Sunday, 5 April 2020

Oh no! There's Another Nasty Bug in the Air.

I've been back to painting figures again over the past few days. A combination of being housebound & playing Rangers of Shadow Deep has me looking at my lead pile and finishing things that have been waiting for a long, long time.

For instance: these bugs have been waiting for a couple of years. I did buy them to make a bug army for FireFight but lost interest. But I found them and thought that they'd be good for a near future game of RoSD. I think they came from Khurasan Miniatures and I think they're supposed to be 15mm beasts. I'll be using them as giant flies.
 And a couple of grounded cousin.
These are a kit-bash. I found a bunch of armless torsos of  of some of the Hawkmoon figures I sculpted for Eureka Miniatures a few years back. I added some arms from the Oathmark plastic goblin set and a little bit of green-stuff. They came up really nice. I have a few more of these torsos so I might make a few more.
I bought a bag full of ghostly GW figures from a friend. They are sort of weird flimsy things but they look okay. I need a creepy ghostly knight for the next RoSD scenario so I thought I give one of them a quick paint job. I think he came out nice. I did some reflective light source stuff on him. This isn't something I would normally do but, I have to admit, it really made a difference on the figure.

Yes, I know the base is very, very basic. I just wanted something fast and easy so I just settled on paint. I know it's dull but it will work well for the scenario he's going to appear in.

And that's it for the moment. I still have plenty of lead I hope to get as much painted as I can while. I'm also making a fair bit of terrain and my next post will probably be about some of the terrain I've recently done.

Cheers, and stay well.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

More Dungeon Walls

I've been printing, cutting and gluing... Printing, cutting and gluing... Printing, cutting and gluing...

And now I have a bunch of really nice dungeon walls. They go together really well with my new stony floored games board. I made a whole bunch of walls, corners, doors, pillars, stairs, interior walls as well as some props like weapon racks, a fireplace and other odds and ends. They came out really nice.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while will know that I do like card-stock terrain and I have quite a collection of it. It's cheaper than resin or mdf and it has a different aesthetic, but when it's done well it can look great. And it took about three evenings to do the lot.

I made this primarily for Rangers of Shadow Deep and you can see it in action right here: Hwyll: A Ranger of Shadow Deep
In the pics below you'll also see a bunch of tables and benches that I whipped up in a couple of hours. They are very rough and ready. They're made of balsa wood with a splash of brown ink.  Other odds and ends are resin that I've had for a long, long time.
 Here's a few shots of the terrain "in action!"

Monday, 30 March 2020

Elves & Ogres and Deep, Deep Dungeons

My painting has slowed a down a bit compared to the past couple of months. But that's because I've been getting in to some solo gaming with Rangers of Shadow Deep and I've been writing up my blog for that and making terrain for it.

But today I have some new figures in the form of Elf Scouts. These have been kit-bashed from Conquest Games - Dark Age Archers and the Oathmark elves set. They're a little bit chunky for elves but they look okay (besides that, these give me 6 extra elves from some old sprues that were doing nothing).
Did I say Ogres? Well what about 3 photo's of the same ogre? This is a Reaper Bones figure. I thought this figure looked really nice when I bought it. Then I mounted it on abase and I thought: Meh... It's okay. I started painting and I thought: It looks crap. Then I finished and now I think he looks very nice. He will now join the Erlking's Army (or the Army of Faerie).
That's some sort of tribal tattoo thing on his shoulder.
I also had a think about how I was going to do the terrain for the next RoSD mission and decided to go for card terrain. I could have done some cheap and nasty stone walls out of cork tiles but I thought I'd make the effort to do something that I can use for various other things in the future.

I'm using the Fat Dragon Delux Dungeon PDF terrain from DriveThruRPG. It has plenty of options but for now I'm just making some basic walls, corners and doors.
Print them. Cut them out. Fold them and glue them.

 A size comparison with a 28mm figure.

The structure is held together with bobby pins. Simple but effective.
On top of my new terrain board.
 And the the doors work too!
When the basic rooms are done I'll do some decorative bits to flesh out the rooms. Print terrain sometimes looks a bit odd but I've found that if you do a table with about 90% printed terrain then it looks really good. It's when you start mixing it with modeled/3D terrain that's when it starts to look weird.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Quick Nasty and Cheap Terrain Board

I've been getting into Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep lately and I see the need for a small table. I was going to go for a 4' x 4' but opted instead for a 3' x 3'. I had two 4' x 2' x 50mm foam boards in my garage. So that's where I started.

