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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
For those who don’t care about my ramblings on the games I design, feel free to scroll down…oooh pretty pictures. For the rest of you (and I will pretend there still are readers), my wife and I played the first game of the super hero project I have been working on. Although I do intend to produce scenarios down the road (I have 4-5 in my head that need tweaking), we just played a straight up fight.
To play this scenario, both players select models up to the agree on total level and play until the first model is removed. The first game was played at 6 points – that means 2x level 3 heroes. A model has 1 wound for each level and their attributes drop in level for each wound inflicted. On the side of good (played by my wife) we have Black Widow and Iron Man facing off against Whiplash and White Huntress.
The table itself is quite small (approximately 2’x2′) and it is intentional. This is a fast and dirty skirmish game.
The first couple of opening turns were quite boring. Both Black Widow and White Huntress made use of Stealth and due to lucky die rolls, neither one was spotted by the other side. This meant that each was effectively hidden until an action other than a move was taken.
The initial probing moves left Iron Man trusting to his suit to protect him as he led the way to draw out Whiplash.
The initiative system is a different type of inter-twined turns. Turn order is based first on the Cunning level, then by Rating. As shown, Black Widow always went first, then White Huntress, Iron Man and finally Whiplash. At any time, a player can have his model delay their turn. Simply move them to the top of the next stack. Why would somebody do that? Normally to avoid attacks or wait in ambush. If a model is wounded before their turn, the move in the initiative order based on the modified attribute level. To activate a model, the player picks up the card and places it beside them to clearly indicate who is left to act.
After the initial cat and mouse, Iron Man flew low to take aim at Whiplash. His blasters streaked blue energy across the sheet-metal fence, keeping Whiplash safe from harm.
When-ever any obstacle is in the way, there is a chance it is struck instead. After rolling the attack, the attack is re-rolled to check if the obstacle is in the way. A result of 1 on the die or a total less than 5 will strike the object. In this case, Iron Man rolled a 1 and the otherwise critical hit harmlessly scorched the fence.
Following his attack, Whiplash moved forward and started over-charging his whip. The next attack he made would be devastating. Meanwhile, Black Widow was able to Distract Whiplash and leave him idle.
White Huntress reached out with her mind and Lured Iron-Man to the ground. With the critical success she rolled she was able to move Iron Man twice and effectively cancel his next turn. She then took careful aim at his conveniently exposed back.
Iron Man has the Vehicle ability. This means only the most powerful attacks (with Anti-Tank) can hurt him. White Huntress has a character attribute she can use to choose an item, and she chose her next attack to have Anti-Tank. So she effectively had 1 chance to take out Iron Man.
White Huntress aimed wide with her shot and missed. With no actions remaining to use Stealth, she was left in the open and vulnerable.
Black Widow, meanwhile was not idle. She managed to Distract Whiplash, effectively ending his turn. Distract removes an action, if the roll is double the defense, then the victim loses two actions. Black Widow was just too Cunning for Whiplash. As he stood there stupefied, she snapped off a shot with her pistol and missed.
White Huntress instead moved in to target Black Widow. She dove past Iron Man and snapped a quick shot at Black Widow’s back, nearly dropping the super-spy as she inflicted 2 wounds.
White Huntress’ ability Ambush inflicts an extra wound when she attacks from behind or from Stealth.
With her attack failing to win the game, Iron Man quickly took off into the air again and fired a blast at White Huntress. As the energy bolts struck the ruthless mercenary, the game was won. Iron Man rolled a critical that was 3 times the defense roll of White Huntress, inflicting 3 wounds with one attack. This ended the game. All together, the game lasted maybe 15 minutes. A very quick and easy to play game.
But wait, there’s more. At that point, we decided to play a second game with 3 models per side. Now the Avengers had the most powerful threat I have assembled: Hulk.
To the forces of evil I added the Silver Samurai. Knowing he was the only guy I have (other than Dr. Doom) who had any sort of chance against the Hulk, and would be very tough to wound by either Black Widow or Iron Man.
The Silver Samurai has Armour that doubles his Defense rating against all attacks (except those with Anti-Tank). Both Black Widow and Iron Man gained Anti-Tank when they scored a critical hit…a tough prospect with the modifiers in this case.
The first round saw Hulk showing off. With Leap he is able to ignore terrain that is under his move value in height and distance. The small gap between buildings saw Hulk leap to the next roof…
…and use a second move to land on top of the car parked out front.
