Monday, 8 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 13 - Scenics: Craters)

I've built a few more scenery pieces to add to my growing collection. This time it's craters.

Construction was as simple as can be: A hardboard base, to which I added a thick ring of PVA glue and laid on top of that a ring of gravel. When dried, I added another layer of PVA and another ring of gravel.

When that was dry, I smothered the gravel in PVA and scattered on some sand, massaging it into the cracks with my fingertips.

When that was dry, I painted the whole thing with a mix of black emulsion, PVA and sand to add texture to the whole base area.

A bit of drybrushing and some paint/snow/static grass and the result is as shown below:

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday, 1 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 12 - Scenics: Rocks)

Now that I have a gaming surface I'd better add some dimension to it, right? To that end, I've made a few rocky outcroppings for my growing scenery collection.

Unfortunately, my hurriedly-taken photos were a bit pants, so I can't show them all to you on this pass. I'll retake some newer pics and show you the others on another occasion.

The same method was used throughout:

  • Cut a hardboard base, 
  • PVA some randomly snapped chunks of polystyrene to it,
  • Hot-wire cut the polystyrene into a "rocky" sort of shape,
  • Add some gravel to the base for texture,
  • Paint the whole model in a couple of coats of black emulsion mixed with PVA & sharp-sand,
  • Paint the rocks grey,
  • Drybrush the hell out of it,
  • Add snow/static grass & clump foliage to taste.

Sorry about the blurry photo

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday, 24 September 2018

Warhound Titan Revamp - Part 2 (Turbo Laser Phase 2)

I'm too easily distracted - I set myself the project of revamping my very tired, unprofessional-looking scratch-built Warhound as a New Year's resolution and so far all I've managed is to add some Nurgley-gloop, grilles and tubes to one weapon and paint it up.

It's a huge improvement to what the weapon originally looked like, but the rate of progress has been virtually at a standstill.

I think I'm a little daunted by the prospect of moving past the weapons and onto the model proper, if I'm honest. It's a massive canvas to have to work on and is also quite fragile.

I need to "man up".

Anyway - this is the finished article (except that when I get to working on the body I'll probably add some hoses connecting the weapon to the carapace):

More Titan stuff:

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 11 - Starting on some scenics)

As usual I'm jumping about from topic to topic. So, notwithstanding the fact that I've not yet completed work on my modular tiles, I've started working on some scenery pieces to add some height.

This is a WIP post so there are no finished products to be seen yet.


I've built a few different types of hills. All are made from polystyrene sheets. The polystyrene used is the dense kid - fairly robust and not easily dented/damaged. All will be painted firstly with a mixture of black emulsion/PVA/sand to give some texture and strength to the surface. A second coat of black emulsion will then be applied before drybrushing etc. In the images that follow, some have had that first coat, some haven't.
Single-tier hills

More single-tier hills

two-tier hills

3-tier hills

And a two-tier cliff - the cliff face is difficult to make out but it's a few chunks of tree-bark.
It'll be easier to see when painted.


The rocks are chunks of polystyrene hacked into shape, based on hardboard and will be textured with some gravel and the same paint/PVA/sand mixture as was used on the hills (and everything else!).
Rocky outcrop

Rocky outcrop

Difficult Ground:

Randomly scattered chunks of foam and gravel, textured with sand/PVA/paint etc.
Difficult ground


There's no foam in the craters. These have been built by gluing a ring of gravel onto a hardboard base with PVA. A second ring of gravel was added once the first had dried. Once that was dry, I applied a final layer of PVA and then "smooshed it around" with my fingertips, working it into the cracks and crevices between the gravel I'd previously applied. I then covered the gravel with a layer of sharp-sand and allowed that to dry. Once dry, I removed all the loose sand with a 2'' paintbrush and then painted with the same mix as used on all the other pieces above.

There's clearly more work to do here - the pieces all need another (and in some cases - a first) coat of black paint and need then to be highlighted and dressed.

The pictures above also show only a fraction of the pieces I've built so far - there are a couple of dozen items in total.

More news as it comes in...

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Quick Tip: Hotwiring a Hot-Wire cutter!

In a minor diversion from the norm, I thought I'd post something showing a quick 5 minute hack I made a short while ago.

As you may be aware if you look in on my blog I've been working on building a modular-tile system for a wargames table.

I have a small attention span, so as always I get distracted. Despite not having finished all the tiles yet, I've already started building some scenic pieces to add dimension to the table surface.

Inevitably, this has lead to building some hills.

The hills themselves I'll cover in another post - this one is all about the hot-wire cutter I used in the process.

When I got my cutter out of storage (it hadn't been used in a while) I was irritated to find that the battery had gone flat.

My hot-wire cutter may differ from yours - it#s basically a handle with a twisted pair of cables which end in spade connectors: order to attach to the terminals of a 4.5v battery:

Now I honestly have no recollection of the thought-process that led to this, but I ended up devising (probably via wondering if I could buy a PSU of some sort) a means of safely mains-powering the cutter using an old USB cable and a discarded phone charger.

It goes like this. The hot-wire cutter requires a 4.5 battery. USB runs at 5v. "Near enough for Jazz" as the saying goes. Cut the Micro-USB end off the USB cable and strip off the outer insulation. You'll find four very thin wires inside. You're interested in the red and the black only. You can ignore/chop off the others.

All I did was solder the red and black wires to the spade connectors, wrap a bit of tape around them in order that the spades can't touch each other and - JOB DONE! You can see in the photo below where the red wires from the h-w cutter join the green USB cable, wrapped up in a bit of masking tape.

It works like a dream. Not only do I never have to worry about flat batteries again, the spade connectors weren't that reliable anyway and my cable is now 1m longer to boot.


More "quick tips":

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Stormcast Eternals - Part 7 - Vanguard Hunters

I'm having a love-hate relationship with this army.

Generally speaking I've enjoyed painting them. I totally didn't ever want to paint Ultramarines, but picking these guys up enabled me to paint Sigmarines with a nod to Ultramarine colours without making an army that looked silly ("Who's idea was it to make our camo bright blue? <FOOM!>").

I loved painting the Lord Relictor. I was originally cheesed off with painting my first unit of Liberators. My second unit of Liberators was more fun. I really enjoyed the Prosectors. These guys (largely due to the heads & faces) I hated. No matter what I tried I couldn't get a result I was even close to being happy with.

Ho hum.

More Stormcast Eternals Stuff:

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 10 - Finishing off Rivers)

If I break this project down into Phases, then this post definitely closes off Phase 1 - the first seven of my fourteen tiles upper surfaces are now complete. I have seven more tiles to build and paint (five of which will just be "flatties", one will be a river section and one will contain a pond). In addition, all fourteen tiles will be flipped over and given a different finish on the other side so that I can use more than one basing scheme for games that aren't fantasy/sci-fi based.

A set of rocky details (fords etc.) has been built using PVA glue and fish-tank pebbles. The river itself is sculpted (not very well!) from decorator's caulk and has been basecoated brown.

In this image the rocky details have been painted black, ready for some highlighting. The river sections have had some green added to suggest dirty, murky water.

Same stage, different angle

Here the rivers and rocks have been finished with a drybrush of light grey. Some tufts of static grass have been applied to portions of the riverbank too. 

Same stage, different angle.
So, time to put these away, get the jigsaw back out and get started on the second batch!