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I did something

I know I haven’t been updating often.  To be honest, I doubt I can really say I have regular readers.  But I have been doing stuff.  Sort of.

The 40k league in town just wrapped up and somebody made a comment that got me remembering Necromunda so I dug up the latest version of the online rules and shared them with the club.  My cunning plan is to do a bit of terrain off and on and do a event day to build interest and try to do a league in December-January.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

If you are not familiar with Necromunda it is Judge Dredd in the 40k universe with more focus on the gangs in the lowest, darkest corners of a megacity.  It has a lot of silliness and very rarely is it worth playing a league for more than 7-8 games as one player gets so ridiculously good it isn’t fun to play against them.

The first piece of terrain I built last weekend is the tower pictured.  As the game is set in a futuristic slum built on the ruins of an even older slum (with the habitable bits towering high above) towers are a hallmark.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

More of a proof of concept, I may keep this piece fairly plain and just add doo-dads and graffiti as I paint it.  I built this from a not-Pringles can, did some nylon screen over foamcore and I actually built the ladders.  That took the most time but they are solidly anchored.  I was looking for chickenwire but it is not in the hardware stores right now, I will have to wait until spring.

The blog will showcase a bit of a how-to on building a gang as the official models are out of production and sell for a king’s ransom online.  Instead, I will do a tutorial for the benefit of the local club on how to convert and build a gang.  Watch this space if that interests you.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

The blog will go through a bit of slow down again fairly soon as we have one of the busy periods at work coming up.  However, my role this year will be drastically changed.  This means the blog might get the odd update before December.  I won’t make promises but I do have a much lighter workload this year since most of my work for this period was lead-end work (I’ve been killing myself before anybody else gets busy).

A short post with few pics, but hopefully inspirational.  If nothing else, it shows you that the dusty old books on your shelf may get a new lease on life in the right circumstances.

Lurking on the Fringes

It has been quite the long gap in posts, and I am sure more than a few people will be surprised to get a messaging popping-up on an update on this blog.

I have been quite busy with work and social activities the past couple months with little time for hobby stuff.  I have managed to squeeze a bit of time to play 40K in, but mostly because I was asked to take part in a league that has games every two weeks (so fairly easy to manage).  Today’s update is mostly a few odds and sods that I have been working on, with absolutely nothing having been completed.

Games Workshop Tau Piranha.

Games Workshop Tau Piranha.

As 40K has been the bulk of my hobby time, a few of my Tau models have been getting some paint.  Although the basic hull is about 90% done, this needs a lot of work.  The white is fairly smooth, I just need to clean up the mess from my black-lining and of course paint the crew and compartment.

 

I have enjoyed playing my Tau and I did buy a few models, but I have committed less than $100 to this army between getting models in trade and on sale.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

As the title picture shows, I have started a new terrain piece for the urban terrain.  I have decided to use some of the random plastic pieces from my junk box to make a power relay station which is also built on a piece of MDF.  I clad the outside in a foamcore wall and built the small out-building and have called it done.  There are a few other minor details but they won’t really look like much until it is painted.

 

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Bugbear by Reaper Miniatures.

Another couple WIP have been my Reaper figures.  I got quite the large assortment of Bugbear miniatures in Bones 2 and I have just started painting them.  I had put on the base coats on a few of them when I decided I wanted to build one up to finished on the skin tone.  At that point, I had a friend contact me and ask if I could teach him how to paint…that night.

 

So he brought over a few figs and I showed him a few techniques, but these bugbears were the most handy.  Between the different stages of progressive layering he was able to see how I paint and he even threw paint on a few while he waited for paint to dry.  By the end of the night he had a good enough for table-top miniature for his paladin character in the weekly DnD campaign he is playing in.  He also decided to gift a few minis to his group and my box of Bones turned up 3 members of the group for him, leaving him with just one more fig to get for Christmas gifts.  As for the bugbear, I will still need to finish his armour and make his fur stand out more with highlights and a wash.  And the weapon of course needs lots of work too.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Stone Lurker by Reaper Miniatures.

Also getting a bit of paint is the Roper.  Reaper calls it a Stone Lurker to avoid lawsuits, but it is obviously the iconic underground horror the Roper.  I am not sure what else I want to do with this guy.  A wash or two on the tentacles will tone them down for starters and I am not very happy with the mouth on top.  The eye needs a bit of work too.  In other words, it is very much still a work in progress.

