Tag Archives: Product Review

Zep Industrial Purple Degreaser

Cleaning minis is easy. You just need the right stuff to get the job done quickly without damaging the model. I use Zep Industrial Degreaser. It can be found in Home Depot.

I guess I can call myself lucky because this is the only cleaner I’ve ever used for model cleansing/repainting. I have heard horror tales of people loosing whole units to Simple Green shenanigans. You won’t have to worry about this stuff melting your precious hobby goodies.

Zep Insrustrial Degreaser


Strong – This stuff is really strong. With time Zep will breakdown super glue bindings. It won’t dissolve the glue mind you, it will just make it brittle and the parts will come apart.

Fast – It takes a few hours for this stuff to work its magic but you won’t have to wait long to get your minis back. Eight hours in this dip and your minis should be good to go. I tend to leave my models soaking for around 24. Longer then this and you’ll be in the zone where it will begin to have an effect on your glue and any sculpting work you’ve done.

Gentle – I have left models, both metal and plastic, soaking in this stuff for weeks at a time with no ill effects. The paint washed off with no scrubbing needed. It’s awesome!

Cheap – A 5 gallon bottle of this stuff will cost around $6 and last you for years. I’m only on my second one.

Use Gloves – I’m pretty sure you can use this stuff without gloves but you don’t want to. Without gloves your fingers will feel like they have some super slick oil/lube on them that doesn’t wash off with water and it’s kind of annoying. As a concentrated formula it sticks to your skin and takes several washings to get off.

Green Stuff – Zep’s only true negative. This stuff will damage your sculpt work if you leave the model soaking for too long. It softens the cured putty enough for your toothbrush to be able to scratch it. I don’t clean sculpt work often enough to provide you with a gauge. I would not soak longer then 8 hours. Be careful.

Toxic – Do I really need to go over this? It’s used to clean car parts not to drink.

Get this stuff and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Rare-Earth Magnets

Man there’s plethora (yes Jefe) of content to post on this subject! For those that don’t know, rare-earth magnets are a type of permanent magnet developed in the 70-80’s and is currently the strongest permanent magnet you can get your mits on. Despite what their name suggests they are not rare nor made from precious metals. The materials composing them are as common as tin or lead.

The strength in these suckers is quite surprising. In fact they can give you quite a nasty pinch only being a few centimeters across. Larger then that and you can get injured pretty severely as they will crush fingers between two or a magnet and metal sheet. Since we’ll only be dealing with the very small variety there is no risk of boo-boos.

These little gems have a variety of uses for a wargame hobbyist. My primary two uses are for movement trays for Warhammer Fantasy, and for vehicle/monster modularization. Never again shall your regiment of finely painted warriors fall all over the damn place when you try to put them on a hill/terrain. Now you can use all those sexy bits that came with your Carnifex/Razorback/Dreadnought!!!

I get all my magnets from K&J Magnetics. They have a huge product line and have excellent customer service. I’ve only ever used nickel plated as they are the cheapest and more then durable enough for everyday modeling.

Here’s what I use:


D-21 (1/8″ dia. x 1/16″ thick) – Perfect for small modular jobs like switching out space marine arms or something similar. Strong but they cant take too much weight axially so go easy.


D203 (1/8″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – Stronger then the D21 but also thicker. These were what I used to modulate my Carnifexes back when they had options (>.<). Now I primarily use 2-3 of them for setting my cavalry for use in magnetic trays.

Use a 1/8 drill bit for your Dremel to make your depressions/holes for these two sizes. You do have a Dremel…don’t you?


D303 (3/16″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – Perfect for setting up regiments for use in magnetic trays. Just superglue one of these to the bottom of your base and it’s ready to go. Try too keep all the polarities the same or you have your models snapping together and hugging when your units take casualties.


D403 (1/4″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – These are the largest RE’s I use. They are much stronger then they appear and will hold a surprising amount of weight axially. Save these for your big jobs.

Use the 196 High Speed Cutter bit when installing these into resin bases or larger projects.

Seriously, go out and get some. Customization is awesome in this hobby and you can get more model for your buck with these little bastards.

Vallejo Paints

I’ve been a user of Citadel Paints and brushes for the entirety of my hobby life. Over the years I have found myself drifting away from GW’s line of hobby products. My standards have evolved and as such I’ve come to expect more out of the supplies I purchase. Other then GW’s new Citadel Washes/Foundations and the occasional bottle of superglue there is very little from them I use at all. Mini’s aside of course.

A few years back, a fellow hobbyist inquired if I had tried Vallejo acrylic line. Having not even heard of it he pointed me towards Granddad’s Hobby Shop (RIP) and told me to check them out. I picked up a bottle of Cobra Leather and Bonewhite and I was floored by their performance. In fact I still own and use those 2 bottles of paint I bought back in ’06!


