'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Corrupt Cliffs

Corrupt Cliffs
Get your FREE Narrative Terrain Deck today!
Showing posts with label Conversion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conversion. Show all posts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

3d Printing useful or not?

Awhile ago I picked up a 3d printer from Gearbest. It was the Anet A8, an inexpensive/cheap acrylic frame printer below $300cad. It is a basic FDM model, a clone of the Prusa system.

I have printed in ABS and PLA, and frankly I have gotten nicer prints with the ABS, but it is trickier to work with and has nastier fumes, so I am now working largely with PLA.

My latest video is an overview of printing miniatures (I needed 8) for a scenario using statues/golems.

For me the answer to the question, is that it is useful, though not a replacement to regular modeling and miniatures.

Have a watch and don't forget to leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Unknown Isle: Skull peak.

With my next session only a few days away I needed to put together the central piece for what will either be the climax of the evening, or very close to it. I have known what I wanted from the beginning of this part of the campaign.

The players are essentially shipwrecked on a mysterious island. There are hints of magic, there is a giant stockade, a small tribe of natives, an ancient city, apes and of course dinosaurs. On the peak of this island rests a skull cavern.

I had initially sought to carve this from foam and got a decent way into the rough cut of that carving, then I was in Michaels, and being as Halloween is the next major holiday I got a foam skull for about $5cad. It's scale was close to what I was building and would allow me to just short cut around the caving of the skull I was working on.

I didn't have time to film the construction, but I thought I could take a few photos and build a blog post around it. I hope you all enjoy it and find it useful.


You will need......

Razor knife or hot wire cutter.
Hot glue gun.
paint brushes.

A foam skull.
XPS or similar.
PVA glue.

The Skull in question. Foam, ~$5cad at Michaels.
Take the XPS, trace the skull foot print and cut it out.
Bevel the edges and make a cut inwards for the cave.
The skull sitting on it's rocky base.
Using some scrap foam, cut out to boulder shapes.
The front of the skull cave.
Using tinfoil build up around the skull.  Glue it with hot glue.
Test fit the skull and make sure you are happy.
I could have used more tinfoil, but it worked out.
Using some paper towel, water and PVA I applied some body to the piece.
Generally, wet the paper towel, place where you want and brush watered down PVA over it.
After it had dried I added some more shape with tinfoil to make it more rocky.
The other side of the skull.
Add more towel and glue over the new foil armature. 
The more of this you add the stronger it will be, but the longer it will take to dry.
Once the towel and glue is dry, give it a nice black base coat. 
Mod Podge and black paint.
Next base the whole thing in whatever color of stone you want.
I used a dark brown here.
Using a highlight color sponge paint the entire structure to bring out the texture.
You can use 2 highlight colors here for more depth.  Sponge the first darker highlight
on about 60% coverage and the next brighter highlight at about 10-20% coverage.
Add fake greenery liberally, yet sparsely over the skull.  I also glued in a couple of
plastic crystal gems I got at the dollar store.
And the skull peak in place on a rocky plateau ready for some adventurers to come and seek it's mysteries.

This was a fairly quick craft. I managed to build it over a course of a week spending a few minutes here and there on it.  It adds quite a lot of character to the scenario and a dramatic center piece for your game. 

I hope you enjoyed the idea and found it useful.  Feel free to browse the blog for other ideas, or leave a comment below with your thoughts on this project.

And of course come check out the You Tube channel over at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCRyMzJoQBnjb-Qq5Rng_Q


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Attack Track

I found myself in Walmart the other day and while I was there I went through the matchbox selection hoping to find an elusive Rotowarrior. I came up empty handed. I did find a LARGE number of Matchbox Attack Tracks though, and bought a couple for $1 each. I had picked up a dual launcher a little while ago that was decent scale, but I thought these might be on the small side, but for the low price I figured why not.

As I suspected it was a little small, but not uselessly small.  Here is one of them taken with a small force of Sahadeen from Rebel Minis

For the low price these could easily be a remote launcher platform, or perhaps something cooler with some conversion skills.  I'm not sure what I will use mine for, but I am sure I will figure something out.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blockade Buster Conversion - Missile Pods

One of my original posts detailed a conversion of the Matchox Blockade Buster into a Grav tank.

This little tank from Matchbox is a pretty cool base for light/medium vehicles for 15mm sci-fi.  I bought a few of them.  My current project is to build a base that I can cast in resin and just plug the tops into to mass produce the grav tank from the earlier post.  That is an ongoing project and the subject of an upcoming post.

Today is an overview of a simple missile pod conversion I did.  The first step is to remove the turret leaving a pretty simple APC looking vehicle without a top.  You can see the blockade buster here with a 15mm robot from Ground Zero Games and a Matchbox Stryker.

Once the turret was removed the next step was to cover the hole that was left.  I did this with some 2 part putty.  Shaped a basic hatch and pressed it into the space and left it sit.  I also prepped the tank to take the launch pods by drilling a hole and gluing in a piece of brass rod.

