Jan 172012
 

Last time we saw these guys, I had spent about 2 hours on them, doing base coats. As promised, the next step was indeed to finish up the base coats with wood, metals and a few other things (boots, pants etc). About 30 minutes was spent on this, so that’s 2.30 so far!

Next, the magic step. The Devlan Mud step! With a big brush, I just soak the whole figure in Devlan Mud. Being foul undead, I’m not too bothered by this – but I wouldn’t have done this on a fancy elf. In addition to Devlan Mud, I do additional washes with Brown Wash (the old bottles with a blue cap) and Badab Black as well as Black Wash. About another 30 minutes for this step and 3 hours in total.

Once the models have been shaded with wash, I start cleaning up and finishing off individual parts of each individual model. It’s quite different from the previous steps so I can’t really give any descriptions but here’s a sequence of pictures. The general aproach is to clean up each area with the base colour and then highlight it with a layer or two of lighter shades of the base colour. I washed the skin parts another time with purple wash too.



Finally, the models are finished. I spent about 5 hours all in all on them so far. Still have bases to do and a shield for the armoured fellow.


Not exactly happy with them, but they’ll do the job. That’s standard fare for me and my finished minis. I need to base them and let them rest for a while before I start to like them. The Bob Olley skeleton/zombie however will probably remain my least favourite model ever for a long time. There were even traces of fingerprints on the back of the model!

I’ll post proper photos once the guys are based up and all done. After that, I’ll paint MORE zombies! I’ll have some variation though, as the ones I’m painting next are a newer edition sculpted by Gary Morley. Probably my least favourite sculptor of all time. I was about to call him the Herb Trimpe of Games Workshop, but had a change of heart as Trimpe is more like Olley. Oddly proportioned and a weird style, but their work have an oldschool charm.

Jan 142012
 

I thought I’d do a slightly more detailed coverage of the next four zombies I paint. I decided I’d take a picture either after a session or every 30 minutes during longer painting sessions. Usually, I don’t even paint for 30 minutes in a go, but today I had a few hours to myself and spent two of them to paint a little.

First I cleaned up my work place a bit, and rummaged through the paints to pick out what I thought I might need for the session. Some clean water, a fresh wet palette (with the lid on, so you can’t really see it) and a cup of coffee. I’m good to go!

After about 30 minutes of doing black and blood red, the four zombies looked like this.

Next up was the base coat for the actual flesh. A proper old pot of Rotting Flesh still does the job, it’s been with me for many years. In the picture above, the guy second from the left is actually not quite a zombie. It’s one of Bob Olley’s IC201 Skeleton Guard, however the sculpt (or cast) is so horrible that it works better as a zombie (I hope). After all, he’s painted more or less like a zombie in the original advert too. After another 30 minutes, the chaps looked like this.

Next up, I did the clothing. To keep the painting time down a bit, I’ll do all the main fabrics the same colour on all four. It won’t matter much when they’re in a much larger group. I’m going to do a rather light brown in the end, so the base coat is Tausept Ochre. Incidently, that’s what I also use for bone. After another 30 minutes or so, I had this before me.

In the background you can see a finished zombie that I use for reference. Also, the four pots of paint used so far.

So, about 2 hours of which 90 minutes were effective painting time and the rest was tinkering and general mucking about. I’m keeping this documentation up for the duration of these four guys, so I can get a better idea about how long it takes me to paint a few minis.

The next step is to base coat wood pieces and a few details. After that I give the metals a base coat, before washing the miniatures. Then comes highlighting and finishing the details. Yay. In the end I expect to have spent about four hours in total on them.

Jul 312011
 

Didn’t know whether to label these things as miniatures or terrain, but ended up with miniatures. They are after all chunks of lead on bases.

When playing scenario 2 in the Stillburg Campaign (yeah I know, I still need to write a battle report on that), we had need of six objective markers. For that purpose we employed some blank, large metal washers. They didn’t look too hot, so I went and made these to replace them.

They’re small treasure piles from Mega Miniatures’ Dungeon Decor range. While looking quite nice, they are also rather useful in that they each contain a randomly placed, numbered marker. At first, I was going to paint them nicely, but decided not to as they will probably get worn quickly. Simple numbers will do fine.

When setting up a game, the six markers are turned face down and mixed. Without looking at the numbered side, I place an objective marker on top of it. Through the black magics of magnetism combined with a perfectly sized slot in the bottom of the objective marker, the number marker adheres to the underside and each objective marker is thusly assigned a secret number.

The markers are then placed on the table as per the instructions of the scenario. When a model reaches the marker, it is flipped and the number revealed.


It was a 5. Amazing!

Here’s a short pictorial description on how I made them. First, the components. One treasure chest or other decoration, one large metal washer with a center hole large enough to accomodate two smaller ones. They’re arrayed on a magnetic sheet.

