Mobile Painting : Updates for the Day: fans in an heat wave

Today’s painting update is a battery powered desktop fan

USB powered fans have come on a long way since they first came out, and these are not the noisy things that drive you crazy and don’t put out any draft, these have a good nine inch set of blades and shift a lot of air. Their battery power is 10,000 milliamp, they charge off 2 different USB port types and they run on full blast for about six hours or 24 hours at lower level, which is good, as even in the heat wave that we’re having in England at the moment, bad moon cafe is packed. We had found that it was actually a little bit warm in the café area even on a normal day. So invested in a couple of these and they are just perfect to keep us cool and able to concentrate for the full day. they are easy to adjust with good strong clamps that hold them on the top of the painting case. Totally recommended.

 

Mobile Painting : Paint Updates for the Day (02/07/2022)

We have our solid paint list for mobile painting, but there are hundreds of paints and bits so some days need swap outs and supplemental in the carry case and some get added permanently to the carry case, this is just a log and reasons

Additional

Permeant Additional Paints

Layer:

Contrast:

Base/Air:

 

Mobile Painting Pt 3: Tools

I have to admit I’m a total sucker for modelling tools, but there are some tools that you would use time and time again and so they are the ones that make it into your mobile modelling kit, these are the ones that I take.

A decent craft knife: this can be anything that works for you, I personally prefer the ones that have replaceable blades, I also find that buying scalpel blades is far cheaper than buying dedicated hobby ones, the Hobby blades are stiffer but I quite like the soft bendable nature of a scalpel, it makes cutting and trimming much smoother. 

Reverse tweezers: These are just tweezers that are closed by default, I use them for holding onto parts for painting or for holding parts together while glue dries, you mainly find them in electronic stores.

Standard Games Workshop scraper: Yes I have one of these, I use it when I want to relax, when have got a tonne of stuff to remove the mould lines on and am not paying the attention to detail i would do with a one off model.

Short metal ruler: Used most for cutting straight lines with the scalpel, note: Unless you buy a very expensive one you can cut strips off the ruler as well with a sharp enough knife so be careful.

Pin drill: The standard Games Workshop one works well for me, and I don’t know why but I keep all the drill bits in the little plastic container rather than inside the drill itself, which is apparently what you should do, I also keep a pin here (you always need a pin).

Drill bit chuck: A bit of a strange one this, but basically I tend to drill quite a lot of holes at 5mm and 4mm wide in models and none of the pin drills chucks spread that far,  I have found a simple £3 Chuck solves that problem and works just perfectly and that means you can use any drill bit you want, also it fits inside a magnetic screwdriver handle so I sometimes carry one those as well.

Decent side cutters: You can get many different makes of these, some specifically for modelling, a lot just for general electrical work, I personally favour Japanese modelling ones, they just work well for me and they’re stronger than a lot of the other modelling ones that I have found, These ones are a few years old and are nice, small and sharp, I wouldn’t change them for the world

Mini files: Most of the tiny files you will come across are quite rubbish and that includes nearly all of the major modelling companies, they seem to be marked as disposable, the good ones aren’t, you can clean them up and unclogged them with just a fine wire brush, these ones are again a Japanese make (TAMIYA) they’re just the basic model and have been better than any other company I’ve used.

Really fine metal tweezers: Particularly these slightly bent ones, you will thank yourself that you got a decent pair that come to a fine point and that can be used to retrieve things have got lost, or got down to find details where your fat fingers won’t fit.  It turns out that engineering and electronics tweezers are much better than beauty tweezers as they hold their point far far better.

Plastic tweezers: Normally rubbish for everything else, they are absolutely fabulous for working with magnets, in fact its impossible to work with magnets without them. 

Old toothbrush: Just the best small brush for modelling, don’t get anything fancy, Good for cleaning out bits from models and generally useful. keep one around.

