Monday, 29 September 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 5 - Water Wheel System

Time to give my water works some attention (I'm not getting an younger!)

The main challenge with the water wheel is the painting. All sides are visible, but not very accessible once built, so it was a double sides paint job before construction, using the same bare wood technique as the mine entrances.

Once painted the construction could begin. Pretty straight forward as long as you notice the there are 2 different sizes of parts to form the internals of the wheel. The joining of the two halves is a bit of a fiddle with so many tabs looks to be housed, but manageable.

The finished construction.

Now the waterway that feeds the wheel has always looks a bit flat and 2-D for me so I thought I'd build up the sides to stop the water running out. Out came the lolly sticks and coffee stirrers.

Strangely the water section of the piece is laser cur all the way through with only 4 small tabs to hold it on. I don't think it is maens to come off at all (no instructions remember) so I added a couple of stirrers to the underside to cover the gap. It also adds to the constructed look to the piece which is good.

Coffee stirrers to the flat and lolly sticks to hold the water in. I didn't run the "planks" as a single piece down the length to give a more constructed feel again. The small joining board halfway down the side is really only cosmetic, but helps with the strength. The whole thing was then painted as the wheel above.

All this extra work had made the already narrow based scenery more top heavy, so I glued it to a wider piece of plastic. nice and steady now.

For the water I mixed a little blue paint with PVA and gave it a couple of coats. Before anyone starts to make a fuss, water is blue, OK. Ask any small child!;)

Friday, 26 September 2014

15mm Skirmish Box - New Board

Over the summer I've been working on constructing a new custom board for the Skirmish Box. The one you see on the other articles is very nice but I was wanting to add in the future extensions (such as wilderness sections) which wouldn't match up with the existing textures.

So I've used Dave Graffam's Cobbled Streets Kit to construct a new tile set and been stitching it together with GIMP (which is a learning curve in itself at times!). This kit has mud, gravel and grass layers that can be used for wilder areas as well and with a bit of practice the tiles can be combined.

After several town layout designs and lots of pixel gazing the final design is done. It should fit better with the number of buildings I'll be putting on the map. The previous one is lovely but seems to have slightly too many roads for the building population. The gravel section at the bottom to the map is to allow a link in with a future planned forest\wilderness map.

My test print of the board had a couple of print issues (the printer I used didn't seem to like the card surface much) but I've made it up anyway to get the design in use and tested before taking it further.

Additionally I've been working on the scenery sheets to maximize the print efficiency. I now have two buildings and some walls on one sheet of A4 card. The whole thing is another testament to the flexibility of Dave Graffam's photoshop file format option. I've settled on using two distinct texture layers for each house design and I think 6 houses with the the walls is just about right.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Zomtober 2014

With numerous projects crawling along on the paint table the last thing I need is another distraction.

It's a shame then that I'm joining Brummie's call for participants in Zomtober 2014. Basically it's a painting challenge. Paint at least one Zombie or Survivor and post a picture on your blog by the end of every Sunday in October.

I've a ton of oft-glanced at unpainted undead waiting to go. Best go and look them out.

Feel free to join in (or even monitor everyone's figures) at:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 4 - Track and Carts

The main attraction of this set has to be the Mine Carts and Track. These are the pieces that shout "Industry" here. I didn't expect them to take quite so long however...(hence the delay in update)

There are quite a few track pieces included in the kit split up in the ground boards and separate rails to go on top. The wooden sections were painted just as the Mine Entrances. I flipped over a couple of the tight turns to make sure that all my tracks didn't have to turn to the left.

I only put the final "sandy" dry brush on the outside of the tracks to leave a darker, "well trod" section down the middle.

The rails were seperately painted black and brushed with gunbolt metal before being glued to the bases.

Once dry I gave the rails a weak wash of rust and a light drybrush of chainmail. These tracks will be in use, so not completely rusted over.

The cart pieces are over quite a few sheets, so I thought it more useful to lay the required components out as above.
The carts go together nicely, but it takes a couple of drying time breaks to allow the undercarraige and the wheels to become attached. The wheels are just flat surfaces gluing onto the assembly so its best to have the cart on its side and attach one side then, once dry, the other.

I also decided to sand down the lips the cart side.

I've read many times in painting articles how painters use salt crystals to add a chipped paint effect to their vehicles, etc. This seemed like a good opportunity to try it out for myself. The carts were undercoated brown and then gunbolt metal. They were then sprayed with hair spray, sea salt crystals stuck on, and another covering of the hair spray (i found the crystals fell off without this second spray).

The carts were then painted using the same 3 base colour technique as the office building and a weak brown wash. I used yellow as the base to match in with the building. Once all that wash dry I brushed off the salt crystals to expose the metal surface underneath.

