The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Project update: Pirate ship

| September 14, 2015

We worked on the pirate ship labor day weekend and got the siding two swings up:

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This past weekend (the 12th), we got the last swing up and I cut portholes, but it’s been raining ever since so I haven’t gotten pictures of that.

We have about one day of work left, and then we’ll have completed everything we had planned ahead of time, though I suspect we’ll add things periodically as time progresses (a quaterboard and crow’s nest are the two we can think of right now).

Finally got back to modeling

| September 14, 2015

I’ve been messing around with my 3D printer (longer post on that to be forthcoming) so I haven’t been doing a lot of modeling recently. However, we got Divergent in from Netflix, so I broke out the minis and worked on my Sentinel’s and mortar crews.

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Divergent was okay. A lot of how they set up their society doesn’t make sense, but I suspect may be better explained in the books. I think that, in isolation, I might have liked it more, but after seeing the Hunger Games, the comparison is inevitable, and Divergent is not as good.

I do like the recent spate of anti-establishment movies, however. (Hunger Games, Divergent, Lego Movie, etc.)

Updated kids picture gallery

| August 11, 2015

Max and Miles – 2015

It’s now updated through August 2015, and has pictures of the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Updated kids pictures gallery

| July 15, 2015

Max and Miles – 2015

It’s now updated through mid July and includes some pictures at the Bronx zoo.

Switching gears on the hobby bench

| July 7, 2015

I’ve switched from “decals” to “building”, and am working on a few different things.

This: 20150624_214641 Is the beginnings of a TNT warband of tribals, called The Murphys. I’ll write up a greater description at some later time, but the basic gist is that they’re the descendants of a bunch of punks, skins, and hardcore youths, brought together by their love of music from a Last Americans punk band from South Boston, with some crossover into the metal scene as well. Since this music is popular with folks who work with their hands and actually know how do build, do and fix things, they’ve done pretty well after the fall. They have a Celtic/Viking/punk vibe to them, and are a pretty inclusive community and let people join the tribe. All you need is a useful skill and either some claim to a Celtic or Viking ancestry (and this can be as thin as having your beard grown in red) or profess a love of punk music.

Anyway, this is 2 Tribal Warriors (spears and shields), a Champion (with a large-bore revolver and a sword which is cut off in the picture), a Scout (the lady with the cowboy hat and bow) and a Lesser Shaman (who rolled the Levitate ability, so I gave her a sniper rifle. The idea is that she’s a hunter who uses her levitate ability to hide in trees and such when hunting deer.). I still need to make up the War Leader (who has a rifle with bayonet) and 2 Tribals (who have shotguns).

The models are all from Wargames Factory and are a mix of a couple sprues of Celts (which I got as a promo somewhere) and the Apocalypse Survivors Men and Women boxes.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Dawn of War: Winter Assault, which has inspired me to start working on putting together some Imperial Guard stuff: 20150628_215601

There are a couple of things in this picture. The main thing is a partially assembled Leman Russ Main Battle Tank, which is part of the big pile of stuff I inherited. I kind of get the impression that these were put together by several different people, because some are basically perfect and others are really rough (lots of leftover sprue bits, bad glue adhesion, etc.). This tank was one of the worst, so I took my hobby knife and carefully split it apart, and am now sanding it, cleaning it up, and putting it back together. Some gap filling will be required, but, all in all, it’s going well.

The idea behind this army, given the mix of Catachan, Cadian, and some generic or kitbashed models is that it is, at the core, a Catachan force that has been fighting its way across the galaxy. As a result, they’ve had to expand beyond their traditional jungle fighting ways, and have been reinforced with units who hail from other worlds. As such, they have swapped much of their close-ranged weaponry used for jungle fighting for other weapons with a longer range. So, their Sentinels have gone from being outfitted with flamers to having the conventional autocannons or multilasers fitted. Similarly, they take Leman Russ Main Battle Tanks and artillery (once I print them a couple) for support purposes, which normally have some issues in jungle warfare because they get bogged down going through the trees. However, as this army fought on various types of terrain, they adopted different support structures and tactics in order to adapt to the varying mission requirements. In the end, their structure ends up looking more like a standard IG army, and, hence, I’ll be using a standard IG force organization.

More decals…

| June 28, 2015

So, yeah, I’m kind of burnt out on decals, but I got a pretty decent amount of touch up and decal additions done.

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Turrets. Unit 4 has 2 options, unit 2 is the guy on the stick and he goes in another unpictured turret, with just one option.

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All completed units awaiting varnishing in the spray booth.

The astute reader and 40K nerd would perhaps notice a couple of things:

  1. The razorbacks and predator lack army designations.
    • This is because, according to Dark Angels OrBat those are not organically part of a battle company (in my case, the 5th), but rather drawn from the Armorium as needed. As such, they don’t get army designations, except, perhaps for the Armorium, for which I do not have decals. A rhino, however, would.
  2. The dreadnought’s number isn’t over its army designation.
    • That’s because it’s too hard to read (white on white). So, I moved it.
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Another shot of the Chaplain and landspeeder, with an attack bike not in the above shot.

