It is currently Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:53 pm


Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

Threads for all your painting and modelling blogs as well as hobby tutorials
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

Nodri

  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:26 pm
  • Location: Denver, CO

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostSat Jun 18, 2016 11:17 pm

Now that you've seen the basic units that I've completed, it's time to move on to the next project.

It had to be done. All of my flier bases had to be torn apart and rebuilt from scratch. There were two reasons for this. First, not being able to remove the flight peg meant that transporting the bases was a complete nightmare. Second, having flight pegs at a proper 6" means that the bases need to heavy or they tip over too easy. These were both critical flaws in my original design that could not be corrected. I had to bite the bullet and rebuild them from scratch.


As before, I cut the bases from 1/8" MDF. I then drilled a hole in the middle of the base and attached a Hawk Widget. For flight pegs, I used Plastruct clear acrylic rods that were cut down to 6". Because the rods have slight variances in diameter, I drilled out the widgets halfway down with a 1/8" drill bit. It was and is a bit fiddly (some pegs are to small or two large for some widgets), but I was able to mitigate this somewhat by sanding down the ends of the rods. This made a gentle taper that makes the rods compatible with more widgets. If you attempt this, test frequently and buy twice as many widgets as you think you'll need. Trust me.

Image


I then used CA glue to attach the widgets and multiple washers to each base. The washers not only add much-needed weight, but also make the top of the flight base more rigid which reduces the risk of cupping.
Image


I then sealed the cork (black, dry lava) with watered down PVA glue. I used tap water to thin the PVA to the consistency of milk. I then floated the cork in the watery PVA for a few minutes before drying in front of a fan. I repeated this process twice before gluing the cork to the bases. This provided a good seal for the cork and made it more ridged.

Here are the tools that I used. The brushes were used to weigh the cork down under the surface of the PVA to ensure as much absorption as possible.
Image


Here's an example of the thinned PVA.
Image


Once dry, I glued the cork to the bases with undiluted PVA and also sealed the edges of the washers with undiluted PVA. I then smoothed the transition between the washers and the MDF with Milliput. Only the PVA is shown in this image. I guess I forgot to take a photo of the Milliput, but you can see it in my older tutorial on page two of this plog.

Image


I then applied undiluted PVA over the MDF & Milliput to create the lava and allowed it to dry in front of a fan. Expect to repeat this process two or three times to get a good, flowing look.
Image


Once dry, they look like this:
Image


I then painted them the same way as before. I'll list the paint colors here just to make things easy. If you'd like to see pics of the process, the complete tutorial can be found on page two of this plog.


1. Minitaire 142 Dark Leather around the edges of lava islands.
2. Deepen shadows around lava islands with Minitaire143 Blood Stained Mud. (Leave some Dark Leather showing.)
3. Dust the lava area with Minitaire 112 Ancient Bone. (Apply a bit more to lighter areas.)
4. Minitaire 103 Snow White applied to hottest areas of lava.
5. Minitaire 170 Ghost Tint Yellow undiluted to most of base. (Barely leave some Snow White showing.)
6. Vallejo Game Ink 092 Brown to deepen shadows around lava islands.
7. Minitaire 172 Ghost Tint Orange. Leave some yellow & white showing.
8. Minitaire 173 Ghost Tint Magenta where lava meets islands. (Apply in small doses. Can become too much very quickly.)
9. Drybrush Vallejo Game Color 051 Black around all cork edges. (This helps to bring down reds if they got out of control and to define the cork lava rocks against the bright lava.)
11. Apply Vallejo Black Lava to the surface of the cork.
12. Paint all edges of all bases black.
13. Touchup undersides of bases with black as needed.
14. Spray 2 coats of Glosscote.
15. Brush on 2 coats of ModelMaster Acrylic Matte Varnish on black lava.


Here's a sample of the newly-completed flier bases:
Image




There's some more fun stuff coming up, but they're a bit more in depth and will take some time to put together. I promise it'll be worth the (short) wait.

Questions & comments welcome as always.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
Offline
User avatar

Nodri

  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:26 pm
  • Location: Denver, CO

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostSun Jun 19, 2016 8:04 pm

How to Make Custom Energy Shields


In this tutorial I will show you how I made custom energy shields. This one will be used for the PHR Zeus, but it could be applied to anything with a passive save or something similar. The process is surprisingly easy and cheap, and the effect adds a really unique flair to the model.


