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New Recruits

As the title implies many more figures, I must apologize and say I misled you.  Instead, this just marks a bit of an increase in the miniature gamers out there.

As I have mentioned on this blog in the past, my girls like painting figures with me.  It is something they will do every so often, sadly less often here as I don’t have a good permanent set-up for painting.

DSCF8777

For Christmas, in addition to the many other gifts we spoiled the girls with, I gave them each several miniatures they can paint and play a game with.  After their first game I even let them pick a few more figures to add to their collections.

DSCF8774The game I introduced them to is the Revised Song of Blades and Heroes.  In many ways it seems an old fashioned game.  It was something I was referred to by several gaming buddies a few years ago.  The biggest benefit it how simple the rules are.  I have stolen some line art drawing (as drawing is not one of my strengths) and used them to create the sheets included.  These gave the girls an easy reference and they already have the few special rules they each use memorized after only a few games.

Sample Lists:

If you have never played the game, I recommend picking it up (although there is an Advanced set of rules, I assume it is equally as good – I just haven’t played it).  It uses only 3 measuring ranges that can be easily made via a variety of measuring sticks.  I opted to cut and paint bamboo skewers so they are colour coded too.  Each model has only two stats and at most a few special rules.  While movement isn’t required, I included it there for simplicity.

Activation is easy enough to manage so much so that my 6 year old can figure out which is the best order to activate and how to use her leader to help other activations.

A brief post today, but hopefully still inspirational.  If nothing else, to maybe get out there with the next generation to have them start playing.

Quick and Dirty

So I recently finished a commission that was a bit different for me. A friend of a friend wanted some table-top quality figs done up so I volunteered to help out.

How is that different? Well they were 3D printed models. This was one of the UV reactive liquid printers so it had fewer layer lines.

As expected they were quick and easy to paint but a bit frustrating. I knew to expect paint adhesion issues so I gave them a good scrubbing. As a plus a bit of rubbing alcohol residue was still in them after the wash so the paint drying accelerated on the primer.

The issues was the models continued sweating through-out causing a few paint adhesion issues. This was most obvious on the white and made wet-blending impossible. It did not resist dry brushing and exaggerated highlighting so I went that route after the first fig.

Overall, the detail was a bit sparse and stylized. Interesting effect, but not my normal genre. After seeing the art style I opted for a bit more of an anime style. These are HeroForge minis that he managed to print at home, not sure how that works…must be a new option.

Anyhow, hopefully you found this inspirational, if nothing else to try a new genre in your hobby craft.

Gathering moss

Unlike a rolling stone. Sadly I wish I had something tree related with that title, but instead I just managed to throw paint on a couple more figs. Actually I have 7 figures in progress right now but these two are “done enough”.

Up first is a figure who will represent a sneaky thief. He pretends to be a merchant and travels with his well-locked chest. Once night falls his kobold allies come out of the extra-dimensional house that is hidden in the chest. Cue the music and creepy kobold night fight.

The face is a bit rough, not helped by the mold-line on the face I missed. Good enough for a one-time villain and/or villager proxy for future games.

Also getting finished is another bugbear. This one a bit more well armoured than the others.

A bit harsh in the contrast and that armour is entirely too clean for a bugbear but again…good enough for what he will be.

To wrap it up a action pic and hopefully a bit of motivation, if nothing else to power through a few figs to get that momentum going.

It’s been a while

…and I won’t subject you to Stained. Instead, here is something else.

Music

I have been quite busy as of late. Work is still the main culprit, with a change of provinces, job, and a move I have had little time to do hobby stuff. I have been able to set up a new DnD game and that has led to a bit of brush work.

The thing about a new group is trying to get the buy in early. So I went all out in converting characters for the players.

To start with a very old friend happens to live in my new city of residence. He wanted to make a goliath race warden so I found the best suites model…and painted it. He literally matched the model exactly.

