Sunday 31 March 2013

Men with big choppers- painted

Here are my finished four Anglo-Danish hearthguard:

Nothing terribly fancy with the shields, but the limited palette and identical patterns really tie these guys together. I think the green-stuffed shield bosses work nicely. I decided to paint the shield rims as leather hide (rather than metal), and repainted my other (round-shield) hearthguard similarly.

Here are all my Anglo-Danish hearthguard together:

Coming soon:

Saturday 30 March 2013

The essence of moisture is wetness

I obtained a lot of useful feedback on my previous post about painting rivers. I made an executive decision to stay with green, and to get the essential river appearance via several coats of gloss varnish.

This is still a trial/ WIP, and the rivers still need their banks flocked and rocks picked out. Here are my four trial pieces:

Plain green

Lighter banks, subtle brown/ green middle

Lighter green streaks

Lighter banks, darker brown middle
I think that the combination of darker and lighter shades works best, but it does require a degree of artistry to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result.

I used two coats of gloss varnish, which isn't really apparent in the above pictures. Here they are all together, with some natural light reflections. The subtle differences between pieces aren't at all noticeable in these pictures. I also put in the GF9 bridge with some of the FSS roads.

Feedback welcomed!

Edit: See the final results here

Sunday 24 March 2013

Men with big choppers WIP

Or, back to the Dark Ages.

I'm eagerly anticipating Gripping Beast's plastic generic Dark Age warriors following this week's announcement.

I was inspired enough to do a little work on my Anglo-Danish hearthguard for Saga. The bodies and heads are from GB Saxon Thegns, and the Dane axes are from the GB Viking Bondi set. I used some Conquest Norman shields and green-stuffed a gubbin in the middle of the three shields without.

Green stuffed shield boss

Army Painter Leather Brown spray

Some progress!

In other news, last week's river experiment continues; hopefully pics in a week or so. I got in two games of X-Wing at the club today (on a Cor-Sec starfield), I got utterly smashed for my newbie-ness. The Emperor will be displeased...
My TIE fighters immediately before getting vaped...
I've also gone in for the Sails of Glory KickStarter, and am rereading my Patrick O'Brian's. I am with child for this game to come out.

Sunday 17 March 2013

What colour is a river?

I picked up a few sets of GF9 rivers a while back, and am glad that I did because I understand the 'starter' set with the bridges is now hard to find.

The good:
Sturdy, durable, variety of organic shapes and fords/ island etc., pre-painted but not pre-flocked, decent width/ length

The bad:
Several of my pieces came stuck to one another and were scratched and scuffed. Several other people have had the same issue. Here are the worst:

Disappointing, but not the end of the world. So I'm going to repaint them- what colour? These pieces will have to stand for a variety of scales and environments, from desert to jungle.

I've never really been a fan of blue rivers and streams. I've seen some lovely model railway scenery with a dark bottle green, and was pleasantly surprised by some of Battlefront's repainted brown pieces:

Vallejo 921 English Uniform

I initially decided to go with an olive green. When I placed a trial piece on my board, however, it disappeared into the rest of the terrain- I then appreciated the benefits of blue rivers. I have just made a variety of different colours, and appreciate your input:

Olive green- looks nice, but blends into the tabletop

Blue with pale streaks. Cartoony, and closest to the original paintjobs. Clearly a waterway.

Flat brown. Realistic but boring, and too much like a road.

Bottle green with light green streaks. Too toxic SciFi for my tastes.

I cant decide between the olive green and the blue. If I do go for olive green, I'm not sure if I should go for a flat uniform coat, or something with a bit more variety in it. I only slapped on a little paint, and the streakiness is somewhat pleasing, if difficult to reproduce consistently. On the bottom two pictures in particular you can see where the factory blue paintjob 'rides up' the banks a little.

The gloss varnish helps, but isn't as glossy as I expected. A few more coats will help. These paintjobs are surprisingly gritty; don't entirely know why. I've have gone for speed over neatness. I've yet to flock and pick out the stones.

On the WWPD site, I found this sneak-peek picture from Battlefront which appears to show a variety of wider and narrower streams and rivers yet to be released. Looks good!

I'm still hanging out for a waterfall piece. Have a look at Eric the Shed's excellent rivers and waterfall! (I note he went for blue, and it looks great.)

Edit: see Part II here and Part III here

Sunday 3 March 2013

Where the rubber meets the road

At CanCon I was on the hunt for roads for my games. I’ve been a fan of the Battlefront/ Gale Force 9 offerings over the past couple of years (good quality, pre-painted, reasonable price, highly durable), but their roads were disappointing in that the tank tracks (and craters) limit you to particular eras. Fernvale Specialty Scenics had their 15mm roads available at CanCon, and I picked up a set of straights, bends, junctions, ends, and a roadblock (the ends and roadblock aren't up on their store website).

The roads are made of chocolate-brown polyurethane resin, which I would call rubber. I had questions about prepping this material for painting as I hadn't used it before, but Glynn of FSS was very helpful- there's none required. His demo products at Cancon were just drybrushed once over the raw rubber before flocking. Done!

I did a test run of just drybrushing over the brown rubber resin, but it was a bit too chocolate-y for my existing baseboards (see my previous blog post). I sloshed on some Jo Sonja Raw Umber and repeated the drybrush, and PVA’d on some flock to match my existing boards.
Raw Umber vs unpainted rubber

Top: raw rubber. Bottom: drybrushed with and without a basecoat

My newly completed road network... action on a 4'x4' board
Rubber roads conform to a gentle slope.

I’m happy with the outcome. These roads are 50mm wide with extra verge. The straights are 20cm long, and the corners are 45 degrees in two different radii. They match up nicely to the GF9 bridges (sorry, no pics). I plan to mostly use these for 15mm, but they could do for 25mm narrow roads or paths.

15mm vehicles encounter a roadblock

20mm modern MBT barely fits this country lane!

25mm pikemen march down a path
I’m not sure how the rubber will stand up to storage and heat, but since FSS is based in Queensland I’m going to assume they’ll be OK! I think the road end pieces are a nice touch, and I may get more. I got two metres of straights, we’ll see if that meets my needs. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of roads I got in terms of covering a 4'x4' area. The rubber can potentially be cut if I need a shorter segment, or a different angle on a corner.

Finally, Glynn sells stickers supporting our diggers, which makes him A Good Bloke.