To begin, I cut out 1/8" MDF bases to a diameter of 2" on the band saw (a coping saw would also work). I then cut scraps of 28 gauge sheet steel with snips to fit the MDF bases. Any ferrous sheet metal would work and it can be readily found at hardware stores. The steel was given a course sanding, cleaned with Simple Green to remove grease, and then rinsed with tap water and dried.

The steel covers are used because they make the bases compatible with my existing army which already has magnets mounted in the feet of all walkers. It also makes the base modular, easier to transport, and because I enjoy magnetizing things just because I can (if you haven't figured that out by now, you aren't paying attention :mrgreen: ). In addition, there's nothing stopping me from using the same base for different energy shield designs and I do intend to do some more experimentation in the future.

You could skip the steel completely and attach the energy shields directly to the MDF base if that's your preference. It would work just fine but it wouldn't be as much fun.

Here are the raw components. I ended up not using the green clamps because they were nowhere near strong enough for this project. Please ignore them. The astute PHR generals out there will note that the Zeus comes two to a pack and there are three bases. Consider this a teaser...
Image


Next I attached the sheet steel to the MDF with CA glue (Zap-a-Gap), secured them in place with C-clamps, and left them to dry overnight. Be sure to immediately wipe off any CA glue that drips out the sides or you may glue the bases to the clamps or to your workbench.
Image

I then dipped some cork fragments into thinned PVA glue (the same as in the basing tutorial above) and placed them on the steel. I didn't bother to clamp them in place. I did, however, cover the entire surface of the steel with watery PVA to improve adhesion for later layers. I then left the bases to dry overnight.

My apologies, but I forgot to take a photo of the next step...now that I think about it, let me pause here for a sec. You will notice several instances during this tutorial where there are pictures missing. This is because these are the first and only energy shields I've made. As a result, there was an obvious need for experimentation and those experiments weren't necessarily documented with the camera. I did, however, take pics at critical intervals and all of the steps can be seen. If you need clarification about a particular step, just let me know.

Moving on...

I smoothed the transition between the steel and the MDF by applying a thin bead of Milliput around the edge of the steel (you will be able to see this in later pics). I rolled the Milliput into thin snakes and placed them around the circumference of the steel. I then dipped my finger in water to work it into the edge and to give a finished look.
Image

This is what I used to make the energy shields. They're clear craft Christmas ornaments that are available in a variety of sizes from many craft suppliers. They're also dirt cheap. I picked these up at Michaels during an after-Christmas sale for about 75 cents each. Two energy shields for less than a buck including sales tax? Yes please!
Image


Here's another example of having more steps than pics, but the results are clearly visible.

First, I made a piece of cork to act as a base for the shield. I then placed the unmodified shield on the cork and used a Sharpie to mark the arc. I made sure the mark appeared on both the cork and the shield. When shaping the shield, I did not cut the area that was marked as it would later be used to secure the shield to the cork.

Then I used a Dremel to cut the shape of the energy shields. I used a #193 5/64" high speed cutting bit at a fairly low RPM and worked around the shield. You could do the same thing with a rasp as the plastic is soft. It probably would've been best to attach the shield to a bench vise and then use two hands on the Dremel (one to drive, one to steady the other hand). As it was, I was lazy and just held the shield with one hand and the Dremel with the other. You can see the chitter marks across the surface that resulted from the lack of control. I will use the vise when I make more. Be sure to keep a vacuum cleaner within arms reach when cutting the shields, as you will get covered in plastic filings.

Once the rough cut was made, I used a file to get rid of the burrs and then a sanding block to give a final finish to the edges. If you wanted a crystal clear edge, a quick brush with a blowtorch would do the trick instead. I don't happen to have one, but I'll probably pick one up before starting the next batch. Fire makes everything better.

I then cut a groove into the cork along the Sharpie mark so that I could recess the shield into the cork for a stronger bond. Work a little at the time, as the shield is dome-shaped, so the grove will need to be shaped to accommodate it. This sounds harder than it is. Just shave off a little cork, test fit the shield, shave off a little more cork from the direction you want the shield to fit and repeat.

When the groove is cut and you're happy with the fit, use a drill bit to rough out the bottom of the cork. This will allow you to recess the magnets. I used three 3/16" x 1/32" magnets under each shield to create a solid connection between the cork and the base. Be very careful that you drill out the bottom of the cork only just enough that the magnets sit flush with the bottom. If they are recessed, you will substantially weaken the connection between the cork and the base and your shield may tip over.

Now that your cork has been shaped to fit, run a thin bead of CA glue (i used Zap-a-Gap) through the groove you cut into the cork. Fit the shield and allow to dry. Once dry, attach the three magnets to the bottom of the cork with CA glue and allow to dry. When all the CA glue has dried, run a bead of undiluted PVA glue along the inside and outside of the shield and around the magnets to reinforce the bond. Finally, wash all of the cork with the same thin PVA wash that was used on the bases. Two or three coats is fine, provided you allow the PVA to fully dry each time. Placing the shields in front of a fan will reduce the waiting time between these steps dramatically.

You will also need to add two coats of undiluted PVA to the surface of the base to create the lava texture. Allow the first layer to dry completely before applying the second layer. Placing the bases in front of a fan will both speed up the drying process and will cause ripples and textures in the surface of the glue that will make the lava more interesting. You may, of course, texture the base in whatever way is appropriate for your army. Just make sure to apply thin coats of the basing material and to test the magnets on the model and the shield before adding additional layers. After adding the final layer of your surface texture of choice, leave the model to dry completely at least overnight before painting.

Everything is now ready for paint. If you're going with the lava theme, paint the base the same way as discussed in my previous basing tutorial on page 2 of this painting log. We'll discuss painting the shield in the next step.
Image
Image


Before I get too far into the painting portion, I need to offer a disclaimer. I took on this project for two reasons. The first will be discussed later. The second was that I wanted learn how to use my new toy, a Silhouette Portrait. Including the designer edition software along with additional tools and materials, they cost a bit under $300 and are the proverbial wet dream of every crafty suburban housewife (sorry for the stereotype, but it's not inaccurate).

The Portrait is essentially a printer that uses a cutting blade instead of ink. You can upload custom images, convert them into vector graphics, and then cut them out. The Portrait will cut materials up to about the thickness of cereal box cardboard. They're typically utilized for scrapbooking, custom vinyl, and a host of other projects. They're also pants-wettingly good at making airbrush stencils, which is why I purchased one. My first test was to cut WWII Allied stars in incrementally smaller sizes. The resulting stencil was clear down to about 3mm. This level of accuracy means I can do custom numbers on my upcoming UCM army (and a bunch of other stuff, but I'm not about to derail my own thread more than I already have).

I list this purchase as a disclaimer because I doubt that many readers will have a Portrait at their disposal and I don't want anyone to think that it's necessary. It's a lot of fun to use, but it's not at all required. You can perform the same function by tracing a printed image onto frisket or transparency film with a hobby knife. It will just take longer (or maybe not, considering my learning curve on this project). You can also buy ready-made airbrush stencils and a quick google search will give lots of options.

If my assessment is wrong and there are other Portrait users out there, please let me know and I'll be happy to discuss it in more detail or to share ideas & techniques. I know it has enormous potential for making custom terrain, but I haven't gotten that far yet.
Image


Back on topic.

I made a stencil of the PHR logo and rotated it 45 degrees purely for aesthetic reasons. The stencil is cut out of adhesive frisket film which can be picked up at HobbyLobby at any online airbrush supplier. I carefully applied the stencil and added darts (cuts) to allow the stencil to conform to the curved surface of the shield. I then burnished the stencil to remove any air bubbles and to ensure that no paint bled underneath.
Image

I then airbrushed Vallejo White Surface Primer onto the stencil. Using primer ensured that later coats of paint would adhere better to the smooth surface of the ornament. You'll notice that I did a bit of preshading by making the top of the stencil whiter than the bottom.

The stencil was then removed immediately so that the primer didn't peel off. It is necessary to be very careful when handling at this stage. I recommend you wait at least an hour or so before continuing as the primer is very delicate when it first dries. If you want to be very safe, wait overnight.
Image

These are the stencils that I made for this project. They're cut out of transparency film.
Image


My plan was to make flames coming off of the PHR logo. Making flames is an art in itself and I spent the better part of a week practicing before painting these shields. My grasp of the technique is still rudimentary even as I write this tutorial. Therefore, it's not possible for me to teach the technique. All I can do is recommend that you google & youtube "airbrush flames" and study the information very carefully. The youtube video by Buypainted was particularly helpful, but even that had to be watched dozens of times at .5 & .25 speed before I grasped his methods. The big problem is that everything has to be scaled down considerably for DzC, and nobody is painting flames in scales that small (until now I guess, but I'm still not particularly good at it).

All I can say is to practice until you're happy or avoid the problem altogether and do something simpler.

After mapping, I airbrushed the remaining flames and then dusted the entire surface of the shield with primer. Allow this to cure at least overnight.
Image
Image


Airbrush Minitaire 150 Royal Blood into the shadows.
Image


Airbrush Minitaire 148 Lagoon Blue onto the remaining highlights.
Image


Airbrush Minitaire Ghost Tint 174 Blue across the entire surface.
Image


Airbrush Minitaire 103 Snow White onto the flames to bring them back to the foreground. Leave some areas in the shadows untouched (this is very difficult at this scale). I started this process by putting the PHR logo stencil back onto the shield to bring out the highlights. The flames were then completed afterwards.
Image


Airbrush Minitaire Ghost Tint 180 Plasma Fluid over the entire surface.
Image


Airbrush matte medium as an intercoat over the entire shield. An intercoat is a protective layer which in this case will perform two functions. First, it will prevent the ghost tint from bleeding into the varnish. Second, ghost tints have a bit of a rubbery texture and the matte medium will give a bit of tooth that improves adhesion for the varnish. Allow the matte medium to cure at least overnight before varnishing.
Image

I then applied many thin coats of Rust-Oleum Specialty Lacquer. Any clear spray varnish will work. I got this at Home Depot and it's only a few bucks a can. Allow each layer to dry thoroughly before applying the next. While I'm not sure how many coats I applied, but I can say that the process was repeated until the shield looked like a freshly waxed car.
Image


Once the varnish is dry, apply Vallejo Black Lava (or whatever texture fits your army theme) to the cork. Allow to dry overnight.
Image


And it's done! Given the length and wordiness of this tutorial, it looks harder than it its. Painting flames definitely made it more difficult, but it's something I've wanted to learn for awhile and was the primary reason I undertook this project. I think the results were worth the effort. If you're looking for something easier, a simple hex stencil and a few splashes of color with the airbrush would make the painting portion very quick and easy while still making for an awesome shield.
Image



One tutorial down, two more to go. I will warn you that this is the shortest of the three, so please be patient. As always, questions and comments are welcome.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
Offline

buffdrinklot

  • Posts: 162
  • Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:24 pm

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostSun Jun 19, 2016 11:01 pm

I'm really enjoying this thread... you're giving me lots of ideas for my Tron-flavored PHR.

That said, i'm not sure if i'm a fan of the flame logo shield... it's a far departure from your other 'shield dissipation' models, and i'm not sure if it fits the bases from a styling theme standpoint.
Offline
User avatar

Nodri

  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:26 pm
  • Location: Denver, CO

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostSun Jun 19, 2016 11:42 pm

@buffdrinkalot

You make a valid point, it is out of character for the rest of the army. My next shields will be more in line with the overall theme (and probably less complicated to execute). It was, however, a fun experiment.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad this thread gives you some inspiration :D
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
Offline
User avatar

Ljevid

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostMon Jun 20, 2016 8:36 am

Sweet! Looking good and a very nice and thorough tutorial too.

Come to think of it: I think this is pure arrogance and slightly insulting that an enemy shoots at your commander- all weapons blazing - and all that happens is a nice logo.

Regards :)
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man ON fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...
Offline
User avatar

Nodri

  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:26 pm
  • Location: Denver, CO

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostMon Jun 20, 2016 11:35 pm

Thank you Ljevid.

