Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stripping a model.

So, you have bought some minis used online or from a friend, and they are already painted. This is usually a bonus, but sometimes you'll buy something that is painted for a particular army color scheme, and it is different from what you had in mind or what your army already looks like. Well this can easily be fixed with one magic solution.

"Spray Nine" works very well on both metal and plastic minis, and is good around the house too! For real, this shit claims to destroy the herpes virus, and it's soft and gentle on your hands. You can get it for six dollars at Sobeys or Canadian Tire. The "Marine" type of spray nine also works. It won't corrode, or warp plastic, I have left minis in this stuff overnight and they were fine. I should mention though, the longer you soak them in the cleaner the higher probability of the glue breaking down and you may have to re-assemble some models. Depending on the type of paint that was used to paint the mini, you should only have to soak the figure in the cleaner for half an hour. If you are still having a hard time removing the paint, all you have to do is soak it longer or follow these steps repeatedly till it's all gone. I know it can be time consuming, but you want cheap mini's don't ya?

Tools needed:

Tupperware container- Same set up as when you wash the minis, warm water and dish soap.
Toothbrush- For scrubbing paint off the figures.
Deep Container- Ice cream container works well, you just don't want a shallow one cause you want the mini's covered with the cleaner and you wont have to use as much.
Pointy tool- The one here is from a craft knife set I picked up for two dollars from the Dollar Store. You could use a file, modeling knife, paper clip, tooth pick, nail, whatever you can find that you don't think will scratch the model all up.

Place the models to be stripped into the ice cream bucket and pour in the Spray Nine till it starts to cover your models. Tilt the ice cream container to create a pool at one side and top up the cleaner till it completely covers the minis. If your not worried about wasting the cleaner you can just pour in half the bottle and let the minis soak for awhile. Once they have soaked for half an hour to an hour, grab your tooth brush and scrub the entire mini in the same manner as when you washed them in the previous step.

In all the detailed areas like vents, joints, grills and recesses, there may still be some paint left over that the toothbrush couldn't reach. This is where your pointy tool comes in. Get in there and start digging it out as best you can, running the toothbrush over it from time to time to help break down the paint in those stubborn areas. There are times when you will buy models that are already assembled and may be hard to reach some areas. If you don't get these areas completely cleaned up it's alright. More often than not these areas are hidden from view when people are looking at the figures on the table, and once you go over it with primer and lay some paint down, you will barely notice it, if you do at all. Once all the paint is removed the best you can, place the mini in the Tupperware container with warm water. Clean the tooth brush well in the sink and scrub the minis in the dish soap one last time. This is to ensure any cleaner residue is gone before you start spraying primer all over it.

 I'll try to get the assembly entry up in a few days or less, I had a few legs from the bonejacks snap off on me while I was stripping the paint off them, so I have to figure out how to go about pinning them back on, and may just do a tutorial on model repair first. Until then happy modeling!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Warmachine unboxing.

Got the Crxy Battleforce today from a really nice guy I met through, a local gaming forum for the Nova Scotia area. The box set comes with Warwitch Deneghra,  Defiler, 2 DeathRippers and a Slayer. I have been into war gaming for a few years now and I have seen a lot of models, and my first impressions overall are pretty good. The models look good, they are molded well, there aren't too many flashing lines running through highly detailed parts (GW likes to have mold lines run over the fingers of a lot of models), the only thing I don't like about the models so far, is the bonejack legs are very flimsy. They bend easy , and there isn't much room for pinning the feet to the legs, or to stabilize them. This design flaw will make storage, transport, and dropping it very risky. But what can you do!

Yesterday I got my order in the mail! This will round out the first theme build for Deneghra, and is a good jumping off point to learn the game.

To add to the box set I picked up the Cryx cards so I can swap models out for different ones for the time being. I will be using the slayer as a Nightmare, and the bone jacks as Night Wretches and Ripjaws. I'm gonna head down to Monster Comic Lounge soon to order a Necrotech and Scrap Thralls,which will put this build at 35 points.When it is all said and done the army will look as follows:

Warwitch Deneghra
Night Wretch
Rip Jaw
Scarlock Thrall
Pistol Wraith
Warwitch Siren
Bile Thalls (L+9gr)
Mechanithralls (L+9gr)


Now for the fun part. When I first opened the box and started pulling stuff out, my first reaction was, "How the fuck am I going to paint these?" Warwitch Siren is incredibly small, a lot smaller than it looks in videos or in pictures online, which is also going to make it very difficult to pin some models. There is also a lot of small intricate details, so I'm going to have to adapt my previous style. I imagine I will have to use a glazing technique to slowly build up very thin layers of paint. But we have to get them assembled first!

So what do you do when you get it out of the box? I start all models off by stripping away the casting lines. Most models are made using an injection mold system, where the artist makes a mold of the model in two halves. There are little trenches cut into the mold to help air escape when they are pouring liquid metal or injecting the mold with plastic. These two mold halves are clamped together and the material is injected into the mold. Once the material dries you have a finished piece. Once the mold is released, any material that oozed out or the seam in the mold  will create a line around the entire model, and sometimes you will get flashing, which is when the material being injected comes out of the air trenches. This all can be removed with a sharp blade and some files. 

