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Archive for April, 2008

The Shelf of Shame got a little lighter

April 28th, 2008 No comments

No, I didn't complete anything.  That would be silly.

Instead what I did was thin it out.  There's a whole lotta stuff there that somehow ended up on the Shelf and isn't really anything I want to paint.

Anyhoo.  I'm heading down to ReaperCon in a few weeks.  That's the one time of the year when you can cash your pewter in ounce for ounce.  So my poor unwanted minis are going back into the melt pot and I'll come home with happy new minis.  That will once again take up residence on the Shelf of Shame.

And I also got around to looking at all the various Warlord factions sitting around.  Using the new data cards I sat down and pointed out my armies.  I dropped three factions completely because I had so few figures that it didn't make sense to keep them.  Or I would have had to invest in a complete command structure.  Or because I just didn't like them.

That leaves me with five factions.  They all need figures to complete them but not nearly as many as the others.  Plus with all the scrap pewter I should make up the difference easily enough.  I also have a bunch of minis still in their blister packs that can be traded at face value so I have no doubt I can get all the minis I have listed along with parts from the boneyard I have on my want list.

And that's one reason why I'm bringing two suitcases on my trip.

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Rastl vs Virus – The Rematch

April 22nd, 2008 1 comment

Rastl 0 – Virus 2.

This thing just won't quit.  I'm getting nothing done that I want to do and when I do find the energy to do anything I end up worse the next day.

So, no projects to share.  No progress to report.  Just a lot of cussing and grumping around the Rastl household.

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Rastl vs Virus. Rastl 0, Virus 1

April 18th, 2008 No comments

I picked up some kind of bug this week.  I thought it was just my annual bout with viral tonsillitis but it seems to be bronchial or walking pneumonia or something annoying like that.

So I've been colonizing the couch, drinking tea and being generally grumpy.

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Exchange mini/diorama is done!

April 14th, 2008 1 comment

I am so late on this but my partner was understanding.

I believe I have explained how a mini exchange works previously but I'll summarize here.  You sign up, you get a name, you paint a mini, you send it off.  Someone else paints a mini and sends it to you.  Fun all around.

I like to research what the person receiving my mini prefers.  I do this by searching the forum for things they've posted or commented upon.  Normally they give some guidance when they sign up (elves, females, etc.) but I like to do my own research too.

This time around I was paired with someone who only likes display minis.  This means they're part of a diorama of some kind and not meant for game play.  Hmmm….

I picked up a couple of the cheap wooden bases at the hobby store and started stacking blocks.  I came up with a spiral staircase on a round base.  The mini is a wizard walking down stairs.  Of course, the stairs weren't the same height as the ones I made but that can be worked around.  I mangled my first attempt at getting him off his integral base and my friend Erin took pity on me and sent me one already de-based.

So he's walking down the stairs on one side of the diorama.  I needed something to fill the space on the other side.  Meet Mr. Rat.

He's quite happily nibbling away at whatever is in the sack.  From what I painted, I think it is dried berries.  You can see other sacks piled behind him under the stairs and the wooden support for the stairs themselves.  They just didn't look right without some kind of support.  So I made one.

For the full effect, have a look at the 360 degree 'movie' I made.

I really hope she likes it and I really hope my next exchange partner isn't into display bases.  But it's been fun.

Oh – the lantern is from an adventuring accessories pack and the hanger was made by my friends Abaroth and KeeblerOrc with their fun laser cutter.  That's actually a candle holder but I didn't put that part on it.  I needed a lantern hook.

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How Rastl spends her lunch break

April 7th, 2008 2 comments

I'm currently lucky enough to be working close enough to home that I can come home at lunch.  Most days this involves letting the dogs outside, some soup, chatting with friends online, letting the dogs back inside (very important) and then getting back to work.

