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Friday, January 31, 2020

Cataloging the Collection: Skaven

Hi All,

Not a lot of progress on the Skaven Army to show you. What I have been doing is trying to identify and catalog what I currently have and add figures in what appear to be glaring holes in my collection.

I started off by trawling through catalog pages and White Dwarf adverts on solegends.com. Basically the first place I look when I want to figure out what a figure is. I stayed away from the CCM Wiki as I was pretty sure I didn't really have any rare figures.

Finally I stumbled upon a "Skaven collector's guide" by Tristram Evans that seemed to have all of the info collated together. I won't post a direct link as I don't want it to be pulled down. It shouldn't be too hard to find.

So, what do I have?

The Rat on the right.

 This one has 1985 stamped on the bottom.

2 of these, also stamped 1985

2 of these

1 of these on its way

I'm pretty sure I have two of these, but I can't locate them.

 I have 32 of these. Some broken, missing a few shields and heads.

 Just one of these.
 14 of these. 

I have one on its way.

 6 of these.

4 of these.

7 of these.

5 of these.

 1 of these.

1 of these.

1 of these.

1 of these.

2 of these.

2 of these.

6 of these.

 2 of these.

3 of these.

1 of these.


 2 of these.

1 of these. He was lonely without Boneripper.

1 of these.

1 of these. This is already painted and based. I'm not sure if I'll leave it as is or do something to match it to my style.

1 of these. Stamped 2001.

1 of these.

5 of these. These next guys all have the halberds mixed up.

7 of these.

1 of these.

2 of these.

2 of these as Standard bearers and another 5 of this model armed with Halberds.

So glaringly no Slaves, Jezzails, Wind Globes, Warp Fire Throwers or Plague Censer bearers. I also don't have any Packmasters or Rat Ogres, I'm working on that.

I also have the Isle of Blood set from the box that includes. 1 Skaven Warlord, 1 Skaven Warlock Engineer, 40 Skaven Clanrats, 1 Skaven Master Moulder (Painted but misplaced), 2 Skaven Rat Ogres (Painted. You saw them.),  1 Skaven Warp Fire Thrower, 1 Skaven Poison Wind Mortar. These are all plastics, but they look nice I think.

Kind of a long post, but it's helping me get my head around the collection.

Welcome to Matt Williamson and Jon Garrad.

Happy Hobbying.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Happy Year of the Rat

Hi All,

Today is the Lunar New Year, so Happy Year of the Rat. Around our house we say 恭喜发财.

So I thought this would be the perfect time to get myself together and paint those Skaven that have been sitting in the lead pile for far too long.


You've seen these guys on the blog before. They are the Rat Ogres from the Isle of Blood Box. Somewhere I also have their handler and a Reaper Giant Rat painted. Of course I couldn't find them for this photo.


Some of the Skaven from the Advanced Heroquest box. I have a few more, but you get the idea from these. I also need to paint up all the adventurers and Men at Arms.


Some Plague Monks. I may have more lurking around. Who knows. In fact I'm pretty sure I have a few with a knife and scroll somewhere. I'm so disorganized.


Somehow I won a shrink wrapped Screaming Bell on eBay. Every now and then you get lucky.


Some more of the Isle of Blood Skaven. Again I'm sparing you the pictures of sprues, I have more.


Random assorted Skaven I've bought over the years in peoples basements and parking lot exchanges.


And last, some 20mm Ratmen from Splintered Light Miniatures. The big boy at the back that I'm using as a Rat Ogre is a 28mm scale figure from Highlander Miniatures? I forget. Anyway a cool sculpt.

So that's it for me, another project on top of the others, we'll see how it goes. Next will be to set them up and figure out what sort of "army" I have. Then print out an Army Builder list and get cracking.

Thanks for looking. I hope you find something in your pile that you feel inspired to paint.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Year, New Photoshop Techniques

Hi All,

As we wrapped up our WFRP 2nd ed game on January 5th I think Brian was asking for Jason to draw the scene for the "epic" battle between Dieter in Raven form and the evil wizard's pigeon familiar. I didn't know if Jason would have time to draw it, he had done some fantastic drawings in the past, but people get busy etc. I had been wanting to learn how to do compositing in Photoshop so I thought, why not give this scene a go?

