zondag 25 januari 2015

All in all, you're just another...

... brick in the wall.
Tiny foam ones, that is. This weekend the lad is out on a sleepover trip, the misses is meeting up with friends, so I've designated this "Terrain Weekend".
Specifically, I wanted to work on the scenic background I'm building for my wife's Warhammer Quest collection.. I had one section of corridor I still needed to do the walls for. Inspired by JimBibbly's excellent Castle Blackwolf thread on the Lead Adventure Forum I decided to try my hand at bricklaying. As I wanted the wall to look roughshod and crudely made, I opted not to measure or use a ruler when cutting, but to just cut by eye and feel. I'm glad I did, the results look nice and "rustic" (aka dilapidated and unsafe...):

Here is how the entire thing looks at the moment:
I've still got a fair  bit to go before I can paint this beast (I should have included a mini for scale, come to think of it). Here's what I still need to do:
-Sculpt some (semi-round) tree trunks for the upper left area, to give the impression that the cave entrance is in the middle of a forest.
-Add floors to the centre corridor sections (the left one, with the large stone blocks gets a dirt floor, the centre one a tiled one, maybe even a mozaic, the right one gets worn plank flooring).
-Detail all of it (floors, furnishings, dirt and debris, small little touches). This may potentially be the most time-consuming step yet....
-Seal all the solvent-vulnerable materials and primer the thing!

Sunday update:
I got some work done on the trees, but I ran out of greenstuff and daylight...
Here's where I got:
The leftmost tree still needs to get it's wire branches reinforced with greenstuff. After that the trees can get a bark texture (still need to figure out how...). Nothing of it is glued in place at the moment, I want to attempt to paint a scenic backdrop on the rear wall. Hopefully I can achieve the effect that the 3d trees are merely the nearest ones of a larger forest. If not, I'll just have to cover up the entire rear wall with trees...

zondag 18 januari 2015

They dwell in the dark places of the world...

Two posts in one weekend! I know, wild, isn't it? ;p

The beastmen warband is fully assembled. I just need to fill any gaps and do their bases.

Here's the chieftain and his elite warriors:

The lesser fighters of the clan:
 So, once I have the last remnants of my Undead warband painted (2 Skeleton leaders, 1 Dread Knight, 2 Wraiths, a Banshee, Necromancer and the Skeleton King himself. Hm, sounds like a lot still...) I should have the next evil warband primed and ready to go.

I also made a base for the Dwarf today:

And, as an extra, I assembled my Lurkers from Heresy miniatures:
Sadly, he doesn't seem to make these anymore. I believe they wore out their moulds too quickly.
The leaping ones are on 25mm bases only temporarily, in the end they will all get 30mm bases.
As I normally use 30mm bases for my major heroes, these will become rather dangerous critters....
I like the idea of fielding them as (lesser) Grue, just for the nerdy reference. Don't let your torches go out!

Now, time to mix up some greenstuff and start filling gaps...

See you next time!

Hoof and Horn

No painting this weekend (unless I change my mind tomorrow), but assembly in an attempt to redress the Hero-Villain balance.
What have I been assembling?
Have a look:
 That's the core of my Beastmen for the dungeoneering/chivalry/fantasy project. I've still to assemble two more of the greater beastmen, the lesser will remain at eight. I gave some of the lesser beatmen the large shields that the manufacturer (GW) intended for the greater beastmen, to make them look less uniform. Where the lesser beastmen are the rank and file (and dogsbodies) of the clan, the greater beastmen will be more individualistic, warriors of note. I hope to give each of them an individual and evocative  attitude and choice of wargear. An interesting challenge, as I'm using the older, and more limited GW Gor/Ungor combined kit. I'll take some pictures once all four greater beastmen are assembled, to see/show if I've succeeded in this.
There's also the leader of the warband to still  assemble, and at some point I'll need to get a shaman for spiritual guidance as well.
These won't go on dungeon bases, as they're creatures of the deep wilds. I think I'll base them similar to the Knight and his retinue.
If you look carefully at the back you'll see a hero sneaking in, a stour armoured dwarf. (a bit headless at the moment, as I want to reach his breastplate and crooks of his beard properly when painting him.)
And an other figure, whom I'm still deciding on if she'll be a force of good or evil (leaning towards evil right now, though).

