Hobby of the Week: Krios Battle Tank

With a laser that big, you know the techpriest that designed this was overcompensating for something.

Kicking off a new posting schedule for Wednesdays, now dubbed Hobby of the Week – until I find a clickbaitier tittle.  It might be WIPs, it might be blurbs and previews of something to come in blogs, books or videos, or as is the case today, a completed project!
Let’s not kid ourselves, this blog is mostly about completing what we start, so there’s gonna be plenty of those.
This week, the Krios Battle Tank, painted for the NOVA OPEN CHARITY FOUNDATION.  I joined the NOCF 3 years ago, and I truly enjoy doing it.  It’s not everyday you get the chance to do some good with the hobby, so I jump at most of these occasions.


One-click Affordable Airbrush Set Review

Here’s the review of the best airbrush kit in the market to get you airbrushing in no time.

Hit the jump for the video.


Never Buy a New Brush Again

Can a 10$ fancy-pantsy bar of specialized soap make your brush live near forever?  Yes it can.


The Master’s Brush Cleaner & Preserver-1oz


As with most things I know about miniature painting, I found out and tried this thing by accident.  One use and I was hooked.  This was about 6 years ago, and I’m still quite fond of the stuff.

In last week’s Toolsday post, we covered the importance of getting decent quality brushes.  Now spending a small fortune on brushes is only worth it if you can make these last.

I’ve found that my Raphael’s were lasting me 2 to 3 times longer when I used the soap.  Mind you, this is over the course of 6 months to a year of me painting like a raving maniac, so above and beyond normal wear and tear.

Master’s Brush Cleaner:  How to Use

Seems pretty straightforward, but might as well get into it, as I don’t feel like getting PM’ed at 4 in the morning with complaints on how I destroyed brushes and ruined lives because the soap literraly exploded your brush (It won’t.)

Step 1:  Clean your brush in water like you usually do.

Step 2: Before wiping it on a paper towel, roll it around the bar of soap like you would on a miniature you were painting.  Unlike paint, don’t be afraid to get soap everywhere on the bristles of the brush, not just the tip.

Step 3: Give it a good whirl in water and dry it on a paper towel.

I do these 3 steps when I’m done painting for the day, not between every color, that is unnecessary.

There is also an optional 4th step, which I’ve never done but was recommended by great painters:  add a little bit of soap to the tip of your brush at the very end and make it into a fine point.  Without cleaning it, this extra bit of soap helps your brush keep it’s tip longer.  Once again, so I’ve heard, I never did, I’ve been pretty happy using only steps one to three.

And there you have it, quality brushes deserve extra love.


The Master’s Brush Cleaner & Preserver-1oz

Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!

The Best Kit to Start Airbrushing

1-Click complete airbrush and compressor setup?  Yes please!   
I was looking for this kit for a while to add to the Tools and Gear section up top, and now I’ve found one in the quality and price point I feel happy to recommend!

One kit gets you all the cool toys in a box, hit the jump for more specs and review.

If you’ve looked at the Tools and Gear section previously, I’ve recommended getting a similar compressor and a Patriot 105.  This set comes to around the price point, but with 3 airbrushes instead of one and a lot of accessories.

In term of price, you pay for the Compressor and all the cool accessories and they give you 3 lower-tier airbrushes.  Which is great, because the airbrush is usually the 1st thing you will change or upgrade from your starting setup.

I’m only now linking this because I wasn’t able to test the set, and I don’t recommend stuff I can’t try or don’t know enough about.  But now I do, there’s one sitting at my desk right now, which I plan to break open and review after Adepticon.

Unto the specs and why they’re awesome-sauce.

What the set gives you:

This is your standard compressor, it’s high performance, resilient and it’s the same or similar to the recommended starting compressor everywhere.

Moisture Trap & Pressure Regulator
This is the glass cup-shaped item on the right of the compressor.  It’s nice to get, as you can make the most out of your compressor by controlling the pressure, and use it longer because of the moisture trap.

Braided Hose
Another cool feature is the quality hose.  Most cheap or intro setup come with a cheap plastic-like hose, and I am here to tell you that they are the devil.   Regardless of your initial setup, you want a quality hose, because stuff exploding when you use it is a no-no.

2 Gravity Feed, Dual Action Airbrush
Why do I need 3 airbrushes?  Different airbrushes get different results mah ninja!  Contrary to brush painting, your airbrush skills will be capped by your material, i.e. your airbrushes, not by your actual skills.  For example, no matter how Next Level boss you are at an airbrush, there’s only so much you can do with only a spray gun.  So different things for you to try before you drop another 150.00 for a real high quality airbrush when you chose to step your game up.

1 Suction Feed Airbrush
Much like the Badger Spray Gun at first glance, this badboy takes care of your base coats and primer needs.  It’s also the easiest of the 3 to learn with if you’ve never touched an airbrush before.

Cleaning brushes
Most of the top tier artist recommend NOT using these, including the maker of Badger Airbrushes, so I tend to believe them.  However, if you really want to use them, the general guideline is: if you have to use force, you’re doing it wrong and you will most likely break something.  This is the only time ever I will advise against “Might makes Right, and if it’s not working, you’re not using enough”

This is more in the range of:  Oh cool there’s this thing in!  You need somewhere to put your airbrushes without stepping on them or taking out of the box everytime, you get this in the box.  I wouldn’t pay for it, but it’s free!


Badger 250-2 Spray Gun Review with Primer

A couple weeks back we featured an article on the Badger Spray Gun listing all its pros and cons.  One of the things left unchecked was the primer capabilities of the spray gun.

In the words of meme-ific barbers:  Say no more fam.

Hit the jump for the links to the products and the stills from the video with primed awesomeness


One Brush to Rule them All!

And in the Darkness bind them.  Or something like it.

High end brushes are another thing that you should probably invest in.

You can save a lot of money in the long run by buying high quality because the price/duration ratio is much better.  You pay 15 dollars instead of 6, for a brush that will last more than a year instead of 3 months.  KA-CHING!

Sadly, it’s another type of item that is always incredibly too expensive in store rather than online.


Raphael : Kolinsky Red Sable Brush : series 8404, size 1

You can get more infos after the jump.

High end brushes and you.

I never really bought in on the high end brush before having one myself.  I won a Winsor and Newton  in a painting competition, and was instantly sold.  This was when I painted 40 hours a week, the Winsor and Newton lasted close to a year.

A size 1 brush will do basecoats and the dot the eyes of the same miniature.

After the WN was beat up, I could only find Raphael’s, and lo and behold, they were the same high quality for cheaper.  I have never looked back.

The GMM Masterplan.

This trick I stole from GMM’s studio, who has a very specific and quite brilliant way to work with these brushes.

I always own 3-4 of this brush, in various condition.  The relatively new one, which is your go-to brush, the old one, really only good for drybrushing or very large basecoats, and the nearly destroyed one, for glue and other cringe-worthy materials.  The 4th one is a brand new one, ready to join in the rotation when one becomes too beatdown.

Raphael vs Winsor Newton in the endless battle of the exact same thing.

Most reviews and brush-talk on the net, you’ll hear:  Get the Winsor& Newton, Rapahel’s is garbage.  Or Winsor & Newton changed their brush, they’re not as good now, and all other sort of get one avoid the other type of advice.

Truth of the matter is, it’s pretty much the same thing.  I’ve owned from both brands and besides the orange end on Raphael’s I can’t tell which is which or if one lasted longer.  If you want to try for yourself, the equivalent is called Winsor & Newton Serie 7, and it’s not listed here because it is 30$ and more per brush and it contradicts my philosophy on shopping smart: always bought whichever was available and less expensive if it’s the same thing.


Raphael : Kolinsky Red Sable Brush : series 8404, size 1

Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!


The Badger Basic Spray Gun

Welcome to this 1st installment of the Tuesday Toolsday!

