Wargaming Tradecraft: October 2010


Happy Halloween!

Chaos Pumpkin - Me, 2010

Turtle (Mori) Pumpkin - TheWife, 2010

Pin Vice / Manual Drills

Drills can often come in handy when you're modding, basing or just assembling your minis. While a powered drill will always get the job done faster, it's usually not the best choice. Consider that you're working with small bits you can't clamp or vice and have to hold in your hand. Because of this, a manual drill is preferred. It's unwise to use an electric drill that close to your fingers and it's very easy to tear through plastic or pewter (or flesh) before you can stop yourself from ruining something.


 The first thing to look for is the Chuck size. That's the center part that actually holds the drill bit.

The first style you'll see is the generic one. (See on the left) This tends to fit all drill bits since it closes all the way. This includes the tiniest of hobby bits.

The second style is pictured on the right. It's got a hole down the center and therefor won't hold smaller bits. What it will do is hold larger bits better than the generic style.

A feature you might find is that the drill can open up and be a convenient place to store all the extra bits, so you don't lose them.

Another feature you may find is the back of the drill may spin. This can be a little easier on your fingers because you place one on the end and use the others to spin the drill.

Your local gaming store should carry these. Generic hobby stores may also carry them.

How To

First there's the body, and the chuck fits into that.

The front of the drill covers the chuck and screws down onto the body. As you tighten the front cover, it pushes the chuck further into the body, tightening and closing it up.

You place the drill bit in the chuck as you screw down the front, causing the chuck to hold the bit in place.

If you tighten it too much, the chuck may get stuck in the body or the bit will get stuck in the chuck. Be careful removing a stuck bit so you don't cut yourself on it. You can use pliers, but it may damage the bit - grip the bit near the chuck rather than the bit's tip.

If you don't tighten it enough, the bit with get stuck in whatever you're drilling while the drill just spins around it.

Using the drill is simple.
  • Use a knife or pin, etc to create a small indent where you want to drill. This creates a point you can place the very tip of the drill bit in so it won't slide around.
  • Put the drill in place, then turn it with your fingers until the hole's the desired depth.
  • While drilling, from time to time:
    • Take the drill out to remove any junk that's building up on the bit.
    • Check the depth so you don't drill to far and end up punching out the other side. Optionally, place some tape on the drill bit at the point where you don't want to drill past.
  • Plastic is relatively easy to drill, while pewter may take some patience to create a hole deep enough for most uses.
    Example Uses

    One of the most common uses for drilling out figures is pinning. This is when you drill out a hole on either side of parts you want to attach, cut a piece of heavy wire to size, and glue it in place. (The wire can be found at most hardware stores)
    A pinned joint will be very strong and prevent your larger monstrous creatures / walkers from falling apart - especially if they're made out of pewter.
    Alternately, you can use pinning instead of magnets to create WYSIWYG models with interchangeable parts. Keep in mind that if you don't glue a pinned joint, the part will spin on a single pin. For this reason, you'll want to use two smaller pins in these cases - which can be very tricky considering the size of the parts we work with.

    In the below example, I've added gun barrels to a storm bolter. You can just see the two little indents I created in the second pic, so the bit doesn't slide around as I try to start drilling. The third one is after drilling it out.

    Drilling holes in a model's base or feet allows you to glue heavy wire in it and anchor the model without having to worry about it breaking off it's stand.

    Drills are useful it many other areas. You can create bullet holes and other forms of battle damage when modding or even drill out glued joints to disassemble used models a little more gracefully.

    Weekly Update

    Since I want you to be able to follow my blog, I've written some instructions on How to use RSS Feeds. Also, please be on the lookout for minis stolen from BigJim - I'm sure any of you could sympathize with the horror of having your army stolen. Then, if you haven't already, please give me some feedback on whether you think the army you're playing colours your view of the 40k universe. On a practical side of things, I did get a few tools for my Halloween project - Clamps and Chisels.
    I've noticed I actually get traffic from blogrolls on other people's blogs, so I decided to add my own since I have some spare real estate on the right hand bar - take a look at who I'm reading and what's going on there. I've also added a couple more small design tweaks to the layout - anyone else with a blog on Blogspot/Blogger should head on over to Blogger Tricks to see what you can do.

