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Found 14 results

  1. December has only just begun but this year's ornament is already finished. Unlike previous years I decided to wait until the piece was finished rather than run a WIP thread. With the little one being a lot more involved this year it certainly made things easier. Our daily progress was also lower too as you can only keep a two and a half year olds attention for so long. Starting out I knew I wanted the little one to be more involved this year. Plus she's certainly been showing more and more interest in what I've been doing at my desk lately. With a bit of thinking and planning (something we all know I usually avoid) I came up with a concept that would give her a lot of "big" areas to paint unlike my other ornaments which were just little figures that require "precision". That's right I really did plan this build. As you can see I'm no artist but it does show off the concept. My plan was simple enough, I'd build a small rooftop complete with a "Santa" that would fit inside an ornamental bulb. Using plasticard I made a roof and chimney that fit snugly inside the bottom/lid of the ornament. I added the appearance and texture of bricks to the chimney using thin squares of cardboard. For the figure itself I simply used a GW necron I had leftover from an earlier project and with some greenstuff I sculpted a hat and toy sack. Lastly I covered the lid with masking tape and primed it. Once it was primed and ready for paint I could finally get the kid involved. With a bit of brush assistance from myself we quickly found our rhythm and started painting together. Unfortunately there are not a lot of progress shots. Most days I just completely forgot to take one and on others the little one was just so excited to keep going. I did get one after we finished the chimney's basecoat however. After that we painted the roof, the toy bag, the red portion of the hat, and the silver metallic. The white of the hat I did myself at one point while she napped. So far she had really been enjoying the project and seemed to like painting together but I was not prepared for how much she loved applying the wash. I'm not sure what it was but she really liked splashing the dark wash over everything. I guess dirtying up a model is just satisfying. After that we applied a little drybrush to the bricks. Everything was nearly finished but the fine details remained, so alone I quickly painted the eyes, chest, and the Christmas lights. After applying a bit of snow flock our ornament was complete. In retrospect the "lights" were a little too close together on the back, but as it only truly obscured my name it wasn't worth redoing. We put the bulb back together and hung it on the tree. I think it doesn't look too bad. It's certainly an improvement over the previous years, almost as if my skills have improved. Happy holidays everyone.
  2. Hello everyone, I’ve been asking myself if this is the right place, but as this project has been the one that kept me busy for most of my recent time and is very dear to me, I would like to present it to you. The whole idea to this was born during the time when I nearly stopped painting miniatures and doing wargaming. I had some pretty bad experiences with some guys and communities in Germany and my overall motivation to do some painting and building stuff was down to almost none. I even stopped writing which normally is my preferred method of relaxing. In short: A midlife miniature crisis. Read some more about the background over here: Gallia to Arms - original blog entry During that time a friend of mine bought the miniature kit of the Edelweiß tank that became available just then and later also purchased the kit of the Shamrock tank. That was the moment I decided to also make a small miniature project within the world of Valkyria Chronicles which I had known and liked since I first came to know the original game (or rather … its soundtrack). I had a lot of 20mm figures left and some 1/72 scale tanks, which I figured to be perfect for my plan to recreate the equipment and figures of the game in small scale. They don’t need much space, are easily convertible and they don’t cost as much as 28mm figures and vehicles. As some of my friends continued to do wargaming on WWII and I had so much stuff left, I soon decided to create a small force of Gallian troops for WWII skirmish games. Unfortunately it turned out that the game rules they were using rendered the Valkyria Chronicles scenario almost useless (due to balancing issues). So I continued creating models just for fun, using the whole anime scenario to set up the amusing story of a guy doing weird stuff. It somehow got out of hand … My little builds caught the attention of some guys organizing an annual local tabletop event called “Do or Dice” – and they asked me if I’d like to present some of my miniatures. I thought – wow – what an honor – but … it’s a tabletop event, not a miniature showcase event. So … hm. What to do? Right! Create an own scenario. Luckily I had acquired some left-over scale train terrain from my late uncle – and there were two grass mats measuring 100cm x 70cm. Perfect for a small skirmish game. Reason enough for me to tackle that challenge. Fortunately I’ve like 8 month or so left. Well then – Let’s Make … Gallia to Arms! Creating a scenario set in the Valkyria Chronicles universe requires certain elements. As I plan to use this thread as the main thread and create threads for the single elements of the game – Gallian Forces, Imperial Forces and Terrain – consider this as some kind of register for the different threads. I will frequently update the different sections, so stay tuned. What do we need? Gallian Forces Gallian Army WIP Thread Imperial Forces Terrain Terrain WIP Game rules and scenario setup Game supplies Well then Let’s make this: Into this: Or at least something that looks like it …
