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Subject: War of the Rings painting: finished! rss

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Daniel Karp
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Today I am officially declaring my War of the Ring set finished! I started painting in the middle of December (about the 16th), and as of today, I am done with absolutely everything, right down the the protective coating. Yay! It took longer than I expected--approximately 6 weeks with two people (my girlfriend and me) working on it nearly every evening for hours. Soon, I plan to write up an article and post it in the War of the Rings section, giving tips and suggestions for anyone who wants to try this. (Recommendation number 1: don't do it. Number 2: if you cannot follow number 1, pay attention to the rest of this article, so you can avoid some of the mistakes I made.) But for now, I just wanted to post about it here, since I announced the start of my paint job here, and never gave any updates.

The minis, in my absurdly biased opinion, look fantastic. I can't wait to play a game with them. I had planned to post pictures tonight, but my @%$&! camera batteries were dead, and I have no spares. I hope to get them in the queue tomorrow.

As an aside, a lot of my minis were based on pictures already on the BGG--would it be a really bad idea to post pictures of them on the WotR page? Maybe I should use some other hosting service to avoid further cluttering the WotR page. For the minis with color schemes we designed ourselves, I'll definitely be posting pictures here. At the same time, I know that when I was painting, every picture was useful, so maybe I should post all of the pics here. Opinions?

Oh, and I suppose I should admit that just because they are entirely done doesn't mean there is no chance that I'll fiddle with them further; I've already been looking at them and saying, "this set could use a darker wash, and it would only take 15 minutes," etc... But they are done enough to take pictures and put away, which is done enough for me.

I'd say I'd never try something like that again, but now, as a friend has pointed out, I am committed to painting the expansion.

Does anyone have any advice for storing them? I'd really like to keep them in the game box if possible, although I'll consider getting a separate lined box if absolutely necessary. My plan right now is to bag them and put them in the box, and just be sure to treat them gently. There are several layers of laquer overcoat, so they should be fairly durable, I hope. But I don't want to do anything that will ruin all of my hard work! I am particularly worried about the sharp lower edges of the bases rubbing paint off of other pieces if I bag them as planned.
 
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Sabol
That much time and effort and you bag them? No, no, no. Not even plastic mini's.

So here:

http://www.saboldesigns.net/

And purchase some of their figure foam trays. They can be easily custom-fitted and a couple or three 1" and perhaps a single 2" tray will do the trick. Then buy a soft case to put the trays in or perhaps buy theirs. These trays are the best way to store any painted mini's. I sell tons and tons of them at my store. They are so popular for the large miniature gaming community we have that I have ceased carrying all other storage systems except Sabol. Nothing else sells.

Post the images when you can. Many of us are keen to check them out.
 
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Daniel Karp
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That much time and effort and you bag them? No, no, no. Not even plastic mini's.


*sigh*... I knew that would be the answer. OK, let me ask this: if I get a foam case, can I at least bin the minis? That is, do I need to store each mini in its own little well, or can I make bigger bins, with all of the elves in one bin, etc. If I can bin them, I might still be able to fit all of them in the WotR box by removing the plastic insert. Otherwise, I'm going to need a separate box... which wouldn't be the end of the world. I guess I'll have to see if either of the local game stores carries those foam things. I already spent a huge amount of time and a moderate amount of money on these--I do want to protect my investment. And is there anything else I should know? Foam cases were recommended to me by another friend, but I was skeptical, since I thought the foam might do more damage (rubbing the paint) than the plastic, if I bagged them. And, since they are plastic, I'm not as worried about issues of bending as I would be with metal. (Am I right about that?)

And, I have to plead exhaustion for forgetting to mention in my first post: thank you so much to all of the people who offered their advice and help when I was getting started on this. I couldn't possibly have done it without all of the tips, especially on where I could get away with saving money and where I had to splurge for the good stuff (i.e., metallic paints). I'd especially like to single out Justin Fitzgerald, who took the time to answer so many of my questions, and whose advice was both sound and economical--I managed to get this done without totally breaking the bank mainly on the strength of his advice.

