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Jordan Peacock

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Everything posted by Jordan Peacock

  1. For Necronomicon 2019, one of the adventures I'm running is "Rooby-Doo and the Creature Feature" (for which I did that flashing "neon" sign earlier). For the drive-in lot, I've worked on a number of wrecked vehicles -- some consisting of old Happy Meal toys (circa 2006 tie-in with Pixar's first "Cars" movie), but also a friend of mine has a 3D printer, and has let me work with a few "misprints" from his own Fallout terrain efforts. This station wagon is patterned after a vehicle from the games, but due to inadequate "scaffolding" in the model, and having a ridiculously thin shell interior without proper in-fill (someone had roughly "translated" it from a polygon model from the game, I think, without really optimizing it for actual 3D printing), there were a lot of places where the shell was falling apart. Of course, that's perfectly fine for a WRECK, right? But it was just in such odd ways that I thought I'd do better to just use some epoxy putty and fill in the gaps anyway (and complete the missing bottoms of the tires, as the model was roughly cut off at the undercarriage). One thing that did not work out at all was the bubble canopy, but I decided to work with that. First off, I thought I'd put some skeletons inside. For that, I have an old and very brittle collection of Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battle "Skeleton Army" skellies. Right from the get-go, those things were fairly fragile and prone to falling apart (pinning was not a practical option with pieces that thin, and I hadn't even learned about the practice by that point anyway), and since then I've largely been able to retire them and replace them a number of alternative skeletal warriors (such as, say, Reaper Bones skeletons, but with wire sections to replace those bendy spear shafts). So, into the driver's seat went an old skeleton that was broken off at the shins anyway (and nobody can see the feet under the dash, so that works perfectly). I used some epoxy putty to give him a little fedora and scraps to suggest clothes. For the passenger side, I had an odd Clix body left over from some sort of conversion, added a spare Skeleton Army skull, then used putty to make a dress and Bufont-style wig. Since this was intended to be at the drive-in, I added a "jumbo" box of popcorn -- paper marked with Prisma thin markers for the stripes, and with penciled-in lettering. I used a few crumbs of putty to give a hint of popcorn inside. I also rolled a piece of paper to make a big Nuka-Cola paper cup, used a tiny circle of paper for the lid, and drilled a hole through it to insert a piece of paperclip acrylic sheathing (I skin that stuff off of paperclips all the time to use the wire for pinning) to make a big straw. For the clear canopy, I observed that a plastic container in the recycling bin left over from a Publix container of watermelon chunks (yum!) had lots of round surfaces on it that could be evocative of a bubble canopy if only I cut it at the right angles. I cut out separate pieces for the front windshield, rear window, and the rounded top, and used some leftover plastic (PLA) pieces of scaffolding (from another 3D print project I had to clean up) as the frame strips to go at the edges. I left a few smudges on the surface left by the glue since, after all, this is POST-APOCALYPTIC, so the windows shouldn't be absolutely pristine. (As has been pointed out, I probably should have dirtied the windows up MORE, but it's hard enough to see what's actually inside, so as more a matter of vanity and presentation I decided to leave them *mostly* clear.) The "nozzle" (not sure what to call it) at the back was a part that didn't successfully translate in the 3D print, so I tried to recreate it with the cut-off tip from the cap of a depleted super-glue container. It wasn't a perfect match by any means, but it looks okay-ish (better than just leaving an ill-defined lump there), so I'll roll with it. The terrain boards are Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" boards (12"x12" high-impact plastic textured tiles that link together at the corners) -- specifically from the "Urban Streets" themes (a mix of "damaged" and "clean" pieces -- the "damaged" ones featuring lots of craters, while the "clean" ones still have a lot of cracks I can do fun stuff with).
  2. Another detail to finish out the lot: speaker posts! Unlike the vehicles, which were 3D-printed with Solutech PLA filament, the speaker posts were 3D-printed in resin for much finer detail. Each post is based on a penny that I stuck some epoxy putty on and texture-stamped for a trash-heap/rubble look, and then I went back to add to the look of accumulated debris with some Hirst Arts bits, scraps of printed paper, paperclip bits, and chopped pieces of sprue. I've got 16 of the posts now, carefully tucked away in a foam-lined box with the cars, ready to decorate the "Afterglo Drive-in Theatre" lot next weekend. Necronomicon is less than a week away now. Whew! (October 18-20, 2019 -- Tampa, Florida -- http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm)
  3. Beautiful! For the last piece with those pink-ish vertical tubes, are those just *painted*, or did you use some sort of translucent plastic inserts? In the photo, at least, they look like they're actually translucent and casting filtered pink light on the wall behind them. :D
  4. Jordan Peacock

    Moss Beard Treeman

    I love the touch of the running-away mage in yellow serving as a "Sir Forscale" proxy in these pictures. Is this by any chance a reference to Perf from JourneyQuest?
  5. Jordan Peacock

