Thursday, September 18, 2014

Too long without a post!


So many great plans and then I sort of got swallowed up by it all. Too many irons in the fire I guess.

So what am I actually doing?

I am painting and basing the few bits of Brethren and Treyine forces. As per my usual it starts of great and then I get bogged down. After reading Painting Matters: In Defense of Hobby Standards on Chicago Skirmish Wargames (I do actually read the blogs I follow, albeit a bit late). It may shock you to know that I had originally intended to never field incomplete troops. That quickly went out the window as I felt the pull to play games. I now see saw back and forth between trying to play and trying to paint and model. I'm trying, with varying degrees of success.

I also read about roads on Itinerant Hobbyist here who was place holding a post by Sound Officers Call here about how he made some roads out of cork ribbon. So I have duly bought a roll of 2.5" cork ribbon and 12" x 12" square of thin cork sheet. I intend to try my hand at roads and rivers with it. I had originally bought some thin craft foam, but this is thinner still.

Which brings me in a round about way to the next two things. My Photography guide and refurbishing and or making terrain. I don't want to let my shabby, unfinished stuff detract from what I'm trying to convey about photography so I've sort of paralyzed myself for the time being.

I already tried to write this post once and felt it was too much of a downer. Whiny, rambling etc. so I'll wrap this up.

I'll endeavor to use the draft and schedule feature to not go so long without another post. I'll try to keep to my usual style of what's on my mind, but try not to bore you with too many WIP, I still haven't finished, shots.

I hope to bring you some somewhat useful posts on pictures and video, as well as consult the hive mind on techniques for Chaos flesh Oldhammer style. Boyyy!

Here's another video by Rob Scallon. He makes me laugh.

And no Chico, I don't mean this:

One inappropriate place to find metal \m/

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ebay Hammer 2 - The Second Marauder Giant

Well, I told you I found another one after I realized the first was incomplete.

Still in the shrink wrap
 A glorious unopened box! For $9 less than the first one.

Looks like it's all there
 The rattling around inside the box was a tad disturbing, but it's all there.

The missing pieces are now here.
 I'm waiting on an order of the Alumilite  super casting kit. Then I'll try my hand at casting these up for the other giant. I still need to strip and break apart the various models for repainting.

I do have one question for those of you playing Oldhammer/ Warhammer. What do you do about the giants (or whatever figure) not fitting on a base. The base size for Giants, Trolls, Ogres is 40mm x 40mm and for the Marauder Giant that is tiny. The out of box one is on a 50mm x 50mm and he doesn't even fit on that. I can't seem to find the BOYL pictures with all the Giants right now. Just wondering how y'all would handle it?

I almost forgot. The sword appears to be angled/bent. I'm not sure, but from what I can tell this is intentional. Anybody know definitively?

On to the next question.

What do you think? Too big?
I dug out a chaos knight and a chaos warrior (my brother painted him back in the 90's and was going for a covered in gore look with black plate and red mail) [Now that I think of it, I'm going to try to recreate his concept]. But back to the point, in the middle is a Reaper Bertok the Barbarian figure. As you can see he is quite massive. For some reason this makes me feel like he is a Chaos Warrior who has been "blessed" with massive size. I know some of you incorporate non citadel or non classic figures {Heresy Hammer (tm)}. How do you go about it and what do you think. My initial idea for my Oldhammer project was to base everyone on square bases, perhaps I can get a Rendera 25mm. The standard 3mm just makes him too tall.

As always, thanks for looking and thanks in advance for any advice you care to give.

Monday, September 8, 2014

20mm Size Comparison - Splintered Light Fantasy

Hi All,

There was a post on the 1/72 - 20mm fantasy miniature group on Google+ about how some miniatures that Splintered Light had recently acquired measured up to the 1/72 plastics currently available.

Since I have some other Splintered Light minis, I thought I'd show what I have.

For scale I have included an IMEX American GI who stands almost exactly 25mm tall. Next to him is the familiar Fladnag, the Wizard from the Caeser Adventurers set. I have placed them all on washers to start at the same zero.

DRRE07 Rat Warriors 1

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ebay Hammer - more lead

Well I went and did it. I bought a bunch of stuff on ebay. What follows is a documentation of sorts and some things I learned along the way. I don't mean to sound whiny or sour grapes, just to point out some things that I could have done better and observations of a noob to trying to acquire some of this "classic" lead.

Along the way I'll also mention how I photographed things as I am supposed to be writing about photography.

All shots with the trusty Nikon D5100, using the 18-55mm lens. I tried using the M setting ( I need to find my manual to find out what that means) but ended up falling back on A (Aperture Priority). Set to f16, I used a 10sec timed shutter (misplaced my remote) and ended up using the Incandescent White Balance and an EV of +1.0 or zero as the white metal objects were washing out. The background was from a pack of 22" x 28" Poster board bought at Staples. The other side is a lighter blue. The lighting was my same desk lamp setup, but this time no other lights in the room on and dusk outside. The lighting seemed a tad harder than I would like.