    Ever wonder where the spelling of Daemon vs Demon comes from? Ninjabread clears that up in an interesting post quoting GW's Jervis:
    And this just made me laugh a bunch: http://www.ninjabread.co.uk/2010/10/11/space-hulk/

    I have to finally link this... No more can I stand idly by, tilting my head dumbfounded.
    Take a look... You're not seeing things - it is a total conversion of an Ogre army into a circus themed big-top event.

    Also, take a look at these two amazing Golden Demon gold winners from Games Day Italy 2010:
    Javier González - Gold, Single MiniatureRusto - Gold, Open Category

    This seems to be a busy week for coming across shiny things... Came across this while glancing at Mi40k
    Apparently I need a new computer case:

    And on a final note
    "eldars moving out" by Konstantin [zk87]

    The Chisel

    Last night I bought a chisel to hollow out some wood for my Halloween project.

    A chisel is very different to other wood working tools such as saws or files. A saw will cut a block out of a piece of wood while files just smooth and grind things down. Chisels are used to carefully remove just a section from the wood. The cut can be different shapes, sizes and depths.


    First is the width - they come in all sorts of different sizes. You can buy a chisel roughly the size of the cut you're planning to make or get a smaller one. Smaller chisels will take longer and show more streaks when you're done (Like using a small paintbrush to paint a large area) though a larger chisel has more room for error.

    The butt of the chisel is also an important factor. When you're hammering away, you want a decent sized target and something that's not going to break on you. A steel end will hold up quite well. Something curved also gives you a better target that will disperse force better than a small, flat end.

    Overall, you want something that's made sturdy. While you're pounding at it, you want something that can withstand a constant beating. They can be somewhat pricey for the larger ones, but small to medium sizes will be around $8-15. Hardware stores will usually carry chisels, though some arts and woodworking stores may carry small detail ones.

    Obviously, don't put your fingers on the end you'll be hammering and don't miss.
    Even more dangerous is the chisel end. Make sure you don't have any body parts in front of the direction you're chiseling and never work toward yourself. The bladed end isn't sharp in the traditional sense - you probably won't cut your finger if you slide it along the edge. However, it is a cutting edge and it's built out of thick, solid steel. This will injure you if it's directed towards a body part with some force.
    Some brands, like these, (Husky) include a plastic cover for the tip that even snaps over everything, holding on solid with a plastic strap. I had to snap the plastic tab used to hang it in store off, but it's nice to have a safe cover. You're not going to want to drop this on your toe either.

    How To

    First thing is to mark the area you want to chisel out.You can either use the chisel or use a knife. If you use the chisel, watch the side - you'll want to use the flat edge rather than the beveled one so things are straighter. This outline acts as a guide and helps ensure that only the wood you want to remove will be peeled up. As you get deeper, you may have to make the outline again.

    This work applies a lot of force upon the object you're chiseling. Before you start, clamp it to a surface like a table top.

    When you're ready to chisel, flip it around so the straight edge is up and the beveled side is down. Start somewhere on the perimeter and move to the other side. If possible, work in the same direction as the grain of the wood.
    When you start hammering the end, you can keep the chisel angled up, then as you move away from the edge, tilt the chisel down, making the angle smaller, until the bevel is flush with the surface of the wood. You can also tilt the chisel from side to side, applying more pressure on either corner to dig up uneven surfaces.

    The final product will be anything from a simple little box to sink something into to a larger area cut out for whatever you need.

    You may have wooden burs collect along the edges of the area you're cutting out. If that happens, just use a knife to clean them off.


     Clamps aren't needed very often in typical hobbying. When you're drilling, filing, chiseling, etc and need to make sure your piece doesn't move around, you should clamp it to a tabletop.


    You can find them in most hardware stores. Pictured on the left is what's called a "C-clamp". (Can you tell why?) This is a steel clamp that's very strong, but not too big. They do come in different sizes though, starting small and getting pretty big. Smaller ones like these aren't very expensive, coming in around $4 each.
    The clamp is engaged with a screwing motion.

