Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Using Micro Set and Micro Sol

Hi all,
This week I decided to take some pics while I was applying transfers (decals) to my WB Terminators using Micro Set and Micro Sol from Microscale Industries and do a quick write up on how I use them.
I bought both of these a few years back. The purpose of them is to help the transfers stick and contour to non flat or irregular surfaces with no wrinkles and to give that "painted on" look, many professional Scale Modellars use both of these products and the finish is excellant. I'd figured if it's good enough for them it's good enough for my Word Bearers!!

The Micro Set (Blue) is the setter and the Micro Sol (Red) is the Softener. If you want a full description of how they work you can visit their web site for more details.

Microscale Industries ship all over the world without a problem, I had no problems when I bought mine direct from their web store (it can be tough to get these locally here in Oz).

Tools needed; Scissors, Scalpel, Tweezers, Gloss Varnish, Micro Set, Micro Sol, 3x Paint brushes (need to use seperate brushes for applying each of the products).

1. Gloss Varnish area transfer is being applied to. Transfers adhere to Gloss varnish better than any other surface. I would also apply the varnish the night before you want to apply the transfers, just to make sure the varnish is completely dry before you start.

2. Cut out the transfer from the sheet and then trim the excess film from the transfer. If you hold the transfer on an angle from a light source you will see the excess film, trim off the excess as best you can, but don't get stressed about it. Trimming the excess makes it easier to apply the transfer to small areas and makes it easier for the Micro Set and Sol to do their job. 

3. Dip the transfer into the Micro Set with tweezers and place immediately onto you cutting mat or tile (or whatever you use).

4. Brush on Micro Set onto the area where the transfer is being applied to, it doesn't need to be applied like a layer of paint so slap it on!!

5. Now check to see if the transfer is moveable on the backing paper (it only takes about 30secs), if it is it's time to apply the transfer. Using your tweezers to hold the backing paper in place on the area you wnat the transfer. Now use your brush with Micro Set on it to hold the tranfer in place while you slide the backing paper away, sometimes I had to use the back of the brush, this wont damage the transfer as long as your gentle with it.

6. Use more Micro Set to help position you tranfer if it's in the wrong spot. You will need to use plenty of it to flood the area the area again, but thats Ok as it doesn't damage the paint or transfer.

7. After a couple of minutes gently dab a tissue or napkin over the transfer, this helps to flatten out the transfer and gets rid of the excess Micro Set. It also helps the next stage.

8. Once you've applied the transfers to all the models your working on apply some Micro Sol. Let this dry over night. If there is still some wrinkling use some more Micro Sol until theyre gone.

9. You can now paint highlights or shade the transfer if you wish. Varnish the transfers at least once, you don't want these suckers to come off from wear and tear!!

The transfers have all been applied and a gloss varnish coated over the top of them

This isn't hard to do and the end result is a great finish!! I applied a Tactical Squad transfer to an Ultramrines shoulder pad on one of the bases and it looks like it's been painted on!! No wrinkles or scrunches! I'm very pleased with the end result. I'll make sure I take a close up photo of that shoulder pad as it's been Satin varnished, when I take the pics of the completed Terminator Sqd towrads the end of the week!

As usual if you have any questions or comments drop me a line...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Army repairs and Varnish!!

Another post in a matter of days whats going on... HOBBY!!