Marauder Giant, Azhag the Slaughterer and a Lead Belcher
 The Giant and the Lead Belcher were Buy It Now items, the Wyvern I actually won.

Not the right wheels and no scythes.
 It was only after I got all the stuff that I thought to look it up on The Stuff of Legends. You would think I would look there first but I thought it was complete, although unboxed. The wheels should have spikes and scythes that can mount on. I haven't decided if I will build as is, try to sculpt it, or source a second one to cast the missing parts from.

4th Edition I think. Solid, if basic paint job.

A little oops in shipping.
 I was a little bummed when I opened the box and saw that the banner pole had bent and the right wing snapped off. Although it is straight block painting, except for the wash on the scales, it was a solid effort. Someone put some love into it. Now that it's broken I feel there is nothing for it but to strip it. I'm also concerned that it will be impossible to take apart to easily clean and then paint the nooks and crannies of the rider and saddle.

I knew this is what he looked like.
 It was looking at this figure on that I realized he was missing the sword and barrel. This bummed me out as I had already lost out on an auction for an in box version. I was still feeling the sting of losing and the buy it now price was less than what the other one had gone for. At first the sculpting bodging of the missing items went through my mind. Then I thought I'd look on ebay again, and sure enough there was another in box Giant. I bid on it and won it. It has yet to arrive but I'm going to make a mold of the missing parts and cast them up.

Where the sword should be and a gap that needs filling.

Other side where the barrel should be.
 Lastly, on a lark, I picked up a Safari Ltd. Cyclops for $10 at Michaels. I think he would work well for a Warhammer Giant. He's not bad for a prepaint and cheap. Just needs a base. And maybe a paint job if I'm being honest.

So I guess the lesson is, don't give up. Don't pay more than you're willing to pay. Do a little homework to make sure that you know exactly what you're getting and what it is worth to you.

Also anybody have any tips for breaking the Marauder Giant of his base. I'd like to see if  can get his feet to hang off less.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

1 out of 2 children agree!

A magnet my wife bought me years ago.
My son told my I was the best Dad he ever had after I showed him the Dungeon Saga Kickstarter video teaser.

In the end I couldn't resist and jumped in with about 49 hours left. I believe it was at about $460,000 then. It closed at almost $1,058,000. Whoa!

I know I've got a lot of stuff I've promised you all. Maybe promise is too strong, but I do plan on finishing up the photography stuff and those 20mm fantasy sizing shots. I also need to get back to my conlang attempts as I need to come up with a name for my Orc leader in the Nemroth campaign. Nar is the leader of my orcs in Linlandia, my hibernating Mighty Empires campaign. My all time favorite, even if short lived, D&D character was Hagrak the Usurper. That has a nice ring to it. And then i input the Mighty Empires naming tables into inspiration pad pro and ran off 25 names, a few of which are promising. Ungolgag and Grimgar are good, followed by Zogrot, Ashslag and Thorlud. But as per usual I'm over thinking things. Perhaps a post on names with respect to conlanging. Hmm.

I better get to work.

Oh yeah, I've also got a bunch of Oldhammer stuff to share, especially after catching up on Realm of Chaos 80's.

Monday, August 25, 2014

This Week in Talomir- Brethren vs Treyine Update

Hi All,

Busy weekend, what with watching TMNT and doing some long overdue tidying of the house.

I did manage to clean and glue on washers a bunch of the figures I will need to fight my battle for Talomir Tales.

A mixture of figures.  Starting from the left. Miniart German Knights, the green are Airfix Robin Hood. Strelets Military Order Warriors, 3 Strelets Medieval Crossbow. all the way in the back 2 Slingers from Zvezda Medieval Peasant Army, another Strelets Military order  Warrior and Three Feudal Levy #2. The Six pink figures are Zvezda 100 Years War English.

I took all these on the auto portrait setting. The all look underexposed to me.
These two I have already painted as Treyine Infantry, so I was thinking about a weapon hand swap. You can see I accidentally cut the axe head off, thinking it was a bizarre piece of flash. I'm trying to think how I can remove and/or transfer the sword hilt from the back of the one to the other. I do have some insta mold, but I've never tried it.

Some Red Box Town and Country Levy plus two more Airfix Robin Hood to round out the Archers. Two Templars and one Crusader from the Italeri boxes. Three Strelets Military Order Sergeants.

I also have some Teutonic and Livonian knights, but I ended up wanting to go simple for the brethren in this battle. No crazy helmet horns.

