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Tag Archives: DIY

TUTORIAL: PREPARING HOBBY GRAVEL

A hobby gravel – along with sand, gravel is a basing resource that each modeller should be acquainted with. Popular to an extent where some companies tried to brand it. For me, gravel and sand are supplies that I avoid buying in hobby stores. Why spend your money on thingsg that you can acquire yourself, especially when you know what to look for and how to prepare it? I preffer spending my cash on paints and awesome miniatures. Not that I ever went gravel hunting. Just kept in mind that modelling treasures like this might be found unexpectedly and to take advantage of such find if luck favours me…

Backstory:

One of these magic moments happened just few days ago. I was walking my dog, decided to take a new route and visit a small defile left by a construction long time gone. Suddenly I stumbled upon a huge pile of perfect gravel. By ‘perfect’ I mean slim, thin, not too sandy, sturdy pieces. Something ideal for basing. I marked the spot in my memory and got back there, armed with a small container, few hours later. Took ‘the sample’ and upon reaching home, spent few minutes preparing it for later use…

I USED:

  • Thick sieve
  • Rare strainer
  • Few plastic containers

1  First I separated the biggest chunks from the rest of precious gravel. These were a bit sandy so I left them for further cleaning (water and toothbrush will do).

2  I then used a rare strainer to separate medium sized pieces from the smallest ones. Medium sized pieces are perfect for scenic rocks, or more planned surfaces. I like to have these in a separate container, just to pick what I need at a whim.

3  What's left was a pile of small, flat pieces - ideal for standard miniature basing. This is what you usually get, when purchasing a hobby gravel in a store. As you can see, a lot of sand and dirt was filtered alongside gravel. Fortunatelly, nothing that a thick sieve couldn't handle.

Done:

Sounds so simple, that you probably ask yourself why have I done a tutorial out of it? I decided to TUT this to show the extreme level of simplicity required to prepare your own gravel. Sure – there is a catch to it: you gotta find some gravel in the first place – still, unless you live at the North pole – one day you will just bump into it. Old construction sites are a good place to start looking. Good hunting.

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“CLOCKWORK MODRONS” SPECIAL PROJECT

“In the fictional multiverse of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Modrons are creatures native to the outer plane of Mechanus. Modrons resemble geometric shapes with humanoid limbs and represent a living, physical manifestation of law without regard to good or evil. They follow a strict hierarchy, with each rank reporting to the rank directly above it, and issuing commands to the ones ranking beneath it. For example, a quadrone modron will report to a pentadrone, and command several tridrones.”

CONCEPT:

This Special Project is a part of the ever growing Thomas’s Peculiar Collection. With new D&D adventure just being released and the Modrons playing an important role in it – Thomas have asked me to prepare a set of Modrons of different shapes and sizes – to fill eventual requirements of his Game Master needs. He then provided some fantastic and imaginative materials to base my work on.

FROM DUST...

Thomas knew very well how to support his favorite Arcane Artificer for the grand task of creating an entire collection of Modrons. He ordered a variety of awesome hobby (and not entirely hobby) materials that were meant to bolster my own collection of ‘scrap’. With the concept already implanted in my mind and a magnificent drop of loot delivered by a courier – I spent half a day just segregating and preparing bitz and usable stuff for later use.

The project was then put on hold, due to other projects standing in the way (schedules must be met). Fortunatelly it did not took long and about a month later I reignited the spark of the arcane – sat down and started working on the Clockwork Modrons.

First a test subject, and then – upon it being accepted by my master – I worked day and night to bring more such magical creatures into being. Bodies invoked with use of wooden balls and smooth dice of many shapes. Sockets, joints and detail forged with decorative beads. Limbs created with toothpicks, bases cut of plasticard, weapons stolen from the Warhammer 40,000 miniatures… A wast production line was set up on my workbench and I was at the same time the coordinator, concept supervisor and the working force…

 

AND INTO THE ARCANE...

Some time passed, before totally exhausted and with fingers covered in a layer of hardened super glue, I reached the goal of creating vessels for souls of the Modrons to occupy. I then put a lot of effort to bolster them against the forces of gravity and potential stress they might suffer during games to come.

ANIMATING THE CONSTRUCTS...

For the Modrons to truly come alive I obviously had to do my magic and paint them. The entire process was long and not without challenges. Modrons are mechanical constructs so I decided to go ‘metal’ with a trusted Five Layer Technique: Metal. I then added more and more layers of different effects like rust streaks, smears, patina, splatters of stippled metal and some edges. In this the ‘AK Interactive’ paints became a vital factor. Slowly, steadily the Modrons came alive at my desk.

IT'S ALIIIIIVE!

Finally I’ve reached the goal and reported a success to my master. His bidding done I can now present to you the fruits of my arcane labour in the “CLOCKWORK MODRONS” Special Project gallery…

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TUTORIAL: MODELLING COBBLESTONE BASES

In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a Cobblestone Base in a what is probably the fastest and simplest way ever.

