Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stripping Goblins

I've only tried to remove paint from miniatures once in the past. That was about seven years ago and it was a bunch of 1/72 HAT plastic Napoleonic miniatures. I used an oven cleaner to spray all over the figures and then left them to sit for a day or two. It worked reasonably well as a paint stripper but I had to be careful with the noxious fumes and also wear protective gloves and eye wear.

I've been reading on the Internet of the merits of brake fluid as a paint stripper that's safe to use with plastics. I decided to try it on a bunch of Moria Goblins I'd picked up really cheaply on eBay. These figures had paint jobs that left a lot to be desired and as I intended to repaint them, the original paintwork needed to be stripped.

87 stripped goblins ready for a spray undercoat

I dumped 87 of the little blighters into a container and covered them with brake fluid. I then left them to soak overnight. 24 hours later I grabbed an old toothbrush and was pleasantly surprised to find the paint just sloughing off. The figures weren't harmed at all and the brake fluid combined with some scrubbing removed probably 95% of the previous paint job.

Some had broken weapons when I got them so they'll be used for conversion purposes.

Useless Talent #27

I am reknowned (within my family) for having the ability to catch annoying flies in mid-flight with a super fast snatch of my bare hand.

All hail the lightning reflexes of the Human Fly-Trap!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moria Goblins - Part 4

The next step in the painting process was to paint all the leather and wood a brown colour. I find that I save time painting a whole lot of miniatures with similar poses. I'm able to get used to where straps, bows, spears etc are on a particular pose so don't waste time having to go back later to paint something I may have missed.

All the brown bits have been painted.

I then highlighted the cloth and skin in lighter tones and gave the miniatures a diluted black wash to bring out the detail.

Highlighted cloth and skin with a black wash

They're almost finished. The only thing left to do is a light grey drybrush of the hair and perhaps highlight some of the leather items. The final bit will probably be another black wash.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moria Goblins - Part 3

I'd given the cloth a base colour of dark red so the next step was to highlight with a lighter shade. This was done with a fine brush and painted on in detail rather than drybrushed. This gradual blending of colour can really make a model look realistic.

After that I did a similar highlight of the goblin skin of the miniatures. I applied a lighter shade of the greenish grey base colour.

The cloth and skin have been highlighted

The next job was to paint the hair on the heads of 48 Moria Goblins with black paint. The models are now starting to come alive.

Hair painted black

The next part of the project will be to paint the bows, spears and leather parts in brown.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moria Goblins - Part 2

The next step was to give the armour a wash of dark flesh colour. This seems like an odd thing to do but the effect it achieves is to give the armour a somewhat tarnished or rusty look, just right for the evil Moria Goblins. A brown ink or wash would have a similar effect. After that I highlighted raised bits of the armour with silver.

Flesh wash and silver highlight on the armour. Base colour on the skin.

It was time to start the process of colouring the skin of the miniatures. I started by mixing together khaki and light green to give a dark, brownish green colour. The base coat was applied with a fine brush and the paint was quite watered down to give a smooth finish. If you apply too thick of a coat of paint you risk obscuring some of the fine detail on these miniatures such as facial features.

One trick with painting is to always start off with a darker shade of the final colour and then work it up in stages going a little bit lighter and lighter (leaving behind traces of each preceding colour) until you achieve the final look. This gives a colour gradient and produces a natural effect.

The cloth has been painted a dark red/brown

The cloth was the next job. I wanted a dark base colour of what would eventually be red. For this colour I mixed together red and black and got a dark reddish/brown. The colour was added in a production line effort to the 48 miniatures. To put me in the mood I listened to the soundtracks from the three Lord of the Rings movies.

Next step will be to work on highlighting the cloth and skin.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Moria Goblins - Part 1

I decided to finally paint up some of the Citadel Moria Goblins that had been sitting around for quite some time. I'll be able to use these for skirmish gaming with Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game or Song of Blades and Heroes, as well as use them for the recently released mass battle rules War of the Ring.

Freshly washed Moria Goblins

There are 48 Moria Goblins in this lot. There are 16 with bow, 16 with spear and 16 with sword and shield. That's equivalent to 6 companies in War of the Ring.

The first thing I did was clean off any flash from the miniatures with a craft knife and jeweller's file. I then washed them in warm, soapy water to get rid of any mold release agents and any dirt.

Normally I apply an undercoat of black paint to the miniatures by hand with a brush. This time I decided to spray paint them. I converted an old cardboard box into a spray booth and lined up the miniatures inside. I was careful to take it slow and do short, quick passes of spray paint. I've never spray painted miniatures before and I have to say I was very impressed with how quick and easy it was. I think I'll always spray paint on my undercoats from now on.

Spray painted with a black undercoat

After waiting for the miniatures to dry I then moved them all back inside to my painting table. I mixed up some silver and black paint to give a dark metallic colour. This was drybrushed on to all the miniatures to give a base metallic colour for the armour.

A drybrush of dark metal

The next step will be to highlight, black wash and then re-highlight the armour.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gaming With Grandma - 94

Mum dropped around this morning for a cup of tea and to give the girls a couple of Lindt Gold Bunnys for Easter. I also got her to play a couple of two-player games while she was here.

Our first game was The Downfall of Pompeii. We took it in turns placing our people into the buildings and when the first AD 79 card appeared I had 25 on the board with 3 in the volcano and mum had 23 on the board with 2 in the volcano.

It was an exciting game. By the end Mum had exited 15 people and had 10 in the volcano while I won by successfully escaping 21 of mine with only 7 in the volcano.

Mum then suggested we play Scrabble. We haven't played Scrabble together for quite some time. I found our session today to be a somewhat frustrating and eventually quite close game.

I won 288 to 255.

Monday, April 06, 2009

War of the Ring

It has come.

"Sauron's wrath will be terrible, his retribution swift... The Battle for Middle-earth is about to begin."
- Gandalf, The Two Towers

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gaming With Grandma - 93

My mother (AKA Grandma) popped around for a couple of games and a cup of tea this morning. Our first game was a 2-player game of Metro. I beat mum fairly convincingly last time we played. However, this game did not go all my way. She led early in the game and I was always within 5-10 points. About three-quarters of the way through the game I overtook her score and had a lead of about 10 points. She came back right at the end and just took the win by 2 points. Final score was Mum 98 and myself 96.


Our next game was another 2-player game, this time the cooperative board game Red November. We've played two games of this previously and lost both games. Our hope was that today we would actually get a win.

We played with two gnomes each. Mum was purple and yellow and I was orange and green. Last game we'd spent a lot of time on putting fires out and preventing the timed destruction events occurring. We decided to take a little bit more of a chance with fixing things in this game. If the issue was not too dire (such as a blocked hatch) we only took 5 minutes (a 50% chance). For the more urgent things we generally took around 8 minutes (with item assistance).

Red November

Around the 40 minutes to go mark my green gnome tried to put out a fire. I spent 5 minutes with the fire extinguisher (+3) giving me an 80% chance. I rolled a 9 and he died. Luck wasn't on our side. At around the 35 minutes to go mark one of the nuclear missiles exploded and we all died. I read on BGG comments from people saying they easily beat this game. They can't be playing by the correct rules.

Maddie joined us for the last game of the morning - Loco! We played three games and I won them all. Game 1 - Wayne 30, Grandma 28, Maddie 12. Game 2 - Wayne 27, Grandma 24, Maddie 14. Game 3 - Wayne 23, Grandma 22, Maddie 17.