Ichiban Painting Kickstarter – The Closing Moments

The Games & Gear / Ichiban Painting Kickstarter has less than 45 minutes to go but we thought we’d give it one last hurrah to see if they can break the £90,000 mark.

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It’s hugely satisfying to see someone from our community benefit from the passion and devotion of that community in such a positive way. Having spoken to Hugo on and off during the campaign he’s been blown away by the support and faith people have shown in him and his product. He never imagined the project would approach 3000% of the intended target.

So if you have a few spare moments – for there are only moments left – and you fancy a shiny new set of brushes then go here.

If you need some convincing, check out my review of the brushes here.

Ichiban Paint Brushes – A Review

With a week to go of Ichiban Painting and Games & Gears’ kickstarter to go we’d had the opportunity to take a look at the brushes themselves and report back on our findings. With the kickstarter (at time of writing) 1907% funded it may seem arbitrary to do a review but far from it.

Whilst we go way back with Hugo and I had great fun writing some rules for one of his Golden Demon entries in 2012 we pride ourselves on impartiality and that means reviewing them.

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So first impressions? Pretty good. The case is a nice touch and finds the balance between size and practicality. The logo is a little cheap and I kinda wanted to see Hugo’s on there as well. But to be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered, something embossed would have been more in keeping with the premium feel the guys are shooting for.

The brushes are beautiful. Slim and elegant, they look more like a set of writer’s pens and there’s something incredibly satisfying about putting the brush together. It’s the smooth action of a fountain pen. And they’re so very light. I can’t decide if they’re lighter than wooden brush but I could care over a gram either way. And they look way cool in black. My problem is that the paint doesn’t appear that hard-wearing and the brushes will scrape and chip against one another in the pouch. Or anything else I imagine, such is the price of working with metal. That and they’re going to get covered in paint anyway so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

They’re wider, too than a standard brush but this is a good thing for two reasons. The first being they sit far more comfortably in the hand than a standard brush, again more akin to a pen, and that dramatically reduces hand fatigue. Which means you can paint for longer. Huzzah. The second is, thanks to the wider handle, there’s a wider barrel so there’s more bristles which has two benefits. A better point and a better charging.

This all adds up to a rather well-rounded painting experience. The brushes are comfortable and the sable bristles stand up to punishment well. They keep their shape better than anything I’ve ever purchased from a hobby shop or a Games Workshop and they retake their shape well. The one thing that would have been really cool is if the handle, that the painty end slots into, to form the cap, had a point shaper built into it so you knew every time you put the brush away it was going to come looking beautiful and perfect.

The stand available is a nice touch. If I’m honest I’m not sure how much I’d use it as I have to pack all my hobby stuff away between uses so a stand is just another thing to find a home for when the brushes tuck so nicely away. However it does make life that little bit easier when it comes to finding them and finding the right one. It’ll also help with the chipping issue as they won’t be rolling around on a tile or table. It’s a simple solution to the problem and easy to put together it just doesn’t jazz me. But I’m a fluff gamer, painting is something I do if I find myself alone for a few days without a wife and child and I’ve exhausted all the really good porn. So hardly ever. Lee, however, who has a space and a table and likes to get his hobby on regularly I imagine will really see the benefit.

However, one of the best things about the paint set is that they’re so nice you’ll want to use them. Next generation brushes is a tad gimmicky for me. They’re still sticks with bristles in the end at the end of the day, but what they are is good quality, comfortable and with good coverage. That makes for an easier time painting. So I’d say more of an evolution.

You’ll also be paying twice what you’d pay for a set of the same size brushes from someone like The Army Painter. However, you get what you pay for and, on the basis that they brushes are far more durable than anything I’ve seen elsewhere, I’d say they’re worth the money. But the defects like the paint scratching so easily does cause an eyebrow to be raised when the word premium gets used. If you’re paying twice the price for something I expect twice the quality. A better powder painting coating process (or one at all if they weren’t powder coated) should solve the scratching issue though when the brushes go into full production. Mine are a review set after all.

So is the kickstarter worth your hard-earned coin? Yes. Yes if you’re like me who hardly ever paints: because it’ll encourage you to do so. Yes if you’re regular painter and you’re fed up with your brushes knackered out after basecoating 30 marines.  And yes you fancy yourself as a pro because one of the minds behind the brushes is a pro. If you’re a tight git who’d much rather get em cheap and throw em out then this probably isn’t the kickstarter for you.

To read more or to pledge go here.

Ichiban Painting Kickstarter Update

We reported, just prior to it going live, on Ichiban Painting and Games & Gear’s Kickstarter for their range of paint brushes. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re a pretty awesome set made from aluminium and designed to be the perfect balance of quality, affordability, and convenience as the brushes come part to allow for ease of transport whilst protecting the bristles. They really are quite special. So much so that two of our number at The Shell Case have pledged real cash money.

