Friday, July 5, 2019

Quick "N Dirty Hobbit Holes

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

With the addition of some more models to my Halfling army, I realized that I'd need some bespoke terrain for them - to act as scenario objectives and/or add character to battlefields that the little legion would play on. I wanted to create some cheap and fast Hobbit Holes for my army to live in. I saw that Games Workshop was putting out some nice resin facades to build off of eventually, but I just didn't want to wait or spend the money. I looked for a good tutorial online for building what I was looking for, but I just didn't find one. So I guess I had to do one myself.

The material list isn't too long and mostly consists of stuff I had lying around. You'll need:
     -  Some 2" thick insulation foam.               - A plastic drinking straw.
     -  A blank CD to act as the base.                -  Some scrap cardstock/cereal box cardboard.
     -  Some balsa wood strips.                          - A push pin.
     -  Various flock/plastic flowers/tufts.          - Xacto knife and a box cutter with an extendable blade.
     -  Hot Glue gun.                                          - Wall joint compound
     -  Wood Glue or Elmer's Glue

Step 1: Cut a slab of foam about 1/4" deep, 5" long and 2" high.
Using a ballpoint pen, I drew out the windows, door and stonework for the
front of the house.
Step 2: Using a sharp Xacto blade, cut out the windows and door.
I also removed some of the non-stone area to recess that a bit and bring
the stone forward.
Step 3: Glue some scrap card onto the back of the front piece.
It'll give you something to glue the door and window bits to.
Step 4: Using a hot glue gun, I attached the 2" foam to the CD as a
base. I then used a box cutter with an extendable blade to shape the hill
until it matched the approximate curve and height of the front piece.
Step 5: I then attached the front piece using hot glue. Any gaps or joins were
hidden with some wall joint compound. I then glued a bit of drinking straw to the hill to
form a chimney. A few thin cuts of foam were added to make a walk.
Step 6: I added a door and cross beams using balsa wood.  A dress maker's
pin was used to make the door hand. I also soaked a piece of balsa wood in
water until I could bend it into a curve along the top edge and then affixed it
with hot glue. A small cap was added to the chimney with some cardstock.
Finally, sand was glued down to the front porch area. 
Step 7: I primed the whole shebang with a bit of flat latex black house paint.
Then I painted the whole thing up in a pretty standard way.
Step 8: I then flocked the hill to match my game boards and added some
tufts, clump foliage and flowers to really make the hole feel homey.

And that's it. Each Hobbit Hole took about an hour to make and cost me pretty much nothing as I had all the materials to build them laying about already. They aren't the most amazing pieces of scenery ever made, but they will really add something to the games I end up playing with my Halfling army. Hope this inspires!


A few nights work and I have my own little Shire to defend!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A SHORT Post Today


The past couple of weeks have seen me working on some little projects (get it? Get It?!) that I thought I could finally share. Due to a trade with a friend, I came into the possession of some more Westfalia Halflings and I decided to expand my force a bit. I added eight more Halberdiers to the existing unit of twelve, so now I've got a nice meaty group of guys to anchor the core of the army. 

Ready to Rumble. Or at least their bellies are rumbly.

Now that I've got a good sized army, it was time to add some scenic bits for them to defend. I built the two Hobbit Hovels in the first picture because I just couldn't wait for the resin ones Forge World is producing to come out. Before making them, I scoured the internet for a nice step-by-step set of instructions on how to make a hobbit dwelling and nothing seemed to give me what I was looking for. I'm building a third hole at the moment and I'm taking pictures as I go, so I expect to put up a tutorial soon. 

Over in Age of Sigmar-land, the latest General's Handbook has dropped and that usually heralds a change in points and rules for some of my armies because of course it does. Seems like the Kharadron Overlords were the most affected - I lost over 200 points off my existing army! So now I had to add something to bring it back up to 2000 points. I didn't particularly want to drop the money or time on an additional sky-ship, so I turned my attention to the Shadespire war band, Thundrik's Profiteers. 

Thundrik + blimp guy+ some guys with guns = PROFIT.

These guys were cheap to buy, quick to paint and seem hideously over-costed for the game. Perfect! They are all really nice models and I continue to be amazed by the Plug-and-Play style models GW is making lately. 


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Shambling On...

In an attempt to keep updating my blog no matter how mundane the posts will be, here are some recent projects that I knocked off my hobby desk. Oddly, these are all duplicates of stuff I've previously done. These units just help flesh out their respective armies. 

Ten more Pox Walkers shamble their way into the front lines of my Death Guard army.
I completed another ten Pox Walkers for my Death Guard army over the course of a week, bringing the number in the force to a grand total of thirty. I painted these guys mostly with washes, snatching some time here and there to work on them in groups of two's and three's. Before I knew it, all ten were ready to roll. 