Next was another coworker who played in my last DnD group. He got moved with work too. He opted for a dwarf fighter…which became and dwarf cleric when he realized the other player had made a similar character.

The next player opted for a human fighter. Nothing too fancy, until you consider I converted the same model I showcased last time. Weapon swap, head swap and shield swap later and we have an AWOL soldier.

That player’s wife wanted a shifter cleric. She saw a Tiefling model and asked if I could turn the horns into ears. Bit of knife work and some putty to remove the other ears and I she was ecstatic about the results.

There are two other characters but I seem to be missing pictures on my phone…yes I am using my phone instead of computer dear reader. I apologize for the lack of polish for this reason.

Instead, here is the party snap shot.

A bit eclectic but I think they have worked well as a team so far.

The next adventure had a requirement for some monsters and NPCs I hadn’t painted yet so here are a few with a bit of paint.

Quite the mix I know, but I am happy with the results, even if they are just a quick speed paint.

Hopefully today has inspired you, if nothing else to stir up the ashes and bring a hobby fire back to life.

Another commercial break?

I have been absent from my blog for a while.  Sadly, I have been taking a course that is filling up most of my spare time.  If it is any consolation, the rest of the time has been filled by my regularly scheduled D&D game and the wife and I started playing a video game together.

So what is with the title?  Another batch of terrain posters advertising made-up companies?

Dungeon Saga terrain by Mantic. Image not my work, used without permission.

No, instead I have stumbled across a Kickstarter that I think is worth sharing as it has a very good deal on terrain bobbins that I find fiddly and frustrating to make.  Mantic has rolled-out something they call Terrain Crate.  This is a series of small terrain items suitable to dress up either your RPGs or wargames tables.  The idea for this came from an add-on they developed for Dungeon Saga, their Dungeon Dressing bits which have sold better than the game as far as I understand.

Dungeon Saga terrain by Mantic. Image not my work, used without permission.

Why?  Simply put, it is a good product that had a wider audience than their game did.

So I will share the link for you to check out at your leisure, an investment worth checking out in my opinion.

Just click on the picture to go to the Kickstarter.

As for the video game?  Ironically another Kickstarter it turns out: Divinity: Original Sin.  This is a very fun Diablo-esque throw-back game but it is completely class-less and has a very funny and well written story.  It can also be played cooperatively with split screen so the two people are not stuck together and forced to follow each other.

So a short post this time around with a very commercial flair, hopefully I inspired you to have at look at what I consider to be a good deal, even if you choose not to spend your money.

Avengers and X-Men and Spiders, oh my

I had a bit of free time this morning and was able to make a bit of progress on a few figs.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

Captain America, sixth stage of sculpting.

First off, Captain America’s boots got a bit of progress.

As shown, I have added in the laces to the front and the edge flaps that hold the boots together.  Yes, the entire top will get blended down, but the laces were my priority for this morning.  I stopped the laces from going the full way up as I am putting the shin guard on and there is little reason to do work that will not be visible.  In fact, most of the laces I did sculpt likely won’t be visible.  Oh well.  Slowly but surely he is taking shape.

I have decided I will add a bit of fabric bunching on his knees, at his boots, and butt…in short the places that would show the difference between spandex and fabric.  But now I need to stop my half-ass periodic sculpting of hands and heads…the time for those parts is coming fast.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Storm, first stage of sculpting.

Second, we have my second sculpt shown.  My wife’s favorite super hero is Storm from X-Men.  Now, she has had a variety of costumes over the comics and movies so I asked her which one she wanted, and it is Halle Berry as Storm from the first two X-Men movies.

So far I have added the join between her breasts (including the zipper) and the flared bottom of her pants.  The zipper does go all the way up to her collar but her collar will have to wait for the head so I will leave room to blend and tie it in and carry on once her head is done.  After trying a few different poses, including a walking pose, I decided to have her flying.  Her left hand will be a fist and the direct of her focus.  A flying Storm ready to call down lightning.  Again, I am sure there are better pics that could be taken, but these are the ones I needed to see my work.  I am still not 100% with the right pant bottom but I will leave it for now.  At normal scale it looks good.  I did resculpt these 4 times (and her chest twice because of fat fingers).

Blood Widow by Reaper Miniatures.

Blood Widow by Reaper Miniatures.

Blood Widow by Reaper Miniatures.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Blood Widow by Reaper Miniatures. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Last up today we have a very simple conversion.  I am taking Blood Widow from Reaper and converting her to Spider Woman.  That consists of…well to be honest paint.  She is a bit taller than Deano, but she is standing on her tip toes, so she is actually a bit shorter than him.  And yes, for the hard-core comic nerds, yes she was an Avenger too.  And a Hydra Agent.  And a freelancer.  And has worked with multiple heroes and villains.  So overall, she deserves her own category and can be used by any side in the game I am working on.

A short post today, but hopefully inspiring.  If nothing else I hope to inspire you to tackle those bigger projects as smaller bite-sized stages.

Half-Timber Homes Mark III

Although I have been quite busy the past little while, I have found the time to do a bit more work on the half-timber houses.  In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I think the little miniatures can say they are past the first few stages as they have shelter now.  More specifically, they have a more realistic roof over their heads.

Half-timber row houses.  Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses. Built from foamcore and thin card.

I went for the time consuming but more realistic approach for roofing of random cuts of strips of shingles.  As shown here, the strips were cut then over-lain from the bottom up.  The complex overlapping corners got a bit of TLC to provide some details.

Half-timber row houses.  Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses. Built from foamcore and thin card.

Once these first two roofs were done, a bit of paint got thrown around.  This is just the initial stages.  A base coat of brown followed by dry-brush of grey to give the weathered wood look.  They will get a dark brown wash to finish the effect.

Half-timber row houses.  Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses. Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses.  Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses. Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses.  Built from foamcore and thin card.

Half-timber row houses. Built from foamcore and thin card.

The more astute readers will have noticed I gave the wooden doors a wash too.  Again, they will be finished by another dark brown wash once everything is dry.

Slowly but surely this project is nearing completion.  The only question for me now, is if I want to base them.  The base isn’t needed as this is a very sturdy structure.  The base would give two benefits.  First it would let me do some more dressing up.  For example: adding tables, rain barrels, and signs.  Second, it would let me provide a clear border with cobblestones and the like so it would better blend into most tables.  The flip side of that is if I do a city scape, then they won’t be able to be used unless I carefully plan how to make them modular for such a city.

Not a pressing concern as I have plenty of hours of cutting shingles to ponder this.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to do the mind-numbing tasks that add flair to a project.  Remember, 15 pieces of flair is the minimum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg-6wbETtbo

 

Walking Wounded Part Three

It has been quite a while since I have found time to do hobby stuff.  Between a plague descending on my house and the Christmas activities that make my work pretty much a write-off for December…well I actually had work that needed to be done this December.  Long story short, I haven’t had much time to play with toy soldiers.

Well, I have taken the time to get a bit of progress done on the Chaos Dreadnought.  The pictures show the legs are now attached, but green-stuff filling needs to be done at the hip coupling.

Chaos Dreadnoughts aren't big fans of leg work-outs.

Chaos Dreadnoughts aren’t big fans of leg work-outs.

A close-up of the legs shows the gaps that need filling and the start of the knee joints.  I will be filling in with green-stuff across the two discs and detailing an articulation point on the back.  The feet and greaves (what else would you call reinforced leg armour on a walker) still need to be done.

Close-up of the legs in progress.

Close-up of the legs in progress.

Part of the reason I haven’t made as much progress was wasted time looking for a hole-punch.  We had a nice 3-hole punch that worked ok, but the wife told me we didn’t have a single hole-punch.  Well the 3-hole punch is AWOL but in looking for it I found a single hole-punch.  It works very nice.

Anyhow, I have started on some of the putty-work to fill gaps and smooth transitions.  The lascannons are more or less done now.

