Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quick 1st Platoon Update

I finally put some paint to my Aegis Defense Line, and with that done I finally turned my attentions to the last three models of 1st Platoon.

The guy with a pin in his neck is getting a shiny new Tempestus Scions head appropriate for his station as platoon commander.

The platoon standard is mostly done, after work tonight I hope to knock out the officer and the melta trooper. The they need bases, and first platoon will be done.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Terrain: Fuel Bunker

No updates this week, my apologies there. I did get some work done, though. My girlfriend brought home a small can of Pepsi, which I immediately saw as a fuel tank. I loved the Forgeworld model, which I think is not available any longer. This small bit of terrain will make for some nice scatter terrain most of the time, and occasionally as an objective to be held.

I got a bit more mileage out of my compass in getting me a nice circle of card to seal up the open end of the can here. I cannot tell you how useful simple geometry tools are in terrain construction. There is a packet of Sculpey equivalent shown in the picture there, but in the end I used two full packets and another 2/3 packet (roughly) on top of that.

On what?  On sandbags, of course. I had a running tally until my cat stepped on my number pad while chasing a fly. Ah, well. I know the rough number came out to just shy of 700 sandbags total... all made from hand. Have I mentioned I'm a bit mad when it comes to this stuff?

I also jammed a bit of floral wire into an old hairband. With a bit more wire, some styrene tube, and a bit of brass tube I have a serviceable fuel line. Using some extra sprue and plastic canvas I fashioned a sort of catchment grate thing.

The base was coated with sand and bits of cork tile. I traced around the sandbags and then was careful not to let the sand overlap when it was glued in place.

Once the sandbags were baked in the oven and solid, I carefully drilled holes into them and the base both. A length of bamboo skewer was then used to help secure the sandbags in place.

All done. The piece has been painted in the same fashion as the rest of my terrain: Blue Grey Slate and Seal Grey drybrush over black, black wash, Seal Grey drybrush followed by Fortress Grey on the cork and Kommando Khaki on the sand. The sandbags were painted black, then Ceramcoat Burnt Umber, followed by overbrushing layers of Graveyard Earth and Kommando Khaki. A black wash was applied and followed up by drybrushing on Kommando Khaki and finally Bleached Bone. The fuel hose was painted Tausept Ochre and given a black wash.

I also put together a length of barbed wire, using new and improved finger torture wire. Seriously, this stuff looks awesome but is hard on your fingers to produce... and my cat tries to chew on it, constantly. Pets add a new level of interesting to making terrain and wargaming in general.

Anyway, thanks for watching through these lazy days of the summer months. I am thinking I am terrained out at the moment, and might finally finish first platoon.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Terrain: Imperial Streets 003

The other six sections of road complete, I turned my attentions to the bombed out section. Starting with a compass, I marked out the locations of the craters. With these sizes in mind I started cutting triangles of styrofoam to build the skeletons of the craters.

I used hot glue to secure the styrofoam wedges to the hardboard of the base. I cut a few wedges, glue them in place, and repeat until the craters are complete. I've found through trial and error that this method works best: you don't tend to mix up the pieces.

Styrofoam all in place. At this point I start adding DAP wall filler, and waiting. Once the first coat dried, I repeat the process with a thicker layer of DAP, and then off to work. It was dry by the time I got home, and so I applied the third layer, forming the details of the craters and building up the lip.
After these layers of DAP were done, I painted the whole section in Delta black and PVA. Once it dried, I started layering on pieces of cork. Broken bits were used around the edges of the craters. I used PVA to secure them and constantly checked the placement of everything with the cork sheets I had sized for the each end of the section. The PVA securing these initial pieces of cork would be further reinforced with more DAP.

Layer by layer I added cork to the cratered section. The last two pieces to be added were the ends of the street. Before I added them I traced crosswalk marking on them with a permanent marker. After all the glue and DAP was solid, I took to digging out all the cracks on the board. Once again I also peppered the section liberally with cork debris. Finally, I picked out the crosswalk with PVA.

I painted the whole works in two coats of watered down Delta black and PVA, then picked out the pitiful remains of the crosswalks with PVA once again. Blue Grey Slate and Seal Grey came out again for heavy drybrushing. The crosswalks were painted in the now familiar fashion of Space Wolves Grey and Skull White. Graveyard Earth was used in drybrushing the crater interiors, as well as some of the rubble deposits. Black wash followed by another drybrush with Seal Grey. Finally, I used a wash of thinned down Rhinox Hide on the craters and rubble that received Graveyard Earth.

With this section complete, my Imperial streets are done for now. I look forward to expanding the 'set' in the future. Just like when I was a kid playing with Matchbox cars... there was never enough road.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Terrain: Imperial Streets 002

I Googled images of cracked asphalt to help me detail the roads, and the images returned were promising. I also looked around my neighborhood to see what inspiration I might find there. After marking the locations of dividing lines and crosswalks with a permanent marker, I scribed a pattern of pencil lines on each road section, to be picked out later with my x-acto blade and dental pick.
Gouging out all the cracks is one of those things that ended up being more labor intensive than I expected. In some places the cork tore out in chunks, and on a couple of the edges long strips peeled away. It didn't matter. I saved all the debris from the process and once all the cracks were dug out, I used it as rubble in the voids and in piles on the street. After all the rubble was in place and the glue set up, I used a filbert brush to paint the lines on the road with PVA.
After giving the roads a coat of watered down Delta black, I painted the lines with a second layer of straight PVA. The idea here is that the definition from two thin layers of PVA will serve to make the lines visible through the painting process without my having to constantly retrace them... Here's hoping. The final step before the roads are ready for drybrushing is to give all the rubble a coat of watered down Delta black mixed with PVA. This will serve to help the deposits of rubble not to erode as I drybrush over them.
Two years ago I bought a pint each of Blue Grey Slate and Seal Grey. All my craters, rubble deposits, roads, etc. will share these two base colours to ensure that all my terrain is tied together. The roads first get heavy drybrush of Blue Slate Grey, then Seal Grey. The PVA did its work wonderfully: the rubble stayed and the road markings showed through wonderfully. After drybrushing I picked out the road markings with Space Wolves Grey and then Skull White. Everything then got a coat of black wash. Once the wash dried everything got one last drybrush of Seal Grey.

