Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Obligatory Year End Review

So it seems like the thing to do to go over what you accomplished in the year. Its been a bit of an up and down ride on the hobby front with a lot of my time taken up with getting married earlier in the year and also diving somewhat headfirst into a new hobby of bird watching. For the most part miniature stuff is a weekday evening activity for me as we sit around watching TVand unwind from work. But even so I'm happy with what I got done this year. 

All of the good guys I got done this year, Brits on the left, miscellaneous on the right. 
At the beginning of the year I set myself two real goals. The first was to paint up all of the figures I sculpted. This I actually accomplished although I initially intended to do so in comic book story fashion. Unfortunately, I just couldn't keep up with that as I kept cringing at my own horrible writing. A wordsmith I am not.

And the monsters! As usual more fun to paint.
I also wanted to put together a bit of urban terrain for gaming. This sorta morphed into the Lower Fickleham project which is actually fairly well complete. Or at least all of the store bought houses are painted and I have a rather nice if not particularly English looking village.

All of Lower Ficklleham together. Actually too much to really fit on my one terrain tile or into my lightbox for that matter.
All and all I'm happy with the year's production. I guess the next step is laying out some goals for 2014 but I'll save that for next time.

There was also a diversion into more traditional Sci-Fi in the spring. I really enjoyed making the terrain but I'm not sure when I'll ever get back to this project.

Happy New Year!
And Thank You to everyone that has taken the time to come by and had a look at my blog this past year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Worcote Hall

As the year comes to its end I've finally finished the last of the buildings for Lower Fickleham. Not to mean that I don't intend to continue to make new buildings for the town just that this is the last of the original Crescent Root buildings. Saving the best for last, or at least the largest, we have Worcote Hall. Probably some old manse of minor nobility. I imagine that he was the first one to plaster up all of those walls in the new Continental style and the rest of the town followed suit. Now everyone is sort of regretting the decision and the rendering is chipping away here and there.

I followed the same paint scheme as the rest of the town but kept the building slightly cleaner. I left the windows dark as I really couldn't find any good examples of country homes with bright paint on them. I think it gives it a very somber appearance anyways. I also tried my hand at adding some ivy to the back.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Wyrm of Golgatha

I've always planned for the Cabal to be the shadowy evil organization of the Steamworks universe. I also have always liked the semi organic look of the Cryx warjacks and I knew that was what I wanted to use for the Cabal. One thing I like about the Cryx stuff in general is that most of them have a non typical body plan. This one is the Cankerworm and has a nice snake/centipede body. However, I wasn't too fond of the skull head. It just didn't work for me and made it look out of scale. Luckily, I also have a Leviathan kit  that will see service in the future and it comes with three head options. So one came off and the other went on.

New head and tail surgery covered up with some dirt encrustations.
It also had a weird claw at the end of its tail which rather reminded me of an earwig (One of the few insects I truly find revolting. I think it has something to do with the ear bugs from Wrath of Khan, a movie that I saw at perhaps too impressionable an age.) So a simple head swap and some tail surgery later and the Wyrm was born.

I tried to paint the the main body like an old cast iron frying pan. Maybe not the most fearsome thing but I like that rusty black metal look. Details were picked out in tarnished brass and I used green to accent the otherworldly power source.

Before any powders went on. Also a little blown out with flash.
Post weathering powders. Along with all of the other pictures.
I also wanted to try out some weathering powders on it. I recently ordered some secret weapon pigments and this was my first time using them. I slapped them on pretty liberally and thought perhaps I might have over done it. But after a coat of matte varnish they were toned down and blended in rather nicely. I'm thinking I might order a few more colors as they give a really nice effect. 

Another quite day in Lower Fickleham

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fungi Man-ia

The second fungi man that I sculpted. Well actually I sculpted him first, but painted him second. This rounds out all of the miniatures that I sculpted myself.

