Saturday, April 30, 2011

Painting Shenanigans!!

So I've been experimenting with the "Dip". The "Dip" usually is Minwax Polyshade, a polyurethane wood stain. The stain acts as a beautiful wash, bringing out every tiny pockmark of chain mail and line of plate armour; plus folds of cloth etc. The polyurethane part gives a tremendously durable topcoat to the fig. This wood stain come in a many different colors and can really speed up army painting with good looking results. Army Painter sells a similar dip that's formulated for miniature painting but is a bit pricey. Here's a link to there site, It has a ton of examples of using the Dip. However, while my initial tests seemed to have very positive results, once I shifted into production mode and started to crank out a bunch of models, each batch was flawed. Each Time I tried to paint a dozen or so models at once, the stain would be way too dark, like straight black ink poured over the model, with only the most extreme edges of the models being visible other then glossy black. Each time I thought I figured it out and tried again, this time shaking the models, not just letting it drip back into the can, but same result messed up paintjobs. Then I thought it was do to dipping it instead of applying with a brush. Nope. Turns out I shook up the can nice and good, just before each production session, but just popped the top and dipped when "testing". Once it was shook up it was way too dark, but most the pigment sinks to the bottom over time.

But the good new was in researching why I was having such dramatic variations in results, I found something better then the "Dip". I found a few people expounding the virtues of Future floor wax mixed with colored ink and some water. Awesome.I love Future as a paint additive adding a drop of "magic wash"(50/50 future/water) to paint on a pallet, this makes the paint slow smoother and dry slightly glossier. It also strengths the paint to a degree. Magic Wash is great when painting whites and light colors as brush strokes are often visible, but are almost non existent when using the wash. I had thought about adding Ink to the wash before but had never tried it and had forgotten about it. Now I'm hearing people telling me it's much better then a polyurethane stain for a ton of valid reasons. But before I list the reasons I'll say I'm very happy with the results. I'll post picts soon.

Future vs Minwax
Drying time for Future is between 15-30 minutes, Minwax takes 24 hours.
Future can be cleaned from your brushs and thinned with water. Minwax requires Turpentine.
Future allows you to easily dilute your colors to the point you can really control how dark your stain is and you don't have to shake off excess. Minwax requires a bit of vigorus shaking to remove excess dip, this can be messy getting a polyurethane stain splattered on clothes or surroundings.
Future smells a bit like apples. Minwax smells like oilpaints and is toxic to breath.
Future lets you add any color ink or (maybe paint, I haven't tryed yet). Minwax has a limited selection of colors.
Future is much less glossy then Minwax, while a matt varnish might be preferable, It's not mandatory.. Minwax is extremely glossy and requires a matt varnish.
Future is easyer to control and work with. Minwax is simple but slow, messy, and toxic.
Minwax is probably more durable then Future, but I'm confident Future will protect much better then standard paint and as well as many sealants people use to protect there figures.

I was very hopeful for Minwax and I might have had much better results with Army Painter shades, but I can't think of anything I'd be happier with then Future and what it can do.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Siege is pretty good.

I've played a few games in the last week, playing E-Stryker, P-Caine, and Siege.

I heart P-Caine, he's such a army buffer spamming both Deadeye and snipe twice a turn. This really enables your ranged units. Stormblades with Snipe and Deadeye have a 19" threat on ranged attacks that ignore's the target being in melee penalty, with each hit being a pow 14 and three storm gunners with six inched more threat + auto hitting shenanigans. The fact they rock in melee is a sweet bonus but with P-Caine I take them for the Pow 14 assault move shooting tech. Gun Mages and Trenchers also Luv some Deadeyed Snipe (allows the Gunmages to use other shot types with snipe).

With E-Stryker I ran a max Stormblade unit with JR and Rupert there to buff them. They did good damage and soaked a ton of Winterguard sprays, all while rolling that flank. At Turn three I remember to use Madelyn Corbeau, moved Stryker up and then had my jacks clear a lane to Epic Vlad, spent 2 focus of 4" of movement then walked him though a cloud into Vlad and Killed myself because I rolled three dice and hit the magic roll of 17 on 3d6. Woot, I won the moron Lottery. So we tried it again with 2 dice I gained 6 str and took 8 damage, then realized I had only two focus left and still had not taked my attack. So I boosted to hit, connected and realise a second attack would likely miss because Vlad would be buffed up form the damage, so I boosted damage and one shotted the big V. Rolled 14 on the three dice at Dice +4 I think. Mostly I got lucky. I was a little disappointed with that assassination run, it was a lot more sketchy then I though and requires more resourced then I thought.

The Siege Game was sweet Because of a few things, first I played a returning Mark 1 player and this was his first game of Mark 2, so I'm a douche for talking about the smack down I gave him. Second Siege is awesome, He almost soloed a doomreaver squad with Groundpounder and on the feat turn (last turn too) Hit the Butch for 18 damage past armor thanks to Rheinholdt's lucky charm letting me tune the damage up. A hunter shot later and that was game. Third, after the game I realised I hadn't lost a model, a hunter lost both cortex and movemnt and my Iron clad had a few columns but nothing crippled. He almost killed four stormblades, but thanks to the Piper, I made all the tough rolls. Four, I realized how much I'm enjoying Siege and his feat.

I need to get some games with Kraye in. I've played him about a dozen times about six months ago and I think he's very powerful. I just need to get back in practice with him and Cavjacks.