Tools - Stripping Models

I have a terrible problem. I have a tendency to repaint my models. No, rather, I have a NEED to change my color schemes. I'm not sure if it's because I get bored with my current schemes, if I think I can paint them better than they were before, or I'm just too cheap to buy new models to paint up in new schemes.
To be honest, it's probably a combination of the three.

What I have been using to great effect is Super Clean! I get it at Wal-Mart in the automotive section for about 7 bucks. The jug holds about 2 gallons worth of cleaner which is more than enough to strip 50+ models at once. It's reusable as well, so those 2 gallons can strip whole armies if you are willing to do them in sections.

The degreaser doesn't have a harsh chemical smell. I tend to get headaches when using strong chemicals, but I've yet to get one messing with this stuff. even after a couple hours straight.
It is also biodegradable. No need to dispose of it in any special manner. Straight down the sink it can go. (The stripped paint on the other hand...)

It takes roughly 24hours to take off GW style paints, up to 48hours if you've applied heavy varnish afterwards. All it takes is a old toothbrush and some gentle handling to clean the paint off. No scrubbing is needed. In fact, I'd discourage it to avoid breaking bits off your models.

Easily the best part is that soaking your metal or plastic models in there for extended periods of time will not damage them in any way.  I accidentally left 2 squads of genestealers in a tub right before I moved to my new apartments and promptly lost them. Three months later I found them in a bits box still swimming in the purple waters, unharmed in any way. (I have no idea if resin can be stripped using this stuff as I've yet to try.)

A couple final things to mention. This stuff will give you chemical burns if you handle it for 15min or more. They hurt like hell and let's not even mention what happens if you happen to have a paper cut already.  Make sure to buy some latex gloves before sticking your hands in, you'll thank me.

Super glue bonds will weaken considerably, so don't expect your conversions to stay in place. In fact, you might be better off cleaning up any super glue residue as you clean off the paint. Don't worry, it comes off clean. Super clean!

Finally, make sure to rinse your now clean models in warm, soapy water. If you leave any residue on your model and try to paint over it, the whole layer of paint will rub right off. Frustrating doesn't even come close to the level of emotion you'll feel.


WH 40k- Chaos Daemons - Bloodthirster? Keeper of Secrets?

After three months without a day off and no real time to work on anything, I started to get frustrated. Besides the joy I get out of it, painting also provides me with an outlet for all the irritation I build up managing my employees and dealing with irrational customers.
I knew it was past time to work on something when little irritations seemed major problems, so I pulled out an Ultraforge model I had been tinkering around with for the past year, sat down and pretty much finished it...6 hours later.

I'm actually rather proud of this model.

If you haven't checked out Ultraforge you really need to do yourself a favor and look at some of their sculpts. They are cheap for their size, all resin, and amazingly detailed.  I had picked up the Tree Woman as I felt it would make a good alternative to Games Workshops Keeper of Secrets. The official model is hideous.  Slaanesh is supposed to be the Dark God of excess, desire etc. He's the only evil God to look beautiful. So beautiful he can entrall any mortal with a glance. 
Why then does his greatest minions look like a cross between a man, woman, crab, horse thing?

Starting off, I chopped off all the extra tree limbs and branches that were...branching out from her body. Then I started smoothing out all the jagged cuts I left behind and removing the small amount of flash that was left on the model.
I wasn't sure if this was going to be a Keeper of Secrets to start with or a Bloodthirster, so I ventured into the world of magnets for the first time.
I drilled out a couple holes in the shoulder blades to place some demonic wings I had on hand along with a spot in each arm.
The model came with alternative hands that are holding wooden knives? Eventually I want to model her holding gigantic axes rather than knives so I went ahead and magnetized them all.

 This was also the first real time I worked with modelling putty to fill in holes and work in some extra details.  Sadly I tore up big chucks of the model as I tried to fit in my magnets for the first time. The holes were too big. Detail was lost. The dremel missed it's mark.  I'm not sure if those are common first time mistakes, but all 3 hit me at once. On a large expensive model at that.
To fix my mistakes, I had to learn how to use putty quickly. If you want to do a decent job at molding putty with very little effort, get some shaping tools. They are cheap and they helped a newbie fix some pretty nasty mistakes.
You can't even tell where my mistakes or magnets are, that's how easy they were to work with.

Hmm...you can see in this picture that one of my magnets didn't lie completely flush with the arm. I'll have to go back and fix that at a later date.
I started off painting her the same as all my previous Khorne daemons using purple/pink as the main color. It was going great until I finished the base coat and it was pink. Overwhelmingly pink. PINK.
It really was nauseating how much there was on the poor model.

