Wednesday, October 16, 2013

READ NOW if you like collecting miniatures !!!

Reaper Miniatures are at it again - I wish I'd learned about this sooner, but there's still 10 days to go!

Their BONES miniatures range are highly detailed plastic miniatures, and last year they did an amazing thing - they created a Kickstarter for the production of a new range of figures, and if you bought into the Kickstarter, you got the miniatures at an incredibly discount price.

They're doing it again!

If you pre-order their 2013 $100 Core Set, it works out so far to about just 80 cents per figure!!! And the more people who pledge, the more figures get automatically added to everyone's Core Sets (without any increase in price!), and the cheaper each of those figures will become!

Then there's Core Set Add Ons, where you can order extras of any figures you really like that are in the Core Set.

The there's $50 Expansions - for $50, you get another whole range of figures. The first expansion has giants, dragons, and monsters, etc.

Then there's Options, which are individual figure or set purchases that are not available in the Core Set, but are only available as separate purchases, with even more amazing dragons and monsters and stuff.

Check out their range - and remember that the more people who join in and pledge to order miniatures, the more miniatures they will add to the Kickstarter, and the more stuff people will end up getting when the Kickstarter finishes.

And remember, these prices will not be repeated - ONLY people who join the Kickstarter will get the figures at these insane prices. After that, when the figures come into retail production, they will sell at regular miniatures prices.

So, for $100, the 2013 Core Set currently give more than 100 figures! And as the pledges go up, more and more figures will get added for free into the Core Set!

Visit their pledge site here:

Also, if you look at the UPDATES page (see the menu across the top of the video at the top of the page), there are photos of the miniature sets on those pages that are bigger and show the detail of the figures a lot better.

Basically, any photo with a dark purple background is a miniature automatically included in the $100 2013 Core Set.

The blue background photo is Expansion Two, which has things added to it the more people pledge.

The orange background photos are Options that are purchased on their own, and are not part of expansions or the core set.

The sort of dark yellow/ochre background photos are Expansion One, which is now complete and not being added to further. All the things on that photo are included for just $50.

The light purple background are Add-Ons. Basically, they list each of the sets that are included in the Core Set, and allow you to order extras of any sets that you want to have a bigger group of.

You can even get a bag of standard round Figure Bases - 50 of them, for just $10 !!! Compare that to 10 of them, for $7 at Games Workshop, and that's a LOT of figure bases for cheap!

But remember, there's only 10 days left - it ends on Satuday October 26th here in Australia, I think that's the 25th in the USA? (Or perhaps that's the other way around. Check the site and log in to your account if you create one, to see the correct date in your Country's time zone)

The other amazing thing is that they met their initial $30,000 goal in just 3 minutes! I don't know if that's a Kickstarter record, but it sure sounds like one! Congratulations to Reaper Miniatures!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Blog Style and current activities

So, I was having some technical glitches with this blog, and it turns out it is because they changed how blogs are scripted, etc, on here, and that Google is making everything a part of its Google+ thing now. So I converted to Google+, and had to basically reset all the styling of the blog. I couldn't remember what it was like before, so I've set up a new look for it.

Anyhow, my brother got back to his Hirst Arts weathertop inspired ruins (see the link below), which look fantastic on his lava pit wasteland Realm of Battle Board:

I was rather impressed (I love Hirst Arts constructions!) and it inspired me to do a bit more work on my own Hirst Arts creations, so I've pulled out all my plaster and corkboard and paint, and have started working on my 3D dungeon tiles again. So I'm back on my goal of trying to make enough ground tile pieces to be able to lay out any of the dungeon maps in the boardgame Descent.

Once I can get all the Dungeon tiles created, I can get back to working on outside wilderness tiles, so I can finally, finally, play a campaign of Road to Legend using 3D tiles - which is the campaign that inspired me to take a look at the Descent game in the first place.

Friday, August 16, 2013

(off topic) Making an Arcade Machine

Hi guys, been a while since I posted anything on here. I haven't been doing much painting of the miniatures sort, but I thought I'd link to another project I'm working on that involves painting :) I'm making a tabletop (bartop / benchtop) computer arcade machine, for playing retro games. Anyway, for more info, I'm blogging my progress here:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Skeletons and more tiles!

Finished the regular Skeletons last night. Now I only have three unpainted minis for playing Descent left - being three of the gargoyle/razorwing figures that are still white plastic. All the other monsters look playable now :)

And I've got enough tiles to do a number of different Quest maps now! I found that Quest 2 is the longest/widest of all the quests, and the only quest that won't fit entirely on my table. I had to remove a 2x2 tile from the passageways, and now it fits. I figure, 2 squares shouldn't make much of a difference. I counted out how many squares wide all the other maps are in the books, and they all fit fine. Anyway, here's the ground layout of one of the Quests with some of monsters thrown on :) Note the three unpainted Gargoyle/Razorwings. They're next on my paint list.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Treasure ! Loot !!

