Sunday, February 28, 2016

House Tangryx Imperial Knight Painting WIP - Part Three

In the last post I'd done a massive chunk of the airbrushing of the armour panels. With the Troll Slayer Orange laid down I now needed to block out the Abaddon Black halves of the split panels. Incidentally I'm trying to follow the codex system of painting for a mechanicum knight. It's basically the same but with orange instead of red.

Speaking of which, the two knights in question will be a Princeps and a Baron so they need their appropriate go faster stripes:

The masking wasn't perfect here because I was stupid enough to put the handrails on before painting. With a bit of tidying up they look much better though and once the metal is painted the imperfections will be barely noticeable, especially when the washes and highlights are down.

Whilst I waited for the airbrushing to dry I went back to the skeletons to tidy up the parts where I'd sprayed on some orange armour plates to add interest. They look much better now they've been neatened up but washes and highlights will be needed to finish them off. It's at this point I start to wonder if the brassy parts of the skeleton need to stand out a bit more. I'm probably going to go for Hashnut Copper at some point but that can certainly wait.

Next I needed to add some details with the airbrush such as the hatching on the chainsword and one kneepad per knight. Fortunately my 3 mm tape arrived from eBayland on Saturday so I was able to get the hatching done this weekend which was a nice bonus since I wasn't expecting it until Monday. The tape isn't perfect mind you, it's more like insulation tape than masking tape. It does the job OK but it's trickier to work with and doesn't follow fine details as easily. I think it's intended for use on full size cars rather than model vehicles but I'm happy enough. Certainly a lot quicker and neater than trying to freehand the lines anyway.

The second picture shows my first knight's chainsword at the bottom for comparison. I think I made a pretty decent job of the freehanded lines but they're nowhere near as neat or uniform as the airbrushed ones.

For a brief morale boost I threw the majority of the armour panels onto the skeleton to convince myself I was actually making some progress. When you're just looking at a pile of components it can be difficult to motivate yourself. At the moment they definitely look too orange but once the metal frames of the armour panels are done they'll be toned down dramatically. I still want the orange to make them stand out mind you.
Speaking of the metal frames I've now actually done quite a decent amount of the frames. This has meant I can now assemble the gun faceplates making the pile of components seem smaller. That's probably the last bit of sub-assembly I can do before I start gluing the armour panels on nearer to completion. As you can see in the pictures below I've also added some black to the ammo hoppers on the main guns and airbrushed the interior of the banners. Both of which will need some tidying up but I wanted to try and get the airbrushing out of the way.

You can also see the knee pads that I hatched. They too will look significantly better once the metal frames are painted in. It's incredibly dull painted Leadbelcher for hours on end though so I'm finding little bits to break up the monotony. Today it was adding Zandri Dust to the scroll work on the chest plate and back panel of the chainswords. 

So what's next? Well, as you can see from the picture above, I still need to tidy up the orange on the feet which should tone them down quite nicely. That's just one part of the hugely monotonous Leadbelcher application that needs to happen in the next couple of days though. I'm confident that I can get all of the metal based before midweek followed by some washes and highlights to finish off the week. If I can get all of the metalwork finished this week I'll feel a lot more confident about finishing but I'd still love to get all of the armour panels washed too.

These pictures make it seem like I'm making pretty good progress but frankly there's a deceptively large amount left to do. The big satisfying bits will soon be gone and it'll be down to fine details that take ages but ultimately aren't as dramatic. Still, this is the most consistent hobby progress I've made in months (if not years) so I can't knock it. It's refreshing to be able to blog about hobby stuff for a change too.

Plenty left to do before the 12th though and March will be with us by Tuesday!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

House Tangryx Imperial Knight Painting WIP - Part Two

Following on from my last post, here's another update on my progress towards getting a pair of Imperial Knights ready for an event on March 12th. As I mentioned before, these knights are for my custom knightly order, House Tangryx. I'll have to flesh out their background at some point but basically they're name is a more knightly version of Tango since they follow that general colour scheme. I also like Kirstyx as a tribute to my wife but I'm not sure she'd be so thrilled with the idea. Anyway, I was away over the weekend which limited my progress somewhat but I have still managed to get quite a bit done this week.

First off I've added quite a few bits of detail to the legs including the pistons which I hit with a couple of coats of Runefang Steel before washing the top and bottom with Agrax Earthshade to try and make them look like they were polished from use but still oily. I've also finished off the brass bits which were Balthasar Gold, Agrax Earthshade and then a drybrush with Balthasar Gold again. I'm tempted to add some Hashnut Copper but I don't want them to stand out too much on what is otherwise a fairly grimy skeleton. Looking at this picture now I'm feeling the need to hit the tops of the legs with some fine emery paper to get rid of the join but that'll be time dependent I think.

