Category Archives: Terrain

Sneak peak of my latest Japanese terrain

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Just a very quick peak at what I have been spending my hobby time on this weekend – the building on the left. More info to come soon when I have completed this little project. Sayonara for now!

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Filed under Samurai, Terrain, Uncategorized

Home improvements to 4Ground’s Japanese shogunate houses

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A couple of novels I’ve been reading over the Christmas break have inspired me to do some home improvements to my 4Ground shogunate houses. You can see the result in the above photo, as some 28mm Perry Miniatures samurai warriors battle it out in the garden (click on the photo for a closer view).

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The novels responsible for this burst of enthusaism are David Kirk’s pair of bold and vivid historical epics of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto.

In Child of Vengeance, Miyamoto is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral village. He takes the samurai’s path awash with blood, bravery, and vengeance, culminating in the epochal battle of Sekigahara.

Sword of Honour depicts the feud between Miyamoto and the esteemed Yoshioka Sword School in Japan’s former capital of Kyoto.

Now, I can’t say how accurate or not these novels are, as I am not too knowledgeable about samurai. However, what I can say is that they definitely provide the feel of the place and period. The characters aren’t just western heroes transposed to an oriental setting, but instead act and talk as thought they really are Japanese – helped no doubt by the fact that the author himself lives in Japan.

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After reading the novels, I decided to pull out my existing samurai scenery. I’ve got several 4Ground buildings, which I’ve been very pleased with (see my 2014 review of these kits). But seeing them out of storage for the first time in a while, I’ve realised that the teddy-bear fur thatched roofs look like … er … teddy-bear fur. You can see this in the above picture that I took a few years ago (with a couple of Kingsford miniature figures in the foreground).

I recall in shows where I’ve used these buildings that several little children seemed to take inordinate interest in the roofs of my houses, more than anything else on the table. Now that I think about it, I even heard one of them whispering to her parents that it looked like my roofs were made out of a teddy – can’t fool kids!

So, some home improvements were in order.

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This morning I took a big brush and sloshed a watery burnt umber artists’ acrylic paint all over the thatch. Once this was completely dry, I dry-brushed the roof with a range of ochres, yellows and even white. The results now look a lot more realistic (and certainly a lot less teddy-like!).

Whilst I was at it, I thought the original wooden verandah roofs and ridge decorations were a bit too stark. So they all received a watered-down burnt umber wash as well.

Hopefully the occupants of my little houses are happy with the renovations. Sayonara!

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Filed under 4Ground, Perry Miniatures, Samurai, Terrain, Uncategorized

Painting a 3D-printed Caribbean building

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‘Arrr, me ‘earty – that thar 3-D printin’ is sure makin’ inroads into wargamin’, ain’t it!’ And especially so for terrain, as shown by this exciting new model from Printable Scenery for my 28mm pirate gaming.  3d-printable-wargame-house65

Matt from Printable Scenery asked if I could do a blog posting showing how to paint this first model in his new range of Caribbean building files, which I was very pleased to do. The painting didn’t take long – one day from start to finish.  Here’s how I went about it:

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The first step is to clean up any artifacts left over from the printing process, and then cover the whole model with black spray-paint. Apart from that, no other work was required to get the nice finish you see above.

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The model prints in three pieces, which means you can view the interior of each floor. So the interiors also received a black undercoat.

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The two storeys now received a light spray paint of sand colour (I used Tamiya model spray). I sprayed this in quick sweeps from above, so the remaining black undercoat would create the effect of shadows. The roof received a light spray too, but in a brick-red colour.

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The interiors also got the light sand-coloured spray treatment. I don’t worry about over-spray on the floor – this all gets fixed later on.

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Now comes my favourite step – dry-brushing the entire model with white. This really brings out the texture of the stone-work and tiles, and you start getting a feel of what the final product will look like.

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I picked out some of the stonework with a yellow-ochre colour, then dry-brushed over it with white. The chimney has also been painted ochre and dry-brushed white.

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I slapped some sky-blue paint onto all the windows and doors. As you can see, I was quite rough and ready with this job, but that doesn’t matter, as the next steps clean this up.

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I coated all the blue windows in earth-coloured ink wash, and also inked in some of the shadowed areas in the stonework, such as under the arches. I then used my trusty white dry-brushing over all the windows – hey presto, sun-bleached light blue frames and shutters!

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I picked out some random tiles with a range of colours, then game the whole roof another quick white dry-brush, before washing the whole roof with the earth-coloured ink to tone down the different shades.

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The final step was to paint the interior. I dry-brushed white the previously sand-coloured walls. The furniture and window frames were mainly picked out with inks, but also a small amount of painting, for example the bottles and jars on the shelves. The floor received a wash of black ink to bring out the floorboard detail.

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So there you have it, a perfect building for pirate games! Though, of course, this type of house could have many other uses – the Peninsular War springs to mind, or Maximilian’s Mexican Adventure, the Spanish Civil War, or even colonial games.

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Here’s the rear of the building, as seen from a ship tied alongside the wharf. Matt designed the building in a semi-fortified state, with boarded and bricked windows on the ground floor as you would find is times of war and civil unrest. There is limited access on the ground floor, but lots of firing positions on the upper floors. Perfect for a last stand!

