Thursday, 26 February 2015

Xuron Professional Plastic Sprue Cutters - short review

I recently set out to buy a new pair of plastic clippers for removing components from a sprue.

I decided to look around on the internet to see what other model makers were using, and came across some glowing reviews for the Xuron Professional Sprue Cutters product. A local online retailer, sold them for around $30, and they looked like they checked the boxes I was after – the clippers use a shearing action and the blades tapered to a fine point. The end blades are slightly bent to allow access to all parts of the sprue, and they looked large and sturdy. I figured I’d give them a go and ordered a set.

Having used them now on one project, I can say that the many glowing online reviews of this product are entirely correct. These things are amazing.

The build is very good, with lightweight but strong metal covered by nice rubber handles. I like the size of them, which is large enough to fill your hand so you feel as if you have complete control – many clippers by gaming companies tend to have much smaller designs. The spring-back is gentle, it’s just enough to give you a nice release from the closed position without the sheers flying back when you release the pressure.  The blades are very sharp and taper to a very fine point, meaning you can do precision cutting on minute and delicate components. The blades are also slightly offset, so that they use a shearing action to cut rather than pressure. This gives a cleaner cut requiring less force, and also means components don’t go flying off the sprue to land who-knows-where.

The Xuron Professional Sprue Cutters are an excellent product, well worth the money. I can completely recommend them. You can find them for sale in Australia here, or you can use Amazon here.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Painting ruin-style bases easily

Hi all,

Thought I'd do a quick post showing you how I paint up my bases. This is a very easy process using a minimal palette and really only drybrushing as a technique. The effects are simple but striking and very quick to do.

These bases are from Adelaide based company Back 2 Base-ix, who make an amazing range of hobby related products - check out their website here. Their resin bases are very well detailed, very well cast and very affordable. These bases are from their Ruins range. The one below is a 60mm base, but this same technique applies for all sizes. Likewise, this technique would work on any dirt, slate, rock, concrete, rubble themed base you might have.

So the base is undercoated in black. The dirt is given a coat of Vallejo's Game Colour Extra Opaque (VGC EO) Heavy Sienna, and the ruins are given a coat of VGC EO Heavy Charcoal.

I then finish the ruins first, then do the dirt. This is because getting any brown from drybrushing onto the ruins simply looks like more dirt, whereas grey on the dirt looks a little strange. So the next step is to cover the tiles of the ruins and the main surfaces of the ruins in a mix of 1:1 VGC EO Heavy Charcoal and Vallejo Game Colour (VGC) Cold Grey. Leave the Heavy Charcoal in the deepest recesses and between the tiles.

Give the ruins a drybrush of pure VGC Cold Grey.

Give the ruins a final light drybrush of VGC Wolf Grey.

Now onto the dirt. The first drybrush for the dirt is with VGC EO Heavy Brown.

The next drybrush is with VGC Bone white.

Finally, a wash of Army Painter Soft Tone ink (a light brown ink) is given to the dirt.

That's it! Add some static grass or grass tufts for a more dynamic effect once the base is finished - I'll add some pics showing this soon.