And the Winners of Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest are…

Back in March, I launched my second “giveaway” contest. Basically, it was called Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest, and I invited folks to guess as to when I would finish a bunch of terrain for my Aztec games of  Feudal Patrol games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement).

ALL OF MY TERRAIN SO FAR!

I have chronicled my progress here in this blog and I am hopeful that you’ve enjoyed the journey. I am happy to say that on today, May 22nd, 2021, I finally finished all of my pieces that were in the contest. Not ALL of what I have to build, but I am very close to done – more in a bit.

We had 18 entrants – not bad. And here – in no particular order – are the prizes I offered:

Prize A

Prize B

A three blister prize! Ral Partha 42-301 Aztec Generals, 42-305 Aztec Arrow Knights, and 42-309 Aztec Warriors w/Long Thrusting Spears (really tepoztopilli). 18 figures in total. All are unopened from the 1980’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.

Prize C

A two blister prize! Ral Partha 42-309 Aztec Warriors w/Long Thrusting Spears (really tepoztopilli) and 42-308 Aztec Warriors w/Darts & Light Spears (really atlatl) . 12 figures total. Both are unopened from the 1980’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.

Prize D

A two blister prize! Ral Partha 02-212 Savages: Bowmen (2 blisters – 12 figures total). Both are unopened from the 1990’s or early 2000’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.

Prize E

A primed and based resin African mask from Acheson Creations suitable for whatever you want to use it as!

So here are the results – please join me in congratulating the winners!

Check out any blogs you don’t know!

You can see how you ended up above – pretty interesting how as a group your average was 5/19 – just three days off!

1st Place: Buck Surdu from Buck’s Blog – just three days early! Taking the Gold for the USA!

2nd Place: Chris Palmer from the HAWKS blog! Taking the Silver for the USA!

3rd place: John from Just Needs Varnish! Taking the Bronze for the UK!

4th Place: TIM from The Imperfect Modeller! Another Brit!

5th Place: Pete from Pete’s S/P Blog (his second win!) One more for the UK!

Congrats to the winners! Buck gets first choice, then Chris gets second, then John third, then TIM fourth, then Pete gets what’s left.

Just confirm in the comments section which one you want, and then email me your shipping information to MarkAMorin@aol.com (I’m sure that will work fine – I have some of yours but just to be sure). That way the winners can choose from what’s left after higher winners have chosen.

Thanks to ALL of you (even if you lost) for playing and to ALL of you, more importantly, thank you for your encouragement and support!!! It really helped me and inspired me.

And check out the blogs listed – all are worth more than a look!

So what’s next for me? The following!

Going to convert this into a miniature temple for Tenochtitlan. It looks like something from a tourist shop of a DIY kit, but I’m grateful for it (thanks Ryan).
Conquistador War Wagons! Four of them (think wooden APC’s). From Gringo 40’s.
Cortes from Gringo 40’s

I’m also going to try to make Aztec “pavement” for Tenochtitlan. (no pic).

Until next time!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

Aztec Buildings and Scatter Terrain from Acheson Creations

This post will cover the Aztec resin terrain/structures from Acheson Creations that I have recently finished for my  Feudal Patrol games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). I purchased 6 structures from the company, and they were kind enough to throw in some scatter terrain that I believe will prove to be quite useful. The six buildings plus the 4 scatter pieces are all part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest“, as are all of the MDF I listed in the original contest post. While the buildings in this post would be probably more suited to a rural setting versus a cityscape, I think that the scatter terrain will be useful in several gaming ways.

Originally, my plan was to do finish all of the MDF structures first, and then move on to the resin ones. That concept did not pan out as I ran out of some key items for the MDF. The MDF need to match exactly so that visually the collection makes a nice panorama.

So, those shortages moved me onto the resin, which I had luckily prepped for priming back in March. I thought Acheson had made the recommendation to prime with Rustoleum “Painters Touch Ultra Cover Flat Black” – a rattlecan – something I usually avoid. (Now that I looked back at his website, that recommendation is not there?) Anyways, I got another delay in priming as the Massachusetts weather also did not play nice (it’s been cold and we even got 6″ of snow on April 16th).

I thought it prudent – prior to priming them – to give all a thorough scrubbing and washing. I also saw a need to install 1/8″ neodymium magnets for the resin structures with roofs – to make them more stable (and stay on the buildings during games). This would be useful on the tabletop and yet keep them easy enough to open up for gaming. I used different patterns for the magnets as you will see below – so the roofs won’t end up on the wrong buildings in error.