The other initial moves saw the two sneaky ladies again roll very well on Stealth and Iron Man use his Afterburners to move to the far corner.
As he zoomed into range of Silver Samurai, his shots were deflected by the nearly indestructible armour of the villain. In ominous preparation for the melee with Hulk, both Whiplash and Silver Samurai began to Overcharge their weapons as they slowly advanced.
Overcharge is an ability shared by both Whiplash and Silver Samurai. This lets the model spend an action to increase the die roll of the next attack by +2 and it gains Anti-Tank. Oh, and it stacks so they are able to spend multiple turns increasing the lethality of the eventual attack. After doing this twice, both had a good chance of hurting the Hulk, even if Iron Man stayed out of reach of their whip and sword.
As the Hulk sprinted across the street, White Huntress reached out with her mind to Lure Hulk away from the fight.
My cunning plan was to pull Hulk away from the fight and let both of my fighters keep Overcharge build-up going until they could finish Hulk with a couple of quick swings.
The strong-willed Hulk shook off both attempts to Lure him away. Iron Man saw that even Hulk could have trouble with two and fired at Whiplash, inflicting a wound on his nemesis. Seeing the only option for victory was slipping away, Silver Samurai teleported beside Hulk and swung with his sword…and barely scratched the unstoppable beast.
Tough is one of the nastiest abilities I developed. The model ignores the first wound each turn. Since Hulk has a very high Defense, this makes him very dangerous. Had Silver Samurai rolled anything but a 1, the Hulk would have at least taken a wound.
As both Hulk and Whiplash had the same Cunning they roll each turn to see who goes first, with Hulk having the initiative, he grabbed Silver Samurai to Throw him at Whiplash. Missing the car, the Silver Samurai was thrown with tremendous force and took out both himself and Whiplash on his flight.
Throw enables a model to throw, a distance determined by the margin of success. If something else is hit by the throw, then the new target also is attacked. Since the car was avoided by the attack, Whiplash was also attacked and suffered two wounds.
This of course ended the second game, but Hulk not finished. Hulk use second action to throw car. Hulk happy.
Both my wife and I enjoyed ourselves. She commented that each of the heroes definitely fit in the genre and played like their characters do. She did comment that Hulk was fun, and kind of hinted that maybe he was a bit over the top. So I showed her who could stop him dead…Dr. Doom.
I dropped him down only a short distance from Hulk. In initiative order, Dr. Doom lashed out at Hulk with lightning and inflicted a wound. Hulk ran in and used Smash (yes I went there, it is actually a melee attack with Anti-Tank). At that point she rolled a ridiculously large number and laughed. Then I showed her that Dr. Doom can ignore fatal attacks with his ability Escape Death. Escape Death negates fatal attacks by using a character trait or equipment, Dr. Doom has two character traits so essentially can ignore the first two times he is killed.
In scenarios, Hulk will be less valuable, as he can do two things well: smash and survive. If the objective is to disarm a bomb or close a portal spawning endless enemies his Might will be of questionable value. All around heroes like Nick Fury, Iron Man or Dr. Doom then prove to be much more valuable.
The next play scenario may see the trial of the handicap system: if a player chooses fewer levels of models, they get additional character traits in a pool they can use on any of their models. As these give access to the key abilities needed to target a specific ability, a lone hero like Batman would be quite dangerous.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to give those crazy ideas you have a try on the tabletop.
I decided to take a break from working on Captain America to finish off a few terrain projects that weren’t finished.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the name implies I have done some work on Dr. Doom. I also managed to get my brush to figure too.
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.
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.
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.
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 almost feel like a teenage girl on Facebook with how often I have been posting lately, but I had another free day (slowly running out of those before I go back to work) so I decided to turn my attention to my city. Yes, my last building is waiting to get painted, but I have wanted to do shacks for a long time but haven’t had corrugated sheets (either cardboard or plasticard) to do it. So instead I decided I would try plain card to see how it looked.
I quickly threw together a few free standing buildings. I made use of 4 different thickness and texture of card to create some variety. For the first building I intentionally went with uneven walls. It looks good, but had some issues with the roof. Lesson here: even build a sturdy roof for the haphazard sheets to rest on. After the glue dried I quickly slapped some paint on them and have them here to show off. I am not convinced my cloth and plastic bag doors really read the way I want them to, they aren’t as obvious as I hoped.
I chose to go with grey paint instead of metallic. As with all my greys, I mixed it myself. This also left me the option to lighten or darker individual sheets of metal. As this was a proof of concept, I didn’t go overboard on the coloured sections. The next batch may still have signs on the sheets or decals or something. I will also look at the cobbled together “row house” buildings too.
What was entertaining for me in building these was I was actually solving problems the way the builders of these do in real life. Hmm, these two panels don’t line up, I need a sheet that goes between them. Crap, the roof is caving in and still has holes…cover it with a tarp. Crap the “tarp” keeps moving…weigh it down. By the end I felt invested in these enough to consider living in them. Ok, maybe not. But I will rent them out for a very reasonable rate.
The simple paint scheme was finished with brown washes, rust washes, and spot orange washes for bright blossoms of rust. Overall I think these shacks would fit in nicely in Mogadishu, Mexico City, or just about any sprawling slum.
Also started today were a couple of sheet-metal haphazard walls. They will come in handy to break line of sight, and keep the slum sections colourfully segregated.
On the topic of terrain, I did a whole bunch more garbage bags and did a test with white glue to attach them to Styrofoam. After 5 hours I can tell you the glue is still wet. Once it is dry I will see if it is sturdy enough. If not, I will have to find a non-volatile base to super glue bags to.
Now the question is how do the new shacks fit in with the other buildings?
Looking at them, I would say pretty well. What is missing is more of them. More of the shacks, more of the buildings (and more levels) and more urban debris. I had considered doing some stylized concrete benches, and I think I will. It will capture the whole failed neighbourhood theme, and give a more clearly defined park. I also need advertisements: billboards, bus stop signs, placards on garbage bins, and so on. It is the one constant, even in the impoverished areas. This will mean I need to do up a few businesses too.
In the background of the shots you will see two projects I did yesterday but didn’t post: bus shelters and street lights. And of course a close up for better viewing.
For the bus shelters I opted for concrete style for something sturdy and easily graffiti tagged. It also keeps in the theme of a planned community that failed. Maybe it was a hastily built city, who knows. I do intend to add a third wall in “glass” using clear plastic from blisters with advertisements slotted in between.
The street lights are not glued yet for a reason. That is an LED and the post itself is a hollow tube. I drilled and filed the Hirst Arts column bases to slide the tubes in place. When I feel inclined to mess with batteries again I will have working street lights. I might switch the red for yellow though.
I hope this post inspired you today, if nothing else to take the plunge on that project you have been putting off because you lacked that one component. Improvise and see where it takes you. Oh, if it takes you to a place where the buildings look like this, you probably took a wrong turn.
Today saw a bit of work, and mostly dealt with taking out the trash.
Sorry, that is a blatant lie. Most of today was spent on something I will only briefly mention below. Fiddly computer image manipulation not my favorite part of this hobby.
Anyhow, before I destroyed my otherwise clever intro…I made garbage. Not my usual poor quality painting, but actual garbage. Or miniature garbage anyways.
Construction is very simple. Combining a few methods I have come across, basically cut big shapes out of a real garbage bag. Apply scrunched up paper to appropriate size. I used both waste from my shredder and torn paper towel to experiment, minimal difference in either. Bundle the bag up to the top. Twist the bundle and wrap in thread. Knot thread and cut close to the knot. Cut off excess bag and sculpt and trim as required. Viola, one bag of garbage. Even if it is easier to make a bag of garbage in real life, this isn’t too hard.
Now the individual bags can (and will) be used to dress up individual buildings and so on, I wanted a big trash heap to act as an obstacle. So I started with a chunk of foam to reduce the number of bags needed. I glues them on, and big pile of trash. Now since I was being impatient, I cut a corner I am regretting. I know super-glue melts foam, but figured it wouldn’t matter. It did. I will experiment with white glue on a bag or two to see if it actually holds for future piles.
For the action shot we see the White Huntress closing in on Nick Fury who thought things were clear behind him.
Whoa…screeching halt. Does that vending machine say Soylent Green? As mentioned above, I fiddled with some graphics today and made a few vending machine templates. Not the greatest, I may go back and change them. The photos used are not my own and are used without permission. Feel free to download these paper vending machines if you want some easy to use machines. They are all wrapped around foamcore. I will go back and adjust the sizes to fit better the next time I feel inclined.