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I’m pleased to report that the project was fully funded in 9 minutes. It was at almost 400% funded in the first hour. And how, 4 days on the campaign stands at 1282% (at time of writing) funded with 16 days to go.

Hugo and the team are currently working on some new stretch goals as they’ve been caught a little off guard with the overwhelming amount of support the community has shown them. As someone who supported this site in its early days, Hugo deserves every penny towards his endeavours and I am proud to lend what support I can.

I have the great fortune to review these brushes which I’ll be doing in the next couple of days (really it’s just an excuse to paint) and I’ll be sharing my findings with you all to help make up the minds of anyone sitting on the fence.

For now all I can do is urge you to check out the Ichiban/Game & Gears Kickstarter and buy yourself a swanky set of paint brushes. Their page can be found here.


Ichiban Painting – How to Paint a Nebula

Tip top #warmonger and friend of The Shell Case, Hugo of Ichiban Painting, has done a brilliant video on how to recreate the truly awesome nebula style paint scheme he did on the belly of his Eldar fighter.

It requires an airbrush so if, like me, you require adult supervision before being allowed to handle such devices this tutorial may not be for you. Fucking cool though…

#warmonger of the Year – The Results

Merry Christmas #warmongers. I hope you’re all having a lovely day so far.

The time has come to announce the #warmonger of the Year. The member of our community, voted for by the community, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

First, a quick note; thank you to everyone who voted for me, it was hugely touching but I wouldn’t feel right accepting an accolade that I set up in the first place. So I’m counting myself out of this one.

Just a reminder, the prize is signed copies of Games Workshop veteran, and friend of The Shell Case, Gav Thorpe’s critically acclaimed Crown Trilogy.


No less than 12 #warmongers excluding myself received nominations but, as ever, there can only be one winner and that particularly lucky bugger is…Dave Wilkinson aka @docbungle.

Dave couldn’t be a more deserving winner. Ever on Twitter, Dave is on hand to lend #warmongers encouragement or advice – some of it is even helpful – and has been instrumental in forging the thriving community I’m proud to be apart of. He also set up #MiniatureMonday and his blog has entertained literally dozens of us for years.

A special mention goes to Hugo – aka @ichibanpainting – who came a very close second. I’m going to sort him out a little something as he’s also contributed an awful lot to our merry little band and it’s only right that he be rewarded.

Congratulations both, you do us all proud.

Ichiban Studio: The Mean One – A Review

The other day I wrote about the Indiegogo campaign that Hugo of Ichiban Painting had launched with Dennis Zarnowski to get their miniatures company – Ichiban Studio – off the ground.

A common concern with Indiegogo campaigns, or any crowd funding project for that matter, is that it’s hard to judge exactly what you’re going to get for your money and if the juice is worth the squeeze. Well as ever I’m here to help as what should come in the post on Friday but none other than the full size edition of The Mean One. The model can be acquired in exchange for a $100 (£62) donation on the Ichiban Studio campaign page. And in this world exclusive review I’m going to see just how much awesome can be squeezed out of it.


Yes, I am a lucky bastard. But not an idle one as I immediately set about scrutinising the kit and then attacking the kit with clippers and files to better understand this hefty slice of awesome.

The Mean One is, depending on your point of view has either a Catachan Jungle Fighter type vibe or a Space Marine that forgot his power armour. Either way, the dude is hench. He’s also massive, standing at 23cm tall which makes him not only an impressive display piece but an awful lot of resin for your money and cheaper than an equivalent item from Forge World.

So what’s in the box? Well, as I say, a shit load of resin; in the form of two feet, a body (including head) arms, a hand clutching an Ork head and another holding a fooking huge knife. And, if I’m honest, a lot of flash. I mean a lot. This isn’t really a complaint, more of an observation as if you don’t have a hobby saw – like me – it can take a while to work your way through the chunks attached to the various body parts. As you can see from the picture below the blocks attached to TMO’s legs are very thick which took a while to clip through with my standard issue GW clippers. This has the added arse ache of all the associated filing so all the parts fit flush together. But, because the resin is from good stock you won’t get any cracking or shattering if you cut in too close. It all came away (eventually) very easily.


As I say, it’s not so much a complaint as something to be aware of because despite that, every inch of every component is extremely well cast, and if that comes at a cost of a bit of hacking and filing then I’ll live. Where I do have a bit of a grumble is that because the flash is so large and thick it’s a pain to get completely smooth and you may find, unless you have either (A) the patience of a saint or (B) really good hobby files, that you’ll be doing a bit of greenstuffing around the joins. That said this is not a gaming piece so that fact that it takes a little while to clean and prepare is not big deal, especially as you’ll want to take your time painting it. The other grumble is that it needs a base. Nothing fancy just something to mount it on because, as it’s sculpted mid stride, it’s not going to be the most stable of display pieces. And it’s £60.

