vrijdag 18 augustus 2017

Catching up

As I said, I haven't been able to access my full hobby toolkit these past few weeks. That doesn't mean I've been idle. I packed my painting kit to take along with me. And with it I managed to paint the seven Plague Marines from the Dark Imperium kit:
This is the first time I managed to paint and complete miniatures from a 40K starter set in the same year as I purchased it! Shocking, isn't it?
I've chosen colours close to the original Death Guard scheme, but all icky and gross. :D
Now all that's left to for this is the three characters, the Foetid Bloat Drone...oh, and 20 Plaguewalkers! After that, no more Death Guard, a nice, tidy, open and close project. No pressure, no demands, just the enjoyment of painting them.

While I was away I visited a local thriftstore and claimed these two for Gaslands:
Great, aren't they? I think the pickup in the front will become a so-called Claw Car, armed with a harpoon and a plow/claw, meant to  drag other vehicles to a standstill ( Like the cars that shoot harpoons into the War Rig towards the end of Fury Road...). The other one will, no doubt, join my cavalcade of rat rods. I also found a VW van derived truck/trailer set that may become a second War Rig as well as a close to scale train set that will become terrain pieces.

I also managed to sneak away to my workshop for an afternoon and made a little progress on the rocky hills:
Once the filler has been sanded smooth, I can start adding sand and rocks, after that paint (sadly all outdoor jobs, and the weather is threatening to be abysmal this weekend...).

Plus, when I returned home yesterday, a new toy had been delivered and was waiting for me:
Which means I now have a syphon feed basecoater and workhorse for terrain and a dual action airbrush for more controlled excercises! It's an off-brand cheapo one, so I'll have to try it and find out how well it works. Nevertheless, I'm excited to have it.

And ofcourse, GW dropped a bombshell this past week:
I loved Necromunda back in the day, and can't wait to get started again! I hope the game will live up to the expectations, but if not, it's new miniatures and old rules all the way... So I'm not too worried.
Several folks in the newly emerging gaming group (all old buddies who found each other and wargaming again after several years) have also expressed interest/enthusiasm, which gives good prospects to have some games and or a campaign or two. Happy days ahead!
What makes this a very fortuitous coincidence is that I've been dreaming and stockpiling materials to build Necromunda terrain for quite a while, and between the foamcutter and the airbrushes I finally have the tools to do a proper job of it.

I've been taking stock of what's on my plate hobbywise for the coming period and, with the recent revelation from GW, it breaks down to this:
-Gaslands: Build more cars and terrain. (The core set of this terrain can also do duty for WWII Afrika, which is good because:)
-Battlegroup: Follow along in Johan's painting challenge with my DAK (this does mean I have to complete two Recce choices before the end of August, I need to hurry!) and build some terrain, which again, will also serve for Gaslands.
-Warhammer 8th edition: I had planned to have a serious go of getting my Howling Griffons up and running, but that may get superceded by the imminent arrival of Necromunda (see below). If I need a palate cleanser from other projects, I can do some more work on the Death Guard part of the Dark Imperium set (the Primaris will be absorbed by my Howling Griffons).
-Necromunda!!! I intend to finish painting my Escher miniatures and build a nice, atmosperic set of terrain. Hopefully before/at the November release.

All this will be in addition to finding a new job (as my current project is about to end soon) and spending time on woodworking again, plus all the usual day to day stuff. This means you shouldn't expect lightning progress from me and I will need to find ways to use my hobby time more effectively. A.k.a. streamlining and de-cluttering things!

So, the coming months I've got plenty to do, hobby-wise! For the coming weekend the plans are to, if the weather permits, make some more progress on the Gaslands terrain and/or try out the new airbrush. If the weather is non-cooperative, I will be cleaning up and re-arranging the hobby den for all the construction and painting that lies ahead of me... If any time is left, I should get cracking on those Recce choices for Battlegroup before the deadline expires.

See you next time!

zondag 30 juli 2017

Maxing the Mad, or how to make a Wasteland, part 4

This week has been marked by experimentation...