Oh, and don't worry, I'll definitely get some pics up, either on the geek directly, or with a link to another site, depending on what seems to be preferred. Honestly, I'd really like to post them here--I know that when I was painting, it was great to have all of those pictures in one place. But, at the same time, I understand why some people have gotten irritated with the sheer number of mini pictures up here.
 
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I have several of the Army Transports and extra foam trays for my different armies and I do make larger cavities for some of the models. Especially the smaller ones. So I think that would work well for the miniatures in the WOTR game.

I'm not real sure about storing the trays in the box and still having enough space for the cards and components, but I think it might actually work if you premeasure. That would definitely make it convenient to transport the whole affair.

Also, the foam will not rub paint off so long as you finished the miniatures with a coat of sealer.
 
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Daniel Karp
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Thanks for the advice--I'll definitely look into it. The War of the Ring Box is big enough that I think, if I were to remove the plastic insert, I'd have no trouble fitting everything into the box. it is over 3 inches deep, so I would have no trouble stacking two 1 inch trays on top of the board. Or, if it talkes more than two trays, with a little trimming I could fit two of the trays side by side in the box--that leaves room for nearly four 1 inch trays--after all, I have to plan for the expansion.

And I definitely have sealant--several coats of Testor Dull Cote. I want this paint job to last. But I am still worried about chipping, especially from the bases--I already am seeing a bit of chipping from the sharp lower edges of the bases, where, I think, the paint is most vulnerable. I can live with that, as long as it doesn't lead to further peeling, but I'm not thrilled.
 
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Mark Wong
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You're my God!
Damn man! It takes like fortitude to paint all those 15mm figures. I'm a warhammer player myself but to do all those figures up in a month is no mean feat!

I salute you on your valiant efforts.
I just got my set but no, I don't think painting them would be any where on my to-do list right now.
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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To say the least, I'm thrilled to see this post!

To double up on answers already given:

Sabol ArmyTransport style cases are definitely the best for miniature storage. They're fully customizable so for bigger models you can size the foam exactly to your needs. With the War of the Ring stuff the thinnest piece will work just fine.

Damage to minis is usually caused by wear (rubbing from continually picking it up or from rubbing against objects with similar hardness, like other painted models). These are plastic, though, so they don't have a lot of weight, the effect will be pretty minimal. If you want to go gung ho on protecting them, a method I use in my mini cases is "base to base". I make a spot big enough for 2 minis, with the bases on the 2 minis touching. That way, if anything does get damaged, it's just the base which is very easy to touch up.

The foam will not damage the paint in any way, including repeated rubbing.

You can expect paint to chip from the base. A number of reasons involved - it's a broad, flat surface. It is constantly getting rubbed against things (the table!). The paint on it is typically thicker than any other part of the model (because you do it last in a big hurry). But, it is a different layer of paint than the rest - I've never once seen it cause other parts of the model to peel. Typically you'll just have a little white poking out near the lowest part of the base. It's hardly noticeable.

Now back to congratulating and such:

I got my War of the Rings set in ... and decided I'm not painting it. No way. Too small. All the models are so tiny. They bend every little way. And ....

Dammit. I'm jealous. That's all I have to say. Pure, unadultered frustration at how cool your game will look and how lame mine does. I suppose it's my own fault and maybe I will change my mind eventually.

I'd love to see pictures of your stuff. I think that, in the sake of making your entries useful, you might consider getting some free webspace somewhere and posting the article with a couple pictures and a link for more examples. Or, if you have access to someone with expensive software, export to PDF. (Um, I've got access to that through work... and it is kind of my fault you went through all this, right?

Anyway, much congratulations to you and your girlfriend! Hopefully you put them to better use than I have. I got Aragorn, Boromir, and Pippin killed on turn 2. Duh.
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Oh and you might consider looking at http://www.thewarstore.com for the trays. They're somewhat discounted plus you can get a Gollum miniature while you're there.
 
