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Review: A-Case Victory 2.0 Carrying Bag

INTRODUCTION

Moving painted miniatures to a tournament or painting competition can be a real challenge. I bet that every single miniatures painter had one or more miniatures damaged while being transported. Sad truth is that no matter what we do, situations like these happens. Still, when it comes to safe transportation of our beloved miniatures, we’re not completely helpless.

In the world of miniatures painting there are two well established ways of professional miniatures transportation, both with their own pros and cons: Foam Bags and Magnetic Bags. Today I would like to talk a bit about the latter and present to you the A-Case Victory 2.0 from A-Case, one of the leading companies in the market.

QUALITY

During my years as a hobby store manager and a hobbyist, I’ve seen my share of transportation bags. This imho allows me to say that when it comes to quality A-Case is king. Everything fits, everything is smooth, no thread going wild along the stitches, inner metal casing of great quality plus the overall feel of an exclusive product.
New A-Case Victory 2.0 saw a lot of improvements compared to previous series, such as a much sturdier construction, reinforced trays, strapped side pins to keep the trays in place and more.

VISUALS

I know this part is totally subjective, but Dayum! The Victory 2.0 looks so good! Everything from design, through quality makes it feel prestigious, both in the inside and the outside. To be fair the sole look is what made me crave a Magnetic Case of my own when I scrolled through facebook and saw it time and time again. Just couldn’t resist. At least now you know why I’m so hyped about it.

FUNCTIONALITY

Coming from a position of an orthodox foam fan I have thoroughly tested this carrying case during last month. Apart from obvious features like light weight, comfort of use, adjustable strap with a shoulder pad, handle, large pocket and removable trays Victory 2.0 has some cool features that improve on the case’s functionality. A Velcro strap on top and at the front allows to attach badges, while water resistant material will keep your miniatures safe in case of bad weather. My favorite though are side pins to immobilize the trays in place. In previous series these might get lost but now attached with flexible straps they will follow the trays around.

PRICE

It’s not easy to compare A-Case’s Victory 2.0 to other transportation cases as there’s really no high tier competition in the market. Yes, there are some magnetic cases out there (Battle Foam, Tablewar etc.) but most is just out of this league. Coming at a price of around 180€ Victory 2.0 is also more expensive than foam counterpart, but it offers a totally different method of miniatures transportation. One that does not involve your paint job touching anything, even as soft as foam. One that allows you to transport large quantity of miniatures in a rather small bag. Most importantly one that is durable and will last for years to come. In addition A-Case offers free shipping around the world and in some cases (like US) that means huge savings.
For me the pricing of this exclusive product seem fair. Taking the cost of miniatures and time/money spent on painting into consideration, around 180€ seems like a small price for solid, comfortable and very aesthetic protection.

SUMMARY

To summarize, if you’re looking for a solid and comfortable way to transport your miniatures – A-Case Victory 2.0 is the thing. It looks great, it is very comfortable to use, made of high quality materials and with utmost care for detail. On top of it the case is reasonably priced. 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 deem this product awesome! 10/10 Victory 2.0 totally revolutionized my approach to Magnetic transportation and ended twenty years of my foam addiction.

WHERE TO BUY?

Victory 2.0 is currently being produced after a successful kickstarter campaign. If you suddenly crave for your own Carrying Case, head to:
A-Case website,
A-Case Facebook,

If you’re more of a patient type and want to save some buck – wait for the next A-Case kickstarter campaign, which is sure to take place at some point in the future.

Victory 2.0 and other Carrying Cases from the Hybrid series will be available to purchase in December 2019! Stay tuned!

BONUS: ROLL BAG

Brushes and Tools Roll Bag is another product of A-Case that I really like. This smart solution of brushes and modelling tools transportation might come in handy when you plan to take your hobby on a trip, or engage in hobby activities at a local store. Personally I’ve used it to transport my tools to airbrush workshops I ran. Also took it to hotels couple of times. It’s great and I can’t figure out why it ain’t that popular with hobbyists?

