Friday, July 29, 2011

Dwarf bagpiper painted

Finally worked on the dwarf bagpiper I got from Reaper. I enjoyed the sculpting but the drag is it is way bigger then the 28mm that I'm painting. I wanted to draft him into my Celtos warband for the Gaels/Irish don't have a piper, and why is a big oversight for the Gaels three instruments are the bodhran (small hand drum), harp, and the bagpipe.
     In the future my plans are to make Clare's Regiment (Wild Geese) in the Service of France. This infamous company had three generations of the O'Brien family as its commanders. A big problem is cannibalizing some figures to make a piper, for the Irish Brigade went into battle under the skirl of the bagpipes.
     My biggest problem in painting are the eyes. I just can't do the eyes yet. Read on one blog about using an artist mechanical pen to make the eyes. There isn't an art or drafting store nearby so I got an extra fine at Staples. Although one can make a small dot the blogger didn't mention the problems some figures might have with sunken eyes so the pen hits above & below the eye socket.
As for this figure, it shall just sit on my desktop computer tower.

Well my painting is getting better! Several visitors tipped the following:
  • to dilute the paint.
  • Layer with washes starting with darkest color and going lighter each wash. (Tried this and it worked very well, but . . . I don't have a wide variety of paint colors and this limits things. Yes I've tried using black and white to dilute the colors, and just not having a good experience with this.)
  • Dry brushing is getting better, SOMETIMES, such as with the piper's cape & hair.
Painted the bagpipe to look like mine, where the white is bagpipes used to use ivory. Today, such as mine, imitation ivory plastic is used since to use and have ivory now is illegal. Those who are really good piper's, have sterling silver replacing the ivory. Just noticed a small glitch which I shall correct. Forgot to paint black holes a top the pipe's. (The poor piper is going to huff & puff with no sound [although some would appreciate this lack of musical sound].)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Celtos type of new game

     One of the tribes in my Gaelic/Celtos game that I'm creating are the Dwarves. In the original Celtos game the Dwarves are called "Vanir" out of Norse myth. The reason I'm not using the Celtos figures is 1) the cost, and 2) the difficulty is getting them. In the U.S. they do have a distributor but the California company has a problem with supply; they order a $30 restocking order and are charged $100 shipping with DHL. I could go to the makers and suppliers in England, but the cost of shipping and currency change for me is costly too. So I'm going with the basic idea of Celtos of various tribes warring for control of an imaginary island. Celtos' tribes are Humans/Gaels, Dwarves/Vanir, Elves/Sidhe, Undead-skeletons/Firbolgs, Beastmen/Fomorians. My new son-in-law, Alex, is a big time gamer and is writing the play rules, I'm providing the history. Included in the storyline will be encounters with the top ten scary things relating to Ireland: Banshees, ghosts, spirits, beheaded horseman, pookas/goblins, and vampires, etc. Also will have a story on the inauguration of the Gael king/chief, an enchanted forest, dolmens and standing stones. Each tribe will have a wizard/shaman/druid, as well as mounted troops of which the Gaels will have war-chariots, the Elves ride eagles and Goblins ride wolves. 
     This of course will be a skirmish game, and I'm making it an adult family game for my three grown kids and their spouses.
     So I need the game accessories  to be moveable, being played on the floor for nobody has a table big enough. Each of the tribes is having a home base: Gaels have a ring-fort, Sidhe (Gaelic for fairy/elves) I'm making tree houses, Dwarves have a mountain type mine, the barbarians have Aframe huts, and the goblins will have roundish huts, and the Skeletons earth mounds. This is what I have so far.

Mountain mine: home base for Dwarves.
      Making the Dwarf home base wasn't hard. I found in the garbage at my wife's work a styrofoam packing end for printer toner cartridge. All I did was cut an entrance and paste with Elmer's Glue varies broken pieces of styrofoam, The only carving I did was making a stair case. Then painted by washing with gray paint and then outlinning the pieces in charcol gray. Still need to do a lot of touchup on white spots. The enterance for me is reminescent of in the first "Lord of the Kings" movie when the band entered the mountain of moria. Would be nice to paint runes on pillars. Top is suppose to be a ruined outpost.
      I've painted so far the Gaels, Dwarves, and Barbarians. Saving now for the Elves. I searched a database of the Dark Heaven figures made by Reaper for I find their figures really nice. But when I matched one that I ordered with my Dwarf figures by Red Box, I found a great discrepancy in size. I'm working my game to be in the 28mm range and the Reaper figures are in the 32-35mm range; way to big as one can see in the accompanying photo. Many of the Reaper figures where great to have a female war-band for each tribe making it possible for couples to have a tribe together. Now I'm having to rethink the scenarios for Red Box doesn't have enough female models to make up a war-band of twelve (ten warriors, a standard-bearer, and musician). Going through Reaper, there were enough female figures to have a female war-band of Dwarves, Elves, and Humans.

(left) Red Box dwarf : (right) Reaper Dark Heaven dwarf.
Red Box Dwarves. Waiting on three that are backordered.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Painting: round two

I've painted a new set of Irish miniatures for my village.  Did a little better on dry brushing, and one comment was that the flesh tone wasn't right and to try wet-washing with some brown, which I did and it does seem better. However, my eyes still are very bad.

How to: Make Celtic ring-fort

Having a limited budget purchasing a fancy Celtic ring-fort from the various manufacturers is out of the question, so I went about making one of my own. First I needed to make one that could be taken apart after it's use and stored away.
     I drove around to several constructions sites and found in the dumpsters thrown away styrofoam, lots of it in big sizes. There are many different types of the foam material. The majority of the one I found has little pellets welded together and the pellets can be of various sizes. Once of the things I found about it was that with clever painting the pellets could be used as rocks or masonry.
     I found around the house round objects I could use to trace around. I traced three circles on the foam and then cut them out. In hind sight I should have cut farther away from tracing lines, then cut each layer beveled, tapering to the palisade walls.


Cutting the foam is very messy, remember to cleanup the mess, don't leave it around for someone else to cleanup (say one's wife).

I then used Elmer's tacky glue to adhere the three circles on top of each other.Make sure the glue used is safe for styrofoam, many glues will melt the foam. I then cut the circle into three sections and cut two small holes for magnets (make sure the polarities are right).


I then painted the bottom two levels a dark brown for earth, and the top layer gray for rocks. I went to the market and purchased a pack of 50 bamboo skewers for cooking for $2.25 USD. It took three packs to form around the top of the rings to be used for palisades, I used about a third of the length of the stick.The bamboo I could stick into the foam, later I glued them into place for added strength.

I then went to the hobby store and bought a box of 1000 Popsicle sticks, cut off the round ends and glued them down behind the palisades as a catwalk. Using brown paint wash over the palisade walls and walk ways. Don't worry if the painting isn't even. The left over bamboo and sticks can be used for other projects. Using left over plastic canvas from the round hut project, I cut off a couple lengths to look like ladders, and painted a different brown color.

Last step is covering the earth area of the ringfort with a water/glue dilution and use pre-painted sawdust, sand, or real dirt, and sprinkle over area liberally. Turn upside down and lightly shake off excess, then spay over with like solution to make shure it sticks. (I haven't done this yet.)  
Using the left over bamboo and Popsicle sticks, balsa wood and broom bristles from the round hut project, I built a guard tower over the enterance of the fort. Still deciding how to make a gate.