Now all that remains of the road construction is the cratered section.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Terrain: Imperial Streets 001

Well defined roads has always been a thing on my to do list when it comes to terrain, even if the rules that inspired me to begin with are a few editions out of date now. In the 2001 edition of Chapter Approved, there were optional rules for craters and roads. These rules inspired me to crank out a pile of craters, and I was always dreaming of when I could have some nice Forgeworld Roads... long OOP in 2014. I've finally hit upon an affordable solution to the problem.

With the sidewalks of my terrain being 1/4" thick, I decided that the 1/8" cork I could find locally would make a good road, and there would still be variation between the sidewalk and street when terrain is laid out. I sat for a few minutes, sketching in my graph paper comp book, and the above picture is what I came up with. Using deductive reasoning and the size of the RoB tiles that GW and FW produce, I decided that my roads would be 8" wide.

With a quick bus ride to Home Depot and JoAnn Fabrics, I picked up the needed supplies: a 2'x4' sheet of 1/8" hardboard and two 2'x1' rolls of 3/32" thick cork. With these items secured, I beat a hasty retreat to my sweltering laboratory. Using my square and steel ruler, I marked out the pattern of sections I had laid out in my comp book. Using a sharp utility knife, I then cut out all the pieces of hardboard and the corresponding piece of cork.

Here is what I ended up with. Since the cork came in rolls, it wanted to stay curled up. No worries, I applied PVA glue liberally to the hardboard and the cork sheets, and then sandwiched the all the pieces together under a stack of books. I used a piece of tinfoil between each road section to ensure they wouldn't stick together.

That was last night. Now its 12 hours later, and they the PVA isn't completely dry yet. I did shift the pile and then restack it. Once I get home from work I will see how much more drying they will need.

The cratered section of road will be tackled a bit differently from the rest. Before I add the road, I have to build the craters.

In other news, I surpassed 50000 hits some time yesterday and wanted to say thank you to all.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Terrain: Terraforming Necromunda 002

The Necromunda terrain I am working on is largely made out of foamcore. I wanted to effectively hide the edges, and it took me a little while to figure out the best way to go about it. In the end the solution I decided upon was to use 3/16" C channel. Starting at one of the slots and ending at one of the tabs, I laid out the longer sections first, then working the angles. I sealed the edges of the deck with PVA glue mixed with water applied liberally. Once this protective layer dried, I was able to use superglue to attach the C channel to the exposed foam.
Once the edging was completed, I cut some strips of 1/2" thin card and glued them on the platform, top and bottom, flush with the C channel.
The mostly complete section.  There will be more plates and rivets (always more rivets), as well as another piece of terrain that will slot into the holes in the center of the deck.

Here you can see the process of applying C channel, thin card, more card, and finally rivets to complete the main detail on these sections. This is where I ran out of C channel. There is a bit more than 17" on this piece. The store that sells Evergreen locally went out of business, so I have to wait for some to come in.

This tower is about halfway done. Once I get more C channel, I can finish the tower up. I think I might try some of the GW technical paints on these projects.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Terrain: The Land of Unfinished Projects

Hello and apologies for the radio silence of late. I've been working on a host of terrain projects started sometime over the last couple years, as well as the new stuff. I've managed to finish one project completely, refine the details on two more, and since I'm tackling all these I might as well get some work done on the fences I started in April of '12. I've even remembered to take pictures, mostly.

One of the reasons I am so focused on terrain at the moment is that I finally have enough that once I complete it, I'll have some great pieces for miniature photos. Noteworthy hobbyist JRN had a blog post in late 2011 about close cropped mini photography, and I never forgot. Hell, that and a couple of his mood shots are what sent me hunting on feeBay for the Necromunda bulkheads I now own.

So, what have I been grinding away at?

I got some work done on the hab block I started a couple weeks ago. Still to be done is rubble and debris, maybe wood floors. I haven't decided on that one, yet.

These trench wall sections have were assembled sometime during summer 2012, filler putty and sand added in summer 2013, and summer of 2014 finally sees them painted.

The not-hill took a coat of paint and is now ready for more details to be added. Here are the completed trench wall sections all laid out. The towers in the background there are pylons for an elevated pipeway through my city.

Here it is, the first section at least. This project started last summer, with me finding a perfectly useful section of broken .75" PVC sprinkler line. I snagged it from a waste bin, gave it a sniff to make sure it hadn't been in something nasty, then took it home and washed it off. A few months later I built and painted the two pylons. The deck was completed as well, but I was at a loss on how to produce handrails and how to secure the pipes to the pylons. Both issues solved, the project moves forward.

On the Necromunda front, I have finally decided that C channel strip styrene and thin card is the way to go for detailing the edges.

Finally, the fence sections I put together in spring of 2012 have all had DAP applied and are ready to be sanded and then painted. They are the longest running unfinished project so far.

So ends the tale from the land of unfinished projects. I will post a more detailed rundown on each project.