Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hey I got a new Toy

I'ld been thinking about doing this for quite sometime, considering getting a helmet video cam for racing video.  I know a lot of people use the GoPro HD and the Contour cameras.  Then I saw this one a motorcyclist was using, a Tachyon OPS HD video camera.  That little black thing shown between the black orc and my Nikon Coolpix, is the camera on its helmet mount.  And yes the lens is the size of a dime.  A guy on one of the karting forums showed some of his video from this little bugger and the quality looked as good as the GoPro HD3 so I found one on sale and ordered it.  Now I just have to figure out the best way of keeping it on my helmet.

And over the years I've had lots of people ask me what camera I use for shooting pictures of my miniatures.  Well it is that old Nikon Coolpix 4300, a 4.0 megapixel.  The camera is probably closing in on 10 years old, but its much better than my much newer camera at taking pics of my minis.

And below is my trophy haul from karting this past summer.
I also got around to uploading some more racing videos, a pair of feature races. 
It took me awhile to get over the first one below, matter of fact when I watch it, I still get pissed about being run off the track and crashing into bales at about 50 mph.  With the karts, if you are going to hit something like that barrier, even though it gives, spin it out and try to back it into the barrier.  Anyways it hurt, you can't really see it, but I was actually holding the engine onto the kart by the exhaust pipe to keep it from landing in my lap.  Good thing I had leather jacket and a glove on and heat wrap on the exhaust pipe or that would have burned.  So if you want to see me crash, tune into around 1:20 into the video.  My old man was in the race and saw what happened and was probably as pissed as I was, and took it out on that guy later on in the race also caught on the video.  He's got my back.

Then I uploaded this video of another of the Feature Races.  I gave it my best, but ended up getting beat after leading quite a bit of the race.  The guys that beat me finished second and third in the season points standings.

Monday, November 26, 2012

WIP on the Desk: The Return to Rome

Well the desk has been cleared of that first large batch of Vikings.  So now the desk has been filled with a large batch of Romans.  I recently sold my Praetorian unit and needed to replace them with a new veteran unit of Legionaires.  This unit I plan to use different shield transfers on and I am painting them in a slightly different paint scheme than my current Romans.  I also took time to paint a few more Vikings from the second unit with some of the creamy whites, which actually is the Reaper Master Series warm bone Triad over Vallejo Model Colors English Uniform, great for skulls and great for an off-white.
The metal is a base coat, I will still highlight that with two brighter metal colors and then wash it with Secret Weapon Soft Body Black to blend everything together and also define the recessed areas in the armor.
Above in the center is a Foundry model.  I have two Foundry command models and a Warlord Games command model in this batch.  Once I finish those three models I'll be putting them on Ebay or accepting OBO off of Ebay.  Keep that in mind if you are interested in them.

Next up a new toy and some more kart racing videos.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

WIP On the Desk: 1st Batch of Vikings nearly complete

Really starting to get back in the groove of painting.  I have the first unit of Viking Hirdmen, Bondi archers and my shield wall markers, along with a few extra figures basically done.  Only thing left is the banner.
The shieldwall markers are simply some shields, using the idea that Mike Butcher had done with his Saxon army that I have teamed up with a number of times.  I seriously changed up the way I paint flesh tones, and I think it will only get better from here on out.  I have watched a number of miniature painters over the years do some really cool stuff in fleshtones, and my models have been lacking in the area of the faces in particular.  Bennett Blaylock Doane in particular with his historical armies got me to realize just what I was missing.
I still need to clear coat and do a few little touch-ups and then it will be on to static grass and a few more different things as I attempt to spice up my basing a bit more, doing some things that I don't normally do.  Next time you see these they will be done and in a movement tray.

Next up for painting a new unit of Romans and another unit of Viking Hirdmen, as my Danes come to life.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Racing Season comes to a close...or does it...

For those of you new to my forum, bare with me, I do not always talk about miniatures and wargaming on this blog, because I like to rant and rave about sports, that should be fairly obvious if you look around on my blog with all of the kart racing and the Czabe, who is currently part of the Yahoo Sports Radio Network in my blog list.  Sports for me is a huge part of life, it hardens you, it makes you focus.  It teaches you how to deal with the winning and the losing.  Its life lessons in an arena where its okay to lose once in awhile, as long as you learn from it and you come away with the knowledge of what it takes to succeed as an individual or as part of a team.

This weekend was not about football for me, it was racing, as Nascar comes to a season ending weekend with all 3 of the series, I did not watch a single football game this weekend, did get a couple Badger Hockey games in the evenings. 

