Slogging away

27 06 2009

It has been very hectic around here lately. I have had reports to write, health issues, finishing up Song of Fur and Buttons, the sale of Nuthin’ But Net to Impact Miniatures and a million and one things on my project list, but I am now on holidays. So I can use this time to relax and recuperate… and get more done on my projects. πŸ™‚

Battlelore Project

Realising that I can use the goblins I bought for the newly released Song of Splintered Lands as well as HOTT, I eagerly dove into painting some more. Here is the result. I was a bit rusty after a long painting break, but I’m happy with how they came out.

Goblin Green Infantry

Click to enlarge the photo

I also painted up one of the sample Dwarfs that Splintered Light Miniatures sent me with my Goblin order. They are fantastic sculpts and this was a joy to paint. I still need to highlight the tunic more, but wanted to upload the photo with this post.

Dwarven Blue Infantry

Rebasing my 10mm stuff for Mass Battle

Now I know alot of people (most that I’ve seen actually) prefer to mount their 10mm figures on 40x20mm bases, all bunched up. I had based all mine that way because it was easier (as the figures came in strips) and that’s how everyone else did it.

But as I was looking at mine the other day, I thought to myself that I didn’t really like that method of basing and I wanted a less crowded base. So I tried it, clipping some 10mm strips apart and rebasing on a 60x40mm base (yes this is huge for 10mm, but I love the effect).

This is how it went.

New 10mm Basing

I simply LOVE the way it ened up and as a consequence, will be basing all my 10mm using this method. For some models, this simply doesn’t work (for example WM Night Goblins) as they are cast too close together, but there are a plethora of minis that are cast seperately or on strips but far enough apart to be separated. Let me know what you think. πŸ™‚

– Ben.

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Some Musings and a Start on the Battlelore Upgrade

3 05 2009

MUSINGS

I sat down last night and went through all the miniatures that I needed to get for my Battlelore Upgrade… its alot…

…210 of those miniatures are humans… So I thought that in the spirit of not getting burnt out, I would pace myself. The first miniatures to tackle would be the goblins. I already had a pack of the Splintered Light Weasel Slingers and a couple of others, so I went and ordered a bunch more to complete my Goblin Hoard. David was very accomadating in letting me substitute some riders for the Komodo Dragons and Terror Birds.

In fact, it was suggested to substitute the Light Infantry Bat rider models for use with the Terror Birds – great suggestion.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR GOBLINS

So if you are wanting to attempt this as well, you will need the following (all from Splintered Light Miniatures:

1x Goblin Archer pack (Hobgoblin Archers)

1x Goblin Medium Cavalry on Wolves pack (Hyena Riders)

1x Goblin Wolf Clan Warriors (to use as Red Banner Hobgoblins)

1x Goblin Warriors 1 (Green Banner Infantry)

1x Goblin Warriors 2 (Blue Banner Infantry)

1x Goblin Spears (Goblin Spears)

1x Komodo Dragons (with 6 medium goblin mounts) (Lizard Riders)

1x Terror Birds (with 6 light bat rider goblin mounts) (Ostrich Riders)

1 x Weasel Clan Slingers

Then you need to sort out the Drummers and Band Leader figures. For these I was thinking of using the Goblin Drummers from the Command pack as the regular drummers and then using the Dancing Shaman model as the band leader. I was going to sculpt a large drum that the Shaman can dance on as the Drum leader. When I’ve done this, I’ll be sure to include pics πŸ™‚

MAKING A START

I already had a packet of Weasel Clan Slingers, so got started by basing them.

  • I simply cleaned up the model (which took no time as they are great casts) and then super glued it to a 20mm round washer.
  • PVA glued some fine ballast down
  • Undercoated black
  • My next step is to paint them!

Here is a photo of what they look like before undercoating.

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A GOOD “BASE-IS” IS IMPORTANT

I quickly whipped up some more bases this morning to get ready for my incoming Goblinoid hordes. I have shown some steps below.

  • First, rule up the base from corner to corner and down the middle. Place the 20mm washers in a pleasing arrangement, leaving enough space between them to be cut. Mark the centre of the washers with a pen. This will be the same size as the drill bit (for the hole saws I’m using) You will also need to mark where you want to place your flag.

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  • Next, drill the holes using your hole saw. I clamp the base down to my bench and then drill the holes. I don’t go right through in one go. I drill about halfway down and then flip the base and finish from the other side. I’ve found that this helps to cut down on splintering or cracking the wood.

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  • Give the inside of the holes a quick sand to smooth off any rough edges and then glue to a solid base. Use hand clamps at each end to secure them solidly.

