Friday, June 22, 2012

Putting the Pain in Painting..

Sometimes the Hobby Gods simply don't feel like being on our side. Judging by the series of unfortunate events that have been happening to me these past weeks it seems like I have upset them... by actually feeling inspired and wanting to hobby.

I know right?

First, I had to experience first-hand what happens when you try to prime a model that has not been washed properly. Had to strip the paint off Black Ivan...
... which turned out to be a success!

Then I spent ~$100 on the NEW Citadel paints, a few nice paint brushes, a paint palette and some primers.. Ended up not being satisfied with the way P3 Black Primer covers metal (although this time there's no rubbing off resin), so Black Ivan is currently in for another Simple Green bath. Gah...
I mean, this time it was much better, but I just need a good coverage on the metal parts, because they are all super sharp and bedazzled with detail, so I can't have the paint cheap.. No, sir. I'll be using the Krylon Black Primer from now on. Have to order that from the manufacturer's website, though, since it's no longer in most stores...

Oh, and whaddaya know? The one day I really, really, really felt like painting I realized that I had left my newly acquired paints in my friend's car.... That was more than a week ago.
Now, weather has been pretty crazy here in Chicagoland. We're talking crazy humidity and high 80's-90F temperatures. It gets even worse inside a black car..
And of course many paints melted as the new shitty Citadel paint pots warped and paint leaked and dried up. Seriously! Even bored the incident I had trouble closing the new paint lids - even on paints that I had just opened to see the color inside. It's not like I was a savage and had dried paints around the ring of the lid, which would prevent it from closing properly. Nope. Some paints were literally untouched and still died on me. Below is a picture of the paints that were completely useless. Notice the plastic tray which I used as a paint palette once - it was also in the bag. Notice the warping..

I'm very disappointed. :( Looks like I'm going to have to splurge again on paints, huh? Seriously, what a fucking disaster. And of course the only paintbrush that got ruined in the whole mess of dried paint and leakage was my Kolinsky brush. Literally no other brushes were even touched by this cesspool of failure. Just my awesome brush. That was pretty cool. I think I managed to save some of the other paints that were in the car by adding some paint retardant/thinner... whatever the !@#$%^& it is. So hopefully that helps. The new Dry paints are hilarious when they are all dried up..

Oh! Oh! And to top it off, I really wanted to do some basing on the two 'jacks that I have painted, you know? Then I realized that I had forgotten my basing materials in Frozencore Joe's car. So a week or so ended up being wasted on stuff being stuck in people's cars.

Not a good week for Skarvald. Not a good week indeed. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Black Ivan Down: Black No More!

Yesterday I posted about my priming malfunction with the Black Ivan and about the primer and paint peeling off way too easily.

Now, I was very unsure when I dropped the model in Simple Green.
I have used Simple Green to clean metal Games Workshop models and even an Ork Stompa, always with great results, but had never used the concentrated solution to clean Privateer Press' resin/plastic models. Even some pretty thorough Google Fu revealed only promises that Simple Green should work on resin/plastic models without melting the model itself.
The issue is, of course, that the resin/plastic which Privateer Press uses for their newer models is still relatively new and I'm guessing that not a lot of people have had to deal with such an issue..

Well I had to..  ;(

And, man, is Simple Green awesome! 

After 20 hours of soaking in Simple Green concentrate..
This is my Black Ivan model after approximately 20 hours spent inside concentrated Simple Green.
I took him out and gave him some scrubbing with an old brush and both the paint and primer simply disintegrated. I knew that the paint on the metallic parts would come off easily, but I was still very surprised with the results..

Now, keep in mind that this model was dunked in Simple Green a few hours after it was primed and that it was not cleaned in soapy solution before it was primed... a mistake which I'm never making again! If you have an older model, depending on the paint and primer used the results may not be the same and you might see some primer taint, which is when the primer gets inside the miniature and dyes it a certain color.

I'm going to leave Black Ivan in the solution for, oh I dunno, 8 or so more hours and then I'll drop him in a soapy solution for another 8 hours to make sure that all of the chemicals from the Simple Green are not present on the model when I prime him... AGAIN.

Switching from Warhammer to Warmachine: I Just Lost the Game!