I really love these models - I'm sure I've said so before here. They are wildly characterful will loads of great details, but the sculpts practically paint themselves with simple techniques. These kinds of models are the best kind in regards to army painting. A real joy on every level.

"Prepare to fire a load of bullshit on my coordinates. Three! Two! One!"
I also finished up a second Rapier Quad Mortar for my Horus Heresy army. One of these weapons has been ridiculously good for me in games, so I decided to up the ante and get a second. I think that's enough, though. Two of these things raining Phosphex on my hapless opponents will result in a lot of salty feelings and low grumblings, I'm sure. Three would result in a full scale rebellion, I'm sure.

Still, very fun models to build and paint. Once again, I added MKIII helmets and shoulder pads to the MKIV armor that came with the kits so that they would integrate into my army a little better visually. 

I've still got some stuff to natter away on - but I feel like I'm getting ready to paint another army from scratch. I've been kicking around the idea of a speed-painted Thousands Sons force for the Horus Heresy, or finally starting an Early Imperial Roman army for something completely different. I guess we'll just have to see what inspires in the coming days!


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Beyond the Gates of Antares

The starter set for Beyond the Gates of Antares by Warlord Games
I took on a rare commission and painted up a starter kit of Warlord Games' new(ish?) science fiction game, Beyond the Gates of Antares. Life has been a little crazy and it took me longer than anticipated, but I'm happy with the results. It also brings the total of models that I've painted this year to 190.

One side is the determined forces of the Concord Strike group and their legion of drone assistants.
The other side is brutal Algoryians, who I assume are still sore about the 2000 US Presidential election.
 I'm also continuing some work on forces for my Horus Heresy army. I should have some more to share real soon.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Deathshroud Terminators! I LIVE!!

The Death Guard have shambled back onto my painting desk with a trio of Deathshroud Terminators.
I'm not dead nor have I forgotten about this blog. Over the last month things have just been a little hectic with travel, some sickness, and general craziness in life. I managed to get more gaming in of late than painting, and what I've been nattering away on hasn't been stuff that'd make a super compelling blog post... unless there is a big clamor to see Reaver Titan weapon arms and I've missed it.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've tackled an elite unit for my Death Guard army - the Deathshroud Bodyguard. These guys will add some really nice punch to the melee element of my army, as well as increase the survivability of my HQs. And they are fun, corpulent balls of crazy!

These guys will pair well with my Lord of Contagion, Enoch Globulus. 
These are great sculpts with lots of options in the kit.
I'm sure the decision of doing golden scythes isn't for everyone - but
I thought they added a feeling of age to the models.
Love the tentacle on this guy - he's helping!

I've got a couple other projects in the queue lined up. I'll try and make a better effort at updating in the future! Promise!... crosses fingers furiously...


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mixed Bag 15: Paper and Iron

Progress on my own projects has seemed laborious the last few weeks, so I haven't had too much to post it seems. I have been doing some painting and crafting, though - just feels like I'm doing odds and ends lately. Much of my time has been taken up with making paper miniatures for my Dungeons and Dragons group. I kinda fell down the rabbit hole making these.

My group is playing as a pious, yet eclectic, group of Witch Hunters on the prowl smiting Evil!

This was all in service of creating a set of floor plans to allow them to explore the ruins of a three level keep. Like I said, I fell down a rabbit hole - but it was a ton of fun. 

Exploring the first level.
Heading up to level two!
Skeleton Attack!
It all culminated in a boss-fight with a terrible Wraith!

I also created a series of quick print packs that are up for sale on Each pack is designed to give you a mini-army. Print as many or as few as you could ever need! There is an Undead Attack! Pack!!, an Orc Attack! Pack!! and one for a horde of gobbos in the Goblin Attack!Pack!!

In the world of three dimensional miniatures, I painted up some stuff for my buddy Chris as a trade. He generously gave me some more Halflings from the Westfalia line he had laying about for some quick paint jobs on a pair of Armiger Helverns and a Rhino for his Iron Warriors.

I painted these up in House Krast livery to match his other units.
The Minotaur insignia are for the Great Battalion that Chris' force belongs to.
I ended up doing the insignia on the top hatch freehand after
screwing up the decal several times.

All in all, a weird mix the last few weeks. 


Thursday, April 18, 2019

They Call Me The Seeker

"They call me The Seeker
I've been searching low and high
I won't get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die"
                                  -The Who

Despite some radio silence on my blog, I have been chugging away on some more 30k Imperial Fists and nibbling away on a unit of High Elf Dragon Princes that should be done sometime after Ragnarok. Man, those models are a LOT of work.

