Monday, April 25, 2011

Throw Away Post - Tomb Kings and Metal Miniatures

Tomb Kings
 I was in the local game store the other day grabbing some paints I needed when I espied the stores advance copy of the new Tomb Kings book.

I didn't spend much time reading it other than to check up on a couple of irritations from the Orcs and Goblins book.

Specifically, I was interested to see whether or not they had ruined the magic items section again and whether or not page references were incldued as part of the army list entries.

It was the same lack of important reference numbers and the same overcosted and underpowered magic item section.  I'll reserve full doom and gloom mode until the third book (scientific method ftw) for the edition comes out - but it looks like I made the right choice by not investing in Fantasy a few months ago.

Metal Miniatures
This one is just cheesing me off.  In a lot of ways actually....

First, everyone is reading too much into what's going on.  GW are not discontinuing production of metal miniatures.  They are simply not allowing the independent stores to order them.  That's it.  Full stop.  Anything else is doom and gloom.  I'm not sure why people think that not being able to buy a Varghulf at the Warstore anymore is tantamount to ALL metal miniatures disappearing.  Producing enough models to create stocking levels is expensive.  Especially given the cost of the bulk materials.  GW are just plain not doing this anymore.

Further, the process of making plastic versions of the special characters would be exorbitantly expensive and horrible unprofitable. It aint gonna happen and your metal models ain't gonna dissappear.  Making molds for plastic miniatures is quite expensive.  It's not just a matter of pouring some damn rubber over a master.  Auto CAD and frickin' lasers are involved in order to craft a steel mold.  It ain't cheap.  That's why when it comes to new release time, all the units are in plastic and the goofball stuff is in metal - its all about making the investment back on things that can be expected to sell more units. 

Really though, think about it - GW has far, far too many models that only appear in metal.  Complete discontinuation would pretty much kill a ton of armies off - most of them for Fantasy (an already shaky area).  Though I do expect GW to move armies with predominately metal ranges closer to the front of the update line.

Thirdly, GW may want to move to resin (unlikely given the labor required), but you can't just repurpose the old molds.  A lot of people seem to be operating under the assumption that since the resin and white metal casting processes are so 'similar' you can just pour some resin into the existing mold and you're good to go.  Flat wrong.  

I guess the processes are similar in that your pouring a liquid into a mold.  But here's the deal:  there are a number of quite massive differences in material properties that come into play.  White metal casting involves injecting molten fucking metal into a spinning mold.  That's just a tad different than the two part resin + wating typically used in miniature making. 

Plus, The molds for metal models are typically made out of vulcanized rubber to deal with the temperatures and to add durability for repeated use.  The molds themselves would actually destroy resin casts during the demoldong process. 

Oh, and the labor intensity of resin casting would still cause a model to cost an arm and a leg.

So yeah, metal models are just getting harder to get and resin is not coming. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Wasting Money to Save Money

Holy Crap!  Its been two weeks since I last posted.  So here's something kinda dumb.

The Gaming on a Budget stuff over on the HoP is one of my most favorite blog series of all time.  Its chock full of great tips (some are a surprise) , it increases out traffic and Dethtron is one of the funniest writers out there.  Its the pinnacle of the infotainment arts.  Get your lips offa Dethtron's e-peen, Lauby! 

Plus, I get to write for it as well from time to time. Always a bonus when you get to put all those research skills to use for something you actually enjoy.

Anywho, my last post for the series got me thinking about all kinds of ways that you can actually save money by spending money up front - pointing out false economies and the like.  There's a post on airbrush purchasing floating around my brain and there's a post out there about the pitfalls of ebay that I want to rip off (incidentally:  Brent, add a goddamn search function to your blog!).

Which brings us to my recent purchase of a White Dwarf issue and my issues with White Dwarf.  Lame, dude.  Lame.

Now I know taking a shit on the current state of White Dwarf is about the easiest thing to do... but what can I say, nostalgia gets the better of me from time to time and the reality of the situation seems to always surprises me. 