Very fine fibre tipped pen: An idea originally from the Japanese for doing the edges of Gundam models, a decent type like this is perfect for when you’re trying to do text on Scrolls and the like, far easier and less faff than paint

Little spatula: For use with texture paint and all the other kind of pliable materials you work with, I found the Stock Games workshop one  is just about perfect and I haven’t seen a reason to get over excited and look for a different one.

Microfiber cloth: Just brilliant for when you want to wipe things but don’t want to leave bits of thread and stuff on whatever you’re trying to clean up, everything from glue to oil paints in fact its better than even cotton tips for wiping details as they scrunch up to nice tips.

Paint pot: Amazing how people can get excited over paint pots, but most people agree that of all of the tools that GW makes, their base paint pot is one of the best, nearly Indestructible has all the right ridges and scrapes to keep your tips sharp and clean, indispensable and cheap.

Magnifying glasses: I’m an old man, f*** off

Bit of cutting mat: This was just cut off an existing cutting board that was near the end of its life, and stored in the back of whatever toolbox you’re using, far better to use than wrecking what ever table you are working on.

Wet palette: This is going to be a review all of its own, but you of course have to take a wet palette with you, once you’ve started using them you wonder why you ever survived without them, they remove a lot of frustration, this one is by frontier war gaming and is a strange mix of awesome and bloody rubbish, the awesome, the case itself is absolutely fabulous, completely airtight, fits into a small space far better than the other ones I use, but for some reason they decided to pick the greaseproof paper as a really thin not very good type, and the foam they provide is rubbish as well, so I’ll talk about that later.

Milliput (Black) : I like it better if it looks better on a base, I think it’s the best way of gluing anything to anything, yes I know that most people favour green stuff, but I don’t like it, I end up fighting with it, it sticks to everything, falls apart on me, I use Milliput when I’m sticking magnets to the bottom of bases or otherwise doing something when I want a nice hard surface, it does take a while to dry but worth it.

Tissues: The forever useful item, everything from wrapping up a half completed model to make sure it’s not damaged in transit, to wiping brushes. just keep a packet with you.

Plastic putty: Another replacement for liquid green stuff, more like bathroom caulking than anything else (the stuff that goes between the tiles), it’s got the finest tip you can imagine, it doesn’t stick to everything and it dries nice and hard, I am unsure why everyone else doesn’t use this instead of liquid green stuff, but I’m a complete convert, it is the best behaved and easiest way to plug tiny gaps.

Magnets: I like them for basing far more than storing minis in foam carry cases (they are best used in conjunction with Ferro Sheets to store and transport your minis) I like them just in general, I think they are an excellent addition to the hobby, and give you a versatility for a lot of items, I carry a bunch around, usually favour 2mm deep and 3mm wide (for swappable arms),  4mm wide (for bases) and 5 mm wide (for scenery).

Paperclips: The eternal useful item, use them for pinning metal models, use them to stick your base models to corks and hundreds of other uses, just keep a few your in your pack.

Notepad and Pen: Obvious, but when you’re working on models its a good idea to just have something to note things down, recipes, tips, that kind of thing.

Brushes: When I first started I got tons and tons of brush sizes, but the more experienced I got and the more advice I took, the more I realised that really you only need about 3 to 4 brushes, A size 1, size 2, a dry brush and if you’re really serious, a fine detail brush. Up to really recently all the best brushes were Sable, The synthetic ones ‘hooked’ very quickly and didn’t hold paint well. Then Citadel came out with the best synthetic , they last for ages, they hold their paint well and they don’t shed or do anything strange, even a number of good painters have moved over to them, so I would fully recommend them

Modelling handle: This is a contentious subject with some people having very very definite opinions, on which one of these is the best for the pre-made ones, I like the old version 1 handle made by Games Workshop, it works and holds securely and it doesn’t mind you screwing holes in the bottom for magnets (so it sticks in your case),  however for most of the day today painting I tend to paint individual parts and then glue them together once painted, so I much prefer a cork stuck to a standard base (with a couple of magnets in the bottom), and then I can just use paper clips to temporarily hold models in place while I paint them.