A few weeks ago I was looking over my Word Bearers as I had finally decided to add Squad markings to them, as it's hard to distinguish the Squad's in the heat of battle. As I was applying the decals (I'll be doing a tutorial on this as I used some products I haven't used before so stay tuned...) I really started to notice the wear and tear this army has accumulated over the last 5(ish) years and I was bummed about it... I'd spent a lot of time and effort in making this army look really nice and I hated to see it diminished in any way. So I decided it was time for some repairs!! Over the last weeks or so I've re dry brushed all the metallic's on the back packs and any where else where it's showing wear and tear. I re glued weapons, broken conversions or anything else that's reared it's ugly head. So far this has been accomplished on my four CSM Squad's and the two Havok Squad's. These six Squad's have now also recieved their first coat's of varnish... ever... I've always been meaning to varnish these bad boys but you know stuff happens and it never came to fruition. Unfortunately that's why I've had to spend time these last weeks re painting metallic's, as dry brushed metallic's always wear exponentially quicker than any other colours (except for anything that's been painted over a white undercoat, they come off real fast!!). This is only something I've really become consciously aware of while working on my WB Terminators, the mithril silver drybrsuh was very lightly built up and until I'd given it a wash of the new GW washes it would come off with even light handling. Another problem I've had is that I apply another light drybrush of mithril once the wash has dried and this has also started to wear off with minimal handling already. So next time I've finished painting any metallic's I'm going to apply a varnish to seal it all in and hopefully a little more time spent here will save me a lot of time in the future with re painting whole sections of models. I've seen plenty of people have success and (lots of) failures with spay varnishes, so many years I'd decided spray varnishes were not the way to go (even though I hadn't varnished anything :-)). I'm not the only one who feels this way as Ron and the boys from FTW Bloggers Group have recently done an article titled Varnishing without Frosting.
Check out the link for their thoughts and ideas at;

Applying the varnish by brush does take a long time, but I'm very happy with the results. Overall I've used a Gloss varnish on all the armor and metallic's and then I've used a Satin varnish for flesh, standards, holsters, (im)purity seals and accessories. I didn't want to use a Matt Varnish as a Matt finish doesn't compliment and enhance a paint job like Gloss and Satin varnishes do. The Gloss varnish should give good protection to the high wear area's like the shoulder pads and power packs.
I've used Vallejo Model Colour varnishes for this project (See below pic)

On the hobby cards for this week I'm finalizing my decision on how I'm going to paint my Space Hulk Terminators and I'm currently doing the final touches on my Word Bearer Terminators, which is... Metallic's, Decals and Varnish!! As I stated earlier I'll be doing a tutorial on applying decals after I've finished the Terminators and I'll be sure to include the tricks I've picked up over the years in applying them.

PS: I've picked up a Cryxx battle group and a corresponding P3 paint set, once these have been built and painted I'll be sure to put up a post and review on how the P3 paints worked for me...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Magnetizing Weapons Options

Hi guys,

I've had a few friends ask me about how I magnetize my mini's and where I get the magnets from, so I thought I'd write up a summary of the way I've done it for my Word Bearers, this technique can be applied to any form of adding magnets to miniatures.

I get my Rare Earth Magnets from an ebay store: Frenergy Magnets. In the Store Category section, select the Discs option. They have various bundles with lots of different sizes. The ones I've used for this project are the 2mm(Width) x 1mm(Height/Depth). I find these to be the perfect size and strength for holding special weapons. For my Word Bearer Terminators I used 3mm x 2mm and I have some 5mm x 2mm I intend to use for vehicles and dreadnoughts.

Tools needed;
Hobby Knife, Pin Vice Drill, 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm Drill bits, Super Glue, Marker pen and Magnets.

1; Mark on the mini where you want the magnet to go with your marker pen. I usually do this on the hand of the mini first, so I then know where I'll need the magnet on the weapon.

2; I then use the hobby knife to pre drill slightly the plastic where I've marked with the pen. I've found that if I don't do this my drill bit will slip slightyly from the intended place. In the pics you'll be able to spot the pre drilled with hobby knife and the one that wasn't.

3; I then drill with my pin vice a 1mm, then 1.5mm and finally 2mm holes. Again I've found that if I jump straight to 2mm I get tearing of the plastic. Even from 1mm to 2mm I get tearing so I include the 1.5mm into the process. It doesn't add too much extra time to the process and I like the results better because you get a nice clean hole and not a torn one.

