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REVIEWS

REVIEW: PAINT FORGE TUFTS AND FLOWERS

Static Grass or Tufts? That is a question that each painter has to answer by himself before going commando with basing miniatures. My personal favorites are off course Tufts as they offer a great visual effect. Sure, tufting entire base can be a bit expensive in comparisson to using Static Grass, but isn’t the looks what truly matters? So Tufts it is – and during many years of miniatures painting I used a variety of them. Recently I work with Army Painter’s, Citadel’s and MiniNature’s but when I want to pop the visual effect of a base with something more colorful or just fancy – I bring Paint Forge to the table!

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PAINT FORGE

From what I know Paint Forge is a Polish painting studio, that produced tufts and Flowers for own use, then seeing how popular they are – started mass production. I first encountered their products by accident, just scrolling through online offer of a friendly hobby store – seeking something to fill my shoping cart with. After seeing the offer I grabbed a handful of different Tufts and Flowers to test them. Since then I already had to resupply as I used up couple of packages during INFINITY: TOHAA project. Must say that most of the time I’m happy with Paint Forge’s stuff but let’s take a closer look at how their products present themeselves…

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QUALITY: 8/10

Both Tufts and Flowers are of fine quality. Once you work with them you will quickly notice the lack of the flaws that most of the nowadays Tufts and Flowers have. There will be no huge, random chunks of Tufts that require you to tear them into smaller pieces before usage. There’s almost no need to prepare either Tufts nor Flowers before use as they go in shapely groups – self adhesive and ready to be glued onto the base. When I say ‘adhesive’ I mean – like really, really adhesive – these are based on some sort of goo that really sticks to the surface. Upon opening the package there won’t be hundreds upon hunreds of loose grass blades – only few of these. There’s also no Games Workshop-like shine of the grass blades. Some flaws are still present but it is common with this kind of products.

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VISUALS: 10/10

What can I say? Paint Forge’s Tufts ands Flowers just kick ass when it comes to Visuals. I know that it is a matter of taste but hell – I’ll just drop some pictures of the miniatures that I used Paint Forge’s stuff on:

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TAU Ethereal 3

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FUNCTIONALITY: 8/10

Paint Forge’s Tufts and Flowers are rather functional. Most of the time the only preparation they require would be to pick them with tweezers and just put them on the base. Some things that I have issues with are:

  1. Rough grass blades, which can be encountered in Flowers. Instead of growing out of the base (goo) of the tuft, they are kept by the upper flower part. This qualifies them for removal, but…
  2. Goo that keeps everything in place is soft and sticky. If you want to remove a single, regular grass blade – it will work just fine, but if you want to remove a grass blade kept by the upper part, then more will surely follow, as the base will give up before the upper part does. It is also near to impossible to tear the goo appart without damaging the Tuft.
  3. Mutated grass blades, which happen to appear in Tufts. These extremely long hair tend to go through entire goo-base of the Tuft making them difficult to be effectively removed without damaging the soft base of the Tuft.
  4. Goo-base of the Tuft is sticky and will surely keep the Tuft on the miniature’s base, but if you happen to be a fan os Super-gluing tufts onto the bases then Paint Forge’s Tufts will dissapoint you, as once the glue is applied you will encounter some crazy difficulties with gluing the Tuft onto the surface.

These are not some huge flaws, still once they appear – they tend to consume time, and time (at least for me) is the most important factor in miniatures painting. Either way these are rare while the overall functionality of the products is really high. No need to remove a rough grass blade – it’s easier to stick the Tuft on the base so that this flaw will stay hidden. You can also try to reposition such grass blade into the goo. There are many quick ways to fix any encountered bug – while using the Tufts with ease.

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PRICE: 9/10

Paint Forge’s products are well balanced when it comes to price. Not too expensive with price gauge placed somewhere around Army Painter. It wouldn’t hurt if they were a bit cheaper, thus competitive, but considering the quality – pricing is really ok.

SUMMARY: 9/10

Not too expensive, great looking and user friendly – Paint Forge’s products are a great choice to compliment the arsenal of Tufts and Flowers used to base the miniatures. Personally I fell in love with them and will expand my collection. I only wish I got to know them a bit sooner so that many fine projects would benefit from it – still there’s a lot of projects before me and you will notice Paint Forge’s Tufts and Flowers appearing in a lot of them.

 

Where to purchase? The best way is to contact Paint Forge directly via Facebook or to visit Vanaheim.pl/eu and order some!

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Nazroth

REVIEW: RIGHT ARM LABS WARGAMING TERRAIN

If you are reading this blog regularly, then you already know that my life is not entirely composed of painting – some gaming is also involved! Here and there a more gaming-centered article pops out and today’s review is just such an article. If you came here for a painting article, please do not be discouraged and still give thise one a try – who knows, maybe you will end up ordering a bunch of miniatures along with some cool looking terrain, or at least see something new?

