Something quick and silly to break the month-long dry spell in posting!
On our local Blood Bowl league’s Facebook page one of the guys made a joke about “Necromancer Beer – one taste will revive you” and while I was waiting for dinner to finish I fired Inkscape up and cranked out the following bit of fluff.
This is the same height as a number of other BB sideline ads already floating around the internet, so should mix nicely with them.
Enjoy, and if you do use this, please send me photos of your pitchside scenery with the Necromancer Beer banner on it!
A month between posts… I managed more updates that that from a hotel room in far northern Alberta while working 70 hour weeks!
I have been doing modelling and gaming stuff, honest! We had a great game of Mud & Blood-powered Russian Civil War action a couple weeks ago, I’ve had a number of good Blood Bowl games and I’ve got some good projects underway, but since getting back to civilization as I usually understand it I basically haven’t touched the blog.
So what have I been doing?
The two 28mm lasercut brick buildings I bought from Impudent Mortal are ticking along, just the roofs to finish. I promised a proper review post for them and it’s coming, really!
My first 15mm science fiction order in about a decade (!) came in from Ground Zero Games. Very, very nice powered armour infantry, some drones, and a few other bits and pieces. They’re cleaned, assembled and primed and will be the next project on the table after the buildings and goblins are done.
Goblins? What? I’ve got an order of Reaper’s very useful and inexpensive Bones plastic figures in, and am converting a bunch of them for Blood Bowl, principally to start a Goblin team for BB. Just so this post isn’t entirely apologetic verbiage, here’s a closeup snap of a couple of the Bones figures in progress!
The unpainted white troll on the left is the most extensive conversion so far. It’s a Marsh Troll with his club cut off, both arms cut and re-posed, and one leg cut and pulled in to move his feet closer together. He’s on a 40mm base with his toes hanging over both sides, and that’s really as large a base as I want on a BB pitch. Greenstuff shoulder armour disguises the re-posing surgery scars, and since this photo he’s gotten a couple of straps across his chest and some other details here and there.
The orange troll is a Cave Troll. He comes empty handed so his only conversions so far is some elbow and shoulder pads and a cut-down base. 30mm slotta base under him.
The black minotaur isn’t currently slated to join any specific team; I’ll use him as a Star Player proxy for now. Simple conversion, just weapon snips from each hand and a cut-down base.
There’s ten goblin linemen (line-gobs?) on the right, all from either the Bones Pathfinder Warriors or Pathfinder Pyros sets. I also ordered several of the Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter figures for converting but haven’t started on them yet. The line-gobs are all simple conversions, mostly weapon snips and cutting the bases down. Here and there I cut and re-glued an arm or hand, and I cut a few details off some figures to prevent having exact duplicates on the pitch, nicked a few ears, that sort of thing.
The Bones material is really easy to work with, it cuts cleanly and bonds wonderfully with superglue. It can’t really be sanded or filed, though, which makes getting rid of moulding lines and details a bit of a pain sometimes. Still, for the silly cheap prices it can’t be beat, especially if you’re looking for fodder for conversion projects like Blood Bowl teams!
The LED tea light candle I started sculpting into a burning altar piece has been seen in previousrecentposts on my sculpting adventures. Over on one of the Facebook-based gaming groups I frequent someone had asked for closeups of the sculpting of the altar, especially the growing population of skulls decorating the thing.
Most of the skulls have been added as a second layer after the putty forming the stonework is already dry, although some of them have been done right onto the base layer of putty. Given this little project’s orgins as a way to use up leftover putty, some of them are greenstuff but most are terracotta Milliput, which is currently my primary sculpting medium.
I’ll get photos of the treemen and other in-progress sculpting projects up later this week.
They have hands! Well, hands are in progress, in any rate. I used thin wire superglued to the forearm or wrist of each figure, then built the fingers and wrists up by looping and folding the wire. Very thin strips of greenstuff after that, then some detailing and additional very thin bits of greenstuff.
Above, the larger treeman has the first coat of putty on his hands, while the shorter one has wires glued to his wrists waiting to be formed into hands.
The altar that started life as a way to use up leftover putty has taken on a life of it’s own, as projects tend to. I’ve been practicing the fine art of sculpting skulls on it.
I’ve started doing the heads and faces on both treemen, in Milliput because I’m still happier working in that than in greenstuff. Shorter treeman has also had his fingers and hands formed from wire, but no greenstuff yet.
