Saturday, 21 February 2015

Mega Armour Big Mek.

Had a for fun game at Eastbourne Elemental the other night and it was my first go at the current rules edition.
I took on a Alliance of Astra Militarum and Grey Knights and it was just an all out brawl, no mission.

Da Kommanda
Whilst I'm not about to embark on a battle report I will say my 5 Mega Nobs and Mega Armour Warboss with KFF mek were great fun. With the assistance of 19 shoota boys and their nob managed to intercept and kill Draco, about 5 Terminator Knights and a Terminator Librarian over the the game and move on to krumping a unit of 6 power armoured Knights and 3 heavy Armoured Ogryns after that.

As it wasn't a serious game I'm not going to read to much into it except Mega = Fun, it also means much less painting. He he.

Mega Fun.

With the Bound/Unbound thing in 40k now and a reasonable pile of metal Mega Nobs and a second metal Ghaz on the shelf of much to do, it seems a good time to be a silly Kommanda and get some done.

First up is Ghazgull Thraka, I've already chopped one of these old metal minis about for a Warboss so it is familiar territory. The fact I have a Warboss done rather suggests a Big Mek should be next. ( That and the bellowing voice in my head I can only assume is Mork.)

Bitz for Big Mek

As I was running a Kustom Force Field Mek in the game the other night I'll be slapping a KFF on the back of him.

KFF inspirashun.
Trying to avoid the 'just another Ghaz' look, the first job is detail removal and as much reposing as the mini allows, lots of metal whittling ( those pesky connection cables at the waist and arms take some real work to remove) and detail removal ensues creating a mess that must be cleaned before the beloved returns from work and this is the result (apart from the mess).

Big Mek Body prepped.
Now to loose the Twin Shoota and add a Kustom Mega Blasta for that arm, remodel the 'cutty' claw arm to a more Mek useful 'clampy' version and re-detail the chest plate. (Right knee has already had a Forgeworld brass glyph added.) I foresee a razor saw and yet more mess.

From small spores great fungus grows....slowly.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Misers basing materials.

Basing Materials: Sand, Gravel and Rock

Once again I'm back with my penny pinching ways to offer you another way of saving vital cash for miniatures.

This one is all about simple yet effective basing substrate on the cheap.

A few companies have been flogging sand and grit to gamers at greatly inflated prices for a while now so it is time to try and counter it.

One of the problems with buying such stuff on the cheap is that the cheapest available tend to be for use with the building, gardening, or landscaping trades. And this means bulk. None of us are really going to need 25kg of sand so the first examples are nice small manageable quantities at low low prices.


Mavis is right, I swear by it too!
I use the Wilko brand from the Wilkinsons (UK) chain of stores but I'm sure Pets at Home, Walmart or whatever your local cheap stuff or pet supplies store will have something of similar ilk.

At the time of purchase (2nd Dec 2012) I picked up this 1kg bag up for £1, whilst 1kg is still a bit much for basing it's easy enough to store away in an old coffee jar and stick in a cupboard. It can be a bit rough on it's own so I blend it with sand to get a mix of size granulation.(It's 2015 now and I still have plenty.)


I don't really care about Mavis's digestive system but if you want fine grade sand for your bases this is a good one.Once again this is the Wilko brand and like the grit you should be able to find it in most stores selling pet supplies.

Same price too, £1 for 1kg.

Personally I don't use sand on it's own as I find after spray undercoating then painting it starts to lose some of the texture and can become blobbish.

Blend of Sand and Grit

What I have done here is blend the sand and grit together in a small wide necked jar (Crisp/Chip dip jars are ideal) so that I can dip in model bases covered in PVA glue to coat them in the grit mix. A rough guide is 1 part sand to 2 or 3 parts grit but it's something that you should play about with til you're happy.

The left over sand and grit I have stashed away pure in coffee jars in the loft as I don't use either in pure form and do not need them to hand.


We have to get a little bit more inventive to get small amounts of slate as it's normally sold in 25kg bags for gardens, driveways and paths or as slates for house roofs.

Also a bit of work and some tools are required to get the most out of it.

Slate Sources.

I'm going to dismiss roofing slates as a source as this is growing scarce in these days of energy efficiency awareness and is also for houses of a certain age which are not common in all parts of the world.

If you are lucky enough to live in a suburban setting you probably just need to walk round the block and you will find a household that has used the stuff in their front garden, some of it always seems to migrate out onto the public pavement/sidewalk at which point it's fair game ( Do Not be nipping over garden boundaries and helping yourself, no matter how petty it's still theft). You may even have some in your own garden or be able to visit a relative or friend who has.