Subsequent to washing, I based these pieces back in March on 1.5mm sanded styrene card – so as to appear more flush with the tabletop. When the weather finally cooperated (one day), I primed them all with that flat black and then sprayed a coat of Army Painter “Leather Brown” over the pieces that would be lighter or brown. This group of pieces all needed different paints – I am listing what I used by type at the end of this post (this helps me remember for future consideration and projects but you may find it useful too). As I started them all before April began, these will be 10 more entries in the April painting challenge from Ann’s Immaterium called Ann’s “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge.

The pieces washed and with neodymium magnets installed. I would also have to figure out how to paint and finish the inside of the roofs so that I could mount them for the roofs’ exterior painting. I would mount all of these on styrene card.

One major difference here with these pieces versus how I have painted previously is my use of Army Painter “Soft Tone” (the “dip”) applied with a brush. This is an oil-based product, which I do not employ usually, mainly as I hate the need for cleanup with paint thinner. However, I thought that it would be a good use for the stuff that I bought back in 2017 – especially on the thatched roofs as it would both shade and provide a varnish-like protection. I could then dry brush over them with abandon and dull the dip’s shine with a final matte varnish.

I would need to finish the roofs’ interiors prior to the outside – and I basically treated them as separate pieces to be worked on.

Below, you will see I broke each of the pieces out so you can get an idea of the transformation. I must give a shout out to TIM of The Imperfect Modeler who graciously gave me some excellent advice for these pieces.

Cuezcomatl Granary Structure

The term cuezcomatl refers to a granary storage structure that was used in Mesoamerica before the arrival of the Spanish and even up to today in some rural areas (see reference here). The model was interesting to paint, and working on it also helped me to prepare for the other thatched roofs. In the end, I decided to use Army Painter Soft Tone (the “dip”) with a brush. This allowed me to both get some good detail shading as well as to protect the model. I can see this model being useful as a terrain piece, as well as an objective marker. The Aztecs were quite avid practitioners of raiding their neighbors for food as well as captives (or anything else that they wanted to take), as were all Mesoamerican peoples of the era. The Aztecs were just more adept at the practice.

Jaguar Warriors seize an enemy cuezcomatl

Maize Storage Structure

This piece had a few areas that I worked to improve upon. One was to fill an open storage well with “maize” – or at least something that could approximate it. Another was to convert the dowel-like smooth front pillars into a more convincing-looking pair of period wooden supports. The pillars did have a slight wood grain, but I wanted to make them more rustic. Lastly, I did need to do some drilling and magnet installation so as to allow the piece to stay together. As with all of the other pieces here with separate roofs, I needed to finish the inside of the roof (including up to varnishing) before I finished the outside.

Similar to the cuezcomatl piece, this one can serve as both terrain and an objective marker due to the food storage bounty.

Structure completed.

Aztec Veterans defend the maize.

Aztec Peasant/Farmer’s House

I had three peasant houses – this is the first one.

Novice warriors defend a peasant’s house – maybe not even theirs at the beginning of the day!

Huaxtec House

The Huaxtec were a people who lived near the east coast of Mexico. They were related to the Maya and were conquered by the Aztecs. I found this structure to be quite striking visually and I have to imagine that it was somewhat common. In any case, it was different than the others, so I thought it worth adding. The only issue that this piece presented was that the roof size did not line up as easily for the magnets – but enough to make a couple work enough to keep the roof on.

The Aztecs pillage the Huaxtec House.

Aztec Stone House

The third type of house is an Aztec Stone House. This is one of the two stone houses in the group. I decided that I would go for more of a sandstone or light limestone look for these.

Aztec Veteran and Novice Warriors deploy from the stone house

Aztec Noble’s House

The Aztec Noble’s house had an interesting roof and a bit of opportunity for some color.

The Aztec Snake Woman (General) and a Noble Captain depart for battle.

Miscellaneous Scatter Terrain

It was a nice surprise to get this scatter terrain. I used all of it except one – which was an African mask. I based it and primed it but did not paint it. As I will not likely use it, it will be another (5th!) prize in Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest.

These will be nice treasure markers for the games. I played with some shiny (and tiny) beads (from Japan) and Swarovski glittery crystals from Michaels to make the treasure and fill the pots over some steel BB’s. I also had a chance to do some minimal Aztec freehand work on the pots.

The Leafy Pot treasure. Why is it on leaves? You got me – I don’t know!
The gold staff treasure – with a treasure chest, a silver carafe, a gold vase, and a large gold staff of some type.
Top view of the treasures
Elite Warriors – Cuachiqueh (“Shorn Ones”) – protect Montezuma’s gold.

