Wednesday, March 29, 2017

First set of four tiles for my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 4)

Okay maybe I'm making slightly too many updates, but I have gotten carried away a bit here so why not... Using my patented quick and sloppy painting style I've decided to call the first four tiles for my modular space ship interior (or industrial) terrain set finished (for now). I'll probably add some more detail after expanding the set and painting more. Now for the big question, do I go for the fun of showing what I have, do I type an exciting tutorial on my own Typhus Corrosion mix or do I spend some words on salt weathering. Nah, finished terrain first, lots of words later (this week probably).

Watch out where the Space Wolves go, and don't you eat that yellow snow.
With just enough sunlight left I had a chance to dress the set with some wayward Space Wolves fighting Tyranids (of course). I expanded upon the base three browns I sprayed on previously by adding a number of orange shades. Well one extra WIP shots then, just to round it all out. I proceeded by drybrushing with Necron compound. I have not yet been able to form a proper opinion on dry paints veering wildly between hating them and loving them. In this case the compound suited me fine to get a bit of silver into the browns. I also picked out the glowing green chemical sludge again. Not pictured here is me splashing on some home made Typhus Corrosion later on...

I couldn't resist adding a few more orange tones on the buildings, also featured in the center my test bit for home made Typhus Corrosion.
As the paint dried a lot quicker then expected, and I still had a few hours left in the day I decided to pick the pieces up and go wild with my airbrush. I impulse bought a Mantic Battlezones Chevrons and Panel Detailing HD stencil set last year (I think) and hadn't had an excuse to use it yet. Now I did. I used the stripe pattern to add some detail to the sludge tank and the large pipe between the generators.

Brother Ivar held his bolter at the ready, scanning the rusty interior for the imminent Genestealer attack when a loud booming noise announced the presence of a larger monster.
After applying the stripes I stippled on some (a lot of) real Typhus Corrosion to blend it a bit into the rest of the model. After that I went to town on the large promethean storage tank. It was allready a nice rust color so I decided to try some (very sloppy) salt weathering. I'm really happy with the results, especially considering the hard part was making something wet and (literally) throwing salt at it (oh oh spoiled half the tutorial there :).

Two Genestealers approached, claws clacking on the rusted metal floor.
I drybrushed most of the home made corrosion lightly with Ryza Rust (another technical favorite here). After that I took a big old tank brush and started laying the rust on heavily at the broken ends of gangways and on other locations that begged me too make them look a bit more interesting.

Luckily I wore my cool diamand eye make-up today thought brother Ingvald as he drew his power sword.
The final bit was painting the generators. I've always liked OSL effects and in this case it gave me an excuse to use the airbrush without bothering with masking tape. Just a semi-steady hand, a big smile and fingers crossed that the one year old bouncing around wouldn't pick that point in time to grab the airhose and pull (yes that happened before). I think I've gotten away with it.

Sometimes I wonder if we are just tiny figments of someones imagination, fighting over a garden, brother Ivar thought idly.
I picked out the walls of the building on the right in the above picture in Vallejo German Grey. First using a brush and following up with some Shadow grey from the airbrush. It helps break up the monotonous orange/brown a bit while still keeping the average tone of the terrain reasonably flat. I decided to drybrush the Maelstrom bits with a bit of leadbelcher, breaking with the other bits around by making them look a bit more like maintained metals. Who knows, perhaps that bit is in regular use? I should try to remember to put up a few posters here later on perhaps.

The fight was going to be messy, about as messy as the rusted ship they boarded. 
So the first four tiles are finished, and they can be arranged as I want them. Next up I should get to work on the other twelve tiles I still have lying around undressed. That will probably take a bit longer than usual as my favorite day to do big messy builds (Sunday) is taken up by hosting a demo game on  the Impact Miniature Event in Eindhoven. On the other hand I seem to have a bit of a turbo boost switched on towards hobby-mode at the moment, so who knows...on to a few hands-on tutorials later on.