I cut both boards to 3' x 2' and then split one of them into two 12" x 3' sections. I then glued one 12" section the 3' x 2' section so that I had a 3' x 3' slab. I used Liquid Nails glue to do this.

I then decided to score the foam with my hot foam cutter and coat the finish result with grey caulk.
But I soon got jack of that and made a coffee and sat down for a re-think. I didn't have to think too hard and when I had re-thunk enough, I decided to use vinyl floor tiles with a sticky back. I'd need 9 of them so I went and got them. They cost about $17.

I took them home, peeled the backing off them and one by one, I stuck them on the board. This took about 5 minutes - Less time than it took to buy them. I then gave the foam a slight trim.
After these pics were taken, I gave it a  few coats of mat spray varnish take the shine off it (making sure not to spray the edges).

Now, I could have stopped there but I thought (I've gotta stop all this thinking)... I thought: "Why not do a basic flat outdoors side too. So I did.

I wanted the foam to be pretty sturdy so I thought I'll add a surface of green marine carpet. I bought lots of this 20 odd years ago for covering some 6' x 4' table tops. I peeled it off the tables long ago and I still have some of it so I used the final a 3' x 4' piece I still had left over. I glued it on using Liquid Nails again.
I first made up a mix of light brown caulk, pva gule and water. I brushed this concoction onto the carpet and threw lots of different types of flock on to it. I have a lot of flock. I learned to make it about 5 years ago and I made lots. I've never needed any flock since, but the time is coming where I'll need to make another few batches.
 The brown caulk...
When it had a good overall covering of flock, I rubbed it into the carped fiber. I then made up a watered down pva concoction and sprayed the whole thing several times whilst adding more detailed types of flock (stones, gorse, shrubs, etc.). Make sure you pat this stuff down if you decide to add them and give them some close up bursts of pva spray.

And here it is. It's still damp at the moment but we're having a nice patch of weather so it will be fully dry tomorrow. I had all the materials for this part ready to go. If I were to put a cost on it, I'd say: $15 for the caulk and the glue.
A shot of the surface detail.
So there you have it. It took about 3 hours all up with several coffee breaks (and one of my teeth fell out - It was cracked and due to be removed in three days time anyway). Now I have two new gaming tables. Because it's constructed on foam it weighs in at about 2 kilos and I'm hoping to use it on the kitchen table because it has no sharp edges or abrasive surfaces. Or I might even buy a card table for it.

Also, I might put some sort of seal on the edges. Then again, I might not.

Hey, I took a little video. I don't know if this will work because I'm a bit of a tech numpty. But I'll try:

UPDATE: It was dry this morning so I gave it another heavy spray of watered down pva and put it in the sun to dry. Now the grasses are as solid as a rock! I put some black gaffa tape on it for some easy edging. Nothing special but it looks tidy.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

It's all bull, I'm tellin' ya!

I'm locked away like everyone else with the difference being that semi-isolation is my usual state of being. Which, if you've ever wondered, is why I manage to get quite a bit of modeling and wargaming stuff done so quickly when I put my mind into it.

So, what have I got that's new?

I have a bunch of Bull Legion Infantry. What are these you may ask? I sculpted these for Eureka a few years back for their Moocock/Hawkmoon range. I've had a couple of hese sitting on my desk for a couple of years with the intent to paint them and I finally did. I decided a half dozen would make a good Elite Foot unit for Dragon Rampant. Heavily armoured guys with big hammers.
They are fairly hefty figures, all armed with heavy striking weapons like hammers and axes. But there's only three variants. The one with his weapon over his shoulder has empty hands and can be fitted with various weapons. He comes with the hammer as shown but I did make a weapon sprue with a 2 handed sword, battle axe, spear and a basic flamelance.
I also made up a couple of extra Oathmark orc archers to make up a 12 figure unit of bow (or two 6 figure scout units). Like the others that I did a few weeks back, these have been painted fast and rough because I think this style gives them a course and dirty, orcish look.

I also started a new blog - If you look above at the heading you can see a new button called A Ranger of Shadow Deep. Clicking the button leads to a separate blog where I'm going to chronicle my Rangers of Shadow Deep solo campaign. It seems I chose the right time to start solo wargaming.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Easy Terrain for Frostgrave

Having played a couple of games of Frostgrave on the fantastic terrain maide by Neil from NWA, I decided to make some myself. I unashamedly stole his idea and concept (I did tell him I was doing this). My reasoning for that is to give all of us players in our campaign a bit more of the chance to to play on terrain that is made to fit the setting. I also want to make some terrain pieces that are scenario specific.

When we have 8 players (thus 4 games all playing at the same time) and only one terrain builder it can get a bit much for one person. Besides all that. I do like to make & own my own stuff and so now, I have some or any other of campaign games.

That said, these first few pieces that I've made are pretty basic and they're far from the really nice set piece stuff that Neil has already made. But they'll help set the mood and make the other tables look more how Frostgrave should.
These pieces are made from a mix of high density white foam and compressed orange insulation foam. I bought a straight foam cutting knife to do the majority of the cutting and I also use my handheld wire cutter for some parts. All pieces are glued together using Liquid Nails (called Hard as Nails in some countries).

Each piece has had two coats of watered down (but still quite thick) dark grey caulk. The bases are just corrugated cardboard with masking tape folded over the edges. The bases also had two coats of caulk with a third thinner coat that I sprinkled with sawdust for texture.
I next gave them a heavy dry brushing using some light grey acrylic emulsion paint that I had on the shelf in a tester pot.
The snow is bi-carb... Now this is not what I was going to use. I didn't intend to use bi-carb because of the inevitable yellowing effect. however, I read on another blog about "cleaning bi-carb". This stuff is different in that it is not for food or kitchen use. It's strictly used for cleaning. As a result it doesn't contain any starches with is what causes the yellowing of standard bi-carb. It's very fine to the touch, almost like talcum powder.  I bought it in the hardware store. It adheres very well to pva glue. I applied the pva unwatered and thick.
And here's my start on my next piece. This one is a specific piece for Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign. I read bout this terrain requirement in the book and decided to make a bespoke piece. In the scenario The Ghoul King is sitting on his throne which is placed on the central pedestal and I have just the thing...

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

King, Queen & Jack

What? Have I decided to shun the wonderful world of miniature wargaming and modeling and, instead, turned mine eyes towards the iniquitous world of gambling? I hear you ask.

Nay. let it be not so! And so it ain't.

But, every kingdom needs a king and every king needs a queen and every queen needs a Jack (in case she needs to change a tyre). And so the Army of the Erlking also needed an king. An Erlking, to be precise!
The Erlking and queen are from the Oathmark range. They're metal figures and I found them to a bit lackluster, so a bit of kit bashing was required. The king has had the most extensive work. He has: a plume from Eureka Miniatures - A Celtic shield from Warlord, a plastic Oathmark elf sword (+ hand) and a cape from the Fireforge Teutonic range.

I think he came out looking more like an elf king should look. His armour & helm have a lot of pieces that, I think, are supposed to be pieces of armour or metal. I decided to paint them as gems and it was like I was back to painting GW Eldar after all these years. I think they look nice though.
The Queen of Faerie looks okay from some angles and a bit odd from others. From the front she looks great. The only thing I added to her was a Fireforge cape. It gives the figure a bit more dimension because it's a bit flat and insignificant in its own right.

Other than that she's quite plain but in my book that's okay as I'm not a fan of really busy or cluttered figures.
The Prince in the Scarlet Robe - I kit bashed him from a plastic Norman knight torso that I found in amongst the junk on my desk. I trimmed some Oathmark Elf arms to fit, added another Foreforge robe/cape and then an Oathmard head. I think he came out really nice. In fact I prefer him to the regular Oathmark elves.

There wolf... There castle!
Yes, it's an old one but a good one...Thank you Mel Brookes.

I made a Werewolf unit to go with my Dragon Rampant goblins/orcs/evil guys army. The idea of this came from listening the the audiobook version of The Silmarillion whilst painting. A few times the stories mention werewolves fighting in the armies of Morgoth, so I thought why not make a reduced figure unit of them. I'l make them Lesser Warbeasts or something and give them the venomous trait to make 'em mean.

All three of these are Reaper Bones. They took me only a few hours to paint and I think they look great. They'll certainly put the fright into their enemies. As a unit they came in a $19.50 (one cost $7, one cost $6 and one cost $6.50). Gotta love the price of those Bones.