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RIGHT ARM LABS

I stumbled upon Right Arm Labs during Polish National Championships of Infinity the game. This friendly, wargaming terrain producing, company visited the event, providing awesome looking terrain pieces for couple of gaming boards. Many times have I gasped with admiration seeing how cool looking and playable their gaming boards were. Unfortunatelly for me, back then I didn’t play a single game on their terrain, but in the end I won a painting competition and received some gifts funded by guys from Right Arm Labs. (Lucky me!). So I took my spoils of war back home and gave them a try in couple of games. Here’s my thoughts on them…

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QUALITY: 9/10

If I’m to categorise Right Arm Labs products I’d say they are of a good quality. The material used to construct them is durable and the parts fit perfectly to one another. They are easy to put together which is uncommon in the market of wargaiming terrain. Another uncommon thing is that they come pre-painted and not in some dismissive way, but a totally nice looking, precise and ready to play one. Sure, the colours could use some juice, but it’s better than regular HDF!

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VISUALS: 7/10

Right Arm Labs took an interresting approach to visual aspect of their terrain. Exteriors are a bit crude and some features were clearly left out to make these terrain pieces more playable. At the same tame there’s a lot of detail and pre-painting. Sure it’s not Zen Terrain complex design or Micro Art Studio’s fine style, but still it appeals to the eye isn’t it? We must remember that there are plenty one-man-companies that produce flat walled cubic buildings and don’t even bother to add detail. Right Arm Labs proudly stands above the latter.

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PLAYABILITY 10/10:

Along with nice looks the Right Arm Labs Terrain comes with high playability. Flat surfaces and sharp angles are perfect for Infinity and will fit in many different games including Warhammer 40,000. Height and dimensions of the objects and terrain pieces goes well with 28mm scale, providing enough cover and options for our miniatures to explore. While smaller scenery pieces can be mounted on bases and used as objectives, the buildings are designed in a way that lets you manipulate their features between games! Just take a look at this interresting Control Room:

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Now let’s break it into particular pieces…

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Each of these pieces, even the floor, is two sided, with one side being more military themed and the other more industrial…

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Walls can be switched at a whim and go smooth into special sliders designed to accomodate them…

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I see many different uses for this kind of building, including but not limited to: Objective Room, bunker, regular building, urban platform…

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FUNCTIONALITY: 10/10

They come pre-painted and let you manipulate features for more re-playability, but most of all they are well designed with particular pieces being held in place by sturdy elements. Even doors are made of two layers – one fitting perfectly into the wall, while the other is holding it firmly in place. Also, due to the clever construction, the walls seem much thicker than they actually are. The key feature is that the entire construction can be easily assembled/disasembled in a matter of seconds.

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PRICE: 4/10

Price is the only thing setting me on edge when thinking about these splendid terrain pieces. A complex objective room along with a roof that must be purchased separately will see you spend around 50€ to obtain. I’m not suggesting it is not worth the price – I’m saying it’s just a lot for a single building. In comparisson for this price you will get not one but between two to seven Micro Art Studio’s buildings! It is a well known fact that most of us would rather spend majority of their hobby cash on miniatures instead of a gaming board. Still if you count in the time and resources required to paint a single building – the initial price of Right Arm Labs terrain does not look so bad.

 

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SUMMARY: 8/10

Personally I think that Right Arm Labs does a nice job with their terrain. Their products are not ‘designed for Infinity’ but rather designed for Wargaming, but ideal for Infinity. I’m willing to forget the price issue due to awesome playability and unprecedented solutions. I can only recommend you to try some of their stuff yourself. I’m sure that you won’t regret it. To contact Right Arm Labs check out their Facebook page, Instagram profile or write’em an e-mail. (This is their preffered way of providing you with particular prices.)

If you have some experience with Right Arm Labs products – I’ll be glad to read your opinion in the comments 😉

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Nazroth

REVIEW: DISPLAYS AND GLASS DOMES

Have you ever created a work that you were so proud of as to arrange it in a display or glass dome? If so – you probably know that finding such is a quest in itself. With few ‘worthy’ miniatures of my own I have wandered the web in search of proper displays and glass domes. I’ve seen many forum threads and online stores but to no avail. At some point I even abandoned all hope. Stores that might provide me with good quality items, that I was searching for, seemed to elude me. Years passed by, while I grew more and more tired of my unsuccessful search.You see the biggest issue about the displays in modelling is their size. It’s difficult to find a display of the exact dimensions to suit 28mm scaled miniatures. Usually what’s available for purchase is huge in comparrison to what you are looking for and in worse cases – of bad quality.

