Friday, April 29, 2016

Speed Aging Bourbon

I've been interested in speed aging spirits for a while and thought it was finally time to take some very young bourbon and pair it with a point of new slightly toasted wood chips. What you see above is the product of only six days of soaking. The right shot glass shows the raw-ish bourbon, while the left shot glass has the new oak steeped version. Can you guess which one is drinkable?

The altered bourbon is sweeter now with caramel and vanilla flavors. The aroma is intensely vanilla. After another week of soaking, I am going to dump the mixture (wood and all) into a dentists ultrasonic cleaning vat. My hope is to use the agitation to speed up the esterification of fatty acids. Normally that process would take years. I imagine six hours will be enough time to shake free some esters. If that works then the bourbon should take on a more floral quality normally found in aged Scotch. What this process won't do is remove the angel's share, that portion of alcohol that escapes through the oak barrels over many years.

I have a whole slew of additional tests underway, including aging a raw corn un-aged whiskey, as well as experimenting with darkly toasted wood chips. The dark chips should add a smokey flavor.

What is most exciting here is that I can buy a variety of white whiskey's and age them with different blends of wood with different toast levels.

Friday, April 22, 2016

AB 20mm British Airborne

Continuing our groups move from 28mm to 20mm (1/72 scale) models,  I picked up some AB miniatures British Airborne to round out our troop choices. I have become a huge fan of AB, and am really enjoying the painting process.

As is customary with me, I am painting the entire platoon of 45 miniatures at once. What you see here are just a few models taken closer to completion in order for me to refine the process as I go. In this shot you can see the sole camouflage jacket attempt. I looked up what  the camo was supposed to look like and it really just looked like the brits took paint brushes and slopped it on. My rendition is bad though. It is probably just a matter of working at this scale, but I think I have to lighten the colors significantly if I attempt the tri-colored camo again.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Space Wolves On The Painting Table

I finished the Caestus earlier in the week, but lighting wasn't right until today for photos. My original plan to edge highlight the paint chips was dropped due to practicality. I just didn't want to do it! I am painting these space wolves for me, which means sometimes I don't do things the 'right way', but rather the way I want to at the time I am painting. The rhino and the Caestus were meant to be the equivalent of a pallet cleanser for painting, but somehow mid-way through the rhino I decided to rummage around my closet and come up with way more Space Wolves than I though I had. I even have one of those single boom Caestus things GW released in plastic. I guess the question now, is whether I continue painting SW vehicles, or try my hand at some infantry. There is a nice box of SW terminators sitting unopened not far from me.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Space Wolf Rhino WIP 2

While painting the Caestus Assault Ram, I bounced back and forth between it and the rhino painting details. At this stage the rhino is awaiting final weathering. The interior needs paint chipping, and the exterior needs to be weathered with mud rather than light colored dust. That is one of the nice things about weathering. I can simply brush off the light earth and try again. I think mud and all of the accompanying splashes will really help this paint job out.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Filming My Painting

I figured it was about time for me to film some of my projects. What you see here is my first attempt doing that. I found it incredibly awkward trying to paint with a camera getting in my way, but I think with a less invasive setup this will work out. As a test video, I did not both to narrate or even finish the model. This is just some simple paint chipping using Vallejo black brown. After the whole model is chipped, I'll get some streaking done on it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Caestus Assault Ram WIP 1

It has been an incredibly stressful, but very good week for my family. April was a month filled with closure. To reward myself, I grabbed a Caestus Assault Ram which I had been hoarding for years in my forgworld drawer of shame. The is still quite a bit of stuff to paint on this beast. The biggest decision right now is what color to paint the missile pods. I was thinking of adding red, but that may be a bit too much. The missile tips themselves could be red if the housing were not. In any event, I am looking forward to adding smoke stains out the back of the missile pods, where the blast would vent that might necessitate a lighter color like off-white.

I should add, that as an eBay purchase, this model was fairly disappointing. Virtually nothing fit together right during construction. I don't remember my last Caestus being this far out of square.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Space Wolves Classic Rhino WIP Part 2

I may paint more than one of these, so It is time for some recipes.


  • Vallejo Model Air RAL 7028 Dark Yellow base
  • GW Yriel Yellow mid tone
  • GW Yriel Yellow + Vallejo RAL 1015 Pale Sand 50/50


  • GW The Fang Air
  • GW Russ Grey Air
  • GW Fennrisian Grey Air

  • Vallejo model air RLM 84 Grey  base
  • Vallejo model air 70918 Ivory mixed into the above  highlight

Now that the housekeeping is done. The major progress here is on paint chipping, some filters, and some streaking effects. I went with German command vehicle markings to try and tone down the viking child handwriting rune stuff GW Space Wolf vehicles sometimes have going on. I like how the white and red contrast nicely with the pale blue, and echo the warmth of the yellow doors.

In terms of iconography, I've decided to use the SW company symbol instead of that of any one great company. I just think it looks more regal. These guys need to look less wild and more compenent  as they march off to kill Thousand Sons. All the normal space wolf stuff is just too overboard for me. Accent, not feature should be the key here.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Space Wolves Classic Paint Scheme WIP

I decided to take a break from painting WW2 miniature for a while and up a classic Space Wolves rhino. I've been in a pensive mood of late, resigned to the fact that I will be spending the next two weeks in court suing the destroyer of my company. With that in the background, I needed something classic and simple to paint. I've never liked the powder blue space wolves color scheme, but since I already had the GW air brush paints, it seemed like as good a choice as any.

First off, I have no idea what thinner to use with these airbrush paints. I tried X20-A and alcohol. Alcohol caused the paint to clump up. X20-A appeared to do the trick, but I did have drying issued with the air brush needle. Overall, I like the paints. I am impressed with their translucency, and ease of blending. I think the model speaks for itself. Even in just base colors, it looks pretty interesting.

Now that the base coat is down, the next step is paint chipping. I'll follow that with a coat of varnish and then oils. The GW airbrush paint is not terribly durable, so I think it is wise to skip past the details and get some varnish on the surface to protect it. I am concerned about the blue paint cracking due to the varnish drying, but there is not much I can do about that besides keeping the varnish layer thin.

It will be interesting to see if historical model weathering techniques can make this goofy color scheme work.