  3. All projects have a starting point and this one is no exception (Guess I've been spending too much time at Lowe's lately). It all started with a small bits bag containing a gun platform for only a buck. I didn't know what it was but I figured I could find a use for it, especially at that price. Try as I might I simply couldn't identify the piece, but my gaming group had me covered. Almost as soon as I posted a picture to the chat I had my answer. A 2nd edition assault cannon, perhaps of the sentinel variety. A quick Google search confirmed just that, but not definitively. Naturally I had a decision to make, what to do with a piece like that? Well I have to admit though I prefer the current look of sentinels I also kinda wanted one of the older designs. I've never had the luck to find a decent one at a fair price however (I really wish I could fine a decently priced "egg on legs" too). This single bit made the decision for me, it was time to scratch build one. First step was creating the bulk of the piece. Though I know it'll never play officially I decided to attempt to hit the 80% GW mark anyway. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a picture of the internal structure comprised of sprue supports, they're in there though. I also grabbed a vehicle commander's torso and glued it in place. The weapon needed a bit of leveling so I test fitted it using a piece off an MDF sprue. It isn't GW but it did a better job, so that's what I used. Now for the biggest hurdle the legs. I found a couple of sprue pieces glued together not only gave them the necessary bulk but also proved surprisingly strong. A bit of rounded plastic was enough to finish the top piece of leg. The bottom legs proved trickier. I found it almost impossible to build them without also creating and attaching the feet. So I did just that using the same techniques as before. That however brought about another problem. Though the legs were the same size their angles were not so I needed to build up the base to accommodate the blunder. Apologies but this is the only picture of these steps, guess I was too busy trying to make it work. I felt the legs needed a little something more. So I began adding coverings over the sprue. This is probably where 80% GW went out the window but maybe not. It also received it's first couple of bits. In the form of some armor and the arm for a searchlight. Now it was time to really hit it with some bits. It looks a little busy but I really like it and it was a way to use some bits I simply had no other use for. Then of course it was time to break out the greenstuff. I gap filled and generally just cleaned up some of my seams. And here it is in comparison to a modern sentinel. Not too shabby, at least with my skill set. I may have actually kept it 80% GW too. I'll leave everything to cure and hopefully I'll be able to prime and paint it soon. Though I have heard that our winter heatwave is over, so priming may have to wait awhile.
  4. Wire Tree Scratch Built The Twist One Friday evening as we played Batman: Talisman I twisted a tree to life. Formed from 13 strands of wire of approximately 12-inches in length, the tree takes shape by folding them in half and twisting the loop created into the trunk of the tree. The loop created is cut into the roots and the longer tendrils are twisted into limbs and branches to form the crown of the tree. As you can see in the picture, I used one of my Armstrong sample tiles to make a base for the roots and glued it in place with some Loctite Gel Glue. The idea is to form irregular surfaces to cover and create the illusion of a real trunk, roots and limbs. The crown will kind of solve itself when the canopy is applied later. The Ground and Bark Once you have a "skeleton" for the tree, it's time to add the skin. To do this there are a number of ways. You can use liquid latex. You can apply green putty or green stuff. I chose to do the super glue and baking soda method. You've probably seen my work with this insta-cure method before on Frulla Krung and other Frost Giants. I use super thin, insta-cure cyanoacrylate (super glue) that allows it to run well over the wires and base and then coat that with the baking soda. The squeeze bottle, shown in the background, allows me to apply it as a wind blown sediment or just to dust it over the glue. The opposite can be done where you make a pile of baking soda or fill the crevice you want covered and apply the super glue carefully so you don't get an impact crater. Of course, maybe you want impact craters. As you can see above, the effect is quite "chilling." Be careful of fumes. It's still super glue. And super-thin super glue runs everywhere so I suggest putting down something you don't care about. I use box lids. The Crown Once you have the coating applied to your liking, it's time to finalize the branches and make the crown. Here's where random is your friend. Twist the strands into limbs and then twist off the limbs into branches. You can create burls and broken limb ends by adding sharp turns with your pliers. In this case, I left the crown relatively open. It's a small, young tree after all. You can see another much older tree in the works behind it below. Our specimen is primed as well. I added curlicues at the ends of the branches to eat some excess wire and for extra hook points for the canopy. The Canopy The next step after this is to paint the trunk. I used a pair of FolkArt Pickling Washes to achieve this. The first was a dark gray, FolkArt Stormy Sky. To add body to the paint in order to help fill some of the wire gaps, I mixed in some Liquitex Matte Medium. Once the basecoat