Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tau: decal suicide!!!

A weird thing happened last night. I have been working on a Devil fish for some time now and try to make it look clean and nice, a little different than my first Tau tank. I finally arrived at the stage of adding decals to the vehicle. I prepared the surface with some Micro Gloss and added the decal to some lukewarm water. To my great surprise, the decal fell apart in the water!

I only had two Tau logos like the one you see in the picture, so I was extra careful with the 2nd one; same thing happened. You can see that the decal separated in a major way, also around white/black edges..

I tried a different part of the sheet, but to no avail. Then I tried a 2nd sheet, but same thing happened. The sheets were old, from when the Tau came out. My buddy Christian had found them and donated them to the Tau cause. It seems they are too old? I have never heard of that before and on Google I couldn't find anything about it? Any thoughts?

SC Mike

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tau Battlesuit with Twin Linked Flamer

I finished painting my Battle suit leader with a twin linked flamer and a missile pod. I got this model in my trade and Tony, who built this model, said he kitbashed the flamer, I didn't know that twinlinked flamer models don't exist. The drones count as shield drones, which are really handy in battle. I put them all on bases with trench planks for a good contrast.

Anyway, I played my first game with the Tau last night, lost from a Eldar infantry force, but it was still great fun. More painted models coming up!

SC Mike

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tau Shas 'o r' myr, 'Longknife' plus armylist

After painting my first Tau tank, which you can see here, I got to work on the one Forgeworld model that I received in the trade (Dwarfs-Tau). It's a great model, very dynamic: Shas 'o r' myr, Commander Longknife. Here's my paintjob, keeping him in line with the paint scheme on the vehicles:

I placed him on a trench base, I envision somewhere down the line that my traitorguard will be modeled in the same world as the Tau. They can fight each other to their hearts content.

I also finalized my army list. I shamelessly stole this list from Adam, who has this blog and who seems a very good player. The list works for me: compact, not too many troops and lots of vehicles to paint. Here's a picture of Adams army:

Here's his army list in detail:

Adam's 1500 points Tau army
Tau Shas’el                                 
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Team
2 with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile Pod
1 Leader with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile pod, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

(X3) 6 man Fire warrior Team
Devilfish with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Hammerhead with Railgun, Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Skyray with Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod

2 man Broadside Team with advanced stabilization
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife

I hope he is OK with me copying all this: i am hopeless in making army lists and I honestly need a goal to model towards, so Adam get's all the credit and here is his blog again

I still have questions about this list and was planning to email him for some of the details, like the makeup of his fire warrior teams and where the markerlight team fits in..

Anyway, I have already started painting the Battlesuit leader with twinlinked flamers.

I am in need of some Tau models and am happy to trade away stuff I don't need. Tauwise I actually have plenty to trade since my army is fairly specific. Drop me a line at mike dot tess if you have interest!

SC Mike

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adeptus Mechanicus Display Base

I finished a new display base for my Frater Astrotechnicus (Techmarine Fraternity) army.  I want to apologize for the poor lighting and background in these photos, but the display is much too big to fit into my light box setup.  My army is themed around apprentice Techmarines during their training on Mars.  Most of the 1000 Space Marine chapters have around 30 Techmarines at any given time.  That is 30,000 active marines.  Each potential Techmarine is sent to Mars to be trained and indoctrinated by the Adeptus Mechanicus for at least 30 years.  I figure that means there must be several thousand Astartes warriors going through the training process at any given time.  That is the basic back-story, so lets get on with the display base.

I built the display off of a hard plastic serving tray I bought at Ikea for $3.  The tray measures approximately 18 inches by 14 inches.  I wanted to use a tray so when I am not having the army displayed I can use the tray to collect my dead and carry the army around between tables.  The design is pretty simple.  There is diamond plate textured plasticard on the tray with a tiered structure in the back.  I figured this could represent the interior of a Mechanicum hanger or cruiser.  The structure in the back is not attached to the tray.  This makes for easier transportation, and it keeps the functionality of the tray.  As a bonus I can also use the building as terrain.
 The structure is built from the Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon Construction Set.  This is a pretty versatile kit that can make buildings, or catwalks.  It is also completely snap together, so you can reposition parts as you need.  It is also fairly inexpensive.  Since this building is almost 16 inches long and completely enclosed I needed several sets to get enough pieces.

