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Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut


Dr Boom
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Probably the single model that had me most excited from Kickstarter 4, Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut has always sparked my imagination, from first reading about it in the original AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide (before I even knew who Baba Yaga was), to tracking down the old adventure in back issues of Dragon Magazine, to Pathfinder's treatment of it as a dimensional nexus in the Reign of Winter adventure path. This was a must have add on in the kickstarter.

 

I was very happy with it when it arrived, although I was a bit disappointed that the legs came pre-glued. Space has stopped me from getting in and painting it, however, I've found a use for it in my Dreadmir campaign. Baba Smolluk has decided to try to emulate the Queen of Crones and build her own dancing hut, partially explaining what all the chickens are for. When the party encounter it, it's just a normal ramshackle hut in the woods, however when they explore the basement, they find the (for now inanimate) legs hanging down. I'm planning to leave it open to them whether they want to complete Baba Smolluk's work once they deal with her.

 

So, detachable legs would have been nice. I figure this might be a good place to put those sheets of neodynium magnets I picked up at Daiso to work.

 

Additionally, the hut has a bit of an unfortunate lean to it . . .

 

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While the idea of the hut looming over the party and "peering" down at them is appealing, it can't stand upright like this and you lose a lot of the detail.

 

Cutting the legs off, I found this:

 

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Of course they would be hollow. That's going to make placement of the magnets a little challenging.

(Nasty collateral damage there from the saw, however I figure I can cover most of that up with paint and it won't be super visible on the finished model).

 

Cutting the legs off made them easy to straighten using boiling / ice water:

 

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Time to do a bit of filling. There are probably better options than using my entire household supply of green stuff, however I wanted something readily available and which I could drill and glue the same as the black bonesium. The finished product:

 

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Now to let that set and stick the magnets in. I considered pushing them in while the putty was soft, however I wasn't convinced about how well they'd hold into the matrix, and getting them aligned while it was still setting would have been a pain.

Edited by Dr Boom
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Magnets installed:

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That lower hole on the Right leg was drilled a little deep, but they're fairly powerful little magnets.

 

Here's what the newly straightened legs look like attached to the hut:

 

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They're not perfectly flush, but they are held on fairly firmly. I'm planning to do two bases - one with the hut flat on the ground (probably MDF) and the other for the legs (huge gaming base because it'll be a bit lighter) and I'll attach these with magnets as well. The magnets also make a good way to attached things to painting handles.

 

The hut still has a little lean, but I think that's intentional because it seems to be picking the left foot up slightly. There are still a few warped bits (eg. the railing), but I figure that matches with Baba Yag's view on the world.

 

I'll put this on the back burner until the holidays, then get stuck in.

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Wow! I can't believe this has been languishing in my to do pile since September last year. Things got a bit intense trying to get the Extinction Curse minis out of the way and I tend to leave huge models until my vacations. Still, I got it out, blew the dust off and gave it a prime . . .

 

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Starting to doubt the wisdom of a white undercoat, however I did want to get a lot of this done with contrast paints.

 

It would be tempting to make this derelict and paint it in shades of greyish brown, however I'd imagine that while Baba Yaga might be out gallivanting around the multiverse, the hut would at least have started as a delightful little dacha with a bright colour scheme. I looked to the internet for inspiration . . .

 

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Maybe a bit ordinary, although I do like the carved wooden window frames. I'd like something a little brighter . . .

 

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. . . although maybe not that bright. This one has the feel I'd be looking for:

 

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Some common themes seem to be white edging around the window panes, brown wood around that and on support beams and then a dash of colour for the walls. I think I might lean towards a weathered pale blue.

 

Holes and broken windows painted in, Legs colour blocked and skeleton and cage started. Not bad for Day 1 of the restart.

 

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Yesterday was a non-painting day and today I mainly concentrated on catfish, so only a couple of additions. Added some shade and highlight to the scales on the drumsticks . . .

 

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. . . maybe just one more brighter highlight on the scales and then just the nails and feathers to go. 

 

Just about finished with the skeleton. I figured it'd been hanging around for a while, so I tried a subtle mossy highlight to the tips of the feet and a few other sheltered places.

 

Working outwards on the main house, which means I might need to look up some tutorials on painting broken glass for the windows. I also need to find a way to temporarily attach it to a sturdy enough painting handle - The thing is so heavy those little magnets just don't cut it.

 

 

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Getting there slowly . . .

 

Tints added to give the hut a little colour:

 

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A wash of Agrax Earthshade to give it a little depth:

 

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And finally some Karak Stone to bring out the highlights and weather the wood a little:

 

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Just a few details to pick out now, then it's on to work on the bases . . .

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Christmas Eve update.

 

Here's the hut with legs and gibbet attached. I've done a bit of weathering (algae down around the foundation stones, rust around the metal bits) and tinted the occasional roof tile to give it a bit of variety. I think I'm happy to call the hut just about done, although I'm sure as I work on the bases I'll see bits that could use improvement or additions. If you can think of anything, let me know.

 

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Speaking of bases. I'm working on two. The big one will be the Hut at rest, flat on the ground on a large piece of landscaped MDF. Still working out what I'll put on that, but I'm thinking an overgrown garden behind a white picket fence, a gnarled old tree and maybe a scarecrow. I'll drop some magnets into it to keep the house in place. The second base is a large oval base which I will permanently attached the drumsticks to. This way if any players come across the hut in the depths of the forest, they'll see it first as a "normal" looking bungalow, and then if they awaken it I can swap out the base.

 

Here's the two bases covered in sand, sprayed and shaded with Agrax Earthshade.

 

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That's about it for now. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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Now that the Christmas obligations are behind me, time to dive into the bits box to see what I can bang together to add some character to the large base.

 

I can't find a twig that works for me as a gnarled old tree, so I may need to try my hand at sculpting. In the meantime, I figure Baba Yaga likes her privacy and might put a few warnings out that go beyond the typical "wind chimes made of bones on the front porch" that should (but don't) scare off your typical group of hormone charged teenagers lost in the slasher film forests. Here's what I managed to put together from some old GW Zombies and Skeletons sprues. I've also got a few little added surprises to stick into the background (or forground) - I'm looking at you, spare Nolzur's Beholder eyestalk.

 

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. . . aaand I think I'm ready to call this done. Final shots with bases completed. Full set of shots will soon be appearing over on the Show Off forum.

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Thanks for hanging with me these 15 months and for all the positive vibes and helpful tips.

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