Archive for the 'Wargaming' Category



Flipit Blue Falcons – Commanders

Flipit Blue Falcons Air Marshal Roce Bleauciel SmlI really like the models for the flipit wargame made by newobimj, probably as they have a fun chibi look. As a bonus they come with there very own wargame called flipit for which newobimj has designed 4 full factions. The game has been around a fair while 4+ years and basically these have been on my to build list for about that long.

I finally settled on a scale to build the armies at I spent way to much time trying to decide on a scale with numerous test builds occuring between 100% and 65%. After comparing all the test builds I finally settled on a 75% scaling. This makes the little weapon tubes still build-able and the miniatures themselves stand about 28mm to the eye or 35mm to the top of the head/helmet. I plan on building all four factions and using them for flipit but also defiance  and of course flying lead.

First up I decided to build the Blue Falcon faction, I spent sometime working out how to assemble a few of the models as well as throwing together a few Custom models. First up I’ve completed the Commanders of the blue falcons faction; Air Marshal Roce Bleauciel, Serge Cargoe and Acel DeSparrow, I modified all of them so they use the karate chop hands and mounted them permanently to octagon bases.

Flipit Blue Falcons Commanders

First up we have Serge Cargoe, semi cyborg mad scientist type who gets around in an exo-skeleton wielding a nasty zap pistol and lightning glove. The assembly of the standard figure was pretty easy simple cylinder and a round top head. The exo-skeleton was a little tougher, I re-enforced each of the legs with wire in the middle and then mounted them to the backpack, bending them a little. I couldn’t find any instructions or any pictures of  an already complete Cargoe so I made a best guess with the leg locations. Hopefully the wire will prevent any future miniature sag through the paper bending.

Flipit Blue Falcons Serge Cargoe

Next up we have Acel DeSparrow, Rocketeer and all round smiling hero. I made some minor adjustments to his helmet colour so it was more gold/brass then silver and knocked together a rocket blast so it looks like he is just lifting off the ground. I used a tank explosion available on the flipit forum to make the rocket fire and smoke.  Looking at it I probably made the smoke and fire a little long.

Flipit Blue Falcons Acel DeSparrow

Lastly we have the big cheese of the Blue Falcons Air Marshal Roce Bleauciel. I didn’t want to have him sitting at the same height as the other falcons so I found a nice Crate papercraft (scaled to about 80%) and placed the Air Marshal on top of the Crate. I was trying to make it look like the Air Marshal was giving a speech before the troops head into battle and so he’s not looking the same as all the other regular troops when placed on the table.

Flipit Blue Falcons Air Marshal Roce Bleauciel

I found these a lot of fun to build and I’ve got more builds in the Blue Falcon faction coming shortly. If I could I’d share my 75% version of these files but unfortunately I can’t post in the flipit forum so for now you’ll have to scale them yourself. Later on if I get an okay to share or can post them in the flipit forum I’ll share them as I’ve done cut files as well. If I was building these guys again I would definitely edge in matching colour rather than in black but as I’ve now started in black edging they’ll all be black edged for consistency :).

Troop Builds here

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. – Dr. Seuss

Lego – Basing Minifigs for Wargaming (Part 2)

In my never ending hunt for different basing options for Lego Minifigs. I stumbled onto these nice hex bases by catspaw customs, now I’m a bit slow to the party as the bases have been around for a while.

I couldn’t make the Catspaw website work or at least there shop (I think they might have closed) so I picked my bases up from Gi Brick, but you can also grab them from Brick Arsenal and Minifigforlife.

