Monday 21 February 2011

Hired Gun

There is always going to be thugs and bandits who will sell their services to the highest bidder. That is a fact of life; from the earliest days of humanity there have been sell-swords, mercenaries, free companies and, more recently, hired guns. This individual, the self-styled 'Urban Cowboy' is no different. He would shoot his own grandmother in the head for a quick buck.

I painted this as a bit of a warm up for the upcoming Lead Painters League. I bought this miniature ages ago to be my Scum character in a Dark Heresy campaign. Unfortunately I ended up running said campaign instead of playing in it, and so I never got to use him, so I thought I would paint him up for Pulp City. In Pulp City you can have henchmen called hired guns, and in the first edition of the rules there are four in a team, as opposed to the three per team in the PDF play test rules we used to use. Being a man down, I thought this guy would make a suitable addition to my gang.

The miniature is by Black Scorpion. It's a nice enough sculpt, but the shotgun is a bit 'fantasy scifi' in a Games Workshop style. Having been painting a lot of ww2 and interwar models of late, I find the whole GW clunky/chunky aesthetic to be a bit silly. On the plus side, it is so generic will be useful for Dark Heresy, or perhaps as a zombie survivor, or even as one of the teaming masses of scum and villainy set to occupy my forthcoming SciFi campaign.

Friday 18 February 2011

Four Colour Super Science

Mad science is a fundamental part of all the best superhero stories. Think of the works of Brainiac, Dr Cyber, Doctor Doom and other such sicko-scientist. It seems reasonable that a four colour supers campaign will inevitably features some elements of super-science, and with this in mind I have just finished off the first of my mad scientist inspired techno-gubinz.

These pieces are resin and are made by Fensis Games. You can find them on Ebay in the UK. They represent some generic bitz and bobz that you might find in a mad scientist's secret underground laboratory/lair. I could also see them running up in a scifi game, as part of a engineering room or something, or even part of a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang subterranean lair. I am nit sure what they are, but the could be some sort of field generator, or even a doomsday device.
They have been augmented with a few stick on jewels I found in my children's craft cupboard, and a shiny semi-opaque marble I my son sold me (That's right, sold me! The cheek of it! I probably bought it in the first place).
On a different point, I am delighted to report that I have picked up forty followers. Its great to know that there are so many hobbyists interested in my work, an I love getting comments. I will keep posting more of the same sort of random things, so long as you guys keep reading it. I hope the newbies like what they see.

Monday 14 February 2011

VBCW Cardstock Buildings

Scenery is a bit of a bugbear for me. On the one hand, good looking scenery can really enhance the enjoyment of a game, and on the other hand bad scenery can ruin a game- in my opinion. The problem is, good looking scenery is expensive and/or time consuming to produce. I would rather be spending my cash and evenings on collecting and painting more figures for my various projects. It's quite a problem.
Last week while checking out the Gentleman's Wargames Parlor (home of VBCW on the web) I came across some discussion on card stock buildings (also know as papercraft.) To the uninitiated, Card Stock Terrain is printed, or printable, building facades that can be mounted on card stock and constructed into cheap, easy to produce, buildings. Now I had come across the idea before, and my mate Leon had looked into making some for his Supers/Pulp City campaign, but hasn't got round to it. The problem was it always looked like cardboard, and I had previously dismissed it. This week, however, on a whim, I thought I would give it a go.
The whole process was very simple, requiring very little modeling/DIY skills. The only equipment needed is a good craft knife with a fresh blade, some 5mm foam centered card, some mounting card, some PVA Glue, a couple of elastic bands and a printer (preferably someone else- this keeps the cost down even more).
I liked the results so much, I thought I would post a tutorial to tell you how I did it.

Step One

Print the image off. There are lots of web sites catering for the trains and wargaming enthusiast, and some even have free stuff. I got this one of Ebob's website, where it is free to download. I printed it onto good quality white paper, using the printers maximum quality setting.

Step Two

I coated a sheet of mounting card with a thin layer of PVA Glue, and then stuck the roof picture to this.

I repeated the process with the wall sections, mounting them onto 5mm Foam Centered Card.

The sections were them allowed to dry under the weight of several big books to keep them flat. It takes about an hour.

Step Three

Then I cut out the wall sections and roof section with a craft knife. I used a new blade to keep the edges sharp.

Step Four

I marked 5mm from the horizontal edge of the short wall sections. I carefully cut down through the card and foam, but not cutting all the way through. I removed the 5mm strip and discard.

This will allow the pictures to but up together and not leave any white bits of foam or card showing.

Step Five

I scored down the center of the mounting card roof section, removing a thin slither of card without cutting all the way through. This will allow the roof to bend to form an apex.

Step Six

I assembled the wall sections, gluing them to the mounting card base and to each other with PVA glue.

Next I glued on the roof and secure it with elastic bands. Take care not to put too much tension on the bands as it will warp the model. It takes about an hour to dry.

