Thursday, September 20, 2018

How to make a display board in 7 days

Or alternate title:
How to not freak out when your brother asks you to make him a display board at the last week before the event!
As the alternate title suggests, my brother and I are getting ready for this weekend's Harvester of Souls 40k tournament in Spokane Valley, WA. I already have my display board and army prepared.  My brother, however, is running a little behind on getting his army ready. So about a week before the event, he calls me up and asks me to make him a display board, nothing too fancy, but something to center his army. I agreed because his birthday is coming up soon, and this can be part of it.
I thought about it a little. Jarom's ork army is pretty much 100% vehicles and bikes. Going for a Mad Max Fury Road theme. So I wanted to tribute a little to that movie (being one of my favorites), and rather than just doing a flat board with desert, I figured the mountain pass scene would be a cool scene to base it off of, especially since that scene employs bikes. I sketched it out and this is what I sent to him:
He liked the idea, so I began working on it. I had just recently watched this excellent video by one of my favorite YouTubers, and I was anxious to try the method out, so this gave me an excuse to do so. From here on out I pretty much just followed the video's instructions.
I start off by building up the layers using broken 1/4" insulation foam. It's thicker than the video, but it works for a board this size, which is about 18"x36". Much larger than I normally do a display board, but it makes sense considering the next step...
Before I continued, I wanted to make sure everything would fit on it, so he came over with his army and did a test fit. I found I had a little extra room to put some stuff on the ground level to break up the transition from the cliff to the ground. But this is a big army that needs a big board.
After adding some rock and debris, I sanded off the rough edges and blended the levels a little bit.
Next with a new tub of spackle, I got my hands dirty and filled in all the gaps, being sure to keep the striations visible in the rock face, but blend the top levels and rocks into the ground. This took a lot of spackle.
After the spackle dried, I went on to apply the sand, using a common construction sand. I did my usual procedure with this. First all purpose elmer's glue, then sand. Let it dry. Then did the coat of watered down glue over top to seal the sand in.
Now on to the coloring, because I am almost done. I am using cheap craft paints for this (Apple Barrel brand that you get at your common Walmart). I did the base coat in Burnt Umber which was tricky because the sand and rocks had a lot of nooks and crannies. I found the best way of doing it was taking a mug filled with the paint, add some water and some sort of flow aid (I just used a dishwasher rinse agent), this allowed the paint to flow easier into the tight spots the brushes have a hard time getting into while keeping most of the opacity of the paints. I was careful to not make a wash, though, I just wanted to thin the paint some and improve its flow.
Next I did a couple heavy drybrush coats of Golden Sunset. It took a few coats because I didn't want it to be too brown, but liked keeping the brown underneath and in all the cracks.
Finally I did a selective highlight drybrush of Lite Mocha to knock down some of the yellow and give it a final sandy look.
And that's it! A lot simpler and quicker than I feared, and I now love this construction method to make high cliffs. Today I'm prepping for the tourney this weekend so unfortunately I wont have a chance to show you the final board with Jarom's army on it until I take some photos at the event, so I look forward to that.

On another note, I realized I forgot to do a post on my army and display! So you will see that too at the event.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Legions of the Netherforge - 3D printed AoS army

The Netherforge burns eternally somewhere deep in Chamon. Machines making machines, all according to the designs of their long dead designer, progenitor, and creator. A duardin known only as the Furnacelord.
The Legions of the Netherforge is a homebrew Chaos army I am building for Age of Sigmar. I had found this collection of designs on Thingiverse by a very talented 3D modeler, Arian "Dutchmogul" Croft at Illgottengames. The entire range of models he designed captured my imagination. It was all low detail, designed for 3D printing, and I think actually looks very cool. I knew I had to make an army out of these guys.

So I downloaded the models, edited them a little in Tinkercad (mostly to prepare some alternate poses and weapon options, make their feet a little bigger, and removing their bases so I could do my own). I thought about what I could run this army as, but no ideas really satisfied me. So I am making their rules from the ground up. This way I can design some cool rules that I feel reflect the feel and style of the army. This also involves making a story for them (teased above) and changing the names of the models to fit the story.