Either way – I have three of these and currently use two – this leaves me with one spare Roll Bag. You’ve made it through the entire article and deserve a reward – so here’s where the surprise starts:

The top right Brushes and Tools Roll Bag (Orange) can be yours!
To join the raffle simply:
* Like Scarhandpainting Facebook profile,
* Like this facebook post and comment on it with a #gimmerollbag,
Results will be posted at Sunday 10th of November. Good luck!

Nazroth

Tutorial: Basing Miniatures

In this step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to base miniatures.

Basing miniatures is an overall easy thing, still every now and then I stumble upon hobbyists asking on how to properly do it. Let’s start the answer with: “There’s no one proper way, but there are certainly plenty of bad ways to base miniatures.” A quick example of a “bad way” would be if you glued irregular sand on top of a base and tried to glue a miniature on top of it with cyanoacrylate glue. Glue would go on a rampage all over the sand while it’ll not hold the miniature in place due to insufficient area of contact. Another example of a “bad way” would be gluing a miniature on top of a painted base without a pin resulting with miniature being glued to paint rather than the base. This can only end badly for the miniature and your paint job. Ok, so what are the “proper ways”? Here’s three major techniques I use:

No Pin:

Some miniatures seem stable and have a large, flat area at the bottom be it giant feet, or an underside of a robe. In this case I usually go with with no pin at all and trust in the vast area of contact to keep the miniature in place.
Here’s how I go about it:

  • I start by removing the rail from under the miniature.
  • I then ensure the contact area on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another.
  • I apply Super Glue.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base and use Magic Super Glue Activator to cement the glue before it spills from under the miniature.

Pinned:

I use this method in case of wobbly miniatures with small area of contact that for some reason don’t have the rail. Such miniatures require to be pinned to the base to ensure their safety and durability. Note that pinning requires additional tools as well as proper pins. Alongside a trusted hand driller you can also purchase original hobby pins, but these are expensive. Depending on how thick is the miniature I use either paperclips or a thin steel wire.

The steps I undertake to pin a miniature:

  • I ensure the contact area on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another.
  • I drill a tiny hole in the miniature’s area of contact.
  • I glue the pin into the hole with Super Glue then cut off the extent of the pin, leaving just few mm.
  • I drill another hole in the base, using the miniature to ensure it fits the base.
  • I apply Super Glue to area of contact.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base.

Natural Pin:

This is my favorite method. I believe that a natural part of the miniature is better at holding it in place rather than a smooth steel pin.
This is what I do:

  • I cut off most of the rail from underneath the miniature, leaving just a a piece or two in place.
  • I then ensure the area of contact on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another (except for the pieces I left deliberately).
  • I drill a large hole in the base, sometimes I even leave some loose space on top to “guide” the pin in.
  • I apply Super Glue to area of contact.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base.

From all the other methods this one works the best for me. Plus it’s faster than normal pinning. Just remember, there’s no one proper method. If you feel like a miniature might use a pin – Just follow your guts on this and pin it. Better safe than sorry.

I might drop another article on basing miniatures in the future. Maybe some Painting Philosophy type with insight on why I paint my miniatures based and not separately. If you think it’s an interesting topic and/or if you liked this article – consider letting me know in the comments or at my Facebook profile… or even share if you think it’s worth it 😉

PS: Check this stuff out! It blown my mind! XD

Nazroth

Tutorial: Magnetizing Resin Bases

In this step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to magnetize resin bases – easy and fast!

Magnetizing entire army for an upcoming delivery of a brand new A-Case carrying bag seem like a great opportunity for a tutorial, doesn’t it? The thing about resin bases is that they rarely come with magnet holes at the underside and even when they do (for example Warsenal) it’s still better to drill your own precise holes. Below are some of the shortcuts and hacks I use when magnetizing resin bases.

I USED:

  • Paper thin Plasticard,
  • Super Glue,
  • Driller,
  • 3x3mm Magnets,

Step One: Drilling

Tip number one would be to use a drill that is the size of the magnet you want to put into the base. This would usually be too big to use in a hand driller, thus we land on Tip number two – use a regular driller instead! I know this might come up as crude and a bit scary, especially when we’re talking fully painted miniatures, but with just a bit of focus it goes smooth. To ensure your miniature’s safety, hold the base firmly and avoid holding the miniature itself.