First I received the crackle gel I had ordered.  After a false start I had a first result I was happy with. Experiment number 1.
Second, I received the couplers I needed to finally hook up my old airbrush to the compressor (the whole airbrush-experiment had stalled years ago out of frustration with compressed air canisters and lack of a compressor).  Experiment number 2.
One plus one led to a piece of cracked earth rough terrain that needed a basecoat:
The airbrush performed well, though a few things have become obvious:
-The coupling between airbrush and hose needs some o-rings as it leaks air.
-The compressor hose and coupling are on the heavy side, I'd like to be able to use the original hose for the brush, but I'd need a coupling piece for that.
-My current airbrush is definitely a basecoat and terrain brush, maybe in time I'd like to ad a second airbrush to the roster for finer work (my current one is a single-action syphon feeder, the addition would be a dual-action grav-feeder).

Naturally terrain piede it still needs highlighting and such, but that will be done with traditional methods (a.k.a. sponging and drybrushing. But so far, I'm calling this a succesfull experiment.
I may be switching gears for a bit, as I'll be having limited acces to my hobby space and gear the next couple of weeks/weekends, so I'll limit myself to a small self-contained project; the Nurgle part of my Dark Imperium box. After that, it should be Gaslands firing on all cylinders again!

UPDATE:
This is the crackle gel I used for the above terrain piece, I slathered it on in about 1mm thickness. I think a little thinner would have been better, as that would give finer crackling:

And as a bonus, a pic of my jury rigged airbrushing set up:
What I'd like to improve about it is to find a way to link up the original hose to the airbrush, as it's much lighter and more manageable than the compressor one. And I'd like to either take the top off the box or put some vent holes at the rear, as I get a lot of mist drifting back into my face. Maybe a white sheet on the inside to give some better light would be nice too. Making it indoor-proof would be completely awesome, ofcourse...

See you next time! (Which may be a bit longer, as the next three weekends are booked full...)

zaterdag 22 juli 2017

Maxing the Mad, or how to make a Wasteland, part 3

Well, today has been a productive day, the morning was spent painting the dunes and rock pillars:



After the sealant coats with thinned PVA (mixed with paint) I painted the basecoat with a paint gun (as in: the big thing that came with the compressor, not an airbrush...). Which, after some double sided tape/hot glue to fix the terrain pieces in place, worked acceptably.
Drybrushing followed after that. While the dunes ended up a bit darker than planned, I'm pleased with the result. The rock technique has been declared a succes, so I proceeded to start on one of the larger hills:
Hopefully I can get some more progress on this piece tomorrow.

See you next time!

donderdag 20 juli 2017

Maxing the Mad, or how to make a Wasteland, part 2

No progress on the dunes yet, mucking with filler is reserved for the weekend. But as  I needed something to keep my mind and hands occupied as I recovered from an unexpected migraine attack, I decided to test the technique I plan to use for the rocky outcroppings/hills. So I made a pair of small(ish) rock formations:


My usual foamed pvc base, one or more layers of roughly shaped XPS (with a combination of Thermocut and good old breakaway knife, this new machine makes everything foam related more fast and more fun, I love it!). Then I slashed the heck out of them to create the striations in the rock. This technique is an adapation/combination of the way Rob Hawkins and JimBibbly make the rock faces for several of their awesome terrain pieces. If ya gotta steal, steal from the best, I say.. ;)

They're based with several grades of cork, grit and sand (which reminded me I need to visit a model train store soon, my basing stock is running dangerously low!). Tomorrow I hope to base them with a mix of PVA and paint  And hopefully I can paint them during the weekend, alongside fillering and sanding the dunes.
If this technique gives satisfactory results, it's on to the rocky dunes!

Note to myself for the next time: If I do make rocky formations of more than one XPS layer, make sure to add several places for infantry models to stand... Good for arty observers and snipers!

See you next time!

maandag 17 juli 2017

Maxing the Mad, or how to make a Wasteland, part 1

So, this weekend, once the Thermocut guides from Geboom were assembled, I had a play around with the machine  (nothing worth showing, I just made variously shaped foam confetti to get a feel for the machine.)
After that, it was on to serious business: Making a start on my Mad Max inspired terrain for Gaslands.
This will be a project in two parts, as I will also be able to use the generic desert parts of this terrain for my DAK, once I return to that project.
I decided to start on the generic part first. Saturday I cut the bases for three sand dunes and two rocky hills/outcroppings. I used my shiny new thermocut to cut out the XPS-foam plugs that will form the bodies of the hills and dunes:


After that, I got out my trusty old handheld foamcutter and profiled the dunes:
After this step, the dunes were sanded to smooth them out and fade away the cutting lines.

