Friday, July 28, 2017

All Quiet on the Hobby Front

Another big gap between posts but I do have somethings in the works moving forward.

First up my shipment of Chieftan MBTs came in and this week I've been slowly assembling the 2 troops. Hopefully they'll see some paint in the next couple of weeks.

Every year it seems to lure me back. 

Second the drums of war from the Grimdark future have brought me back to 40k once again. I purchased the new Dark Imperium box after following along with GW's lead up to releasing 8th edition. Having read through the rules I'm pretty impressed but I still need to try playing a game to make a final determination. I'm really looking forward to getting some paint on the new figures.

I'll need to pull that crystal flash off and finish these off with some of my new static grass. 

The return of 40k has seen me returning to my Red Planet terrain project that stalled about this time last year. I didn't like the way they were turning out then and put everything on hold for a rethink. I'm scrapping my overly ambitious original plan and going with tried and true plastic plants instead.

A selection of future vegetation  recently picked up from the local craftstore or unearthed from storage.

That's looking forward on the hobby end of things. I haven't been idle in the past months but I've found more of my time taken up with non-miniature gaming pursuits. A big part of it was helping my we ife stock up on inventory for some upcoming shows for her side business of needle felted birds. We've also started looking into expanding out into the wooly world of amigurumi crochet. I never really felt these side projects belonged on this blog but at the same time I do enjoy posting something about them so I decided to create an Instagram account to act as a miniblog/project log for these non miniature related projects. I expect the occasional miniature stuff will make it on there too. I want to update the look of this blog soon and I'll add a permanent link then but until then if you want to check it out follow along here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Team Yankee: Scimitars and Scorpions

The first sections of my Recce company are finally done. These guys have been sitting in front of me for what feels like months now primed and begging for some paint. This past weekend I finally broke out my airbrush and huddled on my front porch hiding from a deluge, I got some paint on them.

I tried for a zenithal highlight look but honestly I need a lot more practice with the airbrush. I'm planning to make up a bunch more terrain soon so my plan is practice my airbrushing skills on them since they might be a bit more forgiving.

I cleaned these guys up with some drybrushing and pin washes after my mediocre airbrush start. I also painted up the camo nets and then glued on some "live" foliage. I had planned to use some teased out scouring pad like I did for the hedges I made long ago but they didn't turn out very well. So I turned to some model trees I've had for ages now. I'm not sure how durable they'll be and might need a bit of drybrushing to blend them in but will do for now.

This is my newish green mat with my old 15mm terrain on it. 

The tree along side is from the same source that donated the foliage on the tank.

So that's 4 points of Brits to face off against the endless Red Menace. Next up for my Brits is a couple of boxes of Chieftain MBTs so I can get a respectable point total together. Plus they'll be more practice for my airbrushing skills.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Static Grass Applicator

This post really should of gone up a month ago but a combination of things including a couple of trips have kept pushing it off. Better late than never, so here it is.

I finally managed to knock together a bargain static grass applicator. It's nothing fancy just a re-purposed electric flyswatter. I generally followed along to one of the many plans you can find online they're all pretty much the same. I decided to not integrate the strainer into the handle as I thought it would give me more options. It might have been a mistake as you need to hold down a button to make it work. I ended up retrofitting it with a rubber-band to handle that task for me.

Not real fancy looking but it works.
I'm going to use it for static grass application on terrain and models but also for making some grass clumps. These are my initial experiments. I have three different colors so tried to make some with one color predominate but still mixed with the other two. 

Some early experiments
The basic method is pretty straight forward. Just paint some watered down glue on wax paper taped to the base plate. The applicator has one lead attached to the metal base and the other to the strainer. You just dump your static grass mix into the strainer and shake it through onto the glue. It initially looks kinda humped but after the glue dries it flattens out and you can just pop them off to use. I'm still experimenting with the glue to water ratio and how to paint it on to get organic looking clumps.

Close up on the clumps 
I've since ordered and received some longer static grass both 4mm and 6mm as opposed to the 2mm I had on hand. I think these will look better with different lengths mixed together. I'll try to make a few more with the new grass soon and then get to work actually using them on terrain. 

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.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...