Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slow Progress...

My 15mm SciFi project continues to make sloooooow progress.  Not really much to report - only a few WIP shots.

First up, Sahadeen:
I began with a coat of thinned US Field Drab from Vallejo's Model Color line.
Then some Desert Yellow on the bases.
I'm working on painting various bits - hoods, belts, boots, etc. - with different shades of brown.  I will add some bits of brighter yellow or red for contrast here and there. I'm planning to shade using the Army Painter Strong Tone shader just as I did with my Earth Force Marines.

I've also done a little painting on my buildings. I decided to base coat in Khaki Tan, a color I found among the craft paints at Hobby Lobby.  Here are some pics:
Refinery/Power Station with base coat of Khaki Tan.
Barracks/Warehouse with base coat and wash.
All 3 buildings in their current state.
After base coat and wash on the buildings, I highlighted with Khaki Tan and then successive highlights of Khaki Tan mixed with increasing amounts of Ivory.  I tend to use craft paints on my buildings and terrain as it is cheaper.  However, I base coated the doors and bits with Vallejo Chocolate Brown. I will highlight these and add various colors for detail.

That's all I've had time to accomplish lately.  As I said, sloooow progress.  Still, slow is better than stop!

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Not Much Happening...

I don't have much to report on the modeling front.  My 15mm SciFi project continues, albeit slowly.  I did manage to get my Sahadeen cleaned, based, primed and mounted on painting sticks.  I also painted the bases of my buildings, but I haven't accomplished anything else.

Sahadeen ready for paint.
Buildings waiting in the paint que.  You can see my Earth Force Platoon here too.
I have been doing some shopping though! Over the last few months I've picked up several rules sets.

I got Stargrunt and Dirtside for a song from Monday Knight Productions a while back.  I haven't even cracked the seal on Dirtside but the Stargrunt rules look like fun.  I'm not sure when I will play them but they are good to add to the collection.

I also picked up Song of Blades and Heroes from Ganesha Games.  My 9 year old son and I have plans to do some fantasy gaming sometime soon.  Currently he is painting some of the fantasy figures from my 1st Edition copy of Descent: Journeys in the Dark.  I'm looking forward to having some fun with him!

You can see that I also picked up a copy of Gruntz 15mm.  I'm not finished reading them yet but so far these rules look great! I really like the rules for building units from all sorts of SciFi backgrounds and manufacturers.  I think these rules will be very useful and see a fair bit of play once I get up to speed on them.  I was a little confused and disappointed to realize the unit cards are not included.  But then I was delighted to discover Gruntomatic.  This is a free online utility that allows you to quickly build units and print unit cards.  And, did I mention, it's free!  So, I'm pleased with this purchase and looking forward to doing more with it.

Finally, just yesterday, I bought a game from my local game store that takes me into the Way Back Machine...

My 9 year old and I broke it out last night and played the basic scenario.  He loved it! And I couldn't help but relive the glory days back in the 80s when I played this game a lot.  It comes with some great minis and is really well done.  For whatever crazy reason, I sold all my Battletech stuff years ago - something I regret very much.  However, I'm pleased with this purchase and looking forward to gaming the Inner Sphere once again.

That's it for now.  Until next time, carry on!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Desert Outpost (part 2) - 15mm SciFi WIP

Work continues on my scifi buildings.  Construction is complete and painting has begun.  The bits from Ground Zero Games have helped to really make these buildings look complete.
Communications Center.
Warehouse or Barracks.
The ring on top is from a coffee filter for our Keurig machine.
Power Station or Refinery.
I'm not happy with how the putty around the doors turned out.  I was hoping to get a smooth, seamless finish.  Obviously I did not achieve that. Despite working with a Dremel tool, I could not get close enough to smooth things off without chipping the putty.  I could have redone it, but in the end I decided to simply move on.  Learning to live with imperfection is good for the soul. : )
Ready to be primed.
Another view.
In the end, I decided to prime with gray, obviously.  The plan is to paint them with a base coat of mostly gray with a bit of the "Desert Yellow" I used for my other terrain pieces.  Then I will build progressive highlights by adding more Desert Yellow and/or Ivory.  We will see if that gives me the look I'm going for - a sense of concrete made from local materials.  The doors and other details will be various "military colors" - gray, khaki, army green - or I may use some metallics.  I will also add some bits of brighter colors to make things pop.  Some decals of various military signs, numbers, or posters will finish them off.  Of course, I've not yet located those decals, so I will be doing a bit of googling!

That's it for today.  Until next time, carry on!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'm Famous! Errr....well....sort of...

I posted a pic of my Earth Force Marines on TMP last week and RebelMike - owner/operator of Rebel Minis - saw it.  He was very complimentary and asked for some pics for his company's blog.  That is very exciting for me!  I took a few more shots of the minis and sent them over.  You can see them on the Rebel Minis Blog over here.  I'm thoroughly geeked about this!  It just makes me feel very good.

So, today I want to take a moment to say thanks!  I'm grateful for the community we share as online miniature wargamers.  Not many people I know "get it", so it is a joy to me to make connections with people who have the same passion for this hobby as I do.

Thank you, friends, for looking at this blog, for all your great comments and for being part of a community that "gets it".  And a special thank you to RebelMike for noticing and taking the time to offer encouragement!

Until next time, carry on.