The first 2 models are the Furnacelord Simulacrum, the leaders of the Netherforge armies. Built personally by the Furnacelord and gifted with more intelligent cogminds. They used some of the same parts as other models, but sized up about 20% to stand out in the army. The last model is a Bombardier, a minor hero that improves the range capabilities of the army.
These are the Siegematon units, those responsible for mapping and making the major tunnel systems the Legions use to get around the mortal realms. The 4 small ones are Diggermines, explosive little tunnelers. The next is the Siegematon Director, a commander of sorts for the Siegematon units, and last is the Siegematon Tunneler, a hero unit that brings other units on to the battlefield through tunneling, and is formidable in combat as well.
Here is where you see the paintjob I plan for the army. I wanted to go for the steampunk brass look which I think works well. these are the Warriors, just the most basic battleline troop unit for the army. There are 2 weapon variants: Axes and shields (left) and hammers and shields (right).
More elite troops, the Guardians (left) are tasked with protecting the leaders of the army and guarding the hidden entrance to the Netherforge, and the Berzerkers (right) are just a melee focused unit that can either dual wield axes, hammers, or digging claws (as shown).
The Gunners are a small unit with a mid-range and hard hitting firepower, using what we would know now as a radioactive material for their guns for an extra effect. They rest the heavy guns on shields with wheels for added protection and stability.
The first unit is the Tunnel Caber, a slow moving deathroller, and on the right is the Great Horn. A piece of terrain that has a beneficial effect for the army when used.
Now on to the war machines for the army. The first is the Vaulthammer, a heavy cannon that shoots a devastating radioactive cannonball. Then is the Siege Maul. I wanted to experiment with making rules for a melee focused war machine. We will see how it turns out. I love the look of the model though.
These are the Construct units. The story for them is after the passing of the Furnacelord, the Netherforge continued to innovate and create new additions to the legion. The Construct units are signs of that. The big one is the Warstrider, a big lumbering behemoth that has some unique rules for dealing with units inside fortifications. The smaller ones are the Brawlstriders, just a melee focused unit with a risk/reward system in combat.
Finally for an original unit of my own design (using some existing parts as base, of course). This is the Voltamaton. I noticed the army had a lack of pizzaz in the form of magic or supernatural. So I thought of a hero that utilized an electric generator in different ways, so I designed the parts to make a sort of priest rather than a wizard.
I'm looking forward to finish painting these guys and get some games in. I will show of the rules for them I have designed and some more lore in a later post, as well as the battletome when I get it finished.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Canwalks - 3D printed sci-fi terrain system

Onto some cool scifi terrain.
I found these files on Thingiverse and gave them a go. The original designs are credited to Prometheum Forge which makes MDF terrain, and then some 3D printed equivalents were uploaded. Liking this a lot, because the prints used little filament and were fairly quick to do, I started to design some of my own walkways and platforms to go along with them, so I can get a table full of Necromunda/forgeword/factory scifi terrain.
First I designed these little catwalks to connect the can-tanks. They are meant to reach the height to the tops of the tanks that lay on their sides, and are about 50mm wide to give players plenty of room for minis. 25/32/40mm bases should fit comfortably on them.
Next I made some platforms with ladders for more features. The idea is to get these to stack high, making the Necromunda type effect, but I am struggling with that concept right now. Needs further tinkering with the files.
I tried making a big quad-vertical tank system that could stack, but this patter was fairly finicky. I may need to alter the patterns further.
Here is all of it put together for a view of what I have so far. More to come of course. This type of terrain favors skirmish gaming over the mass battles, but I think without the catwalks it could be versatile.
I am still working on the file designs at the moment, but when I think I have them down pretty good, I will upload them to my account on Thingiverse.