Blu-Tack: A big blob of Blu-Tack, stick to the brand name version here, all the other makes go a bit funny when they get acrylic paint on them, where as Blu-Tack seems to hold its consistency even when its filled with paint.

Little boxes: To hold the parts of your models for your current projects, I was very very lucky when my parents made me some small boxes with felt lining to them for a Christmas present,  I stuck a little bit of white board on the front of each one so I could mark contents, but plastic tubs with kitchen paper in them work nearly as well.

Glue: I know this seems like a lot of different types of glue to carry around, but they all have there uses, first is Revell Professional, A good solid plastic glue, I feel its better than the Games Workshop version (Quick tip: if and when the long metal tube gets clogged up, take it out and run a  cigarette lighter along it until it bubbles out the end, don’t do it indoors or around people), Next ordinary loctite superglue works well, sets nice and fast but a bit on the brittle side especially for metal miniatures, what goes as a good complement to this is Gorilla Glue gel, which sets with a little bit more give, but it does take ages to dry. When dealing with both of these a useful item is Super Glue debonder, which I need far more than I would like to admit to, this turns your super glue in to mush that you then wipe off without any trace. Finally we have the very thin glue “Mr Cement”, used only to glue plastic together, it does not melt like normal plastic glue but it is also really really thin with no visible residue or anything like that. only really good for Close fitting plastic parts where you don’t want any glue to show.

Now I know that this seems like a lot but it all fits in to a couple of small trays and it all gets used every week when painting.

Next Post we move on to the Case.

Mobile Painting Pt 2: Decent Light

As I built my mobile paint station, one of the most pressing issues was a decent light, I think this might be due to my age but without a harsh white light, I have a devil of a trouble picking out details, I have tried a load of lights and by and large found the modelling ones to not work for me, they simply are not bright enough.

My solution was found in the movie industry who not surprisingly have amazing kit, and the one that turned out perfect for me was from Aputure in particular the MX series

This mini beast has 120 LEDs rather than the 8 or so you get on hobby or normal USB lamps

and also has a full set of controls where you can alter the hue and brightness

So good and powerful is it that in combination with a normal desk lamp arm (with a standard camera screw attachment) that it has become my desk lamp.

and for travel I use a “JAWS” flex clamp (you can get these under a number of brands including GOPRO

I hate rambling reviews so lets go with pro’s and cons.

PRO’s

  • Amazing bright
  • Highly portable, on battery power it lasts between 1 and 3.5 hours of painting, and you can just take any USB power bank and recharge it on the go with no outage.
  • Uses a standard camera mount so you can find a wide variety of stands and mounts to suit your personal taste.
  • Looks so Cool.

CONS

  • Far more expensive than a normal hobby light.
  • The front feels very fragile, the LEDS are exposed and the magnetic plastic filters don’t feel like they can take much grief, so a good travel case is essential.
  • The included case feel very cheap, I opted for a small neoprene camera case as an alternative.
  • Buttons are small and not what you would consider “Everyday use”, but this feeling soon wears off and you get used to them.

All in all the perfect hobby and desk lamp, I now use it for everything, but I do have to be careful and sooner or later I just know I’m going to damage the fragile front.

Painting Guide – Necromunda Bases

Painter: Stickfight

Model(s): GW Necromunda Bases (all sizes)

Paint(s): Leadbelcher , Chaos Black , pro acryl: Bold titanium White , Iyanden Yellow , Dirty Down: Rust , Abaddon Black , AK – Streaking Grime , Munitorum Varnish , Scale Colour – Metal n’ Alchemy – Speed Metal

Method(s):