 

Fortunately for me, the search ended abruptly few weeks ago when I stumbled upon not one but two ideal sources of the items I was looking for. After making a test purchase I’ve decided to share with you some the insight…

 

IZMOD DISPLAYS

Izmod is a Polish company producing Displays for miniatures and models. The company seems to be a one-man bussiness with a small online store. The owner is a kind and trustworthy person, open to ideas (at least that’s my opinion) so I asked him about few things and  got to know that right now he is preparing an english version of his website. Good news is that anyone interrested in the purchase can still contact him via e-mail, as it is possible for him to sell and send the items abroad. He also informed me about the differences in the wood structure and the ways his displays are being glued. I’m sure that he is ready to answer any questions regarding eventual purchase, while his producs – well, just see for yourself…

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QUALITY:

Quality of Izmod’s displays is really nice. Depending on the choosen type of wood, the base elements are smooth and cut in a way that compliments the shape of the base. The base comes laquered and feels great in touch, while also being paint-friendly. The plexi displays came to me unscratched (excluding one that was damaged by the post office and exchanged shortlya fter with a new one). The walls are perfectly translucent and edges are rather even. I say ‘rather’ cause here and there some small irregularities appear, but I would still give them 8/10. The only flaw I could find is the way the outer cuting edges are rought in some places, but I’m sure that these can be further polished once I’ll start preparing these displays for the exposition.

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PRICE:

Price of these items is fair, varying between 13-25€ with no item from the above picture being even close to the upper price. I’m sure that once you will check out this offer you will find the price well balanced.

LARGE SELECTION:

As I have already mentioned – these items come in a large selection. A variety of shapes and sizes with bases being cut in few differend ways and laquered in different colours. For me being able to choose from between the size of 6/6/6cm and 50/35/35cm is just a thing of beauty. To sweeten the deal, the displays come in few types of wood.

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Maybe I’m hyped a bit, but I just want to scream ‘awesome!’ about these things. If you are looking for a proper miniature display – be sure to give Izmod a shot.

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IKEA GLASS DOMES

Everyone knows IKEA. So many houses felt it’s presence these days. Every kind of house related stuff can be found there, still I was somehow shocked to see a series of cool looking glass domes there. Maybe that’s because I was hunting for a fine glass dome with a wooden base for couple of year – don’t know. What I know is that once I accidentally caught a glimpse of a glass dome – I just stood there mesmerized untill me gf bumped into me asking what am I looking at so intensely. It was like a dream come true. Just look at these beauties and you will understand…

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QUALITY:

In comparison to what I already had at home, the quality of Ikea’s glass domes is very good. Glass is smooth and translucent while bases are perfectly shaped. Some small flaws can bee found here and there, but the overall visuals of the domes is just cool. Also the glass is thin making these domes light (which can be very helpful while cleaning the insides).

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PRICE:

Both domes are priced around 10€ which is more than a fair price. I remember purchasing an unbased glass dome for more than 15€, with glass being dimm and blurry (can be seen in the above pics). I don’t know how these will be priced in your place, but be sure to check out both items in the closest Ikea.

Small glass dome code: 303.272.52

Large glass dome code: 403.273.03

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Here’s my advice for you. If you have any advice for me in return – be sure to leave it in the comments section – I’ll be happy to expand my collection of displays and glass domes.

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Nazroth

REVIEW: BRUSH CLASH KOLIBRI vs WINSOR & NEWTON

Are you hungry for spilled paint? Ripped hair, broken handles? Another fight of the century is upon us! Today, in the left corner, we have a Kolibri 88 ‘3’! This, standing 7 inch tall, 2 grams of a brush is ready to fight till death against a half inch taller and one gram heavier – Winsor & Newton Series 7 ‘2’! Will ~8$ Kolibri prewail or will it be crushed by ~12$ Winsor & Newton? Both fighters seem to be in shape so let us begin!

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Both brushes used are of similar properities, tips shape and size so I decided to clash them against one another. For the purpose of this clash I used Warhammer 40,000 Tau miniatures. Got plenty of those on my desk, awaiting further paint job – so I seized the opportunity. I also used a mix of Vallejo Rust, Bright Bronze, Black and Thinner (Which I called the ‘Underrust’). After checking out the paint and preparing some working space – I’ve started with Kolibri 88 ‘3’, painting ten miniatures with the ‘Underrust’. The surface being painted was rather small, but I tried to compensate by quantity of the miniatures being painted…

Kolibri after 10

Kolibri went through this test really nice. Regardless of not cleaning the brush with water mid-testing, the tip stayed sharp with no hair being separated (Remember Citadel Layer S from the last figt?). Head worked very well, but at first I had to get accustomed to it’s softness. Painting with Kolibri for the first time in my career was a pleasant experience.