In what might turn out to be a pretty interesting series of articles, I'm going to share with you my experience of slowly departing from my days of shouting "WAAAAAGH!" and gradually getting to know the glory of Warmahordes. While I still love Warhammer 40,000 and even Warhammer Fantasy I can't help but feel alienated by Games Workshop's policies and just general business presence. I could go on and on about the things that went wrong, but I don't want waste your time with my rants.
It is what it is.

And now.. Warmachine
If leaving the Warhammer 40,000 scene and getting into this whole Warmachine business has taught me ONE thing, then it is the following: I am no longer the top dog. Gone are the days of me knowing the outcome of a game long before it even began. I can no longer underestimate my opponents. I don't have a superior understanding of the rules which can give me an advantage against my opponents. I no longer look at an opponent's list and see all the wrong choices. I can't win games by making mistakes or expecting my opponent to make more mistakes than me. The list goes on..

I guess what I'm trying to say is that.. there is challenge for me in Warmachine. I might sound a little snobbish at first, but 40k had been very stale for me.. for quite a while, actually. I did keep on trying to motivate myself by thinking big. I wanted to have an army of 100 Deff Koptas.. but that never panned out. I wanted to re-do my Space Wolves - to finally highlight them and to get my army up in points. I wanted to have an Apocalypse-ready army of Space Wolves. That's probably never going to happen with the current prices on things and the fact that there's no way I can duplicate the paint scheme for my armies anymore. But I digress. Again.

So true..
Like I said..
I am no longer the top dog.
I don't have the confidence that I'm going to win anymore.
I do win some of my games, though!
But then I lose just as many. I lose a lot.
I make mistakes.. and I lose.
I get outplayed and outsmarted.. and I lose.
I decide no to boost that one attack.. and I lose.
I become too confident and reckless.. and I lose.

There has been a whole lot of losing as I'm dealing with the learning curve of this game. That was not the case of my Warhammer 40,000 days in which my Orkz dominated the Ultramarines and Necrons of my gaming buddies. Hm, I guess my whole wargaming career so far has been an avalanche of success due to a lack of challenges. Oh, I've had my ass handed to me more than once, naturally.. but not enough. Once again, this is not the case. 

So.. I've been learning how to lose properly while enjoying the game as much as I can.
I can't say that I don't play to win. I enjoy winning! Victory achieved by outplaying and outmaneuvering your opponent is awesome.. Which is why Warhammer 40,000 was getting boring - victories were just victories. I wasn't getting anything out of winning anymore, I wasn't losing enough to learn from my mistakes and when I did lose it was more often than not due to time, a rules dispute or Matt Ward.

Of course, saying that I don't mind losing would be a lie. Losing still really rustles my jimmies sometimes and I mean.. that's normal. I put a lot of thought into the game and I really do my best, but sometimes even my best is not enough. I'm still learning, though, and will be learning for a long time.
There are so many armies out there and just changing a warcaster or a warlock completely changes everything. So many lists to win and lose against, hahaha...
I've been learning how to lose. I always do my best and when I do lose a game (again - that happens a lot!) I always try to leave the store with at least one important lesson learned.

I have made it my mission to only feel defeat if after a game I cannot see my own mistakes and the things I could have done better. That's why I really like Warmahordes, guys. Even losing is awesome!

Here are some of the lessons I have learned by losing..
  • Charging pStryker with pSorsha when Stryker has 20 ARM, even if made Stationary is a bad idea..
  • Relying too much on 'jacks and not enough on the Old Witch's toolbox to save her when being surrounded by Mercenary Steelheads, when an Iron Flesh and dropping a Murder of Crows on her could have saved her..
  • Being too aggressive with Scrapjack and getting it killed on turn 2 on more than one occasion.
  • Putting too much focus on 'jacks while preparing for a possible charge on a Getorix after a nice Gallows without boosting the attack roll with the Old Witch, causing Gallows to miss. 
  • Allowing pSorsha to get knocked down by slammed 'jacks.
So far all of the games that I have played have had that "ARGH!" moment. I bet you know what I'm talking about - it's the turn you fuck up. You either forget to move, shoot, boost or you fail to allocate your resources properly. Or you fail to see a way out of a situation. "ARGH!" moments are always different as as long as you keep them that way and avoid making the same mistakes you should pat yourself on the back, because avoiding making the same mistakes is what makes us better gamers.