Lego bases Parts2 OneFront and Back Clear Trans 4 stud

These bases are still not what you call cheap at around the $1 USD each.  This makes these bases more expensive than my home made washer ones (this previous post). However they are superior to my home made bases in a few ways and only one minor negative apart from cost:

  • They come in clear, I know for wargaming armies quite often you have themed armies and bases. For myself I like my mini’s to appear to be mounted on the right terrain that they are currently marching over. Clear bases let you see the terrain the miniature is moving over creating the illusion froma distance they are based the same as the terrain.
  • They stack and clip together like normal Lego.  Storing my washer bases is quiet annoying and due to the weight I have to be careful to store them separate to the minifigs and vehicles.
  • They are hexagonal, I prefer Hex bases to Round ones. This mainly stems from a few rulesets I’ve tried using facing more heavily.
  • The bases are not as heavy as washers so minifigs are easier to knock over, but I don’t think this will cause any major problems as it still requires a fair knock to push a Minifig over.
Lego bases Parts2 TwoHero’s vs the Undead

For me the above advantages more than out weigh the added cost. The bases themselves come in a broad range of colours and either a 2 stud or 4 stud design. For myself I’ll stick with the Clear bases with a 4 stud design so I can add markers if needed to the bases. I’m unsure if this was happy accident or not but inscribed on the bottom of each base between the 2 marker studs is a number between 1-9 on my clear bases it’s a little hard to read and I’d imagine on opaque ones you would need to flip the base over to read the number, I ordered 10 bases initially and received 1 of each 1-9 and a second 4. The bases are sized to be 1 inch square, however mine measure as just a hair over an inch on the long side (point to point) and just under an inch (flat to flat). I can’t see it causing myself any major problems and troops can still be ranked up if needed and it makes the bases fit in better with normal Lego plate stud sizing.

Lego bases Parts2 ThreeMy base plate is a little short

I’m going to pickup a few more of these clear bases and eventually use them for all my Lego gaming.

As always have fun 🙂

“Always desire to learn something useful.” – Sophocles

Warmachine – Hirst Objective Markers

I have a few Hirst arts molds which I have never used before, I bought them about mid last year but had not had anytime to try using them. However over the Xmas/New years period I did a big pile of casting, I did something like 10-12 casts of each of the 5 molds I own. Since it’s been a while since I last painted I decided to do a few objective markers for a friend who plays Warmachine.

These are primarily made from parts from Hirst mold #85 cavern accessories but they also include a few Warmachine shields, odd cogs and a lego spanner. I restricted the size of my objective markers to the same size as the official Warmachine ones that were  released last year. My friend who is going to use these primarily plays the  Khador faction, so I asked him for a few bits from his bits box so I could give each one a unique Khador feel.

Building each one was pretty simple, I selected some random Hirst crates, barrels or sacks and then stacked them on a 60mm Warmachine base, adding the odd cog and Khador component. Once I was happy with the combination of parts I based the bases with plain red sand to keep them simple and to have them fit in with the way the rest of his army is based. Then painted each of the components individually and finally glued them to the base I applied two coats of matt varnish to help provide an extra level of durability as objective markers tend to get handled more compared to normal terrain.

The marker above is my favorite of the three, the blending on the shield came out quiet well and the Lego spanner seems to make the marker more dynamic than the other two.


My second favorite of the three markers.

Lastly and my least favorite, this one just doesn’t work for me, the blending on the arm is very sketchy but I tried three times to improve it and failed each time. I think I struggled as my brain really wanted to highlight the middle of the hand not the outside edge so I was fighting my own internal notion of how I would normally have painted the hand. The marker also seems less full than the others as the axe hand takes up a lot of volume but is not a solid block so the base appears emptier. It should still be good enough to game with :).

These didn’t take me very long to make and I enjoyed making them, although painting the shields and hand took longer than I would I have liked.

Have fun gaming 🙂

UFO MK I – Papercraft

I’ve spent the past 2-3 weeks working on finishing a papercraft UFO, primarily to use with Okumarts retro aliens. The UFO itself is reasonably small (75mm/3inches across), this does mean some of the parts are quiet difficult to build due to the size of the parts. The Guns are the most fiddly followed by the canopy and then the rest of the UFO. I will warn that this is not an easy model to assemble and you will need at least 2 hours to cut and assemble the clear canopy version, the first time you make it. I have also included a solid coloured canopy if you don’t want all the internal detail

Quick Download Links
UFO Mk1 Final – PDF (25mb)
Instructions UFO Mk1 (5mb)
UFO Mark One Studio  (rename extension to “.studio” after download)

I designed the base UFO in sketchup and ran through several different designs before settling on an Octogon as the bases for the UFO.

