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Monthly Archives:June 2015

TUTORIAL: KEEPING YOUR BRUSHES ALIVE

Ever wandered how a brush graveyard looks like? Some of us seen this wast field of broken, damaged brushes – left aside without purpose. A truly sad sight to behold. Now you’re probably looking at the sharp tip of your favorite brush thinking “It won’t happen to you my dear friend. This doesn’t concern you.” Sorry to be a bringer of bad news, but brushes come and go – no way around it. The only thing we can do is to preserve their longevity as much as possible. How to it? The sole purpose of this article is to share some tips that might help you enjoy your brush till it’s late veteranship and avoid this:

Brush Care:

On top of thorough cleaning after each use, the proper care is the key to preserve brush’s shape and thus function. It’s not something to repeat at daily basis, still every now and then a “brush spa”should be performed. Here’s how I do it:

I USED:

  • Airbrush Cleaner
  • Soap
  • Hair repair conditioner
  • Water
  • Paper Towels
  • Small cup

1  First I poured Airbrush Cleaner into a small cup. Next I dipped a tip of the brush, tapping it against a bottom of the cup. The purpose of this step is to ensure that any dried out paint leftovers would get removed from the brush's tip. Once done I cleaned up the tip and metal part of the brush's handle with a paper towel soaked in Airbrush Cleaner. I did this by slowly pulling the brush through the towel, forming it's tip.

2  Step two was to gently clean the tip with soaped fingers and wash it with water.

3  Then I moved to step three, covering the tip with a hair repair conditioner. Then I left the brush to soak with conditioner for about 20 minutes.

4  The final step was to once again clean the brush with water and form the tip, using a paper towel.

Now my brushes rest happily in a brush cup, smiling to me in wait for next project…

Brush Necromancy:

Ok, so you can take care of your brushes to keep them healthy, but what if they’re already ‘on the other side’? Untill recently I was sure that there’s no comming back from the brush’s afterlife, but I was prooven wrong by a friend who linked me a crazy awesome tutorial – and now I will share it with you.

I USED:

  • Iron (yes, like for Ironing clothes)
  • Water

1  I dipped the brush in water...

2  I touched a wet tip of the brush to the hot iron, then started moving it backwards, gently turning it in one direction.

Well – that’s it! Sounds easy? It actually is XD Just take a look at this video…

 

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part nine

Six months is a lot of time to gather material for another project related article, and thus  The Colony Special Project is back with entire new installment about this Infinity gaming board. I just couldn’t leave this project unattended for much longer.

THE COLONY - part nine: CONTAINING THEME

Cutting Colours

Let me start by telling you this: I love my gaming board. That being said, at some point I felt like something didn’t quite bangt right. The board was finished, I got a lot of awesome, positive feedback about it, still deep down I felt something is off. There’s always place for improvement so my inner artist raged while being unable to pinpoint the exact reason of my discomfort. It took a while for me to understand that the board looked too chaotic to absorb. All the yellow, blue and deep clear-red did not work well with White-Sand-Orange-Green colour scheme.

I started introducing changes by dumping the obvious source of unfitting colours – the Holo Ads, and adding more green to the board with brand new set of Antenocitis Ad Stands. It partially worked but I wasn’t fully satisfied with the result…

The real change sweeped throughout The Colony quite suddenly. Everything, and I can’t stress this enough, because of the Gingermane Studio and it’s scenery. Long story short – there is this guy for whom I paint some Infinity miniatures, and one day he is like ‘I’m designing some scenery pieces, what you think?’ and I’m like ‘OMG I love this shit!’ and he’s like ‘Wanna grab some?’ and I’m like ‘Duuh! Shut up and take my money!’… All of the sudden I find myself knee deep in Gingermane’s scenery pieces which not only look amazing, but also fit right into my gaming board’s theme. They seem to be plucked straight out  of my deepest desires – both in case of looks and playability.

This was the exact point at which I decided to finally ‘repair the damage’ I done to my gaming board and contain the colour palette of all the stuff that appears on it…

The final decision was made: Coloured Plexi Ads adorning the buildings had to go. Upon reaching this conclusion I instantly contacted my besties from Micro Art Studio and ordered a huge pile of replacement pieces. I’ve figured that a bigger version of ’rounded orange piece’ would work the best for the theme and overall looks. Soon after, I got a delivery of more than a hundred pieces necessary to finalize the ‘grand change’…

Farewell Plexi

Preparing these was harsh. Had to clean them all of soot leftovers and remove small pieces left inside some of the laser-cut holes. Once done I painted all the pieces in a single go, then swaped Plexi Ads with them. The result is exactly how I hoped for.

