Monday, August 13, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: More Terrain Progress

Slowly, but the terrain project is moving along.  I now have all painting finished on the hills, forests and swamps.  I have also poured the Water Effects in the swamps.  Now I only need to add static grass to everything and we will have 12 pretty decent terrain pieces added to the collection.

Above you can see the hill after spraying with a couple of cheap spray paints and drybrushing with a lighter color.  I used cheap acrylics from Wal-mart for all these for cost effectiveness.  I am debating on adding some inks and giving another quick drybrush before adding grass, but I may just leave as is.

Above are the forests bases ready for static grass and completion.  I do have a lot of trees that need basing, but they will be fine with stock bases for a while.  I think they'll stand up ok, I just want to add some 40mm bases and paint as above to match.  Some of them will be added to swamps and maybe hills for variety in games, so I need to keep the cohesiveness of scheme throughout.

Above are the swamps after paint, but before Water Effects.  After painting and drybrushing sand, I used some cheap acrylic paints to add varying colors to water area.  I also glued down some clump foliage and grass tufts before pouring.  This gives the water a little vegetation and some realism.  In hindsight, I should have just stuck these in the Water Effects after pouring and would have gotten the same effect.  The Water would have held them in place fine after drying.

The swamps above have been poured with two layers of water effects.  You can't really see much difference in this picture, but really it's there.  Another thing I would do differently would be to use the opposite side of the mdf board for anything with Water Effect.  The textured side absorbed the first layer and even with a second there are some bumps from wood showing in paint.  The smooth side would have been much better at making this look more realistic.

I hope to start flocking these with some static grass soon, but really need to purchase more before starting.  I would like to keep it consistent throughout, so mixing multiple batches wouldn't be ideal.  I'll probably get some more before starting and mixing with current batch to get a cohesive look.

I'll keep the terrain updated as I get more complete.  I hope to get a start on the Tower of Sorcery and the Skullvane Manse soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: Terrain Ready for Paint

After a few more days than I had planned, the terrain is ready for some paint.  I spent an evening of sanding and adding spackling paste to seams.  The next day was more sanding.  I then decided to add some mdf board to the terrain pieces above.  I also cut some more shapes for use as forests and swamps as you can see below.  I then beveled the edges and glued down the hills I had made for towers.  After weighing these down with pots/books overnight, it was more spackle, more time, more sanding.

Finally, on Sunday it was time for adding sand.  I mixed up white glue and water as normal and added sand. Letting this dry I then covered everything in a really watered down glue to seal everything.  The Skullvane Manse above caused some trouble with foam pulling away from mdf, so as you can see it took an extra day to get to the same point(did the sand last night).  See below for more.

Above are the four hills with sand attached.  They are sealed and ready for paint.  I plan on putting static grass in all places where there is no sand.

Above I made four forest bases and added sand and sealed with glue.  I will have static grass anywhere sand is not and just place Woodland Scenics Trees on these for mobility during gaming. 

Above I also made four swamp bases.  These will be same as forests, except I am going to pour the rings of sand with Water Effects after painting.  These will have a tree or two placed on them, also removable for gaming.

I added a few skulls and rats and bits to the two main terrain pieces to give a little extra to look at.  I will probably use a little Water Effect around this guy for a little sewer rat action.

It took a little longer than expected, but after some paint time and static grass we should have a table full of terrain.  The hills, forests and swamps are built with the plan to use in any games of 40k, Warmahordes, Old West, etc.  This will be nice to have a big set of varied terrain ready to go for many game systems.  I'm not sure when I will get around to painting.  Hopefully, get some primer down this week and then some quick spray painting and drybrushing, it should be a pretty quick finish for everything except the two tower pieces.  These will involve lots more painting time and will have to wait until a game day, so I will have some help.

That's all for now.  I'll get some more pics up as these progress and some more shots of the Stir River Patrol.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: Hills WIP

I have a little time in the evenings this week without the family and have turned some attention to our Fantasy terrain collection. We still have a lot of work to do if we want a table full of decent painted terrain.  So, I decided to add hills to our GW terrain and build four other random hills.  The hills will also pull double duty in our 40k games.