With their special boltgun rounds and precision attacks, I felt like the Seeker units in my army should use MKIV armor instead of MKIII

I've been trying to expand the Fast Attack choices in my Heresy army, and I'm not super drawn to jetbikes so I opted for some Seekers. Tasked with head-hunting vital enemy characters or crewed machines, Seeker Squads are equipped with multi-choice boltgun rounds to get the job done. I'm aiming to have two five-man squads in the force, so here is the first one done. I went for a bit of reverse color scheme to add more black so they feel more stealthy. Or as stealthy as a 7' tall giant wearing yellow armor bits can be.

Next up is a lascannon equipped Tarantula sentry gun. Why this counts as a Fast Attack when it can't move at all is beyond me, but here we are. I got this model from Kromlech and it was a fun little model to crank out. I look forward to making "zzzzap!" noises soon.

This was a nice little alternative model. Easy to build and paint and super
obvious what it is.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Rhinos Ready to Rumble - Step-by-Step

My armored spear head for my Imperial Fists grows!
I've added some much needed armor and mobility to my Imperial Fists army in the form of a pair of Rhino APCs and I thought I'd share a quick step-by-step of the whole process. The building of the kits is totally standard, and everything went together quickly. After that, I primed the hulls white for two reasons: first, a good priming coat is always a good thing and two, the white would form the basis for the tactical insignias on the top doors of the transport.

After the primer was dry, I took some painters tape and masked out the arrows. I laid the tape out on a piece of glass before I cut it to shape. Then I transferred the mask from the glass to the actual tank.

The tanks were then sprayed with Testor Model Master's Afrika Mustard. Once that dried, I applied several coats of GW Yriel Yellow with an airbrush. Once all that was dry, the tape was removed and the white tactical arrows were revealed. The arrows weren't perfect, but any over-sprays could be easily cleaned up with some Vallejo White.

I then did some panel-lining with GW Agrax Earthshade to create some definition between armor plates and add some initial weathering. Some black panels were added and then some chipping was added with a sponge and Vallejo Dark Flesh. Some chipping on the tactical arrows were added with Yriel Yellow. This helped age the model and hide any bleed-through or mistakes from the initial masking.

Next was finishing up some details like painting the smoke stacks, view ports and tracks. Weathering was added to the bottom of the tank with a heavy drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown. Decals from the Forge World sheet for Imperial Fists were then added.

I added some final weathering with streaks of GW Reikland Flesh Shade and a few chips on the black  areas with P3 Coal Black. And they were done!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Halfmen of Westfalia!

"For the Shire!.. err... wait! For the Moot!... eh.. that's not right... For Snacks and Comfies! That's better."
Geez, it looks like four years ago I backed a small Kickstarter for some 28mm Halfling miniatures from Westfalia Miniatures. When I got my tiny pledge (literally - I only ordered a unit or two) I was a bit crestfallen because I hadn't realized they would be resin casts instead of metal. I put them on the back burner of my project list and when I discovered a friend had also backed the KS, I "gifted" mine to him in a clever ploy to get them the hell off my desk. But he realized that he'd never get around to them in his queue and the scallywag turned around and gave me mine back along with his! Dastardly.

Well, I guess I finally got a wild hair up my ass to paint them so I've put together a small army of them. I plan on using them for Dragon Rampant or as proxies in Warhammer Age of Sigmar. The sculpts were very obviously inspired by the old Warhammer Imperial Halflings of the Moot, so I like to imagine a little piece of the Old World spun off during the apocalypse and now the chubby little fellas are furiously defending themselves in a new nightmare reality.

The General, Philip "The Black" Wooltoes.
"Dost Thou Wish to Live Deliciously?!" is his battle-cry.
Cassandra Gentlebosom, seer and diviner, adds some
magical punch to the army.
The Knights of The Third Order of Breakfast  are the greatest of all time.
The Shirewardens patrol the edges of the Halfling lands, ready to battle intruders at a moment's notice!
The flashing blades of the swordmen of the Jack Rabbit Company are deadly to both foes and dinner parties.
The stalwart halberdiers of the Brotherhood of the Last Leg will fight until the end of any battle. Or until supper. Whichever comes first.
Robert the Hood and his Rapacious Rapscallions stand ready to waylay any un-guarded baggage trains they find. 
Professor of Gunology, Schmendrake Thistlebottom, guides the army's
artillery train.
A Heckblaster Volleygun is ready to send any marauding chaos worshippers straight
to the Hot Place!
In order to finish these guys as an Age of Sigmar Army, I've got to paint up an Endless Spell for them and they'll be around 1000 points. Everything in here is a proxy for Freeguild units ( Freeguild General, Battlemage, Gunmaster, 2 units of Guard, Archers, Helblaster Volleygun, Knights of Order, and Outriders), so it'll all port over easily. This has been a fun little army (EH?! GET IT?!?!?!) to knock out, and I'm pretty pleased with them. I'm sure they will get murdered in games, but that's kinda the point I guess.