6th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange is here

As you surely remember, Miniature Exchanges became our community’s tradition. We can enjoy them thanks to the coordinator of Chest of Colors Miniature Exchanges, Nameless, who prepared something for our faithful readers again!

He says that you know something was well done when people come back for more. As his PM box got full of requests for another Mini Exchange, he knew it was the time to keep the promises he had made. 🙂

6th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange

Yes, we have yet another Miniature Exchange. We invited our users to take part in the 6th Chest of Colors Mini Exchange. If you received an invitation from us, this means you meet this edition’s requirements. And if you didn’t, well, nothing is lost. There can always be another chance, so read the rules, check this editions requirements and you will be prepared for the kind of conditions you will have to meet to qualify for our future Chest of Colors Miniature Exchanges.

So let’s move on to the rules…

Rules of the 6th Chest of Colors Mini Exchange

  1. If you want to participate, send the following data to Nameless’ e-mail address (PMs, e-mails sent to other addresses, phones etc. won’t be accepted – Nameless doesn’t care if he has your address already; send the above data as requested and Nameless will reply to confirm receipt of your application) by the 23rd of December:
    • Chest of Colors nick
    • first and last name
    • post address
  2. You need to meet at least one of the following requirements at the announcement date if you want to participate (We have the database, so you don’t need to check this information by yourself ;)):
    • membership in the Chest of Colors group or the Chest of Colors Painting Studio
    • at least 30 posts since the 5th Miniature Exchange
    • at least 25 “thanks” received since the 5th Miniature Exchange
  3. Nameless will randomly choose a recipient for each of the participants by the 30th of December. You will only receive an e-mail including data concerning your recipient. This means that you will know who you are painting for (of course), but you will not know who is painting for you.
  4. You have ca. 2 months to paint a single 25-35mm mini on foot. Mini needs to be sent on the 4th of March 2013 (Monday) at latest. Please send me an e-mail to the aforementioned address to confirm shipping and receipt of a mini. Avoid delays if possible. We all know that life can get in your way and shit happens all the time. That’s why we are giving you 2 months for painting. It’s more than enough. If you have some true problems to finish your mini, please let me know in due time. Do not run away from us, we’ll find a way to resolve such situation. Please, take your time now and think about your commitments for next few months. Are you sure you can paint a mini in 2 months?
  5. It’s up to you what mini you choose for your recipient. Nobody expects you to paint to a contest-winner standard, but a bit of effort is of course welcome. It’s about having fun, surprise and sending gifts to fellow painters and members of Chest of Colors.
  6. We like the element of surprise in our Mini Exchanges. Do not let your recipient know that you are painting for him/her and/or what you are painting for him/her.
  7. Take a photo of a mini you painted. We’ll have a special thread opened for posting ME pics. Do not comment on minis there, it will only serve for showcase purposes. You are of course allowed to post pics in your own thread to have some discussion about your paintjob.
  8. Minis need to be shipped as registered letters/packages. Please leave your receipt for future reference.

Want to participate?

Now the 6th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange became a fact. The deadline for sending your applications has passed and if you want to participate in a Miniature Exchange here, stay tuned for the announcement (it’s best to follow our miniature painting forum for this purpose) and prepare to meet the conditions of participation. And in the meantime why don’t you check the galleries of our previous Miniature Exchanges.

If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to ask them in comments or in the forum.

Thank you for your time. Good luck and all the best for the holiday season!

Miniature of the month: November 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s so cold outside that it really makes you stay at home and put some paint on miniatures. Remember now until the end of the year you can paint and post a photo of your miniature and take part in December edition of Mini of the Month.

Authors say

Now here is what the authors said about their works:

So long time since I posted something on this great forum. Here is a Dark angels librarian who was done as a test, finished him in about 5-6h. Since it was a quick paint job I´m rather pleased with him, still some pointers would be useful if I decide to go back to him some day.
— synthet

Here are the Imperial fist 5 man crew from the 1st space crusade game board they were painted for the owner of the game with the intention being abused during the game battles. They have a lots of weapons some are magnetized since the support was broken along time ago
— Pandadosmares

This time i spend my work for a Space Wolves Landraider and tried to make him outstanding with some add ons and a level 4 Higher TT Painting. To make the Rust i used the “Salt Technique” combined with the “Wipe Off Technique”. Using those techniques a great realistic used effect on the whole model. In the normal out of the Box Land Raider are no Space Wolves drivers added so i searched my bitz box and also added some Forge World Icons and things.
— J W P

Miniatures of the month November

Who can enter the competition

Everyone! Yes, that’s true. Have you ever considered competing and trying your skills with other great painters? This is a great opportunity. 🙂
It’s all very simple – just log into our forum and post pictures of your miniatures. They will automatically take part in next month voting.