I switched to Winsor & Newton Series 7 ‘2’, checked the tip and went all ahead full with another ten miniatures…

Winsor and Newton after 10

The painting experience was almost identical to Kolibri. At some point a single hair split from the tip but rolling it in the paint reshaped the tip to it’s former shape. This happened two times during the ten-miniatures test, but other than that I did not encounter any alarming behaviour of the brush. Main difference between these two brushes was the softness of the head. While Kolibri was pretty soft, W&N stayed firm throughout the test.

I counldn’t decide which brush performed better thus I decided to continue the test. This time I went all-in and painted the entire collection of miniatures with four layers of paints including wash. I grouped the miniatures into two similar groups of over 30 pieces and started my work. It took almost four hours to complete (Oh how the time comes and goes)…

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Here’s the video from the fight – I filmed the first round so you can see that the fight was a real deal 🙂

RESULTS:

This was a really long battle between two very good brushes. In the end I was able to test both brushes to the extent of their capabilities. I really liked and will certainly paint with both of them from now on, but there can be only one winner of the ‘Brush Clash’. During these four hours of painting I grew accustomed to Kolibri – it felt somehow more pleasant to paint with it. The price, size and weight of the brush have nothing to do with it – it’s just my personal feel. I’m sure it’s because the head of the brush is softer and it was easier for me to operate – at least in this kind of paint job. That is the reason for me to deem Kolibri the winner of the secong Brush Clash, with Winsor & Newton being defeated just by the margin.

If you have any experience with either of these brushes – be sure to leave me a comment with your opinion on it’s performance.

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REVIEW: HOBBYZONE ‘MODULAR WORKSHOP SYSTEM’

Many names are given to this place. We call it a workshop, a working desk, a hobby spot. Each of us has his own nickname with which he adresses this special place, and it is special cause no two are alike! Filled with brush stands, cans, mini-organizers, boxes, shelves, holders, cutting mats, pads and a variety of tools – working spaces come in many different shapes and forms. Still one vital trait stands out and is common among working spaces – they all are temples of our hobby and as such are treated with love and care.

For me a Workbench is an altar. Each time I add a small detail – be it a single accessory holder, a new brush can, or a new addition to my modular workshop system – I feel like a builder expanding an antic temple to stand even higher and wider – all to the glory of the gods. And just as such I tend to hire the best architects and artists from around the globe to lend me their skills…

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The bulk of my personal altar is mostly made out of HobbyZone’s ‘Modular Workshop System’. I have expanded this set three times by now and am sure to purchase even more pieces, just as the opportunity presents itself. As it happened, couple of days ago I felt the need to expand my Workbench a bit and ordered two new pieces of HZ ‘Modular Workshop System’. So as a happy customer and a total fanboy of HobbyZone I wanted to share with you some insight into their fantastic offer.

QUALITY:

One of the two most important things about HobbyZone’s products is quality. It can be seen in every detail, starting with how these items are packed, how they look like, with nice, almost stylish combination of white and plywood. Add to it the width of all the outer casings and inner ‘holding’ walls which makes these things durable and reliable in many crisis situations. Also each piece is designed to withstand stress of moving them around with additional waight on top. Walls are clamped together providing a sturdy structure and on top of that there are actual magnets inserted into the construction to help you keep everything in place.

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FUNCTIONALITY:

Second most important thing about HobbyZone’s Modular Workshop is functionality. OK, I haven’t tested all the different parts of ‘Modular Workshop System’, but hey – the entire point is to pick a set that would suit your needs best! Right now my set consists of three drawer modules, one paint module, one showcase module and one brushes and tools module with an addition of eight paint hangers. Each of these items prooved to be usefull to me and I don’t see a way it can be further improoved. And I am a guy who tends to redesign stuff to better suit his needs – It’s just that HobbyZone’s stuff is cool as it is.

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PACKING:

I believe that the way an item is packed corresponds directly to it’s quality and the way a custumer will perceive it. I appreciate when an Item I spent my money on is well packed (cared for). That being sayed – I just love the way HobbyZone stuff is packed. Each item has it’s own box, filled with bubble wrap. Inside you will find an instruction and all the pieces required to ‘build’ particular item (except for glue, but which hobbyist does not have that already?). By now I know exactly what I would see inside a new HobbyZone box – even so each unpacking is still a pleasant experience.

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FRIENDLY:

Each piece of HobbyZone ‘Modular Workshop System’ is designed to be user friendly and easy to assemble. No tools are required to put these things together. With a nice and easy to understand instruction (that comes with each set), I was able to put this module together in less than five minutes. Half an hour later when glue was dry, I was able to use this piece.

 

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AFFORDABLE:

Each hobbyist is probably going to see the matter of price differently. For me the quality and functionality of HobbyZone’s ‘Modular Workshop System’ is well ballanced with a price oscillating between 10-20€/medium piece. Purchased items are shiped within 72hrs from purchase (during working days). HobbyZone is well stocked in it’s stuff. Don’t know how about you, but I totally appreciate it. If you still not into it – just check out this MIND BLOWING STICKER!

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For me HobbyZone’s stuff is totally 10/10. If you struggle to keep your workbench organized do not waste your time – just go to HobbyZone.pl/en(EU) / HobbyZone.biz(USA) and change your life for better. Zapisz

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Nazroth

REVIEW: HARDER & STEENBECK NOZZLE SET 0,2mm

An important thing that makes me use a Harder & Steenbeck airbrush is it’s quality.  I’ve been using Infinity  CR plus for around a year now and am really satisfied with it’s performance. Futhermore I can say that I love this Airbrush so much as to expand it’s set of needles and nozzles whenever I have an excuse to do so. But this is a review of a 0,2 mm Nozzle upgrade set, so I won’t let my overall sympathy for H&S cloud my judgement.

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!  This article is made of two parts, first being rather a complaint about how this item was packed. If you want to see the actual performance review, scroll down to the second part...

PACKAGING:

The packaging of my brand new 0,2mm Nozzle upgrade set was the usual. A plastic tube, plugged at both sides and filled at some point with puffed-up foil separator. At one side was a nozzle along with a nozzle protector, and at the other the most fragile and delicate piece – a needle. At first glance it looked just fine…

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But it was not! Take a closer look and you will see how badly packed this one was…

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Uuuugh… This needle was totally out of commission. No way to even try to repair it. I was very dissapointed.

I quickly filled a complaint and sent it to the store that sold me this ‘thing’. Fortunatelly for me the item was purchased in one of my favorite stores, which is well known of being both solid and supportive. They quickly redirected my complaint to Harder & Steenbeck and soon after I got a needle replacement. If I am to give you advice at this point, that would be:

  • To purchase stuff in a reliable store,
  • To always check out the needle before unpacking,

PERFORMANCE:

Due to a basic needle protectors being rather open I’ve already damaged an unimaginable number of 0,15mm and 0,2mm needles, that’s why I tend to work with a strong 0,4mm one. 0,4 being my favorite by necessity, I’ve decided to use it in 0,2/0,4mm sets comparison.

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It is a precise and smooth working nozzle, with needle being long but durable. For the purpose of the test I used Vallejo Magic Blue. Air preassure was set to 2 bars, while I’ve made some dots and lines. It wen’t a bit grainy, so a Thinner was added to the paint. More dots and lines, and here’s the result:

Harder Steenbeck 02 Nozzle 04 all

For me it’s the usual stuff with 0,4mm needle providing me with means to paint entire miniatures and some small spots as well. So I’ve changed to a smaller caliber, installing 0,2mm nozzle set. With Infinity CR Plus being user friendly, I was ready for action in merely moments. The needle was very fragile, but also well covered and set up much deeper than it’s 0,4mm counterpart. The important difference is also the fact that nozzle protector and needle protector are just one piece in this set. I couldn’t see the needle while working, but at the same time it was well protected from my clumsiness.

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Once again I’ve made some dots and lines using Vallejo Magic Blue. The paint was flowing without issues. I’ve added a thinner and made some more dots and lines. I was under a big impression of how tiny and precise the dots were. Also lines were slim and nice. Here’s the result:

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And a result using Vallejo Light Green on the actual miniature:

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At this point you may also want to see the performance of both nozzle sets in a short Video:

SUMMARY:

In the end for an unexperienced airbrush user like me 0,2mm was a totally new experience. Also entire thing being just one part made it much easier to use baskwash to clear up the nozzle by delicately turning the  protector left and letting the air flow to within the paint container.

Harder Steenbeck 02 Nozzle backwash cleaning x

 

I’m very happy about this set. It not only lets me use a tiny needle without fear of it being damaged, but also makes it easier for me to use some cool features of Infinity CR Plus with it. My verdict is 9/10 – a very useful thing to add even more value to an already awesome airbrush.

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Nazroth

REVIEW: BRUSH CLASH TAMIYA vs CITADEL

Welcome to the Painting Arena! A fight the of century is before us! In the left corner we have a ‘Citadel Layer S’ brush! When it comes to painting miniatures this hobby brush is a Games Workshop’s bread and butter! Worth approximately 4,3 €, Citadel Layer S will be clashed against a cheaper Tamiya 87050. Tamiya’s approximate worth is only 3,4 € but it has a fighting spirit like no other! Which brush will emerge victorious? Which one will fall to oblivion? Buckle up and see for yourself…

Brush Clash Tamiya vs Citadel 5

I used a Infinity: Lunokhod miniature that could use some paint job to clash Citadel Layer S against Tamiya 87050. Both of these brushes had seen some action but not enough to be called a ‘veteran’. Let’s say that both were purchased recently and were used just couple of times before this clash. For the purpose of this article I used Games Workshop’s Mechrite Red. Till now I had no problems using this paint. It’s consistency let’s me paint constantly for a long period of time before I need to either clean or switch brushes. I started by applying Mechrite Red on one leg of the miniature – I used an unrelated brush for that, to check out the paint. It went good, so I switched to Citadel Layer S. This is how it looked after painting a single Lunokhod’s leg…

Brush Clash Tamiya vs Citadel 11

After only one part of the miniature entire brush turned into utter chaos. Hair behaved like if they really ‘wanted’ to disperse. I had a lot of difficulity covering the entire surface without moisting and reposing the brush (which I didn’t for the sake of this article).

Next in line was Tamiya 87050 and I’ve painted both rear legs with it before taking a picture…

Brush Clash Tamiya vs Citadel 12

As you can see Tamiya 87050 hair held ground and stayed composed. I wandered how long this brush can stay this way so I kept painting and painted entire Lunokhod without ever reposing brush’s tip. Here’s the result…

Brush Clash Tamiya vs Citadel 13

Tamiya 87050 stayed composed till the end. Must say that regardless of using Tamiya’s brushes for some time now – I was surprised to see it’s performance. Check out the video below to see how the clash proceeded…

RESULTS:

After long battle in which a lot of paint was spilled – Tamiya 87050 emerged a victor! Not only cheaper but much – MUCH – more durable and paint job friendly. The tip worked well throughout the entire process with hair flexible and pose reshaping itself. This kind of brush will surely provide you with comfort. Opposite to that Citadel Layer S failed after merely seconds of usage. It’s tip went berzerk the instant I started painting. I would never recommend this kind of brush for anything except washing or applying glue. I wander why I’ve tolerated this kind of brush’s behaviour till now… well it’s either trash or death in suicide mission for this one now. Will never purchase another Games Workshop’s brush again.

Nazroth

FISHING BAG? RATHER A TOURNAMENT HOBBY BAG!

Guys – I have a nice story for you.

Today, just as usual, I was wandering around LIDL supermarket. I have my favorite route which goes something like ‘bread, vegetables, meat, milk, all the crazy sheeet section, cash-in’ and just when I got close to ‘all the crazy sheeet section’ I went numb. There was a basket full of HOBBY BAGS! I’ve seen many strange things in LIDL, including shoes, bikes, guitars, puzzle, tools – but to see a hobby bag was unexpected! I assaulted the basked and started digging through bags to find an opened one and check it out. As it happened it actually was a “Fishing Bag”, but still it looked so good, that I took a peak inside – and BOOM – there where fck’n hobby bitz boxes inside! And plenty of them too! My mind blown I checked the pricing and saw 25€. Soon later, with a smile splitting my face in two – I was walking home, with a new Hobby Bag under one arm…

Lidl Bag x1

For it’s price the bag is of a really good quality. When taking these pictures my mind was racing with the possibilities. All the future tournaments… all these segregated bitz…

Lidl Bag x2

Lidl Bag x3

Lidl Bag x4

Lidl Bag x5

Lidl Bag x6

Lidl Bag x7

I bet you feel it too… in your mind’s eye you see all the miniatures, tournament accessories and bitz being put into this awesome bag and boxes!

Lidl Bag 5

If you read TUTORIAL: 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOBBY SPACE ORGANIZED and GAMING TUTORIAL: INFINITY TOURNAMENT PREPARATION, you now that I’m a hobby bag freak, who likes to keep his stuff organized and miniatures zipped. My eyes filled with tears of joy when I layed eyes on this beauty while taking the pictures. I also went to check out if this one will be Infinity Tournament friendly…

Lidl Bag 1

Lidl Bag 2

Lidl Bag 3

Lidl Bag 4

 

It passed the test! So much space in the main body that both my Feldherr Mini plus tank and Feldherr Mini (in which I keep my miniatures) fit in.  There’s a special slot to keep the army list in. There are two side pockets to keep some sweets along with tape measures… one bigger pocket at the front to hold some additional stuff like cash and phone. This one is perfect for Infinity or other skirmish games… ‘fishing bag’ my ass!

