Friday, April 29, 2016

Rescue Two: Striking Scorpions

This is the first squad of Striking Scorpions I've finished up.  I've never cared for the bright green on Striking Scorpions so I went with a very muted colour palette.  I think it's more suitable to their infiltrating nature (not to mention none of the scorpions I've seen in the desert were ever bright green).

You can see the condition of the models as they arrived in the previous blog posts!

A simple scheme using Army Painte'rs "Necrotic Flesh" spray and then a lot of detail paint...followed by a dip and base.
Hope to have some more painted stuff up soon!

Save the Craftworld: Episode Five

I've slowed my ebay auction searches a bit as I've managed to gather the majority of what I need.  That being said, the last big batch of auctions showed up today.

A smattering of random Warlocks, Farseers etc.  The key figure here is the old bug-eyed Farseer who will lead my army.  One of the best Eldar miniatures - and a great surprise for people who assume the demure miniature couldn't possibly have excellent stats etc.

I was planning on plastic grav platforms but found they're one of the few bits you can't get easily on ebay.  I picked up this action solely for the crew, but may end up using the platforms as well (I hate...HATE...metal-on-metal models so I will do what I can not to use these...)

Some non-used Guardians with lasguns.  While the majority of my squads will use Shuriken catapults, these guys will be converted to special weapons or will represent vehicle crews etc. (I need to check the weapons required).

Four new Swooping Hawks and two previously painted.  I'm trying to decide how I'll base these guys as they almost need the slotta.  I may mount them on some 30mm bases I grabbed up from renedra.  These will be a struggle.

All of this stuff is already being stripped as I type this.  This will conclude the majority of my "metal" infantry figures.  Next step will eventually be plastic vehicles.  There is one outstanding squad - that of Warp Spiders, which go for waaaaaay too much money.  I may have to give in and try to find a re-saler of the resins or something.  Other than that I have all of the models I need for all of the types of infantry units.
I may pursue some modular guardians to build vehicle crews if I don't have models with the appropriate weapons.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stripping models.

As an old-school Eldar player looking to get back into some retro gaming I've quickly come to discover that Games Workshop must hate Eldar players.

A lovely line of plastic vehicles and Wraithguard goes a long way toward fixing the lack of products in the past, but the crux of many an Eldar army, the aspect warriors, have been left to wallow in over-priced resin boxed sets.  My personal quest against resin in wargaming notwithstanding the material is mediocre at best - particularly when applied to the slight Eldar models.

Add to this that the Eldar aspect warriors are frequently GW webstore-only products and the chance of landing aspect warriors for less than $40+ per five is slim.

As such my interest remains in the older sculpts, namely metals (yeah, I'm becoming a bit of a grognard already).  I've decide that most of my vehicles will be modern plastics (the overall aesthetic of the Eldar has changed very little) and where possible infantry models will be metal. ebay!  As you've seen from the past several posts, I've been gathering up a fine collection of metal 2nd edition (and occasionally older/newer) metal figures.  Most of these come in poor condition - painted by 12 year olds or other hamfisted individuals.

Saving these has been relatively easy, if a bit time consuming.

If I'm being honest, I've never stripped models before.  Never had much need - I only sell stuff I don't plan on using, and have never really bothered buying up old metal figures for much of anything else.

Step 1: Debasing.

I'm moving from slottabases to flat renedra plastic bases (vastly prefer the thin, simple nature of non-slottas).  I don't have a picture but it's quit easy.  Using hobby clippers the easiest method is to simply invert the figure, clip at the gaps along the side and the whole thing falls in half...carefully pry it off or clip it off (sometimes the slotta itself is stuck quite well and you can bend the ankles of slight models like the Eldar).

Edit: Took a picture.  Clip the two outside joining walls and a slotta base easily breaks off 90% of these figures.

Step 2: Stripping liquid

There are apparently many ways to strip a model (plastic or metal) of paint...I've selected "Super Clean" grease remover, available at the local auto store for $9 a gallon.  I understand Wal-Mart has a competitive product called "Purple Power", whilst folks in the UK use a product called Detol.  A quick YouTube search will reveal the various types.