Today I wasn't all that hungry so I spent the time cleaning up the kitchen.  One thing that really bugs me is a cluttered kitchen.  This wasn't a full-on clean.  It was more of a tidy-up.  Unload the dishwasher (Mr. Rastl's job but I do it if I'm there), load the dishwasher (my job), wash up anything that doesn't go in the dishwasher, put away miscellaneous stuff that was on the counters, and wipe down the stove and the counters.  Ahh,  tidy kitchen again.

But there's going to be a small instructional session at the Rastl household.  You see, Mr. Rastl has forgotten the important lessons of Rinse and Soak.  He's translated those into "Wait until Rastl is out of the house for a while then stuff everything in the dishwasher and run on 'Pots and Pans' cycle with water heat on."  This is not correct.

For those unfamiliar with the lessons of Rinse and Soak I shall explain.

Rinse

Technically the newer dishwashers make rinsing unnecessary.  Pish tosh I say.  If it leaves a residue on the pan or the dish, rinse it.  A knife crusted with peanut butter is NOT going to come clean in the dishwasher no matter what buttons you press.  And the person (Rastl) washing it by hand will not be pleased to have to scrape it off either.  So, rinse when it looks messy.

Soak

When a rinse just won't do.  Burnt on bits, dishes that missed the Rinse section, anything that will require work.  Especially anything with sugar.  Soak them.  Soap is not needed.  Water is the power ingredient here.  Soaking means that the icky bits get softened and will scrub off easily.

So we'll be sitting down and going over these important concepts again tonight.  In my nice tidy kitchen.

Ok – off to make a sandwich to eat at my desk.

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Little founts are finally done

April 5th, 2008 No comments

I've been working on these off and on for a while.  I wanted some decorative little founts to toss around the dungeon (not literally toss but scatter decoratively) and I had some casts from the oh-so-wonderful Hirst Arts Cavern Accessories Mold so I decided to have a little fun.  Of course, this was after I decided on my 'no new projects' way of doing things.  Like anyone thought that was going to happen.

This shows the fountain and the 'water' I used.  I tried something different this time.  Instead of using resin I tinted gloss varnish and used that to put in a layer of water.  As you can see, all the varnish went to the edges of the piece.  Not quite what I had in mind.  I still used 5 minute epoxy for the water from the spout but didn't really do a froth where it hit.

This was my first attempt at alabaster.  I think it is decent enough for a first time.  The next time I do this I need to stipple the base coat so it isn't such a flat ivory.  So I'll probably stipple with something at least two shades darker and then work on the striations.

Backstory.  I have time to think whilst making and painting these things.  And that was a lot of marble to paint.  I actually made four of these founts so it was a lot of assembly line work.  Rastl doesn't like assembly line work.

I wasn't being particularly careful on painting the marble so it isn't the best quality.  And the lion heads all have some air bubbles.  Without the stippling the alabaster is certainly second rate.  So here's my explanation for all that.

The contractors building the dungeon must get pieces in the job lots that just aren't up to the standards needed in the BBEG's lair.  But they already paid for it and had it hauled down to the job site.  So rather than waste it they make up things that will be useful in various 'staff' areas of the dungeon and not really seen all the time by the guy who pays the bills.  Now, you would think that the contractors would be doing their very best not to cheese off the BBEG but there's a pretty strong dungeon builder's contractor's union and there are very steep penalties for turning the contractors into undead (sub-contractors need to work out their own arrangements) so it's just easier all around for the less-than-perfect pieces to go into the less visible areas of the dungeon.

And if you're wondering, acrylic paint really doesn't have fumes so I don't have that excuse for what I just wrote.

Note – BBEG is the abbreviation for Big Bad Evil Guy.  Essentially the reason for most quests and the fella you find in the center of the dungeon doing bad guy things.

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Army Exchange Work in Progress Shots – Continued Some More

April 5th, 2008 No comments

Got the reds pretty much done and started on the metallics.  At least, figured out what will be silver and what will be gold and got the silver started.

I feel the red/orange went on a little chalky and I need to deepen the shadows just a tad but overall I think it will work.  This shot is a little dark so I hope to have a better one up in a day or so.