I'm also slowly collecting ideas and bits of pieces of lore to assemble something resembling a setting out of. As far as beastmen go, I'm starting from this point:
Beastmen are an evil, a species without redeeming features. Vicious and cruel, they live only to destroy and defile. Favoured children of one of the old, inhuman gods, they are corruption and insanity made flesh.
Where a barbarian merely eschews civilization and it's trappings, the beastmen actively seek to destroy it. They see the spread of civilization as a plague, taking the danger and need for survival out of the land and allowing the weak to survive when they shouldn't. The world should be uncaring and cruel, only those who are brutal and strong enough to force life to give up what they need have the right to survive.The beastmen refer to themselves as the Tribes of the Thousand Young. It is a common belief among the beastmen that all of their tribes and clans descend from the original 1000 young of their deranged, goat-like deity. Dwelling in the wild and forbidden places of the world, they prey on anything and frequently raid the surrounding lands. They partly raid for food* and supplies, but mostly to cause havoc and tear down what others have built. To force their targets to prove their strength and right to survive, or otherwise punish them for being to weak to survive without the crutch of civilization.
*: Meat mostly, and strong drink. They'll eat any meat, dead or alive, of non-sentient or sentient species, but they prefer the latter options as it represent the greater atrocity.

There is a reason people feel ill at ease in the deep woods, and get shivers out on the moors, when the light is fading...
It's where the Tribes of the Thousand Young dwell.

zondag 11 januari 2015

A shrine and a short one.

I had the day to myself to do some painting today. As I still had a small roadside shrine to finish from last week's painting session, that came first:

 It's an old OOP GW Sisters of Battle Shrine/Objective marker. The lowest part is about the size of a 20mm square base. On the rear, someone has seen fit to nail a page from a manuscript to it:
GW being GW, it comes equipped with both a skull and a purity seal as standard....

With that out of the way, and most of the day still ahead of me, I grabbed another mini. I wanted to do something on my wife's Warhammer Quest set. After all, despite being the catalyst for me starting on this whole Dungeoneering/Chivalry/Fantasy project, it has languished a bit of late.
Today I had neither the time, nor the desire to start on another batch of monsters, plus, none of the heroes have seen any paint yet...
The Elf was not an option, as it had incurred some damage during storage I still need to fix. I didn't feel like painting lots of skin, so the Barbarian was out. Of the two left, the Dwarf caught my eye the most.
So, here he is, the shortest of the heroes in the WHQ box:

I kept close to the colours depicted in the Warhammer Quest artwork for the Dwarf, only deviating on the gloves. Instead of bright yellow, I opted to paint them in a buff leather colour. I figured the Dwarf would want his gloves sturdy, with good grip, but not too precious to discard if they became soiled or damaged.
As usual, I kept to my more subdued, realistic colours rather than 90's GW brightness, but still keeping to the spirit of the miniature and the game. I think I've managed to strike a happy medium.
And my wife is happy with him, which is the most important, I think. :D

zondag 4 januari 2015

Faith and Fury

Remember that WIP shield I showed when I finished my skeleton spearmen?
Well, it's done, and so is it's owner.

I present to you, Hieronymus Lightbringer, Paladin Solar:

Hieronymus, as a Paladin*, has dedicated himself to the concept of the Sun as representation and symbol of the Light Divine. Hence the sun in splendour on his shield.

The miniature was originally a Paladin of Menoth from Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms Miniature line. I filed away all his Menoth-specific details and removed his chimney-like helmet. The latter I replaced with the top half of a bare head from the GW plastic Bretonnian knights sprue.

