Thursday 13 January 2022

Out on the banks of a river...

 Over on DakkaDakka there's a regular terrain challenge that I've started to take part in thanks to the modular boards. While most people take the themes and try to create one piece of terrain like a building, I've been trying to take the theme and convert it into a new set of tiles to add. The last one ended up in the swamps, even though it started as a book/reading spot related thing. If you go back to the first tile for the swamps a few posts ago you can see the books all piled up by someone.

This time the theme is Crossings, so I've chosen the obvious of a river crossing or two. This necessitates the creation of an entire river for the table too as I don't have one of those yet! The first trial was just a flat tile with the river painted onto it... but it just felt like a real copout in terms of opportunities, so I manufactured a new tile type with two raised sides, allowing for the creation of some banked river tiles

Above, you can see one half of the low tide gravelly path across the river. It looks/feels a little bit too high though. I should probably have just painted it underneath the river instead of trying to gravel the whole thing... ah well! There will be a few more layers of different blues over this, followed by some modpodge for a bit of texture and shine.

The finished version along with the bridge and about another 12 river tiles (possibly more, I forget...) will be shown later as they are also going into the Analogue Hobbies challenge

Sunday 9 January 2022

Stormcast Eternals

Kicking off this year's painting challenge are some of the Stormcast from the recent Age of Sigmar starter set. These are much much nicer proportions than the original design... they look a lot more realistic. They still came with the daft death masks though, so I've been replacing them all with sallet heads from the Reptilian Overlords mercs set, which I think give them a much nicer silhouette 

Thursday 6 January 2022

The webways open...

 I swore I wasn't going to do any more 40k after painting a guard army last year where every. single. squad. was *EXACTLY THE SAME*. It *looks* great, but it was painful to paint. For 2022 my brain has decided that it'd be a *brilliant* idea to convert up a Ynnari army so I can collect/convert bits from the three Eldar armies and buy the shiny new bits when they come out. Thanks brain. Thanks a bunch... you know I don't actually play 40k so why the hell do I need/want to buy another army I'll never use?! 

Oh Kill Team you say?

So one order later I seem to be making lots of neat conversions. I'm trying not to think how much it's costing but it looks pretty so far! For those that missed them, a while back the Eldar managed to waken up their god of the dead, who now protects it's worshippers from having their souls eaten by Slaanesh when they die. This has caused a schism and now a 4th eldar faction exists (Ynnari) that can use a lot of the unit choices from all of the other eldar armies. 

The first Kabalite squad being constructed is going to be a Trueborn one, a bunch of natural born dark eldar who think they are better than everyone else... of course they need to look posher than anyone else. So what better than the bird masks from the Scourges, cloaks from the old Warhammer Shadow Warriors and a greenstuff fur collar to match the Visarch model from the very very small Ynnari range. They have been de-spiked to give them a sleeker look that sits somewhere between the smooth Craftworld armour and the spiky Dark Eldar stuff

After playing around with him a bit, I moved onto the really nice Inkubi kit, which is really nice but also too spikey for the theme. They come with massive skull helmets, which feel a bit ott in a force that is moving away from the torture/pain/slavery thing of the Dark Eldar and more towards decadence. Using the Kabalite helmets here makes them fit with the Visarch as his bodyguards. It feels like they also need to have some fur and cloaks on somewhere.

They are supposed to have big spikey back decoration. I've left this on the boss, but want to add back banners to everyone else instead. This *may* get expensive though as you only get one of these per Kabalite box... and I really don't need that many basic grunts; especially not for Kill Team! I may need to take that one off and make an alternative, but at least I can see the concept.

Then there are the Wyches. The Visarch (who I will buy/paint at some point soon) has some ornate armour with plenty of decoration on the knees, so for the wych cult it made sense to use the Idoneth Deepkin archers as they have some really nice lower armour, very dynamic poses (who thought archers bouncing all over the place was a good concept?), but have bare chests which fits with the wych/pit fighter concept. The Wych arms fit really nicely, but the heads need a bit of trimming to work, but in the end look pretty good.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Slacker reporting for duty!

