Monday 24 August 2015

One man, and a crate of puppets...

Having finished my replay of Fallout 3 last night, I thought it high time I finished painting a Fallout themed conversion I'd had on the go for a couple of weeks:

Everyone read the Penny Arcade Fallout comics right? If not, google it (alas, as I'm posting on my phone I can't embed a link to in the text, boo to you app), I can wait.

Right, everyone back?

The majority of the conversion was based on an old Crooked Dice minion body, which I cut down the hand on (to fit inside the puppet), filed off some unwanted details like the pocket on the chest, and then pinned a pin head (liberated from the wife's sewing supplies) to the hand to act as a dolly for the green stuff work on the puppet.

Early one Sunday morning, I set about crudely green stuffing a Pipboy And the body of the puppet (cutting and flattening small squares of green stuff on my nail that were then smoothed into place using soft clay shapers). Detail on the Pipboy was added using a pin and a sharp knife to add the screen, nobs, vents etc.

Once that first application of green stuff had dried, I set about adding the arms (tiny sausages of green stuff that were an absolute pain to keep even and attached) and the hair of the puppet, which was literally liquid green stuff painted on with a brush, before a tiny blob of green stuff was added for the quiff, that was then blended in with more liquid green stuff. The head is from... a Westwind Saxon sprue I want to say?

I base coated him, and then promptly lost all motivation to paint for a week or so. 

Completion Fallout 3 though, I decided to polish off the last few bits and get him done! In hindsight, I should probably have also removed the clips on the front of his jumpsuit, but it's not so bad as to be a deal breaker I think. Plenty of dirt and gore really add to the look of the crazed wanderer, I think!

He even got some shaky freehand for the number of his vault (I had originally planned to use a waterslide transfer as a base for this, but couldn't seem to find a pair of sevens in the right size!)

He even has a tiny stick figure like spot on his Pipboy, for added nerdiness.

And thus, the first miniature for my Fsllout project completed! I see him as something like a rare result on an encounter table, that would wander out of the wastes and bludgeon players to death with his puppet!

Finishing him takes the Tally to:

24 vs 111 = -87

In other news today (well, technically yesterday I guess, as its one in the morning now) is my second wedding anniversary - here's to all the rest!

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Mysterious mysteries

Returning from a day at IKEA and Bluewater (mega sized shopping centre, I felt my daughter needed a Chewbacca doll bigger than she is) I saw something on the living room floor out of the corner of my eye. In my peripheral vision, it looked like the vine from some small tomatoes, but nudging it with my toe it was hard, and on closer inspection turned out to be the arm of the Chaos Space Marine Terminator Sorceror that's been sat undercoated on a board next to the sofa for a little while waiting for the painting muse to take hold. Further searching revealed a single leg attached to a base, but nothing else. No other models were missing from the board, and what followed is best described as CSI: warhammer, as my wife and I took apart the living room trying to find his body, creating and then tearing down various theories about what must have happened, like trying to calculate the angle it would have flown in had something fallen on it, which was discarded as there was nothing on the tray and no other models moved...

Eventually, after having taken apart and rearranged most things in the room, I decided to have a dog in the IKEA bag that we had yet to unpack (as I'd picked up a couple of packs of cork mats to see about building some miniature buildings) and I saw the Sorceror's body hanging from the bottom of the bag, his staff spiked into it.

I have no idea how he got there - potentially, Toy Story style he was making his escape across the carpet when we returned, only to have me put a large bag on top of him, breaking him in three... That or we have a ghost...

The one upside to this is that whilst fixing him I took the opportunity to fix the areas that the undercoat had originally missed!

Wednesday 12 August 2015

A winner is me!

My prize from the lovely Christopher from Dispatches from the Rim's birthday giveaway arrived this week - a set of Victorian firemen from Brigade Games. If you've never been over to Dispatches from the Rim (or even if you have) pop over and have a nose, rather than wasting your time with my infrequent updates!

Alas, little men are little men, regardless of whether they were a prize, so they take the Tally to:

23 vs 111 = -88

Sunday 9 August 2015

Fences and Gravestones...

This week has seen a couple of mini-projects finished! As well as the Chaos Wastes terrain in my previous post, I finished up a couple of other terrain pieces I'd been working on at the same time, and rather than spreading them out to two posts I'm going to pack it all into one!

Cast your mind back several months - picture the scene, it's just after Salute, and our intrepid narrator is all fired up to start playing the Batman Miniatures Game (having gotten very excited with a friend of a friend and made all sorts of elaborate plans). 

