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Found 17 results

  1. This past week I completed the last of the four hero figures from the Bones 3 Kickstarter Wild West Wizard of Oz set: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, and Dorothy & Toto. (Still have the Wicked Witch and the Flying Monkey to do) This was a really fun set to do, and it had some interesting interpretations of the classic characters. Also, I was lucky enough to get a chance to already use them as my gang in a post-apocalyptic game of "This is Not a Test". For the full painting articles and more photos, please see my Bones painting blog linked in my signature.
  2. I'm converting some Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" terrain tiles to have a retro post-apocalyptic look for some Fallout-themed games for Necronomicon Science Fiction Convention - Tampa, FL (2017). My primary tools are some Japanese "plastic clay" and Apoxie Sculpt two-part epoxy putty. (More information on the convention, in case y'all are down in Tampa, Florida in October and want to check out the game. I'll be using a bunch of Reaper minis, too. ;) --> http://stonehill.org/necro.htm ) The "plastic clay" (pictured below) is pretty much the same stuff as Instant Mold in the US. It comes in ingots, and consists of a plastic with a low melting point, so I can boil a mug of water in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then dunk the plastic in the water, and it turns soft and pliable -- then, I get some pliers (mindful of the hot water!) and squash the plastic against a surface with a texture I'd like to "lift." Once it cools (a trip to the freezer can hasten this), I can peel off the plastic, and now I have a temporary press-mold -- and when I'm done, I can cut and re-melt it to use again. Apoxie Sculpt is your basic epoxy putty (similar to Magic Sculpt, Magic Sculp {sic}, and a number of others), useful for press molds, solidifies over the course of few hours, and can be sanded down once completely hardened. It's much cheaper than "green stuff," but far inferior to the green stuff for especially fine detail (such as sculpting faces on 25-32mm scale minis). So, my basic plan here is two-fold: for my Fallout (Savage Worlds) campaign, the unifying theme is that of a "road trip," so I want ROADS, and I need wrecked junkers along the way. There's no way I'm going to smash up this pretty O-scale truck I picked up, so instead my plan is to get impressions of the hood and grill, so I can add some '50s-ish car parts to my "Scrapyard" board, and a rusty hood and fallen road signs alongside a heavily eroded roadway through the wasteland. (I also posted photos of progress on converting Rolling Hills tiles into "wasteland eroded highway" in an album on my "wall," but I haven't figured out how to attach those here as well.) I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm just making this up as I go along. I reserve the right to back up, chip off pieces of dried epoxy putty, repaint, and try again, if it doesn't go well. The HIPS Tablescapes tiles are pretty durable, and the deep details give me good anchor points to add some putty details, but I don't want to bulk them up overly much, or add too much weight, as that defeats the purpose of having these modular lightweight terrain tiles to cart to game stores or conventions. 2017-07-07 Snapshot #1: Scrapyard Tile. I didn't actually ACCOMPLISH anything on this particular tile this morning. This is basically just to size up some of the stuff I'm working with. My plan is to "Fallout-ize" this and some other Tablescapes tiles by introducing a few more "retro" elements to the details. In this case, I plan on using the Japanese "plastic clay" to make temporary texture molds off of the hood and grill of this 1:43 scale toy truck, so I can have a circa 1950s-ish truck grill amid the debris, and a hood alongside a broken road. Above is the "natural" Apoxie Sculpt (gray), which I'll be using for the faked truck parts, but I scraped the bottom of some cans of black-dyed Apoxie Sculpt for some of the next steps. (As I said, I'm making this up as I go.) 2017-07-07 Snapshot #2: Street Crack Textures. First, I used some plastic clay to squash down on one of my "Urban Streets (Clean)" tiles to get impressions of some clusters of cracks represented on the surface, to make some temporary texture stamps. The board up top is what I'm working on to make the tiles usable: spray-paint to give the street a bit of color, some pumpkin orange as "rust" for grates and grills, and several passes of dribbling brushes soaked with whatever crud was at the bottom of my paintbrush cup into the gutters and cracks in the hopes of it drying up and looking like detritus left after run-off. Later on, I may try cramming little pieces of sprue painted up as tin cans, and wads of paper to suggest trash clogging the drains. These particular street boards I want to look "cruddy" more than "post-apocalyptic," because I may get more use out of them for modern-day games. I haven't yet decided on what to do for street markings. Maybe an arbitrary cross-walk somewhere, and some dotted lines, and whatever signs of weathering I can do to make it interesting, but no fallen road signs or wrecked car parts or skulls in the gutters, or anything that TOO strongly brands this as "post-apoc."
