Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mixing Paint

Hey All.

A short post tonight about Vallejo paints and few trials and errors I found in trying to find a suitable thing to add to the bottles to assist in mixing those buggers up properly. First off, Vallejo really needs to be shaken well before using as there are many pigments in the bottles and they settle out pretty quickly.

So I tried brass beads I found in a fishing shop. They oxidize into a black sludge and this tainted the color of most paints. Removed these. Tried chrome ball bearings. They began to rust after a few weeks - and would you belive that Vallejo paints are magnetic?!? Found that out when trying to remove the bearings with a neodyne magnet. Big mistake! Paint crawled out of the bottle and attached itself to the mag like it was alive!

Finally got all the bearings out...lost a fair bit of paint...The latest thing are Hermatite beads. They seem perfect, various sizes (9mm will fit into Vallejo bottles), quite heavy, and they don't seem to oxidize - rust or otherwise. I put a few into a bottle of water and they haven't changed in 2 days. Not too sure if they will change in the actuall paint but I will let you know! Stay tuned...

Painted up a few Russians figures for Platoon HQs. I switched to Yellow Green 881 from Khaki Grey 880 and really like this color! (above) Its quite a bit greener. Shade by adding black and highlight by adding white. Looks pretty close to color pics I have seen.

BTW, the left figure in the picture above is one of the better I have seen by BF. Its a great pose, based I believe, on the photo at left. It even has the strap from the tokerov pistol modelled on the other side of the figure.

This iconic WWII picture is of Junior political officer, Alexey Yeremenko leading an attack  by the 220th Regiment, 4th Rifle Division, July 1942.

He died seconds after this picture was taken...

I finally recieved a letter back from Battlefront. I have posted my letter and the reply. Take from it what you will...

Hello Battlefront.

I am sure that you do not hear enough about when you get it right regarding miniatures and I am probably guilty of that. You do a very good job on the whole with accuracy and sculpting and I have been buying up many of your boxed sets and blisters over the last 4 years. I also realize that there will be the occasional figure that is miscast or is indeed a real dud. No problem if the rest are within a certain quality range. In the past, your company has been exceptional at replacing any miscast parts for me and I have continued to support you financially as well as positive reviews on my site as well as my postings.

That said, after waiting patiently for the re-issue of the Early War line, it was with great disappointment that I inspected your latest figures. The German and UK Infantry seem to be a real step backward. My excitement of receiving over 200 dollars worth of figures turned to dismay and then to anger as I felt that I have truly been ripped off. I started by looking at the German figures. There were some OK figures but overall, they had the look of a rush job. Strange poses, flash is heavy, faces miscast and Rifles look like walking sticks, or are too short.  The web gear on the Germans is not even correct. Those that have suspenders are wearing crossed suspenders in the back - not the 'Y' type and no strap for the gas mask. Torsos are thin to the point of flat, high boots are REALLY high (totally out of scale).

Then I opened the British…Bayonets look like flash; SMLE Rifles are too short, too thin and not detailed at all. Poses are boring, and bizarre (so many figures waving), scale is out, flash atrocious, finger prints on the castings of some figures, I could go on and on...

These figures, for the most part, would require too much work to be brought to a so-so level. Heads need to be replaced; hands re-carved and heavy flash (the kind that erases detail) would need to be removed. What’s left is still a poor figure.

My question to you is this:

Is this the direction that BF is taking? I cannot continue to support your company if this is where you are going. I do hope that in future you will be bringing the quality back to where it has been in the past.



Troy Ritter

Hi Troy,

Thanks for the email and I appreciate the honest comments.

It has been interesting to see what people think of the new EW ranges as
they were not sculpted by Evan Allen (who has sculpted the majority of
figures in the past). To be completely honest these ranges seem to have
really polarised our customers into two camps - one that loves them, and
one that has similar feedback to yourself. From our perspective this is
both wonderful and terrible as we sincerely want our customers to enjoy
painting and assembling the models as much as putting them on the table
and playing with them.

To address your question, you will be happy to know we have already
taken steps to improve the quality issues you have outlined (for example
Evan has just completed a new range of heads that will serve as our
masters and retain more detail through the multiple casting processes
that a figure is subjected to) and I am confident that you will see an
improvement in the future. Obviously this will take time to filter
through, but I am confident you will be as blown away by what is being
worked on for the next book, just like we were.

If you have any other comments or concerns please don't hesitate to drop
me an email.

Chris Townley
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