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I’m really looking forward to seeing what other buildings Matt adds to Printable Scenery’s Caribbean range. I’ve plied him with photos of real buildings from Havana (Cuba), as well as pictures from the Disneyland ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride – let’s see if any of these come to fruition!

For those who wish to know, the building was printed on a Prusa MK2, using ABS filament. It cost about US$8 to print. Each section took about ten hours, so was printed overnight. It was printed it at .2 layer height at slow speed. I got it as a raw print, not treated at all, but just primed in Warlord black primer.

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Filed under Pirates, Terrain, Uncategorized

Trees, trees, trees …

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If you go down to the woods today …

I’ve been upgrading my wargames trees, to add to my existing rather shonky stock of greenery.

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My old homemade trees can be seen in the background of the photo below, the new ones in various stages of basing at the front.

I bought these trees off eBay from China, at ridiculously low prices. Even the shipping from China to New Zealand cost less than if I were to post a standard letter to the next city. How this company makes money, I don’t know – but I’m not complaining!

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These trees come without bases, so I bought some large square metal washers, and with liberal use of hot glue, liquid nails, and my usual sand-and-PVA-glue mix, they seem to have attached well. I also added some sprigs of plastic Christmas decorative bracken to some of the bases.

Whilst most of these trees came in perfectly OK shades of green, there were a few that were a little bit too vivid for my taste. But with some dark green clothes dye, it was a simple and satisfying process to fix them.

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Some of the trees are conifers, as in the above picture.  Others (as seen in the pictures further up this page) are deciduous tree.

As you can see, all in all they make a perfectly idyllic grove for my 18th century couples to frolic together!

Here’s the eBay page page where I found these trees.  I bought mine from several of the dealers listed, but they are much the same. You can scroll down each listing to find the details of size – they range quite a bit in height, so you need to select ones that’ll suit your scale.

 

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Filed under Eighteenth century, Terrain, Uncategorized

4Ground’s Middle Eastern house kit

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The sleepy oasis of Sheesh-ki-Baab is disturbed by the rumbling of engines as a French motorised column passes through.

Painting of vehicles for my WW2 colonial French army has paused whilst I’ve concentrated on starting some desert scenery for them to fight over. First project off the blocks has been this 4Ground wooden kit of a Middle Eastern dwelling.

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As with the 4Ground Japanese buildings that I’ve also built, this kit was an absolute joy to put together. The miniature engineering that goes into what appears on the outside a very simple building is surprisingly complex, but all the pieces fit superbly.

The front door and the trapdoor in the roof can open and shut.  The roof itself is removable so that figures can be placed inside the building.

The kit comes pre-coloured. The only thing I did was touch up some of the stones around the roof-line, and disguise the corner joints by painting any visible edges in matching colours.

The entire project took only a couple of hours max!

By the way, the palm-trees are cheap plastic cake decorations (!) from my previous Pirates project.

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Filed under 4Ground, Terrain, Uncategorized, WW2

3D printable modular fantasy terrain Kickstarter

My friend Matt at Printable Scenery now has a Kickstarter site: Winterdale, a beautifully designed modular medieval fantasy citadel collection for 28mm gaming.

This is the same company that printed my beautiful Maori pa.

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Each Winterdale model is delivered as a .stl file pack to be downloaded and printed on a home 3D printer.

For the last year Matt’s company has been perfecting the process of 3D printing modular gaming terrain, and has built up a great following selling their models through out the world. All their designs are modular so you can scale, customize and print buildings towers and walls. Each piece is individually sculpted for maximum detail, and configured and optimized to print on small home printers.

3D printers are perfect for tabletop wargame and RPG terrain. Each piece of scenery costs about as much as a cup of coffee to print, and you can get a good printer for as little as US$399. Everything shown here is printed at 200 microns, which is the optimum quality for scenery.

If you’re looking at getting a 3D printer in the near future, then getting this digital library now at this amazing price will be well worthwhile.

Pledge Level 1 THE HAMLET: US$10 (NZ$15)

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Pledge Level 2 THE TOWER: $US 27 (NZ$40)

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Pledge Level 3 THE CITADEL $US 44 (NZ$65):

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Pledge Level 4 CASTLE: $US 50 (NZ$75)

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Stretch Goals

Matt is also really excited about the stretch goals because this is where they get to develop a lot of new buildings and add-ons.  Their concept artist, Elwira Pawlikowska, is already getting ideas underway. You’ll be getting amazing value just from the pledges as they are, but when the stretch goals are reached you’ll be getting an unbelievable amount of models. Matt will be getting your feedback along the way as they develop some more really amazing scenery pieces.

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If you’re interested, why not drop by Matt’s Winterdale Kickstarter site.

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Filed under Terrain, Uncategorized

A simple way to paint a Maori pa and other scenery

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I recently helped Printable Scenery to write and illustrate an article on how to paint their Maori pa palisade and buildings, using the ‘dry-brushing’ process.

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This is a fairly quick way of painting large lots of scenery. The results look good despite being somewhat ‘rough and ready’ to do. This technique is particularly useful for things like rough wood and thatch – perfect for a pa, in other words!

See the full article here.

And here’s a little video of the fully painted pa:

Video #3dprintable #Maori pa printed on #makerbot for #wargamesterrain #wargames www.printablescenery.com

A post shared by Printable Scenery.com (@printablescenery) on

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Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Empress Miniatures, Terrain