If not you could visit a garden/building center, walk around the place for a bit there is bound to be some just lying around on the floor, you can probably pick up odd scraps here and there without any trouble.
Possibly honesty is the best policy with this route, you never know ask politely and the store won't mind you walking out with a handful of floor gatherings, this works best if you are making some form of purchase already mind.

Preparing and using Slate

Ok so you found some and got it home, so how do you use it?

I use Slate in 2 ways;

Large 'hero' rocks, you know the sort of thing the main man/woman/monster of your army standing heroically poses upon a jutting slab of rock (stupid really in a ballistics rich environment but hey it looks cool).

This one is just a case of pawing through your stash of slate to find a suitably angled and sized chunk.

You can use a pair of pliers, wire cutters or Mole Grips to nibble away at it to help it fit the base or re-size and shape you chosen bit of slate.
Of course wear Protective glasses or goggles, bits may well ping off during this process.
Don't forget to save up the smaller off cuts they will also be useful.

The second way is finer bits of slate used to coat bases in the same way as grit.
This requires a few simple tools and bits to prepare the slate.

Hammer, slate, old sock or work glove ( Work Gloves are better as they can take the beating) protective goggles or glasses. Area of solid concrete or some such is also a must (not many people have an anvil in the back garden).

Place you're slate in the glove or sock, only a couple of bits at a time as too much actually makes the process slower.

Select an area of good solid concrete (or your Anvil). The smoother the better - I found slabs to be the best ( don't be smashing nice new paths about btw, it causes arguments lol).

Hammertime ! First put on you're protective glasses. The glove is to capture the bits as you smash them up but is by no means guaranteed to stop sharp bits of stone flying out! (Socks even more so.)

Place the glove containing the slate on the concrete surface and have at it with the hammer

Note the damage, this is why old gloves are required, they will be no good for normal use after this.
 Also this can be a bit loud, remember you neighbours might not appreciate the noise of some loon smacking a glove full of sedimentary rock with a hammer and try to choose sensible times of day accordingly.

Over a bit of paper (so it is easier to collect up the small bits) tip out the glove.

Roughly sort out the bigger bits and pop them into a pot, then tip the smallest parts into a different pot

Then you are ready to use it on some bases.


I won't go into much detail with terracotta as it will pretty much be a complete repeat of the above entry for slate. In particular the smashing up process is exactly the same.

Flower Pots Planters.
East to obtain, walk in to a garden center and buy away, when I wrote this you could get a 4 inch flower pot for about £0.55.

The preferred terracotta medium, once again single tiles can normally be bought in DIY shops for about 50 pence, used cunningly they are great for simulating broken slabs of concrete to denote fallen walls etc.

Quick mention on fixing all this stuff to bases.

Just a quick explanation I always use PVA glue to fix finer grade grit/slate to bases, when that is all dry I then use a water thinned PVA (about 60% water to 40% PVA) washed over it all to seal the substrate and improve the adhesion to the base.
This stops the substrate absorbing too much undercoat and paint and helps with the issue of little bits falling of and moving to places you don't want it.

With large bits of slate/terracotta I use Super Glue to fix it to the base and sometimes a bit of GS or Milliput squeezed in around the edges for extra strength.

To add a mini to the top I normally Drill and Pin all the way through the base, slate and into the model for strength, use an old drill bit as it will blunt it and be patient as you go.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Komanda GrubKop gathers da Boyz.


That is right you read correctly...


Not very Nurgly is it?  And in this case not even Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

After my first visit in a long time to the local gaming club it is apparent the 40K still is king of the heap when it comes to getting a game with the minimum of pre-arrangement.

Add to that the fact that one of my good lady's work colleagues want's to start playing tabletop battles and I need to get my 40k collection up to speed.

After a long break from the hobby I suddenly find myself with a pile of outdated books and a need to spend money on Codex Orks and the basic rulebook.
Why Orks?
 Purely because out of all my incomplete 40k armies it is the one I have the most painted for that I am happy with. It is also the biggest pile of unpainted plastic out of all my 40k.

Pushing the Looted Wagons to one side for now ( Gork I wish I hadn't enjoyed building and painting those so much!) I have a reasonable amount table ready, even if it doesn't contain enough infantry.

Komanda GrubKop's Blitz Brigade
Kommada GrubKop

Ard Boyz

Long ago I started this army and the original idea was a very vehicle heavy mobile army.
Random presents and magpie purchases kind of derailed this and some of the stuff I bought probably won't work due to the codex change.

