Ruined Buildings & Rusty Sci-Fi Walls

As I described in my previous blog post, I wanted to work on expanding my collection of terrain in order to enhance the visuals and improve play for my retro sci-fi Combat Patrol™ games.  Specifically, I wanted to add some ruined and battle-damaged buildings and rusty walls.  However, I wanted them to look great – […]

As I described in my previous blog post, I wanted to work on expanding my collection of terrain in order to enhance the visuals and improve play for my retro sci-fi Combat Patrol™ games.  Specifically, I wanted to add some ruined and battle-damaged buildings and rusty walls.  However, I wanted them to look great – and weathering is a relatively new area of painting for me, hence the challenge!

Working with some new materials was a central aspect – especially with regards to weathering and rusting techniques.  My journey started in August with Armorcast’s 3-crater set and using Vallejo Pigments.  Subsequently, I followed that project up with putting together five ruined buildings and six sci-fi walls (both from Armorcast as well).  They included:

To complete the project, and work on my techniques, I made a list of goals.  I desired to employ several new (to me) technical skills, materials, and techniques.  I ended up checking off on all of these except for using the Citadel “Nihilakh Oxide” and the Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Oil Stains (Gloss)” as they proved to be unneeded.

Below is my initial list of goals – the ones in bold were ones used and apply to this post.

  • Assembling, building, and basing terrain
  • Use of materials to create weathering and rusting effects, to include:
    • Vallejo Pigments, to include application and fixing (covered in this blog post)
    • Vallejo Mecha Color weathering products
    • Weathering and rusting/oxidizing effect products, to incude:
      • Citadel Technical paints:
        • Typhus Corrosion
        • Ryza Rust
        • Nihilakh Oxide
      • Vallejo and Vallejo Mecha Color rusting and weathering products
        • Vallejo Pigments (various)
        • Vallejo Game Air rusts (71.069 and 71.080)
        • Vallejo Mecha Color Weathering products
          • Oil Stains (gloss)
          • Rust Wash
          • Rust Texture (Matt)
  • Create a new storage system for my terrain pieces

I am glad that I got to use most of them.  The buildings will be discussed first, and then the walls, and finally my storage box work.  I will aim for plenty of visuals, and there will be eye candy at the end!  I will list a lessons learned section and a materials section at the end of the post for those interested.  This should hopefully be useful for some of you.