The pale flesh tone at random intervals ended up looking much better than expected at breaking up all the pink. It's vaguely sexy while creepy at the same time.
I had a blast using the GW washes on the model, in case you couldn't tell from looking at it.
Sepia shaded the flesh while red and black shaded the pink.

Slight highlights to brighten the edges of her "skin" and she was pretty much done.

I stuck her on an extra Trygon base since nothing else came close to her size. She is a big girl.
She looked so lonely though on that large base, so I had to add something to spruce it up.
I was going to add a few casualties to the base, body parts littered around, but it didn't seem very cinematic.
Not sure where I got the idea of having the Greater Daemon rescue a lesser Daemonette, but it looks good.

I modeled the Daemonette to look as if she was kicking away the Marine in an attempt to escape. Her claw is trying to shear the boltgun in half and her mouth is screaming in rage and fear.
The Marine doesn't have a care in the world. He's knocked the Daemon down, has her pinned under his foot and boltgun and chainsword ready to eradicate her evil from the galaxy.
Too bad he didn't look behind himself or notice the pentagram seared into the dusty landscape.

First attempt at a "lava" effect which really needs more rocks and large flat areas to be effective. The little raised portion of the ballast/sand really aren't tall enough or large enough to give it the fiery brimstone look I was going for.
I may have also been a little heavy handed with the yellow in an attempt to show a glowing light.

Over all this may be one of the best models I've painted to date. It's definitely showing much improvement over my other Daemon models and I started work on those barely a year ago.
If this keeps up, I may be getting ready for more advanced painting techniques like blending or Non metallic metals. Woo!


WH 40k- Chaos Daemons - Bloodcrushers

Bloodcrushers were the first model from the Daemon codex that really excited me to attempt to convert.  While I absolutely loved the real Bloodcrusher model, I couldn't see myself trying to pay for several $50 dollar metal models and then trying to make each one look different from everyone else's models.
Luckily for me, as I was complaining loudly to my wife about my terrible, terrible problem, I chanced upon a sale that Miniaturemarket was having on old Rackham: Confrontation minis.
Each one was going for $10, used the same base size, and looked freaking amazing! It was a gift from the Chaos Gods themselves!

I painted them up using the same color scheme as my Bloodletters, adding in a great deal of copper and brass to give it a Khorne feel. Excessive violence and murder eventually turn my bloodletters into a massive, mindless version of themselves so they have to be chained and led into battle. Luckily my Bloodletters don't seem to mind the change.

More bright blue to help them fit in with the Bloodletters, but you can really tell I painted them onto a back that has no little bumps. I should have gone and sculpted little bumps all over like their lesser kin have.

The shadowing from the washes turned out better on these larger models and helped tone down the brass, but I'm not sure I toned the silver down enough it feels too clean for my tastes right now. Maybe I'll go back and dirty them up a bit.

The biggest complaint I've gotten for these models at Dakka Dakka was that the poses were way too similar, something I agreed with. 
So, I went back, tore several of the arms off and repositioned them so that they looked slightly different. 
The change to the arms helped, but they really are in the same pose and have their head cocked in the same exact angle. Not sure what I can do about that as these models aren't exactly pose-able.


WH 40k- Chaos Daemons - Bloodletters

I've been listening to a bunch of podcasts lately and the one I've been enjoying a great deal the last few days has been The 11th Company. One of the main hosts actually plays the army and I enjoy listening to his tactics and list ideas.  The more they talk about how random, erratic yet effective the Daemon's are, the more I've been wanting to paint them.

The Fluff for my army is still in the working stage, but it basically goes along the lines of Slaanesh slowly stealing away Khorne's minions away from him with the promise of an excess amount of warfare, bloodshed, and violence to keep them happy. This would inevitably make Khorne weaker and Slaanesh stronger.  
Unfortunately Slaanesh under estimated the sheer violent nature of Khorne's daemons and instead of minions fully under his control, they have become a mixture of the two God's natures, creating sleeker, more deviant variations.

Since I don't have a working camera right now, you'll have to make due with the few models I actually have pictures of. Starting off are my Bloodletters of Slaanesh. 

I really disliked the Conehead look that Bloodletters have so, to start, I chopped them down to a semblance of a proper shape.
Using scything talons from my leftover Tyranid sprues, I replaced about half of the sword arms, sometimes replacing both arms.
I tried to show that they were slowly growing "Daemonette" rending claws and Daemonette arms were way too skinny to use as replacements.