That rounds out my pieces for April. I now have just two more pieces of MDF left for the contest – though I do have more planned terrain and structures – keep following!

Coming up next – these last two MDF.

I’d love to hear any feedback on these – and I did use a different photo set up as well – so let me know on that too if you want. Getting my last “jab” this weekend, as well as trying to play in two golf tournaments – so when will I get done and end the contest…who knows?

As far as Acheson, I must give them a very positive review on these resin pieces. Check out their stuff here. Their offerings and ranges are quite extensive across many periods. The sculpting is good and the details are nice, and the extras they threw in were very cool too. And other than the freebies that they threw in, I have not been paid by them in any way.

Thanks for looking and please let me know what you think in the comments section!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

The next sections are references on the paints I used – mainly for me – so skip the rest if you are so inclined. Thanks for looking and I hope that you’ll let me know what you think about these models.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE STRUCTURES AND PIECES:

Cuezcomatl Granary Structure:
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  4. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  5. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  6. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  9. Hataka “Jaune d’Ochre”
  10. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  11. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  12. Citadel “Aggaros Dunes”
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Ivory”
  14. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  15. Vallejo Game Air “Red Terracotta”
  16. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  17. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (dip)
  18. Hobby talus
  19. Gorilla Glue
  20. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  21. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  22. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  23. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  24. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  25. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  26. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  27. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  28. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  29. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  30. Americana “Desert Sand”
  31. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  32. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  33. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  34. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  35. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  36. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm Jungle Tufts
  37. Poster tack
  38. Plastic Plates
Maize Storage Structure
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  4. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  5. Birch wood
  6. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  7. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  8. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  9. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  10. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  12. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  16. Vallejo Model Air “Yellow Ochre”
  17. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  18. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (dip)
  19. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  20. Wooden toothpicks
  21. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  22. Citadel “Hexos Palesun”
  23. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  24. Citadel “Iyanden Yellow”
  25. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  26. Citadel Air “Balor Brown”
  27. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  28. Citadel “Aggaros Dunes”
  29. Hobby talus
  30. Gorilla Glue
  31. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  32. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  33. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  34. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  35. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  36. Americana “Desert Sand”
  37. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  38. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  39. Vallejo Game Air “Sun Yellow”
  40. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  41. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  42. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  43. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  44. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”
  45. Poster tack
  46. Plastic Plates
  47. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  48. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  49. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
Aztec Peasant/Farmer’s House
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  4. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  5. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  6. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  7. Gorilla Glue
  8. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  10. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Yellow Ochre”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  16. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (dip)
  17. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  18. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  19. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  20. Citadel “Hexos Palesun”
  21. Hobby talus
  22. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  23. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  24. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  25. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  26. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  27. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  28. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  29. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  30. Americana “Desert Sand”
  31. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  32. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  33. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  34. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  36. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  37. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”
  38. Poster tack
  39. Plastic Plates
Huaxtec House
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  4. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  5. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  6. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  7. Gorilla Glue
  8. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  10. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Yellow Ochre”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  16. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (dip)
  17. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  18. Citadel “Hexos Palesun”
  19. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  20. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  21. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  22. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  23. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  24. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  25. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  26. Hobby talus
  27. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  28. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  29. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  30. Americana “Desert Sand”
  31. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  32. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  33. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  34. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  35. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  36. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”
  37. Poster tack
  38. Plastic Plates
Aztec Stone House
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  4. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  5. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  6. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  7. Gorilla Glue
  8. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  9. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  12. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  13. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (dip)
  14. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  15. Citadel “Hexos Palesun”
  16. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  17. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  18. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  19. Americana “Raw Sienna”
  20. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  21. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  22. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  23. Hobby talus
  24. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  25. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  26. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  27. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  28. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  29. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  30. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  31. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  32. Americana “Desert Sand”
  33. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  34. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  35. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  36. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  37. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  38. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”
  39. Poster tack
  40. Plastic Plates
Aztec Noble’s House
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. Army Painter Color Primer “Leather Brown” (spray can)
  3. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  4. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  5. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  6. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  7. Gorilla Glue
  8. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  10. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  11. Armory “Dark Blue”
  12. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  14. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  15. Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (wash)
  16. Americana “Raw Sienna”
  17. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  18. Vallejo Model Color “Yellow Ochre”
  19. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  20. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  21. Hobby talus
  22. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  23. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  24. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  25. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  26. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  27. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  28. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  29. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  30. Americana “Desert Sand”
  31. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  32. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  33. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  34. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  36. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  37. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”
  38. Poster tack
  39. Plastic Plates
Miscellaneous Scatter Terrain Pieces
  1. Rustoleum “Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Flat Black” (spray can)
  2. 1.5mm styrene sheet
  3. Sci-Grip “16 Fast Set Clear, Medium-bodied solvent cement”
  4. Vallejo “Brown Earth Gel Leather Brown”
  5. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  6. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  8. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  9. Vallejo Game Color “Livery Green”
  10. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “White”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Silver”
  13. Citadel “Waywatcher Green” (glaze)
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
  15. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  16. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  17. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  18. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  19. Citadel “Skeleton Horde”
  20. Citadel “Retributor Armour”
  21. Citadel “Gehenna Gold”
  22. Citadel “Auric Armour Gold”
  23. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Rust Texture”
  24. Swarovski “Shimmer Effect Crystals”
  25. Steel BB’s
  26. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Light Rust Wash”
  27. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
  28. Army Painter “Mid Brown” (wash)
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  30. Vallejo Model Color “Yellow Ochre”
  31. Play sand
  32. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  33. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  34. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  35. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  36. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  37. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  38. Americana “Desert Sand”
  39. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  40. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  41. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  42. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  43. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  44. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  45. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  46. Toho Gold 6/0 “E” Beads
  47. Miyuki 11/0 “Delica” Turquoise Beads
  48. Miyuki 11/0 “Delica” Gold Beads
  49. Miyuki 11/0 “Delica” Silver Beads
  50. Gorilla Glue
  51. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)