Ruined Buildings

1 Armorcast Building as received
My one ACRB009 as received.  The resin was definitely in need of a clean up with an Exacto blade, but that’s to be expected.  I also found that using Scotch-Brite pads on the resin and washing them thoroughly aided with priming.
2 T section clean up
This is the T-section as received.  It had some larger areas of excess resin on the lower portion to remove as you see here.
3 section with door blast hole
My one ACRB008 as received.  I was intrigued by the battle damage on all of these, especially on the garage door here.
4 base polystyrene
After assembling my buildings with Gorilla Glue and some green stuff, I based them on this polystyrene.  I had cut the sheets into irregular shapes.  I glued steel bases from Wargames Accessories on the bottoms for strength and future magnetic storage.
5 basing
Some of the buildings on their polystyrene bases before I added a play sand/rocks/PVA glue mix to act as a rough surface gradient.  The sci-fi walls are on steel bases that are similar to those under the buildings’ bases (more on them below).
5a basing
Here you can see the irregularly-cut shapes of the polystyrene.  My thought was to create pieces that were diorama-like for gaming.
6 buildings based and primed
Good close-up shot of the ruined buildings after the PVA/sand/rock mix had hardened and they had been primed gray.  I had affixed the bases to upturned plastic plates with poster tack, and put a mark on each plate to help as a locator reference for airbrushing.  This allowed me to avoid handling the painted surfaces.
7 early base coat on buildings holes
I was not sure how best to do the shell holes.  I started with black paint, then tried to ashen them up with some pigment later.  You may notice the rocks are tan – this was because I applied Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” pigment and Vallejo “Pigment Binder” on them – after I learned with the crater project that using airbrush thinner loosened the rocks.
8 Tsection base coated
I focused on completing the T-section first as a “guinea pig”.  I thought I could dry brush the bricks, but that did not work well at all.  I painted each brick by hand individually with Vallejo Mecha Color “SZ Red”…on ALL of these.  As I grew up in an old industrial area in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, old factory walls were something with which I was familiar.  These had a goodly amount of old plaster sculpted on them, which got some old Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”.  Clearly, there would be a need for weathering!
9 fixing pigments on t section
So now the weathering!  Here I have dirtied up the walls with Vallejo “Dark Slate Grey” pigment, and put a mix of four Vallejo pigments (“Light Yellow Ochre”, “Light Sienna”, “Natural Umber”, and “Faded Olive Green”) on the base.  I fixed the base pigments with the capillary technique (Vallejo airbrush thinner drops applied from a brush), and then airbrushed the walls with thinner.
10a tsection view 1
I used the “wet mode” technique and the “Faded Olive Green” to make the bottoms of the walls appear as if moss and mold were growing.  The Vallejo Pigment video on YouTube is very helpful.  The T-section was varnished with Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish” and allowed to dry overnight.  I added tufts from Army Painter and Shadow’s Edge miniatures.  Later, I would darken this with a gray wash.  As this is a T-section, there are three views.
10b tsection view 2
View 2 of T-section.
10c tsection view 3
View 3 of T-section.  Interestingly, one of the reasons that I had difficulty with the dry brushing of the bricks is that they are sculpted differently on different sides.  I found that using the gray as plaster to cover areas I thought needed help was able to mask this.
12 all buildings base coated with t section
After finishing the T-section, I moved on to the other buildings in a similar way, except that these had remnants of window sills, shell holes, and rusty doors to paint and weather…and about a million bricks (or at least it felt that way when I was painting them).
13 early rust work on the doors
My attempts at rusting here were not pigment-based.  Here, I used a combination of Citadel rusting products (“Typhus Corrosion” and “Ryza Rust”) in conjunction with Vallejo Mecha Weathering products (“Light Rust Wash”,”Dark Rust Wash”,  and “Rust Texture Matt”), and Vallejo Game Air “Rust” (2 types – 080 and 069).  I layered them on, dry brushed, and layered more.  I wanted the ground to show that rust had been accumulating on the ground for some time, and the Vallejo “Dark Rust Wash” was my go-to here.
14 interior after rusting door
Another view of the ACRB008 interior.
15 drying ground pigments in sun
After using similar pigments to those that I used on the T-section, I let them dry in the sun on my driveway (it was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit!).  I then varnished them similar to the T-section. After I saw my results, I was happy, but wanted a dirtier look even still, so all of the buildings got an additional wash with Secret Weapons Washes “Stone”.  That did the trick!
16 buildings washed, flocked, done
All my ruined buildings complete.

Sci-Fi Walls

1 wall with blast hole as received
Moving on to the walls!  This is my one ACW007 as received.  I liked the battle damage here as well.
2 other wall as received
This is one of my two “High Tech Walls 1”.  This is one side…
2a other wall as received reverse side
…and here is the other side.  I prepped these pieces similarly to the way I did the buildings.
3 based on steel
My basing for these would just be steel bases from Wargames Accessories.  I wanted to be able to line them up on the tabletop.  I also put these on upturned plates as before.
4 on plates and primed
Instead of sand and PVA for flocking, here I just used Army Painter Black Battlefields.  Priming was then done on them in my usual way.
5 base coated in light steel
After priming, I base coated them all with Vallejo Game Air “Steel” with my airbrush.  My goal was to build the rust up from here.
6 after a wash with light rust
Next, I used my airbrush to apply Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Light Rust”.
7 bulding up the rust
Next, I airbrushed both Vallejo Game Air Rust (080 and 069) in bursts and along deep areas.  The label on the Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Rust Texture (Matt)” says it is able to be airbrushed…please note IT IS NOT!!!  It jammed up both of my airbrushes badly (one needed a new nozzle afterwards).  After this, I decided to use a regular brush and use “Typhus Corrosion”, “Ryza Rust”, Nuln Oil (Gloss)”, as well as my previous products to give the walls and the battle damage a randomly -rusted and realistic appearance.  Washing, dry brushing, stippling, etc…
8 washes and more washes
The walls all painted, awaiting pigments on bases and varnish.  I decided not to use rusting pigments here as I was happy with the way these looked.
9 high tech walls 1 front and back
After pigments, varnishing, and flocking – this is both High Tech Walls with each side completed and shown for display.
10a high tech walls 2 view 1
This is the completed ACW007 – one side…
10b high tech walls 2 view 2
…and the other side.
000 a month of terrain
All my Armorcast terrain work from August and September together.