    Shark

    Jawesome! :D I am most certainly now afraid to go back into the water.
  6. Frustratingly, I don't actually know who the maker was for either of these models. (When I asked my friend who printed it for me where he got it, he wasn't sure. He thought it was as part of a Kickstarter model deal, but I can't find any that seem to match up. I'm pretty sure it's not on Thingiverse, as I've tried every keyword I can imagine and still haven't turned anything up like this. So, if anyone has any leads, I'd appreciate it.) One thing odd about this is that the same "fins" appear in each model. I'm not sure if the "fin" structures on the van were even intended to be part of the model, as they seem to be designed to be on a different plane of reference than the angle of the van body. This was even more pronounced initially, as there were some ridges very visible on the fin (still somewhat visible, despite my filling in with putty) that would be going up at an odd angle relative to the van -- but the same ridges are present on the fins for the wrecked car, and there they don't seem so out of place. It's as if there was some sort of "clipping error" between the van model and a copy of the car. I wonder if, were I to dissect the van model and bore through all the plastic honey-combing "in-fill" inside, whether I'd find another "wrecked car" shell buried within. The car was printed in such a way that there were some pretty strong "scan lines" in the print, so I did a lot of filing and gap-filling (with epoxy putty) to try to smooth out the curved fenders of the car, and the bent-up I-beam. By comparison, the van didn't come out quite as badly. The "scan lines" are very visible on the debris pile around the car, but I thought it would be crazy to try to "fix" that. (Probably better for me to just cover it with gravel/flock, as I ended up doing with the van.) On the car, I experimented with cutting out some clear blister plastic (from some Reaper mini packaging) to insert into the window frames to give more of a look of "glass," but the result was ... meh ... so I didn't bother with that again for the van.
  7. Chryslus Atomic V-8 model (model by Nick Hume -- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2553566 ). This came out as an oddball misprint, in that the layer that was supposed to be for the windows was strangely offset within the model by a few millimeters. I tried to fix this by using pieces of blister plastic for inset windows, and using a Dremel to scour out some of the areas where "fixing" it in this way would prove especially problematic (mainly in the front). I used a couple of Games Workshop "Skeleton Army" minis to represent the former driver and passenger, with a few bits of putty to suggest scraps of clothing. The billboard shows an image from the game (i.e., something that would be on an in-game billboard). The street section is another Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes tile (Urban Streets) that I just finished painting up today.
  8. "The Postman Always Shoots Twice." (Okay, that would've fit better if he had a *double-barreled* shotgun. ;) ) Here's more miniature-and-scatter-terrain work for my Fallout-themed scenarios (20 hours worth!) at Necronomicon Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Convention in Tampa, Florida (Oct 18-20, 2019 -- http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm ). RAFM USX Modern Heroes (RAF02816 - "Harold Smith") re-based and modified with some "brown stuff" epoxy putty (to give him the hat), painted up as a post-apocalyptic postal delivery man. He's accompanied by an old McDonald's Happy Meals toy (circa 1993 - Hot Wheels "Key Force" truck -- originally "transformed" from a vaguely truck-like vehicle into a vaguely aircraft-like vehicle, and didn't plausibly look much like either) that I transformed into a mail delivery truck. Modifications include using a Dremel to saw off the permanently-attached "key" lever that was on the back, and then inserting a piece of mat board to cover up the "engine exhaust" that was sticking out the back (and thoroughly thwarting any pretense that someone would ever mistake this thing for an "ordinary truck"). I then used a few crumbs of Apoxie Sculpt for gap-filling to seal up the central seam where the body/wings were supposed to split out. The logo and numbers are just printed paper elements glued on. The US Postal Service logo is the "alt-universe" version that appears in the Fallout universe (although I had to recreate this facsimile in Photoshop, looking at visual refs, rather than finding a convenient image ready to go). The more I work with it, the more I'm convinced that the "brown stuff" is either just flat-out better than the "blue-and-yellow/green stuff" or else I've just got a really bad supply. While I use Apoxie Sculpt for a lot of my terrain building (works well as gap-filler, works with texture-stamping, can be wet-sanded once it cures, cheaper per ounce by far than the green stuff), it's not very good for sculpting super-fine details such as a 32mm scale figure's face. On the other hand, the "brown stuff" has a certain amount of "surface tension" effect and pliability that seems positively ideal for doing subtle stuff like crafting a new nose or a beard, etc., for a figure's face otherwise missing one. Or, in this case, a hat. I can't say as I've really demonstrated that by doing a tip-top job (for proper sculpting, I really should do everything in bit-by-bit pieces, rather than trying to make the whole hat in one go, before anything cures), but I figure it's "good enough for tabletop."
  9. Next up, there's the Pick-R-Up, a model from Thingiverse done by Grim6 (Michael Martin) -- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3815597 My friend Chris Thesing printed this off on a Printrbot Plus, no scaling (model is already made at 32mm scale), with 15% in-fill, using Solutech silver PLA filament, and no need for a tray (since the model is already flat-bottomed with an incorporated base). The original model had a hard-edged base that I presume was meant to make it easier to determine base contact for miniatures games (Fallout: Wasteland Warfare in particular), but I'm not about to put every piece of scatter terrain on a base, and I'd rather it blend in a bit more with the terrain. I tried removing the base, but it was so solidly incorporated that I would have destroyed the model in the process, so I opted to "camouflage" the edges of the base by applying epoxy putty and then texturizing it with a combination of plastic-clay texture-stamping, and mashing with a hobby knife and dental tools. I then incorporated various random bits of detritus that had accumulated on my work space (clips of acrylic paperclip sheathing, snippets of sprue, mat board trim, plastic shavings, etc.) and also some paper elements. The red mug and milk bottle in the foreground are actually a couple of sprue segments I chopped off that just happened to *look* at least vaguely mug-and-bottle-like. I also incorporated some printed paper elements, such as a "rusty" old-style license plate, some discarded packaging, and a magazine. Here's a shot of the right side, with a discarded magazine, and also visible is that one of the tires is splayed out, emphasizing that this is a WRECK, after all, and not just a pristine Pick-R-Up waiting to be driven off. (Although, really, I sure wouldn't mind painting up a shiny, intact one. I'm sure it could be justified SOMEWHERE. Honestly, I think the Atom Cats should have had at least one restored hot-rod in their garage, even if the game mechanics wouldn't allow for it to be driveable.) I'd also like to note that, as far as Thingiverse "Fallout" models go, this one was the most solid model I've seen yet. Usually, I'm working from mis-prints, because models were just ripped from in-game polygonal things that have no internal structure to speak of, since they were designed for video games and not to be turned into something solid in the real world. As a result, some of the structures (such as a hollow canopy) that might be given some illusory thickness in-game get transformed into *nothing* when it comes out of the 3D printer, or nearly so, unless a lot of work is done to fill it in. (Or that's the impression I get. I haven't actually done this myself; a friend of mine for whom I paint minis is letting me paint up a few of his models for his own games, and work with a few cast-offs to use as wreckage for mine.)
