Friday, 24 March 2017

The aforementioned scum and villainy...

As was the plan, now I've finished the pieces of terrain that I had on the go I've painted some miniatures!




The generic Star Wars thugs that I converted a while back. Once I got into the swing of it, finishing them off was a breeze! I think there's something about painting a batch of non-uniformed figures that I enjoy, making colour choices on the fly, daubing paint wily-nilly as the fancy takes me...


I painted them in a spread of colours and materials - the second guy from the left is painted like he is wrapped in a scavenged tarpaulin, for example, and the armour on the second and fifth chap is painted to look like it's scavenged from Stormtroopers.


In hindsight, it seems like I've subconsciously painted the leader like Kal Jerico. Because he is awesome.

As ever, fun was had with weathering, in this case on the two guys wearing long coats. I think it came out better on the leader, it didn't seem to show up as well on the lighter coat...


The Tally has however moved in both directions this week - as well as finishing these 5 chaps, my DM was getting rid of a box of assorted Orks, so I had a pick through and grabbed some Gretchen and a couple of chunky bodies for the bitz box should I get round to converting some Scavvies for Necromunda/inq28:




Tally:

6 vs -10 = +16


2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

So, plans for the immediate future include trying to smash through some more miniatures from the queue to knock off the second and third items on the challenge list before getting distracted and starting something new allowing myself to start something new (mmm box of Star Wars miniatures I'm looking at you). Timing might be an issue with that though, as if I don't make some headway rapidly we'll be at May 4th before I know it. I mean, I have a couple of Star Wars miniatures in the queue that I could paint for May the Fourth, but none that I want to. I mean, plus the fact that Salute is only a month away already..

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Fallout Scavenger Camp

As previously mentioned, the third bit of terrain was pretty quick to paint - in fact, writing this blog post has taken longer than finishing the painting, as apparently the Blogger app that I have up until now used for my posts is kaput, and there doesn't seem to be an equivalent available on the app store (so I'm currently borrowing the wife's laptop to type this out on an actual keyboard like some sort of caveman).

Unusual amounts of planning went into this terrain piece:


By which I mean I had a vague idea, shamelessly ripped off from a vague recollection of a similar piece I'd seen over on the LAF that did the same thing, and scribbled an outline onto my base.

Then it was just a case of scavenging suitable pieces from the various stashes, which took way longer than it really should have - I should never move anything, because it always seems that I can remember where something used to be rather than where it is...


Like these tiny chairs, for example (from Frontline wargames, irc, bought waaaaay back when, when we used to have a FLGS in Canterbury) which for the longest time were in a Star Wars shoe box, and took me an entire evening to find (as apparently I'd had a bit of a rearrange when we moved).

One metal chair, some bits of sprue, a little filler, a chunk of cork, a plaster crate (bought on eBay long, long ago, as part of a lot of 'battle damaged crates and barrels' that when they came turned out to just be someone's bubble ridden miscasts in some ridiculously soft plaster, and I've held on to ever since waiting for the right opportunity to use them) and a plastic barrel that came with a Batmobile later we have this:


The basis of one of those Scavenger camps that you often stumble across in Fallout!

I also added a holdall from a 1:48 Tamiya tank accessories sprue that looked like the ones you find in the game, before applying bird sand - this was done at around the same time as the previous terrain piece, hence still having the annoying larger flecks that I plan to sieve out before future uses:


I also added a jerry can from the same Tamiya sprue, before adding a burnt out campfire with cut down pieces of matchstick.


These were initially just glued down with PVA, but I later went back and doused them with thin superglue to set them rock hard. I painted over the campfire area with some textured paint to give a surface that would look burnt with some careful drybrushing.

And then, painting:




I showed one of the guys at work that I know is a Fallout fan the pictures of the finished piece and the first thing he said was 'shouldn't that can be red'? I know, I was thinking that as I was playing Fallout 4 between paint applications (as I found some in-game, which reminded me that they were all red in the game) but at that point I'd already basecoated them blue because I fancied painting them blue, truth be told. I can always make some scatter terrain later with some broken crates and a couple of red cans if need be!

Cue the standard posed shot:




2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

Right, time to clear the desk off and get back to painting some miniatures I think!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Storage shack - the Challenge distraction continues...

Like most wargamers, I have a habit of finding treasure in trash, literally - I have a box of interestingly shaped packaging; rolls of corrugated cardboard; even a sack of chunks of polystyrene secreted in the loft in case of terrain building inspiration. It's gotten to the point where my wife uses it against me - I came home one day and found that my wife had eaten a pack of delicious macarons without saving me any; her response: 'I saved you the packaging they came in!' - and admittedly, that packaging is currently sat downstairs on my desk as it looks like it would make some nice free standing motor or engine type scenery once decorated with suitable gubbins so I think her distraction tactic might have worked...