Sunday evening, I cut out the shapes with a hobby knife and glued the layers together using Elmer's White Glue.  After applying the glue I grabbed a bunch of pots and books and weighted the layers for a few hours.  Last night I got out the hot wire cutter and roughed the shapes some more, tapering the edges and getting some cliff sections made.

Tonight I plan on doing a bit of sanding to get everything smooth and ready for basing material.  After the initial sanding I plan on using some body filler to fill any gaps between layers.  After this dries I will sand once more and add white glue and sand on most of the surfaces.  Next will be another watered down layer of white glue to seal the sand and any exposed foam before painting and static grass.

I know these are pretty rough now, but I hope to get everything except the painting done on these before the end of the week.  I am also painting furiously during breaks at work and making progress on the Stir River Patrol.  I have completed the 10 Handgunners and have a decent start on 15 of the Halberdiers.  I will get some good pics of the handgunners and get them posted soon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: Empire Handgunner WIPs

I took a few quick WIP shots of the Handgunner unit I'm working on over the weekend.  The first 3 pics are of my test model.  I have since purchased the new GW Base: Ceramite White and have redone the white on this guy.  I also purchased GW Base: Averland Sunset and repainted the silly looking feather on this guy to a darker, dirtier yellow, more indicative of Stirland.  I have also brightened up the green on the uniform to match the unit below.  He was a little darker than I wanted.  

Since these pics were taken I have finished the feathers for entire unit and put the first coat of white on left side of all uniforms.  Ceramite White is awesome, if you haven't tried it, get some now if you have any white.  I am covering black undercoat with only 2 coats for full coverage.  I should finish them before the weekend.  My only obstacle now is figuring out how to paint white without making it so flat.  Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.  I am tempted to just dirty them up a lot, to make up for flatness, but I will entertain any ideas.  I will get out the lightbox for better photos once the unit is completely finished.  

I have found my only painting time to be on break while at work, so I get about 40-50 minutes per day(broken up into 3 - 15 minute sessions).  This is way more than I would get at home without being disturbed, so I think the goal of painting up 2,000 pts by the end of the year is very possible.

If you can tell from the pics I am taking the easy route on these guys.  Most parts are just basecoat, highlight, wash, then move on.  Even so, I am happy with the results so far and think the army will look good on the table.  I will add another layer of highlighting on front rank models and do a more intense layering technique for characters, while keeping a cohesive look, I hope.  Warm machines and crews will also get better treatment.  If everything goes well, I'll be jumping into the Halberdiers next week, hoping to complete unit in two to three weeks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: New Terrain Built

Saturday, we got together for our second monthly game day.  No gaming this time, just building terrain for Warhammer Fantasy and some painting lessons for reklawsj.  I built(well partially built) the Tower of Sorcery.  My box was missing one of the 4 pieces for top, so it is incomplete, a call to GW Customer Service will hopefully fix this.  Jeremy built the Skullvane Manse.  He left the top part interchangeable.  We also have plans to add mdf bases and styrofoam hills to give them an even taller presence on the field.  The Temple of Skulls below was already built.

I put an Empire Handgunner on the bridge to show immense size of these terrain pieces.   They are huge, really, pics do them no justice if you have never seen these in person.  

 I also purchased the Woodland Scenics Trees shown below as well as some Water Effects.  I was able to get the 38 trees for less than 50 bucks online(Hobbylinc).  After we make some mdf forest and swamp bases, these will bulk out the terrain on the board.

The first part of the day was spent working on reklawsj's Marauder color scheme and doing a few paint lessons.  He has now completely painted his first ever model.  We did basecoating, highlighting, drybrushing, and washing.  Now he has all the tools he needs to get his guys painted up, and hopefully some pics up soon to show the first couple test models we completed.  Next I will go over some basing techniques to really make them stand out with minimal effort. 

We are both trying to get our first 500 pts painted up and on the table in August.  In a couple days I should have my first 10 Handgunners completed and have a good start on the Halberdiers.  Next game day will be more terrain stuff to get ready for first games.

