A recent episode of the Meeples and Miniatures podcast mentioned a new range of sci-fi buildings in 15mm from Warbases (http://war-bases.co.uk/). Of particular interest was a silo that doubles as a dice tower. I'd been thinking about terrain that could be used to keep dice rolls 'tidy' on a cluttered gaming table, so after a quick look at the photos on the Warbases Twitter feed, I sent them a quick email to see if they'd send me one and bill me. (The new range isn't going live until the new website goes live in July.)
The model is a miniature architectural wonder and the pieces fit together very snugly. I've made a few mdf kits already, and it was relatively simple to work out how it all goes together. There will be a pdf available when the kit goes live, but I thought I'd take photos at each stage to illustrate the process. There are a few moments when you need to build things in the right order or orientation.
With the weather almost reaching 30 degrees, it was just too hot to paint. Thankfully, that's ideal weather to seal mdf and apply a few layers of paint, and still have it dry to allow me to assemble the kit from scratch in one evening!
A single coat of silver paint to the parts that will be metallic, and a couple of coats of matt varnish to seal the mdf were applied as shown in the first two photos. I picked up the matt varnish trick from Christine Rigby on the 15mm sci-fi Facebook group. Hopefully it will prevent the mdf from sucking up the paint.
The parts in the next picture will form the body of the dice rolling tower. I painted the sides that will form the interior with a dark brown craft paint. It took pretty well, so the varnish trick seems to work!
First assembly involves attaching the swinging door where the dice emerge. This comes attached to the body of the tower and needs to be pushed out. I also gave it a light sanding around the edge to make sure it swings freely. Two tiny little hinge pieces (that it turns out didn't need to be painted silver!) are placed around the protrusions at the top of the door and then slot into the wall from behind. Make sure you don't accidentally glue the door shut...
First proper piece of assembly involves gluing the two triangular pieces that guide the dice to the door.
For the next stage, the assembling of the tower, it's helpful to arrange the pieces in the order they'll be assembled in the finished piece. Keep all the horizontal slots at the top and make sure the long edges of the sides are adjacent to the front face with the door.
The two dice baffles and the rim for the top of the tower are then glued into one wall and the front panel and the ther two sides are added before the glue has set so that it can be adjusted whilst fitting it all together.
Whilst it's setting, the bottom piece can be fixed in place.
These are the pieces you'll need fr the dice collection tray.
The wider piece forms the bottom of the tray. Fit this piece to the struts first.
The lid of the tower with handle.
The outer cage is just as simple. Test fit the pieces first to make sure you have the right pieces for each level.
The rectangular piece with hexagonal edges can be glued around the rectangle marked on the base. This will keep the dice collection tray in place on the finished model.
When it comes to the top level, make sure it's the right way round. There are notches for the ladder that need to be aligned with those on the lower level.
The ladder and safety railings are in place. All that's left is to slide the tower into place.
I didn't glue the tower in position. It's a good snug fit and doesn't really need it, and i need to remove it so I can paint it all properly.
The latest Kickstarter campaign from SLAP Miniatures has just
launched, and this time it's the turn of the greenskins, or Space Dorks.
a big fan of the SLAP Minis 15mm ranges, even the Global Defence Force,
which some complained were too small (I will use them as a non-human
race. A kind of beardless half-dwarf). The sculpting has been excellent
and detailed without too much fussy stuff, and the casting is also clean
The Space Dorkz look to continue the
tradition, with some stunningly characterful models with suitably vicous
looking weapons. They have a great Commie-Space-Chimp look to them,
which gives them a bit of a retro look.
The Kickstarter campaign has again been kept simple. They come in
sets of 25 models and you can buy multiple sets, with multiple sets
getting you increasing numbers of free (random) minis up to a full free
set if you buy 5.
Each set comprises:
1 Dorktator (the leader with... well, just see below)
1 Dorktenant (Second-in-command with the best uniform)
2 Boomerz (rocket launchers)
2 Grillerz (flamethrowers)
2 Quick Bangerz (LMGs)
1 Dorkter (medic with immense pistol-syringe and serrated bonesaw!)
1 Greaser (mechanic)
6 Bangerz (assault rifles)
6 Stabbers (assault troops with handgun and melee weapon)
1 Mutilator, and
These last two are the lizard and little beastie in the picture above.
