Thursday, April 27, 2017

WIP: Scorpions in the Grass

Actually that's a Scimitar CVR.

Two separate projects that are both halfway done. I've completed the assembly of a pair each of Scorpion and Scimitar tanks for my Recce troop. I've also been prepping some tall grasses to add to my rough terrain bases. So I decided to combine the two posts.

First up the tanks. These are the Flames of War box set for Team Yankee and they're very nice kits. Since these are reconnaissance vehicles I wanted to model the camo tarps and foliage that they always seem to be covered in as in the picture below.

I put them together as standard and used some 1mm x 5mm rare earth magnets to magnetize the turrets. The kits are designed especially for this so it was really easy. I really wasn't sure where all the stowage should go on them. I couldn't find any reference pictures showing much of any stowage at all on the vehicles. So in the end I kept it fairly minimal.

The magntized turrets. I haven't glued the tracks on to make them easier to paint.

After reading some tutorials both on the Team Yankee website and scale armor modelling pages I formulated my plan. First step was to use some gauze soaked in glue for the base of the tarp. Once dry I glued a mix of marjoram and used tea leaves onto it. The marjoram was a little out of scale and probably would have worked better on a 28mm vehicle. I touched up parts with just tea leaves again (Earl Grey if you want to be specific.) Next up for these will be painting. I'm hoping to break out my airbrush for this so I'm going to have to wait for a day I can take them outside to work on them.

I've tried several different ways to make tall grasses before. While I've used deer hair and other fibers ( usually only on dioramas or miniatures bases) I generally use sisal twine. Previously I've made it with clumps of twine and while it's quite durable and looks OK I wanted to try to up the realism.
I already had some pieces of sisal that had been glued into clumps for a long abandoned previous project.

Some tall grass growing near my work. 

Actually the taller grass is probably some feral decorative grass. The shorterish grass is what I ended up seeing all over in overgrown fields. 
I cut up the clumps into much smaller ones usually just a handful of strands. This helped to solve the problem of the twine clumps tending to be twisted together. Next they all got a wash of thin brown ink.

A progression of the steps I took left to right

Next they were roughly dry-brushed with a bleached yellow color. It might seem like extra work to repaint the grasses back to pretty much the natural color of sisal fibers but I've always fond that using natural materials right next to painted ones makes them stand out. The final step was painting glue on the top parts of each grass clump and dipping them in some yellow turf to give the look of the seeds at the end of the grasses.

I just wedged some of my clumps in amongst the rocks to see how they look.
I made several different heights of grasses and stored them away to add to the rough terrain pieces. I'm planning on gluing them together in mixed clumps once I have everything else I need ready.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rough Ground Ahead Part 1

These pieces are my first experiments with making a set of modular, flexible terrain pieces. The idea is to have terrain bases with magnets embedded in them. These bases are kept relatively simple and can be used as areas of rough terrain or just to visually break things up on the board.

Bases laid out with the most important bit: the magnet template on the left to keep the polarities correct. 

The bases caulked and textured.

Separately I'm making smaller pieces again with embedded magnets that can be put on top of these bases. These pieces will have more specific terrain pieces such as trees, rocks, brush etc. Combining the two will let me have woods, rocky areas, brush or whatever. The smaller pieces could also be used by themselves alongside the bigger ones.

Smaller bases. I should have actually made them slightly smaller in hindsight. 
In order to try to get things vaguely standardized I'm using a 40mm base as a guide for how big the removable parts should be. So I marked out the "holes" where the removable parts would go and tried to keep them clear of any bigger material.

I'm also experimenting with using cork bark for my rocks. Normally I like to carve rocks out of styrofoam but having seen people use cork to good effect I thought I'd give it a try. It's a little harder to get free standing rock formations to look the way I want but I figure the inherent texture will make them much easier to look like sedimentary stone.

I forgot to take a picture before I primed everything. Recce troop under construction in the back. 

Painting was pretty straight forward to keep with the style of the rest of terrain and most importantly the mat.

The bases

And the smaller toppers.

In the second part I'll add all of the flock and vegetation that will really bring the pieces together. I'm still collecting everything I want to use for this stage. The plan is to take my flocking up a step from what I normally do and add a bit more character to the pieces.

A sample of how they could be put together with Merlin hanging out.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Little German Countryside

I've jumped back into terrain making trying out a couple of ideas I've had recently. My plan is to build up some terrain that can be used for upcoming Team Yankee games and further afield maybe some Pikeman's Lament. So I'm basically looking at a West German setting separated by a few centuries in time.