Dread_update34

And the piece that had just finished getting the basic shape done is the powerpack/engine.  My soldering iron was heating up very fast and I spent a lot of time with fiddly placing of the radiator vents so that explains the brown scorch marks.  On the other hand, the eventual owner was saying he wanted to do a nurgle dreadnought (that is the Chaos god of death and decay) so the melted spots can function as either rust or melting…very much in line with the theme.

Dread_update33

A short update today, but hopefully useful to some readers out there.  I found myself reviewing the APC build a while back and it is impressive seeing how that came together and once this is finished I am sure it will be similar.

Hopefully something inspired you today, and if another post doesn’t make it, Merry Christmas to you.

Walking Wounded

So the other day one of the local wargamers was asking who wanted some models he was getting rid of.  I was interested in what he was offering so asked him what he wanted.  He gave a list and I was pretty sure I had those so told him I would check my boxes of bits and dusty models and get back to him.

In the end I didn’t have what he wanted but he still wanted to give me what he was offering.  So I thought about it and decided I would build him one of his requests: a Chaos Deadnought (that’s a GamesWorkshop 40K miniature).  I have never built a walker but had considered the construction before and figured it would not only be a fun project…it would give me something.  Oh, and provide a proof of concept for some crazy walker models I had in mind…keep an eye on this space as at least one of those walker ideas may bump the Hellhound tanks down in priority (think Hellhound in a more literal sense and you get when my twisted mind is wandering).

The photos are terrible as they were just snapped quickly with my phone and I am actually away from home right now so there won’t be better pics for a while.

Hull Photo

Hull Photo

Hull Photo

Hull Photo

The basic hull was thrown together quickly while watching a movie in one night.  The first picture shows scale with a ruler.  The basic concept of the dreadnought is a life-support battle suit.  Critically injured veteran soldiers are entombed in this machine of death.  The flavor text for the Chaos versions has become very grim as they call it a torture.  If nothing else, the soldiers in the dreadnoughts are kept fully conscious even when the machine is powered down and other soldiers are in stasis.  A bit disturbed.

Basic leg design

Basic leg design

Basic leg design

Basic leg design

The leg mounts tend to be a bit more crude and rugged compared to other sci-fi walkers so I have chosen an angled axis with custom rounded tubes for legs.  The legs will be modified to include hydraulic tubes and plates to the front.  I will detail the join and cover it with what looks like an articulating rotator cuff.  If you know tie rods attach to an axel you have the basic idea.

Lascannon

Lascannon

Lascannon

Lascannon

Lascannon

Lascannon

The chosen shooting weapon is a twin-linked lascannon.  I wanted to make it a bit more cobbled together so I went with offset and angled weapons.  The join to the housing will be filled in at a couple gaps and sensors will be added into the gap above the outside gun.  I will also be adding cables and wires dangling down out of the housing into the barrels to match the 40k stylized old-tech new-tech imagery.  The gun-arm will be mounted to a peg with minor details sculpted (that will not be very visible) to give the sense of realistic movement and depth to the walker.  The barrel ends will likely come from my bits box as mechanical leering demon heads although I may opt for a more standard lascannon barrel end.

The left arm will be a melee weapon of sorts.  The local wargamer has already started building the weapon himself (he is pretty excited about the project) so I will just be making the arm and mount.

Of course what you see so far is just the basic shapes and blocks.  I intend to add embellishment and possibly even a leering demonic face to the front of the hull.  The basic embellishment will be framing around edges to give more depth and the stylized 8-pointed star that defines Chaos in the 40k setting.  Spikes and maybe some quasi bio-mechanical parts are on my list of possibilities too.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to see if your talents in miniatures might go towards helping you help others.

Hosercanadian gets married

Short update that explains the absence from my blog.

Today I get married. Yes I’ve called her my wife in the past. The internet is full of lies, dear readers.

Hopefully I will be able to return you to the regularily scheduled programming soon.