Monday, March 11, 2013

The Second Plunge

Yeah. That's a lot of stuff.
I mentioned in my last post that I had recently taken two plunges in my hobby, the first of which is Super Dungeon Explore. The second, and considerably larger, plunge I've taken is more about my hobby as a whole. That is, I've just taken my first steps into the world of airbrushing. After being clued in on a very tempting deal by A Girls Guide to Gaming Geekery, I decided to take the plunge and start an entirely new angle on the hobby.

As it turns out, there is much more to airbrushing than just finding a good deal on an airbrush. Pictured is the mass of stuff I have ended up collecting to get me started. At this point, I have everything I need to work. So let's go!

With my hobby devoted almost entirely to skirmish games, you may be wondering what need I have of an airbrush. It's true, I don't paint armies of blue space marines or regiment upon regiment of skaven. However, the airbrush is still going to be an immensely valuable tool for me as I progress and, in particular, as I become a better painter.

The first obvious use of an airbrush is for terrain. In my heyday, I was much more a terrain builder than a model painter and I have made many more pieces of terrain than I've painted minis in my day. The 3'x3' boards of Malifaux, in particular the felt mats used by my local group, are calling out to me. I want to build terrain again.

My Airbrushes. I ended up with a Sotar 2020 and
 a Master siphon-feed brush that came with the compressor.
In terms of straight painting, however, the airbrush absolutely has its uses as well. I've often complained about the quality of spray primer and my inability to prime in the cold winter months or in the hot summer months. The truth is that things here are so humid, I feel like I am always fighting a losing battle to try to get a good undercoat on my models. No longer. With the brush and a handy bottle of vallejo surface primer, I can now prime nearly anywhere I want.....just not directly into my face.

I'm also excited about the possibilities afforded by airbrushing varnish. Up until now, I've only varnished a handful of my models and most of those I am unhappy with. That is until I started painting varnish on...a long, slow and boring process. Neither spray primers nor brush on primers are very forgiving with weathering powders either, which has always meant they are pretty much off limits to longer.

At this point I am nearly ready to start airbrushing and my new SDE minis will be the perfect test for me to learn how to use the brush. I'm going to start small of course, with simply undercoating and varnishing. Once I get the hang of it, I'll move on to painting. As with most new hobbies, airbrushing has been more expensive than simply buying the brush (as it turns out, you kinda have to think of painting as an actual art), but I think I have collected just about everything I need to get started. The last of my supplies are on the wings of amazon as we speak.

More to come.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Taking the Plunge.....Well....Two Plunges Really

In an earlier post, I had mentioned a secret new project I've been working on. In truth, there are really two secret projects.

For the first time in a very long time, this year I actually got some gaming stuff for Christmas. In the past, I have usually steered away from subjecting my family to wandering around in my hobby, but this year, my wife picked me up a copy of Super Dungeon Explore. That would be the first plunge I mentioned in the title. I'll talk more about the second plunge in a later post.

I am a little bit late to the game, I know, but this game is absolutely awesome. It's nice to have a game that wife enjoys playing as much as I do (in the past, we've played a considerable amount of Space Hulk, Puppet Wars and Malifaux, but this is the first of those that she hasn't been intimidated by on some level). So far we're about 3 or so games in and it has been very enjoyable, though I am looking forward to playing more than a 2 player game. 

Since Christmas then, I've had my attention on SDE. At first I was going to say that SDE is going to give me a chance to flex some different painting muscles and paint in style I don't usually touch, but lately, from Pwars to Malifaux to Space Hulk to Necromunda and then SDE, variety seems to be the spice of my painting hobby. 

That said, I think I am going to enjoy getting these models painted. There is a good mix of very characterful hero figures to spend huge lengths of time on, as well a horde of baddies with which I can work on painting mobs, which I've not done in a long time. 

The assembly up until now has been pretty long and slow, but that has mostly been caused by a lack of time at the hobby table and me being a bit of a perfectionist with getting them ready to paint. The process there is almost complete and I hope to be getting them in my hands with a paintbrush very soon. 

More to come.