  10. For Necronomicon 2019 (http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm -- Oct 18-20, 2019 in Tampa, Florida), I'm going to be running a few Fallout-themed or Fallout-tangentially-related scenarios, including a reprise of my "Rooby-Doo" mash-up adventures. For one of those adventures, I'm having the "History Machine" gang investigate a haunted drive-in theater. ("H-h-h-haunted?!" "Ruh-roh, Raggy!") I had to throw together some hastily-done scenery and minis, when I had a friend visiting from out-of-country who was eager to join in on one of my play-tests before the convention. (I ended up turning a magazine rack into the drive-in theater's snack bar and projection booth, and cobbled together a montage of drive-in movie clips in Adobe Premiere Pro to loop on a laptop screen to serve as the "projection screen.") (Example setup for the play-test. Lots of WIP elements on the table. Secret Weapons Miniatures "Tablescapes" tiles used for terrain base, and some Plasticville billboards used here and there, with custom Photoshopped inserts to fit the theme.) Scenario Play-test Setup: Anyway, what I didn't have at the time was a proper sign for the drive-in. I got inspiration from Robert Sakaluk, of "Anyscale Modeling," who posted a rather useful YouTube video about a project using an "EAT ME" flashing cake-topper sign. Here's a link to a YouTube video with the original instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HwjHVPQn5s&t=179s Well, I went searching around on eBay, and I found a very similar item from the same manufacturer. This one had "DRINK ME" on it instead of "EAT ME," and instead of having a couple of pegs to drive into a cupcake, it had a clip and an elastic band on the back meant to be affixed to a bottle neck. More importantly, it happened to be cheaper (once including shipping and handling) than any of the "EAT ME" signs. (Yoink!) WIP: The sign came in a cardboard frame with some vacu-formed clear plastic as a shell over the front, while the back left a space exposed so one could press the button for a demonstration of the action (provided, that is, one first pulled the tab that was stopping the batteries from completing a circuit). I observed that the clear blister plastic shell conformed pretty tightly to the front of the sign -- to such a degree that I imagined I could paint *it* up as well, and have myself a second sign! Upon freeing it from its packaging, I first took the thing and put it on a flat-bed scanner, to get a 300dpi scan of the front of it, which I then modified in Photoshop to replace with my own signage for the made-up "Afterglo Drive-in Theatre," and also expanded the edges with a little more "bleed" space (to give me more wiggle room when trimming -- but also because if I DID use the same design as a template for a second sign, the "shell" would be slightly larger). (Typefaces used: Pacifico for "Afterglo" and "Theatre" -- https://www.dafont.com/pacifico.font * Highway Gothic Expanded for "DRIVE-IN" -- https://www.dafont.com/highway-gothic.font * and the "starbursts" are just lines with dots at the tips that I added freehand in Photoshop.) The tough part was disassembling the whole thing without breaking anything inside. Okay, the tough part was, after doing that, putting in the insert, then assembling it again without pinching wires or otherwise damaging it on the way back out. I removed the foil-backed insert, put in the paper replacement, and while I had it open, I drilled a few tiny holes in the bottom of the sign base, so I could pin it down to something so it could actually stand on its own. FRONT SIDE (original sign) For the rest of the sign, I cut out a block of foam for a "theater marquee sign" and cobbled together a printed paper sign for front and back. The features, incidentally, are "Go-ZERO the MONSTER KING" and "REVENGE of the FISH MEN," but in each version, I had different letters missing or askew. I used paperclip wire to pin the flashing sign to the foam body, and then affixed the foam body to a piece of mat board as a base, and built up the base a bit with some "Apoxie Sculpt" two-part epoxy, texture-stamped and then built up with assorted bits and paper elements. Rather than making a second sign, I used the blister "copy" to make a back side for this same sign. After all, at Necronomicon, RPG scenarios are played on round tables, so the players would be all about. It would hardly be fair for only half the players to get to see the front of the sign, right? Since the sign is *not* symmetrical in design, I had to fake the merger of the front and back pieces a bit by blending in with some epoxy putty. I also cut a hole in the blister plastic shell in just the right spot so that I could still depress the activation button with a pencil. (The lights will only display on one side ... but, eh, it works.) BACK SIDE (vacu-form packaging shell): Here's the flip side, using the blister-plastic "clone" of the sign. Note the hole near one of the star corners near the top, rimmed by "rust" -- that's the pencil-tip access for the button. The "Please Dim Lights" sign is a custom Photoshopped element (I made a few other lot signs and ads as well), with a Plasticville "billboard" frame. The vehicles are 3D-printed by my friend Chris Thesing, with a bit of putty repair (since they were "mis-prints"). I made the clear plastic canopy for the station wagon (left) out of blister plastic, and used a couple of fragile old Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy "Skeleton Army" figures or parts thereof to make some occupants for the wrecked car, and a bit of papercraft (and a bit of vinyl sheathing from a paperclip for the "straw") for a big drink and a box of popcorn. The Pick-R-Up truck to the right had a "printing tray" so solidly fused to the bottom that I couldn't hope to remove it without destroying the model in the process, so I just used some putty and homemade texture stamps to build up some debris around the outside of the vehicle, further decoration with assorted bits and paper elements.