    Some clamps may be plastic or have foam on the contact points to protect your pieces. Other ones have a squeeze trigger, instead of a screw style.

    Deeper clamps are useful as it means you can hold down larger parts further into the table.

    How To

    Clamps can exert a lot of force when they hold something in place. You'll want to make sure that you don't damage or mark up your part or the table / surface you're using for stability. (especially if it's hollow) If you place a larger piece of wood, plastic or similar surface on each contact point, it will disperse the force, helping to prevent the damage.

    When you do attach them, the side that takes up the least amount of space should be up top. This is done so that there's less to get in your way as you're working. One clamp is rarely enough - always use at least two to properly hold pieces in place and prevent things from shifting around.

    Does your army colour your view of the 40k Universe? [part 1]

    This is something I've wondered after writing my "Picking your army" musing.

    I play Eldar, when I envision the 40k universe, this is what comes to mind:
    • - It's a large place filled with all sorts of races spread out and eternally at war.
    • - There are no safe areas.
    • - Evil is constantly spilling in from all over the place.
    • - Humanity and other races are growing and shrinking as they colonize, in-fight and are destroyed.
    • - A devourer is slowly overtaking the fringes.
    I look at the 40k setting in general terms and full of threats, but it occurs to me that I also play a nomadic race slowly dying and I'm wondering if those two things are connected. 

    Now, I'm not asking you to describe the Warhammer universe or what the fluff / backstory of your army is - don't you even dare pick up your codex. I'm wondering if you as a player have a different perspective that's brought from years of playing races who fit into the grand scheme differently? When you picture the 40k universe, full of rotating galaxies and swirling solar systems, how you you see the grand scheme of things? What thoughts immediately come to mind?

    Do marines and imperials see the universe as a relatively safe place full of humans but infiltrated by xenos threatening mankind? Do orc players view things as spread out super strong colonies of green ready to wage war against anything that approaches them or if the warchief stubs his toe? Do nid players really make no distinction and see everywhere as a buffet? When a Chaos player pictures the universe, do they just see the warp?

    I dunno, maybe I'm completely off base on this one, but I'm curious to hear perspectives from other people to see if maybe I am on to something that's worth expanding and researching some more.
    Please respond and tell me about these two things:

    • Describe how you view the 40k universe in short general terms.
    • What army do you play primarily?

    Stolen Minis!

    Just a quick post for those not aware - Big Jim's army was stolen. I don't read his blog, I was made aware by Dark Future Games, but I want to send you over to his site for the details. Go and take a moment to look at some of his heavily modded and incredibly painted models. That just sucks so bad. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my minis... If you're going to be on eBay, Kijiji, or at tournaments in the near future, help a fellow gamer by keeping an eye out.


    Following RSS Feeds

    aka, I have a blog and want you to read it.

    image by juliengron
    For those not aware of the amazing new(ish) way of reading websites and for those who are aware, but might be looking for a better reader, herein lies some info on how to get yourself started on an easy method to read all your favorite websites and save yourself a ton of time.

    RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication [Wikipedia].  It's a method of posting articles to websites that allows for simplified viewing of articles. Besides what's in the article itself, there's no layout or formatting - nothing that makes it look like a typical website. RSS feeds are just a collection of posts. (In an XML format for those curious)

    This is a standard in formatting and logoing that the major internet browsers agreed on. There are a few different versions, but any good reader should be able to index any of them just fine. Take a look around to your favorite websites for the orange icon on the left - you'll probably find plenty support it now.

    So what does an RSS feed actually look like?

    Yup, a bunch of stuff that nobody wants to see. When viewing in a browser or a reader program, it's very clean:

    To answer the question of why we're here: How does this help you?

    The first thing you need is an RSS Reader or Feed Reader. There's a bunch of dedicated programs out there, Internet Explorer has it built in and Outlook has it built in - my personal favorite though is Google Reader. (http://www.google.com/reader) If you don't already have an account, you can sign up there for free.

