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Monday, June 29, 2009

Tharn Ravager Cloaks

An update on the Tharn Ravagers: I black washed the bases and the axe heads. The wash got into all the crevices but it was not very dark. A coat of black paint darkened up the base.

The greens weren't quite dark enough in the recesses so I mixed some old GW Dark Green Ink with water 1:1 and washed the green cloaks with it. I dry brushed the cloaks with Folk Arts Aspen green, then a lighter dry brush of Aspen Green and Tapioca 1:1. Then I lined in that same highlight mix on the edges of the cloak. I'm not sure it makes a big difference but I liked doing it. Aside from the bits of bone and the things on the belts, I think I am calling the cloaks done. That feels nice!

Tharn Ravagers = 55%

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Garden Flowers

Just a few update photos of my garden. The zucchini have really gotten big!

Here are the flowers from the zucchini. These flowers will eventually be where the vegetables form.

On the other side of the zucchini, which are pinned back, is the herb garden. The basil, cilantro, and chives are all doing good. The banana peppers are in the back right corner.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Class

I am in class this week. It is my second to last class to finish up my degree, though I did the stage walk in May. It is a 3-hour graduate level class in one week. My brain is frying but it will soon be over.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tharn Ravager Colors

I decided to quickly block in my colors.

Body, leather, and haft - Block in with Folk Arts (FA) Burnt Umber #462.
Green cloak - Block in with 1:1 mix of FA's Aspen Green #646 and FA's Hauser Green Dark # 461.

I started to do the green with just the Aspen green but over the gray primer, it was too light. If I had used my normal black primer, it probably would have been just fine.

Next, I want to block in the bone colors and the black on the base. I plan on drybrushing the base some so I can't leave it too long.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Basing Tharn Ravagers

I finally got the last pieces glued onto the Tharn Ravagers. I really like the way these guys look.

I usually base last but I ran into problems with that before. I decided to try basing before priming this time. I tore off pieces of cork and super glued it down. Some of the cork I cut in half, as it was too tall.


I used a little watered down glue to add sand and I like the effect. The cork seems to blend in well.

Here is the unit with cork and sand.

I moved outside and used Valspar's gray primer (not paint) that I picked up at a home improvement store. This is going to look a little funny until we mow.

The coat went on well and provides plenty of tooth for the first layer. Up next: blocking in colors. I had to refer back to my original color blog to remember the mix I wanted to use.

Garden Update

I wanted to post some new pics of my garden, first shown here. My zucchini have taken off and there are small buds forming. They will bear fruit soon.

My cilantro, basil, and chives are doing well, if I can just keep the zucchini out of the way. I also added 3 little banana pepper plants. (Sorry this one is a little fuzzy).

I am not all that into flowery stuff but the basket out front looks great.

I also added a Lamb's Ear or Stachys byzantina. The leaves feel like a lambs ear or even a floppy dog's ear. It rarely flowers but I just think it's cool.

None of the little seed starters made but the ones I just stuck in the dirt did. Go figure.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Building A Terrain Table

My friend Jeremy and I got together to build a game table for him. He had scrounged some pieces of polystyrene for free. We were hoping to make 2x2 squares but the pieces weren't wide enough. The wood underneath is actually a packing crate.

Stupid math skills...

I love my hot wire cutter! I picked this one up at Hobby Lobby for about $5 several years ago.

We ended up with 18" x 48" rectangles. We considered cutting them in half but Jeremy decided he would like to keep up with 4 pieces rather than 8. If we do it right, we should be able to arrange these in any order. They should also be flip-able, 180 degrees.

Next, we started cutting out hills. We are planning to attach these to the board. Jeremy also has a few hills and terrain pieces that are movable.

I cut those out!

He may kill me for posting this but we are both in our grubbies. We had a great time. Now we just have to plan the next time we can get together.

Next steps - glue sand, prime black, dry brush to make it look like a lava world!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Painting Corps: Ask the Corps: Varnish

I sent this e-mail to the Painting Corps and they were good enough to publish it. Check it out! The comments are great.

The Painting Corps: Ask the Corps: Varnish

I was looking through your site (which I love) for an article on varnish and I haven't found one. Would you guys be interested in doing one? I am a beginner/intermediate painter who likes to keep tweeking their models and therefore never wants to say they are finished with a coat of varnish. Well, I do now. I started really playing them and I don't want to keep repainting tips of things. Do you prefer spray on or paint on? What is your favorite brand or will any of them work? What about the craft ones at the local wally world? Is it more about technique, like the spray primer, or is there a real difference? I also read about a technique using gloss varnish in certain places, like the mouth of a Carnasuar for effect. Do you know any other neat tricks to do with varnish? I don't know if any one else would be interested in the article but I would be. Thanks for all your work. Again, I love your site!

It was very cool to get something "published" and the tips from the community are great!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Building Tharn Ravagers

I worked on my Tharn Ravagers all morning long yesturday. I am still trying to get them all assembled. There are several problems: they are all metal miniatures, they each have 4-6 tiny pieces, and I have to pin several of the pieces. Two hours later and what do I have to show for it? A few more arms, heads, and a torso. Ahh! I have 2 heads and a arm/axe combo, then I am done!

Sorry for the complaining. Normally, I enjoy building and pinning minis but I am ready to have these guys done!

Pictures are clickable but the minis are still a WIP. I will be on a mini vacation for the next few days so I guess they will have to get done when I return.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Makers Mark

 Over the weekend, some friends and I visited the Makers Mark Distillery in Kentucky. It was a lot of fun and the tour was very cool. The best part was dipping our own bottles in the red wax!

As you go on the tour, they lead you through the grounds. It is very nice and the smell of bourbon is in the air!

After they grind up the corn, barley, and winter wheat, they add the limestone filtered water and 150 pounds of yeast. Each of these tanks hold 10,000 gallons and they ferment for 3 days.They have many tanks. You can actually stick your finger in a taste it! I actually liked the taste. It was sweet, light, and not bad at all.

After the 3 days of fermenting, they filter the 10,000 gallons while allowing heat to evaporate the alcohol. The alcohol is collected and condensed into the copper tank on the right. It holds 1,000 gallons. The 9,000 gallons of mash is sold off to farmers as feed for livestock. The alcohol is filtered again into the tank on the left. It is completely clear and about 130 proof. They call it the white dog. From here, it is put into the barrels.

Makers Mark has a number of warehouses. They put the clear alcohol (now cut to about 90 proof) into the white oak barrels that have been charred inside. They sit for 3 years in the top of a ware house and then get transferred down to the lower area for another 2-3 years. During this time, the alcohol expands and contracts according to the seasons, drawing in the flavors of the oak barrels.

Finally, they are bottled and dipped in the red wax. Here, my friends and I got to dip our own!

It was a great trip. Best part of the story: I don't really like bourbon!

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