I suspect this picture was just added to show of my cool cloak, rune priest Yifyif  thought, feeling a slight hint of annoyance.

Rattlecan gun-fu on my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 3)

Yesterday saw the start of Dutch spring with temperatures reaching a scorching 20 degrees (Celcius which equals 68 Fahrenheit. Yes, I'm not a summer person so don't get me started on 30C+ peaks in high summer! Anyway with a late-afternoon hour to waste I had a chance to do some rattlecan gun-fu in the garden instead of in the shed. Who can say no to an escape from poisonous fumes (although my paint filtering mask helps there (hint hint to everyone not owning one of these)). As an added bonus working outside adds a chance of unwanted sand and leaves falling on your terrain. A chance at some chaos! Nice! I went for it. For the curious here is the end result of an about an hour of spraying with rattlecans.

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only rust.
I started off with the traditional discovery that all my primer was gone. So I had to take a quick trip to the paint store. For terrain I use black MoTip Primer, if you know where to look these large rattlecans are available for somewhere between 5 and 6.5 euro. A price that is rather more attractive than the finer brands we all know and love...As I was frustrated by the delay caused by running out I stocked up and got three. I also rummaged through my collection of cheap rattlecans for some colors to use here. Most of these are impulse buys from 'this color is too ugly' sales, some others have been donated to me by friends and family. Here is a snap of the color selection for this project so far (and yes I need to clean up my work space (again)).

Color selection completed, now let's resume ignoring the state of the work-area in my shed.
I started out covering everything in a big fat coat of black primer. The terrain is reasonably light on detail so overdoing the priming should not cause too many problems. Covering the squirt gun parts turned out to be difficult, I should remember to put some sanding paper tot the others before working with them. I also completely forgot to prepare the polystyrene beneath the generators for priming. I think I lucked out there as the resulting polystyrene melt seems to have added a bit of character to the block (in stead of destroying that piece of terrain).

Black primer applied. Instantly taking away the toy look.
As for the basic terrain colors, I wanted dark browns to show of more oranges and browns I will apply later for that extremely rusted look. I used three colors of brown two high gloss ones (will dull that down later) and a bit of Mournfang Brown I still had standing around. This part of the process is basically spray, relax, don't thinking and go for unequal coverage so the different colors mix.

I know gun-fu! 
Let's make that sound more spectacular: I went for rattlecan gun fu. Put the tiles down on the grass (remembered to cover the grass to avoid domestic trouble) took two colors and channeled my inner John Woo. I flipped around doing front aerials, side aerials, cartwheels and somersaults all the while shooting paint at my project. I am not lying about this (*cough*). With the hard part over I focused on the suspicious bubbling fat. Knowing I should go for the precision of the airbrush I shrugged and grabbed my Caliban green and some neon colors. First a reasonably careful basecoat.

I should've used an airbrush, but I was lazy (and it feels ok).

Then I applied a few sprays of neon green followed by even fewer neon yellow. And there (I think) is the answer as to why you would want neon paint.

Let's not take a bath in that. 
I had to reapply this paint over the course of the evening as it dries up awfully. But from a distance it looks quite nice (perhaps appropriately awful is a better term to use). I will need to fix this up a bit more later on, but I'm digging the effect caused by the overspray.

Dry paint! Dry like the wind! 
With these base coats applied I just have to wait until it all dries and then I can start working on adding painted effects and details (like the bits on the bottom right building here). Perhaps I'll get some cheap gloss and mat varnish to protect the basic paintjob.

One challenge I definitively have is to make something equal to Typhus Corrosion. I consider this Citadel Technical paint as almost equal to using black magic. It applies a bit like a thick wash, dries with a nice corroded texture and covers the area with a grey/green/brownish/blackish color. I used it earlier while painting my siege towers and I want to use some comparable effects here. Unfortunately the GW pots of paint are way too small to cost-effectively use them on terrain.

