Tag Archive | Terrain

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.

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.

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.

Have wheels, will travel

A common object in nearly every modern city is the automobile, and yet I seem to be lacking them completely in my terrain and miniature collections.  So with one fell swoop I can make cars that function as terrain and vehicles. Inspired by the Chicago Skirmish Wargames Club (http://chicagoskirmish.blogspot.com/) and their use of scale cars I bought two of these Dodge Chargers for about $10.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

As this picture shows they were over the top police interceptors.  But a bit of acetone and presto, bare metal.  I disassembled it first to save the plastic bits.  These are 1/43 scale and I think are a bit too big.  Beside figures they look fairly close.  I will be looking at 1/46 or 1/53 going forward but these worked out well.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger.  Deano by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger. Deano by Hassle Free Miniatures.

As shown by the two minis it scales approximately the right size.  I intend to use these as the vehicles for my modern/sci fi assault team (at least until I get some SUVs). Even beside the Quonsit hut they look fairly good.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger.  Deano by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger. Deano by Hassle Free Miniatures.

I might be a bit biased but I think even a bit of paint makes them pop even more.  I realized after painting this that I will need to use a varnish of these just to stop the paint from rubbing off.  Overall a good effect for minimal effort.  All together I spent an hour on this car and the second one is waiting for paint too.

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

Motor Max 1/43 scale Dodge Charger

A short one, but hopefully it inspires you to shop for some bargains to repurpose them.

And now for something different…

I took a pause in my other projects to throw together the start of a sci fi urban terrain section.  There are two reasons for this project.

First, I do enjoy playing on urban terrain in most sci fi games so the more the better.  The preferred terrain of course would be specific to the game.  As nice as the half-timbered houses look, it does seem a bit jarring when there are spacemen and aliens fighting in them.

Second, there are a few new players in town of 40k, and overall we are short a few pieces in the club collection.  So I wanted to figure out a quick and easy set of buildings that would be easy for new folks to build if we do a hobby night.

Anyhow, here are the pics of the first one done.

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

This was made with foamcore, card, and a drinking straw.  I coated the building with plaster prior to painting to seal a few gaps and give it a concrete structure.  Buried under the thick plaster are some detail panels I added.  Fortunately I only had enough plaster for this one so I could learn my mistake for the second one.

This was the first project where I successfully tried using plaster on a building.  I did a test a couple weeks ago doing a skin over an older building I had.  I had tried using plaster to clad a structure before but the plaster actually warped and lifted off of the building all those years ago.  I don’t remember my step by step from then, but I think I am doing it differently and better this time.

And here is a WIP of the second building done.

Sci fi urban terrain

Sci fi urban terrain

All together these took 3 hours of work (not including glue, plaster, and paint drying times) over the course of two days.  A second theme following out of these will be the building of shanty shacks.  I figured out a new way to build them since doing the cobbled-together walls would be too fragile.  So I intend to build a solid foamcore skeleton with cobbled on sheet-metal and junk to build the shacks.  The buildings in the style above will form the core of the shanty neighbourhood.

Anyhow, short and sweet but hopefully inspirational to try a small scale project for a change of pace.

2015 – Year of the Unfinished Projects

I am sure this title can be interpreted many ways:

  • A typo in my summary of my success at completing projects last year.
  • A prophetic vision of the outcome of this year.
  • Or a simply defined goal.

Like many miniature hobbyists, I have countless unfinished projects.  This year I have decided to focus on finishing (some of) them, and that means going back to some older ones.

Half-timbered row house terrain.  Est. circa 2009.

Half-timbered row house terrain. Est. circa 2009.

Half-timbered row house terrain.  Est. circa 2009.

Half-timbered row house terrain. Est. circa 2009.

First we have part of my ambitious town project.  I intended to start small (with a square) for use in Confrontation (and other 28mm games).  I did detailed work and actually built each building individually to reinforce stability and provide the slightly off-kilter appearance these buildings show in European towns and cities.  At the far right the building with no timber shows where the project stalled.  The edging was a bit tedious but mostly other projects (and life responsibilities) took over.  I was reminded of my goal when I played a game of 40K recently and used this to fill some table space.  Goal for this year: finish this building strip and complete at least one more row.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings.

Next we have the start of some dwarven ruins for use in Lord of the Rings.  I actually have a few pieces I intended to use as scatter terrain.  What was completed was finished in one weekend.  The intent was to build terrain for the battle of Balin’s Tomb from the main rules.  I have a Fellowship and I figured this would give me a reason to finish painting them.  After the initial flurry of activity, little else was done.  This particular piece needs paper cladding and work to define the raw stone (Styrofoam) vs worked stone (foamcore).  Also completed were a small plaza and raw stone building with stairs to a higher level.  Goal for this year: finish the 3 pieces started and three more scatter terrain pieces.

Devil Dog half-finished project receiving a new powertrain.

Devil Dog half-finished project receiving a new powertrain.

The next unfinished project is much more recent, in fact it was one of my stated goals to finish in 2014.  Instead of using the light tank, I will instead turn the two hulls (and add another) into a wheeled IFV to proxy as a Razorback for my 40K Space Marines.  As they will be filling out an existing army, I see them as more likely to be finished.  Goal for this year: build 3 Razorback scratch-builds.

Now I am sure some of the more regular readers will notice that I have a long gap in posts, and nothing here mentions the HOTT Orcs.  Well, as I mentioned in my last post, the rust wash was a bit over-done on the orcs.  It pretty much crushed my morale on these figs as the rust wash was the last part and now I am not sure if I can repair it or I need to go the route of stripping.  Here are a few pics.

Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai count as spears in my Orc HOTT Army.

Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai count as spears in my Orc HOTT Army.

Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai count as spears in my Orc HOTT Army.

Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai count as spears in my Orc HOTT Army.

The second picture was done with a shadow to show just how rusted out they are.  I have seen metal that rusted, but normally they were pieces of heavy machinery left in a field for decades.  I have had a few opinions and universally they are not good.  But, despite being discouraging, I will pick up the brush and finish this project.  Goal for this year: finish my orc HOTT army.

Now this isn’t to say I expect all my time to go onto these projects, and this year I will expect some other random things to get thrown at me.  I will be doing more Hirst Arts dungeon pieces.  To tie into that, by summer (hopefully) I will have my Bones 2 Kickstarter miniatures…roughly 100 figs to populate my dungeon and provide more painting fodder for my voracious 5 year-old daughter who is taking up the brush.  I have also been taking my time to finish a few choice models, a novelty for me.  I also am thinking about how to do a better modern/sci-fi city scape and I might go to Blade Runner, the new Total Recall, and 3rd World Slums for ideas to do some terrain for skirmish.

Of course that also brings up the small collection of a small strike team I bought and haven’t assembled/painted…

But all of this is not to say that last year was a wasted year.  In the span of this year I managed to build (and paint) a small dungeon.

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon.  Reaper Miniatures Pathfinder Goblin.  Hassle Free Miniatures Hayden.

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon. Reaper Miniatures Pathfinder Goblin. Hassle Free Miniatures Hayden.

I also completed a scratch-built dreadnought in a relatively short timespan…well short considering my work responsibilities and trips during that time.

Dread_update53

And let’s not forget the completion of not 1…

General and his red tunic

General and his red tunic

Scorpion Artillery.  Miniatures by Warlord Games

Scorpion Artillery. Miniatures by Warlord Games

Why so tense, the Optio isn't around...

Why so tense, the Optio isn’t around…

Not two…

Early Achaemenid Persians by Wargames Factory.

Early Achaemenid Persians by Wargames Factory.

Sparabara.  Miniatures by Wargames Factory.

Sparabara. Miniatures by Wargames Factory.

All miniatures Wargames Factory.  6 units of a Persian Army.

All miniatures Wargames Factory. 6 units of a Persian Army.

But three DBA armies.

A closer look at the hordes.  All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

A closer look at the hordes. All plastic models Wargames Factory, metal miniatures by Warlord Games.

Chariot from the obverse.  The halters and yoke are detailed and cry-out for the attachment of reins.

Chariot from the obverse. The halters and yoke are detailed and cry-out for the attachment of reins.

Wargames Factory Celt Cavalry.  In different armies these can count as either cavalry or light horse.  There will be one more unit of cavalry that will be a general option.

Wargames Factory Celt Cavalry. In different armies these can count as either cavalry or light horse. There will be one more unit of cavalry that will be a general option.

Ok, maybe two and a half since the Brittons/Gauls/Galatians aren’t painted.

I also painted quite a few single miniatures.

Faceless Horror by Reaper Miniatures

Faceless Horror by Reaper Miniatures

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon.  Reaper Miniatures Pathfinder Goblin

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon. Reaper Miniatures Pathfinder Goblin

Reaper Miniatures Harvey Brimstone, Astrid Female Bard, Mummy Warriors and Mummy Captain

Reaper Miniatures Harvey Brimstone, Astrid Female Bard, Mummy Warriors and Mummy Captain

Marius Burrowell and Mocking Beast by Reaper Miniatures

Marius Burrowell and Mocking Beast by Reaper Miniatures

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon Treasure Token.  Anirion Wood Elf Mage by Reaper Miniatures.  Games Workshop Dunedain from the Lord of the Rings.

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon Treasure Token. Anirion Wood Elf Mage by Reaper Miniatures. Games Workshop Dunedain from the Lord of the Rings.

DSCF6438 DSCF6143

Astrid Female Bard by Reaper Miniatures

Astrid Female Bard by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow Warden Mystic by Reaper Miniatures

Barrow Warden Mystic by Reaper Miniatures

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon Treasure Token

Hirst Arts Modular Dungeon Treasure Token

A longer post than usual for me, and quite heavy on pictures (even if most are recycled).  I encourage all the folks out there to set goals but be flexible.  There is a lot of time and effort that goes into this hobby, and the minute it starts feeling like work is the time it stops being fun.  It is all that wandering from project to project that defines the enjoyment of the hobby.  Having the freedom to walk away from a project that has lost its grip on your attention is part of what keeps it enjoyable.  The ability to pick up a new one also keeps those embers smoldering.  If nothing else, I hope this post inspires you to revisit what attracted you to this hobby in the first place.  Hmmm, seems a bit like a Hallmark card there.