Next step was to paint in a few of the Mechanicum symbols. They need a bit of thinned down Badab black on the white bits to tone them down a bit but I'm pretty happy with how they came out. I'm torn on the smaller emblems. My worry is that if I paint all of them it'll look to much on the back. My current plan is to wait until the armour panels are in place and see how I feel then.

Masking time. It's times like this I really wish I'd left more parts off during assembly as it's difficult to mask around some of these irregular shapes. The feet for example could've easily been left off, sprayed orange and attached later. Live and learn I suppose. Anyway, I also masked off the side armour panels on the skeleton and a couple of bits on the rear as I'd like to add a bit of orange here too. Finally, the chainswords get some masking around both ends. The box (for want of a better term) on the back will be orange whilst the blade will be yellow and cross hatched with black (still working out how to mask for this as Tamiya don't seem to do 3 mm masking tape - although I have just found some online). In case you're wondering I use Tamiya 10 mm close to the detail and then good old B&Q stuff for masking the rest. I actually wrapped all of the rest of the legs up to be safe as you'll see later.

All of the panels which had been based with Wild Rider "Red" now get some Troll Slayer Orange. Incidentally, my long term plan is to have a Ryza Ad Mech army but I just don't like Jokaero Orange. Anyway, here's the shots of the skeleton post tape removal. Sadly some of the masking wasn't perfect so there'll be touch ups to do but generally speaking I think I got away with it despite wishing I'd left some more panels off!

Next step is more masking of the panels to get some black on and I'm planning on white stripes over the top carapace. It's at this point that I wish I'd not glued the hand rails in place as it would have made the masking MUCH easier! That fourth knight is going to be a breeze though!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ian Plumpton's Stormsurge won at Blog Wars X

Just a quick post tonight folks to give you the promised pictures of Ian Plumpton's Stormsurge which he won as the top prize in the raffle at BWX, the final Blog Wars event.

It's frustrating not be able to show you the Stormsurge that I "won" at the event. I use the inverted commas because the generous Blog Wars faithful all clubbed together and bought me both that and the new Tau codex. It's sat basecoated in Mechanicum Standard Grey but I've not made any more progress. Perhaps I'll return to it once my IK project is out of the way. Too many models and too little time! I have to say that Ian's colour scheme is very striking and makes me wish I had the time or enthusiasm to rework my Tau. On that subject I'll probably write a post once the IK project is done trying to plan out my hobby activities for the rest of the year. I really needs to have scenery in there!!

Anyway, here's a couple more shots of Ian's Stormsurge:

If you want to see more pictures of Ian's Stormsurge or any of his other stuff then head over to his new blog: Krak Addict. Ian and Jonathan Lyness have set up the blog so keep an eye on there for what I'm sure will be great content.

Oh and if you want to win yourself something big like a Stormsurge then you can buy your Double Trouble tickets by clicking on the logo on the right. The prizes for the raffle won't be announced until nearer the time (and will depend on ticket sales) but suffice to say I'm aiming to keep the same theme of a big top prize worth somewhere in the region of a Stormsurge and then some other prizes which will all be worth more than the ticket price.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

House Tangryx Imperial Knight Painting WIP - Part One

I find it difficult to post about my hobby progress which is why you won't find much hobby content on FtF. The problem is, the time I spend blogging about it is time I could be actually making progress. My free time is pretty limited so if I'm going to get projects finished then I need to focus all my available time and effort working on them rather than procrastinating with the aid of Blogger. Trouble is, blogging also works as an excellent motivator for me as I want to be able to post hobby content on here. The other main drive for me is when I've got a tournament coming up. It's the reason my Tau are even painted at all and that at least some of my Orks and DE have paint on them. Well, this time the plan is to take a couple of knights so that's what I'll be talking about today.

I've already mentioned my first knight on here and what you see in that post is probably the extent of the progress I ever made on him. Well, this time I'm determined it's going to be different. My original knight is still in the same state but as I mentioned in Saturday's post I've assembled and fully magnetised two more. Today I'll show you the progress I've made towards painting them.

First off here's a couple of shots of the parts once they'd been primed. Incidentally, I used Wilko Enamel Spray Primer which comes in a 400 ml can (same as GW sprays) but costs £3.95 (unlike GW sprays!). I was a bit worried that being less than half the price of the Citadel stuff it'd be crap but I'm pleased to report it worked flawlessly. I'm very pleased with the finish so I'll probably be permanently switching to it and saving a fortune. Sadly they don't do a black spray though. This was probably a good thing for the armour plates to help the orange out but I'm not sure whether it's affected the appearance of the metal skeleton. As you'll see later it doesn't look like it but I can easily compare to my first knight to decide at some point.

