maanantai 5. lokakuuta 2015

28mm Barricades - Now in colour!

After some quickie paintjob, here are my barricades, almost ready for the table. The basing is till a bit undone, as I haven't yet made up my mind just what shade my gaming board will eventually be, and I will finish these up then to mach up.

...and here are some action shots. Just because.

sunnuntai 27. syyskuuta 2015

Hexagonal Modular Gametable: Part 1: Preliminary Designs

One of the Eternal Projects of mine has been building a game table for to be used in the Ruins and Ratmen games. The table should be small enough to fit into our living room, small also for storage purposes, of modular design for an easy setup, and the modules should contain depth, since I've always thought that a table where you can build terrain only upward lacks something. So when my wife got fed up with a round table, about one meter in diameter, my brain switched gears.

First thing to do was to trim the edges of the table, so that a hexagon remained, each side having a length of 50 cm. So the gaming surface would consist of six triangular terrain blocks, with different surface definitions on either side of the block. As the gaming setup would be that of a ruined medieval-esque city, my initial idea was to have canal sections of different layout on one side, and flat surface on the other. That setup would allow for a lot of variation when setting up the table, and yet I would initially need to make just six blocks. The hexagonal design would also give the opportunity to set up three-way battles as easily as skirmishes of two sides.

The canals would be needed to set up so that the 'end' sections would be at the middle point of the triangle sides, so that when two sections would end up side by side, it would seem that the canal was continuous, and the spot where the sections meet would look like a small bridge crossing the canal. The end part of the canal should also be designed so that it would seem to just continue beneath the surface of the tile, in effect becoming a sewer. Thus it would not matter how the different blocks were assembled, the gaming board would look natural and uniform.

Initially, my intention was to build the triangular blocks from styrofoam or some similar material, but as I was doing mock-ups of the canal walls from HirstArts blocks, I realised that styrofoam by itself might not be robust enough for this purpose. Also, the thought of cutting straight lines and 60° angles to styrofoam suddenly begun to lose its appeal. And even if I were to manage to cut the pieces right, they would be quite fragile, even if one considers just the storaging of the tiles. So, even though I am by no means a carpenter, I decided to build the tiles from wooden strips of 2"x 1", with fibreboard as the 'surface' of the tiles. The biggest challenge would of course be in keeping the angles and therefore the whole tiles uniform in shape and size, in all dimensions. And in all honesty this means that the overall construction must have some tolerance to allow for some faults during the construction, since they're inevitable, especially since I don't have access to any woodworking shop but have to rely on my meager DIY tools.

lauantai 26. syyskuuta 2015

A couple of 28mm scale barricades

Having managed to increase the 'ratmen' portion of the Ruins & Ratmen -project, I was inspired to make some advancement on the first part of the name also. From the very beginning of this project, I had wanted to make some barricade-style terrain, but somehow never managed to actually make any. But after the skaven, I felt that it was time to tackle this obstacle as well. So, I cut some fibreboard to 1"x3" pieces, filed the edges round, and dived in to my parts pile to dig up some stuff to use. At first, I envisioned the the barricades to be built mainly from stones and wooden beams from the collapsed buildings, but after a while I began to want some more hastily constructed ones. It required some scratchbuilding, but soon I had a table and a couple of benches made, and the first barricade was practically done. The metal barrels and cartwheels gave the pieces some weight, in addition to adding some more interesting shapes overall, and the HirstArts small bricks and ruined fieldstone pieces anchor these terrain elements visually to the rest of the City in Ruins -style.

After the first one was done, the rest kind of just happened. The hardest part was to find a suitable figure for the dragged-down statue; I would have liked to make it with a 40mm - 1/32 scale figure, but could not find any suitable one, and in the end decided to use some old 25mm Grenadier figure. I still kind of want to do a similar set-up with a bigger figure, but I think It will be a singular terrain piece at that point.
Next step is to spray on some black basecoat, and then it's painty time!

sunnuntai 20. syyskuuta 2015

6 Skavenslaves painted

For a blog where one big portion of content is themed Ruins and Ratmen, there has been a dearth of the latter in presentation. A big reason for this is simply that most of my Skaven figures predate this blog - well, some of them predate the Internet - although, to be honest, some of them are in a state that would need a good cleanup to be presentable. However, there were several Skaven figures on my to do -list, late arrivals and eBay finds that I just haven't gotten around to paint, and after I had finished with the Vampire spawn, I decided to give these guys a go.

