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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.
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 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.
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
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.
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!
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 Army WIP Thread
Game rules and scenario setup
Let’s make this:
Or at least something that looks like it …
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.
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