Sunday, 15 July 2018

Base (ic) Instincts

The one thing I have issues with when basing models, is basing sand - its one thing to use it around terrain for added ground texture, its another using it to base models.

Part of miniature painting is "cheating" the eye - examples of this are exaggerated shading and highlights, to add depth to a model. Or lighting effects, to give the illusion of reflected light on a miniature.

When it comes to basing, I prefer to take a similar approach - with urban set games its easier. Out with the plasticard and circle cutter, sandpaper the pieces to create texture - glue to the base, adding SUPER FINE GLITTER for Road Texture (you heard me) - and we're done.

Now, if I had used sand - even fine silver sand. That Tarmac Texture would look way too big, marble sized (or bigger) compared to the Model "standing" on it.

Likewise, when models based only on sand have their pictures shown online - their beautiful paint jobs are ruined by what frankly looks like a base full of brown golf balls.

Now I could faff around with glitter on every base for my Old West Miniatures, but to be honest its so fine it is a pain in the ass to use.

So, I finally settled on ready mixed Exterior Wall Filler - a little courser than interior filler (which works out good when painting bases), and readily (and cheaply available) - the Tube Pictured was £1.49 from Home Bargains.

A 330g Tube will literally do DOZENS of Bases, and help texture around buildings (if you decide to base yours, more on thoughts about that in a future Blog Post) - its economical, and minimum mess (no glue or sand).

Simply squeeze a few blobs around the base, don't worry about covering it - undercoat covers a multitude of sins. Then push it around with an implement (lollipo sticks, coffee stirers are good) - I use a mold line remover.

As you can see from the pictures of this Chinese Rail Worker I just based, its easy peasy.

When Dried, it can be cleaned up (even sanded) to get the affect you desire.

Once undercoated - the bases can be painted to represent rough ground, snowy terrain, or even broken urban terrain. Tufts and Lichen can be added as desired.

As you can see from the Undercoated Picture, theres a LOT of texture there - leaving no need to add more to it beyond painting and grass tufts.

But more on painting later . . .

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Hot Hot, Hotter than Hell . . . .

More dry than hot, but thats not an interesting Title.

Had an hour spare this morning, so I tried painting - that was a mistake LoL!

The paint was drying on the pallette (and the brush) before I even got started on anything properly - so I busted out the wet pallette.

Which worked well ON THE PALLETTE, but whilst painting the brush wasnt holding the paint for long - again, the problem was premature drying.

I won't lie, this sort of "issue" makes painting get real old fast for me - drives me crazy.

LUCKILY I prefer painting at night anyway, so this really was a one-off.

Friday, 13 July 2018

A Town Called Malice . . . .

Well, colour me impressed!

Just a quick update, I've pottered around with the first Plast Craft building - make a few mistakes, learned a bit about the Material (these are press-cut PVC) - the Door and shuttered Window have been left off for painting.

Pros - Lighter than MDF, no burnt smell (no sneezing, the dust drives me crazy) and better texturing. Sure MDF are laser accurate - but unless you ponce with them putting the wood-grain ON (either painting more laminating wood onto them) they can look bland. CHEAP AS CHIPS!

Cons - As you assemble them using Superglue, Gel is better - I've make a couple of mistakes and had a right time shifting things around. They can warp, but are easily bent and postioned back into shape.

Overall, LOVE them - I'm a very happy Jackalope!

And the times, they are a changing . . .

WELL! that was a Surprise!

My Buildings arrived from Wayland, earlier this evening - and the weird ass thing was (other than getting a courier delivery at 7:30pm LoL) was the fact, I didn't get what I expected . . . .

I thought I was ordering the older designs with zero texture on them, but what I got was the NEWER designs with texture emossed onto the plastic!

Now, do I go with my original Plan of using photo-paper printouts laminated on - or do I build and paint them as normal!

Both are good ways to go, I'm happy to do either - but its nice to have options!

Decisions, Decisions . . . . . .

The Waiter in the Darkness

While I wait for my Nickstarter bits and Plastcraft Buildings (and Self Adhesive Printer Paper) to arrive, I've been pondering other options for terrain.