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  • After about half and hour you can take the clamps off and tidy up any excess glue with a stanly knife or matchstick (for in the holes). Use a small drill bit and drill a hole for the flag right through both pieces of wood. Then you can decorate the base however you like. I chose to glue ballast down, undercoat black and then paint and flock, but you can do this however you like.

TESTING THE SIZE OF THE BASE AGAINST THE SIZE OF THE HEXES

I printed off a test hex the size of a Hexon II hex shape and placed the bases over it to gauge how effective it would look. I’m quite happy with it to be honest.

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Since being happy with the sizing, I have enquired with Kallistra the cost to order 1 box of Light Brown Hexon II boards and a number of individual hexes. To make up a basic Battlelore board, you need the following:

  • 1 box of Hexon II boards (21 boards of which you need 18)
  • 5 Individual Hexes

Then of course you need hexes for woods, hills etc… but they can be made easily other ways.

WHAT MINIS FOR THE HUMANS?

The human miniatures are going to be actually more difficult to replace than I first thought. I need 15mm minis for the following:

  • Mounted Knights with Sword
  • Mounted Swordsmen
  • Foot Knights with sword
  • Swordsmen on Foot
  • Light Infantry on Foot w/swords
  • Archers
  • Mounted Knights with lance
  • Arbalestiers (maybe crossbowmen will be alright for these)
  • Spearmen
  • Halberdiers
  • Hornblowers

If I can’t find some of these (like the hornblowers for example) I can simply cut the existing Battlelore mini off its base and rebase it like so:

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This is of course a last resort as I do want to replace them with metal minis, but it will do until I find suitable replacements.

So there you have it, tune in for more progress over the next couple of days. πŸ™‚

– Ben.





Upgrading Battlelore

2 05 2009

Battlelore is a game I have enjoyed from the day it was released. A simple, yet deep, tactical battle game.

I currently own all the expansions to it (even the dodgy Troll one… don’t even ask) and have played many great games with them. If you take a gander over at the Battlelore section on Board Game Geek, you will see a plethora of fantastically painted miniatures that people have done over the years. It certainly is a great feat to complete the painting of all your Battlelore minis. I myself have attempted to paint them over the years – rather unsuccessfully. To be honest, I have about 15 units painted up and based with a system that I thought would work for me.Battlelore Collection

You see, one of Battlelore’s greatest criticisms, is that it takes ages to set up. So alot of people have designed basing systems that allow the models to be stored in units. Jim over at Board Game Geek comes to mind straight away – he has a complete painted set which is fully based – congratulations mate – fantasic job!

I know I’m rambling a bit at the moment, but I’m trying to get to the fact that I don’t really like the style of Battlelore miniatures… I LOVE the game, but the miniatures are for me, not the greatest. I find the bendy plastic a pain to paint and the sculpts themselves are a little plain for my liking. Call me crazy, but recently I started a massive project that I know will take me a long time. A project to upgrade Battlelore.

Upgrading Battlelore needs to be for more than aesthetic reasons though (even if they are the primary concern πŸ™‚ ), so I needed to make a list of priorities which the project would follow:

  • The miniatures need to look great
  • The board needs to look great
  • The miniatures need to based in a way that is easy to store and speeds up setup
  • The miniatues need to based in a way that I can reuse them for other games
  • The bases need to be created in a way that I can use them for other games
  • The board needs to be capable of fitting the new basing system effectively

So with these ideas in mind, I set off in search of the holy grail. πŸ™‚

My first find was the Hexon II Terrain boards which are distributed by Kallistra… these things are AWESOME and are exactly what I need. They have a flat depth of 100mm which also gives me a guide for my basing requirements. I can buy the Hexon II Terrain boards unflocked so that I can match my basing to the board and they sell single hexes so that I can make the terrain hexes present in Battlelore. I will need to find out how much of the stuff I need before ordering as it is fairly pricing with shipping to Australia. Depending on the cost, I can buy enough for an Epic board as well… maybe that’s pie in the sky stuff though πŸ™‚

The next stop was to find some miniatures that fit the part to replace the Battlelore ones. 15mm miniatures are the rough sizing I am after. There is a multitude of excellent miniatures in this scale to cover pretty much everything released so far. My onlyΒ  concerns were for the Lizard riding Goblins, the Ostrich Riding Goblins and the Cattle Riding Dwarfs…

BUT! Splintered Light Miniatures has two out of these three covered! If you click on the Miscellaneous models section of the site, you will come across both Komodo Dragon mounts and Terror Birds! Simply add in some light mounted goblins from their Goblinoid range and hey presto! Some excellent models. The Cattleriders could be a problem, but since I’m sticking with a similar scale, I can simply rebase those minis onto 25mm washers. Easy.

