Monday, 10 December 2012

Steampunk Adventurer

My Gaming group is always playing around with the idea of starting a steampunk roleplaying campaign of some description.

Possibly using one or a combination of systems/settings: Abney Park's Airship Pirates, Victoriana, Iron Kingdoms.

Even if whoever decides to run a game says they won't be using figures, because the miniature hobby comes naturally, I tend to make figures of my characters anyway.

So I put together this figure in preparation, a sort of steampunk adventurer/gunslinger:

It is a very minor conversion and alternative paint-job.

The base figure is a Cygnar Gun-Mage Captain Adept from the Warmachine gameline produced by Privateer Press.

The only conversion work was to the rear of the miniature, I left the sword off and instead attached the ammo bags/satchel from the warhammer 40k Ork Boyz sprue.

Then it was just a quick paint-job and done.

The pose the original miniature is in, is to indicate he is casting a spell with/through his pistol.
I thought it looked quite dynamic and just makes me think of a gunslinger caught mid-motion as he draws and spins to face his attacker.


Samual Vimes of the Night Watch

Terry Pretchett's Discworld has many odd and wonderful characters in it.
Samuel Vimes is one of my favourites, I know that in art he has a little bit of a Clint Eastwood look to him, but in all the years I read discworld novels growing up I imagined him played in my imaginary cast by the now late and great Pete Postlethwaite.

This is another miniature that I painted for my friend Craig but this time as a sort of combined birthday present.
Our friend Jessica bought the miniature for Craig's birthday but didn't think she could do it justice and asked me to paint it for him.

When Jessica approached me and asked me to paint this miniature I was in a bit of a heavy hobby slump and had been having a difficult time sitting and painting for quite some time.

So I decided to make things interesting and challenging myself to stick to this starter box set of 8 Vallejo model paint colours...


I did allow myself the luxury of a little bit of Citadel's Devlan Mud.

Blood Angels Special Characters

I finished painting some miniatures for a couple of my friends a little while back, but I just didn't get around to taking pictures of them.

Here's some shots of two Blood Angels special characters I painted for my friend Craig for his force when he first started in the hobby.
The miniatures actually came from another friend's old collection that he gave to e when leaving the hobby.

I rummaged around in my storage boxes and found what I could, being lead miniatures there was some unavoidable softening of some details and Dante actually had both hands missing. So I decided to fix them up and give them a new lease of life in somebody else' collection.

Chapter Master - Commander Dante:

I had to scratch build a new Inferno pistol for Dante, I believe it used parts from a chaos plasma pistol, a meltagun and some guitar wire.
I built up the Axe Mortalis from an old veteran sergeant power axe from my bits box and a small section of a banner top.
I also picked up one of the awesome Sanguinary Guard jump packs to modernise him a little. Then it was onto a 40mm scenic base and into the paint queue.

3rd Company Captain - Erasmus Tycho:

Tycho was a little more simple, just some cutting and filing of damaged/squashed details and had to re-sculpt a small section of his nose/cheek, purity seals and other small bits.
Then I added one of the drop pod chapter marking plates to a section of rod for a small banner.
Once again, onto a 40mm scenic base and into the paint queue.

I still have to paint up The Sanguinary Priest - Corbulo, he's in the paint queue somewhere down the line though.


Miniature Photography Redux - part 1

I've been experimenting with how I take pictures of my miniatures and how i would like to display them on my blog.

There are many skilled and talented bloggers out there that probably do it a hell of a lot better than me. But this method is working for me at the moment, I may tweak and change it at a later date. And I'll hold off from a tutorial until I master the way I do it.

Here are a couple of shots of miniatures I've posted before on the blog, but with the new method:

Adeptus Arbites

Khorne Berzerker

Inspiration and Research

And for the benefit of people who want to do it themselves or just want to read some great blogs, posts and articles. Here's a handful of links to sites, blogs and articles I found inspirational for this purpose, although there's very likely more I should have highlighted and I apologise for my forgetfulness:

Spiky Rat Pack

Tears of Isstvan

Rust and the City


Legion of Plastic

King's mini's

Opus Maius

Gardens of Hecate

First Point of Ares

Massive Voodoo

This is all completely off of the top of my head, as i said it's likely I've forgotten someone unfortunately.

