More experiments…

Still trying to overcome the issues that Contrast paints have with armour plate (I mostly work on Space Marines, so I have an interest in getting this to work).

Like the rest of my GW paints, I’ve transferred these to dropper bottles. Makes it simpler to measure out ratios.

First up is Space Wolf Grey, two coats of 2:1 paint/diluted Flo-aid (20:1 water/Liquitex Flo-Aid), over a white Stynylrez prime.

And then Black Templar, two coats of 2:1 paint/diluted Flo-aid (20:1 water/Liquitex Flo-Aid), over a black Stynylrez prime/Grey Seer base paint undercoat (airbrushed, 50/50 mix with Vallejo airbrush thinner).

Two thin coats appears to be more effective than one thick one for armour plate; especially the SW armour. Seems to avoid the splotchiness. I’m still not 100% happy with this. Going to strip these test figs and try out a few more things. Curious to see how the thinned SW Grey and the Black Templar work over zenithal undercoating… Stay tuned.

More experiments…

If you have a bandwagon, then I want to be on it!

Tried out some of the new GW Contrast paints today. These are basically a heavily pigmented, translucent, slightly “thicker” (probably a bit of gel medium) wash. The idea being that over a light primer/basecoat, the pigment will gravitate to low points and away from the high points–giving you shadows, highlights, and colour in one step.

I don’t use aerosol primers (expensive, too dependent on humidity being just right, and not practical when you can’t use them in our long winter), so mainly what I wanted to test was how they would work out without using the specific GW primers/undercoat (which GW is more than happy to inform you that you MUST HAVE), with a variety of undercoats.

Here are the results of my experimentation today (all primer was airbrushed):

Guilliman Flesh over zenithal Badger Stynylrez Black and Stynylrez White primers.

Pretty happy with this. Took less than 10 minutes total to slap the wash on the flesh areas. I normally use five paint/wash layers to paint skin, so this is good trade-off for speed and quality.

Skeleton Horde over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Wraithbone base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

Again, this is pretty solid, especially for a couple minutes of effort. Will certainly do the rest of this Shadespire Warband’s skelly bits the same.

Black Templar (shoulderpad), Flesh Tearers Red (leg), Gore-Grunta Fur (holster), and Gryph-Hound Orange (helmet), all over a Stynylrez White primer.

The orange was the most effective here, hands down, and the brown holster looks fine, too. This test setup was the one I was most curious about, as it didn’t involve any GW undercoats and only one coat of Stynylrez primer.

Flesh Tearers Red over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

I think this looks really good. Very impressed for less than a minute of painting time.

Space Wolf Grey over a Stynylrez Black primer. An undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint in the first picture and Wraithbone in the second (both cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).

In the second picture, the leg facing forward is two coats of Black Templar diluted at 50/50 with the Contrast medium.

These are not so impressive.  😦

I honestly can’t see using these for Space Marines, or anything else that has large panels. Too difficult to get the coverage without it going splotchy and/or looking over-saturated.

Crying shame, as that Flesh Tearer Red looks great on that SM backpack and would be a perfect colour match for the Exorcists I want to keep painting for 40K and Kill Team.

I will continue to use an airbrush for marine armour.

However, Contrast paints appear to be a real time-saver* for anything with rough detail like fur, hair, etc. and anything “organic” like flesh and bone (as in the pics above). I do plan to use them to speed up getting my Shadespire warbands done, for sure. That orange over white makes me think I can get some GSC done faster, too.

*Drying time is a huge factor, though. These really are best for assembly line painting of rank and file, where –hopefully– the first one is dry when you get to the last one. I was seeing 30-40 minutes on straight out of the pot, and slightly longer when diluted with the medium.

If you have a bandwagon, then I want to be on it!

UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

Flew from Winnipeg > Brussels > Manchester (left Winnipeg on Saturday, arrived Manchester Sunday morning)… Not the most direct flight, but the shortest amount of travel time, with less time hanging around in airports.

Sue had left the day before, for Ponta Delgada. She’s spending the first week in Portugal with a friend, and we’re meeting up next week in Wales…

Flying out of Brussels

The first couple of days were pretty relaxed – few small walks/drives in the area, etc. (with the required stop at a pub for a cheeky pint).

Warhammer World (Nottingham)

Wednesday morning my Dad and I set off for Nottingham…

Obligatory picture with the Rhino at WHW.
…and my Dad.