    So on the left side, there's a list of what's new, all your Google friends, recommend blogs based on your subscriptions and then your actual subscriptions. Subscriptions with updates turn bold and show the number of new articles. You can organize them into folders, drag and drop to move them, really simple and streamlined stuff.

    On the right hand side is every post on the blogs you follow. No clicking "next page" - just keep scrolling down. There's no extra formatting, no irritating colours, links stand out - clean. If your browser has a problem with a gadget someone has on their site - no problem, it won't be stored in the feed. Feeds also fit to your screen so it doesn't matter if a blog is formatted too large for your monitor.

    Another insanely useful feature of Google Reader is the ability to translate foreign language blogs into your native tongue. It's not perfect and the grammar might be a little rough, but it expands your ability to use the internet to another level.

    I still recommend checking out your sites from time to time because that extra formatting is actually useful since it's sometimes used to advertise contests, new content, useful links, etc. It also doesn't automatically add you as a "Follower" so if you really like a site, you should click through and look for their "Follow" button to show your support. Depending on the formatting of the feed you're reading, there may be a link to the comments at the bottom of each post, otherwise you'll have to click a post's title to be taken to the blog post if you want to share your thoughts.

    From here, you just need to goto all your favorite sites and look for their RSS link(s). This, you copy and in Google Reader the down arrow to the right of Subscriptions has the "Add" feature where you paste the link. Certain sites, like Blogspot/Blogger allow you to paste the blog address in and not worry about hunting the RSS link.

    Blogs, Twitter, News sites, web comics - they all use RSS now. Sites with content like news, will break their RSS feeds down by category - one for tech, another for local, or health, or anything. This is an incredibly easy way to have all your favorite sites indexed in one place you can access from any web browser. RSS Readers keep checking your feeds for updates so they tell you when there's new content - you don't have to click through a ton of favorites to see if any of your sites have something new to read.

    [update, Oct 19 @ 12.50a]
    As reader Tristan points out, I did forget to mention one of Google Reader's other great features - Search. Right at the top you can search all items, specific categories or even a single blog for certain content. This way if you want to see everything your blogs have to say about anything from Dark Eldar to Dry Brushing.

    Weekly Update

    No longer sick - yay! I'm still very busy though and apologize for being unable to get out too many larger posts at the moment. I prefer to keep my work and play separate but I'll say that I work a second job of a technical nature for a non-profit that doesn't usually take much time each month - this is not ones of those months, and may not calm down for a while. Stay tuned though and I'll do what I can to continue holding your interest.

    I finally wrote my own two cents on the whole comp issue through a broader post on House Rules in general. Take a look and let me know what you think when it comes to house rules and their usefulness as well as application. I also made a spooky tree, and you can see how over here.

    This week's filler content contest over at House of Paincakes was supplied by moi, since I won last week's haiku contest. For fun, I've chosen the theme of telling your most embarrassing moment from gaming. (which I think is a great way for everyone to get to know each other) So head on over because there's some great stories and share your own tale of gaming events that've come back to haunt you.

    There's a good post at Collegia Titanica about getting creative when it comes to designing your game table. I think it's important as you have more time to work on terrain that's styled similar. Make your board look like it's a world. I tell ya, when we started out, we had books, old cdroms, anything we could throw on the table that'd add some depth. Money went into minis.

    Also worth checking out is a post over at Dark Future Games that illustrates layering with green stuff.

    Also, enough with the Dark Eldar posts - there's so much speculation floating around and while I realize some of it's coming from advanced copies, we're alll going to end up going through it again once the codex officially releases.

    Creating a Spooky Tree

    For my halloween project (that looks delayed due to work craziness) I have created a spooky tree, and here's the build steps.

    I start with some heavy wire (from a hardware store) and twist it into a rough tree skeleton.
    To cut the heavier wire, I use tin snips as I outline in my cutting tools article here. As I move into lighter wire, normal wire cutters work just fine.

    When twisting the heavy wire, use pliers so you don't hurt yourself. Pliers will also let you twist the wires tighter, which is important as this is the frame for your tree.