When I ordered a bunch of plaster stuff to be cast for me for my 3D dungeon, from Griffin Grove (using Hirst Arts molds), so I didn't have to do the messy work, I added some extra molds to the order. I wasn't entirely sure what bits and pieces would be in them, but there were some crates, and a fire pit I think. Anyway, I discovered two types of chests in there today, and piles of gold coins, so I have made up a Gold Chest, Silver Chest, Bronze Chest, and Pile of Coins for Descent :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hirst Arts and the pre-painted Ruined Castle Walls

I don't know if you've seen the ruined castle walls pieces I got ages back, pics of them way back in this blog, though if you follow my brother's blog, you'll see them from time to time in our Lord of the Rings battles. I think they were from Pegasus Games or something. Anyhow, it turns out that they fit perfectly on my spaced hirst arts 'descent' tiles. This means if I lay the tiles out to make a solid rectangle board of stone tiles, I can lay some castle ruin pieces on top, to create a ruined castle, or ancient underground ruins, or whatever, for characters to explore! Here's how it looks with a handful of walls on the hirst arts pieces I've done so far :) As always, click for bigger picture, or right-click and open in new tab for full size.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Getting back into Descent tiles

So, here's the tiles, doors and rocky wall bits for Descent Maps I have done to date, laid out as a single board. Been a while since I did any miniatures stuff, so this week I'll be doing up some more tiles and stuff to add to the collection :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kickstarter: Drake - The Dragon Wargame

Hi guys! Check this out on Kickstarter:

It's a new wargame featuring some fantastic fantasy models and sounds like an interesting game world too, but the kickstarter only has 66 hours remaining!

For those who don't know what Kickstarter is, it's a site where people put up projects they want to do, and people can pledge to support them with some money. If they raise the minimum amount or more of money in a certain amount of time, then the project goes ahead. Even better though, is that pledgers can gain all sorts of bonus stuff in addition to helping to support the project - for example, some kickstarters might give miniatures as part of a pledge, at better prices than what the public will get when a game goes live, or offer special unique figures as rewards for pledging, and that sort of thing.

If you've been looking for a fantasy miniatures kickstarter, check this one out - there are some fantastic dragon models! Also, lots of photos and pictures on their page - a real lot of detail in these figures.

Anyway, just giving you all a heads up - 66 hours remaining!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Descent Level 1 with monsters, almost finished!

Thought I'd post this one as well today, with the level 1 monsters on the board :) A few monsters still need to be finished - one of the razorwings (gargoyles) and two of the skeleton archers, and I haven't done a repaint on the pre-painted troll yet, so I'll get to that at some stage. As always, click for bigger picture!

3D Hirst Arts: almost completed Level 1 !!!

I've created all the tiles now for level 1 and a couple other levels of Descent, 1st ed, but have run out of glue (to make two more doors) and texture paint and wash (to finish the last room of tiles). However, I've put enough together that I can most certainly play on it now :) So I'll be trying out my first game with the 3D board, while it isn't yet complete, but its complete enough for playing on for now (until I get more supplies in a week or so).

I also decided I didn't like the look of painted 'pits' under the wooden planks, as it didn't fit in with everything else being 3D, so I turned the 'pits' into pools of water :)

In a few places around the outside of the floor tiles, I sit obstacle terrain to add more 3D feel to the board (cavern wall pieces) as well as putting those kinds of pieces where obstacle terrain goes in room and passages.

By turning my grass Citadel mat upside down, I can use its black underside, and now I've got automatic 'pits' simply by having no floor tile, and the black showing.

I also decided to add even more yellow drybrushing to the wall/obstacle pieces, to make them stand out from the floor a bit more.

Friday, March 8, 2013

3D Hirst Arts: more tiles and water puddles

To start with today, here's some tiles, half way through painting. I just wanted to show how after putting texture paint between squares, then painting grey, I sometimes drybrush one or two squares with yellow or green paint. Then I wash, and drybrush with karak stone. The karak stone ties all the squares together really well when done, but the hint of colour adds some nice subtle variation to the squares on the table - though before the karak stone goes on, it really stands out a lot.

On the right are numerous 'puddles' / 'rock pools' in the floor, in the gaps between squares. As before, I fully paint the tiles up, then I put dark green wash where I want water to go, and when that's dried, a couple coats of clear gloss. As seen on some of the unfinished tiles above, I try to leave flat untextured areas where I want water to go.