I've checked around on the usual Facebook groups (and Googled) but so far no one has a homebrew recipe. Any ideas are most welcome, but I suspect I'll be experimenting with paint, pva, sand and floor polish is in my foreseeable future. No problem as the browns I used need more than a day to dry properly (damn you cheap aerosols!). In the meantime I can start on a second set of four plates, in all humility I think this project has enough merits to start expanding it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More test buildings for my Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 2)

After a successful start on the first tile for my modular space ship interior for Warhammer 40K and most likely the upcoming game Shadow War: Armageddon I spent a large chunk of my Sunday filling more tiles bringing the total to four.

With a bit of imagination this is starting too look like something sci-fi.
For this terrain build I finally got a chance to turn my theory that squirt guns are excellent for making 40K terrain into practice. I picked up around five of these in thrift stores over the summer for this purpose.

Squirt guns have all kinds of interesting shapes you can use for sci-fi terrain.
First off I covered five 30cm x 30cm MDF bases with carpet underlay (I was a bit over-ambitious figuring I could do five bases in a day).

Preparing a lot of MDF bases.
Over the course of the day I got a bit carried away gluing bits together in interesting shapes, cutting foamboard and using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues I bought a few years back. As a matter of fact I got so carried away I forgot to take 'work in progress'-pictures. So here is a presentation of the end results (before painting obviously).

The generators were my first squirt gun shape attempt. I call it a success.
The generators around the broken pipe in the top-left are bits of the squirt gun with the holes covered up in different creative ways.

this top ramp leads to a dangerous drop.

Adding floor underlay to the old toy race track seems to work out reasonably nicely, although I'm not sure paint will stick to it. Lets keep my fingers crossed...

The fallen supports needed more distressing, that's where my trusty pliers came in.
I used pliers to distress the fallen supports of the top rail on my first test model a bit more. Breaking stuff with pliers makes a nice change from the usual high precision care you have to take with miniatures.

The pink shapes on the front are made from a container of disgusting gum. 
I've dubbed the large yellow thing a promethean tank. It used to be the reservoir if the squirt gun, The panels on the building it disappears into have been covered with bits from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues. These are made specially to turn any box into an interesting sci-fi building (and they work quite nicely.

I distress the walkways and will paint them up in rust colors later, it should help explain why no sector on the map truly fits another.
The foamboard block in front of the generators has also been covered with bits from the Maelstrom's Edge sprue.

The green line at 7.5 cm was a first measurement as to where the rail should be, that is the regular height of 1st floor GW terrain.
Here is a picture of the ramp on yesterday's test building, showing how the PVA has dried quite nicely.

The insta-filler failed, so it is back to PVA for me.

The big round thing is a container for diaper disposal liners. I used some foamboard to raise the interior and covered that in filler with some plastic balls to make bubbles. It looked bad, so I poured in PVA today. That will raise the level a bit more and make the balls look more like bubbles. To give it a bit of an extra dangerous edge I've glued in seven of them (it is Nurgle's number, so that adds to the danger!).

Looks like I'm going to be building a lot more the coming weeks. For now I'll have to decide whether to start painting these four to see if paint sticks to all used materials, or if I'm going to fill the last two prepared bases before trying that.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Materials, plans and a test building to build a Warhammer 40K modular space ship interior or industrial terrain (part 1)

White Dwarf magazine had a beautiful bit of space ship terrain a few years back. A complete 28mm scale half-open Ork Kruiser for toy soldiers to fight over. At a glance I would guess it to be around 120cm x 60cm x 60cm big. I want to build something like that but, as my mansion is currently in the 'aspiring to one day maybe live in one'-stage, I don't have the room to store or display a model of that size (don't get me started on the storage of my vampire castle). So I have been planning to build the next best thing for quite some time now: modular space ship interior terrain.

