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  1. As is tradition now, you know as of three years ago, the kid and I create and paint something for the tree. This year ended up being something a little different. Like last year I didn't create a WIP for this project and I'm really kicking myself about it now as we started this project before Thanksgiving and have only just finished. Perhaps a WIP would have kept us better on track, food for thought for next year if nothing else. This year we did something that I thought would be simple and used no GW figures whatsoever. We were going to make a nice little Christmas tree complete with a few presents underneath. Seemed simple but this being my first attempt at making a tree I think we see where this is going. The method I chose seemed the easiest but I guess my fingers just aren't that dexterous anymore. Using wire to create the tree's trunk was simple enough but adding branches was a problem. After many attempts at making the perfect "Norman Rockwell" like tree we had to settle for Charlie Brown instead. This comparison only became more apt when we added the scouring pad bits to create the needles. In a way it added to the charm however. I had planned to sculpt or build a few small presents but the kid loved the lumpy greenstuff rocks she saw on my desk from previous projects. So we used those instead and underneath our lopsided unique tree they don't look out of place. All that remained was adding the year. It came out lopsided, blocky, and in the wrong place but that almost added to the charm. This was truly the year everything looked just a bit off. Last but not least a shot of it on the tree. As with previous years the kid had a blast helping me build, glue, base, paint, and flock this ornament. Though everything is still done together she is really getting good with basing and flocking. I can almost sit back and just let her do it herself (at least when it comes to pouring the material). No surprise as it seems to be her favorite part and she has sat with me helping to base (and occasionally flock) almost everything this year. It's probably a lot to do with the fact that we just pour material onto the base inside of a container. I can certainly see the appeal, especially from her perspective. Though I think last year's ornament had a bit more polish this one isn't bad. The kid was involved in every step (even the tedious ones) and seemed to enjoy herself. Seeing as that's the whole point behind these yearly ornaments I'd call this another successful year.
  2. So my daughter just had her first birthday a couple weeks ago and while plenty of people showed up we did end up bringing home a lot of leftovers, dessert in particular. We had about a quarter of a sheet cake and a few cupcakes too. Those cupcakes in particular though had a little something extra, topping each one was a plastic ring. Well I have to admit I couldn't help myself and the wheels started turning. After maybe a couple hours from start to finish my "Fabulous" guardsmen" now have a "Fabulous" barricade/firing line. With its very large coverage I think this piece may be better suited to Killteam than 40K though.
  3. Awhile ago I came across a terrain tutorial video about building barrels and thought I'd give it a go. After the initial steps of collecting water bottle/soda lids, gluing them together, and even priming them the project came to a halt. Well after a couple months of staring at a bag of primed bottle caps I finally got back to work. The next step in the build was to create an actual lid/opening in the top of the barrel. This required two pieces; it needed a small bead and a slightly larger round piece to glue the bead onto (in the tutorial the builder used small wooden discs they found at a craft store). I knew that my wife already had plenty of beads that would be perfect but that small round disc had me stumped. That's when I finally remembered that inside my wife's craft bin she had a hole punch. Since I started basing my models and began building a little terrain I've been collecting a lot of random household brick a brack, including baby formula tins and lids. You know where I'm going with this and I think the picture speaks for itself. Now that I finally had all the pieces I began gluing the discs and beads to the top of the barrels. After a little gunmetal grey I'm pretty impressed with how good they look and how quick they can be made (quick provided you don't spend too much time thinking about a single piece). I placed some Games Workshop barrels behind them for comparison. I'm pretty sure this build came from Terrain Tutorial but I'm not positive (I did see the video quite a while ago). Either way I just want to say this wasn't my idea at all, I simply followed the steps I happened to remember from a youtube video I watched so long ago that I can't remember who did it. I'm grateful however for this simple and cheap terrain and will be making a ton of them over the next few days.
  4. Here is our current adventuring party for Iron Kingdoms. We started a new campaign shortly after Reapercon, so I was able to make use of several of the convention minis. This party is quite an odd mix of races. Lately, I've been quite fond of having a semi-cohesive color pallet for our adventuring parties. The last one I did was all in cold blues, so with this one I went for a very warm pallet. Lil is an investigator who 'secretly' is a Thamar Advocate. She's just the stock mini of the vampire hunter from Reapercon (by Bob Ridolfi) This Pygmie Troll is very fond of hitting things and also alcohol. He was made by resculpting the head and hands from the Jason Weibe's Dwarf Brewmaster (07015) Our resident Bone Grinder was made from Bobby Jackson's River Widow (03913). I only made superficial changes to her (adding a few extra bone-grindy items to her belt). ] For our Trollkin Axe Flinger, it turns out that we already had the perfect mini. This is the version from the Undercity Board Game. This Outcast Skorne Bushwacker/Warlock was made by simply head swapping a Malifaux rifleman. This Lazy Cyclopes (under the command of the Warlock) was a sculpt that I made quite a few years ago. I showed it off to several sculptors at Gencon, and they all gave me some pointers on things that I could improve on. Still, I was fond enough of him that I decided to paint him up.