Epilogue

The road to perfect gaming table streches before me and it’ll take some time till I get there, but I can see the destination. What’s left for me to do is to add dots of Vallejo’s Sandy Yellow here and there to tone down the Gingermane’s white a bit. Afterwards The Colony should be finally complete… at least for some time. I promiss to bring you more of The Colony in next installment – probably six months from now :P.

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P’REVIEW: STUDIOLEVEL BANTAM ALLEY KICKSTARTER

This is not a regular Review, but rather an interresting Kickstarter campaign that I would like to spotlight. StudioLevel, known from producing a hand made wargaming scenery, is now releasing a brand new series of resin bitz and scenery pieces, named ‘Bantam Alley’. So – BANTAM ALLEY hit Kickstarter just few days ago and it is something well worth seeing…

BANTAM ALLEY

Bantam Alley is everything between bitz, round bases, 28-32mm post apocalyptic scenery pieces and entire scenery Battle Systems. Among all the goodies you will find furniture, sewer hatches, industrial plates, trash cans, barrels, pipes, hydrants, air condisioners and even a safe full of gold bars. But there’s much, much more. In my minds eye I can already see a variety of uses for all this stuff. Titles like Warzone, Fallout, Zombicide, Batman, Wolsung are just on top of my head – as this set of scenery covers a wide range of themes. I was lucky enought to got my hands on a sample and take a closer look…

QUALITY

The samples look really good. Resin used varries between different types of products, but as I was assured by StudioLevel – this is by design, not accident. All elements have sharp detail with no micro-air bubles visible. All samples seem to be designed as to limit mold lines to the base of each piece, thus ensuring easier if none – preparation before paint job. Only Bottle Crates had hand grips filled with thin membrane of mold lines – was easy to remove these in a giffy.

 

What’s interresting – all huge, flat elements like gigantic wall safe door, are free from the ‘curve effect’. I don’t know how StudioLevel managed this feat of molding, but they did a great job.

Material, Bantam Alley pieces are made of, is easy to work with – still some products seem to come partially prepared by StudioLevel. Couple pieces bear marks of smoothed underside. This is much better than getting a scenery piece, or bitz with huge chunk of resing stuck underneath it.

PAINT FRIENDLY

I tested few samples with black paint to see if resin is paint frendly or does it require any preparation before paint job. Results are positive – these certainly do not require any cleaning before going under the brush. Paint clings nicely to the surface, working well with the resin underneath.

SUMMARY

The arsenal of cool stuff obtainable by this Kickstarter campaign really overwhelms me. It carries so much diorama / bases / scenery ideas behind it, that it is difficult for me to concentrate on details. I can imagine all those boring, flat walled MDF scenery pieces being instantly transformed into awesome looking – ‘alive’ – gaming tables. Never before was leveling up a boring scenery to something purely extraoridinary that easy!

This is a Preview, thus I won’t be providing a score on the usual 1-10 table, instead I can say that I am really hyped for this campaign and will certainly support it.

If you like StudioLevel’s Bantam Alley – go and take a look at Bantam Alley Kickstarter Campaign and be sure to let me know what you think of it in the comments below or at my Facebook 😉

 

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October 2017

October begun RED with Infinity Nomads lvl 4 ‘Chrome & Shiny’ being painted and then sent across the ocean to the land of USA. Afterwards, being totally hyped I run a small project adding some Nomads of my own to a house collection. With lots and lots of miniatures under preparation, I decided to spend some time with last year’s ‘Go Go Nomads’ Diorama and add a second part to it. Now I consider building entire terrain set based like this – but that’s for another topic… After compleeting all the Infinity related project I jumped straight into the grim future of Warhammer 40,000, painting a set of Space Hulk themed Dark Eldar and then a small Inquisitorial force. This month was a lot of fun. Now time to ented next one with the same brutal force of spilled paint and damaged brushes 😛

Infinity NOMADS ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

Infinity NOMADS – View gallery…

“GO GO NOMADS” DIORAMA DISPLAY Special Project – View galerry…

WH40K DARK ELDAR ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

WH40K INQUISITION ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

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REVIEW: ARISTEIA!

“175 Years into the future, humankind has reached the stars. As the hyperpowers vie for influence in the shadows, citizens use their permanent connection to Maya, the Interplanetary Data Network, to revel in a bespoke deluge of thrills. Of course, no form of entertainment is as sought after as ARISTEIA!, the Human Sphere’s favorite extreme bloodsport.”

ARISTEIA!