I USED:

  • Wallpaper*,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Flat (used up) Brush,
  • Hobby Knife,

*Just find a suitable one at a local builder’s store.

1  I started by covering entire base with Basing Glue.

2  I then cut off a piece of the wallpaper to be slightly larger then the base itself.

3  Next I glued the piece onto the base, turned the base upside down and cut off the excess of the wallpaper with a Hobby Knife.

4  Last step was to smoother the edges with a slightly moisted fingertip.

Now you see how insanely fast and easy this was. For the purpose of this tutorial I made just this simple base, but once you get your hands on a proper wallpaper, options are limitless. You can use it to texturize bases and terrain, add more detail or even mix different types of texture.

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part eight

It has been six months of peace for The Colony Special Project. I’ve mentioned before that such grand projects are never fully complete – so here I am, adding even more stuff to the already vast collection of scenery. The reason for this is obviously the restless muse, but also I grew up to a decision to expand my scenery collection. On top of more variety I will be able to cover two gaming boards and that might come in handy from time to time…

THE COLONY - part eight: NEVERENDING STORY

 

Going Double

Not so long ago I have attended a big Infinity the Game event. About 40 participating players, including some of my friends. As a co-organizer I took The Colony with me, so that along with Micro Art Studio, Zen Terrain and After Hours Workshop, there were more fully painted tables at the event. I even streched my terrain set to cover two gaming tables, thus was hyped by the vision of creeping onto another 48×48″ board. At that point I already had some new stuff purchased at Antenocitis, so it’s not like I was ever going to stop anyway 😛

Still, once the dust settled and I had a moment to thik about it, I realized that more terrain was inevitable if I was to do it again in the future…

Filling Spaces

The idea was to build more interresting stuff to fill all the empty spaces between buildings. At that point more buildings were rather out of question as I’d rather produced terrain pieces to improove single gaming table, with an option to allow me to eliminate vast empty spaces if I went double…

New Sculptures

The obvious choice was to produce more sculptures, as these look nice, are awesome LOF blockers and work pretty well with the theme of The Colony.

For this purpose I used a hard box and some random leftovers provided by friendly Terrain making companies and my wife.

Fountain Sculpture

This one was a totally new approach to the ‘sculpture’ idea. The exclusive Winsor & Newton brush box was an inspiration on it’s own and summed with my newly acquired experience in using clear resin – a fountain or a pond was a must go. I decided to use wooden balls as a sculpture to compliment the water theme with their smooth oval shapes. Now I feel like a second Winsor & Newton box is soon to follow…

Plant Compartments 2.0

Plant compartments from THE COLONY – part seven: BEYOND are by far one of the best Infinity scenery pieces I have created. They have the looks but are also very playable, providing a lot of cover and breaking long shooting corridors. Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics plug and couple more drill covers, that I received from a friend, and an I was ready to build another Plant compartment. This time tho I lacked some of the MDF pieces, necessary to build an exact copy of the previous template. I decided to do some magic and tinker a bit with the design – using materials I actually had.

I also redesigned the plant to add variety on the table. These were made using a method from THIS TUTORIAL. It is simple and very effective and can be used to create many awesome shapes and textures. It took me around ten minutes to prepare three of these, so if you ever wandered if you should try the tutorial out – just go for it 😉

Food Mashines

These three were inspired by boredom and awesome looking Orbit Gum pendants. Upon seeing the pendants I grabbed a bunch of them, knowing well that they will come in handy in the future. Did not took much time to try and use them for Infinity scenery and a set of Food Mashines (closed and secured cause ‘Nomads are in town’) are now complete. On top of three Orbit pendants I mostly used trash and leftovers, but there also are some special MDF pieces which you probably reckognize by now.

Epilogue

Another weekend well spent. Now I can’t stop to think about other ways of using clear resin, wooden balls, basing-super glue made plants and all the new stuff. Might also want to shift my attention to designing the actual MDF scenery as recently I’ve entered into an arrangement with Every Little War which will tweak some of my stuff, including Objective Room and provide it in the online offer. A lot of stuff to wait for XD

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TUTORIAL: MODELLING OVERGROWN BASES

Today I’m going to reveal one of my dearest secrets: how Super Glue and Basing Glue can be used to make some fantastic, crazy, awesome stuff! I have invented it by accident when I was a kid, used it since and love it for both simplicity and awesome texture effect. In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I will show you how to produce your own Overgrown Bases!

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Birch-tree seeds*
  • Bitz of dried out grapes**
  • Random small balls***

*I purchased a huge pack of these for approximately 1€,

**Once you eat up all the goodie goodie grapes, you have like a bunch of wooden leftovers. Once dried out these are awesome bor basing miniatures.

