Monday, 21 March 2011

Phase 1: Convert the Masses!

Nah this isn't some scheming religious campaign, just a scheming Elven one!

So I’ve finally converted all of my plastic Galadhrim warriors to wield one-handed swords and shields. Firstly I cast those damn shields and swords and let me tell you it was no easy task, many shields were lost and had to give their lives in the pursuit for the perfect shield.

After trial and error I finally worked out the best method to cast the glaives and shields. The shields were concaved (or curved) and proved tricky I followed these steps:

Creating the mold for a shield
  1. Once I had softened my casting mold (I used a re-branded Japanese version of Instant Mold – yh bit random but it was the cheapest I found) I softly pressed the shields into place.
  2. I then used a wooden spoon handle to further press the shields into the mold, this made the rest of the mold a curved shape and made casting easier (see the pictures they make things a bit clearer).
  3. Slapped this in the fridge to cool.
  4. I then used a second strip of Instant mold to complete the two-part mold.
  5. Slapped this in the fridge again, and then reflected light off the detailed surface to ensure the shield detail has been picked up. If it hadn't, wash and repeat... well more like re-heat, reform and repeat... till I get a satisfactory mold


Casting the shield
  1.  I then stuck in some brown stuff into the mold that had the face shield detail (keeping my hands moist). Using a wet thumb to push the putty, making sure the putty would pick up all of that beautiful Elven craftsmanship... ahem craftelveship?.. dunno... anyway...I tried to use as little putty as possible.
  2. I then placed the second part to the mold in position and then squashed the 2 part mold on a hard surface.
  3. I put this in the freezer so that the putty would freeze (maybe 15 minutes).
  4. Popped these bad-boys out of the molds to make sure that the detail was there, if the detail was bad I warmed up the putty again (with my hands) and repeated the previous steps until the detail was good.
  5. I left these to open room temperature for a few hours and then baked in the oven for 5 minutes to speed up the curing process.
  6. I then used a hobby knife to carve away any flash and sanded/filed down the edges
  7.  Most of my shields were a bit thick so I filed the back till they were quite thin, be careful as the shields do deform a bit.

    The swords were easier to do and repeated the processes mentioned above, though it is not necessary to use wooden spoons to cause the mold to follow suit to the curved shields.



    Final preparations

    For some odd reason GW decided to include a head in the box-set without a helmet and so I cast myself a replica of an Elven head so that all my elves would be fully armoured ;)

    For the spear elves, spears where removed carefully and holes drilled (1.5mm) into the hands so that the glaives would fit in nicely, the glaives did need a bit of sanding on the handle to fit in, don't force them or they may snap/break.



    For the glaive wielding elves I removed half of the glaives handles and sanded/carved away other material so that they looked like they were wielding one-handed glaives.



    Finally, two Galadhrim companies ready to paint!

    Tuesday, 15 March 2011

    Haldir Elves: Paint scheme

    Well here is some work that I've done just to practice some painting. The glaives long handle have been modified to look like 1 handed glaives.. the shields are upholstery nails (I think I got them about 7 years ago from either Homebase or B&Q - I have no clue if they are still in production!). I planned to build an entire army out of these guys as i think they look better but as Games workshop dont produce them anymore I'll use this along with other Galadhrim warriors for my core units.



    Some more angles!!



    The shields eventually will be re-placed with the Galadhrim Shields, when my casting material arrives!! (been waiting over a week for it to arrive now *crys*).

    Here is my paint scheme if your interested

    Mail
    Base Dwarf Bronze
    Wash Devlan Mud
    Highlight 1 Shining Gold
    Hightlight 2 Mithril Silver

    Armour
    Base Shining Gold
    Wash Devlan Mud
    Highlight 1 Shining Gold & Mithril Silver (1:1)
    Hightlight 2 Mithril Silver

    Cloak
    Base Chaos Black  & Fenris Grey (1:1)
    Wash Devlan Mud
    Highlight 1 Fenris Grey
    Hightlight 2 Space Wolves Grey

    Hair
    Base Vomit Brown
    Wash Devlan Mud (watered)
    Highlight 1 Vomit Brown & Bleached Bone (1:1)
    Hightlight 2 Bleached Bone

    Red Leather
    Base Calthan Brown & Red Gore (1:1)
    Wash Devlan Mud
    Highlight 1 Ref Gore
    Hightlight 2 Red Gore & Vomit Brown (1:1)

    Shoes (and other leather)
    Base Calthan Brown & Chaos Black (2:1)
    Wash Devlan Mud
    Highlight 1 Calthan Brown
    Hightlight 2 Calthan Brown & Bleached Bone (1:1)

    Skin
    Base Tallarn Flesh
    Wash Devlan Mud (watered)
    Highlight 1 Elf Flesh
    Hightlight 2 Elf Flesh & Bleached Bone (1:1)

    Monday, 14 March 2011

    Every penny counts


    Ok so money is not exactly a surplus at the moment, me and my wife (Beth) are students and so I'm trying to find ways of saving money in my hobby.