  3. Recently, I got a combo deal on a box of the Mantis Games "Mars Attacks" Scenery Upgrade Pack pieces, plus five pewter miniatures from Worlds End Publishing's "This Is Not a Test" miniatures game. First off, I really should have assembled my minis before base-coating them. There are some similar-but-not-interchangeable break points in a couple of the figures -- particularly the second long-coat figure from the left, and the second body-armor figure from the right. Both of them have an arm piece (minus the hand) and a two-handed weapon (shotgun or assault rifle), but as I found out, they are NOT interchangeable. Although I have the assault rifle at the feet of the body-armor-wearing model on the second-from-right, it actually fits with the second long-coat figure (with a slight indent in the chest piece where the rifle neatly nestles). Assembling the figures varies in how fiddly they can be. The heads, once properly trimmed of flash, nestle into the collar sockets of the figures pretty well, and pinning them might have been overkill on my part. The female sniper was probably the easiest to assemble, as the sniper rifle scope and stock nestled neatly into a couple of slight indents on the chest armor area (I can see one of the larger notches in the picture); I chose to go with the ranger hat for her rather than the pony-tail head, since I figured this might pass for an NCR Mojave Ranger. The far left figure I imagine is supposed to be the leader; he has three head-swap options (beard + ponytail, mustache + ranger hat, and helmet + gas mask), and two right-hand weapon options (pistol or futuristic bullpup SMG). The bullpup looked a little too futuristic in the wrong way for Fallout, so I went with the pistol (with some very delicate pinning) and I chose the ranger hat head to keep with the NCR look as much as possible. I borrowed the gas-mask head for the remaining long-coat figure (2nd from left), and experimented until I figured out that the assault rifle was the proper weapon, and which arm was meant to fit in place with it. The two remaining figures without long coats I figured I'd paint up as Vault-Tec Security: The right-most figure came with two face-shielded helmet pieces -- one with the face shield up, and the other with the face-shield down. I divided the two helmets among the two remaining body-armored minis. One model got the shotgun (another bit of fiddly assembly involved), while the other has a spiked baton, plus a choice of either the shield or a hand gun (and I went with the shield). Once past the challenge of assembly, the miniatures had a nice balance of detail, IMHO. Most of them have boots with spurs -- making me wonder whether in the world of "This Is Not a Test," they still have horses. (I wish they did in Fallout. I can't help but feel that a perfect game for me would be a mash-up between Red Dead Redemption and Fallout: New Vegas. I'd even settle for a full-sized Giddyup Buttercup, if that's what it takes to stay true to canon. ;) ) Ack. Now I have that song going through my head: "Oh these spurs, that jingle-jangle-jingle! (Jingle jangle!)" That's #80056, Reaper Bones "Jersey Barrier" up front. It's one of the few I haven't yet plastered with pseudo-graffiti, caution stripes, or paper postings. I love how it has enough textural variation to it that all I need is a warm grey base coat and some granite-grey dry-brushing, and it's pretty much ready to go. In the background is #80036, Reaper Bones "Shipping Container," of which I have several, and likely will get even more. One of these days, I ought to kitbash a few of them into "junktown" shelters. The truck is just a 1:43 toy with some 40K bitz and paper decals. It's a bit large for 32mm, but it's entirely fitting in the Fallout universe for cars to be on the too-big side. (Now if only the ROADS in the Fallout games weren't so ridiculously SMALL. Traffic in Pre-War 2076-AD Boston must have been an absolute nightmare.) Most of the rest of the terrain is from a "Mars Attacks" Scenery Upgrade Pack from Mantis Games, supplemented with some papercraft and cardboard. I printed the "Travel Service" sign from a Fallout: New Vegas screenshot, did a mirror-flipped version in Photoshop (keeping the text the right way) for the reverse side, then layered some thin cardboard around a plastic rectangular shingle piece included in the set, so I could get a suitably retro-looking sign. The Upgrade Pack includes 4 wall-connector pieces that have a plug-in spot for either one of two rectangular sign pieces, or one of two hanging planter pieces. I plan on digging through my spare sprue bits to find something else of appropriate diameter so I can make some alternative signs to plug into the side of the ruined building. That way, the same ruin could play the role of a Travel Service here, or Cherry Liquor next time, or Buck's Steak House, etc. The street is from a bunch of Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" tiles I'm still working on, from the "Urban Streets (Clean)" set. So far, I've just base-coated it grey, spritzed some black on the street, white on the sidewalk, then re-dusted it with grey again (to reduce the contrast), dry-brushed it with various tones of dirty grey to bring out the crack details and grunge things up a little, and swirled around the bottom of the paintbrush water cup to get some watery sludge to dribble into the gutters and around the various grills and grates to suggest weathering and the residue of the sewers backing up during heavy rains (since nobody's keeping things clear after the bombs dropped, after all).
  4. I've been on a Fallout kick, digging through various unpainted and incomplete minis on a quest of, "Could THIS be useful for a Fallout-themed campaign?" So, I've been looking for anything vaguely retro-futuristic or overtly post-apocalyptic ... and for some reason, when I looked at Sugar (I'd gotten a couple of these as part of a clearance "grab bag" deal a while back), I was reminded of an old, old 1970s TV show called "Happy Days" (that gave me some weird ideas of what actually went on in the 1950s) -- particularly of a character called Pinky Tuscadero. No, the mini wasn't wearing "hot pants," but I think it was just the tied top that made me think of that. Somehow I got to thinking that with some putty, I could extend that micro-skirt to look more like a poodle skirt, and then I could transform this figure into a new member of the Atom Cats gang (or some facsimile thereof). (In Fallout 4, the Atom Cats are a Boston-based gang based at a Red Rocket service station, with a bit of a greaser/hot-rodder vibe going on, though they specialize in power armor rather than hot rods. I'm a fan of their flame paint jobs for power armor.) So, I used some "brown stuff" ribbon epoxy to lengthen the skirt a bit, and to make a kerchief "tied" at the neck. It's still short for a poodle skirt, but I figured it would still get the general idea across. That poodle looks a bit mutated but ... hey, that's entirely appropriate for Fallout, right? Maybe she doesn't even know what a poodle looks like. ;)
