“Standard Falls” Shanty Town: Pt1

The vulture model to sit on the sign is in the post.

I warbled about getting my post apocalyptic town ready for gaming with just over a year ago.  The setting and my conceptual plan are loosely detailed in that post.

I finally got around to working on the town itself over the last few weeks, only one year later than I intended… Continue reading

Fort Grayskull Part 6 (Final)

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

1/4 of the finished Fort ready for some Gorkamorka.

With Fort Grayskull finally finished I thought that I would put up shots of the finished elements.  The photos could be better (there is a bit of fish eye going on because I forgot to change the macro setting on the camera), but they should illustrate adequately. Continue reading

Fort Grayskull Part 5

Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The last thing that I needed to do to finish the project was to add doors to the gates. Continue reading

Fort Grayskull Part 4

Continued from parts 1, 2 and 3.

After the quite time consuming process of sticking all of that stuff to the castle sections the last time, I set about painting them.

Anything made from silver plastic (the Hexagon stuff and the sprues) just got a load of black emulsion paint slopped onto it which I then wiped with a rag, removing most of the paint from everywhere but the recesses.  Anything else that was showing its original colour was then simply painted black.

It was at this point that I first realised how Masters of the Universe the whole project had become.  Regardless of how desirable or not that was it was too late to worry about that at that stage though.  Main priority: get it finished.  All other considerations secondary.

Some drybrushing of metallic areas was next followed by a big dirty wash of brown/black mix over the metallic bits and some of the red areas.

By this stage in the process I wanted to add just a little bit more junk and other stuff to the tower parts.  I couldnt face it though.  My enthusiasm for the project was waning and I decided that I would rather get it finished to the standard that it was currently at than get bogged down on more detailing.  If I still think that the towers are a little too bare once the whole thing is finished I can go back and do some more work on it at a later date.  Maybe.

Note the layout of the components in a city wall configuration. I hope to use that layout in a few scenarios in the future.

The next step Continue reading

Fort Grayskull Part 3

Parts 1 and 2.

After the previous days extended session, the following day I was lucky enough to have nothing terribly grown up to attend to (the first time for ages).  So I settled down for a nice long glue filled afternoon stint. Continue reading

Fort Grayskull Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

I am going to attempt to give some post-apocalyptic va-va-voom to toy castle components that look like those above.  Left to right is a tower, a wall, another tower and a gate section.   In total I have four gate sections, twelve wall sections and sixteen towers.

All of the pieces are made from expanded, beaded polystyrene and so are very light, but unsuitable for spray painting, which will melt that material.

As noted earlier, the parts were hand painted with a mix of black emulsion (latex) paint and some filler back in the mid 1990s.

The first step in 2011 was to decide what colour to hand paint the castle.  I didn’t want a pedestrian and realistic brownish grey as I wanted to remove the the look of the finished product from that of a real castle as much as practically possible.

Blues, greens, purples and the like would give a finish that looks a bit too fantasy for my tastes, a bit too concept album cover, a bit too “Heavy Metal”.

I considered a yellowish/brown but the board that I play on is black with a drybrush of Raw Sienna so I feared that the castle would blend in too much if it was the same or similar colour.  I also wanted to crudely “weather” the bottom of the castle walls with the game board colour once the fort was complete.  That wouldn’t work if it was the same colour to start with.

So after some indecision and in a weird bit of parallel evolution with the foam rocks that I chopped up and sprayed on the same day, I decided to go for a red oxide colour.  This rust like colour fit with some of the notions and references that I had in mind with a large amount of rusty scrap and wreckage materials involved in the forts imaginary construction.  I hope that it works out, but at this point it is too early to know for sure.

Therefore I overbrushed the whole thirty two sections with a Red Oxide acrylic.  I then mixed the red oxide with a little emulsion off white and drybrushed some of the upper areas a little, just to give a small bit of contrast.

I had trouble taking photos that show the colour properly.  Indoor, night time and artificial lighting made the whole thing look a lot more orange than it does in reality Im afraid.  Therefore the work in progress shots are all going to look a bit off.  Hopefully I will be able to get some halfway decent shots in once it is complete.

At this stage I took the cloth off the table and set up one quarter of the fort on the gaming surface, just out of curiosity to see how it looked against it.

The colour doesn’t look brilliant with the table I think, but I think that it is within acceptable parameters (plus it’s a crappy washed out photo).

Not that I had any choice at that stage: I was unwilling to to repaint the whole thing yet again.  The emphasis here had to be to finish a project that had been in various half finished states for years, by hook or by crook.

The look of the final model will hopefully be quite different anyway, between a wash or two here and there and the addition of some other elements to break up the redness.  Fingers crossed.

Also at this stage I set up all thirty two castle pieces as a perimeter wall with bastion.  I did this mainly because I think it looks cool and I wanted to see what it looked like now that it was brownish red.  If nothing else it should give readers an idea of the area that the fort occupies.  Due to the number of towers it reminds me a little of a shot from the Assassins Creed video game.

The table that the model sits on is 4 x 8’.  Also bear in mind that the little grey thing in the foreground is an EM4 plastic trooper.  Fully assembled the fort occupies approx 3 x 3’, which is quite big in gaming terms (as an aside I tend to think in terms of imperial measurement when looking at gaming tables and metric for everything else.  That’s Warhammers fault).

That was quite enough terrain work for one Saturday afternoon (as I made the foam rocks that day too) so I went to bed.

To be continued.

Fort Grayskull Part 1

I bought a toy castle in 1995 or so because I thought that it would be suitable for use in 28mm gaming.  I liked both its modular nature and its low price so much that I then went back and bought three more castles, just so that I could make one huge castle at some indeterminate point in the future.

Then like many other projects the castle then got moved to the back burner for some forgotten reason.  Since then it was dug out of storage twice.  In 1998 the entire thing had a coat of textured paint and some minor structural work done to it.  It then sat in a box until 2001 when I decided that I wanted to turn it into a pulp sci-fi space castle.  Progress on that was limited to an evening or two sticking somewhat unconvincing leftover kit parts to castle sections while a friend sculpted a face over one of the windows.  And that was as far as I got with that.

Fast forward through a decade of reality TV and iPods right up to fully socially networked 2011.

I wanted a post-apocalyptic type fort for a Mad Max/Gorkamorka style gaming weekend that I am planning in the summer.  Rather than try to build one from scratch (which would take ages and which I really just don’t have the patience for these days) I decided to post-apocalyptify my castle.

Some of the main influences were Mad Max II: The Road Warrior, the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials and a bit of Masters of the Universe thrown in too.  Additionally these images from the GW Gorkamorka rules were in the back of my mind most of the time.

Disclaimer: There is no getting away from the fact that the model is a medieval castle and that it will look like a castle in the end, one way or another.  The amount of work required to remove all trace of the models castle-y nature would be huge and probably better spent building something from scratch, which I don’t have the time or patience for these days.  If that compromise of is something that will bother your aesthetic sensibilities, then I politely suggest that you don’t read any further 😛

On the other hand if compromising with available materials in order to get something amusing and functional ready for use with your toy soldiers in a reasonable timeframe appeals, then maybe you might enjoy seeing how this project goes.

This post is already too long, so I will include a shot of the entire thing as it stood at the start of the project.

To be continued soon.  Some zombies next if I can get suitable weather conditions for photos.

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