  1. Base coat with Chaos Black, then Leadbelcher
  2. Paint the raised areas you want to hazard stripe with pro acryl: Bold titanium White
  3. Then paint the raised areas you want to “hazard stripe” with Iyanden Yellow till nice and yellow (may take multiple layers)
  4. Cut thin strips of FrogTape masking tape and place over the yellow areas you want to keep yellow.
  5. Paint the remaining exposed yellow areas with Abaddon Black
  6. When dry, CAREFULLY peal the masking tape off to expose your hazard stripes.
  7. (optional) if you want rusty pipe areas, first paint them with Scale Colour – Metal n’ Alchemy – Speed Metal till shiny.
  8. (optional) Then use Dirty Down: Rust to make them all rusty again.
  9. Varnish the bases with Munitorum Varnish as AK – Streaking Grime is oil based and will eat your paint.
  10. Dab AK – Streaking Grime generously all over, particularly in corners.
  11. leave for AT LEAST 30 mins, then rub the areas you want to still see metal through gently with a lint free cloth (the cheap glasses cleaning cloths are my favourite).
  12. when happy with the effect, re varnish with Munitorum Varnish to set everything,

Paint Time: 1 hour end to end (quite a bit of drying time)

 

Painting Guide – Asphalt Bases

Painter: Dultoriminis and Stickfight

Model(s): Ebay Tiny Wolds  “Round Urban Rubble Resin Bases”

Paint(s): Chaos BlackCorvus BlackMechanicus Standard GreyDawnstone

Method(s):

  1. Base coat with Chaos Black
  2. Dry brush only the top with Corvus Black
  3. Without cleaning the brush, dry brush the top with Mechanicus Standard Grey
  4. Again without cleaning the brush, dry brush the top with Dawnstone
  5. Then do your road lines, White with pro acryl: Bold titanium White , or Yellow with pro acryl: Bold titanium White and then a layer or 2 of Iyanden Yellow

Paint Time: 15 mins per base

Notes: This kind of dry brushing is easier to do by starting the brush movement lightly back and forth THEN bring the model up to be in contact with the brush, if you are naff with straight lines like me then I recommend using thin strips of FrogTape to outline your area to paint.

First ever trip to Warhammer World

It seems to surprise everybody but I’ve never been to Warhammer world the apparent mecha of tabletop gaming in the UK, But I haven’t, it was always a dream when I was a child.

So as a birthday treat my beloved took me their with a hotel stay and everything.

Getting there was easy enough, not easy by London standards for public transport but not bad for most of England, we just got the tram which are nicer than buses and then it was a 10 minute walk to the place, there is car parking spaces and all that kind of stuff

For the Emperor

Once you have paid and got in, its pretty much a free roam, there is an order that people tend to do things in, but you don’t have to, We did the traditional order, which is to do all the galleries, then the main play area, then food, then the shop but you can revisit any part you want as you like.

The galleries were the highlight and the main reason we went

The scenery and dioramas are the bits I love the most as they tell the best tale, but nothing beats Necromunda, I want my Grim Dark with extra Grim Dark, and Grim Dark sprinkles on top.

    

The galleries were everything I could have hoped for, Starting on the real historical stuff, The first miniatures and where game workshop came from, all the way up to absolutely epic sized dioramas that you could look at for days and still not see everything, I can see people coming multiple times and seeing something new each time.

Models from when I was first collecting

A lot of amusement can be had by listening to other people talking to their friends and family as they walk through the galleries, some trying to explain what this all is, some getting a little bit too over excited about the lore, some trying to justify being there and why they are dragging the whole family round, a personal favourite was the comments of some overly zealous geeks at some small kids who were running around screaming excitedly at all the pretty toys and that they “weren’t toys” and getting wound up.

Food turned out to be excellent, A full spread of everything you want from beers to interesting drinks, vegan and non vegan solid food all catered too,  A little bit slow on the delivery service  but they did seem to be working confidently, it was just busy that day, mind you there was plenty to do even while you’re waiting, books and games to play and you know as long as someone held onto your table you could just wander around the shops and visit other parts so there was no dead time.

