Sunday 22 December 2013

Forcing Hobby Time

We're told that a hobby is something you make time for, not something you do to fill spare time.

So what do you do when your spare time is taken up with other things, and you actually can't create a rift in the continuum to slot in some quality painting time?

You take your models to work.

This week was the perfect time to wind down at the office. All the important stuff was done well in advance of the new year, so rather than watching a Christmas movie, I brought in a box of paints and some hobbit minis to progress.

I don't have a decent daylight balanced lamp at my desk, and the work top height isn't perfect. And there's the issue of my office phone line never not ringing.

I gave it a go anyway. An hour's-worth of work produced some mediocre results at best

Not happy with this Bilbo so far. Especially not the face - he looks positively psychopathic! The colour range is almost right, but everything is a bit thick. The office air-con dries out the paint palette really quickly, and even acrylic medium didn't help.

I had to try again, so after lunch, and amidst the whole world wanting a piece of me, I laid some base colour onto a LOTR metal Arwen. Just the main dress material, and it's going to get layered up to a teal green when I have a balanced light.

I'm already happier with this. The paint has gone on thinner - it was more a case of knowing when to stop rather than forcing 'just a bit more' like I did with Bilbo. He's not a lost cause in any way, but I won't be trying that level of detail at the office again. Maybe just prep and assembly, and possibly some base colour work.

Nothing fancy.
Nothing forced.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Sprue Cutters #22: For a rainy day

Jon asked us to show off our kitchens and dining room tables last week (weird) in the hope that some decent workbenches would pop up. Some did. Some were awesome. Others were dining room tables...
This week, we've been asked to air our dirty laundry and show our stash of unbuilt kits; our collective investment in the future of our hobby; our obsessive need to have new, shiny toys: this is the stuff our wives won't understand.

Thanks Jon.

I think I should point out before I jump in that very few models on my shelves are unstarted - almost all have been opened, and had one bit clipped from the sprue, or almost finished and abandoned for the next bit of Hobby ADD.

First up- in the garage on the Ikea shelving, alongside car parts that will get as much use in the near future: warhammer boxes - classics from the 90s, like the 4th edition fantasy box set and a lead Rock Lobber. 40k stuff- ork and space wolf battleforces, and a load of single minis. Lord of the rings stuff - an olyphaunt that I started and abandoned. In the orange bag, there's 40k 25th anniversary models and pin badges and in the black bags, there are a couple of copies of Dreadfleet. In the Ikea box there's stuff. I have no idea what - possibly some scenery and terrain parts.

Cupboard 1:
Some cool projects I might have started or just opened to have a look - the Aliens APC is an eBay rescue and repair job waiting to happen.

Cupboard 2 part 1:

Deloreans. Obsessed with these I am. Likewise the Batmobile from Tim Burton's first movie. Beautiful car - good memories of the first one I built when I was 11 or 12. Bought it in Lancaster and started assembling it at my Nan's in Plymouth. My first 'road trip' plastic. These are all mint.

Cupboard 2 part 2:
Behind the kiddie car seats lie some monsters. I always wanted the Halcyon PVC Aliens kits when I was a kid, but couldn't afford them. Then eBay was invented, and I had money to spare. There's more you can't see as well...

Boxes above the tumble drier:
A 40k case, a camera case with Hobbit scenery and LOTR projects, an unfinished Alien3 walker (soon to be done, honest) and a few boxes of scrap building stuff.

Cupboard 3:

Cupboard 4:
Tools and things.
It's what's above it that's even more scary - more unfinished nik-naks.
Note the fire extinguisher in the bottom RHS...

In the loft there's another Ikea box of Star Trek models from my teens - ships and figures - actually mostly unstarted - apart from an Enterprise D which I spent 2 years hand drilling windows to fit optic fibres. It's not the optic fibre kit - I bought a few metres of that to light the ship, as well as making LED-lit nacelles. Didn't quite finish it....
It'll all probably stay there until I have a workplace of my own.

You kinda know that one day my headstone will read:

Here lies Peter Brown
Husband, father, finisher of nothi

Check out some other Sprue Cutter Troll-hoards below:



More here when they get posted!

Thursday 12 December 2013

Sprue Cutters #21: space: a theoretical construct

This week, we seem to be posting lovely pics of our workstations.

I had one of those once.

It was not tidy.

I've been a hobby nomad for a while, taking up temporary space in a room until someone tells me to move it.

When I was a kid, I had a cool set of shelves and a workbench in my parents' utility room.

When I was an adult (?), my wife let me use the freezing cold conservatory for a while. Then we moved.

I'd love to set up in our garage, below the flat, but there's a space and tidy issue. Lots to throw out; nowhere to put new things.

So, instead, I blag a bit of space on the dining room table, or the kitchen work top, or at my desk at work (like I have the time...)

In the kitchen, the oven extractor hood serves as a half-decent vent when I airbrush, and the window sill is a nice place for things to dry. My wife disagrees.

She'd love me to set up in our garage, below the flat, but there's a space and tidy issue. Lots to throw out; nowhere to put new things. Maybe she'll help...?

Other workstations to check out:

The Migrant



Tuesday 10 December 2013

Sprue Cutters #20 - the Christmas wishlist

It's a simple, and yet difficult thing to say what I'd like for Christmas, as I want everything, and have room in my house for nothing, so I'll keep it short and sweet...

4. An airbrush spray booth - one of those nice portable systems with a powerful fan that will ventilate my airbrushing area (kitchen) - something like this:

Spray Booth

3. Some MIG weathering pigments - I've always wanted to have a go with powder and turps. Or their new Mud looks awesome

Muddy gunge

2. New Hobbit models - the Barrels out of Bond kit is a beautifully sculpted set of figures

Floating Dwarves

1. A hobby shed. I could escape for a couple of hours every now and then, and also get all my stuff out of the house!

This guy has the right idea, even though it's not a shed

I haven't actually asked for any of these things, and my family doesn't tend to follow my blog, so should *any* of it arrive, I'll be truly impressed...

don't forget to read the other union posts:

Typhus Corrosion: a video review

From Games Workshop's recently released set of 6 Citadel Technical Paints, Typhus Corrosion is a grungy wash (with micro bits in it) that, when dry, simulated damaged, corroded metal, or dried gritty oil that's leaked out of a bad seal. 

Here's a video to show you how it works

Saturday 7 December 2013

Agrellan Earth: a video review

Games Workshop recently released a set of 6 new Citadel Technical Paints. The most useful is the brilliant Agrellan Earth. It's designed primarily as a basing paint that cracks when it dries, but you could just as well use it on stoney-textured characters, like the Fantastic Four's The Thing.

Here's a video to show you how it works