29 March 2011

Rolling along, A Wheel Update.

Ok, a quick update on the Wheel quest.

First off the Magic Sculpt wheels got armored wheel cover sculpted out of straight Greenstuff. I like the effect but I might go to a composite putty mix so I can get sharper edges. But there is a bunch of work still to do so we will see.

The blank on it's side as well as the blank that looks like a white circle are made out of the composite putty, 50/50 Magic Sculpt and Greenstuff. It machines much better than the Magic Sculpt. So further blanks will be a mix. Though I haven't tested out Procreate yet so I reserve my right to change composition.

Lastly the 2 metal wheels on the bottom are from GZG's, I tossed them in for a rough visual comparison.

These are the main tools I use to do the rough shaping of the blanks. The Pen shaped tool is a cheap carbide tipped scribe (a'la Harbor Freight Tools, if you have one of their stores near by they are wonderful source of cheep tools and other weird stuff).

The Dremel Stylus is about the most useful of all my rotary tools. Small enough to be very handy, but heavy enough to stabilize well in my hand.

And a quick note on my camera, I am using an IPEVO document camera it works like a charm. my biggest issue is figuring out the proper lighting. Right now I am using a combination of a desk lamp with a CFL and a little portable LCD OttLite. I think I need better reflectors. As always it is a work in progress.


28 March 2011

Wheels, and the Sculpting there of.

Just a quick run down on wheels, this has always been one of the areas that has given me fits when starting to build my own vehicles. Several methods have been suggested to me from a variety of sources, all valid just, not quite in with my internal work process.

So this is what I have come up with. The beginning is a round of epoxy putty, in this case magic sculpt. The round is pushed down on a sheet of plastic then a bit of brass rod is inserted as near center as possible. This is set aside to cure.

Once cured the rounds are mounted in a Dremel tool and then lathed to shape.

I experimented with a number of different tools, a carbide tipped scribe and micro chisel where the two most effective tools for gross shaping. Fine shaping and smoothing was achieved with various grades of emery cloth.

This method produces smooth wheel. Do to the hardness of the cured Magic Sculpt I am thinking a mix of it and Greenstuff to produce a end product that is less hard. But since I have a full set I am going to do a build with these wheels.

My next attempt is to produce the smooth wheel, then go back over it with green stuff to provide the detail.

More soon.


17 March 2011

The World Intrudes

The real world intrudes here in the walled garden of my fantasy today. My mother, younger brother, his wife and three boys (all under 5 years) live in the greater Tokyo Metropolitan area.

My brother heeding the US State Department's evacuation request has taken his wife and sons south to Hiroshima for and extended visit with his mother-in-law. Which is good in a weird sort of what as his mother-in-law had a sever stroke two and half years ago and has only seen the twins once. Good thing, honest.

My mother has chosen to stay, she is in japan as a missionary and feel s that staying with her church in this time of crisis is important to her work. She is amongst people who care about her and will look out for her safety.

I handle business for both my brother and mother here in the states, I also am the chief contact point, so I get all of it. I have been fielding calls from well wishers and news seekers for days. As well as supporting My families concerns.

My brother is feeling bad about leaving my mother in Tokyo with her mission.
My mother is concerned about how he is feeling.
Good things really, I just am the pivot man.

In the end, colleges of mine and of my younger brother report no substantive rise in background radiation in and around Tokyo. This could change with a significant shift in winds. but not likely. But like everything, prayer isn't out of line.

Thinking about this out loud is all I am really doing. Thanks for your attention.

16 March 2011


Its Wednesday night the boy is off to scouts. Just got the new expansion for Fallout New Vegas, Dead Money.

So I leave y'all with a question, what is your personal perfect weapon when wandering the waste land?

I am really leaning towards Kel Tec's KSG it is a Combat styled 12 gauge pump with 2 internal seven round tube magazines, switching between mags is controlled by a lever behind the trigger guard.

15 March 2011

City in the Ruins

Some "concrete" slab houses for my Post Apocalyptic Town, the project is aptly named Concrete City. The base construction of these is 100% polymer clay.

The base technique for construction is rolled out slabs of clay which are then cured.
A base plate is cut out of one of the slabs with a exacto knife, or trimmed 1st then cured.
(I sized these so they would fit on a CD)
The remaining slabs are cut in to strips.
The strips are then either cut or broken into appropriate sized chunks for construction.
Construction proceeds by assembling the base form with raw clay and liquid Scuply.
Each stage of construction is cured before proceeding on to the next.
That is basic construction.