Liam is very excited about it all also!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Earth Force Marine Platoon

I finished my Earth Force platoon!  The Army Painter's Quickshade, followed by a spray of their matte finish, worked very well.  The Strong Tone may be a little too dark but I'm not quibbling.  It was a very easy and effective process.  I may buy the Soft Tone and see how that looks on the Sahadeen.  Anyway, here are the pics!  (Apologies for the poor quality, iPhone shots.)

Center figure is base paint with highlights.
Rear figures have a coat of Quickshade Strong Tone.
Same as above but reversed.
Finished platoon leader and squad leaders.
These have received a spray of matte finish and had their bases textured.
Basic 4 man fire team.
The bases I finished with dabs of white glue and a sprinkle of the mix I used on the table and terrain features.
Special weapons.
L - sniper team, C - missile launcher,  R - light machine gun.
The whole platoon on my painting table.
Following are some "action" shots on my desert game table with the terrain I've made.  I think this is all coming together well!
The sniper team in the rocks on the left flank overlooking the battlefield.
The platoon advances through the center in bounding overwatch by fire team.
The missile launcher and machine gunner hold the hill on the right flank, providing fire support.
One fire team provides security for the special weapons on the right flank.  The advancing platoon can be seen in the background.
Aerial reconnaissance shows the platoon advancing in good order.
The view from across the table.
A closer shot of the platoon advancing towards the camera in the center.
Aerial view from enemy table side.
I've begun cleaning and assembling my Sahadeen platoon.  When they are painted I will be playing some one off battles and getting used to the forces.  I'm using Two Hour Wargames 5150: Star Army for my ruleset.  At some point I will begin a campaign but I still have not decided if my protagonist will be Earth Force or Sahadeen.

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Earth Force Marines - 15mm SciFi WIP

Between holding a crying baby, running errands, doing chores, being a taxi driver for my older children, working out, working and trying, generally, to keep life running as smoothly as possible, I've been painting some Earth Force Marines from Rebel Minis.  Some of these pics are repeats from previous posts but I thought I would put them all together to give an overview of how I've painted these minis.

I need to say that I've been pleasantly surprised at how well they've gone.  I expected 15mm to be very fiddly but these have not been bad at all.  Of course, I'm not painting them to my usual standard but still, they've been pretty easy so far and I think are turning out pretty good.
Figures cleaned and base coated with flat white primer.
A base coat of Vallejo's Khaki.
US Army Dark Green on the helmets, backpacks and body armor.
Some Liquitex acrylic textured gel medium on the bases.
Desert Yellow on the bases.
Neutral Grey on the guns and face shields.
I used Iraqi Sand mixed with the base colors to create the highlights. I did a 50/50 mix - Iraqi Sand to Base Color - for the first highlight and about a 75/25 mix for the second.  On the bases I simply dry brushed with straight Iraqi Sand.
Complete base coat and highlights.
Another view.
For those unfamiliar with 15mm, the US penny in this shot gives you a sense of scale.  These are tiny figures but the detail is incredible and they paint very nicely.
My next step is to shade with Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade.  I've never used this stuff before so I'm a bit apprehensive.  I'll try it on a figure or two and see how it looks before doing the whole batch.  Hopefully it will help the details pop and be a quick way to get a good finished look.  The final step will be a coat with matte spray varnish.  I'll post final pics when they are done.  Until then, carry on!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Desert Outpost (Part 1) - 15mm SciFi WIP

I've been working on some buildings for a desert outpost.  I started these when I began this project in early January, but I haven't worked on them since.  At the beginning, I thought I could completely scratch-build them with doors and other details.  I was wrong.  15mm is too small for me to get the kind of detail I wanted.  So, in frustration, I set them aside.  A few weeks later I came across some scratch-built buildings that included bits from Ground Zero Games.  That very evening I went to their online store and ordered one pack each of the following sets:

V15-BLD02 Large Doors
V15-BLD03 Civilian Building Doors
V15-BLD06 Roof Fittings A
V15-BLD07 Roof Fittings B
V15-BLD09 Solar Arrays
V15-BLD12 Circuit Panels and Junction Boxes

It came to about US$62.00 with shipping.  That is more than I wanted to spend on these buildings, but I figure all these bits will come in handy on other projects I have in mind.  My shipment arrived within two weeks of placing the order.  I'm very pleased with them!  They are just the thing to help these scratch-built creations come to life.
Three buildings made from plastic, single-serve cereal boxes mounted on CDs.
You can see my failed attempts at doors, etc. on these.
Here's a closeup of the power station, with a figure for scale...and a poorly built door.
This closeup shows the crap door and the texture gel stuff I used to texture the bases.
Here are the same buildings with the GZG doors being installed.
Looks MUCH better! 
I cut away some of the slope of the walls in order to recess the doors.  It looks a lot more realistic than just sticking the doors to the wall.  You can also see here that I've mounted some roof bits.
Since the cuts left gaps, I needed to fill them, so I broke this stuff out.  It is good stuff but I don't know if they sell it any longer.  This tube is older than I care to think about.
Here I've gooped some stuff around the door.  Once I've finished filling the gaps I will go back and sand/file the goop down to make it all blend.  I'm calling this piece a power station.  I like it so far!
Liam approves!
I'm not sure how I want to paint these for my desert table.  I was originally thinking of using shades of ivory/off white, but I don't want them to look like buildings on Tatooine.  Since they are supposed to be Earth Force, maybe I will go with some khaki and dark green combination to match the minis I'm painting.  We'll see.  I also want to experiment with some spray primers. Maybe I can come up with a quick and easy way to paint them.

That's all I've had time for this week.  Until next time, carry on!