Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Some progress over the weekend on Project 2 (Warzone) - I finished applying the flesh colour base coat with the airbrush and started painting the base colours on the Undead Legionnaires. Last night I finished up Mr Grimm, the Predator Drone from Anvil Industries so technically that counts as progress towards Project 1.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Laser Defence Platform.. complete!

Whew! Okay, so, in two and a half hours, you too could turn your two sheets of MDF in to one of these!

Getting there is certainly more complicated than the carriage or the market stalls, but fortunately it is not as difficult as it might seem when you examine the MDF sheets and perform a parts count:

Curses! If only there were two fewer unique parts..

First of all I would suggest removing parts D (x4), E (x4), L (x12), N and O (x12). You will use all these parts to make the base of the laser defence platform. Each 'foot' is comprised of 3x L, 3x O, and one each of parts D and E:

Start by taking one of the angled pieces (L) with the two notches facing upwards and glue one of the horizontal pieces (O) in place. Glue on the other two angled pieces until you have this:

Add the remaining horizontal pieces, then slot part D into the short end of the foot. Follow that up with part E which you slot in and glue on top of it. Repeat the whole process three more times until you have four of these:

Now for the base! You will need parts H, K, M and Y (x2). Since we are going to be building a platform that will allow the turret to rotate, it's important to know which parts not to glue!

Glue the two Y pieces together to make this notched cross shape. Later on you will need to make two smaller versions in order to allow the turret to aim up and down.

Position the assembled cross underneath the base you have constructed so far and sit piece H on top of it. Hopefully you can see what we are going to do - lift up the cross piece and push it through the circular hole in the base.. enough that you can push - and glue - part M in to place.

So it's important to make sure that the cross is glued to the disc, but the large piece (H) that is sandwiched in between has no glue on it. Now cap off the disc with.. another disc which is glued in to place (K). All being well, you should still be able to rotate part H.

Now on to the main body of the turret itself. We will start by making the arms which support the upper section:

Start with two each of parts F, G and J. Make sure that as you assemble these parts that they are glued the right way around (see the next step) otherwise you will end up with two identical pieces which should actually be mirrored:

Moving up, we now need to assemble the sides of the turret itself. You will need 4x S, and two each of X and 1. Just like the cross we needed to make for the base of the platform, we now have to make two smaller crosses (as seen below):

Once you have two crosses, they need to be pushed through the 'inside' of parts 1 in preparation for the discs (X) being glued on the 'outside'. Make sure the notches in the discs are pointing upwards.

If, at this point, you have two piece that are exactly the same and 'pointing' the same way they you have definitely gone wrong. I totally did that the first time around..

Now glue the 'arms' on to the sides of the turret. You should find that the notches in the discs line up with the small protrusion on part F. With the sides complete, we can now move on to the main body of the turret, so let's start on the back piece:

For this we will need parts A (x3), B and V. I'm actually not 100% sure that we need part B for this but I couldn't figure out where else it would go. Glue part B onto part V and then glue the three bars (A) over the top so you end up with this:

With the back and sides complete, let's assemble the turret:

This part is pretty straightforward. Take parts C, W, Z and 2 (x2). Glue in the back piece that you have already assembled and the front part (W) and glue them onto the base (C), then attach the side pieces you built earlier.. and then the angled pieces (2) and the top (Z)

At this point you should be able to rotate the arms downwards and attach them to the platform base. The assembled platform should still be able to rotate around the Y axis (at the base) and around the X axis (at the top of the turret arms). Now it's time for the fiddly bit - making the two barrels. You will need parts P (x12), Q (x6) and R (x16). You might start assembling the lower section of the barrels like this.. but this is wrong. Luckily I figured it out before the glue dried!

You actually need to use ALL of the cog-shaped pieces while making the lower half of the barrels. You need three of the slightly large cogs (Q) positioned as per the picture above, with six of the smaller cogs (P) sandwiched inbetween.. all held in place by eight of the small arms (R).

Once both of these lower barrel pieces are complete, slot them onto the turret body and glue them in to place.

For the upper section of the barrels you will need parts T (x4) and U (x16). In principal this is a simple job but I found it quite hard to get everything to stay in place.. so I found it easier to only glue two of the long pieces in to place, on opposite sides of the octagonal parts (T)

..and then slot (and glue) that partially completed upper section onto the lower portion of the barrel. It might be a tight squeeze but this has the added benefit of ensuring that it is correctly centred on the lower part of the barrel. From here, you can continue glueing on the long pieces like so:

Simply repeat until all of the pieces have been used up and now all you need to do is glue on the last disc (I) onto the top of the turret and the laser defence platform is complete!

