A handful of links I thought were worth sharing this week.
Historical Enterprises, Inc are a historical reenactors garb/costuming company with all sorts of great articles on their website. If you need plausible colours for your Medieval, Renaissance, ECW, etc figures, this article on fabric, dyes, and colours is based on practice up to the 14th or 15th C but almost certainly applicable before and after that.
John Bond created a great looking pond from teddy bear fur. I’d never considered using fake fur for water features, but it looks pretty good!
I’m considering creating an imaginary English shire to set my ongoing English Civil War project in. There’s a long tradition of “imagi-nations” in wargaming, especially Seven Year’s War or Napoleonic gaming, so an imagi-shire seems like a reasonable thing! In that vein, I found a couple of English place/village name generators to help populate an imagi-shire with plausible-sounding names; The English Village Name Generator and English Place Names Generator being two among many!
A semi-random collection of links that have caught my eye recently!
Swamp grass from cheap paintbrushes via Rob Hawkin’s awesome blog. Hmm, I just picked up a 5-pack of Home Depot paintbrushes that look exactly like the one he uses in his tutorial, and I’m planning some stream/swamp sections! Lots of other good stuff on Mr. Hawkin’s blog, it’s well worth rummaging through his archive.
The crowded English Civil War – Royalist & Parliamentary garrisons in a 14 mile by 14 mile area of the West Midlands! I looked a few of these locations up on Google Maps – it’s mostly the suburban/semi-urban sprawl and absorbed villages on the edges of Birmingham these days. One thing that fascinates me about the ECW is just how damn small the UK is. A lot of the historical counties are 50-75 km each way or less, and for the small skirmishing squabbles of the ECW competing garrisons only a few miles apart wouldn’t be uncommon.
Tiny Furniture is a fairly new company with some neat science fiction furniture and detailing bits for your tabletop terrain projects. They’re running a Kickstarter as I write this for some retro-apocalypse (Fallout-style) furniture that looks pretty cool.
Last time I mentioned a couple of YouTube painters that had good series of to-the-point, well-edited painting videos. Victor Ques is another I should mention; his ongoing “Weekly Painting Tips” series just hit episode 100 and has lots of good content. For his 100th episode he did a really nice 15 minute video talking about when to use some of the techniques he and other painters talk about; it’s a really good overview to accompany the technique-specific videos he’s already done.
Painting Buddha doesn’t seem to be producing videos anymore, but they had a really high-end multiple camera setup, with a camera on the miniature, a camera on the palette (so you can see how colours are mixed and thinned) and a talking-head camera. Their painting black armour tutorial is well worth watching, even if it’s more advanced and involved than a lot of us are going to do regularly!
A few quick links to finish off with!
Bricks’n’Tiles is a small Windows program to create endless, seamless brick, tile, and other textures for creating paper or card buildings with, but even if you don’t use Windows or don’t feel like you need to buy the program, they have some sample sheets downloadable from their website that are potentially useful.
Free Islamic Calligraphy has a lot of high quality graphic files of Islamic calligraphy, including the awesomely sci-fi looking Kufic style. Lots of good stuff if you want to add some easy Islamic (or Haqqislamic, for Infinity players!) flavour to your scenery.
I’ve been spending some more time on YouTube recently, rummaging around the wargaming-related channels. I don’t have the time or the patience for the long rambling unedited vlog-format stuff, but there’s some good, properly edited, to-the-point stuff out there.
Two channels I particularly like are Kujo Painting, who did the great “How To Paint Tartan” video embedded below. The rest of his collection is well worth looking through.
Miniwargamer Jay also has a good Miniature Painting 101 series of vids with lots of good tips. Again, most of them are fairly short (5 to 20 minutes), cover a single topic, and are well edited.
On non-YouTube notes, a couple more links!
Genet Models, formerly Ebbles Miniatures have been around since the early 2000s turning out really good papercraft science fiction models. The creator of them has more or less retired from the papercraft business (I think he works on computer games now) but he’s put his entire portfolio up for free download. I’ll be adding some of these to our Infinity tables soon, especially some of the shuttles and dropships!
I linked to this awesome tutorial in an earlier post about Infinity ads, but it’s worth linking to again. Want pseudo-holograms on your science fiction scenery? H-Archive does ads and holos is well worth a read. He uses printed transparencies and 1mm clear acrylic sheet to awesome effect; I’m going to have to hit up our local plastic supplier for some 1mm clear acrylic sometime soon!
I have a moderate font-collecting addiction. Dafont is my go-to source of high quality free fonts, but I’ll pay money for the right font. Remington Typewriter is probably one of the right fonts, and it’s very inexpensive over at DtRPG for four weights, depending on how short of ink you want your typewritten text to look. Great for player handouts, props, or other documents for pulp gaming or anything WW1/WW2/early 20th C!
Dinosaurs are always pulpy, and now Antediluvian Miniatures are doing some models based on the really early concepts of what dinosaurs were thought to look like. No fast, sleek, feathered raptors here, these are big chunky cold-blooded alligator-y critters, and they look great.
