Tuesday 29 November 2011

On the workbench

I realised on Monday that I haven't posted any finished work since Games Day. I contribute to the #miniaturemonday list on Twitter, but keep on posting WIPs. Not the most inspiring way to show off my work - "here's another almost finished model".
I'm currently on the slowest train known to man, so I can't paint right now. I can list from memory what I have to finish, though:
Space Wolves drop pod
Ragnar Blackmane
Logan Grimnar
2 squads of space wolves
Blood Ravens dreadnought
Blood Ravens dreadnought drop pod
2-3 units of tactical marines
4-5 bikes, including a chaplain and an attack bike
Blood Ravens Chapter Master
A dragon
A Balrog
A Mumak and haradrim
The fellowship (x2)
Warg riders
Saruman & Grima
Frodo, Sam and Gollum
4th edition goblins
4th edition elves
Terrain, scenery, bases

I'd better not buy any more then... Oops.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Scratch Building Terrain

I'm very proud of Mikey - he's started a Warhammer after-school club, and it's proving quite popular with with  his friends. Of course, we've already had some minor plastic casualties and even a lost template, and then he came home and said we need to donate stuff to the club!

First off: Bought some eBay dice and templates and branded them with the school name. Second off: No figures - I insisted, as they get stolen, broken and can only be used by one person at a time.
Terrain, then - making it is cheap, not too time consuming, and you can get great results really quickly.

Here goes with "scratchbuilding on a budget 101"

Ingredients so far:
Coffee can (empty and clean)
Actimel pot (also empty and clean)
6mm MDF
Pizza Box spacer
Sand etc

I had in mind an industrial tower with a drain hole and somewhere to shoot from on top. Decent cover with a good line of sight vantage point. I didn't make any paper plans, which may or may not be its undoing. "Measure twice, cut once" is not relevant here.

I made the base from a test piece of MDF I was working on to learn how to use my new scroll saw and router. It's a (very) rough kidney-bean shape with some grooves in it. The grooves aren't important - just leftovers from me not mastering the router.

I cut the Actimel pot in half and removed the label. This will be a drain spout. Next, I marked out and cut a basic circle into the side of the coffee can. This doesn't have to be neat - once I inserted the yogurt pot, I filled the edges with Squadron Green putty. This not only fills the gaps, but fixes the pot in place. I glued the coffee can lid upside-down to the base with 2-part epoxy and superglued the can to it. PVA glue covered the MDF and based it with sand/compost Also PVA'd the top (bottom actually) of the can, and then poured black railway scatter. The pizza box spacer is fixed with putty.
Mostly household rubbish and recycling
Black spray to prime
It's black primer - honest!
And the beginnings of actual paint
There will be rust
A few details I'm yet to source - wire mesh to cover the pizza spacer, something for a ladder, barbed wire  and other greebles to break up the coffee can.
Paint-wise - lots of ooze, rust, rain stains, mud and faded signage - although I don't know what this is yet. Is it Orky, Imperial or generic industrial? What's its purpose?
Ideas, please!
If this is successful, I'll build some more industrial terrain from Pringles tubes and other household recycling. Bring on the Christmas snacks!

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Belated Games Day thoughts

As I stand on this railway platform, I'm realising that I haven't posted anything for weeks (months?). Not surprising, really - my wife had our second baby in as many years, and my two stepkids are taking the other spare time I may have once had. Not that this is a bad thing, of course! It's just the basis of an excuse as to why I haven't been writing since September.

We didn't leave empty handed...

In September, my stepson, Mikey, and I went to Games Day and had a blast. We had a plan: enter our Golden Demon entries, play a game on an awesome table, and then take part in some scenery building, sketching and conversion competitions. Mikey also wanted to play some multiplayer Space Marine, and I wanted to queue for some Forgeworld bits.

Mikey is the Orkshop Kroydun banner bearer.
Shame it broke on the bus...

We entered Golden Demon. We played a massive game of blood angels vs orks on an asteroid scenario built by GW Leeds. We played for 3 hours straight before realising the time.

This drop-pod scattered directly onto the cliff face.
Marines didn't have far to climb!

Forgeworld queue was next, as the scenery and conversion tables had run out of parts - not surprising, seeing as the magpie kids had stacked multiple Balewind vortexes on top of multiple Gardens of Morr! Cheeky buggers made their ticket prices back in scenery!
We picked up the exclusive Forgeworld Space Marine boarding captain and a Tau Battlesuit- this will be Mikey's first foray into resin. And I'll supervise!

Massive Warhammer World Tau table.
Some Forgeworld bits, but a lot of scratchbuilt terrain.

After rubbernecking at the gorgeous tables from Warhammer world, we headed over to THQ for some multiplayer video gaming. Typically, they had shut it all down for the awards presentation. We collected our figures, found a seat (the worst view of the big screen in the house) and snacked out while admiring the infinitely better work on show.

The screen's behind the flag. Duh.

Slightly deflated, having not achieved everything we wanted to, we headed back to our bus - laid on by the Croydon and Sutton branches - and chatted to everyone about our collective days.

Great atmosphere, nice people and a fun hobby day out. I would even recommend Games Day to my stepdaughter (who rolls her eyes at the mere mention of toy soldiers). My wife wants to go next year, too, which, baby logistics aside, is great.

We've also bought Dreadfleet, to include everyone in the house - even those who don't care about robots with guns...

I hope one year, Games Workshop make it a weekend event. There's just too much to fit into one day...