Wargaming Tradecraft: November 2014

[Review] Battle Foam P.A.C.K. 1520XL Custom

TheWife and her parents bought me an early Christmas present last year - a Battle Foam carrying case for my Hordebloods army. Specifically, the P.A.C.K. 1520XL Custom. It's probably about time for me to do a review on the product. (US) Thanksgiving was a great opportunity to buy the case because they put on a 20-60% sale which you can take advantage of this year too between November 28th and December 1st. It's also worth noting they have a year round sale for army vets.

I'm going to avoid reviewing the drama that has on occasion spread across Internet in regards to their business practices. Instead, I'll be focusing on just my own experience with the company.

The following is a full look at both the final product and the ordering process. Overall, I love it. Some things weren't perfect, but when it comes to protecting your army, Battle Foam nails it. This is why:

Airbrushing Index

I wrote a series of articles on many of the things that goes into airbrushing some time ago. This page is an index of those articles and will be updated as I write more.

These guides are intended to give you a comprehensive understanding of how everything that goes into airbrushing works – from the airbrush itself to compressors and tanks, as well as various paints and thinners. I’m going to look at sourcing supplies, features to look for, setting up and maintaining your tools as well as some examples of using the airbrush and exercises to practice with it.

Airbrushing is easy to learn, hard to master. I'm hardly a master, but I've learned enough to get you on the track to adding another skill to your arsenal. The primary use for an airbrush is to apply soft layers of paint with smoothly blended edges. They're also useful for priming and varnishing. Because of the spray, they can be very difficult to use to paint detail.

Tank Battles! My LGS is generating interest in the hobby

Now, I'm not the type to just randomly plug the activities of stores, especially since I'm talking the world and this is just a local event....


This is cool...

My LGS (In Windsor, Ontario) is having a Warhammer 40,000 Tank Battle day and it's the first time I've been curious about a 40k event in years. The idea is simple - to enter, you buy a tank from the store between now and the game day, paint it up and then compete. Day of, you get points for kills and lose points for each death at which point you respawn at your start point. There will also be a painting competition and prizes. Loner tanks available if you want to bring a friend.

What I really like about this is,
  • It's a great way for a store to generate sales.
  • It's a fantastic way to create interest in the game and introduce it to new players.
  • It's a way to let gamers get creative with vehicle models.
  • It's a really fun way to spend a day.
It's been a lonnnng time since I've played Warhammer instead of WarmaHordes, but I gotta say.. I'm tempted. Mainly though, I just wanted to share this idea to other stores and tournament organizers as an excellent method to put on a fun event and make some money.

Supplies - Crystals (Amethyst)

I'm a big believer in using realistic objects to create terrain and do basing. It adds this wonderful touch of realism to your projects. Almost adds a certain level of credibility to what you're painting - making them look like they "belong" in the world.

Rare stones can add a lot of flare to a project and are easily and cheaply available. You can usually find them at hippy stores in the mall and farmers markets, but also some hobby or speciality stores. Unlike hobby jewels, crystals are less "blingy" and more natural.

Quartz crystals all look roughly similar but come in different colours and/or smokey/cloudyness, while Amethyst is the purple variety. It's not considered an expensive crystal, but buying them on eBay can add up.

Crystalline Affliction

As a break from the Hordebloods, I've begun TheWife's Legion of Everblight army - the Crystalline Affliction. While a gamer, she's not a big fan of painting miniatures, so I'll be taking care of that with her guidance. She is an artist though and will be handling some of the Amethyst sculpting during the project. After she chose the colour scheme, we collaberated to determine which paints and layers worked best to achieve it. For the first few layers that are airbrushed, we picked up some actual airbrush paint - that way, there won't be any inconsistency added whenever I'm mixing up the paints.

There are couple specifics for this army, which are:

Masking when Priming and Airbrushing

Masking is the process of taping off areas so that you don't get paint on them. For example, when painting a room, you'd run tape along the trim or the ceiling so you don't get paint all over the place and get a straight line from the tape.

When painting Thagrosh, masking became very important because I had to keep paint off of all the crystals when priming and airbrushing. I could have glued the crystals in after priming, but then the green stuff has to be sculpted in a way that allows me to remove the crystals. It wouldn't look as good.

Thagrosh, Herald of the Crystalline Affliction

A bold article for an intense warcaster to begin the re-invigoration of Wargaming Tradecraft. In this article, I'll cover Epic Thagrosh from start to finish.

My wife had a couple particular requests for her army, so as a break from the Hordebloods I've completed the leader of the Crystalline Affliction. The specifics of this army are this:

First, it needs to be modified to integrate ACTUAL Amethyst Crystal into the sculpts. Primarily on the beasts as all spikes are to be removed and replaced.

Second, she fell in love with the paint job I did on the Borderlands Charity Miniatures. So, I now have an army worth of models to apply the cell-shaded style to. This style is defined by deep shadows, strong contrasts and almost messy hashing used in shadows and highlights.

Jump to the end of the article for high quality images of the finish project.
Take a look on DeviantArt for the lower quality collage.