Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peacekeeper + Sewer Bases from Scratch

Huzzah! Completed peacekeeper. Same process as the first constructs: black -> tin bitz -> gold -> chainmail. When I first opened the box I felt like an archeologist looking at the Antikythera mechanism for the first time. There were arms and legs and giant hunks of metal all over the place. Mine hadn't sat on the ocean floor for 2000 years but it still had a lot of crud to clean off it. The peacekeeper has a messy mold. Luckily, I had a picture to start with and the hands have handy triagular sockets, so I couldn't mess it up too much.

I used the ordinarily forward facing leg and the bent arm to make a tripod that gives the illusion of running and shows off his arachnid abilities without sacrificing stability. He's kind of a gangly monstrosity and I've already knocked his harpoon arm off once. Despite the difficulties, I love this model and I'll get to try him out this Thursday.

It is entirely possible to make fun scenic bases without shelling out for tons of materials at the hobby store. I've spent a somewhat large amount of time gathering spare parts, so I have a junk box already prepared full of goodies, but almost everything around you can double as an amazing piece of scenery if you look at it on the proper scale. Wires become cables, popsicle sticks are planks, pen caps are jet engines.

Using a handful of relatively common household items, I crafted a sewer style base for my Peacekeeper. The stone wall section comes from a wine cork. I cut off the smooth outer layer for the nicely textured inside. A cheapo pen donated the end of its ink tube for the sewer pipe. I chose green stuff to flow through my sewers to keep the crew theme.

To get the metal decking I took the plastic bands used to hold boxes closed and on pallets, painted it black, then brushed it silver. The extra hunk of metal was cut off an old speaker cover.

The end result is something that I think rivals the Wyrd provided bases.  IMO scratch built bases get even better as the number of bases you need increases. If you need two 50mm bases (say a Hunter + Peacekeeper), you aren't stuck trying to paint the same base two different ways or trying to work differently themed base into your crew.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Search

Hoffman glanced up into the sky. The heat off the rocks blurred the air. He peered intently through the foliage for the Watcher. It should have located the lost canister by now.  Hoffman felt the Watcher's silent landing before he saw it step through the brush.

He swore as the watcher flashed though the surveilance images.  His hope that the canister could be recovered without incident was smashed. It was broken open and leaking into the waters of a small pond. The soulstone dust that infused the sludge would attract all manner of horrors, to say nothing of what it would do to the local wildlife.

There was nothing to do now but cordon the area until the recovery crew arrived.  He gathered his tools, satisfied with the repairs to the Guardian that had found him in the forest, and proceeded to the site. Earlier he hoped it was just responding to his presence, but now it only gave him a feeling of unease, as wayward Guardians typically only appear where they will be needed. The Hunter met him on the rocks and began its patrol.

Hoffman drew a small map and wrote a note and directions on it for the recovery team.  As he handed it to the watcher, he felt a cool breeze rustle the collar of his shirt. Turning around he saw a small girl in a green coat step out of the forest. Hoffman shouted to her, "This area is under quarantine by order of the Guild. It has been exposed to dangerous chemicals. Please leave the area immediately."  She gave no answer, nor did she move. Hoffman opened his mouth to order her again, but a few snowflakes floating down through the higher branches across the pond captured his attention. A great shaggy beast followed the girl out of the wood, and the snow started coming down in clumps.  Hoffman would have no assisstance from the recovery team for this fight.

Closeups of all the new goodies, models by me, terrain by Girlfriend:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basing Complete

Look at all the pretties! I finished the bases for my first set of constructs last night. With only a handful of models in my Hoffman crew, I decided to pay much more attention to bases than I will with the 30 Grey Knights I still have to paint for the NOVA Open. I tend to enjoy building and converting models much more than I do painting them. It's a great opportunity to let my inner engineer out to play. I get to hack, slash and cobble together masterpieces and monstrosities whose only limit is the depth of my junk boxes. My inner artist isn't nearly as well developed; he still likes to play with crayons. With metal models that mostly only have one pose, the bases are the biggest way I can see to personalize them.