Aristeia! is a game of futuristic gladiatorial combat set in the universe of Infinity the Game. As far as I’m aware this is the first board game released by Corvus Belli, Infinity the Game’s producer. I was raised by a board game industry thus once in a while, if a miniatures filled board game happens to appear in my collection, I use this opportunity to review it. I decided to share my feel of Aristeia! with you. As with all my reviews this one will be totally subjective, so – you have been warned 🙂

COLLECTOR'S EDITION

The reason I bought the game in the first place – a set of eight metal Aristeia! characters. I knew what to expect from plastic miniatures, thus decided to spend more and get the best quality product. Metal miniatures are standard for Infinity the Game players, but are something totally new for regular board game muggles. To all of you who might not know Infinity the Game quality – these are one of the best miniatures in the market. They require a lot of preparation and must be put together before use, but would reward all the work put into them with great quality of detail.

IN THE BOX

Now, let’s leave awesome miniatures behind and see what’s inside the game…

The ‘Box’,

The box is solid, standard board game quality. Hard paper, smooth with no grating. It is not the quality that some of the most popular board game producing companies (FFG, CMON) spoil us with, but is still acceptably durable. In comparison to Corvus Belli’s usual front designs like Operation Icestorm which literally screams ‘Fuck yeah! So much action inside!’, Aristeia front is kind of dull. There seem to be a lot colours with not much coherency whatsoever, which is further emphasized by white background. My reaction to the box is that it would have difficulty catching my attention in a board game store – but hey – totally subjective.

‘How to Play’ ergo Rules,

A 15 pages long, ‘How to Play’ booklet. This one will lead you through game components and then a pre-setup game with pre-defined rolls and actions. Going through this should make you understand the game’s mechanics and feel comfortable going into your first ‘serious’ game. The booklet is designed to introduce some rules at certain point. If you are a seasoned board game player you would probably get bored in the middle and skip ahead to a real deal game… Seem nice for less experienced players tho.

‘Access Guide to the Human Sphere’ ergo Fluff book,

An interresting addition. Corvus Belli is well known for providing a deep background for their products. Aristeia! is not an exception. With this 14 pages long booklet we get to know the setting and the characters of Aristeia! A really nice way to get a bit more into the game and ‘feel’ the characters. Here’s also where you will find the best graphics of the game in high resolution.

Two-sided Gaming Board,

Made out of hexes and looking like a giant hex is the Hexadome board! Usual board game quality. After setup it lays flat on the table. It is rather clear to understand. I am a bit dissapointed that both sides have identical layout with only difference being the visual design. Hoped for two totally different gaming areas that would provide much more variety and replayability.

2 Control Panels,

When I look at these I want to quote Dutch from Predator poronouncing “What the hell are *you*?” with utter distaste. Supposedly fancy shaped to fit the board at the start of the game – utterly retarded once you realize that instead of helping they do the opposite. On top of that these look like out of entirely different game – they just don’t fit the visual layout of Aristeia! and mess up entire futuristic sci-fi feel of the game.

If you haven’t read the rules of the game – I advise to skip the list of issues below, not to get confused too much.

  • Why there’s only 5 (6) spots on the Movement and Actions counters? Apparently with Tactics invovled – some characters can have more. Why not use tokens to keep track of these instead?
  • Do really both players require a Turn counter? Why not just a single, separate turn counter?
  • Why such a fancy shape? If these were rectangular instead, they would fit the long edges and save space on the gaming table, not to mention being much less susceptible to damage (with no sharp angles).
  • Why are they in the game anyway? Why not use tokens to count Action and Movement Points and keep Initiative Cards before you set up from left to right, Infirmary characters on the left, Bench characters on the right?

Overall Control Panels are a waste of resources, needless gadget – I am trashing my own and adding a ‘Aristeia! Control Panel’ to the list of words that trigger me.

A shitload of Tokens, including Obstacles, Damage, States, Victory Points, Frags, Green/Orange, Blue/Orange, Red/Blue, Red/Green, and Underdog.

When it comes to quality, once again this is just a regular board game quality. No grating, regular hard paper stuff. Gameplay wise these are clear to understand and easy to use, except for the pain in the ass tiny  droplets, which really might have been the same size as ‘Damage 3’ tokens. Visually tokens present themeselves poorly. Once again a feature that doesn’t feel right and is far from fitting the supposedly futuristic aspect of the game. Tokens look like from some poor, booring game without theme. Quite dissapointing – and that’s actually strange comming from Corvus Belli, known for caring about visual and theme aspect of their products.

8×8 Stickers, because reasons…

I don’t want to talk about this. I know what they are for. I think they look poor as fck. I get why they are designed in this simple manner. Still look poor as fck.

‘Reference Guide’,

I am used to Reference Tables placed at the back of rules. This one is much more interresting, with 30 pages filled with answers, examples, rules claryfications, Scenarios and a list of about 90 topics and key words. There’s a Quick Reference Sheet at the back of this small size booklet and once you are done with ‘How to Play’ you can switch to ‘Reference Guide’ for life. I find this one to be a really great idea, even if it’s not entirely user friendly and rules redirect us to other rules, which then redirect us to other rules – classic ‘Spanish style’. Fear not! You’ll get used to it at some point.