Rules and voting

Everybody can vote for 3 miniatures of their choice. There will be one Miniature of the Month (the winner) and up to two honorable mentions. The number of honorable mentions will be reduced if two miniatures tie for the title of the Miniature of the Month, so the maximum number of awarded entries is 3.

OK, so now you should be ready to vote:

VOTING CLOSED

The poll is open until the end of December. The results will be posted after the poll is closed and the winner will receive a honorary badge to display in his profile on our miniature painting forum and will take part in voting “Miniature of the Year 2012”. In case of a tie, the badge will be awarded to the winners. Up to two models will also receive honorary mentions.

We encourage you to comment on this month’s entries, explain your votes or even discuss votes of other users – we’ll be happy to read what you have to say. So don’t be shy and share your opinion with us. Thanks a lot!

Results

This month’s winner is Corvus and honorable mentions go to JerzyK and Zuntar. Congratulations, guys!

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes and Henrietta Jekyll review

My first contact with Infamy Miniatures took place at our miniature painting forum, where I saw the model of Henrietta Jekyll. Although the paintjob was impressive (oh, those flasks!), the model didn’t impress me that much. Not that I didn’t like it, not at all. I was just less than impressed.

Imagine how surprised I was when I noticed that Infamy Miniatures decided to send us two of their models for review, so we could see if our opinion remains unchanged after seeing them in person.

Infamy Miniatures is a company, whose flagship product is a range of steampunk models in 32mm scale. The company is actually an one-man-show, but James who runs it managed to get some “big names” to collaborate with him on the project. Thumbs up and respect for managing to achieve it!

Infamy Miniatures

Now that we know about the company, we can take a look at the models we received for review.

Infamy Miniatures – first impression

The miniatures are packed in plain white boxes. Nothing fancy or impressive, especially if you compare them to packaging of some more elaborately decorated products like Smart Max‘s Smog miniatures.

The positive thing is that the packaging does its job perfectly. The models are very safe, despite their fragility.

Infamy Miniatures review (1)

As you can see there are a few layers of foam inside…

Infamy Miniatures review (2)

 … and models, reference cards and bases are separated and protected by those sheets of foam. Not a single part was damaged in shipping, and I say it again – many elements are pretty thin and fine, and because they’re made of resin, they might be fragile. Despite this fact, everything arrived in perfect condition.

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (3)

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (11)

So what do these miniatures look like? How good or how bad are they after a closer inspection? Let us see…

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes – review

The first model that immediately caught my attention was Sherlock Holmes. I think everybody is familiar with the character of this famous detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I must admit I always liked these stories, and have a pretty soft spot for all things Sherlock Holmes. 😉

What we get is Sherlock Holmes with a steampunk twist, and we must say the “twist” is easily visible. Just take a look at this concept  art. Cool, isn’t it? Sherlock has some kind of an engine or mechanism on his back providing power for various tools and mechanical arms attached to it. Some say the model looks a bit like Inspector Gadget, but to me it was closer to Fabius Bile from the Warhammer 40K universe.

infamy-miniatures-sherlock-holmes-review-14

 Now compare the concept art to the actual model. Pretty close, isn’t it?

It is not a very common thing that the miniature manages to capture such likeness to the original concept art, and in case of Infamy Miniatures‘ Sherlock Holmes the miniature is very close to the concept. Yeah, the arms used on this picture are not the same as used on the concept art, but you have a choice which arms to use and which to leave unused. But we’ll talk about it later.

infamy-miniatures-sherlock-holmes-review-13

 The official paintjob was done by Arsies, and when you see how finely detailed the model is, you will appreciate the quality of this paintjob.

