Monday, February 15, 2010

Modular buildings

So I am thinking about making a kind of modular building for my kids' new Empire army. Wall panels, gable ends, ceiling panels. Connector pieces (both end to end and inside and outside corners), doors and windows, chimneys.
How tall do you thinkI need to make the walls for a single story? I was thinking 2 inches, maybe 2 1/2 inches.
The plan is to put a layer of sculpting clay onto a pre-cut base of either styrene or thin plywood. Call it about 1/8" thick. Then sculpt the pattern into it. Make an RTV mold of that, and cast in resin.
That's the plan. What about it? I need feedback before I get started.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Resin Minerals Painted

I bought a pair of pieces of Armorcast's resin "Pyrite Crystals" from a local gaming shop last week, and got them painted up over the weekend. Finally had time to take a photo of them and put together a few thoughts about them, especially as compared to my previous crystal project, the green 'handwavium' ones I made of carved pink foam.

My review:
  • Nice quality casting.
  • Good stronge yellowish beige resin
  • Very little flash or pitting
  • Nice lines
  • Details okay, but not fantastic. Just a clump of rock crystals.
  • Super easy to paint.
  • Price: $5.00
What I Did:
  1. First I used a sharp hobby knife to clean up the little bits of flash, mold lines, etc.
  2. Then I washed the pieces with warm soap and water, rinsed and dried with paper towel. Let it sit overnight to air dry more.
  3. Next, a little bit of superglue to fill the few small bubble pits. Let sit for an hour to cure.
  4. Then I sprayed each piece with flat white paint.
  5. Color on the rocks was achieved by using several coats of thinned Vallejo Intense Blue. Ground color was Ceramcoat burnt sienna.
  6. Brush watered PVA glue on base (using 100 for $4 cheap-o plastic bristle brush), then dredge into my Mars ground mix, and let dry.
  7. Next morning, two coats fo Testor's gloss, followed in afternoon by Testor's flat.
  8. Will finish by brushing on a coat of water-soluble gloss onto the crystals to make them shiny.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

European Gothic structures

If you follow my other blogs, you know by now that I have been sucked into the Warhammer world again. It's a great setting, I'll give it credit for that.

But I have virtually NO scenics for the Empire other than generic terrain. I already had a few things for the Lizardmen I was using for VSF, with a similar tropical feel. But half-timbered buildings? Wattle and daub? Nein.

Anyone have easy ways to make these buildings? I will need at least:
  • Tavern or coaching inn
  • Farmhouse
  • Two or three townhomes
  • Barn/stable
  • Outbuildings
  • Sigmarite Shrine

Friday, February 5, 2010

A River Runs Through It

Found this posted on TMP (The Miniatures Page). An interesting idea for what looks to be reasonably attractive, cheap do-it-yourself river sections. I hope the blog owner doesn't mind me sending extra traffic his way.
Essentially, he uses cheap vinyl tile as his base and some silicon caulk for building the banks.
Personally, I think cross-pollination of blog ideas like these are a great thing. The more exposure to good terrain tips, the better, I say.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Unobtainite Deposits

Yesterday I went to a game store in Houston, the venerable Nan's Too. Anyone who has gamed in Houston during the past, oh, 20 years or so, knows Nan's. The nice thing about this place is that, being so old, you can find some older stuff there. I found some older GW minis that I could use, but more to the point for this blog, I got a package of resin "pyrite crystals" made by Armorcast. Got the package for $5. Haven't compared that price to current website price, but it seemed good. Just wish they had had a couple more packages.

The plan is to turn these crystals into the wonder mineral "unobtainite" for Victorian Science Fiction. It cancels out the effects of gravity when exposed to electricity. More power, more anti-gravity.

The resin has been washed, dried and primed. Next step is to get to painting. Blue crystals, red Martian landscape. I'll put photos up when I get some work done on it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Project List Updated

Two posts in two days! Amazing!

So, nothing much today. I updated my Current Projects listing. A few comments regarding that:

I abandoned the plastic pre-cast rivers project. I decided they looked nice, but were too much work overall. I got about half or three-quarters done with them, but will not be finishing. Anyone wanting them can have them for shipping costs. Let me know (email is probably best).

Quite a few projects have been finished. They are marked "DONE!"

A few new projects have been added, as well. These include Martian Canals, Resin Rivers, an Ethership Field (on Mars) and a Mine Entrance (also on Mars). I was thinking of casting the canals for fun and profit. Anyone interested?

On a final note, having done a lot of re-organizing of my gaming space and looking over all of the stuff I have, I am thinking I need to get to work on more projects! With the newly cleared area available to work again, I think (hope, pray) you should see more activity in that regards and on this blog as a result.

For those of you who have remained with me through the dry spell, thanks. I hope you find some interesting new content here in the coming weeks and months.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

RTV Purchased

I bought this past weekend the first RTV I have ever had.

For those of you who don't already know, RTV stands for Room Temperature Vulcanizing. It's a silicone rubber material used to make molds for casting resin, plaster, etc. It generally can NOT be used for lead - the temperature is too high, melting the mold. I believe there are some types that can handle the high heat, though.

What I got was a Smooth-On product, called OOMO 30, IIRC. It mixes in equal parts by volume (easy!). I have read good things about it on the internet, at TMP and other places. Found it at a local art supply store.

So, obviously, the plan is to sculpt up some items, make molds, and get to casting. Some of these things will be scenics related, so I thought I would mention it here. Specifically, I want to create some doors and windows to be attached to buildings, in both 15mm and 25mm scales. It is a pain to try and scratch build them each time, so I am going to try and create some good masters to cast from. Might make some railings, chimneys and such, too. Start simple before trying something ambitious.

Anyway, wish me luck. I have a nasty feeling I am gonna need it. When I get a space cleared to work on it, I'll get to work. Hopefully, pictures and such will be involved as well.