I am certainly a fan of Brad Keselowski, the newest Sprint Cup Champion.  I like rooting for the Midwestern guys, I rooted for his dad years ago, and this is a guy I get.  He's calculating.  He has a huge chip on his shoulder and I'm glad he speaks mind, even if that means rubbing some people wrong being brutally honest.  I'm not brash like he is, but I certainly don't like backing down to anyone, anytime.  Its nice to see guys like Carl Edwards, the so-called poster-child, and others heads explode when this guy wins.  His Sports Center interview after the win is an instant classic. 

I don't know what its like to win at that level, I know what its like to win at a local level, so I can only imagine the exhilaration.  Until this year, my entire time in sports competition, all the ball sports, I have never been a part of or won a championship.  That's a long drought, now that I'm in my 40s and once again competing, I never thought that I would win a race in a racing kart.  I dreamed that I would one day with my father who I grew up watching race.  I wanted so much to be a part of that as a young kid being around it, but the cost in dollars to do so was so prohibitive back then.  Not to mention, that there is a certain amount of fear to overcome going that fast sitting a 1/2-inch off the ground.  The winning of races came often this past spring and summer and worked its way into a Championship at a local level, in equipment that we had built.  I know my old man was extremely excited to see, as I was also happy to see him at 65 still be able to beat guys that were 10-20 years younger than me even.  I know what that pride is about, I can only imagine would it would be like to be Brad or Ricky Stenhouse who won the Nationwide Championship, and to be a part of those organizations.  It's cool to see from the outside looking in. 

And now, the off season begins.  I'm going to be training, at my age, I need to stay fit to continue doing this.  And my dad and I will shortly begin the building of a new kart for next season.  Lighter, stronger, and hopefully faster than I can drive it.  As always persevere...

WIP on the Desk: Oh...the Monotony

Yep.  Some 66 Viking Shields.  I've often been asked why I have painted some wood grain on the backs of the shields.  The answer is simple:  I'm crazy. 

Then I'm often asked if I painted them while glued to the model.  The answer is often a question:  Are you crazy?

I hope the front of the shields turn out better than the back sides.  Finishing up the first unit.  I'll glue the shields onto the models that are missing shields in the back ranks and paint those up.  You see there are two types of shields here, ones that were primed all black and ones that have the front primed white and the back primed black.  The ones with the white will get the Little Big Men transfers and I'll be putting those on in the early morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Work In Progress on the Desk: 2 Units of Vikings

No racing today, just rain.  I managed to get in some work last night, and later today will get in some more work after I get in some engineering...  The above is a good shot of some of the shields.  I don't plan to paint alot of them.  The front ranks will be transfers using Little Big Men transfers, expensive when you are talking about as many models that I'm painting.  So to save a bit of money, the back ranks and shields on the back of the models will be painted.  I have a number of the transfers and looking at them, I decided to mimic that style as best as I could, with a small amount of damage and bit of dirty looking drybrush on the bottoms.  
Above are some more of the models.  Note the one with the GW head.
A broader shot, Bondi archers and the first unit of Hirdman ( which is actually the 'C' or third unit that I built).  Not the cool Gripping Beast art piece in the background for inspiration.
The next batch will get a few more with striped pants.  I like how that turned out.   That's it for now...making slow progress.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lost In the Warp Crossover....The Build of a Mutant

Recently I showed two pieces that I built for James Craig over at Lost In the Warp as part of blog crossover project, a pair of beastmen that he will base and paint to add to his army:  Beastmen Build Post

Well, in exchange for building the beastmen, I asked James to build me a mutant marauder for my chaos army.  James recently posted on his blog the build and his thought process behind it, that can be found by going to the following link:  Lost In the Warp....The mutant

Much more to follow on the mutant, as I base the model to fit my army and will begin some paintwork.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Old Stuff Wednesday - November - There Once Was a Giant

Back in 2002-3 I build this crazy looking metal Giant for my Beastmen army.  Its an odd looking model to begin with and I think I made it even more odd. 
Not sure what I was thinking at the time with the horns. 
The axe on the other hand I knew exactly would work for the axe.  The blade was made out of plasti-card and the wood haft was sculpted GS around a metal tube.  The chain is a jewelers chain.
Added a couple extras to the back.  I remember being very happy with the paint work.  The Base is actually a piece of steel, the model kept tipping over so I fixed that by giving a 1/4" steel base.
I no longer own this model, but its one that I will definitely remember.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Lost In the Warp Model Building....

James Craig of the ‘Lost In The Warp’ fame, approached me earlier this year about converting a beastman for his ultra cool beastmen army. James like myself loves the images of the beastmen, below is an example of his work. 
I've known James for quite a while, and have admired his work over the years. I think the idea to actually do this collaberation originated back when a whole group of us here in North America got together to do the whole Primarchs project for Gamesday. James can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was while we were sitting at a panel talking the hobby with people at Chicago Gamesday way back then, that we first thought about or discussed this idea, or maybe it was on the Herdstone Forum or something like that, but was around that time period. I do know that at one point we had all talked about playing a game against each other at some point also with our armies.

