Monday, 31 December 2012

Resolving the Resolutions.

First of all, Happy New Year! Now that the Mayan nonsense is behind us maybe we can enjoy 2013 unencumbered by doomsday prophets and the like.

So a new year is upon us, I had intended to do a bit of a retrospective on the year in the hobby in general but so many people have done these that it feels a bit superfluous! Instead, lets look at what has happened in my hobby...

Well first, this has been a mental year as far as RealLifetm has gone. Mrs PVP and I have moved house twice, we've gone from living in a friend's house with all our stuff in storage to a flat to a nice house. To put it lightly this put a crimp in both our finances and free time as unpacking and packing a house twice takes just a bit of time. However! PVP kept soldiering on albeit at a reduced pace and now feels like its taking off again. I've painted the best part of a Dwarf army and... what's that you say? Resolutions? From last year? Nahhhhh we don't need to worry about...

Judge Mulder now in session

Ok, so maybe I made some resolutions last year, let's remind ourselves:

  1. The Night Goblins army will be finished. Ideally in the first quarter as there really, really is not much more to do! Finished means that 2500 points will be painted and based.
  2. I will paint the 2000 point Nurgle Chaos Warriors army that is to tie into the Beard Bunker Blog's 2013 campaign.
  3. If I paint 40k stuff for myself it will be the new Imperial Guard I have waiting in the wings.
  4. I will paint my Napoleonic British army to 1000 points.
Ah, yeah, about that... well, number 1 remains stalled at exactly the point it was last January. So that one kinda has to be called a fail. Number 2 I am going to dodge by pointing out that I "officially" changed my Beard Bunker army from Nurgle to Dwarfs and then painted a ton of them. So I'll call that one a pass. Number 3 is also a fail as butterfly brain syndrome led to me taking a right turn at an intersection marked Grey Knights. As for number 4? Not even one model. Hmm.

I also made some professional resolutions:

  1. At least one post with pictures of finished work every single week. No dry spells. There will be weeks where I upload three or four times, doesn't matter. At least one in every calendar week.
  2. More full tutorials. I actually like doing them and people seem to like them. I'd like to do one every couple of months but I will resolve conservatively and say four this year. I've got one in mind on painting horses for openers...
  3. I will support the Beard Bunker with content more skewed toward gaming and practicalities of Wargaming. Pirate Viking Painting will remain a pure painting blog
 And with the exception of the horse tutorial which is on hold until I have really figured out which of the new paints does what all of these are a win. Even number 1 was only breached when circumstances were totally beyond my control.

So, what does this tell me? Well, I kinda suck at setting personal goals but at least I do what I set out to do professionally. Granted the time lost through the moves scuppered a lot of potential personal painting but it is clear that the goals were unrealistic. Time for some new ones for this year and slightly better worded/thought out ones at that.

Jeff's Hobby Resolutions
  1. Take part in the Beard Bunker's Next Big Thing for 2013. This will probably represent painting roughly 3k of one army or other. Edit: turns out it won't be all that big after all so focusing on 4!
  2. I will finish (I.e. workometer full) an army project from this list: My Flames of War Paratroopers, My Night Goblins, My Warmachine Cygnar.
  3. I will paint a minimum of six bases of Waterloo napoleonics this year or abandon the project in 2014. No more kidding myself!
  4. There will be a gaming table in Mulder House (PVP headquarters).

Of the four the one I'm most excited about is number 4. Having a real table (granted one I can take down as there is no room for a permanent one) would be awesome for a number of reasons, photography of large armies, making scenery and oh, playing games at home! With the others I have deliberately left some wriggle room. All these are minimums, ideally I'd like to finish all of the projects in 2 and get way more than six bases of Waterloo brits but these are my minimums.

Obviously, we don't yet know what the Next Big Thing will be over at the Beard Bunker, but whatever it is, I am in with both feet. Now it's time for the professional ones:

PVP Resolutions
  1.  Like last year, no dry spells, hobby content all the time.
  2. Put out more video tutorials, maybe one a quarter. So 4 by 2014.
  3. Take the time to improve skills, airbrush, sculpting etc.
  4. Produce at least one product I can sell.
Yes, number 4, that one is interesting right? Since PVP started it has been my dream to not only consume and service the hobby industry but to contribute to it myself. In other words, to make things that other hobbyists might want! I have many ideas for things to do but the intent is to have something real to sell from my company by 2014.