I've built up quite the stash of coffee stirrers over the last few months (the ones from Eat are the best, I think, as they're chunkier and more 'plank-like' than the skinny ones you find in Starbucks), and so set about making lengths of wooden fencing!

I made various lengths, aligning them with various plastic Renedra bases (of which I seem to have a ton, from the various boxes of plastic minis I've bought for the ASOIAF project over the last couple of years) so that I could use them singly or in groups; making yards or just blocking terrain between two buildings if need be.

I also make a couple of corner pieces, using matchsticks for the corner post, so that I could make enclosed yards if need be.

A couple of months pass.

Deciding to crack on and finish this project off, I finished off the last couple of lengths of fence and set about trimming the plastic bases down so that the fences could be lined up snug without any gaps. Due to the wonky artisanal nature of these fences (I wanted them to look quite rundown, so that they can e used for post-apocalyptic games as well as modern-day), this meant that I ended up with various lengths of base, which I'm more than fine with!

I originally planned to hot glue the fences to their bases, reasoning that a good glob of glue once covered in texture would hold it nice and firmly, but alas my hot glue gun is terrible and old and the glue was drying on the wood before I could get it into contact with the base! Instead, the old faithful cheapy superglue from Poundland stepped up and did the job instead.

A couple of pieces would later start to come away during painting, but this was easily fixed with a second application of superglue.

Cork chunks were added to the bases, to break up the flat expanse and also make the point of contact between the fence and it's base less narrow, to hopefully reduce the chance of breakage in the future.

Doesn't everyone have several baggies of differently graded cork chunks? I think these mostly came from my generic set of rocky terrain and skull rock builds...

I think at this point I decided that I should make some urban rubble barricades, as I already had the cork out and a variety of resin pieces, and I'd be able to paint them at the same time as the fences, maximising my efficiency. I found a couple of sprues of Renedra gravestones, as well as some old Horrorclix base parts and a limited edition Uncle Mike's Strange Aeons gravestone, so I of course built and based them instead.

I had originally planned to base them all singly, so that each base would have a headstone and a slight raised mound, but whilst having a quick google for other people's finished sets I found this post on and decided to base mine in a similar fashion. Most got multi-based, but I left half a dozen or so single based (as I'm fairly certain there's a Strange Aeons scenario that needs something like 6 or d6 grave markers...)

Then comes basing. I'd originally considered a non-traditional method of applying sand to a gluey base (to whit, a salad spinner...)

But that seemed awfully wasteful, so I went with the old faithful method of globbing the glue on with a shaved down matchstick and dunking each piece individually in a lunchbox of meticulously hand-blended grades of sand.

Having sent some of the bendy Doctor Who Weeping Angels to Gunbird from 20mmandthensome, I fancied using one in my graveyard too. a couple of GW bases later and we had a mini-plinth for it to stand on...

And lo, one batch of freshly textured scenery.

But, I wasn't quite happy with my Weeping Angel statue - it just wasn't tall enough...

After a couple of days peering at various small plastic pots every time we went shopping (the wife is used to this sort of oddity by now), I decided to take matters into my own hands, and set about cutting a chunk of cork.

The first attempt, I carefully measured the base, and when I test fitted it against the plastic base it just didn't look right (the plastic base seemed to hang just a tiny fraction over the edge).

So, for the second attempt, I intentionally cut the slices of cork slightly too large, and then trimmed them down with the angel in situ. One plasticard plaque later, and I was much happier with it!

As these pieces were individually quite small and light, to prevent them from just blowing away when I spray undercoated them I covered a chopping board in newspaper, which I then covered in lines of parcel tape sticky side out so that I could just stick everything to it. This worked a treat, except for when I put the tray down on my lap and it stuck to my trousers (as in order to make sure the tape was firmly in place, I wrapped it completely around the board...)

And so, everything got the usual spray of poundland grey.

This was, of course, on the wettest day ever, after I'd spent an entire week of sunny evenings not being able to do it.

The fences got a hefty drybrush of brown...

...before I gave everything a hefty wash of watered down Vallejo Smoke.

It's a filthy business, but you gotta do what you gotta do...

After that, everything was painted up with various drybrushes. I went over various fence panels and gravestones with a couple of washes and light tones, to give a bit of variety, and carefully picked out the sculpted foliage on some of the gravestones (word to the wise - it's not easy to do detail paintwork with your five-month old daughter sat on your lap trying to steal your paintbrush). I also used the texture paint Stirland Earth to make a layer of dirt in the larger grave, and painted the plaque on the angel statue with the new Retributor and Liberator Gold paints.