Aztec Temple Sentinel Tower & a Challenge Update

In this post I will share my latest MDF kit build for Feudal Patrol games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). I was able to finish off another Aztec-inspired MDF kit. This one also came from from Things From the Basement via 4Ground via Badger Games (see it here). It is called Temple Sentinel Tower and is scaled for 28mm figures – and is just what it is described as being – a Temple Sentinel Tower which would be a nice piece of high ground for some missile troops.

This is part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest” (which you will read more about shortly in this blog post), as well as the April painting challenge from Ann’s Immaterium called Ann’s “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge.

The kit as received.

It was an enjoyable kit to build. This one had a few challenges for the build as I needed to make sure that I could paint the inside of the tower as well as dust it up with chinchilla dust as I have been doing. I want all these cityscape Temple structures to match in character – and in color and texture. Basically, as you will see, I broke the kit into two parts until final assembly.

The kit after wiping down with a moist microfiber cloth. The instructions were good.
First day of assembly and setting up with PVA, rubber bands, and clamps.
The lower tower section is on the left – and the top here has been left to work on separately with paint and chinchilla dust as I have previously described (see this page). Having steel washers around held as weights with PVA gluing.
The tower sections awaiting base coating after dusting up with the chinchilla dust and watered down PVA slurry.
The sections after the base coat was applied and the dry brushing of the textures. The red, black, and yellow colors were painted after the dry brushing.

The finished Temple Sentinel Tower next to my previous MDF builds. I put a few missile troops up in the tower as examples.
Different angle view.
An Aztec veteran with an atlatl peers out while a macuahuitl-armed comrade guards the ladder access. A sling-armed novice is at the top of the ladder.
A close up of a bowman (front) and another slinger (left) in the tower.

I think this came out well – what do you think?

For the other pieces in the building contest, I was also able to airbrush a decent base coat on my remaining resin structures, as well as to start on the ground cover on their styrene bases.

The remaining resin structures – I have a good start on them.

This now leaves me with two more MDF builds – the Temple High Throne and the Sacrificial Altar – in addition to the resin. These are going to take a back seat to finishing the resin pieces. This is because as I have more paint on order to properly finish them similarly to my previous MDF kits. I have found that I’m going though a good amount of paints and washes (chinchilla dust and MDF can be thirsty).

I have also tried to show you, dear readers, the progress in my challenge in a non-award-winning video on IGTV and Instagram (well it hasn’t won yet, so there’s hope…).

My main communications channel is THIS BLOG! But, I’m just trying to keep up with the young ‘uns like IRO. It’s a bit of an unscripted thing – so enjoy! Without any further ado – here is the video link live from my cellar (that I cannot put on WordPress without paying more $$).

So as for the contest – I have a shot below that shows the range of guesses:

The contest IS ON! Who will win?

We’ve got American, Aussie, and Brit entries (what’s up with the rest of the world?). Thanks to all for entering and best of luck – and follow my progress (and your chances) here! The average is May 19th, with Azazel the earliest on 4/24/2021 and Ann the latest on 6/30/2021. Hell, your guesses are as good as mine at this point for sure.

