Monday, 30 May 2011

Citadel Finecast Captain Stern Review Plog WIP (1)

The fixes I've done so far. Probably will be more surfacing to do once it's primed.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Citadel Finecast Captain Stern Review

So today I wandered down to Warhammer World to pick up a Captain Stern to finish my little Grey Knights force (all metal, except Stern, who I forgot to buy back in the day). It has to be said, I expected QA issues, and I wasn't disappointed.

The clear back of packaging on the blisters/clamshells is essential. It took FIVE packs (this being the sixth) before I found a model that didn't have either pieces of torn mould material caught in places, air bubbles or vents obscuring detail, or other fairly obvious casting flaws. I wanted to review the best of the bunch. This is it.

As ever, click any of the images for a larger view.

I would not expect ANY flaws of this type on a professionally produced and QA'd miniature.

1) Warping of parts requiring resculpt or putty work. The face needed a tweak to the nose, and the lens on the armour was so far off circular, it had to be remade.

2) Large bubbles requiring resculpting work. Particularly the bottom of the feet, and corner of the cloak. Some of these are actually quite tricky to spot without having the model off the sprue.

I would expect to see one or two of these on a decent quality miniature. By comparison, Forgeworld casts I've worked on usually have three or four instances.

1) Vent points obscuring detail. Sometimes this is unavoidable in casting. Here, one of the lugs on the chest reliquary had a vent that obscured the groove around it.

2) Minor surface bubbles. Fairly common in resin casts, and best fixed with a surfacing putty. Finecast has issues with these (more than a harder polyurethane resin) as it doesn't particularly like being sanded, so any repair has to be surfaced OVER the finecast, or it can remain visible once paint goes on. Vallejo's plastic putty is great.

3) Minor bubbles / voids that require a sculpting putty fix. Break out the greenstuff. I really wouldn't expect to see these slip past QA unless they're really easy to fix, and then perhaps only one. In these cases the heels needed building up and surfacing.


VERY COOL - Crisp detail. Soft mould material lets fine surface detail get cast nicely.

VERY COOL - Easy carve material. Very much similar to set greenstuff in consistency. Similar behaviour from first tests.

COOL - Thermally responsive. Hot water and cold (ice) water can be used to soften and set the resin to correct bends and (within limits) heat stretch / straighten. Too hot and it gets very soft very quickly - a few seconds is all it needs.

MEH - Superglue absorbent. It's slightly porous and does indeed superglue very well. As it's lightweight the joints are self supporting pretty quick without the need to pin or use a CA catalyst.

I've categorised the flaws I see as red or green - red being tricky to fix (and best taken as impossible / best not attempted for a young'un), and green being easy enough in my opinion.


UNBELIEVABLY, SHOCKINGLY DOUBLEPLUSVERY BAD - Disgusting QA. It took 6 packs to get this model, which was the least affected of the bunch. Several of the rejected models actually had mould material stuck to them. - You'll notice it as it's bright pink. And this is from Warhammer World. This is singularly the most major problem, and it's the primary negative in my opinion. All the easy gluing in the world won't save me time if I have to resculpt parts of EVERY. SINGLE. MINIATURE. From a 'pro painter's' standpoint, this alone is enough for me to recommend other companies' products in preference.

VERY BAD - Price. £14.50. NOT WORTH IT! For damn near 15 quid, I'd expect a much better production. I reckon this miniature is actually worth about £7.50, tops. Again, that's for the best out of 6 packs, taking the work involved in fixing it into account.

BAD - Vent points obscure detail in places. Again, requiring careful knife work to fix. Presumably due to the soft mould material.

BAD - Air trapped in the mould and or Warping leads to filling / sculpting work that whilst easy, shouldn't need to be done.

MEH - Flash present in odd places. Flash at the top of the cape needs to be carefully removed. Not really sure why it's there in the first place.

MEH - Some parts snapped off the sprue - No damage in this case, but easy to see where it could have happened. A simple piece of sponge in the pack would probably help that.

VERY BAD - Mould warping / air trapping is present in areas that are impossible to fix without resculpting part of the model.