Basically, I picked up the most recent issue because it had a bunch of stuff in it that seemed relevant to my interests at the time and as a precursor to maybe getting a subscription again ( I do love those masterclasses).  The whole thing was crap - perhaps the single most worthless issue I own.  But it did save me $75 as it was a reminder on why I didn't resubscribe last year. Like I said - spend money to save money.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tyberos The Red Wake - Wrap up

First, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and a even bigger thank you to all the people who commented.  Some very nice things were said, some teaching occurred and hearts and minds were won (a special 'hello' to my seven new followers!).  This is what its all about, kids.  All in all, a very successful series that I may have to repeat will be repeating in the near future.
As far as the actual painting went, a lot of good was had on my end:

1) I got out of my comfort zone on this one - key to learning.  There was actually a point when I was scared to go on because I might ruin the model!  Kind of an eye opener really.  But, I pushed through and learned something about my abilities in the progress. 

2) I got some much needed experience with shooting from the hip, or heart if you prefer a more passionate idiom.  It was good because I got some practice with just doing things without all the meticulous planning I'm used to.  And it was good because It's been a long while since I've been able to paint something without having to ne able to reproduce the whole thing over and over (and over) again.  Very freeing in a way.

3) Freehand practice.  That shark icon was freehand.  I'm not completely happy with it, but it was a good attempt.  One of my weakest areas, to be honest.   

4) I got a couple of really good recipes for unique colors I can add to the repertoire.  The gray for the armor and the blue rippey claws in particular.  Not too bad for an off the cuff kind of thing. 

5) Most importantly: I've got my very own fully painted Tyberos.  Quite possibly my favorite model from the GW ranges.

But it ain't all good:

1) My work schedule kinda, sorta blows donkey dique.  Part of that is because Special Lady Friend and I only have one car and there's a two hour difference between our shifts three days in every week.  Basically, I get to hang around work for two hours just wasting time until its time to go home.  Loosing that two hours is a killer and drastically alters how fast my projects take to complete.  What's worse, is there's nothing I can really do about so its not even like I can have an after school special silver lining.

2) I'm still an abysmally slow painter.  Even on projects I'm in love with.  Bah. 


With Tyberos sitting in the ol' cabinet, it's time to get back to the Eldar.  I think I'll do another long term WIP on Eldrad Ulthran once I get past my last Wave Serpent.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tyberos The Red Wake - FINAL!

After 17 days of nearly sporadic work, Tyberos is done.  It's been a fun ride and a special thanks to all of you who took the time to drop by and comment. 

And here he is in all his glory:

I'm not entirely happy with the pictures (as usual), but every time I get a little closer to what I want. Plus, I saw (and fixed) a couple of bugaboos.  But such is the nature of learning - if you're were perfect, there'd be no room for improvement. And nothing to live for.

Thanks for looking!

Tyberos Supplemental #3

Since the update posts have been moving quickly but haven't had much substance, I thought I'd toss in another supplemental.

This time around its just a quick not on a happy side effect of all the pictures I've been taking.

We've all had that moment where we thought we had finished the miniature - but then, out of nowhere, we notice some crucial flaw we had completely missed.

A few days ago while I was posting some of the shots for the main body, I noticed three things that I might have otherwise missed.  Who knows for how long.  For example, there was a lens on my Baal that I didn't notice I had missed until like 4 months after the fact.

Here's what I caught on Tyberos:

  1. Totally forgot to highlight one of the plates on his chest.  I think the angle I was using to paint most of the model kept this out of site until I tried to get some details on the lightning bolts.
  2. A highligh on the leg was the next culprit - I had missed a key blend.
  3. When I was gluing the figure to the base, I must have smudged the red paint on the skull
Nothing too major to fix, just a bunch of niggling things that I might have missed otherwise.

I'm not sure macro photography is the most efficient way to go about things, but...

I guess the lesson here is:  always go over you work one way or another.

Tyberos the Red Wake - Day 17

I've been pretty run down and stressed out lately, but I was able to get into a nice, relaxing groove and bang some work out:

That's right guys, we're a day away.

Stay tuned!