30 July 2011

Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain: The Next Step

If you haven't already had a read through my previous post about Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain I suggest you do now. If you find that having read through said post you think the end product is a little boring, a bit bland, not a lot of character then this could be the post for you.

Taking the basic ideas and premise of the last post we're taking it a step further. The piece shown here I built for 40k some time ago (almost 8 years!) and it has proven it's worth more recently for Malifaux – if a little big and rather open.

To begin with, instead of using a triagular shaped base, we use a square/rectangle of hardboard on which to build our ruined warehouse/workshop/munitions factory. Taking the basic foamboard corner built in the previous post the process was modified by joining two together to create the entrance way and adjoining walls. A regular corner piece was used to represent the back corner of the building.

The main difference with this construction was the addition of thick card panels to the walls, inside and out, to give the building more support and more gravitas – a reinforced, armoured building of some importance. The card used was artists mounting board, again off-cuts and scrap – no need to spend money unnecessarily. A rough doorframe was constructed around the front of the building using the same material.

As before squares of paper or thin card were dotted around the interior to represent the workshop floor and chunks of torn polystyrene we shaped and glued to build up the volume of rubble inside. Small pieces of polystyrene, stones and then smaller grades of stones and sand were added around the entirity of the base, but not before characterful elements were added – the buried metal barrels, the vehicle wheel, scaffolding and other metallic structural elements.

As in our previous buildings, the whole thing was gien a liberal coat of masonary paint to blend all the elements together, avoiding anything not meant to be stonework or sometimes painting it anyway to add to the buried feeling.

Styrene roofing structure was added, melting the end with a lighter to imply the intense heat of the building destruction. On top of this off-cuts of corrugated craft card was added showing the remnance of the roof. I poked a hole in the 'roof' with a pencil to illustrate shrapnel damage.

At this point the building was painted using the grey tones of our previous buildings, the metallic elements were painted boltgun metal (as I recall) mixed with black, drybrushed with pure boltgun metal then inked to hell with raw black and chestnut inks.

And there you have it. Taking the simple idea illustrated in the previous post and taking it a step further to create a more characterful element for your battlefield. I admit this piece could also be considered generic maybe even a little bland but it shows that building like this are achieveable simply and for not much cost.

Where you go from here is up to you…

22 July 2011

Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain

The above ruined building is one of a handful made several years ago late one Friday night with leftover bits in order to flesh out the battlefield for an upcoming game of 40k. They've been very useful over the years and have made great generic ruins for several different gaming systems, more recently Malifaux.

I decided to make some more smaller buildings, again to flesh out the gaming board for upcoming games. This time I thought I'd make a few notes and pass on the info –

You are going to need offcuts of foamboard. A couple of larger bits for the walls would be nice but you can make do with whatever you can find and tailor your project accordingly. I used hardboard offcuts for the base rather than cardboard as it lasts a lot longer and doesn't warp as much.

First of all I cut the base into a triangular shape of appropriate size – this will depend on how big you want your terrain to be and/or how much foamboard you have. Once done I rounded and sloped the edges a little to soften the step.

Next I took my two largest pieces of foamboard, cut them vaguely to size, ensuring there were at least two straight edges on each piece – one to sit on the base, the other to line up with the opposite wall. On these pieces I drew out a grid with squares of an inch wide. This gave an inch gap between the base and the ground floor windows and an inch between the corner of the building and the first vertical row of windows. It also meant that all the windows were an inch apart two. Have a look at the photos to better understand what I'm trying to describe here.

Next I made a 45 degree cut along the edges that would meet at the corner of the building, so they would stick together seamlessly. If it doesn't match up exactly you can mask the gaps as damage.

I used a glue gun to stick the walls together and then to the base. Pieces of foamboard were cut into rough trangles to represent the remnants of the various floors within the building. These were stuck into place, approximately 10mm above the top of the window of the floor below. Once this basic shape was done I carved out the damage on the walls, sloping edges and making the walls ragged.

Next comes the decoration. First off I added a strip of decorative wood that I had, halfway between the ground and first floor windows. I cut out squares of paper and glued them across each floor area as floor tiles of some kind. Then I added offcuts of foamboard, stones and finally sand to represent rubble at various sizes. You could add leftover bits from plastic kits – marine helmets, ammo, guns, etc. – but I kept my buildings quite plain as they would be used in different game systems.