And that is that for hobby. But I wanted to share one last resolution with you all, to improve my health. Those who know me know that I am a big guy, always have been. But with the problems of the last year and my now sedentary job things have gotten out of hand. I desperately need to loose weight and get some cardio fitness back as it is already having impacts on my health. I'm 33 and if I don't do it right the hell now it will only get harder. Part of my psychology is that I stick to things more if I share them with the public so you are going to see this from time to time:

And I'll let you know how I am getting on trying to remove the equivilent of a toddler from my waistline. If anybody wants to join in, in some kind of wargaming weight loss support group then just drop me a line and we'll go for it!

Well, that is all. This turned in to quite the essay didn't it? If you read this far then I congratulate you.

Happy New Year one and all.


Saturday, 29 December 2012

A few Dwarfs more

Over at the Beard Bunker I've posted another stunty article. I share some piccies here as an appetite whetter (totally a word!)

Master Engineer Hwell the Guns

Engineering emplacement

Ironhawk (or the Steam Powered Budgie)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Proactive Exorcism, the first Grey Knights

Hi folks, remember these guys (1, 2, 3)? Well, they are all part of the Inquisitor's retinue. I said back at the start of the project that they would be part of a very small Grey Knight army designed to work as a small army in its own right and as a legal allied force. Well, today I finished the first troops squad of that army, behold!

These are the first Grey Knights I've ever painted so, inevitably, there was a bit of trial and error-ing involved in getting the look right. I think the armour method ended up as simply working up through the steel shades, glazing with Guiliman Blue then rehighlighting to create that classic blued steel look for the Knights.

Being mildly dissatisfied with the normal method for painting nemesis weapons I needed my own. I figure if you call something "Nemesis" then bright and shiny doesn't really cut it. Instead I went for a dark, threatening scheme of my own devising  involving Coelia Greenshade and Thunderhawk Blue amongst others. I've got the recipe written down and I'm going to do a step-by-step guide when I do the next squad.

All the gold areas are the Vallejo Liquid Metal colours - to which I am now hopelessly addicted - and I just went for the studio scheme of red weapon furniture. To be honest, it looked good and don't fix what isn't broken.

heraldry conga line!

Each Grey Knight gets his own heraldry, so each of the lads in the squad got a different geometric pattern of red and white on the shoulder pad. I intend to add black details and so on to the more senior members (I.E. terminators) rather than on these chaps.

I quite liked the "space race" style leather helmet on the justicar so went with it. Something I should mention is the exquisite quality of the lettering on all of these models. The wording is so clear and sharp that all you have to do is wash it to reveal the text.

Obviously, these are just one squad. There are another five power armoured knights, a squad of five terminators, a - terrible beardy - dreadnought and the rest of the Inquisitorial squad to finish. But hey, progress is progress and they are looking nifty.  You can expect some more holiday snaps before we spring back into commercial action on the second of January, until then...


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Super heroes for charity!

Remember the Foxxy Blade model I painted for the Paint the City Pink charity auction? Well, the painting contest had prizes and some of the prizes were donated back to the auction. I volunteered my time to add some value and paint the donated models (a bunch of Pulp City models and a couple of packs of Bushido figures) free of charge.

I've never had much to do with the Pulp City game or range so aside from the delectible Foxxy I had not painted much of their output. I've got all seven of the "super heroes" painted, Bushido is next. Lets check 'em out.

This huge fella is Hellsmith. As soon as I had him assembled he just screamed "greek god" at me, there's always that "bronzed" description in Mythic creatures and I figured that making him literally bronzed would be interesting. As such I base coated his flesh in Warplock Bronze, shaded it with Agrax Earthshade and then rehighlighted. Red and rich gold complemented the scheme and I based him - indeed all of them - in a very simple "urban" scheme to allow for whoever buys them to change it easily.

Next up is Guerilla, who is literally a Gorilla with a minigun. Probably my favourite of these models. He hasn't photographed all that well (khaki colouring in a lot of the highlights) but he looks ace in person. I went for a very utilitarian look, camo fatigues (with my first attempt at the new British MTP camo), military vest and the like.

