Friday, March 2, 2018

Terrain Squares

 This week in the Lair it's been an all out effort on terrain production - in the form of 1 foot square pieces from Sally 4th's new Terra Former line.

The rather garish white you see in the first picture is 1/8 inch polystyrene plastic sheet which forms the base for any water features.

I'll be doing some resin pours this weekend.
I'm very confident that I can hide the seems but that will be a bit of detail work to do while the resin sets.

The squares are held together with magnets and I'm really liking the possibilities these smaller sections open up.

Great product design job Sally 4th!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ground Cover - Which color do you prefer?

 I've been working on a "secret" terrain project for this year's Challenge.  Well, perhaps now not all that secret. given this post.  Anyway, I'm a bit stumped on the color of ground flocking.  I've got two on hand - a dark green and a light green. Both are from Scenic Express.

I can always mix the two to create a medium green.  When mixing ground covers I limit myself to either 50/50 (pictured) or 2/3's / 1/3 to make it easy to replicate.

A picture of the three contending colors on the base ground cover.  For ground texture I use a pre-mixed tiled grout that's pre-colored, in this case its a very nice earth tone.  The tile grout dries rock hard and both clings to the surface and hardens the EPS pink foam.

I'm leaning towards a the medium green with a few patches of either color.  Part of me likes the light green as I can make the boards have an early spring feel but I suppose I might tire of that over time.  Here in the Northern hemisphere spring is a really attractive concept right about now.

One of the goals for this year's challenge is that I wanted to limit myself to using mini's and terrain supplies that I have on hand so I haven't purchased anything new since Nov'17.  This has not really proven to be such of a hardship but I am a bit limited on the scenery supplies.

Which color would you pick?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AHPC VIII: British 25 pounder & crew

 Over the years, my Britis 8th Army North Africa collection has grown to be rather extensive but I was missing an icon from that era - the ubiquitous 2r pounder.  Well that gap has been filled by this fine miniature and crew from Brigade Games.  This group was my submission for the "BFG" bonus round in this year's Challenge.

 A simple paint job and basing and these lads are ready to take on the worst Rommel can throw at them.

Monday, February 12, 2018

AHP VIII: Blood & Plunder Pirates and Sloop

Firelock Games: "Blood & Plunder" is the new "hotness" and I've jumped in by buying a few factions and boats.  First up are 25 figures from the "Unaligned" faction which consist of 24 crewman and a captain.

One side and then..
the other
And finally the Captain.  These are 28mm scale figures but are definitely heroic in nature (on the big side).  The sculpting is fantastic and they are a joy to paint.  My only criticism is that these figures come with a cast on base which is textured like the planking of a ships deck.  The only problem is the bases are small (20mm diameter) and since cast in soft metal are rarely flat and have a difficult time keeping the figures up.

Any decent Pirate needs a cool ride and these lads Have the Sloop at their disposal.  This is a resin hull and metal detail part kit and was a lot of fun to put together
 The sails can be found as a PDF from the Firelock Games site - print out and glue the tow sides together and you're done

 The resin hull had a minor miscast just to the left of the stern gun port of the starboard side.  Rather than try to repair, I left it as battle damage.

Can't wait to get to work on my French faction

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Challenge Update: Union Infantry Regiment and

 I'm a bit behind in posting my painting output for this year's challenge so will try to catch up over the next few days.  First up is a 24 figure Union Infantry regiment
 These are 28mm in scale and are from the "new" Perry plastic Union Infantry box.  "New" is qualified as the box is half new - the figures that are marching with shouldered arms are the same as found in the Perry plastic Confederate Infantry set.  The skirmishing figures are new and come in the form of a smallish four figure sprue.  The command sprue is also the same as in the Confederate box.  The figures are great but to be honest I was a little disappointed in the in the lack of new sculpts.
 I think this is my 19th Union Infantry regiment of 24 figures - should I stop at 20?  Nahhh.
 During the same weekend I paint up some 28mm scale vehicles - a British Scorpian and Technical pickup truck from Empress Miniatures and a Rubicon German Half track
Next up - Pirates!!!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Challenge VIII: Progress through Week 6

The Challenge has completed 6 of it's allowed 13 weeks and it's important to answer a question on everyones mind - Is he still so daft and tracking progression a spreadsheet?

It hurts me you have to ask the question.