Tools you will need:

You will need some files, an old medium or hard toothbrush, and a knife. Start by going around the model with a sharp blade top and bottom of the model. Make sure to check all the nooks and crannies and scrape off any lines you can reach with your blade. Try to keep the blade at a 45 degree angle when scrapping off the lines.

Once the lines are almost cleared up, start going over what you just did with a small file. Try to keep the contours of the model intact while you file, and use the tip of the file to clear away any areas you couldn't reach with the knife. Also use the file to smooth out any areas that may have imperfections on the surface of the model. I prefer a rounded file to prevent gouging.

Once all the lines are removed and you have filed down any imperfections on the surface, it is time to give those minis a sponge bath! You want to fill a Tupperware container with warm water and a little bit of dish soap, and let the minis soak for about 10 minutes. This is important to clear off any dust particles from filing the casting lines. Also, when they make the mini  they put a mold re-leaser onto the mold to help the cooled material used to make the mini easy to release from the mold.

It is especially important that you wash metal models because these models are most likely to have the release agent all over it due to the fact most plastic mini's are made using a pressure injection method. But I still wash plastic mini's as well just to get the resin dust off. Again... this is a very important step, and should always be done regardless if you remove mold lines or not. The reason is, when you get to the stage of priming the model, any amount of this residue will cause the primer to not stick to the model, and can even flake off later taking the paint job with it, ruining all the hours spent painting it. Once the model/s have soaked for ten minutes, run the tooth brush over the whole model , scrubbing any spot you can reach.

Once this has been done to all the models you are going to work on, you can move onto assembly, which I will go over as soon as I get all the lines on my models cleaned up. I will post in a few days on how to go about stripping a model if it already has paint on it, and how to go about pinning and assembling models!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Basics

Welcome to Apartment Wargaming! This blog is going to focus on all aspects of table top wargaming, with a focus primarily on Warmachine, Hordes and Warhammer. This blog will also have a lot of content that may be specific to Canada and my local area, but the actual modeling information should be relevant. With that said I am not going to ramble on about a bunch of shit, I'm just gonna get down to it!

I'm sure if you are visiting this blog you are already into table top gaming to some degree, and I won't bore you too much with the absolute basics. I am just going to show you the things that I use and have learned throughout my time in the hobby. Everyone develops their own styles, and may disagree with some of the things I post, but all things on this blog are just based on my particular style of modeling, what works best for me may not work  for you, but I hope what I post will at least be of some help whether you are new to the hobby or experienced. And please feel free to share anything you have picked up along the way!


Quality tools, and the right tool can make your modeling hobby a lot easier! When it comes to the actual models the amount or tools you really need can be stored in a small tool box, so there is no need to spend heaps of money on tools you may only use a few times or not at all! The tools I use for models most are as follows:

Files/Modeling Knife: Removing flashing and mold lines.
Hand drill/Pin Vise: Pinning models and creating battle damage.
Paper clips: I use these as the pins in arms or heavy objects, mainly on metal models.
Wire snip/GW model Snips: Wire snips for cutting paper clips, GW snips for cutting models off sprue.
Tweezers: Regular ones and hooked nose tweezers for applying decals and static grass.
Blue-Yellow/Green stuff- For filling in imperfections (scratches, bubbles, gap filling), sculpting new          pieces,duplicating bits,making banners, magnetization, etc.
Sculpting tools: I bought a set of wood carving tools from "Maritime Hobby" for five dollars, and rubber tipped paintbrushes from "Desures" art store (they are called "water color chisels" they keep the green stuff smooth while you work with it), and the sculpting tool from GW. I am also looking into picking up the Privateer Press set of sculpting tools.
Glues: I use GW Super Glue for all models that are plastic, and sometimes on metal models, but often it doesn't bond strong enough I find, so I use either steel epoxy (at your own risk... very steep learning curve on models that are small, I try and only use this on monstrous sized models), and "Thick Superglue by Armor Coat" $2.99 at Canadian tire, works best on metal and won't work on some plastics.
Magnets: I order all of my magnets from, but if you are looking for shit tons you can get them here
Sticky Tac: For holding models on bases while priming or painting, temporarily attaching pieces, masking off areas, etc.
Paint brushes: I use numbers 2, 1, 0, 0/3, 0/5, 0/10 pointed tips/ 1, 2, 4 square tips, and small, medium, large, stipple brushes from GW.
Paint: At the moment I only use GW paints because that is all that is easily accessible in this city, but I will be trying our P3 Paints in the near future, and maybe try out Reaper and VJ if I can find then for a good price. I also use a number of "Liquitex" paint mediums that I will go into detail on later.

Tomorrow the un-boxing of Warmachine, I'm just getting into the game so I will put up my first impressions and some modelling basics for what to do when you first get your models!