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  1. Slaad from Nolzur's. Blue and Green painted in their normal colors; Death and Gray panted in red and black. Not just for fantasy; also make good spacemonsters and post-apocalyptic mutant/invaders, as shown here.
  2. 3 new figures and a chance to get the original 10 from a previous project. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1240892696/three-nomads?ref=discovery&term=miniature
  3. Recently, Modiphius released an STL model of the Corvega Coupe, so fans can 3D-print their own (provided they have access to a 3D printer, of course). I am fortunate enough to have a friend (Chris Thesing) who actually has *two* 3D printers. He printed off two runs of the model: one in lower resolution on his older PrintrBot Plus printer (using Solutech PLA filament), and another using his newer, higher-resolution resin printer. ^^^ The PLA filament version of the model. This model prints in two pieces -- one for the undercarriage and wheel hubs, and another for the upper body shell. Alas, there are no tires, and no separate segments for the gull-wing doors, windows, hood, trunk, etc. This was printed flat on the bed, and due to the low resolution this of course means a lot of striation on those gently curving surfaces. (This is how it looked after an initial spritz of white spray primer, as the sheen of the bare plastic was problematic for taking photos of the detail, such as it is.) ^^^ On the right is the resin-printed version of the same model. First off, it's a much higher resolution, but also Chris tried printing it at a 45-degree angle (supported by temporary scaffolding) as he's seen several others do. I'm not quite sure about the advantages of doing this, but I think it makes a difference, because the curved surfaces of the hood, roof, and trunk are very shallow curves. Actually, I think if the car were put up straight on its bumper, there'd be the best result, because each of the slices across the car would have a minimum variation of width from one to the next, versus the big jumps in footprint area to each layer when the car is printed right-side-up. That's just my notion, however; there might be factors I'm unaware of that are contributing to this. Anyway, on the left is the PLA car, but I've gone back with some sandpaper to try to smooth it out a bit. The trouble is, I noticed that I'd utterly *destroyed* the shallow scribing detail of the gull-wing doors on the roof, and I was in danger of obliterating the Chryslus symbol on the hood and other such things, so I called it quits after a bit, and hoped I could make up for it by camouflaging the striation with "rust paint" effects. Here's a side-by-side of the two models now that each one is a little closer in terms of where I am in the process. The green car on the left is the PLA model (you can still see the striation despite my sanding), whereas the resin one is the red one on the right. I went in and painted the window areas and chrome detail in grey, and splashed some paint on the PLA undercarriage in preparation for making it look a bit rusted out. At this point, I pretty much decided that the resin car is going to look pretty much intact, though a bit grungy, with the thought that it's a car that's been restored Post-War, or has somehow otherwise been kept in relatively good condition. (I could after all use it as a "show car" for my "Chryslus Show Room" scenario.)
  4. Online, from a certain market of miniatures, I found some "Kaosball" team expansion packs on clearance (for a better price than what they're listed at now, as of this writing). Each pack contains 13 32mm-scale minis in 2 poses (6 of one pose on 25mm square bases, and 7 of an alt pose on 25mm round bases), a "bust" that represents the "team coach," and a game-specific 12-sided die (which I suppose isn't much use for anything, unless I actually wanted to play the game). Anyway, this worked out to being under $1 a figure, and the sculpts looked interesting, so I got a few packs. (I find it hilarious, though, that while most of the packs are marked down, the "Felinia Hellcats" -- scantily-clad gun-toting cat-girls -- are specifically marked as "[CLEARANCE]" and yet they're priced at about 3x the asking price for each of the other teams.) I originally picked these guys up (the "Samaria Barbarians") with a vague intent that "someday" I would run a Savage Worlds convention one-shot scenario heavily inspired by the "Brütal Legend" video game ... but it occurred to me that few if any of my players would have heard of that game, and I'm no particular "expert" on anything rock-and-roll-related, so maybe I'm not the best person to GM such a setting. However, I could always use a few more post-apocalyptic wastelanders. The "big hair" style here doesn't necessarily look like it would fit the current Fallout aesthetic as established in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, but I think these guys wouldn't look terribly out of place in the original Fallout 1 & 2 (what with all the "Mad Max" and "Fist of the North Star" wannabes wandering about in those games). I removed the figures from their bases, putty-and-texture-stamped the 25mm round bases, putty-and-texture-stamped some plastic 25mm rounds for the remaining figures, and did a few hand swaps and bit-add-ons to give a few of the figures visible ranged weaponry. (I figured that would give me a little more buy-in if I were to field a gang of these guys for an encounter and then they start FIRING on the PCs, versus what pushback I might get if they *appeared* to only be armed with axes.) I used some paper printed license plates to add some "junk armor" elements to further reinforce the "post-apocalyptic" vibe. Each team pack also comes with a "bust" to represent the team coach. I went with a bronze-and-verdigris scheme for each.