was applied. I drybrushed the trunk, roots and limbs with FolkArt Cottage White Pickling Wash mixed with some of the Stormy Sky mixture. This gave me a nice light ashen color to the bark. The canopy is made from Woodland Scenics Tree Canopy Green and Yellow mixed with essentially some static grass I got off of Wish. I mixed them into my Hamilton Beech Grinder and ground them down further. You'll prolly have noted that there are some wires visibly still. This has been noted. I ran out of mixed canopy. I will be making another batch shortly to finish it. I used a spritz bottle of glue from Dollar Tree to apply the canopy. It worked really well. Once it was set, I used my favorite finish coat to solidify the canopy, Testors Dullcote. What's Left That's where it's at as of now. As to next, I will be doing a wash of the canopy to add shading to the tree. That will carry down the trunk and roots. Then I will apply an umber paint to the ground and a mixture of cork and bark, ground down in my grinder, over that. Stay tuned, Stay Well and Enjoy
  5. I was in my local Dollar Tree today and found some goodies I thought others might be interested in. First were these Candy & Cupcake scenery pieces in their fairy garden section. I often run Christmas themed games around the holidays and I thought these would make great structures to help build a Santa's Village set-up. Would also be neat for a Fantasy setting based on Hansel & Gretel... Another find from the Fairy Garden section, was this leaf based table and chair. Just the thing for an Elf Village... I also picked up these games as I thought the translucent hex pieces and unusually shaped portal-like bases would have multiple possibilities for basing or terrain building.
  6. This will be the Terrain build-up thread for the Valkyria Chronicles scenario I am creating here: Let’s Make … Gallia to Arms! A 20mm Valkyria Chronicles Scenario I wanted to create a double effect with the terrain. On one hand, my goal was to recreate the atmosphere that Valkyria Chronicles radiates, this special kind of game and anime combination that made the game's artstyle so unique. On the other hand I was aware that there is some difference between the view the player in VC has on the units and terrain and the view a player has on a board game. So I decided to mix the overall design with the art style of the original Blitzkrieg strategy game. Well then - gehen wir's an!
  7. This will be the Gallian forces build-up thread for the Valkyria Chronicles scenario I am creating here: Let’s Make … Gallia to Arms! A 20mm Valkyria Chronicles Scenario I haven't started that totally ill-prepared - as I normally do - so here we start with the Gallian Forces. Unlike the Imperial Forces, the Gallian forces have never been designed to fulfill a greater combat role other than defend their homeland. As the Principality of Gallia is a rather small country, its vehicles and units rely on weaker armor for the sake of speed and agility. Still they can bring a suprisingly heavy amount of firepower to bear, which allows them to strike fast and retreat as soon as possible. Like vikings. Just a bit nicer. For the scenario setting, the Gallian Forces will consist of 1x Light Tank 6x Scouts 6x Shocktroopers 3x Lancers (Anti-Tank) 1x Mortarer (Anti-Personnel) 2x Engineers (Repair and Refill) 2x Snipers Well then - let's go The Gallian light tank: Gallian light tanks are rather old combat vehicles. Having been in service for almost 20 years, its armor can easily be penetrated by most of the available anti-tank weaponry in the game. Still - with its 75mm gun, a co-axial machine gun and a mortar, this tank is a vital support unit for its accompanying infantry. It also can combat light and medium Imperial tanks, but is severely outclassed by heavier imperial models. Starting with nothing much than the game design book and a few unbuilt tank kits, this work can be considered my first real "scratch" build, though not everything is completely scratch. Messy, but not dirty! Having checked the main parts I needed, I cannibalized the tank kits I had arround, using parts of a Panzer 38(t) and a Panzer III as main elements for the chassis and wheels. The front body was created using styrene plastic. To stabilize the whole construction, some poxy putty was used and put on the inner side of the vehicle. There are still some gaps to fill and mishaps to be corrected. But we are making progress! Time to contine with the turret. As one can see, the turret equals that of a Panzer III from WWII, but its main gun is rather positioned to the right side as it was on the Hetzer and the Panzer II. Well then - let's cut it into place. Let it dry for a moment and then continue next time
  8. This is a scale question. Specifically on the big guys in the back. When I had started roughing out the wireform and slapping a little base putty on them, I had the idea of Trolls in armor. Now that I'm looking at them compared to some reaper conversions, I'm thinking they might end up having to be giants, demons, or something else. What do you think would fit for those figs at the scale they are? Prefer DnD themes if you think Troll wouldnt work. Also, open to weird fantasy creatures as long as they fit the scale and are tall and wirey. These aren't for any game/encounter in particular, I just enjoy making stuff. L to R, - WIP necromancer and ghouls I'd started scratchbuilding before they got shelved. Looking forward to getting back into those. - Big guys in back are undecided - An old barbarian conversion WIP from a reaper bones - Recent child scratchbuild - My warg rider conversion WIP from a Reaper Bones (which has it's own post here) - and I believe this was a Warhammer Chaos figure that I had added tentacles to an painted about a decade ago.