  5. For my miniatures games at Necronomicon, I like to have some sort of terrain piece on the table that stands out as a potential attention-grabber, in the hopes of attracting any wandering undecided players in the game room prior to start time, and perhaps motivating them to go sign up for the game. The trouble is that such terrain pieces with a strong vertical element BLOCK LINE OF SIGHT for seated players. For a miniatures wargame, that wouldn't be such an issue, when you usually just have two standing people with laser pointers maneuvering around the table. In an RPG scenario, it's maybe 6 people (plus me), and I'm usually the only one standing. Some tall building in the middle of the table means that one or more players can't see the zombies/mutants/whatever behind the building, or their status tokens, even though the PC should have no such trouble (being right there). Therefore, certain toy play sets I find at the thrift store can fit the bill. This "facade" or "backdrop" piece helps to set a scene, but it's on the GM's side of the table, in lieu of a GM screen. It serves as a staging area to hide minis and reference sheets (not die rolls -- I roll them out in the open), and since it's right next to me (and I am standing up for most of the game), it shouldn't be blocking line of sight for any of the seated players. (If a PC moves to a position where he's going "behind" the facade, then he's leaving the table zone, and I either need to set up a new area as the action shifts, or just resolve that we're going "theater of the mind" for whatever that PC is doing poking around off-stage rather than staying and joining in on the fight or whatever other action is dominating the main scenario area). The price for such a play set varies according to the moods of the price-setter, I guess. One day, I'll find some elaborate play set and it's just $1-$2. Another day, I'll be excited at finding the perfect set piece ... and then I see it's been set at $25 (and it's not even remotely COMPLETE), so I pass it over. I confess, there are a number of items I've gotten because I figured I'd get some sort of use out of it (without a specific plan) ... and after a while, some of those toys have gone right back to Goodwill after I figured that I needed some more garage space, and it was highly unlikely I'd actually get around to doing something with that toy within my lifetime. Well, one acquisition I found at the thrift store was an incomplete version of the Nickelodeon TMNT play set: Sadly, it's not the newer Toys 'R' Us version with the nicer details and bits. Also, it was lacking the building-top water tower or billboard pieces (or the action figures). I figured that this might be useful for a street scene either for a superheroic scenario, or perhaps post-apocalyptic. And for $2? Why not? I started by removing the big neon green pipe in the back, the lower "sewer" level of the play set, and the electronic talking box (behind the central "Chinatown" roof section), along with the button and the giant turtle "foot" meant to kick whatever figure has the misfortune to be standing there when the button is pressed. I used a Dremel tool to remove the protruding tabs on the bottom that would have linked up the "sewer" section, so the "sidewalk" could rest flat on the table. One danger immediately was that I'd removed some important structural supports (the sewer level, the electronics box, and the green pipe), so at this point the remaining play set was a LITTLE bit wobbly. It's rigid enough plastic, however, that it's not much of an issue, but I might have to reinforce the base.
  6. Reaper Chronoscope #50051, "Max Decker, Private Eye," painted up and slightly modified to represent a ghoul pre-gen character for a Savage Worlds RPG "Fallout"-themed scenario or two at Necronomicon (http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm) in Tampa, Florida. My concept was heavily inspired by a character from Fallout 4. In my take on it, this fellow was -- prior to the bombs being dropped -- a traveling ElectroSux door-to-door salesman and certified service rep. AFTER the bombs dropped ... well, somehow he was still around, though his voice got a lot raspier and he had a bit of a skin condition, and some 200 or so years had passed. He still talks as if the Great War hadn't happened -- talking about his pet Brahmin (mutant cow, typically two-headed) was a car ("Let me see what I have in the trunk of the Corvega," as he checks the saddlebags....), talking about raiders as if they're just "spirited youths," and so on ... even though he pulls his own weight, and his custom ElectroSux Junk Jet is surprisingly lethal (and easy to find ammunition for) in combat. The "vacuum cleaner" is a random bit I got as part of a bits grab-bag at a "game bazaar" at the old Rhubarb Games store in Orlando, Florida. (Ah, how I miss that store! But even more so, I miss the game bazaars. Great source for "bitz.") I believe it was from a Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Dwarf set, as part of some sort of miner contraption. The cow toy used for the Brahmin was originally from a Safari Ltd "Down on the Farm / Toob" set, with some Instant Mold and some Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty used to grant it the second head. For the stuff on its back, I used some more putty and then assorted Games Workshop and Hirst Arts bits. The labels on the barrels (printed paper) are based off of actual labeling from Cold-War era bomb shelter supplies. The rusty tractor in the background is also from the "Down on the Farm" Toob. Some of the other contents are going to be a bit more of a challenge to make use of (as grossly out of scale as they are from each other), but I think I might turn one of the over-sized chickens into a sign element for some roadside chicken shack, and similarly put other not-nearly-25-to-32mm scale elements to use. (Similar to how if you ever end up with some 54mm scale knights and you're making 25-32mm scale terrain, they can become statues ... or really big iron golems. ;) )
