Monday, July 30, 2018

New blog, new kit, old armour

So, as well as being new to blogging, I'm also new to airbrushing... well, technically I'm not that new to airbrushing, as I've had an airbrush and compressor for about five years, and painted a handful of miniatures with it, but it's safe to say that I am inexperienced. I use an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, which is probably a bit like giving a Porsche to a new driver.

I very recently realised that my old setup, which was a cheap and cheerful featureless Clarke Wiz Mini Air compressor, just wasn't good enough, and I found myself getting frustrated when airbrushing. Ultimately, I probably only needed a moisture trap to attach to it (I know, I should've had one from the beginning), but I recently stumbled across a review of the Sparmax Arism compressor (purchased from Element Wargames for £135), and it seemed like it would be better than the Clarke one. In fairness though, I will fit the moisture trap to the Clarke compressor and see how it performs - it may still be useful. The Sparmax arrived this morning, and this evening I was eager to give it a test:

I've had this Taurox part built (minus the tracks) and undercoated for ages. I actually really like the model (it's reminiscent of modern military mine resistant vehicles), but unfortunately I built it prior to all the wheeled conversion kits coming out, plus I decided to follow the instructions and stupidly put the autocannons on the sides. I have a small force of Tempestus Scions, so I plan to use this one as a test (then probably sell for far less than it is worth on eBay), then possibly purchase and convert more of them in the future to act as their ground-based transport.

All in all, I was pleased on two fronts: the new compressor really did provide a more manageable and pleasing airbrushing session, and I'm pretty happy with the camouflage pattern that I sprayed on. I did pre-shade the lower half of it in black, but I guess I haven't quite figured out how to make that work properly yet.

Top-tip: whenever I paint something, and I think I might forget which paints I used, I take a photograph of the miniature with the pots of paint. It certainly takes the guess work out of returning to an old project, or adding new units to an existing force.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

10min a day can make all the difference

How does the title relate to the photo?

I'm a firm believer in doing 'little and often', in regards to painting - although I'm not opposed to an all day session. My lifestyle and occupation often means that free time is a luxury, or plans have to change quickly - therefore, if I have a spare 10-30min, I will try and get a bit of painting done. You'd be surprised at how much you can achieve in that time - for instance you could smash out the line highlighting on five tactical marines, then the next chance you get, the bases could be painted. Now if you were able to do this every other day or so, you'd soon make some progress, rather than putting it off, and then in a week, those five miniatures are finished. Better than nothing!

So... here's the essential part, in my opinion: you need a dedicated hobby space for this to work. I recently moved from a house where I didn't have this, to one where I do, and my productivity is through the roof, all because the barrier to those quick painting sessions was having to unpack everything, paint, then repack it all - it hardly seemed worth it. Plus, it just makes it a more comfortable and pleasurable experience.

I'm always fascinated by other hobby spaces I've seen online, and a bit envious, so I'm proud to present mine, which is still in it's infancy, and definitely a work in progress:

The desk itself is an Alex from IKEA, which is sturdy and a good height, with handy built in drawers. I believe they also sell a shelf that fits onto it, which would go where my paints are.

The Games Workshop paints, brushes and other bits and pieces are stored in the Modular Workshop System from HobbyZone in Poland. I ordered them on a Saturday and they arrived on the Monday (if I remember correctly). Building them all took the majority of an afternoon, but it was time well spent. Every module has magnets, which keeps the whole thing tight.

Close up illumination is provided by two OTTLite desk lamps that I got for less than £30 each from Costco (sorry, no link, I did look) - these lights provide multiple 'temperatures' of realistic daylight - I always have them on the coolest setting.

Finally, two glass jars, that many years ago contained pickled mussels, and have since remained my water pots. I feel like they're a bit of a lucky charm, and wouldn't paint without them. If they ever got broken, I feel like my miniatures would spontaneously combust, much like the monarchy falling if the ravens fled the Tower of London.

I'll do a more in depth look at my hobby space in the future - if you've been putting off taking the plunge and setting one up for yourself, start small, and make it permanent, and you'll soon see your productivity increase.

Blood, Paint and Tears

I've been building, painting and gaming with Warhammer 40K miniatures for over twenty years. I took a bit of a break during my twenties, but life has changed for me, to the point where that hiatus is now over. I don't get to play often, but my real passion is painting, and having been inspired by the many other blogs out there (primarily Ron's 'From the Warp'), I thought I could share my passion with you all. I can't say right now how often I will post, or even exactly what I will have to say, but I figured that it will find a natural flow eventually.

As for the name of the blog: clearly it's a play on the phrase 'blood, sweat and tears', and I feel like that's what I've (not literally) put into painting over the years, especially when I've lost my mojo, like many other painters, hitting a bit of a slump. This blog is dedicated to those of you struggling to pick up a brush - quit whinging, and get painting!