You can also see my three primary sculpting tools here. The all-metal one is from the Army Painter sculpting tools set; it has a bent paddle sort of shape on one end and a spear blade sort of thing on the other. The pale wood handle is an embossing tool, usually used by scrapbookers and other crafty sorts but very useful for sculpting. It has a small round knob on each end, perfect for eye sockets in skulls, rounded grooves in things and similar shaping. The final tool is a homemade one, using the handle of a dead paintbrush and two bits of paperclip wire. One end is bent into a sort of hook, the other just has a gentle bend in it.
Final photo for now from just this morning. The heads and faces on both treemen are progressing, although they both have a fair way to go before I’ll consider them complete. The amusement of sculpting skulls has taken over the altar. I haven’t counted yet but there have to be at least a dozen+ skulls on the thing now…
A gallery post of work-in-progress cellphone photos from Project Hotelroom Treemen!
Many of these were taken late at night under a desk lamp and they’re all cellphone pics, so quality is… variable. They’re still a decent record of the progress of the hotel room projects to date, so enjoy.
I’m away from home in northern Alberta for four to six weeks helping run a field project for the company I work for. It’s hard but fascinating work with long hours and we’re living in a hotel suite for the duration.
I’ve brought figures and paint on previous field assignments, but the lighting in most hotel rooms is terrible so I’ve never painted much.
I couldn’t take the thought of not having some creative outlet, though, so this time I packed putty, sculpting tools and some other supplies and resolved to use the time to practice the dark art of converting putty, wire, and bad language into usable figures. Specifically, I decided to start with a couple of treemen to use on the Bloodbowl pitch.
Why treemen? I’ve seen a lot of treeman figures out there I didn’t like for various reasons, so I wanted to try my hand at a treeman that satisfied me, and also because the exact details and proportions of something like a treeman are less fixed than a human or similar humanoid would be.
Just by way of a teaser, here’s where Project Hotelroom Treeman started!
A washer, paperclip wire, scrap paper, and superglue. Everything has to start somewhere!
Looking to assemble unique teams for Blood Bowl without spending a lot of money, I’ve been poking around the Reaper Bones collection – Reaper’s relatively new collection of injection-molded figures in a relatively soft plastic.
I ordered a couple of figures from my FLGS that seemed usable in Blood Bowl, just to check them out. I got an Ogre Chieftain, a Minotaur, and a Spirit of the Forest, intending to remove the weapons (in the case of the minotaur & ogre, at least) and use them as, respectively, an orge, minotaur and treeman in BB teams.
I’ll talk more about all three figures in future posts, but first I have to say that Reaper’s online customer service is awesome. I bought the figures Thursday and realized that evening that the Spirit of the Forest had been packed with two right arms. Friday I confirmed on the Reaper website that the Spirit is indeed supposed to actually have both a left and right arm and sent a short email off to Reaper customer service that Friday evening.
Monday morning first thing I had a short email from Reaper asking for a shipping address so they could send a replacement left arm; I replied around mid-day and that afternoon got another email saying my part would be packaged and shipped soon. Wednesday morning I got a notice (with tracking number) saying my package had left Reaper.
I’d always heard Reaper had good customer service, but because I can order Reaper figures through Curious Comics & Games here in town had never had any reason to deal directly with them. I’m happy to say the rumours are entirely true, and I’m looking forward to getting the replacement part for my Spirit of the Forest soon!
Finally getting paint onto all the Blood Bowl sideline buildings, which means it’s worth pointing a camera at them again – neither bare pink styrofoam nor black primered styrofoam are really all that photogenic.
For scale reference, the figure on the black base in the centre of the photo is an Impact Crocling (Skink) on a 25mm slottabase.
Left to right along the back row, we have the finished scoreboard/scatter temple, the Visitors dugout, then the Home (Crocodile) dugout. Front left corner is the dice tower, and next to the tower is the dice catch basin/ceremonial pool that attaches to the front of the dice tower.
Quite a bit of stuff still to do – all the buildings need black washes here and there to tone the colours down and weather some of the stone back down where the drybrushing has gotten too bright, then I need to do at least one pass of much lighter drybrushing with a paler/brighter stone colour to pop the edges and textures a bit.
I’ve already mentioned the magnets to keep the dice tower and it’s catch basin/pool together while they’re in use, and the Home team dugout also has a pair of simple croc-head statues underway to go at the front corners of the centre dugout area, where you can still see unpainted pink foam.