    I'm currently trying to work out how to base my units... I had used grass given from my uncle that wasn't very convincing and so as I will be a tax-payer (one-day) I helped myself to some grit-salt, conveniently supplied by our beloved government, with the reputation of this new silly government I got plenty of it just in-case Cameron’s cuts reach those pretty little yellow boxes found on the end of our streets.

    So after a bit of prepping involving boiling water, a sieve and an oven.. wait, an oven you ask? Yeah well this particular constituent of sand has a body-centred cubic atomic arrangement and heating it at 67.4 degrees Celsius changes this to a face-centred cubic arrangement that allows... I’m kidding I was too impatient for the sand to dry so I baked some of it in the oven to test how well paint sticks to etc... :P
    ..long story short it works, so I’ll be using that, I’ve got 2 grades of sand; fine and coarse, I’ll use the coarse stuff to add rocks to the odd model to give some variety.
    To be honest you can get quite enough sand for £3 from a local Model/Hobby shop... I just felt it un-necessary to give into commercialism and buy such a basic easily available natural material. So that means I can use 3 quid to get a pot of paint! Yay! (...an inside joke with the wife).

    Wednesday, 9 March 2011

    Paint me an army worthy of Lothlorien!

    Ok, well I'm a bit excited about this whole new blogging experience and though I had already a an idea what to blog in my next post i thought I'd better leave it a day, can't look too keen hey? ;)

    So my first task!? Well many articles suggest to develop modelling/painting skills before starting on main commanders of your army, so i need to start on my basic units. I already had some Haldir elves with swords and so I did a few of those to decide on my colour scheme. I'm using the regular colour scheme for the Galadhrim warriors but changing the cloaks, I'm using space wolves grey ... the reason being I'd rather have a lighter, more elegant look that the elven faction deserve. Rather than using the suggested 'Enchanted Blue'.



    I'll get some pics up of my progress... so yeah my task? I'm getting to it! I need to sort out some Galadhrim elves armed with one handed glaives and shields. Now the box set provides 8 with glaives, 8 with spear and shields and 8 armed with bows. Makes me wonder what Games-workshop were thinking... elves with spears? (they look awful, not elven craftsmanship either), two-handed swords? (and sheilds can be used with them, you seen elves with three arms lately?).. anyway allows me to have fun converting them... so i need to convert the two-handed swords models and spear w/ shields models to wield one handed blades and a shield (with two hands)... which means i need to cast some shields and swords! (as i only have 8 of each). The first task! So I've got my brown putty (best for weapons, as this stuff doesn't bend but is as strong as green stuff). So now waiting for my 'Instant Mold' to arrive to cast my war-gear in!

    Tuesday, 8 March 2011

    Humble beginnings.

    I'm sat here and have no idea where to start.. so I’ll start roughly 8 years ago.

    I've always had a crazy interest in arts and even more in Lord of the Rings, in my teens it involved scribbling and doodling in classes and in my own time... as far as Lord of the Rings were concerned I collected a digital copy of everything to do with Lotr, I recently looked at my archive of rubbish I collected in my teens (on my External hard drive) and probably found way tooo many pics of Arwen, well, yeah this blog is not here to discuss my teen crushes... well maybe... mm should I explain myself? Ok let the record know I am actually happily married now...



    So, moving on, I got into Games-Workshop Lord of the rings table top gaming to re-channel my ambition, ahem, it seems from female elves ;). Well I lie, actually I never really got into GW Lotr, I fantasised about my army and researched tactics, built my dream army and my dad would be kind enough to buy those costly miniatures for me every now and then as a young teen... I’ve always liked elves and so decided to collect an Elven army and so my dad would get me those sexy shiny Haldir's elves!! Yummy. But only had a handful to paint, and never enough to game with.

    And so now that brings you up to date (in a nut-shell... a big nut). So here I’ll be posting you updates of my progress in the new released Lotr table top game War of the Ring (WoTR). My goal is to build a Lothlorien themed army (known to be not the best army as far as table top gaming is concerned, but hey I go crazy over pointy ears!)... even considered how i would convert Galadhrim elves to female... yh that would be hell... I’m over Arwen... honestly....



    anyway... back to reality.