Saturday, March 7, 2015

More Tactical Marines and Modelling

The New Models
The new models keep coming:

I finished the combi-flamer Sergeant at 1:00 AM on February 6. The plasma gun Marine was completed on February 28, the final stint of painting lasting a full five hours. I was hoping to keep up a rate of an infantry model every week to a week and a half, but a particularly stressful couple months at work and my wife's purchase of a PlayStation 4 had an unfortunate effect on that goal.

The combi-flamer Sergeant was built almost entirely out of bits from the new Tactical Squad kit. The plasma gun Marine was built from older bits that I had primed much too long ago (I think it was Summer, 2013). The difference in quality is extremely noticeable. The newer bits have much sharper details, are more symmetrical (the left eye lens in the old kit's Mk VI helmet is noticeably deeper set than the right lens), and the parts are simply better formed (the backpack exhausts are actually spherical on the new bits).

Modelling Materials
Dry Brushes
With these last two or three models, I've started using GW dry brushes. I had previously used older brushes that were no longer good for normal painting or cheap brushes that you can buy from Walmart. However, these didn't survive too many models and their fibers would curl so badly after only one or two models that you couldn't easily use them on smaller areas. Although there has been a little curling at the tip of my GW Small Drybrush, it doesn't affect its performance at all. The Small Drybrush works perfectly on the small parts of a Marine model, even allowing me to dry brush its gauntlets without worrying about getting Macragge Blue on its bolter. The Medium Drybrush is great for larger areas such as the greaves and backpack. Since I'm going to be working on a second Razorback soon, I expect to finally get some use out of my Large Drybrush.

Texture Paints
As before, I continue to update my older models' bases; in a few months, all my older models should match my current style. This time Sergeant Telion and one of his Scouts have gotten the Stirland Mud treatment. I really love GW's texture paints and have been looking for opportunities to use the others. The Cabal has a gaming table covered in white fabric and some snow covered terrain. I've considered building some scenery specifically for use with that table so I can use GW's Mourn Mountain Snow.

It should be noted that the texture paints can't really be used alone; they can only produce a monochromatic textured surface. To produce a more realistic color contrast, I wash the Stirland Mud with Agrax Earthshade and dry brush it with Mournfang Brown.

Micro-Set and Micro-Sol
At this point I might as well be a paid spokesman for Microscale Industries. After a horrendous experience trying to put a decal on an Astartes shoulder pad, I was convinced that I would never again apply a decal to any complex curved surface. Later, I found people swearing by Micro-Set and Micro-Sol and decided I would try them myself. After all, the worst that could happen would be having to scrape the decal off and go back to time-intensive hand painting of the Ultramarines logo. Lo and behold, Micro-Set and Micro-Sol really are as good as they say. It can take a little bit of work to get a decal right, but those two products actually make it look like a part of the paint job.

And it looks a lot better than GW's approach of cutting
away the clear part, tearing the decal trying to apply it, and
still having an unsightly edge

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