zondag 16 maart 2014

I'm floored!

The flooring on the second half of the corridor is done:
 As you can see, there is a hatch in the floor on the right. That hatch will be open, with rope leading in to it, hung from a ring in one the larger blocks of stone in the right wall. If I do make a second set of diorama backdrops, the top layer of that one will have a square hole in the ceiling, with a rope hanging from it...
I want to try and give each layer a tie-in to the layer below and above it, something that could be explained as a means to get from one layer to the other. The leftmost corridor end has a door in it, which will be repeated in the layer above. I like having a little bit of narrative to my stuff...
Now, these corridor sections aren't finished yet, they still need all their detailing and dirt added, but I will do this for all three layers at once.

Here are the two bottom layers together:

Now it's time to return to the sketchbooks and lock down what I want to do for the top two layers. Then, build some more. :-)

donderdag 13 maart 2014

Paving the way...

...Underground, that is.

I've finished the flooring on the first dungeon section:
I made the tiles from some clay I still had laying around from some other project and smoothed a thin layer onto a sheet of plastic and cut squares and rectangles of different sizes into it. Once dry these simply popped loose. I glued these, section  by section onto the floor with wood glue, randomly selecting the part that would fit.
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
But while working I discovered that the water in the wood glue was actually partially dissolving some of the tiles if I pushed too hard. I hope this is just the clay not being fully hardened yet, because if the clay remains water soluble, I'll have quite some problems when I try to paint this section!
We'll just have to wait and see.

While building this thing is fun, it's turning out to take a lot longer than I had anticipated. I'm looking forward to finishing it.

vrijdag 7 maart 2014

Gnawing on bones

I had a bit of time to finish off some paintjobs today. Namely the first batch of skeletons for myself and half of the rats from my wife's Warhammer Quest set:
The rats were a quick and easy paintjob, being just two colours (fur and skin) and bases. That only left details like eyes and teeth. 
Likewise, all I had left to do on the skeletons were the bows and metal bits.
I'm thinking I'll put the next batch of rats on little individual sticks, as it was rather difficult to hold them while painting, they're so tiny!

The skeletons are for my own Dungeoneering collection. I've been thinking about terrain for that project lately, or more specifically, how to go about making said terrain. I can't/won't raise the money to get one of the commercially available sets of dungeon terrain. None of them really have the style and detail I'm looking for. And more importantly, I like building it myself far too much!
Currently I vacillating between building every corridor from scratch, which would be awesome, but a hell of a lot of work, or trying to cast basic components to assemble, which would mean investing in moulding material, as well as either resin or plaster to cast with and learn all the skills to use said materials... Either way, I've got my work cut out for me!
I don't want to postpone the decision for too long though, seeing how I've already got enough mini's painted for a small dungeon skirmish and the only thing holding me back is lack of terrain! (Okay, and still being undecided on what rules to use, there is that too...)

Finally, I'll leave you all with a little rhyme:

Six Spiders, six rats,
Twelve Snotlings and twelve Bats,
Six of the Orcs, six Goblins too,
A three Minotaur wrecking crew, 
Some heroic souls, they number four,
And six samples of a Dungeon Door!
That's the quota I have to meet,
Before Warhammer Quest, it is complete...

Have a nice weekend!

woensdag 5 maart 2014

Hunting Ghosts

Time to show my son's finished carnival costume...
He's had his fun, looked good, but the festivities have come to an end for this year.

His choice for this year was to be Luigi, from Luigi's Mansion 2.
Here's the costume:
The clothing is courtesy of my lovely wife. The backpack is my doing...


As I came home from a day of sightseeing with the misses (went to see Hieronimus Bosch's paintings. Great stuff!),  I found a  small discreetly wrapped package behind the front door...

My little order from Heresy Miniatures had arrived! What a perfect way to end a nice day out!

So, what did I get from them?
Well, 2 packs of their brilliant Giant Slug, to terrorize and gross out any hero who wants to venture into the dungeons. And two new additions to the roster of heroes: Brother Bude, the Exorcist and Autumn, the Wood Elf sorceress.
And as a bonus, a nice roll of Fizzers was included as well! Together with a little personal note from Andy.

The miniatures I got were, as expected, great: well sculpted and impeccably cast, a few very minor specs of excess metal where the vents were cut onto the mold and I really had to look to see mold lines.
These figures will be an absolute joy to prep and paint!

But what impresses me most is the treatment and appreciation you get as a customer:
Andy Foster, Heresy's owner, replies personally if you order. In my case he even apologized for his late reply... He responded well within 24 hours! Not tardy by a long stretch in my books!
 As his website clearly stated there would be delays and it might take a while to send orders out due to a big project he is working on, I was actually rather surprised he responded that fast. Especially because he wrote the mail to let me know he had shipped my order. Several items in my order were listed as "out of stock" when I made my order, the day before, but that didn't stop Andy's 24 hour order fulfillment. Wow!
It's things like this that bring a big old smile to my face and gets you a spot on my "bloody brilliant companies to deal with"shortlist.