This is also a good shot here, for seeing how the boards are lots of small pieces - 3x3s, 2x2s, 2x1s, and 1x1s.

and here I'm trying to take a photo so that light is glinting off the 'water' in the bottom left, to try and show how the green wash + gloss coats looks. It's hard to capture on camera.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3D Hirst Arts: 3D Doors!

Okay, a break from tiles to do some doors :)

I'm out of agrax earthshade AND devlan mud, so I've watered down Nuln Oil (black wash) to do the doors. I hoped that, like the devlan mud, once the final Karak Stone drybrush goes on, the stonework will blend in fine with all the other stonework of the tiles. It turned out fine, and the black wash worked well with the wood parts of the doors.

To start, here's all the pieces for doing three doors. You need two Door pieces for front/back, two arch pieces for front,back, and two pillar halves for each side of the door.

Here I've just sat them on top of each other and next to each other, to get an idea of what the finished shape is.

I glued halves together, and base painted all of the pieces. I used the standard medium grey colour I'm using on all stonework for the game. For wood, I'm using Cadian Fleshtone which is a sort of light browny pinkish color. For the metal on the door I'm using a very light grey. I painted the gaps between the 'bars' of the window with black paint, because it is much darker than if I just relied on wash to fill in the gaps.

 I tried washing the doors standing up, but I found that the 50% watered down black wash collected toward the bottom, leaving no wash detail in the top half of the doors. So I then laid the doors down, and rewashed the top halves of them, then washed the whole of the other side with the doors lying down flat, and it was much better.

Here's all the pieces after they've been washed with 50% watered nuln oil.

Then I assembled them into the finished doors.

To finish them off, I drybrushed all of the stonework with Karak Stone as usual, and I used a small brush to 'dot' paint light grey onto each of the bolts in the metal on the doors, to highlight them and make them stand out.

And here they are, replacing the cardboard stand-ups on my table :)
(sorry for the blurriness on this one!)

Monday, March 4, 2013

3D Hirst Arts: progress on Descent level 1

I can do about one third of the first dungeon of Descent: Journeys in the Dark, so far. Haven't made any pit squares yet, so the pit in the first room is nothing at the moment. The obstacle terrain (rock formation) slots in nicely in its position. I'll have to make the 3D doors up too, but at the moment, I just used the stand-ups that came with the board game.

3D Hirst Arts: More progress

Managed to get some more tiles done today, to add to those I did previously. I ran out of Agrax Earthshade, so I've been watering down Devlan Mud as my half-strength wash, and while it makes the squares a slightly different color after washing, when I put the Karak Stone drybrushing over the pieces afterwards, it ties them in great with the tiles I did previously, so for now I'm just going to keep using the watered down Devlan Mud  until that runs out, then order some more supplies.

I can now make a couple of rooms and passageways out of the individual segments (3x3 squares, 2x2's, 2x1's and 1x1's) but still need plenty more to make a level from the Descent board game's quest books. I was going to fill in between each square with detail flocking and stuff, but I actually quite like the visual depth created from the gaps between the tiles. I'm still adding some minor details here and there for interest (such as the tile 3 to the left of the bottom right corner, where I put a rockpool of water around a small stone tile).

The barrel and crate were just plaster accessory pieces, and painted up great with a coat of paint and a wash - I was rather surprised at the detail in the wood, for a piece of plaster.

A couple of the squares, I drybrushed with yellow, or green, before washing and karak stone'ing, to give some subtle tint variations.

Monday, February 18, 2013

3D Hirst Arts: Rock Formations

Some of the cavern accessory pieces are rock formations, stalagmites, etc.

I'm using them for rubble/impassable terrain, so I based them on some of the cork tiles (I'm using the great thicker cork tiles I bought from Bunnings for all the dungeon tiles - not the flimsy stuff I ordered on the internet which I used for those outside tiles that warped and curved from the glue)

I glued the plaster pieces together to assemble the rock formations / stalagmites, and put textured paint around them on the cork base.

Then I painted with the watery grey I used on the dungeon tiles, then I washed in the watered Agrax Earthshade as before, then drybrushed with Karak Stone, also as before.

I used some Thraka Green wash (the old version of the GW green wash) where the rock pools go, and then put gloss on top to try for an underground water look. I think I need to put a couple more coats of gloss on, to make it look right.

I looked up cavern formations on the net, and the rock formations that are sort of like downward streaks of rock had sulfery yellow streaks in lots of photos, so I drybrushed some yellow down on those parts of the rock formations.

3d Hirst Arts: First Dungeon Tile finished

So here's the steps I did:

Paint all in "2 parts medium grey, 1 part water".

Wash all in 50/50 Agrax Earthshade / Water.

Paint the wood Cadian Fleshtone, and wash - twice - with the watered Agrax Earthshade (once wasn't enough with the watered down Agrax Earthshade.)

