Category Archives: Hobby Articles

Buying an Airbrush for Cheap-Asses

The time has come for me, like it has for many of you, to start using an airbrush to help speed along my painting and hopefully improve the overall quality of my work. I’ve been a die-hard brush painter for years and it’s been hard for me to embrace the “cheating” ways of airbrushing, but after seeing how much faster it can make one and seeing some of the beautiful vehicles getting produced these days, I just had to make the switch. As always, I’m trying to do this with as little money as possible, just in case it doesn’t work out and I have to scrap the idea entirely. Hey, you never know and I HATE to waste money.

Spray Sealing Models

Spray Sealing Models

Now that you’ve spent countless hours painting your models to perfection, it’s time to seal them to protect the finish from nicks and scratches. After all the work you put into the paint job, this step may seem like a piece of cake, but there are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid and a few pointers that are better shared than learned through trial and error. So, in the interest of making your modelling experience a more pleasant one, I thought I’d write a little guide to walk everyone through the process.

Monolith Lighting Tutorial

Monolith Lighting Tutorial
Installing lights in your Necron Monolith can be a fun and effective way of creating a centerpiece for your army. While putting lights into your existing Monolith may seem like a daunting task, following these directions should take the difficulty right out of it.

Cheap and Easy Army Transport

One of the questions we hear frequently in this hobby is, “Where can I get a less expensive way to transport my miniatures?” After all, with the prices of models rising constantly, and the figure cases running from $50 and up for the ones large enough to transport an army, who can afford it? So we set out to build a cheap alternative to those expensive figure cases and we were shocked at exactly how cheap and easy it turned out to be. And to top it off, our transport case ended up being MUCH larger than the commercially available ones. For this example, we’ll be using the one we made for vehicles. Here’s how we did it:

The Basics of Basing

The Basics of Basing
For this tutorial, I’ll be covering some of the techniques used for basing a model. First off, let talk about why you should base your models. The main reason is to improve the look of your models, so we’ll talk about that first. As evidenced in the picture below, a good basing scheme can make the difference between a model looking decent and a model looking great. For instance, both of the terminators below are painted to an equal standard. However, the terminator on the left was based with a layer of green flock over the black base, while the terminator on the right was based using a more complex design, using fish rocks, flock, and grass. While they are both painted well, which one would you rather own? I’m sure I’m not alone in choosing the one on the right. It just looks more dynamic and more realistic, doesn’t it?
A good secondary reason to consider is that using a consistent basing scheme throughout an army will tie that army together into a cohesive force. Even if the paint jobs vary widely, like in an Ork or Eldar army.

Wet Palette Painting

Wet Palette Painting
In this tutorial, we’ll be covering a technique that will help you keep your paint from drying out and make clean up easier. In case you haven’t guessed, it’s called wet palette painting. The concept is really simple, and it’s cheap and easy to do. If done right, it will keep your paint wet for literally hours before it becomes unusable.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A shallow container (I used a cheap Tupperware container from Wal-Mart)
A thin sponge (Yet again, cheap ones from Wal-Mart)
A section of parchment paper (Commonly used in baking, can be found in any grocery store)
A cup of water
The first step is to cut your sponge to size so it fills up the majority of the container. In my example, the sponges were a little small, so I used one and a half of them. The thing to watch out for is trying to fit too big a sponge in the container. You shouldn’t have to force it at all. If you do, it will try to pop up out of the container and won’t work for our purpose.
Now that you have the sponges cut to size, pour the water over the top of the sponges, letting it soak up as much water as it will. Make sure you only fill the container to about 3/4 of the height of the sponge. If the water level goes higher than the sponge, it will contaminate your paints and make a huge mess. In the picture below, you can see how much of the container the sponges fill as well as how I keep the water well below the top of the sponges.
Now that you have the water in, cut a section of parchment paper to a slightly smaller size than the container and press it down against the wet sponges. You will get some small air bubbles that you can’t get out, but you should try to press out all the big ones that you can.

Grassland Board Tutorial

The first step to any large project is planning. Since this was the first board like this I had done, the planning stage was even more crucial. The first consideration was size. As this is primarily a 40K board, it needed to be at least 4’x4′. Anything smaller is pretty much worthless. However, for some of the battles I like to engage in, 4’x4′ is still pretty small, so I wanted to be able to enlarge the board later with a minimum of fuss. With 2’x4′ hardboard as a backing, I realized that I could start with 2 boards now, and later add 1 or 2 more and bring the table up to 6’x4′ or 8’x4′. I also knew that I wanted something fairly open with a lot of grassy features so that it would match the basing on my main army. Leaving the board open allows me to add other terrain pieces at whim and keeps the board from getting stale and boring.