I have always been fascinated by that monster since I was a kid and I loved the artwork in the AD&D Monster Manual as a kid.  Something about it just seemed so unnatural and weird.  Funny thing is, I have never faced one in a game nor have I used one as a monster in a game I ran.

Anyhow, now that I have a painted miniature, maybe it will make an appearance at some point in a game.

So a bit of a short post with a lot of variety, but hopefully still inspirational.  If nothing else, it shows that even with a long hiatus from hobby time it is possible to jump back into things.

Proof of life – Or don’t forget me when I’m gone

It has been ages since I last updated.  My wife had surgery a while back so I have been fairly busy looking after her, plus the usual insanity that marks my work this time of year.  Anyhow, to give some perspective (and a bit of music), have a listen to this: Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone.

The project that got some work since my last post is a 3 storey building I have been building.  I added a few new ideas, including a bit more of a cluttered roof.  As shown by Deano it definitely shows the size.

Sci Fi urban terrain.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Sci Fi urban terrain. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Sci Fi urban terrain. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

But you will notice I left off my usual side clutter and none of the corners are clad in card.  I thought I would try a smoother wall and was shown instead my simple buttresses actually do reinforce the walls.

Sci Fi urban terrain.  Note the warping.

Sci Fi urban terrain. Note the warping.

As shown above, the plaster actually pulled in and warped the wall a very appreciable amount.  Looking back at the building front you can see the plaster cracked and the walls pulled apart.  Right now I think I will just add a card clad over the corner and hope the bowed wall isn’t too noticeable.  For the time being, this building will have to do.  The next larger building I do will have some internal framing to push the walls out as well as my buttresses.  Little thing that should stop this disaster in the future.

While watching a movie last night, I also threw a bit of paint on one of my Ford F150 trucks.  The rough splotchy red will look quite faded and worn once I tone back the black and add my dirt and dust treatment.  As shown by Deano, the large doors even give a bit of cover for the clever agent.

Ford F150 Raptor by Kinsmart (1:46 Scale)

Ford F150 Raptor by Kinsmart (1:46 Scale)

Ford F150 Raptor by Kinsmart (1:46 Scale)

Ford F150 Raptor by Kinsmart (1:46 Scale)

Short little update today, but hopefully inspiring to you.  If nothing else to try squeezing in the relaxing hobby time to help keep you sane.

hosercanadian goes commercial

Or at least my urban terrain can show a commercial district.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been slowly chipping away at a three new buildings and finishing off the bus shelters I have.  But rather than showing them individually, I figured the best way to show them would be laid-out with the other buildings.

The wooden board is approximately 2’x2′ (it is a few inches bigger on one side) and I have laid out the buildings as I have seen in this type of area in many cities: as a tight little maze of alleys with wider streets.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

I think the signs add the bit of colour and variety to make the area seem more real.  I do need to figure out how to lay down a road mat I think to really make it look great.  I am not sure how to do a road mat that will give me versatility while still showing off a nice roadway.

The large anchor building on the intersection is the largest building I have done in this style.  In addition, I had the most fun with the signs.  For those reasons, I have a couple of detailed shots below.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

While this building has no new concepts or ideas, the large commercial signs really make it stand out I think.  I have three ways of doing signs now.  I think the next big building like this may get a third type, the nominal roll type sign that just lists all the businesses in addition to the normal storefront signs.  I realize this will require a fairly large blank space on the building, especially if I do a corner building like this.

Anyhow, with all these buildings laid-out I thought it would be a shame not to include a couple of action shots.

Hulk and Iron Man facing off against Dr. Doom, Whiplash, the Silver Samurai and Spider Woman.

Hulk and Iron Man facing off against Dr. Doom, Whiplash, the Silver Samurai and Spider Woman.

Hulk and Iron Man facing off against Dr. Doom, Whiplash, the Silver Samurai and Spider Woman.

Hulk and Iron Man facing off against Dr. Doom, Whiplash, the Silver Samurai and Spider Woman.

As shown the Hulk and Iron Man find themselves hopelessly outnumbered.  Facing off against so many foes, even Hulk is at risk.  Barely even visible is the White Huntress ready to drop either Hulk or Iron Man.

Is there anybody that can help save these heroes from certain death?

Batman vs Dr. Doom.

Batman vs Dr. Doom.

Did somebody say Marvel/DC cross-over?