So.. that's it from me.. for now.

And until then,
Keep on losing!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Black Ivan Down

Today I decided to work on my Black Ivan model, which was supposed to be my entry for the Lost Hemisphere's new monthly Paint the Target challenge
I was all excited about finally painting Harkevich's favorite 'jack.

Primed it black, using Privateer Press' Formula P3 Black Primer.
That's Negro Imprimador in Spanish for you, folks. Sounds intimidating, doesn't it?  
Wait a second.. I thought the adjective was supposed to be after the noun..

It was my first time priming with a P3 Primer and I was anxious at first. The weather outside was pretty hot, I suppose and it was slightly windy, but after shaking the can for ~1 minute I started priming and everything seemed alright.. The primer went on very smoothly and dried fast just like GW's (more expensive) Chaos Black Primer.
I was originally supposed to pick up a cheap-o Flat Black Krylon primer, but the nearby store was out of it, so I picked P3's Primer instead...

I started painting, following Hand Cannon Online's Tutorial: Basics – Back in Black: Painting Black Armour. I covered the model with a nice coat of Thamar Black (also my first P3 paint!) and started with the first coat of two-brush blending Coal Black on the armor plates, when I realized that I need a better brush for the actual blending part. So then I decided to start with the foundation for the rusty metal parts. There were a few spots that were difficult to reach with the sponges, so I decided to use a stippling brush.

And then when I applied slightly more pressure... the paint.. and the primer came straight off, revealing the grey resin/plastic underneath. Applying pressure with the tip of my fingernails also scratched the paint and got rid of the primer. I don't know what to think of it..

Was it the weather? Was it the primer? Did I not wait long enough for the primer to dry?

I suppose I should have cleaned the model with some soap water beforehand.. right?
But then again I didn't do that for my previous Warjacks and they were fine. I tried scratching the paint, and a lot of pressure is needed to show even a hint of grey...

I was just not feeling comfortable with the result, so I decided to throw the model in some Simple Green for a day or two and then see what happens... I'll give it a nice soap bath and I'll scrub it diligently with an old toothbrush.. and I'll be doing the same with all of my Privateer Press models.

Right now I've got Scrapjack soaking in a soapy solution and will try to prime it for tomorrow.
I have Flat Black Krylon, so hopefully things will be alright.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The new 11th Company Podact is Out! And I'm in it!

Hey there, folks!
I'm pretty excited to announce that The 11th Company Podcast just released their 120th episode, titled Episode 120: Dive Bomb for Paint Scores!
Well, what does that mean? Well, you should totally go and check it out, give it all your ears for its entire duration simply because the 11th Company Podcast is awesome. You don't really need any other reasons.

Like I mentioned last time, Pat was kind enough to invite me to his Podcast and I just had to say yes. Now that I'm listening to it, it's kind of cool how many topics we were able to cover in ~14 minutes!

Download or stream the podcast to listen to me stutter about:
- The new Ork Flyers
- The future of Flyers in 6th Edition
- The quality of the recent White Dwarf magazines
- Puppets War's Flying Coffin Orcoplane
- Special Operations: KILLZONE and the part I played in it's development
Tell me what you think! 

P.S: The interview is around 14 minutes long (starts at 3:28:44 and ends ~3:42:40) and you should totally go check it out if/when you have some spare time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Hobby Awesomeness! Woohoo!

Yes, I realize that the title sounds like something out of Goatboy's Extra 40k Thoughts but for the sake of my sanity and due to me being tired and lazy I'll just stick with this nonsensical, unproductive title.
Let's just say that today I didn't have a case of the Mondays. Let me start with the most recent thing:

1) I got interviewed today by The 11th Company Podcast! Again (I was in Episode 101: Now with 3 digits! as well :P) Pat sent me an e-mail a few days ago asking if I would like to chat with him about the new Ork Flyers which came this month and naturally I was all for it. While blogging is my preferred method of expressing my thoughts and ideas I actually like the podcast format. Maybe it was just because I had stuff to talk about. I mean, I talk about this hobby all the time with my friends, it's not unlike that, right? Pat and I talked about the new Ork Flyers, Puppets War' newest plane, Special Operations: KILLZONE (and my involvement with the project), our gaming communities and the newest White Dwarf.. +/- a few other hobby stuff.