Yes this modular bit of 40K terrain still needs some paint...
While playing missions on a space hulk in Dawn of War 2 I realized that the terrain looked fantastic and should be easy to build. It answered the question how I could have fights inside a space ship without building a humongous model. It also showed me that I could use a stack of regular PVC pipe to make scatter terrain, but more on that at a much later date (if I remember it during construction). The basic concept is to put the terrain on rectangular bases that can be pushed together to form an interior. By giving those bases a rusted metal floor they will look like a rotting hulk when pushed together. If you pull them apart they will look like industrial buildings on a rusted metal foundation. Building this will give me two types of terrain sets for the effort of one.

A shot of one of my larger bits boxes.
The estimation that building it will be easy (and therefore quick) is a lie. I find that lying to myself about the ease with which something can be build tends to help me get started. As with most things in this hobby, plans like these need (quite) some time to ferment. While they go through the 'I should do that some day'-process I tend to start collecting stuff that 'might be useful if I ever do this'. To make a long story short I've been keeping my eyes on interesting shapes from the thrift store and the cheap stuff store for quite some time, slowly building a collection of cheap and useful looking materials.

What finally pushed me to get started on this was a mixture of slightly too much fantasy since the launch af Age of Sigmar,the trailer for Shadow War: Armageddon and a gift from a fellow hobbyist. Shadow War looks like it can be a fun way to do something 40K again while waiting for GW to (hopefully) fully overhaul the system. The gift was a stack of 16 square MDF bases a fellow hobbyist had lying around with a plan to turn into a Zone Mortalis board.

A 30cm x 30cm MDF base, in the running to be the most inspiring picture on this blog.
For my first build I decided to try incorporating plastic race cart tracks in a model. I picked up a huge amount of these in a thrift store for that purpose and they've been sitting around in the shed for quite some time. Actually every time I tried using these they turned out to ruin the rest of the model. So there was a challenge. First I covered my first MDF base with IKEA carpet anti-slip underlay to simulate metal grating. This base was also given a raised edge because it seemed smart at the time (it isn't and I hate it now (but it's stuck).

Dressing up the base with floor underlay and bits of wood.
I then build up two towers using black foamboard. These are both 15 cm high which is the maximum height I want to go to for my gaming table. In my experience anything higher than leads to trouble while gaming for these reasons:

  • It is practically impossible to reach using normal movement;
  • People knock it over while reaching down for something else;
  • It is hard to store higher terrain features.

Two 15cm high towers constructed out of black foamboard.
The nasty secret of foamboard is that it looks ugly as hell. So next up I set about covering these in metal (1mm cardboard) sheeting.

Cutting metal sheeting from 1mm cardboard step 2, using a knife to cut long strips (step 1 is drawing rectangles using a protractor).
Cutting a sheet to size. I buy 1mm cardboard new at a local hobby shop in stead of using old cereal packets or the like. I do that because 1mm is slightly thicker and looks better, buying large sheets save time cutting around pre-formed shapes in packages and a very large sheet of 1mm cardboard costs next to nothing (70 eurocent for a 100cm x 70cm sheet if I'm not mistaken).

I try not to think about the amount of time spent making these...
I made some different sizes of tiles. This will make the terrain look appropriately old and messy and saves me the embarrassment of having to explain why my identical looking panels are not quite identical.

Sometimes inspiration hits you during your lunch break.
I also took two nozzles from old milk packages and glued a bit of mosquito netting to them to add an industrial effect.

The towers start taking shape.
Here the first tower is slowly coming together, the second is ready to get covered in cardboard.

Now they are completely covered. I could punch small holes in every square to make them look nailed in, but I will probably abandon this project screaming if I do that on this scale, so I'll just go for an extra coating of rust.
And the towers are covered. Take note if the fantastically subtle way I apply PVA glue to cover up gaps. Next up was dressing the ramps with some carpet underlay to make them look slightly less toylike. I cut the original stand up a bit with a saw to get the bridging right. I also took a pair of pliers and demolished bits. Having a lot of collapses will help explain why the different tiles of this modular terrain will never fit together on the ramp level.