This last picture is a composite piece, the bunker is a old resin piece from the Void line. Chunks of Scuply slab and stuck together with a product called Magic Sculpt. Magic Sculpt is available from Tap Plastics and other online retailers. It is a two part epoxy putty that cures to a translucent light gray with a rock hard consistency. To change it's color I added pigment designed fo use with epoxy resins to a mixed up batch.

I am showing these becuase they are on my table and I am pondering detailing them. Besides the normal rubble and battered barrels, i am considering other little touches like plank benches, auto parts and other assorted bits.

Updates will follow.

14 March 2011

Commentary on Painting Wear

Well I wandered around the web looking for idea on how to paint battered, aged and much loved vehicles of the wastelands. There are several "Ork" tutorials and a very nice on Ramshackle Games web site. Unfortunately they are geared towards 28mm scale vehicles, so some of the techniques described are a little (Ok a lot!) fiddly with 15mm vehicles. So I am adapting the ones that give the best result.

The pictured Outrider from Old Crow Models is an exercise in perfecting the chipped paint effect. (Steps after Pictures (still figuring out Style))

Steps used to get to the point of the pictures. I am using Vallejo's Game Color through out these steps.
  1. Primed in Black
  2. Heavy drybrush with Gunmetal
  3. Successively lighter drybrushing with Hammered Copper, Orange Fire (with Metallic Medium), Chainmail Silver
  4. Using Ghost Gray roughly stipple in the areas where the paint is intact
  5. Then go back over the areas Stippled with the gray with Blood Red, using a stippling motion also, leaving bits of the grey showing through at the edges and center.
  6. A little dab of blue on the lens and nothing else
Things to remember are try to keep thing fairly bright in tone, as washes will be applied later in the paint process and will darken it.

This is experimentation in progress, looks good so far. I any body has suggestions I would love to hear them.

13 March 2011

Shipping across the Wastelands.

Gecko Pickup from Old Crow Models with Cargo. Somebodies got to do deliveries in the Wasteland. Pictures are of the unpainted modified model and my ham handed attempt at producing a battered finish.

A general cargo truck
This still needs more environmental work, Mud and dust. The cargo is by Ground Zero Games and Green stuff.

A Water Truck
The Main tanks are in the bed, still needs something besides the other clutter. The tanks are cut down from a 3 barrel stack also produced by Old Crow.

The Figure in many of the pictures is Bob. He is from the secondary exploration team from Ground Zero Games (I would include a link, but their site is in flux (meaning undergoing a much needed re-vamping)). I use Bob a general example of the 15mm-ish of any model I am working on.

Raider APC

Here is a couple of views of the tricked out Airfix 1/76th scale M113. Which is a good stand in for Games Workshop's Rhino. The Gunner, Automatic Grenade Launcher, metal cases are from Ground Zero Games. The Gunner and Gun is NAC Doorgunner, the cases are in the stowage pack.
Here it is with paint and attempts to paint distress and weathering on said vehicle.
Not done but a work in progress.
This also My 1st picture post...

12 March 2011

Yet another 15mm blog.

Well I have been a huge fan of miniature gaming and RPGs for years. Recently, meaning in the last 12 months or so I have been playing and re-playing the Fallout series of video games and I remembered how much I loved playing Post-Apocalypse themed games over the years. Car Wars, Twilight2000 (the 1st edition),GammaWorld, Traveller; The New Era (IMHO the most coherent edition of Traveller in term of internal technological details. Though the current edition by Mongoose has a better character generation and task system akin to the original Little Black Books) and other games not listed but equally loved.

In recent years I have come to the conclusion that 15mm is the best compromise size of miniatures to support the the general genre of Science Fiction Gaming. As such I have advocated and financially (meaning bought) support manufacturers and retailers that have 15mm figures. A few years ago there where very few, but now there are multiple companies producing wonderful new product for my and your amusement.

I intend to show off here the bits I come up with, make, discover in the over all theme of Post Apocalyptic gaming in all its guises. Currently I am a fan of the Savage WorldsandWarhammer40k:RogueTrader (the 1st Edition) rule sets. Though I am constantly reading new rules all the time, Songs of Our Ancestors being one of the more recent set written for ZombieSmith's Quar miniatures (available both in 15mm and 28mm).