That's still not all I have been doing with my printer, the big project I have been printing is an entire AoS army. That's right, I have printed a whole army. And I will get some more into that in a later post. Here's a preview image:

Sunday, September 2, 2018

My journey into 3D printing, a second time

If any of you have seen or followed my old blog, of which I rarely do anything on nowadays, back in 2014 I had a few posts of excitement over accruing a 3D printer. It was purely intended for my hobby, with the intent of mostly making terrain and some other useful things. I had some plans for some simple minis, but knew I wasn't going to get any real good detail out of it.

That experience was a disaster. I constantly tinkered on it, multiple calibrations, etc. What started at first as an exciting foray into a potentially cool venture, turned into a disappointing discouraging experience. I got maybe one decent print out of all of it and a lot of failures. With a little bit of anger, I decided to cut my losses and sell the printer a few months after I got it.

That was back in 2014, and I decided to retry it a month ago. After much research, mostly on YouTube and various other review sites I got some encouragement. I had looked into a lot of models, but finally decided on the Creality Ender 3, and the big reason was because of this video.
So I got mine, and with a little assembly, I had it running and giving me a near perfect first print. I was ecstatic. So for the last month or so I have been running this thing constantly, with little to no issues and very few failed prints. This is like a dream.

So a couple things, I did a lot of research. I watched hours of videos, mostly on using and maintaining a 3D printer. I recognize now several things I did wrong back in 2014 with that printer, and I could have probably gotten it working with what I know now. But the other big factor is it has been 4 years, and the technology only got cheaper and better. Newer printers, even the chinese ones, are much better than those old machines. And that printer back then was about $800 when I got it, and this Ender 3 cost me about $240 on Amazon.

So on to some prints, shall we?

I designed this using a simple online 3D design program called Tinkercad. I consider it the MSPaint of 3D modeling software, which is perfect for me, and it's good enough for my use. I found a rock pile file on, which is a great repository for free models for printing. Definitely a recommend resource for anyone wanting to get into 3D printing. So I found the rock pile, and using Tinkercad I cut in the recesses and added the 2 little dice trays. The big dice I can use for tracking the turn in 40k, the big bowl I mainly used for command points which I track with beads, the small dice I can use for victory points, or even tracking the turns in AoS. Whatever, I want really. It's a useful command tray for holding whatever I need in games. And it fits in my game tools bag, along with the dice, tape measure, etc.
Here it is painted up. I tried to go for a similar paint style that GW uses on their Warscryer Citadel, I really like that Azyrite meteor look, but after it was all done, it just looks like a stained wood, which works good too. I finished it off with a couple coats of a spray on gloss coat to give it some toughness.

I recently got the Castle Panic board game from a friend. Wonderful game, a great time for any boardgamer. Then I thought I would add some 3D printing flair to it:
I went ahead and printed a wizard tower for use as I plan on picking that expansion up anyway.

Now that is not all I have been printing. I also printed a couple toys for my girls, some parts for the printer itself, and Jarom had me commission him some preliminary parts for some projects he has planned. I have a couple more posts coming with cool stuff I have made.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Censers & Tocsins - Chaos Gargant

I am introducing the latest behemoth for my nurgle army:
It can be pronounced just "herc", but preferably fit in the hard G before the K sound. It might even be better if you can say his name with a little bit of a gag reflex. This model took me a while because I needed the bell from the Putrid Blightkings kit which I wasn't able to get until fairly recently. This model stretched my skill with green stuff. The main body of course is composed of the Aleguzzler Gargant kit, which is what this represent, but the chaos variety of course. The legs and belly are spare parts from the Maggoth Lord kit. I used greenstuff to blend everything together, and create my cultivator fungus all over.
One thing I wanted to experiment with was how the fungus consumes the head of the host and takes over its functions. I got the idea from the video game The Last of Us. Never played it, but I liked the idea of the fungus, which I know is based on a real life version.
It definitely seems like something nurgle would be all for.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Censers & Tocsins - Glutannus & The Cultivator Shrine