Also available are the Space Knights and GDF minis from the previous Kickstarters, because the Dorks will need some opposition.
I always knew I wanted to paint something quite intricate on it, something like a cross between a writhing mass of stuff and a canal boat...
The first effort was disappointing. Too much fuss and not enough planning. I liked the name on the bodywork, but it had to go in favour of something simpler.
So I planned it out a bit and went for a tentacl-ish pattern that flowed better.
...and there it stayed for months as I slowly added details here and there and wondered what to do to finish it off. I liked the design but it looked to clean and flat.
Until I thought of a new way to weather the thing. A thinned mid-dark grey applied around the edges followed by successively lighter greys in really thin strokes. The idea was to make it look like years worth of wear and tear. It also meant I didn't need to cover the model in tentacle designs too.
The test on the leg looked ok, so I carried on with the rest of the model. It was a bit daunting at first, scribbling over mycarefully laid out designs, but it also served to hold me bac from weathering too much of the surfaces.
tried to keep the wear to exposed areas with more inaccessible places
just shaded. In several places I added darker lines edged with white to
represent deepr scars.
Not too much weathering was applied to the weapons. I think they would get regular services.
I'm happy with that.
I have another with a different loadout, not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I don't want them to be the same, I think the model has too much character that would be lost if it was too "production line".
Possibly green. Certainly tentacley designs, but different. I may try to pose the legs so that the fiddly arm parts can reach the ground. Perhaps have it lifting something. We'll see.
The fiddler is such a great model. A lovely blend of insect, alien, robot and the threat of imminent annihilation. WhIt's nicely poseable too, and it just looks like it means business.
So this is the alternate loadout for my Kra'Vak mech as mentioned in my last post.
The buzz saw and claw were inspired by a Stargrunt scenario on Hyperbear's website (here http://www.hyperbear.com/sg2/sg2-scenarios-ork.html ). The scenario was created as an attempt to show the generic nature of the Stargrunt 2 rules and to give 40K players something else to do with their figures. I've never played 40K and don't intend to start now, but I'm always looking out for Stargrunt 2 scenarios, and this one sounds interesting.
The scenario requires something called an Onslaught Dreadnaught. I have googled it and don't much care for the look of it. The Stagrunt 2 stats gice it 2 heavy bolters and 2 claws. Luckily those very nice chaps at Critical Mass Games have an ARC fleet mech that looks wonderful, called a Hydra. They also have a MEcha Workshop ( http://www.criticalmassgames.com/default.asp?category=mecha ) wherein you can buy all manner of extra bits for your mechs, or presumably build your own from scratch. Importantly, they had a pair of claws. They also had a buzz saw that was too cool to pass over, so I strayed from the brief a little...
Of course, I don't want to always play with a mech that is ridiculously underarmed (in both senses of the word; it needs more firepower than demolitions gear, and it does kind of have a T-Rex look to it), so the weapons that come with the standard Hydra mech were also painted up and everything got magnets to make them easily intercangeable. At this point, I must give a huge thank you to Craig at CMG, who spotted that I hadn't realised that extra weapons require extra shoulders to mount them onto the mech, and threw a couple in for me along with the superb flamer arm that I showed off last time. That's te kind of customer service that gets repeat custom! ;)
Having never bought the figures, I'm obviously not going to be playing the scenario with Orks and Space Marines, so I needed to think of something similar. I just happened to have all these new Kra'Vak figures lying aound waiting to be painted, and a couple of their vehicles come with a smaller old sculpt KV that fit the hatch on top of the mech very nicely. Problem solved.
I'm still not sure who to pit against them. My options are NAC from GZG, them being the natural enemies of the KV, but I also fancy using the Global Defence Forces from SLAP Miniatures. Their Space Knights would also be a natural substitution for Space Marines. We'll see. I'll paint the KV first so I have plenty of time to decide.