The skin tone turned out a nice, bright, purplish pink hue that I've grown to love. Not quite the pink of Slaanesh and definitely not the red that Khorne favors.  The bright ice blue was a nice easy way to keep the pink from overwhelming the models.
These were the first real models I experimented washes with. While they look pretty decent, I think I could do a much better job now with what I've learned the last year or so.
Sadly, I'm really not sure exactly what steps I took to get them to look exactly like this, so all newer models I paint up will look very similar, yet not quite right.

I've only got about 16 or so of these guys painted as I want the Khorne part of my force to be the minority. Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers, and a Bloodthirster will be pretty much all I'm bringing. I'm hoping to make them about 33% of my 1850 army.


Boardgames- Hex Hex

While I may not have been able to model much, I did get to play a few new games at my friend's house. One of the new ones I tried was Hex Hex.

It's a quick party game that managed to get a group of fairly anti social strangers to have a blast within 5 minutes of reading the rules.

The basic jist of the game is basically a complicated version of Hot Potato once it's completely broken down to it's basic levels.
Everyone is a wizard and take turns casting a "hex" onto another player. That player must look at their hand of 5 cards and use one of them to redirect that Hex onto someone else. Eventually if no one else can redirect the hex, then the person the hex hit last loses a point and the last person to redirect the hex gains a point.

The turns go fast and furious as not only can you redirect hexes, but you may also boost them (an extra pt lost), split them into two different directions, force a hex to only go a certain direction, or take the hex only to reverse the point loss into a point gain.
The changes to a hex are cumulative. You can boost a hex, only to have your target triple the point loss, send them flying back at you, you counter with a card that splits that 3x hex onto your left and right. Now both players on either side of you have to deal with a triple loss hex, etc etc...

The first couple rounds went a little slow as everyone one read up on what cards did and how they interacted
with each other, but by the middle of the first game, everyone is tossing cards down, laughing as hexes are flying around everywhere only to all detonate on the player with the current high score.

Over all the game was hilarious and very easy to play. So easy, that I had invited a friend to try it out, someone who had never played a boardgame, rpg, or miniature wargame and that person was able to get it down with little to no problems.


Malifaux- Ronin

This'll be a quick post as I still haven't gotten to play a game with these lovely ladies yet. Despite the errata, the ronin still look great on paper. I can't wait to mess around with them.

I experimented with yellow as the main color as I've never done the color before and wanted to see how it would turn out.
I hate this color. It's horribly bright, sickly, and altogether hideous.

It's fairly obvious that I don't know what to do with yellow as the wash turned out pretty bad.
I'm happy with her pants and of course all that practice with other Outcasts made me pretty good at leather.
Once I figure out how to paint filigree on the edge of clothing, the other 2 ronin will join this one on the completed shelf.


Malifaux- KillJoy

Feh, don't you just hate how real life invades, conquers, and destroys your precious hobby time at the worst opportune moments?

I'm going to miss that painting streak I had going. :)

Anyway, Killjoy is one of the few Outcast models I needed to really complete my set from Book 1.  I'm not a big fan of the whole rotting fat zombie look he has going, but I am a big fan out all the rotting bodies he theoretically will leave in his wake.
I say theoretical because I haven't actually run a game with him yet.

I went with the purple/pink color scheme because I really wanted to emphasize Killjoy's neverborn origins rather than focus too much on the undead aspect that a lot of other people seem to focus on. Pale flesh, rotting green, etc just seemed too played out.
I really had a lot of fun messing with the washes and trying out different combinations to create different color effects.
It's hard to see in the pics, but there are quite a few places where the washes sort of fade together, which is as close to blending as I'm going to get.

The biggest complaint I have about the model is that his chain is really REALLY flimsy. It's on the verge of snapping off at the hook and I'm not too sure what I'm going to do once that does happen.
I sorta sped through the bandages as they really bored me. Bleached bone, black and sepia wash and slight highlights to make each wrap "pop" out. Considering the speed I did them, they turned out pretty decent.


Malifaux- Temp. Kill Joy and Ronin

Just a quick post on my current models. Work has been going crazy with everyone sick, me firing people, and having to train up new replacements. No time to fix up a proper post, so I'm going to just toss these finished pics till I can come back and work on it.


Malifaux- Ronin and Kill Joy WIP

Not really a Work In Progress but mainly showing off what my wife got for our 1st year anniversary. She knows what I want, need, and like, so basically what I'm saying is I have the perfect wife.