I just wanted to point these out and say it is not necessarily the method in which any one of them displays their models.
Be that lush photography set-up, useful advice, interesting set pieces, inspiring backdrops, awesome dioramas...
But the dedication, feel and general atmosphere that I was seeking.

I love getting lost in the creation of a characters, miniatures, units and armies. The miniature hobby has been such an amazing portion of my personal and social life and I just wanted to take the time to try and showcase my own miniatures in a more loving and thought out way.

I do not think my photography method is perfect, but I like where it is going now. It is probably always going to be an evolving process.

But thank you to those I've mentioned above for the inspiration (and to those that may have been overlooked too.)


Goblin Samurai

My friend Gregory had rolled up a Goblin Samurai for an all goblin D&D campaign we were going to be taking part in.

He asked me for help looking for a suitable miniature, but after a lot of fruitless searching he gave up and tried to figure out how to convert one.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, I used this problem to my advantage. I converted and painted up this miniature as his birthday gift for a few reasons:

- 1. He couldn't find one anywhere else.
- 2. He doesn't really feel that confident yet about his converting skill.
- 3. I do.
- 4. It meant I didn't have to think of something else to get him. (bonus!!!)

The majority of the miniature is citadel plastics with some scratch built elements thrown in.

Off the top of my head the parts were as follows:

- Skaven Clanrat torso.
- Goblin wolf rider arms.
- Goblin legs.
- Either a Goblin or Gretchin head.
- The armour sections were cut up Goblin shields.


A little high, a little low...

Feeling pretty good today...

Managed to finish organising all my photographs that have been uploaded to photobucket so far, which meant I was able to get several articles posted up on my Hobby blog.

Now I'm just trying to fight off a strange oppressive lethargy that's started coming over me.

I want to get on with more hobby stuff, but I'm finding it hard to focus my mind right now...

Maybe later on tonight I'll be better.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

No hobby yet, but still some productivity...

Song of the day : The Prodigy - Spitfire

Now I've got the blog back I decided to get some work done around my workspace.

Mess is always a problem and I like to get organised before I throw myself into any creative work.

We had/have a damp problem, can't be helped with big old houses. And we had some furniture too damaged to save. Among them were several bookcases, i managed to salvage many of the shelves, which have just been sat around taking up space.

So armed with some screws, a few nearby tools and a nice cup of tea, I managed to crank out some new bits of furniture for the hobby room.

Starting with this:

Then this:

They've turned out a lot like me... Not very pretty, but sturdy and functional...

So they should help with a little more storage space around the room.

I also decided to whip up a treat for the kids dinner:

Homemade crisps,garlic and herb potato wedges, with a ham and cheese BBQ baked bean dip.

'twas very nice :)

On the hobby front, I'm just moving a couple of boxes and bits, then I'll be sitting down to work on some things:

- considering getting back to my Night Goblin force.
- maybe start working on the Terran Dark Angel Force I've been mulling over.
- finish painting character models for my friend's collection.
- got some other hobby experiments I want to try out too.

Well... Whatever I decide, I'm back at the wheel now.

Take care everyone.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

We're half way there...

I haven't done anything hobby related for a little while,but I'll soon change that.

I still have the tables to clear off and I've been quite busy looking after the pregnant rats.

We have 24 rat pups at this moment in time, all seem to be quite fit and healthy.

So that's 3 females delivered, 3 more to go...

Take care everyone,


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Khorne Berzerker : army concept figure

A few years ago I converted and painted this is a miniature with an eye toward doing an entire Khorne Chaos Space Marine army, possibly World Eaters.

Unfortunately it never went further, I had a hobby slump of a couple of years and never went back to it.

I still like the miniature, even though I can see rough spots that I could do better now.

He just sits up on my shelf looking at me now, a lone berzerker....


I may go back to this project yet... We'll see.

See you around,

Gaming terrain : Field Stone Wall Sections

I'm getting around to populating my tabletop with some terrain I've had on a back burner for a while.