This high standard of service, of genuine attention and care to you, as a customer, is something that exemplifies Heresy miniatures and the other members of the "Forum of Doom Quartet"* and because of that, I can't sing their praises enough. If there is any regret I have when dealing with any of them it's that I simply don't have the amount of money this collective of fine people deserve to have thrown at them...

*: aka Hasslefree Miniatures, Heresy Miniatures, Fenris Games and Black Scorpion.

zondag 2 maart 2014

The Quick and the Dead

Hi folks!

So, no painting today. Spent my day attaching mini's to bases and cursing at greenstuff...

The cursing was because, frankly, long, scalloped sleeves are a ***** to sculpt. But I got something sculpted that will do the job. At least the Squire is now ready to get primered. Which was the final figure of the Knight's retinue that still needed assembly. Well, excluding his family and dog that is, but they are for another day (month? year?).

Joining the squire and bannerman for the picture are a trio of Dungeoneer Heroes: a grizzled old fighter (Ferrus from Hasslefree), a mysterious Elf (GW's old Mordheim special character Aenur) and an ill-tempered (and somewhat dodgy looking) practitioner of the Dark Arts (another OOP GW mini, the Warlock from Mordheim). Next to them are the Deathknight, wraiths and banshee I mentioned in earlier posts.
I added some extra stones and grit to the wraiths' and banshee's bases, to tie in the cast-on rock that is their attachment point to the base a bit more.
 So, once all glue and putty has dried and hardened, they are ready for primer. As if my stash of primered mini's isn't already more than big enough as it is... 

A note on the Warlock's base; it is just plain flagstone, without fancy engravings, because, just like with Haagen the Barbarian, I will use paint to give it it's character. Where Haagen got bright red blood dripping from his sword, I am planning to give the Warlock a protective circle, hastily drawn in chalk. (you can see the discarded piece of chalk laying on his base already.)

zaterdag 1 maart 2014

Third base

Or, at least, my third post about bases in so many weeks...

I scribed and distressed another batch of bases this afternoon (having put the milliput on last evening). But I couldn't photograph them until just now, so you'll have to settle for a flash photograph for the time being:
The large one on the left is for a Death Knight (a conversion using a  GW Chaos Warrior and some leftover Vampire Counts Skeletons bits). Seeing how he is a "big bad" and intended to be an end of quest monster, like the Lich lord, he gets a nice ornate 30mm base*. His ties in with the Lich lord, being in the same style of crypt style gravestone slabs. But the Death Knight's base features a somewhat more macabre "memento mori" type decoration instead of the Lich lord's more traditional brass effigy.
The smaller 25mm bases are for two wraiths (the leftmost two) and a banshee (the rightmost one).

I plan to have three wraiths in the end (so I need to get one more, at some point), each portraying some aspect of death. The ones I've already finished now are a wraith known only as "the Harvester", carrying a scythe. I've put a stalk of grain as stonecarving on his base, to tie in to this theme. The second wraith is known as "the Timekeeper", he carries a sand timer (and a kris-like knife). To cement his "relentless march of time" mood, he has a section of a astrological chart on his base.
The third wraith, as yet unacquired, will carry a paddle and be known as "the Oarsman".
So essentially I'll have a Father Time to keep track of whose time has run out, a Grim Reaper to harvest the lives of those whose time is up and a Charon to ferry the souls of the dead to their final home...
But they could also be a former executioner (scythe/reaping the lives of the guilty), a former astrologer/soothsayer (sand timer and chart) and a former priest (steersman of his congregation's souls) before their undeath.
Nice, evocative symbolism, that I can explain in several ways to my players. Just how I like it.
Or tell them nothing and let them speculate...

The banshee is just your typical screeching dead lady. As I'm trying to apply some background based cohesion to my collection of skeletal undead, I find myself thinking of her more and more as the Lich lord's wife, back when they were all still living. In this scheme, the wraiths would have been the old (Lich) lord's councilors and advisers.

*: I'm basing my infantry mini's for my own Dungeoneering/Questing/Chanson de Geste gaming (I really need to find an acronym or shorter term for this!) on a mix of 20mm, 25 and 30mm bases.
I'm using the following system for this:
-Regular (rank and file) humans, and any creatures of equal or lesser power, go on 20mm bases.
-Those humans of above average prowess but not dramatically so (for example, my Knight's Sergeant, Squire, the family's loyal War Hound, lesser wizards, etc.) and creature of comparable power and size (Orcs, greater Beastmen, Grave Guard, my Necromancer etc.) get 25mm bases.
-True Heroes, the ones stories and legends are told about (A.k.a. my Knight, the Dungeoneers, etc. The ones that will function as a player's avatar on the game table) get 30mm bases. So do dire foes/humanoid major bosses (the Lich Lord, Death Knight, an Orc warlord, the great Evil Wizard, etc.) Basically those human-sized fiends that are the final enemy at the end of heroic Quest...
For cavalry and larger monsters I have 40 and 50mm bases (Again with True Heroes getting the larger size.) Really unusual monsters such a Giants or Dragons, should I ever acquire those, will get even larger, custom sized bases.