Saturday, May 30, 2015

Review: Wolf Heulend by Masq-Mini

Hi everyone,

Today I bring you another review about a type of miniature that is close to my heart - Thunder Wolves.

This post shows off the Giant Howling Wolf from Masq-Mini.  I bought this miniature from Battlefield Berlin, and I have to say I do not regret it.  It costs 22 euros excluding p&p which is an extra expense. So if you are going to buy it, then make sure you make a good sized order to reduce the cost per item for postage.

The miniature came in the box you see in the picture below.  The parts were in a plastic bag, but there was no protective foam - which was disappointing.  Otherwise the box is quite nice.
The model in itself comes in 6 pieces.  The parts are crisp and need a minimal amount of cleaning.  There is no base and no instructions like the GW Thunder Wolf box set, but with the simplicity of this kit, you would have to be a moron not to be able to put it together.
The pose of this howling wolf model is fantastic and full of drama.  I easily envision this mini as a squad leader's mount, a Wolf Lord's ride or as a showcase piece.
The only drawback is that it s a bit thin compared to the bulk from the side view.  Unfortunately this is hard to correct due to the way the saddle is designed and cast.  If I decide to use this as a showcase piece I will definitely try to thicken it a bit.
Another defect, which I found rather odd was the gap in the fit.  This is not a problem for a seasoned modeller and only needs some good use of putty to correct, but coming from a company like Masq-Mini is once again disappointing.

The detail, though, is fine and well sculpted.  It has a more naturalistic feel to it, which is not surprising for a hand sculpted model.  This might contrast negatively with the GW Thunder wolves which have a more stylistic, blocked-out look to them.  So if you want this model in your army - then go for a character model.

Overall, the Masq-Mini giant wolf is larger than the GW version.  It's extra bulk makes it stand out from the pack.  An excellent wolf model for an alpha contender!
The last picture shows a comparison with a Space Wolf model from my collection.  As you can see the model fits in well with the character and the mythos.
After giving it some thought, I have to recommend this model.  If you are looking for a challenging project for a character leader or a diorama piece, this model kit has it all.

If on the other hand you are interested in building a squad, then I would think twice.  The set from GW is more affordable and has more build options. The Masq-Mini giant wolves can only be assembled in one way.  If you don't like a pose - you're stuck with it just the same.

That is all for May, until next month; farewell and god health.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Eaglemoss Wolverine: Part 5 - FINISHED!

Hi everyone,

I have finally finished my Wolverine model from the Eaglemoss Marvel  miniature figurine range.  This project was dragged out a bit too long, but in my defense, I did stumble on several hurdles along the way that muted my enthusiasm for this job.  In the end though, I did manage to finish it and that is what really counts.

The scope of this project was to hone up my painting skills.  Before the 54mm Conan the Barbarian  model I painted up several posts ago, I had not painted a show case figure in a long time.  Painting this Wolverine helped to stir me back on the right tracks.

At 8 sterling, it was also very cheap for a 70mm figure which usually cost over 30 sterling.  In fact, I have bought several of the line, including the Beast and the She Hulk which I will present in the future.

Enough of the small talk.  It is time for the picture.  I hope you like it.

The last photo is one that displays the mighty berserker as he was before and after he was repainted.I think the picture sheds some light on the scope of improvement you can achieve with these figures.  If you are one of those 'purists' who think that you should not even open the box, let alone repaint it - well you can always buy two and keep one in the original form!  From where I stand, I rather go for a good look than a perfectly preserved specimen.
So, another project under the belt.  Next week it is another review.  I have seen that one of my most popular posts is the Basicks Great Wolf, so I have decided to give the public another!

Until then farewell and good health.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dystopian Wars - Basing PT.3 Arctic Water

Hi everyone,

Back again with the last installment of this article run on basing for Dystopian War flyers. Today I want to talk about a quick and easy way to make arctic water effects.

In the spirit of the other posts, I wanted to find an inexpensive way to build an arctic basic.  After a lot of brainstorming and experimentation, I found a way to do it in a convincing manner.

The first thing you need in any arctic sea is icebergs.  An economic way of achieving this, in scale, is to tear out some pieces of sponge and soak them in diluted PVA glue and stick them to your bases. 

Once dry, the sponge hardens and you can continue to add several layers of Vallejo's Water Effects.  This will help to smooth out the texture of the sponge into a more icy structure.  When you are happy with the texture - paint the iceberg white.  This will help bring out any defects and you will see if you need to work more on it. 

When dry, the next step is to add floating ice.  This is the simpler part of the project.  All you need to do is cut out some pieces of plasti-card, or an old credit card (sanded down), or plastic calling cards (you know - the posh ones) and glue them to the base.  Make sure you have several smaller parts floating around.
Before you start to paint everything, make sure to mask the upright stands, and then paint the whole thing white.  I prefer to use an airbrush for this, but brush work will do fine as well.  Just remember that it is better to paint several thin layers than one thick layer.

The next painting step is the water.  This is done in the exact same fashion as the first post, but just remember arctic water which is ice ridden can tend to be brighter, so do you research and paint accordingly.