One of the biggest gripes I have with GW paint pots is the tendency they have of drying out. There was nothing that pissed me off more than opening a bottle of paint I used one time a few months back to find it filled with colored plastic. The new bottle caps have done wonders for slowing down this process exponentially but it still occurs. The Vallejo bottles have a nigh air-tight seal that has kept my paints in perfect condition for years.


The texture of these paints is their most impressive quality. They go on smoothly, coat well, and dry with a nice finish. The Game Color line tends to have a slightly glossy sheen to it that I’ve grown less fond of but if you use GW paints you won’t notice really. I’ve taken a fancy to their model color line as they dry with a flat matte finish.

Ease of Use

The bottles are designed for you to squeeze out as much as you need onto the palette. This has also contributed to the longevity of my paints as I only use what I need. You do need to be careful to check the top to ensure that no paint has dried in the top as you can squeeze the whole top off the bottle and paint will get everywhere. This should not happen though as the application tips are pretty secure and you would have to be squeezing pretty hard.

Color Choices

Vallejo’s Game Color mimics GW’s paint line almost color for color and shade for shade. They also still have the colors that GW has discontinued. Colors like Bilious Green, Midnight Blue, Imperial Purple, and my personal favorites Terracotta and Tanned Flesh all have equivalent colors. Why GW discontinued Terracotta and Tanned Flesh is completely beyond me. Those 2 colors are SOOO versatile and should be on every painter’s desk.

In conclusion, I give this paint line 4/5 glavens. I can’t really give the line 5 glavens as I don’t think any paint of that caliber even exists. Give this excellent line a try though you may begin to catch yourself staring at those old GW pots with contempt.

Dremel Rotary Tool

Of all the tools I have collected over the years for this hobby of mine I have to say my Dremel is the most important. I use this tool so damn much it has caused me to purchase 3.

The uses I have found for this tool are legion. Need to grind something down? There’s a bit for that. Need to saw something off? There’s a bit for that. Need to hollow something out? There’s a bit for that. Need to polish something smooth? There’s a bit for that. Want to etch something on something? There’s a bit for that. And I’m just scratching the surface of all the functions this tool can perform.

A word on safety. Be sure to wear eye protection when using this or any power tool. Dremels can rotate upwards to 35,000 rpm and though you should never have to use that type of speed for hobby work you need to be really careful. Flinging molten metal at 10,000 rpm into your eye would be well…bad.

Most of the time I use my Dremel for metal work. You should not use your sanding drum or cutting wheels on plastics. Styrene and other hobby plastics have a very low melting point and the lowest rpm setting will be enough to burn or melt them. This process will get melted plastic all over the abrasive sections of your sanding/cutting bits and can render them useless after one job. The engraving/ carving tools will not have this problem.

Recommended Bits

Sanding BitSanding Drum

This bit will grind through soft mini metal faster than you will believe. Take your time and keep a pot of water nearby and dip the mini into it from time to time to cool it down. You should not need to go above 10k rpm but if you do, be sure to dip the mini more often.

Diamond CutterCut-off Wheel, Diamond Wheel
Precision cutting

It’s like using a jewelers saw that functions in a fraction of the time. Again be sure to keep that water on hand to disperse some of that heat.

High Speed CutterHigh Speed Cutter

My favorite. I love to use this bit to replace the heads on metal minis. Use your side cutters to cut off most of it and then use this tool to hollow out a depression for your new head. Just one use of this and you’ll fall in love as I did.

My Dremels


Cordless MiniMite

Pros – Small, easy to use, and perfect for small projects.

Cons – Being battery operated, I found that it tended to be low on power at inopportune moments and I would need to plug it in to recharge. It’s my fault really for not charging it after every major use but I get so absorbed in the project I just forgot.



Pros – Replaced my MiniMite as my primary tool. It’s corded so it’s always ready. No charging necessary.

Cons – This tool can get to VERY high rpm so you need to be careful. Also the cord can get in the way sometimes but you’ll get used to that quickly.

~Note~ Apparently this corded version of the Multi-Pro is currently out of production. You can likely still find it if you look hard enough. I believe it’s replacement is the Dremel 4000.


Pros – Perfect tool for engraving and drilling. I use this tool for all my pining work and it’s wonderful. I’ve yet to use it for engraving but do I have future plans for that specific function.

Cons – None as of yet. This baby sits on my painting desk in its charger most of the time so I’ve yet to experience a dead battery.

Where to Buy

I got my MiniMite and Stylus from my neighborhood Lowes. The Mulit-Pro was procured from Amazon.com at a nigh criminal bargain. I recommend you get your bits from Lowes or any other hardware shop so you can see them up close.

Well I think I’ve prattled on long enough. The Dremel receives 4/5 glavens for exceptional usefulness. Get this tool, you will not be disappointed.