Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Roll Call...Riot Officer

This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper Officer

There are only a few days before NOVA Open and the last officer to come to the warband is another Peacekeeper Officer from Officer Pack 1 ($13.00). No patrol is complete without an officer with a shotgun. The last officer to report is eager to blast your opponents with his Mossberg 500 riot shotgun. The shotgun has some great advantages when used in close combat situations, an added point of weapon strength within a 12" range.

This Peace Officer is decked out in the standard riot armor, but without the heavy coat or cape of some of the other warband members. The officer has the standard MSP Stetson, painted with the Vallejo Khaki Grey with Khaki highlight. The riot armor was based with Reaper MSP Military Grey and then washed with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. The officer has Army Painter Leather Brown. His boots are Vallejo Black Grey with Citadel Boltgun Metal spurs.

With the warband finished, it was a matter of packing it up and shipping it off to the NOVA Open for the Charitable Foundation Silent Auction. There are a number of other great raffles that are available and all proceeds go to some really fantastic charities: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Doctors without Borders, and the Fisher House Foundation. I hope everyone is able to support these great charities with the chance for some really amazing armies and pieces.

Dragonforge Designs Oakk - Wood Floors Kickstarter Update

The Kickstarter campaign is quickly approaching $1000 and hopefully will make it to the $1100 mark to unlock the next stretch goal.

Currently there are sets of bases for 30 mm, 40 mm, 50 mm. The first stretch goal unlocked the 80 mm and 120 mm bases. At $1100 all pledges of $50 or more will receive a free set of small crates. Following this, should the Kickstarter get to $1300 then the Heroic Set One will be released.

If you get in on the Kickstarter campaign, you essentially save 10% over retail prices. I've used lots of Dragonforge bases, many of the Peacekeeper warband were. These bases will be a great addition and will go very well with some of the Brigade Games miniatures that will soon be started for another This Is Not A Test warband.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Janie's got a gun

This Is Not A Test Outrider

Outrider (front)
With NOVA Open fast approaching, I had to get moving quick to make sure the last two pieces were finished and shipped to davetaylorminiatures.com for transport to the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction. Thankfully my #HobbyHangout pals are always available with words of encouragement and banter to keep me going.

Janie, the Peacekeeper Outrider ($6.50) was the last miniature that I finished before the Open, but I am going to cover her before the other officer. I painted this entire miniature in about 2.5 hours, which I believe is the fastest that I ever painted a figure. Sure it helped that I had already painted 5 others and the color scheme was already worked out, but I managed to keep to task for the entire time.

Outrider (rear)
 As with all good forces, it is helpful to have the advantage of sight. The Outrider is just that for the Peacekeepers. Taking advantage of keen sight, the Outrider finds the right vantage point and can keep opposing forces from advancing. With advanced optics, the Outrider's rifle allows her to hit targets from a distance.

This model follows much of the same color scheme as the other Peacekeepers. The cloak is Vallejo Olive Drab, with some Stained Olive splash, and touched up with some Golden Olive highlights. The leather vest was painted up with Army Painter Leather Brown. The Stetson is the same color combo of Vallejo Model Color Khaki Grey and Khaki. The pads/armor pieces are Reaper MSP Military Grey. The boots are a combination of Army Painter Oak and Reaper MSP Woodland Brown. The Model is based on one of the Dragon Forge Designs Urban bases.

Now with the force nearly complete, there will be one more opportunity to post prior to the Open. I truly hopes lots of people take advantage of the Silent Auction and take part in the other auctions as well.

NOVA Open Charitable Silent Auctions

Tickets are already sold out for the Pride of the 14th Legion army. Three raffles supporting Warhammer; Da Bad Moon Skwadron, Mjolinar Space Marines, and Novamarines Adeptuc Asartes. There is a WWII Soviet Tank Company for Flames of War and an Emerald Empire Squadron for X-Wing. Tickets for each of these raffles are $1 each and total 500 tickets for each raffle.

