Sunday, May 25, 2014

Flaming Undead Unicorn of Doom! And Elves! And Trolls! And the start of a Tavern!

Isn't this the most beautiful unicorn you have ever seen?  

I think she is gorgeous!  Now to think of a name for her.  And to figure out how the heck I am going to paint her.  

As you can probably figure out, I just (as in yesterday, seeing as today is Sunday) got my Elves and Co. from Stonehaven Miniatures in the mail!  It was awesome to come home after a very busy day at work (people want their booze for camping hahaha) and find these guys waiting for me.  But, seeing as it was a busy day and I was tired, I didn't take pictures or anything till today after work.  Or have the umph to write a blog post about it.  Now, as I eat my macaroni and cheese and sauteed brussel sprouts (don't knock it, they are delicious), I felt it was time to update!  So without further ado, here we are!

Look at them!  Look at all the elves!  And animals!  And pixies!  And Gremlins!  And Grippli!  And I will shut up now!  Not really hahaha.  They are all so pretty!  Not as tall as I was expecting, they are about the same height as my go to village lady.  But, they are much thinner, which I think fit well with the elf physique.  I will definitely be posting more pictures of the elves as I slowly begin painting them.  I'm still working on painting dwarves and gnomes, as well as animals and building terrain pieces lol.  But, I'm not in a rush to get them painted!  

And would you look at these trolls......  

I will most likely get them all painted first, seeing as they look so awesome!  Basing them will be interesting as well, as I am not the best pinner around, and they will definitely need to be pinned. I love the female troll.  The fact that her eyes are large, and I will be able to get awesome detail in them, really makes me happy!

Now on to that tavern that was mentioned in the title.  I am once again putting the barn aside, and beginning a true build!  One that the miniatures will actually use!  Well, you know what I mean hahaha.  Not something for the farm animals.

I had been playing with the idea of getting some Hirst Arts molds, because lets face it, that stuff is awesome.  But, I kept hemming and hawing, simply because I live in a small apartment, and I just don't have the room to get things like that.  But on the other hand, it would help when building things from scratch to have an idea of what others use as their scale for the same things.  That, I think, is one of the problems I am having with my barn, scale.  I know barns are supposed to be large, but I feel that it is too big.

Augh, ignore the barn, focus on the tavern!  So, before I began the tavern, I was playing around on Etsy, hoping to see if I could get a good idea of scale.  Then I discovered that people sell castings of the Hirst Arts molds.  Holy cow!  I totally didn't know that!  I ended up finding an awesome store on Etsy, Cicada Crafts, and they were selling a 250 piece set of miss-cast HA pieces.  I snatched that thing up faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialadocious.

Yeah, I said that out loud as I slowly typed it up.

After waiting a while (I didn't realize my old address was still the default on Etsy, so the package was sent there first, and then finally made it to my apartment after an extra four days, pretty beat up.  Thank you usps... thanks a lot...), it finally came and I finally got to see what a good scale for things was!  Granted, a few things were broken (but come on, it was sold as miss-cast anyway), but all in all I am pretty happy with it!  There are chips and dings and bubbles and they all look awesome!  I mean, if you are making a tavern or something like that, things do not have to be perfect!  Its old and worn in!  It gives it character!  And if it is really bad, its nothing a little green stuff cant fix!

I got floor pieces, barrels, tables, lotsa chairs, shelves, a weird mix of gothic things that I probably won't use (but thats ok!  Just cause I won't use it now, doesn't mean I wont in the future!), books, two grain sacks, a pillow, and some wash basins!  And more things too, but there are too many to count.  250 things actually.
I got the brilliant idea (hey, I was tired when I thought of it, but it worked out perfectly) of laying down some of the flooring in a size that I like, and I began designing the tavern from there!  As you can see in the picture above, I decided on a size of the main tavern.  It is 10 inches by eight inches.  On the back right of the room, behind where the bar will be located, will be an extension of 2x5, to give an area for the barrels of ale, mead, grog, whatever you think would fit best in those huge things!  From the very back there will be an addition of a 10x3 kitchen, which will be 'ground' level, whereas the tavern will be about an inch high from the ground (on a base, of course.... I can't very well float the thing.  I have yet to figure out what to make said elevated (ish) base out of tho.)  (And there will be a deck...)

And until I figure out exactly what to make the actual base of the main tavern out of, I started the kitchen!  And yes, when I said started, I really mean I started it!  I cut out a base for it of foam core board, 10.5 inch by 3.25 inch.  I added the quarter inch to either side, to give the walls something to sit on.  Instead of using foam core for the walls, I went ahead and used cork, mainly to give me the option of carving things out of it easier than it would be with the foam core  (I have some epic plans involving fireplaces...).  And yes, I know that the edges are not perfect with the cork, but that is ok because I have a plan for the outside, making it so there will be no problems showing through~ 
I decided which of the miscellaneous flooring I received would be best in the kitchen, and glued those suckers down! The weight of them helped it so the foam core did not warp.
Here is a little mock up of what will be going on in the kitchen.  It will probably change, but so far I am liking it!  On the little kitchen table (which will be getting a better top on it) you can see some of my sculpting practices hanging out.  I have not yet baked them, but I will sooner or later.  Carrots and a fish!  The little fires on the left indicate where fireplaces will be going.  Its gonna be hot in this kitchen!
A view of the other side of the kitchen, with stairs that will lead up into the bar area of the tavern.  Ignore the dirty coffee cup (or two) in the background.  It is now clean and drying, waiting for me to put it away after I finish typing this post.
And my chubby Elven Baker!  And the Gnome Chef!  And Dwarven Brewmaster (sporting his loyal colors!)
Jeeze.... Gnome Chef is short... I'm gonna have to make a platform on one side of the kitchen table....  And in her primed state she just blends right in!

So, projects in the near future!
*Paint trolls!
*Continue slowly painting other miniatures!  I'm sure I'll eventually finish all these guys.  In ten years lol
*Make kitchen awesome:  Stone facade the outside (using egg carton stones), plaster with broken areas in the inside.  Paint.  Build awesome fireplaces out of something.
*Figure out what to make the base of the main tavern out of.
*Post pictures of my awesome sketches of what this tavern thing will be looking like in the end (kinda hahahah)

Well, I shall leave it here, and finish up eating my veggies!

Love Peace and Chicken Grease!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Some barn progress, and other 28mm (ish) terrain!

Lets start with the barn, shall we?  I finally got in my little supply of coffee stirrers, which are awesome, by the way.  I have been doing quite a few things with them!  Laying down flooring, bracing walls, making things look awesome in general, and probably doing things in a way that probably has a better and less time consuming method that I am unaware of as of yet.  But, it has been kinda nice to do, and gives me something to do after work (which has been hectic with coworkers being out of town and all that.)  So, progress has happened!  

What has been done with the barn:  The outer walls have been 'framed' with the wooden 'supports'.  Well, mostly framed.  I'm sure I'll end up adding to it later.  Also, I kinda want to put 'stone' on the bottom portion of the walls, but I'm still deciding how I want to do that.  I'll keep thinking on that one.

 The insides have been started.  As I said previously, I'm sure there is a better way of doing this, probably with balsa wood and/or things that are premade.  But, I tend to make things difficult for myself.  Oh well!  As seen in the picture below, I framed out each of the 'stalls' with the coffee stirrers.  And by the time I had finished cutting out all the wood, gluing them all on, etc.... I was really wishing I had rethought it lol.  Balsa would have been a lot easier.  But hey.... that parts done now, so whatever!  And the flooring.  Painted the base black because there would be things showing through the floor, and black is better than white, especially when I get to 'dirtying' the floor up.  As you can see, I went with different directions for the open floor in the middle versus the floor under the stalls.
 Eh, I think it looks cool.  But, I will say this....  A break from the barn is much needed!  So, that is now sitting on a nice blue box next to my closet (cause I really don't have a lot of storage lol) and I have started to get some other things done!

 In anticipation of receiving my next group of minis from the amazing Stonehaven Miniatures, I finally based one of my trolls!  He is supposed to be on a swampy looking base, and I think it looks swampy, but I don't know! My first time really making an intricate base.  I'll leave its final form up to your interpretation.

I've named him Bartholomew.  Mew for short.

Next up on the finished list....  My dung heap!  So, this thing I made with a base of a scratched CD, followed with a few heaping piles of pre-mixed grout to make the ground and poo piles.  It was surrounded by fence posts made of toothpicks.  I then painted the base a nice dark brown and left it for about two weeks.  Mainly because I didn't have what I wanted to finish it until about two weeks later.  I purchased some of the Woodland Scenic kits (Foliage and Grasses, and the Rippling Water kit) and I also got some new paints/textures at the comic book store at the local (read: 50+ miles away) mall on Free Comic Book Day.  

Texture paints are fun.  In the picture above, I used two of my new paints!  Well, they are new to me, but probably not new to everyone else.  Oh well lol.  The light brown is the Agrellan Earth technical paint from Citadel Paints, and the shiny part is 'Aedcoat, by the same.  I'll try to take a closer picture of the Agrellan Earth later and post it, to show that it did crackle nicely, and makes it look like that heap has dried on the outside.  The 'Ardcoat helps to show that the smaller pile is fresher and a little moist.  Eeww... moist poo...
 After everything was dry, with a sufficient amount of blending to make the lighter and darker paints cohesively coexist, I was able to start with the rest of the fun stuff!  The wattle part of the fence was done using basting thread (I make quilts in my 'spare' time).  It was then painted with a mixture of browns and a little white glue mixed in as well, so its actually quite hard now that it is dry.  The green flock was from the Woodland Scenic set, and the flowers and grasses are from the Army Painter (one is Battlefields Meadow Flowers, the other Battlefields Swamp Grass).

Now I just need to make a shovel or two....  I did make two brooms, and a rake tho!  I need to take pictures hahaha
Dung heap with a human 28mm miniature to show scale.  I think she is my go to at the moment to show scale....  She is the only human one I have hahahha.  Please, ignore the horrible paint job.  The plan is to re-paint her at some point.  She was my very first paint job, and it was before I had any clue lol.

Alrighty folks!  Next up is the goat pasture!  Yup, I finally decided which animal would be living in this one.  The goats.  The ground was actually made with Spackle this time, not the grout (because when I made it, I didn't have the grout....  I will say this tho... Grout is a lot easier to work with in larger doses than Spackle is.)  It was also base coated in a dark brown, then highlighted with lighter browns so anything showing through the flock would look good.
 The fencing (I debated between doing the same wattle as the dung heap or doing something different.  I went with something different.) is just coffee stirrers cut to length, and glued on.  It probably is not historically accurate, or anything, but Oh Well!  Its my world, and while my world is based on fantasy/partially medieval, there is technology!  I mean, come on!  Some of my gnomes have guns, others have mechanical swords with gears and a chainsaw blade...
 Here is the pasture with the goats (not yet painted, at all....) and with my go to mini with a goat.  I think size wise the animals I got look pretty good next to her.  Yes, they may be a touch big (namely the cattle) but I like to think that because it is a fantasy/medieval land that I am making, the animals could very well be larger than their modern day non-fantasy world counterparts.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Oh, and before its asked.... the inside of the shed/barn thing has cut up hemp twine acting as hay.  I left it the color it was, but I did put a wash of Agrax Earthshade over it to give it some variance and a little depth to it.  Also, I made a bramble bush thing in one corner!  Goats like to eat brambles.  I might make it a blackberry bramble, but I'm not sure.  Use imagination!

Here is a quick glance at the plants behind the shed.  Couldn't leave all that space empty, now could I?
 And so I will leave this post with one last thing.  Piggies!  I painted my piggies, aren't they adorable?  I need to finish the piglets faces, but the adults are done!  So, I guess that means the next for sure project will be a pigsty....