I then mixed up some weak rust mix, dotted it under the chipped areas and smudged it down the cart side with my finger. Sometimes a couple of applications looked best. I also did this on the cart rims and gave a dry brush of chainmail for recently exposed areas.

The final touch was some white glue soaked tissue paper in the bottoms of the carts and glue over that a couple of layers of Javis Coal scatter that I had. This was given a quick dry brush of brown (we're not mining coal)

Not that I have a picture of it, but for those that are curious the cart wheels snugly straddle the rails so they won't be falling off during gaming.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

SoBH Campaign 4 - Battle 6

Scenario: The Haunted Wreck

The scenario is a treasure hunt with a twist. There is a wrecked ship in the middle of a wide river with a treasure chest on it. The first warband to carry the treaure off the far end of the table wins (unless there is a rout). The Twist? Well the wreck is haunted by it's previous (now undead) crew and they don't want to give up their treasure. The size of the crew is randomly generated when the first non-crew member steps on board.

So the table is set as thus with the ship wreck in the centre of the table and the warbands coming in up stream.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 3 - Mine Entrances

Next up in the build are the 2 Mine Entrances. These come from sheets 4 & 8 of the kit.

These were given a rough base coat of Burnt Umber. As you can see there is some of the MDF still showing through. These shacks should be looking very worn as far as I'm concerned.

As per the set technique, here is the result after the 3 lighter shades have been added. Note that there are a couple of support pieces for the doors in this picture, as looking at the website photo I realised I'd missed them out at the start. They are on Sheets 1 & 5.

Continuing down the technique list, I've assembled the huts and given them a weak wash of black and brown. After a bit of a debate I decided to take the doors off as well (before construction). The felt hinges worked well in the Prospectors hut and although I don't plan to have the interior accessible to figures, having the flexibility to have the entrance open for mining carts or just shut was better.

The finished Entrance Shacks. All pieces were drybrushed with a mixed up dusty colour again and the doors attached.

And here they are again alongside the Prospectors Office.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Pod Racing Night

This weekend saw MacSver and myself joined by sons (Macspud and Arabiansquire) and friend (Meerkatsoldier) to play a game of Star Wars Pod Racing. It's been quite a while since our last game, but every game had been a hoot and we were looking forward to this one.

The congestion at the gates gave the body repair shop
potentially a busy week ahead.
With so many younger players it was down to the Dads to demonstrate the game rules at the start of the race. I started by disabling my rev limiters to zooming down the opening straight into the lead also my engines cut out. MacSver went one better by surging off whilst playing a card on his son's pod to cut out it's engines on the starting line! But the game is simple so by the end of the first straight everyone has a grasp of how to play.

The pods streak through the forest.
MacSpud and Meerkatsoldier announced that they were playing as an unofficial team. But, as expected of a couple of teen-age boys, their idea of working in a team was more Sebastian Vettel than Tony Lewis as the cards started to flow.

The Leaders pick their route through the giant tree section.
With 5 players, the initial emphasis of speed and shenanigans soon moves to damage repair and numerous bumps and prangs occur on the way round. Things can start to get tense when the "hull points" fall from the initial 20 to 6, as a single bump causes d6 damage.

Meekcatsoldier was the first racer to fall by the wayside, thanks to a fuel leak card played on him. He was dealt a glimmer of hope as he had a card that allowed him to eject and potentially pick up a reserve pod. Unfortunaelty his ejector seat landed in a group of rival fans who beat him up! MacSver was next to go with his battered pod unable to take any more.

MacSver moves in front of my pod, but with only
1 point of damge left and leaving me not room to
maneuver things were looking grim. 
During this time Arabiansquire had managed to stay out of trouble and moved through the traffic to become take up a commanding lead with no damage taken. But his race was ended with only half a lap to go as MacSpud played a fuel leak card on the front runner and a catastrophic dice roll meant that the fuel ignited and the pod blew up.

With Arabiansquire's  wrecked pod in view,
Macspud fires up his engines and heads for his
remaining opponent.
MacSpud then strayed off the race line and with wheat he considered a killer card combo in his hand (you can tell he plays Magic the Gathering) shut down his engines and sat in the final straight for my damaged pod to limp round, like a Wild West gunfighter waiting for the clock to hit High Noon. With my pod in sight he played his engine start card, flicked of the engine limiters and hit the throttle. As he bumped off me he played a "good nudge" card with doubled the potential damage to my pod rolling a double "6" on his dice shattered my pod into small pieces. but in his enthusiasm his pod rebounded off the arena wall, with the extra damage being enough to destroy his pod as well.

So for the first time there were no winners!

But amid the universal guffawing Nobody cared!