It went for quite a while, actually, so hopefully you guys will enjoy it if you have the time! You know you want to listen to my soothing Bulgarian accent!

20 Paints!
2) Hobby Splurge! And by that I mean, I spent a good chunk of my paycheck for some necessary hobby materials. If you remember my guide on painting green Khadoran warjacks, I mentioned that it was all using the NEW Citadel paints of which I owned none. Thus, it was time to splurge on all of the colors I needed. I desperately needed some primer and because I couldn't find any Krylon Flat Black primer I decided to give Privateer Press' Formula P3 Black Primer. I mean, it was $10 but that still a lot cheaper than GW's can of primer. I don't doubt that it will do a great job with covering my models. So far I have only good things to say about PP's models, rules and policies. Got exactly 20 paint pots, but I just know that in the future I'll need more. It's the way the cookie crumbles. And I actually don't even know what this idiom means... I do like cookies, though.
Then I also managed to snipe the last blister of Winter Guard Infantry (10), officially maxing out my unit of Winter Guard Infantry to a Leader and 9 Grunts + Unit Attachment and Officer + Kovnik Joe. I just need 2-3 Rocketeer dudes, but they are not a priority right now.

3) Played some games of Warmachine against my buddy John.
A. I lost a 15 pt. game with the Old Witch versus Drake McBane..
... in which I learned that, once again, the Witch is not ideal for small games.
... in which I learned that, although totally capable of scrapping two Nomads, the Behemoth is not enough shooting firepower to deal with a unit of Helberdiers and Cavalry.
... in which I learned that I actually need some accurate firepower to kill models as they are advancing towards me and especially after the turn I feat. A unit of Widowmakers and/or Widowmaker Marksman would have been ideal for this.
... in which I learned that I need to play it less aggressively with Scrapjack. I need to learn to Prowl with him in a safe position. Instead, he got charged with a Flank bonus and lost both of its arms. : ( 
- Behemoth
+ Destroyer
+ Widowmakers 

B. Won a 20 pt. game with a hilarious Karchev the Terrible list, by towing a Destroyer, a Black Ivan and a Juggernaut against a 3 different Titans and Xerxes..
... in which I learned that, once again, Warbeasts are so much better when shit hits the fan than Warjacks. 
... in which I learned that I need more 'jacks with Reach, because walls are annoying and I can't charge through them with my .5'' reach. When is the plastic/resin Spriggan coming out? :( 

4) Lost Hemisphere is having their new monthly Paint the Target challenge which is to paint a Warjack or a Warbeast. Well, I'm vowing to paint at least one Warjack by the end of June: my Black Ivan. So hopefully you'll get to see some more of my painted stuff. Woohoooo!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

HotPANDA's 200th Post Giveaway!


Well. Possibly. Only if you are awesome and the Dice Gods smile upon your fate, though.
If you would like to learn more about this awesome G-I-V-E-A-W-A-Y, then you should check out HotPANDA's awesome blog: The Chaos Manifesto for more information.

The lovely doughnut-hatin' robot-lover Panda of the hot variety is celebrating his 200th blog post with a schweeet giveaway and the more people subscribe to his blog by a certain date, the sweeter the prize will be.

I'm posting this to promote HotPanda's blog, which is an awesome blog with haikus and sweet painted models and what-not. Plus, I won part of his 100th post Giveaway by getting a sweet voucher, which I used to by the Warhammer 40,000 25th Anniversary model. It's only fair I tell people about this giveaway, I suppose. So yeah. Go and check out his blog.

I enjoy reading HotPANDA's posts! I have this feeling that we're very similar in the way we express ourselves and although I've never met this strange, strange Canadian fella,I just have this feeling that we could be awesome gaming buddies, ya know? Too bad he is in Canada, though. His fear of donuts is the reason he is exiled so far away from the U.S. of A. and its Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donut minefields..
Seriously. Sometimes I have to watch my step. There are donuts everywhere.