But, that aside, it is beautifully detailed. The fabric hangs so naturally, even the thigh pouches on the fatigues and the bootlaces. The boots themselves look well broken in and used – even without paint which I think is quite something – and they have stitching all over them. Including along the sole edges. Which is mental. The arms even have that massive vein that only really buff people get. As one would expect from a display piece: all the little details are there like a patterned belt buckle, stitching on the trousers and even on the back of the boots.

The Ork head is also excellent. I mean really excellent. It’s not just the angular features, the leathery skin texture or the grisly detail at its severed neck – although they are awesome – it’s the detailing on the teeth, the fact that one has pierced its slack tongue, no doubt at the point of death and the fact that it has a slightly sad expression on its face. But more than that an all the other details, it’s the finished article that is the most striking as for all the brilliance of each part its the coming together of it all that gives such an organic feel. It’s a sculpture rather than a model. It all just feels, once built, all so effortless and natural. Putting the whole ‘Sci-fi soldier lopping the head of an Ork’ to one side. I also like how he kinda looks like G’Kar from Babylon 5. But I suspect that’s accidental.

The Mean One is a fantastic model. Almost intimidatingly so. It fits well into almost every Sci-fi soldier archetype so it’s accessible to all and it has also been well designed so joins have as much surface area as possible for gluing. As a launch piece of Ichiban Studio it’s exceptional and certainly impresses. If anyone is on the fence about supporting Ichiban Studio in their efforts, based on what I’ve seen you’d be a fool not to donate something, even if you don’t have a spare hundred dollars.

The juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.

You can donate to Ichiban Studio’s Indiegogo campaign here.

Ichiban Studio Launches Indiegogo Campaign

That’s right ladies and #warmongers, Ichiban Studio has taken the leap into producing wargaming crack, God love em, and has launched an Indiegogo campaign.

Firm friend of The Shell Case and all round top #warmonger Hugo has done a video explaining the method behind his brand of madness which you can view below.

And here’s some info from their page:

Yes yet another indigogo/kickstarter campaing for Wargaming related miniatures and accessories, but unlike many other we aren’t a big lucrative company trying to piggy back on crowed funding just because its cool or because it “free money with no interests. No! We are a real start-up company trying to make it in this world. You must ask your self if you don’t know us already who are those crazy guys? Well let me introduce our selves to you! 

Ichiban studio is a collaboration between Hugo Matte and Dennis Zarnowski.

  • Hugo Matte is an accomplished painter and also youtuber, he won 2 golden demons and also many other famous painting contest. He holds a pretty impressive rating on coolminiornot
  • Dennis Zarnowski is the talented sculpter behinds all the wonderful miniature and accessories we will offer. He’s also holding a very impressive rating on coolminiornot.

Now let’s talk about the real things! Yes why are we using a crowd funding website. The reality of it is pretty easy. Although Hugo and Dennis are working hard developing new products amid the ones that we already have, doing this isn’t first an easy thing and also producing a decent amount of them for you to enjoy is a real challenge.  So we are resorting on crow funding to help us launch the line. Think of this campaign as a pre launch with cool discounts!

  • First with the funds we will collect here we will buy resin! A lot of it to be able to produce the cool minis that you see in the perk section and also for the future models that are in the concept phase.
  • Other things we will acquire with the funds from this campaign are hopefully a 3D printer and also a die cut cutter which will allow use to design more cool products and accessories for wargaming.
  • Last is pretty easy Me and Dennis have to eat 🙂 

If you count yourself amongst the #warmongers and you like what you see then give what you can. You know it’ll be money well spent. And if it wasn’t enough to support an effort set-up by members of our own community, just look at some to the perks on offer…


The Storm Falcon

Followers on Twitter and regular readers will know that I had the very great pleasure of writing the rules for a conversion that Hugo over at Ichiban Painting was putting together for Games Day Japan.

The original concept was a Storm Eagle MkII but having had a Facetime conversation with Hugo and seeing the work in progress I realised it was so much more than that and deserved it’s very own classification. And so the Storm Falcon was born.

Hugo has worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to convert and paint a truly awesome looking model. And it paid of as he won Best 40k vehicle which is simply an incredible achievement.

So, for your pleasure I not only have a lovely snap of the best painted 40k vehicle in Japan, if not the world, but the rules which went some tiny way towards winning it. At the very bottom is a link to download the PDF version so, should the mood take you, you can build a Storm Falcon and use the rules.


Update on Project Storm Falcon

Hugo over at Ichiban Painting has put up the final update on the Storm Eagle conversion, dubbed the Storm Falcon, he’s working on for Games Day Japan. It’s probably about 85-90% done now so there won’t be another update before the big day.

I was lucky enough to be asked to write the rules for the conversion so Hugo has promised me a couple of photos when it’s all finished to go up alongside the rules, which I’ll also add to the gaming resources part of the site as a PDF so, should the mood take you, you can use it in your games of 40k.