I can't wait to paint them. The ronin are some of the best models I think Wyrd Miniatures produces, Killjoy is horrifically disgusting in the best way possible, and all of them are utter beasts in the game.

While I've been running the Outcasts without Ronin so far, everything I've read says that I've been doing it wrong. Looking forward to running a couple of them a few times to see what I've been missing.

Killjoy is mainly there because the idea of a nigh unkillable monster running rampant through the encounter, eating everyone in sight makes me giggle a little on the inside. Everyone, including my crew.

With these on hand, minus the totems, I do believe I have every Vic related Outcast currently out in production. While I'm looking forward to the Special Forces and Book 2 mercenaries, my wallet will be happy to have a short rest.

edit 9/30/10: Apparently I don't know how to schedule this for another day. Dur! Look, you can glimpse into the future!

Malifaux- Kirai

The new master for the Resurrectionist Faction, Kirai unique among them in that she raises spirits instead of zombies.  I've only played a few games with her, but so far she seems to be a great deal of fun. Overly complicated compared to the Vickies, but fun nonetheless.
I've been wanting to get at least one Master from every faction, but hated all the other Rez Masters. Luckily for me, she comes with a sexy asian theme to entice people like me.

A few of the things I've noticed is that most of her crew hit decently, but not overly so. They have average dmg per hit, but most of hits cut through armor. They have decent dmg reduction by being spirits, but have fairly low wounds.  They seem to be fairly balanced considering that they have the ability to summon more reinforcements as the fights get more heated and bloody.
Of course the only games I've played with them are against Ramos and Collette, construct heavy crews that refuse to turn into spirits when I need them to.

I like the green and gold color scheme I went with. It's a lot different than most of my color schemes I generally run with.  Unfortunately it seems a bit too much green on Kirai, yet looks great on Ikiryo. I just need to add a bit of gloss varnish or red enamel paint to the blood and it should look fairly "wet"
The decapitated head looks fairly decent as well. Dark bags under his eyes and no pupils makes him seem almost panic stricken before his untimely demise.

Just need to wait for my next bonus to buy the rest of her crew. I'm looking at around 4-6 Gaki, at least 4 more Seishin, and a couple Shikome to finish off my collection on her.

Oh! Here's an updated picture of Ikiryo. I reversed what I did with the hair. Originally I had based it white, purple washed most of the crevasses, and inked the extreme edges.
On a revisit, I inked the crevasses, purple washed the majority of the hair, then shaded the extreme edges with a light light pink. I think it turned out much better and less like a clown's hair.


Malifaux- Group Photo

Basically a group picture of the whole Victoria Outcast crew. I'm messing around with a new lamp w/ a white bulb. Hopefully the pictures aren't too horrible.
I'm not sure why, but some of the pictures I've been taking are great. Clean, crisp white light. While the majority are showing yellowish light, but it's all from the same light source. Augh!
Pretty much the whole crew was a blast to paint. Detailed enough that I wasn't bored painting any part of them, varied enough that they all stand out from each other, and simple enough that I didn't feel frustrated trying to nail each and every detail.


Malifaux- Ikiryo

To celebrate the arrival of Book 2 "Rising Powers" for Malifaux, I decided to get a couple new crews to paint up. It didn't help that Miniature Market was having a preorder sale at 50% off.
One of the crews was the Kirai boxset. Basically she's a gardener on the run, out for vengeance, and summons lots of evil spirits to get said revenge. She has a definite oriental theme going for her entire crew.

Here's Ikiryo, Kirai's very angry, hate filled living spirit. Spooky green and tarnished gold.  The majority of the gold is actually bright yellow with some metallic medium mixed in. Basically metallic medium is colorless/white metallic paint that takes on the color of whatever you mix in. Only downside is that it will make you paint lighter, as if you had mixed in some white paint with it.

The skin needed to be really pale, so rather than the "skin tone" that I've been using, I mixed some with along with Bleached Bone, giving her a very undead look. A very very light Gryffon Sepia was finished her skin.
The hair was based white, washed purple, then highlighted in purple ink. Looking back, I think I should have reversed that. Inked purple, edged white, then washed purple. Oh well.
I REALLY like the way she turned out for the most part.


Malifaux- Warpig

I never did mention in the blog, due to horrible life issues, but I actually won the Malifaux contest from The Gamer's Lounge. I'm really sorry for forgetting to post about it.  I have actually gotten the Gremlin Boxset, a Warhammer Fantasy book, and a indie mini from them. Thanks guys! I'm working on the whole crew to email you the finished pics.