4; I then mark the magnet, so i know what side is going into the hole. This helps to make sure the polarity of the magnets is correct for each weapon. Basically it means I can use any Special Weapon in any squad becasue all the magnet sides are aligned correctly for the whole army.

5; Apply the super glue to the hole. Now to get that little magnet into that little hole I attach the magnet to my hobby knife and because I've marked the magnet I know it's going in correctly. See pics below. Once the magnet is in the hole, I then slide the hobby knife away from the model so the magnet detaches itself nicely from the hobby knife and still stays in the hole. The other great reason for doing it this way is that the magnet sits flush with the top of the hole. I then quickly use a tissue to clean up any excess super glue.

Here's some pics of the process...

This isn't terribly hard to do, but it's great when it's done as it give you a huge amount of versatillity when it comes to weapon options. But I will stress that you need to double check that the magnet positioning is correct, because once they're in place with super glue, there's no way of getting them out again without destroying something, and it wont be the magnet that gets destroyed...

I've used this method to successfully magnetize an Imperial Fists Sergeant's weapons options too. So it can work on a variety of mini's

Please give this a go and let me if you've had success or any tips you've found to make this process better!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

All your Space Hulks is mine!!

Space Hulk is BACK BABY!! I was never fortunate enough to own the original or it's supplement Deathwing when they were originally released. This is the game that started my addiction to GW games and the Deathwing expansion was the start of my love for the Dark Angels and the lore of the 40k universe. I played this many,many moons ago over at a friends place on a Saturday arvo listening to Soundgardens Badmotorfinger and Metallica's "Black" album ,1992 I think it was. So the release of the new box set has been a big trip down memory lane for me, especially reading the "Cleanse & Burn" mission battle report, this was a mission that we played heaps of for some reason... There would be 3 or 4 of us playing battling it out, so we didn't often play 1 vs 1 but more often 2 vs 1 or 2 vs 2, which was exciting as each of us had a different idea of what we needed to do to achieve the mission objectives, there were many a heated argument afterwards but after a few games we started working really well as pairs. So much so that the Space Marine players had to have further time restrictions in place when we pairing up!!

All this reminiscing has gotten me into a pickle though... Do I paint the new orgasmic Terminators in the Blood Angels colour scheme (it's OK they're a first founding chapter) or paint them up in Deathwing colour scheme? I can hear DT's screams now as he was the first person to teach me (repeatedly) how to paint up Deathwing Terminators way back when he was managing the Adelaide GW store when it first opened, I would terrorize him on most Saturdays... Ha,ha... It's not going to be too difficult to convert the Blood Angels into Deathwing, they do share a reasonable amount of iconography, what with both Chapters being "Angels of Death" and all...

So now I want your help in deciding the fate of my plastic Terminators I'll leave the poll open for 2 weeks!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hell freezes over...

Hi all, after a long absence I'm finally posting again!!
After my last post I had a break for a while, then a while turned into a couple of weeks... then a month had gone by... I finally dug up my old pre mixes for my Word Bearers and boy was it a sad state of affairs. I spent an evening mixing small amounts of warm water and fluid enhancer into each of the pre mixes without diluting the colours too much after this was successfully completed I decided that I need to paint a test mini before committing to painting any thing for my Word Bearers. I stripped a metal Plague Marine that I had started painting for my Word Bearers many moons ago, he was then re assembled, based and ready for painting. He turned out a heck of a lot better than I thought and matched the existing Word Bearers, to say I was thrilled would be an understatement!!
You can see the results below.

But before I jumped into painting my Terminators and Land Raider I thought it would be prudent to tackle some other existing WB projects first. So I assembled a pair of Las Cannon sponsons for my Predator Annihilator and painted them to perfectly match the paint job on the Predator!!