Anyways, I thought this project would be cool to do. He is a much more accomplished painter than I am, having won numerous Golden Demons for various elements of his Beastmen army. So the model I build will be painted by James to match up with his army. Having done tons of commission building work over the years, I always enjoy seeing how people paint things that I have built for them.  The thing about building is that I have this image of what the final look will be in my head in color, and when someone else paints that piece it gives me a very fresh perspective.
To start the project, I asked James what it was that he was looking for. Thankfully he pretty much gave me free rein, asking me to do something in the Khorne realm with two hand weapons, something that would look like it could be in my Khorne Beastmen army from back in 2003.  Something that looked like these bad boys that we last visited on an Old Stuff Wednesday:
Old Stuff Wednesday - October - Converted Gors
So I scrounged through my bitz boxes and came up with this cool stuff. An old style gor torso, some weapons, that marauder spear bit, a head, horn bits, some Secret Weapons cast skulls. That's a pretty good start.
Onto the model, I changed out a few of the bitz as I went, not liking certain things. Early on I decided that if it is going to be Khorne, it simply must have axes, no swords. The sword arm however is a coolest beastman arm, with the heavy armored gauntlet. Back in 2003 when I built, my beastmen army, I was not very good at sculpting chainmail and even struggled a bit with plate armor. Nowadays, that's not as big of an issue for me, so I added the plate armor and mail. Going through my orc bitz I found this chain thing that I placed on the front, so I added that to tie it in with the back banner and the straps that would hold the backbanner in place. The back banner is something that I had been thinking about for a bit as I thought the marauder cavalry spears would make for cool banner poles and actually have used a couple with my orc builds not that long ago. I quickly realized that I was lacking horns in my bitz box for whatever reason, so these were donated from a chaos knight head, I purposely did not want symmetry in modeling them on the head. I then added the hair. One of the major design elements in my Khorne Beastmen is hair and lots of it.
One of the poles got a Secret Weapons broken skull on it and the other a decapitated marauder head.  What is Khorne without some skulls, you have to have some skulls? So, I pinned and laced these in from Secret Weapon's grab bag onto the models hip. I did not do a whole lot to converting the weapons, but I think they are suitable.
The backbanner with with all of its wraps, leads to the straps attached to the chain.
 Above better view of some of the chainmail work.  Added a torque for the left arm.

Then as a complete after thought, I decided to quickly make a Midgetgor. A beastmen army nowadays is not complete without a midgetgor. 
It’s a quirky conversion that I’ve been doing lately for my band of mutants. I did not spend much time on him and did not even tell James that I was going to do this for him. So, James has to have one of these midgets in his beastmen army, doing what I don’t know.
As to basing, I’ve seen many pictures of his army over the years, and I decided right away that I would allow him to base the models how he sees fit. This way the will blend in a bit better with his army. This is a pretty common thing for me to do when working for others.
So with all of that work done, I packed them all up and off to Canada they went. James will pick up the paint work there on his blog. I eagerly await to see pictures of how he paints them and to hear back on what he likes and dislikes.

Now since I was doing this as a favor, I asked James to build me something in return that I could add to my Mutant Marauder army. I’ve been working on this band of misfits since around 2005, building and painting pieces of it every so often. I sent James a link to my photobucket account that showed all of the stuff I had completed thus far and James was agreeable with doing up a model that he thought would fit in with my misfits. As I told him, anything basically goes, and the main thing I wanted him to do was have fun doing it. If it’s not fun then why are we doing this? 

In the next post I'll show what James came up with.

Ah, but the story does not end there. James is a huge fan of Mike Butcher’s nurgle work, much like I am. Something that he had mentioned to me in passing is that he would love to get his hands on a Nurgle beastman that Mike had modeled that he could paint. Well Mike and I have been friends for quite awhile and we often attend many of the larger events together, and usually team-up together at the team tourneys. So, James and I approached Mike and he was cool with it. If you want to read about what Mike put together and I recommend that you do, you will need to go to the Butcher’s Bill and I'm sure he will be posting something about that.

Mike has posted his build here:

So, there you have it, the kick-off of our blog crossover event amongst friends. I hope you have enjoyed it so far, I know I have. There will be more coming on all of this crossover, I plan to do a bunch of updates, as things develop on my miniature that James built and on James’ progress, so keep tuning in for the progress, and please checkout these blogs also:

Lost In the Warp....Blog Crossover goes LIVE

I just read this ultra-cool post by James Craig on his blog about the crossover project that I and Mike Butcher did with him.  Check it out at the following link... Blog Crossover Part 1

More on all of this tonight when I get home, cya soon.

Blogs Crossover Links:
James Craig's Lost In the Warp Blog
Mike Butcher's: The Butcher's Bill