  9. Right, so I finally decided to do a WiP on this guy, mainly in the hopes to get some good feedback on the painting process. This will be one of my Reapercon (in the Open category, being as it is a scratchbuild). First off, some older pics going back a few months, showing where I started from. I started by sculpting a few faces and picked one that I thought would do the job. Then I built a basic armature, established a pose and then began fleshing it out. I'm afraid I didn't get any more WiP shots of the sculpting after this, so on to the finished figure (pre painting that is). Here is the final figure prior to painting, complete with scenic base. And because I really would like to show off all the work that went into it, here are a lot of detail shots of the various elements. The discarded helmet was a little bit of a trick, as I wanted it to actually be hollow. I dealt with it by sculpting the basic shape on the end of another tool, then carefully pulling it off and carving out the face plate and widening the rest of the interior. The backpack and pistol frame were stacked sheet styrene, with added details in greenstuff and wire. The base was just a couple of cutup corks with greenstuff textured over it. Next up is painting. Digging around online for inspiration I came across this image, which is supposedly of a 1950s era US Navy pressure suit. I liked the olive drab and beige combination (though I may skip the white helmet), and decided I would go with something similar, but with warmer colors. The palette I wound up choosing for the basic flight suit is below. For some reason the special edition colors have become some of my favorites. Carnival Purple was a special edition paint for Reapercon '13 (I think), and has become one of my go to colors for shadowing, while Pumpkin Orange has become another one of my mainstays. Here is the figure after the first round of painting. I went in with the intention of giving the suit a much ruddier look that was the case in the prototype (hence the Pumpkin Orange), but tn the end the orange really dominated the palette (which doesn't really bother me, so long as the end result looks good), The figure was primarily bascoated with black primer, while the head was done in white. I don't recall exactly how much time it took me to get from there to what you see below, but I think it was close to two hours or so. Whatcha' think so far? I've always been better with a hobby knife than a paint brush, and this year I'm really anxious to up my game a bit. Any and all input is welcome!
  10. This is not my idea; I saw someone else's project online a while back, and ever since I've been looking for an opportunity to try it. Then I was with a friend recently who was punching out the counters for his newly purchased copy of the Congo ruleset, and I asked if I could have the remaining cardboard frame left after all the counters are punched out. I then cut the frames into sections to look like partially destroyed walls, and glued them on to 6" x 6" cork bases. Next, I'll be adding some detail bits, an then spraying on a base coat.
  11. While shopping in my local Dollar Tree store this week, I noticed these spirograph-like party favors that had some unusual gears in them. I thought I'd do a quick post here just to give folks a heads-up. The gears come in two sizes and you get four in each pack. They looked very naturalistic to me, like something an Elf might carve or create. I'm not sure what I will use these for, but thought they'd be a good thing to have tucked away for just the right project. I think they'd look really cool painted up like wood. I know some of you could probably make use of them for bases, or part of a scenic base. As I look at them, I also realize they might also serve as machinery for some sort of alien or other weird tech.
  12. The tavern is complete and the mouselings are having a opening party. This was a lot of fun to build and paint and I am super happy how it turned out. The outside of the tavern was not planned at the beginning, but I am happy that I added it. Planning and creating the interior was a lot of fun. The working lights and fireplace really add a lot, this is night time picture with only the lights of the tavern itself. You can find the build process here: W.I.P. I want to thank everybody who commented on the wip thread the nice comments and suggestions. Bart
  13. So it turns out that coffee pods not only contain coffee grounds, which I'm accumulating for ground-cover on a piece, they ALSO contain (well, this brand does) two perfectly round, rigid plastic mesh screens per pod. Just in case any of you crazy scratch-builders needed to know.
  14. Colour choices inspired by Michael Proctor's colourful offerings. Tried some strong & bright contrasts on the mouth and body, though the Folk Art Dioxazine Purple Magic Wash on the body took over even stronger than expected. I'll post some other angles later, gotta go play some Z-cide.
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