Friday, October 26, 2012

Ace of Base(es)

Done it.

First casting using a press/ overflow mould. Perfecto!

And a quick test. A 1980s slotta Paladin (Aly Morrison? -guessing by the squishy face. - comment if you know). He looks happy because he managed to lift that massive sword. Seriously. That things bigger than he is.

I added some of my Darkling Games skulls I sculpted to the overflow channel and bingo- lots of decorations. I plan to sculpt some skellies soon, so I had a load cast up.

Speaking of which, ever notice John Blanche always seems to put two skullz on each inquisiton base? Perhaps he thinks they get lonely.
So I love the look of the new bases. A nice low profile, comfy fit for long poses and room for a blanche of skullz. See what I did there? Made big B a collective noun. Spread the word!
So in a few days I will make up a couple of master moulds and churn me up a big mess o' bases. A biiig mess- a biiiiiiiig mess - Like the sort of mass over compensation you expect from a man solving a technical problem- Tim the Toolman Tailor style. Ough, ough, oooooooohw.
Perhaps I should get me a big bucket to put them in. Hey, Dave, got any good bases? Why yessir- got messelfa buckit o' dem yonder!
Now dear reader- it is such a good feeling- having solved my base angst I know I can just get on with enjoying the painting. I am already itching to get stuck into all those deliciously smooth Mark Copplestone barbarians in my stripping jar. Oh yes.
The sandy texture came out really well too- I wasn't expecting that. Its going to be wonderful not having to deal with that anymore. I hate painting sand- the base coat always its a pain, and it eats brushes. I always end up supergluing grit to my fingers too. The nice thing is my resin is black- so no need to undercoat them. Heck, I can even just line up a whole bucket of them at once and overbrush the lot.

The flagstone test came out well too. I will sculpt up a whole set now. These will do well for my AD&D miniatures, and all my Fantasy Adventurers and fiend factory figs.
Yessir. One happy nerdburger here.

Now, fetch me a bucket!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Base problem solved

I think I have the perfect base system.
Thanks to Joe Thomlinson's magnet suggestion and pics (follow the links in the comments on the last post- its worth it!).
Joe got me re-exploring ideas I had thrown out and bingo! I was staring at my reaper minis on 2mm plasticard drilled bases (took too long to cut and where not magnetic) and I realized I could just resin cast those and drill a hole for a magnet later. As they are 30mm its unlikely they will jump together and I could simply gnaw out the first castings with a dremmel to make countersunk ones for preslotta.
Nice one Joe!
So, to celebrate my successful delivery of my big project (an X-box Kinect gesture powered orchestral game for AFTRS masters student Pru Montin) which has kept me working long looooong hours - I treated myself to a late night hobby sesh all for me!
I drill cut a bunch of bases- going for a 28mm diameter from 2mm plasticard- stuck on sand and scatter (as I get bored of doing this) and set them on my base board. I then decided to do a dungeon tile set, and a pirate wooden plank set tomorrow. Then its just bang- thirty six bases in one pour.
I am going to try getting a totally level mould using spirit levels, and use a combination of overspill channels and greased glass plate to make the bases flat. You over fill the mould slightly, then press down with the silicone release sprayed glass sheet after you vibrate the airbubbles out. The excess resin escapes into the channels giving you a sort of sprue. But in reverse, if you driftnet my catchphrase.
Now whats got me excited by this is even more is the idea of putting a bunch of base decorations made up such as plants, roots, slates, mushroom caps and skullz(tm) around the overspill channels, so my waste resin becomes handy decor.
I tested the bases with some 28mm chaos thugs (the reaper figs I based in this style are chunky 30+ mm figs), as I was worried the smaller figs may look lost on the 30mm base. Turns out no, and a 28mm base is even better. They looked great and a quick play around proved they felt right on the game table. The 2mm depth made them easy to pick up by the base, protected the fiddly decorations (its old school- gotta have shrooms) and fighting figures kept the right distance to trade blows. I could not get my neo-d mags to make the bases leap. Yay.
I think 'Jobs a good 'un.'

Reaper demon on 2mm plasticard disc.

Thankfully that will take a lot off my mind. I can forge ahead now with confidence that I can have a consistent, practical base for both game and display figures across my whole collection, and can do this easily and cheaply. I set out to base my whole collection on much loved hex bases, but found then tricky to skirmish with and not as stable as I liked. Since then I have wandered listlessly about trying bases. My collection looks fragmented, and I can see pros and cons to all.
Casting on the majority of the texture means not having to fill holes, sand and glue sand to an endless sea of empty bases. My desk will be cleaner and waaaaay more time for painty, converty fun instead of boring basing.
Okay, so that lost picture from last posts deletion (damn iphone blog apps are all cruddy). My casa...
Or, you know... Desk....