 The next step was to set up the missile pods.  They were created from two quick electric connectors, the front of a bic pen and a piece of wire. 
using my pin vise I drilled a small hole in the bic pen and the two electric connectors.  This allowed me to use the small wire to work as a connecting axle for the two pods. 

 The next step was to afix the missile turret (minus the pods) to the body of the tank.  I did this with both a 2 part putty in the hollow of the pen and super glue.  I felt this would make the missile tank fairly robust.
Finally I attached the missile pods to the turret and affixed a small plastic gem to the top to act as a radar or perhaps a laser based active defense system.
And the completed missile tank.  Basic paint job n the pods and a quick wash to bring out the body details.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blockade Buster - Grav Tank: Part 2

Blockade Buster - Custom Turret

Oil based clay
Polymer clay
Small sticks
Scultping tools
X-acto knife
Super glue
2 part casting resin

Part 1 of this segment detailed how I took a Matchbox Blockade Buster and converted it into a Grav Tank.  Well I mostly converted it.  It was still in need of a turret.

How would I get a turret?  Buy it?  Design it in a 3D app and print it?

What to do.

Then I remembered a blog I came across last year.  It showed a gamer making custom starships.  His method was to take a basic shape, press it into clay and then detail it.  Once the mold was finished he would cast it in a 2 part resin.

So using this idea of impression casting with clay I thought it might work to build a turret fairly fast.

The first steps involved taking a polymer clay and creating a basic shape.

1. Roll clay out to approximate thickness for turret.
2. Cut edges off to make basic shape.

3. Add forward slanting armor by cutting away the clay.

4. Finalize your basic turret shape.

5. Final turret shape.

6. Size test on the grav tank.

The other tool we will need to complete this is a set of texture stamps.  These can be made from polymer clay as well and are used to texture the inside of the impression mold.

1. Lay out clay and create textures
2. Cut textures into stamp sizes
3. Bake according to instructions
4. Glue onto sticks.
Once we have the basic shape and a set of texturing tools, we are ready to start creating the mold.

1. Get a ball of oil based clay.
2. roll out clay and press shape into it.
3. Remove object (This can be tricky).
4. Use stamps to texture mold.
5. Mix casting resin and pour into mold.
6. Let cure and pull from mold.

These photos are my first attempt.  I feel I did not press the texturing tools in deep enough and got a lack luster turret.  The above photo is primed with a black wash.  I recast the turret and was much happier.

Full view of tank. Turret is primed, washed and dry brushed.
Closer view of the turret is primed, washed and dry brushed.
The tank needs painting, and I may use a different turret, but this shows how you can simply create a fairly cool sci-fi tank for 15mm wargames for not very much money.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blockade Buster - Grav Tank: Part 1

 Blockade Buster Conversion

1 Blockade Buster
1 piece heavy plasticard
1 stir stick
2 part putty
Small washers
Misc other bits
Super glue
1 X-acto knife
1 drill

Matchbox toys are quite often pretty close in scale to 15mm and they make some cool models at this size if you can find them.  I am a fan of their Stryker model for instance, but can't find more than the one I bought originally.  They do however have a very inexpensive and simple IFV/AA type vehicle.  The Blockade Buster.  It runs at about the $1 mark depending where you are.  I get mine for $1.34 CAD from Walmart.

The parts of the blockade buster.
The vehicle has a plastic turret, metal upper body and plastic lower body.  It is held together with rivets, so to start this conversion the first step is to drill out the rivets and disassemble the model.
This leaves us with the tanks components.  You will notice that the upper metal body does not include the back.  The metal body is open at the back.  It will need to be sealed to make a new vehicle.

Back of the lower body has the entire back of the vehicle

We can either take what we need from the plastic body or make something new.  I opted to remove from the plastic body and glue into place.
Back panel cut free to close the back of the metal tank body
And glued into the main tank body

Here you can see the wood added to the back of the tank to even up the edges (and back)
Once this is done it well become apparent that the metal body needs to be evened out as it is not level all the way back.  I used small pieces of wood stir sticks to accomplish this.
Bottom view with axle mounts, wooden body and rivets
 I used the metal wheel axles in my design but he metal rivets proved to be in the way.  I had to cut these off flush with the base of the tank.

Once I had this completed I took a heavy piece of plasticard and drilled holes to make slots that I could pass the wheel mounts through.  I then used a 2 part putty to add a grave plate mounting bracket.  Basically a long rectangle with a 45 degree cut. along it's length.

Once at this stage I also used putty to try and seal the major gaps.  Once it cured I went in with sand paper to try and smooth out and reshape some areas.

The grav rails are some more heavy plasticard glued to the underside mounting plates.  Once they were glued in place I added some small washers for detail and gave everything a quick prime to see how it looked.
 Moving forward in the next part I will address how I will add the turret and get the model to a pre-painted stage.