    I move onto lighter wire to create the body of the tree. Have some fun here because this is where you're creating what the tree will look like. Wrap the skeleton, add multiple layers, build everything up.
    As you do, picture a real tree:
    • Branches don't always just stick out - usually they curve upward and out of the tree.
    • Watch how the roots bulk up at the base of the tree.
    • Be consistent with the direction you wrap your wire to keep things looking natural.
    • Wire sticking out is fine, just like little branches.

    To solidify everything, I chose to solder everything rather than glue it. The other nice thing about solder rather than glue is the way it adds another layer of detail to everything, making it look more than just wire wrapped around wire. Check back later for a detailed look at soldering, but here are the quick steps:
    1. Use a soldering iron to apply heat to the area you want to solder.
    2. Apply solder to the metal, not to the iron.
      This is very important. If the metal you're soldering isn't hot enough to melt the solder, the bond will be weak or non-existent.
    3. Repeat.

    When soldering, you don't want things to get too hot for too long. Be careful if you choose to use a torch (clicky) to heat the metal or have a high powered iron rather than a standard 1 or 2 position one. Typically, you want to heat fast - solder - move on. If you make a mistake heating, the solder won't stick to the metal even if you reheat it.

    From here, I went to town and soldered the whole tree, ending up with this:

    Now, it's looking pretty cool, but it's still too open, too wiry and not quite a tree. To do that, I have to cover it with something. Gel came to mind right away, but I wanted to try something new. Glue maybe? Too smooth. A tree, especially a spooky one, needs some texture to it.

    I used a cap full of sand, (fine grit, not large particles) added some glue, then a little water to help the flow. Mix that all up, and now I have some bark. Don't use too much water, or it will be too runny. Too much glue, and it won't be gritty enough. Find a mix that you like.

    Put down some paper beneath the tree, then apply lots and lots of this bark. A single cap was apparently not nearly enough, but it's disposable, so I just mixed it again... and again... and again. Be sure to get under the branches as well, though you'll probably have to use less water and a thicker mix of glue/sand.

    Before leaving it to dry, pick the tree up and move it so you don't end up gluing it down.

    Now it's dry and looking good - but I think it needs another layer of bark.

    And here we are with the final product:

    I think it's looking pretty good for a spooky tree. I don't want to paint it yet since the rest of my build isn't ready, but this tutorial is about building the tree - you know how to paint it, right?

    Types of House Rules

    I've been seeing a lot going around lately about rule changes, cheating and so on. It's had me doing some thinking on various forms of house rules and what they're for.
    Keep in mind there are only so many rule changes you can make before the game you are playing only resembles that which the developer created.

    Rule Clarifications

    These are rules created by people who either do not understand the rules, feel they aren't clear enough or are contradictory. This can be the fault of the writers but sometimes it's just a matter of personal interpretation.

    These are written by people with the intention of simply clearing up a confusion in the rules. Sometimes this will be by those of authority such as a gaming store, other times by a consensus of people in a circle of friends.

    They're not always correct and official errata / FAQs should be checked and devs emailed before making up your own rules. Be sure to write down your errata so you don't get in rule arguments in the middle of a game.

    Fun Rules

    Some house rules are created because a gaming circle wants to try adding a fun flare to their games. They might be different from game to game and sometimes might not be used at all. Usually you'll see these in the gaming circles of friends since stores have to stick close to the rulebooks in order to create an environment where anyone can walk in and play without surprises.

    This could be a random minefield that'll kill either side, a small piece of terrain armies get as a free heavy support choice, mission objectives, overwatch, changing the unit organizational chart, more terrain types, randomly deploying terrain, not having to tell your opponent what unit is in what transport or what items in reserve are deep striking / flanking (as long as you have a way to mark down the secrets so there's no question of cheating) or anything else that a bunch of friends can sit around and dream up because they think it might be fun to try.

    This is where I finally get to use the buzz word of the day - Comp. Compity comp comp compy comp... ahem.

    Including, but not limited to Comp, there are entire system changes that gaming stores and tournament organizers (admittedly propped up by many adoring fans) all across the world have created because they believe they can do Warhammer better than Games Workshop. (this can apply to any other system, but I'll continue with GW since it's what I know) When errata starts becoming pages long, you've now entered the area where you're not quite playing the game you purchased anymore.

