Monday, December 17, 2012

Mordheim Building Part 3

Back to Mordheim, more progress has been made on the building.  Broken timbers have been added, a door and more windows were gouged out using both the dremel with a round diamond bur (and some water to cool and clean out debris) and pliers to chip away the broken pieces.  I have also started to add debris around the edges of the main floor.  This was done using a base of styrofoam (to act as a filler), with bits of wood and broken plaster glued on top.  I also spread some glue on the bits of smooth 'snow' on the building, and glued crushed plaster to that as well.  When painted, it should resemble dust/ash/debris nicely.

Lastly, I also completed the inside chimney and fireplace using some Hirst Arts blocks.  It looks nice, but unfortunately to follow the outline of the outside chimney, you have to block a couple windows.  Design flaw there, I guess.  At least I can say I did not make the building!  Enjoy the pictures, its starting to look a lot more Mordheim-esque.

A bit of a closeup here, you can see the fireplace, and how the chimney blocks the windows:

Funny, the building looks slanted here.  It's not actually slanted.  Must be the camera angle and/or the way the broken timbers were glued:

A nice view of the now-missing front door:

Note the blocked window:

Some cracks and detailing from the dremel:

Feel free to comment or add any suggestions!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

DeepWars Underwater Scenery

In anticipation of receiving my starter force for DeepWars from my local supplier, I decided this weekend to put together a piece of scenery.  I used blocks from Hirst Arts mold #65 - the ruined tower.  From there, I made just the base tower from the website instructions.  It turned out quite well, I should think.  However, this being a game based underwater, I decided it needed to have a bit more sealife included.  Work is not finished yet, but I managed to sculpt on some sponges, barnacles, and other encrusted sealife with some greenstuff.  I hope you like it, as I still need to sculpt more.

A closeup of the barnacles and sponges on the front arch:

Back view of the ruin:

Closeup of the sea life:

In addition to sculpting some more details, I also plan to add a thin layer of plaster over parts of the building to represent calcareous encrusting organisms, such as coralline algae and some small corals.  That will likely be done using some PVA glue and water, details of which I will post later.  I want it to have a vague semblance to something like this random internet picture of encrusting reef life:

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mordheim Building Part 2

Time for a small update for my small side project...

Yesterday, I took the dremel to the porcelain.  It was slow going, and quite loud.  I used a diamond-tip bur for the dremel.  I varied between a round end and a cone-shaped bur.  The round end to gouge into the porcelain, and the cone to widen the hole.  I ruined the round bur completely by the end of it - burned off all the diamond bits so its just smooth metal now.  The bur creates a lot of heat - you will quickly see the porcelain turn red where you put pressure on the bur.  I found that by getting an eye dropper and dripping water onto the site, it helped clear debris, and it kept things a bit cooler which I think helped it cut a bit faster.  It still took forever though.  I punctured through the porcelain in a few sites, then mostly scored out where I wanted to break, and it ended up pretty clean.

After gouging the wreath out of the front window, I had an epiphany.  Pliers!  Using some hefty needle-nose pliers, I was able to break out the other windows that had little holes in them for the light.  Basically grip the thin bit of porcelain between two holes with the pliers, and then rock the pliers back and forth to make the little teeth grind along the porcelain.  After a few tries, the porcelain chips and breaks away (always wear safety goggles!)

After cracking open the windows, I glued the big pieces back together, added some balsa floorboards to help reinforce them, and then I did a quick wash using diluted future floor polish (hence the shine) and black/brown paint - just to bring out some of the details and darken the mood a bit.

I think its starting to look a lot better!

 Next up, I think I will attempte to gouge out the front door, then it will be on to the interior detailing.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mordheim building!

Onto yet another diversion, I recently stumbled upon a wonderful resource for building terrain - specifically Mordheim, ruined terrain.  You can check it out here:  - I would suggest adding it as a bookmark.  Now, what caught my eye was how the author used porcelain Christmas buildings in his Mordheim stuff - link.  Tis being the season of such ornaments, I thought it was a splendid idea and proceeded to scour the online classifieds for a good source of gently used porcelain buildings.  After a successful search, I returned home with three suitable targets.  Here is the first test piece:

I think the witch hunter fits in wonderfully with the serene, winter wonderland portrayed by this cozy little dwelling, don't you?  Also, I think the scale works beautifully.

After admiring the piece, I assembled a few of my more delicate instruments:

 Donning the glasses (safety first, folks!) I went to town trying to make a convincing ruin.  The porcelain is quite tricky to work with, as it is quite hard and tends to break in large pieces.  I managed to end up with this piece here:

I think its a good start.  I had hoped I would be able to punch out the doors and windows, but that seems like an impossible task due to the properties of the porcelain.  The building you see is actually 2 pieces, as it cracked down the middle.  That will glue together fine, but it gives you an idea of how finicky it is to precisely smash porcelain.  I  may have a go with a dremel and a grinding wheel (outside where my mess will not get me in trouble, most likely) or I might just leave it as is.  The inside will need some decorating - a second floor, wooden planks and rubble, etc.  I might try and add the inside of the chimney using milliput or something similar.  I suppose the outside of the house will be painted minimally - likely just some brown and black washes and some drybrushing, then I will have to base it.  The building cost me $5, so I think for the investment it is looking quite swell so far!

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DeepWars Mini-Kicker ending soon!

As I type, there are about 16 hours remaining in the DeepWars mini-kicker!  There are still lots of miniatures to unlock, and you can get the product at a great discount off of retail!  The highest pledge level works out to about 40% off before any shipping charges (shipping is free in the USA).