New Storage System/Box

Now that I had all this new terrain, especially the buildings, I needed a good efficient way to store and transport them to my games.  I decided to use a 32-liter Really Useful Box and to design a level inside to optimize its volume.  Essentially, I built a tray with legs to insert into the box and make it into multiple levels.  I plan on repeating this for other terrain in my collection.  Note that I use Aleene’s Magnetic Tacky Sheets from Michael’s to line the storage surfaces.   

1 Box
Box from outside showing the two levels.  I used a thin sheet of plywood and 5/8″ square dowels with #6 wood screws to make the tray.  I cut two small handle slots so that the tray could be picked up easily.  Luckily, the magnetic sheets cut easily with scissors for sizing.
2 Box
The box bottom with the tray removed on the left.
3 Box
Good view of the tray next to the box.
4 Box
Here’s a top view of the tray in the box.

Lessons Learned

I have several “lessons learned” about this project, and I also got great feedback on my last crater post.  One area of feedback that I got was from Azazel who suggested I needed a gaming mat.  I had wanted to get one or two, but they are indeed expensive.  Thanks to advice from him on my last post (and all of you who give me feedback – I thank you all from the bottom of my heart) – and that’s the truth!

Anyways, I got two neoprene (mouse pad material) mats from Gamemat.eu in the Czech Republic.  One is “Wastelands”, and the other one is “Highlands in War”.  I think both will work well with my terrain, and you can see them in the “eye candy” section below the lessons learned.

So here are the lessons and thoughts I have from the project – some are the same as the crater project, and some are new – but I though I’d try to be complete and list them all here:

  1. The cleaning and scrubbing of the resin helped with the priming.  The Scotch-Brite pads work well for this use.
  2. Armorcast terrain pieces are fairly priced and a good value.  The quality was easy to work with, and any issues were easy to address with green stuff.
  3. For terrain pieces that will be totally covered in pigments, priming them is not needed.  
  4. You can indeed airbrush a wash, but NEVER try to airbrush anything with “texture” in it, no matter what the label says (maybe a bigger nozzle might work, but I only have one size).
  5. Fixing pigments with airbrush thinner is easier than with pigment binder.  However, add any additional large features, such as extra rocks later, or use pigment binder on the rocks.
  6. Affixing larger models to plastic dinner plates is a good option for handling without touching the painted surfaces. 
  7. Having trays and palette wells (such as the one I put my pigment palette in) while working with pigments cuts down on the mess considerably.  Be ready to use multiple brushes, both wet and dry.  The mess vacuumed up or washed off easily from my palettes and trays.
  8. Always ensure your pigment bottles are shut tight.  I see how they could spill over easily.
  9. PVA glue and play sand are an inexpensive winner.
  10. The combination of thin steel and thin polystyrene yields a model base with little to any “rise” from the tabletop at its edge, and is strong.
  11. Real rusting takes time and is random.  So is weathering it.  The Vallejo and Citadel products I used were really nice.  I do see how the pigments would be useful for rusting and will have to try that too sometime.
  12. Thin your varnish to prevent the crazing! You can airbrush the thinner easily directly on pigments, just need to watch the airflow so they are not blown off.
  13. The Vallejo pigments video is a must see for newbies.
  14. Washes help in the end for touch ups.
  15. Love my storage box design!
  16. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures tufts are fantastic – need no extra glue and dry clearly.
  17. I love my new game mats!!

Eye Candy!

17 defense of the buildings frogs v Martians and Robot Peacekeepers
The Highlands mat showing the F.R.O.G. Commandos defending the ruined buildings and craters against the Martians, the Robot Peacekeepers, and a couple of Mark 1 Sphere tanks.

