Saturday, 15 December 2012

Making birch trees

I have been looking through several sites, researching the best ways to make scenery - or at least effective and relatively simple ways of making good looking scenery. Through one of my searches I came across a nice method for making birch trees (the tutorial was for trees in winter that were leafless but it would be easy enough to convert them to summer trees). I liked the idea of having trees that had nice white trunks and would contrast nicely with the green tabletop. Plus they would be something different to the regular trees you always see. So I set about making my very first trees. Ever. Crazy to think that I have been involved with the Warhammer hobby for over 20 years and have never made a tree. Turns out these were dead simple to make.

The materials needed were as follows. A bundle of florists wire, some florist tape (white), white spray paint, black paint, modelling clay, large metal washers, reindeer moss and your regular basing materials.

Step one is the build the trunks of the trees out of the florists wire, wrapping it with the florists tape. Take 2 or 3 lengths of wire and wrap the tape tightly around the wire, then add another length of shorter wire once you have wrapped the tape about a quarter of the way down the original length of wire.Wrap the tape around this new piece of wire and around the rest of the trunk. Keep adding new wire to form the branches of the tree till you are satisfied.

Once you have the trunks of your trees made (I made mine to several different lengths for variety) spray the whole lot white. Let the trees dry then paint on the distinctive bark patterns that birch trees have. Some simple black paint is all that is needed to make these makings.

Now you need to build up your bases. Using the large metal washers to from the bottom of the base you then build up the roots and ground the tree stands on with the modelling clay. Put the clay aside to harden and pluck out chunks of the reindeer moss.  This stuff is great and makes for fantastic foliage.

Add the reindeer moss to the tops of your branches, gluing them in place as best you can (although they do seem to stay fast just by feeding the wire through the moss).

Now all that is left is to base your trees to match your gaming table. I based a few of the large trees with a smaller tree on the same base for added variety. Then add them to your gaming table and enjoy! :)

It is probably a good idea to spray the trees with a matt varnish as well to protect them as much as possible. I haven't done this yet. I have to say I am very impressed with my first foray into scenery making, now for some more bits and pieces, hedges and walls I think. More trees will need to be made, but for these I think I will go with a more traditional brown barked tree.

Friday, 14 December 2012

WFB 3rd Edition Rules Questions and Answers

While reading through my back issues of White Dwarf I came across a couple of pages that may prove useful to anyone relearing the rules for 3rd edition Warhammer. Rick Priestly answers a few FAQ's about the Warhammer rules. I am sure this has been seen by many before but for those who have not seen it here are the pages:

Monday, 10 December 2012

From the deep jungles came the Slaan

I have added some Slaan to the lead pile which is now growing to proportions where I begin to wonder when I will paint them all. Much like the pile of lead and plastic armies for modern Warhammer and various Blood Bowl teams that are also sitting around. Still, you can't turn down the opportunity to get your hands on some of the frog-men when they become available. I picked these up locally again. Not sure quite what I will do with them as they are seemingly an eclectic mix of Slaan.  There are several riders (or these could be regular Slaan with the slotta base removed) but only one coldone, there is a single warhound but no handler, 3 Alligator warriors and 3 blow pipe warriors. The rest I think are regular Slaan. I will need to compare them to the Armies book some more and Solegends to really work out what's what.

And I grabbed a Zoat as well. I am quite happy with him as I have never seen one in the flesh before. I am trying to hold off on buying any more Orcs and Goblins as I hope to buy an army off an old friend...or is that and old army off a friend? Potentially lots of 3rd edition goodies to be had there so I must be patient... GAH!!! O.o

Oh and I also picked up a whole bunch of 3rd edition era White Dwarfs for some bedtime reading. I will share any interesting tidbits I come across while reading them. There is a pre 3rd edition (by 4 months) Warhammer scenario that could be worth posting.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Table designs

Continuing on my plans to build a modular terrain table/ dining table. So these are my musings over what the table may look like. There probably won't be any drawers. But that's the basic idea of what I am looking at, trying to keep it simple and hopefully keep the costs down at the same time. I can then slot the modular terrain boards inside the table where they will be held in place nice and snug, with enough of a lip left over to keep dice on the table. When not in use two sturdy wooden boards slot into the top of the recessed area to convert the table back into a regular dining table. The flat modular terrain boards can be left in place under this surface, while hill sections will have to be stored elsewhere. I am wondering if the modular terrain boards need to be reinforced with a wooden frame - not really for strength but to protect the edge of the polystyrene from dents and nicks when trying to slot them into place and being kept in storage.

I need to get this thing costed before going much further.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Geek Chic

Now I am sure that several of you are aware of these tables, probably the ultimate in gaming tables purpose built for gamers by gamers. Unfortunately they are only available in the USA. Lucky you if you do live there.
Something like one of these tables is what I am envisaging as the basis for my modular terrain table. I need a regular table that can be used as a dining table but be easily converted to a gaming table. Something like the one below.

But this is really overkill for my needs. As great as it is, especially all that storage under the table. I am going to look at something simpler. A basic dining table with a removable surface that reveals a recessed playing surface beneath. I can then slot my modular terrain pieces into this area for games of Warhammer in luxury. 

Of course all of this is going to have to be hand made locally. I can't ship something like this from the USA (even if I could the cost would be astronomical). So the mission now is to sketch up what I am looking for and find a carpenter capable of delivering what I want - within a budget I can afford. No small task I guess but we all need something to aim for :)

Oh, and all this is excluding the modular terrain pieces I need to build. These will be much simpler than Dreamfish's masterpiece but still a lot of work. I am actually excited by the prospect! :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Random additions to the lead pile

So I picked up some random miniatures nice and cheap from a local seller that are being added to the collection of lead. So in the interests of keeping a record (for myself as much as anything else) I am putting what I receive up here where I can catalogue them.

Not too sure how many of these are classic (if any). Going to have to go through the catalogues on solegends to work them out. The scales vary significantly between the models. Is this normal with Snotlings?

I don't think this is a 3rd edition troll. Most probably a Stone Troll from 4th edition at least thats the earliest reference I can find to him.
Correction, he does actually appear in the Green Catalogue of 1993 so was made in 1992 so he could just scrape in as a very late 3ed edition model?

Hobgoblin rocket team that is definitely 3rd edition.

Minotaur Lord. Body 4, Legs 2, Head 1.

2 Chaos Warriors. "Axe and face of Slaaneshi mount" and "Sword and Chaos Tome" (I now have 2 of the Sword and Tome warrior. May need to swap him for another warrior) 

Not a bad haul I think. Most of this lot will be able to see action in the Orc and Goblin horde and also go towards a growing band of Chaos.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's a Wyvern sir!

I collected my old school Wyvern for the growing Orc and Goblin horde today. Covered in a nasty paint job that is going to have to be stripped. Missing the horns but I think I can greenstuff these and also unfortunately missing the top of the rider's weapon (which I never noticed in the eBay pic) but still a very cost effective buy I think. Very pleased to have him in the fold where some TLC will bring him up to the standards he deserves as the leader of my army.

Oh, if anyone happens to have any spare Wyvern horns that they just happen to have lying around, please can I buy them off of you?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What I am working on at the moment

So while I am in a good painting space and enjoying the process I am cracking on with more models.Up next are the 5 Marauder command group models that I will add to the plastic Orc unit. These are more models I have had since I first started collecting miniatures so they have seen many varied roles in their lifetime. Most notably as Blood Bowl players though. :)

Now they are getting a new lease of life and will be finding their way back onto the battlefield where they belong. So they were stripped of the old paint job that the 15 year old me gave them and under coated white - seems I have returned to the white undercoat now when painting these old miniatures and not the black undercoat I have been using for years on my modern army. I prefer it too. I am painting them up in a limited pallet that matches what was used on the plastic Orcs, but I am adding red focal points to tie them in with the shield designs and bring the unit together as a whole.

So the basic paint scheme looked like this (please excuse the very basic cell phone camera shots)

Then I went and added the same Green Wash to the skin tones as used on the plastic Orcs and mixed up another batch of Smoky Ink and Black Wash which I painted all the metal and red areas with. A further watered down mix of this wash was applied to the wood areas. Resulting in the now shaded miniatures, ready to be highlighted in coming evenings.

Not bad for a couple of evenings work :) Long may this painting spree last!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Plastic Orcs quick and easy painting tutorial part 2

Not much more to add to this now. Just to clean up the models with some careful dry brushing to highlight the skin using Livery Green once more. Paint in the red of the eyes, a bit of Bone White to pick out the teeth and mix a dirty pink to paint the lips of the Orcs. The Leather parts were highlighted up with Cobra Leather and just the edges of the weapons got a dry brush of silver, the remaining metal areas were left untouched. Thats all the painting done.

I then based the models with some fine sand and a few small stones, stuck a few patches of static grass on after the sand had dried and voilà. A painted Orc.

Don't forget the shields! I sprayed these black then painted the rims silver, the wood Beastly Brown and the moons Bloody Red. Gave the whole thing a wash of the same mix of Smoky Ink and Black Wash as used on the armour then aplied some simple highlights again, picking out the teeth with white and a bright yellow for the eye.

And thats all there is to it.

Really this is all an excuse for me to play around with the camera and try to get a few better shots of the completed unit - completed that is excluding the command group! Taking some shouts outside in natural light this time, tends to give the whole picture a bit of a blue tint it seems but a bit of colour correction has fixed that.

Friday, 23 November 2012

The horde is growing slowly

A very quick update to track my slowly growing Orc horde. I received a few new miniatures in the post yesterday and there are more on the boat making their way south. Missing from the photo are the Grenadier Orc archers on Wolves and Orc Bolt Thrower (still in their blister packs)

And finally a quick cellphone shot of a completed plastic Orc. I am still not certain on the colour of the shield design. I was going to go yellow (but that seems too Gobliny) then I was going to go white, but I went with the Orc red in the end. Seems to work pretty well. The model looks a lot nicer in natural light and viewed by eye, the skin tones really don't come out in the photo.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Citadel Journal Spring 1987

So delving back into the Citadel Journals that I own, I have selected some content from the Spring 87 edition to share. This edition featured the introduction of the Bugmans Dwarf Rangers and the Nightmare Legion in the second release of the Regiments of Renown, the Skeleton Horde was revealed, rules for Machineries of Destruction (ManMangler and Tielindrion Elven Attack Chariot), rules for Citadel Dragons, the Snotling Pump Wagon makes its début  the Kaleb Daark comic continues plus there are loads of miniatures - several full colour pages of miniatures plus the catalogue of new releases. 

But what I wanted to show from this edition are, as they put it on the contents page: Colin Dixon's Dioramas presented in stunning full colour because they deserve it. 

These dioramas really inspired my in my youth. I wanted to collect all the models and duplicate these dioramas. I never did of course and most probably never will but they are still wonderful to look at despite really being very simple dioramas by today's standards. For the record here are the models used in the dioramas:

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Plastic Orcs quick and easy painting tutorial (part 1)

I am currently painting up the old plastic Orc regiment. They are one of the earliest forays into plastic miniatures by GW and as such are very static, monopose miniatures. So they are not a range of models I have ever liked all that much. But they do still have a soft spot in my heart being some of the models I originally bought (or more accurately begged my parents to buy for me via the old mail order system after I studied the catalogues and worked out how to get the most bang for my very limited buck). 

So what the hell, lets paint them up in a simple and quick paint job and get them ready for gaming. Turns out they are in all likely hood the easiest miniatures I have ever painted. The simplicity of the poses and lack of any fiddly details on the models make them a breeze to paint. So while going through the basics of getting them done my mind kept referring back to the images of these miniatures in the WFB 3rd Edition rulebook and the simple painting tutorial they were featured in. Thus I decided to show my very own painting tutorial. (nice and presumptuous to assume anyone cares how I paint but its my blog and I will do what I want!) ;)

The basics in 3 easy steps.

I use Vallejo paints (so no authentic 80's era GW paints I'm afraid). All photos are taken with my iPhone so please excuse the quality.

Step 1: Starting with a white undercoat instead of my usual black undercoat as I want the base coat colours to be bright.

Step 2: I then painted the skin with Livery Green (72033), the metal areas with Silver (72052) and the belt, pouch and edging of the chain mail with Cobra Leather (72040)


Step 3: I gave the skin a wash of un-watered down Green Shade (73205), adding a second wash on the face, hands and feet if needed to get the definition required. Then I mixed together about 5 parts Smokey Ink (72068) to 2 parts Black Shade (73201) which I watered down approximately 50:50. This I then painted over all the metal and brown bits to create a slightly dirty/rusted feel to the metal. I applied 2 or 3 washes to get the definition I wanted. I also selectively used this mix to wash the face, hands and feet of the model for added definition in those parts.

And thats all there is to it. The model is now perfectly good for gaming with. Base according to your preference and get out on the battlefield. Of course I can't leave it there so I am going to add another step at least where I add a few highlights and details (eyes and teeth mostly) oh and the shields of course! 

Ok, maybe I was a little hasty putting up a tutorial now... this needs a part 2 now! :D
(quick edit to the title)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Vengeance of the Lichemaster

Here is the scenario presented in the Citadel Journal Spring 86, the follow on from the Terror of the Lichemaster campaign - the Vengeance of the Lichemaster.

This issue of the Citadel Journal also marks the introduction of the Skaven to the Warhammer world. There is a set of rules in the journal for using the Chaos Ratmen in Warhammer as well as their history and a guide to painting Skaven by John Blanche. (For some reason these pages are all missing from my copy - no doubt due to me cutting out the pages for the scenario as a kid and ruining the binding!) I do have scans of these pages however that I managed to track down on the internet so if there is interest I can post these up too.

But enough about that, lets get into the scenario itself: