Mistakes with Washes

Continuing from my last post on my progress on storage containers, I wanted to weather them.  For anyone who has seen my Ultramarines, you’ll know that I have a very 2nd edition era scheme that doesn’t include any weathering.  As such, I don’t have much experience with the techniques, nor do I own many tools/paints to assist.  I’ve heard of weathering powders and the like, but I’ve never used them.  Most weathering options I use are one-offs that I hear of on the internet.

WH39kMistakesWithWash (1)Of course, this isn’t one of those.  My thought was that I would just slather watered down brown/black inks onto the models to make them look like they’d been aged.  I don’t recall exactly which I used–though I think it was an old pot of GW chestnut wash primarily.  I can say that it was a mix of a couple of washes I had around, and I wanted it to be lighter than a pure ink/wash, so I watered it down considerably.  I wound up washing all of them at my table (and making quite a bit of a mess in the process) before I realized that it was far darker than I had wanted.

Well, since the washes were still wet, the easy answer was simply to run them under the faucet to wash off some of the excess, right?


The thinking was logical and even worked out–to a point–just not quite in the way that I wanted.  The problem arose from the fact that the washes pool into recesses and corners, so they’re thickest in those areas.  As a result, the washes had dried in the spots adjacent to the recesses where it was thinner, but not yet in the actual crevasses themselves.   So, when I ran water over them, it wound up washing away the parts that I wanted to keep, and keeping the parts I wanted to wash away.

WH39kMistakesWithWashesOh bother…

At this point I found myself trying to do damage control.  I did wind up rinsing them all because I wanted them to at least look consistent, but then I was left with models that didn’t achieve the effect I wanted.  I figured I could go back and apply more ink/wash to them, but that would only make them even darker than before (and if you recall, I was rinsing them to make them lighter to begin with), or I could scrap the whole thing and start over.

I went with option #3: just accept the flaw, commit to writing a blog post about it, and move on with my life.  After all, it was merely terrain anyway, and it didn’t look that bad from a distance (maybe I’m kidding myself?), plus it could potentially serve as a warning to others that might think about rinsing off washes that have partially set.  Beware!  Don’t fall prey to my folly!

After that, I splashed a little blood effects on them and then considered them finished–well, until I noticed something else….



Rusted Containers

W39kRustedContainers (1)I haven’t had a blog post go live for a little while now; which is sort of ironic because it’s not for a lack of content.  Behind the scenes, I’ve had a glut of posts queuing up to be written.  It’s not so much that I haven’t had hobby progress, but rather that I haven’t made the time to blog about them.  I’d say that there are close to a dozen posts left to write about, so I figured I’d better get started.

Much of the queue involves prep work that I’d done in anticipation of an upcoming Apocalypse game, or of the game itself.  That has come and gone though, so it leaves me wondering if I should write about the game while it’s still fresh in my mind, or work on the posts in the order that I actually did the work.  It may be the wrong decision, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

W39kRustedContainers (2)One good reason for that is because I last left the blog off when I was in the middle of working on my Armored Containers.  At the last post I had salted them up and they were awaiting paint.

Of course, that’s practically speaking the next step, but my mind never works that way.  Instead, I generally agonize about what color to paint something and then decide that I probably don’t have the right equipment or paint to buy it, and wind up delaying the project for a few weeks while I procure them.  In this instance, I didn’t go that route.  Sure, I injected some hesitant delay into the equation, but I eventually wound up just using some paint that I had laying around.

W39kRustedContainers (3)The scheme I went with on the containers was essentially the same one from the box: gray containers with blue stripes.  I didn’t want to go as varied as the box cover shows (ie. some green, some red and some gray) because that would involve considerably more effort and more changing out of airbrush paints.  I also wanted to have a scheme that was subdued–going by the theory that terrain should look good, but should blend more into the background than be a focal point during a game.  Lastly, since the models can be purchased as a fortification during a normal game, I wanted to have a color that would look appropriate when matched up with my Ultramarines.

With all that in mind, I went ahead and painted them to match the box cover.  I didn’t want to do them all the same though, so I only painted two with stripes, and I also went ahead and painted one altogether blue.  In the end, that left me with three grays, one blue, and two with stripes.  W39kRustedContainers (4)I like that I have the ability to potentially buy a set of them as fortifications (presumably the blue ones) and then use the other in the same game as general scatter terrain.  Granted, I don’t know how often something like this will actually happen, but it’s nice to have options.

I don’t think I was intentionally trying to duplicate the boxed art for the color scheme, rather I wanted a color that I could spray with the airbrush and also paint by hand.  W39kRustedContainers (5)I’m sure any airbrush paint would work, given enough coats (or presumably there’s some sort of thickener to allow it to be painted on by hand), but I settled on gray in part because I already had a rattle can of primer and a matching paint pot thanks to the bases for my Zombicide models earlier this year.

A friend of mine expressed concern that I was going to use gray.  Specifically he was worried that I was going through a considerable effort to match the color of sprues of bare plastic.  W39kRustedContainers (6)Honestly, it wasn’t something I’d considered when I chose the color, but I wasn’t too worried about it, because I knew that I was going to weather them fairly extensively.

Aside from that, I simply applied the rust effect as I’ve detailed in earlier posts (though it’s worth noting that scraping off the blue paint from the airbrush was super easy, while the gray primer was far more tricky), and then even busted out a few old decals to decorate the side.  I don’t often use decals on my models because I don’t like the look of the faint lines, but I figured this was terrain so it didn’t matter as much, plus it would be heavily weathered, and lastly, it had been a while since I’d used decals, so maybe things had changed over the years?

At this point, even after painting over the edges of the decals, you could tell they were there, but I had hoped that after more weathering, that wouldn’t be the case.  I’ll save that for another post though…


Prometheum Relay Pipes

WH39kPromethium (1)Since I was doing a War Store Order for the new Munitorum Containers anyway, I figured I’d also include the Promethium pipes set because it was one of the few terrain kits I didn’t already own.   Not that I intend to purchase/use them as a fortification much (seriously, who uses flamers?), but it might make nice random terrain for a battle at some point.

The kit consisted of 8 sections of pipe: three long ones and five smaller ones, each coming in two parts.   In addition, another sprue of fourteen end-caps was included so you can cap every pipe.  The end-caps are a nice touch because it means that every pipe has sealed end so that it isn’t necessary to connect all of the pipes to each other.  Of course, if you use those caps, it also means that you can’t ever see through the pipe and shoot down the entire length of it either–but how often would that ever happen?

The caps come in various styles/designs so that they don’t all look alike either. Some look like a standard door/hatch, some appear to be a grate/filter, and still others look like turbines.

WH39kPromethium (2)If I had a complaint about this kit, it’s that it’s really long and straight.  There’s only one option for a T-connection (and that’s on one of the long/straight pipes) and there’s no option for a four way, or a π shaped connector.  The kit is relatively cheap though, and I suppose you could buy a bunch more if you so desired to recreate the Alyeska pipeline (which I don’t, mind you).

I’m not sure what color I’m going to paint these.  The GW kit is pretty heavy on the brazen brass, and that’s not exactly my style.  I’m not sure if I go with a silver pipe, or do something like a black pipe with silver trim.  The former is more like my overall style, but the black pipe might look rather cool.

Any thoughts?

Munitorum Armored Containers

WH39kContainers (2)I know that I should be painting my other models, but there’s something compelling about terrain to me.  Maybe it’s because it’s clean and simple and doesn’t require the same level of detail as the models in my armies?  Or maybe it’s because I can use these models in every game, regardless of what force I field?

Whatever the case, the lure of terrain was too strong.  When GW released the new Munitorum Armored Containers, I snap-purchased two boxes of them from the War Store.  It was an easy decision for me because I have basically all of the other terrain kits for 40k, so why not buy these too?  Really the only thing I had any thought to give on it was whether I should buy two or three sets (because, let’s face it, having a single set doesn’t make for a really cool looking shipping yard).

As you can see, I settled on two set (six total containers) because it doesn’t make sense for me to break the bank on a game I play so rarely.

At $50 ($40 after discount), these are really not such a bad deal.  GW has been increasing their prices over time so that a single character clam shell is going to run you $30 by themselves, so getting all of this plastic for $40-50 seems like a screaming deal.  Personally, I justified them by comparing them to a drop pod.  I figured each container would be about the same size as a pod, and a single pod costs $37.50, so these are a good by, right?

WH39kContainers (3)In retrospect, a drop pod is a bit bigger than each container, but I think the comparison still holds up.

The plastic on these seems more bendable than other kits I’ve used.  I’m not sure if they used a different plastic on them, or if they’re thinner, or what.  Once assembled, it didn’t seem to make much difference, but they were noticeably wobblier than their predecessors.

Some of the sprues seemed poorly designed.  In particular, the pieces that connect the floors/roofs to the rest of the sprue were wonky.  They weren’t the same sort of connection that you’d normally see, and they were oddly spaced on the model, so cutting them out was a little tedious.  However, once they were sufficiently cleaned, the models all fit together easily and stood upright when gluing them without aid.

The kit also came with a bunch of ammo crates (they’re hollow with no bottoms) and a bunch of barrels (which came in two parts and had to be glued together–presumably to save money on plastic.  I would’ve liked to have seen the barrels come as a solid piece (I think they used to come that way, no?), but I can understand why they made that decision.

The only other issue I had when I was assembling them was that I managed to somehow loose one of the little eagle heads on the top of the containers.  I’m not exactly sure how or where it happened, but several fruitless searches came up empty, so I was forced to cast a replacement out of green stuff.  Luckily, I had purchased some of those reusable plastic molds earlier this year, so this gave me a good opportunity to try them out.  WH39kContainers (1)The end result is a reasonable approximation (though it came out a little too thick).  Without knowing it, you’d be hard pressed to spot it though.

I’m quite pleased with the look of the models.  I wound up sinking magnets into the top so that I can remove the storm bolters as needed.  I originally contemplated putting magnets on the bottom to help them stack, but with the way they’re designed, they sit nicely on top of each other without need for magnets.

Now, do I go ahead and paint them up (neglecting my armies) or should I get back on track for the upcoming Apoc game?

Tyranid Bastion Progress – Hatches

Wh39kTBastionHatches (2)I’m not one that generally does a lot of WIP posts on a given topic.  That’s because I often will get caught up in whatever I’m doing and forget to take pictures.

Blogging isn’t a huge priority for me–it’s just something I do to track my progress, so having a multi-stage work in progress set of posts isn’t exactly my forte.  Of course, when dealing with green stuff, you have delays forced upon you, so I wind up with some downtime between stages.  This is why this particular model has wound up being the subject of more than one post.

I also don’t use tags very much in my blog, but now that I’ve had multiple posts on the subject, I decided to implement one called “Tyranid Fortifications,” so you could see the entire build from start to finish (plus I threw in the one post I had about my Aegis Defense Line into that category as well).

Wh39kTBastionHatches (3)But this particular post isn’t about the tag–it’s supposed to be about hatches.  When I first picked up the base model/toy, I thought that I could probably just paint it and dip it “as is,” and it would suffice, but I opted to take it a step further and customize it a bit.

Well, after cleaning it up and covering it in tentacles, the idea of leaving hatches with metal bits and rings on them seemed out of place.  Originally I figured I’d dismiss it as saying it was an old imperial bastion that had been overtaken by the hivemind, and that’s why you saw remnants of metal fragments; however, the more work I do on the rest of the model, the more it looks out of place. So I decided to try to sculpt some armor plates on them.

Wh39kTBastionHatches (4)To start, I wound up snipping off the various high parts on the hatches (mostly rings, but an occasional rivet or weird growth as well).  When that was done, I started on the green stuff.

I searched online for tutorials, and they all seemed pretty self explanatory, so I didn’t really follow any directly.  One layer at a time, I wound apply the putty and shape it (using some tools I also purchased from Green Stuff Industries–I haven’t done a post on them though, so maybe I’ll get to that before too long).

After I got the putty into the general shape I wanted, I used water to wipe away the fingerprints and then cleaned up the edges with the silicone tools.  Lastly, I wound up putting little notches in the edges of the carapace to make it look worn.

Then I just let it dry and repeated the process for the next two layers.  The end result is unmistakenly a Tyranid carapace, so I count that as a success.

Wh39kTBastionHatches (1)The problem I have is that they look a little too round–too out of place on the bastion now.  The side of the volcano/mountain just suddenly has a nearly perfectly round piece of carapace on it?  It just doesn’t look right to me.

I think I’m going to have to do some more putty work around the hatches after they go on so that they blend in a little better with the rest of the piece.

What do you think?