To prevent confusion about what he is I wanted to stay clear from the tradional Menoth colours, but still get a sense of purity and faith. To achieve this I went for clean, shining metal, blue and (off)white as a contrast colour. 
The mini really demanded I took my time highlighting and shading his armour to prevent him just looking like a lump of metal, and to really emphasize his bulk and weight.
I'm quite pleased with how he turned out. Especially when sat next to the rest of my heroes. He looks like a tank, and then there is the ludicrously heavy/large sword. He's clearly got to have more than mere human muscle and determination driving him to be even moving around, let alone fight as vigorously as he looks to be doing!

Speaking of the rest of my heroes, here is a little shot of the collection as it stands now:
As you can see, the shelf is getting somewhat crowded... And I'm not nearly finished with this!
I'll need to re-arrange my display cabinet at some point, or find a way to add extra shelves to it...

*: A little background note: In my (as yet loosely defined) personal fantasy/chivalry setting Paladins are not really a religion or Order in the strictest sense. Paladins are holy, spiritual warriors who take one concept, often an abstract or esoteric one, from their religion or the chivalric ideals and dedicate their entire being to it. They are Knight-Mystics who channel the divine in their fighting skills. Most, if not all of them are wandering ascetics. They serve no lord but their own ideals and their otherworldly patrons/inspirations. As much apart from Knights as Knights stand apart from the peasantry, they are universally considered beings of awe and wonder.
The New Faith views them with some doubt and reservation as, while their ideals are pure and wholesome and they inspire piety and good in others, their practices and beliefs are often almost shamanic, at times borderline paganistic…

donderdag 1 januari 2015

Experimental Subterranean Complex

Like I said in an earlier post, one of my goals for this year is to figure out how I want to do my dungeon terrain.
I've done a bit of a preliminary test today.
I have a set of mdf corridor/room sections from  a friend. I have for a long time discounted them for this project, as the sizes he chose didn't match what I had in mind for WHQ.

Today I decided to give them a new look. After all, seeing how WHQ measurement is square based, relative positions are more important than getting the measurements to line up, I reasoned.
I also thought about how to manage the different ways WHQ corridors and such can match up. What originally stumped me was how to deal with the various possible positions corridors can link up, in a visually pleasing fashion. I was stuck on the idea of needing swappable pieces in the walls itself to account for the fact that one end of a corridor can have an exit in three possible locations.
But looking purely at relative positions and letting go of the notion of reproducing the WHQ board sections one-for-one, I realised that the three possible configurations for a WHQ corridor boil down to it being, in essence, a short corridor with either an extra straight bit or a corner tacked onto the end. Likewise I could also chop up the other WHQ sections into their constituent parts...
Which could give me the ability to match the WHQ board sections, and keep maximal flexibility for non-WHQ dungeoneering, AND, maybe, find a use for my friend's terrain sections.

But first, some measuring and testing was in order:
 40mm squares, superimposed on the already existing terrain units. These two sections would be a single WHQ corridor.
As you can see the squares don't center or line up properly, there is a fair bit of dead space around them.
I'm a bit worried by the lack of room in the corner section and the width of the corridor to add much detail.

And a larger test: I prepared a WHQ exploration deck, as described in the rules, and set to. I didn't actually play the whole game, just the exploration phases. It was only afterwards that I concluded it would have been a good idea to also place miniatures, to get a feel for scale and proportions. :(
Anyway, here is what the completed dungeon looked like:
 (I left the cards in centre of the corresponding group of dungeon sections, to give an idea of what is what. Hopefully, they'll also give something of an idea of scale.)

And all the parts I used, placed into stacks:

In this test I used any suitable piece I could find, or combine. To make a proper WHQ suitable set, I'd need to build a number of additional segments. Including ALL of the rooms and objective rooms, which I would have to have fresh MDF sawn for. Plus the sheer amount of surface/segments I would need to detail is somewhat intimidating...
So, I'd like to have some input before I decide yea or nae on this approach:
What do you folks think about this?