Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Here thar be treasure, Arrrrrr

Its not really talk like a pirate day but over the weekend I did make a start on my second competition entry. I'm going to show the current state of affairs on this piece. Not sure how much I'll show after this but I wanted to maybe get a little feedback on how its looks. I worked on this tonight too, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with what I need to do on the first piece, sometimes its just better to take a break and let things gel in your head so that's the tack I'm taking there. Oh, and before you get to the pictures, my carving skills are not the best, fortunately its story we are going for here.

So a little commentary, Most of this is constructed from good old white sheet styrene. Where I really need some thickness in the walls I made a sandwich using a piece of foam core (or two) on the inside and styrene on the outside. Then I kind jigsawed it all together. Tonight I add the Milliput which forms the out surface of the walls and the floors. Milliput is a two part putty that stays workable for 15 or 20 minutes before it really hardens up. After that it takes real carving to make a dent in the stuff. I can already see I have left a thumbprint behind so that will have to be filed away. Right now it still breaks down into its component parts, two sides, one front and the base. Ultimately it will also sit on a oval display base, which defined the shape and size that I was going to work with. At some point I'll assemble the whole thing but its likely that the two corridor walls will have probably not be permanently attached until the miniatures are done and ready to be added.

I'm not quite sure what to do with the back of the corridor. When you look through the front I don't you to see out the back. I suppose a little perspective drawing will be in order to cover that up. I have a lot of ideas for this one and we will see how many I can include before its time to enter it. This one may still be drying when it hits the contest room!

ATSF Recent Freight Car Acquisition

And by recent I mean arrived today! I haven't wanted a set of the express boxcars for sometime and I finally got them at a good price on eBay. Quite happy with that purchase. The second purchase wasn't quite so good. I didn't read the description or look at the photos closely enough on the auction for these. I thought I was buying ATSF SFRC mechanical refrigerator cars, instead these are ATSF (at least I got that part right) SFRD which are ice bunker refrigerator cars. Not sure that I could even technically use these on the 1974 -78 era layout. I probably will anyway, I'm not that much of a stickler and they probably won't look out of place on the layout anyway.

Union Pacific Diesels - Right Place Right Time

I haven't hardly posted anything on my #2 hobby, model railroading, in quite some time. So time to break things up a bit. I ride the RTD light rail line to and from work everyday and it goes right by the UP's engine facilities. I was headed in when I spotted an two black diesels sitting outside the shops. I was in the wrong place on the train to catch a shot though. As luck would have it (dependent somewhat on your perspective) one of my boys was sick enough that I had to head home. Knowing what was coming up I got ready with my phone camera (didn't even think of packing the good Nikon with me). I was fast enough to get one shot as we rolled by and it wasn't even fuzzy! What we have is an ex Cotton Belt engine in original colors but with a UP engine number in UP yellow and red and right behind it an ex Southern Pacific engine also in original colors. Unfortunately I only managed to pull off a shot of the Cotton Belt engine but you can see the tail end of the SP one as well.Oh and its not really on a step grade like that, I just wasn't holding the camera quite straight. Maybe better shots in the morning, if they are still there!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chia Pet Norman Knight

This picture was sort of buried in my post about finishing up the Norman SAGA army commission. I'm feeling that it really needs its own little thread since its kind of a weird result from my application of static grass to the base. Don't worry about the paint job though, it all came off when I turned it upside down to remove the excess static grass. But for posterity's sake I give you the Chia Pet Norman Knight:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Norman SAGA Commission - Finished - Six Points

Well, this bunch is finally finished. Thanks to everyone for sticking with me on this little project. Last night I got all the weapons glued in place only to discover that two crossbows were missing. I have no idea if I lost them or if they were actually missing from the blister. Either way a replacement pack is on the way from which I will swipe two crossbows. The rest will probably go into the ReaperCon Melt bucket.

Today was touch up and basing today. Touch ups always take way to long and I'm sure I still managed to miss a few spots here and there but overall I'm pretty happy with the entire army. I used a new (for me) technique to add static grass to the bases and get it to stand up straight. I used my Grass Tech II static grass dispenser. this is a powered unit that charges the fibers as they come through a wire mesh and gets them to stand straight (more or less) up. I apply my favorite glue (matte medium and water) attach a wire that goes back the Grass Tech II , hit the power button and shake. Creates a huge mess on miniatures because its designed for large area applications. It also had an interesting side affect. Let me introduce the Norman Chia Pets:

Any way I now have static grass all over the place. Its bad as shipping peanuts. Here are a few shots from last night, they are starting to look like real warriors now that they actually have something to fight with.

That's also about as neat as you will ever see my painting area. It only looks like that way because I pulled out the airbrush to work on my ReaperCon competition miniature after I was done. That requires a certain level of neatness to be able to work relatively efficiently. Also I wanted to see if I could keep my highlights more or less intact by airbrushing on an acrylic matte coat. Overall I would say it worked out pretty well, although my airbrush didn't like it very much. Here are the knights ready to be sprayed:

And finally the finished product:
1 Saga Point - 12 Norman Levy

1 Saga Point - 8 Norman Crossbowmen

1 Saga Point - 8 Norman Spearmen

1 Saga Point - 4 Norman Hearthguard (Mtd Knights) - Note all the shields were painted by hand. I did use the Little Big Man Studios site as a reference. If you don't want to go to the effort of painting shields (almost any kind of shield) I highly recommend them. You can find his website here: LBMS

1 Saga Point - 4 Norman Hearthguard (Mtd Knights)

1 Saga Point - 4 Norman Hearthguard (Mtd Knights)

 Free! - 1 Norman Warlord
So that's it, finally finished. Oh and for the sharp eyed among you, I did forget to edge the bases for the knights, however, I did get that taken care of.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Norman SAGA Commission - Stay on Target

This weekend I pretty much wrapped up the painting on the commission. What is left to do is get the weapons painted and glued in place and get the bases flocked. I spent most of yesterday's time working on the bases themselves and today I touched up the Hearthguard, especially the shields. There are still a few shields in this bunch that I don't like but overall I'm pretty happy with them. The dragon on the warlord's shield came out quite well I think. My freehand has definitely gotten better after this job.