Monday, November 28, 2011

Ancient Ruins Tutorial: Assembly

I thought it might be fun to write up a little tutorial on my method for creating the ancient ruins terrain pieces that I showed earlier. This, with some modifications, is the technique I use for making pretty much all of my terrain. I'm going to break this up over several parts to make it easier for me.

Part I: Assembly

The first step is to cut out some blocks to build the ruins out of. These come in two types the flatter flagstones and the more brick shaped wall blocks. I start with approximately 1/2 inch thick pink insulation foam. If this has any plastic film on it I strip that off of it and then cut it into strips from 1/2 inch to just over an inch and about 2 feet long. I then cut these into the blocks. I also cut some wider strips that I cut into the larger flagstones. These I then cut in half width wise to make two flagstones. Vary the sizes as you cut them, if each block is identical they will look more like bricks then stonework. I just eyeballed it as I cut them and it worked out fine.

Progression of blocks left to right from raw material to finished.

From these blanks I then roughly cut off the corners and cut in any details like gouges, nicks, and broken corners. Finally, they get a quick sanding to round them off and they are ready for assembling. Be careful to leave the bottom surface of the flagstones untouched so they lie flat when they are glued together, but get all sides of the blocks since you won't know which way they will be glued together. The more you sand the pieces the more worn and older the stones will look but if you go overboard they will end up looking like cylinders and not stone blocks.

I made a huge batch of stones while watching TV as it really doesn't require much concentration once you get use to it. In the end I should have made some more as my pile of stones quickly disappeared as I built each section.

Specific blocks were cut to make the archways stones.

Next up is assembling each ruin. I laid down the bottom layer of blocks to form the wall first. I decided on a pattern with a single thickness wall and a large squared off column at the corners and intervals along any straight walls. After test fitting the pieces together everything was glued together with carpenter's glue. To make my life a little easier I taped some plastic wrap down onto a flat piece of cardboard and built the ruins on it. That way I could just wait till everything dried and pop it off.

Small pieces can look just as good as large ones.
Once the first layer was in place I fitted and glued flagstones around them. Then I built each successive layer just like building a real wall. At this point it is just trial and error finding pieces and putting them together to get the ruin to look like you want.

Stones were placed askew in this column to give it the look of collapsing.
I like to build several at one time so I can move each along at the same stage. This stage is definitely the most time consuming and that isn't even counting making all of the little blocks to start with.
But when your done you should have several ruins that look like they belong in some kind of pink sugary fairy world. We'll take care of that in the next stages.

I glued the flagstones on asymmetrically for a more haphazard look.

Next Step: Texturing

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time Machine: GW Inquisitor

I'm hoping to get some work in progress pictures of the ruins up soon, but in the mean time I thought I'd post some pictures of a miniature from my past. Inquisitor Covenant is from the GW Inquisitor game and I painted him up just as the game was first released 10 years ago. These were larger 54mm scale figures and were covered with detail and gear.  I'm still happy with the paint job on him and looking at him again reminds me how much fun this scale is to paint. I know I have a couple more of these guys squirrelled away somewhere. Maybe I'll try to dig them out and work on them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cygor Painted

Thanks to my lovely photographer I was able to get some pictures of my painted Cygor. I'm still debating whether he should get some blue warpaint like the rest of my Beastmen will have. I also need to put some static grass onto his base but I haven't settled on what mix of colors to use for it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ancient Ruins

 I've finished painting the Cygor last night but I'm waiting to take some good pictures of him. However, I've also been working on a test piece of terrain. I've assembled the ruin out of carved pieces of pink insulation foam. Although they have changed the color a bit so now its more of a light purple insulation foam. The finished blocks look remarkably like pieces of grape bubble gum. After cutting out the blocks and sanding the rough edges off they were glued together and the larger gaps on the bottom were filled with wood putty. I'd like to make 3 or 4 more of this sized ruin and then I'll move onto the next stage of applying texture and painting.  

One of my Beastmen is peeking over the edge for scale.

I glued the flagstones on irregularly for a more random looking base.

From the bottom you can better see the construction method.

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Cyclops and Friends

Work proceeds on my Cygor but I thought work in progress shots of him would be somewhat boring. So instead I'm going to show off some other cyclops-kin that I painted a couple of years ago. 

These are my small force of Skorne for Hordes. Once I saw that their force contained big one-eyed guys of course I had little choice but to paint them up. The two Cyclops Savages and the Warlock are from the starter box and I added the Cyclops Brute and the Basilisk. I didn't want to paint them up in the standard red and gold and the oriental style of their armor made inspired me toward a more dark jade coloring.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beastmen Cygor

I knew I wanted a big guy for my beastmen and my love of guys with one eye who throw things, from my childhood favorite game Crossbows and Catapults, came together in this guy.

I've been slowly working on him for a few weeks now and I'm happy that he's ready to paint. He is based off the GW daemon prince kit with a lot of greenstuff on top. I wanted him to be more apelike in posture so I stayed away from the giant that is the more common model. He actually stood about the same height as the new plastic Minotaurs which just wouldn't do, so I decided to elevate his base with a piece of the same Arcane Ruins that he is also using as a projectile.

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