Monday, September 24, 2012

Quick & Dirty Week!

Currently I'm recovering from an incredible weekend of seeing friends all across the Chicago-land area, and to help ease me back into the painting groove I'm going to be working on a commission for a friend.

On the right is his paint job, and on the left is the start of mine.  I was specifically asked not to do anything fancy; just enough to get things spruced up a bit so they look nicer.  The above pic shows you the first round of base & wash.  As much as I love how the armor plating looks with the smokey ink over the Gunmetal it was supposed to be darker.  I hit it with my black ink, and the result is much closer to the desired hue.

 The idea I'm running with for these models is to do a base coat, wash, and then some dry brushing or another layer of base coat or highlight.  I'm thinking I'll have to mix in a darker shade with my metal so the shade of the armor stays pretty close to what it is now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Having finished up my Centauri month I felt the need to prepare for the following, "Month."  Yes I am aware I'm going by some non-traditional calender.  I actually have a few things on my plate this month.  First is a commission for a friend who has been patiently waiting for me to turn some old Warhammer Fantasy Miniatures into something he can display.

He is ok with me not painting to my full ability.  This will be a new experiment for me since whenever I paint a miniature I tend to paint it as though I was going to display it.

I have about sixteen Wights in all to paint, and I hope to get them done in short order.  I also have some Malifaux miniatures to get done, including some of the stuff from the recently released fourth book.

You may recognize those two from an earlier post where I started building terrain.  Well I found some polystyrene strips that were shaped like I-beams at Leisure Hours Hobbies.  They worked perfectly and I plan to make use of them for the rest of my railway Arcanists.

Last but not least I'll have a miscellanious month of Babylon 5 miniatures. 


This month the focus will be on Raiders, Civillians, and the Babylon 5 Station itself.  I'm also prepping an Earthforce Hermes Priority Transport since my Earthforce month is going to be chalk full of Earthforce miniatures.

Since all of these pieces are not attached to their bases I plan to sit down before I start on the Babylon 5 miniatures and just paint all of them in one fell swoop.

This will make things easier since I'll be able to focus on the miniatures and just glue them to their bases when I'm done.  Going to be a busy month!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Return To Glory

I finished the Centauri month with five days to spare!

I was going to make this two separate posts, but things have been going so smoothly I figured I'd get them all in one fell swoop.  Consequently these are the last of the original Babylon 5 miniatures that I purchased years ago.  There's a certain feeling of gratification at having finally completed these miniatures that sat in the back of my closet for so long.

First up we have the Mograth Frigate.  I couldn't find a paint job that I liked so I went with a combination of several different ones.  This isn't a ship that ever got CG'd into the series either, but it was still fun to paint.  In fact I actually had this one mostly painted long ago; which means that I get to do another old vs. new!


As you can see the paint scheme is very similar.  Big differences are more silver got added, and I used a darker shade of purple. How about a few other angled shots?


And one last shot.


The other two models in this set are Centauri Haven Patrol Boats.  These guys are a bit simpler looking, and I think that they were a little mis-cast.  I still went with it.

One of the big things I noticed with these two is that there isn't a discernible engine on the ships.  There's a spot near the tail where it looks like it's supposed to be an exhaust port, but both models only have one side fully defined.  Ah well.

Having finished up two factions I thought it might be fun to play around with things.

That first shot is of all the stuff I've painted thus far.  You'll notice that it doesn't include all my Narn models since some of those were painted years ago.  Things look a little lopsided don't they?  That's because chevrons make the Narn cooler, and thus giving them a better chance at winning.  Not buying it?  Ok fine.

With all my Narn and Centauri on the table it becomes a different story.  I hope the Centauri have some allies waiting in the wings just in case.

Next month I plan on doing misc/unaligned ships.  This will be the raider squadrons and civilian transport and cargo ships.  Oh, and the Babylon 5 station itself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nice Shark, Pretty Shark

My painting project continues, and today I present to you the Centauri Primus-class Cruiser!  I can't say enough at how amazed I am.  Things are going along at a really good pace, and even though I'm not being as intense as I was last month the final product is still looking really good.

I tend to be a stickler for accuracy, and so far I've tried painting all the models as close to what's been on the actual TV series as possible.  The way I originally had the Primus painted had no gold on it at all, but that left it feeling lacking.  Once I put the gold on, the model popped and I have another example of how important contrast is.

There were lots of nice little details on this that added more color, but the surface area was just too large to add the definition that I wanted.