The last step is to give a bit of body to the ice plates.  I did this by mixing Vallejo's Water Effects with some snow product and adding several layers to the ice-plates, letting each application dry before adding the next.  Any brand of artificial snow will do, but the fine it is the better.  I also gave the icebergs and the water a coating or two of the Vallejo Water Effects to give just it that wet look. 

A small tip - if you are feeling adventurous, you can try adding some clear blue paint in minute quantities to the Vallejo Water Effects in order to create blue ice or simply a bluish reflection.  Always do some tests first before applying to your bases first.
A quick snapshot shows what the bases look like with some fliers attached to them.  As you can see, although the ice effects are small, they are properly scaled to the air-ships.  I am sure you will agree, arctic sea really suits the COA.
The last picture is a group shot of all the bases put together.  It gives the air-fleet a completely new look and helps to bring out that army individuality we all strive for.  My only critique at this point is to either make all the bases just water and explosions or all arctic.  I mixed them up solely for the purposes of this article.
Well that is a wrap for this article run.  I hope you enjoyed them, and hopefully learned something useful you can adopt for your own use. Next week I will be posting up my finished Wolverine model.

Until then farewell and good health.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dystopian Wars - Basing PT.2 Water Explosions

Hi everyone,

The next article in this series is about water explosions.  I will show you how to create simple techniques to create this effect, enhancing your bases and models. This little effect is probably my favourite in this series.

So let's get to work.  The first thing to do is plan out where your explosions will be.  I opted to do them for my bomber squadron, which back in Ver1.5 totalled  4 models.  So I decided to make two of the bases with explosions.  I planned one in the middle and the other on the side for variation.

The explosions are made out of common epoxy-putty.  Any brand will do, but I like to use Milliput or Magic-Scupt for such work as it allows for better sculpting of surfaces. Roll out small pieces and place them together.  Leave them set for about 5 minutes and smooth the surfaces together with a clay-pusher tool or even a toothpick.

Let the putty cure naturally for 6 hours or help it cure in ten minutes by applying gentle heating with an air-gun.  When it has completely cured, give the explosions a generous coating of Vallejo's Atlantic Water Effects.  You might find that more than one coating is better.
Now it is time to start painting.  The painting follows the same techniques as the previous article, so I won't bore you again with the details.  Just remember that exploding water turns white, and the area around it bright and intense blue the further out you go, so just keep that in mind. Remember to paint the explosion itself with pure white!
The next step is to add the waves. Once again use Vallejo's Atlantic Water effects, but this time lay them out in concentric circles. This is very important, as you can imagine. 

I like to add several layers of heavy gloss gel medium in the inner circle touching the explosion.  I add a bit of white to this to create the agitated white-water in that particular area. Do not feel shy to paint the crests with touches of pure white, increasing the amount of pure white paint as you come closer to the epicentre of the explosion.

If this step frightens you, then practice a bit first.  I can assure you that the amounts used are minute so you will not be wasting hardly anything.  Do this until you reach an effect you like or are comfortable with and then re-apply it to the base.
The last picture below is a shot of the finished product.  I can't speak for everyone, but I think they look real cool!

Well, we have come to the end of this post.  Next week I will publish another article in the series dealing with simple arctic water effects.

Farewell and good health,


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dystopian Wars - Basing PT.1

Hi everyone,

This month is onceagain dedicated to Dystopian Wars, but with a slight twist.  Instead of painting up more models, I want to embellish them a bit by working on the bases of the flyers.

I know clear bases are practical and that they can be used with any terrain, but I like my models to standout and giving them themed or well made bases is a step in that direction.

The first type of base I want to make is a normal water base.  You might remember the Callimachus or the Deadalus models I painted up a while back.  So to begin, I start by undercoating them black. I find this step to be crucial, especially if you want to stimulate deep sea.

The next step is to choose a nice deep blue and start dabbing the paint on the base. I would use an old flat brush for this.  Before the paint dries, start adding greens, yellows and white, depending on how deep you want the sea to look. Mix it in thoroughly until you get even blends.
When the paint has dried, it is time to add some waves.  This step cannot be simpler.  Just add thick horizontal lines with Vallejo Water Effects.  In this case the Atlantic Blue effect, and once again let it dry for several hours.  Now, the number of waves and their thickness depends on the scale you want to achieve.  I find six waves looks good for these types of bases.
Add more paint when the water effects has dried, depending on the need.  You can deepen the troughs by adding a darker blue or adding white to the crests. After you are satisfied, give the whole thing a gloss coat to tie everything to gether.  This will give you a good idea how the base will look when finished.
If I am satisfied with the results I give everything a heavy coat of Vallejo Water effects (the clear type).  Extra heavy gloss medium will have the same effect.  If I am not happy, I got back and tamper with it until I am.  You just have to practice and acquire a taste for the look you want.
Below are pictures of the final results.  As you can see they are very simple to achieve, and add character to the model. If you use the widgets from Hawk Games, you can always buy more bases and attach the flyers to clear bases during land warfare.  That is what I do anyway.


Once again I have come to the end of another post.  Please join me next week as I go into a variation of this concept with EXPOLOSIONS!

Until then farewell and good health.



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