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Finished this a few days ago. One thing I have to say. I've looked at a lot of people's online before doing mine. And not to be rude but I don't like any of theirs. Nobody seemed to try and do a theme to the rocks that location wise made more sense for the fossilized dinosaur on its back. Lots of people made gems and all kinds of other things. You wouldn't find those things around fossil remains. So this was my attempt to have something more surreal and actually include the fossils better and since I collect museum quality fossils apart from painting minis. I've seen enough to try my hand at what it would look like more on an excavation site. :)
By Jordan Peacock
I put in for a bag on the Black Friday sale, because ever since I was a kid, I had a certain fascination with the surprise element of grab bags ... and there's something especially fun about the assortment of random bits from SWM: "How can I make use of this oddball base / terrain bit?"
Basically, the story behind the "Bag o' (Crud)" (that's not what it's actually called, but Wendy would be disappointed in me if I used that word in casual conversation) is that it's a bag of whatever assorted bits are on hand that aren't quite up to Secret Weapon Miniatures's usual production standards -- so there might be some bases with warping, or bubbles in the base near the edge, or breakage, etc. I also notice a lot of variation in resin color, so maybe some are the result of testing out different resin types for casting. Sometimes the bases show no discernible flaws at all, but that might simply be because he throws in a few random spare bits to fill out the bag if there's not enough "trash" around.
In particular, I got some more "Shattered Ritual" bases of assorted sizes and styles. (I got a big oval "Shattered Ritual" base, and actually bought one 120mm round-lipped "Shattered Ritual" base last Black Friday circa 2018. I thought I could use the latter to base an Iron Kingdoms mini project, but never got around to it, as the campaign had already ended, and noises about possibly starting it up again got well snuffed out.) I *love* this style, even though it's rarely a fit with the sorts of games I typically run. Basically, each base has an intricate collection of "magic circle" designs with a ruinous look, like some wizard's tower had circles-upon-circles interlinking with each other, and then SOMETHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG. (And thus the "shattered" part.)
The surface of the flooring is fairly smooth, but with lots of finely scribed detail that would be a pain to try to paint out by conventional means. However, I found a method that works for me: 1) Spray-paint it with white primer, right out of the bag. It seems as if there's just a tiny bit of residual mold release that collects in the "scribed" areas (or perhaps there's some other "surface tension" effect taking place), and the end result is that the paint tends to collect on the flat, top surfaces, but DOES NOT pool into the sharp scribed lines, so this actually *brings out* the detail more. 2) Once it has fully dried, I smear the surface, section by section, with Apple Barrel paints "Pewter" acrylic, then wipe it off, allowing the paint to "stain" the surface and especially the recessed areas. "Pewter" is a strange "dirty grey" color that has an ever-so-faintly yellow-green shift to it. It ends up turning the white-primered surface into what looks (to my eyes) something like aged porcelain, with a faintly grimy yellowish tint to the surface, and a dirty-grey "stain" that brings out the scribed lines. Sometimes in the course of wiping off the excess, I will catch some of the paint in the recesses, so I go back later (after it has dried) to do some touch-up work where needed. 3) I apply some brown wash to the exposed "ground" areas where cracks between the "magic circles" have given way. If some of this brown splashes onto the surface, I just wipe it away, and any resulting "stain" just adds to the grimy effect of the ruins. 4) Using a fine liner brush, I trace the thicker border lines around the circles with Golden Yellow (not a particularly BRIGHT yellow), and then go back with a very little bit (at a time) of watered-down Pumpkin Orange to tint random parts of the golden-yellow for a little color variety. (Burnt Sienna would probably work well, too.) 5) Also using a fine liner brush, I go in and do some spot tinting of some of the circles, symbols, and other shapes (but not all!) with various pastel or otherwise reduced-saturation paint colors (Barnyard Red, French Blue, Denim Blue, Pewter, Olive, etc.), slightly watering down if necessary, as I want a *hint* of color, not solid, garish spots. It's perfectly fine if the colors are "dirtied" a bit, or the coverage isn't complete, since a bit of *wear* would be appropriate.
Here's "Fiametta" (Soda Pop Miniatures - "Relic Knights" - heroine from "Doctrine" faction) painted up and based on the rounded-lip "Shattered Ritual" base I got from the latest Bag o' Crud ... on top of the oval base I got in last year's Bag o' Crud ... on top of a Tablescapes "Forgotten City" tile set. "Doctrine" is basically this faction centered around a "magical academy" in Relic Knights, so the "mook" forces are a bunch of magic-school kids (boring looking guys in school uniforms, and girls in really short skirts, all waving wands), with most of the heroes either being "teachers" or other "staff" at the school, plus a few special "graduates" ("mahou shoujo" types, mostly). The faction color is yellow/gold, so I used it for the base rim, and also used it as a recurring element for the magic circles on the Shattered-Ritual bases.
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