  7. A friend of mine (and fellow Fallout enthusiast), Chris Thesing, loaned me a box of MDF/plastic/resin terrain pieces he'd picked up from Warsenal and Antenocitis Workshop, in the hopes that I might be able to use them for my upcoming Fallout-themed games. (Well, that, and once I'm done, he gets them back, painted up, and I don't have to worry about where to store them for long. ;) Win-win!) Warsenal and Antenocitis Workshop terrain is usually engineered with the Infinity game in mind, which isn't QUITE in keeping with Fallout's retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic aesthetic. However, there are various ways in which I can "brand" such pieces to fit in better, and then "grunge it up" for a post-apocalyptic setting. To start off, I've been taking measurements of various available surfaces on the terrain pieces, grabbing Fallout poster images from the game (and a few retro images that just happen to have about the right "feel"), using retro-themed fonts (from FontDiner, especially), and then printing off and cutting out, and seeing if it all fits. Most of the sets I have to work with are from "Warsenal," a local terrain-maker. They consist of little packs of laser-cut MDF and plastic sheets, including some "glowing" translucent plastic elements for that cyberpunk touch here and there. Nothing quite beats a BILLBOARD for being easily "brandable" for a particular setting. The Warsen.al "billboard" pack was therefore pretty high up on my list. These things are actually intended to perch atop a building (and will probably do so atop some Plasticville O-scale buildings I've been cobbling together and "post-apocalypticizing"), and they aren't designed to stack up like this, but I just found that they perched well enough like this when I wanted to take a snapshot so ... why not? Images are cobbled together from Nuka-Cola and Vault-Tec imagery from Fallout in Photoshop in order to better fit the peculiar dimensions, with some "torn paper" texturing on the edges. I also made use of FontDiner's retro fonts for some of the text replacement (e.g., the "FREE Nuka-Blaster" message at the bottom of the Nuka-Cola billboard). The billboards are cut MDF, and assemble fairly easily with Tacky Glue. The set also comes with some laser-cut translucent "neon" plastic pieces that serve as "spotlights." Why would they still be glowing in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout? Well, that's because so many things (especially lights) seem to have their own nuclear power sources that last 200+ years, so you can experience the fun of wandering around in a vault with creepily flickering lights and eerie automated announcements over crackling speakers, vs. the much more realistic and BORING likelihood of pitch-black darkness and dull silence. (And who'd want THAT?) Another Warsenal project was a set of pallets. They come in a set of 8, with the main support boards made of laser-cut MDF, and the much thinner planks made of plastic (with laser-etched "nail holes"). One might think that such pallets could just be made from cardboard or craft sticks with a hobby knife and some patience ... and you'd be *right* ... but the nice thing about these laser-cut pieces is the PRECISION I'm just not going to easily get when I'm cutting things out by hand. What's more, the MDF support pieces have shallow ridges/grooves that serve as guides for where to attach the planks in orderly fashion. Otherwise, it'd probably end up looking like these pallets had been assembled by ... I dunno ... a clumsy giant with thick fingers? Painting was pretty easy. I found it advantageous to spray-coat the pieces while still in the "sprue" in a light color, to provide some "anchoring" for the plastic planks (and also to make it easier to see which side had the "nail holes" etched, so I could make sure those were outside). Once the pieces were all assembled, I spray painted the things white again, painted in slightly watered-down "Territorial Beige" acrylic paint, dry-brushed with flat white acrylic, then swirled a brush down in the bottom of my paintbrush water jar to get a nice grey-brown GRUNGE, and then flicked/speckled that on the pieces for a bit of oil-stain and splatter, to make things all the more "grungy." (Sure, after 200+ years in the elements, it's far more likely that the pallets would be NONEXISTENT, rather than merely a bit mussed up, but ... eh ... chalk it up to futuristic manufacturing techniques?) In the background on the right is another pallet with some barrels on it. That was actually custom-made by Chris Thesing on his 3D printer. I made some custom paper "labels" in Photoshop, using the Red Rocket label (from Fallout) and a rusty-barrel texture, to fit into the recessed areas on the main body of the barrels, and then I painted the exposed surfaces a mix of "Rust Orange," some washes of "Graphite Gray" and "Melted Chocolate Brown," with some flat white dry-brushing to try to get the supporting bands to roughly fit with the look of the printed rusty-barrel textures. The 3D-printed pallet was painted using the same scheme as the Warsenal pallets. The brick wall ruined pieces are (I believe) some loose resin Armorcast pieces. I was going to put some tattered remains of Fallout-themed posters, signs, etc., on them, but the problem is that they were sculpted in such a way that it looks like there are remnants of plaster clinging to sections of the brick. In that case, if the walls are so wasted that the plaster has been knocked off, there's no reason a POSTER would still be clinging to any sections with exposed brick (and the patches of plaster just aren't large enough for a sign or poster of note). Ah well. I guess not EVERY last thing has to scream "FALLOUT!" to still be usable for such a setting. ;) Then, some more "brandable" terrain: some Antenocitis Workshop resin "tri-ad" pieces. Technically, these aren't fully assembled, as there are some "neon" plastic rod pieces that are meant to be cut to length and inserted into the recessed corners (for lighting, I suppose), but I was mostly focused upon making some custom poster inserts for the panels. To accomplish this, I scanned the paper poster inserts included with the set to get the dimensions just so, and used various Fallout-themed artwork (some official, some fan art, some just retro art force-fit into the Fallout universe), with a bit of FontDiner text (Sparkly and Swanky typefaces, mostly) to fit in. These are for a specific scenario taking place at a Repconn Aerospace Museum, so there's a mix of ads for recognizable Fallout products (especially by Repconn subsidiaries, such as RobCo and Abraxo), and then things that might plausibly represent exhibits. Once I'm done, I might swap out some of the ads with some more generally useful to the Fallout universe ... but, honestly, who's going to be looking THAT closely, anyway? The important thing is that the pieces give a general sense of the "retro-futuristic" setting -- not that the players are going to feel compelled to lean in and make doubly sure that the text on the poster reads exactly the way the GM is narrating it. (At least, I hope they won't be doing that. That would be sad.) Other, more involved Warsenal & Antenocitis Workshop pieces are still in progress, as there's only so much room on my little portable workstation (and I have to keep putting it away in between crafting sessions).
  8. I picked up Hasslefree's "Post Apoc Gang" in my first order from them last month (when they had a 21% off sale). Thought I'd make a thread to track my progress as I work my way through the team. The gang, from the HF website: I've started work on the first of the crew, "Wolsey" aka Shaggy. Mostly just making sure that I'm getting the colours right at this point, and I'm pretty happy with them, but holy moly that brown on the pants had terrible coverage. Soooo many coats required, but it looks decent now. The base has a coat of Vajello sandy paste with a couple of small rocks added; I'm going for a "wasteland" look rather than a ruined urban look. There's a small patch where the base's slot is still noticeable, but I think I'll end up covering it with a tuft later on.