Well *that* didn't go as planned! I blink and it is suddenly December 2021... 18 months since the last post here. I blame lockdown as it only seems like yesterday since I last posted! It seems I not only missed posting last year's AHPC stuff... but all of the work done on the modular gaming table, an Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Court *and* a vampire counts army! I have some catchup posts to do I think!

At present I'm prepping for this year's AHPC, so there's a bit of backlog clearance to do before that starts... as well as prepping anything I want to actually paint!

So what is the main change over the last 18 months? Well things have moved on quite a bit since then. I invested in an Ender 3 to go with the resin printer, which means I have the capacity to print larger, or lower quality, things... leaving the resin printer to deal with figures rather than terrain. Remember those foam hexes that I was making last time? They are no more*, they have been replaced by a combination of printed hex plates and some risers. These were based on a concept another company did with Openlock connectors, but each hex used significantly more filament and took quite a few hours to print. With these very basic ones I can print 4 risers in the time it would take to print 1 of the others. These are also scaled to match the foam hexes that I already have.

This makes storage a lot easier, as well as simplifying swapping hexes around as I can leave the risers in place and just swap around the top bits. This has meant that I've disassembled some of the foam from 2020 and rebased them, though there's still all the trees to work on. There's a little bit of tidying up that I need to do, then they will be going onto Thingiverse. It's not full terrain like Hexhogs' mountains/cliffs (more of which later), but encourages terrain building instead. For grasslands I've been using Vallejo textured earth paste

Larger buildings or set pieces are going on merged tiles, allowing a bit more scale to be added

Likewise, it's easy to create new details to completely change the scope of a layout. In this case a set of railway line tiled means a fantasy village becomes a pulp countryside setting instead. For the railway I also printed a resized crater from Hexhogs and added some railway lines to allow for some demolition scenarios to be done with a simple swap when the bomb goes *BOOM!*

Dakka Dakka had a terrain challenge, with the theme of books so I made a little swampy reading spot using some bits and pieces of plastic terrain and coffee stirers. The stairs were from the angelic character from the recent AoS box, with some Crooked Dice birds adding to the tree

Then I realised that the competition had another month left on it... so I may have gotten carried away and made loads of swamp, grasslands and road tiles to make a 2x2 gaming table. Adding in some other bits and pieces that already existed, this is now a 3x3 swamp table for an upcoming Fantasy 7TV day in February. I'm looking forward to playing some games over this one!

The one thing I need to work on is making the grass look better. Currently it is just coming out as *green* with some fairly bland brown bits for mud... I forsee some experiments over Christmas to try and improve these, especially as I have another 3x3 layout to make before Feb as well!

*so if anyone wants a giant box of foam hexes, the cutting templates and a lot of the tiles from the original layout, let me know!

Friday 12 June 2020

Table updates

No new 3d work recently, I've not really been in the mood after the roof for the pigsty failed to fit properly. I need to go back and fix both parts at some point, but I've sorta lost interest in that one.

Aaaanyway. I have done some more bits and pieces to go around the table though To get a bit more shape to the table, I cut a bunch more hill sections. I'm slowly getting to grips with cutting these things and only worrying about the edges cut to the right level neatly and hacking the rest in to allow for some variation in shape/curvature once the polyfilla goes on

The woodlands got some nice extensions too. These are the last two Citadel wood trees that I own now built, so I had to go searching for some alternatives. The joy of a 3d printer is there are a few decent alternatives out there. The ones I settled on were the Winterdale Gnarly trees from They look pretty good, but not quite up to the same standard as the old GW plastics. Still, $9 for the file and about £1.20 per tree in resin and more variation is pretty good value for a bit of a quality drop. The added bonus is I've also printed out a bunch at 10mm for a different (new) project that will get it's own post at some point

The bushes are from the free sample pack on the Lost Adventures kickstarter page and the free Black Carrot Designs tree stump on Thingiverse. The fun of 3d printing is the ability to merge models to provide some variety, which you can see from the bushes merged into the treestump. I also added a little rabbit hiding in the bush, to see if anyone is paying attention while playing on the table ;)

There are also some squirrels and a magpie hidden in the trees if you look carefully. The last addition doesn't really fit the more fantasy theme, but will be a fun objective in more weird war/pulp games. I had the shelter for a while all painted up, but kept forgetting it existed... so it is now part of the table.

Thursday 21 May 2020

The joys of printing

I mentioned the other day that I bought a 3d printer, well lockdown finally gave me that kick to use it properly and start learning how to use Blender to make my own models as everything I could find didn't quite fit the aesthetics I wanted. A few years back when I was on a resin casting kick, I tried sculpting/casting an extra wall to go with the GW Garden of Morr set as I loved the style... but hated all the skulls on it all. That didn't go so well as the plaster started to disinegrate in the wet rubber.

Roll forward a few years and I've not only managed to create some straight walls that fit nicely, but I've managed to create a full set of walls for the table and I'm over the moon with how well they have come out.  The set also includes a small gateway, like the Secret Garden and a collapsed section... but also includes a lychgate. It is for a cemetary after all.

Given that these are my first ever 3d models, I was a little wary of doing anything with them, but I was finally convinced the other day to let others have them as well. It's not like I've got enough of a following to try and sell them yet... so they are now available for free on

Future models will also be added there too. Enjoy! and if you print them, please let me know, I'd love to see them in use!

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Patreon recommendations

Last Christmas I bought myself an Elegoo Mars resin 3d printer. One thing that has been great is all the interesting Patreons and kickstarters that are starting to appear now the technology is well within homebudget range. This is certainly going to impact the way the hobby evolves over the coming years.

At present most things seem to be around fantasy or sci-fi figures and terrain, but I would not be surprised to see historicals and pulp start to make an appearance soon and start challenging some of the more established companies. Having to buy one set of files for not very much at all... and then be able to print out a many of them as you need... *mind blown*. May are starting to provide pre-supported models too, which takes all the work out of it... just load up the slicer with the bits you want, hit save and print. No more faffing with carefully placing struts on it all.

Some of my favourite Patreon creators at the moment are:

Cult Miniatures. These guys are creating very modular kits that allow real flexibility in positioning and customisation. Below you cna see all the options for *one* of the figures in this month's set. Each month they release one standard size infantry unit, one larger unit, at least one character and something else. Last month was egyptian undead (or Khemri to those of you from WFB), which came with a load ot terrain elements. The previous month was Beastmen, so in addition to the normal two units we got a unit of minotaurs. All for $12 a month... Below you can see the modularity of this month's fungus queen. I have 7TV ideas for her

Lost Kingdom Miniatures are hard at work creating some stunning alternatives to WFB classics. Their primary focus so far has been Chaos Dwarves and Lizardmen, with the occasional diversion into heroes for other races... so who knows what will be coming in the future. They recently did a highly successful kickstarter for terrain for these two races with some very characterful figures. Sadly I didn't back this one as I don't need any of the terrain and to get the two or three interesting exclusive figures you had to go all in. This one is useful for filling in some slots in the Warhammer Quest lineup. This month is some skink and kroxigor alternatives that are far far nicer than the originals... not bad for $10

The last one for today is Artisan Guild. In terms of modularity, these guys are slightly less modular than Cult miniatures, but far more flexible than Lost Kingdoms. AG tend to just make the hands separate and create batches with lots of different weapon combinations. They even supply open and closed hands and weapons with no hands... so 5 minutes in Blender means you can start mixing and matching weapons or accessories from other sets very easily. Fancy an elf with black powder weapons? Fine. Take the blunderbus form the Dwarf set and put it into someone else's hands. Some races even share the same hands so it is even easier. The models are a bit chunkier than other ranges though, but that's ok too. Just scale the model down by 10% and it'll now fit with most other ranges. Again, this one is only $10 a month.