Saturday, May 30, 2015

Terrain: Ruined Settlement

Lengthy post incoming!

This will be my first terrain post. And the only one in the foreseeable future.

I've been working on these for even longer than most of the miniatures I've posted.

In these pieces, I a lot of thought and care was given to the placement of plants and fallen debris. I wanted these features to look natural and realistic so that the pieces could tell a consistent story.

For example, a wall is knocked out. A piece of rubble falls so far and lands just so. A plant sprouts from beneath the rubble where water might accumulate... 

Let's get right into it...

*Haunted Mine*

This began as a piece of packing material from my parents' treadmill. But as soon as I saw it I thought, "that would make a great Dwarven mine entrance!", and I cut a Masonite base for it.... then I stored it in a cabinet for a couple years... then over this past summer, I finished it and painted it.

Now I'm posting it.

The half-buried dwarven statue is from the Battle for Skull Pass troll. As mentioned in a much earlier post, I had two identical plastic "troll-holding-uprooted-dwarven-statue" models for my unit of only three trolls, so one had to be heavily modified, and his statue was held on to for a later project (this one).

Also from Battle for Skull Pass is the half-buried shovel that may or may not be visible in one of the pictures.

The rail tracks and sides of the door are styrene widgets. The rail ties are wooden dowels, painted... to look like wood..

The detailing on the sides of the structure are styrene sheet. The rune symbols near the top were cut from styrene sheet with a razor.

The earth was created "free-form" in various sand, aquarium rocks,vermiculite, rocks from the alley behind my house, and spackle.

The foliage is static grass and decorator's moss. Creeping plants have taken root in cracks in the masonry, and scrubby more yellow plants grow in the doorway (where they receive less light).

 The decoration above the door is a sideways shield from Wargames Factory plastic Celtic warriors.

The "stone structure with bright green grass growing on it" look drew subtle inspiration from Laputa: Castle in the Air. To me, the overall scene feels "quiet and still".

*Ruined Forge*

This one started as a piece of styrofoam that came with (I think) a dehumidifier. I saved it and glued it to its Masonite base around the same time as the mine.

The door and blast marks were carved out of the foam with a razor. The walls were "painted" with spackle to give them the appearance of being made of anything-but-styrofoam. 

The opening of the furnace part was roughly carved out with a razor, and given a border of close-in-size aquarium rocks. The pipe is an actual pipe; just a PVC one painted to look metal. I scored it deeply with a razor at the end.

The tree is papier mache and copper wire (credit to whoever posted the tutorial about this that I read once on Coolminiornot), and the greenery is decorator's moss.

 Notice that the tree sprouts from next to a large fallen block and directly beneath the pipe.. The idea was that water would have dripped on it from the pipe, allowing it to grow, but that doesn't make any sense at all now that I'm typing this. How would water accumulate in the pipe. Maybe a wizard did it,

The second floor deck, vertical wooden beam, and caved-in steps are craft wood. 

The round emblem above the door is a shield from Wargames Factory plastic Celtic warriors.

The metal braces on the sides of the door frame are styrene. The bolts securing the brace above the door are slices of sprue and styrene rod (notice one is missing and that end of the metal has become loose).

The earth is chunks of asphalt (which makes convincing ruined masonry), styrofoam, sand, aquarium rocks, alley rocks, spackle, and copious amounts of vermiculite (which makes really realistic chunky dirt).

Other foliage is static grass and decorator's moss. I took care to make the placement of these features realistic (plants sprout from between rocks where moisture would accumulate, grass grow on only flat places on the slopes).
This place looks like it once saw a lot of violence, but now the scene strikes me as very peaceful. But not so quiet like the mine, rather it seems like a place where you could hear the sounds of birds and insects. I'm pleased with how much dimension this piece has when viewed from certain angles.

*Ransacked Tavern: The Bind Eye*

 This is the oldest of the three by a lot. I started it around a decade ago. It's base is made from a paint palette. The walls are made from a painstakingly sawed up Lucite greenhouse panel... because I had never heard of foam-core board at this point in time...