Now take a look at the detail of the original sculpt (not a casting yet). See how many elements were used to build the mechanical engine on his back?

infamy-miniatures-sherlock-holmes-review-12

 And here’s a shot of the sculpt of the character. It shows how much care was taken to represent all the subtle details without resorting to exaggerating and oversizing them too much. But how does it all transfer to a resin copy of this sculpt?

infamy-miniatures-sherlock-holmes-review-11

Let’s see…

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes unboxed

Here’s what you get in your box. The model consists of many parts: the main body, the engine, the hand, and 6 mechanical arms/tools. This adds up to 9 parts. There’s also a round 30mm round “lipped” base and a reference card with the illustration that I already presented and number of the miniature. You can judge the size of all elements by referring to the grid on the cutting map I used for my photos.

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (4)

Assembling the model will require some work but you should enjoy it if you like working with multi-part models. The positive thing is that all parts fit together very well. Also you won’t need all 6 arms, as the model is prepared for 4 attachments to the backpack, which allows to customize the model a bit.

You should see it on the close-up pictures that the quality of this casting was very good. The resin used for the model was of excellent quality. I could spot no air bubbles, no casting problems here.

Sherlock Holmes review – a closer look

Take a look at the photos below to see how each part looks from different angles:

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (5)

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (6)

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (7)

To summarize my impressions, let me say that I liked the concept, liked the sculpt and its faithfulness to the original concept, and loved the way it was turned into a miniature. I don’t mind assembling my models, so its multipart character was not a problem for me.

I will also show and write more about the quality below.

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll – review

Henrietta Jekyll was not a “canonical” character to me, but it was this miniature which was my first contact  with Infamy Miniatures, so I was really curious if it looks better or worse than I expected from the internet photos.

The photo I mentioned earlier presented the official paintjob by Derwish. You can see that the attention focus is on the bottles. They look so nice, that they steal the show from the rest of the miniature.

And here’s a photo of an unpainted sculpt by Automaton (Seb Archer). I never pretended I was not a fan of his works, and having seen some miniatures he sculpted for Guild of Harmony, I only expected high quality sculpting. Of course I was not disappointed with the sculpt.

Just like it was with Sherlock, the sculpt is very true to the concept art. I always appreciate seeing that the sculptor managed to capture the personality and character that the concept art presented. Unfortunately many companies tend to release miniatures which are not even remotely resembling respective original concepts. This is not the case with Infamy Miniatures!

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll unboxed

This time we receive a simpler model, which doesn’t make her worse than Sherlock. What I mean by “simpler” is that the model doesn’t require as much work as Sherlock, being only a two-part miniature. The two parts are: the main body and an arm holding the weapon, which is some kind of a flame thrower. There is also a card and a round 30mm “lipped” base (which somehow didn’t make it to the photo).

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (12)

Again I used the cutting mat to allow you to see the size of this model. The photo doesn’t say too much about the quality and details of the copy I received, so let’s take a closer look from several angles.

Henrietta Jekyll review – a closer look

After seeing the model in person I had to admit that the photos, despite a very good official paintjob, don’t really do the model justice. The model is very good and characterful. Somehow she brings Marie Skłodowska-Curie to my mind. Of course I don’t think the real scientist ever ran around in London with bottles of explosives strapped to her belt and a flamer in her hand, and I can’t even say that she was the inspiration for this model. I only mention the impression I had about the character.

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (13)

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (14)

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (15)

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (16)

I hope the photos show that the model, while very detailed and finely sculpted, still leaves enough room for the painter’s imagination and skill. The model will surely be enjoyable to paint.

I must also say that the resin used here was of very high quality again, no air bubbles. I even thought the models may be the most flawless models I have ever held in my hands!

Flawless?

But wait, can the picture be all that perfect?
Can it be that these miniatures were the closest to perfection of all the miniatures I had a chance to see?

The answer is… YES and NO.

How?
Let me try to explain:

Take a look at the Sherlock Holmes miniature. The photos here are strong close-ups, so you can see the quality of the sculpt and of the casting I received. They also show the face of Sherlock from several angles, the buttons of his coat (which are pretty subtle, so some attention will be needed to paint them well) and other details.

When you compare the detailing of this resin copy to the original sculpt you will see how well resin captured and copied all the details. The only softness of details occurs only when the original sculpt was also soft in these places.

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (8)

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (9)

I could not find a single flaw of this casting. No bubbles, no flash, no mold lines. Of course there are some “sticks” marking the places where resin was injected into the mold, but these are technologically obvious and couldn’t be considered flaws by me.

Infamy Miniatures: Sherlock Holmes review (10)

The model was very good. Probably the cleanest casting I can recall, and I think I’ve seen quite a few already. Just a few days ago I saw another resin model which is at least comparable or maybe better, but it is in a completely different scale and will be described in a separate review.

Was Henrietta cast as well as Sherlock?
Unfortunately not…

Take a look at this photo:

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (17)

I marked two ends of a mold line. Not that it is very bad, it would be very simple to remove – several straight moves with sand paper or a soft file and you’re done with cleaning it, but there was nothing like that on Sherlock.

Moving on to another angle we also see a problem on the other side:

Infamy Miniatures: Henrietta Jekyll review (18)

See what I mean? Another slight roughness.

Of course I would be absolutely happy to receive all my miniatures in this quality and requiring only so much preparation before painting. I am accustomed to miniatures which require some preparations: cleaning flash and mold lines with a scalpel, then moving on to sanding and finally polishing with steel wool or polishing sticks. Here you need to do so much more that the miniatures don’t deserve to be called anything but very good.

But wanting to remain objective and honest, I tried to find ANY flaws. And I hope this makes the review even more valuable.

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And here’s the same thing you already saw, but this time from another angle. It also reveals a mold line on her leg, too.

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So no, I cannot call the copy of Henrietta Jekyll flawless, but it still is one of the best miniatures, which can be considered perfect after a few moves of a file or scalpel.

Infamy Miniatures provided some of the best quality castings I had pleasure of seeing!

Infamy Miniatures review – final verdict

Now you may wonder what is my final opinion about these models. Well, I must say I was very impressed – both with the concepts, good representation of concepts in 3d miniatures, great detailing, and nearly perfect casting quality.

Now there’s one thing that may discourage you a bit: money.
These models are not cheap. Sherlock Holmes costs 13.99 GBP, and Henrietta Jekyll is priced only 1 GBP lower (ie. at 12.99 GBP). These are not the cheap plastic models some of us may be used to working with. These are high quality models that will be enjoyable for many painters and will surely look nice in display cabinets. Of course they may be used for gaming, but then you need to bear in mind that you’re paying for quality toys.

Now that you know the positive and negative things about the models from Infamy Miniatures I had a chance to review, I would like to recommend these models to you. Manufacturers of good and interesting miniatures need support, so let’s help them!

Thanks to James of Infamy Miniatures for providing the models for this review and good luck with your future releases!

— Mahoń

How to make candles – tutorial

It’s been some time since Urbik described how to make candles for your miniatures. Still, after all this time the tutorial may still be interesting for many hobbyists, so we’re making it available again. Urbik wrote:

Hello!

I thought that since I already registered here and have been browsing the forum for a few days, it would be nice to write something too. And because I have a lot of time, I decided to describe my own way of creating candles in scale of Warhammer Fantasy Battles miniatures, like the ones I presented during Polish edition of Golden Demon.

Note: If anybody had a similar idea and published it before me in the internet/paper/radio/poster/leaflet/TV/another medium, I would like to explain that this idea is my own and hasn’t been stolen from anyone. In case of any similarities, I am not responsible. 😉

OK, so you want to know how to make candles? Let’s get started!

What we need

  • wire or a piece of “something” of 1-1.5 mm diameter
  • thin string or thread (much thinner than the wire above)powyżej)
  • PVA glue
  • greenstuff

Step 1

At the very beginning we have to decide about the size of our candles. After a few attempts I found that their standard height would range from 3 to 6 mm.

We divide the wire (or “something” else) into pieces of our chosen length. These bits will become the main (wax) parts of our candles. I used a chopped spear of an Empire soldier, something that I have a lot of, so I could use it with no regrets. 😉

Step 2

We make a small greenstuff ball (proportional to the size of our candle) and press it to a chosen part of our model. We put a piece of wire into it and wait for the greenstuff to harden. Whe wire is to become our candle.

It looks more or less like this:

how-to-make-candles-tutorial-1

Step 3

Now it’s time for the most important part in the whole process of candle creation. Sounded very serious, didn’t it? 😉

Because burning is the most important job of a candle, we should create a few drips of wax – just like we tend to see on real candles.

We’re going to use PVA glue for this purpose. We thin the glue down a bit with water (don’t overdo it!) so it has convenient thickness for us to work with. Then we use a toothpick (or some other little thing) to apply some glue onto the candle body, creating “spots” in several places of our choice. When the first application of glue is dry, we can add some more in the same places. Usually it’s enough, but if we want even more prominent drippings, we can add even more layers.

how-to-make-candles-tutorial-2

Step 4

Now it’s time for proverbial icing on the cake. What would a candle be without a wick?