    Games Workshop has been doing their job 5 days a week since the 80's. While we may not always agree with them, they know a thing or two about what they're doing. I'll also point out that unlike some other game systems, GW seems to be trying to just tweak and revise their rules every version to make things better which has the advantage of ending up with clearer and more concise rules, rather than giant changes with potential to be completely different and/or broken. (Anyone who's played DnD from 2nd, 3rd, 3.5 to 4th knows what I'm talking about... at least Tyranids don't have to calculate ThAC0 - wait, do Dark Eldar get Feats now?)

    Sometimes it's not actually about balance so much as making things [what they perceive as] fair, knocking down the currently popular or spammed strategies, limiting the amount of vehicles/walkers/dreadnoughts or how many elite/fast/heavy options can be taken (see: all the good / fun units) and/or trying to remove random factors from the game.That's right, people want to take a varying objective, differently terrained strategy dice game populated by _very_ different armies and change it so that people of different skill levels in paid tournaments are on an even playing field as defined by the current local scene.

    Personally I think these people would be better off placing their minis on a checkerboard - monstrous creatures can be kings. At this point, they might as well take your previous tournament placings into consideration and add/subtract points from your army size as a handicap or hire those companies that make sure school work isn't plagiarized to weed out net-lists. (My apologies if someone reads this and it's used)

    Either play for fun or play to compete. Don't nerf tournaments into Diet Warhammer because you can't stomach a little competition. Lrn2Play. Is this a Win At All Costs attitude? No - I don't play tournaments because I'm a casual player. I play for fun, not competition and I wouldn't want someone to rewrite the rulebook to play in a tournament where everyone's armies resembled each others.

    (This actually makes me wonder if the whole Comp thing is in place to avoid the stress of competing - because no matter what, you're still competing and people who stress over it are still going to stress)

    Ulterior Motives

    Sometimes human nature just rears it's ugly head. Often these will be made by people of power like a gaming store or the loudest talker in your gaming group that nobody wants to disagree with. If you think some rules are junk, say so. Be polite, stay calm and make your point. Talking louder doesn't actually help AND NEITHER DOES TYPING IN ALL CAPS.

    A while ago an example came up where a gaming store (I believe it was actually a Games Workshop) allowed anyone who bought terrain at the store to place it after both sides had setup their units. Obviously this can seriously change a game. Motive? Money. Other times this might fall into one of the above categories but be obviously unbalanced and in someone's specific favour. If you want to try other rules, go for it - but if they appear unbalanced, you have to say so and not allow their use to continue if you can't balance them in a reasonable amount of time.

    Believe it or not, some people don't care if they win fairly, as long as they're winning - luckily I haven't had to deal with this personally, but Internet has plenty of examples of this. Sometimes it's cases of people flat out cheating. There seems to be the opinion held by some (and admitted on forums and such) that "If my opponent doesn't know I'm not quite following the rules, then I can do what I want and it's their own fault."

    Weekly Update take 2

    (woops, guess I should remember to change the auto-post date/time on holiday weekends when I'm planning on writing this later)

    Another week past, another devoid of content due to Nurgle's hold on me and Mediterranean food poisoning. I'm just about feeling better now though, so I should be able to start posting some content again.

    Go on over and check out http://www.houseofpaincakes.com ! Why, you ask? Not only did I win their haiku contest this week but their User Content Friday featured my Art of Noise post. Since I won the haiku contest, I get to pick this week's contest - and that's why you should keep following as there's always something interesting going on there.

    There's an awesome terrain build from Spud over at: http://losthemisphere.com/blog/?p=9091

    Now here is something _really_ cool:
    Senji Studios points out this service: http://www.moddler.com/index.php
    Basically, if you have some 3d modelling skill, these guys will do a 3d print of your work, be it figure, vehicle, terrain, etc. I priced it out and a 1"x1"x3" dynamically posed humanoid figure was $29. Wow. Maybe it's time to dust off my 3D Studio skillz because I am certainly intrigued.