First up is the basic mat that I'll be using for taking pictures. One day I'll make a full sized mat but for now I like making these smaller 1' by 2' ones. I'm also using it as a test bed to try out a different technique for flocking.

The construction was done the same as the one I did up for my red terrain previously.

For flocking I wanted a more natural fade to edges of the vegetation so the entire mat was painted with a thinned white glue mixture with a touch of brown ink in it. Then the flock was sprinkled on through a sieve held about a foot over the mat.

After this dried I knocked off the excess and used a hand sprayer to hit the whole mat again with the same watery glue mix. I let it really soak in to hopefully hold everything on. I also sprinkled some secondary layers of turf in patches to give more texture.

The extra glue has really fixed the turf in place without any unforseen problems. I was a little worried I might get a shine or discoloration from the glue.

I covered the left side pretty completely but on the right its more sparse. This way I could use each side for different looks in pictures. 

The mat with some of my TYW terrain and Shotte.

Closer up shot in the lightbox. 

I also got in the start of my Team Yankee British so work on the Recce troop is up next. Also some more terrain pieces. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Silver Tower Skaven

My wife and I actually got to play a demo of Silver Tower at our Local Friendly Game Store about a month ago. We both really enjoyed playing. I really liked the basic mechanic for the heroes of rolling a dicepool at the beginning of your turn. You use these to perform different actions. The more powerful actions like a big attack require you to spend a better die result. I was playing the dark elf and he could make his basic attack by spending any die (1 or better) but his big stabby attack needed a 4+ and for his crazy teleport move of doom you needed a die with a 6. You lose dice from your pool if you're hurt meaning you can do less actions but there is also a Fate pool that everybody can take dice out of to use as well. I thought it was a really nice system that was unique to me but very clever and fun.

After playing I started working on the next two figures from the set: the Skaven assassin. They actually represent only one guy and his magical duplicate that he projects in the game. So I painted them exactly the same.

I didn't get to play with my figures but I included the Dark Elf to commemorate the game.

I'll admit I kind of ran out of steam about 80% done and he just kinda languished on the paint table pitifully staring at me with unpainted eyes for weeks.  This weekend I jumped in and finished him off. I kinda rushed the final details but he's done and at this point I'm counting it as a win.

I'm going to put Silver Tower aside for a while as a it looks like I might be playing some games of Team Yankee this summer. I'm going to paint up a force of British to join the NATO forces and hopefully get a chance to bring my airbrush out of storage. I also wanna get back to playing around with some terrain again so that will probably be next.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yellow Fish and Bluebirds

I was shocked to see that I haven't updated the blog in a quarter of a year. Unfortunately this is partly to do with not having done much hobby work during this time but I have got a couple of things done.

Most of my hobby time in November and December was dedicated to completing a Christmas present for my parents. They have a couple of pairs of Eastern Blue birds that nest at their house and always give me a report of what they are up to every time I call.

They were sculpted with polymer clay and I used a bit of branch to make the base. I like the way the wings came out but I need to work on some more techniques for making the tails.

To get back onto the painting wagon I also finished off one of the familiars for Silver Tower. This is the same one my wife painted a while ago and I really like the way she painted hers. I wanted the pair to compliment each other and I saw someone had painted one up as a goldfish which I thought worked pretty well. To fit him in with the rest of the Tzeentchian forces I used the same scheme I used for the magical fire.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More Cultists

I still think that there is something about worshipping chaos that causes abnormal muscle growth. Even Tzeentch cultists that you would think spend most of their time reading spellbooks and cackling maniacally are built like professional athletes. Followers of Khorne are probably just slabs of muscle on top of other muscles! I guess only Papa Nurgle has no interest in the Chaos gym scene.

I finished up the second group of cultists. I did a simple shield swap with a Tzanagor's shield for the one but tried to differentiate them by basically inverting the colors from the last group. I copied the skin tone from the Dark Elf hero I did previously and went with white for the fancy loincloth/skirts/shorts things they're wearing.

With these done I'd say we're  about 3 quarters done with the set. I'm saving some of my favorites for the end but next up will be another familiar and then the Skaven assassin.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pug: Silver Tower Familiar

Quick update as I painted up another of the familiars from the set. I really like how he harkens back to the old metal familiar from many a year ago but updated to match Age of Sigmar. I decided to play up the motley in Tzeentch horror colors and of course gave him the classic yellow moon head.

His personal stylists working on his outfit.

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