Then Iron Train, some kind of mystical accident wrapped him in his steam train, go figure. I decided to stick to basics here, dark steel, copper pipework, brass and a tiny bit of leather and blue cloth to contrast all that iron.

I really liked Ace of Wraiths, he has a real "Saint of Killers" vibe (for those who read Preacher). Given that he seems to be all cowboy all the time, I went for Ned Kelly armour plates. Denim trousers and tan duster coat. Vallejo Tan Earth is my top tip for that particular job.

Androida was an odd one, almost felt like she didn't need painting. Build up the steel colour through the layers of highlighting, glaze down with Guilliman Blue and rehighlight with Necron Compound. Really, that's it.

Solar needed to be brighter toned than some of the others. Somehow spandex just didn't lend itself to grungy colours. With a name like Solar, yellow was the only colour for me. I also painted the cloak sky blue to give that sun in the sky look. I was going to use white only for the pants by it really looked - honest to god - like Y-fronts. As a result the boots, belt and the little thing on his forehead also became white. The back of the cloak looked kinda bare so I mirrored the golden symbol on his chest on the cloak.

Finally the Gentleman. He immediately struck me as a mob hitman so I went for the slightly tacky mafioso look. Bright red shirt, pin stripe suit and slicked back hair.

Anyway, that's all of them! I'll be conferring with Herr Hendybadger as to whether he wants these now or to wait for the Bushido folks to be completed before I send them off. More pictures to follow obviously! Until next time folks.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

All I want for xmas... Is a steampunk light tent

No, really! That's what I got, check it out!

I've mentioned for some time that I was intending to upgrade my photo-taking apparatus and my now retired dad got very excited about the project. He's a long way craftier than I'll ever be with DIY and so I figured "carry on Sergeant" was the way forward. Well, a couple of days ago he delivered a pile of tubes and bolts with pages of instructions and a slightly maniacal grin. Nervous, I set to construction and the results are brill.

Firstly, it's huge! That's our spare room double bed supporting it. The core is an 80cm cubic light tent made of diffusion fabric. That way the lamps light the fabric and the fabric transmits soft, shadow free light within the cube. Big enough even for titans (thankfully).

The lights, which I've yet to screw in, are 30W energy saver daylight bulbs, equivilent in wattage to an old 150W bulb and virtually cold so I can get them as close to the fabric as I like. The mounts move along those copper rails and he's even included multiple clip positions to allow my to jiffle them around to my hearts content.

And no more need for bulky tripod. That is a camera mounting bracket attached to the base of the unit on clips so that again I can jiffle it around to my satisfaction.

Well, I'll be test driving this soon so we'll see what this rig produces. I'm not really back in action properly until the new year. Taking a week to rest and do some charity painting for Paint the City Pink. Until next time folks.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Weeeee wish you a merry christmas

Or whatever denominational mid winter festivities take your fancy really! One of the fringe benefits of moving house is that you find things that you had thought long, long lost. In this case, I found Santa...

Years - and I do mean years, I might have been in college - ago I acquired this Wargames Foundry santa claus. It was part of some promotional deal or other. I can't really remember. Anyway, like most slightly impulsive purchases he has languished in a box for a decade. Then, while thinking about what I could do for a Christmas posting this year I found him again. This, I decided would be my Christmas project.

I agonised over the paint scheme. My head said that St Nicklaus that our own Father Christmas is based upon was all in green robes. Green boughs being the symbol of the solstice festival. But thanks to the marketing of one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Father Christmas will forever be red. It just looks wrong now to do it any other way. So I compromised, green for the inner linings of the hood and cloak and a nice deep red for the outer robes. The white fur, by the way, is base coated in Ungor Flesh and then highlighted in white, gives that hide under fur look. All the toys were painted ludicrous bright colours and then it was time to present Santa Claus on a nice base:

