24 Nov 2013

Meet the mechanic!

 Hey guys,

second of the Ramshackle games' resin miniatures I won (well, I did won them!) from Johnny at the Brains and Guts. This time a chick climbing a barrel. For some reason. With a wrench. Half naked - or so she was, because I've decided to give her a decent pair of pants.

When I saw her, I wanted to make a sort of a pin up girl / mechanic (she has a wrench after all) for mechas or whatever in WWW II setting...or something. I wanted to sculpt her a nice sidecap, but I've noticed she has goggles on her head and there was no way I could sculpt a head in a way to make it all make sense. I might mention I was apparently exaggerating again, because I forgot to paint said goggles! (still haven't fixed it, but I will, honestly!).

She is another miscast and has one single air bubble but was perfect otherwise. Perhaps a bit too muscular for my taste, but knowing how hard sculpting is, I've grown to admire every attempt where finished product at least resembles what it is supposed to resemble (not that this one is that bad, though!)

I've given her greenish-greyish-khaki colours, which I felt had the right "W WW2" feel. Apart from slotta base, the junk basing was already on the miniature.

What I need now is a stroke of motivation so I could start building a mecha she could drive. I loads of spare 15mm STUG guns, which could represent some kind of small calibre automatic guns...hmm...

Well, that's it for today, thanks for looking!


18 Nov 2013

Ramshackle's flamethrower-guy!

Hey guys,

I've finally managed to finish painting something again! As promised, it was the three miniatures Johnny from Brains and guts has sent me.  I can't get rid of the feeling they're only half-done, but I've really taken my time with them. I think I need to get some new paints because the ones I got were mostly bought for Flames of War and eventually are all the same. I've grown in a big independent gamer/painter/hobby-guy and I'm not afraid of mixing my colours, so having 3 shades of same colour limits my palette a bit. If only I'd learn how to highlight properly, so all those shades wouldn't go to waste!

Anyways, I've decided to make them three separate entries, I'm struggling to put anything out lately, so this will buy me some time. Plus, the other two were painted with a bit of a WWWII in mind, so they can be put in broader Strange Aeons category...or something!

So, the miniatures were a prize, they're resin Ramshackle games miniatures and Johnny's random pick has fantastically picked three miniatures I could actually use in a way. They're all miscasts I believe, so they had some bubbles here and there, but are otherwise quite perfect. I was daunted by all the little details they  have and in attempt to bring them all up, I think I've used too many different colours. You can see how silly it came out on this guy...I am really not satisfied with the blue robe, but I wanted him bright.

 Below you can see an air bubble in his spine-toxic-something. I didn't really bother filling them up, I've wanted to make this appear broken, but I couldn't find a way to do it, so I just painted it as those above.

To be honest, this one is the one I can't really put in any setting I play, but giving his home made flamethrower (which is of a great design, just look at that pipe :D), he will be great for most periods odd mutant burning things with an improvised weapon that might as well burn him up. Now that I think of it, he should really be black, grey and red, making him look like an evil cultist and not a homeless clown. How do you strip resin, now? :D

In other hobby related stuff, I am having huge problems (yes, I do complain a lot in general). I had great spike of enthusiasm and wanted to do something hobby related yesterday, but ended gluing 3 miniatures together. I have so many plans and ideas I get nothing done in the end. I've decided to just keep it simple and paint and glue what I have to paint and glue...as much as I'd like to start working on that board of mine, I figured I should do that next year, if the job situation won't improve by then.

Well, apologies for the subtle rant and thanks for looking, more to follow!


11 Nov 2013

The three bridges board - part one

as I'm still painting my miniatures, I needed something else to post. I got some nice old photos for you, and by making a post about it, board is now officially a project! As I've mentioned it, I was thinking about this board a while ago, during summer. And that is when I went around to collect all those great photos of the place as it looked like from around 1990-1935ish.  This is when Strange Aeons takes place so this is what I wanted.  What I was trying to do was build a board (I am all jelly seeing Clint work on his boards all the time!), that would support my currently favorite game, so Strange Aeons, wouldn't have to bee too modular and could be used at the limited number of shows we do. So, having something as iconic as the three bridges (or the triple bridge if you prefer to call it that way) would be ace. Then, what we'd need are some young slovenes and a bad guy. For a bad guy, I need to make a profile for a so-called Povodni mož -  the (under)Water man. Unfortunately I can't find an english translation of this poem, but France Prešeren (remember this guy, he will be mentioned in this post again) has wrote a poem about a beautiful slovene lady, that was admired by every man and equally despised by every woman in Ljubljana. Long story short, she wouldn't dance with anyone on a party, because nobody was good enough for her - except for this great man, whom she ended up dancing with. He was the Water man turned in a gentleman and he literally danced away with her into the river - never to be seen again. So...who wouldn't want to play a scenario where bunch of brave hearts are saving an arrogant missus, right?