18 MArtians swarm building and the craters19 Frogbot holds the gap20 root peacekeepers swarm other flank21 top view of setup22 defenders view23 holding!24 holding! (2)25 last

Now for the walls on the “Wastelands” mat!  Here we have the F.R.O.G. Commandos getting picked on again and getting assaulted by Archive Warbots, Roberker, and more Mark 1 Sphere tanks – will they hold?

11 top view frogs behind walls v robots
Go Frogs, RIBBIT!

11a top view frogs behind walls v robots12 left wall view frogs behind walls v robots

13 tight wall view frogs behind walls v robots
Time for fried frog legs – and the rest too!

13a tight wall view frogs behind walls v robots

Hopefully you found this post fun and informative.  Please leave any feedback or suggestions in the comments section – and I realize that this was a long post, so if you’re still reading, THANKS!

PAINTS, PIGMENTS, INKS, GLUES, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:

  1. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Gray”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Airbrush Flow Improver”
  4. Army Painter “Black Battlefields” (flocking)
  5. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  6. Generic play sand
  7. Elmer’s “Glue-All”
  8. SceneARama “Rocks”
  9. Vallejo “Pigment Binder”
  10. Evergreen Scale Models #9020 0.5 mm plain polystyrene sheets
  11. Gorilla Glue
  12. Wargames Accessories steel bases (various)
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Wood”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Steel”
  15. Americana “Raw Umber”
  16. Polly Scale “WWII Luftwaffe Uniform Gray”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Steel”
  18. Vallejo Mecha Color “SZ Red”
  19. Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”
  20. Vallejo “Black”
  21. Vallejo “Dark Slate Grey” (pigment)
  22. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  23. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  24. Vallejo “Faded Olive Green” (pigment)
  25. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  26. Vallejo “Natural Umber” (pigment)
  27. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  28. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  29. Polly S “Rust”
  30. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Rust Texture (Matt)”
  31. Vallejo Game Air “Rust 069”
  32. Vallejo Game Air “Rust 080”
  33. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  34. Citadel “Ryza Rust”
  35. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Dark Rust Wash” (wash)
  36. Citadel “Valhallan Blizzard”
  37. Vallejo “Titanium White” (pigment)
  38. Vallejo “Carbon/Smoke Black” (pigment)
  39. Secret Weapons Washes “Stone” (wash)
  40. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  41. Citadel “Nuln Oil (Gloss)”
  42. Citadel “Niblet Green”
  43. Citadel “Athonian Camoshade” (wash)
  44. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  45. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  46. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  47. Army Painter “Wasteland Tufts”
  48. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures “12 mm tufts”

Thanks again – and please let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section!

 

 

 

Armorcast 3-Crater Set (ACCR001)

For August, I decided that my efforts needed to be directed towards a few new areas that would be challenging for me.  I wanted to get more terrain for my games, specifically some that would be useful in making my Combat Patrol™ games more visually appealing to the players.  I also wanted to try to use some new techniques and incorporate new materials into my hobby kit bag.

This would involve working on things and using multiple materials with which I am less than fully experienced.  My goal was to stretch my horizons as it were, and this goal also dovetailed nicely with the monthly painting challenge run by our Australian friend Azazel.  The theme for August was “Technical August”, which was a wide-open challenge to try or improve upon techniques that we had little to no experience in doing previously.  With that said, I decided that assembling, building, and painting some Armorcast terrain would be a good way to do that.  Mainly my goal was to focus on using the five 4-pigment bottle sets of Vallejo Pigments that I have not really used (Dust & Dirt, Mud & Sand, Rust & Corrosion, Soot & Ashes, and Stone & Cement).  I did use the Soot & Ashes set on some cheap 3D printed buildings, but otherwise not much.

I acquired three types of Armorcast resin terrain (all suitable for 28mm scale) for the August challenge – craters, ruined buildings, and sci-fi ruined walls:

As for my technical goals, my list of “challenge” skills, materials, and techniques include:

  • Assembling, building, and basing terrain
  • Use of materials to create weathering and rusting effects, to include:
    • Vallejo Pigments, to include application and fixing (covered in this blog post)
    • Vallejo Mecha Color weathering products
    • Weathering and rusting/oxidizing effect products, to incude:
      • Citadel Technical paints:
        • Typhus Corrosion
        • Ryza Rust
        • Nihilakh Oxide
      • Vallejo and Vallejo Mecha Color rusting and weathering products
        • Vallejo Pigments (various)
        • Vallejo Game Air rusts (71.069 and 71.080)
        • Vallejo Mecha Color Weathering products
          • Oil Stains (gloss)
          • Rust Wash
          • Rust Texture (Matt)
  • Create a new storage system for my terrain pieces

The ones above in bold font are ones I worked on for the 3-crater project.  Others will be used for the remaining projects, even if that lasts into September (which is likely).

I had previously worked on some Armorcast sci-fi pieces and grenade blasts.  I like their products, but wanted to get better at getting them on the tabletop.

0 Lots of terrain
My collection of resin awaiting work

I got good advice from Armorcast (Gin Fritter) and Buck Surdu about preparing the resin for painting.  I ended up using a few Exacto knives to remove flash, and then used Scotch-Brite pads to lightly (imperceptibly in fact) give the pieces a rubdown to achieve a “bite” for airbrush priming.  Additionally, I used a 180 grit sandpaper sheet to scuff up the craters’ bottoms so that they would glue better to their planned bases.  I then washed the pieces thoroughly with dish washing soap in the sink and let them dry.

1 clean up of armorcast craters
Cleaning the resin craters – one was gray, the other two were not.  You can see the sandpaper, pads, and removed resin.

For basing, I chose to incorporate a few different materials.  First, I cut irregular shapes from Evergreen Scale Models #9020 polystyrene sheets – which is quite thin (.020″/0.5 mm).  I mounted the crater pieces to the cut shapes with Gorilla Glue.  Then, I also used a number of differently sized thin steel bases from Wargames Accessories to mount under the shapes for both strength and to be able to later store and transport securely in magnetically lined storage boxes (which is another project in and of itself that I have planned).  Here, I also used Gorilla Glue.

2 mounting materials
The polystyrene sheets that I used for bases
3 after mounting
My craters and a ruined building on my polystyrene sheet bases

From my minimal experience with using pigments, I knew they had the potential for a huge mess.  I learned that using a cafeteria-type tray would make using them easier.  I hit my local Salvation Army and found four trays for this use.  Interestingly, three of them were from a former Digital (DEC) facility (there were a lot of them in Massachusetts before Compaq and later Hewlett Packard consumed them in 1998).  I removed what appeared to be ancient chili from them, and put them into use.  I also got a small palette from Michael’s craft store to use just for pigments.  I put that palette into a deep plastic Rubbermaid salad container, and I thereby effectively limited the migration of pigments from my work space.  You definitely do not want to have a fan or strong air circulation going while using pigments!

4 magic trays
Trays for using pigments.  Oh DEC, your cafeteria trays soldier on…

I then used PVA glue (good old Elmer’s) to affix some play sand and some Woodland Scenics stones to the bases, and let them harden.

6 sand and rocks
My sand and rocks for the bases

Next, in order that I could handle and work with the craters, I affixed their bases with poster tack to upside-down plastic plates before priming.  I marked each plate with a brown ink line for reference, and proceeded to airbrush prime the set with Vallejo “Surface Primer – Gray”.

7 after flocking
Primed craters

I then worked on the three craters sequentially, going from smallest to largest.  For the smallest one, I dry brushed with multiple shades of brown (there is a list of materials that I used at the end of this blog).  I was not sure that I needed to or if the pigments would be enough.  Primarily, I used the four pigments from the Vallejo “Mud and Sand” set (“Light Yellow Ochre”, “Natural Umber”, “Light Sienna”, and “Light Slate Grey”) plus the Vallejo “Faded Olive Green”.  I looked at the Vallejo YouTube video on pigments, and used some of the different techniques to apply and fix the pigments.

8 large one dry brushed
The smallest crater after heavy dry brushing.
9 middle one with pigments and capillary
The first crater after applying multiple pigments in a dry fashion.  I then fixed them with Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner” with a capillary action technique, leading to this mucky wet look.

