Okay, here's how it's gonna be from now on. Regular updates for starters. I know, I promised this before but I've hit on a way of placating the moppets who read this shite/are waiting for their commission/are most definitely not hot women looking for a hook-up with a fat, chain-smoking geek.
The first proper review will be of Joek's limited edition miniature range, of which I have number 3 of 300. It's an Elf lord with sword upraised on a scenic base or, as we all know all Elves are really pre-menstrual teen girls, She-Ra. I'll then contrast it with the Studio McVey range. Not a comparison, a contrast. Why not a comparison? Because, you fucking idiot, The McVey range is more established. And it is by my idols. For fuck's sake I'll explain more in the aforementioned first proper review.
However, to whet your appetites, here's a quick teaser - a review of Army Painter Matte Black Spray. And a contrast with the Games Workshop spray. I'm in a mellow mood because I'm listening to James live in Manchester (the 'Getting away with it' concert). So not much rudeness.
The Army Painter range of hobby materiel has rapidly gained popularity with gamers because it knows it's target market. Most gamers want an army of models painted quickly to get onto the tabletop, hence a large range of coloured sprays, several types of dip (fucking cheating) and now some pre-clumped static grass. You know, that product that model railway types have known about for decades. However, the core of their range has to be the undercoat and basecoat range of sprays.
The spray I am reviewing is matte black undercoat. Competitively priced and in an area not totally dominated by the 3 ton, senile, nappy-wearing monkey that is Games Workshop, it is still only available in dedicated hobby shops (like Wargames Inc, ho ho) or online. It's the same size as the GW Chaos Black primer but the nozzle gives a much more diffuse spray, covering models more quickly and saving you money by being more efficient (in theory). In practice, it gets everywhere except where you want it on the fucking mini. The paint formulation leans towards the plastic side of acrylic, and it dries to quite a soft finish with no tooth for subsequent layers of paint.
The quality of the finish leaves a lot to be desired too. You either end up painting on a surface like oily glass or (as on my test model, Lich Lord Terminus) a surface like fucking cake. What cake? A two day old cream and jam scone from the fridge - soft and unlikely to accept paint well. I should have known better but I really wanted Terminus covered and ready to go. I have areas of oily glass, areas of cream scone and some areas of no fucking coverage at all. To compound this, I'll be mainly using P3 paints and they seem to need a bit of tooth to adhere nicely, meaning a fun time of painting him beckons.
In all good faith, I can't recommend the spray. It's deceptively wasteful and quality control appears to vary from batch to batch. There have been a few cases of frosting (propellant mixing with the spray) that I know of. This seems to have died down recently so maybe they have got their act together.
I'm in the minority in the store, but the GW undercoat range is still the best. It contracts slightly (a bit like gesso but much less pronounced) when it dries out on the model, forming a tougher coat, and has the slight tooth that makes it a joy to paint over. The nozzle gives a more tightly focused spray which gives greater control and, paradoxically, less waste.
I do like the Army Painter Gray undercoat spray, but you have to really dust the coat on from a slightly further distance than is recommended so you run the risk of a sandpaper texture in the finish.
Conclusions? Stick with the GW sprays (aside from the varnish) and if you want to do some flash painting effects, use black/white zenithal undercoating and be done with it.
So, other news. The Khador Behemoth is put together and waiting for an undercoat. I have the colour scheme worked out, and I shall start it soon. All I have to say about that is I shall never ever have one in my Khador Army. Oh, and thanks to Cris for letting me test out my Khador scheme and work out all the bugs on his model.
Angry that he didn't make the grade, been more loved and less afraid, scored the goal or got the girl ...