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SPECIAL PROJECTS

“CITY OF THE DAMNED” SPECIAL PROJECT part one

“It is a Dark Time.
The might of the Empire is dust, their crown is lost to them and their glory forgotten.
The promise of an age of peace and prosperity is drowned in blood.
This is your time. For the ruins of Mordheim hold prize beyond imagination: stones of power which can grant all your wishes.
But beware of your enemies.
Fear the Possessed, the Beasts of the Pit which roam the night.
Watch for the thieves of the Rat men, the Skaven of the Underworld.
Dread the corpses who walk like the living: the foul Vampires and their rotting minions.
This is Mordheim, the city of the Damned. This is the home of all your hopes. Be wary or it will be your grave as well.”

Mordheim rb.s.124

CITY OF THE DAMNED - part one: VENTURE

It all started with a single idea that came to me one day. I remember it as if it were yesterday, cause this was the glorious day when I installed Mordheim: City of the Damned and tried it out for the first time. I saw Mordheim in it’s full dark glory and thought ‘Damn! This looks so effective. I should make myself a gaming board based on this…’ You see – terrain making is similar to PC map building. You take base shapes, you texturize them and then colour them. If you happen to plan it beforehand, you will have just that: base shapes, texture pieces and paints – to work with. So , the idea was one of the ‘good ones’ and totally within my reach. Not a priority – just ‘an idea’. From then on it was haunting me throughout my everyday life. Sometimes it stayed dormant for couple of weeks just to emerge from the depth of my imagination without any warning. Many times I was on the verge of realizing it into existence, then just hid it deeper within me like “meh, takes up too much time, I don’t need it right now”. But, not so long ago, the right moment finally came. I was gaming in a local hobby store, where I saw an inspiring collecrion of Mordheim terrain. This was too much – I couldn’t resist. There was just too much inspiration to walk by. I broke that invissible mental barrier – took this like a man – a day later I went to Leroy Merlin, purchased all necessary materials and started working on this project…

GOAL:

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I already had a Mordheim Gaming Board along with all the terrain that  might come in handy throughout a vast campaign. The old scenery set was rather solid but lacked some key features in terms of theme and looks – the most important of which was texture. Back in the days I praised short construction time and playability over looks and strong theme. I produced terrain pieces really fast, but at a cost of visuals. This time I wanted to set looks and theme as the highest priority with playability a bit lower, followed by durability and other usual stuff, along with construction time being the lowest priority. Due to my current Nomad’ish way of life I also wanted for this gaming board to be transportation friendly and rather light. To achieve that I had to fulfill these assumptions:

  • A lot of texture, looks
  • A lot of detail, looks
  • No bases, re-playability,
  • Light, transportation,
  • Easy setup, playability,

As with most terrain projects, I started with preparing a simple visualisation of how much space the foundations will take up on the gaming board. By ‘the foundations’ I mean the simple terrain pieces that will take up most space, creating different levels on the gaming board. In case of “The Colony” gaming board these would obviously be buildings, but this time I’ve decided to use urban hills for the job. This was just a formality, but as usual I wanted to be prepared for what’s to come…

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The base concept was to create four urban hills, that migh be combined in many different ways to create a large elevated space, or set up individually. Along with these, two small urban hills and two platforms were to be made. While small hills might be used for shape diversity and to link the bigger ones, platforms were to provide easy access to elevated positions on the map…

EQUIPMENT:

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One of the most important thing in terrain building is choosing the right materials. Let’s say that I wanted to provide a lot of texture and detail while at the same time I wanted my gaming board/scenery to be rather durable, easy to setup and easy to transport (Not to mention – wallet friendly). Plaster was obviously a bad choice as it’s not only heavy but also not very good to paint on. Plaster tends to get damaged all the time and I personally try to avoid it. Any type of Resin or Hardfoam might do but these are extremely expensive and in case of a project on such a grand scale, they would have required professional equipment to be fully implemented. So I decided to go for styrofoam for base shapes and wallpaper for texture. (I personally hate light terrain pieces, that tend to fly all over the table, but in this case – solid buildings could keep the rest pinned to the table, fulfilling all the assumptions of my initial idea at the same time.

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COBBLESTONE STREETS:

I had all the materials needed along with the concept. The only thing to do at that point was to start working on the project. I started with the most simple of tasks – preparing the ‘cobblestone’ gameboard. It bassicaly took like half an hour with me just applying a lot of basing glue onto the board and then cutting large pieces of a wallpaper to be glued upon it. The picture looks nothing special, but once painted – small cobblestone could be seen all over the game board…

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FIRST STEPS:

As soon as I took on the platforms, an idea of additional items appeared. Having in mind that the upper level should be rather accessible for all the miniatures I added four sets of stairs to the fold. Started with base shape cut out of rough pieces of styrofoam, then added texture on the sides to finally cover certain places with handmade stones. The stones (or just ‘huge bricks’) were made by cutting the base rectangular shape out of styrofoam and then rolling droves of these in my hands so that all the hard angles became nicely rounded.

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DEEP ALLEYS:

Along with all the platforms and stairways I also prepared a set of urban hills. I used ‘Legend of the five rings ccg’ boxes to gain access to base shapes of a similar height. The best method to texturise them was to cover entirety of them with glue and then use wallpaper all over it. Once glue dried out I added styrofoam pieces cut out of the fridge protecting casing ( I like to keep such stuff in case it’ll come in handy – and guess what – it did…). Just like with stairs and platforms, I texturized urban hills with styrofoam bricks/blocks of stone.

Usually at this point I would have spent a lot of time correcting small imperfections, but I’ve figured out to cover them with a finishing touch of fake autumn leaves, once the paint job is done. This way I wanted to strenghten the mood of the entire table while having all the small holes and defects covered.