A couple of small side notes. I was quite surprised and happy to see that 4Ground featured my work on their Facebook page – here is that Facebook link – and much thanks to our pal Kuribo who let me know on the blog that he saw it. Also, this marks my 30th post on this subject – and while I’m happy about the progress I’ve made – the listing of all the posts is getting to be a bit much (never mind approving all the WordPress pingbacks that this generates).

So, I’ve added a new selection on my main menu (“Gaming & Hobby Areas of Interest”), and under that will be individual genre selections. I’ve started with a page with a list of and links to all of my Mesoamerican posts called “Aztec, Conquistador, and Mesoamerican Hobby Projects Posts” – and I will (over time) be augmenting it with other stuff, such as retro sci-fi, France 1940, Normandy, etc. But I won’t get to that for a while – I’ll be focusing here on the Aztec stuff! I’ll still add the paints and materials section as before, mostly for my own references.

Thanks for looking and I hope that you can check out the video link and no matter what – let me know what you think of the tower – or my accent – or my graying hair – or whatever.

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE PIECES:

  1. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  2. Poster tack
  3. Plastic Plates
  4. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  10. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  11. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  14. Craftsmart “Black”
  15. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  16. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  17. Vallejo Game Air “Ivory”

Terrain for What a Tanker: Making a Panzer IVD Wreck and Blast Markers

I have been trying to amass and put together more desert terrain and terrain markers for running What a Tanker© games set in North Africa in WWII.  A few months back I received a defective Panzer IVD model from Battlefront Miniatures –  in that it came with two left tracks.  Battlefront did a nice job in rectifying that situation and sent me a brand new model.  I finished that as a DAK Panzer IVD and wrote about it here.  But, I still had most of a Panzer IVD model that I could use for something.  I decided to make it into a wreck  – that would also be a nice addition as a terrain feature.  As I will be running a WaT game at HAVOC in April, so I decided to knock out four more smoke/blast markers to support that as well.  Both of these projects will be covered in this post.

These projects are my February submissions for Azazel’s February Community Painting Challenge, which he supplemented to include terrain.  This week I also started a new job!  So, I wanted to wrap up these projects this weekend.

Panzer IVD Wreck

I decided to base the wreck on an old CD that was surfaced with play sand and Elmer’s (PVA) glue.  To cover the hole, I affixed some leftover polystyrene bits.  Then, I used sandpaper to lightly scratch the CD, then applied the glue, then the sand, and let it harden overnight.  I removed the front and rear sprockets from one of the tracks and cut away some road wheels, so as to be able to flip them on the CD and make them available for the right side of the wreck in the correct locations as debris.  I carefully cut away the road wheels and part of the track and some fender, and washed everything to prep for painting.

After all the pieces had dried, I then I assembled the model to look “messed up”.  I put the gun and mantlet on slightly crooked.  The turret and bustle rack were put on a bit akimbo as well.

I took a 1/8″ drill bit and drilled a hole into the hull between the missing road wheels to simulate the impact of a hard shot into the weaker flank of the tank.  In my portrayal, that shot hit ammunition, causing an explosion.  I scattered the resultant debris on one side of the tank to simulate that, affixing everything with E6000 epoxy.  I then mounted the CD onto a disposable plastic plate using poster tack for ease of painting.  I applied a coat of Citadel “Imperium Primer” as the E6000 was a bit rubbery and smooth – and I was worried that it would not hold paint well.  To double up on priming, I then airbrushed on another primer coat – Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”.

4 Wrecked primed
My initial basing and priming 

My next thought was to do a bit of the original Panzer IVD paint on the wreck before I changed it into a wreck, as perhaps some of it would survive (I don’t think much eventually did, but I thought, better safe than sorry).  This consisted of the same basic pattern I followed on my previous German tanks.

5 base coat (first)
First some grey…

6 base coat (second)
…and then some more DAK colors.

My concept at this point was to portray the Panzer IVD as having been hit, having caught fire, then after being abandoned, rusting away.  The fire would have destroyed all or most of the original paint on the hull.  Any metal debris would have rusted afterwards in my opinion, so I decided that decals would be a waste here.

7 early rust
Here, I worked on rusting things up with several different rusting products (all listed at the end of the post).

The sand and PVA glue texture was insufficiently granular for the base, so I used Citadel “Armageddon Dunes” to roughen up the landscape.  It also allowed me to make the doomed German tank’s last tracks in the desert at the rear of the vehicle.  I darkened them up with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”.

8 after Armageddon Dunes on base
After using the Armageddon Dunes texture paint to gain a better surface on the base.

Then I went into using various Vallejo weathering pigments to create soot, smoke, and dust on and around the model.  I especially like the soot!

