Fantasy Stuff

During the last months, I was quite busy painting 28mm fantasy figures and terrain. I mainly orientated myself by the scenarios in the Sellswords & Spellslingers rule book. Fortunately, I already had a bunch of lizardmen which I painted up years ago for the pirates project (although I’ve never used them then). I also decided to buy a regiment of painted Games Workshop goblins on ebay – they were very cheap and look nice, and I rather spend my time painting up heroes and special characters instead of hordes of enemies. The bulk of my Orcs is from the old copy of HeroQuest, bolstered by a couple of figures Sigur generously gave to me.

Barbarians

Most of the barbarians are from Battlezone Miniatures, a company I recently discovered. They offer nice miniatures for a very good price and their service is excellent. The figure on the far right is from HeroQuest, while the guy with the big horns is an old Games Workshop miniatures I got from ebay.

Painting them, I have tried to implement what I learned from Sigur and experimented a bit with highlighting. I also now routinely do eyes! However, I still paint for gaming, that is I don’t spend too much time on each figure as I want to get it on the table. For the moment, I seem to have found the right groove – I try to improve my technique a bit each time, but I don’t fuss about too much.

Adventurers1

Here’s a group of adventurers. The lady on the far left is from DGS Games (via Bad Squiddo Games) and is one of my favourite miniatures. I really like the pose and I’m quite happy with the paint job. The dwarf with the chain and ball and the two halflings are from the Ganesha Games range at Alternative Armies. Another very characterful range of figures! The other dwarf is from the fantastic dwarf range of Lead Adventure Miniatures. I don’t know who produces the girl with the falcon, as I got it from ebay.

Adventurers2

Another group of adventurers, featuring two figures from Battlezone, a dwarf from Alternative Armies and a Frostgrave wizard from North Star.

Evil

And what are the adventurers up against? The Forces of Evil, consisting of an old Citadel (at least that’s what I think) demon and Minotaur, a Battlezone skeleton and another Frostgrave wizard.

For two of the Sellswords scenarios, you need standing stones. Initially, I just wanted to collect stones when going for a stroll, but the weather did not support this idea, so I made them myself. I used DAS modeling clay and decided to embellish them a bit, imagining that the stones had been warped by the evil powers of a demented warlock or something along that line.

Standingstones

Another company I recently discovered is Hexy. They make very nice resin fantasy terrain and Virago and I ordered a couple of pieces. Among others, I got myself an Orc totem.

Totem

I tried to give it a weathered appearance, as if it had been painted in garish colours which have already rubbed off.

The last thing I want to show is a ruin from Amera. Again, this is something I had lying around for years, but I finally decided to give it some paint. It’s made of a rather featureless plastic and takes some work to make it look decent, but I think it turned out ok.

 

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Building a 28mm Barn

We’ve now played several games of Ganesha Games’ fabulous Sellswords & Spellslingers. The games are linked by a narrative campaign and I’m busy painting figures for the scenarios. I also realised that I lack 28mm terrain, especially buildings. I’ve got a few from my pirate project, but it would be nice to have more.

The obvious solution is to build some by scratch, something I enjoy anyway. However, being used to 15mm, I was a bit apprehensive about the requirements of a larger scale. So I decided to start with a simple structure – a barn – and experiment a bit with materials.

The walls are made out of a thick but very light cardboard-like material I found at home. This is perfect: it’s easy to cut but doesn’t bend or warp. It may be some sort of foamcore board, but I’m not sure; I will try to source some more when I run out of this sheet. The timber framing and the other wooden surfaces were made out of balsa wood. I weathered the balsa with a sculpting tool, which was tedious work but produced a nice effect. I also wanted to experiment with other surfaces, so I integrated a bit of brickwork (made out of cork) and stone (carved out of foamboard). I’m not completely happy with those, but they look ok and I think both have potential. I will certainly experiment more with those.

The roof shingles are individually placed cardboard squares – another batch of tedious work, but again something that produces a nice result.

5

The shovel and broom were sculpted out of green stuff, the wagon wheel is from Warbases, who were kind enough to sell me a couple of spare wheels.

The wood-chopping barbarian is from Battlezone, a company I only discovered recently and which offer nice old school figures for a very good price.

It was fun making this building and I plan to make more – I want a smithy and one of the Sellswords scenarios demands a wizard’s tower…

 

What I did during the last weeks…

Life has been busy, but in a good way. I’ve got a new job and still have to settle into the new routines. I haven’t actually neglected playing games and painting (though it’s going slower), but I didn’t find time or leisure to write blog articles.

Here’s a quick update on my gaming-related activities. I hope that in the future, this blog will again resume a more structured appearance.

My painting has been rather eclectic. I really enjoyed painting the mole at the Vienna Nerd Institute painting workshop, so I’ve continued to work on the fantastic anthropomorphic animals from Oathsworn Miniatures. Here’s my collection so far:

animals

Inspire by our recent sci-fi game, I’ve also finished a landing party for an IPU (Interplanetary Union) starship:

IPU

It get’s even more idiosyncratic. I recently met a very old friend again. When we were youngsters, we played a lot of games together, among them Man O’War. Now he wants to rejoin the hobby and bought a whole load of Man O’War stuff. I couldn’t resist and by chance found a couple of second-hand Orc flyers, so I decided to give them a coat of paint:

flyers

I haven’t yet committed to build up a fleet, but I did get some Renaissance galleys from Navwar, which might do double duty as Orc ships if I can convince anybody to play the excellent Galleys & Galleons

And my final product shows that I haven’t completely lost my sense, as it leads back to my perennial obsession. Using the Busch maize field sprues, I built a corn field for the ACW. I’ve made it modular so troops can be placed inside.

 

I’ve also played a couple of games. Most of them Sharp Practice, but we’ve also started T.I.M.E. Stories, an interesting cooperative game about which more in another blog post.

And I had a game of Flashing Steel, still one of my all-time favorites!

Building a Cotton Press in 15mm

After building the Southern Mansion, I wanted to add more structures which would have belonged to Civil War plantation complexes. One of the most characteristic landmarks was the cotton press. This large wooden structure consisted of a screw mechanism and a wooden compartment into which the cotton and a piece of cloth bagging was put. By turning the screw, the cotton was pressed into a bale. The bag was then stitched together and bound with rope.

 

My model of a cotton press is mainly made out of match sticks and thin strips of wood. I often use old plastic cards for bases – they are thin, don’t bend or warp and have a good size for many 15mm structures. The cotton compartment was built up with matchsticks. The press part was made out of balsa wood and two dice frames. For the screw, I just took an ordinary screw. I also decided to use a clear acrylic rod as a buttress because I didn’t trust the stability of my construction.

Around those two parts, I built up the framework with thin strips of wood. After priming, I painted and drybrushed it to give the impression of weathered wood.

In my lead pile, I found a spare mule (well, I found several – for some reasons I’ve amassed a lot of mules!) to which I added a harness with bits of a paper clip and paper. I also made some cotton bales out of Green Stuff. They are based on a period painting and, while not perfect, were easy enough to make.

And this is the finished cotton press:

Belonging to the production infrastructure of the South, cotton presses were often destroyed by Union troops. My model will make a fine objective for games of Sharp Practice.