Thursday, May 31, 2012

Instantly Better Photos Just Arrived

All of the photos I've taken to put up on this site have a dirty secret. They've been taken with a camera phone or an old, cheap point and shoot. Honestly, I should be a bit more ashamed about it, because the whole time I've had a nice DSLR laying around (and several years of photography instruction to boot). This DSLR, in fact:

There's something hilarious to me about taking photos of my nice camera with my awful camera.
It's been a workhorse for me for many years. It's a Canon Rebel XTI. Not their most exciting or powerful model, but certainly enough for what I need. Before that, I had an older Canon SLR that used, if you can believe it, film (before that even, I used my father's old Canon which was made entirely of metal and the film had to be manually wound). I sold my older one to help pay for this baby, and luckily the lenses I had were compatible. Over the years, I have collected a nice assortment of goodies to go with it, including a wide angle and a telephoto lens. I have, however, been a neglectful mama, because somewhere in early 2010, I lost the charger and my main battery for it.

Being a poor college kid at the time, I couldn't just drop $120 on replacing them. So, I put it off and put it off and eventually it became last week. I found out the prices have significantly dropped for those items. My ever encouraging Hubs bought me the replacement charger and two new batteries (since my backup battery is stone dead) for a cool $60. These delights arrive today, and now I can do real photography again!

I threw one of the batteries in the charger and waited about as long as I could before tearing it out to pop in the camera, about fifteen minutes. I grabbed the first mini I could find, and did some test shots.

After trying to figure all the settings (I'm rustier than I remember), I eventually came away with a nice photo. I did run it through Photoshop to lighten the background up, but that's something I do all the photos to give them that nice, clean backdrop. It really helps the model stand out.

I'm so happy to have my camera back in working order. If I wasn't still under the weather, I'd run outside and start taking pictures of everything just to learn my way around it again. Hopefully it's like riding a bicycle, because learning all that stuff in the first place took quite a while.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Slayers Ready for Some Slaying

I finally, finally finished up my Slayer unit. They were mostly finished ages ago, but I had to finish the details on their weapons and clothing, dot their eyes, and just do some touchups. Then I dropped them all, and everybody got dinged up.

I had batch painted them through their skin, hair, and weapons and on some of them the damage was pretty severe. One poor bloke had his whole nose, 4 fingers, and part of his beard chipped off. My clumsiness discouraged me from working on them for a while. During that break, I worked on the Longbeards, but the Slayers not being finished was starting to bother me.

Musician, Gotrek, Giant Slayer, Standard Bearer

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My First Foray Into Freehand

When I first started getting into 40k, somewhere, someplace I saw a unit of gorgeously painted Daemonettes with Slanneshi tattoos all over their skin. I was smitten, and I wanted my own girls to look like that. But, having no painting skills whatsoever (art classes were very sad for me growing up), I didn't think I could give it a shot.

Now, I have a lot of miniature painting under my belt (at least compared to before, when it was none) and I've decided to give it another shot. A couple months ago, I picked up one of the Gotrek and Felix novels, and on the cover, Gotrek has this nice blue tattoo on his face. That inspired me to give it a go on my Slayers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dwarfs Update: Now With Beards

Bear with me, I've been making a lot of lame beard jokes since I started working on the Longbeards. I finally got the new box and command squad prepped and primed, after waiting ages for them to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, I'd started on the armor of the ones I already had. That meant this weekend, I could sit down and work on some beards.

Just a sampling, they're not all quite done yet.
As I've been thinking about the beards over the past few weeks, I started doing a lot of recon on "Old Man Beard". Not being an elderly bearded gentleman, I didn't know what colors would really go into one. So I started paying special attention to the beards of all the old dudes I've come across. I gathered up quite a few good ideas to try.

I think my favorite is the white one, second from the left. The 1st and 3rd guys look too similar (one was vastly more complex to do but with nothing to show for it). The last guy I've been calling "Salt and Pepper" because his beard reminds me of a horse I used to ride with that name. I still have a red head and and brunette to try.

I'm slowly but surely trucking along on these guys. I could have gotten more of them done, but I took a break to touch up my Slayers (and hardly painted at all on Sunday because of wrestling reasons). The Slayers fell victim to gravity recently, and most required some sort of fixing. I have about half of them sorted out.

If all goes according to plan, the beards will be finished this week, and I'll start working on their weapons and details by the weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's that, you say? Finish CSMs?

Despite being in the throws of my Dwarf army, I've found myself returning to my box of half painted Chaos Space Marines. I gave them a whirl last year, and I wasn't particularly impressed with how they performed (I really need to put them in some vehicles). They got shelved and I stuck out another couple months playing Daemons before I swapped to Fantasy (the Dark Side).

They are actually in a box.
With the rumor mill churning up talk of 6th edition again, I started thinking about sitting down to paint them up. They are (for them most part) assembled, primed, and have some color on them. The dominate rumors indicate that 6th will be released in July. That would give me more or less two months to paint them up.

He's upset he's been only half painted for so long.
As you probably guessed, I'm painting them up as the Black Legion. I really liked the look of it, and the associated fluff is pretty awesome. The unprimed grey dude on the left of the box is Abaddon. I picked him up right after he was released in Finecast.

My only holdup is picking them up means finishing my Dwarfs will suffer, and that's what I'm playing right now. I also had plans to play Fantasy in a tournament later in the year (NOVA Open at the least). I could, however, possibly pull them together and learn the new 6th rules by Mechanicon in the fall.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Games Day 2006 Daemon Slayer

I've gotten far enough into my Dwarf army that I had to start thinking about some unit filler. I am a huge fan of unit fillers because they can really make your army look great on the table, and they can help you save a little money, too (which is never bad).

This fantastic model is the first of a few planned fillers I have for the Dwarfs. Even though the Slayer himself is painted in the same fashion as the rest of them, he's certainly going to stand out from the rabble with that added height.

He just looks so proud.
I think he'll really fit in nicely with the rest of my Slayers. I can fill them out a little more now, which is good, because they can fall over quite fast. I'm sure I won't have any trouble finding the points for a couple more of them. I might upgrade a few more to Giant Slayers.

A little celebration never killed anybody.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Minor Schism

Welcome to Chickhammer! I finally realized that it was time to split up my original blog into separate entities. The Warhammer aspect appeals to a very difference audience than the quilting (go figure) and with them divided up, I can more effectively address both hobbies.

I am very excited about this change up. I've brought over all my previous posts concerning the hobby and in about a month or so, all those posts will be taken off Little Thunder Lizard. Then it will be just all miniatures, all the time (except for LTL, of course, which will revert back to quilting and cooking).

Setting up the new site, getting everything moved over, and working out all the little kinks took up all my free time this weekend, so I didn't actually get to work on any minis. I'll be picking up the paintbrush again now that it's rocking and rollling, so there will be an update on the Dwarfs soon. I got my hands on a whole bunch of new (well, new to me) Dwarfs this past week, so I have plenty of painting candidates. I'm torn between doing a few Heros or starting the Longbeards.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Impressions of Fantasy and Dwarf army

I've now played four games against four different opponents (thanks for putting up with the newbie, you guys!). These games have really helped me get familiar with the system and figure out some of the first changes I need to make to the list I'm running.

As far as the Fantasy system goes, I really like it. In fact, I think I like it more than 40k (but only more games will tell for sure). The advantage of starting out with Dwarfs is that I get to figure out the differences without really worrying about the magic phase. It's made the transition a little easier. All those extra dispel dice are pretty nice, too.

I prefer the way movement and charging works, hands down. The movement trays are a little cumbersome when you're setting up and breaking down, but during the game, they make the movement phase so much faster. It also makes it quite a bit harder for you to get that "extra" inch that some people manage in 40k.

The way that armor saves work still seems lame to me, but I'm also coming from a place where every model in my Daemon army had a save no matter what. I may be a bit biased. The Slayers lacking any save notwithstanding, I don't like that in some situations my Longbeards or Warriors just die.

The Dwarfs overall have done a good job holding their ground. I am falling out of love with the Slayers, but the Longbeards have been completely awesome and the Miners were an unexpected delight. Them being able to come in from any table edge has been incredibly helpful.

The biggest surprise was my two cannons. I didn't really know how useful they'd be- but since they are the only shooting in my army right now, it turns out they are incredibly necessary. They definitely made a difference in each of my games. I'm going to add a Grudgethrower soon, and I think I'll like it just as much.

Eventually, I'll get around to painting guys again. I really want to get their bases finished first, but I have to wait on the magnets before I can paint them up.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ultraforge Pleasuredemon: A Lesson in Blending

Upon his return from the Colonial GT, Casey gifted me a fantastic large demon model he bought there to swap into my Daemon army (for an old, badly painted Azazel model). I had zero plans of even thinking about my Daemons again until after 6th comes out, so I didn't really know what to do with it at first.

Then after way too many hours browsing Cool Mini Or Not, I stumbled upon a model that had an interesting color gradient on the wings, a nice transition from the top to bottom. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to do something similar for the wings of this Pleasuredemon model, but in blue and purple to keep with my army's color scheme. Eventually, it turned into this:

It's a little NSFW, but what are you doing reading my blog at work anyway?

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