I didn’t take pictures of all WHW displays, but just those that were things that caught my eye (or of figs I own but haven’t painted yet).

Warhammer/AoS/Blood Bowl
Warhammer 40,000
“Hunt for the Assassin” and Bugmans Bar

We didn’t find him.

Then we had a quick drink at Bugman’s.

As you do, we exited through the gift shop. I picked up the photo book of the dioramas, a couple of WHW exclusive BB figures, a t-shirt and some other goodies, and the Lietpold the Black figure from Forgeworld I’ve been wanting for a while (as a general for my DoW WHFB/Kings of War army). My Dad bought a book of AoS fiction (he likes fantasy novels, so he thought he’d give it a whirl).

Wargames Foundry (East Stoke)

Foundry is outside a village, in a fairly rural area. Last time I was there they were located in urban Nottingham.

I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but long enough to pick out a few packs of figs from my shopping list (Swashbucklers, ostensibly for Ghost Archipelago, and Brit WWII Paras), have a quick chat with the man himself, Bryan Ansell, and take a few pictures of some of the more well-known figs in the collection displayed there (especially the old school Genestealer Cult limos [!]).

We then set off for Bromley/Chislehurst in Kent. We stayed overnight at an excellent pub/hotel, the Bull’s Head. Had a great Italian meal at Due Amici. I had a few bowls of loudmouth soup, and we stayed up talking politics.

…and then the next day, the real highlight so far and a serious bucket list item for me:


The sense of history and the weight of the importance of this place were overwhelming. It’s amazing to walk the same hallways and rooms as the Darwin family.

The house is set up as a combination of informative displays (including original journals and notebooks) and preserved/restored rooms (such as Darwin’s study, games room, and dining room). The staff were informed, friendly, and obviously had a keen interest and involvement in the subject. My Dad was very impressed with the facilities as well…

I spent some time in the house, and then went outside to wander the grounds. The gardens and greenhouses were restored, and included the experimental gardens and items of interest.

But, the absolute highlight was the Sandwalk*…

Perfectly, I was alone as I retraced Darwin’s steps around the path.

I was crushed by the emotional weight of being in such an important place and got quite teary-eyed, if I’m being honest. Greatly meaningful to be there, personally. Appreciate my Dad making it happen.

Today was pretty relaxing – I had my first night of uninterrupted sleep (always an issue when traveling), and we went for a nice walk in a nearby woodland area. Heading out to the local pub later and then back for dinner. I’m taking the train down to Cardiff tomorrow, to spend some time with my brother and sister, and also to meet up with Sue. I’ve been missing her, of course, so I’m looking forward to that (not to mention getting down on the floor to play Lego [literally or figuratively] with all the nieces and nephews).

*from Wikipedia:

“In 1846, Darwin rented from Sir John William Lubbock a narrow strip of land of 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) adjoining the Down House grounds to the southwest, and had it planted. He named it the Sandwalk Wood. One side was shaded by an old shaw with oak trees, and the other looked over a hedge to a charming valley. Darwin had a variety of trees planted, and ordered a gravel path known as the ‘sandwalk’ to be created around the perimeter. Darwin’s daily walk of several circuits of this path served both for exercise and for uninterrupted thinking. He set up a number of small stones at one point on the walk so that he could kick a stone to the side each time he passed, so that he did not have to interrupt his thoughts by consciously counting the number of circuits he had made that day.”

UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

This seems familiar

Not really New Year’s resolutions but rather a short-term plan of action. Might happen if I write it down, you know?

  • Finish up the Grey Knights kill team for the upcoming SW:A weekend game in February
  • One or more of the Shadespire warbands I got for xmas
  • Warhammer 40K – probably a small Primaris marine army
  • Units from the Dogs of War GW fantasy figs that I’ve collected over the last few years*
  • WWII British paratrooper reinforced platoon (there is progress, but it keeps getting back-burnered)*

Stuff marked with a “*” is from last year’s list, so take this where it comes from.

This seems familiar


Decisions, decisions… What to work on next?

Now that I have the Frostgrave warband done, time to tie up some loose ends on projects already started and planned:

  • WWII British Paratroops (a platoon plus support – started, but a way to go yet [including the <shudder> camo smocks])
  • Few odds and ends for Blood Bowl
  • Mordheim Sisters of Sigmar (about 80% done – just need to do the metallics and basing)
  • Fill-in figs for a Necromunda group (3-4 figs to round out an Cawdor group that I inherited from Tim B.)

On top of that, I did start putting together a funky little warband for Songs of Blades and Heroes using mostly OOP/LE Games Workshop Warriors of Chaos personalities, when it looked like that was what Tim was going to run for his weekend tourney:


There are some real chestnuts in that group (not all pictured). I have all the LE Games Day WoC figs, including the sorcerer, plus Harry the Hammer (thanks, Dave!) and a few other specials.

And… that new GW Deathwatch/Genestealer Cult Overkill box should be arriving on my doorstep later today.

Oh, and the Conan kickstarter could be here anytime.


Prizes from a far and foreign land

Actually, just a couple of hours over the border…

Found a few goodies at the games shop in Grand Forks today: GF9 prepainted ruins. Perfect to be the foundation of a Frostgrave table.


I also picked up some tackle box trays (for figure/game piece storage) and a few more Matchbox Jeeps for WWII conversion.

Oh, and some habanero flavoured chips. 🙂

Prizes from a far and foreign land

Ronin game, terrain, UNIT vehicle, and temptation fulfilled

Not a lot of figure painting going on lately (surprise, surprise!), but I have been working on a few hobby related bits and pieces…

Dave G., Kevin H., and I had a small Ronin game to learn (or in my case, relearn) the rules. It was useful, and I’m looking forward to playing a larger scale version for realz, now that we have a better idea of the mechanic. I think Dave and Kev enjoyed it, too, and hopefully there’ll be a bit of a samurai buzz.

Started painting the sci-fi/modern layout I put together last year. This will eventually form part of a Judge Dredd “Block”, but is designed to work with any sci-fi/modern game.

IMG_3235 IMG_3240


Picked up a 1/50 scale die-cast Land Rover Defender on eBay from a guy in Portugal. It was specced out for a fire department (bright red, blue lights on the roof, etc.), but I’m converting it to use as a UNIT vehicle for an eventual Dr. Who themed game.



…and the fulfilled temptation:

Dave G. spotted a really bargain priced WHFB Empire army on Kijiji locally and picked it up. Then he beat me up and made me buy it from him.  🙂




Ronin game, terrain, UNIT vehicle, and temptation fulfilled

What is best in life?

King Conan

I haven’t backed many Kickstarter based miniatures efforts, but just jumped in on the Monolith Games Conan miniatures boardgame. I haven’t been this hyped about all things Conan in years.

My Cthulhu Wars core box turned up last week, with the ton of add-ons and bonuses due later on in 2015 (at least a couple of hundred figures).

Dave G. and I went in on a pledge for Judge Dredd Block Wars miniatures way back in 2012. We’ve received most of the stuff (lots of figures!) in dribs and drabs since, but there are still a few items outstanding. Good job I’m not rushing through my lead mountain and desperate for things to paint!  🙂

What is best in life?

Fun in the sun

My wife and I just got back from a week in Cancun. Great fun and a nice break from the long Winnipeg winter.

The Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea

Apart from the rest and relaxation (i.e., the beach, eating and drinking like kings, and a bit of shopping), we also fit in some culture and history with visits to the Museo Maya De Cancun (including the San Miguelito Archeological Site) and Chichen Itza.

Walking path through the museum's archeological site
Walking path through the museum’s archeological site
San Miguelito Archeological Site (view from our hotel balcony)
San Miguelito Archeological Site (view from our hotel balcony)
The Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza
The Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza
Mural at the Great Ball Court; assuming to show the sacrificial beheading of the winning team's captain
Mural at the Great Ball Court; assumed to show the sacrificial beheading of the winning team’s captain
The Temple of Kukulkan
The Temple of Kukulkan
El Caracol; assumed to be a proto -observatory
El Caracol; assumed to be a proto -observatory

On a gaming related note, I managed to find four Matchbox ’43 Jeeps at the Cancun WalMart (I’d been looking at home but hadn’t spotted any). With a little conversion work, these make excellent WWII vehicles at a ridiculously low price (I think they were about $1.40 each).

I cleaned out the stock of Matchbox '43 Jeeps from the Cancun WalMart
I cleaned out the stock of Matchbox ’43 Jeeps from the Cancun WalMart
Fun in the sun