Please excuse the picture quality. I ran down the battery on my new camera taking pictures of snowy owls and had to resort to an old back up pocket camera.
I painted him up similar to the other one with a dull greenish skin tone but I also tried out using more washes and glazes to mottle out the coloration. While I'm happy with most of him the back just didn't turn out the way I wanted. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking when I sculpted him but his back ended up looking like a dried shiitake mushroom. Not a very inspiring surface to paint. I tried to make it look like a honey mushroom cap but even after repainting it three times it still doesn't look the way I want. Oh well, in the future I'll have to remember to either make slightly more interesting features in the sculpting or to leave it more of a blank canvas. It really pays off at the painting stage. Sometimes when you don't have a clear concept of what your are going for it turns out a little muddled.

Try as I might the back still ended up looking like a turtle shell.

I have a couple more miniatures on the table so hopefully I'll be able to knock them out this month and get a couple more notches on the paintbrushes before the year ends.

The fungi patrol cruising the streets!

Friday, November 8, 2013


Inspired by November being NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I decided to do my own Nano-Painto. Now I'm focusing more on the nano part as my goal is instead of writing a novel in a month is just to sit down and do some painting everyday. Even if it is just five minutes.

 I've found that it takes me about a hour and half to paint a typical 15mm figure but at least half of that time is taken up waiting for ink washes or glazes to dry. I usually don't use that time productively and just get distracted looking at the Internet or what not. So instead if I just do a little bit of painting and then walk away I can at least make some progress.

My first Nano-painto finished. He's actually a transformed Fungi guy that I sculpted a long time ago.

Actually I like him a lot better now that I painted him up. The details in the ripped clothes painted up pretty nicely. 

I never found a good name for them though, Fungoid just doesn't sound right to me but I haven't been able to think of anything better.

I have my last fungus goliath sculpt on the painting table as well. Hopefully to join these guys sometime soon.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"We Dig In Dirt And Hide From Birds!"

... "That's a Life of a Lowly Worm!"

Of course this particular worm would require a rather large bird to hide from!

This is the finished repaint of the Crawling One from Arkham Horror. I was trying to get a look similar to the blobfish. I really wanted that translucent skin but that was a little beyond me. Instead I used a combination of inks and my usual flesh-tone mixed with grays. I like the final effect and intend to use it on a couple more figures. In order that I actually remember the combination I included it below. 

Basecoat with Beige Red/ Violet
Highlighted up with Beige Red mixed with Dark Sea Grey, then mixed with Medium Sea Grey. 
 Wash with mixes of orange and blue ink and spots of purple ink

 Final highlights with thin Beige Red/ Sky Grey.
Worm thing versus Colossus!

"What could of eaten all of my cabbages?"

 Ten bonus points to anyone who can give me the next stanza of the fight song of Learnmore High.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Building Plans

More new buildings in Lower Fickleham, a cottage with walled garden and two more outbuildings. (I'm a big fan of outbuildings.) This is the penultimate group of the ones I bought. I still have the largest of them, the manor, on the worktable but it should be done fairly soon as well as I pretty much have my painting technique down on them.

The AirCaptain looks around a small cottage he is thinking of renting.

It does have a nice enclosed garden and a small shed in the back.
The other outbuilding hangs precariously over the edge of town.

I want to continue to expand the town and I'm currently trying to figure out exactly how I want to go about it. I have a laundry list of ideas, most of which I'm going to need to scratchbuild so it might take some time to get through it. I'd like to start making some more urban and industrial style buildings. These would allow me to stretch Lower Fickleham into the suburbs of a city or at least give me a transition into one.

With the possible entertainment of a domestic squabble in the back alley?

In the short term I'm going to try to knock out some smaller projects for the town. I have some ideas for stone walls, plowed fields, and wheat fields to try to dress up the surroundings. I'd also like to make some smaller pieces to throw around and add some life. Maybe some market stalls or something similar. I also want to make some gas streetlights but I'm still on the lookout for some parts to construct them out of.

Just another sleepy day in Lower Fickleham.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shove off Shoggoth!

After a rather promising start to September I managed to slip back into my usual September doldrums. I'm not sure what it is but September has always been a slow hobby month for me. But I have managed some dribs and drabs here and there that have advanced a couple of projects.