Not much in this post, except the great deal on the trees that is.  Next time, real painted models, I promise.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: Empire Ready for Paint

 After changing my list again, I now have my first 500 pts of Empire built, based and primed.  I spent some time looking through Empire army book and the Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire to decide my color scheme.  I am pretty set on the Stir River Patrol, which are always shown with quartered green and white.  While I like the green and white, I think I will just do halved uniforms instead of pulling my hair out trying to quarter the uniforms on these guys.  I have a little over two months to get these guys painted and ready for the table.  I am not building any more Empire models until that goal is accomplished.  Check out my new army list and a few closeups below.

Empire Captain
20 Halberdiers with Full Command
Detachment of 10 Handgunners

That's around 495 pts I think.  Mainly did some switching around to lower the model count for first leg of army completion.

 20 Halberdiers with Full Command

Captain ? - Mordheim model I had in bitz box

 Hellblaster & Crew + Engineer - He is Marco Columbo model released years ago

10 Handgunners - Drilling barrels, not just for 40k

So, that's it so far.  I'm hoping to get the test model completed this week and get my recipe ironed out.  After that I will start batch painting one color at a time, some of this during breaks and lunch at work.  Luckily, for the time being I am actually working 40 hrs a week instead of 50-60 so I have Fridays off, which gives me some family-free time to work on these guys.  

We are also joining funds to get some Fantasy terrain built and painted during the next couple game days we have.  So far we have Temple of Skulls, Tower of Sorcery and Skullvane Manse(going to get Fortified Manor kit soon).  We are also going to make some forest bases and some hills.  Hopefully, we can complete a table full of painted terrain before the first game.  I can't wait to start playing Warhammer with a painted army and table full of great terrain again.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tale of Only Two Gamers: Empire are here!

I finally sold enough Orcs & Goblins to get my Empire army ordered, at least the beginnings.  I put in this order to the Warstore on Monday and had a box full of goodies on my porch Thursday afternoon.  Awesome.

To get started with the army, I ordered 2 Battallion Boxes(40 State Troops, 20 Handgunners/Crossbowmen, 2  Cannons/Mortars, and 16 Knights(for sale).  I also ordered a Wizard box, a Hellblaster Volley Gun and the new Griffon model, which will be an Amber Wizard on Two Headed Griffon in bigger games.  I just had to have the Griffon, as it is awesome and huge.  I also bought the 8th edition rulebook, a couple army books I am missing from collection and some misc items(mostly Army Painter Tufts and a couple paints and magnets).

I have finalized my 500 pt list and will hopefully make some progress building some this weekend during our first "Monthly Game Day".  So here is the list:

Captain - 60 pts

Warrior Priest - 65 pts

Halberds x 25 with Full Command - 180 pts

Detachment - Handgunners x 10 - 90 pts

Mortar - 100 pts

495 pts

I know I should drop one character and get more dudes, but I purposefully did this so I could get this army together and painted a little quicker.  Our rule of having only painted models during "Tale of Only Two Gamers" will be a tough task if we want to play games this year, haha.  Our current plan is to play our first Fantasy games in August, so I really have to get cranking.  I have about 10-12 weeks, so I'm hoping to get 3-4 models per week painted, which will be tough when I throw in the fact they are all still on sprues.

And I have a small predicament.  I really want to build my Stir River Patrol themed army, easy enough, except I really want to build them as an Undead Stir River Patrol themed army.  I could then use the Core from my Empire army as the core of Skeletons for a Vampire Counts army(which I would really like to have).  This would save me cash for sure and be a cool theme I could carry through two armies.  I think with prices going up, we gamers will need to start coming up with ways to make our money go further, like building an Undead Empire army that doubles as a Vampire Counts army with only a few additional models needed.  So, this means I need to build and convert EVERY model and have painted in 10-12 weeks.  Like I said, tough, especially with 50 hour work weeks, wife, two children(ages 1 and 4), and a garden.

So, what do you think?  Should I just build an Empire army and forget about the VC, or go ahead and convert with Skellie bits(I have plenty of skellie and zombie bits) to make a dual-themed army?  I would love to know what you think about the Undead Empire idea and how you would go about converting these minis.