 This photo shows my sneaky trick; the structure actually sits mostly behind the tray.  This gives me roughly 4 inches of extra depth over having it sit on the tray.  I accomplished this very easily by just leaving a hole on each end for the rim of the tray to pass through.  I painted the display in a Metallic scheme by basecoating everything boltgun metal, followed by a wash of black and a wash of brown, and finally a dry-brush of silver.  I am probably going to go back and add some rust effects with weathering powders.

 Here is a shot of the tray with the structure lifted off.  For small events and everyday use this alone could make an adequate display.  The tiled artwork was the most complicated part of this project, but it was still pretty easy.  I found the art on google images searching for Ad Mech information.  I do not know who is the artist that created this piece, but I would like to give them credit.  To be clear, there is no way I could have created this art myself; I am not that talented.  If you know who the artist is please leave a comment.  It is really an inspiring piece.  The Cyborg Vetruvian Man is just perfect for a gothic machine cult.

To create the tiles first I sized the artwork on my computer and printed it out on cardstock.  I printed it in color to keep the yellow aged effect.  I then glued the image to a plastic sheet with Elmer's Spray Glue.  This is a good glue to use when working with paper because it will not shrink and warp when it dries.  From there I cut the plastic sheet with the art securely attached into one and a half inch squares.  I used a utility knife and a ruler to keep the lines straight.  To create some space between the tiles I lightly filed down all of the edges at an angle.  To enhance that effect when I glued the tiles to the tray I intentionally made the pieces not line up perfectly.  I think that makes it look more believable as floor tiles.  I affixed the tiles with super glue.

I figure if I took the time to make a themed army on themed bases I might as well have a themed display.  I am excited to put this to use in a tournament at the end of the month.  If there is interest in seeing this army in detail let me know and I will do a show and tell in a future post.  Be sure to join Santa Cruz Warhammer on facebook to see more of our work and to share your own.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Using Photoshop to preview your Tau Paint Scheme

When I was photographing my 1st finished Tau Tank, I figured I take it into Photoshop and play with the Hue. I use photoshop all day for my work and actually never thought about it before. I made a short (and clumsy) video of it: check it out

The way to get to the hue is CTRL-U

Of course this method is kind of funky, since you need a painted model to begin with, but you could download an image from the web, import it and start playing. I personally think the orange brown one (when the slider was to the left) looked really interesting..

anyway, hope you think it is helpful!

SC Mike

Saturday, May 12, 2012

1st Tau Tank is finished!

Wow, I guess I am slowly getting back in the game! I was actually looking forward throwing this tank on the blog . I like the turquoise/orange/beige color scheme and it will give me options for the troops as well. Here she is, not perfect, but as good as I want it to be right now:

I painted all the weapon tips and laser heads beige.
And yes, finally I added some decals! I did use Testors Matt Varnish to cover the whole thing and make the decals look more realistic. Oh, when I put on the decals, I used MicroSol setting solution to make the decals lay flat on round spots. Great stuff!

Hope you enjoyed this one. I am going to put up a little video soon of a trick i accidentally found in Photoshop to give you a quick preview of different colorschemes. Nifty!

And feel free to join us on Facebook for more conversations! Look for Santa Cruz Warhammer and ask to be a member!
SC Mike

Friday, May 11, 2012

Some Tau Testing

A while back Tony from the SCWH gaming group (AND painter in Heroes of Armageddon) and I made a big trade: my entire Dwarf Army for all his Tau. Since the trade I had not touched the models but a week ago I suddenly got inspired and grabbed a tank out of the box. I wanted to put a Hawk Turquoise base on it. I found an amazing spray paint in that color  from a German manufacturer called Montana

After a sepia wash I did some serious drybrushing with spacewolf grey and rotting flesh and now I am in the highlighting phase.

the gun is unfinished as are the exhausts

As always, the pictures seem to highlight the flaws of drybrushing more then compliment them, but the overall look of the model looks pretty cool to me. I imagine it being scorched by atmospheric dust.

lots of work still to do in cleaning it up

I am just messing around with it, trying to drum up a workable look but it is really enjoyable. And the model kit is amazing, it's truly an awesome shape and a great GW model.

