Sunday, 30 June 2013

Stark shields - one part moulding continues...

As you may have seen in my previous post,  the shields I'd ordered for my Stark troops turned up, so it's moulding time again:

Instant mould and boiling water leads to the usual unappealing looking Turkish Delight:

Which trims down to a much more appealing looking stamp:

Unlike previous attempts, with this mould I was able to transfer the greenstuff wolf head directly onto the recipient shield:

I think my previous attempts failed as I was trying to transfer detail that was too thin, but this wolf head is oldschool gw - nice and thick! Plonk the filled mould straight onto the shield, pop out the greenstuff, and then a quick clean up round the edges with a sharp knife and pow, the shield is ready to go. Multiple shields are ready to go, in fact:

Well, that was last night. Today was an unusually sunny day, and as my mother told me so often during my youth, you should go outside and get some fresh air - so I did:

Alas, some of the neighbours were enjoying the pleasant weather more traditionally, with thumping drum n bass, but I had Les Trucs to try and cancel out the noise... Much (much) filing of integral bases later (oh how I hate integral bases), a retreat indoors for dinner and some cutting and glueing later, and we have the beginnings of my House Stark warband:

Fireforge Men-at-Arms bodies with converted Gripping Beast Viking arms (my favourite being on the leftmost spearman, carefully removed from the body it was originally attached to to get the pose I wanted) and a mix of Fireforge and GB heads. The bowmen were already done (Fireforge bodies with Perry arms and accesories), I only actually got four miniatures built. Not a load, but it's a start - I'll probably add another chap with a sword and one with a spear, as well as a couple of guys with two-handed weapons, and maybe a knight or two (even though in the North they don't really have knights, but you know what I mean). Then I should probably start working out some stats and points values for these guys, before adding an Eddard Stark miniature so I can game the Ned/Jaime showdown:

I know, it was added for the TV series, but it's cool and easily gameable at skirmish level, what's not to love? As previously alluded to, I already have a miniature lined up for a Jaime conversion, and it turns out I forgot to add to the tally the miniature that arrived to be the basis for my Ned:

Oh Sean Bean, how handy it is that there's a readily available tiny metal version of your face. Alas, [spoilers] this conversion won't get much use [/spoilers], but still. Also pictured is a Rohan chap that was cheap from the same seller, that may or may not end up as the basis of a Robb conversion.

Actually remembering to include these two brings the tally to:

19 vs 382 = -363

Friday, 28 June 2013

I didn't think they existed anymore...

...but finding myself in Rochester with my beloved to meet our wedding photographer for a coffee, we found an honest to god bricks and mortar FLGS:

Rochester Games & Models! I'm still sad that I don't have a FLGS since Westgate Games went away, so I had to go in and investigate, and I'm happy that I did. Unfortunately we only had about quarter of an hour before we had to leave, so I didn't get to spend as much time as I'd have liked riffling through the racks of minis:  

I mean, they had everything from Ral Partha to Foundry and a ton in between! Alas, I didn't have time to buy any single miniatures (probably for the best, as I almost bought a copy of AFMBE on my way out, and in my state of hobby shop nostalgia could have walked away with a truckload more), but did pick up some boxes from fire forge that I'd been planning on ordering online, as well as a Perry medieval cottage (I'll update the tally when I'm not sat on a train back to Canterbury posting from my phone). 

Although ordering online would have saved me some money, I was more than happy to pay full retail to support a family business. Plus, it took the online retailer I was going to order from two weeks to get back to me with an answer to my stock question, the lady in the shop took seconds ;) 

Long story short, we're probably going to be coming back to Rochester in the future to investigate a bit more, and when we do I'll be setting aside some time to have a proper rummage...