LIDL you made my day once again…

Nazroth

REVIEW: CORAX WHITE SPRAY

Not so long ago I was in the middle of painting gaming terrain for my Infinity Gaming Table. I used GW’s Skull White undercoat as this is the base colour for all the terrain. As you can imagine my stockpile of White was depleted pretty fast. In search of Skull White Spray I visited couple Online Stores, but everywhere I checked – Corax White was the only available ‘White’ undercoat. So I made my mind and ordered three cans. I received the package two days later – started undercoating right away… and was shocked with what I saw to a point where I just had to review Corax White.

review corax white 1

Properties

The first thing that I observed was the way in which Corax White covered the surface. It worked almost as good as Chaos Black Spray – producing a smooth and strong colour. This, in my opinion, makes Corax White a very user-friendly spray. Skull White in comparison is very difficult to use, producing a layer that is a bit translucent and tends to run more like ‘hold fire button and forget’. I’m sure that Corax White will be great for some colour schemes, including Yellow, Orange, Pink, light Grey and a lot of others. It may even be good for White colour scheme – but here’s the surprise: Corax White is not ‘White’! It’s more like GW’s ‘Astronomican Grey’, or Vallejo ‘Pale Grey Blue’. Just take a look at the pictures:

review corax white 3

review corax white 4

You probably wornder ‘what the hell GW?’ right now. I was taken aback with this effect – more so, because I ordered three cans of that, so called, ‘White’ spray thus ending up with three cans of spray that is everything but White 🙂

Some more pictures – this time with Vallejo ‘Dead White’ applied to both caps:

review corax white 6

review corax white 5

At some angles Skull White is 1:1 match for the Dead White, while Corax not-White is something totally else.

Summary

So my final opinion about Corax White is as follows:

Games Workshop’s Corax White is a big step forward when it comes to coverage and way of applying the spray. It is very user friendly and may be used to achieve great results. Still removing Skull White from the offer while introducing Corax White was an unfair move – because Corax White IS NOT WHITE AT ALL.

Be aware before you happen to purchase!

For all those of you who happened to paint an entire army/project using Skull White and run out of stock in the process – I strongly recommend a purchase of Army Painter’s White Primer instead. It is a bit stronger than GW and the layer it produces is also less grainy – but atleast it’s WHITE!

Nazroth

REVIEW: AVP THE HUNT BEGINS

Hey guys! Some of you may find this interresting. Recently I bought a hot stuff: AVP The Hunt Begins boardgame and what I found inside the box forced me to write this review.

About Aliens vs Predator franchise: I personally love AVP. The retro futuristic setting and it’s owerwhelming dark mood keeps my heart burning with desire for more and more AVP stuff to buy. In AVP universe human is reduced to the role of prey. Even tho Colonial Marines are tough bastards equipped with deadly Smartguns and Pulse Rifles they still fall to Alien predation and are no match against masters of the hunt, the Predators. Hunted for sport or means of breeding they must cooperate to survive the inevitable doom.What I find the most important in all AVP products is for them to be based on Aliens (2nd movie) and Predator (1st movie). So we have some armed to the teeth Colonial Marines, being thrown between an angered Aliens hive and dreadful Predator hunters. They try to survive, while their number dwindles slowly. All the time the terror is multiplied, but still badass Marines cheer up the mood with good, oldschool oneliners. This is how I see it. That’s the way I love it.

So when I found out about AVP board/miniature game being released I was extatic! I jumped right onto Kickstarted and was taken aback by the information of who releases it: Prodos Games. After seeing the difference between Prodos’ Warzone Kickstarter and Warzone final products I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend some cash in advance. I’d held my hand and awaited KS campaign results. After it came to an end Prodos surprised me with an option to buy the game via their site. That was unexpected and bothered me a little so once more I held my hand and didn’t made the purchase. Finally the AVP The Hunt Begins hit the stores and this time, being sure that I will get my copy, I made the purchase.

The box looks amazing and weights a lot so once you will hold it in your hands, you’ll probably buy it 🙂

packed avp
THE BOX: The way with which game elements are packed is mediocre. Cards packed in small paper boxes. Miniatures packed in zip bags. All zip bags packed into a medium cardboard box. A huge foam square glued still to the innards of the box (what the fuck?! Why have you damaged my beautifull box Prodos?). Regardless of the foam my Rulebook was already damaged so this sole fact halted some of my enthusiasm. It was balanced with an easy but clever move with which Prodos prepared Cardboard Sprues to be taken out of the box. A small hole big enough for a finger was cut in the sprues. (Why haven’t I seen anything familiar in other board games – I don’t know, but it’s a nice idea).

packed all

figurka packed total

figurka packed

packed gąbka

wnętrze pudła

packed instrukcja

packed wypraski
MINIATURES: Miniatures are amazingly detailed and kept to the scale. Look at these Colonial Marines. These look amazing!

figurka sm
Still some molding solutions are just idiotic. Take a look at this Alien miniature. It has mold cannals inside it’s hands! I work with miniatures for more than fifteen years now and i’ve rarely seen such stupid way of placing the mold cannals. Some of the hobbysts may have a real problem dealing with these.

figurka alien
And now the worst thing. My Disc Predator was a miscast and looked like this. Yeah Chineese – you fucked up my Predator Miniature and then packed it into my copy of the game. What do you think I feel like right now? This miniature is trash. Instead of painting it and playing the game I placed a complaint to my local store and await a new miniature.

figurka predator
I thought that Prodos Games evolved a bit after Warzone. A lot of mistakes in production process there. As it stands I was wrong – Prodos seems not to learn fast enough.

