Sunday, 2 February 2020

Zone Mortalis Terrain for Necromunda: Doors

To add more utility to my Zone Mortalis terrain from Art of War Studios, I decided to purchase some of their single and double doors. My friend and I have been playing plenty of games recently and we've found opening and closing doors, particularly the double doors from GW, quite difficult. These doors seemed like a good answer, since you simply slide the door out from the top once opened. No fuss. 

I added rivet detail to them in exactly the same way as I did the walls and painted them to match. With the doors, I didn't like the laser etched pattern so opted to paint a simple chevron pattern over the flat surface sides instead. I think it gives it a more 'sliding shutter' look. I also added some graffiti decals from Warlord game's Dredd range. I think they were free in a copy of Wargames Illustrated. They fit the bill anyway.

Overall I really recommend the Hive Terrain products from Art of War Studios. It's a little pricier than TTcombat and others, but I honestly prefer the aesthetic and they are a joy to put together.   

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Zone Mortalis Terrain for Necromunda - Art of War Studios

It's been almost a full 12 months since my last post and frankly, that's a shame. I have, in fact, done a fair amount of hobby in the time. It's just that the access of social media has meant that I've become more of a lurker on other pages than a content creator on my blog. Well, I've taken the brave decision to improve my life my removing all social media apps off my phone. No more idle passivity for me.

Hopefully, this means I will document my hobby a little more on these pages as a record to myself rather than as a means of acquiring praise and recognition from others on social media. So to begin that process, I shall attempt to document the beginning of my new Necromunda Dominion campaign. Kicking off the process, I present the Zone Mortalis terrain that I have finally finished.

I purchased these walls from Art of War Studios a little over a year ago and it has taken me until now to finish them. Honestly, I thought it would be a simple job of assembly, spray silver, oil wash, drybrush rust and varnish. Put the kettle on and organise a game. Oddly, the process shook out more or less exactly like that except for one extra step. In between 'assembly' and 'silver spray', I decided to add extra texture detail to every section by applying 2mm half spheres as rivets. This step took a significant toll on my time and sanity, which resulted in a huge delay.

Regardless, I persevered and I think the extra texture really improves the look of each section. MDF terrain, in my opinion, suffers from a lack of surface texture, which makes it look 'Lego-ee'. Adding the rivets has given each section more 3D elements to help break up the flatness and enhance the overall industrial theme. I do not regret this step, but boy oh boy was it tedious. 

More recently, Father Christmas (who's Santa?) brought me a pack of broken wall section from Art of War Studios to round off the set. I enhanced these with exposed piping, wiring, steel supports and rubble using bits from my box. Polyfiller did the rest!

Regarding the painting process, I first applied a base of boltgun metal spray from GW. Then I glued on the chevrons, which I printed on paper with a laser copier. I sealed the chevrons with clear varnish then proceeded to apply an oil wash of black followed by burnt umber using a spray bottle. Once dry, I sealed with clear varnish and began drybrushing. Using a large brush, I applied Ryza rust in random patches at random colour depths across each section. Then I sponged on random patches of Typhus corrosion. Next, I carefully applied Nihiakh oxide around rivets and panels etc... This final colour step is really important because it adds some much needed colour to what is essentially a very dark and rusty structure. Finally, I sponged on a small amount of 'Blood for the Blood God' here and there to add yet more bright colour to an otherwise dull affair.

As an additional finishing touch, I think I'll add some posters and signs to give it that lived in feel! Let's see how it pans out. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Ork Boyz: Running Legs Poses from Kromlech

I recently decided to take advantage of the November Black Friday sales at to buy some Ork running legs and running bodies. I've had my eye on these pieces for many years and have wanted to add more diversity to the poses available in my large boyz mobs. The typical image of an Ork horde is that of a mass of charging rampaging bodies, all dashing towards the enemy as quickly as their stubby legs can carry them. Why then is it that the otherwise excellent Ork Boyz kit has precisely zero running poses? To correct this I bought roughly 20 sets of legs and rustled up enough arms, heads and torsos to finish the rest.

I decided to try a new technique of batch painting 10 boyz at once. I began by painting the bases and assembling the legs and torsos. I undercoated the torsos black and attached them with a wire pin to the base. I then set about painting all the separate parts individually starting with the torsos and legs, then the arms then finally the heads. It took the best part of 5 days to completely finish them but I must say, I liked being able to access all the areas of detail more easily. I think I'll continue to use this technique in the future but lower the model count to batches of 5 at a time. I did take forever!

I'm very pleased with the finished results. The boyz blend in perfectly with my other, more stock posed, boyz and help to create the sense of anarchy large mobz of boyz would eschew. These 10 complete a mob of 30 with another mob of 30 left to paint. Gork help me!

  Torsos and bases are completed first.
 Arms and added in batches followed by heads.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Bolt Action: US 1st Marine Corps

It's the final post of the year so I thought I'd sum up all my most recent progress on a new project, the US marines. I've had marines sitting in boxes around my house for years now. I first picked up a box of plastic guys when they were offered free with every purchase of the BA 2nd edition book. I then picked up some marine support weapons when they went on a flash sale about a year ago. Despite slowly accumulating marines, I hadn't gotten around to assembling or painting any. Until now.

So far I have completed 1 squad of 8 marines (ahem engineers with BAR's and a flame thrower), started another squad (engineers again), a Satan flame tank and a .30cal machine gun team. It's a modest start but a start nevertheless.

It took some time experimenting to get the uniform colours right. The Pacific conditions did horrible things to uniform colours so pinning accurate colours down was no easy task. Luckily, the internet is awash with helpful people willing to lend a helping hand. In the end I used Russian Army Uniform green as the base colour and highlighted it with mixes of Green Grey. The helmet cover is based with Cork Brown and highlighted with Pale Sand. The camouflage is simply two different shades of brown added in small blotches randomly.  

The bases have been embellished with jungle tufts and a second darker tuft. I also added paper foliage from Mig and some plastic ferns from a German train scenics manufacturer. 

That's it from me this year. Cycle down for commentary on the different units I have finished.

This machine gun team is made by the Assault Group. They're great figures but the faces can be a bit 'flashy', which damages them during clean up. This leads to some disfigurement and dodgy looking expressions! Regardless, the uniform and gun quality was top notch and it gives me some variety over the Warlord Games version.

I also converted a Stuart Satan from the Warlord plastic kit. This was an extremely simple conversion. Simply a barrel replacement and that was that! The kit came with the optional external fuel tanks, which was brilliant. Thank you for that Warlord. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ork Weirdboy: Wuzzbad

The release of 8th edition 40k and the parallel release of the Ork army list has prompted me to dust off my beloved Ork models and begin playing again. So far, I have had one small 500pt game and came away feeling positive about the game and the Ork army list. One issue is that Orks seem to play more like they used to back in 5th edition, which means re-painting and updating lots of units that I haven't used in years!

Here's one of my first completed 're-paint' jobs, an Ork Weirdboy. I originally painted this character years and years ago to lead a 500pt force in a tournament hosted in Bristol. It was the ONLY time I used him! Now, with the new release, the weirdboy potentially has a place again within an Ork force. I shall be using him to boot the boys to +1 attack or teleporting a 30 strong unit of shoota boyz around the board! We'll see how my enemies like that neat trick!

Anyway, since the original model was painted rather nicely in the first place, I initially thought it would just be a re-painting of the skin. Sadly, the more I painted, the more I found wrong with the original job. In the end, virtually the entire model was re-painted. I'm really pleased with the end result though. It was a beautifully detailed model to paint with bags of character.

I brightened the skin to fit more in line with my most recently painted Orks. I also extensively lined the skin to make him appear old and wrinkled. Wuzzbad isn't necessarily old, but I imagine having to deal with all that Waaaaaghhhhh energy really takes into toll on the skin! I also added more red spot colour details and check patterns to the bells to tie him in with the rest of the army. I tried to make his eyes seem as though they're burning with pent up electrical energy! I also toyed with the idea of making his skin glow blue too but dismissed it for fear of ruining all my hard work! Maybe i'll test the idea on another model first.

Overall, I'm very happy with the finished result. I can't wait to test him out on the battlefield.  

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Modern British Army: Spectre Operations

Here's a quick update. I recently picked up a copy of Spectre: Operations from the Birmingham Games Expo and ordered the British Army Deal from Empress Miniatures.

This is my first attempt at British Army desert DPM and indeed my first attempt at any camouflage scheme. I followed this very handy blog post as a guide. Thank you Dougie for the guidance!

I'm aiming to fill our an 8 man infantry section with section commander. This is a radio operator (minus his radio antenna) used solely to test out the camo techniques. I may use him as part of a command team in other games.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Void 1.1 Junkers Project: Convict Legionnaires

I've continued to work hard on the Junkers project and have found the time to complete a small squad of 6 convict legionnaires. My intention with this squad is to build it up to its maximum size of 15 legionnaires, which will require me to create more from the plastics as shown in my first unit of grenadiers. For now, I'm happy to have completed some of the original metal models that I bought way back in the early 2000's for the game. This squad currently includes a Decurion, 4 troopers with shotguns and a flamer thrower. I'll be adding 2 thermite spears and 7 additional shotgun troopers to complete the unit.

I have transferred the beige, damaged colour scheme to the convict's shields but decided not to add much detail beyond a simple Roman numeral. I like that the numerals are practically the only identifying mark for the trooper, which ties in nicely with the 'not giving a shit' ethics of the Junker military arm. Getting hold of Roman numeral decals was difficult but I eventually found some available at armorcast. They come in a variety of different sizes and are perfect for what I wanted to use them for. Good stuff!

The original metal sculpts for the Junkers were absolutely excellent and a real joy to paint. One particular detail that I really like is the subtle differences between the male and female troopers. There's none of this over the top 'boob armour' (looking at you Infinity you piece of shit!) but rather a slightly thinner waist and a different crotch piece. Bravo I-Kore, bravo!