Drybrush all in Karak Stone with big flat brush.

Paint the 'pit' black, and with smallest brush, loosley paint a 'rim' around the edge of the black.

Glue on a couple pieces of fake 'moss'.

I'm not sure you can tell in the photos, but the Karak Stone drybrushing gives it a hint of warmth as well, so it isn't such a stark 'black/white' shade of grey. I'm trying to decide if I'll do a further drybrushing layer, just around the edges of each square, to highlight them just a little bit more, but for now this is how I'm going to do up most of the stone tiles.

3D Hirst Arts: Plaster Pieces Arrived and starting on tiles!

Awesome! All the cast plaster pieces arrived today!

So, here's piles of the various stuff:

In this shot, I've stacked 1x1's, half tiles, more 1x1's, and then I've snapped some 2x1's along their creases so I can spread them out on my gapped grid!

Here's a bucket load more tiles!

And some cavern scenery pieces - like crates, stalagmites, etc

I got the plaster cast through a local Aussie company called Griffin Grove. It took a while, because they only cast on the weekends, and I ordered a lot of repeat castings of the molds, but they did a fantastic job - the pieces all look really great!

I've started work on some pieces, to get a feel for how I want to assemble the dungeon tiles:

To begin with, I laid out the pieces - a mix of 1x1's and snapped 2x1's, and a 'hole' in the middle with some wooden planks over it.

Then I glued down the stonework.

Then I painted textured paint into the gaps between the tiles, and around the 'hole' in the middle.

While it was still wet, I glued the planks down, pressing them into the textured paint on either side. I stuck them at slightly odd angles, for interest.

Here's a sorcerer for scale. The gapping means that figures aren't base-to-base touching, so larger figures, or poses with weapons jutting out, etc, can all fit together on the grid.

Plaster takes paint a little differently to how plastic or metal does - the outer layer of the plaster absorbs the pigment. To paint it up, you need to water down the paint, so you can easily spread it around and get it into the cracks and details. I mixed two parts of my medium grey (the one I got from the hardware store ages back in a tin) with one part of water, in an empty paint pot, shook it up, then used a wash brush to give an undercoat to the whole piece.
In my next post, I'll be painting the planks brown, painting the pit area black, washing the piece with 50/50 watered down Agrax Earthshade, then drybrushing with Karak Stone, and some touches of green or tan here and there, and maybe adding some static grass and fake moss in a few places for interest! Already, with just the undercoat on, details and 3D depth are beginning to show :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

finished all sorcerers! Step by Step

Okay, here's the steps I took for making my regular 'dark sorcerers' for the Descent board game.

To start with, I painted the whole thing dark blue.

I then used medium blue and did what I call a 'wet drybrush' which is to use a flat end drybrushing brush, load it with paint, only wipe a little off, so its still pretty wet with paint, and then brush onto the model with downward strokes only - so the front and up faces of the model get painted with the medium blue.

I then repeated, but with my lightest blue, and then finally did a normal drybrush with hardly any paint, to do a white touch-up.

Each wet drybrush / drybrush layer began at the top of the model, but ended shorter going down, so that it starts off dark at the bottom, and ends up white at the very top.

I then did a thick wet wash with dark blue. I don't have GW's current citadel wash in blue, only the old version, which isn't as nice a quality wash, but it gets the job done - and it's blue :) 

 I then drybrushed the tops of his legs, and his arms, his head, and the energy above him, with the medium blue, then lighter with white. I then did a few more soft drybrushes with white on his face to really highlight it, and then painted the top of the energy with solid white to make it really bright.

For his base, my current method for all the bases, is paint in medium grey, wash with Agrax Earthshade (the newer version of Devlan Mud, which has a slightly different colour to Devlan Mud) and then drybrush with Karak Stone. That's the method I'll be using on most of the stone tiles in my 3D Descent Tiles when I get around to making them. (Got an email saying the cast plaster pieces might be turning up on Monday, so here's hoping!)

Finally, here's the dark and master sorcerers all together, in better lighting :) As always, you can click on it for a bigger pic :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

washes and spiders

Here's a before and after, with base painting a spider bright purple, then applying a dark purple wash and letting it dry. I used a flash, so that it was not shaded by the local room lights, so the effects of the wash could be seen better.

After that, I drybrushed the edges of the model's shapes with a wide flat brush, with white paint, then I drybrushed with the bright purple again, to get a bright purple highlight on the model edges. Then I just blobbed yellow dots onto the eyes and they're done!

before and after a wash. Wash takes about 5 seconds to cover the model, rather than hand-painting shading and stuff onto the model.

(here's the completed spiders after drybrush white, then drybrush light purple, and dotting the eyes)

(slightly blurry, but the above group shot shows what they look like a bit better)