CARDS: In my opinion Cards are the biggest dissapointment in the whole product. The material with which they are made is bad. Boardgame Cards where made this way like ten years ago. The differences between Prodos Cards and Fantasy Flight Games’s ones are huge. The quality is light years away. Still that’s not the worst thing. The cards lack all the climate that makes AVP what it is. For example: there are not quotes from the movies, no oneliners that built the Alien and Predator franchises. Not a single ‘theme’ motives on the objective cards, even card backs are devoid of thought through theme. These looks like if Prodos Games forced the product at speed and without taking theme and AVP mood into consideration. “Just print the rules”. Here, take a look:

[This looks ok,]

karty all

[These are faction cards and they look ok,]

karty avp przód
These are faction cards backs and I can’t help myself not to wander – where the Fuck are Colonial Marines cards? Was it so difficult to make them look more like card fronts?

karty avp tył
These are Enviromental Cards. Wow Prodos Games – so much climate, so strong AVP theme… How have you planned to build the atmosphere of the game without a plot/story/setting motive?

[Predator and Alien stat cards look nice.]

karty enviroment

karty postacie
And now the worst shit ever: Colonial Marines stat cards look ALL THE SAME! Hey grunts, which one of you is an awesome Smartgunner? Anyone called for a Medic? Really? Couldn’t these be done differently? It’s not that there’s plenty of graphics in the game with not more then a dozen in the Rulebook and half a dozen on the stat cards…

karty sm postacie
And where did all the Marines went gone? I’ve looked through the Rules and there is only a single Colonial Marines picture (well not exactly as it depicts a Weyland Yutani commando) and like two or three  pictures with a Colonial Marine being a background. Prodos seems to forgot about Human species being the epicentre of the AVP theme. Sure I like feel the call of the hunt as a Predator or stalk the dark corridors as the Alien but as a human the faction I feel the most related to is Colonial Marines.

grafika pred 1

grafika avp

grafika alien 3

grafika alien 2

grafika alien 1
grafika sm
CARDBOARD TOKENS: I have mixed feeling about these. The cardboard material is bad still the visual aspect is quite nice. Take a look at this:

wypraska
Looks good doesn’t it? And now let’s do the things Prodos style, with as much minimalism as one may have. Sentry, Hidden, Activated tokens all look like shit. Devoid of climate and pathetic in design. Other tokens look ok but not awe worthy.

żetony małe
[I just can’t understand the reasoning behind designing Acid Damage token to be one sided. It was childishly easy to copy/paste the same graphic to the other side.]

żetony duże

żetony duże tył
THE RULES: The final part of this Revew – the Rules are BAD. I’ve played a lot of games both miniature and boardgames in the past years. I love Space Hulk for it’s simplicity, Rune Wars for many strategies and easy to learn rules, Zombicide, Catwallon: City of Thieves, Super Dungeon Explore, Warhammer 40,000, Infinity, Mordheim and more. All these games are more than playable and rewarding. I find AVP The Hunt Begins rules rather easy but written in such a way that I was forced to jump between the pages and search for some rules all the while these were formed in a way that my Wargaming hardened mind couldn’t comprehend. I understand when Corvus Belli write down Infinity rules like eight years old’s but they are from Spain for fuck’s sake! AVP rules are just unreadable, full of missing letters, idiotic key words and above all – they are totally devoid of flavor. Prodos Guys – just see to Zombicide rulebook and you will know what I mean by climate!

So in the end I give this game a 5 out of 10 and am very, very disapointed in the product I have awaited for so long. If nothing changes in the way Prodos Games design their products I will reconsider not spending my cash on their products anymore. If not for the miniatures – this game would’ve been a stain on the AVP franchise as big as PC Aliens – Colonial Marines was.

And Prodos – this is a 10 out of 10 and it’s a fucking mascot. You we’re owned by a Facehugger mascot! Let it be a warning for you – that purchasing a copyright to a franchise does not mean you can blew all the rest up. You should’ve made sure that your rules and game components would stand to the great AVP franchise and you have failed in that. Shame!

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

Nazroth
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