Friday, July 16, 2010

Think Pink

As I continue to work on my chapel I have discovered the joys of pink foam insulation. This stuff, which you can find at any DIY hardware store, is an indispensable scenery material. You can make pretty well anything with it. In my last post I showed how I used it to make the chimney and supports. This past week I tackled the stone work around the base of the structure.
My first thought was to cut out individual bricks and attach them. I used this method on the back wall but I was not satisfied with the results. Cutting out the "bricks" was also tedious and messy. The I hit upon the idea of making panels of styrofoam, attaching them the the walls and textured with an xacto knife. I cut a piece of styrofoam about 100mm x 30 mm then carefully sliced off a 3-5 mm section. I continued making panels until I had what I needed to go around the chapel. The panels were glued to the lower part of the wall, clamped and left to dry overnight.

When the glue was set I took my xacto and carved the stones. An old paint brush was used to clean up any loose bits of foam that stuck into the crevasses. For the door I fashioned an arch with left over bits of foam. The door was scored and the wood effect will be brought out in the painting phase. Some tiny nails and craft sticks were added for details.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Foamcore is Your Friend

One of the things that attracts me about WH40K and WHFB are those wonderful pictures of beautifully painted miniatures against backdrops of marvellous terrain features. So I thought I'd try something different and build some terrain of my own. My first attempt was a small house. I borrowed heavily from the techniques presented in this article by Gary James Instead of doubling the wall thickness, I only used a single thinkness of foamcore and drew the windows on. Likewise the stone chimney is painted with a "stone" cap made from pink foam insultation topped off with drinking straws. Since I was making a single story building and didn't need to remove the roof, the gabels and end walls were cut as one piece. The house diminsions are 110mm x 145mm x 145mm. The wall height is 45mm to the eaves. This encouraged me to tackle something a bit more elaborate. Taking inspiration from the GW chapel model I've started to build my own chapel. The dimensions of this project are 110mm x 160mm x 200mm with the same roof slope as the house. For the second story I added another layer of foamcare measuring 35mm high at the sides and 110mm at the gables. I've cut niches in each gable that I plan the decorate with either statues or stained glass. Pink foam insulation is also used on this project for the the stonework supports, the chimney and various other bits of stonework. As you can see on one wall here I am experimenting with a technique the create the look of stonework foundations. I'm not sure how I feel about the results so far. The chimney came out pretty well I think. I've topped it off with a bit of bendy straw and a push pin (I only had clear ones on hand).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Basic Basing

Basing is an easy way to add interest to your army. It can help unify you units thematically or just add a needed splash of colour. Basing is also a good excuse to let your imagination run wild and set your minis apart from anyone else's. The web is full of beautifully painted minis on elaborately designed bases. This can be somewhat intimidating but one needs to bear in mind that that level of detail is usually reserved for showcase figures, champions or elite units. For typical gaming figures you don't have to go too nuts.

When I started out I used to just paint the bases Goblin Green and be done with it. Then I moved up to simply spreading some white glue on the base and sprinkling it with green flock. Honestly - not a bad solution. What I've been doing lately is adding some interest to my base texture. I collected a variety of materials - decorative sWHFB, and and small pebbles from the craft section of the dollar store, fine sand and pebbles from the end of my driveway and other bits of debris like bits of drywall. The process then is pretty straight forward:

  1. Coat the base with glue. I use slightly watered down Elmer's Wood Glue because it has a stronger bond but regular white glue will do too.

  2. Sprinkle with mix of materials. I start with the larger bits and then sprinkle fine sand on top to fill in any gaps.

  3. Tap off any loose material

  4. Wipe the edges of the base with your finger if any of the glue went over the sides.

  5. Repeat.
You can base an entire unit in no time.

The whole unit is then primed and painted - leaving the bases for last. The bases are given a coat of Scorched Earth, followed with a dry brush of Graveyard Earth and a final highlight of Deneb Stone. Once the highlighting is done, add some random splotches of white glue, dip the base in some Citadel Static Grass and tap of the excess.

As a final touch I paint the edges Jungle Green. This is personal preference, others like leaving the base black or go with other shades of green or brown. Now here's the completed unit:


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Black Orcs pt2

The black orcs are 99% done. I just need to do some touch-ups and finish the bases. I am probably going to change the banner at some point to,

The red armor was given a base for Mechrite Red followed by a wash of Devlan Mud with a touch of blue ink. The wash targeted the recesses and details. This was followed by highlights of Blazing Orange and Vomit Brown. To make the armor look worn I added random scratches and dings with Vomit Brown. In a similar random fashion I went over those marks with Scorched Brown with a final highlight of Chainmail.

The metal bits where painted Boltgun Metal and given 2 liberal washes of Badab Black and 1 wash of Devlan Mud before highlighting with Chainmail and Mithril Silver.
I mentioned in my last post that I had originally painted some of these figures up to be "table ready." Here is an example of the new and old versions side by side.
Ref: WD364 pp 96-100


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Ere We Go, 'Ere We Go, 'Ere We Go...

I've been getting back into WHFB lately. Fantasy Battle was my first love. I remember picking up the boxed set of Harboth's Orc Archers - the start of my Waagh! I've tried pretty well every Fantasy army but I always come back to my Orc horde. They are just so much fun - even in defeat!

At any rate I've been re-doing and actually finishing some of my old miniatures. These Black Orcs are part of a unit I was working on before I stopped playing years back. I'm using some techniques picked up from some recent White Dwarfs. The pics are not the greatest but you get the gist.

I prefer to use a black primer now-a-days but the plastic orcs were already primed white from back in the day. I started the skin with a base coat of Orkhide Green, followed by a highlight of Goblin Green/Jungle Green. Additional highlights were added by mixing Bilious Green into the mix. I then used a liberal wash of Ogryn Flesh followed by a wash of Badab Black in the recesses. A final highlight of Goblin/Jungle/Bilious Green + Skull White was then added. The red armor is base coated with Mechrite Red.

The Boss and Standard are metal figures and were already painter 'table ready'. I'm just updating the color scheme a bit and cleaning up some details. If I remember correctly I started these guys off with Salamaner Black - a colour which used to be in the Citadel range. This was a green-black colour which I would have highlighted with Dark Angels Green and Skull White.

- updated with better but still not great pics 4/28/10

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raven's Sons

I haven't posted in a while but I have still been working away. One of the reasons for the lack of blog activity can be seen above. My original thought with this blog was to focus on Eldar so I was reluctant to put up anything else. However, I have been concentrating on my DIY Space Marine chapter the Raven's Sons lately as well I have been starting to get back into Fantasy Battle.

Here are some close-ups of the 2nd Coy command squad:

Company Champion
Company Standard
Veteran with Plasma Gun