MDF Plinths, Stairways And Plazas

As my current aversion to painting green Space Marines continues to settle, I have moved over (with the help of the good weather) to a side project that won’t side track me for too long. Playing about with a little bit of MDF should allow me to go back to painting GREEN again pretty soon.

Warmer weather, shorter drying times and ultimately just a little too hot to paint anyway (the inside of the shed was up to 49 degrees C when I ventured in last weekend…) As no brush work would be worthwhile, I guess a little trimming and gluing would have to suffice.

A bit of base colour spraying is always possible on warmer days too.  A little bit of weathering may need to follow when I am all done with these builds…

These are TT Combat Venetian street blocks and canal stairs.  The reason I bought a few sets of these recently was to see if I could get a bit of height difference on to the table. Each kit in the range makes up a 25-30mm high plaza square or street section.

As always, MDF is an easy medium to work with, and although not as fancy as some of the textured and 3d resin out there, it remains a staple in the shed as it is robust and fairly easy to store away between games.  I have a larger pack with about 8 more base plazas and streets in it but these had a slight fault on them so I am awaiting replacements for those kits.  When they arrive and get built up I should have enough from this range to allow me to stack smaller sections onto the larger bases, layering up the plazas to create higher and lower areas on the table, eventually…

Fistful Of Kung Fu

I may have been spending less time in the shed recently but I have not been idle.  We got a game of Fistful of Kung Fu in recently. Yes, we are still trying to get a number of games from our ‘loved but neglected list’ played before summer gets too far along.

FFOKF benefits from a wide selection of scenery items.  Your protagonist (hero, leader, main-man (or woman)) usually gets to do an awful lot of actions in your opponents turn with this game. While the mass of minions that he brings along with him will only act in their own turn.

Lots of scenery protects him while he runs everywhere, and does everything he can, but it also adds some cinematic elements to the game. This is because he can activate various scenic items for some humorous effects (e.g. tip a blue portable toilet over on to an enemy figure…)

Its also a good excuse to get a Poundstretcher train set and a green plastic Thomas the tank engine crane onto the gaming table…

Salute Bits – Starting To Build Things

The jobs on the go in the shed recently (ever since I returned from Salute with a very mixed bag of purchases) have been a bit varied.  Quick jobs have been completed, in-between other equally quick tasks, as I build a few miniatures here and clean a bit of resin there.  Some older items have been mixed in, as and where needed, to make the batches more worthwhile.

An example of a Sunday afternoons work.

Sci-fi objectives in resin washed, trimmed and filed.

The recently completed statue topper. Basing for the Smudgester Elite. One half of a new Bushido crew cleaned and based to fit the old Bushido crew style. (Of note: The Fire Kami in the back – I have no bloody clue how it is supposed to go together, only 2 parts, and no obvious tab to join them.  Even the manufacturers website fails to have a clear picture of what the final figure should look like.  So, I crossed my fingers and stuck it where it looked like it would go…)

Smudgester 2 basing. Second half of the Bushido Crew and basing.

Resin cleaning and trimming again but this time with a more oriental theme.

Both resin sets are from the TTcombat range.  Their range appears to be growing quickly in a number of directions and mediums.  Resin, MDF and publishing new games on what seems like a monthly basis.  All in a year when other major British companies are going out of business.  If they keep this up they will be running the country in 10 years… Imagine that as a post apocalyptic setting for a game…

Salute 2017. 

As I have stated before, Salute in London is one of those shows we always tend to try to attend, and usually sets us on a new path.  This us most likely due to the number of new releases that various companies try to time to coincide with this show.

This years show seemed slightly less well supported. The crowds of people were just as big but a couple of names we expected to see were missing from the trader lists.  One company that was in attendance was TTCombat.  This is the manufacturing arm of The Troll Trader, a large wargame store based in Cornwall but with a heavy internet presence.  Under the TT brand they produce some very reasonable MDF terrain and had a few items I had been waiting to pick up.

These bus shelters were not on my list but came home with me all the same.

They are a great example of what TTCombat are trying to do with added textures and designs that are a mix of traditional MDF, card stock and Perspex.  I have built many MDF kits over the years and have usually painted them when completed.  I now find myself having to plan these builds, as the added levels of detail often mean that I have to paint more and more of them before I put them together.

I haven’t bought many figures at salute in the last 3 years but this year that changed.  These Lead adventure divers are perfect for my Steam Wars Navy force and the mechanics are likely to get used for a number of eras.

Scenery always gets noticed, especially when it is a novel idea like control panels.  These kits look like they might be more difficult to put together than I initially suspect as the control surfaces are likely to need some detailed attention and again the inclusion of Perspex parts means any sprayed layers are likely to need doing before construction starts.

These however need no construction and will be just as challenging in their detail painting.

These two Lead Adventure figures should fit anything from Steam Wars to Rogue Stars.

On the theme of Rogue Stars, these are Northstar figures and designed by them especially for the game itself.

Keeping with the Animal or Alien theme Hasselfree launched the next two figures just before Salute so were fresh in my mind.  Steve is an evolved Duckbilled Platipus

And the Chipster is their great little humanoid bulldog.  Both figures are perfectly cast and well modelled. The only down side is that I suspect I will not do them justice with my painting.

I did pick up some more bits from Salute, including a large bag of figures from Black Scorpion Miniatures, but that can wait until I find time to post again…

Weathering While The Weather Is Bad

With the addition of the Small Shop from Sarissa Precision shown previously, I realised that I had 4 buildings now sat unpainted on a shelf.  In fact all together they no longer fitted on the shelf. Something had to be done, or at least started…

So, instead of finishing off the small shop as I had planned I started all the others…  At once…  Why plan these things when unplanned actions lead to so much discovery…  (Must stop using so may … Its starting to look like the blog is covered with rabbit droppings…)

The smallest and most detailed is a Charlie Foxtrot Stables that I picked up with the useful advice that spray painting with grey then white (from differing angles) would give me a base coat while retaining most of the detail.

It worked well, so I tried it again on the second building. This was the Cricket Pavilion by Warbases.  Both these buildings are designed to represent wooden huts which I picture as being as whitewashed and weathered.  So that’s what I went for.

Both came out ok. I probably need to add more detail and pick out some areas with some colour as the white look is quite stark.  Some weathering to the lower half of the building added some colour variation but I need to look at what colour to darken that staining to as I think I need to go over the lowest planks with something to represent their damper foundations.  Maybe some moss or grass at ground level would help finish them.

The third building is the Grand Library from TTcombat.  This was built just after Xmas so has been painted quicker than most things in the shed.  I went for a slightly different approach here and like the finish so far.  Lots more to do though…

Grey then white allowed the detail to show up.  Then, a light spraying of the grey to the lowest edges with most of the spray focussed off the building and on the base board it was stood on.  Some more dilute ink washing helped to bring that shadow effect up further.  Again more detail is needed. Doors and steps in a contrasting colour maybe.

Now that they are all started, lets see how long it takes me to finish these off…

The To Do List – Scrapped

So in the post Xmas lull I have finally managed to get into the shed and put some work in.  However, what I did manage to get done was nothing from the planned ‘To Do List’

Xmas brought its own distractions and as I was a good boy all year Santa (also known as Coronasan)  brought me this rather fine and official looking library.  Made by TTcombat its a solid and surprisingly detailed building to add to the ever growing town.

Currently it sits half made as I plan to paint some of the more intricate parts before stocking them on this time. If the weather would just dry up slightly while I am not at work I could get a couple of base coats on it.

With imposing steps and even bookshelves for use inside its going to be a good addition to the set.

It does prove that I cannot keep to any plans, however well meaning they are.  So rather than beat myself up about not getting the list complete I have decided to just get on and do what comes to hand (just like always) who knows what will get picked up and started next…