After this, I moved on to the next larger crater, and also dry brushed it and used the same method of fixing the pigments.  One downside that I discovered was that the airbrush thinner tended to dissolve the PVA holding the rocks in place (but not the sand).  I replaced the displaced rocks on the bases after the airbrush thinner dried.

10 middle one just dry umber
The middle-sized crater before fixing the pigments – I also added more colors before fixing them here – this is a lot of “Natural Umber”.

Lastly, I worked on the largest crater.  Here, I passed on doing any dry brushing.  For this one, I employed Vallejo “Pigment Binder” instead of the airbrush thinner to fix the pigments –  and to prevent the dissolving issue under the added rocks.  I also needed to use Secret Weapons Washes “Sewer Water” to give better shading.  While the pigment binder worked, it did lead to a thicker application of pigment as you see below.  I thought it blended too much – and I believe that one should use that product selectively.  I subsequently added more pigments to make the crater less of a solid olive green, fixing them with airbrush thinner.  It worked.

11 large one before varnish and tufts
The largest painted crater before varnish

Lastly, I decided to airbrush varnish the craters.  Did I need to?  I wanted to protect the paint work, so I did.  I do think I needed to thin the varnish more, as I had some crazing to deal with, something I had not seen previously with its use on miniatures.  To help with color variety,  I applied Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” and “Athonian Camoshade” washes, mixed with a little varnish and applied with a brush to the affected areas.  I then applied Army Painter “Wasteland Tufts” and some 12 mm grasses from Shadow’s Edge Miniatures.

As an aside – I can say without a doubt that the Shadow’s Edge Miniatures products are far superior to Army Painter’s – they need no additional gluing, and they are visually stunning.  I plan on using their products, especially the flowers, on future unit bases to help with tabletop differentiation.

12 on the table
The three craters on the tabletop.  The thin bases made them quite flush with the tabletop.
12a underside showing steel
The bottom of the craters showing the use of the Wargames Accessories steel bases.
13a large done
Close up of the large crater as finished. 
13b middle done
Close up of the middle-sized crater.  I liked this sculpt the best of the three.
13c small done
The smallest crater.  I like the way the pigments made the bottom look realistically muddy.
14 Star Ducks in all 3
Some Star Ducks defend the craters.  I decided that the craters would be more useful looking as if they were from an older battle.  I was thinking of those I have seen at Verdun, though there are no historical records of ray gun armed ducks at Verdun…
15 Martians vs SFC Mallard
…or Martians…SFC Mallard defends the small crater against a Martian assault.
16 Martians vs SFC Mallard & Duck Wader
The Martians assault the middle-sized crater defended by Duck Wader and SFC Mallard.
17 Star Ducks vs the Space Dwarves
The Space Dwarves’ large crater is assaulted by the Star Ducks.

My lessons and thoughts from the project:

  1. The cleaning and scrubbing of the resin helped with the priming.  The Scotch-Brite pads work well for this use.
  2. For terrain pieces that will be totally covered in pigments, dry brushing with paint is not needed.  When I get to doing vehicles, such as tanks, it will be interesting to see how that works.
  3. Fixing pigments with airbrush thinner is easier than with pigment binder.  However, add any additional large features, such as extra rocks later, or use pigment binder on the rocks.
  4. Having trays and palette wells (such as the one I put my palette in) while working with pigments cuts down on the mess considerably.  Be ready to use multiple brushes, both wet and dry.  The mess vacuumed up or washed off easily from my palettes and trays.
  5. Always ensure your pigment bottles are shut tight.  I see how they could spill over easily (and I was lucky enough not to have this problem).
  6. PVA glue and play sand are an inexpensive winner.
  7. The combination of thin steel and thin polystyrene yields a model base with little to any “rise” from the tabletop at its edge, and is strong.
  8. Thin your varnish to prevent the crazing!  (Speaking with Buck today, he uses varnish to fix his pigments, so that needs to be considered).  I also want to see how well airbrushing the thinner fixes pigments in future projects, like my ruined buildings.
  9. Washes help in the end for touch ups.
  10. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures tufts are fantastic – need no extra glue and dry clearly.

