28 October 2008

Well, with the Terminators finished I started trying to decide what to paint next. I looked over all the models that got the Rust-Oleum primer test and they were pretty bad-looking. I tried to slap some basecoat on the Dreadnought, but it just looked bad. I think my next step will be to buy some Reaper brush-on primer. I don't know if it's the climate, bad luck or imperfect technique on my part, but I haven't been able to get good results with a spraycan for a long time. I'm also going to try painting most of the parts on the sprue. I'm thinking I'll build the main bodies of the figures (legs, torsos, possibly heads) and stick them to their bases. The backpacks, arms and other attachments will be painted on the sprue; then I'll attach everything together and touch up the joins. It's not my preferred method, but I think it'll turn out easier in the long run.

I caught another mouse today. I'd been trying to trap this one for a while, but he kept stealing the peanut butter off the traps without setting off the mechanism. We had a close call the other day, as he snapped the trap and lost a bit of hair getting away, but then he stole the peanut butter again. So I devised a trap layout that practically forced him to walk across one trap to get to the other one. That finally worked, and hopefully we won't have any more rodents invading our house. I've got traps set around the house in likely spots just in case, though. Where there's one pest there are likely to be more.

I may try to push through and paint these crusty figures anyway, as it seems a shame to relegate them to the scrap pile. They can always be moved into the reserve companies/mobs once I get some better-looking figures painted up. They aren't as bad as some of the other primer mishaps I've experienced, just a little cracking along seams and a bit of detail obscuration in places. Probably a case of too much primer in certain areas. It'll probably have to be on a model-by-model basis. We'll see.

I've been chasing a few Warhammer Dogs of War units on eBay. They tend to be pricey, so I've not had much luck in that department. I was able to obtain Beorg Bearstruck and the Bearmen of Urslo from a seller in the UK. Beorg is a werebear clan chieftain, and the bearmen are fur-wearing barbarians who follow him. A while back I got Golgfag's Mercenary Ogres at Hobbytown for 75% off. I probably won't be able to pick up any more in the near future. The next set I really want is Long Drong's Pirate Slayers. They're a bunch of Dwarf Slayers who became pirates and carry a whole bunch of pistols. There was a big unit up on eBay last week that I was watching, but they went to about three times what I was willing to pay for them. I'd also like to get Leopold's Leopard Company (a unit of pikemen), perhaps Lumpin Croop's Fighting Cocks (some halfling archers), and maybe even a Halfling Hot Pot (a large slinghot that fires a pot of boiling soup onto the enemy). I'll probably keep picking them up at a glacial pace over the next few years. The units aren't really much good for playing games with, I suppose, but they are certainly a bit more characterful than many of the figures they're putting out now.

27 October 2008

My wife hasn't had the baby yet. I finally finished the Terminators. They look all right. Here are some pictures:

26 October 2008

I am very near to being done with this pair of Terminators. All that's left is painting a couple of cables on their arms and deciding what color, if any, I want to highlight the green with. I was going to take a picture so this post isn't entirely worthless, but the batteries on the camera are dead. I'd better charge them, as we may want to take some pictures of the baby when he shows up. With the Space Marine army coming along, it's time to start thinking about the decals I'll need for shoulderpads and squad numbers.

My eventual goal is to get 1500 points of Marines finished so I have at least one finished force for both Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. Hobbytown has a game night every Tuesday, and supposedly the shift supervisor stays around until midnight so people can finish their games. I figure if I show up with Skaven and Space Marines I'll be able to play whichever game happens to be going on. The reason I went with Space Marines over Orks as the first finished force is that I've already got 1500 points of Space Marine figures on hand. The Orks are going to take a while longer to accumulate. Of course, there is still a lot of kit for both armies that I still want. I've been reading some about Space Marine Scouts and at some point I'd like to get one of the new Land Speeders and build it as the Storm variant, which allows the Land Speeder to carry five Scouts around and theoretically drop off a heavy weapons team or a sniper squad in a convenient area before continuing on it's own mission. Now that I've settled on a color scheme I hope the army will come together pretty quickly. I am a little worried about getting all the vehicles painted. I've got a Land Raider, a Predator, at least one Dreadnought, and a Land Speeder to paint. I haven't done much painting of such large figures, so that will be a learning experience. I've been messing around with my airbrush, just spraying water so far, ut hopefully my skills will be up to the task of at least laying down a basecoat on the vehicles.

25 October 2008

I entirely forgot to post about the most exciting snippet in the latest White Dwarf magazine. In January the Orks are going to be getting a bunch of new plastic kits, to include Stormboyz, new Nobz and Grotz, and a really nice-looking Battlewagon. The Battlewagon takes a lot of its looks from the recent truck kit, and I'm looking forward to adding one of them to my collection. The new Stormboyz (Orks with rockets strapped to their backs) look pretty good as well.

Edit: Here's a scan that someone made of the photo in the magazine:

And you can see some photos of a couple more variants on this blog.

23 October 2008

Not much to talk about tonight, as I haven't been up to much on the hobby side of things this week. Yesterday was the one day I really had some time to paint, but around 5:30 I fell asleep and really only woke up in time to go back to bed again.

