Sunday, June 26, 2011

Big City Update

Dirtied up the city blocks this week with a coat of The Dip.  You can see that it took some experimenting.  The roof on the building in the lower left is a little dark for my tastes, but it does help to break up the buildings a little more.

This shot was taken moments after the application of static grass.  When it dries, it should be less splotchy. Otherwise, this seems to be coming along smoothly, if not quickly.

Here's a miniature's eye view of things.  I shopped out my kitchen and added a bit of lovely scenery for the little mans to fight over.

You can see how glossy that Dip makes the terrain.  There's very little color difference between the sidewalks and dirt now, but the grass helps.  Looks like this terrain will require some dullcote after all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Painting the Town

You probably noticed that this has become a weekly blog.  I burned through my backlog pretty quick.  At this point, I'll just plug away at the new work during the week and throw up odd thoughts when I get the chance.  Sunday night is the best night for posting, but don't be surprised if I toss in the odd mid-week update here and there.

Enough about me, onto the terrain...

In a bit of a departure from my usual (paint everything in one color first) modus operandi, I'm painting the Big Town a few pieces at a time.  The actual color scheme shown here consists of blue floors with purple walls and gold highlights.  This color scheme should be somewhat familiar to you Halo fans.  Frankly, I didn't think this would work as well as it is, but I let my son pick the colors, and he was pretty adamant about them.  This is a work in progress, and it should look a lot better once I get some steel and shading in there.

Let's start with the park in the lower left hand corner of the above shot.  Using green scrubber pads for hedges is an old grognard trick.  To really make them look sharp, I've drybrushed them with green and yellow paint.  To keep their shape, I drilled holes through the craft board and hot glued short lengths of dowel for posts.  In the shot to the right you can see that I also folded them in half.  This gives them more thickness and a nice round curve to the top, and it also makes them more stable and less crushable in the storage box.

The texture on the ground surface was made by applying a coat of paint, tossing on a bit of sand, and then a few more coats of paint.  Brown drybrushed with gold brings out the texture and make it look dirtish.  Eventually, I'll apply green flocking for grass, but that has to wait until the painting is complete.

The sidewalks are sort of modular.  In this shot you can see how they almost line up.  Sometimes you get weird artifacts where one block of sidewalk sits alone in a corner, but for the most part, they help tie each the individual tiles together into a unit.

The fountain was made from a 1.5" PVC cap glued into a plastic flower pot base.  It needs blue paint and fake water yet, and I'm thinking about painting a miniature gray and sticking it on there as a statue.  That might make it tough to store that tile, though, so I haven't decided.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Time Terrain

One of the things that I'm trying to do with my wargaming is keep everything compact.  This post details one of the reasons for that.

When I jumped back into the hobby, I really didn't look very hard.  I just bought up a couple sheets of foamcore and a handful of 12" by 12" MDF boards and started slapping together an urban scaffolding network.  The last big project that I worked on before the hiatus was a Necromunda tabletop, and I thought it would be nice to make a modular cityscape.

No big surprises here.  So far I've got nine boards with buildings up to three stories tall.  The sidewalks are cereal box, the hedges green kitchen scrubbers, and the pump station in the back is two light switch boxes with bits of piping glued to them.

The terrain is nice, but I just don't room for it all.  Even boxed up, it takes up way more storage space than I like.

Which leaves me with the classic dilemma.  Do I bail now, or see it through to the end, knowing that I'll have to part ways with it moments after giving birth?

No decision need be made for a few weeks, so for now I'll just keep plugging away at it.  Worst case scenario, I can sell it to make enough money to fund my next small box project.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sneak Peek

One Box Car Wars is essentially complete.  All that's left to do now is play the game.  There's always the temptation to go back and add just one more thing, or to tinker with it just a little more, so don't be surprised to see a few more autoduel posts.

In the meantime, here's a glimpse into my next project - Big Dang Spaceships.  Here are the raw materials collected so far:
Years back I spent way too much money on dowels and raw materials to build a matched pair of fleets with ships so big you had to play the game in the yard.  Never got to play it, though.  This time around, I've been collecting cast offs from the house, and figured out a way to stiffen up the empty bottles and mount them on low cost poles.  Since I live in Hawaii, I can use the beach as a tabletop and just spear the suckers into the sand.  Stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kid's Stuff

Time to start introducing this little hobby to the boy.  A few weeks ago, he got a box of Warhammer 40K figs to practice on, but I can't let him have all the fun.  Tonight, we glued them together in whatever way seemed cool.  Here are our results, sans paint.

Warhammer players will recognize these as Imperial Guardsmen - Cadians, I think. They will also recognize that WYSIWYG-wise, they aren't a 40K legal squad.  That's okay, because they won't be used for 40K.  Worst case scenario, we'll run a few games of Necromunda with them. Best case scenario, they each have enough personality to work in a game of Frag.

But they boy and I swung by the local game shop last Monday to scout out the tables, and what I saw disappointed me.  Out of 14 Warhammer 40K players, not a single one played with a fully painted army.  I'm not really a painting snob.  I don't have a problem with people who aren't the best painters in the world.  But I don't play unpainted.

Okay, so maybe I am a snob.  But if I'm going to go to spend all this money, and go to all this trouble to build and paint an army that looks good, I don't want to have to play against random silver hunks of metal.

So we'll stick with our own little mini games for now.