  5. Foxtrot was fun to paint. She comes with two bodies, two heads and two sets of weapons so it's possible to make her up as a crazy-haired gasmask-wearing nutter or Hasslefree's version of Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. As you can see, I decided on the crazy-haired gasmask-wearing nutter. Her right hand is separate, so fun and games ensued trying to get it glued to her wrist. I didn't dare attempt to drill/pin it as there was barely enough space for the drill bit and I had visions of wrecking the metal. The stock of her AK was on the verge of falling off, so I just did away with it. Her base is the usual Liquitex modelling paste, sand and paint.
  6. Last of my Crooked Dice shipment! I had no original intention of getting these when I looked through the site, but they were too good to pass up. Punky little sniper lady? Sure thing! Rastafarian with a chain gun? YES PLEASE. Gas-masked wanderer in a post-apocalyptic three-piece tweed suit and bandolier? DON'T MIND IF I DO!! A turnaround for Seong-ja the sniper: For the Babylon-battling Brother Jonothan: and for Neville Kingston-Brown: And a group shot of all the Wastelanders to date:
  7. This is just something that's been on the SoS for an embarrassing amount of time. Finally making the effort to finish it up and move on. Materials are corrugated cardboard on a base of stiff cardboard/MDF. Rebar from paperclips. Rocks, gravel, and sand, and a straw for the pipe. Spray primed with black, wet brushed with gray hobby paint. Next will be some highlights and a wash, some vegetation, and done. Reaper Bones skelie for skale! Pardon the rigged light box--lots of other house projects have my hobby room crammed with crap at the moment.
  8. 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?!?).
  9. Sometimes I like to turn the shipping containers into bunkers or other little outposty things. I got some kind of not-great pics this time. They're taken in various stages, so flock missing in some/not in others, and some areas do not appear painted here, that were painted later. EDIT: Hmmm.... I stuck these here because they started out as Reaper (models), but now I wonder if this should be in the terrain section.
  10. I figure the captions ought to tell most of the story here, but just in case it's too hard to read, here's the gist: When I was working on my "Rooby-Doo History Machine" project, I picked up a grab-bag of McDonald's Happy Meal toys, and ended up with a spare "Fillmore" VW Van. A friend of mine ran a "Far Harbor" themed adventure for GenCon (he's been using the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars rules, with a change of "trappings," to run his Fallout-themed games), and I loved the conversions he'd done to a few Reaper minis for the "Anglers" and "Trappers" for the scenario. I thought ... hey, if I ever run a Far-Harbor game, I could make ... a GIANT HERMIT CRAB! :D In the game, you occasionally encounter these abandoned, gutted "Lobster Grill" vans. Sometimes it's just a van with the front mysteriously ripped off, and a bunch of junk piled inside. Other times ... something is living there, and disturbed by your approach! Out come claws, legs, and a couple of eye stalks, and the whole thing lurches toward you! It's one of the craziest, most awesome critters in the Fallout universe, as far as I'm concerned. :) I just wish they had a little more variety in what sorts of things they'd inhabit (maybe a dumpster? maybe just a different paint job so they're not ALL Lobster Grill vans?) but in this case it makes it a lot easier for me to make this identifiably the same thing: I just need to make a Lobster Grill van for the shell. First off, as with the "History Machine," I used a small flat-head screwdriver to remove the triangle-inset screws on the bottom, then used some epoxy putty to fill in the side window depressions, for more of a delivery van