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Daniel Karp
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You can expect paint to chip from the base. A number of reasons involved - it's a broad, flat surface. It is constantly getting rubbed against things (the table!). The paint on it is typically thicker than any other part of the model (because you do it last in a big hurry). But, it is a different layer of paint than the rest - I've never once seen it cause other parts of the model to peel. Typically you'll just have a little white poking out near the lowest part of the base. It's hardly noticeable.


Hmm--it is possible that I made one mistake here--are you suggesting that that bottoms of the bases ought to be painted? Because I painted the bases while they were still on the cardboard, which means that the bottom is the original color of the plastic. I figured that the bottoms wouldn't hold paint anyway, since they weren't primed, although they would probably hold paint fine now, since my last coats of Dull Cote were added after I had removed the cardboard bases.... I siuppose if it were a good idea, I could cover all the base bottoms very quickly. Anyway, you are right--I'm now seeing a little white (or red or blue) poking out on some lowest parts of the bases when the pieces are standing up.

A pdf might be a good idea... I can make them, since I am one of the luck computer users who can use a Mac for work. But as I thought about it, I still think that having the pictures on the main WotR page with the article as a normal article might be most useful. There are two reasons for this: first, with normal articles, people can add comments telling everyone where my advice sucks. . Second, I, uh, didn't take many... well... any "in-progress" pictures. I know, I know, but I hadn't thought I'd really be in a position to post something like this until near the end, when I realized how much advice I'd have to give. So the pictures will be more of the Gee-whiz and "how about this color scheme" variety than "how-to" pictures. But I'll think about it. pdfs certainly have some advantages. But I don't want to post pictures to the main gallery AND a huge pdf. Maybe some pics on the main gallery with a link to the external gallery is the way to go.
 
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Daniel Karp
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preliminary shots
Here's a link to a preliminary pictures taken yesterday just before the batteries went dead or before the figures were quite finished. Those who have seen other pictures on the BGG may recognize that the color schemes are similar to to others already out there, although tweaked. And due credit: the Uruk-Hai (sp?) and the Warg were done entirely by my girlfriend.
http://img140.exs.cx/img140/1844/uruk0wl.jpg
These are, in fact, some of the most impressive of our minis, done near the end when we were most experienced, but not right at the end, when we were burned out. We did all of the free people's armies first, so some of those don't look as good as the latter minis.
Also, here is a before picture, probably one of the only ones I have.
http://img188.exs.cx/img188/1161/beforeminis8et.jpg
Hope that works--I've never used that image hosting service before. (Imageshack.us).
 
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Fredrik Claesson
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Veeery nice! Your gilfriend knows what she´s doing. Now I´m tempted to buy the game just to paint the minis. I already have 4 Warhammer Fantasy armies under my belt, so...

But I hear that the cards are really hard to read due to the small type. Is that true?
 
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Daniel Karp
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Thanks!

Keep in mind that these are tiny minis--not as satisfying to paint as some, I suspect. As for the cards, after I heard that they were hard to read, I went back and saw that, yes, the type is small. But I didn't notice it the first time I played--I don't think it is a deal-breaker unless you have bad eyes and no reading glasses.
 
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Nick Avtges
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I've been following your journals while I ponder whether to paint my own game. I think I'm probably going to take your advice (#1). I have definitely enjoyed reading your journals, though, and would like to see a "how I did it" article. That may push me over the edge...who knows.

The picture looks great. Probably too late to ask, but I'm most interested in before/after pics from "the dip". One example is the wargs. Was their fur all painted brown and then the wash did the black shadows? Or was the fur painted brown and black? I just can't imagine all that painting...but if it's just brown, then it's not so bad.

I really like the hand on the uruk-hai. You can see the lines on the hand!

Again, thanks for the details and please post more pics!
 