The ramps are in place. I used a q-tip to spread the to thick for even my style of globbing things together bit of glue on the ramp.

Here is the end result of the first base.

The other side of the ramp, the upper floor is actually pinned to the tower so it will most likely survive gaming.
Part 2 will feature me working on more test buildings for this project.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Warhammer Age of Sigmar app on the desktop

Wouldn't it be nice to have the Age of Sigmar app available on the desktop? I thought it would, but unfortunately right now Games Workshop focuses its development on Apple and Android (and thank you GW for not going Apple exclusive!). Luckily development for Android solves the problem.

Through emulation the Warhammer Age of Sigmar app is available on your desktop.
The trick here is to use an Android emulator, I picked the Nox App Player because its free and the install instructions did not give me headaches (it works in my Windows 10 install and it is also available for Mac). Just download, click like a maniac and start it up. After setup you can connect it to your own Google account. From that point you can use the Play Store in Nox to install the Warhammer Age of Sigmar app.

Here's Nox pretending to be a tablet, it changes its size according to instructions from the app you start.
Because you are linked to your Google account, any purchase you made within the AoS app will also be available on the desktop. So your General's Handbook points costs for instance are available.

Click and drag with you mouse instead of pointing and dragging with your fingers.
The one thing that does not work is making an army list on your desktop and transferring it to your tablet or phone. You might want to try a subscription to Azyr for that, I can't say for sure as I don't have it yet.

I know I should be working, but does the chariot cause mortal wounds? Ah no, well back to work then....
All in all I like the combination of Nox with the Warhammer AoS app on my desktop. I can quickly look up some stats (it is a great distraction while I should be working) and it helps while building lists (for which I still use a homebrew Excel sheet).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finished the Spire of Dawn Aelfs

As I mentioned in my previous post, returning to Warhammer Fantasy at 8th edition was not a pleasant experience. As a result I never finished painting the High Elfs or Skaven in te box. I did paint a Dragon Lord as a fun project and a Dark Elf Sorceress because that miniature is awesome. But it took Age of Sigmar to get me fully back into the hobby. I focused on my old Skaven then got into Death and Destruction until finally landing on my old High Elfs or Aelfs as they are called now. Last week I decided to rebase the old miniatures and started painting the last unpainted unit from my box: the Lothern Sea Guard, now known as Spireguard. And with some pride I can report that they have been painted. Here is my small Aelf army as it stands.

The warriors of the Spire of Dawn (and friends) stand ready to defend it against the insidious Skaven.
To get to this point I first had to rebase my Archmage on Dragon. I was lucky enough to still have a big oval base in my bits box, so I set to work cutting off the old base.

The old square base for the dragon lord (and Spireguard in the stages of being painted in the background).
This gave me a chance to discover why my dragon has a real talen for remaining upright (and also the strange ability to make rattling noises when shaken).

Only you can help prevent wobbly model syndrome!
Stones! Of course, when you get a chance, weigh down the bases and prevent wobbly model syndrome. One of the stones inside this base was not glued down, causing it to rattle. I poured more super glue in in to solve this.

I was working on automatic pilot and covered the entire base in PVA as if for sanding (completely forgetting I was going to use Dark Earth paste on it.
I reattached the Archmage on Dragon to a bigger oval base, cut off most of the plastics covering the old base and glued these in PVA to the new one. Somewhere slightly earlier I also got myself to the model building store and picked up a large tub of Vallejo Dark Earth. My hope was (and some internet pictures made it seem like) it was about as dark and brown as Stirland Mud by Games Workshop. It isn't. Here is a side by side comparison of Vallejo Dark Earth and Games Workshop Stirland Mud.