The same reader above might say that the chaplain should have a green shoulder pad because, while space marine chaplains always paint their armor black, the left shoulder is typically painted in the color of the chapter to which they belong and has that chapter’s sigil upon it (this is not 100%, depending on what painting guide or codex you reference, but I like it). However, the Dark Angels are weird – the whole army doesn’t use the same sigil. The sword and wings on a green field are used by most of the army, but the deathwing (first company) uses a red sword and wings on a bone white field, and the ravenwing (second company) uses a different white sword and wings on black. Since the chaplain is attached to the company, not the army, it makes sense to me that such a chaplain would use the company sigil. Hence, all black armor and a ravenwing sigil, not a generic dark angels sigil.

The jetpack chaplain, however, will be attached to the 5th company (likely attached to an assault squad most of the time) and will have the normal green shoulder pad and white sword with wings sigil.

Babies’ first Cabelas

| June 25, 2015

On the way back from a graduation in VA (much fun was had by all, but it is a loooong drive) we stopped by 嘉盛外汇 Cabelas in Hamburg, PA. This was the boys’ first trip. They didn’t quite know what to make of it.

The other project that’s been consuming my time…

| June 23, 2015

As I mentioned in a previous post, we’ve been working on a playset for the kids.

The plans and much of the hardware are from Pirate Play Ships, the rest is lumber, screws, etc. sourced locally. These pictures are from the week of memorial day, where we got most of the framing done. I need to take some more pictures once it’s finished, which will likely be in the next couple of weeks. I’ve also been shooting video of the progress, and will post that once I edit it all together. I also plan to post compiled notes and tips, etc. if someone reading this was inclined to order the plans and build it themselves. (The main thing lacking in the plans is an estimate of how many screws to buy – we’re currently up to about 15lbs of screws of varying sizes, and knowing how much we’d need ahead of time would have been helpful).

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Children for scale, of course.

Bikes

| June 6, 2015

In the grim darkness of the future.. guys on motorcycles are cavalry.

Kicking off my “I suck at painting army signage so I’m going to use waterslide transfers now” (more on this later), I’m starting with my bike squad and the often associated chaplain on a bike: 20150516_102532 20150516_102540

The idea here is that I brush-painted over my bad unit markings, touched up some other things, and then used the airbrush and some Future to seal it against the water from the waterslide transfers softening up the paint.

This is the result: 20150523_203312

Which I then sealed again with more future in order to stop the varnish from possibly getting underneath them and lifting them (though I’ve never had a problem with this with transfers, because I’ve never risked it, I have had an issue with some of the metallic particles coming loose and floating. It’s not as much of a problem if you’re spraying the varnish on, but it can be if you’re brushing it on).

Anyway, stuff I’ve learned about waterslide transfers…

For starters, when I was younger, I had several problems with them:

  1. They would tear.
  2. The models couldn’t be handled once the transfers were applied, as they would rub off.

Doing some research this time (because it’s not 1995 anymore and we have the internet), I found:

  1. Seal with Future where the transfers are to be applied, both to protect the paint and provide a smooth surface on which they should sit.
  2. They can stick better by using some Micro Set.
  3. If they’re old, or thin, or homemade, or you just want some extra insurance that they won’t tear, brush some Liquid Decal Film on to the decal, let dry, then apply as normal.
  4. To get them to soften and conform to curved surfaces, use several applications of Micro Sol.
  5. Once the decal is the way you want it, seal with more Future.
  6. Then seal the whole model as normal using polyurethane varnish. The above has been working for me for a couple of models. We’ll see how well it works over more broad applications.

Airbrush

| June 6, 2015

So, I haven’t updated this in a couple of days because I’ve been working on a playset for the kids in the backyard (more on this in a later post). So these pictures are a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I did some airbrushing on the Master of the Ravenwing and the gunner.

First, I masked with silly putty: 20150516_202502

Then I painted the heavy bolter red and did a power sword fade: 20150516_221233

Finally, since I was airbrushing, I did a base coat on some marines with heavy weapons and a chaplain with a jetpack (whom I painted black after I took this picture). 20150516_221217

It looks a little splotchy because I thinned the paint a little bit much through the airbrush. I’m still working at getting the consistency right.

It also occurred to me that I’m going to be painting a lot of big stuff (tanks, terrain, lots of troops) and varnishing them all by hand is going to be a royal pain. So, I took some terrain I’d been using as airbrushing test platforms (planets for space games) and tried airbrushing on the varnish. SUCCESS! Specifically, Jo Sonja’s Matte Varnish worked through a Badger 350, medium needle, at 40PSI (which is what I use to prime stuff). It worked either thinned or not, and the unthinned likely resulted in a thicker coat, so I’ll be doing that from now on. Of note is that it’s very important to thoroughly flush the airbrush between each cup refill and at the very end, because if this stuff dries in the airbrush it’s going to be a bear to get out.