The stones on the corners are foam insulation, patiently carved with a razor. I followed a tutorial that used to be on the Reapermini website. They had become damaged in a few places over the years, and were filled in with aquarium rocks where needed.

The bottom half of the exterior walls were spray painted with textured spray paint. Presumably I taped off the other parts, but this was a long time ago.

I made he floor boards from popsicle sticks, then let it sit for nine years...

I picked it back up this summer. The furniture and shelf on the interior are craft wood. I sprinkled sand and sawdust around over dilute white glue to make it look gross and moldy. The shield on the wall is from Wargames Factory plastic Celtic warriors.

The little posters were made from "raw parchment" colored paper that I had. I cut the tiny rectangles out and drew the words on with a nice pen. Then I crumpled them up repeatedly or held them taut and pulled them back and forth over the corner of my desk (like what you do when you try to make a dollar bill more acceptable to a vending machine) to distress them. To make them look dirtier, I rubbed them face down on my desk so they picked up traces of misc. paint, pencil, and dirt. They advertise things like "Fine Wares", "Wizard for Hire", "Soldiers for Coin" and "Comets Appear!". Other smaller ones just have fake scribbles.

The hanging signboard is craftwood. The bird-headed post it hangs from is from Mordheim (A skirmish-scale boxed game set in the Warhammer world. It came with a bunch of cardstock buildings with plastic embellishments.) The rings the sign hangs from, I somehow make from less than 360 degree slices of styrene tube. I wouldn't even want to try to do this again.

As I worked on it, I grabbed a piece of paper and tried to come up with a logo I could use for a hand-painted sign on the signboard. Medieval style taverns had names that were describable images like "The Dancing Horse" and stuff like that because the people were all illiterate so they had to just use pictures for their signs. That might have either come from a Dungeon Master's Guide or I made it up, so it might not be true.

Anyway,  the second idea I thought of struck me as particularly good, so I went with it. "The Blind Eye". It has a couple layers of meaning (the literal meaning, and implying shady stuff went on there). The logo was quick and easy to paint, which is what I was going for. All-in-all I consider this signboard to be only of the most successful (least time consuming with reasonably good results) parts of the project.

The door is craftwood. The doorknob is plasticard, sliced sprue, and sliced styrene rod.

The earth, is sand, aquarium rock, and vermiculite over spackle-coated pieces of beveled foam-core board. (not used for the walls, why?)

The foliage, like the other pieces, is static grass and decorator's moss.

This piece feels less serene than the others. More gross. I wouldn't breathe the air inside.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

40k Project: Daemon Prince Maggotscab

****NOTE: This post is under construction. Check back for more details on my model. I have a lot to say!****

Before going any further, I'll describe the stock model he is based on, and the model for which he was created as an alternative.

Here is the stock model: 

 An unaligned Fantasy Daemon Prince.

  This metal Warhammer Fantasy Daemon Prince came in several pieces, and there were a couple variant arms, heads, and legs so the contents of a daemon prince blister pack would vary. The one from the official GW/Citadel image has a different right arm (a double-arm with crab claw) and different loincloth than mine started with, but is otherwise the same.

These Daemon Prince models displayed little or no iconography/features that implied devotion to any one of the four Chaos gods in particular and left that for the hobbyist to express through painting and conversion. I don't know when these were first released, but they were not new when I started playing (during 6th Edition).

 I think the same models represented Daemon Princes in early40k as well. A 40k-specific Daemon Prince, wearing/partially-fused-with a suit of Daemon Prince-scale power armor was released eventually.

Some time later, probably the mid 2000's, a Nurgle-aligned Daemon Prince model was released (out of nowhere) for 40k.

I think it was in conjunction with the Cities of Death supplement, which contained more detailed rules for urban battles, but nothing specifically dealing with Chaos or Nurgle as far as I know. None the less, the supplement was accompanied by the only ever Daemon Prince model specifically aligned to a specific god, and a handful of other random ones for various armies.

Here he is:

Here's my take on the plague-ridden space-marine-ascended-to-daemonhood: