Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun with Metals

I've noticed that my blog has a lot of grey, black and white from all the unpainted metal and plastic. It's high time I post a paint-oriented article to get a little color into the mix!

Metallic colors are tough to do right in miniature scale. This is true of both metallic paints and so-called non-metal metallics (NMM), achieved by shading regular paint colors to achieve a metallic-looking effect through shade and highlight. I have recently been trying to improve my skills with both styles. One such effort was to paint a set of Ironwind Metals Battlemechs using an all metallic paint scheme. In this case, I chose the House Laio's 4th Tau Ceti Rangers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Releases

Spartan Games has started to roll out a new wave of models for Firestorm Armada. The first group came out this month, and I've obtained a selection of the latest Zenian League support fleet models to support and expand my Dindrenzi fleet.

I have not had time to look over all of these models in detail just yet, but they all look pretty cool. Spartan continues its string of appealing and varied ship designs. I did break open and assemble one of my new Ba'Kash Sharnak cruisers. The rest of this post contains my thoughts and evaluation on the 'Open' version of the Sharnak. Over the next few weeks, I will try to post some pictures and information about the others, as time permits.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dallas Bound

As of last week, I've made my reservations to attend ReaperCon. I've taken a few painting and modelling classes at Gencon in the past, and they have all been great, including several taught by Reaper artists. Last year, I did some searching around to decide which convention (or conventions) to attend this year, and hit upon Reaper Miniatures very own con, run at their headquarters in Denton, Texas. I immediately wanted to go and try it out as a 'total immersion' experience, rather than sneaking in one or two classes between gaming events at a larger con. Sadly, attending in 2011 was just not practical for me.

This year, armed with both advanced warning, and advanced planning, I am planning to make an appearance at Reaper for the first time. I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Battletech Conversions - Second in a Series

Today, I thought I'd post another Battletech model build. This time, it's based of the newest Atlas sculpt from Iron Wind Metals. This is the first time I've built this particular sculpt, and I have to say that I like it - a lot. It's proportions are not quite as nice as the original '80's sculpt, but is much more substantial, and its many parts make conversions and re-posing much easier to achieve. (I'm leaving out the middle "stretch" Atlas from the '90's. I am not a fan.)

In this case, I decided to build the 'mech as an Atlas AS7-S, which is not one of the best versions of the Atlas in terms of game play, but it is unusual, and it fits nicely with one of the units I am building.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Armor Plating

I paint a lot of mechanized figures. Battlemechs, space craft, tanks, etc. It is common for all of them to be dominated by armor panels with finely engraved panel lines separating each plate, and it is the job of the miniature painter (small scale artiste?) to find a way to make that detail look it's very best.

I've seen a lot of advice and tutorials online about how people go about painting the armor plating details on small military figures, such as Battletech minis and the like. Most of what I see falls into one of two categories:

A. Paint the mini with your base coat and then apply a wash to darken the panel lines.
B. Paint the mini with your base coat and then use a fine brush or micron pen to ink in the panel lines directly.

The people giving this advice usually have dozens, if not hundreds of quality paint jobs to their names, so I know these techniques can produce wonderful results. Even so, I don't use either one, and it leaves me wondering: Am I the only one who uses a reversed technique?