Soon I'm hoping that there will be no more "counts as" props for landmarks on the battlefield.

I actually made these wall sections a months ago, but I've only just got around to painting and flocking them.

The wall sections are each 6" inches long, in Warhammer you roll for D3 6" obstacles on terrain set-up.

These wall sections are pretty versatile for table set-up. Whether it is for wargaming or roleplay. They can be random obstacles and line-of-sight blockers, or placed to make larger terrain like gardens and pastures alongside any buildings and other terrain is placed on the board.

Here's a scale shot of them, I just grabbed a nearby miniature to illustrate it. As you can see, the walls come to slightly higher than waist height on a 28mm miniature, but the process of making them could be modified for different scales very easily.

Since I made these before I started the blog there weren't any work in progress shots of their construction, but I'm planning on rectifying that.

I want many more obstacles of different types, so I will take pictures as I go and post them as future tutorials, so watch this space.

Take care everyone,

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My appreciation of the Games Workshop hobby, the many staff I have met and my random quest of randomness...

This is an article I was supposed to post up last week-ish, but I fell ill and that disrupted things...
Here it is nonetheless...

Hey everyone,
this is going to be an odd one. But maybe it will give you a bit of a peek into how my head works at times and the difficulties I sometimes have to break through.

It is a bit of a ramble, but please stick with it.

Forewarned is forearmed...

The other day whilst I was stripping the Realm of battle boards I had a torrent of thoughts and ideas rolling around in the maelstrom I call a mind.

It happened pretty much like it does whenever I partake in monotonous duties of some kind, for instance when I worked as a packer in a warehouse, padding shelves at Virgin Megastore, when cleaning, peeling vegetables or preparing dinner in general for the kids and in this instance whilst washing and scrubbing the boards.

At moments like this my mind gets to roil with ideas, half-formed thoughts and day dreams. It can be a blessing or a curse at different times.

I started to think about the Games Workshop hobby, it's impact on my life and various other things tied to it that have come up in conversations I've been involved in, witnessed, or read on the internet.

Specifically around issues such as price hikes, Games Workshop staff sales tactics in-store, forgetting their roots/fans, their younger target audience and the years spent as part of the hobby.

Now through this tumult I was able to string together some coherent thoughts and opinions.

Now I've been in the hobby since around 1989 (which would have made me about 8 years old at that time) with the release of the GW/MB board game Heroquest which brought my attention to the gaming hobby in general. At the time of writing this I am 31 years of age. So as you can see, I've loved this hobby for a very large chunk of my life (note: there were times I tried to ditch the hobby in the past, but to no avail, it's too much a part of me to let go...)

Now before we go any further and I start to sound like a hypocrite, I'd just like to say that I have been an instigator in both the positive and negative sides of the following points and arguments that I'm about to give my opinions on over the years. But what I'm about to write about is the result of those many years of conversations and a sort of resolution in my mind on some of those points that I came to...

I don't know if this is even making the slightest bit of sense so I'll move on to the points I want to discuss...

The Games Workshop hobby is too expensive...

Look... I won't sugar-coat it. As a hobby it can get a little pricey, but there are other hobbies out there that will burn through your pockets with the same if not greater speed.

Hobbies are an indulgence... Choose your poison well...

You and I take part in this hobby because we want to, not because we want something cheap, but because the different Warhammer settings are very rich and enthralling and they call to us and we want to take part in them.

You can do a lot to combat spending too much on your hobby. Plan your army lists ahead of time and only buy what you need to get a force up and running, then future purchases can be whatever you wish to have in your force/collection.

Buying on a whim or impulse buying can be disastrous to the old wallet and finances. now I'm not saying you should stop it (gods know I can't...) but you should try to take control and rein it in a bit. One way could be to set yourself little goals/targets, for instance, you're allowed to buy anything that takes your fancy, but only when you've finished painting up "X" miniature/unit.

Buying from independent stockists, online retailers, second hand (Ebay etc). I do this from time to time, I've got four kids and I care for two adults, so money can be a little tight at times. But the point I want to make on this is i am no longer bemoaning the normal retail prices in Games Workshop stores and here's why:

Yes you may save a couple of quid here and there buying from other places, but...
What other social activities do you do that will only cost you a couple of quid to take part?