    And finally, looks like Darksol got himself a Geek Chic table. These are basically high end gaming tables that can cover up to look like normal tables. Add shelves, dice rolling areas etc. Or, if you're rolling in the dough, there's The Sultan.
    Personally, we made ourselves a nice 8'x4' table for about $100, but this certainly another option.

    Dawn of War 2 - Eldar in Single Player

    I only glance at Bell of Lost Souls from time to time, but recently they posted this shiny tidbit: http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2010/09/thq-playable-eldar-trailer-for-dow2.html

    The next DoW 2 expansion this coming March will feature Eldar in single player. As a bonus, Alaitoc represent! No more drab, emo Ulthwe.

    Weekly Update

    I want to start out by pointing your attention over to Dave Taylor Miniatures. He was one of the people involved in the Storm Wardens charity project that raised over $16,000 for Doctors Without Borders. Recently a couple of his friends lives were wracked by tragedy and to help them out he's going to be eBaying a couple of his armies. (Which have been featured in White Dwarf and the 5th ed 40k rulebook) The full post is here and he's been adding more photos on his blog of what's going to be up for sale. http://davetaylorminiatures.blogspot.com/2010/09/more-charity-goodness-to-come.html

    On a brighter note, here is an incredible temple tutorial by Senji, another of the Storm Wardens crew: http://senjistudios.com/?p=1930 His blog's got a lot of great information on the craft, (tools, supplies, builds and so on) so check it out.
    Also, this is very impressive - A filmed video of a Space Marine and Khorne Berserker.

    This past weeks RL stuff is still in the process of calming down and with fall here I've of course gotten sick. However, I've added a contribution to the From the Warp Photography Collaborative Post. Take a look at my article on Photographing Your Minis or head on over there to see how other people do it. Also, a boring little article on the important of water.
    Slight correction from last week - the blog group I've joined in the Int'l House of PAINcakes... not pancakes... sometimes even I miss the slightest details... /shame

    Finally, Oktoberfest is here! What's that mean? Breakfast with live polka music, Miss Oktoberfest, Uncle Hans, Keg Tapping and all the sauerkraut I can consume. Mmmmm.... (I love my job)

    I'll end on a quick note - Blogger's enabled spam filtering on comments now, which I don't think I can turn off. It's incorrectly blocked one comment so far, so I apologize in advance if there's a delay on any of your comments being posted - I'll keep an eye on the filter.


    This won't be a terribly impressive post, but RL is busy at the moment and water is important. These aren't complicated suggestions, just a few things to make your life easier.

    As you all know, we work with acrylic paints - otherwise named water based paints. You'll always need a container nearby to clean off your brush. This water will get dirty and evaporate, just wash it out from time to time.

    The only stuff you should clean off in here are things that are water soluble. Oil based paints, glue, chemicals, etc should never be cleaned here - if you do, you'll end up with crud left behind that will work it's way into your good brushes as you try to clean them.

    You'll also want an eye dropper (with container) and a syringe without a needle.

    The eye dropper will give you a source of CLEAN water at all times and an easy way to disperse it. I found this at a surplus store but was quite hard to track down with a container.
    When you're painting wet, creating your own washes, restoring/thinning paints, etc you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not the water you clean your brush in is too dirty.
    If a brush has junk on it you want to keep out of your water supply, drop some water on it while brushing on a paper towel.

    The syringe can be used with either the eye dropper or your main water container to move larger amounts of water around.
    Most stores with medical supplies will have these, even drugstores.

    Now, if you're wondering why I'm filling that little cap full of water, here's the explanation:

    Perhaps it's about ergonomics, but the less your arm/wrist are stretching back and forth, the happier they'll be. When I paint, I keep my brush constantly wet. Not wet enough to create a wash, but wet enough to help the paint flow and get a sharper tip. For this reason, I'm constantly back and forth doing Paint -> Water -> Model loop. By keeping a cap full of water right beside whatever I'm painting, it's just a small movement to get a little more water on the brush.

    For this reason I suggest having an old cap with a low rim on hand.