Here's what I ended up with.


To start with, I went to pixabay and searched for the images I wanted to build my composite from. after some trial and error I settled on these five. 


For the purposes of this post I scaled these down and I cropped the image of the moon so it would fit. Originally all of these images were downloaded at 1920 x 1280 pixels. I then followed, a little loosely, the tutorial from the Photoshop Training Channel (PTC) on you tube. Specifically this video here:


It does a quick overview of how to mask an image, but the meat of the technique is how to match the luminosity and  Hue/Saturation of the images in your composite. To be clear, I'm not totally sure I got the luminosities right and I definitely glossed over the saturation in my image. I was rushing things a little and felt like the comic treatment might hide some of the rougher areas.

Here's a screen cap of my .psd file to give you an idea. I think the video works well to explain the technique, and I'm not really in a position right now to give you a blow by blow.


The meat of the technique is in those top 5 layers. The Luminosity layer is just a Black and White adjustment layer. The idea is that it is easier to pick up the relative brightness of areas when it is reduced to black and white. The selective color layer was to help go in and adjust the saturation of the different colors in each layer to try and help them match each other. The Hue/Saturation layer was similar I think but more for matching the colors from the different images. As I write this I'm a little confused myself. The 4th level, curves, is how you actually match the luminosities. You adjust the white and black input levels until you get values that roughly match for the lightest and darkest points in each image. You could also do this with levels instead of curves. For me I think levels is a little easier because you're just moving a slider as opposed to adjusting a curve. Finally in the 5th layer you can see how I scaled the image down and masked it. I started by using the quick selection brush and used the "select subject" option to do most of the work and then went back in later and refined the selection with a regular brush and the edge detection brush later.

After I exported the the image as a jpg I ran it through my comic process that I have saved in another psd file. I just had to adjust the image size to fit this image. I probably could have spent a lot more time refining this image, saving it as a smart object, etc. But it was good enough for my needs.

Anyway, hopefully you find something useful in here for your hobby. I just thought it would be fun to try my hand and producing an image from a scene in one of our games. I have a long way to go to get better at composites, but it's a fair start. Since I can't really draw it's going to be the best I can do.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Slow start to the hobby year

Hi All,

While many have been picking up where they left off with a productive year, I have been relatively quiet. I still haven't picked up a brush since maybe November. I'm not happy about it, but I don't feel the need to force myself either. I've been trying to focus on various projects around the house instead of ignoring them.


Most of my hobby has been reading the rule books I got on or around the holidays. I read Last Days:Zombie Apocalypse and Last Days:Seasons and am thinking about how to best get that on the table. I do have a lot of 20mm scale zombies buried somewhere but all of my 28mm zombies are fantasy. I've also toyed with the idea of sci-fi zombies, but again the Necromunda zombies are buried somewhere. It also occurred to me that I have those 40mm zombies, but I think we don't have enough survivors.


I also read Hardwired. I think that might be the quickest way to get things on the table and cooperative play is the best thing for our household. The thing I'm missing for this is enough terrain. (Back to those goals I forgot about biting me in the ass.)


Lastly I started reading Gaslands:Refuelled. You guessed it. The cars have all gone missing. Although I could use the Devils Run cars if I can get over hating how they were coming along with my paint job.

I did get in a WFRP game and make a cool image depicting a scene from the game. At least I thought it was cool. I may do a post on making it. Perhaps not quite a how to but just an overview.

We're supposed to have a local meetup here in Phoenix to game Star Breach in the Dune universe setting. Unfortunately I can only stop by to pick up my order dice because my son is performing in the district honor band that afternoon.

Hopefully I can get it together to have a project finished in the near term.

Also a quick welcome to Joe M. Sorry for the lack of activity of late. I hope to be posting something semi useful in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by.

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