Once this was done and completely dry, the whole thing got a couple of liberal coats of masonry paint – if you don't have any around pour some emulsion into a paint tray and mix some sand into it. This helps protect any exposed foam, blend all the elements and just gives a good all round stoney feeling to the job. The buildings were sprayed black at this point, paying close attention to the shadowed areas under floors, etc. The majority of the building was overbrushed with shades of grey, getting lighter and lighter – preferably before the previous coat is dry, leaving plenty of shadows and only highlighting the very exposed areas.

And that was it!
The final result is quite generic and very robust. You can expand on this approach to make more interesting buildings such as warehouses – I'm in that process and will report in due course.

You may want to check the height of your models in situ before doing any sticking as the height I've used isn't sympathetic with taller models, just adjust your grid accordingly.

Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain: The Next Step

21 July 2011

Inspiring Podcasts: Gamers Lounge

I thought it was about time to share some more sources of my gaming inspiration after the last couple of posts about inspiring terrain links and inspiring terrain techniques.

Podcasts are a relatively new phenomenon in the gaming arena (for me at least). I don't have much time to listen so have to choose my sources carefully. After skimming through several I discovered The Gamers Lounge and my gaming life was changed.

The Gamers Lounge podcast is hosted by Bill (from Dead Tau Project) and Jay (from Blood & Blades). Both guys are very knowledgeable about the hobby in general and have very contrasting opinions and characters which makes the cast very entertaining as well as informative.

The thing that drew me in was the fact that they were, at the time, the only podcast with significant Malifaux content. Some very useful discussions with key Wyrd staff and community individuals makes for addictive listening and has contributed heavily to my own gaming experiences.

I've joined the list of listeners quite late on, episode 30 was probably my first experience, and I have had great fun going through the back catalogue of episodes. The earlier casts were very much 40k and Fantasy orientated and the focus has ebbed and flowed through Warmachine/Hordes and FoW to become very Malifaux-centric recently as Bill's passion has been very much centred around Wyd's flagship game. Members of their local gaming group make guest appearances periodically to share experiences and insights. The banter and camaraderie generated makes you feel a part of the crew and feel as if you know these guys – a great feeling to have for a podcast listener.

The Gamers Lounge can be listened to directly from the website, downloaded from the site or found on iTunes – which I personally find the most appealing as I just load up my iPod and listen back to back at work. The website gives a full breakdown of each episode so you can cherry pick the bits you're interested in.

So, I just wanted to publicly thank the guys for their contributions and strongly recommend you take a listen.

17 July 2011

Blood Angels Relists…

It happens now and again, as annoying and time wasting as it is – some muppet bids on your auctions, wins the auctions then disappears off the face of the planet despite invoices, emails and Ebay interventions. Another addition to my blocked bidder list!

Anyway the upshot of all this is that there are a couple of relists this week – Blood Angels.

As always the auctions can be found here.

15 July 2011

Well, I Didn't See That Coming!

Thought I'd just drop this quick post in to let you guys know that a rather unlikely thing has occurred.

I found out that there was a wargamer just round the corner from me – a friend of the family no less – and we got together for a gaming chat last weekend. He has just got into 40k and is learning to play with his Necron army (he likes a challenge I think) facing newbie Grey Knights so far (big, big challenge). As you know I am up to my eyeballs in Malifaux froth right now and painting like a madman (but still quite slowly) in order to feed the fever.

We chatted both games and I managed to convince him to look at Malifaux as a second game. The fluff and entry cost was really appealing to him, so that is exciting and we're going to have a demo game soon.

In return I decided to come out of my self-imposed 40k exile in order to offer him a different opponent to the Grey Knights he currently has to contend with, help him learn the rules and offer some of my tactical experience (albeit not much 5th Ed.).

So what does this mean in real terms and how does it affect the blog?

I will NOT be purchasing any new 40k models*. However, I will be dusting off my Iron Warriors and Bezerkers in the short term, maybe looking at my Nurgle in the near future should a space open up on the painting table.

(* the caveat here is that hey, this is me, odds are something will be purchased once I get a few games under my belt!)

You will see more 40k related posts start to creep into the blog, game reports and photos of any (re)painting I do. Baby steps at first as I still am not loving 40k, so this is initially as a favour for a friend and we'll go from there.

11 July 2011

Inspiring Terrain Techniques

So the last post highlighted some terrain projects that should inspire our own efforts.

Today's post goes a step further, highlighting an article on the Military Modelling website by Emmanuel Nouaillier that describes the processes involved in creating realistic scenery for WWII dioramas and displays.

