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The things that keep me up at night

This is where I talk about different aspects of the hobby, and any other related topics (no matter now loosely).  If you are reading this, you must be really bored.

World Wide Miniatures Day 2018 is comming and you have to get ready.

Jeff Henson

What:   World Wide Miniatures Day 2018 (the wooden anniversary or the 5th one)

When:  July 14nd (ish) – I say (ish) cuz it’s flexible.  If you can’t do it this day, do the next day, or the day after or the day before or the week before.  This event is designed to be fun and inclusive to everyone as much as possible.

Where:  Your place, your friendly local game store, your paint club, or where-ever you like.

What:  This is the fun part.  WWMD is a celebration of this hobby we love while enjoying sharing our obsessions with others who can truly understand.  Also to bring in new people to this wonderful and engrossing pastime.

How:  We celebrate it by doing anything related to the hobby.  Anything!  Some activities include:  Painting, cleaning, prepping, priming, purchasing, trading, reading about, watching videos, organizing, talking about, driving to and from your FLGS, teaching classes, researching, playing games with miniatures, planning miniature games, building a gaming table, paint rack, display case, basing miniatures, collecting basing materials, writing posts or articles, photographing miniatures, constructing sentences with the word miniature in them.  Really ANYTHING that can be connected back to this hobby.  Did I say anything?

Cost:  Just your sanity.  Your a miniature painter -- this is probably a freebee for you.

Motto: No rules.  No Prizes.  No regrets.

Why:  Really?  You have read this far and you are asking why?  The simple answer is – because we can and we should.  Why not?

Special Challenges

Marathon Challenge:  Can you do something miniatures related for 24 hours taking breaks only to eat and go to the bathroom?  This challenge is for you.  It is based on the honor system but it would be really cool to post pictures of your work in progress.

 Half Marathon Challenge:  Same as the marathon only its 12 hours.

5K Challenge:  5 hours – you get the idea.

Charity Challenge:  I wanted to make year 5 something special in the record books while keeping it as inclusive as possible.  “But Jeff how will you do that?” you may ask.  One word – Charity.  All you have to do is donate any of your work from this day to charity (you pick which one) and you complete the challenge.  You define which charity you want to donate to.  Remember it’s the honor system and I’m not going to check up on you.  Just member you have to live with yourself.  You can build terrain and donate it to your war game club or paint miniatures, sell them on ebay and donate the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity.

Combine this challenge with any of the others and get a special reward.

Complete any of the above challenges and pm me your address and I will send you a ribbon.  How cool is that?  I’m hoping cool enough to solve the all world’s problems… but I am helplessly optimistic.

WWMD Completed!

Jeff Henson

Well WWMD 2016 is in the record books now -- at least for me anyway.  I managed to completed my 24hour challenge but it was close I have to say.  I started getting really tired toward the end and my ability to do detail started to suffer... ALOT.  So I switched to painting just the basic color schemes and planning to complete the details at a later time.  About half way through I started having trouble (well more trouble than normal) picking color schemes.  It had encountered this problem last year so I planed for it this year by painting models to match artwork from the game they belonged to.  AKA I painted the Zombicide characters to match the character cards in the game. This worked pretty well but added the problem deciding how closely a color matched the artwork.  Not as big a problem but it still slowed me down.

Enough talk, the pictures are below.

World Wide Miniatures Day and Reapercon

Jeff Henson

Less than a week to World Wide Miniatures Day and I can hardly wait.  I'm hoping to post a picture every hour just record my progress.  I also had an idea to do a time lapse kind of thing but not sure about that yet.  

Also I got my reaponcon ticket this weekend.  I went with the VIP pass because of all the cool swag and it includes all the dinners and special miniatures.


Jeff Henson

Just booked my flight and hotel for reapercon this year.  I was late so I didn't get booked into the primary hotel which is okay.  If you have never gone to a reapercon and you are into miniatures, you need to treat yourself to this event.  The reaper "family" as I call them are some of the most coolest people in the world. Not only are they welcoming to newcomers but the artists are very accessible and willing to give you pointers from their hard won experience.  There are classes -- oh there are classes -- ranging from beginner to expert in painting and sculpting.  I have also seen classes on ergonomics and selling your miniatures on eBay.  Add to all this, gaming, painting, factory tours, and vendors and this is one special.  Okay so its not as big as gencon but its the most welcoming miniature event I've been to.  What are you waiting for?  Sign up now....  what are you still reading?  Go sign up.....  

