Tuesday 29 June 2021

…and Wells!

 And here is the third post, a well posed here with some miniatures:

Nothing says fantasy village like a well does it? While I could just as easily start playing with just the scenery I had, I wanted something to add a little more character, and a well is what I decided to make! I watched plenty of YouTube videos for inspiration, but almost every single one basically said ‘cut out blue foam on your foam cutter’, neither of which I have, so I decided to forge on with what I had on hand!

First of all, a tube to shape the body of my well - this came from a roll of kitchen foil, as it was more slender than most of the tubes in my overflowing box of useful looking bits of rubbish!

Cutting out bases for terrain is so much easier now that I’ve realised that I can just cut them out with scissors! 

My daughter was also building along with me, so here is her well WIP

(the triangle has since fallen off - I warned her that those tiny contact points wouldn’t be enough, but she insisted it would be fine)

Then I set about building the frame - I cut down balsa for the posts:

And made a cardboard piece that would support the roof - I didn’t worry about not detailing this piece, as once the roof was on you wouldn’t be able to see it at all.

And then, bricks! As ever, cork was my go to material. I still have a kimchi pot full of randomly sized cork bricks that I cut while watching the Witcher at some point in the distant past (for another project that I realise I haven’t finished or posted about on here, so this might be their first public appearance). 

I globbed on PVA, poked bricks into it in a vaguely overlapping pattern, rinse and repeat!

To make the top piece (the cap? Is that the right name for it?) I found an existing cork circle (presumably from making bases at some point in the past) that was just about the perfect size to cover the well:

and then cut a ring of bricks out of it to form a rounded lip:

Next stage is the most important - douse everything in cheap superglue to harden it all up! If you skip this step, prepare to have a bad time if you try and drybrush that lovely cork texture as the corners crumble and reveal the original cork colour…

Lastly, I needed to make a roof. I made a simple frame from matchsticks and cereal box card:

And then trimmed the matchsticks down to the desired length:

(You can also see a step that I apparently didn’t document, drilling a hole through the posts to install a cocktail stick bar. A tiny handle was made from a sliver of matchstick and a tiny rod)

For the roof tiles, I forget where exactly I got inspiration for using corrugated card to make overlapping rounded tiles like this, but full credit to whoever it was!

I left the flat bottom layer of card attached to give it some additional strength, but if o were to do it again I’d probably remove it as I’d probably prefer not being able to see it…

I made two separate eaves, glued them onto the card support, and then hid the join with another length of corrugated card.

Then it was just a case of adding a resin bucket (won from a competition on Sippin on Paint Water years ago when it was still the original blog), sanding the base, and dousing everything with watered down PVA!

Then it was on to painting, drybrushing aplenty!

I also wound a thread around the bar that I doused in superglue (this piece is presumably solid enough to survive a hammer blow at this point with the amount of glue it’s been soaked in) for a rope, which I washed with some dark brown tones to try and make it look less like a bit of thread!

I chose blue for the tiles rather than a more standard red mostly because I fancied making it look a little more fantastical, but not so much that I couldn’t use it for a non-fantasy game… 

Which brings my Rangers of Shadow Deep checklist to this point:

  • Mystery additional structure
  • Trees
  • Cart
  • Well
  • Woodpile
  • Crates and barrels
  • a playing surface!
  • Treasure tokens

The last three things on the list are currently all about half done, so hopefully if I can grab some more painting time at the weekend you’ll be seeing more soon!

Thinking about it, these last few posts definitely let me cross of something else on the Challenge:

  • Finish something old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Finish some scatter terrain (3/3)
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Play a game with fully painted miniatures
  • Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Frostgrave)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish the last member of the Nextwave team
  • Complete the classes project (and when I do that, start a project to have painted miniatures to represent all of the Races in the Players Handbook)
  • Add at least 3 entries to the Monstrous Alphabet Project
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

I mean, several more of these look very achievable, but I’m not going to tempt fate by pledging to complete anything in particular!