Here is an awesome photo of the bridges by some guy. The photo was found here, to make sure everybody knows it is not mine.

Before Jože Plečnik, an architech that has designed most of what is worth admiring in Ljubljana (and Prague and Vienna) buil what we know as the three bridges, there was only one bridge at that spot. You can see it in the pictures (and photos) below. Tramway was operating since 1901 and bridge was rebuilt in 1930, so we can assume those photos fit in that time span. There is a small square with a church and monument to previously mentioned poet. Monument has him standing and there's a muse above him. He was desperately in love with a girl twice his age that never really liked him.  The monument has bunch of profiles built around it, but more on that once I'd set to build something like it.

Photo below says "Ljubljana, (virgin) Mary's square - Monument to Prešeren". You can see the river bank is not regulated, but that was changed at the time the brides were built. It's all concrete now and there's a dam regulating the flow further ahead. The square is now covered in cobbles.

 Below is a same bridge, right after an earthquake in 1895 - so no Tramway yet at that time. The side of the river that doesn't have the monument (to help you with visualisation) has an old city centre and is clumped around a little hill with a castle sitting on top of it.
 Another photo of the square, this time overlooking the monument and a church. This church is now pink for some reason.

The caption below says "Ljubljana - Mary's square with a franciscan bridge", named after the church. Bridge was known by other names as well. Postcards (yes, that is where the pictures are from mostly) with german text are certainly older than 1918, as Ljubljana was part of Austro-Hungarian empire at that time.

And below are the pictures showing the other side:

And some after the three bridges were built:
 Oh, here you can even see Ljubljana's first skyscraper, now cleverly known as a "skyscraper". There's a caffee on top but I honestly don't know if it's open or not - I think it was reopened few years back, but most of the time it was closed because of its...convenience to make the last jump. It was finished in 1933 and now I'm thinking about how cool it would be to make a board resembling that caffee - who wouldn't want to fight in a cafee, overlooking the city? :O

 And few shots of a tram...not counting my modeling skills, a tram would be a must!
 There are photos of new and old kind of tram. There were probably other versions, too. The last photo shows 1933 tram, so this is what I'll be after...but I honestly can't remember when the carriages were changed.

Caption says "old tramway carriage"
 And here it is in a museum. For some reason, I've read taking photos of this tram are forbidden. But that might as well be old information, we're in 2013, after all -.-

 I haven't done any measurements yet, but the idea is, a bit less than half of the board (by lenght) would be reserved for a square. It would have some facades, wide enough for miniatures to stand on (perhaps a scaffolding on one of them) and certainly a monument - because it looks cool. It would also need a tram carriage, but as long as it looks old and it's painted red, I wouldn't be bothered by realism too much.  The rest of the board would be occupied by bridges and smaller part by the other bank. Now, I am not sure what to do about the bridges. There certainly have to be 3 of them, because that's whole point of the board. The board has to scream familiarity. I was thinking about making two bridges - main bridge and one foot bridge, with third only being half built...to make it more interesting - any opinions on that? The river was dry (I thought I had some photos of that too) at the time the bridges were built, as its basing was being strengthened by concrete, so water would be great. Plus it looks nice. Perhaps a little boat or sometihng, too.

This is all just thoughts for now, I already have a hardwood board (2x3 feet), but I have to go buy an insulation foam that I will use as a core. Once that is done, I will be thinking further on, as I'll have better idea of the space left on the board. I might ditch the buildings all together, as even front facade would use up a lot of space.

Feel free to share the ideas or thoughts!

Completely unrelated, but if anyone is interested, here are some photos of World War 2 border in a village that is now part of Ljubljana. As Slovenia was divided between the occupying forces, this is how border between Italy and Germany looked like at that time. Conveniently, my mother's family lived near by!

Well, that was another post with whole lot of ideas but nothing actually done, but you can't say there isn't lot of nice pictures to admire!

Thanks for looking,

4 Nov 2013

WIP...with photos!

Hey guys!

Can't say I've done much since last post, but I have decided to take some photos to brighten this place up a bit.

