August 2018 Hobby Challenge: Technical August

Everyone seems to love this guy, and he’s an example of animal-print freehanding, so I thought I’d give him another moment.

So this next month I want to try something different from just Neglected models and Unit painting, that’s still open enough to incorporate a wide range of projects and models that this little blogging community takes part in – and to try to keep it interesting.

So we’re going to have “Technical August”, where the objective is to use techniques that stretch you a little, that you want to improve on, or are entirely new.

Depending on each painter, their experience, skills, expertise in different techniques and comfort level, that can include pretty much anything and everything. It really will depend on each person’s own choice.

Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about: This could include anything from:

  • using washes or drybrushing
  • freehand designs – icons, tattoos, embroidery, animal hide and fur patterns
  • glazing
  • working with metallics
  • using those colour shift paints that GreenStuffWorld released
  • heat effects – “internal flame” glow, metal heat discolouration, etc
  • magical/spell/energy effects, plasma glow…
  • airbrushing
  • using the gemstone paints or any other of the newish lines of technical or clear or transparent paints from Citadel, Vallejo, Army Painter, etc – from clear red to rust.
  • freehanding gems or lenses
  • OSL (object source lighting)
  • blending
  • wet blending
  • creating or painting standards and banners
  • wire work – aerials or replacing weapon shafts or…
  • zenithal highlighting
  • scratch-building
  • using clump foliage
  • water effects
  • making trees or other foliage
  • using decals
  • modelling using clear resin
  • achieving patinas
  • weathering effects, including weathering powders
  • edge highlighting
  • vehicle weathering
  • basing techniques

and so on – this is not an exhaustive list by any means – just a set of examples to give you the idea. It’s about using new techniques and working on techniques you may have done some work on but want to continue to improve and stretch yourself. A simple way to look at it would be to ask yourself “Am I already an expert at this technique? Can I improve on it or learn to do it more effectively?” – based on those answers, you’ll know if it qualifies for this challenge for you.

A lot of those are quite straightforward, and you’ll know if they’re something that you both want to do and can work on. If you’re not sure if a model or project will “count” – think about it in this way. Is there a model or scenic piece or whatever that you’ve either started or wanted to start, but have gotten stuck (or not started) because you’re concerned that you’ll screw it up because of this or that technique because you haven’t really done it much, or often enough to be comfortable or even at all? Does it make you nervous? If the answer to any of those is yes, then you know the answer.

Speaking for myself, I’m far from an expert at all of the above examples, and really have no skill or experience in several of them – but as you know, I like to get models that I’m working on anyway – or stuck on finished, so I had to stop and think about what I might be able to do for this one.

After a bit of reflection, I came up with several projects that would count – three of them scenic ones that have been extremely slow going, a whole bunch of armoured vehicles from both WWII and 40k – you’ll notice I don’t get many vehicles (or larger scenery pieces) done – there’s a reason for that! I also came up with ways that a couple of the larger monsters that have been slow, slow going could work.

Hopefully, whether you’ve been modelling for years and have just won several placements at a model show, or if you used to work as a painter for Games Workshop and Warlord Games, or if you’re an absolute beginner who has just moved from, say South Africa to, say, the Netherlands to finally be with your new wife – this should be a month that you can find something for you in!

The following month of September will be a slight tweak of the Neglected Models concept into Neglected Projects (this will include everything from single models as well as bigger stuff, terrain, dios, builds, parts of modular models, etc – but I’ll write it up in more detail and post it about a week before September.)

October will be Completing Units again, and I’ll finalise November and December’s when we get closer!

One last thing – if you have something that you want included in the Jewel of July Community Round-Up, remember to post a link in or to the Announcement Post (as long as I get a trackback or can find it easily via a link of some kind from the comments of that post, it’s all good)

From the Painting Desk #6 – Bolt Action T-34/85, Citadel Spirit Hosts (Ghosts)

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bunch of Bolt Action kits from Warlord. After checking out the T-34s, I noticed that the kit wasn’t especially complex, and so perfectly suitable to start and actually finish as well, since I’ve got a habit of ..not finishing everything I start. When my DeadZone stuff arrived this week and I found that they missed the additional rulebooks and a few other things, I had a bit of a rage for a bit, and then decided to start assembling the tanks to get my mind off it. I thought I took some photos, but this is where I’m up to at this point:

A trio of Warlord Games T-34/85

Basically, all assembled excepting the final assembly of the two halves of the hull, and the turret will just pop on. I’d have magnetised it, but I didn’t think of that until after I’d assembled the two turret halves, so…

The tanks have been sprayed with PSC Russian Armour, airbrushes with a 50:50 mix of VMA Russian Green and Camo Light Green, followed by a 70:30 mix. My airbrush skills are awful still, or maybe its the cheap POS airbrush I have. Either way, the results are far from impressive. Once that was done, a 50:50 mix of VMC Russian Uniform and Army Painter Camo Green for a final-ish highlight. Next will be some sandy/buff colours for weathering. Tracks got a coat of Vallejo Panzer Aces Track Primer with a drybrush of VMA steel over the top.

I still need to hit the whole thing with PSC weathering spray and have a play with weathering powders and the like. Add some decals and then finish them. Hopefully next update!

The other thing I’ve been doing today was opened up a care package from a mate. Quite a lot of loot in there, along with something I totally was not expecting – ghosts!

Citadel Spirit Host Ghosts on Back to Base-ix bases.

The ghosts were mounted three each to several goblin green-painted 40mm square bases. I pried them off immediately, and after a bit of faffing about, decided to mount them on some Back to Base-ix resin “ruins” bases I bought years ago. I felt they raised the Marine figures up too high from the “ground” and so never used them for the original intent, but they work perfectly with these undead. The weight of the resin also stops some of the more lop-sided members of the gang from toppling over.

Ghosts – Sprayed and freshly washed

After mounting them, I took them outside the hit them with some Rustoleum Heirloom White. You can’t really see it here, but it’s a slightly off-white with a slight touch of coffee brown to it. Better for projects like this than pure white. I mixed up a suitably-ethereal coloured paint wash using a mix of Citadel’s Lahmian Medium and Gauss Blaster Green. Stupid names, yes, but the paint being fit for purpose is all I care about.

ooOOooo ooOOo O OOo

They’re outside now. I was going to start on the bases right after I did this, but decided to seal them with gloss varnish, since it was a bright warm sunny day – so wanted to take full advantage of that. That stuff dries much much faster in the sun. This way I can work on them tonight, and maybe even finish them off. It’ll just be the bases and some touch-up work – then a coat of matt. Also hoping to have those T-34s finished tomorrow, or perhaps the following day…

…then I can get back to the grind of my other half-finished projects. Gondor, ahoy!