look, so I could put an emblem on each side panel, and base-coated everything (but the removed wheels) with gray primer. Then, UNLIKE the "History Machine," I used the cutting wheel edge from my Dremel to carefully cut out the passenger doors and front section. At first, I was thinking of cutting out the front panel windows and leaving the central bar in place, to try to make it look a little more "torn out" like the Fallout van, but I figured that particular piece would just be an impalement risk for the hermit crab inhabitant, so it'd likely be one of the first things to go. Instead, I turned my initial cuts along the front-panel windows into a chance to make "broken" glass by cutting out a few segments -- and saving the passenger doors and front face for later (perhaps Scrap Yard decor, or something to make a "scrap barricade" look more interesting, or maybe a makeshift shield for a REALLY big Super Mutant). I used a "spackle" or "stipple" application method with paints on the shell, starting with Graphite Gray and Thicket Green (the latter being a particularly THICK paint, lending itself to this process well) in the hopes that by roughly caking it on, I'd make the surface look more rust-pitted and grimy. I then used Pumpkin Orange for patches of rust, with little stipples of Golden Tan for highlights within the rust patches. For the Lobster Grill labels, I printed those in paper, and used watered-down Tacky Glue to apply them to the sides, taking care to use my fingernail to be sure the paper got into recessed areas along those raised ridges along the side of the van. Some of the toner wore off from this sort of rough treatment, but that only looks in keeping with the general appearance of wear and decay. I also printed off some tiny Maine license plates to glue onto the front and back (even though the front won't be staying with the rest of the van). For the crab's body, I used a collection of pieces from 77037 "Wolf Demon" (the weird crab claw arms), 80038 "Bathalian Centurion" (the head, tentacles, and arm-claws), plus a couple of Warhammer 40K Tyranid alternate arm-claws. I drilled holes and used wire to cobble the things together, and a bunch of epoxy putty to lump together an approximation of a body, complete with a curled asymmetrical rear body (normally hidden by the shell, of course). I painted the whole thing pink, then washed it in a glossy "Real Burgundy" paint that's great for gore ... or, in this case, slick-looking reddish aquatic shell ... and then went back and dry-brushed the thing's belly and undersides of arms with light Dolphin Gray, with a couple of spots for the eye-stalks of Graphite Gray. The crab body nestles into the van-shell nicely enough, but can still be removed. The purpose for this is so that the "big reveal" can be done by having an apparently abandoned junker van that suddenly sprouts claws and legs and attacks! Or, I could find some OTHER suitable shell for the hermit crab to inhabit. Or, I suppose, if the PCs somehow managed to pry the poor hermit crab out of its shell, I've still got something to represent that. Alas, for now, it does not have a BASE. Putting the van shell on a base would be as much of a "tell" as anything, and attaching the base to the hermit crab would interfere with my options for nestling it into different shells. I suppose that if a base is absolutely necessary, I could just get a 120mm base and stick everything on top of it. However, for systems like Genesys (the genericized FFG Star Wars system) or Savage Worlds RPG, bases aren't strictly required, so for the really big monstrosities that can stand well enough on their own, I prefer to skip them when I can get away with it. (Overly large and round bases may make for great decoration and display opportunities, but they can be a real bear when it comes to trying to maneuver the "boss fight" monster around a table full of terrain.)
  11. Okay, so I've been trying to cobble together some ideas for adventures to run at Necronomicon 2018. For me, the process of kit-bashing the minis and assembling the scenery goes hand-in-hand with writing up my adventures. I might be inspired to tweak the pre-gen character set based on a figure (e.g., he's got a gun in each hand, so Ambidextrous and Two-Fisted would be ideal Edges for Savage Worlds stats). I'm also likely to stage the big action in such a way that I actually have supporting terrain -- and I want to have some nice scenery to put out as the "showcase" on the table before the game starts, to potentially interest last-minute types who are milling about and haven't yet signed up for a scenario. At the thrift store, I found a few Geo-Trax set pieces, including most of a "Grand Central Station" set. Originally, I grabbed it with the vague idea that I could turn it into some sort of a "monorail station" I could use for a ruined urban area, but the trouble was in trying to find a suitable monorail (or "ruined" portion thereof) that would actually fit in the space provided. Scale is rather SQUISHY where the GeoTrax toys are concerned (they ARE toys, after all), but enough of the features looked passable for being able to position 32mm miniatures on and about them that I thought I'd give it a shot. Along the way, I got the idea of trying to run a wild west scenario for Necronomicon, inspired by the work of Karl Keesler on the maps and other details of the "Fort Griffin" supplement from Dog House Rules. I found an Ertl "Cow Town" play set (or portions thereof -- most of the buildings, at least) and got the idea to paint it up as a "Wild West" town facade ... and then, for my traditional three different RPG scenarios, try to run three different adventures in three different settings that would each have reason to make use of the same "wild west" scenery. So ... one adventure in the genuine old west (DHR "Fort Griffin" or "Buckshots") ... then one "Ghostbusters" style adventure with paranormal pest-control specialists investigating a haunt at a local "wild west" tourist trap ... and then, hey, Fallout 4 has a "wild-west" theme park at Nuka-World, in the form of "Dry Rock Gulch" (part of the Nuka-World DLC), so why not set an adventure there? But what exactly to do? Someone suggested I really ought to run a Scooby-Doo-inspired mystery adventure, but that would be ANOTHER game slot ... so why not mash up Scooby and Fallout together? I mean, Scooby-Doo is a little late for the usual time period inspiration for Fallout (I haven't seen much "flower power" influence in the Fallout universe), but ... eh, close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades, and one-shot convention RPG scenarios, I figure. Now, one thing about the Fallout universe is that it tends to treat any pop-culture references by "filing off the serial numbers." Why, you can't even have real-world brand names in the universe. (Except for gun manufacturers, for some reason, but I digress.) So, the big soda brand is Nuka-Cola, for instance, and the big car manufacturer is Chryslus. I decided that instead of Scooby, we'd have R00-B, a talking cyberhound. The Rooby Gang would consist of Ted Bones (standing in for Fred Jones), Stephanie Drake (standing in for Daphne Blake), Wilma Winkley (standing in for Velma Dinkley), and Raggy (standing in for Shaggy). I dug through my Chronoscope minis, and decided to go with 50032 "Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer" for Ted/Fred, 50238 "Farrah, Sci-Fi Heroine" for Stephanie/Daphne, 50024 "Candy, Anime Heroine" for Wilma/Velma, and 50199 "Denver, Zombie Survivor" for Raggy/Shaggy. For our titular star, Rooby, I'm still digging through the bits box for some old HorrorClix pieces that might be useful for the cyberhound conversion. More on that later.
  12. 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.
  13. A friend of mine gave me #77380, "Khanjira, World-Breaker" as a gift over the holidays, and challenged me to work it into our ongoing Iron Kingdoms RPG campaign. The thing is, I think it looks rather like an oversized deathclaw, so I might like to use it for some of my Fallout-themed convention games. Hence, I wanted to try to make it do double-duty in both roles. Also, I wanted it to be able to stand up, rather than falling over due to its own dynamic pose and considerable weight when someone bumped the table. So, here's where it is right now. Yeah, I know, I could've taken a bunch of pictures of all the steps to get this far. That would have been the sensible thing. But this is the first point where I really find myself wondering what to do next. Right now, he's big and green, with horns and claws that are basically black but with some grey-blue dry-brushing (that unfortunately just makes it look as if the claws were accidentally brushed with whatever I was using to paint the base). All in all, it's surprisingly boring. And yet, a lot of the Khanjira paint jobs I've seen just look kind of garish, and that's not quite what I want to go for, either. Getting the thing assembled was a challenge. I boiled water, I dunked pieces, I tried to reshape them, and yet I couldn't quite get things to STAY fitting together. I used epoxy putty for gap-filler and to anchor pieces together, but even after I've assembled it and I THOUGHT I had things nicely bonded together, it seems that some of the pieces have warped a little more while I've been painting, and some of the seams have started to show again (with some of the putty breaking away). Argh! I ended up having to pull some of the pieces apart so that I could re-glue them, but I still need to repair the newly-exposed gaps (and then paint over them). I can also see from this photo that I need to shave down some of those seams, as there's a rather glaring one on top of one of the shoulder-guard shell-thingies. (I seem to be having difficulty attaching more than one photo to this post, so I'll have to follow up with separate entries for the other images.)
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.)
  18. 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).
  19. 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. ;)
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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).
  23. 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. ;) )
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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