I am getting back to my nurgle mortals. This took a while because I needed a few kits and bits. But I got a couple things that I am looking forward to seeing painted with the rest of my army.
I wanted to add a big monster to my army. I love the Maggoth Lords, but since I don't like doing named characters, I wanted to make something with the kit, and just run it counts-as one of the lords (I really wish there was a generic Maggoth Lord warscroll though). So I made Glutannus here.
I had to do some creative cutting and greenstuffing to remove the rider and saddle, as well as repose the left arm to feed a hapless victim (from the Aleguzzler Gargant kit) into his open maw.
I finished everything I needed for my Chaos Warshrine, as seen previously. Differences on the shrine itself is I just added more molds and mushrooms, and my brother gave me a cool 'troggoth vommit' but from the Fellwater Troggoth kit that he got. Then I finished the altar and made my ritualist.
The altar has on it another hapless victim (from the same Gargant kit, so many good bits in that kit) with a fresh bunch of fungus sprouting from his belly. He is held in front of a pit that contains a slurry of mold and waste. The idea is the sacrifice is cut by the ritualist, and the cultivator liquid is poured into the wound and the cultivator fungus sprouts from the fresh wound, then the sacrifice is pulled into the pit by a tentacle to dissolve in it, and that substance is occasionally expelled from the rear of the shrine as it moves to sew the ground. The ritualist I like a lot, and got the idea since I saw the Fungoid Cave Shaman kit. It was to fit perfectly with my fungus themed nurgle stuff. I replaced his hands with the a flask of the cultivator potion, and a broken blade. Upon trying several different heads to use, I settled on one from the Maggoth Lord kit. As I looked at it I realized something, this guy is a dwarf! So I like the idea of a nurgle corrupted duardin ritualist manning the shrine. I will have to think of a name and story for him.

Now you may be thinking what I plan to do with the rest of the Gargant kit. Well that is what is coming next...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Void Corsairs - Part 2

Last time I introduced everyone to more of my planned Drukhari army. I have built some more of it, and I have some of it painted to fill out what I need for my Harvester list.

Let's start with my painted, and based, Kabalite Warriors:
The Sybarites. I distinguished them all with each wearing something on their backs and wielding a melee weapon.
Heavy Weapons, Splinter Cannon and 2 Dark Lances
Regular Kabalites
Here you can see the scale cloaks that fit most of my space pirates together

Fleetmaster Karrik got a paintjob. I am keeping with the theme of my characters having lighter armor than the rest. You will notice his base is different from the other painted models. This is because I have a big Tantalus project planned later, and he will be spending most of his time on the table riding that ship, so I tried painting it to fit the planned deck of the ship.

Since I planned on taking a Kabal Battalion Detachment, I would need another Archon, so in addition to the Fleetmaster, I also made First Mate Ozuros. His body is from the old Lokhir Felheart model, and the shark jaw I got from the Fleetmaster kit. Then various bits I have.

I also built a Raider, but tried to go with more of a ship theme, I think I pulled it off well enough. This is one of the ships in the fleet.
Notice the rear deck is made from the Scourgerunner Chariot. The ship will have a helmsman, but I will be painting him separately.

I wasn't sure what was something unique I could do with the 6 Reaver jetbikes that come in the Gangs of Commorragh box. At first I had an idea to combine them with the new Akhelian Guard models, but the more I thought about the idea, the less I liked it. Then I remembered there was this thing called windsurfing. The Drukhari ships ride these aetheric winds, so why can't the reavers do it as well?
For ease of painting, the riders will all be painted separate, but I am really excited to see the cool poses I have planned put on the surfing Reavers.

With what I have built for my Wych cults (the Reavers, Wyches, and Hellions) I can run an Outrider Detachment of them. Of course I need a character, so I caved and bought a Succubus. I creatively swapped a few bits, giving her a scaled cloak to fit the rest of the pirates, and a mask to fit the wyches. I like unconventional wargear so my Succubus will be wieding hydra gauntlets like the rest of the wyches. This is Fleetmatron Aravesh, consort to the Fleetmaster.