Step two: Inserting Magnets

I recommend Army Painter Super Glue, or any similar glue to mount the magnets firm inside the holes. Tip number three would be to use a hobby knife. This way you can “cut off” a bottom magnet from the stack and simply insert it into the hole, using blades side to push the magnet in until it’s parallel to the bases bottom line.

Step three: Sealing Magnets

You can skip on this one, but if you want your magnets to hold firm inside the base and for the miniature to come off the case with it’s base attached you might consider this Hack. Simply glue a circle of paper thin plasticard on top of the magnets. This barrier won’t be as thick as to significantly weaken the pull, but will definitely make the transition onto and out off the metal surface smoother. It will also keep the magnets inside the holes – no matter what.

Do you find this article helpful? Please consider sharing it and/or dropping me some feedback down below or at my Facebook profile!

Nazroth

Tutorial: DIY Wet Palette

Wet Palette – a hobby tool every or at least a vast majority of pro painters has. A Wet Palette is simply a piece of parchment sitting on a wet sponge that keeps your paints thin and allows you to “save” a certain colour mix to go back to without the necessity to mix the paints anew in hope to achieve same results. In this article I will show you how to make your own Wet Palette.

I USED:

  • White Baking Paper (Parchment Paper),
  • Soft Kitchen Sponge,
  • Hermetic Box,
  • Sharp knife and ruler,

THE BOX

Picking a right box for the job is very important. For best results it should be hermetic, rather shallow and as wide and long as you prefer. I know a very good painter who uses a Ferrero Rocher box, I preffer to use a more hermetic and smaller Games Workshop Turf box. It suits my needs better, as I don’t use Wet Palette too often. Either way…

Step one:

I measured the insides of my box of choice and cut a piece of kitchen sponge to be approximately 5mm smaller. This is to leave some space for a sponge that might grow a bit once filled with water.

Step two:

Next I cut a piece of baking paper to fit the sponge, again leaving about 5mm space between the edge of the sponge and the paper itself.

Step three:

I filled the “palette” with water until the sponge couldn’t take anymore. The key is to avoid water outside the sponge.

Step four:

I then put a piece of baking paper on top of the sponge and held it in place, so that it took a little bit of water and flattened. That’s actually it – Wet Palette complete and ready for action!

Now I can “save” the paints for later use…

Important tip: You will be switching the piece of baking paper every now and then, but I advise you to occasionally switch the sponge too. Depending on what kind of soft sponge you’ll use it might get smelly after long use. It’s because nowadays kitchen sponges are made out of algae and similar organic material. Just saying 😉

You find this article helpful? Don’t be a stranger and drop me a comment below!

Nazroth

BLU TACK – Your best friend…

Brushes, paints, even entire hobby desks – they come and go. It doesn’t matter how much I like particular pot of paint or a hobby tool. At some point everything gets old and I simply got used to part ways with almost every hobby related item. There has ever been just one friend that stick and grew alongside me throughout the years. I dedicate this article to my fav support teammate. Let’s talk Blu Tack!

Blu Tack is an adhesive, reusable putty-like mass. The most known “original” comes by that name, but you can find different variations of the stuff all over the internet and not all come in traditional blue. It can be used to attach lightweight objects to any dry surfaces, but also as a painting tool.

He Protec

Spilled paint, toothpicks all over the place, airbrush on the floor in a pool of spilled exhaust waste… not for me. While I drown in righteous fury, punishing miniatures with relentless brush strokes, my friend Blu Tac holds the objective – keeping the surroundings in one piece. Literally…

but He Also Attac

Once the creative fury abates, allowing me to paint with sniper-like calm, using both precision and cunning – Blu Tack takes the fight to the front line, lending me his strength by pinning targets in place and covering important areas…

Plus He Grows with You

Most importantly Blu Tack is like a mythological hero. It doesn’t die, it doesn’t get old. It builds mass with every new batch added to the body. It is a friend that throughout our painting adventure never let me down and always had my back. I know I can count on it, no matter what new challenges we will face next! Blu Tack is love. Blu Tack is god!

Do you know and use Blu Tack in your hobbying, or did you just learned of it through this article? Lemme know in the comments or at Facebook! Cheers!