In between I also carved up a loose chunk of foam, and gave it a paint wash to test a technique for striated desert rock structure. I'm still undecided, but I thing I'll just have to go off the deep end and try it on the full sized hills.

Hopefully I can cover the dunes in filler and sand the next weekend and maybe get a start on the rocky hills as well. Then I need to add some rocky outcroppings, loose rocks and patches of rough/broken ground and the core set should be complete.
Then it's on to the Gaslands/Wasteland specific stuff: Crude Oil/tar ponds, jury-rigged nodding donkeys and scrapyards shanties and barriers. Some car wrecks to scatter about. I'm looking forward to making that stuff! With some luck, I'll manage to make parts of it scale-neutral enough to also serve for Necromunda and Gorkamorka... In the least it'll be a good exercise for when I start on terrain for that.

See you next time!

zaterdag 15 juli 2017

I'm gonna have me some fun...

As I said in my Photobucket gripe post, it was my birthday last week and my wife gave me a Proxxon Thermocut (she loves me, she really does!).
Almost immediately I ordered some supplemental tools from GeBoom at Shifting Lands through a friend. That friend showed up yesterday for a game of Gaslands with those cutting aids.
As they are laser-cut mdf they required some assembly.
Well, some assembly was done today:

(As you can see Geboom also threw in some of his lasercut windows, as a teaser. Thank you!)

Assembly was easy, but you have to pay some attention to orientation of parts (I only messed up on the first one, resulting in the large fence being a bit tilted, but nothing that will interfere with proper functioning.)
Once assembled, they are nice and solid. As with the wirecutter itself, using these guides will take some practice and development of skill. But I'm looking forward to finally getting to grips with that pack of XPS I've had in the garage for years...

So what are the plans? First off: Dungeons, naturally,  as I haven't painted that pile of dungeoneers and monsters over the past two years for nothing! I've stalled on dungeon terrain for a long time, as I couldn't get the accuracy of cuts I wanted by hand. Now, I have no excuse, but I need to figure out seriously how I want to go about building my dungeon terrain first. Do I go with floor plates and loose walls, do I build individual corridor sections and rooms, or do I go with modular tiles?
No longer are these thoughts idle daydreams...

Then there is the idea of building a fantasy medieval village for my Chivalry project (itself part of the larger dungeoneering/fantasy meta-project). Having the cutter will open up the option of making some stone buildings and maybe even a keep or castle for my young lord!

Ofcourse, anything I build for dungeoneering or the chivalry game, will also find use in Frostgrave.

Necromunda as well, as I was envisioning a number of concrete butresses/pillars where gangways and shanty towns were built against their surfaces.

Lots of ideas that can finally become reality!

Yet, oddly enough, it is most likely I will grab my old hand-held foamcutter the coming weekends instead, as I intend to build some Mad-Max style desert wasteland terrain for Gaslands... Ironic really, I've been lusting after this foam cutter for years, and now that I finally have it, I grab the tool that has been in my garage for years. Oh well..

See you next time!

P.S. Still working on downloading all my pics from Photobucket to restore this blog, but PB is fighting me every step of the way....

vrijdag 7 juli 2017

A day of contrasts.

Well, today is my birthday, yay me! :D

We had a lovely English Breakfast at a local place we had never been to before.
My wonderful wife gave me a Proxxon Thermocut, so I am over the moon and envisioning all sorts of projects, and my son provided me with the full Max Max quadrilogy set. Colour me happy!

A I went through my email just now, among the traditional (mostly automated) happy birthday messages from various online fora and retailers (I alway enjoy these, especially the ones that provide coupons, being a stingy Dutch bastard and all...) I found one from Photobucket...

So among the messages from various companies/groups saying "Happy birthday! We're glad to have you as a patron!" the one from Photobucket went:
"Um, yeah, well, we saw that you know, like enjoy actually using the photos you store with us... So we're gonna hafta start having you pay for that, mkay?"
Photobucket's version of  "Happy Birthday" :(
 Well, no, not okay. You just wrecked my blog and my various contributions to the online gaming community. That on my bloody birthday and on top of the increasing annoyance with pop-ups and ads the past year(s). So I shall be looking for another image hosting solution and restoring the visual aspect of my online hobby presence later this weekend. Until then, we celebrate.

See you next time!