Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Terrain Board Spectacular Day 3: Small Business Saturday

Luckily due to the rampant commercialization of the Thanksgiving weekend I have a ready made name for everyday. Today is Small Business Saturday and a great day to get out to your local game store of course any day is good day to go to a game store. Anyways back to the boards.

My toolkit for road making. 
I didn't quite get as far as I would of liked today but I did manage to put in one of the roads. I'm using the same basic method as I've used previously for my roads, basically laying down air hardening clay and using some home made stamps to press in the cobblestone pattern.

One set of roads done. The first half was done earlier in the day and is mostly dried. 

I'm not worrying too much about getting it perfect since as discussed in a long ago post, most of the road is going to be covered in dirt. It still ends up being a slow process, I think I might consider doing a resin mold to cast road sections for future projects. But for now I'm going to carry on with this.

It's pretty clear at this point that the boards aren't going to get done this weekend, or even particularly close. But I have managed to get some solid work done on them. Hopefully with whatever I can get done tomorrow it will mostly be downhill ( and visually more exciting) from there.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Terrain Board Spectacular Day 2: Black Friday

There is always a stage with these projects where although you put in several hours of work it pretty much looks the same as you started. That was today for me.

Beginning of the day after everything was glued. 

With the wood glued on I needed to neaten everything up. The wood didn't line up exactly with what I had on the boards before. The hills needed to be re-cut some and the road ends as well. So today was mostly trimming and sanding. After that I applied some wood filler to fill any gaps and to help smooth out the slopes of the boards. I'm hoping that in the end this means everything will join up nicely although I do expect there to be some gaps still. That seems unavoidable with my rather slapdash method. 

End of the day. 
Now hopefully the unexciting structural part is done and I can move onto the more interesting bits. Tomorrow will probably consist of putting in the roads and doing the last carving and smoothing of the hills.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Terrain Board Spectacular Part I

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In addition to stuffing myself full of poultry today I've also decided to make the most of the long weekend and finish off a project that has been an albatross ( or perhaps a turkey) around my neck. Namely my modular terrain boards.

Over the past months I chipped away at these so some progress has been made since I last posted on them. All of the boards have been sanded to give a more irregular surface. I really dislike the billiard table smooth look on my boards so I try to add some features to it. This is pretty easy with large boards or ones that can stand alone. Its a bit trickier with modular ones like this particularly at this scale.

The boards at the start of the day.
Normally I'd work the insulation foam over with a heatgun to make some dents in it but I have no idea where my heatgun is at the moment and I wanted to try a different and much messier technique. I wrapped a tennis ball with sandpaper and attacked the boards. The art in it is trying to get it to look like the real undulations of open ground while at the same time making sure that things like buildings can still be placed on it without looking all wonky and that it will still join up with other boards. While I was at it I also carved out my rock faces on the hill sections.

I'll do some more fine carving work on the rock faces once I get some spackle on the boards.
This past week I've been inspired by looking at others work on modular board sections, particularly the fantastic river sections done by the Mad Guru at his Maiwand Day Blog. One thing that I wanted to use was the wooden rails on the sides. In the past I have always had problems with modular boards not really matching up at the joins. I thought this technique could give me a bit more precision to the edges.

Unfortunately, at this stage I don't think I can replicate the integral use of molding for the edges. Plus I'm on a budget with this project so I decided to use some flooring material I had sitting around since we remodelled part of our house. This is 3/8" plywood that got ripped down to proper width and then cut to size. I then gang cut the proper notches out for the roads and the hill sides. All of these are getting glued onto the outside of the boards with Gorilla Glue to frame them out.

Supervisor T inspects the makeshift workstation. 

All glued together and off to the drying rack. 

So that's where they stand right now. Tomorrow we'll see what progress I can make around the rest of the holiday activities.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

December 5th kicks off the 5th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I followed along last year and I'll have to say was a little jealous of the fun that others seemed to be having. I was particularly impressed with the theme round entries. So this year I'm going to try my hand at it.

Courtesy of Mr. Campbell

I've been officially added to the roster and assigned my posting date of Mondays. I took the easy way out with a low goal of 500 pts. Although with the rate of painting I've been doing over the past months that is probably stretching it for me.

I've decided to set myself two goals beyond the points. The first is to try to submit an entry for each theme round. I really liked the small vignette entries from last year. So if possible I would like at least some of my own entries to be something similar. I'm hoping for half of them.

The second goal is one somewhat forced upon me by outside circumstances but hopefully I can turn a weakness  into a strength. Since I'm short on available hobby funds at the moment, I'm hoping to go through the challenge only using already purchased miniatures. I have quite a store of lead sitting in the basement that was gathered over many years and has followed me through several moves. In addition I have the rewards from a couple of Kickstarters to work on as well. So no shortage of materiel to throw into the paint grinder. Where it might get tricky and I'm going to need to be creative is the theme rounds. Might have to stretch my imagination on some of them to work with what I have.

I have two weeks to try to finish these ones off.
In the meantime I'm sorting through what is sitting on my paint table to see what needs to be finished off before the start, what still meets qualifications for future submission and what I want to just shelf till later.

These blurry fellows are only primed (or partially primed actually) so are going into the Challenge queue!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Last of the Ratmen

Well October has slipped away from me but I have managed to finish up the last three of my ratman team for Dreadball. I started the conversion work on them over a month ago but got a chance to finish up their paintjobs this past weekend. While the last set were converted mostly with limb swaps more drastic measures were needed on this trio and I turned to the saw to make some new poses.

 First up the guard was cut apart at the waist and the upper torso was repositioned. I originally intended a bit more angled pose but found out that the restic material once sawed through forms an almost instant and permanent bond with super glue. I expected a second to readjust the pose once I put them together but ended up settling for the initial contact. Both arms were also repositioned and I cut some spikes off of the facemask then used putty to fill all of the gaps.

The strikers had their heads sawed off and swapped around. For the first one I tried to get as close as possible to the classic Bloodbowl jumping and catching pose. Again arms and legs needed reposed and gaps filled with putty. Both of these guys also got shorts sculpted on since I liked how that worked on the last set I converted.

The last striker was more of a problem. I lost his gloved arm at some point and frantic searching never turned it up. My lovely wife made the excellent suggestion of making a copy of the other guys arm. I managed to make a reasonable facsimile using some of the instant mold I had and putty. The details on the two sides looked good but the joint line was a bit of a mess. I tried to hide the glove by going with a pose that's sort of like he just caught the ball and is wrapping it up to run with it.

I like how they came out in the end and although a fair bit of work I think the conversions made the team. They still need some numbers and team logos though. I'm not sure if I want to risk free-handing that many or look into some decals. If I go with some custom decals I might wait till I finish another team so I can combine them all onto one sheet. With one team down I need to finish up the other three. Hopefully I can get them all done by the end of the year.

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