Tonight was a lot less hectic than last night. I found out my favorite poke’ place now serves spam musubi, so I’m counting that in the win column! I spent a lot of time with my 3 year old son and my family, and still was able to gain some ground on our project.
So tonight I queued up a dozen more models, 5 of 2 different kinds of aliens (not exactly sure what they are called, but 5 are small stalker like aliens and the other 5 seem to be more elite aliens) and a pair of Predaliens to try and refine the technique I used previously. As per usual with large projects, your techniques get better as you grow more accustomed to the miniature range, so these turned out much better than the previous set in my opinion. I’m even considering re-doing the first set so they match better. Anyway, I thought I’d take some time to show you my process for painting up the Aliens.
It was a long, hectic day at work with plenty of errands to run when I got home. After 3-4 laps around town and $250 out of my wallet later, I came home for dinner with my family, which always helps, and then as they settled down I snuck off to the table, an indulgence my wife selflessly endorsed, and I was grateful for.
So I turned on the camera once again to continue logging my process. Tonight was more about experimentation over completion, as I stared down 2 dozen aliens and tried to determine the best plan of attack. When I look at painting a line I’ve never painted before, I consider a few things like material, texture, sharpness of detail, size, and give some consideration of the general color scheme. This tells me what approach I might take.
Last night I began a commission that takes me into a miniatures line I’ve been interested in trying my hand at, and that is Aliens vs Predator by Prodos games. A friend and regular customer of mine got his set in and was so thrilled with the miniature quality, he described these minis as the best he had ever seen, and was anxious to get them painted and on the table.
So last night we met at our FLGS and in between catching up with some friends playing Saga, and picking up my new Union player for Guild Ball Harry the Hat, my friend handed me 6 small boxes of minis and I headed home to inspect them. I ended up doing this on my live feed, inspecting the minis and talking with my buddy Jake and our viewers.
The minis were assembled by the client, and most were attached to their round plastic bases. Normally I don’t prefer to have commissions pre-assembled, the main issue being that typically folks who assemble their models with the intent to play them immediately can rush the assembly process, typically skipping things like pinning and basing, which can cause more work and hassle for the commission painter, especially if he/she has to retroactively pin a joint that fell off during the painting process, or the model breaks trying to remove it from the slotted plastic base in order to base the miniature. These issues are much more prevalent in metal miniatures, but with AvP the miinatures are resin without tabs/slots, so this was a much more fortunate situation.
In the case of AvP, I ended up removing them from their bases by getting a firm grip on a model’s foot and wiggling gently, which freed up most of them. For the stronger bonds I wedged my hobby knife between the foot and the base and wiggled the knife until the model popped loose.
Once all the models were loose I began mixing putty for basing. Historically I was using green stuff or Milliput, but a friend of mine recently advised Apoxie Sculpt, which you can buy on Amazon at a great price if you buy a large amount (4lbs for $32 significantly better value than most 2 part epoxy putty that is used).
With Apoxie sculpt spread across the bases, I ended up using “Steel Plate Random” base stamp from Happy Seppuku. This is my go-to pattern for industrial/sci-fi miniatures, but Happy Seppuku has a ton of great ones such as Catwalk grating or Hex tile floor. I have 5 different stamps to encompass a variety of genres, and Happy Seppuku makes so many great ones I definitely need to pick up more. They’re so cheap at $5 a pop and $32 on 4lbs of putty can net you hundreds of bases for pennies or less per piece.
As the bases were stamped and starting to harden at an hour in, that’s the perfect time to set your minis in place. Although I do keep some pre-stamped bases, making the bases fresh when you use them is more ideal. At an hour or so in, the Apoxie sculpt is no longer sticky, and its starting to harden, but it’s still compressible. I use this opportunity (specifically for plastics and resin) to attach the model to the base. I apply a tiny amount of Super Hot T glue to each foot and apply moderate pressure joining the mini to the stamped base, just enough to slightly compress the apoxie sculpt. This ensures optimum contact between the model and the stamping, (so your model doesn’t look like it’s floating on the odd toe or ball of its foot), and the putty will fully harden in contact with the mini, which can only strengthen your bond. For pre-stamped, fully hardend bases and any time I’m using metal, I still recommend pinning, but this should work out just fine.
So after all is said and done, I ended up basing close to 40 miniatures- every piece of this commission save the 2 very large Alien Crushers which did not come with bases. Next up- divide and conquer: I plan on dividing up the commission into batches to paint, starting with the largest grouping: the Aliens.
Most of you who follow Play it Painted! on social media has figured out by now that we offer a commission painting service. Yet, we’ve never really clarified how it all works. Why? Because in the past, we used to take each situation and consider…
Oh wait, nevermind. I was just too lazy to sit down and spell it out. Let’s try to do that now:
Play it Painted! commissions is a painting service designed for high quality tabletop standard miniatures, delivered in a timely manner at a reasonable cost to our customers.