There are also a bunch of specially painted models that are up at $2 per ticket. Corvus Belli Studios made a studio painted Achilles model. Neil "Zab" Szabo provided an Adeptus Mechanicus Ironstrider. Duncan Rhodes of Games Workshop donated an Archaon, Exalted Grand Marshal of the Apocolypse. John Stiening created and painted a Bolt Action King Tiger and a Primarch Angron.  David Pauwels created and painted a Carcharodon Captain. Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo fame, put together a Crashed X-wing scene and the NOVA Open Virtue statue, Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo fame, created and painted First Ranger Mira and the  Great White Werebull, A Khorne Chaos Champion was created and painted by David Faust-Du Sablon. The Ork Warlord "Overfiend of Octarius" was created and painted by Sean Fulton.

Dragon Forge Designs Oakk - Wood Floors Base Set Kickstarter

Just in time for the net projects, Dragon Forge Designs has released a great set of round lipped wood bases. These bases are perfect for a new warband that will be starting soon. Though the wood floors have a great pirate ship feel, I will be taking them more in the direction of a dock on the North Shore. So far all of the Dragon Forge Designs bases that I have used have been fantastic. This Kickstarter works as all of the others did, pledge an amount and pick that much from the available basis. Once you hit the $50 amount, you also get any of the stretch goals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Walk softly and carry a big stick

Line Breaker Model

This Is Not A Test Line Breaker

Whether you are facing a bunch of hippies at a sit in or fending off mutant cannibals, you don't want to on the the receiving end of the Line Breaker's baton. The Line Breaker ($6.50) is the latest of the Peacekeeper warband in the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction.

I went slightly different with this model. Since the Maryland State Police wear camouflage uniforms for the special weapons and tactical teams, I went with more of a Baltimore feel for the model.

Maryland Flag Visor
The Baltimore SWAT units are equipped with practical equipment, the Line Breaker is ready to punish with a spiked club and a spiked, full-body shield. Both at the ready to smash his opponents. When holding the line, his tactical riot armor will help defend equally from knife sticks and small arms fire.

Since I was going with a real city feel, I went with a round lipped 30 mm sewer base from Town Square set ($10) offered by Secret Weapon Miniatures. I think one was a part of the NOVA Open 2015 swag bag.

Line Breaker (front)
While finishing up a previous model on one of the Hobby Hangouts, we were discussing freehand technique. For some reason while discussing freehand techniques for the trim of capes or the back of the capes, I decided that I needed to do a Maryland State flag ...and I needed to paint it on the visor. Now I am not sure how this officer can see out of the visor, but with a big spiky club; he may not care. The Maryland state flag colors are red, white, and black. The flag is the heraldic of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore. I tried to match the layout in style since the visor isn't rectangular and made it as close as possible. When the model was done, I used the Army Painter Anti-Shine to take it to a matte finish.

The base color for his uniform pants and shirt are based with Vallejo Blue then washed with the Vallejo Blue Shade. This took the flat blue to a more navy color like the S.W.A.T. uniforms.

Line Breaker (Shield)
The riot armor has the feel of a catcher's breast plate in texture, so I went with a pretty safe layout for that. The base was the Vallejo Black Grey. To get it darkened up, I used the Secret Weapon Soft Body Black wash. Though this is a wash, it covers pretty well and it rather opaque. The wash doesn't run off as readily as many other washes so I had to do a touch up on top with the Black Grey. The straps for the armor were done with Vallejo Black. His badge is a duel layer of Citadel Boltgun Metal with the star done with Citadel Shining Gold. The shoulder pads and the little protective pads on the gloves were painted with Reaper Military Grey. The gloves are painted Vallejo Leather Brown.

Line Breaker (Rear)
Most riot shields are either black or very dark grey. I went with a the black grey, but mixed in some of the soft body black wash with some bolt gun metal to give it a little shimmer. The mix provide some slight sparkle to the shield, but doesn't make it shimmer or take it too far from a flat metal look. The spikes on the front are painted with the Vallejo Boltgun Metal. The helmet is reaper Nightmare Black, which has a heavy purple base to it.

The sewer cover was based with the black grey and then touched over with Vallejo Tinny Tin. The tinny tin was added sporadically to give some low cover shimmery effect and a bit of the metallic rust color. On top of this was added some of the Secret Weapon Pigments (entire set of 23 for $99). I used a combination of Ancient Earth, Dark Earth, and Clay Earth. This was of course fixed with the Secret Weapon Pigment Fixer. This doesn't show up much int he image as the fixer was still wet. It will brighten up a bit when dried completely. You can see that at the NOVA Open in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Get 'em while you can

Kickstarter Roundup

Secret Weapon Tablescapes Dungeons

Core Set Components (Stair Set not shown)
Core Set Components
Secret Weapon Miniatures has developed a new area of your table top environment, Dungeons. This extension of the previously successful Tablescapes Tiles. The Tablescape Tiles product allows for a very quick set-up for war games or overland scenes for role-playing games. The new Tablescapes Dungeons is a fully compatable sister product that allows you to take your adventure underground or into a cavernous mine. The Tablescapes are also fully compatible with the Dwarven Forge and Fat Dragon Tiles.