I will add decals and try to clean up the wash residue and the parts that look TOO drybrushed, I expect to work on it for the next couple of weeks!

SC Mike

Monday, May 7, 2012

Easy Dreadfleet Display Base

One of the San Francisco area's biggest gaming convention is coming up at the end of the month.  KublaCon is a large 4 day convention that has hundreds of games and events.  Why do I mention this?  One of my favorite events is the KublaAwards painting competition.  It is a relaxed painting competition that uses merit based open style judging instead of just podium style awards.  That means that entries are judged on their own merit and not against the other entries.  Last year was my first time attending this convention.  I did not prepare any models specifically for this competition, but I entered a couple on a whim and won a silver medal for my Daemon Prince.  This year my goal is to do at least as well.  They allow you to have up to four entries, two single models, one large model, and one squad.  This year I want to enter something in each category.

After that long introduction here is the project.  For my squad entry I want to show off some of my Dreadfleet ships.  Usually when I paint a whole squad I batch paint the models and finish them to a lesser standard than I do on a one off piece.  For that reason I struggled to come up with something that I painted this year that was good enough to enter as a squad.  Luckily these ships fit the bill as I treated each Dreadfleet ship as a unique model and really labored over the tiny details.

For this display my idea was to get a tacky ocean themed picture frame, like you sometimes see in coastal tourist shops, to base the models on.  Unfortunately I was not able to find one, so I had to stop at a local craft store and make one myself.  I bought a cheap 5" by 7" picture frame and painted it blue grey.  Then I glued on cheap clay beads of undersea animals and foam cutouts of waves and starfish.  The foam pieces were even self adhesive making this project extra easy.  For the base itself I cut two pieces of plastic sheets to the size of the frame's glass.  Then on one of the sheets I traced the bases of the 3 ships onto it and cut out holes for the models.  Just glue the two pieces together to make a tray with indentations to securely hold the miniatures.  I painted the plastic insert blue and sprayed it with gloss varnish before gluing it into the frame in place of the glass.  This whole project took me only a couple hours over the weekend.  It is cheap, easy, fun, and hopefully functional.

 Of course you could take this same basic idea and theme it to fit whatever models you want to display (you could even make it serious instead of goofy if you really wanted).  You might have noticed that my last couple posts have all had a whimsical element to them, but I swear I paint lots of serious grimdark models too.  If you are in the San Francisco area and want more information on KublaCon just follow the imbedded links.  If you want to share your own projects with all of us in the Santa Cruz Warhammer community be sure to join our facebook group.  We would love to see what you are working on.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Traitor Guard: my next big project?

Hey everyone,
I have been away from the old blog a bit and to be honest, it's been feeling really good to let go of the pressure to keep publishing and photographing models. And although I am mowing through models, getting close in finishing my Wolf Wing and my Ogre Army, today I read a snippet of news that got me interested in pursuing an ambitious project like the Bishkek 2nd.

On Faet212 I read about the coming of the Traitor Guard and the possibility of fielding a Traitor Guard army only with maybe support chaos marines units. That sounds like a wonderful project and I am hoping it will become reality. We will have to wait until the codex comes out, but I am pretty excited about that one!

SC Mike

Hold on, are you serious? Man, I hope so. there are so many great bits out there, and I can't wait to finally have a reason to build a bunch of them, I have been hording bits after the Nurgle plague pact and blood pact models, and now there is even more stuff out there to use as bits.

I was so exited I dug up some old pics, so what kind of cult are you thinking about?