Today we went out and bought a freezer that we've been talking about for several months. The freezer on top of our fridge just doesn't cut it for us, so we finally decided to get a new one. I don't shop at Home Depot too often, and I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that they don't offer a military discount anymore. I find it interesting that Home Depot doesn't offer a military discount, but Hot Topic does. We changed the dogs' food for another brand, and it didn't agree with Buddy very much. On Tuesday we woke up to find the living room covered in a poo-splosion. And again when we got home from work. This time we ordered a carpet steam cleaner, as the damage is somewhat extensive. We could've rented a machine, but my sister and her husband rented one a while back and it wound up costing them the same as buying one anyway. It should arrive tomorrow, so we can clean all through the weekend. Appliances aren't the most exciting things in the world to buy, but sometimes you've got to buy something besides toys.

I also bought a Turtle Fur Shellaclava, which will hopefully keep my neck and chin warm while riding my bike. To keep to the theme, Cycle Gear offers a military discount. They also have a winter-oriented jacket on clearance that will be an additional 20% off this weekend. I am considering purchasing it, as the morning ride just keeps getting colder. Soon I'll look like Randy from the movie A Christmas Story; heaven help me if I ever fall down while wearing my winter riding gear.

Speaking of A Christmas Story, the first time I watched that movie I went out in the back yard to play with the dog, and would up experimenting to see if my tongue really would stick to a cold pole. It did, and I was stuck out there for a good ten or fifteen minutes before my Dad saw me through the kitchen window.

14 October 2008

I've been slowly working away on the Terminators. Not much more to show, although I'm about done with the basecoat for the metallic parts. Not much else to say about them. I was a little unsure about my paint scheme, but as I fill in the details it's looking better to me.

I was able to get my heated motorcycle gear hooked up for this morning's commute. On the negative side, it's pretty difficult to get the stuff on and hooked up, as the gloves are fairly bulky and the plugs are difficult to get connected and tucked back into the jacket sleeves. And you'd better have your key out of your pocket and your helmet on before you put them on, as if you don't you'll have to take off the glove, which will then pull the wire out of the sleeve and make you do it all over again. The bulkiness of the gloves also makes the controls a little more difficult to manipulate, but not so much so as to make it feel unsafe to ride. Just different.

On the plus side, the gear is plenty warm. In fact, I had the temperature control for the gloves turned up too much and I thought they were going to burn me until I got on the freeway and the wind started to draw some of the heat off. The jacket was not as noticeably warm, but still took all the bite out of the cold. The gear heats up fast, too, not like a heater in a car that takes half the commute to get warm. I think it was definitely worth the money and should keep me on two wheels for several more weeks or until the snow and ice hit.

13 October 2008

A Little More Progress

I got a little more paint on the Terminators today, mostly just skulls and other iconography. I spent most of the day hooking up my electrically-heated motorcycle gear and moving furniture and other stuff around in anticipation of the baby. The bedroom at least is much more ready to accommodate the piles of stuff that are required for the upkeep and care of a child. And the bookshelf is out of the hallway, so that's a plus.

It's nice having the day off due to the federal holiday, but it's no fun that the mail doesn't run on federal holidays. Ever since I was a very young boy ordering stamp collections and cereal box toys through the post the mail has held a bit of magic for me. Usually all that arrives is bills, but sometimes there is a parcel of some sort containing toys.
I made a very small bit of progress on my Terminators today, mostly just figuring out what colors I'm going to paint some things. I'm going to keep the Company colors and probably the force organization as they're organized in the army book, so Terminators get to be members of the 1st Company and get white and silver as Company colors. So far it looks all right.

The Denver Broncos lost this week, which probably signals the start of their traditional pattern of losing control of the division and then frittering away a playoff spot. Their next 7 or 8 games look very winnable, but my prediction is that it'll come down to the last game of the season against the Chargers, and given their past I don't think the Broncos will be able to get it done.

12 October 2008

Terminators and Mumaks

I've been working on a Space Marine Terminator to see how my tentative paint scheme will look. So far it looks about how I want it to. It's not very close to being done, I still have to paint a lot of details and figure out how to do the highlights. The right knee, which I was going to paint in the company color, has some sort of skull device on it so I'm probably going to use the shield-shaped bit on the left shoulder to designate company color and squad number.

I was at the hobby shop today and noticed that many of their Lord of the Rings boxed sets were marked at 50% off, including the War Mumak of Harad, also known as an Oliphaunt. A discount coupon I had brought the price to 60% off, and I got the largest Lord of the Rings model there is. The box contains one Mumak and 13 infantry models.

I finally got to look through the new Space Marines Codex and build an army list out to 1500 points. I have nearly everything I need for the army already, save for a squad of Space Marines and their transport. Of course at some point I'll be wanting to add some Assault Marines, some Scouts, a few Terminators with non-standard kit, a better Captain model, a Forge World Dreadnought or two.... But the main core of the army is essentially complete. I need a few more models to fill out my Ork list, as the Ork models tend to cost fewer points than Space Marines.