As the Kickstarter campaign enters its last few days, let's take a look at where it stands. There are two entry levels for pledges, $5 (allows purchase of add-on items) or $75 which gets the contents of the campaign and can purchase add-on items. The $75 pledge level so far will get you the Core Set, Core Walls, Core Passageways, Core Floors, Stair Set, Door Set, and Bridge Set. The funding stands just over $120,000 and at $140,000 will unlock the bridge set. You can see most of the components released so far in the image to the right. This image excludes the stair set, which is three additional pieces (floor stair entrance, two levels of stair risers). 

In addition to the Core Set, you can add a Mine Track set ($18) or a Troll Hole ($6) and lots of options for Reaper Bones, Secret Weapon Crystals, and Reaper Paints. 

The Hobby Transporter

Another campaign which is coming to a close, is the Laser Shark Designs' hobby case. The Hobby Transporter ($95 AUD/~$72 US) is miniature case designed specifically for those who travel with hobby gear and models around the country or world. This case is designed to open entirely (top and front open) and houses a removable shelf to give two levels of model storage and removable tray to hold hobby supplies. There are pledge levels that include additional shelves or multiple cases. 

Open case with tray and shelves
Hobby Transporter with shelves and hobby tray
The case has latches and locks, but is TSA compatible to ensure ease of transport across the United States. The shelf is made of clear acrylic with a laser etched Laser Shark Designs' logo. There are a number of shelf guides within the case to allow for the safe transport of any sized model. 

As add-on you can get steel shelf liners which will allow the use of magnetized bases instead of using blue tack. Additional shelves (acrylic and paint trays) can be purchased as well as the newly developed leaf punches. These are similar to punches for scrapbooking and come with designs for Oak, Maple, and Birch leaves. 

If you are travelling with models for display or models for competition, I highly recommend this case. Designed and developed by professional painters for just this reason. 

Linebreaker Preview

Later this week, I will be completing the next This Is Not A Test Peacekeeper for the NOVA Open Silent Auction. When people get out of hand, you want the Linebreaker ($6.50) on your side. This one got a little freehand (my first ever) and when it is your first attempt, why not tackle the Maryland flag on a helmet visor? Well, here's a preview to Sunday's post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Role-call Lt. Strong

This Is Not A Test Peacekeepers

When the Road Marshal starts role-call, his go to second in command is Lt. Stong. He is the Road Marshal's Quartermaster and there to keep the troopers in line and on point. After many years on the force he knows the units, knows the procedures, and knows the gear. Ready to tear a weapon down and reassemble at a moment's notice, Lt. Strong is the most dependable of this veteran force.

Armed with an AR-15 capable of fully automated fire, the good lieutenant is ready for action. As with every good Quartermaster, he is not concerned with the performance of the weapon because he treats it better than his lady. 

Lt. Strong (Front)
The Quartermaster is decked out in the standard Stetson straw hat and Maryland State Police (MSP) winter coat. The hat was painted with a base of Vallejo Khaki Grey with a highlight of Vallejo Khaki. This Khaki was carried down to his shirt as well. The heavy coat follows with the MSP Olive Drab. Highlights were applied with a Reaper HD Stained Olive and Golden Olive. All of the buttons were done in Citadel Beaten Copper to match the theme and style of the Road Marshal. As with Road Marshal, the Quartermaster has pants of painted with Army Painter Leather Brown. His gloves and the scabbard for his knife are painted using Citadel Snakebite Leather. 

Unlike the Road Marshal, standard colored chaps were not available, so he got some Harley Davidson stock chaps and modified them for duty. These are matched by his Harley Davidson riding boots, nicely accented with silver spurs. The chaps and boots were base coated with Vallejo Black Grey. The chaps were washed with Vallejo charcoal grey extra opaque and deepened with Secret Weapon Miniatures soft body black. 