Just take a moment to reflect on your buying habits...

Now... I did and this is what I came up with:

I could stay at home, buy something online, get on with my day to day routine and wait for my goods to arrive and just concentrate on my hobbying at home alone and with friends...


I could go out, get a bit of fresh air, have a change of scenery, maybe get my friends to come along and make a day of it, talk to other people into the same hobby as I am involved in and maybe, just maybe, make new friends and have a good day out... (especially if I grab a cup of tea somewhere... everything is better with tea... You hear me Games Workshop..? TEA!!!.)

I know which one I prefer, I'd rather have a good day and potentially expand my local hobby/gaming network than run the risk of becoming a more solitary gamer and steadily become socially retarded*.

(*no offence is aimed at those that suffer from mental problems or disabilities, I use the word for it's literal meaning of: Held or To Hold Back.)

Games Workshop staff are pushy and sales hungry OR I don't like their attitude/demeanor...

Okay... Let me start this little rant with a bloody obvious statement...

Games Workshop is a business... Okay..? Got that..?

A business has two purposes, one is to make money (the one people usually complain about). The other is to supply services or goods to their customers (the one they don't generally complain about).

Now let's take a look at some of the duties and/or services the staff perform...

The staff members at your local store are employees for the said company, it is their job to make sales as well as provide hobby advice/guidance, don't hate someone for doing their job, that's just pointless and honestly a little ridiculous...

If you don't like going through the "sale dance" with an employee, just tell them you'd like to take the time to look around and browse on your own. No feelings will be hurt, they are people too, not demanding vending machines.

Or, you could have a conversation with one of them (*gasp*...). The staff members of your local store are not only hobbyists like yourself, they love the hobby so much they have decided to make a career of it, I commend them.

So chat awhile with them, have a nice talk about your hobby, ask advice on future additions to your collection, ask for help with any hobby problems you may have and thank them for their time... Everyone likes to be appreciated.

Take a moment to think about the other duties they perform in the background for you and others that frequent your local store that may not be immediately at the forefront of your thoughts.

They offer you a nice, clean, friendly and welcoming atmosphere to take part in your hobby activities and meet other hobbyists.

They work to provide built and painted terrain to play on. Painted miniatures for the store cabinets. Dedicate time to keeping up on current rules and updates so they can better help you all. A lot of the time they will do these things in their own spare time, taking away time they may otherwise spend on their own hobbies or with loved ones.

At times they have to manage a store full of attention hungry hobbyists many of them young and impatient.

And they have to do all this and comport themselves in a friendly, but strict, respectful and patient manner. It must be hard work at times, as I have already said, I have four children, I'm allowed to tell them off and deny them things like pocket money and T.V. when they are misbehaving, but not a room full of other peoples children.

Many, many staff members set a good example and are good role-models for these youngsters, yet again, commendable.

Which nicely leads to my next point...

I don't like going to a Games workshop store full of kids...

This is one that gets to me. It's a strange argument I've heard many times.

Games Workshop stores are full of kids... Yeah... They are... Well done, have a cookie.

You know what?

Many moons ago, I was one of those kids, I'm willing to bet whoever is reading this will most likely have been one too.

Would you like to know what I remember most fondly about my time as a gamer kid in a GW store..? I don't know why I'm asking, I'm going to tell you anyway...

The staff members for one, for many of the reasons I listed previously in this article already.

But it was the older gamers, those that took the time and patience to talk to us young'uns and like the staff gave us advice on hobby matters, gaming tactics and just generally making us a part of the community.

I remember the other older gamers too... The ones that looked down on the youngsters in the store... Patronised you for not knowing the rules properly yet... Putting down your crappy paint job that you had spent hours trying to get just right... Lording it over you when they wiped your forces from the board with their superior and mature tactics...

Don't be that guy... Be the other guy... The one that will be remembered fondly...

Games Workshop don't care about their fans/customers...

This is a short but sweet one...

They do care about you... If it wasn't for you, there wouldn't be a Games Workshop...