For each of the initial designs I also built a rough version in plain white card to see how hard the design was to build. I added some small plastic beads to the below gun ends to help give them that more retro laser/gun look similar to how Okumarts drew his weapons.

To try and make the instructions a little clearer after I’d flattened the model and textured it. I laid the texture over the top of the sketchup model and created some renders for use in the instructions. Below are some renders I made up for the instructions, you can see the rest in the instructions :). I learnt a lot about what not to do when trying to texture a model in Skechup and will be much more careful with the layout of any future models.

As far as texturing goes it was fairly standard GIMP work, I did add two base  texture types a sort of brushed metal look and a more enamel paint look. I put in a large number of colour options as not all the colours worked with both texturing looks, plus I’ve learn’t to keep my texture and colour layers seperate so that adding a new colour is just a matter of duplicate existing layer and flood fill. I also split the base and cockpit out so you can have a coloured top, a metal coloured base and then if you like a different coloured metal texture for the inside of the cockpit. I added a few other customizable bits such as; different insignia, different light colours, several different engine globe colours and two different clear canopy designs (see final picture (type two) and test build (type one)) . There is a studio cut file for the model (use the new Studio Designer to open), I included both an SD and Cameo layer for cutting, the SD is the default layer so if your cutting on the new Cameo don’t forget to turn on the correct layer before printing (if anyone does use a Cameo to cut the file let me know if it works :)). I have hand cut and cut with the Silhouette SD and due to the size and scale of some parts on the UFO if you can afford the time I’d definitely recommend hand cutting as the human hand and eye are still more accurate than the SD, with the small parts on the UFO even a small mis-alignment during cutting can cause problems during assembly of the UFO.

Newspaper Mockup: City Scape by Barive, Text inspired by H.G.Wells War of the Worlds

I actually had a lot of fun putting this model together, with both the dragonfly and dunebuggy I used a lot of time up learning how to best lay the files out etc which meant a bundle of re-work for both. Although still a lot of work the UFO seemed to flow much better and I knew what to do to help speed up certain steps and what to expect in regards to amount of work at each step. A rough breakdown of time is about a 1/3 on the mesh, 1/3 on texturing/layout and 1/3 on instructions.

I’m off to build a few more UFO’s so that my retro aliens can face of against the terra force marines and at least have some chance of competing against the Dunebuggy and Dragonfly. Hope you enjoy the model :).

UFO Mk1 Final – PDF (25mb)

Instructions UFO Mk1 (5mb)

UFO Mark One Studio  (rename extension to “.studio” after download)

Flight stand from Dragonfly

Wargaming Terrain – How to Make Trees (One Single Trunk)

I wanted to try scratch building some tree armatures for wargaming. Two main reasons, one I wanted to see how hard it would be and two I’ve always been pretty disappointed with the way paper trees look, the paper trees are normally to short and/or have that toilet paper tube look. I think in the case of trees paper may not be the best medium.  Below is a bit of a how to on what I did to make my trees. I’ve only done single trunk trees however I am going to try multi-trunk and fruit trees later on. I apologies for the below pictures but it was very difficult to take some decent photos to show the build process. You can see some further photos of the textured trunk at the end of this blog post. The information contained below I’ve picked up in various forums, tutorials and by looking at some commercially available trees over the past decade or so, unfortunately this means I can’t provide any links to anyone place as inspiration, think of the below as an amalgamation of web idea’s plus some of my own all mixed together.

You will need to gather some supplies before you can start making trees:

  • Acrylic Gap Filler (White cheaper, Brown can save painting)
  • 20-30 meters of 1.57mm diameter (14-15 gauge) galvanized tie wire
  • 20-30 meters of .9 mm diameter (19 gauge) galvanized tie wire
  • Coarse art paint brush
  • Wire Cutters
  • Long nosed pliers
  • Hot Glue Gun and/or PVA glue
  • Masking tape 18mm / 3/4 of an inch
  • Disc magnets 15mm x 1mm/ 5/8 x 1/32 inch(optional)
  • 5 min epoxy if your using the magnets and don’t have hot glue
  • Super glue
  • Strong fingers 🙂

If you can’t find the exact tie wire listed above slightly thinner would be better than slightly thicker, make sure it is tie wire and not high tensile fencing wire. In Australia you can get all the above items from your local hardware store,  except for the magnets, the magnets I used are these magnets available from deal extreme. Deal extreme also sells an 18mm x 2mm magnet which would be interesting to experiment with.

Some of the tools

The dimensions etc listed below will make a tree approximately 20cm/8inches tall, at the end I’ve included some dimensions and lengths for a 6inch tall tree. You should be able to expand this method out to make taller trees by simply adding an extra longer length.  The first step is to grab your thicker (1.57mm) tie wire and cut some lengths of wire:

  • 4 x 12.5cm / 5 inches (potentially optional read below)
  • 4 x 20 cm / 8 inches
  • 4 x 26.5cm / 10.5 inches
  • 4 x 30cm / 12 inches

Wire Lengths

Grab two of the same length of wire and twist them together using your fingers and the pliers. Make sure you leave a tail at the end being held by the pliers of about 1.5cm / 3/4 of an inch, later these will become the roots of the tree. Do not twist the wires all the way together leave at least 4cm / 1.5 inches untwisted on each piece. I’ve done a picture and a very short video to try and show what I mean.

Link To Video

For the 5inch lengths there is no need to leave a tail on them as they will be used as extra branches, hopefully you have two of each twisted length something similar to the below.

Twisted wire pairs

Similar to the above process now grab two of the same length twisted wire pairs and twist them together. This is harder to do due the 4 strands of wire, if you need to you can use a second pair of pliers to help with the twisting. Again do not twist the wire pairs all the way together as the end part of the wire becomes the branches. As a rough guide leave at least 10cm / 4inches on the 20cm / 8inch wire pairs, 8cm /3 inches on the 26.5cm / 10.5 inches wire pairs and 6cm / 2 1/2 inches on the 30cm / 12 inches wire pairs. There is no need to twist the two 12.5cm / 5 inch lengths together as these are used later independently.

Now the fun part begins, you need to shape your wire pairs into some semblance of the start of a tree trunk and branches. Basically you just need to bend the untwisted wire parts down, not as far down as 90 degrees but just slightly sloping upwards, try not to bend the two branches exactly opposite each other, stagger one slightly up and the other slightly down. I’ve included a diagram below which shows the approximate lengths to leave prior to doing a bend, don’t take these figures as 100% accurate but use them as a starting guide and then if something looks off adjust it a little. You may end up with a little extra wire at the ends if you do just snip it off, likewise if one branch is turning out a little short don’t worry to much trees don’t seem to when they grow in nature :). Bend your short root ends up at about 90 degrees.

Click to enlarge picture

Hopefully you now have five parts that look something  like the below.

Wire pairs twisted together

This next part is difficult to describe, however hopefully with my description and the pictures below you’ll be able to work out what I mean. Take your Short, Medium and Long trunk/branch segments and fit them together so that the roots at the bottom are lined up flat but pointing out in different directions and the branches poke out in different directions at the top or as different as you can get them. Next take a short length (8-10cm, 3-4 inches) of masking tape and tape the very bottom of your tree just above the roots, tape as  tightly with the masking tape as you can to help hold the three wire pieces together. The three wire trunks will naturally form a sort of triangle down the bottom.

You can really start to see the tree in your wire armature now. To help strength the tree further and hold it together, You will need to wrap masking tape tightly around the trunk under each wire branch pair.

