass appeared on Red Dwarf? Worlds collide.

Ratspike and an early Fantasy Miniatures book. Blanche and Miller. So stoked to find those both. I found them at a convention a few years ago, and I scored both for cheap. I assume if you are reading this you know of the genius that is Blanche, but if not, he's one of the primary creative forces behind the evolution of the dark and moody feeling of the Warhammer worlds. He's kind of a big deal.

 I will say my tastes have changed over the years, and I don't really have the urge to paint up any more Space Marines. I've done too many. Sorry, dudes. That being said, I've always been a fan of Space Wolves. Vikings in space? Bring it. I had almost a full squad of these guys painted at one point, but as I said in my last post, some disappeared over time. I particularly love devil lock plasma gunner. His shoulder pad declares his name is Sven, but I really should have named him Glenn. I wasn't so clever in my youth.

I've painted two versions of the Imperial Fist dude. One was originally in the Wolves squad, and he departed into the void. I kept the Fist because painting yellow sucks. Especially clean and precise black lined yellow. I don't know how I had the patience to do that shit back in the day.

So here is a little rant for you. One of the beautiful things about early 40k is the shameless ripping off of all that was good in sci-fi and fantasy at the time. Like Star Wars mixed with Tolkien with a little flavor of B-movies and punk rock, and some history in there as well. It's really unfortunate Games Workshop has come down to what it is these days. Bitch, bitch, bitch. We all know they are now an evil empire, but they still occasionally put out a good kit. I still need to snag the new Knight Titan. That being said, why GW, why? You've abandoned pewter. It hurts my soul. I know GW being huge dickholes is a big point of consternation in the miniatures community these days, so I'm gonna let it go at that. Trust me, I could go on.

Getting back on track, anyone who legitimately want to wreck some old school style will have a classic 40k mini shipped to them. You can suggest what you want, but I'll pick it. Obviously there's gotta be a limit, so if this gets too popular I'll have to bail on some people. Heh, that is assuming people actually read this blog. Post in the comments section if you're interested, and if possible, leave a link with some of your work. I'll email you for details. You can also try using that nifty little contact box I added on the right hand side of the page. I'd like to see them done in a month or so. Shoot me some pictures back. Lets bring it. Drink beers. Break out the Bolt Thrower. Let us show how old school minis can still hang.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Some older stuff I've done

 Recently I discovered my Cool Mini or Not account was shut down, which was kinda a major bummer. I had my account running since 2003, and there were many pictures of miniatures that are now lost into the void. A couple moves across the country, and some of my prime pieces have disappeared. It's cool. They all went to good friends and people that deserved them. I decided to snap some shots of my favorite minis that are still kickin' around.

I painted this cat around 2007 or '08. Thaddeus, the Angels of Redemption Captain. I went through a big heraldry phase for a while, and I've always been a fan of classic '80s and early '90's Space Marines. I won a gold medal with him at some show or another. It was given to one of my best buddies, and fortunately I still have access to take pics of him.

This guy is one of my favorites. It isn't technically impressive, but damn, is he a badass. This must have been '05 or '06. I did a series of minis based off of Fallout/post-apocalyptic fiction and movies. I think he was from Foundry.

Once more some classic Space Marine heraldry. This guy also won me a medal, silver I believe. So smooth. I don't know how I did that shit. Well, I do, but I doubt I could swing it again. '06 or '07.
Another post-apocalyptic style guy. From Privateer press. Again, this belongs to my buddy.

That's it for today, just wanted to show some stuff off. I'm hoping to have another post this week about a new 7" I picked up recently. Later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MFCA Show 2014

Like I said in my last post, I've been hitting the Miniature Figure Collectors of America show for several years now. It's right down the road from me, just outside of Philly in Valley Forge, and the caliber of work there is nothing short of amazing. The fantasy/sci-fi genre has been gaining in popularity there over the past few years as well. I just went down for the day on Friday. I didn't feel like paying for the hotel room, and I decided to bail on showing. I'm just a precious, delicate flower and I can't accept rejection. Ha, not really. I'm just a lazy bastard and I still haven't finished anything that fills me with stoke. I'll get around to it someday. I just wanna wait 'til I can bring some solid A game.

I did snag you guys a ton of rad shots of the immensely impressive work at this year's show. I apologize that I do not know who any of the artists are, so if you see your work and want a shoutout, get at me. I'm particularly interested in finding out who painted the Rackham miniatures.

Enjoy the miniature porn, and I'll get back at you in a bit. On the skate front, not long ago my buddy showed up to work with a vintage Gator in awesome condition. When he finally shoots me some pictures I'll show that off. I'm jealous.

Folkin cancels do work: smoking pipe weed.

Two fancypants men and a goat? There's a joke in there somewhere.

The tattoos are impressive on this dude.

I wish I still cared about Space Marines. They kind of bore me. This duder was wicked impressive, though.


I was really stoked to see this piece. I think I've mentioned it here before, but I love Rackham's goblin line.

Ditto for Rackham's Mid-Nor dwarves.