I followed Kennedy's advice to mix white glue into my paint to achieve a liquidy look. It was a drastic improvement over paint alone, but I may still sneak some gloss on the nuclear waste to make it extra shiny. Once I got the metal grates in place I realized that I had to redo the fresh streams of goo on the Hunter to make them large enough to be seen through the grate.

This Watcher is a flyer so I left all the grating off. He's going to need the extra glossy surface the most because the entire purpose of this guy is to show off my sludge.

One bonus of mixing glue with the paint is the fun structures you can make with it.  I made an actual bubble in my Guardian's toxic waste using a pet medicine syringe. I mixed up a blob of about 80% elmer's glue/ 20% paint and let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken. I put some of the paint/glue on the base, then filled the syringe with air and blew a bubble in it.  The 5 minutes wasn't quite enough setting time because the bubble kept popping, but I determinedly blew more until eventually one held til it dried. After drying the bubble deflated, but the bottom portion retained its shape. I'm pround of the effects I created and can't wait to get some games in.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nuclear Waste Is GOOD For You!

Upon digging through my paint box, I discovered I don't actually possess any green paint at the moment. I used it up making terrain, which I will have to show off at some point. I'm trying to go for a bubbly nuclear sludge look on my bases, and I'm not certain what kind of paint I want.  So questing we go for green paint!

I usually use standard acrylic paints. For regular colors, I haven't found any huge differeneces between dollar bottles at the HOBBALOBBA and any fancy model paints. Actually I find the cheapo squeeze bottles infinitely easier to work with than GW's new or old bottles.  The old bottles were a perpetual mess and the new ones are frustrating to see into and keep open. The only place I've seen dramatic improvements from model paints is metallic colors.

Oh metallics!  I've seen too many gold paints that look like someone held a 14 year old girl over a bucket of yellow paint and shook her until the all the glitter fell out of her brain. There are sparkles in an otherwise non metallic paint and none of it blends. Despite how frustrating the rest of GW is, their metallic paints are phenomenal. The pigments themselves are shiny. I can water down my silvers and golds for highlights and effects without having to worry about depositing individual sequins on the mini.  And to top it off I absolutely adore Tin Bitz. All of my dreadnoughts are based in it and I'm planning to shade all my new constructs between Tin Bitz and Shining Gold.

I haven't used enamel paints since I was about 7 and making a mess of a USS Enterprise model, but the glossy finish might be handy for a bubbly goo. Otherwise I'm going to have to go with some sort of varnish to make my sludge look liquid. I'm not sure what yet, as I've never actually done something like this. In any case, I want to hear about everyone else's favorite colors and effects!  Share with me and anyone reading in the comments.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Through The Breach!

Welcome to my blog! I recently discovered Malifaux and all its beautiful miniatures. After staring at those miniatures for several weeks, I finally found a set that spoke to me. As a robotics engineer, Hoffman and his iron monsters almost jumped out of the box while I held them.  They whispered metallic sweet nothings in my ear until I broke and bought them.

I was amazed at the detail of all the little fiddly bits, but I was terrified of how hard it was going to be to get them assembled. I'm used to GW metal models and holding parts together for what feels like hours, only to find I had glued my fingers together. All this ran through my head until my good friend Kennedy of kennedy40k.blogspot.com clued me into a magnificent technique. A little spit on one side of a joint and a little gorilla glue on the other sets within seconds.  The spindly arm of the guardian, swinging the bulky sword, held its own weight after 10-15 seconds. I don't know whether it's the acidity or the moisture or something else, but it might be the coolest thing I've ever seen.

So far I have Hoffman's box assembled and their bases constructed.  I went for a scheme that involves metal decking, and metal grates with bubbly green stuff underneath.  For the decking I used the plastic straps that secure pallets of boxes.  The grates are chopped up old speaker covers and a bug trap from the air intake of an old propane grill.  Once I have some of these things painted I'll get some pictures up.

Thanks for reading. My Malifaux posts will mostly be hobby related at first, but I'm going to include battle reports, tactics and other amusements once I get the hang of the Malifaux rules.  I only need one more piece (the mighty Peacekeeper) before I can start getting some 25ss games in.