Masking tape around trunk below branches

Your tree should be fairly sturdy now and is hopefully not in any danger of falling back into it’s component parts. However to really help tie the wire together in a more permanent structure. Grab your hot glue gun/ PVA glue and in the gap between your base masking tape and your first branch piece of masking tape push some hot glue or PVA glue into this gap. The advantage with hot glue is that it dries quickly so less waiting around. The below image shows were you should have the glue placed, feel free to use your hot glue on other spots if you feel the armature needs it.

If you like you can stop there and call your tree miniature armature done and not worry about adding a few extra branches. I’ve done a few trees with just opposite branches and it does have some advantages, you use less Acrylic gap filler, less branches means less “leaf” (ok sponge material) that you have to glue and use on the tree, quicker to paint and most importantly the trees will still look good.  If you do wish to use the two extra branches they are pretty easy to use, basically bend what would be the root end down about 1.5cm / 1/2 inch. Select a location for your branch and size it to about the same length as the other two branches located near it. You want your branches to be evenly spaced around your tree so you will need to bend the other two like sized branches back towards each other ie the angle between your three complimentary sized branches will be approximately 120 degrees. Now using your hot glue gun glue the branch to the side of your tree. While the hot glue is drying wrap some masking tape around the tree trunk and the branch tail to help hold it in place (the tape is very important if you use PVA glue). Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of myself covered in strands of hot glue and wincing in pain as it stuck to my hands, but hopefully the two pictures below and the description above give you a rough idea of what to do.

Deciding on position


All Glued and Taped in place

Once you have your branches added on, next is to add a short top to the tree. I use the 0.9mm wire and just twiddle a bit around the the top of the trunk and extend it upwards about 3.75 cm / 1.5 inches and then have small branches pulled down on each side of about the same length (you may need to glue/tape it in place). I’ve circled the topper in blue in the below photo and the extra branches in red.

Extra branches and topper

Topper ready for use

I’ve put magnets in to the base of my tree so that they magnetize down onto the terrain to help stabilize the trees when they are being used during gaming but can be easily lifted out of the way if needed. I’ll need to do a post later on detailing how I make my hills etc with grab points. If you prefer to permanently affix your trees to your terrain you can skip this step. If you look at the base of your tree you’ll notice the roots are all crisscrossed over one and other, what you want to do is untwist and pull these out flat. The picture below shows a base I’ve sorted and  flattened out. You want your root ends at this point to be pointing slightly upwards (Yes my roots are slightly longer than needed).

Take two of your 15mm magnets and super glue them together, next temporarily stick your magnets to the base of the tree and stand the tree on a flat surface check in all dimensions that the tree trunk is approximately vertical and isn’t laying over in one direction or the other. If the tree trunk is laying over re-bend your roots to help flatten it out. If it looks good simply hot glue or epoxy glue the magnets in place.

Next trim your roots to the length about 18mm / 1/2 an inch long. Once they are all trimmed down you want to bend the roots down so that the tips of each root are level with the base of the magnet. I find the best way to do this is to bend them down to about where I think they need to be and then check them by standing the tree on a tabletop and bend any up and down that need adjusting. The roots will seem to curve down over the magnet which is the effect we are after. You can also see in the below picture were I built up the base with a bit of hot glue.

  Lastly before we apply the acrylic you can further bandage the tree in masking tape. I have made trees with and without masking tape bandaging. A quick pro’s and con’s for bandaging:

Pros

Cons

Use less acrylic filler Time taken to bandage tree in masking tape
Easier to cover the wire with filler
Quicker when using acrylic filler

From the above it would appear the best thing to do is to masking tape the armatures however this does add significant time and is reasonably fiddly as I’ve had to cut the masking tape in half length wise to tape the branches. Saying that at the moment I do lean towards bandaging the trees in masking tape. If you do use masking tape make sure to try and respect basic tree anatomy, ie thinner towards the ends of branches and top of the tree.  I also do a last pruning at this stage to check I don’t have any to long branches or branches pointing in the wrong direction, basically just try to give the tree reasonable symmetry. The two pictures below show a bandaged tree and an un-bandaged tree ready for painting with acrylic gap filler.

Bandaged Tree

Un-Bandaged Tree

I tend to stockpile 5-6 armatures before I paint them with a coat or two of acrylic gap filler (If you want to permanently fix your trees to your terrain now is the time to glue them in position on the terrain). Take one of your armatures and put a drop of super glue onto the magnet on the underside and try to get a dot on the end of each root, now place the tree down on a piece of thin writing paper so the magnet and root tips glue to the paper, to get a good smooth bond use a metal surface (old computer case wall for example).

I find I get a better bark texture if I squeeze out some gap filler into a small bowl and then add a few drops of water and mix it in so the gap filler is slightly less goopy. The more water you add the smoother your bark will appear once the gap filler dries, this is a good way to show different types of tree barks.  Next just grab your coarse paint brush (I use a cheap art 1/2 brush) and paint the gap filler onto the armature. When you brush the gap filler onto the armature brush the gap filler on the trunk in an up and down direction and paint a long the branches (red arrows). Try to build up a sort of triangular shaped wedge on the underside of the branches were they join the trunk (Green triangles), Don’t paint to much on the branch wire ends just a thin layer to cover the silver wire.


Painting Gap Filler Flow Diagram

Don’t worry to much if you think the texture looks wrong as you paint it on, even some really weird lumpy textures look very bark like when you get them dry brushed. Below I took are two pictures one shows a group of trees dried after being painted with brown acrylic gap filler and the second a close up of the base and bark texture.

Four 8 inch trees and One 6 inch tree

Close up of base and bark texture

Once the acrylic filler dries about 12-24 hours trim the base to a roundish circle using the wire root ends as a guide. Next  paint the underside of the base with some PVA glue, don’t worry that the base is a little wrinkly, the important thing is that the magnet and the wire tips provide the contact points with the ground and these wont be wrinkly. After I’ve done the coat of PVA glue I then paint the the underside of the base black. You now have three options

  1. You can use the trees as is or
  2. Give the tree a quick dry brush with a lighter colour to bring out the ridges or
  3. Fully paint them with a mid colour,  dark wash and a dry brush.

If you used white gap filler you’ll have to do a full paint or at least a base coat. I’ve been doing the last option as it really helps to bring out the texture of the bark and makes the tree look good on the table. My colour choices for bark have been burnt sienna as the base coat, darkened burnt umber as a wash and Bilious brown as the dry brush highlight. Below are a  couple of pictures of a finished tree armature, in the below picture you can see were I’ve missed the dark brown wash in a few spots as the wood appears redder (most noticeable on branch tips which will eventually be covered in clumping foam).

Single Tree Closeup

Group Shot Finished

Last step is to just add your preferred type of tree leaf material. I’ve been using Woodland Scenics clumping foam stuck on with super glue so they are really durable for wargaming. There are a few ways of making your own tree leaf material but I’ve found the clumping foam to be the best compromise between cost and durability.  The below finished tree isn’t one of the above but it is one of my first prototypes which I painted in a slightly different colour scheme, however as an unexpected bonus the colouring works better when photographed.

For a six inch tree you want to cut wire to the below lengths from .9 mm diameter (19 gauge) wire:

  • 4 x 7.5cm / 3 inches (extra branches)
  • 4 x 12.5 cm / 5 inches
  • 4 x 17.5cm / 7 inches
  • 4 x 22.5cm / 9 inches

Using those as a starting point you should be able to assemble a six inch high tree using the above guide and these wire lengths as a starting point. In the off chance someone would like to read this as a PDF later on I put one together available here (3mb).

Have fun with your trees 🙂

Wargaming Terrain – How to Make Creeping Vines

As promised I thought I’d do some quick instructions on how I made the green creepy vine on the rocks. I picked up some push molds from the mold hut on ebay, the vines are specifically mold number F112 I’d recommend getting at least two it will speed up production. The mold hut has a heap of molds which would be handy for decorative bits on scratch built terrain, some others I picked up are G113, A115 and F147 but there are literally 10+ others which look handy, just have a browse:

Molds from the Mold Hut

The problem with vines is that they are traditionally bendy and conform to the shape of the object they grow around and over. I’m sure there is some ultra expensive bendy specialized rubbery molding agent. However as I was looking for a cheap solution I tried a few different Gooey type sealants I had laying around the house. As it turned out the cheapest one was the best, it doesn’t stick to the silicon mold once dry (no special release agent required), after doing 20 or so molds of the vine I’m not seeing any mold degradation so it appears to be silicon safe.