Finally, in Tally related news, I sent off some minis to Tales from Farpoint as I got in touch with him to offer to trade some bits for his Dark Ages Brutal Quest project, which leaves the Tally currently at:

19 vs 11 = +8

Tuesday 22 June 2021


 Next in my trio of posts comes this pair of carts:

When thinking what pieces of scatter terrain that I’d like to build that could see use in games like Rangers of Shadow Deep and Mordheim, an abandoned cart seemed like an easy win - plus, leaving it freestanding rather than based, it could always be flipped over and made part of a barricade.

First of all, I started thinking about wheels:

I grabbed a variety of circles to eyeball to see what felt right - in an ideal world I’d probably have just used the Warhammer cart wheel, but I only have two of them in my bits box and might need them if I ever get round to building the chariot they came from! After some deliberation, the Warhammer wheel won out as being the size to use, so I set about making some wheels out of balsa:

Lots of careful cuts later, I had vaguely round wheels:

I then sanded them in pairs, to ensure that they’d both be matching in their near roundness:

Using balsa, I was able to scribe some wood detail into my wheels using a pencil:

I went a little too deep on one of the grooves and accidentally snapped the wheel, but was thankfully able to glue it back together in such a way that you wouldn’t notice!

Next came… cladding? Shoeing? Whatever the technical term is for adding the metal rim:

I cut a thin strip of plasticard the width of my wheel, and then curled it like it was a ribbon:

I glued it on with superglue for a speedy hold, and then carefully trimmed it to the right length so as not to have an unsightly bump.

Wheels done, I needed to make a body for the cart, so I turned to my trusty distressed sticks

Matchsticks provided a crossbar for strength and some arms to pull it (if anything this post is revealing to the world that I do not know any of the correct terms for talking about carts)

Whilst working on this, I had made up a balsa rectangle that I was considering using as a template or base for my wooden stirrers, and suddenly realised that it wouldn’t actually be that much effort to just make a whole second cart…

A cocktail stick made an ideal axle, so I drilled through the wheels with my pin vice and set about glueing everything together:

And lo, we have the finished carts!

Seen here with a mini for scale:

Then it was really just a case of drybrush, drybrush, and drybrush some more, and thus we have the finished product that you see here, displaying that they are also the right size to carry some of the food supplies from Bad Squiddo and Zealot Miniatures that are currently on my painting tile:

  • Mystery additional structure
  • Trees
  • Cart
  • Well
  • Woodpile
  • Crates and barrels
  • a playing surface!
  • Treasure tokens

Next time - mystery third post!

Sunday 20 June 2021


 So, after a month or so of having little time or motivation to paint, this last weekend I’ve managed to actually push a couple of bits over the finish line! Rather than making one long mega post, I’ll split it into three, the first of which being this:

Fairly straightforward, when I saw the axe in a tree stump on a sprue of Bretonnian Men At Arms in my bits box I knew I had to make a little bit of scatter terrain to make my village look a little more lived in, so with some split dowel and a spare base we have this:

Seen here as a WIP on Twitter with our Lord and saviour Duncan Rhodes saying nice things on my birthday last year (which gives you an idea of just how long it takes me to finish things sometimes). So, nearly a year of drybrushing later, I get to cross it off my Rangers of Shadow Deep list:

  • Mystery additional structure
  • Trees
  • Cart
  • Well
  • Woodpile
  • Crates and barrels
  • a playing surface!
  • Treasure tokens
Soon, Rangers, soon… (although Timehop informed me the other day that it’s now been a year since I finished my Ranger and companions, so not so soon after all)
Mild spoilers for the next two posts though, some more things are getting crossed off this list!

In other news, I’ve just sold some minis on eBay (to pay for a Hellboy Kickstarter expansion) so the Tally has swung slightly to:

19 vs 16 = +3

Next time: more finished objects!