A side by side comparison of Vallejo Dark Earth (left) and Citadel Stirland Mud (right).
Vallejo Dark Earth (on the left) is light greyish-brown (and clashes with Steel Legion Drab base edging) Stirland Mud is the deep dark brwon on the right. Luckily this army is completely on new bases and a dollop of Agrax or Army Painter Strong Tone followed by a drybrush with Zamesi Desert does wonders for the Dark Earth. Here is a side by side of two bases after washing with Agrax Earth and drybrushing with Tyrant Skull (my method of basing for my chaos army).

Vallejo Dark Earth with Agrax Earthshade (left), Stirland Mud with Agrax Earthshade and a Tyrant Skull drybrush (right).
With the rebasing out of the way I could focus on finishing the Spireguard. There were some problems with this unit after such a long period of abuse. One of the men has lost the tip of his spear and the commanders sword has broken off so many times it is now encased in a blob of greenstuff painted gold (don't get near the model). I also decided to stop making all those Aelfs blond. They have been slumming around in Azyrheim long enough to get a hair color that provides better contrast. For my Spireguard I decided on Vallejo Smoke, an oily transparant color that requires no further work on hair (if applied to rank&file models). With that done here is my small army on parade, incidentally giving me a nice sight of improved painting skills over a period spanning about seven years.

Remember to defend that Spire of Dawn, and as soon as we find out what it is, we'll share it with the group.

Here is the group al together. A nice bonus to using round bases is that lining up remains possible but no longer gives you an ulcer (because of models poking each other out of position).

The Spireguard lined up and ready for action.
The Spireguard in there yellow, white and blue glory stand ready to defend the Spire of Dawn. If only I had a pdf of the new version of Island of Blood, I would have a clue what the Spire of Dawn is.

A small group of Swordmasters on loan from the Eldritch council. 
The Swordmasters are temporarily detailed to the Swifthawk faction of Order. As I have not found any more information in the fluff on these factions I have no clue what that means (aside from giving them a keyword).

I'm still quite happy with the leopard spots I painted on this monster. 
The High Warden sits ready to pounce on enemies. I forgot to mention that I've did not find appropriate tufts to stick to the bases of these guys. That detail will be finished when my latest order at Gamer's Grass arrives.

The wizard probably hums 'great balls of fire' a lot.
Here is the wizard. I remember being quite happy with this model way back when, right now I feel I can do a bit better. Still with my plastic and lead pile still way too high I'm not going to be stripping him down to the bare plastic any time soon.

Getting dressed to go to battle? Yeah you go ahead and do that, you wimp.
I love this model and almost ordered a second one yesterday. I decided on Warhamer 40K's Lelith Hesperax instead. I suspect I can use that miniature if I ever get round to building some Daughters of Khaine (this will probably be somewhere around the time that they get better rules, a nice formation or an offer you can't refuse starter box).

The Archnage on Dragon (and I assume his friends Drakeseer and Dragonlord) are quite formidable enemies on the battlefield.
I've always liked the dragon model and I had a couple of the original metal dragon masters from way back in the eighties. I sold those when I found out that in size (head to tail) they where about as long as the neck on the newer plastic one. That did not work for me, so I made someone else happy with them.

I should look up what they call the horizon meter thingy in airplanes, I still get a kick out of Easter egging that on any flying model if given half a chance.

In Warhammer 40K I can never resist painting a horizon gyroscope meter in cockpits. These tell you how your planes is positioned relative to the ground. You see these in flight simulators (and I assume in real fighter planes/airplanes). I could not resist painting one on the book of the Archmage on Dragon as a little in joke to point out during games.

A top down view of my fledgling Aelf army, now please hurry up with an Battle Tome GW...:D
With these guys done I have to make a decision. I have a few boxes of Shadow Warriors/Sisters of Avelorn I could stick together to add to this army and a partially build dragon rider I picked up in a second hand lot. Or I could just focus on finishing what's on my paint tray right now (ugh Blood Reavers). Ah we'll see, maybe it is time to do the space ship interior build I've been dreaming about for rather a long time...