Nazroth

AIRBRUSH FOR BEGINNERS – What you need to start…

Allright, so you decided to start with an airbrush. You’ve made some reconnaissance, picked an airbrush and compressor and the only question that stands between you and a lifetime of airbrushing is “what else do I need to start?”. This very question was asked to me a lot since I myself started airbrushing. It might be about time to turn the answer into a short article, in hope to help all the beginner hobbyists out there…

NECESSITIES:

Assuming you’ve already picked an airbrush and compressor, there’s still a list of items you should get before you’ll be able to start airbrushing. Let’s dive head on into the list of necessary items…

Air Hose

Air hose is used to link the airbrush with compressor. When picking an air hose it is important to check which models of airbrush / compressors it’s fitting is compatible with. You can simply ask the store to recommend you an air hose compatible with types of fitting of your airbrush / compressor.

Adapter / Multi Way Valve Assembly

In case your airbrush has different type of fitting than the compressor, you will also require an Adapter, or a Multi Way Vavle Assembly with a proper type of connection. Take a look at E-Bay to see how many different types of fitting there are…

Spray Out Airbrush Pot & Airbrush holder

A filter equipped spray out airbrush pot and an airbrush holder (prefferably 2 in 1 like below) are also necessary. Thanks to these you will have an option to rest the airbrush on a holder inbetween different activities (like mixing paints, or even resting for a bit). Spray out airbrush pot will also keep the majority of paint waste contained in an easy to clean glass pot.

Cleaning Brushes

You will use these too clean up the insides of your airbrush.

Nozzle Cleaning Tool

You will use this tool to clean up the nozzle. When picking this one up make sure it is recommended for the type of nozzle of your airbrush. Too large tool might damage the nozzle.

(On the picture top: ALDER tool, damages H&S nozzles! bottom: H&S tool, perfect for H&S nozzles)

Water Bowl & Nozzled Plastic Bottle

You will use this duo to remove the excess of paint from your airbrush without the need to spray it all out.

Airbrush Cleaner, Airbrush Thinner, Airbrush Flow Improover

Airbrush Cleaner, Airbrush Thinner and Airbrush Flow Improover – these three liquids are a must have.

OTHER STUFF:

Below are some additional items that while not necessary, will come in handy once you start airbrushing your way to hobby glory.

Spare Needle

Airbrush needle is very delicate. A vast majority of beginners damage the needle during first few days of airbrush adventure. I advise you to get a spare needle, just in case.

Medium Round Brush

Long hair, medium size, round brush to remove excess paint from the tip of the needle without the need to dismantle entire airbrush.

Mixing Tool & Mixing Cups

You might use these to mix paints before pouring them into the cup on top of airbrush to avoid clods of paint to get inside.

PAINTS...:

Obviously you will require paints. It is not necessary to get any type of special airbrush paints. Thanks to Flow Improover and Thinner regular paints will do, but that’s a story for another article…

Thanks for reading. If you think I skipped a necessary or useful item that a beginner airbrush users should get, let me know in the comments section. Cheers!

Nazroth

TUTORIAL: UNLIMITED PAINTING HOLDERS

Hobby Grips, Miniature Holders, Painting Holders – many names for a single high-demand product. Painting Holders are a topic that comes back time and time again at painting facebook groups. Hobbyists seek advice on ‘which one is the best’, ‘where to buy’ etc. The thing is that in general ‘the best’ is what works for you and while Painting Holders are a rather expensive addition to your hobby tools collection – it does not have to be this way. Below is a Tutorial, or rather just a simple idea on how to create your own Painting Holders in large numbers and for cheap.

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Cheap plastic Glass, prefferable 3cl/30ml,
  • Blu Tack, or any substitute,

*  Step one: I made a ball out of Blu Cack.

*  Step two: To enchance durability of the 'grip' I applied Super Glue into a plastic Glass, then glued another one into it.

*  Step three: I mounted a small ball of Blu Tack on top of the 'grip'. This will hold the miniature attached to the 'grip'.