New Year Tutorial

Jeff Henson

I thought I would start off 2016 with a new tutorial on double pinning.  I will create content when I have some unique content to publish.  After all who needs another article on pinning miniatures? There are probably half a million on the web already.

I'm also working on a resources page for all those little and not so little resources for all things miniature that I frequent.  So stay tuned.



Local Convention Support

Jeff Henson

I'm pretty excited to announce that I am running a paint and take event at our local ESCON 2016.  If you are in the San Diego check it out.  Its always good to support our local Cons.  In addition to the above event, I am hoping to have a prize in the raffle.  Not sure what that will be yet as I am still working on ideas, but I am thinking something like painting some board game miniatures for free.  How many do you think would be a good number?  I was thinking something like six for free depending on how involved they are.

Warning -- Gnome on the loose!#

Jeff Henson

I got a chance to be part of a 5th edition DnD game this weekend and it was GREAT!  What could be better than sitting around a table with a bunch of people and playing DnD.  I met some new people and caught up with some friends I had not seen in a while and drank some beer while I played DnD.  Did mention that I played DnD?  Its only been like years since I got a chance to play like this.  Probably since the second edition and its been a really long time since I played in a group as fun as this one.

This leads me a curious problem -- do I paint a miniature to represent Gorick the Gnome, Hero from his home town, amazing wizard and prestidigitator, Gorick the Heroic? I hear you all of you shouting "YES!  What is wrong with you?  You are a painter right?!?"  Well the last time I did that my character died in the next game session.  What?  You haven't heard that tale?  Well sit back, relax, and enjoy...

So way back in the day, my friends and I decided that we wanted to play something a little more gritty than DnD so we switched to RuneQuest.  For those of you who know it, you know that combat is a very dangerous place in RuneQuest.  One critical hit can and will maime or kill you.  Dead.  And critical hits happen a few times in a combat.  Just saying.....

So my character's name was Sharts the Shirtless* and I ran around Glorantha as an initiate of Humakt before I became a Rune Priest for Humakt.  This took several years in our time get him up to that level while playing once a week.  Finely we were at such power level that we were to go on a quest to recover a magical holy relic and return it to the temple of Orlanth.  What relic?  I don't remember because I have blacked out most of the adventure.  Our party setoff into the chaos lands and it was not long before we ran into trouble.  We surprised two large giants as they devoured a large group of cattle.  They quickly spotted us, hurling boulders at us as we charged the beasts.  Some of our party was entangled and others were wounded as we charged and Sharts was the first and only person to make it to the giants.  It was looking pretty grim for Sharts as the giants surrounded him.  The first attack shattered Sharts's shield and crippled his arm.  Rather than try to heal himself, Sharts attacked largest the giant striking him in the abdomen with a critical hit.  He was dead before he hit the ground.

HIs victory was short lived as a third even larger giant sprang from the tree line and rushed toward Sharts.  As luck would have it, Sharts dodged the strike from giant number two and struck him in the leg with a mighty blow.  The giant tumbled to the ground but continued to fight on.  Sharts rushed the third giant and repeated his epic strike to its belly.  Another critical hit and the giant was dead before he hit the ground.  This was becoming a reoccurring theme with Sharts.  The last giant smashed the ground with his mightly tree club as Sharts dodged out of the way.  Another critical, and this giant was dispatched as well.

Three criticals and three giants slain single handedly.  Sharts (and me) were completely full of himself.

I was so pleased that I decided to paint a miniature to represent him for this final quest.  I had one that fit him but I just had not painted it for many mundane reasons like I didn't want to screw it up.  That week between the game sessions, I pushed all other figures aside and worked only on Sharts.  I tried to capture the essence of him in the painting or at least how I pictured him in my 13 year old mind.  It basically took all week but my quest was accomplished.

The next week as we began our session, I showed off my Sharts the shirtless miniature to my friends.  No one was as impressed as I expectedthem to be, but I was satisfied so I didn't care. 

Sharts and companions continued their journey along into the lands of chaos until we encountered a medium sized giant.  ONE medium sized giant.  In RQ one giant is dangerious enough, but Sharts had just kill THREE large ones.... by himself.  This he would have the support of the Orlanthian Rune Lord as will as the rest of the party.  As we engagued for the first time, the giant picked Sharts out of the group and brought his makeshift club down on Sharts fly swatter style.  Sharts attempted to parry but critically failed leaving him defenseless.  The blow smashed through his him and "he was dead before he hit the ground".

5 minutes into my first session with my painted miniature, Sharts was dead.  I think I still blame the painted miniature to this day and haven't painted one to represent my since.  If you are still reading this now you know why I am nervous about painting one for Gorick.

That being said, I am a miniatures guy.  I have already purchased one out for him and I'm just waiting for him to arrive.  Stay tuned to see if I actually paint him.  


* - I never figured about why Sharts was shirtless.  It just sounded cool for some reason.



Halloween ghosts -- 2015

Jeff Henson

Yep this year we did some ghosts for decorations at our place.  Ever made anything from chicken wire?  Well let me tell you that you will cut your hands to pieces.  Why don't you wear gloves you ask?  You can't feel what you are doing with gloves which makes modeling ghosts impossible.... At least for me.  Anyway have a look.

Chaotic Brain Dump... Please stand by...

Jeff Henson

I have about a million tiny things running around my head but not really enough for any one particular subject so I thought that I would dump them out at one time.  The problem is where to begin...  hmmm...  how about here.

I was listening to one of my favorite pod casts (Models-Workshop After Hours) last week , when I discovered the website of Jay Adan.  Let me first say that the Models-Workshop web site is really good.  There are lots of tutorials and reviews and they appeal to my raunchy sense of humor so I give them a thumbs up.  Check them out when you get a chance.

 O.k. i'll  continue, I found Jay Adan's website.  He is a commission painter and general around nice guy with a really good Vlog about commission painting.  If you have ever wondered what it was like to be a commission painter, watch his Vlog.  It is so entertaining to me that I watched all of them in a single day or two, which lead me to his interviews.  The one with Colin Phillips designer of Skirmish Outbreak.   Those who know me, know that I am a big fan of Two Hour Wargames especially  All Things Zombie so the last thing I needed was another zombie game.  Well in the middle of the interview, I ordered the game from Drive Thru Wargames and devoured the rules.  Check it out when you get a chance and I will post a review later.

And this too:  On Jay's website he reviewed some new paints which intrigued me.  I am normally a Reaper MSP guy with some Scale75 mixed in and I'm pretty loyal to these brands having tried many others.  On a whim I ordered a set of the paints to see what they were like because well you can never have too much paint.  I have to admit that at this point I was starting to feel like a stalker so lets move on.

Remember how I said that Models-Workshop After Hours was one of my favorite podcasts?  Well they mentioned two tools that I thought I would try out since they go good reviews from MWAH (Ha!  You see what I did there?)  The first one is the Glue Looper fromCreative Dynamic LLC.  It is a product that helps you apply super glue (or any other thin glue) to models without the mess.  When it becomes clogged with superglue you can just use a lighter to burn the glue off and its ready for use again.  I have tried this product also and it delivers exactly as promised which gets a thumbs up from me.

Also mentioned were the Alpha Abrasives Micro Finishing Cloth Abrasive Pads.  While I did not fall in love with these products immediately like the Glue Looper, I did come the value them just as much.  They tend to be a bit on the pricey side(and what isn't in this hobby) but are worth the money.  My problem with not with the product, but with my expectations of the product.  I seem to have an unrealistic expectation that these products will magically make mold lines disappear.  Yes I know, but wouldn't it be cool if they did?  Expectations more in line with reality, this product preformed its job perfectly.  A clear thumbs up from me.

And finely, Kickstarter.  The is a kickstarter on right now for stencils for airbrushing.  The HS Stencil System from Anarchy Models is here!  Why is this a system you ask?  I have now idea.  I guess because there are more than one of them.  These look idea for the kinds of things I want to be able to do with a stencil and an airbrush.  I am really interested in the text ones more that the patterns but I would like to have some patterns as well.  The only thing stopping me from jumping in now is the question of what level to get in at.

Oh yeah, I got my Kingdom Death: Monster kickstarter showed up a few weeks ago.  The models are all really nicely detailed but require a fair bit of assembly.  Not that that is a problem but I don't have the time to assemble them now.