[edit, now we're home:] as well as my unexpected purchase in Rochester, I've had a couple of other bits turn up:

Starting top left and working clockwise, we have:

  • A plastic mounted Norman-looking type and some sort of spear-wielding chap on foot, surprise minis for my ASOIAF project in exchange for sending a nice chap over on the LAF a sprue of WF zombies 
  • a half dozen LOTR minis, for Stark character conversions - for example, Theoden will likely be the basis of a Blackfish conversion (scale armour teehee),and Eowyn is an especially nice mini of a female in practical armour. The chap I bought these from sent me the wrong Legolas, but has very kindly offered to send the correct one (for a 'Theon: the early days' conversion) FOC, which is nice. 
  • you can barely see them, but a bunch of hoplite shields for my planned Stark shield conversions and a Hasslefree 'Markus', to use as the basis of a conversion inspired by the limited edition Gale Force 9 illithid warrior - there was a bit of a saga with these, as my order email apparently went awry, but Dameon at Artemis Black's got it all straightened out and I have them now!
Which leaves the tally at: 19 vs 380 = -361 (I'm not counting the cottage as a miniature, so ner)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Lunchtime productivity

I've set myself up a little temporary paint station at work so I can get some painting done on my lunch break:

Word to the wise though - if you followed my instructions to make your own ghetto wet palette, you need to transport it very carefully as it's not actually watertight...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How long until this gets shut down?

(pic is a screen-cap from an online ad)

Considering there doesn't seem to be the usual Games Workshop copyright slapped all over this game (or even anywhere this game), it seems a lot like they're using a Space Marine to advertise it...

Sweepstake on how efficient GW drop pod lawyers are?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Experiments in one part moulding: the end, I guess...

So, some careful cutting and filing later, and we have a cutesy little lion that we can glue onto a modified shield donated by some Roman chaps:

Not just one, a whole bunch:

 For some I used green stuff, others a mix of green stuff and milliput. I think the green stuff casts feel like they've captured the detail better initially, but feel a little softer as I was handling them during clean-up, whereas the ones made using the milliput mix are rock hard and unlikely to deform, but lack the flexibility of their green stuff counterparts... Either way, I'm using a mix of both, as I'm trying to be less fussy. Less fussy, in that I discarded the rest of the casts of my converted Lannister guard helmet, as they all either broke or had imperfections that it was more work than it was worth to fix whilst cleaning them up, leading to making a couple of new moulds to cast some fresh ones, in green stuff this time:

Yes, my beloved finally gets to sit down at her sewing machine and I stick a bunch of tiny heads on sticks under her light, that's perfectly acceptable behaviour isn't it?

Quick, here's a pic of the bodies awaiting their new heads and shields to distract you from dwelling on my ungentlemanly behaviour:

Although the finecast hornblower needs a whole bunch of fixin' (not to mention a new weapon, as his flimsy original one didn't survive the journey to me...)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Experiments in one part moulding part 2.5

As the green stuff designs still felt a little soft last night, I thought I'd have a crack at some using a mix of milliput and green stuff:

Organised chaos, that's how I'd describe my cutting mat...

These ones seem to have dried a little harder, so we'll see how they take filing...

Monday, 10 June 2013

Experiments in one part moulding part two...

So, the previous mould ended up like this:

So, having sought advice from the collected wisdom of the chaps over on the LAF, I tried again. The suggestion seemed to be that Blu-Stuff wasn't the way to go, and the liquid green stuff wasn't ideal either. So, scratch everything I'd previously done! After a bit of a search, I managed to dig out my instant mould and green stuff (it had been tidied away after my young lady had requested that there be a flat surface available somewhere) and set to making a new mould:

Preparing my instant mould the usual way, results in a mould that looks a little like the world's most unappealing Turkish Delight:

However, it looks a lot better on the other side:

But then again, so did my Blu-Stuff moulds... Lubricating the mould with vaseline, I mixed up a small batch of green stuff and had at it - the green stuff is a bit old, and a bit tough, but nevertheless I'd soon churned out these:

A little thicker than I'd hoped, but still not a bad result for a few minutes work! Overall, it seems like using proper green stuff rather than the liquid variety has made all the difference, as I can churn out a few in very little time at all. Fingers crossed I can trim these down once they're dry and glue them onto the receiving shields, but that's a job for another day... In the mean time, I might have a go at doing a thinner scraping of green stuff, and trying to stick it straight onto the receiving shield while still wet...

