Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Hobby and Blog in December 2015

cheer photo cheer2-onion-head-emoticon.gifHappy holidays! It is the end of the year, and it is time to reflect a little bit. With the holidays, the month of December saw a lot less painting. I was able to complete the painting of a cannon with 3 crew members on the last day of 2015. This meant that all the Imperial Army miniatures from Battle Masters is completely painted! This is a collection of miniatures I owned since the 1990's and embarked on painting them in 2010. About time they got finished! Hopefully the Battle Masters Chaos Army would not take that many years before it is completed.

[Log] Battle Masters Mighty Cannon - Part 3

November 6, 2015 to December 31. 2015 - Due to the end of the year holidays and spending time with family, I decided to put the completion of the mighty cannon and crew to the side. With Christmas finally over I have took the last two days of the year to finish up the cannon and crew. I am glad that I completed these models on New Year's Eve! Here are some of the pictures I took before I had apply the varnishes and flock to the base.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Hobby and Blog in November 2015

Hello! The month of November is almost over so here is another general post to review what I have accomplished and to collect my thoughts about my hobby. Compare to the last two months, the painting have slowed down as expected...and spending money on new miniatures have increased. Once the year ends, I hope that I will be able to make greater progress in painting and spend less money on new products!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Categories to Compare Army Strength in Age of Sigmar

I want to analyze the relative strength differences between competing models, units, battalions, and armies in Age of Sigmar. One of the reasons I wanted to do this is for the idea behind the General's Prestige--to use a ratings/points system to compare the strength of armies after the game rather than use a ratings/points system to organize an army before the game. The second reason is that I just like to compare and contrast things. These analyses will help me decide on a reasonable rating method and, for those interested, see a step-by-step look from initial analyses to a rating method.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[Archives] First Wolf - Space Wolves Wolf Guard

For a long time I have been collecting only fantasy miniatures. Four years ago, I met some people that played 40k. They got me interested in trying out the game and recommended me to try out the Space Wolves. This would be my first metal and 40k miniature that I painted. I have affectionately nicknamed him as "First Wolf."

Notes: Original binder notes for my work on this miniature is on page 33. It is my experience with this metal miniature that I decided to switch from acrylic black paint to gesso as my primary undercoat. I feel that regular acrylic black paint was more difficult to get a good undercoat coverage on metal miniatures compared to plastic miniatures. In addition, the undercoat seems to be more easily rubbed off compared to undercoating plastic miniatures. Another lesson I learned from working on this miniature is to not assemble the model completely. In hindsight, it might have been better to glue the backpack at the very end or had a plan at the beginning on what I wanted the shoulder pads to look like. The glued backpack makes painting the shoulder pads fairly inconvenient.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[Workshop] Decals

Applying decals onto models seems pretty tricky. I worried that after finishing painting the minature, you will be able to still see the transparent outline of the decal. After researching on the topic and successfully applying them to a miniature, I found this method to work well for my purposes. The instructions below is mostly a combination of directions from Citadel Miniatures Painting Guide (1992, Mike McVey) and Microscale Setting Solution for Decals (Micro Set and Micro Sol).

Monday, November 16, 2015

How I enjoy playing Age of Sigmar without using a points system

As I have wrote previously I prefer to have some type of quantitative method to compare and contrast competing armies' relative strength. Models and units relative strength is something I would like to personally analyze in the future. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed playing Age of Sigmar games without the use of points. How I have enjoyed playing Age of Sigmar is based on gaming etiquette that I think most people should know and/or learned as a child. This post list how I enjoyed the game and, based on my experiences with the game, how I planned to introduced Age of Sigmar to my nephew and niece (they wanted to play Age of Sigmar since they saw me unpacking my miniature collection from storage).

Thursday, November 5, 2015

[Log] Battle Masters Mighty Cannon - Part 2

October 22, 2015 to November 5, 2015 - Here is an update to what I have done on the Mighty Cannon and Crew. I likely will not finish this unit by the end of this weekend as I was hoping for originally.

Monday, October 26, 2015

[Archives] The Elf

This is the Elf from the HeroQuest game. He is one of the four heroes that make up the blog's name. He and his companions--the Barbarian, the Dwarf, and the Wizard--were some of the miniatures in the 1990's that got me into the miniature gaming hobby. The last of the four heroes. I think he turned out the best out of the four. Was originally planning him to be a hero in a wood elf army; however, the hero has a bow requirement and I am not bold enough to try to add a bow to the character. The elf will be a hero for a high elf army.