Hopefully this short post inspired you today.  If nothing else to take time to pause and consider how much work you have done on a larger project to give you that motivation to keep going.  Next up will hopefully be more progress on Captain America…and maybe even the start of Thor.

Shopping Time

I decided to take a break from working on Captain America to finish off a few terrain projects that weren’t finished.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

The most work was spent on the shop.  As I was going for a corner store type building, so the signage and adverts are designed to reflect that look.

The dumpster was the first of possibly many to come.  I may go back with stencil type lettering to give it company name.

The biggest new piece for this terrain is the use of plastic windows.  As my WIP showed previously, I cut down to the paper on the outside on the inside of the walls.  This gave enough room to glue in the plastic sheets.  Prior to gluing them in I attached the flyers and posters to the inside of the “glass”.  As a final tough, I did a wash with brown to give the windows a dirty, streaked appearance to fit in.  I also did throw in a rolling door which is new too, but not really much of a step up.  Not as visible due to a bit too much light is the wash of grime and rust pools I did on the roof and walls.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

The other two buildings are no major changes from my other buildings in this style, aside from the inset piping.  I like how that looks and have started to incorporate it into the other buildings I have started.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Also getting finished was the first bus/transit stop.  After some back and forth, I decided against the plastic windows.  Partly because I am not 100% on how it would look.  The other part being on how sturdy it would be.

As an action shot, today I demonstrate why Bruce stopped taking the bus to work…just too frustrating.

Sci Fi urban terrain.  Clay Golem by Reaper Miniatures as Incredible Hulk proxy.

Sci Fi urban terrain. Clay Golem by Reaper Miniatures as Incredible Hulk proxy.

A short post today, but hopefully inspirational.  If nothing else, it might give you that nudge to try raising your projects to the next level with the little details.

Impending doom

As the name implies I have done some work on Dr. Doom.  I also managed to get my brush to figure too.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

First up, the man of the hour.  I am working in stages on his hood, so there will be a bit more cleaning up.  I have already smoothed out the transition at the top of the hood to the peak as I type this and the gaps in his hood will be filled in too.

His cowl will fold out from his face a bit to frame it, but I want to make sure it covers his face from the side as it is in the comics.

Although the pulled back peak is a bit old fashioned, it does match his profile in the comics so it is a must to include.  I was going to fray the edges of the cloak but thought better of it.  Dr. Doom is the leader of Latveria, a 2nd world nation.  I imagine he has staff who are on stand by to bring him fresh cloaks whenever they become torn or dirty.  Almost laughable, but also a sign of his domineering personality and focus on image.

Overall, I am happy how this ominous villain is progressing.

Urban sheet metal fence.

Urban sheet metal fence.

Urban sheet metal fence.

Urban sheet metal fence.

As I alluded to, some other figures got some brush time too.  The slum fences are painted, and crude as they are, I think they fit the bill nicely.  A splash of colour and good line of sight blockers, they will see a lot of use I am sure.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Thanks to the feedback from Dagger and Brush I have added a bit more colour to Black Widow.  I am very happy with how the flush and rosy cheeks brought her skin tone back to the world of the living without taking away the very pale skin tone.

For those wondering, this is a simple matter of wetblending.  I mixed in a dark red to a slightly darker skin tone and splashed it across her cheekbones and down.  I then mixed a paler skin tone and blended the flush into her skin to localize it to the top of her cheeks like a deadly spy version of Anne of Green Gables (pigtails optional).

I kept her body suit as dark as it was before as the flush to the cheeks brought the skin down a shade and went for a dark grey for her belt, backpack, and holsters.  I did a slightly different shade to her body armour plates.

Finally I painted her pistol as a Glock, because that is what Kevin White sculpted.  I am very impressed that I can identify the pistol and even the subtle highlights to chrome are all that are needed to identify the model too.  I’m not a gun nut, but I am familiar with the Glock and I am a fan of it’s accuracy and precision.  Most folks who have fired both swear by the Sig Sauer but I prefer the Glock.  It is lighter and has a composite construction: the upper receiver, barrel, and trigger are metal, the rest of the grip a high density resin.  The molded grip allows a natural solid grasp so aligned shots is very easy.  Gun rant aside.

To show off Black Widow, I felt the best scene was having my two stealthy ladies squaring off on a rooftop for a John Woo dual pistol showdown.  Snappy one liners and light drizzle not included.