While mainly purple and silver the other smaller colors are the white and turquoise for the engine fire, and orange and red for the fighter launch bay.

One thing I am happy with is the bases.  The more I do the simple technique that I've been using the better and better it gets.

I'm finding that using pretty thin paint works pretty well.  The thicker it is the more it clumps up, but if you keep it thin and rinse your brush pretty frequently you get a nice dispersal pattern.  All that's left for the Centauri are a few unofficial models in the TV series, but were used in Babylon 5 Wars.  With about a week left I feel confident that I'll have these models finished.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Want a Renaissance of Power

I started coming down with something sinus related, and my weekend slowed to crawl painting wise.  I did manage to get the Vorchan finished though.

I think I wanted to put more detail and touchups on it, but my head is a little foggy right now so I'm running with it.  I'm rather enjoying the simple combination of purple and gold that the Centauri are so fond of. 


This one had a lot more detail on it so I decided to spice it up by painting some of the areas in metal and hitting it with a black ink wash.

One issue I encountered while assembling this model was that it wouldn't sit on its base.  I had to trim down the peg a bit and do some extra drilling, but it was able to sit on the base just fine after that.

I was actually surprised at how well it sits on the base.  I was convinced that I'd have to construct a base with a larger footprint, but it stays up pretty well.  It's still a bit top heavy, but not so much as to get me thinking about weighting the base a bit.

One last thing I've been forgetting.  I found this in my mailbox after I got back from Gen Con.

When I got my original order from Agent One I found that my Nova class cruiser had one of the holes for the bases on the top instead of the bottom.  A few quick emails back and forth with Agent One himself and I had it back in the mail.  I told him not to worry about the return shipping when he asked about it, and instead told him to throw something nice in if he was so inclined.  I was surprised that he decided to throw in a Hyperion Heavy Cruiser!  That was very awesome of him, and if you like seeing my Babylon 5 miniatures and want some of your own he still has a good selection to choose from!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I've Been Working on the Railroad

Malifaux night at my FLGS is tomorrow, and I want to try out some of my new models for the Arcanists.  While the models are the new ABS plastic, and pretty cool, they don't have a good base.  Rather than go for base inserts I wanted to do something special.  There's going to be a whole theme surrounding the Arcanist models from book 4 that revolves around railroads, and that's what I wanted to try.  My ingrediants are the bases, some balsa wood, and some woodland scenics ballast.  I cut the balsa wood into approx 1.5"-2" sections and glued them to the base.

After I gave the glue some time to dry I painted on some thinned out PVA glue, and then covered the base with the ballast.  After shaking it off I noticed a few thin patches so I gave it another coat of glue followed by more ballast.

I'm really happy with how these bases are turning out.  All I need now are some miniature I-beams.  I know that they have something that'll work in polystyrene, but my local hobby stores don't carry it.  One store I know of up North carries exactly what I need, but I'll have to wait until I travel that way.

The models haven't actually been glued on yet, but as you can see I can lay things out so that I can do without the beams for now.  Once I let the glue dry for the ballast I'll get my models set up on there.

Willie and the Rail Golem are looking really good!  I can't wait to get the bases finished up so I can get them painted up!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Veritable Cloud of Fighters

Two weeks back from Gen Con, and I finally manage to get some paint on models.  I have a brief window to get Centauri models painted, but thankfully they seem to take less time than the chevron heavy Narn.

The Centauri Sentri Fighters didn't need a lot of different colors.  Pretty much I laid down Purple and Gold, hit both with a wash, then went over them again to help pick out the details better.  I ended up using a purple wash, which was nice and dark, but I discovered that it had an interesting effect on the gold when I went over it.

I like the effect and will have to keep it in mind for later models, but for now I went back over it with the gold.  Painted the cockpit black, and then the thruster fire.  It was nice to have a pretty straightforward piece to ease myself back into painting with.  One thing that helped to make these a lot easier was the bases.  I originally got the Babylon 5 Wars box set, which has a trio of fighters for each of the factions, and the bases they included were a nice black with sparkles in them.

I could paint over these for consistency, but I like them a lot as they are and have decided to leave them like that for each of the fighter squadrons.  They are actually what gave me the inspiration for doing my bases the way that I am.  Next up is the Vorchan cruiser which I've already got some paint on.  With luck I'll finish it by Saturday depending on my workload.

For now though I've got my first squadron of the month ready for action!