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ARCHED BRIDGES:

One of the things I usually messed up were bridges. Up to now I can’t recall any of these that would actually turn out to look good. Having excess materials I decided to give it a try, this time tho I used the same concept as in case of urban hills. I tweaked the design a little to better suit the gaming board and added two short bridges to the set.

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FINAL TESTS:

Just after undercoating the this scenery set up couple of different battlefields to take proper pictures. I was able to confront the idea of a modular table with what I’ve created. Checked out different layouts but also made mental notes of what and how many buildings I would require in the future…

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PROVIDING COLOURS:

Paint job followed soon after. I used entire 200ml of Vallejo Black Surface Primer, mixing it with gray and white to provide different layers of both wet paint job and drybrush. After that I also edged all corner stones with GW’s Pale Wych Flesh and added some extras in form of broken skulls, torches and Wyrdstone Shards. I also covered some spots with Autumn Leaves made out of Birch-tree seeds. This set a strong, dark mood to the scenery and comboed nicely with aldready painted ‘Toad Fountain’ and ‘Dead Tree’ pieces…

Epilogue:

More than happy with the visual results I hold the project until end of the year and get back to it with some cool looking buildings later on. We’ll see how it goes once 2017th hits the callendar…

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“TOAD FOUNTAIN” SPECIAL PROJECT

“It is a Dark Time.
The might of the Empire is dust, their crown is lost to them and their glory forgotten.
The promise of an age of peace and prosperity is drowned in blood.
This is your time. For the ruins of Mordheim hold prize beyond imagination: stones of power which can grant all your wishes.
But beware of your enemies.
Fear the Possessed, the Beasts of the Pit which roam the night.
Watch for the thieves of the Rat men, the Skaven of the Underworld.
Dread the corpses who walk like the living: the foul Vampires and their rotting minions.
This is Mordheim, the city of the Damned. This is the home of all your hopes. Be wary or it will be your grave as well.”

Mordheim rb.s.124

Following the previous Mordheim article I would like to present the “Toad Fountain” – another addition to my Mordheim scenery collection. The same night I started to work on “Dead Tree” I encountered difficulties with falling asleep. My imagination bombarded me with countless visions of cool Mordheim scenery pieces, ruined bridges, fallen temples and overturned carts. Among many otheres was a diamond in for of a big, eye catching fountain…

CONCEPT:

At first I approached this project from many different angles. Wasn’t entirely sure how to handle the main body of the fountain and even what to actually put on top of it. I only knew how I would like it to look in the end. I considered building entire fountain out of MDF pieces or even plasticard. In the end I decided to use a GW’s Tower of Sorcery bottom piece to base the construction at. With that behind me I could have predicted the size and role this scenery piece would fill in my newly developed gaming board. Be it a plaza filler or top piece of an urban hill – I was sure this one will bring a lot of dark and strange mood to my City of the Damned.

SCRATCH BUILDING:

I started the project with cutting out the entire inner surface of the Tower of Sorcery’s base. I had to use a heated knife to do this, cause the plastic was really thick. Once done I cut a huge chunk of plasticard, mounted the construction on it and cut it to match the base of the fountain. I filled two canals in the base with skulls and bricks picked from scratch, then used modelling putty to fill any remaining holes. Having a firm floor in place I then used strips of plasticard to form the inner wall of the fountain. Smoothed the edges with modelling putty and mounted the inner feature, made out of GW’s scenery piece…

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I then started to figure out which miniatures to put around the pool and on the main plinth. Had real problems with that, due to not enough statue looking miniatures. I had some old Sisters of Sigmar, but each one was a different piece. Any other stuff except Stormcast Ethereals was too diverse to be even considered, and the Space Marine like guys looked just ridiculous, and uber epic’ish to be mounted. Totally out of place which you can see below…

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Salvation came in form of Talisman the board game, where four awesome looking frogs can be found. Frogs totally fit into Mordheim’s unhealthy, dark mood – so I decided to ultimately break down the Talisman set and use these four creatures as statues. But what to do with a center piece? I considered leaving it empty or building an altar on top of it. Nothing seemed fitting the space so in the end I decided to take a risk and try to sculpt my own Toad. To do so I picked a smooth, flat egg-like rock and used it as main body. Then I just built the texture around it, mounted it on the plinth and added arms, leggs and facial features. I used small crystal balls on the back of the main Toad so that it fit to the rest of the herd…

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I was really happy with the result of my sculpting, especially while I am not at all that good of a sculptor. Usually I just use random stuff instead of making it myself. Still – this turned out pretty cool so a win for me. I even used the excess of the modelling putty to make more fish and creatures, mixed them with the ones created during the “Dead Tree” Special Project and mounted all on a piece of plasticard to be easily painted outside of the fountain. The scenery piece was ready for another step…

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PAINTING:

This one was painted side by side with the previous Special Project. I had a strong Mordheim fever back then and was so deep in trance as not to take any mid-paint pictures except for one. Real shame, but what’s done is done. What’s worth saying is that I airbrushed a lot, covering entire Fountain with Dark Sea Green from Vallejo and then moving up with Light Grey Green and other colours. Purple and brown points were added to the fray before entire fountain was drybrushed softly with Pale Wych Flesh. I then washed the interior of the pool with some of Vallejo washes and mounted all the newly painted fish on top of tiny translucent pieces of plastic cut out of a coca-cola bottle. After the paint and glue dried I just filled the basin with Crystalline 940 resin halfway up and let it rest for a day. I also cut thin lines of translucent plastic and modelled them to look like falling water using heat. Added them to the construction the next day and had to pack entire thing for transportation to a new home, along with all my stuff…

Something around two weeks later I finally got to work on the “Toad Fountain” once more. I added some streaks and soft glow to the frogs, filled the basin with resin up to the brim and added some leaves inside. I also applied leaves all around the fountain to keep it visually coherent with the rest of the terrain I’m planning to make.

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FINISHED PIECE:

You can see the finished piece below, while more pictures can be found in the “MORDHEIM TOAD FOUNTAIN” Special Project gallery…

This piece can also be found at CoolMiniOrNot, where you can vote for it.

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Epilogue:

I hope you like this piece. I have big plans for Mordheim, wish to bring even more Mordheim scenery pieces to life in the future. Right now I’m working on a complete redesign of my previous Mordheim gaming board. Have a lot of ideas, but due to lack of free time I plan to take small steps. If you want to see more of the upcomming Mordheim related articles, just stick around and they will certainly pop up from time to time.

 

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“DEAD TREE” SPECIAL PROJECT

“It is a Dark Time.
The might of the Empire is dust, their crown is lost to them and their glory forgotten.
The promise of an age of peace and prosperity is drowned in blood.
This is your time. For the ruins of Mordheim hold prize beyond imagination: stones of power which can grant all your wishes.
But beware of your enemies.
Fear the Possessed, the Beasts of the Pit which roam the night.
Watch for the thieves of the Rat men, the Skaven of the Underworld.
Dread the corpses who walk like the living: the foul Vampires and their rotting minions.
This is Mordheim, the city of the Damned. This is the home of all your hopes. Be wary or it will be your grave as well.”

Mordheim rb.s.124

Working with some awesome Tabbletop World terrain bringed back memories of Mordheim and how I used to create fantasy scenery for my own gaming table. The idea to revitalize entire gameboard surfaced in my mind on more than one occasion but such a feat was somehow beyond my reach. To satisfy the muse and pacify my deepest Mordheim desires I decided to go one small step at a time. My attention focused on a piece I wanted to create since the earliest days of Mordheim – a creepy, dead tree. I already made an attempt to bring life to this piece couple of years ago, but the overall effect was rather poor and I ditched the project. This time I was much more experienced and much more hyped, but most of all I have acquired a lot of new skills and got to know new techniques during these last few years. I was ready to take on this Special Project head-on.

CONCEPT:

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The idea was to make a sickly looking tree, hung some stuff on it then compose the surroundings so that the entire piece of scenery would create a nice visual effect. It was supposed to be a cool looking, mood providing centerpiece. The most important features were to be looks and being totally impassable so that the terrain piece won’t cause any placement problems during the game. Along with the tree there supposed to be some sort of eye-candies in form of small detail like a hidden treasure, bones, animals etc. Also I wanted to include either a small crypt or a monument somewhere on the base to provide a stronger mood to the piece.

SCRATCH BUILDING:

After selecting most of the initial materials and bitz for the project I started with the tree. I thought long and hard about  where to get a long wire to base the tree upon, but in the end was able to get my hands on an old Ethernet cable. At that point I knew that I will have to strenghten the entire construction, but for the time being I concentrated on the base shape. I cut the cable into pieces, removed the excess of the outer layer and reshaped the inner wires into branches/roots on both ends of each piece. Then I grouped the pieces in twos and threes, taping them around the main trunk with a paper-tape. In the next step I composed the tree out of the newly created pieces and taped them together…

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Having a tree I concentrated on basing it. Used a piece of PCV to cut the basic shape and glued a bottom piece of the statue I was going to add to the composition. I then cut the excess of PCV and modelled it a bit around the newly aded piece. I based the tree and added a huge natural rock to the base to serve as a sort of a sacrificial altar or something related to occultism (And to add weight to a base that was supposed to hold a big tree). I then used  a basing glue on the entire trunk of the tree and taped it around with pieces of moisted paper towel. Left the entire thing to dry out for the night…

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Upon waking up I started to add texture to the tree. There were two possible ways to achieve a durable and good looking effect. The first one was to use Green Stuff along with other sculpting putties to provide a nice texture. This one would take up a lot of time and cash so I ditched it in favor of the more simple and quicker way. Once again I used basing glue, but this time I covered entire tree. Once it was hard enough I added another layer and used a dryer to help it harden. I also applied a lot of Mourn Mountain Snow – texture paint from GW. Modelled a bit and then finished with a lot of Super Glue to harden the entire surface and strenghten the construction. This way I ended up with a nice looking, durable and highly textured tree…

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Next step was to add more stones onto the base and provide a more natural shape to it. I used Green Stuff and some other modelling putties to create the base shape. It was a bit expensive, but I hadn’t had plaster around and wanted to progress without any delays. I even used up excess of the putty to quick-sculpt some fish and mutated creatures for another Special Project going on beside this one. Somewhere on the way I also started to add bitz to the tree so that it looked more Mordheim-like with hooks, nails, a dead body hunging by the neck etc…

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Detailing took some time as I wanted to bring life to the piece. A short line of running rats here, A bird interrested with the candles there and a half burried treasure chest somewhere else. The work moved steadily forward and with each new feature the ‘Dead Tree’ look much more alive.

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Once everything was in place I covered the entirety of the base with Stirland Mud – tecxture paint from GW. Usually I just use basing glue and sand, but this time I wanted to create something more detailed. ‘No shortcuts’ I told myself when applying the texture. Ended up with a complete piece looking like this:

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PAINTING:

What can I say – I was totally in the mood. Once I sat to paint this thing I couldn’t take a break even if only to take a work in progress picture. Just couldn’t stop. Took couple of hours to complete with me testing new recipes – wanting this one to look superior to all my previous Mordheim scenery. It turned out to be a concept foundation on which I intend to build my new Mordheim gaming board terrain series.

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One thing that I can say about the paint job is that most of it is made using Vallejo Air paints and actually airbrushed. Some surfaces were drybrushed just to be lined with Flayed One Flesh. What is unusual for me is that I almost used no washes, which usually are the main source of highlights in my works. This time tho I decided to go in the direction of a proper airbrushing, rather than risk unpredictability of a wash.  Either way – I finished the project by applying Birch-tree seeds to imitate leaves all around the base and in particular small spots over the altar and monumet. This complimented the entire colour scheme and deepened the mood of the scenery piece.

FINISHED PIECE:

Here is a picture of the finished piece, but theres a lot more in the “MORDHEIM DEAD TREE” Special Project gallery…

Some pictures can be also found at CoolMiniOrNot, where you can leave your votes for this one if you like.

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Epilogue:

“Dead Tree” is not my last word when it comes to Mordheim Terrain. Even now I’m working on a brand new pieces, not to mention the ‘Toad Fountain” which was completed in the same time as this one. Hope you like this piece and will enjoy the entire series. I encourage you to leave feedback, especially in case of any questions related to the project.

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“GECKO MAGE” SPECIAL PROJECT

Every once in a while I encounter a visionary customer ending up head to toe in a ‘Special Project’ of someone else’s design. Such event occured just recently when I met Thomas, who is both a miniatures collector of grand magnitude and a great fan of Geckos. So, Thomas had an interresting idea of converting a Newt Warrior from Dark Sword Miniatures into a ‘Gecko Mage’. He was very specific about all the details for this particular project. He even drawn some concept arts to point out his expectations which is a rare thing. I was pretty much consumed by the idea and started to think about how I would proceed with it…

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CONVERSION:

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Alongside typical Gecko tail I was asked to create a torch and a book for the miniature to stand out as a ‘gecko mage’. Torch and tail were a matter of some time spent with green stuff and it went pretty smooth, but the book was a totally different thing. First of all I had to remove the miniature’s left arm, almost entirely covered by a shield. Taking that into consideration I decided not to rebuild this practically ‘obliterated’ limb but rather mask the damage and use a proxy hand to hold the book. Sculpting a new hand was out of question, as this would consume a lot of time and is on a verge of the limit of my skills. I used a Warhammer Ghoul’s hand instead and cut off one of it’s fingers to mark the other hand. Then I used some green stuff to fill the space left after previous ‘operation’ and masked the ‘wound’ using a book on the one side and a scroll-like bookmark on the other.

 

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BASING:

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The base was yet another interresting idea. It was meant to be partially submerged with fish, plants and river bank being clearly visible. Alongside the mage, some books were to be added on the coast. Also three rats were to accompany the Gecko, being it’s familiar pets. As it happened, I had an old Micro Art Studio base with a tree trunk all over it. I decided to modify and use it as a major feature of the coast. Once it was prepared and placed on the base, I just added detail all around it and positioned the Gecko miniature in a slightly more dynamic pose. It looked well so I got a green light from Thomas and proceeded to painting…

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PAINTING:

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The overall concept for the paint job was to use the original colour scheme of light green with underbelly creme and add a red pattern to the tail and back. I also got some specifics on the eyes and armour. Otherwise I had a free will to choose colours and their depth so I just did my best, providing a nice ‘Witness Me!’ level 5 hero paint job.

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SUBMERGING:

I actually started painting with the base. While the Gecko paint job proceeded, the base was already prepared to get submerged. I used Fantasygames awesome tutorial to prepare the base then poured the resin in. As with all things – mistakes happen, and my first attempt ended up with a mess, resing pouring all over the desk, me trying to block it with blue tac and other stuff… I failed and restarted the process after clearing the base of resin. Second attempt was a success and after 24 hours I was ready to add a finishing touch to the base…

 

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Epilogue:

I had a lot of fun with this Special Project, mostly because I would have never had an idea like this on my own. Thomas not only provided the concept but also entrusted me with his vision. He had a great impact on the project and it makes it even sweeter. If only I could produce two identical pieces so that one would adorn my own collection 😛

View complete Gallery… Like/Don’t like? Vote at CoolMiniOrNot…

 

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part seven

It’s been almost four months since I have ‘finished’ The Colony Special Project. Such grand endavours are the reason I’m into painting and miniatures wargaming. That wondrous feel of completion once a huge project hits the finish line. It always comes with a great satisfaction but once the dust settles, a void starts to grow inside my heart. I’m happy with results, yet  long for the ‘process of creation’. That is why I consider every major project to be alive for at least as long as I am. In case of The Colony – well, a gaming table could always be improoved or use some more scenery. That is the exact way of thinking which led me to writing another part of this article…

THE COLONY - part seven: BEYOND

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That being said I must confess that I wasn’t able to invest much time into The Colony in the last few months. Commissions fell on me from all around the globe and I lived a prosperous life by lending my brush to all those in need of decent painting. Still, once in a while, between commissions I stumbled upon some cool looking items that just screamed to be unleashed onto my gaming board in form of some sweet looking terrain. Many sources provided me with items of great value, among them my girlfriend (cosmetics), my friend Garran (his personal collection of ‘cool stuff’) and even some of befriended companies like Micro Art Studio, or Ekograf, who (knowing my tastes) sent me some of their leftovers. I sincerly thank all of you, my beloved providers, and proudly announce that I couldn’t resist the temptation and used all the items, you so willingly parted with, to further expand my scenery collection and bring The Colony’s theme beyond the bounds of my early predictions.

 

From Scratch

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Anyone remembers that picture? It was published at the end of “THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part six article. Some of this stuff still awaits being used, but more than half of it has already reincarnated in a form of these scenery pieces:

New Sculpture

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A futuristic sculpture made out of a Maybelline eyelashes mascara. Once I stole this precious item from my GF’s secret stash I had a real wrinkle with how to use it. So many ideas, including an antenna, a column, a laser tube – in the end I couldn’t decide so I got back into a well known territory of futuristic sculpures. It is only fair to use items stolen from my GF as pieces of art, otherwise she might not be swayed to turn a blind eye on my theft 😛

Strip Cage

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I got that awesome Dactari from my Girlfriend somewhere along two years of gaming. Untill now I hadn’t had use for it, as I was more into Corregidor-like miniatures, but finally I got the idea, made up what MDF pieces I will need to ‘cage’ this chick and ordered them from a friendly company. Once I got the stuff I just build the cage and here’s the result. It makes foir a nice rooftop piece or a great standalone scenery piece.

Experimental Tubes

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These can be used as objectives or just some random scenery pieces. I made them out of HDF pieces, leftovers and small plastic tubes* filled with shower gell. The tubes were given to me by Garran with which I tend to play Infinity, but also exchange concepts during our long painting/modelling talks. The guy is so nice as to share some of his stuff with me and I try hard not to let this gesture go to waste.

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Sexy Pleksi

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This is another source of endless inspiration. These are some throwbacks from Micro Art Studio’s production. MAS is very serious about their products – each and every one is checked for defects before it proceeds to packing. Once a defect is discovered, all imperfect products are kept as samples to avoid same kind of mistake in the future. In case of large quantities tho – some items may be sent to a friendly modeller to be used for awesome scenery building! One might even say that these can be used in a variety of crazy ways…

Distance Keepers

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Six bridges are a bit too much on a 48×48″ table so I designed these scenery pieces to help me setup and then keep the gaming board in order. Simple yet effective, adding depth to streets and a nice futuristic note to the overall visual effect.

Low Planters

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Made with playability in mind, these low planters are perfect to fill my choosen theme of white/orange/green scenery. They fit both at the ground level and in the rooftops. I made these using pleksi rulers to provide detail, while the rest is just plasticard cut to fit the empty spaces. The visuals vere enchanced by plants and HDF ‘orange’ pieces.

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Plant Compartments

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This plant compartment module is a pearl among the scenery pieces I’ve created lately. I’m really happy with how it came out. To think that I struggled for almost a year before I decided how to use two Yves Saint Laurent caps. But let’s get to the way these items (there are actually two identical scenery pieces) came to life. Some time ago I got a set of used up cutter casings from Ekograf to use in my quest of bringing imagination to reality. My friend Garran was the one to dig these out specially with me in mind (Once again thanks mate!). Once I layed my hands on these fine pieces I knew that something wondrous will come out of them. So I started planning and was quickly drawn to still unused Yves Saint Lauren caps. Their hexagonal shape fit perfectly to The Colony’s theme so I based the entire construction on them. After adding couple of PCV pieces to make the construction higher I used plexi rulers to add detail, then used cutter casings and some HDF leftovers to build particular compartments and mounted them around the central column. For the plants I used a fake Bonsai tree made out of gum. It was to fragile to be used as a standalone scenery piece, but inside the compartments it could easily outlive all the other terrain pieces. So I used glue and some tricks of my own to enchance the vicualts of tree stupms, added fake greenery and mounted these fine looking plants inside the compartments. ‘Orange’ elements followed and themed paint job done the rest. Now I have two LOF blocking pieces of scenery, that provide a lot of cover, fill empty spaces between the buildings and go along with the theme.

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Completing the Theme

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One thing still stood out of The Colony’s theme. The Micro Art Studio’s gaming mat (which I just love and don’t want to ever switch for anything else) was screwing with my colour scheme too much. I’ve figured to try and paint it, using sprays and airbrush. For this purpose I’ve airbrushed the entire mat with Vallejo’s German Red Brown, then used Vallejo’s white primer to lighten some spots and finished with Games Workshop’s Zandri Dust primer spray. Once the last layer was dry I moisted the gaming mat and used a piece of cloth on it to ensure that no paint will leave marks on my terrain, miniatures and accessories. Must say that MAS’s gaming mat holds the paint perfectly, while keeping it’s previous properties. The picture does not entirely cover the hue but rest assured that now the gaming mat fits perfectly to The Colony.

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Epilogue

Last four months might not seen me The Colony-centered, still I’ve managed to improove the inicial concept of this gaming table. I’m really glad to be able to transform this:

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Into this:

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Are more upgrades incomming? As long as I live and am into Infinity – that’s not a matter of if, but when. Stay tuned for more of The Colony.

Gallery

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You want to learn more about The Colony? Check out the entire series using THIS TAG

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“GO GO NOMADS DISPLAY DIORAMA” SPECIAL PROJECT

Foreboding my previous lifestyle in favor of painting for hire was the best decission in my entire life. Not only that I have a lot of fun in my ‘job’ but also plenty of time for my own projects. For those who knew me before scarhandpainting.com the number of Special Projects appearing lately might be quite a surprise. I myself am taken aback by the sheer numbers of personal projects I can work on. Below is a visual step-by-step of just such a project.

GO GO NOMADS

A big Infinity Event is closing in. ‘Polish Championships’ will take place tomorrow and I’ve trained my Corregiror army and dice rolling hard in preparation. Along with the usual mano-a-mano combat, a Painting Contest will also take place at the event. Each player is eligible to select one of his army rosters and present the miniatures for everyone to see and vote. I thought long and hard to think of anything that could deliver my miniatures to the podium. I know very well that there’s plenty of awesome painters among the Infinity community in Poland and that competition will be very strong. My miniatures look nice but not awesome enought to compete with paint jobs that literally blow my mind. I’ve figured something special – a Nomad-like trick to fight for the attention of voters. A special display diorama to compliment my army’s visuals as a nice background, built and painted in the same theme as the bases of my Corregidor army.

For this purpose I found a suitable wooden crate to be used as the base for entire diorama. I’ve also set up a makeshift display of miniatures to see if the base is large enought to accomodate them.

Corregidor Diorama wip 1

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The wooden crate passed this test so I’ve  gathered 3mm PCV and some HDF leftovers. The entire layout of the diorama was taking life in my mind’s eye as I started to work on it. I’ve used the wooden crate as a template to cut a floor and a wall for the diorama. After that an idea to build a small balcony with stairs and a sniper point came to my mind. I quickly dig through any materials and pieces that might be used for that and found my good old Micro Art Studio’s walkways set. The set had some sweet looking pieces that I implemented into this project.

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Using a ruler and a pen I drawn some makeshift panels and bolt holes on the ‘wall’ and prepared space for MDF pieces to be put into. I also shortened the MAS’s stairs and added elements of my own to make them look more industrial. Floor followed in a quick succession with the center being switched for a big MAS’s MDF panel. I also moundet the ‘wall’ using three screws. Initially I wanted to use magnets to keep the thing removable, but in the end I wanted for my miniatures to be safe. After that I’ve mounted three wall panels to be used as a base for glow globes. I also made some dents, marks and holes in the concrete panels of both wall and floor. Once I was done I’ve made a last check of display. Just before undercoating I had an idea to add some pipes and a vent along the walls to build even more industrial theme of the diorama. I used lollipop sticks and some leftovers to do that and proceeded to the undercoat.

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Once it was dry I have covered the entire thing in two strong layers of Eshin Gray, then painted up all metal elements with a Tin Bitz, Boltgun Metal, Mithrill Silver layers and then washed entire thing with Devlan Mud two times. I slowly applied layer after layer starting with Scorched Brown, then following with Calthan Brown, Ryza Rust, Lugganath Orange and lastly Flayed One Flesh. This is the same colour scheme as the one used for my Concrete Bases. Actually both metal and concrete were painted the same way as in these tutorials:

TUTORIAL: CONCRETE BASES part 2: Painting

TUTORIAL: PAINTING ‘FIVE LAYERS’ METAL

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Starting with Calthan Ryza Rust I’ve covered metal elements along with concrete panels, but before that I’ve made a short pause to airbrushed white-creeme lines and a Nomad graffitti. Ryza Rust, Lugganath Orange and Flayed One Flesh went over the lines to create an impression of them being damaged and eroded along with the concrete panels. Once Flayed One Flesh layer was done I lined/edged all the angles using the exact same piant. I also added grease/Rust streaks and oil stains here and there to bring the diorama closer to a life scene.

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In the end I had to add a name, so I used a template created for me by Reycast Miniatures and airbrushed another graffitti onto the now black edges. Simple OSL was airbrushed and I mounted glow globes in the center points of each light. I also added three purple barrels to compensate glow globe’s green in preparation for red miniatures.

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The final piece exceeded my expectations. Even my Girlfriend said it looks cool – and that’s rare! Damn – I count on this one to help me climb the ladder in the contest. If not – well, at least I have a fine piece to set up behind glass along with some less used Nomad Miniatures XD

Corregidor Diorama Done 2

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PS:

27.6.2016: I actually won the painting contest XD Ultra happy about the fact! Here’s the entry:

Corregidor GO GO NOMADS Force on a Diorama Display

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“PENTHESILEA” SPECIAL PROJECT

This mini diorama is a ‘special’ kind of a Special Project. This is the first time I tried my skills on a commissioned Special Project. Penthesilea, Amazon Warrioress is a part of ALEPH commission, but I was asked to make her somehow unique – just to stand out on a display. I have a habit of preparing small gifts for all customers who happen to commission me with a big paint job, thus I prepared a special kind of scenic base for this miniature.

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It took three failed attempts to base Penthesilea, as I was torn between many different options of a scenic base. I have tried to use a photo frame and model a wild west highway on it. I’ve tried to make a futuristic enviroment on a small wooden plinth. I even tried to use a coffee cap to base Penthesilea, but each time I just torn her off and tossed my creation into garbage (or hid it in the closet for later use). Salvation came to me in the form of a Micro Art Studio’s container, with which these guys filled a package of stuff I’ve ordered from them. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and guys from MAS knew that I will have some use of their’s Kickstarter’s misscasts and leftovers. I cut the container in two and set up a nice background on it. Here’s a WIP pic:

Mirai WIP 1

 

This is how I actually started to work on this particular miniature – with a base instead of a model. After that it went pretty smooth with three days of painting, along with other miniatures. Each time I’ve ended up a key stage of this project, I was able to take a respite with another miniature, and then get back to Penthesilea. This pace kept me going with a lot of vigour, but also enabled me to look at Penthesilea with a bit of critique. I’ve corrected my mistakes at the start of each new stage and then followed adding new colours to the paint job. In the end I am very happy of how this one came out to be.

Mirai WIP 2

Here’s the final piece: “PENTHESILEA”

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Penthesilea ss2

View complete Gallery…

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part six

Half a year of waiting, two months of working and four days of painting have finally seen “THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT finished. Last week, after adding some final detail which you can check out in “The Colony” Special Project part FOUR and FIVE, I was engaged with painting all the terrain. It was a hell of a hard work, as the enormity of surface being painted overwhelmed me to a point where I slept around three to four hours each day, woke up to paint, made a break, then got back to painting etc. Still, my work has paid off – as right now my gaming table for Infinity is complete!

THE COLONY - part six: DREAM RE-REALIZED

Or so I have thought till the moment of taking first pictures came by. Not only the ‘GO GO NOMADS!’ night club looked like if painted by a three-years old, (Which my beloved GF announced just as soon as she layed eyes on my masterpiece…) but also some key colour wheel synergies were missing. Here and there I overkilled colours or just made plain mistakes. Couple of improovements had to be done ASAP, as otherwise I’ve risked my mind being overheated with self-directed anger. So I’ve started working on things that triggered my self-loathing, eliminating them one at a time.

THE COLONY building 5

‘GO GO NOMADS! Night Club’ was the first one to undergo a small redesign. I’ve dimmed the pink, and ‘browns’, adding much more white to consolidate colour scheme and black to set a strong, but natural contrast. This change did the trick of dimming the effect of “child’s dream”… It’s still ugly as fuck, but my concious is clear – it was planned from the beginning to make this one into a nice easter egg.

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Next thing to add was “detail” as my buildings clearly lacked it. The simplest way to do it was to use some already existing, tiny wall features, paint them using a variety of colour and also add more plexi-glass holos.

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In the end I also harmonized the main colour scheme by adding much more green. I used aquarium plants and some MDF leftovers for this. Green plants broke the flat colour scheme of the walls, and complemented the overall colour scheme – now all the Holos were once again moved to the visual background.

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Witness Me!

Inbetween all these changes and upgrades, I was able to made a short photo session. You can view the entire GALLERY HERE, while below is a small sample:

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Also as a bonus – I’ve already played one battle on the table – taking some in-game pictures and preparing a short video about how terrain was set up for it.

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LUNOKHOD 1

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Epilogue

Is this the end of The Colony? Judging by how necessity is the mother of invention I think that we will see some more of The Colony in the future. Especially with such kind of things around… just be sure to visit this site from time to time 😉

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part five

The story of “The Colony” Special Project is closing to an end. In FOUR’th part of this article I’ve started to add detail to all my buildings. The quantity of vents and additional stuff was so enormous, that I had to support with a help of a friend, to prepare all of them – still it took more than a week to complete. Once vents were in place I started to paint all the buildings, which was a challenge in it’s own way. I never imagined that painting buildings can be so exhausting and so many mistakes can be made during such a (should be) easy and relaxating task. Still – I was confronted with the ‘unexpected’ and had to improvise more than couple of times…

THE COLONY - part five: PAINTING STUFF

Before we proceed to actual ‘painting stuff’ it is vital for me to continue where I’ve finished “The Colony” Special Project part FOUR. I’ve introduced you to ‘Astro-Gastro Center’, which was one of my table’s centerpieces. A single picture is not enough to show the number of detailed food boths added all around the building…

Astro Gastro Center

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The idea was born out of necessity. After deciding to differentiate both of the ‘big’ buildings – I had to find a nice theme for this one. I had a lot of trash and leftovers from purchased terrain sets. I was also supported with couple rare pieces (like Zen Terrain’s food both signboards) provided by a friend. I’ve picked the best pieces and decided to build the theme around them, for this building to be at least as special as the ‘GO GO NOMADS’ night club.

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kebab windows

It started with some small adjustements to the building’s walls. Once I had the boths made and in place – I started to add some small elements to try to give each both a special theme.

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One day’s work resulted in Astro-Gastro Center being born out of scratch.

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Sniper's Nests

I’ve been already head to toe in building stuff, so I decided not to stop at decorating the buildings, but also work at adding some high placed spots, for snipers, forward obserwers and linked ‘shooty’ troops. Not too much – just enought to raise the area of play – one level up. I used what was left of my MDF pieces, added some Plasticard and prepared these, fully detachable advertisement banners. As a filler I used the only thing that I had around – the Scar_hand Painting bussiness cards 🙂

[I have already played on these – they have a nice impact on gaming style, along with just being useful).

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Undercoat Headache

Now I can focus on the actual painting, which started just as it always does – with a proper undercoat. For my colour scheme I require three strong layers of undercoat. It starts with grey, proceeds through either creeme/bone or soft grey and finally get’s whitened with Games Workshop’s Skull White spray. Skull white is vital to the overall looks of this Colour Scheme, as it’s really white and matt. It goes well with MDF terrain, covering all with a nice, strong layer. Whole process of undercoating ate an entire day – with me sitting on a balcony, spraying each individual terrain piece – one after another. Three rounds of undercoating, with my nosdrills clogged, eyes irritated and head on a verge of exploding. At least my neighbors did not protest about the smell…

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Colour Splatters

One day later the regular ‘painting’ started. It took three days of labour with a lot of painting and not much sleep. I used an Airbrush, while a regular brush applying some Fire Hot Orange to keep up with my table’s main theme (Orange + White/Creeme + Greenery). I used a masking tape for this – providing some curious, industrial shapes on the roofs and walls of all buildings. I also used a colour wheel to check out which colour will go well along with orange/green in a tri-colour scheme. The wheel told me that purple-pink should do, so I decided to try it out on ‘GO GO NOMADS!” night club. (which I actually regret by now as while ‘solo’ the building looks just ugly as fuck :P).

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Another ‘layer’ was composed of sandy yellow and soft brown. I applied them both in certain hexes along the roofs and in much smaller quantity over the walls.

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Finally added some blood splatters and grease, which sounds pretty easy if not taking their enormous quantity and dimensions of the buildings I had to work with.

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I also added some soft points od dust and dirt along with smudges here and there. Then decided to fill all vents with dark brown/rust Vallejo effect and add more smudges – comming out of them.