If memory serves, these hail from the 6th edition of WFB. They are a little bit smaller than the bulk of my Skaven, which mostly consists of the WFB 3rd edition era Jes Goodwin figures, but don't stand out too badly and in fact help to break up the monotony of the figures. I intended to use them with WFRP, and now they are going to fill up the Trooper slots in Ruins and Ratmen.

For me, these were a quick job, finishing six figures in just a couple of evenings. Well, there was nothing fancy in the colour scheme, and they were quite small figures so I might have overlooked some tiny details. But I have to say that painting six similar figures on one go is kind if maximum for me, which does not bode well for the 9 Red Box Lesser Undead (zombies) next on the queue. Although they will have even simpler colour scheme...

tiistai 8. syyskuuta 2015

Vampire Spawn (Reaper Dark Heaven 3383) painted

There are times that getting old really hits home. Like the graduation or marriages of your younger relatives, that you still thought were just kids. Or the twentieth anniversary of Nevermind couple of years back. Or the realization that no, you haven't gotten progressively worse about painting minis over the years, it's just your eyesight that is showing it's age.

Fortunately, there are steps to be taken at least about the last one. I have previously used a headband magnifier for some precision freehand stuff, now I just have to use those for most painting. It takes a bit of an adjustment, as I have never needed any kind of glasses, and have no problem of reading from print or from screen. Well, not yet, anyway. But apparently painting minis happens just at the range that is no longer naturally available for me.

Anyway, I have had my eyes on these Reaper figures for a while. However, last time I did order directly from them I had to pay customs charges, so even though they still have quite a generous free shipping offer, Reaper figures have been out of bounds for me. Luckily, there's eBay, and that's where I snatched this pair. Somehow, purchasing a couple of figures here and there does not sting as much as making a 'bulk' purchase.

I really like the sculpts of these figures. In fact, they're almost too good in depicting the over-the-top posturing and bravado of a freshly turned vampire. The figures have almost a kind of LARPish feel, and they could easily pass as some wannabe-vampires in a modern setting. I wanted a quick and simple colour scheme, and it turned up quite alright.

sunnuntai 6. syyskuuta 2015

Formless Spawn painted

The paintwork for the Formless Spawn by Avolak Castings is pretty much done, All that is left to do is spray the whole thing with glossy varnish, and then apply matt varnish on the cobblestones. Not having done much painting recently, as this blog can also testify, I just wanted some quick and easy colour scheme, and it came out pretty much like I visioned it. In fact, the most time consuming part of this figure was building the cobblestone base. I usually tend to keep my bases minimalistic, and to that end cast them myself from a Hirst Arts Fieldstone pattern floor tiles, but here I wanted to go a bit scenic, to create the impression that the creature is bursting from beneath the  pawed street of the town. So I filed a couple of tiles to about 1/2-1/3 of their original thickness, cut them up to separate 'stones', and built the basing from those bricks. Now the base both match my other minis, and yet conveys something about the creature. I'm quite pleased with the result, although there could have been a bit more movement about the placing of the stones. Then again, it is meant to slowly emerge from beneath the surface, not to burst out violently. A bigger base might have helped, too.

But man, it was so nice to paint something for a change.

lauantai 29. elokuuta 2015

Formless Spawn by Avolak Castings

I haven't really done much at all with miniatures recently. But as I was making some random browsing for Deep Ones/Kuo-toa in miniature, I came across this guy, and was instantly smitten. Available from Avolak Castings, who have a small but impressive range of Lovecraftian miniatures. Officially it's depicting a Formless Spawn (of Tsathoggua), and I have great plans for it.

The body is tow-part resin cast, the hands and some tentacles are from metal, and everything fitted together very well. I mostly ended up pinning everything out of habit rather than need. There was some minor flash on the resin parts, actually hardly even worth mentioning, and if my aging eyes did not deceive me, a couple of air bubbles on the resin body might have been worked over with some clear filler, which was quite impressive dedication to quality. Despite all that, the whole miniature cost 12 euros, so there's tremendous value for money here. There was no real webshop on the site, but everything worked out via a couple of emails, and a professionally packed figure arrived from Spain to Finland quite speedily. And the postage did not cost arm or tentacle, either.

The figure fitted neatly on it's 50mm round base, but it would not look off on a 60mm base either, especially if one intends to do some scenic work with the base.

There are good miniatures, and then there are great ones. I had not thought of Ruins and Ratmen for a while, and yet as I saw this miniature, I a) knew that I needed to have it, and b) I instantly thought of an endgame scenario for R&R. So welcome, little guy. I hope my meagre skills can do you justice.