In a typically overcomplicated form the attached graph shows my progress.  The two bars are based on challenge VIII with the red being plan and blue actual.  I've totaled 1,686 points vs a plan level of 1,305.  Please note the painted tally is a bit higher than the official score on the challenge blog as I've included some items that have been painted but not submitted for an upcoming Bonus Round.

I'm well off the pace for Challenges VII and VI, but thats ok.

As with all challenges lost everything I've painted has be 28mm scale.  The new scenery category has also been very fun, with 353 of my 1,686 points coming from there.  There will be a lot more!

Thats it for now.  I believe I have re-certified myself as an "uber-geek" with this post.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

London in January & Meeting Mr Roundwood

 A ery quick trip to London last week for work.  I've grown very fond of the city for both personal and professional reasons.  That's good because I average 10-11 trips a year.  My wife and I are seriously considering moving there one day.

I rarely remember to take pictures and when I do it's of more random locations.  The first picture is of a church in Notting Hill after a breakfast meeting.  It's rare to see the sun in January in the UK.

 London can also be a spectacularly silly city, as evidenced by the Hausner & Wirth art gallery on Saville Row, which is some really pricey real estate.  The "art" on display is essentially construction debris.  It's a solo show from the artist Monika Sosnowska titled "Structural Exercises" and appears to be made up from debris from construction and/or demolition sites.  Perhaps I'm doomed to an unenlightened life as my only reaction to the "art" is to compliment the artist for pulling a fast one over the gallery.

Hurry the show end on Feb 10th, 2018.
The highlight of the trip was meeting up with Sidney Roundwood (his non-de-plume) on Friday night.  One of the joys of this hobby and blogging is all the wonderful people you meet along the journey.  This fact is especially true with the those involved in the Challenge and being able to meet Sidney in person was a real pleasure.  He sales has exceptional taste in wine so I heartily recommend allowing Mr Roundwood "control" of the wine list!

Now back to painting

Monday, January 22, 2018

Dungeon Terrain Tutorial, Part II - Painting

Once the glue has set, it's time to paint the sections.  I typically give the tacky glue at least 8 hours to set.  My method involves a four step sequence of:
1) Priming with a black primer
2) Painting grey
3) Dry brushing a light grey
4) Washing with a black tinted wash.

As with the previous post on carving the tiles, I've pretty much stolen the painting process from the Black Magic Craft YouTube channel.  The first picture shows the tiles after the black primer wash.

While not the most informative of pictures, I did want to discuss the primer - it serves to both prime the polystyrene foam for future painting and also harden it.  The primer is a 50/50 mixture of basic black craft paint (I use Liquitex Basics paints) and Modge Podge (matte finish).  You could probably use any other matte medium.  Mix up a largish batch and then keep it around for other terrain projects.  I also add a little water to help it flow better as you want the primer to flow into all the recesses.

It's really important to make sure the primer has fully cured before moving on to step 2.  This is not the most complicated of steps - just paint the tiles the primary color your want.  I'm going with a dark grey.  Slap it on and then set the tiles aside to dry again.
Step Three is my favorite - dry brushing.  I use a beat up paint brush and a rag and dry brush a 50/50ish mix go grey and white paint onto the tiles.  Remember with dry brushing, less is more in terms of paint load on the brush.
And the tiles are all dry brushed.  Again set aside to dry before moving on to the final step.
Step 4 - apply a black wash.  Apply liberal amount.  The wash is a 10 to 1 mix of black paint and water with a few drops of dish washing soap added in to improve flow (breaks down the surface tension of the water to ensure it flows into all the details.)

Like the primer, I mix up a large batch of the wash and keep it in a sealable container to use for other terrain projects.  The plastic tub in the upper right is what I use to store the wash.
I'm using a very limited color palette for these tiles and may go back and add some different colors for details.  I tend to use Liquitex products for terrain making.  I can't really say if they are better or worse than other alternatives as I've pretty much only used them.  Liquitex has never failed me and with Amazon Prime anything I need can be at my doorstep the next day.

The Dungeon collection to date - I've got some more to make to be ready for Historicon 2018 but it's a serviceable collection and covers a little over a 3x3 foot square.  That’s all for now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Challenge Bonus Theme 1: Flight

The first bonus round of the Challenge was titled "flight" and I was caught a bit flat footed.  The I remembered I had bought a starter set for "Check You Six" and had some unpainted WW2 Pacific theater aircraft in 1/300 scale.
These are some of my first gaming miniature and have remained unpainted for over 9 years.
I may gave to get them out on the table one day.