Notes: While the Barbarian and Dwarf were undercoated black, the Wizard and Elf were undercoated white. No eyes on this miniature were painted and it is very noticeable on a brightly colored miniature. Tried a lot of different paint schemes on him. The stone slab was actually the original base that got cut in a way that it looks like a stone slab. Original binder notes for this miniature is on page 10.

[Archives] The Wizard

This is the Wizard from the HeroQuest game. He is one of the four heroes that make up the blog's name. He and his companions--the Barbarian, the Dwarf, and the Elf--were some of the miniatures in the 1990's that got me into the miniature gaming hobby. My niece uses this miniature in the D&D Castle Ravenloft board game.

Notes: While the Barbarian and Dwarf were undercoated black, the Wizard and Elf were undercoated white. I think I had the most trouble with the Wizard and tried a lot of different color schemes for him. The cape look a tad bit too shiny, but the pants turned out better than I thought. I can see my layering of colors on the shirt to be fairly rough. No eyes on this miniature were painted and it is very noticeable on a brightly colored miniature. The stone slab was actually the original base that got cut in a way that it looks like a stone slab. Original binder notes for this miniature is on page 10.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

[Log] Battle Masters Mighty Cannon - Part 1

September 19, 2015 to October 21, 2015 - All I need to complete the Battle Master's Imperial Army is to finish painting the mighty cannon and crew.
Undercoated five years ago...
This will be used as an Empire Cannon for Age of Sigmar. The Empire Cannon unit consists of 3 crew members, so I decided to kit bash to make the third crew member.

[Archives] The Dwarf

Updated on October 26, 2015. This is the Dwarf from the HeroQuest game. He is one of the four heroes that make up the blog's name. He and his companions--the Barbarian, the Elf, and the Wizard--were some of the miniatures in the 1990's that got me into the miniature gaming hobby. This model seems to be one of the many versions of the White Dwarf (Grombindel and Snorri Whitebeard are other names). I have been using the Dwarf in most of my games with my nephews and nieces.

Notes: Unlike the Barbarian where I just stuck to a two color scheme for each part (base and shade), I experimented with more colors on the Dwarf (base shade, and highlight). The most obvious is the shirt underneath the mail. Looking at the photo, it appears I had too much paint on my brush when working on the chainmail. I try painting eyes, but it did not looked good. Instead I just darkened the area around the eyes. The sides of the beard had very little detail, so I tried freehand painting on those areas. The stone slab was actually the original base that got cut in a way that it looks like a stone slab. Original binder notes for this miniature is on page 9.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Hobby and Blog in October 2015

hi photo 409434711_7c32198636_o.gifIt has been almost two months since I started this blog. Since then, I painted miniatures that I had started work on 5 years ago and also on new miniatures. In total, I have finished 17 models and I am quite happy with my progress. I am currently working on the Imperial Mighty Cannon from the 1990's Battle Masters board game.  Completing that would finish all the Imperial Army miniatures. I am going to slow down a bit on the hobby side in the upcoming months. So I think this is a good time to reflect on the hobby and my immediate plans.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

[Archives] The Barbarian

Updated on October 26, 2015. This is the Barbarian from the HeroQuest game. He is one of the four heroes that make up the blog's name. He and his companions--the Dwarf, the Elf, and the Wizard--were some of the miniatures in the 1990's that got me into the miniature gaming hobby, Thus, it was fitting that the Barbarian was my first completed miniature!

Notes: Being the first miniature that I painted, I went with a very simple paint scheme. Most parts of the miniature were painted with just two colors-a base color and a shade. In addition, using the same base color but with a different wash color, one can achieve a diverse range of subtle colors. For example, compare the hair with the fur and boots. I remember trying to paint eyes on him, but failed miserably; thus, I left it unpainted. The stone slab was actually the original base that got cut in a way that it looks like a stone slab. Original binder notes for this miniature is on page 9. Overall, I think it looks pretty good for such a simple paint scheme and proves that you don't need to do too much to have a presentable miniature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

[Log] Dungeons & Dragons Castle Ravenloft Heroes - Part 3

October 6, 2015 to October 12. 2015 - This past week I worked on the remaining three heroes from Castle Ravenloft. I did not expected to finish them by the beginning of this week, but I did! So now I am slightly ahead of schedule. My Hilvin Guild for Adventurers now have 9 heroes!
Heroes of Ravenloft completed!
As with Allisa and Arjhan (background), I tried to paint the last three heroes in a similar theme as represented by their illustration in their Hero Tiles. I also put more effort into painting eyes on miniatures.

Monday, October 12, 2015

[Archives] Imperial Men-at-Arms

Updated on October 15. 2015. These are the 15 Imperial Men-at-Arms from the Battle Masters game. These will be used as Empire State Troops in Age of Sigmar. Including the Imperial Crossbowmen and Imperial Archers, they were my first units of troops that I painted. This is the first unit of troops that I tried to make subtle variations among themselves. I think from now on, I will always tried to paint each model within a unit to have some differences.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

[Archives] Imperial Crossbowmen

Updated on October 15, 2015. These are the 5 Imperial Crossbowmen from the Battle Masters game. These will be used as Empire Crossbowmen in Age of Sigmar. Including the Imperial Men-at-Arms and Imperial Archers, they were my first units of troops to be painted. For the paintings I did 5 years ago, I always painted with Citadel Foundation Paints after the undercoat. Having more experience, it seems to be a waste of paint if it will be completely covered up. For example, the metallic parts of a miniature does not require a Foundation Paint coat beneath it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[Log] Dungeons & Dragons Castle Ravenloft Heroes - Part 2

September 22, 2015 to October 5, 2015 - Continuing on with the heroes from Ravenloft, I decided to paint half of the remaining heroes with the usual black gesso; and the other half with the newly purchased white gesso. Overall, I found the black gesso covers better than the white one. I am not sure if this is due to different brand or that black medium tends to have better coverage than white. It is definitely a lot easier to see the model details with a white undercoat. In the past two weeks, I finished painting Allisa, Human Ranger, and started painting the other three heroes.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

[Archives] Imperial Archers

Updated on October 15, 2015. These are the 10 Imperial Archers from the Battle Masters game. These will be used as Empire Archers in Age of Sigmar. Including the Imperial Men-at-Arms and Imperial Crossbowmen, they were my first units of troops to be painted. I found painting 5 of the same miniatures at one time is a good compromise between painting efficiently and reducing the tediousness of painting the same type of miniatures.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The General's Prestige - Initial Thoughts on an Age of Sigmar Army Rating System

One of Age of Sigmar's defining features is that you can deploy any models you want into your game with very little restrictions. This allows for some very creative, fun gaming experience; however, it can also lead to some very lopsided not-so-fun matches. Many communities have adopted some form of army composition rules and point values for the models. This makes people play against each other with relatively equal balance armies. A consequence of this is reduced creativity. For better or worse, I am trying to play Age of Sigmar as is, because I found the freedom of army building to be quite liberating. Nevertheless, I do feel there is a need to have some type of quantitative system to compare, but not restrict, the strength of competing armies. This led me to come up with the idea of a rating system, tentatively called the General's Prestige--this system reward the winning player that choose to field a fairly equal army against opponents or try to win with a lower points army. Below are my initial thoughts on making this system.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

[Workshop] Putties

Updated on April 30, 2016. This post will list the variety of putty that I have in my inventory and what I use them for. I use putty for conversions and filling gaps, however, my main interest is to use putty so that I can make use of all the extra bits from the plastic kits. For example, I have extra human heads and arms. I decided to make the torso and legs so that I can make an extra Empire crew member. My sculpting is rather basic and there is a lot of room for improvement! Nevertheless, if I can get better with putty, it will open up an entire new section to my miniature hobby.
Yellow-grey putty was used to make the torso and leg.

Friday, September 25, 2015

[Workshop] Undercoat

The first 51 miniatures I completed, I use White or Black acrylic paint (Apple Barrel) as the undercoat. The paint adheres fairly well to the plastic miniatures.  However, for metal miniatures, the Apple Barrel paints have a tendency to peel off from the metal. Currently, I undercoat models with acrylic gesso and found it adheres to metal and plastic miniatures very well.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Workshop] Basing Miniatures

Last updated on August 31, 2016 - Below is the standard way I base my miniatures--a variety of rock.gravel, and some grass spread at different parts of the base. So far, all my miniatures are based in the same exact way. In addition, all of them have a magnet added under their base. To add more variety to bases, I plan to try other ways for basing miniatures, such as using texture stamps.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

[Log] Dungeons & Dragons Castle Ravenloft Heroes - Part 1

September 12. 2015 to September 21, 2015 -  Wrapping up on the Battle Masters Knights, I started work on the heroes from the Dungeons & Dragons Castle Ravenloft board game. I play this cooperative board game with my nephews and nieces. This past Friday was my nephew's birthday, so I decided to paint the miniature he uses the most, Arjhan, first.
From left to right: Thorgrim Dwarf Cleric; Allisa, Human Ranger;
Arjhan, Dragonborn Fighter; Kat, Human Rogue; amd Immeril, Eladrin Wizard

Saturday, September 19, 2015

[Workshop] Sealing Miniatures

To seal painted miniatures, I use Golden Polymer Varnishes with UVLS.  I apply by brush with 1 coat of a gloss finish and then one coat of a matte finish.  According to Golden Artist Colors, the varnish dries to touch by 30 minutes and a second coat can be applied in 1-3 hours.  The label on the containers states that the varnishes require 1-3 hours to dry and 3-6 hours before you can apply a second coat.  From my experience, the drying time is closer to what the website suggested. I think the drying time written on the bottles is to be on the safe side. Flock for the base is added after both varnish coats have been applied.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

[Workshop] Horses - Painting Reference

Sometimes I will post Workshop articles that summarize my painting schemes for common subjects or themes. These articles will act as a reference guide to when I have to paint that particular subject or theme again. The first Workshop article of that type is about painting horses. Horses are prevalent in the fantasy setting whether as mounts for warriors or as workers pulling chariots or wagons down the battlefield. This week, I finished painting my first horse.  As there was a lot of armor on them, it made it a bit less daunting to paint. The plan is to update this post as I expand, improve, or revise my painting schemes on horses.
From left to right: Chestnut (red brown), brown, dark brown, and palomino color schemes

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[Log] Battle Masters Knights - Part 3

September 7, 2015 to September 14, 2015 - This past week I finished painting all 12 knights and their horses. This week, I will  put the final touche to complete them--gluing, basing, and sealing. As I wrapped up on painting these miniatures, I started preparing the next set of miniatures for painting--the adventurers from the the D&D Castle Ravenloft game.  Each separate projects will have their own logs.
Finished painting the knights and horses. Need to glue, base, and seal then I'm done!

Monday, September 7, 2015

[Log] Battle Masters Knights - Part 2

September 2, 2015 to September 6, 2015. Hello, this past week I took the advice to paint every day even if it is just for a short amount of time. Currently, I have painted for 5 days straight! Tonight would be the sixth.  This will be the second week of working on the Battle Master Knights. If I stay on course and paint at the same speed, I should have the 12 knights completed and sealed by the end of the 4th week.  I ended the last log planning to paint two of the riders completely.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Warhammer Fantasy Armies 4-ic Project Plan

Updated on September 14, 2015.  This post is about my Warhammer Fantasy Armies Project. The original project was called Warhammer Fantasy Battalions which was to paint the minimum amount of models needed to field a legal force for all 15 armies in 8th Edition and Age of Sigmar. Recently on Warseer, I was asked for a detailed list of what I plan to paint for each army. While writing up that list, it made me think of what I would like to do after completing these starter armies--which is to continue building the small force into a respectable army. The long term plan of building and painting these armies is divided into 4 phases.  The first phase is the original plan of 1 hero and 3 units per army.  Altogether, I like to refer to this plan as the 4-ic project plan:


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Log] Battle Masters Knights - Part 1

August 24, 2015 to August 30, 2015 - Hello! This is my first log about what I have been working on since I took a 4 year break from painting. My plan is to post these updates at least on a weekly basis.  This past week, I spent 4 days working on the Lord Knights (3) and Imperial Knights (9) from the 1992 Battle Masters war game. These will be used as a Reiksguard Knights / Knightly Order unit for the Warhammer Fantasy Empire Army.
Base coat for majority of the models completed.

Friday, August 28, 2015

[Workshop] Paints

Updated on October 12, 2017 - After 4 years, I am getting back into painting miniatures. Unfortunately, I found my line of paints from Citadel have been replaced with a new line. Lucky for me, I still have plenty of the old Citadel paints. It won't last forever, so I will need to find replacements.  This reference post lists all the paints I used and also possible substitutes when inevitably the paint runs out. Currently, I am using Plaid's Apple Barrel/Folk Art and Games Workshop's Citadel paint lines. I have also got several free Master Series Paint from Reaper.

Color cards I made for miniature painting reference. I cut index cards into smaller 
strips, painted one end with the sample color at different concentration,
punch a hole on the other end, and attach all of the color cards with a twist tie.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Four Heroes Project Blog

Hello to the random visitor browsing this blog!  The Four Heroes Project is my personal journal about my hobbies, mostly focusing on miniature gaming, painting, and modelling. Currently, articles in this blog will be about my experiences with the Warhammer war game, Dungeons & Dragons role playing game, and my projects. The biggest project I have is to paint my entire miniature collection, which is now over two thousand miniatures. Unfortunately. the number of models I have painted since this article was posted...is a measly 39.  So I got a long way to go!