So far I have two rather large orders from Splintered Light Miniatures and Kallistra in the making… its just the bases I need now… what to do…

THIS!

battlelore-goblin-light-infantry

The basing simply follows on from my previous basing article except it uses 80mm x 40mm bases with a very small hole drilled in the middle of the back of the base for the flag to sit in. All the infantry models are based on 20mm washers.

For cavalry models, the bases are 80mm x 60mm and the cavalry are based on 25mm washers.

I can also reuse these bases for HOTT or MA and with the flag being removable, I could create a banner for the unit to show what type it is (for example a Blade unit might have blades, Spear unit might have Spears etc…)

Needless to say I’m very excited about this project and I hope to keep you up to date on how its travelling in the near future.
Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome! Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

– Ben.





Special Birthday Cake and Photos of Models in New Basing

26 04 2009

G’day, just a brief update today.

I recently had my 27th birthday. I celebrated with a few close friends and caught up with family. They all know that I’ve been working on Song of Fur and Buttons, which is based on the Teddy Bear models produced by Eureka Miniatures. Little did I expect my mum to bake a cake quite like the following.

teddy-cake

Needless to say I was wrapped! So a big thanks to my mum for not only taking an interest in what I’m doing, but to follow through with such an awesome cake! Thanks mum. πŸ™‚ xoxo

I also just thought I’d post some photos of how the new bases look with a variety of models sitting in them. You can click on them to view them at a larger size.

ERM15 Frogfolk

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Unreleased Rebel Minis Swamp Dwellers

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Splintered Light Miniatures Bat Goblin Clan Bat Riders

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Splintered Light Miniatures Bat Goblin Clan General and Shaman Bases

(Notice the removable tree to help with creating interesting scenes on the bases – this can also be applied to capturing enemy flags, heroes etc…)

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Well, hopefully soon I can give you some more updates on Song of Fur and Buttons, Dusk and Mighty Armies Invasion, which are all going quite well. πŸ™‚

– Ben.





Multipurpose Basing Done the Right Way!

10 04 2009

Time to pop in for another blog update I thought to myself this morning. πŸ™‚

I had been looking at the new Splintered Light Druid’s Children minis recently and thinking – man I really want these guys. They conjure up images of Redwall and Mouse Guard, but I was even more excited when I heard about a supplement being written for Song of Blades and Heroes specifically for these models – awesome!

I also thought how cool would they be in Mighty Armies, HOTT or Fantasy Rules! This brought me back to multi purpose basing again. My last attempt at it was ok, but too time consuming. I also found that the putty I used began to flake with the constant removing and replacing of models. They weren’t practical for longevity.

So I went down to the local Mitre 10 and asked around. After about a total of 6 minutes, I was walking out with some holesaws of various sizes. Now these weren’t the cheapest things I’ve ever bought, but well worth it if you’re going to be doing a lot of multibase stuff. A 20mm was perfect for the washers I use for basing my 15mm stuff. The 25mm one will be perfect for both basing 28mm models and 15mm cavalry. I intend to get a 40mm one for monsters as well – the system works that well that I intend to make bases for my 28mm stuff too. πŸ™‚

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Next, I grabbed a base and marked out some circles using spare washers that I use for basing 15mm. You could put as many as you want on – being sure to leave some space between so you don’t split the wood. I have tried this on 80mmx40mm bases and 80mmx80mm bases.

The demonstration is on 80mmx80mm bases simply because I liked how this one came out πŸ™‚

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Next, I attached the drill bit and used a work station to drill the holes halfway through the wood. Then I flipped and drilled through the rest. Its easy to keep your place because the bit shown above actually screws onto an actual drill bit, so you have the small hole in the middle to guide you. I did it this way after several bases came out with quite a bit of splintering around the edge. Doing it this way helps to stop this.

After some quick sanding (all of 5 seconds on each hole), I spread some PVA glue on the underside (not too much) and place it on top of another undrilled base. I made sure that the grains went in opposite directions to avoid warping. Then I just chucked some cheap hand clamps on each edge and left it for 30 mins. I had a set of 8 clamps, so I have two bases going at once and I just did some over the course of the day.

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After half an hour, I just take the clamps off and use a stanley knife to trim the excess glue from around the edge of the base. The extra glue in the base holes can be removed with a toothpick or other small implement and will take all of 20 seconds for the whole base.

The next step was to paint them black and the flock them. It sounds like a long process, but in reality its quite quick. You just set a few up and come back to them later in the day. I have been able to whip up quite a number in very short time. The great thing is that you can drill the holes wherever you want to provide an interesting display for your models rather than packing them in on a base. I prefer this new method, but I know your milage may vary. If you do try this, please let me know how it goes – I’d love to see how your bases come out!

Remember, you can click on any of the images to view them at a larger size! πŸ™‚

– Ben.

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