Monday, October 9, 2017

Bolt Action Boards

In the interest of saving time and effort, I took an afternoon to pull all my boxes of WW2 terrain to catalogue, re-arrange, and take pictures of the setup for each in a finished state. This will help during setup of each board for local events, such as Operation Sting and Adepticon, especially if I am unable to attend. Though each of these boards has been posted here in both finished and WIP states (which I've linked to below), these pictures now represent optimum setup.

A few disclaimers: All the boards are setup and pictured without mats to make the pieces easier for me to re-arrange before photographing and to make each terrain piece more identifiable. Also, my apologies for any slightly blurry pics as I stood on a short stool to take many of them. 

There's also another board coming up before Operation Sting next month - an occupied Channel Islands/Operation Seelowe/VBCW board - but I'm working on so many different projects at the moment that it's been difficult to post WIP.

French Countryside/Normandy Bocage

Russian Steppe/Kursk Village

Burma Jungle Prison Complex

That's it for now, but the UK board is coming soon! If you are interested in playing on these boards (and you don't know me personally), I urge you to sign up for one of the aforementioned events where these boards will be present. Eventually, I would like to make it out to further events like the Michigan GT, Renegade Open, or these could make an appearance there at some point.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ork Shanty Town WIP

I'll start off with my usual "sorry for the lack of updates, guys" schtick. However, I have actually been working on a new terrain project! So I'm kind of vindicated in leaving the blog to languish for a few weeks while I do some work. I will say that I do post much more on the Facebook page as of late, so if you're on Facebook and you don't mind me coming up on your feed with random updates and shares, hop on over and Like the page.

With Chicago Bolt Action being set with about 3-4 tables worth of my terrain for events like Operation Sting and Adepticon, as well as just finishing a table for Frostgrave, I thought it was time to revisit the old Necromunda/40K terrain bundle for Adepticon and other local events. With that in mind, and after having played through Borderlands once again, I decided to take a crack at some non-Imperial terrain - an Ork Shanty Town. Much like my previous human shanty town (which is currently on loan to the guys over at Hyacinth Games, makers of Wreck-Age), these are based on old CDs, with walls of poster foamboard, covered in cereal cardboard with riveting added to the edges. The roofs are all corrugated cardboard (all of a corrugation is the smallest available - known as "E-type" - to fit appropriately into the 28mm scale). I'm adding gubbinz, old bitz, and parts from old toys as detailing. Each shanty is sized a little differently - some are large for Nobs, others for Boyz, and the smallest for Grotz.

Most of the unique details are finished for each of the shanties and I'm currently moving on to molding and casting repeated detail parts like Ork glyphs, windows, doors, etc. before finishing up the basework in preparation for primer and paint. Enjoy!

A group shot

Friday, August 18, 2017

Statue Scatter Terrain

Even with the current hysteria surrounding statues here in the US at the moment, it was actually by complete coincidence that I finished these pieces this week. I recently came into possession of a lot of modeling stuff since a distant relative passed away who was also a long-time historical modeler. Among all the different models, were a small collection of 54mm figures that were rather old and not very well cast, so I decided to give them a new lease on life. I cleaned each of them up, cut up some wood for plinths, and put them all together.

To paint them, I tried a very different technique than the one I normally use, most recently on my Hungarian statue. This time I primed the plinths with gesso and used a tan-colored chalk paint for the color and texture, highlighting with white mixes, washing with Vallejo European Earth, and finally adding some light earth color with a dry pigment wash of Yellow Earth. The statues themselves were primed grey, basecoated in Pavement grey, with successive drybrushing of a blue-green paint mix. Unlike most earlier statues, I tried to to leave the dark grey base showing through in areas of shadow and focused the verdigris more on the blue side of the color wheel. What really helped was a good wash of Secret Weapon Cool Grey which helped to mellow the colors (which I also carried into parts of the plinth to imitate weathering). I also added some whitish discoloration on horizontal surfaces to simulate the effects of bird poop. All in all, I really like the final effect and will use it going forward.

Included in the set are two Napoleonic statues, an American Revolution statue, a Confederate soldier statue, and a Spanish-American War soldier statue.

The two statues below (one Spanish-American War, one Napoleonic) are for sale for $25 each. Drop me an email if you're interested in buying one or both.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Commission Work: Orwell's Soviet Cavalry

I was contacted by one of my long-time clients to do a platoon of Soviet cavalry for Flames of War...but with a little twist. As an homage to Orwell's Animal Farm, he wanted to include some pigs on the stands - a clever in-joke and something right up my alley.

The cavalry itself is straightforward. Uniforms are Vallejo Russian Uniform, highlighted with a 50/50 Russian Uniform/Antique White mix, then washed with GW Green wash. Off-white/White isn't something I normally mix to lighten colors, as it tends to dull the base color. However, used sparingly, in a heavily worn military uniform it actually adds to the faded appearance. Skin is Vallejo Flat Flesh washed with GW Ogryn Flesh, kit is Burnt Umber, boots are Pure Black, sword hilts are Granite Grey with a highlight of 50/50 Granite Grey/Pure White, rifles are Vallejo Dark Brown with Pavement barrels.

The horses themselves are all ever so slightly different mixtures of browns, red-browns, tans, and greys. As I do more work painting horses, it's actually very interesting to learn just how different their coats really are, so I try to reflect that by painting each a little differently. Tack is a base of Pure Black, overcoated in certain place with Moss Green, then washed with Vallejo Olive Green wash. For the pigs, I attempted to do a dappled coat of a mid-tone grey mixed with patches of grey/pink, then washed with Vallejo Grey wash. 15mm pigs are hard to paint.

The client also asked for an upgraded IL-2 Shturmovik M to be painted identically to its basic cousin which I did here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Frostwallon Skeletons

First, apologies in advance for the poor photos. It took me about 2 hours to photograph these skeletons because my normal procedure was either making them brilliant white or washing them out entirely. At the absolute end of my rope with the camera, I did the exact opposite of what I normally do and darkened the exposure compensation to its maximum. So, if you're ever shooting white miniatures, that seems to be the trick...

These are a group of skeletons for Frostwallon, originally Rackham Morbid Puppets. These seem to be pretty rare to find these days and I'm really happy I was able to track them down because they have a certain dynamism that most 28mm skeletons lack. I especially love the "en garde" skeleton and the tired, crouching skeleton. Pictures (as I mentioned) don't really do these guys justice and I tried a few new techniques on them. For the bones, I basecoated everything in Antique White, did a first highlight in 50/50 Antique White/White mix, and then did a heavy wash of Vallejo Grey wash, then picked out areas of deep shadow by doing a selective wash of P3 Armor wash, and finally came back and highlighted select areas with pure White. This gives a nice aged appearance to the bone that simply washing with browns or tans would fail to achieve.

Otherwise, there isn't much else to them, but I tried to keep the palette limited to earthy tones - browns, greens, and greys - on the tattered scraps of clothing present, with liberal washes of Vallejo European Dirt wash. The armor was (as normal) painted in GW Boltgun Metal and Testors Steel. However, I wanted a heavily rusted appearance, so I tried a new technique. Using acrylics as washes, I laid down several washes of Testors Rust, Vallejo Red Brown, and Chocolate Brown. After sealing, I then came back with dry pigments but applied them as washes by diluting them in Isopropyl alcohol, which I really like the effect of. I also did a similar effect with the dirt on the bases.