I realize that I've fallen woefully behind on the 10 x 10 challenge, I'll try to get to that soon and I have a few more things to put together for the final (?) installment in the photography posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Photographing Miniatures Part 5 - Backgrounds

Hi All,

I'm sorry this took me so long to put out. Just the usual, got busy/distracted etc. What I want to do today is continue our discussion of camera settings and using backdrops with your figure. For this experiment I used regular pieces of 8.5" x 11" paper (Letter size in the States) as it is the kind of thing most of us have on hand. I just used some cheap 20Lb. (75g/m.sq.) For the white background. Some Parchment colored specialty paper that I used to use for printing out belt rank certificates and then 110Lb. (198.9g/m.sq.) card stock to print out some backgrounds I downloaded.

Camera and Settings

I chose to use my Nikon D5100 for this experiment. The things that remained constant were 18-55mm lens set at 55mm, Auto focus mode, VR stabilization on, A (Aperture Priority) Setting f16, Remote shutter control, on a tripod.

Backgrounds Used

As mentioned above I used Plain White paper (Brightness 92), Parchment (not actual animal hide, but paper) and the Backgrounds from Wirelizard and Massive Voodoo. In fact it was at Massive Voodoo that I found another guide to photography that I, somehow, hadn't seen before. It seems that I could have saved myself a lot of work and just linked you guys to this series. Part 1, part 2. It looks like part 3, on post processing was never done, or at least I can't find it. Anyway more advice from some guys who appear to know their shit (as the saying goes). Perhaps a little contradictory of my findings in places, but interesting none the less.

Figures used

I mainly used our old friend Nar. For the white background I also used Mr. Ouch, a Bretonnian man at arms I painted up for the challenge. I wish I had figures with a little more technique on them to show you, but I shipped those off to Curt. Let's pretend that the figures are world class painted and full of stunning detail. This experiment is more about the effects of the backgrounds on the image. To a lesser extent it is also about the camera settings.

Enough yakking, on to the pictures.

HTC One X, WB: Incandescent, EV+1
Just a shot from the cellphone to detail the setup. Similar as the last time but with a smaller piece of paper. One issue to be aware of is getting the paper to curve but also allow the miniature to sit flat. I did this with mixed success. I chose the incandescent White Balance setting as the Fluorescent looked way to yellow to me.

First experiment: Setting the White balance.

All the same white piece of paper for background.
On the left and the middle the WB setting was Cool Fluorescent. The only difference was that the flash went off on the picture on the left. On the right I changed the WB to Incandescent. I think it looks much better. I sort of feel like Auto WB may be sufficient for me. One thing that jumps out at me is that these all seem way too dark. My usual complaint with figures photoed on a white background. So I will show how the Exposure Value (EV) setting will help with that.

Second: Exposure Value Test

EV 0, +1, +1.3, +1.7, +2.0
The EV 0 picture is the same as the one above from the white balance test. I then stepped it up incrementally, skipping 0.3 and 0.7, to show the effect. I ended up choosing +1.7 as the EV I would use. I think it's a judgement call.

Third: Comparison with brighter colors.

Again EV 0, +1, +1.3, +1.7, +2.0
I just wanted to see what something with a little brighter color might look like. I probably should have spent a little more time on the composition, as the shadows are bugging me. Again +1.7 looks pretty good although +2.0 could work too.

Fourth: Tan backgrounds

White Paper, Parchment, Wirelizard Tan Gradient
All form now on are shot with the same settings. The EV has been left at +1.7. I'm not sure which is best, but I'm leaning towards the one on the right.

Fifth: Blues

Wirelizard Sea Blue, Blue and Blue Grey
Just to see what effect the color has. For this figure I think the Sea Blue doesn't work at all. For me it's a toss up between the Blue and the Blue Grey.

Sixth: Greys

Wirelizard Light Grey, Grey, Dark Grey, Black to Grey
I was beginning to have some issues positioning the figure back in the same spot on these. Maybe i did before but I didn't notice. I'm leaning towards the darker shades.

Seventh: Massive Voodoo Backgrounds

Massive Voodoo Warm: Bright, Medium, Dark
Massive Voodoo Neutral: Bright, Medium, Dark
Massive Voodoo Cold: Bright, Medium, Dark
I put the "bright" spot on all of these beneath the miniature. I tend to like the Dark version for Warm and Neutral, while I like the Medium for the Cold backdrop for this figure.

I also played around with putting the "bright" spot behind the figure.

Massive Voodoo Warm Bright Background upside down.
I thought it worked about as well as the gradient backgrounds had.

Final Note: Post processing.

On all of these pictures I scaled the original down to 20% of its full size and stitched them together. The resolution was reduced from the native 300dpi to 72dpi to help display them on the web a little easier. The last photo was reduced to 20%, but left at 300dpi.

So, what do you think? Have I exhausted this topic for you? Are you keen to look into more staged/ diorama type shots? Post processing, interviews with other hobbyists who take good pictures? There is always more I could do, but I don't want to bore you or fill your head with so much info that you are worse off than before. Goodbye for now.


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