Metal miniatures and a plastic Rhino hull soaking in two plastic tubs filled with Super Clean.  Ignore the "Purple Power Vehicle Cleaner Concentrate" in the back, that was the wrong product I picked up by accident!
Step 3: Wait then Scrub
Generally I've found that letting miniatures sit overnight will loosen/remove the majority of paint.  Toss on some gloves, use a toothbrush and you can remove 95% of the paint/primer.  Results differ depending on what kind of paints were used originally.  For stuff that's a bit more stubborn - a couple of days soak will work better.
A handful of figures after one day of soaking and a brushing.  Note that some have bits of paint left and the figure on the far right has a lot of white primer remaining.  These have been brushed but the stuff simply wouldn't budge.  Next step!
Step 4: Ultrasonic Bath
I discovered quickly that miniatures from various places with various paint strip in very different methods.  Some strip fully clean within an hour of being placed in the liquid, others remain stubborn for days despite brushing etc.
As such I followed some advice I'd seen on YouTube and picked up a $30 Ultrasonic cleaner off of  This turned out to be a reasonable size (anything but vehicles I'd imagine) and cheap to boot.  Sadly this model only zaps stuff for three minutes at a time.  More expensive machines can have a timer set.  You can use water or special cleaners...I put my Super Clean straight into the machine instead...allowing the models to soak in it while being hit by 42,000 pulses.

I tried this on a couple of my stubborn models.  With the three minute limit not getting the job done, I set this by my painting table within arms reach...and swatted the button every time it shut off - allowing the batch of items to take an ultrasonic bath about 45 mins. to an hour.  Note that with the repeated use the Ultrasonic bath in this machine also heats up...quite hot.  Probably not suitable for resins.
The results were excellent.

This Avatar figure had a bunch of stubborn painted spots after dipping and scrubbing, and one arm wouldn't come loose of the super glue.  A few cycles in the ultrasonic cleaner and it came out perfect.  Note the cleaning material will remove that ultra shiny appearance of the pewter, but the figure is unharmed and all the paint/glue broke down.
In closing, I'm now comfortable stripping models and "saving" them from the abuse of yesteryear.  I've had good luck with many models so far and the whole process, whilst a little time consuming, is reasonably cheap and easy.
  • Super Clean $9-10 a bottle.
  • Toothbrush $0.50
  • Ultrasonic Cleaner (if needed): $30


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rescue One: Dire Avengers

I've completed my first squad of Eldar in many, many years.  This is the Dire Avenger squad which I sadly did not photograph prior to stripping/rebuilding.  Future units will have the before/after photographs.

Eldar Dire Avengers, the most common of Aspect Warriors.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Save the Craftworld: Episode 4

I received some of my latest auctions from ebay.  At this point I've assembled the majority of what I need from the old metals (vehicles will probably be modern plastics as they haven't changed much at all etc.).  I've a few more types of Aspect warriors I need, and some metal warlocks etc.

I had to suck it up and spend more than I wanted to get a good unit of Dark Reapers (these, Hawks and Spiders are obscenely expensive!)

I've accidentally ended up with a few more scorpions than planned (bid on a couple of auctions simultaneously and win them accident!)

These...I wasn't aware, were restic/resin/finecast etc.  As a rule I don't use resin miniatures in wargames, but these are quite spungy/springy.  I may incorporate a few, and I considered cutting some of them up for Guardians with meltaguns.

Again, some more scorpions, two useless exarchs and a cast model with a stunted chainsword (recast or just poorly cast?)

While I have the six scouts I wanted, several of the above groups came in one auction, so I won't mind having some back-up scouts.  The much larger "modern" scout will be put in the spares bin.

I have two small pots of stripper going full time right now.  I've got most of the purchased Eldar in some state of being stripped.  As my move closes in, the likelihood of getting paint on many of these is dwindling.  I'll keep knocking out rules and picking up codices and prepping all these guys.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Save the Craftworld: Episode 3

I received two more auctions in the mail today.  One is the always interesting Avatar, a nice old metal sculpt.  The second was a good catch, a group of 16 guardians.  Combined with my previous auctions this should provide me with enough guardians for my army - I just need to round up some Eldar weapons crew for various platforms etc.

I'll be skipping plastic guardians altogether, except those on the new jetbikes of course.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kickstarter: Blood and Plunder - Launched/Funded

Blood and Plunder Kickstarter!

And the Blood and Plunder Kickstarter has launched and has already been funded!

I haven't yet backed, but I'm happy to see them funded.  I'll be watching keenly and depending on funds, will hopefully buy in at some level.  If you've any interest in pirates, this looks to be a quality game (if not, the miniatures look quite good!).  Some bundles include ships etc.  Prices are quite reasonable given what you're getting.

Mentor Legion Force

As mentioned in previous posts, I've decided to sell off the Space Marines I'd assembled in pursuit of my Eldar project.  However, below is a picture of the final force.  A painted rhino was not included because it didn't fit the proper look of the force.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Save the Craftworld: Episode 2

Received a number of ebay auctions today via the post.

As with the others the plan is...strip, sand, base, and reclaim into useful gaming figures.

As you can see, I received figures in various conditions.  The blisters I picked up solely to land the two exarchs - I'll sell on the Wraithguard (likely go for plastics for that unit).  I also received seven Dire Avengers I forgot to snap a picture of (they're already in the stripping pot!)

My goal is to field a solid full size squad of all the Aspects if possible (swooping hawks and warp spiders being the most difficult).  While I'm willing to spend a small chunk on these guys, I refuse to pay $10+ per figure for most of those.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Marine "Combat Engineers" and more Eldar

I received another small ebay purchase of random Eldar guardians (old metals).  This group was mainly officers which is great.  In addition, I used to have half of these figures in my original Eldar force, so the nostalgia was in full effect.

I also completed five of my quasi-Mentor marines.  I had them assembled when I decided to sell off my marines, so I finished them.  I'll be finishing up three more jump marines and the whole bunch will go on ebay (mainly to fund additional Eldar!).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Save the Craftworld: Episode 1

As with most gamers of my generation my initial exposure to wargames started through board games.  There was Hero Quest, followed on by Battlemasters, etc.  At the time I was still fully enraptured in the lure of toy soldiers.  My father was a toy geek and he helped me acquire quite an army of plastic men.

One day at a hobby shop I stumbled upon a box of plastic space marines and thought they were, more or less, toy soldiers.  I didn't realize I'd have to assemble them and eventually paint them.

This began a 14 year span of playing Games Workshop titles, slowly going from playing toy soldiers to playing wargames with said toy soldiers.  After a brief affair with Space Marines I settled on Eldar as my army of choice.  The 2nd edition codex was superb and the story/logic behind the Eldar was fantastic.

I amassed a couple of different Eldar armies, finally ceasing in mid 3rd edition (maybe early 4th, I can't recall).  Advance nine years to now and I've decided to give Eldar another go.  I've no interest in playing 40K but I'm going to collect and build an Eldar army to either play retro 2nd edition 40K or find/build a suitable alternative.

The marines from the Mentors will be sold off to help fund the space elves.  I've never really loved marines, but the project was fun to do.

The following posts in "Save the Craftworld" will detail newly purchased kits (no resin!) and reclaimed ebay fodder such as that seen below.  I've another half dozen ebay bids on the way.  There are certain figures/metals which are just too expensive to buy because of the resin blite that has destroyed the Eldar aspect warrior line, but I'll see what I can manage.

The below sets are being noted down for before/after photographs.

Old single piece cast metal scouts.

These two sets of five were two of the more common guardian poses with the shuriken catapults (remember in 2nd ed. and RT the guardians came standard with lasguns and shuriken catapults were an upgrade)

I can't promise a speed result on any of this stuff - I'm once again in the process of relocating/changing jobs, but I'm looking forward to a new table full of Eldar.

I set an old rhino chassis and the above Eldar in some Super Clean to begin the stripping process.  The rhino will be sold along with the marines.  I clipped the slottabases off of the Eldar (they'll be on 25/40mm renedra plastics) and removed some plastic bits added by a previous owner.  I'll be brushing these to see how good the result is shortly!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


After deciding to finally dig into my Betrayal at Calth box, I set upon constructing the rather mediocre Contemptor Dreadnought.  Ugly face, with stumpy legs.

I decided to kit-bash my own with a bunch of random VOTOMS bits I had sitting around.  The end result is a taller/heavier looking dreadnought.  Since I won't be playing 40K the equipment is irrelevant.  I decided to replace the assault cannon with a multiple-barrel missile launcher.