The first stretch goal, the Dark Mariners Deepspawn Reaver Biomech already has some sculpting done, by the talented Bob Olley:

Looks great to me!  Here's to hoping we can clinch a few more pledges and unlock a couple more miniatures before this thing finishes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DeepWars gaming mat finished!

The canvas gaming mat has been finished!  It was pretty simple really.  To refresh your memory, I started the mat here.  After the acrylic had all dried and I was ready to continue, I gave the mat a generalized heavy drybrush of med-dark brown.  This made it look more earth-like and less pastel-like.  After that, to finish it off with a suitably-spooky ether-lighting effect, I did a light drybrush of some aqua blue.  Then I trimmed off the excess bits of canvas.

The finished mat:
A closeup of the texture:
Finally, the only painted mini I have that has any aquatic themes.  Suitably out of focus for this picture:
It's Fish-Head from the Mordheim Frenzied mob!  I hope you like it!  I am eager to get some DeepWars minis in a couple weeks, and to get some suitably aquatic terrain...

Speaking of which, Antimatter games is running another Kickstarter!  Their last campaign, to relaunch ShadowSea, fell just short of its goal, unfortunately :(  So, the fine folks at Antimatter decided to run another campaign to expand the miniatures range for DeepWars.  They started with a lower goal this time, and have well surpassed that, getting funding for many new miniatures!  As I type, they are just shy of 13k raised.  The coolest thing though, is if they make it to 30k, they will build this terrain:

A wrecked sub!  How cool is that, and massive too!  Only 5 days left though, so they need some more supporters!  Why don't you check it out, and pitch in too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Small Diversion

I recently got distracted from the painting of my Dux Britanniarum.  I assure you, I have some Saxons finished, they just aren't photographed yet :)

One of the online forums I frequent,, runs an annual miniature exchange.  I participated this year for the third time in a row.  For my recipient this year, I decided to paint up not one, but two miniatures to match his army theme of purple and  yellow.  I decided he needed a nice, stately captain - well suited by an old Empire Reiksguard foot knight captain!  To accompany him, none other than a stalwart halfilng would do!  It was a great opportunity to paint another lovely White Knight miniature, as well as some classic Empire goodness.  Onto some pictures!

The duo:

And some closeups of the Captain:


Finally, some closeups of his tiny compatriot:

I had lots of fun painting these guys, so I hope you enjoy them!  They are on their way across the ocean to their new home, here is to hoping they make it there safely.

Friday, November 2, 2012

DeepWars by Antimatter Games

So in addition to my Arthurian project, I have taken on another distraction - DeepWars.  I am getting a starter set later this month, and have downloaded the rules from the antimatter website

DeepWars, and its sister game ShadowSea (which, incidentally is on Kickstarter right now: link) are based in an alternate reality of Earth where, in the 17th Century, a fantastic subterran continent is discovered beneath Antarctica, filled with treasures and mystical artifacts.  DeepWars takes place underwater in the subterran oceans.  The game has a nice mix of fantasy, steampunk, and Cthulu type intrigue.  It was their dark mariners that got me interested in the game:

In anticipation of my starter set (I chose the scaly horde), I decided to make a custom gaming mat.  I recently saw a tutorial (link) of making one with canvas, sand, paint, and acrylic caulking.  I wanted to capture the eerie abyssal feel of the game, so I came up with a few test colours:

For a mat, I used a canvas painting dropcloth from home depot.  This one was 4x12 and cut to make a 4x4 mat. It won't quite be 4' long at the end due to the shrinkage, but will be mostly 4x4. Nobody plays on the table edge anyway...

I wanted to do 3 base colours - some purple, deep blue, and green.  I got craft paint from Michaels, and bought a bag of playsand from Home Depot, along with their DAP acrylic caulking that contains a bit of silicone.  I found the playsand was too fine, so in addition to the playsand, I  mixed in some small gravel donated from the side of the road at the end of my driveway.  Here is the setup before I got started:

 Here are some pictures of the wet board:

Here are some pictures of the board today.  It is mostly dry, but there are still some soft spots:

What are those tiny coloured bits?  I bought some small craft shells from Michaels and scattered a few to make it more 'bottom of the ocean-ish'.  Currently, I would agree with your thoughts that the colours are a tad too bright and garish.  My plans from here are to drybrush brown over most of the mat, followed by a light, scattered drybrush of aqua green/blue.  I am also considering doing a wash of dark brown to add some shading, but I am unsure as to how well that will work.  Washes work well on sand bases, but this is more of a paste, so I think it might end up pooling and looking odd.  Any suggestions? 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Still here! More Arthurians...

My, how the time flies!  Fall is my favourite season, mostly to spend outside.  As such, pursuits such as painting tend to be forgotten.  If you were wondering what has kept me from the painting table, perhaps this picture of my good friend will give you an idea?

Yep, it's hunting season!  But I won't bore you with the exciting details of my outdoor adventures.  You came here to see what I have painted.  Hopefully I will not disappoint!

I am pleased to say that my Arthurian levy troops are complete!  All that is left to paint for the Arthurian force are the 4 archers and the 4 command models. 

Here they are, all together:

And per unit:

Next, a closeup of the 3 figures which would act as leaders for each unit (even though there is no in-game representation):

Finally, to show that I have been up to other stuff, here is the whole Arthurian force to date with some 4ground scenery and a stand of trees I recently made:

Hope you like it!  I have gotten my Saxon army based (minus the command) so hopefully I can get a few painted up in November.