Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shrinky Dink Boneswords

Shrinky Dinks are a craft project for kids, that my kids have been doing all summer.  Looked like a great way to make some bone swords, so I tried it out.  The package says that they shrink 3x smaller, so I started by drawing a picture of the bone sword I wanted to copy, 3x larger.  The Shrinky dinks we bought had 6,  8"  x 10" sheets for $5-7.  Great deal.  We bought ours at Michael's, but I bet most kid craft stores would have them.
Next I copied the pattern onto the shrinky dink with a sharpy 2 times and cut them out.
You can see that the material is very thin, easy to trace and cut.
Next you cook it in the oven for three minutes on 325 F (163 C) on some paper so it doesn't stick to your pan.
While they are baking the plastic material folds as it shrinks and kinda looks like bacon.  Mmmm.  Bacon.  It will flatten back out, but I found it helped to have some paper towel nearby to press it exactly flat once it was still warm.  The first one was a little warped after it cooled and I put it back in for a couple of minutes and then flattened it out with a paper towel.   At this point, I realized that it didn't shrink exactly to 1/3 the size, so I trimmed my second sword before I baked it.  After the material is baked it is very brittle, so trimming wasn't the best idea.  I chopped off some of the length of the baked sword, but couldn't make it skinnier without destroying it.  Back to the drawing board. 
You can see the one in the middle is a little thinner and a little shorter.  I later trimmed the longer one, but may do it again for the perfect sword. 
Here you can see the original drawing and the two new swords.
And Swarmy with some plasti-tac holding his swords on.  I intend to use a dremel tool to sharpen the edges of the swords and put some green stuff on them to make them look a little more organic.  Next time I want to do some Space Wolf icons for my tank doors and tops or make some custom shoulder pad icons for some space wolves.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Air Brush First Attempt

I finaly bit the bullet, and bought an airbrush.  I wanted to see just how much I could get done in a couple of hours.  After two painting sessions of two hours each, I got 6 tanks, a drop pod, and 36 space wolves undercoated. 
The Drop pod is probably the most finished of the batch.  I got a little too crazy with the drybrushing and made a mess of it.  No problem, I just covered over the areas with the airbrush, and problem solved.  I originaly painted this a robin egg shell blue, but decided I didn't want a powder puff team of wolves, and darkened the blue a bit.  You can still see some of the powder blue at the top of the pod.( and a paint spot from the airbrush not having the right consistency of paint.)
Can't wait to add some freehand and details to the Landraider.

I am still undecided on whether or not I like the guitar string aerial on this Vindicator.  Maybe I just need to bend it in a better arc.  You can see on this tank that I basecoated the whole thing with a dark brown/black and then painted the blue over the top of it.  Lastly I drybrushed it with a mix of codex grey and space wolves grey.
Magnetized predator.  Like the look of it, don't know if I will use him a lot.  Gotta love the tanks though.
This shows the color I originaly painted three tanks and a few guys.  I think they will match allright once I wash and drybrush them.  Sorry, a little out of focus.
Lastly, this shows the difference between a sweet resin base and your run-of-the-mill standard base.  The bases are Runic bases from Secret Weapon miniatures.  They look great.  I can't wait to finish them up.

I learned a few things about the airbrush.  I was a little intimidated at first.  It is NOT a magic, make everything look great machine.  It is another tool that has to be learned.  Just like dry brushing, washing, highlighting, etc.  It does paint a lot of stuff very fast.

The most important thing I have learned is to get the paint the right consisitency.  Too thick and it jams it up.  Too thin and you get splatter or watery spray.