I also need to figure out what symbols to put in the large blank circles in five of the six dugout areas. Blood Bowl’s dugouts are Reserve/Knocked Out/Casualty (RES/KO/CAS) and aside from the obvious skull for CAS I’m not sure what to put for the other two areas. Anyone got any bright ideas or inspiration there? If you do, please comment below, I’d love some help…
It’s been a quiet stretch here mostly because I was away from home for just over a week housesitting for a family member on the other side of town, but the Blood Bowl pitch setup has been progressing slowly.
I posted my stencil tests recently and have since finished the full set of field lines and a logo on the fabric pitch.
For the field lines, I used masking tape over the fabric to mask off the edges of each line. Because of the width of the tape I had, I wound up doing the outer lines of each endzone separately. The photo above has the centre line (Line of Scrimmage), wide zone and long edge lines masked off, as well as the inside edge of each end zone. After masking it off I sprayed along each line with white spraypaint, making two or three passes down each line.
The red crocodile head logo in the centre of the pitch I did differently. I laid out the image in the size I wanted in Inkscape on my computer, then printed it on a sheet of full-sheet label paper — the sort of paper where the entire sheet is one giant sticker. After printing it I used an Xacto to cut the stencil out, mostly freehand but using a small steel ruler where needed. Once cut I peeled the backing paper off and stuck the stencil down to the fabric.
You could do this step with ordinary printer paper (ideally a good quality slightly heavier-weight sheet) and secure it in place with masking tape around the edges, but I happen to have a stockpile of the full-sheet label paper around and it does work better than ordinary paper for things like the spirals in this stencil and some of the smaller details — see around the nostrils and eyes, for example.
After it was carefully pressed into place on the felt I loaded up a regular 1.5″ wide housepainter’s brush with red craft paint and went at the stencil in the classic Martha Stewart-approved way of painting a stencil without getting paint under the edges of it and ruining the outline, namely short vertical stabby strokes down onto the surface, working slowly and being careful not to disturb the stencil as you work. It works on Blood Bowl pitches just as well as it works on bedside tables or whatever crafty random thing Martha does!
After getting a reasonable layer of paint into the stencil I lifted it carefully off while the paint was still wet, to keep the stencil from getting stuck to the fabric. It came out very clean, no fuzzy edges or paint bleeding under, especially given it was painted onto fabric!
Later I went back and masked off the last field lines around the outer edges of the endzones, same tape-and-newsprint method I used on the main field lines.
If (when!) I do another fabric pitch, I’m going to seriously consider just doing all the field lines and other decorations with a brush instead of spraypaint; protecting the rest of the project (and the rest of the room!) from overspray is a massive pain when using spraypaint. All the masking seen in the first photos of this post took most of an hour to do, while the spraypainting itself only took a couple of minutes after the masking was complete. Brush painting stencils produce no overspray and don’t generally put the rest of the room at risk of being repainted…
The felt pitch is done at this point, except that I might eventually go back and add some colour to the endzone areas, or a team name across one or both endzones if I get really ambitious.
Work on the various sideline temples (last seen here) is also progressing, although taking pictures of black-primered buildings is fairly pointless so a proper progress report from that segment of the project will be a couple of days from now.
Still loads of things to finish on the project, but after doing the crocodile head logo in the centre of the pitch this evening I just had to lay everything out on the dining room table and see it all together for the first time!
The pitch still needs white field lines at both endzones, as well as possible decoration in the end zones – I’m thinking of doing a coloured background in each endzone, probably red at one end and blue in the other. I might also do the name of my Lizardman team, the Saltwater Slaughter, across the endzones as you see in a lot of American football fields, “Saltwater” across one endzone and “Slaughter” across the other.
Left to right behind the pitch, there’s the newest dugout/tracker temple, still bare styrofoam with decoration just barely started. Next to the right is the dice tower temple, which has been basecoated and still needs more paint. The plan is to have rare earth magnets built in to hold the temple itself and the sacred pool/dice catch tray in front of it together when it’s in use, so that’ll be some putty work to get the magnets mounted.
The scoreboard temple next is basically complete, except that I’m modifying the centre socket above the stairs with the scatter diagram so it holds the weather indicator cube more securely.
Finally on the far right is the first of the dugout temples, which still needs decoration and detailing on the roof but at least is partially painted on the rest of the building.
Much done and much left to do, but it’s nice to see it all set up!