Wow -- that is all the brain dump I have for now.  I must go wipe my cranium now so I will add more later.


Okay so Im back...

Jeff Henson

Vegas was and is blast.  I great place to people watch and lose some money... Except that this time I won.  Go figure.   Of my many experiments with tools to bring on the trip just to keep my miniature monkey at bay I am pleased to announce that the pencil and paper were my most used.  The tutorials were great to watch on the plane but it was difficult to setup in the room after attending workshops all day and watch another workshop.  The sketch pad was always handy and required a different mindset to do...  Aka it was much more pleasurable to do when my brain was full of all the yucky technical stuff.

As a bonus to my 6 day trip, my Kindgom Death Kickstarter was delivered the DAY I got back.  Its a huge box of miniature goodness that I haven't even had time to go all the way through yet.  I was very surprised by the quality of the sculpts (not sure why I was surprised but I was.  Kingdom Death does really nice work) and the game components.  I've been itching to play it as soon as it arrived.  Maybe I will right a review.... of course I will need to play it first.


Travelling for Work

Jeff Henson

So on Saturday I have to travel for work and I will be away from my studio of 6 days or so and I am already going through withdrawals.  I have tried to carry a small selection of supplies to paint while I am out but it never really works for a number of reasons.  I've tried to bring just miniatures that I need to prep but getting the tools through TSA is problematic.  This time I think I'm going try to download some painting videos from Miniature Mentor.  I have been a subscriber forever and I'm a couple of videos behind.  This will give me something to watch on the plane as well as some great after hours viewing.

In addition, I am bringing a sketchbook to doodle in while I am in the hotel room.  The plan is to practice my freehand and work out pattern ideas and such.  It also has the added bonus of being able to plan out dioramas ideas, model conversions, and build ideas.  

Finely, I am bringing my ipad which gives me access to all the Ravage magazines which is pretty cool.  But perhaps the coolest thing is that I can test color schemes on black and white photos of miniatures.  Reaper Miniatures has black and white photos of all of their miniatures in their online store.  I can just download the picture and add a transparent color layer to get an idea of how the colors work together.

What do you do in these situations? 

Painting Classes

Jeff Henson

I have been thinking about ways to expand our hobby lately when I read a friends experience with her local painting class it got me wondering.  Is there an organization of miniature painters that exists to support local painters in their local community?  A repository for handouts painters have created for their students.  A place to share tips and tricks?  I'm not talking about a regular painting forum like reaper mini and WAMP.  Any beginner who has found those sites is probably already invested in supplies and wants to advice on how to get started.  While they are certainly places to point beginners to because they contain a wealth of info for all levels of painter, they are a little more solitary by nature.  

I am thinking of a place that shares ideas and resources for inspiring new painters into the hobby.  You know that great handout you did for brush care?  Upload it!  That color theory sheet you did.... Upload it.  How about you source for really cheap beginners brushes or that really cheep idea for a wet palette... Upload it.  Teaching a group of 10 year old's how to paint?  check the forum for ideas.

If there is not such a site, there should be.


Jeff Henson

I discovered this really cool thing some miniature painter friends are doing called the #speedpaintchallege on twitter.  The idea is that you get seven colors plus black and white to paint a miniature in 4 hours or less.  Sounds easy right?  turns out that it is more difficult than it appears.

Here are the results of my first one but I have to admit that I failed the challenge.  These images were taken at the 4 hour mark but I was not finished. :(  I wanted to get pictures of it our now as a record of how far I got.  I am going to finish it up -- really just a little cleaning but I am going to hold myself to the colors and just clean up the parts that bother me.  Yes I will post picture when I do that so you can see the completed version.

And here is the works in progress with time markers so you can see how my work is developing.  I think that I will try to take more pictures next time.

Jeff Henson

Hearsay from a shot of some of the curtains I worked on more pieces for the Inn

Sent from my iPhone

Jeff Henson

At the end. Cool I made it. He is a shot of the tables where I stopped

Sent from my iPhone

Jeff Henson

Oh my God 56 minutes to go here's a picture of my thumb and I'm tired

Sent from my iPhone

Jeff Henson

All taped up and ready for airbrushing course I'm gonna have a little something to eat first

Sent from my iPhone