Monday, 19 September 2016

The Postman comes bearing goodies...

The postman comes bearing goodies:

I took advantage of the Northstar Figures sale to grab a discounted Mars Attacks Scenery Upgrade Pack, which is essentially some sprues of ruined building bits to add to other buildings, or can be used to make some Fallout-esque ruins:

Everything comes handily removed from the sprues, and should be useful for making quite a few bases of ruins! The holes where the connectors clip on will need filling, but I saw an article online that suggested making a green stuff stamp to print the brick design onto the gaps...

In other acquisition news, the builders at work sorted me out with a bag of sawdust so that I can have a crack at making my own flock as per the instructions on Luke's APS YouTube channel:

I don't think they had any actual wood that needed sawing, as everything at this point of the build seems to be MDF, so I suspect that the foreman might have just gone and chopped up a random plank to make me some!

In other news, I've started a seperate account on instagram for miniature stuff: so if you use that, follow me for more regular pictures than posts here (as I tend to mostly only post completed things or WIPs that are several stages in) and so I can see what you're doing!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Talz copilot

Having rediscovered the time sink iPad app Star Wars Uprising, I found myself inspired by one of its loading screens:

Sure, they've just made Chewbacca into the abominable snowman and made Han a gender swapped Twi'lek, but I think it's pretty cool! I like the idea of a Talz NPC or PC if I were to run the RPG, or worst case scenario he can make up the numbers in a Fringer band when I get round to finishing enough miniature to be able to run a tabletop game...

So, after a quick rummage through my supplies (making sure I still had another spare for when I get round to making a Foul Moudama conversion) I dug out an old Talz spy miniature, and set about separating him from his base, as well as popping off the arm that was on a plug for ease of access to his body:

Whilst I wasn't looking to make an exact copy of the character in the picture, I wanted to take several cues from it (mostly the belts and bags) and so set about marking out with a pen where I wanted belts:

I considered green-stuffing belts on, but thought that it might look a bit scrappy as my green stuff skills are fairly rudimentary, and it would look a bit like the belts were laid on top of his fur rather than he was actually wearing them - so I decided to cut in the belts, figuring that if I didn't like how deep the cut went I could always paint some liquid green stuff into the groove to bulk it back out:

Brief side note: despite having spent so much time getting my work desk sorted out, I'm doing this in the living room, as my wife wanted me to watch the Great British Bake Off with her in exchange for watching The Thing with me (because nothing says Happy Anniversary like old school body horror):

[edit - it's a week later as I'm editing this and we still haven't watched The Thing]

Surveying the cuts, I think they will look fine without green stuff, so I set about scavenging some pouches. A modern Space Marine sprue provided a set of three for his chest harness, and a freebie Journeyman Bot Handler sprue from Maelstrom's Edge from Spiral Arm Studios that I got at Salute provided another pouch to go on his leg.

Looking at the figure thus far, I thought he could do with a bigger gun than the somewhat scrawny pistol that the figure originally had; so I turned to the freebie sprue again:

A little trim here, a blob of gel glue there and here we have a completed conversion:

That's a 30mm base he's on, if I recall correctly, to give an impression of what size he is...

I ummed and ahhed for a while over whether to replace the doodad in his left hand (as there was an interesting looking technical aerial... thing on the freebie sprue) but decided to leave it as it is, figuring that it looks enough like a hydrospanner to leave. 

A few days later (well, just shy of two weeks from initial conception to finished miniature) and he's done:

(Pictures were taken with a daylight lamp balanced over my shoulder last night, so are a little better than the usual subterranean nighttime shots, if only by a little)

And the back! The straps turned out... passable, I think. A LOT of tidying up around the edges was needed after I dropped some colour into the grooves...

Pow, baggage and his new gun!

I especially enjoyed weathering the baggage, adding little dings and nicks in a variety of lighter shades, trying to make them look beaten up and lived in!

Another miniature painted takes the Tally to:

24 vs 333 = -399

What to paint next though? I've got the Star Wars thugs previously showcased undercoated on my desk, as well as some Lannisters for the A Song of Ice and Fire project; an undercoated obscure Batman character and a moderately obscure Batman villain that's had some red base coats and little else, or maybe something else entirely?

