Monday, June 26, 2017

Terrain Tutorial: Sectional Mountains. Part VII

 Almost done!  The mountain sections have been given a coat of diluted matte medium (50/50 with water) to harden the exteriors.  As the matte medium was drying I added some scenery - tufts and some ground foam.  I tried to not go overboard as these are desert "rocks".
 There are a few white specs from where the medium dried a little to thick.  I'll go over those in a few days wth a small brush but I think we can call these 99% done.

 I'm pretty happy with how they came out.
Now the question of how to transport them without damage needs to be sorted out....

A Nice Weekend In St Michaels

 last weekend was a spectacular one on the eastern Shore of Maryland.  Not a lot of prep for Historical got done (more about that in another post) but we did get in a good bit of gardening.  Saturday morning started with an unexpected visitor a juvenile Preying Mantis had wandered inside the house.

 I put him (her?) safely outside.  I must say I find these creatures fascinating and they are rather good at keeping the pest population down.  For whatever reason, we have had a bumper crop of these guys over the past few years.

 Turtle nests!  which means I can't put the car in the garage for the next 6 weeks.
 We're about one week away from having buckets and buckets of white figs.
 As with each year, I get excited about eating them and then get tired of them in a few weeks.
 The one on the bottom was eaten just after taking the photo.
 Obligatory garden shots - the lettuce and peppers box.
 Pepers and cakes.  This year why tried using a trellace for the cakes and it seems to be working.
Tomatoes - about 18 plants here.  I tried to stagger them with some from the nursery and some planted by seed.  hopefully we'll get a steady supply through October.
 More tomatoes, carrots and some beets.
The last of the tomatoes (I think we planted 6 varieties and some squash and beans.
The unkillable mound of mint and some raspberries to the right.  The box in the back has newly planted spinach and other leafy things.

Finally a shot of the Boss and the Eggplant box.

We still have a lot of weeding to do which occupied a good bit of Sunday.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sailing on Fathers Day Weekend

 My son came in to visit on Father's Day and we spent most of the Saturday before sailing on the Bay.  It was a spectacular day and maybe the best Father's Day present ever!
 The waters were very crowded with detestable power boats - including this little one from New Zealand - we actually got to watch the helicopter land on the damn thing.
 The Selina was also out on the Bay.  Selina is a classic "cat-boat design - single sail / mast up on the bow and is a tourist charter.  I've had some very nice dinner cruises on her before getting my own boat.

 Hard to see but this a classic power boat design
 An oyster boat.
It was great to have Sean visit for the weekend.  As you can see, he's choosing to express himself by letting his hair grow out.  A little youthful rebellion is a good thing.  At least that what I tell his mother!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Historicon 2017 Game: Catacomb Layout

 The final planning and placement of the catacombs for my upcoming Historical games (DAK & Dragons and SOCOM and Sorcery) is pretty much done.  The "catacombs" will be mounted of 2x2 ft 1/4 inch MDF boards.  I had enough of the Lunesdargent Egyptian themed tiles to make 5 sections and will use some cavern tiles from Dwarven Forge for the 6th.  Kickstarters are dangerous things even when they do fund.

 The layout is designed so I can move the tiles a bit around the central throne room and will have 9 access points so I can very play.  Once I'm satisfied with the layout, the sections will be glued down with a little spot of Tacky glue.  It's a sturdy but not permanent hold.  Each section will weigh 15-20 pounds given the weight of the MDF and cast pieces so they'l  be difficult to move.

 I had planned to cut EPS foam for inserts to cover the open space but there just isn't enough time to get that done by HCON.

Here is a close up of the throne room.  The game rules will allow players to set charges to blow holes in the walls to gain new entry points or perhaps even widen the door frames to allow vehicles to get in.  Given what awaits them inside, a tank may prove most useful....

 Before finalizing the placement (final as in gluing down), I need to run a few playlists to see how long it takes a team to fights its way in.  Each of the six games is set for four hours and I'm hoping for the following rough timeframe:

15 minutes rules explanation / command assignment
1:00 hour - fight way into the catacombs
2:00 hours - fight in the catacombs
45 minutes buffer

Of course, it's really impossible to fully plan these things as players have minds of their own!  That's one of better aspects of being a GM - having to think on your feet.

 I still need to add some details pieces (treasure piles, remnants of earlier tomb raiders, traps, etc).  We'll see how much can get done by July 14th, which is only 24 days away!
Rather than make sparse sections, I went with a cavern entrance.  I may try to lighten the tiles to match the desert theme.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Terrain Tutorial: Sectional Mountains Part VI

 The basic painting of the mountain sections is now completed.  The first coat of dark red brown (mix of Dark Burnt Umber and red) was followed up with a heavy dry brush Raw Sienna (a leather tannish color) and then a light dry brush of yellow oxide.

 The sand areas were painted with a latex house paint that I had mixed up to match the "Iraqi Sand" paint from Vallejo.

 I then painted the end caps straight burnt umber. The end caps will likely need a second coat in the next few days.
Overall, I'm really please with the progress to date.  The next step will be to coat the rocks with diluted matte medium to make then less shiny and add some "hardness to the surface".  After that step I'll add some desert style flocking and details.  I'll move the sections down to my workbench to do the detail work.

Getting close to done!
A shot before the Iraqi sand paint was applied.

Paints Used to Date

Mountains
Base Red/Brown Color
- Liquitex Basics Burnt Umber (3 parts)
- Liquitex Basics Primary Red (1 part)

Heavy Drybrush
- Liquitex Basics Raw Sienna

Light Drybrush
- Liquitex Basics Yellow Oxide

Sand
- Latex house paint mixed to match Vallejo's "Iraqi Sand" color

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Terrain Tutorial: Sectional Mountains Part V

 Last night I had intended to start dry brushing the mountains to lighten up the colors.  As I was working on one section I then noticed that there were lots of spot where the pink foam was showing through - little dots of pink on all the pieces.  These gaps in coverage were mostly in the cracks and I think the paint mix was two thick.

The dry brushing was set aside and another batch of red/brown was mixed up but with twice as much water.  This created more of a wash than a paint but it flowed much better into the cracks  and crevices created from the carving.  All six sections were given a coat of the wash and seemed to look a lot better.

In hindsight it would make more sense to do the wash first before the main coat but one lives and learns.

The sections will be given 24 hours to fully dry and then the next step will be some dry-brushing.

The last picture shows the some of the sections before the "wash" was applied - you can see lots of pink spots poking through which just didn't look right.  It's like the mountains had some form of pink measles and who wants to play games on an infected mountain?



Monday, May 29, 2017

Terrain Tutorial: Sectional Mountains, Part IV

 With the day offI was able to get A LOT of work done on the mountain sections.  All of the carving was finished, ground texture was added and, lastly, a base coat of red brown was applied.

 The ground texture is my standard goto - Sandstone colored flexible tile grout whit a little white glue added in for strength.  It's really easy to work with and dries for a flexible but really tough shell.
 Almost all of the sections have strange openings to allow little beasties to emerge or they can be covered up with ground foam.

 Some openings are bigger than others - hint for the Historical game - you really want to enter the catacombs from here.....

Then again, maybe you really don't?

 My super secret paint mix - about 1/4 red and 3/4'w brown then dilute with water.  Like the fancy palette?  I sued to used a real painted palette but found paper plates a lot easier to use.

 Painting has commenced.  It's a bit of a pain to get the red brown in all the crevices - there's still some pink showing through I'll need to clean up.
 Ans their all done!
 Some close ups

 The 45 degree bend came out really well.




These will dry a good bit lighter and then I'll add some dry brushing.