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J Jacy
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very interested...
since I'm not going to follow #1, but am going to follow #2 very closely. But could you PLEASE use common everyday terms in your write up? (or at least spell it out the first time and put the abbreviation in ()'s?)

I say this cuz I'm going into it a total noobie (and I'm sure others will be too) and I don't know the lingo and all the "obvious" stuff isn't so obvious. (just cursory research has me confused as to what type/color the primer should be, and do I need to sand said primer or not once it is sprayed)

I am looking forward to your insights.

 
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Daniel Karp
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The picture looks great. Probably too late to ask, but I'm most interested in before/after pics from "the dip". One example is the wargs. Was their fur all painted brown and then the wash did the black shadows? Or was the fur painted brown and black? I just can't imagine all that painting...but if it's just brown, then it's not so bad.


I didn't do "the dip"--I did washes, similar to the dip, but more controlled, since I applied the wash with a brush, and could add more or less where it needed it. But yes, the Warg were just painted brown, with a black wash over them. I like the effect also.

And John, I was a total Newbie when I started also, so I remember what it is like. I'll be sure to say exactly what I did and, more importantly, what I would do if I had it do to over.

 
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Just wanted to drop in and let you know how much I enjoyed following along with your adventure.

The finished pieces look really good too.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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Daniel Karp
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To those who know something about storing minis....
I looked into the foam cases from Sabol that were recommended. I think I've decided that they may not be the best solution for me--the minis are tiny, and the cavities in this foam look pretty big, even at the smallest size. Plus, with 200+ minis, it will take quite a few trays unless I bin them, but if I bin them, I think I have just defeated the purpose of avoiding bags.

What do people think of this instead: What if I got some foam from a hardware store of similar fimness, and cut some slits in it to hold the minis--would this damage them, do you think, just squeezing them in? I could also cutout smallish cavities. I think that this way I could actually use the WotR box to store them. I was also thinking of just layering cloth or thinner sheets of foam in the box. This wouldn't hold the minis in place as well, but might do the trick well enough. Any economical idea?
 
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Aron Clark
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Slotted Foam Storage
First off, well done! Just had a look at your snap shots and the miniatures look great, especially for a first time effort. I'm looking forward to putting my hands on a set and painting the buggers.

Regarding your slotted foam storage question. I think something like this would work very well and have done something similar for some starship miniatures (oversized bits of metal perched precariously atop a plastic stand). Opt for a foam that is not too firm and at least and no taller than the miniatures themselves. Cutting something like a 1" slit all the way through the foam for each figure, spread the foam and stand the miniature upright on its base. The foam will then close around the figure holding it in place, top with a second layer and repeat as necessary.

Another option you might consider is gluing a metal washer of the same diameter to the bottom of the base. Then you can stand the miniatures upright on a bit of sheet magnet pasted to a box or tray.

Now that you've got all these painted models you could easily use them for some the more traditional miniature wargamer rules. Perhaps something like a warmaster variant, temporarily tacking the miniatures to some plastic bases. Have fun!
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Errr... Okay, I meant the top and sides of the base, not the bottom of the base
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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WOWZA! I just saw your painted pictures and I'm impressed! Those are awesome!

Guys, if you have any interest at all in doing this project, read through his old journals. I think we were pretty plain speech in our explanations... but the PDF will probably help bridge the gap between what us experienced folk know and assume and what someone just starting might not know.

As far as the foam goes - I'd suggest a computer foam if possible. You want to use a good quality foam mostly because if you don't the foam will break down and will be very messy. I'm not sure if this is a function of density, firmness, or just plain old quality. But something like the "egg crate" matress foam like a lot of people get from Wal-Mart is a big no-no. Main thing is you want the minis secured in a way they're not rattling against each other and that they can't fall out. Otherwise you'll be just fine.

If you upload pics, you might consider putting several pics into a collage or something - so you don't have to upload 20 just to show every unit. Maybe that's just me though. My advice may suck.
 
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