Inspiration struck once more when my daughter ate a tiny sandwich, leaving me this interestingly shaped piece of plastic:


Having been playing a lot of Fallout 4 recently, it struck me that it would make a nice storage shed of some kind, suitably weathered. So, off came the lid, and I drew on a rough outline for where I'd build a door:


Having previously had issues with the structural integrity of scenery made from hollow plastic, I thought I'd give papier mache a try this time:


In the next picture you can also see the door that I made from scrap card and aparrently forgot to take any more pictures of. I cut out the marked frame, and stuck my door behind it so that it would look slightly inset, giving the illusion of depth.


I also cut a sheet of corrugated card to cover the flat area on the side of the sandwich packaging that looked a little incongruous. Then, it was just a case of gluing and clamping the piece to a prepared base:


In hindsight, I'm not sure if the papier mache was fully dry when I got to this point, but hey, it's too late to go back and fix now...
I also made a door frame out of cut down matchsticks:


Learning from previous experience, I remembered not to skip this step - blending the edges of the piece into the base with filler. I left a path to the door mostly clear, and blended in the lower corners of the door, so that it would look like an area trampled down by repeated use.


As those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen, I picked up a variety of supplies (at a pound a piece, no less) to experiment with for terrain making:


Rather than using my expensive modelling sand, I'm using bird sand from the Pets section of Wilkos. It looks great, but has some larger shell-like shards that I'm not a fan of, but unfortunately fit straight through the mesh of my kitchen sieve - May be more of a winner if I can find a finer mesh...


Then comes a large passage of time between pictures. We closed down a bookshop at work, which was a busy week but left me with this inspirational image should I ever get round to building some rubble piles:


And then apparently I was really bad at taking WIP pictures, and so here it is fully painted:


The Pound Land silver spray that I used came out much more matte than I had expected, and almost seemed to repel paint, so lots of washes and scrubbing on scrappy weathering ensued:


(despite what it looks like in the oddly-angled above image, the streak does actually look like it's following a path set by gravity in real life!)


Hmm, reviewing this image makes me think maybe I could have gone further with the rust effects, it looks a lot oranger in real life...


And of course, a posed shot with my trusty shotgun wielding Vault dweller!

And for those of you wondering about the viability of using Wilkos tester pots for painting terrain rather than expensive model paints, well it didn't go very well. The paint consistency was weird (after the first coat, it seemed to have slipped off of the top of the sand somewhat) and really didn't drybrush well. In the end, I gave it a final drybrush with Tyrant Skull, and chalked it up to a learning experience:


Which adds another tick to the Challenge list:

2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x2 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

You might notice that I've also added a couple of challenges (about completing old miniatures) mostly because the Timehop app keeps reminding me just how long it has been since I started various miniatures that I still haven't painted!

On the Challenges front, I'm determined to finish the third piece of terrain previously alluded to (that I also realise you can see in the background of some of these pictures) so that I can clear my desk off before moving onto other Challenges - it's fairly small, so hopefully it shouldn't take too long! Then, I'm going to try and crack out the '15 miniature from the queue' challenge, but it's going to be difficult given how many ideas I've had for various projects recently!

There has also been movement on the Tally front (inevitably, it might seem, given the length of time between blog posts), but not in the direction you might assume - Uncle Johnny mentioned that he wished he had some of the old, hunch-backed Chaos Warriors, as he felt like the newer style ones wouldn't fit in with the rest of his Chaos miniatures, and, having a rummage, it turned out I had 30 of them! So, off they went to their new home, in the vain hopes that they'll see the field of battle again (although John and I have managed one solitary game of Warhammer in the last decade, and both now have more children and less free time between us than we did back then, but I live in hope...)


Tally:
1 vs -16 = +15

In other news, I decided that I was going to sit down and crack on with working on the Star Wars/LOTOW adaptation that I was working on, as I think given how great Rogue One was this might be the year that I actually finish some Star Wars miniatures; I spent an evening trying to reverse engineer how I'd come up with the points total for a Stormtrooper in my existing notes, wrote a list of things I had miniatures for that I'd need to stat up, and then it was bedtime. The next night I got distracted and seem to have sketched out the basics of a ruleset for gaming Fallout, although I currently have a couple of options for dice mechanics that will need playtesting...

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Terrain tanks

As tends to happen in the New Year, I thought I'd turn over a new leaf, tidy off my workspace and make a fresh start:


Pow! Space for projects! I was due to inherit my wife's old cutting mat when I got around to clearing my desk off, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether when we moved...