The foundation of the base is a couple of layers of cork boulders, slate chips and modelling sand. This is painted and flocked with static grass as usual. I wanted a bit more height to the base so I needed a tree. A bare, snowy tree to be precise. Enter, stage left, my usual dodge for bare scale trees. Roots. Using small dried roots I carefully glued tiny branchlets to the trunk and gradually builtup a convincing structure. Then I washed the whole thing with thinned canopy glue (strong pva that dries completely clear). Finally I glued it in place and then started playing with a brand new toy. Secret Weapon Miniatures' Crushed Glass snow scenics. This is very, very cool stuff. Not safe in any way shape or form. If you are twelve stick to the snow flock for gawds sake. Last thing I need is knowing that someone cut away their corneas because they got glass in their eye on my recommendation. Secret Weapon have a great tutorial on their site and I shall leave you to examine that at your leisure. Suffice to say it really, really looks like snow and ice and I am loving the effect. I added a few stretched-sprue icicles (use spare flying bases, heat and then stretch them out and cut them up) to the tree to hammer home the "it's a bit nippy out" message.

Mulder, ever hopeful.

So all that remains to be said is being articulated by Mulder up there. Merry Christmas one and all from Mrs PVP and I. Soon it will be time to submit myself to the tender scrutiny of Judge Mulder and see how I did on my New Years resolutions (I sneaked a look, it's not good). Until then, stay safe and well.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

2000 points of Dwarfs! (And a rant)

Hi guys! Just thought I'd promo that over on the beard bunker are the next two units of my growing Dwarf army:

And one hell of a rant on the subject of stone thrower design. Go over and check em out!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Warhound Interior

Greetings shipmates, I am moseying along with the first warhound and thought I'd share some in more progress shots with you all!

First off is the bridge crew of the titan, you can see that the cockpit is whole helluva cramped with them all sitting in it!

Blue grey and dark blue has been the uniform colours of the titan legions for some time so deciding on that was fairly straightforward. Plus the Princeps' uniform would match the Legio Astorum blue that the titan is being painted in. The two moderatii are mostly brass and greenish glass visors, not much to talk about.

Then there is the torso. More cramped quarters! I left the middle panel removable until the photos were finished though because...

...Its a whole lot easier to photograph the sections without it in place. This compartment is where a techpriest would stand and monitor the reactor and other key systems. We don't have one for this titan (they don't - for some reason - come as standard in the kit) and the resin one from forgeworld wouldn't fit because of the massive axe. Do you know who I think would work brilliantly in this compartment?

this guy!
He is short enough, compact enough and in the privacy of a titan's torso in a walking temple to the god machine he wouldn't feel the need to cloak his modifications from the normals. Something to ponder if you have a titan of your very own.

The entrance to the cockpit would be terrifying, the floor is a lift like a cherry picker, those chains either side of the floor are the winching mechanism. There are virtually no hand holds so you have to assume vertigo isn't a big deal to titan crewmembers!

Turning the other way off the lift is the entrance to the techpriest's chamber. The sign above the door reads "mind your head" in badly translated latin (High Gothic).

To either side of the lift are the last members of the crew, these guys never leave though. These are the weapon servitors, hard wired into their targeting system. You can see a little shrine to the omnissiah to the bottom right above the chain winch.

His friend on the other side isn't just a mirror image. They've made them very different. The photos don't really do them justice unfortunately . Overexposed is my guess. The good news is that LightTent 2.0 is almost ready. With some help from my crafty dad I should have an almost metre cubed light tent with four independent diffused light sources. It can only help! I'll take some more pictures of these internals when the titan is all finished. That way I can pretend that these were just work in progress shots and not mild photographic incompetance after all!

Until next time peoples,


Friday, 14 December 2012

Getting a head with the Warhound

Ahoy there shipmates. Today I thought I would show off the first finished componant of the first warhound, it's head:

The colour schemes for both of the warhound are to go with the client's growing Legio Astorum force and are taken straight from Imperial Armour VI - Siege of Vraks II. The strong yellow on the head will be a really striking combination against the dark blue plating of the rest of the body. So, what's under the hood so to speak?

The cockpit of a warhound is astonishingly cramped, wait until you see it with the two moderati and the princeps in his control throne added. I went with a pale greeny-grey (Vallejo Grey Green with a glaze of Athonian Camoshade) as I wanted a very different colour to the outside and the colour is reminiscent of those institutional shades that rooms that the public don't see get painted. The cockpit is just crusted with details. Seriously it is so big and detailed that painting just the head of this thing is like painting a whole dreadnought.