9 pigments and weathering and rust, impact side
Impact side, after weathering but before varnishing.

10 pigments and weathering and rust, left side
Opposite side of the tank before varnishing.

10 pigments and weathering and rust, top side
Top of the tank before varnishing.

For varnishing, I used two coats.  First, I applied a Vallejo “Satin” varnish with my airbrush.  After that had dried, I applied a light coat of Vallejo Mecha Color “Matt Varnish”.   I did not want to overly dull the tank, but I definitely did not want it too glossy.

12 after varnish, front
After first coat of varnish.

I am reasonably happy with the final results.  Here are some eye-candy shots on my desert game mat – you be the judge!

13 on mat complete, impact side
Completed Panzer IVD wreck model, impact side.

14 on mat complete, rear side
Completed Panzer IVD wreck model, rear side, showing the track marks in the sand before its final moments.

15 on mat complete, left side
Completed Panzer IVD wreck model, left side.

16 on mat complete, impact side
One of my favorite views.

17 that could have been us
An intact Panzer IVD crew drives by the wreck, thinking it could have been them!

18 that could have been us
Let’s be careful Heinz!  We don’t want to end up crispy like that one!

19 holding it
A little different angle – plus my hands for scale.

20 holding it top
Nice view of the top – some of the original paint can be seen here I think.

Smoke/Blast Markers

The next project was making some more (and better) to put on the tabletop when tanks meet their demise – or for any explosions in general.   I took tea lights, and hot glued thin strips of pillow batting to them in a “closed lily” type of shape.

1 unpainted smoke markers
After building the markers, but before painting them.

2 unpainted smoke markers lit up in dark
Lit up with the lights down.

I then painted them black and grey, trying to make them less dark thank my previous attempts.

3 painted smoke markers
Completed and lit in the light.

4 painted smoke markers lit up in dark
Look much better in less light!

Thanks for looking at these – and I hope that perhaps these give you some ideas.  In any case, I hope you enjoyed seeing them and my processes.  Please share any feedback you have in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE PANZER IVD WRECK:

  1. Play sand
  2. Used CD
  3. Elmer’s Glue
  4. Battlefront model #GE040
  5. E6000 epoxy
  6. Gorilla Glue
  7. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  8. Citadel “Imperium Primer”
  9. Polystyrene bits
  10. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  11. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  12. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  16. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Hull Red”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Brown”
  20. Citadel “Armageddon Dunes” (Texture)
  21. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  23. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Rust Wash” (wash)
  24. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  25. Vallejo “Dark Sand”
  26. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  27. Vallejo “Titanium White” (pigment)
  28. Vallejo “Carbon Black” (pigment)
  29. Vallejo “Pigment Binder”
  30. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  31. Citadel “Ryza Rust”
  32. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  33. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  34. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  35. Vallejo Model Air “Satin Varnish”
  36. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  37. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE SMOKE/BLAST MARKERS:

  1. Tea lights (battery operated)
  2. Pillow batting material
  3. Hot glue from glue gun
  4. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  5. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  6. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”

2018 Hobby Activity Roundup

2018 was a busy year for me for hobbies, my busiest ever in fact.  My activities and projects were mostly involved with supporting either Combat Patrol™ games or What a Tanker© games.  So what did I do?  Well, I helped to found a local gaming club and I started running games at small conventions (and won “The Al” at HAVOC last year – photo above).  All of my hobby activity and efforts focused on creating and building what I needed for my games to be successful.  I also joined some community painting challenges which helped to focus my efforts as well and got me to try new techniques (thanks Azazel!).  I also followed many other blogs which were very inspiring.

Some of the items on the activity list below could be fairly called double-counting, but hey, no blood no foul!  I tend to count projects in terms of their distinctive nature, ie the building/assembling/creating processes to me are different than painting, as is converting figures.  I did not cast anything this year or make any molds as I still have plenty of figures to paint, and my hope is to knock out more of them in 2019, as I will not need to make as many game pieces/game aids.

This list, which is a separate page on my blog, helped me to stay focused.  The adding of the hyperlinks that you see on the items below helps me to review past projects as prologue for future ones.

Thanks for checking this out – and good luck to all in 2019!  Hope I keep you amused and entertained!