I would still like to get a proper Rulebook and then use ‘Reference Guide’ as an ingame help.

14 custom D6 Dice,

A set of custom, easy to understand dice. Symbols are concave which transtales to almost infinite lifespan of such dice.

52 Tactics Cards,

Standard size cards with ‘Tactics’ – special actions players can use during the game. This piece is the one that could really use grated paper to provide much more durability. Gameplay friendly, with clear areas and strongly exposed rules section. Visually – I have mixed feelings. A lot is going on in the cards with Aristeia! characters jumping, kicking, shooting, hacking. There’s a comic like expression, suspense and feel to the pictures and yet pastel colours render it a bit silly and flat.

Visuals aside – what I would like to see is a mark in top left corner for all ‘Standard’ Tactics. This would quicken the process of finding Standard Tactics among other cards. Adding two colours distinction between these marks would also make a ‘How to Play’ part of our experience more pleasant, like ‘give orange dot cards to your opponent, take green dot cards yourself – now dig for cards numbered… whatever’.

8 Character Cards,

At first might seem a bit overwhelming, but in truth these are simple and easy to understand. Pretty nice design. Quality of paper is the same as Tactics Cards with an exception of visible cut markings on top. A pack of sleeves would render this irrelevant anyway.

8 Initiative Cards,

These are just awesome looking 42/63mm cards. Visually they present themeselves really cool. I think that adding a textured background and more edges is what makes these graphics outshine the rest.

8 Plastic Miniatures,

Bag’o’miniatures – a set of 8 miniatures, made out of soft ‘board game’ plastic. These come already put together (by some Chinese prisoners) and ready to play. Some have issues and all seem to be improperly glued onto the bases. If not for that then quality is almost the same as in Zombicide or most of FFG’s games. If you hoped for quality and detail simmilar to Infinity the Game – these would be a huge dissapointment, otherwise they are a regular board game miniatures and would serve their purpose perfectly.

Oops! So this is how one of the miniatures came in. It is not uncommon among board games – not a faulty design or production, just an accident in transportation. Complaint placed – will await a replacement.

Thin plastic box organizer,

So, the Organizer is a great thing that I come to appreciate, if delivered properly. This one is clearly made for the purpose of holding a factory issued game untill it get’s unpacked.

  • It lacks space to place Tokens in. Sure these can be packed into zip-bags and placed underneath the organizer, but removing it from the box time and time again would definitely damage soft plastic it is made of.
  • Why not place another niche or two in that huge flat area on the left? I don’t know…
  • Once sleeved, cards barely fit the area designed to hold them so no way to fit more cards once an expansion hits the stores.

Could have been a cool feature, would go to trash instead.

RULES & GAMEPLAY

Aristeia! has a well designed engine, that offers a lot of options to competitive players. Most of the time it made me think about which option to choose from rather than how rules work. Alternate character activation, Tactics Cards and special ‘Switch’ activated effects kept me occupied throughout the round, all the while rotating Scoring Zones and planning my characters Activation sequence pleasantly stimulated my brain cells. I appreciate that Aristeia! has some elements of deck and team building, providing options to construct a deck of Tactics Cards and a team of selected characters. This is yet another feature that competitive players might find interresting. Once I got to know the key words and rules mechanisms of the game seem simple and enjoyable. I especially appreciate a fast and not complicated end phase of every round, which does not disturb action.

The way in which rules are served is a bit of a downside. Some things that are meant to be intuitive ended up being confusing and entire process of being led hand in hand with a pre-designed turn from ‘How to Play’ was exhausting and not very pleasant. In the other hand everything is there in the booklet and many in-game situations are covered so once through it – I quickly knew how to proceed.

Some crunchy mechanics are:

  • Line of Fire rules described in a confusing and overly complicated way. In some situations is not clear on the gaming board. A hard paper ruler in the box, so that players could use it to check the exact Line of Fire would do the job of easing gameplay. Still I am certain that with more experience this one would stop to be an issue.
  • Adding Attack/Skill results in your head, instead of on the board. This one is a bit problematic. There are no Dice, nor Tokends destined to be used as markers for all the ‘additional’ Damage / Shields / Special that are added to the Attack / Defence roll. Let’s say I roll three dice and scored: Damage, Damage, Shield, Special. My opponent clearly sees the result. Then I add a misterious one Damage from my character ability, then use a Switch to exchange one Special from the roll for another one Damage… but there’s no way to indicate this on the board. In a competitive game this might lead to some bad blood situations and in a friendly game this is just very confusing. I would gladly see an additional set of WHITE dice with Damage / Damage / Shield / Shield / Special / Special symbols to use them as markers for any additionl results added to the roll so that my opponent and I myself can see the exact total of the Attack, before we apply any Switches.

