Monday, May 28, 2012

New Greens for bases

Happy Memorial Day!!
I don't know who reads my blog, but if anyone is a serviceman or servicelady in the armed forces I just want to thank you for giving your lives so people like me can enjoy freedom and enjoy fun hobby stuff like this in peace. THANK YOU!
Well the Super Dungeon Explore bases were not as successful as I thought they would have been. I sold 2 sets at a decent price but after months of not selling any more sets I sold the remainder of my inventory for a bulk price to someone who originally purchased one of the sets off the Etsy store. The molds have now been destroyed and the originals have been stored away till I can at least get a better mold made and there is interest in them again. Here's my sad face----------> :(.
 In the meantime I began to work on some bases for a Bretonnian Army for Warhammer. Honestly I never thought I would get into Warhammer Fantasy but I liked the Bretonnians and all the models they have for them so I ended up trading some gaming stuff  I had lying around for a battle battalion box, a box of the knights errant/ knights of the realm, 2 pegasus knights, 2 lords of Bretonnia and a King Leouen Leoncouer miniature. So lots of miniatures to base. So I busted out the sculpting tools again and began work on some bases with a cobblestone and dirt theme.

What do you think? I thought the greens turned out great at least. As you can see I only sculpted the ones I needed for the Bretonnian miniatures. I know I have a few base sizes missing including the 50mm base. I figured since I only have one miniature on a 50mm base, there was no point in molding it since I only need one copy. So it's off to the molding station to mold these bad boys.

And here is my finished mold with a few casts from it. I was worried about the basing sand and how it would react with the silicone. But since I added a few extra coats of Future shine to seal my bases, it actually turned out fine. I spent the extra dollars and got some Mold Star 30 silicone to mold them. This stuff is the best and way better than Oomoo 30. The casts are pretty detailed and will probably look great once they are painted up. So will I sell them? Nope probably not in the short future unless I get some significant requests for them. Casting resin is too expensive and there is no guarantee you'll even break even with selling them. But it is not a definitive no.

In other news, you've probably noticed I changed my blog logo a bit. It's been a work in progress for awhile. I was never 100 percent satisfied with my original mascot/character. I wanted it to have a more anime feel. I think I must have drawn about 30 different sketches before ending up with this one. In addition, I also added a little tribute to my favorite video game that I have probably invested more time in than my miniatures hobby ...Skyrim. So who knows, maybe the logo might actually be attached to an awesome game or product someday but until then....
Keep on gaming ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Burn In Designs Paint Rack Review

 For the longest time I have been shopping for a good paint rack to store my huge collection of hobby paints. I went with one of the Rubbermaid plastic storage bins that have multiple compartments to store your things. While this was a good solution to storage, I still ran into problems with easily accessing my paints. I just happen to run into a small laser cutting company named Burn In Designs. If you know me well, you'll know I like to support small companies that do hobby stuff. So after seeing their Facebook page full of laser cut awesomeness, I went ahead and ordered their paint rack that holds 50 paints in the standard wood. Here is the finished product on my desk.

Now for a review. Ordering from Burn In Designs is a bit more complicated in the sense that you have to email the company to request an order. Sure it's different but after using to sell  and then using Paypal for transactions myself, your profit margin takes a hit. So their method doesn't bother me at all. So you'll just have to have faith and trust them that you'll get your item(you know, the old fashion approach to business). Shipping is fast and I got my paint rack within 3 days.

Before I ended up with the photo above, I had a pile of wood that looked like puzzle pieces that needed to be assembled without the help of any instructions or diagrams. Not to worry it is easy to figure out, even by the novice, but I am sure some people may have a more difficult time figuring out how the pieces fit and need that extra bit of help. I mean even Ikea stuff comes with some form of diagram right? I used super glue for construction against my better judgement only because I didn't want to wait the 24 hours for wood glue to dry.
The paint rack is constructed in 3 parts. 2 rectangle shaped paint racks that hold 25 paint pots each and the rack stand.  I started by building one of the paint racks. Now I have quite a bit of experience building architectural models but even with all my experience I managed to screw up building the first rack. I glued the sides to the top rack with the hole cut-outs but then I couldn't glue the bottom of the rack and it fell apart. 
After a few attempts to glue it together, I found that the best way was to glue the 2 smaller sides(the side that says Burn In Designs) together with the top and bottom of the rack and then that makes it easier to glue the longer sides after(which is why I reiterate the need for a diagram or instructions). The second rack was a lot easier and it was glued together with less stress.
Now the rack stand was another story. My wife saw the difficulty I was having with keeping it glued together that she thought I was duped out of my money for something that will never work. I was almost convinced of that too until I finally got it to stay together through some feat of hobby skill. I was almost afraid to put the paint racks on it since I thought for sure it would collapse. I nervously put the racks on the stand and then carefully moved it to my desk, making sure to hold my breath so it wouldn't move and started to fill the rack with the paints that I use most often. Then my wife and I stood by my desk and stared at the fragile but oddly sturdy awesome paint rack that now adorns my work space. My wife thought for sure that the whole paint rack would collapse during the night but here it is 3 days later still standing. 

The cool thing was that included in my package was some little trinkets of laser cut skulls and advertising discs. I didn't have another use for them so I glued them to the rack for aesthetics. For my paint rack I glued the wood piece with the company name on the outside so when any gamer friends come over they can see who makes it and also I like the font on the company name, but you can also glue it with the name facing the inside of the paint rack to give it a more clean look.
Final thoughts: I give this paint rack an overall score of 8.5 out of 10
Here's how I grade it:
-.5- for slight difficulty of  overall construction
-.5- for not including a diagram or instructions on how to build
-.5- one of my racks had a circle that was not fully cut so I had to cut it with an xacto knife. It was a very obvious QC issue that could have been easily noticed when packing it up for shipping.(even I have gotten knocked for QC when I was selling my bases)

Other than the QC issue it would have been a 9 overall, and I highly recommend buying from them. It is pretty sturdy even if it doesn't look it at first. They also have many options to choose from. If you don't like wood(or the smell of it because it will smell like burnt wood for awhile, just the nature of laser cut products) they also come in a variety of colored acrylic which costs a bit more, and they have another variety of paint rack that replaces one of the paint racks with 2 drawers for your hobby tools. I am sold on these and would most likely purchase from them again in the future.
Keep on gaming!