I glued the two small washers together, as one would be a bit too thin to feel right. A piece of magnetic sheet was cut to fit over the hole in the large washer, and glued in place with super glue. Ferrous side down, mind!

As can be seen, by sheer luck everything fit perfectly and snugly. The two small washers are exactly the same thickness as the one large. Awesome!

I glued the marker decoration in place and continued with the remaining five.

Proper useful stuff, these! In the scenario we played, we had six markers and a table where 1 – 3 were hostile encounters, 4 and 5 were nothing and 6 was the actual objective. When a marker was flipped, we rolled a dice to see what the result was. Worked fine until we started rerolling previously rolled results. With these markers, there will less faffing about.

Mar 192010
 

(Originally posted 100319)

I was asked to show how I made the step pyramid we used in our Song of Blades campaign recently. Luckily, I had prepared a few pictures of the different steps. Remember, click each image for a larger view!


Step 1: The basics
I started out with a masonite sheet which I’d cut to a 30×30 cm square. I rounded the corners and gave the edges a slight bevel by sanding. I also sanded the surface for better glue adhesion.

Next, I cut out regular white styrofoam (the expanded kind, made up of little styrofoam balls). It’s generally frowned upon by terrain builders, but it was the only kind I could get. It’s not as malleable as pink foam, but it works fine for this project.

I cut out four squares, decreasing the edge size of each by 4 cm. These form the four levels of the pyramid. I didn’t take particular care when doing this, but still used a steel ruler and tried to get the cuts as straight and horizontal as possible. Most important here is to have a sharp blade and use a gentle, loooong sawing motion when cutting. You can’t cut styrofoam as you cut card or foam core. It’ll only mess up the cuts and make the foam crumble or curl.

The result ended up like this:

Step 2: Joining stuff together!
First thing I did here was to just tile the levels on top of eachother (and the base) and draw out an outline to get the levels fairly well aligned.

I then applied a liberal amount of PVA (wood glue) to the base, pressed down level 1, slid it around to spread the glue love and finally aligned it. Once in place, I pushed a few cocktail sticks into level 1 near the center, to rely not only on glue for adhesive support. Once again, I applied liberal amounts of glue to the area which would be covered by level 2 and then put level 2 in place, like this:

This was repeated for each level until the pyramid was assembled. At this point, I continued on with sculpting – but what you really should do is to apply preassure on the pyramid and wait for it to dry completely. I finally found a use for my old copy of Trivial Pursuit, and also had a reason to bring out Titan. Two opposites, but they have one thing in common. Actual weight!

Step 3: Sculpting!
This might seem complicated and hard, but I’m telling you it’s dead easy! This was the first time I sculpted stone work of any kind, so don’t fret!

I started drawing a rough grid, off-setting it by 1 cm on each level. I then started cutting out small “scores” along the grid. This was done by “slicing” along the lines with the blade tilted first to my left and then to my right. It took a while, but not more than 30 minutes or so to do the whole pyramid.

After I had the stone slabs sculpted, I did some detail and weathering damage here and there. Still using the same “angled slicing” as above. I also shaved off the perfect angles of corners and edges. Here’s a work-in-progress shot:

Step 4: Base coat, sand and gravel
The first base coat must be applied with a brush! Any aerosols will melt the polystyrene and you don’t want that. I mixed some PVA glue with water and then added black acrylic craft paint to the mix. This was applied liberally with a large brush all over the piece. Make sure to get the mix into every nook and cranny to prevent the white of the polystyrene to show through!

While the base coat is still wet, I poured coarse gravel on select spots where there should be rubble. Some small pebbles were also glued down with an extra dab of PVA. The rest of the base coat was covered in very fine sand. This was then left to dry completely and thoroughly, and finally I gave the whole piece a coat of watered down black acrylic paint. In hindsight I should’ve used a dark brown instead of black. Here’s the result, halfway through the last base coat:

Step 5: Finishing up!
This part was not really documented, I’m afraid. What I did next was to cover the base in flock and static grass, just in case I’d have to game with the piece before I had been able to finish the dry brushing and touch-up. Luckily, I did have time to finish the whole piece before we started playing.

I drybrushed in several steps, starting with a dark brown on a fairly wet brush. Here’s one shot of the piece at that level.

I then added an ochre to the dark brown in steps, with an increasingly drier brush. At the end, I added some white to the ochre to get some nice highlights on the raised edges and debris. The last touch was to add static grass and a piece of left over foliage from my trees here and there on the pyramid. I sealed the whole thing with a glossy spray on varnish. Now, when more than a week have passed I’ve also given it a coat of dull varnish to take the shine off. These pictures were all taken of the piece with glossy varnish though.

Here are a few of the finished piece, with a 28mm miniature for sense of scale.


So, that’s pretty much it. With left-over materials and two evenings of fiddling after work, I have this pretty neat scenario centre piece!