 

IS ARISTEIA! FOR CASUALS?

If you hope to bring this game to a friendly meeting and just start playing with your Settlers of Catan friends – I strongly recommend not to. Corvus Belli did a fine job of introducing symbols and intuitive elements, but the game is still full of key words, special skills, triggered mechanisms that might confuse board game muggles. This game is a fine piece for two seasoned players who would like to clash against one another and win eternal glory in the Hexadome!

IS IT SIMILAR TO ANY OTHER GAME?

In my opinion gameplay-wise Aristeia! is very similar to World of Warcraft Miniatures Game, which at some point I enjoyed a  crazy lot! This makes me look at Aristeia! from a friendly perspective and I have some hopes for the future of the game.

IS ARISTEIA! BALLANCED?

In a straight out of a box ‘How to Play’ way – nope. Some ballance comes with Experience but you won’t be able to achieve perfect ballance untill you and your opponent both have a box of your own. Once there, you will be able to build a Team and Tactics Deck from among all available components and the game would become ballanced. For less competitive ‘one box’ play I see potential in drafting heroes or just switching teams with gaming buddy from time to time, so that no one would end up feeling like his team is underpowered in certain aspects.

IS THERE A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUALITY OF METAL AND PLASTIC ARISTEIA! MINIATURES?

Yes and it is a gargantuan, Pacific Rim sized difference. Just take a look at the pictures and see for yourself…

ARISTEIA'S FUTURE

From what I am aware there are some big plans for Aristeia! Organized Play. We already know what to expect from the first expansion ‘Soldiers of Fortune’, and these are meant to be introduced every seazon. Seasonal expansions would make for good replayability and should keep players interrested. In my opinion Aristeia! has some potential and is certainly much more suitable for competitive play than Infinity the Game. Would it become as popular as X-Wing? I hope not, cause this would mean cancerous individuals soiling community built and cared for by Corvus Belli. Still I keep my fingers crossed for CB’s success, even tho they seem to diverse some of their attention from my favorite game.

 

SUMMARY

Even tho I spent almost half of my life in a Hobby Store Aristeia! is a conundrum to me. In one hand it is clearly an interresting game and I enjoyed the gameplay. Aristeia’s mechanisms aren’t anything that I haven’t seen before, but the way they work with each other translates to a really thinked through set of rules. On top of that the game has a lot of potential both in competitive and hobby aspects. In the other hand some components are just fucking ugly and it hurts my eyes to look at them. Taking Metal Miniatures out of the equation, for me Aristeia! is totally gameplay over looks. Would I purchase this game if not for trust Corvus Belli earned from me? Nope. Would I purchase this game if not for Limited Collector’s Edition miniatures I want to add to my Infinity the Game collection? Nope. Yet this is due to my prefferences, not the game itself and once I actually got Aristeia! I must say it is a nice game. Price also seem legit and I bet that with 59,9€ starting price there will be ways to get the basic set for less than 50€ – and that is not bad for a game set enabling you to participate in Organized Play. On a scale where 10 is awesome, 8 is good, 6 is ok, 5 is mediocre, 3 is bad and I don’t want to even mention 1 I would say Aristeia! is somewhere between 6 and 7, and that’s only because of some ugly components that drag the note down.

If you don’t care about the looks of Tokens and ‘Trigger Word’, if you like illustrations on the cards and feel like going through a bit spanish’ish rules – you should totally give this game a try. If my expectations for visual aspect of the game were met I would totally rate this game an 8. Im sure that Aristeia! will reward you with a fine and interresting gameplay, so long as you approach it with a proper mindset.

 

Agree/Disagree? There’s a comment section below where you can stand for your opinion 😉

Store.CorvusBelli.com,

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COLOUR RECIPES: INFINITY KAZAKS

Here are some Colour Recipes for Infinity Haqqislam from GALLERY: INFINITY KAZAKS lvl 4. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends inbetween, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guidline not a step-by-step.

