Having boxed up all my hobby stuff in anticipation of an imminent house move, and having generally avoided spending anything on my hobby since the new year, Salute 2013 turned into a session of Retail Therapy! I bought a bunch of Critical Mass stuff, and a KR Multicase system for my Epic knights and titans, but my biggest purchase was a Leviathan Crusader kit from Dreamforge Games. These seem to retail only at about £85-£95, but I picked mine up for £65, which sounds like a pretty good deal. Most of the retailers at Salute were selling the kit at about the same price.
This is a big kit – the box is about the size of a couple of shoe boxes, and it’s full of plastic sprues. I thought I’d take some pictures of the unboxing, because apart from the coolness of the model itself, I’m also rather impressed about how neatly it’s all been fitted into the box. The sprues are designed to stack on top of each other, and the empty space is filled with foam, which means that the parts of the model are very well protected in transit.
The kit is relatively simple (I’ve built much more complex kits, and its sheer size means that there aren’t any especially small and fiddly bits) but it looks like there will be dozens of sub-assemblies that will need to be painted before they can be put together, so this is going to take quite a while to complete. My plan is to paint it (and use it on the table) as a Knight Paladin in the same colour scheme as my Epic knights. Fortunately there are (unofficial) rules from Bell of Lost Souls.
I’ve just discovered that it’s also quite an effective brush cleaner as well. Late last year I bought some Winsor and Newton kolinsky sable brushes, and to my great shame they have quickly become clogged with paint (I am not especially diligent in cleaning my brushes after use). Yesterday afternoon, as an experiment I put one of these brushes into some Dettol along with some other miniatures.
This morning I took it out of the Dettol, rinsed it out and gave the bristles a quick rub with some handwash (any liquid detergent would also work). The bristles are pretty much back to normal, with no paint clogged up at the ferrule.
So if your brushes are looking a little tired, and you don’t want to fork out for new brushes or brush cleaner, then Dettol may be the ideal alternative.
Decals (or transfers, or whatever you want to call them) can, when done properly, bring a lot to a miniature. But for whatever reason, following the instructions that come with them is guaranteed to result in a really crap result that looks awful.
By process of trial and error (mostly error) I have worked out what I think is the best way to add decals to your miniatures. For anyone who’s built a model kit or wargaming miniature and been really pleased with the paint job, only to have it ruined by crappily finished decals, here’s my guide to doing them right, enhanced by my laughably amateurish diagrams.
Here’s the first FineCast miniature that I’ve assembled and painted. I recently took my step-daughter and her friend to one of my local GW stores for one of their “hobby tutorial” sessions (which was actually great fun) and we each bought a miniature to paint after. The kids both got Huron Blackheart and I got this, Imhotek the Stormlord.
Overall, I’m not especially impressed with Finecast: of the three miniatures, mine was the only one that didn’t have major gaps left by bubbles in the mould. Imhotek’s staff was quite badly warped (although that’s easy enough to fix), but the absurd number of injection sprues meant that getting the model off the frame was pretty risky, and I ended up breaking off his thumb, which I promptly lost, and had to replace with a piece of sprue. His foot also broke off and I had to reinforce it by adding some cork pieces to the base (which actually turned out quite well).
I was probably foolish in believing what I’d been told about being able to paint directly onto the resin: when the kids tried this with their miniatures, the paint refused to adhere and I had to give them a quick blast from a spray can to prime them.
Here’s a few more pictures of the finished Overlord. I think I am going to avoid Finecast miniatures whenever possible, and stick to metal miniatures if I can: thankfully a lot of the stuff that’s now Finecast only is still available on eBay.
I’m still pretty impressed by the new Necron stuff. I bought a box of Immortals/Deathmarks and these plastic minis are pretty fantastic.