  9. Well I since I don't have enough WIP's going I thought I start one for my survivors. I noticed that I can manage to get through at least 4 a month. So in I plan to work on these guys when I need a break from the unDead. The first up is Josh the Thug: And the reaming 4 from the Season 1 box: And 4 more from 2 of the guest box set I picked up to round my survivors to 5/5 female/male.
  10. A friend of mine recently received a bunch of resin minis he'd ordered from Brother Vinni (of Russia) last year. He sent the bulk of them off to someone else to be professionally painted, but he had a few left over that he was willing to let me give a go at. The intent was to paint these up as Fallout miniatures, as (great minds think alike!) my friend has been interested in running a Fallout-themed game. (I think originally he was going to do something at GenCon or some other big game convention like that, but the minis ended up getting here a year late.) A large part of my work consisted of just trying to assemble the things. They're resin figures, highly detailed, without the disfiguring bubbles that have characterized certain expensive resin figures I've dealt with in the past. The resin is slightly flexible but delicate, prone to a lot of flash (very filmy), and there are lots of parts. The "Mr. Gutsy" robot knock-off was the worst, at 9 parts (3 delicate arms, 3 delicate eye-stalks, main body, lower body, and flight rod), so I've set that aside to work on much later, once I've tackled the bulk of the figures and can feel as if I've made some sort of progress. The female figures are challenging, as the limbs are very thin, granting very little surface area for pinning their arms to the body (and OF COURSE the arms had to be separate pieces). These troopers (scafrifle & scafgatling) from Brother Vinni's "Nuclear Sandlot" line look blatantly like the Brotherhood of Steel in the Fallout series of games. For "scafrifle," parts consist of main body, 2 arms, 2 shoulder pads, and head. The weapon is a pretty clear attempt to represent the laser rifle from Fallout. One was missing a shoulder pad (far left), so I faked one with putty, but I couldn't quite manage to duplicate the "tab" with the hole through it ... so I guess this fellow had some "battle damage." Minor pose variants are possible since the head and arms are separate pieces, so one could get several of these guys to form the bulk of a Brotherhood of Steel force. I ended up adding some small bits of wire (not shown) to the top of the laser rifle for the final version in order to make it look just a little more like the game model. For "scafgatling," parts consist of main body, left arm, laser-gatling (recognizably patterned after the game model), helmet, backpack unit, and 2 shoulder pads (though these are slightly smaller for some reason than those used for "scafrifle" rather than just using the same ones over). Although the backpack unit has a bump that's apparently meant to fit into a hole in the figure's back, it didn't fit for either model, and I had to shave it off in order to glue the pieces on. Aside from which way to face the head, there really isn't much possibility for posing, since it's a two-hand weapon and one arm is fused with the body, but this is supposed to be a "support weapon" anyway, so I figure one could get by with just one for a squad. (Well, apparently TWO, but I didn't make the ordering decisions here.) The gatling gun and left arm assembly is especially clumsy, as there's nowhere for the gun to rest against, and the left hand didn't seem to line up quite right with the presumed location of the "handle." A tiny crumb of putty in the gap between gun and leg is helpful to give glue an anchor point. Brother Vinni's "veteran" looks like nothing so much as the iconic NCR Ranger depicted on the cover of "Fallout: New Vegas." The figure comes with an empty right hand, and a left hand holding an SMG, yet the bag also included a sprue with two revolver hands (one right, one left), making for an easy conversion to get the figure to hold the Sequoia pistol that's a mark of the NCR Rangers. ... Okay, not REALLY so easy after all, as the hands of the figure have protective wrist guards, so I ended up having to chop off the empty hand at a slight angle, and do the same for the replacement gun hand to get it to mesh and look at all right, and pinning the tiny hand and wrist was a very delicate operation. Brother Vinni's "sniper" looks very, very Fallout-ish ... but for the life of me, I can't actually place just what this guy is supposed to represent. This figure comes with a small backpack/ammo pack that's optional (and I considered NOT adding it, because the back texture of the armor is fairly interesting), and likewise the two tiny shoulder pads with the figure could just as well be left off and he'd still look great. I'm just painting him up as some sort of generic "mercenary" type without any particular faction insignia. The three guys to the left are the "Nuclear Adventurers" (n-adve), and come as a group. There are no instructions, and it's a slight puzzle to match up which weapon arms go with which figure (as two of them have two-handed weapons, and there's only one way to arrange them so the wrists line up properly). I really like the figures (yay, gas masks!), and they nicely capture the look and feel of Fallout adventurers or raiders or generic adversaries, without being blatant property rip-offs. (It helps that they actually have backpacks, knapsacks, and other indications of inventory that are often woefully lacking on representations of typical PC types. "Where do you keep that thing, little buddy?") Oh yeah, and at some point I ran out of 1" diameter washers, so I ended up using a few 25mm round plastic bases instead. I ended up using Instant Mold and some impressions of terrain bits to make "rusty techno-plating" and "cracked earth" textures for bases -- plus to give myself enough of a layer to drill into for pinning the feet down of the minis. In a few cases, I was able to keep enough of the resin "flash" on the bottoms of feet to embed them into putty (if it was still uncured at the time I started assembling), but most of the time it was easier to just drill and pin. For a few figures, I added threads of putty (for cables), bits of sprue (for misc. techno/junk thingies), or whatever other bits I had lying about, for variety. The rightmost figure in the picture is a more generic power-armor (or "armour") trooper, though his face plate looks suspiciously reminiscent of the Enclave. (The odd thing is, Brother Vinni already has a blatant Enclave rip-off in the form of the "Ant Soldier," so if that was the intent, why not just go ahead and add the antennae/head-cables and make it official?) Due to the similarity, I'm painting him up in dark armor and going for Enclave imagery. I haven't yet resolved as to whether or not I'm going to attempt adding a couple of loops of cable to the top of the helmet for the full Enclave look. This figure was actually much easier to assemble than the "scafgatling" figure: the gatling and attached hands notched into place with the arms fairly easily, and the backpack fit in place properly. The tiny shoulderpads were (as with scafrifle & scafgatling) a challenge to trim from the sprue properly, but even they fit a little more easily on the shoulders. I suspect this must be a later sculpt, building upon experience with the earlier ones. Lastly, my friend picked up two "Hooligan Girls" (hool01, hool02) from Brother Vinni's "Action Girls" line (most of which are NSFW). These were among the rare models actually bothering to wear clothes while leaping into combat, although they didn't look particularly appropriate for a post-apocalyptic setting. The one on the left came with the SMG and brass knuckles, but I opted to give it a gas mask and neck-strap via some putty, for more of a nuclear-wasteland-survivor vibe. The middle one came with a baseball bat and an empty left hand, but I used the leftover left-hand pistol from the Nuclear Sandlot "veteran" figure so both Hooligan Girls would have short-range-and-melee options. Both figures consisted of main body (with head attached), with two separate arms (joined mid-arm, at their shirt sleeves), so there's some very slight posing possibility by varying the positions of their arms ... and I suppose the arms might be interchangeable between the two Hooligan Girl figures for a little more variety if building a "gang." The one on the right is one of another 3-figure set from the Nuclear Sandlot, billed as "Post-Apocalyptic Citizens," and they rather blatantly look like Fallout vault-dwellers. (A view of the back would make that even more obvious, as the back of the belt has the "Vault-Tec" look from Fallout 3 & New Vegas ... though that particular aspect didn't seem to show up in the Fallout 4 vault-dweller jumpsuit design for some reason.) The rifle arm and left hand (holding binoculars) are separate pieces, but there's no room for alternate-posing without some conversion work. The right left is slightly bent, with the foot resting upon a stone, and that was pretty easily incorporated into the base. Overall, the figures are of fairly nice quality. I'm a bit put off that it took as long as it did for the figures to actually be delivered, and that there was a part missing, but they're nicely detailed. Assembly was a bit fiddly, but since it was resin, it was nowhere near the nightmare I had when trying to assemble pewter boutique minis for a friend (e.g., Relic Knights "Kisa" with those super-thin multi-part ARMS -- what sadistic person decided to break up the mini THERE?!?).
  11. Okay, so I'm going through the local Goodwill, and I see this toy (image grabbed from a Google image search) on the shelf: (EDIT: This is the Fisher Price Lil Zoomers Rockin' Roll Truck. Picture is linked off-site and might not load for some -- sorry!) Because I'm me, the first thing I think is, "Wow, the front of that truck looks sort of like one of the cab-over-engine rusted hulks in Fallout." And, thus armed with a weird idea, I picked it up and converted it into THIS: Steps involved: * Flip over, unscrew every screw that can be unscrewed. * Snip wires going to battery compartment for internal electronics. Save speaker, circuit boards, lights, just in case that might ever be useful for something. (Probably not, but who knows?) * Remove googly-eye "headlight" insert and annoying rattle-ball atop roof of cab. (Save rattle ball -- it's a sphere, after all, with two halves, and might be useful for building something else ... maybe.) * Use Dremel to cut away plastic parts holding rod for central tilt-bed. (It looks like the rod was jammed in there forcibly and meant to STAY there, but I haven't the tools to worry it out properly -- so just cutting away the plastic innards until I can remove it seemed the fastest solution.) Remove handle, rear "trailer" area, wheels, smokestack/button, rear gate, and tilt-bed. * Use epoxy putty to fill "smile" on front bumper. No smiles belong on rusted trucks in the Fallout universe, I'm pretty sure. * Use piece of mat board and some putty to cover up the roof hole. I couldn't really smoothly match the contours of the curved top, so I just added a panel up there, curved it a bit, and hoped it might plausibly pass for an original structure. * Use Dremel cutting disc to cut out hard, opaque "window" recessed areas, to make broken-open windows, and clean up some of the plastic "crumbs" resulting from this operation. * Use Tehnolog Robogear/Platformer panels to make interior dash and seat frames, plus some plastic to cover up a hole in the back of the cab. * Use a piece of scrap plastic to make a new flat "bed" on the back of the truck, to cover up holes and internal workings. * Use a HeroClix base with a slot cut out of it, propped on a bit of putty at an angle, to make a "fifth wheel." * Use some Warhammer 40K scenery pipe "bitz" to make a replacement smokestack, with some putty to gap-fill the area it nests into. * Spray-paint the whole thing black on interiors and bottom, grey on the outside and top. * Splash "burnt orange" (rusty) paint all over, then stipple with "golden yellow" here and there. * Messily stipple with multiple applications of "Caribbean Blue" paint on upper body, and "Sandstone" for lower bumper / frame areas. Leave headlight and taillight rims bare "rust" color, along with anything else that might have once been shiny and chrome (such as the front grill). Indicator lights are painted the dingiest yellow-tan and barn-red colors I have. (I'm deliberately avoiding bright, solid, primary colors.) * Splash everything with some black and grey washes. Splash it some more. Spatter it with some brush-flicking until some of the splash-on is thick enough to run in rivulets. Yay, grunge! ... I would like to have added some rusted-out axles, but the wheels on the original toy are solid plastic (tire and axle alike), with big Fisher Price logos on them, and any use of them for such a purpose would require a whole lot of cutting and covering with putty, to the point where it might be questionable why I used the plastic part in the first place. I might later on try to make rusted, tire-free hubs out of HeroClix bases and metal rods, but for now just leaving the wheel-wells totally empty seems to work well enough for purposes of making this look like a rusted-out, long-abandoned roadside hulk. As Wendy notes, it looks to her more convincing as a rusted-out old 1950s TOY rather than an actual truck, partly because of the ridiculously large headlights and generally round and friendly shapes incorporated into the design ... but a lot of Fallout vehicles look closer to old toys than they do to anything from real life, so I'll roll with it. I've not bothered to replace the screws to hold the thing together. In the Fallout game, if you hit one of the various rusted nuclear-powered cars or trucks littering the landscape, eventually the thing would go KABLOOIE with force and area of effect comparable to a mini-nuke -- and then you'd leave behind an even worse-off wreck in the aftermath. I need to add some "torn-up scraps" to the interior for such a purpose, but I'm thinking I might go with the idea of having the cab be deliberately removable so I have an "even-more-damaged" blown-up version to leave on the table. I suppose it might make a firefight all the more interesting if there's a chance of stray shots setting off unstable reactors littering the street (in the form of junked nuclear cars). I'll just have to be sure and warn the players of this, so we don't have the PCs getting the bright idea of climbing INTO the truck wreck to use it for cover in a firefight, and then ending the session with a nuclear TPK.
  12. Starting off, for some curious creatures for a Fallout-themed campaign: A Reaper Rageclaw Warrior (#14031) and a Reaper Bones Flesh Golem (77169) converted with assorted Warhammer 40K Ork "bitz" (I got some leftovers at a "game bazaar" locally) and some epoxy putty. The Flesh Golem is being turned into a Super Mutant, but the Rageclaw guy is ... uh ... well, I guess there really aren't any big mutant werewolf-doggy-type guys in the Fallout universe that I know of, so he's just something weird and unusual I decided to put together while I had all the Orky bits out. My working name for the Rageclaw is "Junkyard Dawg," while I want to name the gun-toting Flesh-Golem-turned-Super-Mutant "Dakka." :D Much pinning was required for the super mutant's gun. The chain of ammo was very flimsy and broke in a couple of places, so I had to pin here, pin there, pin just about everywhere. In the background is a 1:43 scale truck I thought I might try turning into a Fallout-style "former gasoline-powered vehicle converted to nuclear power shortly before the apocalypse" but I'm still sorting out what would be the perfect "bitz" to get that idea across. I started by trying to sculpt putty, but I can't quite get that "machined" look I want that way. The "Ship Generator" Bones piece in the bed of the truck was there just to see how it looked. I don't expect it will be staying there. Same figures, but with some base-coat, and some messy splashes of paint, and a special guest appearance by Bonnie (80025). My Super-Mutant conversion is re-based on a HeroClix base with some epoxy putty and texturing. The pile of spent casings is another Ork "bitz" piece. For the Junkyard Dawg, I gave him a cap with John Deere green-and-yellow on a whim. I don't even know if it makes sense for there to BE a John Deere in the Fallout universe, or whether there should be some strange parallel-universe equivalent (Nuka-Cola instead of Coca-Cola, Corvega instead of whatever car company, etc.), but based on precedent with Nuka-Cola, I figure I can at least use familiar-looking colors. I also used some putty to give him some PANTS. I'm undecided whether I'll go the extra mile and make some overall straps. In the background, a Fly Demon is going to become a Bloat Fly. One of the Anime Heroines is going to be ... uh ... I've no idea, really, why anyone would be dressed like that in the Fallout universe. It just happened to be one of the minis I grabbed when I was on a basing spree. The HorrorClix CarnageBot is where I started with my "Nukatron" conversion.
  13. Objective: Make minis to represent an NCR Ranger and a gang member of "The Kings" from "Fallout: New Vegas." Initially, my plan was to use 80023 "Horace 'Action' Jackson" as the base for the King Ganger, and 80033 "Frank Buck" as the NCR Ranger. There were two main problems with this plan: 1) "The Kings" as shown in Fallout: New Vegas, have a "greaser" look: leather jacket, slacks, optionally with a "Jailhouse Rock" striped shirt. My "Elvis Impersonator" approach with Horace looks more "Late Elvis" or "Jumpsuit Elvis," circa the 1970s or thereabouts. That's not really going to cut it. 2) I was going to use some putty to turn Frank Buck's jacket into a long duster, but the further I went (and once I bothered to actually get some visual references rather than drawing upon my VERY FLAWED MEMORY), it was obvious that I would have just as easily gone with a Reaper Dolly as a base as to start with this particular figure. I happened to have a spare Andre Durand (or two -- it's just so perfect for several of the genres I favor), and the idea struck me to shuffle down the line. 80005 "Andre Durand" would become my NCR Ranger; his power fist would work all right in the Fallout universe, and the gun can be some customized job. All I'd really need would be a head swap -- and for that, I used a spare helmet-and-gas-mask head from Wargames Factory's "Greatcoat Troops" boxed set: it has one canister air filter up front, two goggles, a helmet (though more Germanic than American, alas), and a seam in about the right spot to give it that vaguely "Stormtrooper/piranha frown" look that the NCR Trooper's facemask has above the filter canister. Andre's spare head went onto the body of Frank Buck. (And Frank Buck's head will eventually be used on some other figure down the line, I'm sure, next time I need a heroic-looking fellow with a fedora. Hey, maybe a Tops gang member, if I can find a figure in a leisure suit.) Now, Frank Buck (80033) is going to be my "King" Ganger, adding on the guitar from 50198 "Gallup, Zombie Survivor" in place of that machete. I shaved off the whip and pistol holster early on in the process to make room for my attempt at a putty long-coat, before I'd decided to turn this into an Elvis wannabe. I went a step further and shaved off some of the bumps that indicated pants stuffed into boots, so I could more plausibly present this as a fellow wearing shoes (blue suede shoes?) and slacks. The guitar is pinned to the back, and I daubed pebbles of putty on top of the head and in place of the missing hand with some super glue, and made a hasty attempt at a pompadour and a hand (as appropriate). I'm using Magic Sculpt because it's handy, and it cures quickly, but I know that for a PROPER sculpt of such features, I really should be using the green stuff. For the guitar straps, I took some scraps trimmed off of the edges of some integral Bones plastic bases (where I needed to narrow them just a bit to fit into the recessed area of inverted 25mm round Reaper plastic bases), and cut off some strips, then tried to make them as even as I could manage. I pinned the end of the strap onto the guitar bottom, so it'd look like an actual attachment and not just, well -- GLUE.
  14. One really nice feature of Bones is that if I want to do "rider conversions" of minis, it's much more attractive to do so than with pewter counterparts. A big part of this is because the figure is cheap enough that I don't feel like I'm committing sacrilege by cutting up and re-pinning the figure into a "rider" pose. Another part is that it's a whole lot easier to do that cutting-and-pinning business. (One downside is that I can't simply bend a leg into a slightly different position, but "slightly different position" wouldn't apply to this project anyway.) So, for Necronomicon 2015 (http://stonehill.org/necro.htm -- in less than a month!) I'm running a Fallout-themed scenario for my Saturday night game. I already have a number of apocalyptic heroes (many of them Reaper conversions) painted up and ready to go, should I have the need to fall back on them, but I thought I would try my hand at a few figures specifically themed to fit into the Fallout universe, one way or another. And so, I happened to have a couple of extra copies of "Rex" (#80009) from the Kickstarter. One, I already have painted up and ready to do an Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 2 impersonation, but here I had two pristine plastic figures (one in a bag, one in a blister), plus a weird Hot Wheels "Boss Hoss" motorcycle toy. (Note: Hot Wheels are often billed as 1:64 scale, but the deal is, they're toys -- not models -- and hence the "scale" is so fast and loose as to be nearly meaningless. In the typical Hot Wheels blister pack, a motorcycle is the same length as a sports car, a VW bug, a semi truck, an ambulance, a fire truck, a spaceship-on-wheels, or what-have-you. I have no idea what scale the Hot Wheels motorbikes are, but I've found them to be "close enough to be plausible" for pairing up with Chronoscope figures for my purposes.) Since I'm running with Savage Worlds here, I'm not beholden to a strict base size standard (not, in any case, the way I would be with Iron Kingdoms, etc.), so I decide to grab a Mage Knight "rider" base, put some putty on it, and make a textured impression, for a bike base. For the standing model base, I am just using an inverted 25mm round Reaper base, which the integral Rex base fits into with a noticeable gap. Sometimes I try to gap-fill with putty, but I'm not sure it'll really accomplish much, so I'm skipping that for now. The "rider" figure just consists of the same Rex model, but with limbs cut and re-pinned into new positions, and with some putty as gap-filler. If I can find an open left hand piece in my "bitz box" of suitable size to replace the riding Rex's left fist, I'll do so, but I tend to be short on left-handed bits. (It's usually RIGHT hands -- with various right-handed weapon options -- that I have an excess of.)
  15. My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy... me... or everyone else. I am the one that runs both from the living and the dead. Hunted by scavengers, haunted by those I could not protect. So I exist in this wasteland, reduced to one instinct: survive. As always, c&c welcome!
  16. Fallout 4

    Fallout 4 is coming out on Nov. 10, 2015. Mark your calendars, Vault Dwellers.
  17. When I post something like this, it's not because I think the painting is brag-worthy (because that's an area where I need a LOT of work), but I have a lot of fun with kit-bashing and re-purposing figures (especially Bones!) for something slightly different than the original subject matter. Reaper Bones 77149: Damien, Hellborn Wizard (post-apocalyptic conversion) One thing that struck me about Damien is that he SO looks like, if it weren't for that staff, he looks like such a punk (in a good way!) that he'd fit in with some setting such as Shadowrun or even a more conventional cyberpunk game (since he could just have a "biosculpt" job or some really CRAZY wetware). Also, that staff went all wibbly-wobbly bendy, and I KNOW that the preferred fix is to soak everything in hot water, etc., etc., but it's really hit-and-miss for me where this is concerned, and half the time I just end up replacing bendy staves with a piece of wire, or something else entirely. In this case, I went for "something else entirely." I grabbed a big ol' gun from my "bitz" box that I assume is from a Necromunda conversion. (I often pick up "bitz" through trades and deals rather than always chopping them off figures myself, so I'm not always sure what the origin was.) I left a piece of staff in the left hand, and used a pinning drill and wire to attach the gun there, leaving the staff segment as a handle/grip. For the base, I used some black-dyed epoxy putty to fill out the integral plastic Bones base out to the edges of the top of a standard round 25mm game base (as the figure itself is pretty light, and I didn't want the heavy gun to make this guy fall over if the table got bumped, so I opted for a slightly wider footprint ... though in retrospect I probably didn't need the increase in elevation). The stop sign is a piece of printed cardstock mounted on a bent piece of pewter Reaper sprue. (I occasionally run off sheets packed with caution stripe and tiny poster images and street signs and license plates and monitor displays and newspaper front pages and other such things, after an extensive Google search, so I have an arsenal of flat details I can add to terrain pieces and large bases. I'm not always absolutely certain about the scale, though.) I was tempted to give him some mirror-shades via putty, but I accidentally managed to get the dots on the eyes in the right places (or close enough for tabletop purposes), so I figured I'd just leave it at that.
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