    +Tony Stanley from Creative Twilight points out that having two water cups handy is good when you're working with metallic paints. It keeps metallic flecks out of your brush when working between normal and metals.

    Happy Hallow-Month!

    Clive Barker's Pinhead, carved by me, 2007
    - Completely Off Topic -

    You won't get many posts where I go off topic because I want this to remain a central hub of information for crafting - buuuut I love Halloween. When I was younger, I loved dressing up as a (land) shark or the wolfman and decorating the house. As I could start bending the rules of my bedtime, I'd stay up late and watch Halloweek on Showcase. (Canadian HBO) What this meant was that at midnight for a week leading up to Halloween, they'd play some sort of horror, scary, spooky, thriller, classic, obscure or cheesy B movie. (Usually a mix) This has unfortunately been cancelled for many a year now.

    Now, I'm a fan of the "scary movie" genre and greatly enjoy anything as long as it's entertaining - from scary to suspenseful to B movie. (slashers and gorefests are about all I don't enjoy) Since Showcase doesn't play Halloweek anymore, I began holding up the tradition watching a scary movie every day during Halloweek - and generally watch a whole bunch of these movies throughout the month of October.

    The following is my tentative lineup for this month (time allowing) and some that I've watched plenty of in the past and would recommend in case you're looking for a selection of movies to enjoy this month. Got some suggestions?
    How do I have time for them all? They'll be playing in the background while I paint my Pumpkin Head project and my wife works like crazy at their twice yearly furniture market.

    • Survival of the Dead (newest from Romero, whom you can always trust)
    • Fear Itself
      • This is basically season 3 of Masters of Horror, which I _strongly_ recommend. Each ep is it's own movie about something terrible. Incredible writing, acting, cast, effects - Masters of Horror are some of the best recent scary movies. I'm looking forward to seeing how Fear Itself is.
    • The Hunger
      • TV series, often supernatural, each episode a different story about humanity's vices and weaknesses. First season hosted by Terrance Stamp, second by David Bowie. Birthday present from my bro, I've watched a few already and I aim to indulge.
    • Stan Helsing (This looks terrible, and my brother says it is... but I am intrigued)
    • House of 1000 Corpses (I don't care what you say about Rob Zombie - he knows how to make a movie)
    • Bram Stokers Dracula (Classic)
    • Tales from the Dark Side
      • Aka, Creepshow 3. I highly suggest 1 and 2. More short stories in movie format.
    • Nightbreed (Clive Barker without Pinhead set in rural Canada!)
    • Videodrome (Just crazy... I won't give anything away.)
    • The Shining (Been a long time since I ... something, something)
    • Silent Hill (Goriest thing every created by Disney animators)
    • Thir13en Ghosts (Terrific ghost story)
    • The Wolfman (New version, great cast... looking forward to it)
    • Wristcutters: A Love Story (surprisingly good and fun)
    • Ink (This looks really good and creepy - something about good and evil faeries fighting over your dreams)
    • 1408 (Been wanting to see this for a while)
    • Shaun of the Dead (instant classic)
    • It (Been meaning to see this for a long time)
    • Fido (What could go wrong in a society post-zombiepocalypse where zombies become servants/pets?)
    • American Psycho (It's been a while since I've watched Batman completely lose it)
    • The Lair of the White Worm (Think I'm finally going to bite the bullet and watch this one)
    • Killer Condom (total B movie)
    • The Witches Hammer
    • Bloodsuckers
    • Fright Night 1 and 2
    One of Pretty Ugly's Ugly Dolls, carved by The Wife, 2007
    The Wife's Picks:

    Others I'd recommend:
    *Disclaimer: While most of this list is good, if laughing at how terrible B movies are isn't your thing, avoid the movies I point out as bad. The trick is to watch mostly good ones and throw in a terrible one from time to time.

    It occurs to me I have a bunch of TV shows, cheesy movies I've been putting off for years and a surprising amount of Canadian Content.There's also a bunch I've never seen before this year that I'm looking forward to. Before you point out that Gremlins isn't on the list - it's part of my Christmas movie lineup.

    Bonus - Halloween Music List: