Chinese Game Set for Settlers of Catan

May was a slow hobby month as I spent some time recovering from the surgeon’s blade!

One of the projects that I started in April and completed in May was another RAFM game set for the  Settlers of Catan game.  It was a gift from my daughter and son-in-law, and I had it in the painting queue for a while.  The set is made of white metal (likely britannia).  I had completed most of the painting in April, and finished and varnished the project in May.  Each set consists of figures that represent 15 roads, 5 settlements, 4 cities, and one robber.  This one is Chinese-themed, and joins my Viking and Egyptian sets.  I opened the set, cleaned up and filed some loose casting remnants, and washed everything with mild soap and a toothbrush.  After a good rinse and a thorough drying, they were ready to paint.  I decided to go with a red and gray theme, which are my Fitchburg High school colors!

 

1 Box cover
Game set box, unopened

 

 

2 detail on side Box cover
Side detail of box

 

 

3 road unpainted
Unpainted road

 

 

4 settlement unpainted
Unpainted settlement

 

 

5 city unpainted
Unpainted city

 

 

6 robber unpainted
Unpainted robber, front view

 

 

7 robber unpainted, back
Unpainted robber, back view

As you can see above, the details of the figures are variable.  The robber really was not well-detailed, and I attempted to rectify this with the brush.  On the previous two sets, I mounted all of the figures to popsicle sticks for ease of painting.  I elected not to do that this time as I did not want to have to deal with painting the undersides with affixed glue.  I did mount the robber on a 1″ steel washer.  This was fine.

I made a change again and used a brush primer as April was very cold and I did not want to wait until New England cooperated with 50°F – and that was a good call.  I used Citadel “Imperial Primer” slightly diluted with Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner” in two coats for priming.  I then drybrushed all the figures with Americana “Santa Red”.  My next step was to use Secret Weapons Washes “Red Black” ink and apply a thorough wash all over the figures.  Then I painted the trees and bushes on the road sections with Armory “Chestnut Brown”.

 

8 base coated group
In progress – I put the figures on the pallet and used it as a surface to paint almost everything

On the roads (which resembled sections of the Great Wall), I painted the boulders with Americana “Zinc”.  I then applied another wash with “Red Black” ink.  To create the effect of the greenery, trees, and shrubs, I highlighted successively with Citadel “Niblet Green” and “Nurgling Green”.

On the settlements, I painted the paved spaces between the buildings and the river and the bridge with “Zinc”, followed by a coat of “Red Black” ink on the pavement.  The river got a treatment of Americana “Sky Blue” followed by Reaper MSP “Blue Liner” as a wash.  The river edges and buildings were highlighted and lined with Vallejo “Red”.

For the cities, I used “Zinc” on the stairways, and more “Red Black” ink as a wash.  I then highlighted the walls and framework of the large temple with the Vallejo “Red”.

I did not go crazy with the robber as I really was unimpressed with the figure.  He looked like a Japanese Ninja in a Chinese set!  So I used the same patterns with the same reds as the other figures.  I painted his bedroll with “Zinc”, his bandana and gloves with Americana “Ebony”, and his hair and boots with Americana “Onyx”.  P3 “Midland Flesh” was my choice for his face, with Vallejo “White” and “Ebony” for the eyes.  I highlighted his headband and his robes with Vallejo “Red”.  On his dagger I used FolkArt “Gunmetal Gray” highlighted with Tamiya “Titanium Silver”.  For the handle of his dagger, I gave him a splash of Citadel “Gehenna’s Gold”.  On his base, I used Citadel “Martian Ironcrust” and a blow dryer to create the crackling effect.  And again, I added more “Red Black”.

 

10 painted roads prevarnish
Roads before varnish

I also want to note here that the bottoms of all of these figures were painted with the same red combinations.  Lastly, as these are game pieces, I wanted to give them a good protective coat of varnish from bottom to top.  They all got three successive applications of varnish with sufficient drying time in between.  Of course, I needed a warm day (above 70°F) for this.  I used Krylon “Glossy”, followed by Krylon “Clear Matte”, followed by Testors “Dullcoat”.

 

 

12 completed play example
On the Catan board – with the Viking and Egyptian set 

 

 

13 completed play example
Robber, settlement, and road close up

 

I am satisfied with the project – and now I only need one more (the Bavarian set) to have all of them.  Certainly a worthy gaming project!

 

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Viking Game Set for Settlers of Catan

This is the story of the second game set that my daughter Ellen and her fiancé Chris got me for Settlers of Catan®.  RAFM in Canada makes these and you can see their offerings here.

The first one I completed was the Egyptian set (1202), and this is the Viking set (1200).  There are 25 pieces in each set – 15 roads, 5 settlements, 4 cities, and one themed robber.  These would take the place of the generic wooden pieces that come with the game.

I saw these on the RAFM website before when I was looking through their offerings there Egyptian, Bavarian, and Chinese set in addition to the Viking one.  Interestingly,  the box cover shows incorrect game play – each city or settlement needs to be separated by two or more roads, and there is only one road here.

1-viking-catan-set-box-1200
Cover of the box with incorrect play

 

1a-viking-catan-set-box-1200-side
Side of the box

There was very little flash on the robber, and none on the other pieces.  I did the robber last, so I will show that work after the others.  I cleaned them up with a quick scrub, then primed them with Krylon “Ultra-Flat Black” matte spray paint when I did my Slag Mound priming.

3-viking-catan-set-before-priming
Before priming (with Slag Mounds)

The first challenge I had was in figuring out how to mount these for painting.  Normally, I mount the figures on a washer and then mount the combination to a popsicle stick.  Here, I was only going to use a washer for the robber as the other pieces were not really configured for mounting.  I mounted each lightly to a popsicle stick with white glue.  In the end, this procedure forced me to retouch all the figures’ sides as well as deal with painting and varnishing the undersides.

I decided to try to keep a blue theme to these pieces to match the box and for ease of play.

In the set, the roads were much more road-like than the sand dunes in the Egyptian set.  The settlements and cities had a Viking row house look to them.

I needed to have a consistent color scheme as these are game pieces – and not traditional miniatures.  I wanted them to be very bluish but have some details.

I used another old 1987 Deka Lack paint – “Blau” (blue) as my base color on all of the pieces.  This made the roads look a bit like rivers, but for use as game pieces this is not a problem.

I used Americana “Zinc” on the rocks and steps, and Citadel “Caliban Green” on the foliage.  For the pathways on the towns and cities, I used Citadel “Balor Brown”.  I needed some highlighting for the structural parts of the buildings, so I used Citadel “Dryad Bark” to good effect.  Following this, I used Secret Weapons Washes “Blue” to wash all the pieces.  Then I added highlights to the foliage with “Dryad Bark” and Citadel “Niblet Green”.  I removed the figures, touched up any bare spots, and moved to varnishing.  I first varnished the set with Krylon “Clear Glossy” spray paint.  I then varnished the topsides with two coats and the underside with one coat of Testors “Dull Coat”.  I did this because they are board game pieces, with more need of paint protection.

4-viking-catan-set-after-painting
Figures before application of varnish

 

5-viking-catan-set-after-painting-close-up-city-and-settlement
Close up of a city and a town before varnish

 

6-viking-catan-set-after-painting-close-up-roads
Roads before varnish

 

8-viking-catan-set-after-varnish-settlement
Completed settlement

 

7-viking-catan-set-after-varnish-city
Completed city

 

8-viking-catan-set-after-varnish-roads
Completed roads

After this I moved on to the robber.  It is a 28mm figure, dressed as a Viking berserker, armed with an spiked club.  The first thing I did was to glue the figure to a larger 1.25″ steel washer with wood glue.  Once that had dried, I used Apoxie Sculpt to create a base.  I decided here as well that flocking the robbers would be messy and not useful.

2-viking-catan-robber-based-before-priming
Viking robber before priming

I primed the robber with Krylon “Ultra-Flat Black” matte spray paint.  I then covered the whole figure and base with Americana “Ebony”.  This was done in order to try a new dry brushing technique for armor that I saw Chris Palmer use in his blog.  You can see his entry here.

I first dry brushed the robber’s shield and shoulder guards with FolkArt “Gunmetal Grey”.  I drybrushed the base with Americana “Slate” which had a slight bluish hue to it.

I then worked on base coating the details.  The club handle got a coat of Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate” with the spikes getting “Gunmetal Gray”.  For the leather armor and gloves, I used my 1996 Armory “Leather Brown”.  For his shield I used “Gunmetal Gray” and “Blau” to tie into the color theme for the set.  His headband also got “Blau” for the same reason.  I used “Bittersweet Chocolate” on the boots and his rope.

I then applied P3 “Midland Flesh” on the face and arms.  For the hair, eyebrows, and beard, I used P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”.   I did the sclera of the eyes with Americana “Snow” and “Blau” for the pupils (he is Scandinavian after all).  I painted the lower lip with 1984 Polly-S “Demon Deep Red”.  The boots got a coat of Americana “Raw Sienna”.  I then used “Agrax Earthshade” on the blond areas and P3 “Flesh Wash” on the skin, and let the figure dry.

For his shirt, I chose another 1987 paint, Deka Lack “Dunkelblau” (dark blue). To highlight the club spikes and the bolts on the shield, I used Tamiya “Chrome Silver”.  I highlighted his nose and cheekbones with FolkArt “Light Flesh”, then used P3 “Flesh Wash” again to make his arm muscles more pronounced and defined.  I also used FolkArt “Light Flesh” to lighten his nose and forehead, and to highlight his arm musculature.

I used “Sulfuric Yellow” on the hair to highlight it.  I darkened the leather armor and the base with Citadel “Nuln Oil”.

I then went around the figure and highlighted all the areas that I thought needed more “pop”.  Lastly, once the figure was dry I then varnished it with two coats of Testors “Dull Coat”.  I did this because they are board game pieces, with more need of paint protection.

 

9-viking-catan-set-robber-after-varnish-settlement
Finished Viking robber

 

Overall, I am satisfied with the work – they are after all game pieces.  I hope to get these into a game of Catan soon.

 

11-viking-catan-set-example
Example of play

 

Egyptian Game Set for Settlers of Catan

My daughter Ellen and her fiancé Chris got me a couple of game sets for Settlers of Catan® and I thought I’d take the opportunity to paint these up.  RAFM in Canada makes these and you can see their offerings here.

The first one I completed was the Egyptian set (1202).  There are 25 pieces in each set – 15 roads, 5 settlements, 4 cities, and one themed robber.  These would take the place of the generic wooden pieces that come with the game.

I saw these on the RAFM website before when I was looking through their offerings.  There are Viking, Bavarian, and Chinese sets in addition to the Egyptian one.  Interestingly,  the box cover shows incorrect game play – each city or settlement needs to be separated by two or more roads, and there is only one road here.

0-egypt-catan-box-top
Cover of the box with incorrect play

 

1-egypt-catan-box-side
Side of box

There was very little flash on the robber, and none on the other pieces.  I did the robber last, so I will show that work after the others.  I cleaned them up with a quick scrub, then primed them with Krylon “Ultra-Flat White” matte spray paint.

3-egypt-catan-set-begore-priming
Before priming (less the robber)

The first challenge I had was in figuring out how to mount these for painting.  Normally, I mount the figures on a washer and then mount the combination to a popsicle stick.  Here, I was only going to use a washer for the robber as the other pieces were not really configured for mounting.  I mounted each lightly to a popsicle stick with white glue.  In the end, this procedure forced me to retouch all the figures’ sides as well as deal with painting and varnishing the undersides.

I decided to try to keep a desert theme to these pieces.  I was somewhat familiar with this coloration due to previous experience in the desert.  I led a Mobile Training Team at an airfield project in the Sahara Desert when I was a US Army Engineer officer.

mark-in-niger-1986
1LT Morin back in the day…1986, Dirkou, Republic of Niger

In the set, the roads were merely sand dunes with two sets of footprints, and the settlements and cities were adobe-like structures (very similar to what I saw in the Sahara).  However, I needed to have a consistent color scheme as these are game pieces – and not traditional miniatures.  I achieved my coloration goals by making a 50/50 mix of my old 1987 Deka Lack “Gelb” (yellow) and Americana “Bleached Sand” and using that as a base coat.  This finished off my “Gelb” after 29 years!  I then applied a liberal amount of Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”.

4-egypt-catan-set-after-base-and-first-wash
After basing and first wash

I then highlighted these with a 50/50 mix of P3 “Sulfuric Yellow” and Americana “Desert Sand”.

5-egypt-catan-set-after-drybrushing
After highlighting

Then I did a bit of detail work.  On the settlements, I used Citadel “Balor Brown” on the wells and “Castellan Green” on the foliage.  After another application of “Agrax Earthshade”, I used the previous mix of P3 “Sulfuric Yellow” and Americana “Desert Sand”to highlight again.  I also highlighted the foliage with Citadel “Niblet Green”.  Knowing that there was likely to be some bare spots from the gluing, I gently removed the pieces and painted the undersides and sides where there were some bare spots.  I first varnished the set with Krylon “Clear Glossy” spray paint.  After allowing the pieces to dry, I then varnished the topsides with two coats and the underside with one coat of Testors “Dull Coat”.  I did this because they are board game pieces, with more need of paint protection.

7-egypt-catan-set-after-varnish-close-up-road
Finished pair of roads

 

9-egypt-catan-set-after-varnish-close-up-settlements
Two settlements
8-egypt-catan-set-after-varnish-close-up-city
Two cities

After this I moved on to the robber.  It is a 28mm figure, dressed in desert garb, with an axe.  The first thing I did was to glue the figure to a larger 1.25″ steel washer with wood glue.  Once that had dried, I used Apoxie Sculpt to create a base.  I decided that flocking the robbers would be messy and not useful.

2-egypt-catan-robber-before-priming
Robber before priming

I first dry brushed the robber with the P3 “Sulfuric Yellow” and Americana “Desert Sand” 50/50 mix.

5-egypt-catan-robber-after-drybrushing
After first dry brushing

I then worked on base coating the details.  The axe handle and the backside of the shield got a coat of Citadel “Dryad Bark”, and the axe got  a coat of FolkArt “Gunmetal Gray”.  I used P3 “Midland Flesh” on the face.  For the shield, I used another 1987 paint, Deka Lack “Ocker” (ochre), which had more of a metallic tint.  I then used “Agrax Earthshade” and let the figure dry.

I highlighted the figure and the base with “Sulfuric Yellow” and dry brushed some areas.  Then I did the sclera of the eyes with Americana “Snow” and “Ebony” for the pupil and eyebrows.  The boots and gloves got a coat of P3 “Bootstrap Leather”.  To create an edge on the axe, I used Tamiya “Chrome Silver”.  I highlighted his nose and cheekbones with FolkArt “Light Flesh”, then used P3 “Flesh Wash” to make it more tan.  I used “Sulfuric Yellow” on the boss on the shield, then darkened it and the base with “Agrax Earthshade”.

Lastly, once the figure was dry I then varnished it with two coats of Testors “Dull Coat”.

12-egypt-catan-set-robber-after-varnish-no-flash-front
Finished robber

Overall, I am satisfied with the work – they are after all game pieces.  I hope to get these into a game of Catan soon.

13-egypt-catan-set-example-on-board
Example of the pieces on the game board