This week, we are going over the Badger Basic Spray Gun Set, a straightforward, easy to use and cheap alternative to the standard airbrush.

Badger Air-Brush Company Basic Spray Gun Set

Hit the jump for the specs and review.

How and why I use it:

I bought this little guy last year 3 days before a tournament when I still had a lot of stuff to paint.  The Patriot Xtreme I currently use was in the mail, and I didn’t feel like paying 100$ or more on another one.

So I bought this from a hobby shop for 39$, expecting the worse, but figuring I could throw it out the window when my airbrush would arrive.  Boy was I wrong.

The Spray gun is by no means an airbrush equivalent, but what it does, it does extremely well.

Basecoats and primer are a joke with this, it’s as good as an Army Painter color primer for bulk jobs.  I can see this tool doing terrain pieces and entire boards easily.

– Easy to use:This won’t clog, it’s near unbreakable, there’s no fine needle to bend and curve, once you figure out the mix, spray away.

– SPRAY and pray: How large?  Dun’ matter to this airbrush!  You can lay 4-5 infantry on a stick or a board and speed up your basecoating or priming with an airbrush primer.

– Easy to clean:  Bring it to the kitchen sink, run hot water in the cup and on the airbrush, you are done.  Took 15 seconds.

– All in one:  This part is quite nice, as airbrush material tend to be a lot of trying and fitting, from the compressor to the hose, the hose to the airbrush, this set includes it’s own hose with the most standard size.  This is not really something to look for or pay extra to get, but it’s just a nice feature.

– Limited:  Like that weird kid Kevin that was eating crayons in 3rd Grade, the Spray Gun is somewhat limited in what you can ask of it.  Basecoats and terrain are fine, but getting into even the most basic highlights is pushing it.

– Spray and PRAY: The large area you can cover do take up a lot of paint.  It’s classic with succion feed airbrushes to need more paint, but this one take it to another level.


Badger Air-Brush Company Basic Spray Gun Set

Some testing-

Here are a couple of things I want to test with it, and hopefully I’ll have those links up here once they are done:

Primer –  Tried on video for your viewing pleasure.

Dollar Store Acrylics – Cheap Acrylics can ruin an airbrush in the blink of an eye, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Badger Spray Gun can deliver.  It would be a dope feature, because it mitigates the fact that you use a lot of paint with it.

Full Table – Board and all terrain piece.  No brush, all Spray Gun.  This is a somewhat ambitious project, as unless someone hooks me up with the supplies, I’ll probably never do it.  * WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE *



The mandatory 2016 review

My 2016 review strategy was this : Scroll through the blog from my 2015 review and note things I’m proud of and things that I failed – so I can try again.

So here we go, starting with my 2015 plans heading in 2016 :

