Generally, I like to have two projects on the go when it comes to painting miniatures. In my opinion, two is the perfect number of pieces in progress to have. If you only have one project, you end up with a lot of downtime waiting for paint, glue or putty to dry. Having a second project on the go allows you to switch over and work on the paint job of your warjack while waiting for the basing material to dry on a solo miniature, which both improves your productivity and lets you get the most enjoyment out of your hobby time. However, once you start getting past three, your workbench gets cluttered and you end up making not much progress on a lot of things rather than actually completing any one thing. As a result, most of the time, I stick to two.
This is not one of those times.
Right now, I have five projects on the go: A Grolar/Kodiak multikit and three Winter Guard Rocketeers for Warmachine, a unit of Man-O-War Bombardiers, di Wulfe in Sheep’s Clothing, and a PZL P.11 fighter.
With all the hype around Vlad1 Rockets in the Southern Ontario Warmachine scene, I figured I would get on that hype train and get some more rocketeers painted up. It’s a list that hasn’t quite hit the Ottawa meta yet, because as much as people in Ottawa like to complain about Khador, this is a powerful list that no one locally has been playing yet.
Basically, the whole point of this army list is that you take Vlad1, go into the Winter Guard Kommand theme, and take three units of Winter Guard Rifle Corps or Infantry, each with three rocketeer attachments. Add Juggernauts and Marauders to taste, and slap on some free Mortars from the theme, and your strategy is simple. Cast Signs and Portents, and blow the opposing army off the table. Then at some point, feat and send some Juggernauts and Marauders down their throat.
As a result, this means I have to paint some more rocketeers. I managed to acquire some plastic ones, and let me tell you, this kit is not one of Privateer Press’ finest moments. The ones I had acquired were the plastic version, and the mold lines on these are just a nightmare. If you want to assemble a whole unit, best to clear your schedule for an evening and sit down in front of the TV with a hobby knife to clean them up, because it’s going to take a while. PP has improved their model quality since then with some of their newer releases, but these are just a pain to clean up and get ready to paint.
So far, I’ve just got them cleaned, assembled, primed, mounted on pill bottles for painting, and a little bit of paint on their chestplates. I was going to finish them off, but then other projects came along…
The Grolar/Kodiak Multikit, released in early 2016, is one of the first in Privateer Press’ line of new, hard plastic, injection-molded, sprue kits. The model comes on four sprues and with a 50mm base and an instruction sheet tossed in, and parts are provided to make both the Grolar and the Kodiak variant on the same chassis. The legs and body are the same for both, while the forearms, smokestacks, and heads are different and represent different weapon loadouts.
This is my second of these kits, this one being a prize at the Capital City Bloodbath, and as I couldn’t decide between the two variants, so I ended up magnetizing these parts so I could swap between the two as my heart desires. Magnetizing is pretty simple; it’s just the process of drilling into the plastic and installing some rare earth magnets so you can pop pieces off and on, as well as rotate them around the axis of the magnets. This model has many hollow pieces, however, so if you plan to magnetize, stick a lump of green stuff inside the hollow area underneath where the magnet is going to go before you glue the pieces together, just because it’s a lot easier to insert the magnet when you don’t have to worry about drilling all the way through the plastic and the magnet not having anywhere to next.
Also, double, triple, and quadruple check the polarity whenever you are magnetizing. Don’t ask me how I know.
The quality on these hard plastic models is a huge step up from some of PP’s earlier releases. Simply compare the Grolar to an old Juggernaut and see the difference in mold lines, crispness of detail, and ease of assembly. PP seems to be transitioning their larger warjacks into this material, which I think is definitely the right move on their part.
Anyways, the one catch with these hard plastic models is that while the mold lines are few and easy to clean, the way they go together can result in seams in awkward spots, like running right down the middle of the body. This means that if we want to get really good results, we need to either do something about those seams, or cheat and hide them with weathering.
I chose the former, which is where some Vallejo Plastic Putty comes in. On my last model, I used Milliput Superfine for seam filling, but decided to try this out after seeing it on the shelf of a local hobby shop. It comes in a tube with a small applicator tip, and it is easy to squeeze a little out onto the model and into the seam. It takes at least a day to dry, and you many need a second application in larger seams. So far, it seems to sand down quite nicely, and there is no fuss and muss involved with mixing two components to an epoxy putty. It seems like a nice gap filler, and will surely find a place in my arsenal as it is easier to apply than Milliput, and much more sandable than Green Stuff.
At present, I’m almost done the assembly, with just a little more sanding and finishing to do, mostly on the seams. Aside from the magnetized bits, I’ve got it in two pieces, separated at the waist, to make it a little easier to paint before a final assembly. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to prime it and start painting this week…
With Privateer Press putting on a contest to forge your own Company of Iron and have it added to the lore, I figured it’s time to bust out my Man-O-War Bombardiers unit and start getting them done. I had sprayed an initial basecoat on them, along with another dozen or two Men-and-Women-O-War shortly after the Armoured Korps theme force came out, but never got around to finishing them. However, upon seeing the contest go up, I had a sudden flash of inspiration, and they found themselves once again on my painting table.
Also, people in steam-powered armour wielding grenade launchers with chainsaws for bayonets is awesome.
di Wulfe in Sheep’s Clothing
As mentioned last week, my plan is to take the Sexy Gorman MiniCrate mini up to a display level and really push my skills as a painter. As a result, I’ve got an initial layer of primer on her. I plan to start with the zenithal priming technique on her, so I’ve got an initial layer of black primer on her and will do a lighter colour from above, using Stynylrez through the airbrush. Normally, I don’t bother with the zenithal technique, preferring to just prime in white and go from there, but in this case, I think it will work really well given the colour scheme I have in mind, and I want to put in the extra time to show off all my skill rather than doing a rush job. The plan is to do the second layer of primer on her at the same time as I do the first layer on the Grolar. I also have some plinths on order, so I’m excited to see what I can do with her.
This was a model kit that I bought over a year ago as something to test the airbrush on. I spent $5 on it, and it came in a beat up box with pieces missing. Upon opening it, I realized that the instructions which were conveniently written in Polish. I managed to get it put together and sprayed it with the airbrush, making some mistakes and not doing that great on it, but lately, I’ve taken it off the shelf and I plan to finish this thing off. It’s not going to be perfect, but given the massive backlog and the fact that I spent less than $10 on this model, it’s not really worth stripping off all the paint and starting over, so I’m just going to press on and at least finish something. It’s been about 15 years since I last finished a model airplane, so I think I’m allowed to have something that isn’t perfect.
There we are. Hopefully I can get one or two of these projects done over the next week or two so I can clear off some table space, but until then, I’m going to have to resist the siren’s call of another model to put on my workbench…