GREEN armour & uniforms:

Black Undercoat,

Dark Green RLM (Val), *

Interior Green (Val), *

Mix Interior Green (Val) 3:2 Dead Flesh (Val), *

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Mix Interior Green 1:1:1 Flayed One Flesh (GW) Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

BLACK/GREY outfits & weapons:

Black Undercoat,

Skavenblight Dinge (GW),

Fenrisian Grey (GW),

Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Dark Tone Ink (AP),

Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

White, l&p

BROWN elements:

Olive Drab (Val),

Gorthor Brown (GW),

Mix Gorthor Brown (GW) 1:1 Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Karak Stone (GW), l&p

SKIN:

Bugmans Glow (GW),

Dwarf Flesh (GW),

Dwarf Flesh (GW) + Pale Flesh (Val),

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Pale Flesh (Val),

Mix Pale Flesh (Val) 1:1 Pallid Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

b – blend,

drbr – drybrush,

flbr – flatbrush,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

 

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“NOMAD ZONDS” SPECIAL PROJECT

“Three gargantuan spaceships endlessly traverse the Sphere, doing what others cannot or will not do, sticking it to ‘the Man’ and contesting ordinary definitions of normalcy and acceptability. Do you prefer to think for yourself? Do you want to travel? Then you might have a Nomad spirit.”

CONCEPT:

The idea behind “Nomad Zonds” was born as a child of necessity and inspirational spark. What drove me to Infinity the Game and then to Nomads faction was a bunch of awesome looking miniatures. For me this aspect of the game is so important, that I literally ignored Infinity untill first 3d sculpted miniatures appeared and revolutionized the range. That does not mean all of the oldschool miniatures are bad – let’s just say that back in the day there were not enough awesome looking miniatures to sway me. Now, with all of the newly released, sweet looking, stuff – Infinity range looks insane and the game became an important part of my hobby. What holds me back from acquiring entire Nomads range are those few leftovers of the times long past aka #LetsMakeMoranGreatAgain. Due to rescaling and high quality detail of new miniatures, some of the old ones look out of place among all the goodie goodie stuff that Corvus Belli provides for us on monthly basis. Here’s where ‘necessity’ comes in. Instead of waiting for CB to fulfill my hobby’iest desires, I decided to go ahead and do it myself. So the main concept of this project was to avoid original Nomad Zons at all cost and create something that would match the current quality of the range…

My goal was to create an entire set of silhouette 3 Nomad Zonds to fill all availability once and for all and be able to pick a right tool for a right task at a whim. At the same time I wanted to keep the Zonds somewhat in the boundries of usual four legs, rounded ‘head’ etc. design, to fit the Nomad army and afterwards my Colour Scheme.

FACTORY LINE...

All the required stuff prepared, what was left for me to do at this point was to build this grand new line of Zonds. Lunokhod/Tsyklon legs and axis as a base was an obvious choice. The most Nomad set of legs possible, so I decided to go for it. Legs had to be reposed slightly to match the size of a 40mm base, but otherwise no grand changes required…

Zond’s body is it’s key feature. For this I have picked Haqqislam Bike’s engine. It has the right size, is finely detailed and interresting. I had my eye on this one for a long time now – knowing deep inside it might come in handy at some point. A small cut with hobby cutters between engine and saddle was required to separate these to parts. Afterwards I drilled a hole in the center of upper cannister to mount it on the legs axis…

Another important piece – the head. This one was made out of ALEPH Rebot ‘butt-piece’. Fortunatelly a spare butt-piece is thrown into each Rebots box, so it is obtainable for a low price in the long run. Mounted it on a piece of green-stuff and pushed in the excess of greenstuff on the sides to fill the gaps. Drilled a small hole to mount weaponry/lenses underneath…

The main difference between Transductor Zonds and Total Reaktion Zonds is the weaponry. Transductors have a Lunokhod front lense mounted and both side weapond cut off, while Reaktion Zonds maintain both weapons, one of which was extended with a Warhammer 40k Tau bitz…

Warhammer 40k Tau bitz… In my opinion these work best as fillers for Infinity conversions. Slightly bulky, still futuristic enough to match the theme. Used many different random pieces to improove the differences between certain types of Zonds, still the key piece was a XV8 Crisis Battlesuits arm shield. These were used for nice, round top pieces on all of my Zonds…

THE HOVERZOND...

One Zond was meant to fill the roll of a Meteor Zond, or serve as the good old Stempler Zond in times of need. To create a look of futuristic hover engines that would allow the Meteor Zond to Combat Jump I used four front wheels of Haqqislam bikes. Already had plenty of these at my disposal – seemed like a perfect match. I had also mounted a round frontal ‘sensor’ piece instead of the usual Lunokhod lenses and weapons…

PAINT JOB...

Not much about this part. Painting went pretty fast and easy. I used the standard Nomad Colour Scheme slightly improoved throughout the years of constant practice. Main change is a total abandonment of Metallic colours and using Black-Grey-White Infinity Black instead. In this particular scheme I use airbrush just for the light effects. Drawbacks of using old colour scheme – a lot of regular brush work 🙂

UNLEASH THE ZONDS...

