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    • By R2ED
      Trying something a little different this time.  I've got a friend who loves JRR Tolkein and I thought he'd really appreciate a little diorama.  Since I have to ship this, I need it small and durable.  
      Now, I get it that Bilbo's sword Sting glows bright when Goblins are near, but let's just say for this story it's glowing because danger is close.  I have him in the stone henge area with a Wraith King coming around the bend.  Let's just say this is about to get real...
      Starting this on some foam board.  I was going to use some chip board, but didn't want the glue and stuff I'd be using for the base to get soaked in and bend.  
      Using the extruded foam core for the stones.  Carving them down was pretty fun.  I'm thinking I might add some runes or something into them.  I haven't primed them yet, so I still have time.  
      The ground terrain is kind of fun - I used spackle, glue, sand, and some burnt umber paint.  I'll do some grass and floral additions to it. You can see on one of the pillars that I used a different mix to surround the stone.  That was the filler without the paint added.  
      For the circles, I'll be leaving those open to put the minis into and can be taken out on their own.  I'll be basing them to match the surrounding area, but Iike the idea of taking them out of the diorama when wanted.
      Open for any and all suggestions here.  We're still far from done.  

    • By Boaz
      That right guys and gals their not just for wedding cakes ... I like to fill mine with expanding foam (when I have a few foam projects lined up, the can of foam never works for me later so it's a use it or lose it) chop em up (once dry) and butter the ends with something rough and stout (I used flexall) ... a few examples from a city set I was working on before I moved (still unfinnished) ...

       cities abound in hard cover so it's mostly for looks, nice looks but looks ... in a jungle or desert set it's a great way to add hard cover and have an overgrown lost temple (jungle) or lost oasis side ruins (desert) ... it's a simple and straight forward technique to add just the right sized cover in just about any table set you got ...
       I got a large bag of them fairly cheap at a craft store (Michesls) a great value for the buck.
      P.S. the Grey rubble is old model sprew rum through an old hand crank meat grinder ... who knew modeling could be so much fun !
    • By catdancer
      TITLE...Jungle Waterfall Pond
      SCRATCH BUILT...This is a tabletop gaming piece that depicts a small jungle waterfall and pond. Used by adventure group members to bathe, wash their clothes, water their animals and refill their waterskins. 
      PHOTOS 7 & 8...Depict the small clearing...(photo 7) without the character clothing & weapon...(photo 8) with the character clothing & weapon.
      NEAR COMPLETE...The piece is complete except for the final pour of liquid water on the pond...I do water pours only when I have 4 to 5 pieces that need it; so that I can do all of them at the same time.
      Hope you like this little piece of work.
      Paul (Catdancer)...
    • By Grim
      On my WIP thread I am using a piece of plied wire to represent a chain on a character who weilds one. I offered to post a tutorial on the technique, so here we are.
      Plied wire is a technique used by the Vikings to create jewlery - typically they took four wires of silver or gold and created a bracelet or ring.  However, the end result is very chain-like, so I thought it could be useful in miniatures for making a chain.  Here are a few examples of the wire:

      It isn't exactly a chain, but it does read like one.  In order to properly do this tutorial, however, I need to start be explaining the difference between an "S" and a "Z" spin.  Whenever you twist two strands together, when you look at it vertically the spin will go in one direction or the other - Upper left to bottom right, or bottom left to upper right.  Even if you flip the cord, the spin will be in the same direction.  I've illustrated the spins here:

      I've drawn over the wire in red, the first is an "S" spin, the second a "Z" spin.  This is important as basic process is to twist two sets of two wires together in the same spin, then twist those two sets with each other in the opposite spin.  Here is a step by step explanation:
      First you will need wire.  This example is 22 gauge steel wire, which was actually slightly large for what I needed it for.  24 or 26 gauge wire is good for wire for the mini to hold, but I have used this technique with as large as 14 gauge wire.  You can obtain many sorts of wire from the hardware store - check the "Picture hanging" and "Wiring" section.  Steel wire will create a fairly rigid result which is still pliable enough to shape, but copper will be easier to work with in general.
      Start with two strands - each of these strands should be over twice your desired final length (we will cut the result in half, and twisting will reduce the length.)  Remember, you can always cut down the final result, but you can't add to it.  I used two pairs of locking pliers, but you can also use one pair and a clamp.  I also used leather to hold the wire, but this isn't necessary if the wire is strong enough - it will mark the ends but you won't use the ends anwyay:

      In my experience you will need the leather for 24 gauge copper as it can shear from the pliers, otherwise you will probably find it more of a hindrance as the wires will pull out.  Twist the wire in one direction, keep backward pressure on the plier(s) so that the wire does not bunch up while you twist it.

      When it is fairly tight, unclasp it and cut the wire in half.  A normal pair of wire cutters might do it at this piont, I used a pair of 10" end snips, there are of course other options.  Now, note the spin:

      I have a Z spin here.  Clamp down both ends between your pliers and twist in the opposite direction - so in this case I want to see the wire going over the other top left to bottom right

      Again, keep backward pressure on your plier to prevent it from bunching.  You'll note here I stopped using the leather, as it kept pulling out.  Keep twisting until you have reached your desired look.

      Then unclamp it and cut off the ends - you may need a better cutting tool for this, as at this point you're cutting through four wires.

      The end result is still flexible, but holds its shape very well.  You can use pliers to make tight bends
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