As this will all lead up to me the Dark Confederate Posse and the Church of Dagon Posse - it occurred to me that simple Old West Town Terrain wouldn't cut it for each and every game.

That something "swampy" from the Deep South would be a nice change of pace.

Base Boards (or gaming tables) have never been an issue for me - I used to make a LOT when I worked for Games Workshop, mostly just using random junk and crap too - and they always looked better than average (and done cheaply too).

Elements like trees and rocks can be created quite easily. Pinching a few "buff" style stone chippings when you are out and about sorts the larger rocks, (clean) Cat Litter for rubble and course ground, and Budgie Sand can be purchased quite cheaply (it gives a better and more random texture than any pricey hobby sand).

MAKE SURE your "borrowed" rocks are washed and dried properly. The best thing about these materials, is they take paint REALLY well - wheres some of the "sold for purpose" hobby materials really don't. They are not only expensive for what they are, they can chip like crazy. When it comes to Rock/Cat Litter/Sand - NEVER spray undercoat, always wash undercoat in several layers. The Rocks/Cat Litter/Sand absorbs the paint - this aids in the longievety of your terrain - if bits chip/flake off, your terrain is still the base colour underneath . . . .

Swamp Trees can be made easily, get some "branchy" looking twigs - wash and dry them out (an airing cupboard is good for this), if you are lucky the bark will crack and split in areas (it looks immense).

Get some Moss, the stuff they use for lining Garden Baskets and Pots - drape/lay clumps and strands here and there, PVA them in place - return to the airing cupboard for a few days to dry out.

Once fully dry, hot glue them to your basing of choice and seal them with matt varnish (this stops any unwanted smells LoL) - when the varnish is dry, you can then wash and drybrush them strategically to give them more vibrance and depth.

A last touch, you can then glue on clumps and tufts of static grass and/or Lichen Moss (Reindeer Moss) as desired, to really "pimp" your Trees.

Lollipop Sticks or Coffee Stirers can be used to make run down ramshackle fencing, the picture shows a "cog" - but if you imagine that with a Cartwheel instead, it instantly becomes suitable for deep south/bayou-style terrain for Dracula's America. Dress the basing with dried twigs or plant fronds, and some grass tufs - and use gloss varnish in areas on the finished piece to give it that damp and swampy look.

Now, time to muse on quick and easy buildings LoL!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Not only Birdies go Cheap . . . . .

The Next Problem will be Terrain - though I have a large collected of Old West Miniatures. As I only played with friends, most are a different scale - and I have no Terrain of my own (as I played at a Club). 

Dracula's America is a "side project" for me, or at least it will be to begin with - so the Terrain will have to look good to my eye and be reasonably priced.

I am not a huge fan of MDF Terrain, as the textures of the wood or never there. Scratch Building is never that satisfying for me either really, on the rare occassions I do scratch build I'm never happy with the final result, though others might "bill and coo" over it.

Resin would be ideal, but its hard to find these days - and when you do the prices are mental.

Then, I was on Ebay the other day - just searching through listings. I saw Wayland Games had some Plastcraft Wild West Buildings at £4.50 each, with free shipping on orders of £10+.

As I had £7.50 in vouchers too, I took advantage - they are solid looking, but have no detail.

I went through all the possible options in my head, even chatting to friends (HI DAVE! - HI CARL!) about it.

There were loads of suggestions from greenstuff and engraving details, laminating with wooden sticks etc - all of which were expensive (the buildings were cheap, I didn't want to lose that edge) and/or fiddly, and frankly a potential pain in the ass.

THEN after looking at my Worldworks and Whitewash City PDF's - it dawned on me, Self Adhesive Photo Paper and Wood Textures!

You can see from the unpainted pictures, they are lovely and sturdy - laminating the wood textures over the top should work a treat.

The Doors and Windows are resin, so I ONLY need to paint those elements!

Ive already sorted out a few textures I can use -

Those are the basic planking textures, two types - one fresher looking the other faded.

I've even coloured some for Building Frontages -

And downloaded a brick texture for the Sherrifs Office -

I imagine the Sheriffs Office being of sturdy construction, especially if theres a cell in there.

Then I sourced some Wanted Posters and Signage -
Now its just a case of waiting for the Buildings and the Photo Paper to arrive!