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Experiments in one part moulding...

So, having finished a handful of Lannisters, I thought it prudent to knock together some Starks for them to brutally hamstring. After putting together a couple of archers, I started thinking about some sword and spearmen. Now, I quite like the style of the shields used by Stark troops in the TV series: 

and thought they'd make a good jumping off point. I found an old GW shield with a wolf's head, and cleaned off a viking shield to attempt to transfer it to:

(the hole is because I thought the easiest way to clean the boss off was to just drill out the whole thing and reconstruct it later). I stuck the donor shield to a square of plasticard ready to make a one-part mould:

And then... had second thoughts about using the viking style shield, and ordered some hoplite shields to try out instead.

Somewhat disheartened, I turned back to the rightful heirs to the Iron Throne - the Lannisters! With a bit of fiddling, I managed to convert a pair of spear-holding arms to be wielding a pike:

But then, rather than actually going on to integrate this part into an actual miniature, due to my tiny attention span sound tactical thinking, I decided I should probably finish up some straightforward hand weapon and shield warriors. I got as far as sticking a head onto a body:

rather than doing some detail work tidying up the join, I focused on working on carving away what remained of the miniature's original shield. Much cutting and filing later, it was time to make a new shield - aha, this post has come full circle! Again, I turned to the TV series for inspiration:

I like the image of the oval shield for Lannister House Guard, although non-House Guard troops will probably get more traditionally medieval looking shields. So, in order to get this effect, I needed an oval shield (from some plastic Romans, cheers John!) and a lion - I dug out a Bretonnian shield from my bits box, and we're back on the path to making moulds!

Huzzah, Blu-Stuff!

Which made a mould:

Which was trimmed down for ease of handling (both in terms of width, so that I could line it up to the receiving shield, and depth, so that the detail part of the mould would actually touch the receiving shield!):

And then filled with liquid green stuff:

Now, despite how straightforwards and working things have appeared thus far (due to the magic of post-production), this is where the wheels started to fall off... This one wouldn't turn out, so (despite the claims that nothing sticks to Blu Stuff) I tried again with some vaseline as a mould release agent, but still no dice. As the detail was fairly shallow, I tried a thicker layer of green stuff, reasoning that if I could actually get it to transfer onto the shield I could then cut it down and tidy it up...

However that plan relied on it turning out...

I thought maybe thinning the mould would make it a little more flexible (as Blu Stuff makes firmly fair moulds, not the flexible rubbery type I had envisioned when I originally ordered it)

But that didn't work wither. Somewhat frustrated, I turned to Google to see if there was a readily available ready-made lion shield that I could use... and was reminded of a lion shield (with deeper detail!) in the Advanced Heroquest set. Much dragging out of boxes later, and I have one in hand:

Cue more making of moulds (note the filled mould in the background - I thought I'd try letting a filled mould set before trying to transfer it)

(spoilers - the detail was still still too thin to be of any use)

[Brief diversion] - while all this was going on, my wife to be got silver ink on my copy of the LOTR SBG rulebook that she was using to lean on, and trying to wipe it off only made things worse:

To cut a long story short, the new mould was then trimmed, thinned, greased, filled, clamped to the receiving shield and left overnight to set. 24 hours later, I expectantly open the clamp, to find:

Sadness abounds.

Aidez-moi wise internet personalities, where am I going wrong?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A brief diversion

So yeah, I quickly knocked up this figure so that I could take part in the LAF Ancients Painting Club:

Red-faced hero of Shu Guan Yu.

Painted using these images for reference:

Alas, this means that I've now completed a grand total of 1 miniature for the Three Kingdoms project (curse you 24 half-painted chinese peasants!) but does bring the tally to:

19 vs 341 = -322

I got a bit impatient whilst painting Guan Yu though, and had to turn to alternate methods to speed up the undercoat drying:

In other news, I've finally caught up on Doctor Who, and ended up finding my secret stash of Doctor Who toys whilst cleaning out a storage box:

So it's entirely possible that I may end up painting something Whovian between Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire miniatures...