As you can see there's a huge pile of different components here. The first picture shows all of the skeleton, which will be metallic, whilst the second picture shows all of the armour panels, which will be predominantly orange. Speaking of which:

Here's all the armour plates with an airbrushed coat of Wild Rider Red. I've talked before about how it isn't really red at all but more of a pinkish orange. Anyway, it may not be a base paint but through the airbrush it still goes on well enough to cover the grey (like Just for Men!). I'll hit these panels with some Troll Slayer Orange next before doing the Abaddon Black bits. I'll need another airbrush session for that though and that means a guaranteed hour or so which is tricky to get with a two year old so it'll have to wait until one evening this week.

Whilst I'd got the airbrush out for the Wild Rider Red, I painted all of the skeleton in Leadbelcher:

I know they have their detractors but I think Citadel paints go through the airbrush just fine with some Vallejo Airbrush Thinner mixed in. Having said that I'd like to try the Citadel Air range and see if they're any good. I've tried a couple of Vallejo air paints but something in me doesn't like straying from Citadel (foolish I know!). Next stage was to hit all of the skeleton with a heavy dose of Nuln Oil:

Then a drybrush with Necron Compound:

I'd never used the Citadel Dry paints before and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Mind you, one piece of advice, don't try and stir them!! I made that mistake and ended up with a pot full of painty gravel! Nevertheless it goes on pretty well and is probably easier to work with compared to normal paints. I tend to find I accidentally get too much and ruin a panel or two which didn't seem to happen with the Necron Compound. Mind you, I still think I probably over did it but that was because I was rushing to try and get it done whilst my son was having a nap. 

You'll notice that in the last couple of shots I've got significantly less parts involved. Well for the tournament I'll be using one as a Warden and the other as a Paladin so to save time I'll only paint up the relevant components initially. I can easily come back to the rest at a later date. 

You can also see in that final shot that I've started to put in some of the detail too. I've painted a couple of coloured cables some in Macragge Blue and others in Mephiston Red. I've also added some Balthasar Gold to pick out a few details but I ran out of time to do any more.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I'll not be making much more progress not until next week but I'd hope by the end of next week I'll have the skeletons pretty much done. There's a couple of armour panels I missed that I could've left off for aibrushing so I'll either mask around them or else try and achieve a good finish with a brush. I'm leaning towards the airbrush before I think orange will be tricky without. I don't think it's an unreasonable target to have the skeletons done by next weekend so then I can focus on the armour panels the following week. I've only got until March 12th to get them done so it'll be pretty tight when you factor in the transfers and basing too. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Improved Magnetisation of the Imperial Knight Kit

Well, my last post apologised for my lack of blogging and a two week gap between posts certainly isn't bucking the trend! The main reason for this is that I'm determined to get my Imperial Knights finished in time for a tournament in a month. That means my free time is better spent painting than blogging! Anyway, I'm taking a break tonight since I've reached a decent milestone. I've managed to assemble and fully magnetise a couple more Knights and I've undercoated them today.

You may remember my previous guide on how to magnetise the knight kit. The most shocking thing about that post is that it was June last year and the knight featured isn't close to finished. That's not promising for my current target. Anyway, I've done a few things differently, and hopefully better, with the new knight that I thought I'd share with you.

Polarity Solution
The first thing I want to talk about was a recommendation from Ian "Ginge" Connolly that I've made full use of and wanted to share. Ian used a couple of blobs of green stuff marked with + and - but I opted for this:

Quite simply a bit of sprue (plenty of that to hand!!) with a magnet glued on each end. I had blue and red paint in easy reach so daubed some on each end and voila! The red end I always use for weapons (or outer bits) and the blue end for mounts (or inner bits). This has saved me absolutely ages! All my other projects have very often hit snags when magnets ended up flipping the wrong way up and had to be removed. Having a consistent scheme really helps too. Means that all of the weapons are interchangeable between the two knights (though sadly not the first one - more on that later) and generally less swearing on my part. If you do any amount of magnetising make one of these (or something similar) NOW! Thank me (and Ian) later.

Bigger Magnets!
One thing that bothers me about the first knight I magnetised is that the arm weapons joints aren't as strong as I'd like. The front parts of the battle cannon/thermal cannon aren't a good enough joint and the shoulders don't take much persuasion to come apart. One of the things that puts me off magnetising generally is an army that falls to pieces many, many times during a game. I don't want to be rebuilding my model every time I move it so something has to be done.