Lt. Strong (Side)
The AR-15 was painted with the black grey, they washed in small spaces with the Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. Some wear marks were added using Citadel boltgun metal. The ammo pouches on his belt were done with the black grey with beaten copper buttons. The beaten copper was carried tot he ammunition belt across his chest. All of the armor and pads were painted using the black grey with a cover of Reaper Military Grey to provide some contrast.

The model was based on a Dragon Forge Designs 30 mm Round Lip Concrete Finish base. This is a few layers of paint and washes. The base color is Reaper Ash Grey. The areas between the slabs were washed with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash and then brought back up with Reaper Ash Grey.

If you want to see this one and take it home, be sure to check it out at NOVA Open and bid on the warband in the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Silent Auction

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hell hath no fury...

Like a Woman Scorned

Agatha Fox (front)
As part of the Reaper Bone Kickstarters, I picked up hundreds of miniatures and many of those are still sitting around collecting dust. With my involvement with This Is Not A Test, I have found a new use for many of the miniatures. Originally I picked them up for all of the fantasy figures for use with on-going D&D campaigns. Well a couple of years later, some parts from the Bombshell Couterblast Kickstarter and inspiration strikes.

I started with the Agatha Fox Bones miniature ($2.49) and made a little modification. The original figure is a peaceable enough looking woman, but with a secret, she is a spy after all. Tucked up behind her purse is what appears to be a Walther PPK (think Bond, Jane Bond).

Now while this is a fine enough figure and has been painted by many rather good painters, I decided it needed more. I liked the pose overall, but there wasn't enough oomph in the gun and I didn't see a spy in this figure so much as I saw a woman scorned. Perhaps beaten and broken, she was seeking revenge in one final confrontation.

Agatha Fox (rear)
I selected a handgun from the Neiran Weapon sprue ($2.99) since it had a much more American six shooter look to it. I had to do a little surgery on Agatha, but since it is the Bones material that is a really simple task. The material is a sinch to cut and move around. For this, I had to slice where her right hand falls behind her purse and separate her purse from her body. I cut off what was the Walther and opened the hand so that I could add the Neiran gun into a position that keeps the profile and the gun can't be seen from the front. This is similar to the work I did for the Reaper Bones Strumpet (The road from lovely scrumpet to deadly vixen).

Once the conversion was completed, I selected one of the newer Dragon Forge Designs bases, a round lipped base from the Cobblestone Rubble 30 mm sets $10.00).


Agatha Fox (Front)
I tried to keep a rather domestic look to the figure to keep with the basic idea that she is meeting up with a lover/husband and exact her revenge. She has a very fair complexion, Reaper MSP Maiden Flesh. The hair is a base of Vallejo Mahogany Brown with highlights of of Reaper MSP Griffon Tan. A wash of Vallejo Flash Wash was used to mark the line from the hair to the skin. 

The coat is based with Vallejo Khaki Grey with the Flesh Wash to add depth. The lapels were painted with straight Khai Grey. To finish off the coat, the belt was painted Mahogany Brown with a Citadel Shining Gold buckle. 

The gold carries to the purse which also has gold buckles on a Vallejo Flat Blue base. This was mottled with a Vallejo Grey Blue after a Vallejo Blue wash to give it a color similar to a Coach purse my wife has. When originally done though, the blue was too predominant and drew attention away from the face of the model. I increased the layer of blue grey and that toned it down significantly. For some additional consistency, she was given Mahogany Brown boots to complete her outfit. My thanks to some friends in the Facebook #HobbyHangout group for helping with feedback and color choices for the belt and boots. 

Agatha Fox (Rear)
The base was coated with Reaper MSP Ash Grey then some color was added to a few of the cobblestones using the Grey Blue. The highlight color was Reaper Concrete Grey. The sewer grate was painted with a base of Citadel Boltgun Metal which was then covered/washed with Vallejo Black Grey. 

After finishing it up, there was still something missing that I felt was needed to give it a bit more life. Since her colors were fall in palette, I went to the Secret Weapon Miniatures Masterclass Scenics and added some Fallen Leaves to the base. These were added in a bit of a clumpy fashion but coming off of the base to give it some action, something like the leaves being blown in the wind. Something to add to the chill nature of the act about to occur.