Metals will be a combination of silver and gold.  Technically both are neutrals so I'm good with having them both on there.  Then it's just cleanup and I can call them done.

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Not feelin’ the love these days

April 5th, 2008 No comments

I'm pretty active on several forums, as many of you know.  I also like to jump into the chats and socialize.

I might just be overly sensitive but it seems that lately I'm not getting responses to my forum posts or that my answers are completely skipped over.  Same thing with the chats.  My input seems .. less regarded than previously.

Of course I may just be overly sensitive.  I may be reading far more into things than is happening.

But I'm just not feelin' the love these days.

It doesn't mean I'll fade out of the forums and off the chats.  I will be less frequent of a visitor I think because I have quite a few things I want to finish up and forums/chatting take up precious hobby time.

So now that I've gotten this off my mind I can work on my projects and try not to worry about what people think of me.  I've got an established enough presence in those places that a hiatus would not be the same as a farewell.

And I just noticed my kudos rating on Yuku (where the Hirst Arts forum currently resides) went down by three for no apparent reason.  Their kudos rating is really completely arbitrary but I didn't know you could lose the ratings.  This did not help my mood.

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Army Exchange Work in Progress Shots – Continued

April 4th, 2008 2 comments

Still working on these little guys.  I did get an idea on how to paint what from someone else who suffered through painting them so I'm well on my way to being done.

For those who don't paint minis, red is one of the more difficult colors to paint.  It just doesn't cover and then you have to be careful highlighting it so it doesn't go all pink on you.  I stopped tonight after getting everything red I wanted red.  Trying to do more would have been .. bad.  As it is I have a little cleanup to do where red went places I didn't want red.

I'm saying 'red' a lot but that's because it was what I painted tonight.

Here's a better shot of the violet skin and stuff.

For those who want to know, you get a good deep red by painting it another color first.  Red by itself doesn't cover very well so you end up with splotchy coverage.  I painted all the red areas a rust brown that has fantastic coverage.  Then the red only had to darken that.  It's what we call "a trick of the trade".

The person who sent these want them done in what is called the Fire Triad.  It goes through oranges and yellow.  So I'll start bringing the highlights up to that yellow, probably starting tomorrow.  Then it's just the metallics and some detailing, like the horns on some of them, buckles, etc.

The end is in sight.

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Random musings

April 2nd, 2008 2 comments

Some thoughts from the last few days.

  • Epoxy is great but it stinks
  • 5 minute epoxy is great but don't decide to try to make changes while you have it mixed
  • Dixie cups are multi-use.  Rip them short to use the bottom as a palette and then use the sides (ripped in pieces) to mix epoxy.
  • Separate epoxy components are still sticky
  • Acetone cleans sticky
  • Make sure your superglue is set (dry) before trying to paint over it
  • Paper sucks up paint.  Plan accordingly
  • Paper gets pliable when wet, such as from painting.  Plan accordingly.
  • Straight pins are difficult to cut and the cut ends go 'ping' all over the room.  Stick the pin in a piece of foam and then cut.
  • No matter how careful you are, you'll forget and try to use beads directly out of the open container.  Beads hurt when you step on them.
  • When you put something "where it will be safe" you'll never find it again. I guess that's one definition of safe.
  • Completely prepping for a 'make and take' will ensure no one shows up.  Forgetting half your stuff will ensure a ton of people show up.
  • Always look where you have your puddle of epoxy.  Don't put it where you normally put your elbow, brushes, tools, bits, cats, media player, your other elbow, the phone, the cell phone, another finished mini, etc.  Not that I've done any of those things.  Nope.  Not me.
  • Research other paint jobs before slapping paint on an unfamiliar type of mini.  Or terrain.  Or cat.
  • Don't paint the cat.
  • When your spouse is on a roll of "Honey!  Come look at this!" feel free to ignore them after the first three if they're all about things that aren't going to happen, don't concern you, don't interest you, or aren't going to suddenly show up on the porch.

Yep.  That's about it for tonight.

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