2018 Total Projects:  2,036

  • 244 figures painted
  • 0 figures cast
  • 47 figures assembled
  • 33 terrain pieces made or assembled
  • 28 terrain pieces painted
  • 10 figure conversions
  • 867 creations or components sculpted or scratch-built
  • 0 molds made
  • 807 game pieces/game aids made and/or painted

January: 91 projects

  • Creations/components sculpted or scratch-built (91):
    • 91 unit placards sculpted/made from Apoxie Sculpt

February: 645 projects

  • Figures painted (36):
  • Creations sculpted or scratch-built (375):
    • 185 blank game placards made for Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi use
    • 185 decals made for game placards or Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi use
    • 2 long arc weapon (breaching) templates for Mark III Warbot use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
    • 2 short arc weapon (breaching) templates for Mark III Warbot use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
    • 1 plasma ball template (breaching) template for Mark III Warbot use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (234):
    • 8 Armorcast ACFX034 Grenade Blasts Cinematic Effects Bits painted
    • 36 casualty cards made for the Hurraku Space Phraints
    • 185 placards made for use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
      • 50 wound markers
        • 15 1-wound markers
        • 15 2-wound markers
        • 6 3-wound markers
        • 6 4-wound markers
        • 4 5-wound markers
        • 4 6-wound markers
      • 25 stun markers
      • 10 critical hit – optics/sensors markers damage for Mark III Warbots
      • 10 critical hit – mobility damage (“STOP”) markers for Mark III Warbots
      • 10 critical hit – CPU damage (“ROGUE”) markers for Mark III Warbots
      • 20 out of ammunition markers
      • 60 jet-pack use markers
        • 20 for one use of jet pack in the game
        • 20 for two uses of jet pack in the game
        • 20 for three uses of jet pack in the game
    • 5 game aid templates painted for use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
      • 2 long arc weapon (breaching) template painted
      • 2 short arc weapon (breaching) template painted
      • 1 plasma ball template (breaching) template painted

March: 74 projects

  • Figures painted (40):
  • Figures assembled (1):
    • Critter Commandos Frogbot
  • Creations/components sculpted or scratch-built (33):
    • 33 unit placards sculpted/made from Apoxie Sculpt

April: 144 projects

  • Figures assembled (2):
  • Terrain pieces made or assembled (12):
    • 12 tea light smoke plumes made
  • Terrain pieces painted (12):
    • 12 tea light smoke plumes painted
  • Game aids made or painted (118):
    • 39 casualty cards made for the F.R.O.G. Commandos
    • 6 flame circles made
    • 25 chits for Combat Patrol™ made (pulling card forward chits)
    • 48 unit and vehicle data cards made for Combat Patrol

May: 6 projects

  • Figures painted (2):
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (4)
    • 2 casualty cards made for Roberker and the second Juggerbot
    • 2 unit data cards made for Combat Patrol™

June: 95 projects

  • Figures painted (57):
    • 32 Texican Space Rangers from Archive Star Rovers line
      • 6 Travis B. Crockett figures (#2225)
      • 26 Armando Garcia figures (#2226)
    • 11 Robot Peacekeepers from Mega Miniatures Salvage Crew Robots & Vehicles Range 
    • 14 figures painted for my Space Dwarf Assault Squad
      • 11 Long Gone Jones Space Dwarfs from Archive Star Rovers line (Archive #2211)
      • 3 Agribot (S1L1) from Archive Star Rovers line (Archive #2204)
  • Game aids made or painted (38):
    • 32 casualty cards made for the Texican Space Rangers
    • 6 unit data cards made for Combat Patrol™

July: 66 projects

  • Figures painted (15):
  • Figures assembled (5):
    • 5 Power-Armored Frinx on Glyptodon from Archive Star Rovers line (Archive #2042)
  • Figures converted (6):
    • 6 Frinx riders converted with Bombshell Miniatures Arc Weapons (#36013)
  • Terrain pieces made or assembled (13):
    • 5 large Woodland Scenics evergreen trees
    • 8 small Woodland Scenics deciduous trees
  • Game aids made or painted (27):
    • 11 casualty cards made for the Robot Peacekeepers
    • 14 casualty cards made for the Space Dwarf Assault Squad
    • 2 unit data cards made for Combat Patrol™