Think about the realities of that statement.

Games workshop don't support my favourite system anymore...

Yes... This is a bit of a specialist games rant...

This one is also a bit of a double edged sword...

You want Games Workshop to support the specialist games again..?

The only way that can happen is if you support the specialist games too...

Organise games in your group/area, post pictures and articles up about you doing so, post on the Games Workshop feeds (facebook etc) about it...

And the one that would work the most would probably be:

Buy specialist games products from Games workshop... They are a business, remember..? Products only get support if they in turn are supported and have a readily available market...

So if you want "X" system to get more products/support, promote it in any way you can.

My Random Quest

So.. There you have what happens when my head is left to run amok and I'm washing gaming boards in a bath...


My day didn't end there... In fact it was only about 9:30am...

I decided to put up or shut up. I got myself ready and decided I was going to go tell the staff how I felt.

My partner upon hearing my points and reason for going out, gave me a funny, quizzical look and said,

"Really..? Are you sure..? Okay... Enjoy yourself..."

(I love my girlfriend... She puts up with my particular flavour of madness quite admirably...)

I have lived in Shipley, West Yorkshire for about 12 years now. It's a nice enough place but that's not the point I'm trying to make.

This is:

Due to where I live I can pop down to the local train station and on average it only takes 10-15 minutes journey time to get to the Bradford, the city I mostly grew up in. And it is pretty much almost the exact same travel time to get to Leeds, my original hometown and place of birth.

Other than divulging my location, why am I saying this..?

Well... It pretty much means that I theoretically have 2 local Games Workshop stores.
And I like to go to both, not just to show support and purchase things, but because of the staff new and old that work in both stores.

And so... With scratch off day rider in hand, I headed off for the Bradford store on the first leg of my quest...

The Bradford store is one of the one-man hobby centres, it is ran very well by Manager Christopher Ritchie.

I haven't really known Chris very long in the scheme of things, but he is a very friendly and amiable individual. I've had many an interesting natter with him in store and it's always nice to pop in.

I got there, he greeted me as I entered the store and asked if I was looking for anything?

When I said I was there specifically to see him and to tell him something but it was going to be odd, he gave me my second quizzical look of the day and said,

"Oh... Okay... Go on then, it won't be the weirdest thing I've heard."

I gave him a run-down of the points I've written in this article, the reason that I started this blog in the first place and that I appreciated the job he did.

He seemed rather pleased, I stayed for a while chatted about various aspects of the hobby, bought a miniature and left upon the second leg of my journey...

(As an aside, on my train journeys of the day I was reading the novel Eye of Terror by Barrington J. Bayley, I was about half way through at that point, I recommend it, a fun, fast read.

When I hit Leeds, I dashed to Greggs, then bought and devoured a sausage, bean and cheese pasty, a fun fast lunch, I recommend these also.)

Right... let's get back on track...

To the Leeds store...

The Leeds store manager is one Steven Bartlam.

Now, I've known Steve since I was in my teens and he started working for Games Workshop as a part time trainee.

I've always got on with him and really enjoyed catching up whenever I pop into the store. So I planned to tell him pretty much the same as I had told Chris.

I went in the store browsed a little and was approached by a staff member (I believe his name is Jim... I'm terrible with new names...

***edit***... Steve Confirmed his name is Jim Bloom...***

He greeted me and stated,

"Well.. you walked in like a man with a purpose, are you after something in particular..?"

I asked if Steve was in and he said,

"unfortunately no, he's got the day off..."

Hmm... Plan scuppered...

Well... not to be perturbed I had a lengthy and quite enjoyable conversation with him instead, I hadn't really spoken to him before but he is a rather nice fellow...

He asked if I'd seen the new chaos releases and we got talking about conversions. I said I was thinking about getting a Stonehorn and combining it with the new chaos warshrine, strapping the shrine platform to the top of the beast like a howdah, kind of an homage to the Forge World chaos war mammoth.

I picked up a miniature I'd been after for a while, paid my thanks, said my goodbyes and headed home...

I had such a cheerful time on this little quest of mine, that after being thrown by the absence of Steve and then having a really nice conversation with Jim , that I forgot to tell him why I was there in the first place.