Ending on a Russian Civil War related note, the Russian-language page AviArmour has a page about the Armstrong-Whitworth armoured car with some interesting text (in Russian, but Google Translate will give you the basic idea) and some great period photos of Armstrong-Whitworths in action. Would have been nice to find that page while I was working on my own 28mm A-W from Copplestone a couple of years ago! Lots of interesting information on AviArmour, it’s well worth a browse.
Yet another post of short links, news, random bits, and oddments that wouldn’t warrant a full post.
Laser-cut MDF for early motor vehicles? They look pretty good, actually, and they’re 1/3 the price of resin & pewter vehicles. I might have to make an order to Warbases sometime to expand my pulp/RCW/WW1 vehicle fleet some more!
James Ernest of Cheapass Games has a short video on three ways to make cards. Nothing earthshaking, but a good short video laying out three easy ways to make cards for your games.
Corrugated metal from disposable roasting pans, via Rusty Robot, which has all sorts of fantastic modelling posts. A lot of his stuff is too detailed/too fragile for wargaming, but the roasting pan thing looks like it would survive gamers if given basic respect!
I’ve gotten into Infinity recently, which is a game that uses on-table markers quite a lot. Corvus Belli has PDFs of the markers available to download and print, and the idea of using 1″ clear epoxy stickers (Youtube video link) to make tough and easy-to-handle marker tokens is inspired. (Clear epoxy stickers on EBay.ca. They’re a crafting thing originally, apparently.) I’m actually considering doing some tokens for Chain of Command up as 1″ rounds with epoxy stickers on top now too… might have to fire Inkscape up!
Also from the Infinity side of the gaming world, Toposolitario has a great website with all sorts of paper terrain and some tutorials. Great stuff and all free.
I’m mostly painting up Infinity models these days, getting ready for Trumpeter Salute at the end of March, and considering entering the 9th Lead Painter’s League over on the Lead Adventure Forum – I’ve been in the 3rd, 5th & 7th LPLs, so continuing the “every odd LPL” streak seems like a good idea. Plus it’ll be a kick in the butt to get painting again, I’ve done far too little actual figure painting in the last year or so!
I just found out about this very interesting project – The Great War on YouTube. Their plan is to do at least one episode a week all the way through to November 2018, covering the Great War in “real time”, as well as extra episodes for background material and answering questions from viewers.
Each episode is short (five-ten minutes) and focuses on either the week it’s covering or a specific topic.
I’ve got their chronological playlist running (see the first set of links on their Youtube homepage) and it’s good solid stuff, starting with a great attempt to explain the insanely tangled mess that lead to the start of the war. I’ll be subscribing and following this one with interest, especially if they manage to keep running through the entire four-and-a-half run of the war. The host is historian Indiana Neidel (excellent pulpy name, too) who is an interesting and engaging host.
My favourite factoid so far: Franz Ferdinand’s funeral was only 15 minutes long, as very few of the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy liked the guy very much…
Just back from a month-long field assignment, as mentioned in my previous post. I have more photos of the sculpting projects to post, and some new photos to take of progress on the treemen and other sculpting projects!
There’s also some slightly dusty projects left behind when I left… and two packages of good stuff I ordered while away which are waiting for me to pick up later this weekend. Details on the new shiny soon.
I’ve got the Russian Civil War bug again, caused by reading the Mud & Blood rules and associated scenario books in PDF form while away. Speaking of which, a few weeks ago TooFatLardies released Chris Stoeson’s From Empire to Revolution scenario supplement for M&B, covering the Eastern Front of WW1. It talks about the Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies in some detail (the Germans already have coverage in the main M&B book, of course) and should prove useful for our RCW adventures, as well as providing inspiration to maybe start a force of Austro-Hungarians or Germans sometime this winter. I’ll likely do a proper review post of From Empire to Revolution soon, but for now the short version is: go pick this up, it’s very well done!
It’s good to be back! I have a few days off so I’ll unpack the sculpting tools and press on with that soon. The first two treemen are so close to being finished I can taste it; hopefully a couple of evenings of sculpting will get them done, dusted and onto the Blood Bowl pitch.
I’ve also just bought new greenstuff putty finally, to replace the very, very old strip of the stuff that’s been hanging around my desk for far too long. The old stuff had the consistency of used old chewing gum and was pretty much impossible to work with; the new stuff (along with a couple of new sculpting tools!) has reminded me how much fun messing around with greenstuff is. There’s a pile of YouTube video tutorials showing basic greenstuff sculpting techniques – one I rather like is The Dizmo’s skull tutorial.
Green Stuff Industries host a good mix of basic messing-with-green-stuff tutorials, including this Sculpting Bas-Relief Flames tutorial that I want to try out sometime soon.
I’m off next week to northern Alberta for three to six weeks of field work, helping run a project up there, so posting might continue to be fairly light but I’m going to take some putty and sculpting stuff with me and practice the art – it should be more forgiving of hotel suite lighting than painting, which I’ve tried in hotel rooms in the past and always quit because even at a hotel room desk the light tends to be lousy…