After these success I decide it might be time to play my first 5th Edt 40k game, so I organized a game with Briggsy at the GW Marion store. With that done I decided it was time to paint my Rhino that I had started 5yrs earlier. It already had a paint job that I detested as it didn't match the rest of the army at all and I wanted to strip off the paint and start again, however the interior had been detailed and painted nicley and I wanted to keep this. Simple Green to the rescue!! This an industrial strength cleaner that comes undiluted and in a spray bottle or larger 5ltr tub. This stuff strips off paint from both plastics and resin without any damage but it still leaves the majority of the undercoat on!!
So instead of submersing the rhino I carefully spayed Simple Green on one part of the Rhino at a time let it sit for 5 mins and then started to scrub off the existing paint, and I repeated this process until I was happy with the results, needless to say it a long time. This worked awesomely as I was able to remove the exterior paint without damaging or removing any from the interior at all!! Buoyed by this success I started painting and got all the metallics and the hull colours completed before the game. After Briggsy let me win my first foray into 5th Edt (;-) I was all excited and over the next week and a half finished the rest of the Rhino. I'm really happy with the way it has turned out, it's a little darker than the Predator but this is a Chaos Army after all...

Are you ready for this... I've started painting my Terminators!! There's a WIP pic below...

Thanks for tuning in again and I promise the next post wont be 10 weeks away, scouts honour!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Word Bearer Assualt vehicle Pt3 +...

Hi guys,
It's been a few weeks since my last and my progress hasn't been great :-), I got side tracked by my Xbox and a certain Lego Star Wars game....

Well as you can see I've made my Land Raider more "Spikey", and Ive added some accessories from the Dark Angels, namely a couple of Books and Incense burners plus some skulls on spikes from the Chaos Warriors. I think these really help to capture the feel of the Word Bearers as Religious Zealot CSM's. All the spikes at the back of the Land Raider have been pinned but not glued to the hull, in keeping with all the other top mounted accessories being removable for storage and transport. It took me days and days of blu taking bits and pieces all over the place until I could find a configuration that worked best for me, but I'm really happy with the way it has turned out!! The only bit I wish I had done was to magnetize the sponsons , I've gone to a bit of trouble with the interior only for it to not often see the light of day, whereas if I'd magnetized them I could remove them and open up the side panels, maybe next time... (Yes Nathan I should have listened to you!!)

While I was pondering what to do with the Land Raider I busted out some plastic Terminators, these were really fun to clean up and assemble, the mold lines were few and every thing fit well together!! The hardest part about making these guys was that I wanted to magnetize all the arms and weapon options. I used 3mm magnets for these as there's a reasonable amount of plastic on there once you get the weapon and shoulder pad mounted. Drilling the 1mm pilot holes was nice and easy, but drilling the 3mm was a pain as the drill bit kept sticking in the plastic, or ripping off line (mostly it was a combination of the two...). I was using a hand vice as i don't trust a dremel not too melt the plastic. Has any one else used an electric drill with success on plastics? Once I'd drilled the holes out I had to bulk them up slightly with some Green Stuff as the torso's of the Terminators are hollow, after filling the hole with the Green stuff I put some Vaseline on the magnet and sunk it into the green stuff to make it level with the plastic. During drying though all of these must of gotten air pockets in them as the next day when I re inserted the magnet to test that every thing fit the magnet was no longer sitting flush with the plastic :-( So with some more messing about I sorted it out...

The other problem I had was a distinct lack of enough shoulder pads for all the weapons options, (5 shoulder pads and 7 weapon options, you do the math...) There are some place's on line that sell bits, but they are nearly always out of stock or too far away (if anyone can recommend one please send me a link), so I decide to reproduce some from resin, setting up the moulds is a challenge that's for sure!!. This sort of worked out (mostly), but little details didn't re produce well or at all, so my limited Green stuffing ability was called into play. A
s they say "Good from a far, but far from good", they do the job...barely...