We make a wick from thread (which can be hardened with some superglue) or thin string. Then we glue it to the top of our candle with strong glue.

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Step 5

Painting! As we should know from our experience, candles can have very diverse colors. And I don’t really mean cheap candles in bad taste that you can buy at fairs, but different colors that can be spotted in various lighting conditions.

I tend to use two ways of painting my candles:

Method 1:

  • basecoat of Rotting Flesh (maybe slightly darkened with a little black or Catachan Green)
  • highlight up to white

Method 2:

  • basecoat of Bleached Bone (also darkened – for example with light brown)
  • highlight up to white or to Bleached Bone (if the basecoat was darker than that)

This time I decided to use the first method, which is the best imitation of wax in my opinion. I recommend using naturally smooth transition of colors, without rapid changes or radical contrasts. The results may look like this:

how-to-make-candles-tutorial-4

Done!

That’s it. As you can see the technique I use to create candles for my miniatures is not that complex and one doesn’t need to prepare more greenstuff and then remove excess with scalpels. How precise your approach is going to be depends only on you.

Such candles look great on religious-themed models – like flagellants, war priests or inquisitors.

how-to-make-candles-tutorial-5 how-to-make-candles-tutorial-6

It’s a pretty original method of making the model look more unique and interesting, and many Games Workshop models don’t include candles at all. Well, there are some exceptions, but they only prove the general rule 😉

I hope you find this tutorial useful and now you know how to make candles for your miniatures.

Regards,
— Urbik

Miniature of the month: October 2012

Welcome back! Yeah I know… you really missed our game. 🙂 Please excuse me for making you wait so long for the next edition of Miniature of the month! This time we have 24 miniatures for you to choose from.

Last month there was the biggest painting competition in Poland – Hussar 2012. Unfortunately this year I couldn’t come, but still I can try my skills with some great painters like Ana, Bohun, Flameon, Ctan and many, many others. If you would like to make them a challenge, then try to paint a miniature, post it on Chest of Colors forum and try to win. 🙂

And remember you can also take part in the next month’s edition of Miniature of the Month!

Authors say

Now here is what the authors said about their works:

I would like to introduce myself and present to You some of my works to be judged and commented.
Firstly my recent work in almost se-nmm, almost because there is no horizon line. Wanted to make him more gold-like but in the process no yellows were added and so it came more patina-bronze.
Mad Puppet miniature, 55mm
— madfly-art

In preparation for Halloween, here are some horror I painted last week. 02282, Ghoul Warrior sculpted by Bob Ridolfi and 02941, Ghouls and Ghast sculpted by Ben Siens, all by Reaper Miniatures. I’ve cut the Ghoul Warrior arm to meet the needs of the diorama I’m working on now for Reaper Halloween Contest.
I used Vallejo cork brown as base color for the skin. Then, I applied a flat brown wash and blended some highlights with green gray and dark flesh which in fact are not dark at all. I finished with purple bruises and different tones of flat red mixed with charcoal color for the blood.
— Metalchaos

Miniatures of the month October

Who can enter the competition

Everyone! Yes, that’s true. Have you ever considered competing and trying your skills with other great painters? This is a great opportunity. 🙂
It’s all very simple – just log into our forum and post pictures of your miniatures. They will automatically take part in next month voting.

Rules and voting

Everybody can vote for 3 miniatures of their choice. There will be one Miniature of the Month (the winner) and up to two honourable mentions. The number of honourable mentions will be reduced if two miniatures tie for the title of the Miniature of the Month, so the maximum number of awarded entries is 3.

OK, so now you should be ready to vote:

VOTING CLOSED

The poll is open until the end of November. The results will be posted after the poll is closed and the winner will receive a honorary badge to display in his profile on our miniature painting forum and will take part in voting “Miniature of the Year 2012”. In case of a tie, the badge will be awarded to the winners. Up to two models will also receive honorary mentions.

We encourage you to comment on this month’s entries, explain your votes or even discuss votes of other users – we’ll be happy to read what you have to say. So don’t be shy and share your opinion with us. Thanks a lot!

Results

UPDATE: This month’s winner is Ana with her Nokjagerin, and honorable mentions go to CTan and Marta. Congratulations!