My last couple posts were more general hobby musings. I didn’t have much to say about what exactly what I have been up to besides 3d printing. And that post was mostly full of unpainted prints. Which is fair, because 90% of all the prints ARE unpainted… Yup. I found a new way to increase the Boxes of Shame at a much cheaper price point. Genius? Or madness? The jury is out.
I’ve touched on my lack of general progress on the painting front. I get into a hobby funk and and don’t care to paint, often for months at a time. I’ll read, and putter with conversions, and sometimes build terrain, but the downs tend to be pretty unproductive. My hobby desks (I have two, one for painting and corralling of supplies, the other for terrain) are both in total disarray. Maybe that is part of the problem. I have to move and shuffle things to have space to work. Too many half finished projects right now. My painting area is covered with finished models lacking proper storage, Black Series figures (come on Ikea, will you restock that stupid display cabinet already??), several swarms bases for my Vampire counts WFB army, some random Reaper models, High Elf and Bretonnian heroes (shamefully in primer after five plus years) and a smattering of other pieces.
Despite my hobby failings, I have managed to finish a couple slow burn terrain projects. I teased them a couple posts ago, all pink foam and wood strips. Then just this week due to being in quarantine for C19 exposure, I managed to paint 10 archers/huntsmen for my Middenheim WFB army. Mostly I watched 10 James Bond movies, but I did put paint to model as well.
Sometime in late 2019 I watched a video on Eric’s Hobby Workshop about building medieval rowhouses. Its seemed like a cool build, and I had been wanting to build some Mordheim terrain for a while. Plus, I had a box full of foam bricks and stones I had cut on my Proxxon Thermocut hotwire tool. I watched the video a couple times, then had it playing while I started the build. I varied from Eric’s base material and used a floor tile from Lowes.
The tile cuts easily, and is fairly rigid, though it will sag over time. Not an issue if used for terrain or stored flat, and the tiles are cheap. I think I paid .89 USD per tile. The tiles have an adhesive backing, which is a pain to deal with. Or just leave the paper on it like I have started doing. The first couple times I used these tiles I peeled the paper off and tried to wash off the adhesive, unsuccessfully. I tried coating it with PVA to take away the stickiness, Which sorta worked after 3 coats or so. Leaving the paper on is easiest.
With a rough sketch, I cut a piece of time and then started hot gluing “stones” on. I went for a corner set of houses, and laid out stone first floors. Once that was done, I started in with basswood and foam core board. I didn’t plan well, and ended up with some tricky sports to paint and add in the floor remnants. There were difficulties and unpleasant moments, but I finally got this one done.
Except for the windows. Windows. Not my favorite part of a terrain build. If I go easy, they don’t look very good. If I make them detailed, they suck to build. Windows were one of the reasons I started looking at resin printers. If I could print them versus building them, I could save a fair amount of time. This build had, I think, 29 windows. Each window was constructed from nine parts. Eight pieces of craft strip, plus the “glazing” from sculptor’s aluminum mesh. I used a strip wood chopper from Micro-Mark. You can find it here. Like a true genius, the windows were of various sizes, so I had to adjust the Chop It over and over. With all the wood cut, I started gluing the parts together. Then painted the subassemblies. Then more glue and clamps. And of course, I don’t have enough clamps, and could only glue a couple frames at a time. Eventually they were all finished and installed.
All in all, I am happy with the build. Less so with my pictures of it, but I still haven’t taken the plunge to buy a decent camera. If you look closely at the last pic, you will see the ruins of 5 buildings, and a tunnel between the left house and the middle house. It has a fair amount of play potential for skirmish gaming. There are a couple places that getting figures in and out of will be fun, but I traded realism for playability. I need to add some rubble and litter to the model, but I am holding off, and will do the whole planned table at once to tie them all together in color and tone.
With that building done, I attacked another. I found a picture on Facebook of a build someone had done. I can’t find the saved page though, to credit it properly. It was another medieval building, this time a solo, five story building. Here is a pic of it, and if someone recognizes the original builder, please let me know so I can credit his work.
I started with another piece of floor time, and the pile of foam “stones”. Much nonsense ensured as I did some nifty carpentry to make the second floor beams interlock, a fact no one ever will see. Such silliness, But I have to admit it was kind of calming to slowly make all those cuts and fit the wood together.
I built this terrain piece intact, so no shortcuts of missing walls. I decided early on It needed to be completely playable, and each level is separate, plus there are interior walls and floor details. Since I was eyeballing the dimensions off a couple pics from FB, mine grew and grew. The second and third levels are fairly big. Even the fourth floor is decent sized. The fifth floor is more of an attic, but it has a removable roof.