With regards to the logo arrogance, given the small scale of the local community, it just so happens that all of my opponents currently play scourge and they use the flying lightning death commander every time. The shield, therefore, isn't about giving the enemy the finger every time they shoot at my commander, but rather it's about dying a beautiful death. :lol:

PHR need a commander with AA. Just sayin...
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
Offline
User avatar

Nodri

  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:26 pm
  • Location: Denver, CO

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostWed Jun 22, 2016 12:55 am

Ok guys, I know I said that there were two more tutorials to go, but I'm going to have to break them up into smaller chunks or it'll be Christmas by the time I can complete them in one go. I know that a draft can be saved, but the tone changes when several days pass between writings and it just doesn't sound right (like a bad video edit in text form).

With that in mind, the current plan is to break the sorta long tutorial into one that's short and one that's not-as-long. The are-you-effing-kidding-me-you-should've-just-published-this-in-book-form-long tutorial will be broken up into two TLDR-but-I-appreciate-the-effort-anyways-long tutorials.

So, without further ado, here's the short tutorial. It ties in nicely with the energy shield tutorial as it details what I did with that one extra base...


How to Make a Custom Magnetic Flier Base for Jocasta Caine


Before we even get started, I need to refer you to another tutorial first. Way back when I first started wargaming I made some smoke markers to indicate damage. This was long before I was writing tutorials, so I never took any photos. I did, however, find the old links to the tutorials I used in my favorites. The only difference is that I used small washers instead of pennies for the base. This turned out to be a critical difference, as it allowed me to flush-mount a magnet into the bottoms of the smoke markers. The tutorials I used are a blog entry on Journey Back to the Table and an incredibly detailed youtube video by The TerrainGuy.

I modified the smoke markers by clipping off the tops with some sprue cutters. I then installed one 1/8" x 1/16" magnet in the top of each with CA glue and let it dry. Next, a 3/16" x 1/32" magnet was installed in the bottom of each smoke marker and allowed to dry. I then gave each magnet a healthy soaking in CA glue and allowed them to dry. They are attached to nothing more than a ball of flock & glue after all, and they needed to be as secure as possible.

A 1/16" x 1/8" magnet was then installed in the center vent in each of Cain's wings. Make sure the polarity lines up so that they are attracted to the magnets in the tops of the smoke plumes.

The rest of Caine's body was magnetized with 1/8" x 1/16" magnets in the same was as my Apollos. Test fit everything to make sure it fits and then paint the base. Details on magnetizing Apollos and painting the bases can be found on page two of this plog. You could also put the 1/8" x 1/16" in the Apollo vents to achieve the same effect, but I wanted the special commander to stand out, so I didn't bother.

Here's some images detailing the process. You may also find a teaser regarding the nature of the next tutorial...

Image



Image



Image



The next tutorial is quite a bit longer, so it may well be the weekend before I have time to get it put together.


Questions & comments always welcome.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
Offline
User avatar

Ljevid

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostWed Jun 22, 2016 8:03 am

Well ... What can I say: "The color circle has spoken and I bow to this ancient wisdom"

I regularly forget about this little well known fact - but complimentary colors rule.

@Jocasta Caine looks absolutely stunning and I'm afraid you now have to redo your entire army - because this color combination is brilliant.

The PHR symbol is a very nice touch and makes each of your models unique.

@Poseidon: While being beautiful (This blue makes them look like sapphires :!: ) - the patches of darker blue look a little bit - as if they were painted on with a spraycan. (like the makeshift camouflage on selfmade armored vehicles in the Yougoslavian war) - But that might me just me.

@ Jocasta Caine's base: I will steal that idea... Simple as that. :P

Why don't you enter this in the monthly painting competition - it's beautiful! This might even top the two epic Aegeans.

Regards :D
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man ON fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...
Offline
User avatar

Mike Mee

  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:40 pm
  • Location: Manchester, UK.

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostWed Jun 22, 2016 9:08 pm

wow, ace!
Offline

buffdrinklot

  • Posts: 162
  • Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:24 pm

Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostWed Jun 22, 2016 10:16 pm

How did you perfectly capture what I was wanting to do with Caine? Holy crap that looks fantastic.

I have to say, too -- the Type III chassis looks great with dual guns, and without jets or countermeasure projectors. We need dual-railgun, dual-flamer Type III's.
PreviousNext

Return to Blogs and Tutorials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests