Thursday 21 August 2014

LXXI. The Autumnal Forest

I have finally painted all the plastic tree terrain I had in my possession. My forest now consists of: one large Hanging Tree, two regular Hanging trees, six regular trees, and six pygmy trees. All done from one Wyrd and two GW plastic kits. 
The forest. You will notice the Guardian of the Golden Bough chilling in there.


Once both the Citadel Wood kits were finished, I noticed that I had six leftover branches. So I got the idea to make some bushes. These can stand on their own, or some day I could make a larger base that holds several of them- like the one supplied with the Citadel Wood kit, and have area terrain. 

When I compared them to human-sized miniatures it turned out they are more the size of small trees than bushes. They are small, but don't really look like young trees (too gnarled and thick), so I just call them 'pygmy trees'. 

The stuff I used: 30mm wooden bases, leftover branches from the Citadel Wood kit, cork, sand. Not pictured: green stuff, brass rod, PVA glue, superglue, plastic cement.

I pinned the branches to the bases, and resculpted the base of each trunk with green stuff to get the right growing-out-of-the-ground look. The bases were finished with cork and sand.
After painting the bases and the trunks, I glued the canopies. These were painted along with the canopies belonging to the larger trees I made recently. It's boring, repetative work, so it's best done in larger batches. I left one of the small trees bare for extra variety.
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The Shaman is also done.

The third Troglodyte Shaman.
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Saturday 16 August 2014

LXX. The Troglodyte Shrine

The remains of a huge fish from a subterranean lake make the centrepiece of this Troglodyte altar.  The fact they are now building their sacred structures above ground means Troglodytes are beginning to feel more and more at home in the upper world. Not a good sign...

Front. The fishbone is adorned by preserved human heads.

Back. Hallucinogenic mushrooms grow at the foot of the shrine.
 This piece of terrain is made for use in a campaign scenario featuring Troglodytes.

The main feature of the shrine, the giant fishbone, actually comes from a Rackham Goblin mini: the No-Dan-Kar Fishbone Bearer. I got the goblin quite cheap from a local. It was in a good state, the only thing that was done to it was a thin black undercoat.
The Fishbone Bearer.
 First I removed the fishbone from the goblin, naturally. You can see in the picture there are some human heads hanging from the bone- that's quite alright. However, on the reverse side there were two large mugs belonging to deceased Confrontation Dwarfs, and this would not do. So I thought I'd remove them with my dremel. After lots of grinding I finally managed to remove one. Tired and frustrated with how slowly that was going, I decided that I would try a different approach with the second head. I saved myself a lot of trouble by just cutting off the ribs it hanged from, and then replacing some of the missing ribs with ones I made of pins and green stuff.

I put the bone on a nice 50mm base. It's my standard cork + sand + fallen leaves and grass tufts. 

Awaiting some custom detailing.

The Staves

The fishbone is surrounded by the kind of long staves Shamans carry. This helps make a connection between the terrain piece and the Troglodyte models.  

A staff begins as a brass rod cut to desired length. I also need some thin wire and metal rings.

The wire I usually use for this used to be some sort of a net; I think it came from a wine bottle. Useful material can be found everywhere.

I just wrapped the wire around the brass rod, passing through the metal ring several times. Here I used another type of wire, the one I pulled out of the cable of a pair of broken earphones. This is all fixed in place with a drop or two of liquid superglue. Finally, I wash a layer of watered-down PVA glue over everyhing.

The Mushrooms

Fly amanita mushrooms seemed like a good idea for some spot colour. They also provide detail to the back of the base, as the piece looked less interesting from the back as it was. This is how I make my mushrooms:

When I have leftover green stuff after sculpting, I often make it into mushroom caps for later use. All I need to do when I want some toadstools is drill into the caps and insert a stem (brass rod or paperclip will do).

Green stuff toadstools. And pin heads make good smaller shrooms.

To make their shapes more organic, the metal bits need to be covered with some PVA. When that dries I also give them a coat of liquid green stuff.

Mushrooms fixed to the base and undercoated grey.

Painted. I looked at photos of Amanita muscaria for reference. This poisonous mushroom was used by Siberian shamans to induce trance state. Looks like the Troglodytes like it, too.
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The third Shaman is coming along nicely. I put the bits together: a Hobbit goblin, a staff (still unfinished in this picture) and a Plaguebearer's arm holding trophy heads. He just needs a bit of green stuff where his new arm meets the body, and some sand on the base. Then it's painting time.

Monday 11 August 2014

LXIX. Back on Track

I'm glad to say that the period of silence is finally over, and I'm back to work in the Gardens. Today I'll just show the little that has been done for the last month, and some of the stuff I'm working on right now. I have so many ideas that my head is overflowing. I'm having difficulties concentrating on the usual just one or two projects at a time... I'm really happy to be back. :)



This is just an update of an existing piece of terrain, really. As I was painting the leaves for one of my bare Citadel trees (no longer bare now), I thought I might put some on my Malifaux Hanging Tree. It was entirely gray, and I thought it would benefit from a little bit of colour. As a bonus, it now looks pretty much like it came from the same set as the GW forest. The lot will make a lovely glade on the tabletop once all are finished.

I added some more grass tufts on the base as well.


Unfortunately, having lost the fairy swarms I meant to use in the Piper's crew I haven't found satisfactory replacements. I've tried Wood Elf sprites, but found that wasn't "it". I even tried forcing Nurglings into the role and failed. I thought about sculpting them, but since it would mean making around twenty tiny sculpts I said "no" to that idea. In the end I gave up. And resorted to rats. 
Plastic GW rats. There is a limited number of poses, so I gave many of them new tails made of pins.
 I already had a whole bunch of them at home, having purchased them ages ago for use in a scenario, or just to have them creep around the board. They're good for decorating bases as well. One can't have too many rats. I painted some of them last september, along with a rat king I made. Now the existing ones got rebased and their paintjob upgraded, and several more joined the pack. The original rat king got hacked up for the bits, but I made a new one and there are two more in the making. 
Two classical rat kings - just a mockup for now.
 They are a decent replacement for fairies, but they take the overall look and feel of the crew in a different direction. Twelve Rats and three Rat Kings will do, which means I'm already just two Rat Kings away from my target number.

The finished Rat King- not a classical rat king, but a whimsical interpretation of the creature's name.

The rather large rat is from GW, and it's wearing the crown of Figone's King Maulg. The babies following it are from the Skaven Abomination box.



The Troglodyte tribe is getting some love as well. I am about to convert another Shaman (not much to see yet), and a shrine that will be used in a campaign scenario- with the Troglodytes defending it, and the opposing crew having to destroy it. I'll write a lot more about that piece when it's finished. For now, a WIP picture:



A rough sketch of a new beastie for the Countess:

I purchased more balsa wood recently, so I think something new might spring up in the terrain department in the foreseeable future. Something houselike, I expect. And there is that Fate Deck I have yet to finish.

Well, that's it for today. More will follow later this week.