So just in case you read this, Steve mate, you are much appreciated.

Jim, it was a pleasure to meet you and nice to talk to you you are also much appreciated as are all the Leeds store staff members.

One last thing before I end this long rant and ramble...

A Roll Call and Dedication of sorts

Martin "Squat"
Rob Bastow
Richard Wilson

The others I mentioned in the above ramble.

And quite probably a few other staff members I have met and forgotten your name at this second in time because of my sieve-like memory...

And to all Games Workshop storefront staff members, past, present and future.

Everyone into the hobby knows the names of many of the designers, sculptors and painters. They are pretty much the celebrities of the hobby...

But you are the face of the hobby, the front line, the ones that many will remember for years to come.

I'd just like to thank you all, for all the hard work and dedication and there are many of us out there that appreciate the work that you did, do, or will do.

***edit***... Steve said the next time I pop in I should talk to him to get more info to complete the roll call...***

Take care everyone,


Monday, 12 November 2012

Stripping my realm of battle gameboards...

Hi everyone, the stomach bug seems to be abating, so I can finish editing some of my articles and get back to normal...

Well... As normal as I ever get to be...

I recently found out that static grass aggravates my allergies leaving me very sore in the throat, nose and eyes.

Now that's a bit of a problem considering that much of the terrain I still have has it on there, including my Realm of Battle gameboards and the stuff tends to shed.

So a few days ago I decided to do something about it...

I quickly popped out to the supermarket to buy a cheap scrubbing brush. And as soon as I got back home I strapped on a dust mask, welding goggles, grabbed my brush, grabbed a couple of small tea strainers and put on my slippers...

(Don't look at me like that... we have tiled floors in the bathroom and my feet get cold...)

Then looking like a strange cross between Mr Muscle and a fat road warrior, I took my Realm of Battle boards into the bathroom to face their fates.

How I went about stripping the boards:

1. First I placed the smallest tea strainer over the plug hole to capture the static grass and avoid blocking the plumbing.

2. I worked one board at a time just placing them in the bathtub on an angle to have the water run down.

3. As you can see, a blast of hot water was enough to soften the P.V.A. glue holding the static grass without harming the boards.

4. A little scrubbing was needed to remove any stubborn pieces and bits of clinging glue.

5. I worked on the modular hill sets in the same way.

6. I know it seems rather odd due to why I stripped the boards in the first place. But I collected the static grass with a second strainer and put it in a container for future use after it is dried out.

I will probably be more discreet/modest with my static grass use in future projects though. For example, mixing small bits with glue to texture/weather tank treads. If it is used that way mixed with glue/paint it shouldn't shed like before.

And I'll probably be wearing the same dust mask/welding goggle combo when I do work with it in future.

7. Here you can see the boards and hills stripped bare back to the under-painting which was practically untouched. I assume that it may be because I undercoated the boards with Citadel black primer before painting.

8. And then I just left them to dry before taking them back down to our hobby room.

Plans for the future of my boards:

I've decided that I'm going to go with a desert/arid ash waste paint job for my boards.

That way there will be no particles floating around to set off my allergies.

I'm not terribly fond of the base texture of the boards, but I'm not gluing sand all over them either, due to weight and the potential for chipping models and scraping knuckles.

I've read in various places recently that John Blanche has been using baking powder sometimes with the odd few grains of sand to add a finer texture to bases.

I may give this a go on the boards to break up the texture on them.

I'm also pondering using some of the pastels I have ground up to use as weathering powders, to get a more realistic dry look. I'll probably have to seal the boards with matte varnish spray afterward.

When I'm done the boards will be ideal for most games, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda, Gorkamorka and probably others too...

So that's the plan...

I'll update more later, take care.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

A visit from Father Nurgle...

I would have been finishing the editing on a couple of articles to post up...

And yesterday I was to be roleplaying with my games group, for the first time in a while we had pretty much everybody there...


My children decided I was to get the nasty stomach bug that kept them off school all week...


So I had to skip out on roleplay...

And my guts have been twisting all day...