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Epilogue

My work is finally done and I have mixed feelings about the end result. While the entirety of “The Colony” presents itself great – particular buldings require some additional work. Especially the infamous “GO GO NOMADS!” night club is one to build up my concerns – will surely make some corrects and keep working on it in the days to come. A proper gallery is under construction but now I can provide you with this small sample of how “The Colony” looks like.

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See you in “The Colony” Special Project part SIX next week 😉

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part four

The long awaited moment is finally here – I acquired all the materials necessary to proceed with “The Colony Special Project”!  Somewhere along this month I have received packages filled with stuff from Titan Forge, Reycast and Micro Art Studio. Each time I got one, I almost jumped out of my pants with excitement, but kept my precious ‘bitz’ for later, when all the components be here. 26th of April the last delivery arrived and not being able to wait any moment longer, I jumped straight to this project!  By the way – if you need to catch up to this project – visit “The Colony” Special Project part ONE, TWO or THREE. If you are like ‘Show me more of this stuff, now!’ then proceed below…

THE COLONY - part four: MAKING IMPROVEMENTS

The longer I waited for the missing parts, the more ideas came to my mind. More designs were added to the toll and I kept ordering stuff from Micro Art Studio and Reycast. In my mind’s eye “The Colony” gaming table was expanding with each new addition. Having some of the parts at my immediate disposal, inspired me to improve some early solutions, along with creating new ones…

Improoved Barrels

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This one came to me just like that – one day I was totally happy with the way my cap-made barrels worked, next I was disgusted by how limited the idea was. My barrels were firm structures, with uncomfortable bases, difficult to shape them into a bigger mass. The solution was obvious – I had to get rid of the bases somehow. Still a base was the only thing that kept the barrels together and I really didn’t wanted to keep each barrel separate. (Which would be totally unplayable, with all the barrels moving around etc.) So I decided to improve, rather than remove the bases – a quick drawing and Micro Art Studio was working with my new design.

mas podstawkiUsing these re-designed bases let me combo my barrels in many new ways, while maintaning their firm and durable form.

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Barrels 3

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Objective Room

Somewhere between second and third part of this article I felt like something is amiss. Some vital part of gaming tables designed for Infinity that I hadn’t thought about. The ‘Objective Room’ – that was it! So important, yet I totally forgot about it when preparing my initial designs. I started thinking about choosing an Objective Room from among all the cool looking terrain provided by many different companies. In the end I couldn’t find any that would fit into “The Colony”. I wanted to implement something that would compliment all the sparkling holo-ads used to fill this gaming table at some point. In addition to that, I’m not a fan of roofed Objective Rooms. These should be of infinite height and I really wanted to design an objective room that could be considered to fill the role, not being a scyscraper at the same time. I’ve figured out to use a force field theme! It was perfect in it’s simplicity and would go well with holo-ads. In order to keep the cubic force field in the theme of “The Colony” I’ve designed a base that would be used to contain it. Just imagine a futuristic city space, where a permanent force fields are set up in the key locations, like around the antennas, some military consoles etc. VIP’s have access to these, while regular citizens are denied entry. So that’s the bassic idea of my Objective Room. It was made into reality by the courtesy of Micro Art Studio, which used my initial scetch to provide me with the final product. Just take a look at it…

The idea on the paper:

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Pieces have arrived:

Objective Room 1

The base for the force field: Built using a method of errors and corrects, using one MDF piece as a universal ruler and the idea as an actual instruction…

Objective Room 2

Objective room – closed doors (access denied):

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Objective Room – open doors (access granted):

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Ingame pictures:

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wincon room end

I really do like the end result, and cannot wait to paint this stuff. If anyone is interrested in purchasing one – please contact Micro Art Studio. It is somehow exclusive with a price set to around 50€ and that’s because of the production costs. Still I’d love to see my own design on some random battle report pictures around the internet. I hope that some of you will find the price sufficient and purchase one of these.

Decorating Walls

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Up from the start the idea was to decorate my buildings, at some point, with use of cool looking stuff like vents, doors etc. My buildings are tall and without some detail – could look really intimidating and cold. In order to breathe life into my gaming table I had to forfeit a small percentage of my terrain’s playability tho. This decision was not an easy one, but in the end – once I started to decorate with common stuff – I just couldn’t force myself to stop and started adding some sweet looking details like food booths and Robo-Prostitues enclosed in special display casings. I also decided to distinct both big buildings by giving them a theme. One became a “GO GO NOMADS!” night club, while the other became a small restaurant center.

Doors:

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drzwi dużo

Robo-Prostitutes displays: The idea goes like this: I liked Karakuri miniatures, ordered them to use them at some point, still didn’t had any idea how. Once they came, I figured to display them around the strip club. I made some simple math, asked Reycast to cut some pieces for me and once they came in, used some trash to complete my designs. In meantime I already painted Karakuris, leaving their weapons in place (Cause this is a Nomad club, and Nomads do love guns just as much as the robo-chicks!)

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“GO GO NOMADS!” strip club: Is still being decorated, but I can show you how it looks by now. Will have to prepare some of the bitz to finish decorating tho – and I also ordered two larger Holo-Ads with club’s name – Will have to wait for these…

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“Astro-Gastro Center”: The whole idea was about a big building with couple of food booths in it’s bowls. I had some leftovers from Zen Terrain’s food booth, along with some trash I used to create my won mini-bars. Some of them simple, while others with their personal theme and all. And here’s where I would like to stop this part of “THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT article. I will leave you with shis little teaser. (Hope you don’t mind.)

kebab 2 done

Epilogue

I do hope to see you soon in the next part of “THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT article. Keep your fingers crossed for me, as there’s a lot of work awaiting my attention. In meantime, feel free to ask any questions about this project – here, or at my Facebook.

 

 

 

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