Whilst the buildings may not be completely suitable for Malifaux or 40k the techniques are genius and can easily be adapted. It describes in some detail how scratch-built structures were created and then distressed.

The MM website can be found here and the two-part article can be found here.


06 July 2011

Malifaux Terrain: I saw this and thought of you

After a bit of browsing the intermaweb this afternoon I came across a website that was showcasing another website that was showcasing this amazing Wild West gaming board. From what I can gather the thing is static, yet mobile. However, for anyone looking for inspiration for wild west Malifaux terrain this is great.

Stop what you're doing and go take a look now.
For a boatload more pics visit Dressing The Lines.

I'd also like to link Chicago Terrain Factory website, which is where I found the link.

Talking of inspiring terrain, I'd also like to draw your attention to an amazing website that has lots of Malifaux appropriate stuff on it.

TM Terrain will make bespoke one off pieces of terrain that look fantastic. To be inspired by more of their projects visit the gallery.

05 July 2011

WIP: Painting

As briefly mentioned yesterday, I managed to get some paint on Perdita, my second Malifaux master. Given that I was painting in quite poor light I think it's a pretty good start. I have the rest of the crew waiting in the queue but don't expect to see them anytime soon.

I also managed to get a second Death Marshal finished – again, not bad considering the poor lighting conditions at the end. I really, really want to get the third one finished but I have far more interesting models to paint so we will see how it goes.

04 July 2011

Malifaux: Lady J vs Nicodem

I'm finally home after 4 days away in Wigan in the North of England. The point of the trip was two-fold. First of all I was finishing up some DIY at my Mom's house that was started in April, which got done but these things are never really completed so more trips are planned.

Secondly I was going to visit Craig and Dale from Critical Mass Games to get some hands on experience planning and casting resin models. I've been friends with Craig for pretty much 10 years now and considering I grew up and lived in Wigan until my late 20's it's ironic that I should only meet him after I moved south to Kent. He was the first person I knew that played non-GW stuff (which seemed odd to me at the time) and introduced me to Warmachine and Flames of War.

I had heard through the grapevine that despite being up against it on a daily basis running Critical Mass Games he had bought and painted a Malifaux crew – Nicodem. I had taken my mobile board and we arranged a game or two at the Wigan Wargames Club on Friday evening. Having never played against anything except the Vikkis, and having had plenty of time to read Nicodem's rules, I was very cautious about squaring up to them. In addition we'd played less than 10 games of Malifaux between us (and I haven't played in a good three weeks) so it was never gong to be a fast riveting game.

We both rolled Destroy the Evidence so dispersed 1p and 2p coins as objectives. As the turns ticked by I found myself hanging back waiting to see Nicodem's tricks but aside from raising zombies and self-mutilating punks nothing much happened. I decided I wasn't going to learn anything unless I stuck my neck out there to see what would happen so went for it in the latter half of the game. Many of the anti-undead specific tricks that Lady J's crew has (and I've never had cause to use) finally came in useful and with some coordinated attacks I managed to thin out the zombie ranks and had Nicodem on the run. One combat of note involved Sebastian charging Lady J and inflicting a hit (which I decided not to cheat as he couldn't do that much damage). Craig then proceeded to flip the Red Joker for damage inflicting severe and then moderate wounds on my Master. It wasn't quite enough to kill her but left her staggering and forced a healing flip next turn.

By turn 6 Nicodem had no counters left and was running whilst my crew advanced en masse and achieved both schemes. The game ended 4-1 to The Guild.

We decided to swap crews for our second game so I got to try my hand at running a Rezzer crew. Having watched a few of Craig's tricks and reading the cards I decided to go for it with raising zombies and bog the Guild crew down with bodies. I had Sebastian Exhuming like a man possessed and throwing the counters out in front then casting his (0) action to activate Nicodem who would raise them and Reanimate a punk zombie to boot. In return the Guild just shot and hacked them down which didn't actually help me given we'd both rolled Slaughter for our Strategies.

Much fun was had and despite my best efforts I couldn't achieve my Schemes either and The Guild ran out 4-0 winners. The obvious conclusions from the game were that (1) Lady J is awesome against undead and (2) Craig needs some more choice when hiring his crew, another vulture and maybe some crooked men, convict gunslinger.

Aside from gaming I managed to get some more painting done – another Death Marshal finished and a couple of layers of paint on the last one. I also got the flesh painted on Perdita, so full steam ahead with the Ortegas.