Painting boyz bores the fungus out of me but needs doing, (by boyz I mean all the more basic Infantry) and I only ever managed to paint a few trukk mobs worth of the Gitz.
 Gubbinz was always more my style but I don't know how that fits into the current army book, I know Looted Wagon is a White Dwarf not codex unit now but can't get the Codex and Rulebook til the 28th of Feb to find out what tank and mecanikal kinds or joy it will contain.

I will be facing Imperial Guard ( even that has changed name to Astra Militarum)and can only assume that it still is an army full of lots of squishy oomies, guns and tanks still. Thus I will look to units that should work against that first. That said the chaps never played before so the beard and cheese need to stay in the case for a while.

So with all that waffle in mind  Trukks, Shoota boyz, Slugga boyz, a basic Warboss seem like safe starting point to add to all the stuff I have painted already.  ( The Goff stuff in the Gallery doodad top right.)

Time to have a rummage about and dig out all those Black Reach Slugga boyz and Warboss as a starting point.
 Even if I just get them prepped and glued I can at least offer a nice target rich environment for the new  Guard player train on.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Lollypops and cotton buds.

Cotton Buds and Lollypop Sticks

Miser, skinflint, stingy git call it what you will,,but when it comes to the addiction of plastic crack every penny saved is more I can give to GW for yet more minis.

I've been found upside in dumpsters, skips and bins all around my local area salvaging interesting bits n bobs for various projects for about 22 years now.Working in recycling now has only made me worse.

It's caused some 'interesting' conversations but luckily no legal action so far.

So whats the point of the waffle? Erm.. anyway the idea is to share some of the more socially more acceptable things you might find useful.

This one is one of my all time favourites the lollypop stick (sucker stick) cotton bud (Q tip) combo.

First off select your Lolly type, it obviously has to have a hollow plastic stick and be tasty. You can just cut the lolly off and sling it if you are worried about dentist bills though, this is after all meant to be cheap.

The second part is the cotton buds, here is a bit of counter intuitive thing for a misers guide... buy the expensive ones they are made of thicker plastic and are stronger and easier to work with.

Here's the good bit, these 2 things seem to be made to go together. The cotton bud fits perfectly inside the lolly stick.

Main thing is with these is that super glue is a must, they just aint the right stuff to use plastics glue on.

That aside here is a selection of things you can do with them, although the only real limit is imagination.

Now if you are really bored you can play a quick game of spot the lollypop sticks and cotton buds...


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Cheap or even free 1mm thick plasticard styrene.

Cheap 1mm Styrene

Styrene, it's a word you'll see a lot when you read conversion blogs or see pictures of scratch built wonders.
Normally bought in hobby shops in sheets of about A4 (approx US Letter Size), sometimes referred to as Plasticard.

I have grown to hate cutting up large sheets knowing full well that later on I will want large pieces normally for some Ork gubbins and will have to go buy fresh, no matter how many offcuts I save I still end up doing it.

Free Styrene.

Mmm freee stuff.

Then the missus got into Gardening, well I say gardening, every summer she seems to go into a plant buying frenzy. These are duly planted into the garden and during the following year are eaten, dug up or just plain peed to death by our three dogs.
It was whilst clearing away the debris ready for the next years cycle of this I noticed all the labels for the deceased plants were styrene.

So start hunting round the garden ( your Mums, Grandparents etc ) for all those discarded labels or ask if they throw them away and could they save them up for you.

Cheap Styrene.

Not got a gardening friend or member of the family? Not all is lost you can buy cheap enough Plant Labels if you look around, just make sure they are styrene by avoiding and Rot Proof ones they will normally be a oily feeling type of plastic that will not take to gluing in any form, even superglue.

Using your Cheap Styrene.

If you are buying blank writable Plant Labels then you can treat it just as you would a sheet you have bought from a Hobby store.

Notes on Printed and Recycled Styrene use.

Using the recycled Printed Plant Labels is pretty much as straight forward as using new, but for the sake of completeness I will mention a few of things worth bearing in mind.

Always wash the recovered labels well, as well as the obvious compost and dirt that will be on it you never know what Pesticides and other substances might have been sprayed over it.

The print, if covering large areas can interfere with gluing a little, super glue will stick to the ink and can pull it off the surface of the styrene meaning stuff under any load stress can pull apart, liquid poly will dissolve the ink though. That said a quick rub with a bit of Emery Paper (Wet n Dry) will sort the separation issue.

The print can show through a bit if you are someone who uses very thin paint layers and washes, so another reason for a quick sand off with a bit of Emery Paper.

Free Styrene in action...

Great for Chaos trim on tanks.
Honest, I do use it for non chaos stuff.