Sometimes Nurgle's blessings can be quite a hindrance...

Take care everybody.

I'll try to...


Monday, 29 October 2012

Dagan Learns to Paint Miniatures - part :02 - Finished her first lesson...

Right... Finally got around to taking some pictures of Dagan's first lesson...

So here we are, Dagan's Ork on the Left, mine on the right.

In the previous two posts we had gone over:

- painting a neat base coat

- laying down a wash coat

And this was the final step for her first lesson:

- Using the original base colours to highlight the figure back up

I think she's done a awesome job, she was very pleased with it too.

A very neat, tabletop level.

I said her,

"If at 11 years old she can paint like this with just a little effort, then when she's older she'll be a fantastic miniature painter..."

Take care,


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Terrain : Temple Rock - w.i.p. part:1

I haven't made any large pieces of scratch built gaming terrain for probably going on years now.

So when I finally had some space to work on on our tables and had some drive, I had a quick look through my junkyard of collected bits and got to work without a plan.

Quick rundown of materials I grabbed:

Hot glue gun
Extendable craft blade
Insulation foam board
MDF board
Plastic temple

Please excuse the slightly blurred images, I took quick snaps as I was working...

The MDF base was one I had already cut to shape some time ago when I was going to make a large hill, it got put to one side but handily was just the perfect size for this project.

The building itself is the temple from the Dark World board game, it's been just sat waiting for the right project and I hot glued it to the thinner end of the base before working on the rock face.

(I grabbed a nearby figure to give a sense of scale.)

The rock face is constructed out of chunks of insulation foam, it is built up around some blocks of the foam I cut and glued to the base in a rough mock-up of the shape I wanted.
I cut, scored and snapped the foam piece by piece as my whim took me to start building up the rocky texture.

See you in part 2 when i get to it.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Why has it been so quiet..?

Hello out there...

Sorry that it's been a bit quiet around here recently...

But life just has a way of taking you by surprise with a swift kick to the happy sack sometimes...

My mother and I both were really ill with an unknown Streptococcal infection, I was completely delirious for near on a week and quarantined from the rest of my family. But the anti-biotics the doctors prescribed did the job and we're a hell of a lot better now...

Also during this time we had a series of water leaks pouring through the light fittings of the kitchen, the ceiling has been gutted and the place re-plumbed and more work is being done (plastering etc).
So the house is a bit of a disaster area, the room with all my hobby materials has been used as storage for pretty much everything from the kitchen...

But once the madness has settled down I'll try and get back up to speed and get some more articles posted up...

Until then, take care everyone.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Mask of Death Arrived!!!

I got an awesome parcel delivered today...

I backed the Kickstarter project that was based upon the hilarious movie The Gamers:Dorkness Rising and have just received the adventure supplement The Mask of Death, which the protagonist are playing in the movie.

It is full colour and signed by the cast and has some quite fun but quite ridiculous pieces of custom content for Pathfinder (Feats mentioned in the movie that didn't exist in the "Core Rules").

I also got a "Mound of dead bards" miniature along with it...


I'm looking forward to putting it together and painting it up, but i know I'm going to be tempted to use it sometime...

Maybe a kingdom where bards are forbidden... Or a rough tavern that doesn't take kindly to joviality...

Anyway... that's all i wanted to post up...

Take care everyone.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dagan Learns to Paint Miniatures - part :01.5?

I managed to take a couple of snaps before the school run of the miniatures post-wash but pre-highlight.

(apologies for my image quality of late... I've not really had time or space to set up my shots properly...)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dagan Learns to Paint Miniatures - part :01

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was my daughter's 11th birthday recently.

Dagan had expressed an interest in getting into the gaming hobby, so for her birthday my gift to her was a new set of brushes and one on one personal tuition.

I am by no means a master figure painter, but I know enough to teach her the lessons many of us only discover after many years of trial and error.

I decided to keep things as simple as possible so I don't overload her with too much information and to combat the notorious short attention span of a child.

So, it had to be quick, relatively easy and at least look half-decent afterward.