*  That's it. Money saved, say hello to my new Painting Holder.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • For obvious reasons this Holder would work for based miniatures only.
  • Making your own is cheap and fast and might let you ‘test’ if Holders (of any kind) are a thing for you, before you commit to purchase something expensive.
  • No, if properly built and mounted the miniature would not fall off. I have painted hundreds of plastic/metal miniatures like this and none have ever fell off the Holder.
  • There’s no limit to size of the grip used, except for your imagination. It does not have to be a plastic Glass, a Spray plug, or a paint container will do – altho for large areas and big miniatures I recommend to use more than one ball of Blu Tack, prefferably spread even across the surface.

 

Nazroth

TUTORIAL: ERASING BLOOPERS

Painting bloopers – something that happens to all of us, hobbyists, regardless of skill level and experience. In my everyday painting practice bloopers happen all the time. This led me into ‘Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.’ kind of situation and today I would like to present to you a way of dealing with painting mistakes.

I USED:

  • Wooden toothpick
  • Water
  • Gentle touch and persistence 😛

1  First let's take a look at this ugly bastard of a line. One moment everything goes smooth, then BAM! and I end up with an ugly line that stands out like crazy. Repainting entire fragment of the coat with many layers is out of question. At this point I can only try to thin the line down by erasing part of it. I grab a wooden tootphick...

2  ...and dip it in a water filled bowl. After 15-20 seconds I use a paper towel to remove excess water from the softened tip of the toothpick. My 'Blooper Eraser' is ready for action.

3  I always start by touching the surface perpendicularly with the soft tip of the 'Blooper Eraser'. Then I move the tool gently up and down along the surface, softening the paint and stripping major shape of a blooper.

4  Once desirable shape is achieved, assuming I don't want to erase entire thing, I use an edge of the tip to further improve the shape.

5  Removing paint from the edges works very similarly, except that instead of the tip, I use side of the toothpick, . This way 'Blooper Eraser' is easy to control and stay on target.

And that’s actually it. You now know my secret technique of creating the ‘Blooper Eraser’ and saying goodbye to ugly bloopers. This technique works for me like a charm and I do hope it will work  for you as well. Cheers!

Nazroth

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…

 

Nazroth

TUTORIAL: PREPARING HOBBY GRAVEL

A hobby gravel – along with sand, gravel is a basing resource that each modeller should be acquainted with. Popular to an extent where some companies tried to brand it. For me, gravel and sand are supplies that I avoid buying in hobby stores. Why spend your money on thingsg that you can acquire yourself, especially when you know what to look for and how to prepare it? I preffer spending my cash on paints and awesome miniatures. Not that I ever went gravel hunting. Just kept in mind that modelling treasures like this might be found unexpectedly and to take advantage of such find if luck favours me…

Backstory:

One of these magic moments happened just few days ago. I was walking my dog, decided to take a new route and visit a small defile left by a construction long time gone. Suddenly I stumbled upon a huge pile of perfect gravel. By ‘perfect’ I mean slim, thin, not too sandy, sturdy pieces. Something ideal for basing. I marked the spot in my memory and got back there, armed with a small container, few hours later. Took ‘the sample’ and upon reaching home, spent few minutes preparing it for later use…

I USED:

  • Thick sieve
  • Rare strainer
  • Few plastic containers

1  First I separated the biggest chunks from the rest of precious gravel. These were a bit sandy so I left them for further cleaning (water and toothbrush will do).

2  I then used a rare strainer to separate medium sized pieces from the smallest ones. Medium sized pieces are perfect for scenic rocks, or more planned surfaces. I like to have these in a separate container, just to pick what I need at a whim.

3  What's left was a pile of small, flat pieces - ideal for standard miniature basing. This is what you usually get, when purchasing a hobby gravel in a store. As you can see, a lot of sand and dirt was filtered alongside gravel. Fortunatelly, nothing that a thick sieve couldn't handle.

Done:

Sounds so simple, that you probably ask yourself why have I done a tutorial out of it? I decided to TUT this to show the extreme level of simplicity required to prepare your own gravel. Sure – there is a catch to it: you gotta find some gravel in the first place – still, unless you live at the North pole – one day you will just bump into it. Old construction sites are a good place to start looking. Good hunting.

Nazroth
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