The End Product

This is an army barracks. It took about 15 minutes to make, not including drying time. I can see it being useful as a VBCW Army or BUF base, or perhaps as a farm out building or workshop. The cost was probably no more than 30p. There we go: Cheap, good-looking and quick (just like me!).

You can't say fairer than that.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Not So Scary Now

Here's what my ten year old son, Charlie did yesterday. It made me laugh to much it made me choke on my tea. I had to photograph it and share it with you.
Somehow a Necron just isn't as scary with googly eyes.

Look What Came In The Post!

Wednesday morning saw my post man struggling up the drive, bearing a small but deceptively heavy box. Upon my return from work I hurriedly tore of the carefully taped packaging, and started rummaging through the packaging material. And what did I find in side?

A horde of VBCW figures!
Some Early WW1 British- I might make them into police auxiliaries, or possibility Liverpool Free State Regiment.

I bought them of a fellow VBCW player who is sadly having to sell off his collection of figures for personal reasons. I was delighted when he agreed I could take all 85 unpainted miniatures off his hands. As it took me 12 months to paint that many miniatures last year,this little lot should keep me busy for a while.

Some of the civilians. Unfortunate, as there based with white, and I always base in black, I will have to re-spray them and paint their faces again. I love these miniatures, there so characterful.

The miniatures are mostly Musketeer Miniatures or Empress Miniatures, with a few Wargames Foundry WW2 stuff thrown in too. They are all really nicely sculpted, and best of all have already been deflashed.

A collection of various leftist militiamen and Local Defence force set to reinforce my existing armies!

Some Spanish Civil War Carlist troops. Not sure what to do with these yet, but they may be the start of an Anglican League force at some point in the future.

Friday 11 February 2011

Lead Painters League 2011 Starting Soon

Last years Zombies (converted from GW Zeds)

That time of year is here again- the new Lead Painters League, 2011, is due to start soon. For those of you who don't know, the Lead Painters League is an online painting competition hosted by the Lead Adventure Forum. These is no prize, apart from bragging rights; it's just for fun. The basic idea is that each week, for 10 weeks, competition entrants each enter a photograph of a squad of at least five miniatures they have painted. The entrants are paired off at random, and then forum members vote which one they like the best. Points are awarded for painting, and for each new entrance, so it is advantageous, but not necessary, to enter a new photo each week. There are also three bonus rounds too, when more points are awarded for entering a photo of miniatures based around a certain theme. This year the bonus rounds are 'Civilians and By-standers', 'Africa' and 'Scenes from the Movies'.

Last year was my first year in the LPL, and I really enjoyed it- it's a challenge, for sure, but it's also a chance to paint 50+ miniatures in 10 weeks, which is a lot of lead. Last year I managed to paint some SciFi barbarians, supervillians, super heroes, zombies, cowboys, and Victorian explorers (you can see what I did by using the search feature to click of Lead Painters League).

This year I am planning to enter again. Despite my best efforts I still have a lot of lead left in the garage waiting to be painted. This year I plan to split my entrants between my various interests: VBCW will feature quite strongly, with plans for Civilians, Schoolboy militias and good old trusty Tommys; For Scifi/Supers I plan to do some helpful robots, some evil clowns and (if funds permit) some more zombies. For the 'African' themed round I might do some Boers (with the plan of converting them into VBCW militiamen when the competition is over). The Movies round is proving to be a bit of a tricky one at the moment. I am thinking Shawn of the Dead, Casablanca or perhaps Last Man Standing at the moment, but I am a long way of making up my mind.

One thing is certain, I am likely to be busy for the next couple of month, and you can expect to see a lot of figures appearing on this blog.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Very British Scenery (WIP)

I have been jolly busy of late, building some scenery for my 1938: A very British Civil Car (VBCW) campaign. Some of these are home made, while others are bought.

This one was a model I got of Leon (I forget the manufacturer). Leon kindly gave it to me after he upgraded to a bigger, and more importantly pre-painted factory. I like this model, because it had a nice inter-war look to it. It measures about 6 inches by 1o inches, so it is quite small, but it has a detachable roof. I added a mezzanine floor to give it some more interest for gaming. I am going to make a few more simple modifications before spraying and painting it.

All my own work- this is a ware house to go with the factory building. Its made form foam-card, card and balsa wood.

The roof comes off too, making it a really useful gaming piece.

This pub model is by, and is specifically made for the VBCW setting. I had to add the tiles to the roof. I used card, but it took hours to cut the tiles out. Next time I will buy some embossed plasti-card with the design already printed on it. A lot less bother this way.

A bunker, made by me. Its made from foam card, and covered with plaster filler. It looks a bit big, because I wanted it to be able to house a squad of 12 model, on 30 mm bases. The roof comes off (obviously, or I wouldn't be able to get my models in it)

All I have got to do is paint them now (That's the bit I like least). My plan is to get at least a couple of them finished before my nest VBCW game.