Nightslip by Reaper Miniatures.  Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Nightslip by Reaper Miniatures. Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Nightslip by Reaper Miniatures.  Sci Fi urban terrain.

Nightslip by Reaper Miniatures. Sci Fi urban terrain.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else that a little effort and focus can help you finish those ongoing projects.  And to leave you with something new, here is the finished “neon” sign, although I don’t know if I want to add some object source lighting to the sign.

I’m not dead yet…

And my vacation isn’t done yet…although I am in the hours left now.  Once I get back to work I know I will be very busy so I don’t expect as many posts…in fact I might go through until late February before the next one.  Did I mention my new job at work is very busy?

Anyhow, yesterday and today were very productive.  On the building front I managed to assemble 3 buildings and plastered two of them and my bus shelter.  Sadly I forgot to sand any of them so the plaster isn’t staying on well.  I will see how well it stays on after another couple days and try painting.  I also found out that the white glue doesn’t work well on the garbage bags to foam.  The glue stuck very well to the bags but not to the foam.  The glue also left a very obvious film on the bags.  So I was able to easily pop the bags off and peel off the glue.  The bag I attached to one of the sheet-metal fences stayed attached very well though.  If you are going to use my garbage bags idea I recommend using superglue to attach them to things unless attaching it to a porous surface with a large flat contact point.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

I also managed to finish painting the last big building I had sitting as a WIP.  I also added a small shop to this one through the simple addition of a sign.  Not fantastic, but I am planning to go back and put bright green in the centre of the letters to evoke neon.

Also worth noting is the new finishing technique I tried.  I have gone with an even lighter final highlight and it makes the building look newer and in better repair.  It doesn’t stand out from the others but still blends in.

Cobra by Hasslefree Miniatures as Nick Fury.

Cobra by Hasslefree Miniatures as Nick Fury.

Cobra by Hasslefree Miniatures as Nick Fury.

Cobra by Hasslefree Miniatures as Nick Fury.

Getting some more brush time is Nick Fury.  I finally decided I had practiced the SHIELD logo enough and gave it a shot on him.  Although not my best freehand, I think it works pretty well, especially at arms length away.  To put it into perspective, the circle for the SHIELD crest is 2mm diameter.  Probably the tiniest freehand I have done, although I did do better ones in practicing for this guy.

Zombies by Reaper Miniatures

Zombies by Reaper Miniatures

Also seeing some paint time are the zombies from Bones 2.  I wasn’t sure if these would work as modern or fantasy models until I actually looked at them.  They didn’t get much love from me, there are even still mold lines on them.  The pale blue shirt model actually has a buttoned shirt and the blue vest guy is obviously wearing either a jean or leather vest so very modern zombies.  That being said, they still will work as fantasy as none of the details are hugely obvious.  At their very low price, they are the cheapest zombies in 28mm.  I should say the cheapest still available.  If you aren’t tracking, Wargames Factory has essentially gone under.  Their products are now sold exclusively through Warlord Games…who have yet to put any of the product up for sale 4 months later.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Anyhow, although my finished building has a store, I did a proper corner store/grocery store too.  This building is the first multi-level without external stairs or a balcony.  There will be a rooftop sign on the corner with the door facing in two directions.  I am also going to put hinged doors on top of the dumpster in the back.  Although it is attached to the building, it isn’t out of the ordinary.  I have seen garbage can containers like this before.  I will try making several free-standing dumpsters too to add that ambience to the back alleys.

These large square windows will actually be the first real windows I will be doing for the buildings.  I will be attaching clear plastic sheets (plastic from miniature blisters) that are covered in posters and advertisements.  If you have ever been in a small town store or an older neighbourhood store you will know exactly what I mean.  This is for two reasons.  First, the interiors aren’t finished and big windows would mean  I would have to finish them.  Second, the dirty poster-filled windows will keep in the theme of the building I am going for.  I did consider boarding up the windows, or a window, but I will keep that for a future building.

Nick Fury battling zombies.

Nick Fury battling zombies.

For a bit of an action shot we see Nick Fury forced to fight his way through a horde of zombies.  Are they supernatural?  A nefarious Hydra plot?  Of just finished minis being show-cased.  Tune in for the next episode to find out.

Hopefully today’s post was inspirational to you.  If nothing else it shows how a bit of practice can give you tiny little details to finish a mini or terrain project.