Wargaming Tradecraft: December 2014

Minor Article Updates

Traditionally, this is the time of year when people are offline and heading off to the respective events for the holidays. As such, I'm taking it easy today and just posting a brief list of some of the posts I've added minor updates to recently.

I know there are a lot of people who don't buy in to the whole "New Years Resolution" thing. But rather than going on every day, plodding along as usual, why not look forward to milestones as a time for change?

You can expect some big changes in the new year at Wargaming Tradecraft and I look forward to seeing you all then!


To those of you who are around and reading this, why not peruse some of these old, but no less relevant articles.

Resin looks like plastic, but plastic glue won't work and gums things up.
- All about Glue

Misc updates
- Dictionary

Instead of fancy arc markers, you could just buy a circular template.
Painting Base Arcs

Add some notes on my Light Box while discussing Backgrounds.
- Create a Background for Photography

Adding a few of the initial photos when beginning to build my earthy wall terrain.
- Building an Earthy Wall

I've added a photo of the tokens in my Battle Foam case to my review of Greenman Designs.
- [REVIEW] Greenman Designs

Some updates about sourcing added to my article on using a spice rack to store flock.
- Spice Rack Flock Container


And with that, Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Also, have yourselves a great New Year!


Get Yourself a Notebook

[Originally posted October 28th, 2011]

This is a very handy tool when you're painting armies... I don't know about you, but remembering how I painted something 6 months ago (sometimes even a week) can be tricky. So get a notebook and keep simple notes about how you paint something if you expect to have to paint it again at some point. (Or even if you don't)

I usually don't bother with this when I'm painting single models - BUT, armies look really nice when they're painted with a uniform colour scheme. Some variances are okay, but generally, you'll want them to be similar. Those similarities are what you should keep track of.

For example, I have notes for every version of the Eldar Alaitoc armour I've painted, and their accessories. (For reference, there've been 3 - heavy armour w/ chainmail, a newer style similar to aspect armour, and the newest sleeker style.)

New Graphics


In the interest of improving the quality of Wargaming Tradecraft, I've been spending the last little while upgrading all my Index pages to a graphical layout. In addition to the Primary Indexes linked at the top of the site, I've also upgraded the Airbrush Index and the Dictionary.

As I work to make this site more professional, I want visitors to be able to quickly and easily find the information they're after. Visuals are one way to strongly communicate what it is you're reading about and grab attention fast. I've also changed links to "Google blue" due to studies that it's just what we're expecting and they get more clicks.

Let me show you what I'm talking about:

Detailed
These expand on all the areas of miniature hobbying and contain much more detail.
Modelling Steps
  • From purchase to finish, everything you need to know to get your minis ready to field.
  • BEGINNERS SHOULD START HERE.
Terrain & Bases
  • Tutorials on how to create terrain to bring your miniatures to life.
  • Can all be applied to miniature's bases as well as battlefield objects.
Techniques
  • Methods to add more detail and creativity to your miniatures.
  • Contains links to all the special tutorials I've written using paint and/or supplies.
Hobby Tips
  • Generic tips and tricks to improve your ability to hobby.
  • Covers staying organized, cleaning tools, taking pictures, lighting, etc.
Supplies
  • An alphabetical list of all the tools and supplies you might want to buy with links to more info on each.
  • Begins with the Essentials, then continues with all the extra, helpful and cool options.
Projects
  • Links to the awesome Army and Miniature Projects I've got on the go.
  • Includes Work in Progress breakdowns showing my process.
Musings
  • Articles I've written on different aspects of our hobby.
  • Includes getting started, art theory, saving money, tactics, patience and blogging.




In addition to this, I've improved my social media covers. You'll notice I left out the site name from these and that's because when you're on the page, it already overlays that for you. I want to capture the viewers attention and convey what Wargaming Tradecraft is about, showing off reasons why you should follow the things I do.

Facebook

Twitter
Would you believe that not only is that me in the right photo, but I took it myself?
YouTube
YouTube covers are awkward and giant because it has to be sized for viewers accessing the channel from a TV.
On computers, tablets and phones, it just uses a strip along the center.


Building a Sturdy Light Box


There are a lot of terrible photographs of miniatures out there. Aside from being shaky and blurry, sooo many miniature photos are DARK. (Even when entering contests!) Today, I'm going to show you how to build a sturdy light box.

Now, you can find a lot of light box builds online and they can be as simple as a cardboard box. Or, you can buy your own light boxes ranging between cheap and questionable to expensive and quality to really expensive professional setups.

All told, this PVC Light Box ran me about $50. It's really sturdy, can be disassembled if you don't glue it and can even be flipped if you want to photograph something tall.

I take all my finished photos inside my light box now, like the Hordebloods.



Why a Light Box?

As I discuss in my Photography Light Strength article, direct light creates big shiny white spots that destroys detail and washes out colour. Direct light can be anything from the lights in your room to the flash on a camera. Never use your camera's flash.

A light box creates a frame that holds white cloth which diffuses light shined through it. This means the area is bright without light shining directly on your miniature. It also provides somewhere to Place a Background.

A light box also allows you to take good quality pictures even when natural sunlight has gone away. It doesn't matter the time of day or the weather outside. You'll take consistent photos of your miniatures.

Technically, you could use coloured cloth if you wanted to create a coloured effect while taking photos.

Play like you've got a pair!


Had a little inspiration the other day, decided to create a twist on an old quote...


Warmachine & Hordes Newbie Primer



It's no secret that while I started out playing Games Workshop's line of games like Epic and Warhammer 40,000, I've become a Privateer Press fan-boy over the last few years. However, every time someone asks about Warmachine and Hordes, I (and others) end up repeating the same thing. I'm writing this guide in hopes to create a single resource people can link to when they get the question "So what's Warmachine all about, anyways?"

Thanks to TheWife and Grubnatz and Moe for assisting with editing this.

Crackle Medium and Hordebloods Troll Rune Mage


 Crackle Medium is a nifty supply because it creates some really cool textures and effects just by letting it dry. There are multiple brands and they all work a little differently, so you should definitely read the instructions and test before using it on a real project.

I've previously looked at a crackle medium that does thinner or a more subtle look.

Essentially, crackle medium is a gel or paint that dries in such a way that you're left with a "cracked" texture or pattern. This is great for creating lightning and other special effects or dry desert-like surfaces.

I used crackle medium on my Troll Rune Mage, (Just posting photos now.) as well as Gul'Doomshaper and a Warlock.