***I use either Air Soft Gun ammuniton, or for smaller calliber moist absorber balls obtainable with every new pair of shoes. Just ask your gf to dig out one of her shoeboxes, there should be a small paper bag filled with tiny, translucent balls in it.

1  I started by applying basing glue all over the base. No need to make it smooth, just enough not to leave any empty spaces.

2  I then dropped some of the tiny balls and Birch-tree seeds over the wet glue.

3  Here's where MAGIC begun. I covered entire base with Super Glue and watched as it was warped before my eyes in a matter of merely seconds.

4  Before it dried out I added some pieces of dry grape vines to make it look like some strange, alien mushrooms, or plants. I then covered additional stuff with more Super Glue to harden it.

5  Last step was to leave entire thing to dry out. Usually it takes around five minutes for a base to get dry, but it might take a bit longer, depending on how much basing glue is used.

6  The final step was to undercoat dried out base with Chaos Black spray... then do a quick paint job with random colours.

Now seriously – tell my that’s not an awesome texture effect XD This is like ultra-fast, mega-cool way of using two glues to create utter chaos on any surface. Chaos mutations, warped stuff, Zerg creep, alien planet foliage, jungle floor, faerie glade, name it – then glue+glue it 😉

Do not hesitate to let me know and send some pictures via FACEBOOK if you ever use the tutorial. I will be happy to see how it turned out 😉

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TUTORIAL: MODELLING CAVE BASES

In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a Cave Base.

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Toothpicks and nail sticks*
  • Small gravel stones**
  • Games Workshop Texture Paints,

*Ask your GF if you don’t know where to obtain the latter.

**Search in IKEA or any home/garden store. A lifetime stockpile of these is less than 5€.

 

1  I started by cutting off the tips of both toothpicks and nail sticks. These would do for fine stalagmites later on.

2  I then applied couple of drops of basing glue onto the base. Before it dried out I applied Super Glue on it and mounted stalagmites, tip upwards, on the mix.

3  Next I covered entire stalagmites with basing glue and left it to dry. The excess glue, moved by the power of gravity, was drawn downwards, where it rested around the base of the stalagmites, making them look smooth and natural.

4  Using the previous technique I applied some basing glue in few spots and then Super Glue'ed some gravel over it. You can actually glue any type of stuff with this - like skulls, some pieces of armour etc.

5  I then covered antire surface, except for any fillers, with Games Workshop's texture paints. I used a mix of Agrellan Earth and Agrellan Badland for this tutorial, but actually any of the range will do - as long as you would like to undercoat the base afterwards.

6  The final step was to undercoat dried out base with Chaos Black spray...

Now, what’s left is just to paint the bases with your preferable colour scheme. I chose to go red/copper style similar to ‘the Wave’ and watered some spots with clear resin, but the number of potential colour schemes is unlimited.

If you ever use the tutorial – be sure to let me know and send some pictures via FACEBOOK. I will be happy to see how it turned out 😉

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“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:

wip-mordheim-gaming-board-2016_2017-concept-old

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:

wip-mordheim-gaming-board-2016_2017-1

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.

wip-mordheim-gaming-board-2016_2017-bridges-1

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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TUTORIAL: DIY CANDLES

Winter is already here thus I thought about warming the theme a bit by introducing a tutorial of how to make candles for 28-30mm scale. Why produce such things? In miniatures hobby candles are rare bitz among what you get in the sets designed by main miniature producers. Even if a set contains some, their number is scarce. Why not make your own and adorn bases, miniatures and even scenery with them? Be it Age of Sigmar, Mordheim, Warhammer 40,000 or just a fantasy dungeon – candles will provide mood to both miniatures and scenery. Below is a quick and easy step-by-step of how to produce your own 28-30mm scale candles. Enjoy…

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Toothpicks,
  • Tissue,
  • Thin Wire,
  • Modelling Tools,

1  I started with preparation of candles-to-be by cutting toothpicks into small pieces. I tried to keep all of them between 5-10mm long, to better fit into the 28-30mm fantasy scale. Once I had couple pieces done I choose some of them and drilled small holes from one side. These will be used later to hold candlewicks.

2  Next I glued the candles onto the base. In case of scenery I usually drill small holes to hold the candles in place or just glue them as it is if I'm sure the scenery won't require enchanced durability. For the purpose of this tutorial I drilled some holes in an old square Warhammer base.

3  I then glued small pieces of wire into the holes, to look like candlewicks.

4  Then came the time to cover the candles with a basing glue, applying additional glue around the base of each candle to create an effect of spilled wax.

5  Next step was to prepare couple of small flames, using a wet paper tissue. I just rolled, then cut it into small pieces, which I then rolled once again.

6  The flames where then glued to the candles with super glue and once in place - covered with glue to harden entirely.

7  I left the stuff to dry, then painted it with mix of creme and white, washed the candlewicks and flames with some washes.

The end result will look more or less like this:

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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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“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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