  5. Here are Carnivorous Plants pictures I built from scratch. I made them years ago using conker shells "Horse-chestnut", green stuff and metal wires.
  6. This is the footbridge that crosses a gully as you head to the privy in the (privy standoff board) of my farmers market & renaissance fair gaming board. The figure is just for size & scale visual comparison. The bridge is completely scratch built; using real tree branches as the base logs with wooden planks...one side is heavy with ivy growth and the other with moss...the rope guard rail (for what it would be worth) adds a rustic backwoods touch & feel.
  7. PROJECT...Shanty town outhouse (gift for a friend)... DATA...On August 6, 2014...I displayed a shanty shack that I built as a gift for one of the Reaper members who has become a close friend...this is the outhouse that goes with that shanty shack...My son and I just returned from a luncheon meeting where I delivered both the shanty shack and outhouse. I really enjoyed building these 2 small pieces and hope that my friend (ub3r) enjoys the final results. Paul (Catdancer)
  8. PROJECT...Wooden Magazine/Newspaper Stand (Nostalgic Era)... ODDS & ENDS...While waiting for my scale lumber order to arrive for my final Shanty Outpost (center piece)...I spent Saturday working on the art draft concept(s) of my next commission project (stated above) and building a few odds and ends common to such a piece...I have done; 1. Post Card rack... 2. Pin-up Photo rack... 3. Posters cylinder holder... 4. Glass Charity Donation jar... 5. Sealed Wooden cigar boxes... 6. Open Wooden cigar box with cigars... 7. Open Wooden cigar box (used as cash register)... 8. Newspapers & Magazines (assortment - not pictured)... QUESTION...I would like to hear from members about other odds & ends that I could consider for usage in this piece...Please let me hear from you with your suggestions and ideas for items...Thank you. Paul (Catdancer)
  9. MODEL...CONGO KEEL BOAT...1/35th SCALE...SCRATCH BUILT...AFRICAN PRINCESS (AMANDA)... HISTORY...On the river, known in common terms as the (taxi)...the version depicted here is the (23'6") boat with a (2'4") draft. Used for the moving of just about everything on the Congo River system. The most famous version of this type of boat was depicted in the 1951 movie " The African Queen " with Humphrey Bogart. The (Princess) version was in common usage from 1928 to 1972...although you can still find some in usage today on both the Congo and Nile river systems. NOTE...My model is completely scratch built as a static display model (not as a diorama) and I named it (Amanda) after my granddaughter...I had many trips on some of these small boats while I was photographing the deadliest snakes found in Africa...And yes; automatic weapons on board were part of the regular gear...it was a time of great political unrest in Africa during those years. SCRATCH BUILT...Hull, cabin, all wooden boxes/crates/barrels, 80% of items, green bananas, food items, etc...all non scratchbuilt items are from my parts boxes. SCALE NOTE...I took you from the (9mm) North Seas pier to this 1/35th scale boat...I hope that you enjoyed both. Paul
  10. Having spent my youthful summer vacations from school at places like Vaca Key, Breton Sound and Alazan Bay; I learned a great deal about boat repair and salvage work by doing all kinds of jobs at small wharves and deep sea salvage firms. This piece is from those youthful days and memories...It is 98% completely scratch built (example: the paint cans are drinking straws...the hot water heater is a cigar tube...the sink is fashioned out of heated plastic sheet...the coffee pot, fry pan and other items are made from sheet lead...and so on. The non-scratch built items are all parts from my extensive parts box. This is another piece that allowed me extensive usage of my term " organized chaos "...I have been working on this piece (off and on) for about 3 years...maybe one day I will finish it...but until then, each time I take it out and work on it...it brings back those youthful memories of yesteryear. There is a secondary building that goes with this piece (no interior detail...just exterior) that I will post later today or in the next few days. Hope that you will enjoy viewing both of these pieces of nostalgic memorabilia from the life of Catdancer.
  11. As promised, here are the postings of the secondary building that goes with the previously posted wharf workshop. This building is again 98% scratch built...it has no interior details (only the exterior). This brings to a close my postings of non-fantasy items. I hope that you enjoyed viewing the (3 such postings) as much as I enjoyed the presentation of them and wish to thank all the members for their comments and I am sure in some cases...their toleration of my posting my nostalgic memory materials. Catdancer!
  12. As a change of pace from my fantasy miniature painting and fantasy terrain building; I work in the modern era in areas that deal with modern mercenary models and figures. This is a (Congo Keel Boat). On the river it is known by the common name of (river taxi)...the version depicted here is (23'6") with a draft of (2'4")...used for moving just about anything on the Congo river system. The most famous version of this boat (a longer version) was depicted in the 1951 movie (The African Queen) with Humphrey Bogart. The model is 97% scratch built in the 1/35th scale area and in the " princess " line of such boats that were common from about 1928 to current day on both the Congo and Nile river systems. My figures (in the works currently) are a modern day (5 man) mercenary team using converted pieces/figures from the 1/35th scale U.S. Ranger team produced by (Shanghai/Dragon). The 3% non-scratch built items are all items from my parts box...all lumber used was scale hardwood...As you can see, the cabin section can be removed.
  13. From a very early age, I had no parents...as my profile states...I have been married to a wonderful lady for (40+) years...her father became the closest thing to my having a " dad " and with all my love and respect through his living years...I called him " pop ". I built this piece as a nostalgic memory of that wonderful man (T.O. Dunn). T. O. Dunn Junkyard & Salvage: Vintage pickup truck...at the gas pump is a Wheelworks metal miniature truck kit. Rusted junk car...car in work area...tractor...are all die-cast toys that have been reworked. Human figures...are all Preiser figures. The diorama is completely scratch built...all the wooden buildings (office/outhouse/lumber area/car work hoist/building under construction/front gate/fences) are all built to scale with/from hardwood scale lumber...The tiny office is completely detailed on the inside...the whole diorama is wired so that all the lights in the office & on the power poles work. All of the hundreds of items found within the junkyard are either scratch built or items from my parts box. I have tried to give you an overall and panoramic view of the piece...I am sorry to say that I can not show the dozens of tiny details that are contained within these few posted photographs...but I hope that you enjoy this brief look at one of the " pieces of my miniature pride ". Thank you...Catdancer!
  14. GYPSY WAGON # 3...(Small 2 wheel utility/supply wagon under repair)...This is the (3rd) of 6 wagons that will be featured in this part of my traveling Gypsy nomad band. The wagon is complete except for the base edge ground cover work and the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece. It is completely scratch built and the vignette measures (3"x4"). NOTE: Credit for this wagon idea & vignette concept goes to fellow member Darsc Zacal...who suggested that I do a wagon that was being repaired.
  15. Gypsy Wagon # 2 (Small supply 2 wheel flatbed wagon)...This is the (2nd) of 6 wagons that will be featured in this part of my traveling Gypsy nomad band. The wagon is complete except for the final seal spray. It is completely scratch built and measures (2"x3"). NOTE: This is the final results of the wagon featured in my (building Gypsy flatbed supply wagon) tutorial.
  16. TUTORIAL WALK THROUGH (Building small 2 wheel gypsy flatbed supply wagon)...as requested by member AnneO'Leary. STEP # 1: (Photo 1)...Basic parts you need to cut... 1. Card stock (2"x3") = wagon bed 2. (8) scale lumber boards = wagon bed 3. (2) scale lumber edge boards = wagon bed 4. (4) heavy scale lumber = wagon under support frame (drill for shaft) 5. (2) wagon wheels = from my parts box 6. (1) brass rod = wheel shaft 7. Assemble these items for wagon bed (Photos 2 & 3) STEP # 2: (Photo 4)... 8. Scribe planks on wagon bed...varied ways of doing...I scribe each plank with an x-acto knife for grooves & texture of rough wood 9. Add bolts to bed side rails (railroad bolts) = 5 to each side 10. Add rope tie down eyelets (brass rod/make) = 3 to each side 11. Add step ups (brass rod/make) = 1 to each side 12. Add driver seat box (scribe wood) STEP # 3: (Photo 5)... 13. Make horse harness (T) bar...parts box item modified 14. (5) eyelets to hold chain for horses 15. Cut chain to desired length & attach eyelets at proper points STEP # 4: (Photo 6)...Paint your pieces as desired (WAGON)...I paint my utility wagons by using a base coat of (Jacobean Stain/Minwax Wood Finish)...Once dry,,,I apply (Adirondack Alcohol Washes) = Ginger, Butterscotch & Sunset Orange...I dry brush with artist acrylics (sable brown, light cinnamon, desert sand). (WHEELS & T-BAR)...I paint my wheels & t-bar (Krylon = Satin Burgandy). STEP # 5: (Photos will be posted as finished product = Gypsy Wagon # 2) 16. Assemble your parts (attach (T) bar & mount wheels)...your wagon is completed 17. Add supply items as you desire
  17. I am often asked (HOW DO YOU DO THAT)? Every modeler has their own way of doing things and this quick note is not intended to change the way established model builders work. It just puts forth the way that I do things (for what it might be worth to others reading this). 1. PHOTO # 1...I build 98% of my pieces on standard ceiling tile. It is easy to cut, shape, groove, paint, etc...it is light weight and takes both white glue & hot stuff very well and it does not warp or bend. 2. PHOTO # 2...All my roads are made/covered with real desert dirt (not store bought)...I gather up a jar full of dirt (spoon by spoon) and put it through a 3 stage sifting process (3 sizes of kitchen strainers)...to get the fine dirt...the small rocks...the larger rocks...the rest is garbage......I also get dark earth (for woods/animal pens/etc.) by doing the same process with dark flower potting earth. 3. PHOTO # 3...I make my own rock castings out of plaster (you do not need expensive rubber molds and such)...just take aluminum foil and form a tub/shape and pour your casting plaster into it. When completely hard, just peel off the foil and your casting will have every crack/crevasse that your foil had (you can make the texture the way you want it when you form your tub. I use grape stems (let complete air dry) to make thorn bushes...I use dry orange peels to make all my meats on spits/ribs on plates/etc...I use dried apple slices that have been in a tobacco can for a couple of weeks to make fungus on tree barks and tree bases. 4. PHOTO # 4...Shows (4) creeping flesh pieces (made out of orange peel)...the large round piece is a desert bush/fern that made a great looking vampire plant (that sucks the blood from victims)...the (3) tree stumps are tabletop game markers (I also use single rocks on round bases as game markers)...Last of all...your lady adventure character has slipped into the pond to take a well deserved bath...she is attacked buy a couple of goblins...where are her clothes...her weapon? These two marker pieces tell/show you exactly where they are...how long does it take for her to reach them...she grabs her weapon & fights in the buff (any armour reduction?) How long does it take her to get dressed (if she tells you that she grabbed her clothing & weapon)...Your the (GM); you have to decide! If some of you liked this information...I can post more such tips at a later date...let me know,
  18. Gypsy Wagon #1 (Small Utility 2 wheel wagon with sideboards)...This is the (1st) of 6 wagons that will be featured in this part of my traveling Gypsy nomad band. The wagon is complete except for the final seal spray. It is completely scratch built and measures (4"x2").
  19. Gypsy Nomad Camp...This is a full view of the Gypsy camp project that I have been/am currently working on. Pictured are (back row from left to right); 1. Tattoo & piercing tent... 2. Fortune teller tent... 3. Gypsy witch tent... 4. Tarot card reader tent... 5. Gilded Lily sporting house tent... 6. Gypsy open air art tent... 7. Gypsy central bazaar... 8. Ale wagon & food table... Both the upper left & right open areas will contain Gypsy wagons (maybe a 3rd in the center area)... Both lower left & right open areas are free to add 2 more tents...I am open to suggestions/ideas as to what these 2 tents should be...to fit the overall current theme...so that they blend in!
  20. Tattoo & Piercing tent vignette. This is the (8th) of 8 vignette pieces that make up the traveling Gypsy market. It is complete except for the base edge ground cover work & the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is a (5"x5") vignette built on ceiling tile. This completes the basic tent work (vignettes) for this small Gypsy vagabond group...Next will be the building of a few Gypsy wagons. Prior to the start of that project; I will have to spend some time doing research on the small number of and types of wagons that I want included in the final view of this project. I hope that the members enjoyed my work on this project so far. I thank all of you who gave me comments and ideas.
  21. Central Bazaar vignette. This is the (7th) of 8 vignette pieces that will make up the traveling Gypsy market. It is complete except for the base edge ground cover work & the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is an (8"x6") vignette built on ceiling tile.
  22. Open Air Art Gallery vignette. This is the (6th) of 8 vignette pieces that make up the traveling Gypsy market. It is complete except for the base edge ground cover work & the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is a (5"x5") vignette built on ceiling tile. The art panels depict; 1. Gypsy camp life views (interior panel)... 2. The Gypsy dancer (interior panel)... 3. Gypsy legend with wolves/werewolves (interior panel)... 4. The Gypsy witch (exterior panel)... 5. The Gypsy female (exterior panel)... 6. Gypsy legend with beautiful horses (exterior panel)...
  23. Gypsy witch tent & vignette. This is the (5th) of 8 vignette pieces that will make up the traveling Gypsy market. It is complete except for the base edge ground cover work & the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is a (5"x5") vignette built on ceiling tile.
  24. Ale Wagon & Food Table vignette. This is the (3rd) of 7 vignette pieces that will make up the traveling Gypsy market. It is complete except for the edge ground cover work and the addition of some ale mugs sitting on the table...and the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is a (4"x6") vignette built on ceiling tile,
  25. Gilded Lily Cat House Tent & vignette. This is the (4th) of 7 vignette pieces that will make up the traveling Gypsy market, It is complete except for the base edge ground cover work & the final seal spray of the whole vignette piece...The piece is a (4"x4") vignette built on ceiling tile.
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