Then it was just a case of adding flock and grass, both in places that looked like grass would grow (generally out from under chunks of rubble, as they'd be protected from the elements) but also anywhere that over-zealous drybrushing had revealed bare cork!

Et voila, cork gap fixed!

And so, we have one competed graveyard and a set of fences. The fences are straightforward enough that I should be able to easily make more if needed, and the gravestones was only half of the Renedra set (as you get two identical sprues in a pack).

Everything here also fits quite neatly in a small cardboard box too, for ease of storage, which is nice.

What next though? I've not really been in the mood for figure painting recently, so the nice broad strokes of drybrushing (or brusherating, as terrain for hippos would have it - this is why my fences are highlighted up to tan, rather than Bleached Bone as I would otherwise normally have done) has been a way for me to still get some hobbying done. I still plan to make some urban barricades (piles of rubble and urban detritus that are based so that they can either be used as random rubble markers or lined up and used as barricades), but then again with the Deadpool movie out next year maybe I should try and crack on and finish the Deadpool miniature that's sat half-finished on my painting tile... Or some of the Batman miniatures I bought at Salute... Or the Fallout miniature that I did some green stuff work on this morning when I got woken up at half 7 by my upstairs neighbours banging and crashing around (sneaky peek of this over on Instagram)...

Saturday 8 August 2015

Realm of Chaos scenery

So, a couple of years back, during my 'determined to start a Path To Glory campaign' phase, I decided to make some scenery to go with my set of generic rocky terrain to portray battles fought in the Chaos Wastes.

Thick card for bases, thin cork layers and a box of Wargames Factory skeletons that I bought from someone on the Lead Adventure Forum that had tried building them and given it up as a fool's errand (as one of the connections in the models is between the ankles and feet, giving almost no point of contact for glue...)

Some cutting, layering and glueing later, we have the basis of a couple of bone pits and a pool of blood (standard northman decor)

Apply textured paint (just cheap black acrylic mixed with sand, filler and whatever oddments I happen to have within arms reach)

I fancied making a mini diorama-esque piece too - the skeleton of a marauder that had had his leg broken, and propped himself up against a rocky outcrop to wait for death. The body was easy enough to make (as it rested against the rock, rather than trying to build one standing)...

And to really tie it in as a piece of Chaos scenery, I hollowed out a marauder helmet and shaved down a skull to fit inside it!

Cleaned up skeleton bits were then haphazardly glued into the bone pits, and everything got a coating of poundland grey spray. [side note: I don't think I've actually finished painting any of the miniatures that you can see undercoated in that last picture]

After painting the bones and bottom of the blood pool, I have everythin a generous wash of diluted Vallejo Smoke, the get everything looking grubby and shaded.

Fast forward a couple of years...

A couple of weeks ago I decided to finally finish this mini-project, as it had been sat in a box near completion for far too long. I painted all the bones, drybrushed all the rocky areas up to Bleached Bone, and then made a start on the blood in the pool of blood. 

After painting the base of the pool in reds and a layer of Tamiya Clear Red (the go-to paint for blood effects) I gave it a coat of PVA glue, figuring I could create some depth with glue and translucent paints to make it look deeper than it was actually modelled.

The thing is, I hadn't realised how long PVA glue takes to dry. Into the cupboard with the stacks of half-painted miniatures and currently in-use paints it went for a couple of days to protect it from dust, until it looked like this:

Not very deep at all. So, rinse and repeat:

Another thin layer, another couple of days, and I think fine, that will have to do to avoid it taking another two years! Plus, the PVA was drying less translucent than I had envisaged, so on to painting!

A layer of TCR went on, which looked a little bright on its own;

So while it was still wet I added a few drops of Armypainter Strong Tone and blended it in, to make it look darker and gorier.

Several layers of the GW blood effect paint Blood for the Blood God later and we have a nice sticky wet looking pool of blood!

So the finished set looks like this:

Added to the existing rocky scenery, we have enough to set up a picture of Gotrek and Felix trekking through the Wastes, waiting for the next calamity to stumble into...

Now, for some behind bs the scenes info: just how do I get these blurry poorly lit shots that seem to make up most of the pictures on my blog. Well, this is how:

Yes, I wear a shirt and tie whilst taking iPhone pictures for my blog. Which also explains some of the weird typos you might have noticed, as autocorrect doesn't believe in some words that I use and I don't always catch them before posting...

One day I may come back to this terrain set (if I ever paint my Path to Glory warband that's been sat undercoated for who knows how long now), and add some additional elements - a forest of spikes jutting out of the ground, a large altar, or some mysterious gateways an obelisks maybe...