First off I finished off the second Shoggoth the one that I sculpted myself last month. I painted him up to match the other and all and all I'm happy with the way he turned out.

Charles and Rowsdower have perhaps bit off more than they can chew this time around!

"Chuck! My pistols are having no effect on this beast!"

Luckily, reinforcements aren't far behind.

" Aim for the green parts! I think they are vulnerable!"

Clash of the Titans!

But it's not alone!

Battle in the streets of Lower Fickleham!
Looking over the pictures I think I need to do up some cultists to go along with them. I'll have to look around for anyone who sells some nice ones in 15mm or else I might resort to sculpting them myself.

Also the next set of buildings are almost done so hopefully I'll be able to post them up later this week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Zap" Rowsdower

"Zap" is another figure from the Highlander Studios adventurers pack. I'm thinking he's either suppose to be Wild Bill Hickok or maybe Custer. Either way as soon as I saw that mane of hair I knew I had found my Rowsdower.

Looking down the business end of those Conflagration Beam pistols.
For those that haven't seen Final Sacrifice, Rowsdower is the action hero of a low budget, Canadian  B-movie. Here is a good review of it at Canuxploitation. Canada's answer to Chuck Norris is of course dressed in a denim jacket, white pants and sports some great hockey hair. I tried to paint a VSF version of the same outfit.

Jacket and hair make the man my Grand-pappy always said.
The movie version sports a shotgun and a smelly jacket as his weapons of choice. The jacket looks just as smelly but I decided to not mess with the sculpts twin blaster pistols. I think the hardest part was trying to make a denim look to his jacket. It's really suppose to be buckskin but I've seen plenty of denim jackets with the same fringe on them when I was growing up, although they usually had some sort of band logo ironed onto the back. I tried to keep the denim look but keep it a more muted blue.

Zap and Charles Allen investigate a mysterious shed. Chuck is sorta my version of Troy from the film.

And finally a picture of the man himself in his original form. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Good Professor

Here is one more of my sculpts painted up. Professor Emil debuted on the blog quite some time ago. He actually has a back story worked out in my Steamworks setting but for now I'm just going to use him as a pretty standard mad scientist.

With him done I think I only have two of my sculpts still to paint. However, I've just started work on sculpting some new ones so that tally might not last too long.

I tried giving him a patterned scarf but I'm not sure how well it came out. Painting plaid in 15mm is some what challenging!

I made sure his lab coat had the required dirt and grime stains from previous experiments.

Here are my favorites so far that I have sculpted. All together they kind of look like they should be in a League of More or Less Ordinary Gentleman.

I doubt that I've ever mentioned this on here before but my wife and I have both recently taken up bird watching. She has decided to start a new blog chronicling our misadventures of trying to see the local wildlife an hopefully take their picture. If you would like to read what we've been up to please visit or you can just stop by and take a look at all of the nice pictures she takes of birds, bugs, and the rest of nature. You can find it here: A Bird on a Blog is Worth Two in a Bush.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monster Mashup

In an effort to beef up my monster collection I made my own Shoggoth. I wanted to make him a little more amoeba like and in a more aggressive pose than the one I painted from Reaper miniatures. So here is a more or less step by step to my slapdash method.

I started by making the basic shape  and a bunch of spheres out of leftover DAS I had while making cobblestones.

I then cut the spheres apart and super-glued them to the core. They were kinda rough so I hit the larger ones with some fine sand paper too.

I then started to build up the body with some Procreate. I attached him temporarily to a big base I had lying around to hold onto while sculpting.

I tried to make the flesh kinda ropey but fluid, like he was made out of lumpy pudding. I also gave him some tentacle like appendages because tentacles make everything better.

I've also been looking for other possible candidates to add. I've found a couple prepaints for Arkham Horror from Fantasy Flight Games that I think might work. These will probably hold me over for a while although I'm keeping my eye out for the Cthulhu Wars miniatures. I missed the Kickstarter for it but I definitely like the look of them, especially the Elder Gods.

Shoggoth - I'll paint him up like my Reaper one I think.
Crawling One
Star Vampire - It seems like Sherlock is having a hard time of it today.
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