BAD - Air bubbles in some places require reasonable-to-good sculpting and surfacing skills to fix - in particular, here the corner of the cloak on the left side is missing. A surfacing putty (eg Vallejo Plastic Putty) is essential to smooth things in - the Finecast material does not like being sanded with anything other than a feather touch.

Overall score: 4/10. Potentially a nice change, but the QA really needs to be stepped up a LOT for the price to be worthwhile. For the time being I'll advise clients against mail / internet ordering (as I do for Forgeworld stuff), and instead offer to go pick it up in store for them so the quality can be checked. By someone who cares.

My first Finecast model was... disappointing.

Elysians: More decals done

20 more Elysians with decals, so that's 35 fully done so far. I have made some progress on the Venators. My girlfriend's mum is visiting for the weekend so I am not sure how much I can get done then, but I think I should have the whole army finished in a week (excluding the weekend), I am REALLY excited to get an army shot up!

Sanguinary Phalanx Chapter Master WIP (2)

More progress on the chapter master, following the completion of the greenstuff work - gap filling, a strap on the shield, icon on the shoulder. What you see brown will be worked up in metallics to a high-reflectivity gold as on the shield rim. As usual, click the image for a larger version.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Venators Built

Venators built and ready for priming!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Sanguinary Phalanx Chapter Master WIP (1)

The lastest commission I'm working on has a winged Dante analog for a chapter master, equipped with a sword instead of the axe, and having Astorath's wings by client request. Pretty pleased with how this is going so far - some details to add here and there. You'll notice some metal brackets on the base, these are there to counterweight the wings and will be covered in rubble once the piece is done.
As usual, click on the image for a larger view.

Non-EU client notification - business as usual.

Just a quick snippet really - as we are not a trade account holder with GW we're free to order miniatures used for commissions from any of the UK discount retailers such as Wayland and Maelstrom, and pass on those savings to our clients. In some situations the saving from doing this can now be substantial.

Our one caveat is that we must do a commission based on at least one of the miniatures that we order on your behalf. You can of course order more, (paying in advance for them) and we'll post them along with your commissioned piece.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Elysian Updated 23/05/2011

I have put decals on 15 elysians today, within this process the models were varnished.

Click Images to enlarge:

Blood Bowl Team 23/05/2011

Click Images to enlarge

Here is a CMON link:

Bloodbowl Vampire Update

Click Image to Enlarge

I have painted the lining of the collar red to add contrast to the hair. I think he is done now.

Elysian Update - troops done

Click Image to Enlarge
These are the last five elysian troops. I need to do all the transfers next! I have started on building a second venator, I will paint all three at the same time.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tom Update

I shall have all my uni work handed in tomorrow so after that I should be back to painting full steam again.. or even more! I should have an update on the vampire tomorrow, I painted his collar lining red to match the lining of the cape and to give some contrast to his hair. I have now painted all of the Elysian troops (I shall get an army shot of them soon!), I hope to get them all transferred and varnished next week as well as build the other 2 venators.


Friday, 13 May 2011

Bloodbowl Vampire Update

I have touched up the Vampire a bit and given his cloak a red lining as per request.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Space Hulk Terminators Complete - Squad Gideon

These shots are of the final, varnished miniatures that are currently enroute to the client. Been a while in sending, as the same client also commissioned the Urien Rakarth model. As usual click the images for a larger view.

Sergeant Gideon:

Brother Deino:

Brother Valencio:

Brother Goriel:

Brother Leon:

Space Hulk Terminators Complete - Squad Lorenzo

These shots are of the final, varnished miniatures that are currently enroute to the client. Been a while in sending, as the same client also commissioned the Urien Rakarth model. As usual click the images for a larger view.

Sergeant Lorenzo:

Brother Scipio:

Brother Noctis:

Brother Omnio:

Brother Zael:

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A couple of better pics of bloodbowl players

I found my gradient paper and tripod (they had gone missing when I moved house), so here are a couple of better pics of the bloodbowl team pre-varnish.