Having finished the first painted miniature of the year, I thought I'd celebrate my new found desk space by using it all to make some terrain using some of the interestingly shaped pieces of party food packaging I'd being furtively stashing over the festive period:


This excitingly shaped piece of vacuum-formed plastic originally housed a number of individual portions of lobster mac and cheese (also highly recommended), so I gave it a wash, trimmed the edges off, and then cut it a base from the 2mm ply that I found a few months back, bevelling the edges with a Stanley knife as is the convention:


I filled the hollow recess with scrunched up newspaper, figuring that I could douse it with diluted PVA to make a papier mache esque filling to give it a little additional support:


Here it is again, with additional glue:


And then, all of the clamps:


If anything, I could do with more clamps; however after a day of drying, I came back and applied some more glue and re-clamped any bits of the plastic packaging that weren't glued down properly.


I also applied glue and sand to the interior voids on the piece, with the intention that the finished piece would look like a number of submerged tanks jutting out of the ground.


I also dug out this little bit, that I thought would fit nicely with a Star Wars / Fallout vibe for the piece:


I'm not sure who made it, I think it came as part of a job lot with some Future Wars figures and some robots with 'Denizen' on the bottom of their integral bases...

It was at this point that, overeager and enthused with the progree that I had made thus far, I skipped a step. Rather than smoothing out any rough edges and better blending the plastic base into the wooden one with filler, I jumped straight into sanding the base (what can I say, I had the glue out already and got carried away...)


Obvious in hindsight, but not too bad it turns out - I was able to go back over any rough spots the day after with more glue and sand to break up the outline of the plasic base where it was still visible. Not as perfect a finish as smoothing the groundwork out with filler, but better than having to scrape all of the basing material off and start again!

Next came some detailing work to make it look less like featureless plastic - I had a couple of ideas for this (one of which involved prying the interior piece out of a number of Heroclix bases to make 'lids') but after a quick straw poll over on Instagram I went with this:


I think it's some sort of mesh tape used to plaster over - whatever it might be, I found it in a pile of rubbish at work so the price was right!


Yes, I did spend an entire evening carefully trimming pieces into shape with some fancy Champneys nail scissors..


A little bit of diamond tread patter plasticard from my stash adds a little detail to the remaining flat space, making an observation platform:


Apparently I then missed a few steps (and weeks) taking pictures, but I went on to paint it. Painting was a little bit fraught, as for the first part, I didn't feel like I was making much headway and started to feel a bit less motivated to finish it, coupled with dropping the piece, which due to its thin plastic nature shed paint like no ones business (which explains the level of battle damage in the finished piece I added to hide it!).
Lots and lots of metal bars to pick out do not make for a satisfying painting experience, although sponge weathering is always quite pleasing! Once the dirty wash went on though, it started coming together in my eyes:


After finishing the basing, I wasn't sure whether to call it done, or go and add some additional paintwork. I decided to leave it a day or two (which turned into a week, and involved me getting distracted and starting another project, which I then got distracted from and started a third piece, but hopefully they will have posts of their own soon enough) before coming back to it with fresh eyes. When I did, I went back and added some extra dirty wash to a few places where it had dried a little thinner than unwanted, and then went over the whole piece adding streaks and splashes of Typhus Corrosion and then called it done:


(You might notice that this post has been so long in the making that I've actually now inherited the cutting mat mentioned at the start of the post!)

Here's a close-up win a Fallout miniature for scale:


And a couple of close-ups of some of the Typhus Corrosion streaks:




Pow, challenge complete! It should work as a water or fuel tank site for anything from Fallout to Star Wars, or even for modern zombie games with a few fences around it maybe!

2017 Challenges:
  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (0/15)
  • Finish a piece of terrain x1 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

And as a little teaser, here's a deliberately obfuscated sneak peek image of the distraction project and the distraction distraction project mentioned earlier in their earliest stages:



Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Kickstarter came!

The Kickstarter I backed came!



Northern Mercenaries from Westfalia Miniatures! The main release was three groups of four miniatures, which I backed all of, as each group had a miniature or two that I just couldn't resist!


Oh, the Paladin that started off the whole shebang on the bottom left - she'll make a lovely northern lass for the ASOIAF project, maybe a rough and tumble Mormont Lady... The flagbearer should be god fun to paint too!


Left to right, top to bottom we have: Dynamic mega Cleric! Incredible weather-beaten future wildling princess! Cheesecake Wizard and Apprentice for Frostgrave!


The ridiculously dynamic thief aand wildling girl sheltering from the icy wind were the two miniatures that made this set an essential purchase...


I also added this sweet bard as an add-on. Normally I wouldn't be overly fussed about a bard (because I already have one for the oft-overlooked Classes Project) but just look at her! That pose! That hat!


There was also this cool little pack mule yeti, that I have very little practical use for but also can't wait to paint. As you can see, the resin miniatures are fairly flashy, but the majority of it comes away leaving no trace of it with the application of a fingernail, so the rest should clean up beautifully once I dig out the tools!

Alas, they didn't come before the new year, so they hit the Tally now:

1 vs 14 = -13

well, we had a good run. Three and a half weeks before we hit the red.