I laid countless floor boards. Made some mistakes. Built what felt like 1000 windows, and slowly made progress. This was really a slow burn. I would work for an hour here and there. Then skip a whole week. It never seemed like I was going to finish, and that was before cutting hundreds of roof tiles. Finally, It was done and ready for paint. Which I won’t lie, was a daunting task. I am still not happy with the stone on the first floor, despite watching too many YouTube videos. But for now, it is done. Oh yeah, it needed fireplaces, right? So I built some of those too. I thought I had measured and cut right so everything fit, but alas, I failed. Since this is a terrain piece for me, I let it be. I added a flickering LED to one fireplace just for fun. Here is a link to it on my YouTube channel. Looks cool. I magnetized the fireplace to the wall so I turn it on and off or replace the battery.
I don’t feel like I have gotten much done over the last six months or so, but looking back on these two builds, I see that I wasn’t completely lazy. And that pic with the fire effect just made my month. So cool.
Now to build like 20 more of these and the Mordheim table will be done!
I did spend some time with other projects. I found this video on Azarek’s Miniatures and Gaming Terrain. Its of an old skull he made to use in his DnD campaign. Well, I needed one of those! I saw it after Halloween, of course, so my Amazon skull arrived via raft from the PRC. I have mine with the ‘skin’ on it now, and need to finish this soon.
A little gross, a lot cool.
I also need to give IRO over at Imperial Rebel Ork a quick shout. He challenged his blog followers to show off some of their favorite t-shirts. So here are a couple of mine. I am a shirt hoarder. I have 100+ in my closet, and two plastic bins in the basement of shirts i refuse to part with. I keep saying I am going to have them made into a quilt. I keep not doing it. These are couple of my favs.
The last bit. I actually painted some models this week. Last week I remembered some used models I had tossed in a Simple Green bath to take the old, crappy paint off. I frequently buy old, OOP GW models for my various WFB armies. Some are decently built models and need a quick scrub and repaint. Some have been painted in industrial paints of unknow origins and take a bit of work to clean them up before repainting. Some are a total disaster and make me question my sanity for buying used models. This batch of 12 was one of the later.
I couldn’t find any presoak pics, but trust me, they were terrible. The paint was globbed on, and of various types. Some were definitely acrylic, and the paint came off ok. The flesh color is still an unknown. After two months in Simple Green and another week in LA’s Totally awesome, it still didn’t come off clean, sticking in between fingers and in eye sockets and ears. One model never did come clean, and stayed black. Although I am not sure it isn’t a resin print/copy of original GW design. I cant decide, and since the black “paint” would not budge, I am leaning to a copy. One model STILL hasn’t shed its colors. Still in LA’s Totally Awesome. I might try a bath in 99% iso next. Good thing it was a standard bearer I didn’t need for this unit. The last model was a one piece archer cast in red plastic on a slotta base. I imagine it is from Hero Quest, though I haven’t bothered to check.
Once the paint was off, I debated binning the lot. Bows and arrows broke, there were mold lines everywhere. One right hand is actually a left hand. They were a mess. Good thing they cost less than a dollar a model… I took them to my work bench to clean up and reassemble and fix. Except for the left hand. The model is holding a big wooden stake in attack position, so despite the anatomical issues, I kept it in place. Once they were all repaired and cleaned up, they got another bath before priming. And then I put paint to brush,. Slowly. And with al the great ability I lack. Here is the newest unit of Middenheimers. Or Middenlanders. I can never keep the color schemes straight. Doesn’t matter, they are Empire troops and Ulric-worshippers, so that’s the important part.
I did print some new models this week. And these might have me happier than any model I have printed yet.
These are multipart models I got from Reptilian Overlords, a small company that makes printable files to fit in with GW products. I bought a set called Mercenaries and Militia STL Set 1. Awesome parts, and plenty of them. I only printed out a couple pieces to test, and I am thrilled. I can build up a unit of lightly armored troops, all with similar breastplates and helmets for a unit I have been trying to build. Now the try part is done, I can make this happen! Stoked. Thrilled. Excited. 3d printing has made this unit a reality. To me, these prints are just as good a quality as any plastics out there, and allow me to print exactly the pieces I want to build these troops. The printer is gonna be busy!
And one last pic before I go. Remember how I told you my Black Series figures are out of the package? This is why. Can’t have this happen if they are trapped in card and plastic.
Until the next.