The basing was quite fun to do also, I used some small slate that GW have in their basing kits, plus various bits and pieces from the Space Marines, Imperial Guard and new plastic Skeletons ranges. I've undercoated everything now and I'm almost ready to paint, I say almost as It's been quite a few years since I've painted this colour scheme and the pre mixes I'd made all those years ago needed some rescuing. I think I'm going to paint a test model (or two) before i get to the main event!

Well that's enough from me, Happy Modelling!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Word Bearer Assualt Vehicle Pt2.

Hi all, I've had a fairly productive week, even with the Melbourne F1 on the tele!!

First up I glued the interior together and made sure the assault
ramp moved correctly. While this was drying I cleaned up and pre assembled all the weapon mounts ready to be undercoated and painted separately. Some Tamiya filler was used on the Lascannon sights as there were some large dimples in the plastic. The Lascannon shrouds had to be bent and teased so that they would fit correctly, when bending plastics or metal parts be sure to do it with slow even pressure to reduce the chance of any breakages.

From the following pic you can see white thin strips of plasti card glued to the underside of the top of the hull. These have been added because for some reason the top of the Land Raiders hull didn't sit flush with the top of the sides of the hull. This took a rea
sonable amount of time to make sure that everything fit correctly, I had done plenty of dry runs (no glue being used) to find out where I needed to fill out the gaps. I used a combination of 0.4 mm & 1.0mm plasti card for this, if a strip needing to be thinned slightly I just rubbed the strip on some 320 grit sandpaper that was sitting flat on the table top. Once all the plasti card had dried, i trimmed it down starting with a hobby knife then I proceeded to smooth it out with files and further still with 1000 grit sandpaper.

All the tracks have been added to the hull (with Imperial Eagles removed of course!). The top hatches were quickly cleaned and assembled, as was the spotlight. With the spotlight I had to use and Imperial mounting as I was going to use the Chaos mount for my Dirge caster, I then added a banner top from the new GW plastic Marauder Horsemen box set to the spot light. The Dirge caster was next on the hit list, this has had a 2.0mm (diameter) brass rod inserted to act as a large pin. I did this because I wanted to be able to remove any accessor
ies I have on top of the Land Raider to ease transporting in a carry case. I've also added 1/8 brass rod to the 4 exhaust ports on the back of the engine for something different. When cutting up the brass rod I used GW's new modeling vice and boy did it make cutting this stuff a hell of a lot easier!!

My existing Rhino and Predator vehicles have removable Chaos banners and flaming braziers, which are fixed in place. For my Land Raider I want every accessory on top of the Land Raider to be easily removed for storage and transport. For the banner I again used one from the new GW plastic Marauder horsemen kit, I used another length of 2.0mm brass rod for the banner pole and cut up a smaller length of 1/8 brass rod that was going to
sleeve the 2.0mm rod near the bottom, about 10mm of the thinner rod is poking out. I then drilled a 2.0mm hole into a 5mm x 5mm piece of 1.0mm plasti card. This plasti card was then glued underneath the 1/8 length of brass rod with the thinner brass rod poking through it all. This plasti card was going to stop the banner pole from sliding to far into the Land Raider.

For the flaming braziers I cut up 2x Inquisitor Witch hunter henchmen, unfortunately the cuts weren't straight and I've had to use some brown stuff (it's not as bad as it sounds, its a brown / aluminum epoxy resin) to level out the cuts. I've used brown stuff as it's easier to cut, file and sand than green stuff because of the aluminum flakes in it. Unfortunately I'm not
sure where to place these exactly on top of the Land Raider as I also want to put on some smoke launchers and maybe some trophy poles. The braziers need to be in front of the banner (they help illuminate it after all...), but behind the pintle combi bolter (which is going next to the Heavy Bolter). I'm leaning towards the configuration in the pic below, but if you have any other ideas let me know with some quick feed back!

Well that's it from me for now, hopefully I can get these last fiddly bits sorted out quickly so I can get ready to undercoat and paint this bad boy!! In the mean time I hear some plastic Chaos Terminators a calling...

Happy Modeling!!