Although this took a bit more preparation work than my other purchases, especially with all the sanding that I needed to do in order to ensure that things looked nice and tidy, for 5.95 this item is worth the price just for the satisfaction of assembling it. Once it is complete, the laser defence platform looks pretty impressive and it's a sizable piece of terrain that will wok well with Infinity, 40k or any other sci-fi tabletop game. Sadly I am now out of things to build but hopefully I will pick up some more of the TTCombat range soon!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Laser Defence Platform.. Whaaaaa?

So work has begun on the last of my TTCombat purchases, the Laser Defence Platform. While my initial thoughts upon examining the two sheets of MDF sheets was "whaaaa?" I have started to build it and luckily, things are starting to make sense. Pictures tomorrow..

Market Stalls.. complete!

So the market stalls were very easy to build, with each one only taking about ten minutes and that's assuming you are sanding off the burrs for each piece. The large gazebo type stall comes on a sheet of it's own, where as the smaller stalls are two to a sheet.

No build steps are needed for these stalls - you just need to make sure that when you make the big one that you insert the two notched beams into the slot cut into the side of the stalls. It's the only thing you can get wrong and naturally, as soon as I started gluing things to other things, I got it wrong. This is how it should look:

When complete, the large stall looks like this:

The pair of canvas stalls look like this:

The pair of wooden stalls look like this:

Note that I didn't cut out all of the produce that comes with the stalls; the loaves of bread were fine and the wine bottles were OK (but a little annoying to cut out). The apples and bananas, however, were too small to bother with IMHO. Instead I will probably buy the produce set from Warlord.

I purchased all of these stalls as a bundle for 7.95 but the three different types can also be purchased separately for 3.95 each. With two of the bundles you would have more than enough stalls to make a street market to spruce up your game of Malifaux, Mordheim or D&D.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Carriage.. complete

..but obviously not painted. I've dry-fitted the side, roof and interior seat so that I can easily come back and paint this when I have time. I'm super happy with the carriage and even if you take your time removing the parts from the frame and stop to sand off the burrs from each piece as you cut it off, it shouldn't take more than an hour to make. Hopefully I'll have time to start on the market tents on the weekened!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

I love the smell of burned MDF in the morning..

A few days ago I noticed that the Troll Trader were listing some new "TTCombat" branded MDF terrain on their eBay store with themes that would be of interest to Malifaux and Infinity players. I suspect that the guys at Troll Trader have gotten hold of a laser cutting machine and are producing these kits themselves. I'm a big fan of terrain and working with MDF in general so I decided to order a few of the smaller pieces to see how they go together and.. really.. to see if it is worth investing in some of their larger sets such as the buildings or the castle.

The sets showed up today, so lets stat with the Noble's Carriage:

This comprises of a single sheet of MDF. It comes with no instructions (none of the sets did) but it is relatively easy to build if you refer to the photos on the eBay page. As is typical for MDF terrain, each piece has detail etched on to one side and is attached to the wooden frame / sprue at one or two points depending on how large the piece is.

When assembling, I recommend that you start with the rearr (parts D, R, S, T and U) first, to create this:

No, that's not a toilet. Next, assemble the seat with parts G, H and I and put that to one side:

Note that the rear part sits on top of the very back of the chassis (K), and will be held in place by the sides (A and B):

At this point, with the front (C), one side (A) and back assembled and stuck to the chassis (K) it would be a good time to attach a few of the detail pieces to 'fill the holes' and paint the interior. I would go ahead and glue the lantern holders (N) into the sides of the carriage, and I would attach the 'prongs' (P) which support the foot steps (Q) to the underside of the carriage. Finally, glue on part M to the lower front. Now all of the holes are filled I would paint the inside of the carriage. Don't forget to paint the 'inside' facing of the other side piece (B) and the roof (E)!

 Once the interior is painted, I would paint the seat (separately) then glue it in to place before attaching the other side piece (B).

Now that you have a fairly solid 'box' everything else is straight forward. Attach the driver's seat (J) to the upper front - I did this too early in the photo avove. Four of each part O will slot onto a lantern holder (N) to create the lantern and finally the wheels (L) will be glued onto the chassis and held in place by the four bolts (F).

I will try and paint the interior of my carriage tonight so that I can fully assemble it and take a 'completed' shot. For £3.95, this carriage is a bargain in my opinion and the only 'fault' I can find is that some of the small, repeated shapes such needs to be flipped on the sheet so that the burned side is facing outwards like the other carriage pieces.. but this is just me being anal. Of course, if you're going to paint it up, that's probably not much of an issue at all!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The project log I wasn't going to do

..but now that I have an airbrush and I have figured out how to use it without spraying paint in my face, my main projects suddenly seem doable.

Here are my top 5 (out of about 20!)

Project 1: Kelly and Kelly

To do: 

Tidy up the greenstuff on the legs of the converted version and paint both. Base my Unity Council Predator Drone from Anvil Industries. What, you didn't think she was checking her facebook page did you?

Project 2: Dark Legion

To do:

Paint everything here. Phase 2 requires me to assemble and paint my Black Widow, Razides and Stalkers.

Project 3: 200 Point IG Kill Team

To do:

Inspired by Warren (from Beasts of War) and his rediscovered enthusiasm for 40k. Source - or possibly *gulp* sculpt - some arms. Buy a Taurox and the wheel kit from Victoria Miniatures. Paint it all.

Project 4: Star Wars minis

To do:

After messing up most of these with a bad undercoat, they are finally stripped and I am ready to start again. I need to scratch build a DC15A and maybe rebuild the DC15S to make it smaller, then paint them up.

Project 5: Pathfinder Tiles

To do:

Lots! Inspired by the Kingmaker adventure path for Pathfinder and the Mighty Empires tiles from GW, these were just an experiment and still need a little more highlighting, some holes drilled in them (for flags / markers) and some magnets on the back. Then I just need to make another ~300 more.

Definitely not cost effective, but fun to make!

In case you buy that Female Military Specialist..

The mini for Kelly comes in three parts - the body and right arm (with gun), the left arm, and the backpack. Due to the material and the way the mini is sculpted she is super easy to convert.

For example, since the character is supposed to be very tall - and I always wanted the mini to fit in with Infinity and Pulp City minis (which are a little taller in scale than your average 28mm figure) it was simply enough to make her taller. Want to make that gun look more like a PDR-C? That's super easy too, you can just trim a bit off the underside of the stock. Don't like the way the kukris are facing on her backpack? You can chop them off and swap them over to the other side so that the handles are pointing over her shoulder.

But why are they facing that way, I hear nobody ask. How are you even supposed to draw them like that?

The sheath is designed to be open at the back, almost the full length of the sheath. Each kukri is kept in location (B) because of the lip (D) and the tension of the spring at the back of the sheath (A). To draw the weapon, the user grasps the handle, pulls the blade back a few millimetres, twists the handle slightly and then the kukri can be draw easily through the gap (C).

When sheathing the kukri, the tip slides into the 'groove' created by the lip (D) and that guides the blade into place as the user pushes down.

Over engineered much? Of course!

Would this even really work? Who knows!

However, if you had super awesome powers of regeneration and you are carrying on your person a pair of weapons that can defeat regeneration and invulnerability.. and you are regularly going up against people who are faster or stronger than you, do you really want to have those handles pointed over your shoulder so that when your opponent stands in front of you he can grasp the handle, pull the kukri out of the sheath and plunge it straight straight into your collarbone?

Probably not.

So, over engineered it is!

Friday, 14 November 2014

I made a miniature!

..and if you replace "I" with "Brother Vinni" then that statement is totally true!

The female military specialist, expertly sculpted and cast by Vinni, is a comission of my X-Men character Kelly Lasseter. A mutant with a strong defensive ability but only low level super strength, she broadens her options with a range of modern day weapons and gadgets, as well a pair of kukri that can bypass tricky things like invulnerability and intangibility. I have been playing this character for a long time. A super long time. So long that I honesty expect her to show up on an episode of Agents of SHIELD. 

Kelly is like a scrappy Black Widow - no tradecraft to speak of and she lacks the former's finesse and agility.. but Kelly's regenerative abilities will keep her in a fight a lot longer. So a moderate close combat threat, good ranged accuracy with average ranged damage, average evasion and speed, moderate resistances but hey, she gets wounds back every turn..

..and now I have a miniature for her! Five, in fact!

Hopefully I will get up the courage to paint her now that she is available to buy direct from Vinni because 5 screw-ups is not outside the realm of possibility.. especially when I'm competing against this!

Hopefully I will get to use her in Pulp City once the next book comes out, but for sure she will exist as a Super System character now that 4th edition is now available.