That said, it currently looks like a rabid hippo on a diet of polystyrene, superglue tubes and wire shat on it, the attacked the resulting mess with a chainsaw.
Thanks again Joe!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Project next...

After a huge tidy up to help focus my creaking mind on Skulldred by removing all distractions, I have a list of unfinished projects I want to complete after.

1: mcdeath skirmish

Needs a few minis, so no hurry. Een mcwrecker, turtledragon, lord and lady mcdeath. Sandra prangle.

2: 1980's citadel race warbands
Finish a warband for each race. Mostly done orc, goblin, human, wood elf, dwarf, undead. Want to finish these and add skaven, militia, skeleton, bandits, evil knights, goodly paladins, barbarians, amazons, hobgoblins

3: baggage train
My mostly done matakishi like project- a baggage caravan set with wagons, pack animals, loot and a road. I have some fantasy creatures in mind for this.

4: starport RT
Finish some rogue trader factions mounted on fenris sulacco bases. Kill team charlie c100 marines), 2000ad perps, space pirates, zoats, RT tyranids, eldar and a few doctor who models. Perhaps a dark marine set too. Necromunda amazons.

5: inquisition / post apoc 28

John blanche inspired inquisition minis set on post apocalypse bases. Judge dredd clown gang, copplestone bikers, scratch built weirdness.

6: Blanche chaos squad

Finish my converted JB yellow demon squad.

7: perfect bases

8: pirates
Got looots of minis. Not a one painted!

9: dragon month
A month of dragon assembly including articles, Kegox, Terronus (the ultimate dragon), Pathfinder red, citadel Elmore red dragon, red dragon, zombie dragon and some reaper goodies!

Lots of work ahead of me! Stay tuned folk and thanks for reading thus far!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Base perfectamundo prototype uno

My wife needed the PC tonight so my game design session became a relaxing night making a mould. I cast up my base prototype and gave it a whirl.

Et voila! Black resin casting with a 20mm washer popped in.
Here is a side by side comparison to the regular round base. I can actually go higher in profile but countersink the top.

I am thinking of making the next prototypes using a 3D printer to get the little features I want such as a slight lip with countersunk top and a weakened groove for slots. I was thinking I may try a 25mm round as well as a thirty, since Skulldred is honeybadger on base sizes.

Base coated citadel barbarian on prototype base.

So what do you think so far?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The perfect base, a pig and a marauder.

The hunt goes on for that perfect base!
Yes, dear readers I am obsessed by that bit of plastic that no one notices. I just cant get that right mix that I want.
Sooooo.... I knocked this up. Its a mould master for a one inch round base without a bevel (like a DnD figure) with a round socket underneath where a 20mm washer fits. Lower than a citadel round, but higher than a renedra base.
The mould is to be poured underside down- rather than the usual top down you get with pre detailed resin.

The pic above shows a citadel base for depth comparison with the washer fitted. A citadel barbarian is the model.

This *should* satisfy my unnatural desires in the base area.

The non beveled sides gives a good place to pick the figure up by, and maximizes the upper surface for adding base details. The hidden washer gives a pleasant weight and stability as well as sticking to my magnetic trays and painting handles.
I will run off a few resin casts after I get the new Skulldred beta out hopefully next week.

If they do, I will make myself a couple of moulds that can do ten at a time, spend a night casting my ass off and just crank them buggers out till I have me a stockpile. Then I can be done exploring the nether regions of alternate basing with all the rebasing pain that it brings.

I loved washers for gaming, ease of use and cheapness... but found myself scared to sculpt on decorations which I really enjoy doing. They seem less protected on a washer. Take a look at this marauder militia man ( Hogym the curious and his war pig Snortwurzel.)

I also like to handle my minis by the base, which was trickier with washers. Your urge is to grab them like chess pieces- fine enough when you have well varnished gaming minis, but I wanted the arty stuff to be consistently based too. Hence my (self imposed) dilemma. I also found chipped edges on the washers frustrating. Several enamel coats fixes it, but that means you have to actually do several enamel coats. Plastic bases are good to go.
I wanted the best of both washers and plastic, I guess.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Proxie Bases and EPS joy-joy

My first true weekend off in a long while and its been a corker. I found a retailer of extruded polystyrene (blue foam) thats open on saturdays, and finally, FINALLY got to see what all the fuss is about.
Eps is brilliant. Its magnificent. Its wargamer paradise. Mana of the... You get the idea.
I decided to cut a chunk off and experiment before comitting to a project, something I could finish in an hour or so. Thus was borne this... Er, thingie.