Silhouette 3 Zonds set complete. Let’s call them ‘type: Fireant’. They are ready to be unleashed on countless fields of battle (At this point they already seen some action). You can visit the “NOMAD ZONDS” SPECIAL PROJECT GALLERY for more pictures, and GALLERY: NOMADS to see the rest of this army. Next step would be to design and convert two Baggage Salyut Zonds. What you say about an idea of eight legged, spider like Lunokhods with Fireant bodies? I already see the result in my mind’s eye. See you in next Special Project then…

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Nazroth

COLOUR RECIPES: INFINITY NOMADS

Here are some Colour Recipes for Infinity Nomads from GALLERY: INFINITY NOMADS lvl 4-5. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends inbetween, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guidline not a step-by-step.


RED armour:

Black Undercoat,

Sanguine Base (P3),

Wazdakka Red (GW),

Mix Wzdakka Red 2:1 Skeleton Bone (AP),

Mix Wzdakka Red 2:1:1 Skeleton Bone (AP), White, l&p

Strong Tone Ink (AP),

Mix Skeleton Bone 1:1 White, l&p

Red Tone Ink (AP),

Red Tone Ink (AP),

nomad wip
BLACK/GREY outfits:

Black Undercoat,

Skavenblight Dinge (GW),

Mix Skavenblight Dinge (GW) 1:1 Administratum Grey (GW),

Mix: Administratum Grey 2:1 Fenrisian Grey (GW),

Mix: Administratum Grey 2:1:1 Fenrisian Grey (GW), Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Dark Tone Ink (AP),

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

WEAPONS:

Skavenblight Dinge (GW),

Mix Skavenblight Dinge (GW) 1:1 Administratum Grey (GW),

Mix Administratum Grey 1:1 Flayed One Flesh (GW),

Mix Administratum Grey 1:1: Flayed One Flesh, Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Flayed One Flesh (GW), l&p

Pale Wych Flesh (GW), l&p

SKIN:

Bugmans Glow (GW),

Dwarf Flesh (GW),

Dwarf Flesh (GW) + Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

Pale Flesh (Vallejo) + Pallid Wych Flesh (GW) l&p,

 

WHITE helmets:

TUTORIAL: PAINTING WHITE

BLACK metal:

TUTORIAL: PAINTING ‘INFINITY BLACK’

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

b – blend,

drbr – drybrush,

flbr – flatbrush,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

Zapisz

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September 2017

Ooh Wee! September turned out to be full to the very brim. Three Special Projcets and three regular ones is close to maximum what I can handle in one month. Month started with ‘Clockwork Modrons’ Special Project wave two, that filled the ranks of already existing Modrons from Thomas’s Peculiar Collection. This time I had a free hand as to pick the designs and was not guided by the lore which turned out pretty interresting. Afterwards a lot of Infinity the Game projects droped onto my table, starting with another wave of Panoceania lvl 4 ‘Chrome & Shiny’, then moving to two additions to Ariadna lvl 4 ‘Chrome & Shiny’ army, being USARF and totally new scheme KAZAKS. A second Special Project arrived. First in a long time Lord of the Rings/Hobbit project, ‘Autumn Tauriel‘ made me rest from Infinity for a while. In the end I decided to rest with something of my own, to expand my collection of Nomads (yeah, once again Infinity the Game), thus I bringed to life ‘Nomad Zonds’ Special Project. A truly bountiful month…

 

‘CLOCKWORK MODRONS’ Special Project ‘Fast & Furious’ – View gallery…

Infinity PANOCEANIA ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

Infinity USARF ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

Infinity KAZAKS ‘Chrome & Shiny’ – View gallery…

‘AUTUMN TAURIEL’ Special Project ‘Witness Me!’ – View gallery…

‘NOMAD ZONDS’ Special Project ‘Witness Me!’ – View gallery…

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PAINTING PHILOSOPHY part one PAIN(T) TRAIN

PROLOGUE:

I decided to start this new ‘Painting Philosophy’ series to let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain healthy and rewarding experience. Final result depends on it in the same way as on techniques, know-how and tools used. Nowadays  internet is full of painting tutorials yet it takes some inner understanding of our own capabilities to find what suits us best and fully benefit from all acquired knowledge. That being said – In this series I will reveal what works best for me as a painter. I hope you will find some wisdom in it…

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY: PAINTING IN GROUPS

Painting in groups is a term that I use to describe painting entire groups of miniatures, usually one layer at a time. There are many different approaches to painting miniatures. Some painters preffer to paint a single miniature from start to finish, one layer at a time. Others avoid painting by layers and instead paint a single piece of a miniature, applying all the colours, before proceeding to next part. I on the other hand, feel most comfortable when painting groups of miniatures. The size of such groups migh varry between six to about fifty pieces at a time. They don’t even need to follow the exact same colour scheme as long as they share majority of layers. Off course this method is reserved for armies and collections and would not benefit a single miniature project.

