Friday 30 October 2015

Frostgrave Scenery Project Part 10

It's been a very busy week this week so I haven't had much chance to do any work on either the terrain or my warband.
As the Wizards Tower approaches completion I have been planning the next. This one will be the Mausoleum. 
A square building with four doors, one on each wall. I am planning to have a door on the front and back and some damage on the other two walls that will allow egress by the zombies.
I want this building to have something of a classical look to it so I have been looking for some suitable columns. I have searched quite a few shops locally for wedding cake columns. I have seen them in the past and have bought a few for various jobs. This time though I didn't find any.

So, I decided to 3D print some instead. I did a quick a search on Thingyverse and found a few suitable ones. I settled on a simple fluted column with a Corinthian capital. While I was on Thingyverse I found a 3D scanned file of a tomb, this seemed like useful addition to the mausoleum. I printed the lot, and did the tomb at two different sizes so that I can decide which looks best once the building is up.

 The rough layout will be something like this...

 I hope to get some more done on the Wizards Tower over the weekend.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Laser Cut Christmas Card

Last year I made a christmas card for our family to give out.

I spent sometime designing the card so that it would fold into three layers and the middle layer would be a different colour (spray painted on the back).

Anyway, I guess it is getting towards the time when I should consider preparing one for this year...

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Frostgrave Warband Plans

Over recent weeks, while working on my Frostgrave terrain, I have been planning my warband.

I have several existing options. I have more Barbarians than I care to count, I still have quite a few Dark Elves, even after clearing out most of my Warhammer army several years ago, and of course I have various other generic fantasy RPG miniatures that I have collected for the past 40 odd years.

However, I remembered that Rogue Miniatures had a small range of fantasy figures inspired by some classic movies, that I had been tempted by but never got around to picking up!

I shot off an order to Rogue Miniatures and this little lot turned up a few days later.

I think they will make an excellent themed core for my warband, with Merlin as the wizard and Morgana as his sidekick. The three knights (Arthur, Lancelot and Mordred) will fit in somewhere. I will need to add a couple of other figures, but Rogue Miniatures have assured me that there is at least one more figure to be added to there range in the near future (that may bare a resemblance to Liam Neeson).

I do have an alternative Wizard planned also. I am awaiting the arrival of Rhea of Bresis, a necromancer apparently that I have ordered from Kelvin Goh (in Australia). It is a limited edition casting and there were only 100 produced (so if you fancy once get in touch with Kelvin ASAP).

I think it is a lovely little sculpt and I may well switch out Merlin and use her as my Wizard instead...

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Warbears and Stagriders - Painting a couple of new Minis (Part 02)

I managed to get another evening to work on these miniatures, over the weekend.

I painted to bases with Burnt Umber, purely to tone them down and make painting the figures a little easier. I will go back and do a lot more work on the bases after I have finished the figure painting.

I have now worked my way over most of the miniatures with the base coats. Getting the initial colours sorted out and preparing the way for a bit more detail work.

The green and red on the bear rider is a little striking at the moment, but that should settle down once I have toned it down and added some shadow and highlights.

As for the bear itself, I am pretty pleased with the way that the white has worked, It certainly stands out...
The inside of a polar bears mouth and lips are very dark grey or black. At the moment I have gone with red, but I will be working on this a lot more, to make it much darker. The red is very eye catching and I like it, but it needs to be a little closer to reality, I think!

I have started to do some tonal work on the bear adding creamy/yellowy tones to the underside of the various parts of the bear. It doesn't show up at all in these photos, which suggests that I may need to strengthen it up a bit.

With the stag rider I have gone for a Black an Silver theme for the armour and clothes, so to brighten her up a bit have made her a redhead.

I have had some issues with the antlers and the left hand holding the spear. They have come off several times. There is such a small area for the glue to take that the bond is quite weak. I am tempted to go back and drill them out and pin them, but I would probably have to use a 1/2mm drill bit for this. Anyway, they seem to have bonded well enough now...

I have lighted this photo to show the paint on the stag, which is why the rider is bleached out. Once again I have started some tonal work on the stag, but it doesn't show very well in the photos so I guess I need to strengthen it up a bit...

Even with my issues with the antlers and hand, these are lovely sculpts and they are so easy to paint. They are a pleasure to work on!

Monday 26 October 2015

Aberdeen Model Railway Exhibition 2015

I took my sons along to the annual model railway exhibition in Aberdeen over the weekend.

The Show is put on by Aberdeen Model Rail Club, and even though I am not a model train guy I enjoy going along for a look at the scenic layouts and also to visit the Squires Tools stand.

I must admit I wasn't really in the mood for enjoying the sights but there were some very good layouts with lots of nice scenic work (which is my real interest at this show).

One of the more interesting layouts was a Lego table with trains that visitors could control and a quiz to spot the Lego characters. My boys had fun with this one...

There were  quite a few decent scenic displays. I haven't got much to say about them other than enjoy!