Now the three craters are now ready to join my other terrain.  Hopefully I can get more done this month.

Thanks for reading and if you have feedback, especially on my results or suggestions from your experiences, please, share them in the comments section.  I do so much appreciate them!

PAINTS, PIGMENTS, INKS, GLUES, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:

  1. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Gray”
  2. Generic play sand
  3. Elmer’s “Glue-All”
  4. SceneARama “Rocks”
  5. Evergreen Scale Models #9020 0.5 mm plain polystyrene sheets
  6. Gorilla Glue
  7. Wargames Accessories steel bases (various)
  8. Americana “Raw Umber”
  9. Citadel “XV-88”
  10. American “Burnt Sienna”
  11. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  12. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  13. Vallejo “Natural Umber” (pigment)
  14. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  15. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  16. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  17. Vallejo “Faded Olive Green” (pigment)
  18. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  19. Vallejo “Pigment Binder”
  20. Vallejo “Airbrush Flow Improver”
  21. Secret Weapons Washes “Sewer Water” (wash/shade)
  22. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”
  23. Citadel “Athonian Camoshade”
  24. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  25. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  26. Army Painter “Wasteland Tufts”
  27. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures “12 mm tufts”

Thanks again – I hope this helps you or please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.  After all, I am no expert in these – and I am just sharing my lessons learned – and I KNOW there are many other ways to accomplish what I did (I just don’t know them all!!).

 

 

 

 

Armorcast Grenade Blasts for Combat Patrol

When I have wanted to demonstrate the effects of a grenade or a small explosion on a tabletop war game, I have been using cotton balls or other similar things, and this has not been a satisfactory practice for me.  I wanted to have some better effects for grenade use in Combat Patrol™ games.

I saw some nice resin ones (ACFX034 Grenade Blasts) from Armorcast in their cinematic effects line.  These were reasonably priced and looked good.  I picked up 4 packs of two from their website.

1 package
As delivered

I washed them and let them dry, and then mounted them to 1″ steel washers that I had previously primed with Gorilla glue.  I left the pyramid-like under-sprues attached as I thought that this would help with painting the blasts near the bases.

This approach did help, but I wish that I had cut them prior to painting them as this would have made removal easier later.   I also tried my best to catch any areas that needed to be cleaned up in the way of excess resin.  I mounted the washers with poster tack to the tops of specimen and old aspirin bottles for painting.

Using my airbrush, I primed them with Vallejo “Gray Surface Primer”.  Once this was dry, I gave the blasts an airbrush coat of Vallejo “Game Air Black”.

2 primed
After priming and first base coat of black paint

After this, I switched to the brush and gave the blasts a generous application of Citadel “Nuln Oil”.  Then it was just a process of using series of dry brushings on the blasts working from bottom to top in varying degrees of color:

  • Polly -S “Demon Deep Red” (a survivor paint from 1984)
  • Americana “Primary Red”
  • Citadel “Fire Dragon Bright”
  • P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”

I then gave the entire surface a wash with Secret Weapons Washes “Sunshine Wash”.  Lastly, I painted the blast rocks/ejecta with Vallejo “Gray Black”.  At this point, I needed to remove the sprues and remount on  the washers.  I did this with a sprue cutter to minimize paint damage, but if I had done this earlier by sawing almost through the sprue I would have been better off and had less to fix!

Using gorilla glue, I reattached the blasts to the washers, and pushed the washers into the poster tack on the bottles.

4 before adding shade
Fully base-coated

I used Citadel “Imperial Primer” to cover up the unpainted parts of the metal bases, and then applied Army Painter “Quickshade” (Strong Tone) with an old brush.  I let this sit for a couple of days to harden and to dry.  I then followed up on this with an airbrush application of Army Painter “Anti-Shine” varnish (just one coat).  This suitably dulled the shine from the Quickshade.

I plan to use these blasts to both designate where grenades or small explosions occur, but and to leave on the board as temporary impediments to line of sight.  They are close enough to the Combat Patrol™ small explosion template in my view for that use (see below).