August: 54 projects

September:  566 projects

  • Terrain pieces made or assembled (3):
    • 1 Armorcast T-Section
    • 1 Armorcast Building Corner (#ACRB008)
    • 1 Armorcast Building Corner (#ACRB009)
  • Terrain pieces painted (11):
    • 5 ruined building corners
      • 1 Armorcast T-Section
      • 1 Armorcast Building Corner (#ACRB008)
      • 1 Armorcast Building Corner (#ACRB009)
      • 2 Armorcast Building Corners (#ACRB013)
    • 6 battle-damaged sci-fi walls
      • 1 set of 2 Armorcast High Tech Walls 2 (#ACW007), each set includes 2 walls so 2 pieces
      • 2 sets of High Tech Walls, each set includes 2 walls, so 4 pieces
  • Creations sculpted or scratch-built (368):
      • 184 blank game placards made for Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi use
      • 184 decals made for game placards or Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi use
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (184):
    • 184 placards made for use in Combat Patrol™ retro sci-fi
      • 72 wound markers
        • 20 1-wound markers
        • 20 2-wound markers
        • 14 3-wound markers
        • 6 4-wound markers
        • 6 5-wound markers
        • 6 6-wound markers
      • 24 stun markers
      • 24 out of ammunition markers
      • 64 jet-pack use markers
        • 22 for one use of jet pack in the game
        • 20 for two uses of jet pack in the game
        • 22 for three uses of jet pack in the game

October:  113 projects

  • Figures painted (28):
    • 28 Space Roos painted (converted figures that I cast)
  • Figure conversions (4):
    • 2 Space Roo weapon conversions to RPG’s
    • 2 Space Roo weapon conversions to grenade launchers
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (81):
    • 45 small (1/8″ diameter) placards made and painted for improved identification of the Mars Aliens on the tabletop
    • 28 small (1/4 and 5/16″ diameter) placards made and painted for improved identification of the Space Roos on the tabletop
    • 8 dashboards built for What a Tanker games

November:  160 projects

  • Figures painted (43):
    • 5 KV-1a Soviet tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio)
    • 2 T-26 Soviet tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio)
    • 2 BA-64 Soviet armored cars (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio)
    • 1 BT-5 Soviet tank, (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#SU021)
    • 1 BT-7 Soviet tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#SU023)
    • 2 Soviet Gaz trucks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio)
    • 1 Panzer IIC tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108)
    • 1 Panzer IIIE (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE030)
    • 3 Sturmgeshutz IIIA assault guns (15mm/1:100 scale), from from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX109)
    • 2 German Panzer IVd tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished, washed and varnished
    • 1 German Panzer 38(t) tank (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished, washed and varnished
    • 3 Italian M13/40 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished, washed and varnished
    • 2 Italian L6 light tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished, washed and varnished
    • 2 British Matilda II tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished, washed and varnished
    • 2 German Hetzer tank destroyers (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished and varnished
    • 2 German Panzer IIIN tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished and varnished
    • 2 Renault R-35 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#FR030)
    • 3 SOMUA S-35 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#FR050)
    • 2 French Char B1 bis tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished and varnished
    • 2 US M4 Sherman tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished and varnished
    • 2 US M3/M5 Stuart tanks (15mm/1:100 scale, Wargame Models in Ohio), finished and varnished
  • Figures assembled (25):
    • 5 French tanks assembled:
      • 3 SOMUA S-35 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#FR050)
      • 2 Renault R-35 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#FR030)
    • 2 British tanks assembled:
      • 1 A10 Cruiser Mark IIA (Desert) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR023)
      • 1 Valentine II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR060)
    • 2 Soviet tanks assembled:
      • 1 BT-5 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#SU021)
      • 1 BT-7 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#SU023)
    • 16 German tanks/assault guns assembled:
      • 5 Panzer II C’s and F’s) (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108)
      • 3 Panzer IIIE’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE030)
      • 3 Sturmgeshutz IIIA assault guns (15mm/1:100 scale), from from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX109)
      • 3 Sturmgeshutz III Ausf F8 assault guns (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company, Ltd. (#WW2V15005)
      • 2 Sturmgeshutz III Ausf G (late) assault guns (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company, Ltd. (#WW2V15005)
  • 2 terrain pieces made or assembled (two fields)
  • 2 terrain pieces painted (two fields)
  • Game aids made or painted (92):
    • 28 casualty cards made for the Space Roos
    • 36 bonus cards made for What a Tanker©
    • 3 unit data cards made for Combat Patrol™

December:  18 projects

  • Figures painted (4):
  • Figures assembled (14):
    • 14 British tanks assembled for What a Tanker© in North Africa:
      • 2 A9 Cruiser Mark I tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR020)
      • 1 A10 Cruiser Mark IIA (Desert) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR023)
      • 1 A13 Cruiser Mark IVA (Desert) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR026)
      • 1 Valentine III tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR061)
      • 1 Crusader II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR032)
      • 1 Crusader III tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR034)
      • 1 M3 Grant tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR100)
      • 1 Churchill II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR070)
      • 5 M3 Stuart “Honey” tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR006) – Brits will get two,  I am saving one for future Soviet Lend-Lease, one for future captured German use in North Africa, and one as an American M3 for future captured Japanese use in Burma or the Philippines. 

 

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!!).