Why this method?

After years of practice this method triggered somehow remotely. I love painting miniatures but get really excited once projects enter final stages. I’m really hooked up on that feeling of accomplishment. That’s why I like to plan projects so that by not undertaking unnecesary actions I save time. If I have a bunch of miniatures to get painted I’d rather prepare and undercoat them all in one go, instead of repeating this for every single miniature, one at a time. It not only quickens the process but also leaves a ‘not entirely fun’ part, of a project, behind. It is not limited to undercoat only and instead translates to all the layers. Every accomplished layer brings me a bit closer to the final steps of a project – the place where ‘choirs’ are left behind, most stuff looks pretty cool already and there’s most fun for me to have.

How do I manage not to get bored?

I maintain my motivation by making small, but important steps. My main goal is to accomplish a project, but there are many small targets to achieve between the start and the finish line. I set obtainable targets, then once accomplished I check if I have energy for another round. Never force myself to take more than one step at a time – this one is important, but all the rest is just a bonus, and as mentioned before – each step brings me closer to project’s completion. In practice it might look more or less like this:

USARIADNA lvl 4 ‘Chrome & Shiny’ COLOUR RECIPE

START

step: Black Undercoat,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

DESERT Armour & Uniforms:

step: Airbrushed layers (main colour), Dark Earth (Vallejo),

step: Airbrushed layers (main colour), Light Brown (Vallejo),

step: Highlights on the main colour, Light Brown (Vallejo),

step: Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the main colour, Flayed One Flesh (GW),

step: Edges on the main colour, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BROWN elements:

step: Secondary colour layer, Olive Drab (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour layer, Gorthor Brown (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Gorthor Brown (GW) + Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Karak Stone (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BLACK/GREY outfits & weapons:

step: Secondary colour layer, Skavenblight Dinge (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Fenrisian Grey (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Dark Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Edges on the secondary colour, White,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

SKIN:

step: Secondary colour layer, Bugmans Glow (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Dwarf Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Dwarf Flesh (GW) + Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour layer, Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Pale Flesh (Vallejo) + Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

OTHER COLOURS…

step: Tetriary colours…

etc…

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

VARNISH:

step: Applying Varnihs,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BASES:

step: Modelling bases,

step: Painting bases,

step: Painting base edges,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Applying tufts and additional elements to the bases…

COMPLETION

As you can see there are approximately thirty steps required to accomplish this project so if I manage to take one step every day I will finish the project in about a month. Let’s say there are just six miniatures in the entire project. Would it be so difficult to accomplish one step with six miniatures in one day? How long can it actually take? It is not some extremely difficult, time consuming task. Easy to motivate myself to do that. Now let’s say I had a free wekend and managed to accomplish a MAIN STEP instead.  This is worth between two to five regular steps. Let’s say I took out five. I just moved five days ahead of schedule. Can spend them being lazy or move to another step… and there’s that – this is how the process works for me.

Other benefits...

Coherent Colour Scheme – Painting in groups, one layer at a time, translates to a more coherent colour scheme. No need to mix paints between miniatures and try to achieve same exact tones – paint is prepared for entire group and will look exactly the same between first and last miniature. In the end this will provide a nice, coherent look of the entire project.

Understanding Through Repetition – After few miniatures of the same kind muscles get used to the detail naturally. Instead of interpretting every miniature I can follow a sort of ‘programmed muscle memory’ to paint much more efficiently, and thus faster. Quality also benefits from this, as there are no ‘uncertain’ brush strokes.

Reaching Ultimate Concentration – Repetition allows me to find myself in a state of utter concentration that won’t get disturbed by music or audio book, still lets me appreciate and take in anything that plays in the background, including videos. I know it’s not a super-power level state of mind and it is common among painters, still not being forced to reset every time and then to mix paints or plan the paint job helps to lenghten the ‘in the mood’ periods.

Purity of Purpose – With clear, obtainable targets in reach and a plan layed down before me it is easier for me to move forward, each step taken being deduced from the list. This makes my motivation thrive.

EPILOGUE:

If you read through all of this banter – I hereby deem you worthy! With wisdom I bestowed, You have possessed knowledge necessary to use the Multi-Miniature Ninja Painter technique. Use it wisely and with good intent and it will benefit you greatly. Do not fear to step in and teach other ‘Muggles’ some of that magic.

I have put a lot of effort into preparing for this article, yet I am sure I missed something important. If you happen to have any questions related to it – feel free to hit me with them. Also take note that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you – still there are many ways to accomplish certain things – mine is just one of them.

What is best in life?

Paint miniatures,

See them displayed before you,

And hear the appraisal from others,

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