The friday's gaming night went well. One guy was really interested in trying Strange Aeons and we managed to squeeze quite a lot of games in - I think around 7 or so. At first, he kept winning without any trouble, but by the end, one of his guys died (and after he put the same miniature in the list, he died again :D). Apart from that Infinity and Flames of war (early war) were played. I came home with those *great* ideas for new projects:
- SA board with Ljubljana's three bridges - it is an old idea, but I should really start working on it, so I can occupy myself. It is rainy outside and I'll go mental if I don't start working on something large-ish.

The idea is to divide a board with (downscaled) three bridges. Originally, there was only one, but other two were added in 1930, roughly when SA takes place. I had various ideas regarding this board, but I should draw some plans and then make a whole post about it :P.

- I like how Infinity plays, but I don't really like the sculpts. Or the prices. So I was thinking about getting something similar to get in a game, as a side project and that's very low priority.

- FOW EW. I haven't played game in a while now, but seeing Finish ski guerilla company, I instantly figured making partisan army that could be played by those rules would be a great project. The army has special ambush rules that would really fit the whole idea of partisans. As an all-infantry list, it wouldn't be competitive, but hey, I don't remember the last time I won anything! :D

 Apart from thinking, I've done some actual doings, too. Here is what I'm painting at the moment:

 It is the three Ramshackle games miniatures I got from Johnny. As crude as they might seem, I actually found out they're full of details. First from the left is an overly muscular female. I wanted to sculpt her a side cap, to make her a mecha pilot or mechanic or whatever - she will still fit that role, but as she has googles on top of her head, I've decided to only sculpt her trousers (she has some sort of short pants originally). I have no idea what exactly to do with second guy, but he has a flamethrower and he doesn't really resemble anything particular, so he can easily be a secret weapon of a sort. Third guy is my favorite and I'm certainly using him for Blasphemous construct in my planned W WW2 SA games. His shield and armguard (plus the engine backpack thingie) have all been given the "germanic" black-white-red palette, to make him fit in with the planned window covers in a planned Wolfenstein  castle I will probably never make :P.

I haven't been sculpting a lot lately, but I have made considerable progress since I've last shown any of my work.

Do remember some of the things you'll see were made multiple times, so all together I was working on them much more than it shows :P.

Here is my sculpting "table", so, the chopping block.
 A RGW-90 to-be.  It is a disposable rocket launcher, also called MATADOR. It is primarily used to blow bunkers, doors and other fortified positions, but can be used against armoured vehicles. I had one at about this stage but I scraped it. It is a bit crude for now, but I'm working my way forward :).
 The rifles! Just check all the progress I've had on those. I don't like the "left arm grip" and neither I like the upper part (above the grip but bellow the rail-to-be). I am  quiet proud of using a thin wire to support my rail superstructure, however. I might just cut the front grip and redo it at a later date.
That is a GL on the left gun.
 Minimi's stock. As I keep repeating, I've had this one finished at least 3-4 times,  here I'm trying it different way again. if this all collapses again, I'll just fill in the space between the wires and it should save me lots of trouble.
 Lastly, the bunch of heads. I am working over Ebob's modern Chinese I think. I am working on the helmets for couple of months now, and our army has already bought a new model, ha! It doesn't really matter at this scale, plus Ebob's helmets are closer to what we use now.

I have decided to go for a variety of covers as they're used with the old uniform - I still don't know what the covers will look like on the new, if there will be any at all!

First has multiple strips that allow you to tuck in grass and other vegetation as much as your heart desires. This is my favorite as it has more "going on". It doesn't look that bad in person, either.

 Second is the "old pattern", with only two lines. This is the one that our desert camouflage is printed on, too, so for Afghanistan and Iraq, this one would be the "right one", but again, the main purpose is variety.

 Third is same as the second, but with goggles. It doesn't show too well on picture, but I'm hoping they are semi-decent. The chances are, however, I might just cut it all and start redoing it.
 Lastly a "special forces" helmet, but also used by other troops. I am quite sure it is just the new helmet and they had it in testing before it was officially chosen as the new helmet. It will have no cover (they're just spraypainted sand over original green). It needs some more putty up front and some more piling around the sides. Then I will put rails on it, which could be used for attaching lights, cameras and such.

I have decided I will make the Special forces pack first as all the ad-ons will make them not only suitable (and accurate) for moderns, but also for any low-tech sci-fi, as gun itself is quite futuristic looking.

Oh, on the private life front, I'm also growing my Mo, but being a blonde and gifted with little to razor, there's nothing I can show that would be seen on photos on day 4 :D.

Thanks for looking and feel free to comment away!