Friday, 20 February 2015

Gokan Update

A brief update on where I am with Gokan.
I have tried a couple of new things, both using the respective Scale 75 paint sets.
First is the NMM Copper work on the shoulder armour. I need to work a few mid tones but in essence I was aiming for a beaten look. This I will replicate across the rest of the armour. It was created using the NMM Gold paint set.

Next up the sword, using the NMM still set.
I have worked the blending to get it about as smooth as I can. It is all but done, just some blending on the actual blade of the sword.
My intention is to paint the detail using NMM gold

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Army Painter Part 2 - Paints and Starter Set

For the second part of the review I will be looking at the starter paint set.
The set itself comprises of 8 paints in the Vallejo style dropper bottles, which I find the best shape as you can more accurately control how much paint you use.
There is also a bottle of Quickshade Ink and as you would expect a brush to get you started.

You will find a guide inside the box which is an ideal component for anybody starting out. It provides a details on the different products and examples of how to use things, like the Quickshade.
The are paint charts to cover shading and highlighting al in a glossy brochure style information booklet.

For the purpose of testing I have solely used everything the set provides, including the brush and although the below colour scheme is unusual, it does allow me to test all the items on one figure.
I have covered each section in the colours without any mixing, shading or highlighting to assess how the coverage is. Each of the paints were thinned to 50/50 water and paint, with three layers making the coverage.
So the coverage, spot on.The paints were a wonderful consistency after a good shake of the bottle. The only trouble I had was with the yellow, it took a lot of shaking to mix up, something I have discovered on a few other brands like Vallejo.
The colours have plenty of pigment, like GW paints and as you can see I have a very solid colour. 
Then there is the red, Pure Red, wow, what a vibrant shade of red it is. Without doubt this is the most vibrant red I have ever used.
The green is also quiet a unique shade of green, Greenskin, another plus point.
I have had many discussions around Army Painter metallics and how good they are so I was interested and eager to try.
Here you see I used Plate Mail Metal. Even with thinning there was no separation of pigment that can create that unwanted look of individual shiny parts of the pigment spoiling a pure finish. This finish was pure and even as you can see on the sword.
The brush was ideal for a starter and has a surprisingly good tip, if you look closely I comfortably managed pupils and outlines for the eyes.

Have basecoated everything I tried out the Quickshade Ink.
I gave the whole figure a good coating and left it to dry.

This dried as quick as a wash. I have reworked the sword slightly to remove that blotch spot of ink on the above photo.
The Quickshade has once again brought out the detail, but with one other advantage to the dipping variation of the Quickshade, it dries matt. It will also mix with any of the other paints.

I have two packs of grass tufts to use and these will be tried out on some of the figures I am working on. The swamp tufts are similar to other companies but the Tundra Tufts are unique to me as I have not seen other like this. No doubt I may be corrected on this.

In review I would state that the set is well thought out and provides the equipment and detail that any starter would be delighted with the result that can be achieved.
Astor the paints then I thin these are good enough to be used at any level. I will definately be using these on a regular basis. The high pigment count make these an ideal choice for a vibrant finish.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Army Painter Review Part 1 - Quickshade and Sprays

Based in Denmark the company is ran by Jonas Faering and Bo M. Penstoft. Both are highly experienced in the gaming world having worked for many years for Games Workshop. Their site explains that they wanted to create a quick way of painting armies so they could spend more time gaming. From this idea the creations they have come up with some fascinating products that I feel can have various applications for the speed and display painters.
The first thing we will concentrate on is their range of primers. Each come in a spray can as you see below and I have been testing the colours Skeleton Bone, Leather Brown and Platemail Metal.
These sprays have been matched to their paint pots, ideal for any touch ups you need.

For the purpose of testing I have covered a figure completely with one colour.
So for the coverage ? Can't be faulted to be honest. Covers very well and even if you get a little thick in places the paint dries very even with little or any loss or detail as you can see below.

Now for the next part of the process and this is where Army Painter has taken a different line to other companies, The Quickshade.
A simple pot of wash designed to cover your figure and create shading without the need for lengthy painting, glazing, thin washes etc etc.
The Quickshade is also a varnish so it will shade and protect your model in one go, bonus.
I am using the Strongtone, followed by an application of Matt Varnish.
To use couldn't be easier - shake the can, dip the figure in, shake off the excess and allow to dry for 24 hours. Simple.
As you can see below, the shading has been instantly brought out, you have definition but you also have a glossy finish. That isn't a problem if you want that, but there is some detail that is lost by the finish and this detail needs re-discovering.
I now applied about 4-5 thin layers of Matt Varnish, allowing a few minutes between each coat and the difference was very noticeable. The gloss went and a perfect Matt finish was created. I also noticed that some of the definition came back and the figure looked so much better.

One Word of Warning !!!
Follow the instructions for the Matt Varnish and learn from my mistake. You find the instructions on the side of the can.
I tend to use a brush on varnish so the spray was relatively new to me, so I liberally applied a coating only to find the smooth paint that was there had gone deformed. Some sort of reaction had seemed to take place as you can see below on the thigh area.

I contacted Jonas at Army Painter for his advice and it was simply down to user error. Applying too much varnish in one go can cause wrinkling. This can be all spray varnishes and not just Army Painter.

My thoughts on the Quickshade and varnish are very positive. The dipping system is something many can use to create instant shading and the Matt Varnish is frankly excellent. There is not the slightest colour deterioration that I could notice.
As someone who paints for display purposes I will find uses for the primer and the Quickshade. 
All figures benefit from setting a base tone, for example, when painting Mordor Orcs I tend to base everything with a dark brown and paint up the colours from there.
When using the Quickshade I would be applying further paint to set my own highlighting and working the blend.
In all excellent and well thought out products that have found a niche in the market and long may that continue.
I hope you find this review useful.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Workstation Complete

This could well be an age old problem that many hobbyist has encountered. The scenario being that you spend an age creating your work to find that your wife is in a different room and you also feel out on limb to family life. This has been our solution.
The area started as an alcove to the side of the fireplace to which we decided to build the cupboard from that you see.

Now the good bit.Once you open the doors I have a drop down top that is supported on two legs that are also hinged for concealment. I pull up chair and away I go.
I need to install some shelving to help accommodate the mountain of equipment I seem to have. I don't actually have all my paints out !!! I think I have at least 20 old GW pots that are stored beneath the bench and my new Scale 75 paints are stored behind the light still in their boxes.

So now its painting ahead. I have already been trying the Army Painter products and will get a review done for next week.

Friday, 6 February 2015

CMON Annual 2014

I am delighted to say that my Bag End diorama has been selected as an entry for the Cool Mini or Not Annual 2014.
This is regarded as a whose who in the painting world and to qualify you have to have an entry with an average rating of over 8. Not an easy task to be honest as this is my first in about 10 attempts to hit that mark !!!
Hopefully it won't be my last.

As for other news, life in Chateau De Anderson has been fairly hectic, but light is at the end of the tunnel. My new painting area is nearly finished, as with the dreaded decorating I need to get done.
It's a shame you have to get things like this out of the way before some proper hobbying time can kick in.
I've hardly touched anything for a week, with the exception of testing some of the Army Painter products, which I will update on once I have enough to publish a good update.
Until soon...