The first solution was suggested be Westrider in the comments of the last post and that was to sink the shoulder piece into the elbow by simply trimming off the lip rather than the whole bottom of the joint. This was what I originally started out intending to do. I think it would've worked reasonably well but I decided halfway through the assembly process to simply go for bigger magnets. I was previously using 5 mm magnets but increased these to 10 mm magnets (still 1 mm thick). This gives me four times the area and therefore a much stronger hold. Trouble is, a 10 mm magnet doesn't fit into the top of the elbow. I could potentially have drilled them out to accommodate the magnet (or used something like an 8 mm magnet) but I eventually reasoned that it would be much easier to simply glue the magnet on top of the elbow and you're never going to see the joint during a battle anyway, especially when painted.

One thing to note though, in order to get a good bond with the magnet I filed down the top of the weapon joint and bottom of the shoulder joint to ensure a better contact. This also helps rough up the surface which improves adhesion (or seems to anyway). These bigger magnets are much less fiddly to use too.

Whilst I was embiggening things I decided to increase the size of the magnet on the body for the meltagun/stubber from 3 mm to 5 mm. I kept the smaller magnet on the weapon itself but just increasing the magnet on the body has vastly improved the strength of the joint. Incidentally, one of the things I didn't like about the technique before was that the melta/stubber sat too low relative to the top carapace. I therefore trimmed the peg right down to the joint and glued the magnet straight onto the bit that sticks off the body (see below).

Armour Plates and Pistons
One of the tips right at the start of the last post was to avoid gluing armour plates on before painting to speed things up when airbrushing. Well, I did this to an extent last time but it wasn't until I actually started painting that I realised there were quite a few more areas that needed to be orange that I hadn't considered. For example, the shields on each of the ranged weapons and the little cover thing behind the meltagun/stubber barrel. On my first knight I ended up having to paint all of the metal parts of the gun and then mask off these whilst I sprayed on the orange. This time I'll spray all of the orange bits up first. The only exception that I can think of is the feel which, with hindsight, I could've left off too.

Similarly, I've waited to glue a lot of the pistons in place until it came to posing the final model together before spraying. It's not practical to keep them unglued as GW indicates in places but I wanted to be able to think about the pose of the knight before glueing them in place.

I've primed all of the (many many) components and sub-assemblies now so all I need to do is separate them into metals and oranges before I start spraying. Once all the airbrushing work is done I can glue more stuff together so that the painting is a bit more cohesive but it'll save me ages not masking and correcting.

What Didn't Change?
I was tempted to replace the waist joint with a 10 mm magnet too. I think they'd be strong enough but I actually like my twist mount solution so I've replicated this on the new knights. I do have concerns about the longevity of this method though so I've made the hole bigger to minimise the risk of pulling the sprue off. I might end up swapping these out for magnets at some point but I don't think that'll be a big job.

The method for the meltagun/stubber and carapace weapons has stayed completely unchanged. I did find it fiddlier to magnetise the missile launcher fronts this time though so might revisit them at some point. Generally speaking though it works pretty well mostly due to a good fit before magnets.

The battle/thermal cannon swap mechanic has stayed the same too (although bigger magnets for the face plates as mentioned above). I'm really pleased with how this works and I really don't think anyone will notice the bits that are extra for the battle cannon at the back.

As I mentioned last time I saved quite a lot of time by not attempting to magnetise the shoulder carapace. By magnetising the shoulder joints I can glue the carapace in place and still manage to take the shoulders off. I can't see any need to do this though since the weapons are fully interchangeable now.

One final tip before I wrap the post up. If you're working in a reasonably small room like me then remember to crack a window open with all of those glue fumes in the air. I ended up with a headache one night after applying A LOT of magnets. Given the time of year though I resorted to my airbrushing filter mask on subsequent nights to avoid freezing.

Well, generally speaking I'm a lot happier with the new knights than I was with the old one. It's frustrating really to think about redoing some of the magnets on the first one but it'll be worth the effort I think. The shoulder joints would be easy as I'd simply prize off the existing magnets, file down and glue on the bigger ones. Will be doing that at some point for sure. I could definitely improve on things again but with only one of my four knights unbuilt I probably won't go too mad. These latest two are certainly stronger and more durable so that's a definite bonus.

Anyway, I hope this post has been useful for anyone who's planning on magnetising their knights. I'd definitely encourage people to upgrade to bigger magnets too. I think I bought 50 10 mm magnets for a fiver so we really aren't breaking the bank.

Right, less bloggy more painty. I'll try and post some progress but don't expect me to talk about much else for the next month! Incidentally, I'm trying to work through some emails regarding Double Trouble so please bear with me if I haven't replied to yours yet. Wish me luck with the painting!


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