My sons also enjoyed the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) football display put on by Robert Gordon University Engineering dept.

There was also a large display of finished models of all shapes and sizes.

Aberdeen Wargames Club had three tables this year. First up is the Napoleonic game...

Next a 15mm Mons Graupius game that was beautifully painted.

Finally there was a Battle for Berlin game using Bolt Action.

Friday 23 October 2015

Frostgrave Scenery Project Part 09

The grout that I painted over the outside of the tower set very well and I am pleased with the results. The seems i the tube are still visible, and I should probably have added another coat to totally hide them but I am happy with the results now. A quick wash with watered down burnt umber and then dry brushing with a couple of tones of grey an I am happy with the final distressed look of the tower.

I also dry brushed the roof tiles with grey which finished them off nicely too.

Time to tart work on some of the wintry aspects of this build. As an urban scene there isn't much vegetation, although I will add some dead leaves to the base. I do want to add ice and snow though. The first stage is to add some icicles. I cut the basic icicles from blister packaging and super glued them to the spots that I thought would look most dramatic, with out getting in the way if players need to reach into the models.

 I went a bit over the top with the stone bridge and added a solid line of icicles under either side.

The damaged floors only got a couple (for effect).

This is all a bit off an experiment, so I was not sure how successful it would be. The blister plastic gave the basic structure and I wanted to add something to give the organic shape of the icicles. I use Z-Poxy two part epoxy adhesive for a lot of things and it generally dries totally clear so that seemed like a good option. I mixed up some of the Z-Poxy and smeared it over the blister plastic.

My Z-Poxy has a 15 minute set time (you can get 5minute or 30minute too). This was not too bad although it did try to run and form drips a little. I think if I was to do this again on a big project I would get some of the 5 minute set version.

I am happier with the look of the individual icicles on the timber bridge and the 3D effect that the epoxy gives works well.

As you can see from the photos the epoxy has not set clear. My Z-Poxy is old and well past it's normal shelf life (a couple of years at best). I am assuming that this is why it is cloudy. These photos were taken within an hour of it setting, so I am hoping that with time it clear a little more.

Overall I am quite pleased so far. I will add some dead foliage and snow next, which I can use to hide a few imperfections and will hopefully tie the whole model together.

One more post on the blog should see this build finished and my moving on to the next Frostgrave scenario. I have started planning the next build which will be the mausoleum. A much simpler model, they are all simpler, as I started with the most complex one...

Monday 19 October 2015

Warbears and Stagriders - Painting a couple of new Minis (Part 01)

As a bit of a break from my ongoing Frostgrave terrain project I have just started painting a couple of new miniatures.

Rich at Dead Earth Games has sent me a couple of sample castings from their Warbears and Stagriders Kickstarter campaign, which starts on the 1st of November. I had offered to paint a set up for him.

The two pieces are a stag rider and a bear rider. Firstly lets take a look at what you get.

It is worth pointing out at this point that Dead Earth Games miniatures are true 28mm, so they may seem a little small compared to some of the modern 32mm scale minis. However, I like them at this size and they are beautifully detailed.

The stag rider comes in eight parts. The rider with a separate left hand holding a spear and of course the stag, which is cut into six part (body, head, two legs and two antlers). The casting is very crisp (these are early casting so you would obviously expect no less). The legs fit very nicely onto the stag as does the rider. The stags head needed a little work (to remove the locating pin), bt once that was done it was a perfect fit.
The spear hand and antlers both had very small areas for the glue surface so these were a little more challenging, but nothing that a bit of patience (and Zip Kicker) couldn't sort out...

The bear rider kit comes in seven parts, four parts for the bear and three for the rider. Once again a nice crisp casting. All of the parts fit very nicely. The bear has two separate legs. Once glued these do need a little filler to hide the joins, but nothing unexpected. The bears lower jaw is the fourth part and this finishes him off nicely. The rider fits smoothly onto the bear and is finished off with a right arm holding a raised sword and a flowing cape on his back.

 I assembled both beasts first and finished them off with some liquid greenstuff.

 As these are samples they were not supplied with bases. So I had a play around. The stag could fit onto a 40mm base, but the bear really needs to be on at least a 50mm base, however, I felt that the heroic nature deserved something a little special so I used a couple of 100mm discs of 4mm MDF and built them up with cork and slate. On top of the cork/slate I slapped on a generous layer of textured modelling paste and left them to dry. This took a good 24 hours (and even then it was abit soft in the middle).

 Once the bases had set I played around with positioning and then glued the figures in place. As you can see in this photo I had also under coated the figures with a grey primer (my preferred colour).

 On to painting. I have started giving the figures and beasts a base colour, before moving on to detailing.

 The stag is going to be a basic reindeer colour scheme.

With the bear I have decided to go for a Polar Bear. It may be a bit more of a challenge  than a brown or black bear, but I think it will be slightly more dramatic.

With both beasts coming from cooler climates I think I am going to do the bases with some snow  on them.

Look out for the next instalment very soon.
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