09 October 2008

The compressor for my airbrush arrived, which was a relief. The seller had received some feedback recently to the effect that if they didn't feel like the item sold for enough on eBay, they just wouldn't ship the item. Since I got the compressor at the seller's starting price while a few compressors of the same model had just sold for quite a bit more I got nervous after feedback for other items that sold on the same day started appearing on their profile. My second concern was that it would be somehow incomplete, as the seller stated they were a pawn shop and that the auction contained whatever parts they had. I'm compared the pictures in the auction with stock photos and it looked like everything was there, but I couldn't be sure until it arrived. I hooked it up and tested everything out, and everything appears to be working correctly.

Tonight I put the DVD that came with the airbrush in to see what it had to say. Mostly it showed a lot of late 80s-early 90s hair and clothes. I think there was also a sweet airbrushed jacket with a Southwestern theme. I'll probably have to find a book or DVD that focuses more on painting models.

The temperatures dropped a lot last night, and the ride in to work was terrible. I couldn't feel my fingers by the time I got there, and the rest of me was pretty cold too. So I ordered my heated jacket liner and gloves; they should be here on Monday. I'll probably wind up buying some heated pants as well once the temperatures drop even more. They work by running some wires from the battery to a plug that attaches to a temperature-control unit, which in turn has a few connectors that attach to heating elements in the clothing. I sprung for the dual-controller, which will let you adjust the temperature of each item of clothing individually. You can also attach the gloves to the jacket in one circuit and pants and socks in a series on the other. The ones I bought got good reviews, so we'll see how they work out for me.

As usual I haven't got anything hobby-related done the last couple of days. Today we had to run errands and get the wife's phone fixed; hopefully this time for good. Our warranty runs out next week, so of course her phone has been going haywire lately. We've replaced the phone and the charger, so really all that's left to replace is the battery. Yesterday we were both so tired that we went to bed at seven and slept straight through the night except for an hour or so when we woke up and ate dinner. I imagine we'll be even more tired after the baby decides to pop out and demand full attention.

06 October 2008

I didn't get anything done on the Orcs today. Instead I decided to mow the lawn and clear some junk out of the house. Soon we'll be moving stuff around in the bedroom so we'll be able to fit all of the bookshelves and baby stuff in there, which will free up space in the rest of the house. I'll probably have to construct a different and smaller habitat for the tortoise, as his current home dominates a very large portion of the living room and he only utilizes a small area in it. A couple months ago I put out some grass seed in the back yard. It finally grew in a little, so at least that part of the yard is no longer a total mud pit/dust bowl. I only seeded the part of the yard that's visible from the road first, as that's all the park managers can see from their golf cart. Now I just need to get the rest of the yard taken care of. I didn't want to dump money into the whole yard until I knew that this grass would actually survive the rigors of two large dogs.

I think that once I get this batch of Orcs done I'll paint up five Terminators from the Black Reach set. The Bolter and Chainsword website has a handy Space Marine painter tool that lets you try out various paint schemes. The pictures below show what I think I'll be going with for my Space Marines. I'll probably order some WWII US armor decals to put on the shoulderpads, and squad numbers will go on the colored knee pads (the color designates which Company of the Chapter the model is a part of). The helmets were originally green in color, but I saw a picture in the How to Paint Space Marines book of a Chapter that had metallic helmets and I thought that was a pretty good idea, so I'm going to try it. I thought the metallic powerfist was a pretty good idea as well. We'll see how it turns out.
I also worked out my Ork army list using the Army Builder software. I don't know how great the list is, but it incorporates most of the models I've already got as well as a couple of other things I think are neat, like a Deff Dread and a Killa Kan. I'm still waiting on building a Space Marine army list as I don't have the new Codex yet. With what I've got already I should be pretty close to 1500 points, but I'm not sure yet. I may need a Rhino or Razorback, and I still would like to add an Assault Squad and some Scouts. But by the time I add all that I'll probably be up over my points limit.

05 October 2008

Still not much going on hobbywise, although I did paint a little bit on the unit of Orcs I started several months ago. I'm hoping that by the end of my weekend I'll be able to finish them off and work on something else that I'm actually excited about.

My airbrush arrived in the mail a couple of days ago but the compressor for it is still en route. The airbrush came in a fancy little case with all sorts of nozzles and bottles and whatnot, as well as a couple of instructional DVDs. Hopefully I can get it figured out and gain some sweet airbrushing skills.

Hobbytown got a bunch of the new Space Marines stuff in, which was pretty neat. I didn't actually buy any of the new stuff, but the old Land Speeder Tornado was on clearance for 50% of retail. The only difference between the old one and the new one is that the old one only allows you to build the Tornado variant while the new kit has parts for both the Tornado and Typhoon variants. I like the Tornado version better anyway, so I'll take a 50% discount when I can get it.

We spent some time out at my parents' farm today, which was nice. They have some little pigs and baby cows. Our dogs had a good time out there, especially Buddy. Annie is a little too needy to enjoy being outside away from all the people for extended periods of time. Buddy is too busy barking and eating terrible things in the field to care much that we're not around.