Therefore I'm going to teach her these basic steps:
- neat basecoat
- wash layer
- simple highlight with original base colours

(And during this session I've also been slipping in little tid-bits about brush control, brush care and shown her little examples of different techniques...)

I dug out two Warhammer 40,000 Ork boyz from the many I have lying around, she has Orks now too just like daddy (Yay..! Woot..!). But she wants to paint them as Evil Sunz not Goffs like Daddy (Boo..! Hiss..!).

Dagan's Ork is on the left, mine on the right.

I tried to get her to control paint splatter and slippage by telling her,

"Painting a miniature is like dressing a doll..."

Which garnered me a dubious look.

Then I went on to explain,

"We get the skin done first, then start putting the clothes on..." which worked wonders.

So it was just a case of working up through each layer of clothing from the shirt, to the pants to boots/belts etc.

And keeping the banter going and instilling the idea of trying to stick to the portion she was painting.

Dagan tried very hard to keep everything neat, after getting her to fix up some small areas I think she's done really well.

She says she really enjoyed it and didn't even notice how long she'd been at it.

I'll post up part two when we wash and highlight them.


Paste Table Gaming Boards - W.I.P. part :01

After many years of use much of my terrain collection needs refurbishing and/or replacing.

I am also in need of some new gaming boards because I gave all my older ones to friends to give them the means to play games at their homes too.

(I had a poke around in the dark recesses of my hard-drive and dug up some old pics...)

My first gaming board was actually an old fold out card gaming table that my grandfather gave me as a child, the table top turned and then opened up like butterfly wings and the gaming space was just a little under 4'x4'.

(Unfortunately no pictures of this... I miss that table, it was very nice... But it didn't hold up to the rigours of a ham-fisted wargaming youngster...)

My second boards were four 4'x2' pieces of chipboard with duct-taped edges and painted with textured paint (both sides, 2 brown, 2 grey, 4 green I think but it's been a long time. They were usually balanced on paste tables for play (i had four so two games could play simultaneously. I believe the duct tape was removed when they got refurbished once.). They were a little ugly and heavy but they served their purpose and saw many years of use.

(Here they are during a refurb...)

My third set of boards were a little more professional. They were made up of four 4'x2' pieces of thin hardboard with a wooden frame and braces beneath, they had sand glued on for texture and were painted and they even ended up flocked shortly before I let them go. They were also used on the paste tables until we had a gaming room.
These were far better than my first ones, lighter in weight, better looking and also saw lots of use. But these have also since moved on to a new home.

(This was two of them set up in our hobby room... Looks a little different now we have moved it around...)

My current gaming set-up is the Citadel Realm of Battle Gaming Board, that I got in a generous deal from another friend. It is quite nice now I've got it painted and flocked and also very durable, but it just doesn't feel like it's "mine" (don't know how weird that sounds but...).

(And here it is during a game of Warhammer Fantasy some weeks ago... Ha, our hobby room doesn't look like this anymore either...)

And now we come to the actual purpose of this post...

When moving the room around last the paste tables (which I still had all four of..) caught my eye.

An idea began to formulate, the boards themselves are constructed much like my third gaming boards (hardboard with frame) only on a smaller scale.

If I use them to make boards, they should be quite sturdy and due to their size a little easier to store than my old 4'x2' boards. Also being pre-constructed takes some of the work out of the project too.

So I grabbed a tape measure and fed my curiosity:
- Each paste table is made up of two boards measuring 35"x22" attached together by hinges.
- So one paste table would give me a playing area of 35"x44" (not much shy of 3'x4') which isn't too bad for small games.
- Two paste tables would net me a playing area of around 70"x44" (just a little off 6'x4') which would also be pretty good.

And so, the other day I set to work:

First, using a power drill, off came the hinges.

Second, after a little "convincing", out came the legs and other gubbins.

And that was pretty much all there was to it. But when I got them to this stage I started thinking about them more...

Instead of using the "top" surface of the boards, I thought about using the space between the frames. maybe fill it with polystyrene and sculpting details into the boards etc...

I left it there to do some thinking. I'm going to do some sketches, write some notes and maybe use two boards as test pieces...

So I'll do more posts as I play around and make this project into a series.

Until next time, take care.