Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Rockin out


Tonight I am doing a little rock work for terrain for Gathering in the Desert Operation Torch. I need a few rough ground sections for a few of the tables and here are a few. It's just Pink insulation foam cut out with a wire cutter and some of my super secret method of doing rocks.

Here is the other side before I do my "rock method" so you can see a difference.

Here you can see the right side done and the left side getting ready for the rock treatment.

So what is the super secret method you may be asking? Well its a simple rock out of my front yard, big secret huh? I just use a rock and press into the foam, basically just embossing the foam, that's it. Pretty simple really and the results are awesome.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

DIY Palm Trees


With Gathering in the Desert fast approaching I needed to get on the ball to have a few more Palm trees for the tables. I have a few from Pegasus hobbies, but these are a bit expensive. So I remembered years ago doing a few Palm trees when I did model railroading. Back then I used feathers and pine tree branchs, but those were a pain and fell apart. I then saw an article on the web about using wire and self sticking labels. While this will work, it still was a bit high on the price. So I thought why not use floral wire and masking tape? I did a few years ago for my sons school project and thought I should see if I could do that again., so here is what I came up with.

Here is how I went about it, first I visited Michaels for floral wire, which is Panacea 22 gauge wire. Next I bought a roll of 1 1/2" masking tape.

I cut about 9-10 8" pieces of floral wire. The size is really up to you on how tall you want the trees to be. Then I cut about a 3" piece of tape and folded it over onto itself with the wire inside about an 1 1/2" inside the tape.

Do this to all your floral wire. I then cut out a leaf shape as seen below. The shape is up to you but I like the way this one looks.

I then cut the frowns into the leaf. I just cut until I hit the wire inside. Do this on all the leafs.

Now you will have all your leafs all cut out and ready to go.

Now I gather all the leaves up and twist them together, twisting them keeps them together along with the tape for the trunk.

I then cut about and 8-10" piece of tape of the roll and cut it into 1/8" strips. These are used for the trunk when you start wrapping it. I start at the top and work my way down.

I wrap on a angle and vary how much is showing. This represents the growth of the trunk. Keep wrapping until you get to the bottom.

Once wrapped, you can now start to unfurl the leaves, think of a Christmas tree. I generally put a bend in the leaves at this time.

And there you go, a masking colored tree. Next is painting. I had a buddy ask why not use green tape for the leaves? Well I like the fact that you can see the tape sometimes after painting and it looks like the leaves are starting to dry out and die like a real tree.

Painting is very simple on these trees, I used Rust Olleum Camo greens, one dark and one light.

I first spray the dark green on, covering the tops and bottoms of the leaves. Once this dries I then do a light spray of the lighter green from the top only. I generally hold the can further away so I "dust" the leaves. You can go a step further and dry brush some lighter colors if you want, but I like the effect that the two colors give the tree.

Next is painting the trunks, which is simple. I use Americana Mississippi Mud as the base. Paint the whole trunk this color.

Once this dries I then do a simple dry brush of Americana Fawn color to pull out the trunk detail. You can now see the trunk "growth" rings from the tape.

And that's it! The trees are now ready to "plant". 

So there you go, cheap and easy day Palm trees. Total cost is roughly $10.00 for the paint, wire and tape. Now these do take some time, about 5 minutes or so, but it's great if you have a couple of friends helping out and doing assembly line style.


Monday, January 04, 2016

Dirty Dozen


Been working on some terrain today, getting ready for Gathering in the Desert Operation Torch. Here is a quick picture of one of the tables. This board will be used in a scenario called Dirty Dozen, which I will keep under wraps until the event.
The newest part is the board base, which is MDF and sprayed with textured paint. Once that dried I painted over it with a dark brown followed by a dry brush of desert sand color. pretty simple really and a quick board for this scenario is complete. You may notice that the board is sitting on my regular game table which is 4'x6'. This board is a lot smaller and this will work out great for the scenario as well as games of Pulp Alley.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Possibilities


2016 is upon us and what better time to lay out my plans for some of my hobbies and games. So let's take a look at what I want to do.

Saga, I have two armies on deck for painting and Mike and I will be running Ragnarok again. Also my local store would like Mike and I to run some regular demos for the game. Our goal is to get some traction under the game and see if we can build a bigger community for the game. 

Beyond the Gates of Antares, picked up this game late in 2015 and I am committed to building a Concord army. Once again the local store would like me and Mike to run some demos for this, we already have painted up the demo set and in the next few weeks we will start with demos.

Batman the Miniature game, this is something I have been eyeing for some time. A mutual author helped with the edits for the second edition. The Models are cool and the game is a skirmish game. Also there is a Marvel game in the works. So we will see what happens.

Black Powder, well I hope to get more of my ACW done this year as well as get my 15mm AWI painted and hopefully onto the table. I am also interested in possibly doing some ECW in 28mm, but we will see.

Infinity, I picked this game up in 2015, but only gpt as far as assembling half the models. I would like to get the starter set all assembled and painted and get this to the table. Recently Rob has expressed interest and I know Mike is also interested. In fact Infinity has a very good following here in Phoenix. 

Bolt Action, in just over a month, Gathering in the Desert will take place so Bolt Action will be back on the table. I did get my Perry DAK painted up for the event as well as terrain. So this will be a success for sure. After the event we will see how Bolt goes after the event.

Flames of War, in just a few weeks I will be playing in Shifting Sands 2016 which is a early war event. I only had to paint up a few infantry stands and I am ready to go. As for what lays ahead, we will see in 2016 where FoW .

Pulp Alley, so I fore see Pulp Alley being back this year. In fact in 2015 I got the Tales of the Golden Monkey on DVD and there are a ton of ideas for games in that show. So Pulp Alley will be back on the table in 2016.

Conventions, so for many years I have traveled to Chicago for Adepticon. It is starting to get rather expensive to travel and it's not getting easier to travel now a days. Last year Mike and I attended Rincon down in Tucson. It was a great little convention and we will be going back down in 2016. The reality is I would rather support events here in AZ rather then traveling to other places to play games.

Model Railroading, well I ordered the last bit of track right before the end of the year, so my layout will be getting track all laid this year. I have been working on the rolling stock and generally getting ready to lay track. This is a long term project so as long as I get track laid it will be a success.

So there you go, a few of the plans I have for 2016, we will see how it goes throughout the year.


Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year, New Horizons


We are now in 2016, so it is a good time to take a look back at what I wanted to get done in 2015 and what are my hopes for 2016. So lets take a look at my goals for 2015 and see how I did.

Saga - Well I built and painted up a new Anglo Saxon army and I have gotten in a good amount of games in and also ran a "non" event called Ragnarok. I also decided to build another army, Vikings, so that I would have two armies. I also ended up getting some of my old WAB Normans back to do a Norman war band. I also got as a birthday gift, a few Gripping Beasts plastic Arabs for a C recent and the Cross army. So I say that Saga was a success.

 AWI - Well, AWI did hit the paint bench, I painted up a few stands of my Old Glory 15mm figures but we never got in a game, we still have a few more stands to paint up. I also got about half of my force for Muskets and Tomahawks painted and Mike & I got in one game. I liked the game but we didn't get the game back onto the table.

Pulp Alley - This was a huge success this year, in fact I think I logged in about 20 games this year of Pulp Alley. I played it in Chicago, Tucson and here in Phoenix. I introduced the game to a ton of folks and I was able to get a lot of figures painted up for these games. Pulp Alley is starting to catch on here in Phoenix and it will be on the table this year.Mike and I are also looking at writing a supplement for Pulp Alley, but we shall see.

HEROIC - Well this game is sitting at the publisher waiting to move forward. The good thing is that the publisher likes the rules and what I have done. In fact I may be helping with a version of the rules for a Mordheim style of skirmish game, more on that later.

Flames of War - Well, I added a few models to my WW1 British that I got last year, but other than that, nothing really happened. Part of the problem was my own issues. I sort of had a mini melt down with the game and I started to get very argumentative with my regular opponent towards the end of 2014. So I took almost the whole year off of playing FoW. But in the last few weeks I decided to get the game back on the table to get ready for a Shifting Sands event in just a few weeks. So I think I Flames was a fail this year.

CAV - Well a few folks got into the kickstarter, I got 8 Bones models and got them painted up. Then nothing, no games, no talk, nothing. So this was a huge Fail.

That pretty much was it for my goals for 2015, didn't go out on a limb. Now I did start a bunch of new projects in 2015 and these are carrying over to 2016. First I got back into Model Railroading, I also got into Gate of Antares as well as a few other items. I will go into my goals in the next post.