Well the only one I'm started work on is The Warpig. I'm not really that knowledgeable about the Gremlins, as they seem a little too wacky for me, but that will change as it suddenly dawned on me. I currently live in Arkansas and everyone here goes "Hog Wild" for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Gremlin crew is a bunch of Redneck, giant pig riding fools. How perfect does that make this crew for Arkansas I ask you?

Razorbacks are dark red with black hair running down the back from what the mascot pictures show. Basically all I really did was paint the pic in bright red, give it several badab wash layers to darken up the crevasses, and then go back over the high spots with more red to brighten up the highspots. The gremlin was painted what I can only assume is traditional Redneck garb. Bluejeans and a stained, white wifebeater shirt.

The whole model was actually very easy. The hardest part was making the thick black hair running down the back, recognizable as hair without killing all the detail. The gremlin was based in Catachan Green with a glaze of that Transparent Green ink. It brightened up the skin and still left plenty of dark green in the creases to make it look shaded.  Overall, tons of fun to paint. I can't wait to work on the other gremlins.


Malifaux- Misaki

I'm going to state up front that I don't like this model. Her character doesn't really interest me, I think the model is horrible, and over all I wish her stats were used on a better miniature. Too bad she's bundled with the Outcast boxset, otherwise I'd never have gotten her.
Sadly, I do own her, so I may as well paint her to complete my set. It also doesn't help that my pictures are so bad that they make it look glossy, blotchy, and overall hideous. I swear, on the grave of my ancestors, that I will build up a proper lightbox with WHITE lights!!!

Look at that face, her open mouth, blank dead stare. She looks like she's ready to receive a money shot against her will.
I like how her purple scarf thing turned out, the little pink bit I tossed in there helps it look slightly more unique, and her blue dress actually came out alright, if rather bland.
Green hair because she's asian and according to anime, all asian chicks have crazy hair colors.

Her halberd snapped off on me when I pulled her out of the baggy, it was REALLY flimsy for some reason, so I made the most out of what I had. The blade itself is pretty boring. I was tempted to try etching runes or japanese characters in the blade with my dremel, but I lost interest.
The rock base she's on is actually the only thing I'm happy with on this model. If you look closely, it actually looks like a rock. I'm proud of that.

Overall, once I find a suitable replacement, this model is being melted down and scattered across the 4 corners of the earth.


Malifaux- Hamelin

Not sure what to expect from Hamelin. I only ran him once and he did a decent job of preventing certain models from doing what they wanted to do. He has the potential of causing my opponents models to do my dirty work for me, and he's pretty much the only caster in the Outcast crew.
I just wish he wasn't so expensive and wasn't on a 50mm base. Seems a bit excessive.

I decided I wanted green clothing. It's different and it breaks up all the browns the Outcast seems to be gathering. I've never seen a model selection that used so much leather.
The blotches of white, black and brown are actually rats that he has hanging off of him. It's not evident in these terrible pictures, but you can actually tell what they are.
Red eyes like the rats he loves, and a big ol' yellow toothed evil grin.

Nix, his dog I painted up to look like Spud Mckenzie. You know, that old Budweiser commercial dog? No? Well nevermind.
He was a little too simple to paint as his model really doesn't have any details to paint up. Good thing Spud had a big black spot on his back.


Malifaux- Hans

Oh Hans, you are such a great looking model and were so fun to paint, but why oh why are you so expensive and lackluster?  It makes baby Jesus sad. :'(
I understand your range and possible instant death ability should make you somewhat expensive, but the ability to only shoot one guy at a time and having to cast a spell just to use your "special ammo" makes it really hard to justify adding you to the crew. Stop being such a high class whore and lower your standards a bit!

Other than the fact that I won't really ever run him, Hans is a great model. He just seems to have so much character to him. I love the sniper rifle and trench coat look. The goggles were a nice touch as well.

I really liked the way Johan's leather gloves and boots had turned out with the layered Devlan Mud wash, that I decided to try it out on Han's coat.
I added a layer of Badab Black to the lower coat section to darken it up a bit, just to break up the colors. It seemed to turn out well.

The goggles I glazed with a transparent green ink? that I got from somewhere. It's a nice bright green that gives a definite green color, but still lets you see the base color slightly underneath. I'll have to experiment with it some more just to get a feel for it.
His pants turned out better than expected. I gave them a slight drybrush of Space Wolves grey, and it allowed the creases to show up just enough so that the pure black pants didn't seem so flat.