5 finished vignette
Star Ducks throw a couple of grenades at the Red Mark III Warbots and their Khang Robot leader
6 finished vignette
The attacking Purple Warbot Squad and Juggerbot are bracketed by a flurry of small explosions
7 with template
The small explosion template and the Grenade Blast
8 close up
BOOM!  First painting project of 2018 done! 

I have to say that I like these, and am looking forward to using them in a game soon!

Thanks for looking – please share your thoughts in the comments section!

Slag Mounds, Bunkers, Barriers and more!

This month, in between other projects and recovery, I worked on several terrain pieces for use with my Star Rovers figures and the Combat Patrol™ gaming system.  Some I got earlier in the year from WorldWorks Games on Amazon, others I got on eBay that were from Armorcast Battlefield Scenery, others I made – and some I just don’t know who made them.  I’m hoping to use these at The Battle Standard in Auburn soon after coordinating with the owner, Jared Brodeur.

Normally I have more detail (how-to), but I lost most of the details of these terrain projects, as I had a few that I had to rework.  I think the pictures below are hopefully sufficient.  I was really happy to try new techniques with rust applications using a “pointillism” technique with a combination of Polly-S (“Rust”) and Vallejo (“Rust” 71.069 and 71.080) paints.  I mounted all of the terrain pieces on flat steel basing pieces.

The mostly Armorcast “set” I got on eBay were various refinery or industrial pieces that were airbrushed silver and gold, and that did not work for me.  I wanted the industrial ones to be more dirty and rusty.  I ended up painting some of them with various colors, and then using Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” to shade.  I was not happy with most of these results, especially the Quickshade effects.  I repainted them, some with bright colors for the newer pieces of terrain, and with rust for the grittier ones, and then used spray varnish to seal.  Luckily, the Testors “Dullcoat” actually had a “crackling” chemical effect on one of the industrial tanks which worked well – (note – this was not an Armorcast piece and was likely homemade with some type of Styrofoam).  I was surprised as there was already a lot of paint and varnish on it at that point – but it was minimal and I liked it anyways.

1 terrain group start
The initial set of mostly Armorcast terrain I got on eBay, plus the slag mounds I made.  This is how I got them.  The triple tank is the homemade one that the varnish affected.

10 refinery stuff final
The pipeline/industrial terrain after repainting (and repainting).  Duck Vader and his Star Ducks confront Power-Armored Frinx led by their platoon leader.

9 refinery stuff final
Frontal view of the skirmish – light saber versus light cutlass!

12 wrecked pipeline final
Aphids on Grav-Cycles swing around a ruined overhead pipeline to swarm attack a Frinx Mark 1 Sphere tank

13 cryo unit and condensors and apu
Star Duck Bazookaducks ambush a Mark 1 in front of a large moisture condenser, a cryo unit, and a small power unit
The WorldWorks Games set consisted of a bunker, and three barricades.  They are for 28mm for sure.  The bunker was used, and difficult to assemble well with super glue.  I ended up using steel base material, popsicle sticks, wood glue, and cardboard to assist in the construction.  Here, I really liked my use of the rust pattern that I discussed earlier.

2 barrier unpainted
Assembled barrier before priming

3 defensive pit unpainted
Assembled bunker, front view, before priming

4 defensive pit unpainted, back
Assembled bunker, back view, with cardboard mounted on popsicle sticks mounted on steel bases

5 defensive pit unpainted, bottom
Bottom of the bunker – I needed to trim the steel bases and file off sharp edges

6 defensive pit and barriers primed
After priming with gray

7 defensive pit final
A Star Duck Mortarduck crew operates from the finished bunker

8 defensive walls final
Three Mark 1 Sphere tanks set up in defensive positions behind the barriers
Lastly, I had three slag mounds that I mounted on two old CD’s.  The slag was a byproduct of my casting projects.  For these, I had a “Red Planet” plan, and used Citadel “Martian Ironcrust” and “Martian Ironearth” to good effect, as well as different washes.

11 aphids in slag mounds final
An Aphid squad and their robot assault gun patrol the slag mounds
It’s a good start and I’m sure I could use some buildings and other things, but that I will get to in due time!