Extra Life 2016 is well underway and well…I jumped into the fray much later this year. It might have a little to do with this new addition to the household! Thanks to everyone who donated in year’s past, and thanks in advance to those who will continue to support us this year!
So this year’s campaign will be slightly different than previous years. We set an initial goal of $200 with a promise of opening “the vault” if this was to be reached before the official November 5th event. Well…we made it thanks to a handful of early donors and a big donation from our paint day host Comic Quest. If you are local to the Southern California/Orange County area, please check out our local event for participation.
If you can’t make the local event, don’t worry! You still have access to the vault raffles!
If you donated to the campaign prior to November 3rd, you don’t really have to worry about individual raffles, you are already in them! However, you may supplement your entries at any time simply by donating more to individual raffles at a discounted rate of 1 entry per $5.
If you are donating on or after November 3rd, you may enter raffles individually at a rate of $5/entry, or for the best value, donate $25 to be entered in all vault raffles. Specific info for each raffle will be posted on our Facebook page and updated here, so be on the lookout there for more info.
The new goal is set for $500, at which point, I’ll be raffling off my painted Castellan to everyone who helped get us there. Stay tuned on the facebook page for updates on its painting.
Some of the items to look forward to in the vault include:
Limited Edition Infinity Bounty Hunter
Limited Edition Relic Knights Wildspace Gabe and Codifier Brahe
Limited Edition NIghtmare Teddy (metal) from Malifaux
Super Dungeon Explore Kunoichi Candy miniature
Knight Models Batman the Animated Series Miniature
Thanks again for supporting us once more for Extra Life 2016. This charity carries significant importance to me as a now a two-time dad and a gamer. Your generosity is a big part of what makes gaming such a great community to be a part of.
As I write this, we have 23 days remaining in 2014.
That makes me feel that starting to write this may be a bit premature. If there’s anything I learned in this past year, a lot can change in 23 days. 2014 was a pivotal year not just for Play it Painted, but for myself on many different levels. The year is marked with significant change, it was kicked off by significant change, and at the moment I am cautiously optimistic about where these significant changes may lead us. In the past 23 days, I’ve seen my son go from being barely able to stand to now walking. All around me is change, some of it slightly traumatic, but a fair bit of it to be quite promising.
First up, there were significant changes to some of us personally. For myself, with my wife and I having our son in October of 2013 was the most important thing to happen to us since getting married in 2008. I can’t even begin to express my happiness with our new addition, and every day with our son has just been incredible. Octavius is doing very well, he’s the happiest baby I have ever known, and he grows stronger every day! I look forward to getting to know my son more as the years go by.
Also during the summer of 2014, our very own Phill Howard married his wife Faith. I’m very happy for them and we’ve already enjoyed a few couples gatherings together, and looking forward to many more. Congrats to Phill and Faith!
These significant life changes did have some bearing in our approach to Play it Painted and our strategy for 2014. In order to continue to operate as an active ambassador for tabletop gaming, we needed to become a more efficient operation. It is difficult enough for our new families and new family members to be without us when we are hosting and attending gaming events, so spending large amounts of money in addition to sacrificing time just isn’t being fair to our families our ourselves. It is reasons like this that fueled Play it Painted’s commission painting services, to help fund our hobbies and even put a little extra on the table to cover some costs on the homefront. We also needed efficiency in our shows- we needed a more unified games offering than the dozens of different games we hosted in 2013, and ideally any form of manufacturer compensation for our activities would be helpful. Finally higher priority demands on our time required us to be smarter with our actual gaming and activity time- we needed trustworthy, reliable support from our PiP teammates to ensure a high quality show without it always falling to a few to hold up the shows when others failed on their commitments.
Play It Painted! strives to offer a world class miniature gaming experience to the greater community, through hosting public events, providing new opportunities for gaming and painting, and offering commission painting services.
Play it Painted is proud to support Extra Life 2014 as a team!
Play it Painted will be hosting a 50pt Relic Knights Tournament at Comic Quest in Lake Forest on Saturday, October 25th from 11AM to 6PM, which includes some fantastic miniature sts painted by PiP! In addition several of our members including Jill from the GeekGirlWeekly podcast and Hereticofyew will be hosting live streaming of video on their youtube and Twitch feeds.
See: http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=16716 for more details!
I’m often asked the question “What’s the difference between Anima Tactics and Helldorado?” This is a great question because while the two games are both miniature skirmish games by Cipher Studios, there are important differences between the games, and it is just as common for players to find one game appealing and the other less so as it is to find fans of both games.
Typhoon Haiyan is being called one of the most powerful storms ever recorded to hit landfall. The typhoon struck an unprepared nation in the Phillippines, and the country is now reeling in the devastation left behind.