I know for a lot of people the store is the THING because it is the biggest Warhammer store and it has everything in it, Every Forge world model and miniature available like that but for me it was a passing interest, I already have a storage unit of shame so I didn’t need to buy any more models, though it did reinvigorate me to go back to some of the models that I bought in excitement and had not got round to, so that’s a good thing and it’s nice to see a lot of the forge world models in real life before you actually do anything

I have this beauty sat in its box of shame for too long

It was a shame that the one item I did want to buy which was the coffee table book of Warhammer world itself was missing but it was on backorder

Also there is the great big play area where the serious tournaments are held. This did not have the attraction to me that it does for some people. As I’m mainly interesting in the the painting and not the game but it was nice to see it there.

A Selection of the awesome painting in the galleries

 

Nearly all of these photos are by my beloved, and i was so happy to see she enjoyed it as much as me, even for none Warhammer fans its a good place to see, the lore and amazing painting skills on show may it a fun time for just about everybody, give it between 2 and 5 hours for the full trip.

Painting at Bad Moon Cafe

One of the big problems we hit when my office shut down was finding a location to do painting, we had originally moved to my office when the pandemic hit and GW stopped all painting nights and since they have shown no sign of starting them back up we had to find another venue , homes were not really a solution given that we live in London and space is a premium, plus its nice to get out and make a real day of painting.

The obvious place in central London is the Bad moon cafe (somewhere I had never been) it is the most well known gaming place in London and has been so since before the pandemic, but you would normally go there for a couple of hours of gaming, would they tolerate people turning up and painting for a near full day?

It turns out the answer is yes, I emailed to enquire and they had no problem with me reserving a table for us in the cafe area

Even the smallest cafe table was perfect for our painting case, they provided water for the pots and pallets and even a painting mat so we did not wreck the tables (not that we would have), the light is good and we happily made good progress for the near whole day.

The facilities were excellent with the obvious one being you have paint supplies there in case you need them (and not just GW ones), their excellent miniature and book selection was a constant temptation when ever you go to the back of the cafe, so if you are looking for inspiration its a good place( though I was surprised that corvus belli did not have any models there )

Food and drink were also excellent with something for everybody’s taste, meaning you did not have to leave (always a problem when I used to paint at GWs store)

All in All it was perfect and as long as they put up with us, I intend to go their most weekends.

Now lets address the unsaid part, Bad moon is a business and as such they cant do this for free, when I asked about renting the table, they just said “food and drink” and brushed it off with a smile, but I like to provide guidelines to such things so no one takes advantage of their generosity

In this situation I feel their are 2 “rates” you should be spending at:

“Desk Rate” : this is what I feel you should be spending if they have spare tables and non one is waiting, an office space desk in London in that area would cost you between £25 – £35 for the day so you should be spending this much at least to “rent” your painting space (actually more towards the high end of this range as food and drink has a higher overhead than just desks)

“Coffee Rate” : This is the rate I feel you should be paying if you are actually in the way of normal customers, so lets estimate it, lets make a normal customer turnover guess at “a drink and a sandwich” per 30 mins during the day and “2 drinks” in the evening, in both situations, that is about £7.5, so if you are in the way you should be spending about £15 per person per hour.

Again bad moon staff did not mention any of this, this is just my interpretation of what a business would need to keep running if the cafe was full of painters.

Other things I would note from the trips

1) People are curious, you will get people asking what you are painting, so bring at least one complete mini that you are proud of to show them rather than the half done one you are working on.

2) Don’t block off visibility, first time I set up my case with its back facing the room so no one could see the painting, and frankly it looks boring.

3) Painting after cocktail hour is not a fab plan…. 

 

Mobile Painting : Paint Updates for the Day

We have our solid paint list for mobile painting, but there are hundreds of paints and bits so some days need swap outs and supplemental in the carry case, this is just a log and reasons

Additional

Swap Out

  • Chaos Black Rattle Can ⇒ Munitorum Varnish (everything is base cotted for today already and think we will be doing AK streaky Grime and that needs varnish to protect the paint)