In other news, Blogger informs me that this was my 250th post - blimey!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Luke's APS

Luke over at Luke's Affordable Painting Service is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 2000 subscribers, and I'd like to win some Amera terrain, so I'm posting here! Japery aside, if you're a wargamer and aren't already following Luke's series of videos, they're well worth a look - as well as being informative, I enjoy their conversational style, not to mention the fact that Luke's aim seems to be saving everyone a few quid! Plus, he's started investing in the channel, so the production values have gone up - one of the things that turns me off of a video quickest is poor sound quality!

Here's a link to the video where he announces the prize draw:

But do have a dig through his back catalogue of videos - I want to give making my own flock a try when I can get my hands on some sawdust!

Also, White Dwarf has supposedly changed format to be more like the old style (back when I used to actually get it - my wife used to get me a subscription for Christmas every year, until it turned into Visions) and has a free figure on the front that would normally have an RRP of around £18, so of course I picked up a copy:

Which takes the Tally to:

23 vs 334 = -311

My first thought was to use it for an Inq28 conversion (by which I mean chucking it in my bits box for several months whilst looking enviously at all the talented bloggers making things with theirs) but whilst writing this post I suddenly got the urge to roll up a Khornate Path to Glory warband for him to lead... I've not had a chance to actually read the magazine yet, so who knows, maybe I'll be persuaded to rush out and buy a copy of their new Gorechosen game or suddenly be converted to like Age of Sigmar...

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Painting minis gunmetal - painting minis gunmetal never changes...

So, here's the other miniature that I finished the night I turned thirty that was alluded to in a previous post:

A power armoured chap from Brother Vinni - despite the reference-heavy title of this post, you would not believe how many layers went into the metal on this armour! My usual basecoat, wash, two drybrush highlights method looked a little flat and boring, so I went over it with various targeted washes to grub it up a little, follwed by a newer silver highlight, before scrubbing Mithril Silver and Tin Bitz over it to make it look well-used and worn!

And here's the back - I'm quite pleased with how the weathering came out on the laser rifle, as usually I struggle to get it to look natural...

Completing this miniature doubles the Fallout projects current total - the intention with that project is to eventually complete a couple of 'hero' type mininatures, and a variety of enemy groups, so as to be able to run a small skirmish level exploration game, where players would search the wasteland for weapons and resources, potentially using a card based system for exploration - so when a player searched (in a building, or at a specified objective marker or some similar mechanic) they'd draw a card from a deck, which would either give them some reward, or spawn an enemy or group of enemies, or a neutral character like this power-armoured Brotherhood of Steel Paladin, who might join the player that revealed him's group, or attack them depending on their affiliation... Some playtesting might be required though to see if that system worked!


23 vs 333 = -310

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Short, sweet, and hey where's my wallet?

It's my birthday today, so last night I was banished to my sweet basement while my wife made me a cake, and I managed to finish a couple of miniatures that I'd been working on, the first of which I present to you here:

Ugh, for all that is good about my basement, there is a distinct lack of natural light that makes miniature photography horrible! Although admittedly it was half one in the morning when this picture was taken, so it's not like there was an abundance of natural light available... Imagine that the colours aren't so washed out though nevertheless!

As you may recall, this is the promo Halfling Thief from Westfalia Miniatures, purveyors of a line of absolutely fantastic miniatures that are a joy to paint, and hopefully soon providers of the bounty of the first Kickstarter project that I ever backed...

Level of detail on a miniature is a difficult thing to balance, and I think Westfalia Miniatures are one of the best at getting it right - I had great fun picking out details like his pinky ring, the brooch on his cloak and painting tiny griddle lines on the sausages hanging at his waist, but there weren't so many things that I got frustrated as can sometimes happen when you spend ages painting details on an overly busy miniature and don't feel like you're making any progress...

[Brief diversion with a shot of how I spent the last minutes of my twenties...]

And here's the back! The cloak isn't as washed out as this to the naked eye - and the patch actually looks purple!