  11. A while back, I picked up a "scenery upgrade" kit for Mars Attacks. I primarily got it for the "street scatter" elements (trash cans, stop signs, etc.), but it also had a bunch of "ruined brick wall" segments. The off thing about those segments is that the connectors lend it a very "construction set" look: they look just fine on Mantic's "Battle Zone" sci-fi structures, but out of place on a supposedly brick building. Ditto for the gaps that happen when two wall sections come together, as the corners bevel inward to allow for more flexibility of connection. I started assembling a few of these pieces, and in order to address the "construction set" look, I used some Apoxie Sculpt epoxy as gap-filler. I made a temporary texture stamp of the brick pattern with plastic clay, dipped it in water, then mashed it onto the putty in-fill. (I never get it to line up quite perfectly, and certainly never on the first try, so I basically just mash it multiple times, moving it around each time, and trying again until it looks like it would be at least passable once it cures, if I muddle everything up when painting.) The result is NOT a smooth transition by any means, but this is supposed to be a ruin, so I suppose a few imperfections here and there can be forgiven. At least it looks better (IMHO) than the default connectors. I have a few sign images I've pulled off of the Fallout wiki for a retro look, from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, and one of them was "B & K Cleaners." I took the modular "sign" piece and built it up with some foam core and the paper print-outs, then used some putty to fill in the edges. The result is a sign I can plug onto the front of the store, but pop back out for storage and transport (so it's a little less likely to simply BREAK off). Originally I had the vague idea that I could make this "generic" ruin stand in for several different businesses by having some alternate signs to swap in, but then I got the idea of having some bigger fallen letters along the side of the building -- "B & K" is pretty easy to spell out, after all. I used a couple of fridge magnets I'd picked up at Goodwill, but for the ampersand I dug into a DWCV "letter board" set I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. (I've picked up letter board letters in varying sizes -- 1/2", 1" and 2" tall -- and used them in assorted "ruins." They "pop" visually more than my printed signage, though of course I'm a lot more limited in terms of typeface and exact dimensions.) At that point, I started getting a few more vague ideas of building this up as a structure and not just a corner wall facade, so I made a mat board base (with a repeating retro carpet pattern I tiled from a sample image via Photoshop), and started piecing things together. For the front wall, there was one piece that hinted at a display window, but I didn't have a matching piece for the other side, so I used a section of resin sprue to suggest a broken support, and an old "Girder & Panel" I-beam as a random bit of ruin fallen over a gap in the wall. (Or maybe it was *put* there later on by a post-apoc scavenger. Who knows?) The whole thing is way too "clean" for a collapsed brick building, but the Mantic "Mars Attacks" / "20th Century Brick" set is a bit abstract that way, with only the occasional "pile o' brick" piece to put here or there. I figure that either someone cleaned out the debris (scavenging for bricks to build *new* buildings?), or else this building has a healthy dose of ABSTRACTION. After all, the building footprint isn't really realistically big enough, and there aren't nearly enough rooms: there should surely be a utility room, a washroom, and at the very least a door that allows for going from the front lobby area to the employees-only back room without having to flip up a segment of the counter top to get through. Oh, and there's no sign of any plumbing, wiring, rebar or other metal structural supports, and on and on and on. I could probably go crazy trying to make these ruins look "realistic." ;) I'll just pretend for RPG purposes that this building is actually larger and a bit more intact than what I'm representing (i.e., at least some of the roof may still be overhead), but this "cutaway" view is convenient. Nonetheless, I wanted some clutter, and I got the idea of making this not just a ruined building, but something that someone had moved into and re-purposed as a post-apocalyptic merchant shop. So, I put little pieces of scrap wood over the "EAN" in "Cleaners" and painted in "OTHI" -- transforming it into "B & K CLOTHIERS." Yes, get your post-apocalyptic duds right here -- the best in pre-war clothing scavenged from the ruins, mended, laundered, and even pressed. This should make a fine addition to my "Scrap Town" facade for my "Rooby-Doo in Scary, Indiana" scenario, as if Rooby-Doo and Raggy are going to flee from a masked monster, at some point they need to run through a dressing room, clothing shop, clothesline, or other space for random bits of attire to be hanging about, so they can dash in one side, and come out the other wearing some ridiculous costumes. Or, it can provide a resource for them to fashion some absurd disguises. The counter top, crate, shelves, cabinet, a couple of wood planks and the work table are Hirst Arts Castlemolds castings. I used stirrer sticks for random wooden planks, and some napkins soaked in watered-down acrylics for the "tarps" and various "fabrics" about the shop. The sewing machine in the back is made from some random tiny bits, wire, and putty. The makeshift "corrugated steel" roof over the workstation and front room is some PLA "printing tray" remnant (a side effect of my friend Chris Thesing's 3D-prints of vehicles -- I persuaded him not to toss them, as I figured I could trim off the edges, paint 'em "rusty," and use them as parts of scrap walls and such). The ironing board and clothes rack are made from paperclips, scrap wood, and bits. The hangers were a royal pain to make, and I don't think are actually VISIBLE in any of these shots -- they were just bits of very thin wire (originally meant for hanging pictures, I think) that I worked around the paperclip frame of the clothes rack and super-glued into place, then affixed some painted scraps of napkin paper to. Several pieces are pinned (with a drill and wire) here and there for reinforcement. It's all too easy to just glue things in place and call it a day, but I need a bit more structural reinforcement if it's a terrain piece I'm planning to transport somewhere. For that reason, most of the fiddly bits are tucked away in recessed areas. I had considered putting some sort of covered area on the top where the proprietor might have a bedroll and some sort of shelter from the rain, but if I do that I think it'll be a separate piece that I simply *set* on the top level, rather than affixing it into place; otherwise, it's just too much of a candidate to get broken off or crushed when I'm transporting the whole piece. (I'm already running out of space in my "Vault-Tec Terrain Crate" piece.) Anyway, if you'd like to see this "in action," I'll be running 20 hours of Fallout-themed games at Necronomicon Science-Fiction/Fantasy Convention in Tampa, Florida, October 18-20. You can find more about it here: http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm
  12. Well, insofar as "reviewing" the Mantic kit, there are probably a few other details I could throw in: Dimensions: Although the Scenery Upgrade Kit just consists of "ruined" pieces, one standard of the series seems to be that the *intact* wall pieces are pretty close to being 3" wide and 3" tall. Technically, there's nothing to stop me from flipping wall sections upside-down or turning them 90 degrees, and designs are ambiguous as to which side is intended to face inward or outward. The connectors don't "pad out" the resulting wall length, so buildings can be constructed in 3/6/9/12/etc. lengths pretty consistently. If only I were still playing 1st edition Warzone, these would be perfect for urban ruins, since 3" high increments were usually the standard for building construction. :) Construction: The connectors (coming in straight and corner pieces) make for a pretty tight fit. The complete building kits also have some larger gap-hiding pieces, but those weren't in my set, so I don't know how those compare. (I don't really care for the look of them anyway; they're designed for maximum flexibility in construction options, at the expense of looking like anything that makes sense on a brick-constructed building, though I suppose they could be incorporated into signage.) The high-impact plastic holds up well to spray primer, but the thickness of a basic coat will make it a real chore to get the connectors to plug in properly. I ended up having to use a set of pliers to assemble my structure here (since I primed first, assembled next), and once I go that route, I'm *not* getting those connectors back apart without breaking something. (Note: I only used the connectors for interior segments, and used my putty-gap-filling-and-texturing approach for the exterior.) Assembly is a bit fiddly, and it's not really something I'd want to build up and break down for a game and transport; the connections are pressure-based, and likely the plastic is going to worry apart if you put it together and take it apart a few times (the connectors are the pieces most likely to break from such treatment). However, I still see value in something I can put together pretty solidly without having to resort to glue. As for the "looks like a construction set" elements, I think most of that can be hidden in various ways when constructing ruins. More of a concern would be if I want to make pristine, INTACT, clean, modern-looking buildings: for that, it's just going to look weird, and I think I'd be better off going with something like the Dust Tactics tenements or an O-scale hobby kit. But in that case, there are so many options out there already that I think the Mantic structures still have their own niche to fill. Accessories: Also included in the scenery upgrade kit (comprised of sprues of the "ruined" pieces and "street scatter") are some decorative bits. There's a "signage" connector that serves as one of the straight connectors, with a hole in it, so you can plug in a small rectangular "sign." It could possibly work as a store sign out on the street, but it's pretty small, and since it just plugs into one of the connector spots, it's also strangely located; I just used it as a structural support for building a LARGER sign around it, so I can take advantage of the fact that I can plug or unplug it fairly easily. (It's a tight fit when I base-coated it, but since it's a ROUND peg, I can apply a twisting motion to more easily get it in and out, versus the square-plug connectors.) Alternatively, there's a decorative piece that looks either like a hanging potted plant holder, or a suspended light (the painted examples show it used as a light, flanking the front entrance of a building) that can plug into the same segment. Another decorative connector piece looks like a utility box of some kind, with an embossed electrical warning symbol on it. Nice touch. The street scatter terrain is a lot of fun, and vague enough in detail that I could get away with using it either for modern settings, or for somewhat retro settings (Fallout, etc.): a trash bin, mailbox, corner street sign, stop sign (embossed), picket fence (just one per sprue, sad to say), spilled boxes (with what look like cans rolling out), and a few makeshift street barricades. Honestly, I wish I could get a few extra sets of just the "scatter" sprue, since I feel like I could make more general use of many of those pieces. (The picket fence is much better to use for miniatures gaming than the various O-scale railroad-hobby picket fences, etc., that seem to be most readily available, since it's thicker and sturdier than the thin and fragile plastic used for most railroad hobby accessories of that sort.) Compatibility: I haven't tried it, but I am guessing that these tiles would interconnect with the more "futuristic" Battle Zone modular sets, since they have the same dimensions and connector system. The wall sections are slightly shorter than Dust Tactics modular buildings from the "Cerberus" and "Warzone Tenement" add-ons. (Or, another way of putting it, is that the Dust Tactics buildings are slightly over 3" tall; width is inconsistent, since the Dust Tactics buildings have a peculiar way of linking together "A" and "B' type wall sections of differing width, and the connector columns are separate pieces that add to the footprint as well.) I've seen some impressive examples of terrain that combines Mantic, Dust Tactics and Tehnolog terrain for a retro-futuristic "Blade-Runner-esque" effect, but I imagine that some shaving, filing, and gap-filling would be required to get them to mesh up nicely. Due to the 3" standard for the full size walls, these match up very nicely with both 1"x1" and 1.5"x1.5" battle grids. As such, they combine nicely with Secret Weapon Miniatures "Urban Streets" tiles (foundation boards and sidewalk sections are divided into 1.5" squares, and each tile measures 12"x12"), or with my Hirst Arts "HeroClix" boards (1.5"x1.5" grid). Features seem to mesh well with "heroic" 28mm scale (AKA 32mm), such as Chronoscope. Aesthetic: Assembled, it looks like something built from a construction set. The gaps at the edge of each modular section are beveled in a way that I DON'T expect the corner of a brick building (let alone a midpoint along a straight wall) to be. As an abstraction, it gets the job done. Base-coat the brick sections grey and dry-brush in brick red, and you can get "good enough for tabletop" pretty quickly. I personally don't care for the solid windows in the "intact" wall sections: I'd rather have hollow window panes, and use some clear blister plastic to fill them in (either whole or cracked). "Opaque glass" is something I put up with as a compromise when painting pewter or resin minis, because "you can't paint something to make it transparent." However, when I'm dealing with plastics, I can't help but feel that those window panes should either be clear or empty; the ruined pieces already have some empty (or nearly empty) frames, so I figure it should at least be structurally possible. However, having clear "glass" inserts would probably have significantly bumped up the cost of manufacture AND the assembly difficulty, and I think these were made with the intent of keeping the skill level fairly low and toy-like, since they were meant for a *board game*, as elements that *could* benefit from a bit of hobby-work, but didn't necessarily need it to look decent out of the box. I just wish those solid window sections were at least thin enough or light enough plastic that I could realistically hope to trim them out with a hobby knife, or some similar solution. There's no way I'd take a Dremel to it -- I'd have a real mess on my hands for sure.
  13. Jordan Peacock

    Dance of Death slow decay

    @Ultrasquid: Yeah, I had to do some "invasive surgery" for my Jabberwock as well, drilling into the legs and inserting wire rods in a couple of places (and trying to disguise the exposed section of one of the rods inside a giant mushroom made from epoxy putty). I love the model, but some of those really dynamic poses just don't work well with "bendy" plastic (without a great deal of reinforcement, that is).
  14. Jordan Peacock

    Flashing Post-Apoc Drive-in Theater Sign

    For a little more context, I dug up some more photos I took earlier before I really got started: Original product, still in package: Back side of bottle-topper (with elastic band and button visible): The battery holder (bottom, held closed by a single Phillips screw) contained 3 small disc watch batteries, and the clear plastic pull tab (still in place in the photo) was inserted between two of those batteries; pulling it out would allow the button to complete the circuit. In retrospect, I think the raised "hands" images on the back were kind of interesting, and I probably should have taken some impressions of them before covering it all up with plastic and putty. I could imagine using them for texturing some piece of steampunk machinery, or something from Wonderland No More. (Eh, that's probably within my ability to simply scribe with some dental tools, though, so I guess I shouldn't worry too much over it.)
  15. Jordan Peacock

    Flashing Post-Apoc Drive-in Theater Sign

    I realize those last two pictures could be a bit confusing. (I have to look for the telltale hole for me to tell which one is for sure the front, and which one is the back. ;) ) I went back and added labels so I hope that will help head off any further confusion. (But then, the fact that I have trouble telling which is front and back without scrutinizing it I suppose speaks well to the potential to make use of that packaging shell to make another sign. :) )
  16. Jordan Peacock

    Flashing Post-Apoc Drive-in Theater Sign

    Yes, I did. Yes, it would. Yes, it has to be. And, yes, it could be. :) That was a large part of the process described in the original post, and made it a degree harder than the original task of just replacing the insert and adding some rust/weathering effects. The two last pictures show both sides of the now-double-sided sign; the very last photo shows the back side made using the vacu-formed plastic packaging shell. The side that lights up has a "STOP" sign at its base on the left side. The reverse side (made using the packaging shell) has a blue Vault-Tec crate at its base on the left side, and a small hole near a corner of the star that is there so I can use a pencil to hit the light-up button for the other side.
  17. Jordan Peacock

    Flashing Post-Apoc Drive-in Theater Sign

    @Chris Palmer: I suppose the only downsides are: 1) It's one-sided. For a proper roadside attraction sign, it really ought to have something on BOTH sides. 2) The arrow is pointing DOWN, rather than to the side. (But since this is a one-sided sign, and I've been converting it to make it two-sided, I suppose it would have been counter to my purposes if it DID point to one side.) Normally, the idea would be for the arrow to be pointing you in the direction of the establishment, and presumably that wouldn't mean to go DOWN below the sign. I tried to work around that by adding the "theater marquee" sign immediately beneath it. In my original design, I was going to make the whole sign a lot smaller, and have "AFTERGLO Drive-In THEATRE" in the first oval shape, and then put the "now showing" in the more rectangular shape. Now, my hope is that it looks like the arrow is directing you to look at the "Now Showing" sign, so it makes some sort of sense. I suppose it could also make sense if the sign were, indeed, directing the viewer to something BENEATH the sign. I'm reminded of the sign for "The Thorn" in Fallout: New Vegas, which was basically directing any visitors to a manhole cover that provided access to an underground battle arena in a ridiculously over-sized chamber in the sewer system.
  18. Jordan Peacock

    Happy Birthday, Glitterwolf!

    Happy Achievement Unlocked [half century + half decade]! May your miniatures projects be showered in Likes! :D
  19. Jordan Peacock

    Chronoscope Minis we'd like to see, #4

    If it weren't for the similarity in design of the *weapon*, I'd suspect she had no connection to the IMEF troopers at all, beyond the naming convention. I ended up putting some work into converting her to look more like she belonged to the unit.
  20. A few WIP photos of the construction of a caravan trailer inspired by Fallout 2. In short, a "caravan" would be represented by a few big-finned back-ends of retro-futuristic cars chopped off and converted into wagons, which would then presumably be towed by Brahmin teams. Given the nature of the Fallout 2 engine, we never got to see any of them in action, and I suppose it would have been too much trouble to model them in Fallout 3 onward, so they never appeared again since. I think that's a pity, since I loved how the sight of half a car chopped off and towed by a two-headed mutant cow pretty much encapsulated the better parts of the post-apocalyptic retro-futuristic aesthetic of the Fallout series. In this case, I took a McDonald's Happy Meal "Flo" toy (from Pixar's "Cars"), disassembled it, removed the windshield and "eyes" insert, then used a Dremel cutting wheel edge to saw off the back half of the car, and to cut out the trunk lid. "Flo" and "Ramone" are rather low-riding cars, so that wouldn't do for a Brahmin-pulled trailer going across the wasteland -- and therefore I jacked up the trailer a bit by installing a couple of larger-diameter plastic wheels from a collection of WWII model "bits" I have in a bag. I added a spare windshield from a broken Jeep model, used some craft wood "matchsticks" for the main harness structure, and then inserted a plastic peg under the rear section so the wagon can stand up better when being portrayed as being pulled by the mutant bull.I put a few random junk items in the trunk (canisters, papercraft box), put the lid back on top of that (so as to appear over-stuffed), and then stuck some more junk atop THAT. I had a bunch of leftover tail-tips from the "Ch'thon" conversions I did for bloodworms, so I had the inspiration to stick them in a bucket and turn this into a food vendor -- "bloodworm gumbo" sounded good, so I made a little sign to accompany the wagon.The merchant is Reaper Chronoscope #50291 "Billy Bob, Zombie Hunter." His pack animal is #77256 "Brass Bull," but with a second head and with a harness crafted out of sprue and junk, with a bit more putty, as a mutant bull.In the background are some 3D-printed vending machines I fixed up, and the scenery consists of a "Toy Story" waste-disposal plant play set, and some Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes "Scrap Yard" tiles.
  21. Astounding! I love the clock-hands-as-wing-feathers concept. I've got to find a use for that idea sometime. Using "watch guts" as the base is positively inspired as well. :)
  22. They should make it an Alicorn. Give it wings AND a horn ... and if you want a plain ol' pegasus, just snip off the horn. Tada! :D (That takes advantage of one of the niceties of Bones.) One big wish *I* have, though, that I just recently thought of: SKELETON. JUST a skeleton. Yes, yes, I know -- we have skeleton *warriors* aplenty -- and I've picked up and painted and modified quite a few. The trouble is, sometimes I just want an ordinary, not-animated skeleton to decorate a scene with: remains of an unlucky previous explorer who triggered a trap before the heroes got there (thus serving as a quiet warning to players, "Hey, your rogue should start checking for traps now!") ... or, post-apocalyptic ruins, complete with skeletons stuck in rusted-out cars, etc. ... or base decoration, because nothing says "grim" quite like having a character standing atop a heap of bones. There are a few suppliers out there who provide PEWTER plain skeletons (in multi-part, even) for just such purposes, and the old, old Games Workshop "Warhammer Fantasy Skeleton Army" was pretty good for this (provided you de-weaponized the skellies), and even now, I may use a skeleton warrior and just snip off the shield, spear, sword, or whatnot, and accept that it's a *not-entirely-complete* skeleton. However, a plain skeleton, not holding any weapons, not holding a shield, or slinging a scabbard or quiver, would be useful in a number of situations. It could still be *standing*, so we can treat it as an encounter (an animated skeleton, sans weapons, save for whatever you glue on), so it isn't relegated just to "props," but it would be a bit more useful either for set-dressing, or else for customization (for those times I want a "skeletal miner" or a "skeletal cowboy" or whatnot, so I don't have to *chop off* lots of stuff before I start *adding* things). ALTERNATIVE: MULTI-ARM BONE GOLEM Now, if there's a question of, "But what position should the arms/hands be in, to be most useful?" Wellllll ... let's call it a "bone golem" or a "bone horror" or something, and give the skeleton SIX ARMS, all joined at the shoulder. Then: want an ordinary skeleton? Choose which four arms to snip off, and leave the other two. :D One hand could be pointing, another grasping, another closed into a fist, etc. In fact, if you absolutely, positively MUST give the skeleton a weapon for it to be a viable encounter, then stick a sword and shield on one of those "you-can-snip-this-off" arm pairs -- just as long as there's some provision to get an ordinary skeleton out of the mix with a little bit of Bones surgery. (I mean, that's basically what I do for makeshift "bloat flies" for Fallout-themed games: I pick up the "fly demon," but just snip off those crazy arms/legs that don't look terribly fly-like, so I end up with an ugly big bug, rather than a weird bug-thing-with-arms. That might leave my fly without ANY legs, but a bit of wire can get the idea across.)
  23. Jordan Peacock

    02538 Lesser Elementals by J Weibe

    Awesome! By accident, I happened to see the back view of the earth elemental first, and for a moment my first thought was, "Oh, wow, that must have taken a lot of effort to glue together all those pebbles in that humanoid shape." ;D Looks convincing to me!
  24. Jordan Peacock

    Bones 4 scale question

    Good point, but in that case ... maybe a better scale sample would be if we had a "Sir Forscale" who is *not* leaning and bent-kneed. (I know, I know ... too late for that now, since he's well-established through 4 Kickstarters as a standard.)
  25. Jordan Peacock

    Reaper Bones Kickstarter 4 Orrery

    This is another Kickstarter model that I don't know the SKU for, since it's not in the store yet. This came as part of the terrain expansion, and I'm calling it an orrery, since that's what I *think* it is supposed to represent, though it's also got elements of an armillary sphere, and I haven't the foggiest how it might actually *function* for purposes of tracking celestial objects, since multiple bodies share the same rings. But, eh, it's FANTASY! Who knows? Maybe it could be enchanted, so the individual bodies can move around in ways that defy simple mechanics. Anyway, I puzzled somewhat over how to paint this thing. For starters, this model is cast in two types of "Bonesium" -- a harder, rigid polystyrene is used for the orrery/armillary-sphere rings and "celestial body" parts, whereas the base, monkey body, supporting column and outer frame are a more "bendy" sort of Bonesium, even though the whole thing is cast in a darker grey color. As such, the rigid polystyrene calls for spray-on primer, whereas I used brush-on primer for the "bendy" parts. As such, it's probably better to prime the pieces separately. Actually assembling the ring parts is a real challenge; I hope at some point there's an instruction PDF available on the Reaper site, at the very least, if not simply having instructions included with the model itself. Even when I got all the pieces to fit (near as I could tell), there was still the matter of fitting the central "orrery" within the outer frame -- a fit that has quite a bit of tension on it, and could easily go one of four apparent ways, but the "wrong" way results in inner rings that look like they're going to scrape the outer frame -- each connection between the concentric ring portions is NOT evenly split. As for how to paint it, all of the "bendy Bonesium" parts show textures that suggest old stone, particularly due to the presence of broken-off and cracked sections. I would have supposed at the very least the "frame" supported by the monkey would be metal, or at least have those "half-orb" stud sections be metal, but even those are cracked with chunks missing in places, suggesting that they should be painted as if carved stone as well. Only the hard polystyrene parts seem to represent something made of metal. (I'm not even certain about that hanging "bell." I went ahead and painted it up as corroded bronze, etc., but I'm not sure it wasn't meant to be painted as a piece of "stone" as well.) I didn't want the whole thing to be a boring brown or grey, so I opted to try to paint the monkey statue green, in an attempt to suggest jade or perhaps something like malachite. I went with brown-grey for the base (in hopes of fitting in with a lot of my brown-grey floor tiles), and with bronze/metallic-brown for the rings. As for the planets, I know it's garish, but I figured I'd just paint them up in various colors, supposing that they are enameled or perhaps even made with semi-precious stones and such. Perhaps I should go back and have a few crack lines and other signs of wear/decay here and there, to match with the cracked look of the statue base. As for the central dodecahedron area, I liked the idea of it being some sort of CRYSTAL at the center, or perhaps an elaborate lantern of bronze and glass/crystal panels, with an inner glow, so I attempted to paint it with "glowing" gradients on each facet, and with a bronze "frame" going around the outside. The outer ring looked a bit dull being just solid bronze, so I painted the recessed area a deep blue, to try to suggest either some sort of lapis-lazuli inlay, or maybe even just more enamel.
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