Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Gamer Supplies

This week I had the pleasure of introducing 5 new individuals into the hobby of Table Top War Gaming. I was working at the shop and it was a busy day. I had two different groups come in looking for armies to purchase and supplies. Both groups had the same question, "What do I need to get started?" That lead me to write this blog post about basic supplies all gamers need to paint their armies.

1: You will need some plastic cutters. You can use a pair of toe nail clippers, small wire cutters or plastic cutters for modeling.

2: You will want to have a pair for needle noose pliers. You can use the cutting part of the pliers for removing models form the spur and cutting pinning material. You can also use the pliers for holding models when you prime them.

3: X-acto Knives are the most important tool in your collection. I keep a few on hand however you will only need one and replacement blades. You can actually use an X-acto Knife for remove the model pieces form the spur and clean the casting lines.

4: You will want a good collection of files. I have a small set of metal files, a collection of modeling files and some larger metal files. I use the modeling files on plastic models and the metal files on metal models. The larger files are used to beat models into submission.

5: You will need glue, I use Zap-A-Gap. It is like Super Glue however it is thicker and does not run as bad as Super Glue. You will have to try different glues and find the one that works best for your needs.

6: Paint brushes are a must if you are painting models. I have a good collection I keep in a cigar box. I purchase mine from a local craft store. They don't last long so I don't like spending a lot of money on them.

7: You will need to purchase paints. I use the GW brand paints. They work great for me however you can explore different brands. For someone just starting out just purchase a few colors to get you started. Then you will grow your collection as time goes on.

8: A tooth brush is a very handy tool to have. It will come in handy to dust off your models after cleaning the casting lines. Just in general, it is a good tool to have.

9: The last thing you will need is a can of Primer and a can of Matte Finish. For the Primer you can use black or white, however for someone just getting started I recommend black.

These are just some of the basic things you will need to get started into the hobby of table top war games. It is real easy to get carried away with purchasing stuff to assist your modeling and painting. Just keep it simple and once you have all your supplies put them in a shoe box, tool box, or any type of storage devise. Make your supplies portable so you can take your stuff with you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Small Conversions Make A Difference

This week I took some time to paint a Warhammer Fantasy model. This Black Orc Boss was part of a collection that I recently purchased. It is a great model and was a lot of fun to paint. I did some small conversions to the model and they made a big difference.

Before I tell you about my conversions I wanted to share some thoughts about converting models. I have talked to many gamers over the years and some of them are intimidated by converting models. Not all conversions have to be difficult. Adding different weapons or adding some texture to a model can make a big difference to the end result, a great looking model. If you were thinking about attempting some conversions start with some simple projects and develop your skills. Then you can start doing more advanced conversions.

This model only has two small conversions. First, I re-positioned the arm holding the shield. I did not like the way it was originally positioned. The shield was close to the body and I wanted it to be more open. If your not familiar with this model, the shield and hand are molded together as one piece and you glue it to the arm. I made some cuts to the contact area of the hand and arm and then pinned it into position. After gluing it in place I just added some green stuff to fill the gap. Second, I rapped the great axe with a small gauge wire. This gave the handle some texture and not just a flat surface. These two conversions did not completely change the original model, just gave it a different look.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SPORK Update

Well it has been a few weeks since I posted an update on my SPORKS. I finished the Terminators last night. I had some challenges with my new dipping techniques however they turned out fine. I am going to add some additional details after I finish the Tactical Squad. I just want to get the army painted and start playing the game. I was also able to fix the comment section on my blog page so feel free to leave feedback.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

White Dwarf

Lately I have notice that I am losing interest with White Dwarf. I continue to purchase the magazine to support my local friendly game shop however I feel that I am throwing my money away. The magazine has become more of an advertisement for new products and armies. The pages are filled with a lot of pictures and a small amount of content. I understand that magazines in general are drifting away like newspapers. Most the information that is published in WD has already been posted on forums and blog pages. So by the time WD is available to purchase I have already seen what is printed. The most disappointing issue I have with WD is that noting is fan based. There is no sections for letters to the editor providing tips on modeling or gaming. This is just my opinion and below is my solution.

So why do I purchase magazines anyways. I purchase magazines to find out what is new and ways I can improve. WD lacks the technical information I am hungry for. So I have found myself purchasing military modeling magazines, like Fine Scale Modeler. I am in no way comparing the two magazines, they both provide information to their target audience. I just want more information on the hobby side and feel I have found it with military modeling magazines. Fine Scale Modeler and other magazines like it are full of technical information on painting, modeling and tools of the trade. They are not limited to only one product line so you can really see whats on the market. The best part of military modeling magazines is that they are fan based. You can write a letter and if the content is usable it will be published.

This picture is a "Special Edition" of Fine Scale Modeler which is filled with helpful information. This issue will be on sale until August for $7.95. As gamers and consumers we all have different needs and expectations. This post is just me expressing my needs as a consumer and that is finding a product, like a magazine, that gives me ways to become a better gamer and modeler. WD does not fit the bill any longer and this is disappointing. So if you have the same issues I have with WD and you are looking for ways to improve you modeling skills, take a look at Fine Scale Modeler.

Paint Care

It has been a busy week however I was not busy painting models. I had a paint crisis, my paints were drying out causing me great concern. So I spent the week hydrating my paints and putting them in proper storage. If I only had a few different colors I would not have been that worried. I have all the different colors that GW offers along with the Foundation Paints, Washes and Inks. This is a lot of paint and I did not want them all to get ruined.

So why did my paints start drying out. It is simple, the GW paints don't have an air tight seal and the paints start to evaporate. I would assume it is the water that is added to the paint that evaporates however I am no expert in this area. I was storing my paints in a draw and this allowed for the continues evaporation. Also, when I use my paints I would leave the paint open while using it. All these factors played a role with my situation.

I posted on the Waaagh forum for suggestions. I was provided some great feed back that helped me correct this matter. Firstly, I was advised to add a small amount of water and Pledge Future Floor Polish. This would help rehydrate the paint. Secondly, I was advised to store my paints upside down. This will help keep a better seal stopping the evaporation. Thirdly, I added a glass bead to my paint to agitate the paint before I use it. Lastly, I was advised to make sure to keep the paint caps clean. Excess paint around the lip of the paint top can cause the paint cap from closing securely. I took all this advise and was able to save my paints. I also took one more additional step. In stead of storing my paints just in a draw I am now storing my paints in a cigar humidor. If you are not familiar with what a cigar humidor is, it is an air tight wooden box that keeps cigar fresh because it traps in moisture. I can regulate the humidity in the box by adding water to the box. I am now optimistic that my paints should stay hydrated and last a long time. I would also like to thank everyone that provided me with suggestions from the Waaagh forum.