– More videos. I’ve stepped up my video game, both in quality content and overall video making, so I plan on getting more done on the tubes.
This one I did, my channel got some more quality content. And because of other projects, I now have some more cool toys to film and edit videos with, so I expect to be back on track with this soon enough.
– More books. I have put in a lot of work in other books and have a lot underway. And because I’m not writing in as many blogs, this is where the content will go – most likely.
I did put out one book, one of my best selling one too, but I consider this as not enough. I have at least 4 new ones started, so no excuses for 2017.
– Podcast. With my english being a lot better than in the previous years ( I still sound like a frenchie, don’t worry ) I want to give a go at podcasting, as I have yet to find a podcast that I truly enjoy, might as well make my own.
Nope. Nopedy-nope-nope.
– Quebec Open or whatever. I want to start running tournaments, locally and possibly everywhere else later on. It’s been too long since I ran a large scale event, so I want to get back on this.
Hellz yeah. Quebec City Open – Edition 1 was a hit, planning for 2017 has begun.
The army of the month project. It was not part of my resolutions or pledges or whatever, but I did manage to keep it on for 5 months, after which I ran out of armies to paint at home. I might try something similar in 2017, as I have a whole lot of projects.
Besides this awesome montage here are some highlights :
1- My own game store. Yeah that’s the big one ( rivaled by the Quebec City Open ) but if you ever stroll through Quebec City, come and drop by for a game or a chat.
2- Team Wobbly Modelers : Austin, Kelsey and Kinder who’ve dragged me along kicking and screaming ( and, let’s be honest, drinking ) through Adepticon and ATC. Spoiler alert, both of these events I have locked down for 2017.
3- Tournament wise, it’s been a pretty nice year : Best Sportsman at Adepticon, Best Painted and Player’s choice at ND Open and Best General at CCBB.
4- Wrote some great articles on Spikey Bitz. My favorite is this one. I can see this coming back as I paint a lot more.
Now dwelling on the past can only do so much, what’s up with this blog for 2017 :
1- Mo’ armies. I have 2 armies I am working on right now, as well as 4000 points of Adepticon team goodness coming in from Troy to paint. Ain’t no store stopping this madman.
2- Best Painted at Adepticon. This is quite an ambitious one, but within the past 2-3 years, I’ve won pretty much every kind of trophy from Adepticon – 2015 Player’s Choice, Team Best Gen/Overall, Best Sportsman last year. The only one missing is Best Painted. So that’s my only goal this year. Paint a sick army and display board, win, never attend again. Or something like that.
3- Books. I will be aiming at 1 per Month in 2017. Or 1 every 2 month, with 1 or 2 being premium quality books ( one of which already in the work )
4- Drink mo’ Beer, Push mo’ toysoldiers, Make mo’ Friends.

And on that note, because I can’t name you all ( I tried looking through facebook for adds but there was 250 new 2016 friends so yeah…) please know that you made this year awesome of playing with toy soldier and drinking cheap beer. I truly hope we can drink more cheap beers and push more toy soldiers in 2017!

The ATC/ETC Format and You : A Neophyte’s Journey to World’s Team Tournaments.

AS you may know from my incessant Facebook updates about it or my previous blog post, I attended ATC for the first time earlier this month.  I really enjoyed my experience, and was fascinated with the matchmaking system and the army building that goes around.   The other part that fascinated me was the outcome for teams that did not pay much attention to said format.

So I’ve compiled some tactics and infosfrom a bunch of players much more skilled at the warhammer than myself to give their thoughts as well.

The matchmaking system is quite simple : You pick a list, the other team assigns you 2 of theirs and you choose an opponent from it. Repeat the process with the 4 remaining lists alternating who picks one.

Quite simple, yet it allows for much strategy, specially in list building.

As ETC regroups some of the best players of each country, it is regarded as a staple for competitive lists. The 2015 ETC for example, brought everyone’s favorite Warp Spider Spam to the competitive scene ( Thanks, Kurt!).

It is not always the case, however, as teams and players have to make compromises to their lists in order to « save » a codex for another list. This is problematic with 8 players per team and 20 or so books only. A good example of this is the Librarius Conclave, which is almost every country’s Space Marine part. This also means that a lot of lists run the Dark Angel Equivalent, or the Psykana Division from the Astra Militarum, because either they’re already running the Dark Angels Codex, or there simply was no other way left to get a lot of warp charges.

The ATC is a better judge in army building as teams are 5 players instead of 8, meaning that you are able to fit more into a single list because it will not handicap another player later on.

Then again, the format doesn’t favor take-all-comers list. Or at least, not 5 of them.

In the general sense of ATC ( I’ll use ATC as an example, as I have yet to go to ETC; and on a totally unrelated matter, CA-NA-DA! CA-NA-DA! This weekend! ) lists come in 3 categories : Attackers, Defenders and Balanced. There are many names for them but essentially : Attackers are list you want to attack people and score big wins with. Defenders are lists that can take a beating and still salvage some points. Balanced lists should be able to do both depending on the opposing team.