As promised last episode, a couple of Jes Goodwin's C01 fighters, aka Donalbane and Banquo chillin' on their new Proxie Model 30mm bases. My McDeath Skirmish is still missing Sandra Prangle, Ewen Mcgregor and the wee laird and lady McDeath themselves, but it canne hurt te hae e rest'o'em all gussied up in case they shoo.


My apologies to any Scots reading. I canne... Sorry... Can not help myself after reading the book again to get color ref.

So anyhoo, I love extruded polystyrene. I am looking forward to making the photoboards for Skulldred and my Darkling games new releases. Speaking, oh so subtly, of which...

One of the new second wave Dwerg demo models (paint job very much work in progress) mounted on a regular lipped 30mm next to one on a proxie model 30mm. They sit lower with more room for decoration.
In the foreground is the 25mm from the same range for comparison. Great low profile, and the lip gives the same showcasing effect without the dominating mass of the warmachine style base. I also like that the underside is smooth and solid. Very nice bases. Two thumbs up!

This figure is rumored to have been an Elric of Melnibone, but was shunted into the fighters range after Citadel lot the license. He surfaced in Mcdeath, but not in the paper tokens, where he is depicted as another model.

Well thats my saturday. Back to work tomorrow. :(

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Proxie bases

My order of proxie model bases turned up. I like the 30mm bases the moment I unbagged them, and after a quick test decided to commit one of my big projects to them. McDeath-dred.
I was a little worried with my mdf bases as some of these models are very expensive and rare, and I worry about acid, moisture and air entering through the wood. Probably nothing to worry about, but still that little nag was there. This gives me a good excuse to select them.

The bases are somewhat like an understated version of a darkage/warmachine lipped style base, but with a much lower profile more akin to a washer. They also have a nice groove around the inner lip that makes a neat termination to the basing material and being black plastic the black lip will be scratch proof. The underside is pleasantly smooth and solid, making the models look neat and tidy when tipped over.
On the down side, Proxie have yet to master the art of smooth tooling at the time of writing, and the finish on the sides is a little rough, not the shiney, shiney you get with chinese bases. This is a minor niggle, as in a few seconds with a bit of fine grit paper and they polish up a treat. I do this with the chinese ones as well, so no real loss of time there.

I have to say I love these bases- bravo Proxie!

The 40mm round and large chariot bases are also the bomb- finally I have a suitable home for my plague cart!

I had pictured using the bike bases for cavalry and wolves, but as they are over 2 inches long they look wrong. Judge Dredd looks a little odd on them too. I suspect these are more for ork low riders. I will set these aside for now and probably stick to 40mm rounds for horses.

No pics of the rebased figures just yet- maybe next episode.
I got me some Gale Force 9 spring moss and purple flowers to give a pass as heather.

Still, cant have you not having a pic to enjoy. Here is a quick iphoneto of my Skulldred photo board with the first stages of the cyclorama backdrop. Its just lightly sketched in with a few washes over pencil roughs so I kept it blurry. :)
Yes. Thats Warduke in the distance. My placcy D&D joblot arrived. Yay!
Warduke is my hero.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

White Dwarf. U doin it rite.

Today I picked up the new look white dwarf and I feel strangely compelled by it.
It addresses lots of the issues I had with the 'white cover' era. I used to buy one from time to time and rip about six good pages out and dump the rest as it was basically repeats, white space and jokes (gw prices).
The new dwarf has articles, atmospheric shots, non eavy metal armies and behind the scenes stuff which makes the book well worth the 12 bucks. Bravo.
I am looking forward to the next one taking a few more steps in that direction, and hopefully keeping up a 'little something for everyone' instead of the previous ' its dark angels this month- everyone else get f$&ked! silliness. It takes two articles to make a mag worth buying... So though obviously a big chaos release you see skaven, undead and orks getting love. Keep this up and I may return.
It was so nice seeing lotr armies sharing pages with orks and bretonian armies.
It does make me laugh that Jervis Johnson's article was about removing limitation from GW games. It was the thing that I hated about gw games since Rogue Trader 40ks first expansion started the shackling process that turned the universe from a rich fantasy into little more then a list of cants.

I hope Blanchitsu is regular- that would lever 12 bucks from my hands each month.