Yesterday, I got the idea of busting out all my early Space Marines, many of whom are either badly painted or just airbrushed colors like yellow or red, and repainting them into one single, cohesive army. Since I’ve painted so many miniatures in either red or yellow (for reasons I haven’ t yet fathomed) I thought I’d go with something totally the opposite: green.
There’s just one problem–I’ve yet to find a green craft paint that is worth a damn. They tend to be really transparent and streaky, and when I need the colors to be pretty opaque (to cover a lot of ancient painting sins) my attempts today to do a “color test” miniature was an unmitigated disaster.
So now I’m on the horns of a dilemma: keep trying to paint these mooks green, get another paint, or just abandon the whole darn plan and do something different. Oh well, I’ve got about a two week stretch of pretty intensive work ahead of my professionally, so I’ve got time to think.
I haven’t posted anything in a while, mostly because of a few non-hobby related tasks began to take the bulk of my attention and free time (like a birthday party). But now that the (pink) dust has settled, I’m wrapping up the building phase of the Descent Dungeon. At this point, I still have one X-section, five 2″ by 1″ sections, and of course the doors to do. I’m at a certain crummy point that always seems to come up when doing one of these projects–that point where you need just a couple of bricks in one mold (or worse, two molds) and you need a lot of them. Basically, I need to cast one or two bricks from the two cavern molds a handful of times to get everything I need without lots of leftovers I don’t. I’d really like to avoid a lot of “leftovers” on this project, because I don’t see myself doing any more cavern pieces for a while after this one.
In fact, I’ve actually been putting my mind onto the next task, a common tendency when I run out of steam on a lengthy project like this one. I’ve half a mind to break out some of my “bottom rung” molds and do something interesting with them. For those who are interested, my least-often-used molds are such lovelies as the skematic pyramid and the 3″ turret mold. If I really wanted to get into a mold rarely ever used, I’d also be thinking about the Egyptian tower mold too.
Well, I’ll have to see. The next post for the Descent Dungeon will probably be a finalized pic (building-wise, at least–it’ll still need to be painted).
I spent pretty much most of a day off getting the medium and long hallways lengths completed, and also the six hallway corners. I’ve only got the T and X intersections, and the small hallway sections lefts to go.
The rooms (or “slabs” as one observer called them) are all completed. Now I just have to complete the hallways and the small decorations that go with the set.
In other news, my friend Vince has composed the rules for the 2007-2008 Warhammer campaign, which I’m tenatively calling “The Reaver Princes.” Unlike “The Nail” which was my expansion campaign that focussed on small battles with just a few large ones, the new campaign will focus on very large battles, in the 2800 pt. range. The Reaver Princes will probably begin in about three or four months, depending on how the current campaign progresses.
I’m about one third of the way through the casts necessary to make the Descent modular dungeon, which gets me roughly seven of the rooms (and a lot of odds and ends that’ll be used later). There are ten rooms total, plus all the hallway sections.
Looking ahead, I’m thinking about two things. First the color scheme. Bruce uses a dark, mossy green for the undercoat, then khaki on top of it for a high contrast. I’m considering a dark brown instead. Less contrast, but less green and more like his fieldstone pieces.
Second, I’ve been thinking for a while about doing some pre-packaged adventures using the Descent pieces. Ten rooms is a pretty fair-sized mini dungeon, especially at the speed my group progresses. I could even suggest miniatures, etc. that could go along with it. We’ll see what I come up with.
Now that the Skull Pass dwarf army is completed (except the thane, and the dragonslayer and grudge pony that I’ll probably turn into an Anvil of Doom) I’m getting cranked up on my next project. I’m currently working on a Descent game board using the plans on the Hirst Arts website. It is essentially a walls-free modular dungeon, which not only mimics what is in the Descent game, but also solves some of the dilemmas that face GM’s using modular dungeons. Basically, even a low wall tends to crowd miniatures on those classic 10′ wide hallways. This has driven some dungeon-builders into moving to larger hallways and other contrivances. But I’ve become convinced, having gotten quite a bit of mileage out of my own modular dungeon with 1″ high walls, that a walls-free option will prevent a lot of hassle and neck craning, and will also probably be a bit more flexible.
Bruce based his Descent board on corkboard, but a friend of mine put me onto a better product, taskboard. Taskboard is a wood pulp-shaped board that comes in 3/32″ thickness, is easily cut and sanded, is fairly durable, and perhaps most importantly is composed of sustainable wood (versus the nastiness that is MDF board). Taskboard comes in sheets of 20″ by 30″, which as it turns out, is perfect for doing a Descent board.
When you measure it out, you will have one 4″ by 6″ piece left over, which could become another room or, as I did, be given to your children as a reward for not hassling you as you cut the pieces.
Now, I’ve got to cast the Cavern Floor mold 34 times, and the accessory mold 24 times, so I’ll be busy doing that for a while.
The final unit of my dwarf army is done, and honestly it is probably my least favorite. First, the detail is incredibly lacking; in some cases even the beards lack detail. The poses are also a little problematic. Gloves, beard, and faces are all really close together and, barring the dreaded colored gloves, that’s a lot of brown-tones all together. Also, I really probably rushed the painting more than I could have, and it shows in places. Finally, miners kinda stink– they are so slow, that by the time they come onto a board they are unlikely to get to where you need them.
But, I’m two figures away from my goal, and that’s something.