Every team should have at least one defender. The go-to defender lists are Daemons, Battle Company and the Bark-Star list ( 55 Fenrisian wolves in a single unit and all the characters and psykers you can find ) The defender’s job is to either take on a matchup that no-one on your team wants or can deal with, or take on one of the attacker’s list and prevent it from getting 20-0. This is not for everybody, as you end up getting dumped on all weekend for the greater good of your team.

The attacker rôle is slightly different, as the best way to attack something is to have 2 lists that completely destroy a matchup you know you’re likely to face. Eldars and Super-Friends are frontrunners in this as almost every team plays the 2 lists in some form. In broader concept, having 2 lists that obliterate MSUs or Deathstars of all shape, size and form. Attacker lists may have obvious weaknesses or terrible matchups, but because they are used aggressively, they are very unlikely to meet their counter in game. Attacker lists of excellentce include artillery spam, War Convocation and Tau.
Balanced lists are generally more akin to what you see at tournaments. More balnaced lists that have a decent match versus almost everything. Eldar is a pretty balanced list, as it is strong, can score 20-0 in the right condition and unless paired really poorly, will not get 0 points to objectives and cumulative objective scoring.
1 Defender and 2 pairs of attackers ( 2 versus a specific match, and 2 versus another ) is quite good if you face the right teams.  1 Defender, 1 Pair of Attacker and 2 balanced list is a safer route.
Now this is all great with teams of well organised and careful planning ( Those teams that were ot drunk in the hotel’s media room at 1AM before the tournament trying to print their lists ). But what about the teams that came in with little or no direction on how to tackle the matchup condundrum?
Here’s the very true tale of a 2016 player :

They kept choosing their lists over mine when we were choosing lists. I also got punted out as the first list 5/6 games. Would have been nice to know I was that guy going into it. My list was meant to fight battle companies, daemons, deaths stars, and war convo. Instead my team kept tossing me to elder and tau because they didn’t want ruin their personal record. In the end they just made our team get less points.
Planning truly is the key to avoid those situations. Scoring best X-army player if your team is in the bottom of the standing is not a proof of your skills, it’s bad pairings or poor team building.

And because I’m not a negative person in life, here are tricks from the pros your can use, should you venture in ATC 2017.

Tom Ogden :

Well the best strategy is this in my own opinion, you discuss before picking your first defender and see who all has the most good match ups and the most worst match ups. Your first defender should be one of your players with the most good match ups that way you don’t get stuck with two horrible match ups, and then pick your two aggressors against their defenders. That leaves you with three list, you then should pick your player with the least amount of good matchup s that way he can pick the list that gives him the most chance of grabbing any points and the rest of the pairings are out of your control

Tony Grippando ( Captain of Team Happy, back-to-back ATC Champs ) :

My strategy the last couple years is to put a list out at random. Keeps everyone on their toes

Mark Adam Abramowicz 
I brought the boogeyman man list – Eldar. That said, we didn’t bring defender or attacker lists. We brought lists we had a lot of experience playing. We knew our lists better than our opponents (well, most of them, we did play Quality Control). That said, we had three lists that were very much take all comers. Those could handle anything the meta threw at it. We did our best to hold them for the final three match ups and threw our two boogeyman lists out 1-2. It worked. It’s not always about list building. Very few people brought suboptimal lists. It’s all about staying positive, sticking to the game plan and believing in yourself, your army, tactics and teammates.
Paul Murphy
In some cases we found it was best to push out the list that needed the most protection first. That way we had more of a choice and less situations where our worse match ups could be cherry picked.
Michael Vagenos :
Our team wanted to prepare for death stars amd msu mostly. We had two lists that could deal with death stars extremely well and two lists that were death stars. So when we saw what the opponents threw out we figured out if they could beat a death star or was one. We would then throw out two lists accordingly. For example if we saw thunderwolves get thrown out we threw out our double surge tau and our warp Hunter heavy eldar at it. I had the tac list but all of us could grind it out if we had too.

Nick Brown Nanavati :
Don’t get tabled turn 1, it puts you at a disadvantage.