This was my first time painting fire on a miniature, and after (despite?) watching several youtube videos with wildly conflicting advice I think it came out looking alright (and oddly seems to be the only part of the miniature that actually photographed well...)

Eh, it'sdaylight now, so here are some much better lit pictures:

Fun fact: in daylight, you notice that the tea based display board that you made a couple of years ago seems to have taken on a strange tinge, and looks like it might have started going mouldy (boo!) - it looks like I might need to strip it off completely and redo it...

Anyway, finishing this chap takes the Tally to:

22 vs 333 = -311

What, did I say that I finished a couple of miniatures at the start of the post? Well, you'll just have to watch this space...

Thursday, 18 August 2016

What chair is best?

Having managed to get my painting desk cleared, painting whilst kneeling at the desk wasn't cutting it, and the dining room chair that I dragged down to the basement, whilst admittedly a massive improvement on kneeling on the floor, wasn't quite the thing either...

So I spent some time having a browse online, thinking that what I really wanted was a high backed computer chair with armrests - ideally one that swivels, for ease of reaching things, and on wheels, so that when I get round to dragging a TV down and setting up the SNES, I can move from one area of the basement to another with the minimum of effort and fuss, and found one that looked ideal on the IKEA website.

So, with my annual bonus coming in from work soon, I thought I'd place a small order (maybe getting another small bookshelf so that I can display the box or so of rule books that still have as of yet to find a home)...

...But then walking home today, my wife pointed out this chair in the street with a sign in 15 seconds from our house, so I dragged it home and I think it's exactly what I was after:

A little banged up perhaps, but so far it has proven to not be stuffed with live rats (which was my initial worst case scenario concern) so we're golden!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Star Wars objectives WIP

For a while, I'd been thinking about making some objective markers or small pieces of scatter terrain for my Star Wars project, and so finding myself with a few minutes spare I had a dig through my supplies...

These round flat bases (from a box of Frostgrave soldiers iirc) I thought would be perfect for this - they're about the right size (being roughly the same size as the bases that I use on the rest of my Start Wars miniatures), but as they're flat, they won't look like the objective is on a little platform (looking more like a piece of scenery than a miniature per se)...

What objectives would the armed forces of the Star Wars universe be after? Probably some damaged droids containing secret plans or some such...

I also had 75% of a sand trooper knocking around:

(I think he was a casualty of my search for a rifle for my scout trooper sniper, and his head later went on to decorate Chewbacca's base)

I'd originally planned to scavenge his backpack to spice up a miniature, but playing around with it and one of the bases I decided to use it for this:

Maybe it's the body of a trooper on a top secret mission carrying dastardly secret Imperial plans, maybe you're just scavenging the body for supplies, either way, it's a stormtrooper's butt as an objective and that makes me laugh because I am a mature adult...

I thought four was probably a good number of objectives to aim for, and so had another dig and found another droid:

Then, out came the Instant Mould - you didn't think I was going to cut these long out of print bendies up did you?

(Side note- I currently have serious concerns that I might have burned my thumbprint off incautiously transporting a ramekin of boiling water)

They might look like chewed and squashed jelly tots at this point, but hopefully they're actually a useable mould...

It turns out my milliput isn't the freshest, so there are no pictures of the next step, as it was somewhat mucky...

And then the morning after:

3P0 might be useable with a bit of carefully applied battle damage, but the other two certainly aren't (although admittedly R2 came out better than this, but this picture is taken after me going 'hmm they still look soft I wonder oh dear' as I squished it) so back into the moulds they go for another try!

Some time after this last picture was taken, C3P0's head seems to have been interfered with (potentially by someone with tiny hands, but equally likely it could have been me) so this particular cast will need even more battle damage if I'm going to use it!

The next batch came out looking like this:

R2 might be useable with a lot of battle damage and targeted burying in sand, whereas the R5 has disintegrated and C3P0 looks like something from the Eva graveyard:

So I think it might be back to the drawing board for these in this form until inspiration strikes again - maybe only one destroyed droid, and acouple of differnet objectives - maybe a crate of credits, or some bacta, if I can think of a way to make them less visually boring than just a box!