See what I mean? The moderatii control decks are absolutely full of tiny dials, buttons and screens. You get a real sense that you could control something this big with this lot! Of course there are no steering apparatus as the titans are hard wired into the crew's brains.

The roof of the compartment even has little dials and a screen that I decided to make into a repeater screen for what the titan's cameras are seeing in the outside world. I just need to glaze the windows and figure out if the outside lights will be on or off (probably off as they tend to look better). I've done no weathering yet as the entire titan will be weathered as a single entity to prevent the elements looking out of place with each other.

Until next time,


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Magnetising models

Greetings shipmates, I've spent a fair amount of time today making bits of models leap together through the black sorcery of magnetism. Along the way I worked out a few things that I hadn't before and therefore thought I'd share my methods with you all.

First of all you'll need a few things: A model that you want magnetising is a no-brainer. The magnets I use are neodymium and are flat discs. You also need a drill bit of the same diameter as the magnets, my little finessing touch is adding a cylindrical cutting bit (again the same diameter as the magnets) from my not-a-dremel. A bit of superglue and pot of brightly coloured paint is the last thing you need.

The first step of the magnetising process is to drill some pilot holes in the model - easy in big chunky resin models like the Warhound - where the magnets will be hidden from view. The problem as you can (sort of) see in the insert picture is that most drill bits leave a hemispherical indentation rather than a flat bottomed cylindrical hole that you'd like to glue the cylindrical discs into...

So enter the cylindrical cutting tool. I used it in a pin vice rather than my not-a-dremel as I feared that the high rpm's would skitter the bit out of my control and off-target. One of these days I shall acquire a not-at-all-a-dremel drill press to stop that problem, for now though? Numb fingers. Use the tool to cut down into the resin to a depth that will accomodate the magnets.

Once I glue in the magnets - superglue is all you need - paint a nice rounded blob of thick paint onto the top of the magnets, as central as you can.

Place the corresponding part carefully in place and give a gentle press to transfer the paint. Take off the part and hey presto! Aiming marks for the next set of magnets. Repeat the process with the corresponding part. Make sure you stick the magnets on the right way around, if you get the polarities wrong then the part will fly off rather than sticking together.

Get it right though and with just four pairs of magnets the heavy, heavy torso of the warhound can be held up in the air without glue. This means it is nice and secure without preventing access to the painted interior, you've done the work, you want to see it right?

And that is all folks. I'll be back soon with some interior shots of the warhound. Once they're finished that is....

Don't forget, just 24 hours remain to bid on the chaos army featured a few days ago, it's currently at a very attractive price so head on over to ebay and check it out.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Knight fever, knight fev-er...

Avast Shipmates, its time for the second of the Dreamforge Leviathans, completely plausibly masquerading as an Imperial Knight:

The partner of this large chap is found here. The two of them are the vanguards of the Legio Astorum force that I am painting for a client. "Vanguards for what?" I hear you ask... Well, a pair of warhound scout titans for openers. They are the next big thing on my painting table and I am simultaneously excited and a little, tiny bit intimidated!

As I went through most of the practical painting last time I thought I would offer some general thoughts on painting really big models like these. The first thought is... keep it subtle. The cartoony edge highlighting that may work so well on a space marine rhino or something will look ridiculous on something this size. When we edge highlight we are imitating light bouncing off a large object. This already is a large object, so keep your highlights subtle.

Second tip: paint in sub-assemblies. By which I mean stick the model together into logical "lumps" that you can work on and then glue together later, like this:

This allows you to easily get at all the model with the paintbrush but also prevents the weight of the model from tiring your wrist and leading to dropped-model accidents. A goblin will bounce, this thing could shatter.

All in all I am happy with this fella, I learned a few lessons from the first one. I am unhappy that I couldn't do more with the posing as the legs are mostly single piece entities. This having been said, Dreamforge's ridiculously successful kickstarter campaign is guarenteeing a plastic version of this model and hence more posable. I am very tempted to get one of these for my very own when they are out in plastic.

Finally I re-present the datasheet I developed for the Imperial Knights after the last posting. Well, must dash, I have about fifty componants to clean up to make each warhound foot. You can be sure that a build log will be here eventually but until then why not check out PVP's "Today I have mostly been..." feed for a look at what we get up to day-by-day. Until next time folks, toodlepip and