The only drawback is it needs at least 4 hours to dry before you try and remove the vine from the mold, this however isn’t to much of an issue if you have two molds you set them up before going to work/school then pop them out on return, set them up again pop them out just before bed and set them up again and pop them out in the morning. So you can do about 3 cycles a day and on a weekends if your around the house you can do 5 or 6 cycles producing between 6-12 vine segments. The goo in question is the cheapest Acrylic gap filler you can buy in those long tubes, downunder it costs $2 per tube although you do need gun to squeeze it out ($6-$10) most people probably already have the gun laying around the house. You can also buy the stuff coloured but this more than doubles the cost to about $5 a tube, I also couldn’t find a nice green (brown in below pic).  This is not a Silicon based gap sealant you will have terrible problems painting the vines if you use a silicon based sealant it has to be a plain acrylic gap filler:

Acrylic Gap Filler

Now the easy part grab some of your Acrylic gap filler you only need a tiny amount less than half a teaspoon full per vine mold. If you squeeze to much out simply wrap it up in some kitchen cling wrap/film which stops it from setting and you can then use it later to fill a mold.  If you have the plain white gap filler you can colour it at this stage with a small amount of paint or green ink just mix it in well. Try as much as you can to push the sealer into the mold to fill in all the gaps. Once your happy that you’ve squished the sealant in as much as you can hold a toothpick on either end and run it across the surface of the mold. You’ll need to push down reasonably hard, however if you push down to much you’ll scoop the acrylic right out of the mold, if this happens just push some more gap filler back into the mold and re-scrap with your toothpick. Whatever you do make sure you scrap fairly quickly otherwise a skin will form and you wont be able to scrap. Additionally don’t worry if the surface facing you is not perfectly smooth it’s the glue side:

Molds Filled and Scraped

I timed my test piece at night in late winter early autumn (about 18C or 64F) and 4 hours seemed to let the acrylic set enough for removal. However leaving it as long as 24-36 hours only made it easier to remove. To remove the vine simply bend the mold away from the vine and then gently lift it out remember to be gentle some parts of the vine are very thin. If you do happen to break the vine in half or pull a  piece off all is not lost either save those two bits for when you need a short piece of vine or use a tiny amount of acrylic gap sealer to join them back together. You will notice a little bit of flashing around the edges of the vine, as far as I can tell that’s pretty normal I think a combination of the type of mold and using acrylic goo as a casting material are not exactly optimal:

Vines demolded (left-front, right-back)

Leave the vine to dry for another few hours or overnight if you can and then simply trim any unwanted bits hanging of the edges away with a pair of nail scissors. I’d recommend buying your own pair rather than stealing borrowing your other halves or parents as all hell will be raised when they find bits of gooey acrylic gap sealer all over their nail scissors. Your handy $2 shop/Golo type establishment should have nail scissors for $3-$4 a pair. If your hobby table is anything like mine, it is some form of mimic hobby table that eats tools and so I’d recommend buying two pairs. Two nice trimmed vine segment:

Vines Trimmed

Next up paint the vine segments in the base green  colour (or any other colour you like), it’s easier to give the vines a base coat while they are not glued to your piece of terrain. If you found a nice coloured green acrylic goo or dyed your acrylic with paint or ink you wont need to worry about this step unless it’s not to your taste. Here are a couple of my vine segments painted green and ready to be used on my next piece of terrain.

Vines Base Coated

At this point I tend to stockpile vine parts ready to be used in a small jar. I have about a dozen in the jar ready to go, a dozen segments gos a long way the two rock terrain pieces used 5 and 4.5 vine segments each so it stretches a reasonable distance.  To use them simply mock the segments up were you’d like them to go a long your piece of terrain (Paint the terrain first). You will need to trim off the odd leaf (save them they do come in handy) and clip the top and bottoms so they fit together and align.

Mockup showing One and Half Vines

I’ve used both super glue and white PVA glue to glue the vine segments in place, I prefer the PVA as it gives me slightly more time to adjust the position of the vines. When you place your first piece make sure it’s about 5mm (1/8 inch) up from ground level, then simply glue the additional vine pieces in place. The small gaps and the missing base stem simply fill/build up with a small amount of acrylic gap filler and once dry paint green to match. Next I simply painted on some thin white lines as leaf veins and then lightly washed and highlighted the leaves with a lighter green paint:

Vines Glued and Detailed

You can use the above acrylic gap filler in other molds just remember if the piece is thicker or more dense it will take longer to dry before you can demold the piece.

Wargaming Terrain – Rocks

It has been sometime since my last post. I wish I could say I’ve been sitting around doing nothing but watching movies unfortunately no such luck. I’ve been tied up at work, trying to get more exercise and fixing the house up a little which hasn’t left very much time for creating blog posts or spending much time on my hobbies. I do have a backlog of “stuff” to post about and a pile of things I need to finish so I’m going to use Ye Olde blog to help me get things finished. I have been doing some small amount of hobby stuff, basically working on some more traditional foam, balsa wood and plaster terrain and the rocks below are some of the first pieces I’ve finished.

Must be a thing with wargaming terrain creation everyone normally starts with rocks. Good news I didn’t start with rocks these were just the first I managed to finish. I started by building a ruined tudor house and some scratch built tree’s. Unfortunately the house still needs to be painted and I need to create a few more tree’s before I post about them.

The rocks are a fairly standard build of foam cut rocks, I think there’s literally a million “how to’s” on making rock’s so I wont go into great detail about cutting foam etc etc you can see tutorials here, here, here and here for tutorials on how to make rocks and cliffs. A few minor comments that I noticed while cutting my rocks;

  • Avoid having any 90 degree edges, go have a look at normal rock formations very few 90 degree angles.
  • Do seal the foam with white PVA glue before trying to use a spray undercoat unless you want the I’ve just been dissolved by acid look
  • Use whatever foam you have at hand; depron, blue, pink, yellow (extruded polystyrene) or normal White polystyrene bead sheets just get some and get started.
  • If you can build a hot wire cutter, it’ll take you a few hours but save you a heap of time and stop that tearing you see when you use a craft knife…even a  sharp one can catch.
  • If you are cutting foam with a hot wire cutter make sure you wear a mask or do your cutting outside in a well ventilated area. I see very little about the fumes the various foams give off as the cutter melts them but they smell terrible as you cut them so I suspect the fumes are in the not good for you bucket.

I’ve basically finished two small rock stands. I mounted a 6mm sheet of depron to a masonite base and rounded the depron to make it seem like a small hill. Into the masonite bases I glued 3-4 small magnets so that later these can be used as hill toppers on larger flatter hills. The rest is your fairly standard wash and dry brush. The bones I cut from some kids toys I found in a go-lo store $2 and you get a packet of four dinosaur skeletons which provided a heap of bones although they are a little out of scale (Pic below). The human skull I’m not sure what it’s from I just had it laying around:

Dino Skeleton Toys

The vines are probably the most unique part that I haven’t seen used on terrain before, although I’m sure someone probably has. Basically I grabbed a mold for food vines and used this to cast some vines segments and then fit them together into a long creeper style vine. I’ll do a post later this week covering how exactly I used them and what to use to get cheap bendy segments.

Rocks One

Rocks Two

I’m fairly happy with how the rocks turned out although they could probably use a little more weathering and maybe some lichen on the rocks but for a first attempt I’m happy to leave them as they are for now.


Project Status


WWII Project First Release

80%


B-tech Buildings Five

20%


Design Victorian era City

15%


Something Different

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Please Attribute to Sirrob01 with a link back to my blog

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