Friday, 30 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XVI - Stable Barracks

Welcome to my latest follower Arny - who has some great looking terrain on his blog Ultra Terrain

Whilst working out costings for the PrynGul Tower and shingles kits I finalised the composition of the the next Kit in the range.

This is a stables/barracks.  The idea being the double doors on the ground floor open into an enuk stables and the stairs lead to knight quarters or barracks area above the stables.

As before this model is based on a pringles tube, except this time cut down to half height. All of the modules in this kit (stair case, double doors, dormer window) can be placed anywhere on the model and are interchangeable with the Pryn-Gul Tower and vice-versa. In this way a great number of variations can be made.

These Google Sketch-Up pictures represent the first stage in the design process. I now transfer these into TurboCAD to unfold and create the geometry for the laser cutter.

There will be a helical handrail up the model when finished (Sketch-Up doesn't like doing helices much - or maybe its me?) There may be a reverse handed version of this kit sometime too - with the stairs going anti clockwise.

I still need to name this kit. I was thinking of Nu-Bree Stables, or perhaps Asc-Ut Stables or even Oldash-Ot Barracks?

As always comments suggestions and criticism gratefully received!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Everyone hates shingles?

Welcome to my 2 new followers, Cianty andJoe Dragovich. I hope you find soemthing of interest here.

One of the things I learned at Salute 2010 is that all scratch builders hate cutting shingles.

I had numerous requests for sheets of just shingles or slates.

So, hows this ?

Click on the image for a bigger picture. These are scaled at about 1:50 but will suit anything from 1:35 up to around 1:72 at a push. There simply aren't standard sizes for slates and shingles.
The slates/shingles are shown in white, and the waste in grey. Each shingle is a variable width between 200 and 300mm  across (4-6mm in scale). Each strip is an average of 12mm deep, allowing for plenty of glue area. I'd imagine these components cut from 0.5mm thick or possibly 0.25mm thick styrene sheet.

The shingles would come in strips 285mm long, the upper edge remains continuous, and the bottom edge is cut through to give a random 'feathered' edge. When overlapped the continuous section of the shingles is hidden by the layer above, thus allowing whole rows of shingles to be cut to length and placed in one go.

This is an A4 sheet which holds 14 x 285mm lengths of shingles. That's 3.99m strip of shingles. Allowing for overlap, that's enough to fully cover 15x15 cm. (6" x 6") square roof.

To make shingles for roof ridges simply cut away the continuous top section of a strip of shingles and apply the shingles individually.

This is the same shingle/slate pattern used on the PrynGul tower prototype, its just straight rather than curved.

What do you think?

So, THAT was Salute 2010!

I have been lead to believe that it's polite to welcome followers to your blog and acknowledge the fact that exist and like what you write enough to click on the "follow this blog" button. So "Hi guys" (waves). And a special welcome to Scott and Nick who joined up in the last 48 hours. Happy now? Then we'll begin...

"My back hurts!"

That was the first thing that popped into my head this morning. Quickly followed by "but not as much as my feet!" I guess 8 hours on your feet will do that to someone of a usually more desk-bound lifestyle.Although maybe the 04:30 start and 23:00 return home, 500 mile round trip and the day long diet of Pringles may have something to do with it?

The last organised gaming conference event that I went to was Gamesday 1986 (although it may have been 87?). I was musing on what has changed and what hasn't... more plastic figures and greater imagination in the games and terrain and way more people with cameras, but i was pleased to see the genuine proliferation of small companies pitching their wares - I always loved that ambitious, zealous yet amateur approach, you feel as though you're discovering their own little world when you talk to them about what they do!

I spent a little time wandering around and taking pictures but I shall leave others who more thoroughly perused the games and stands to post reviews of the show.   I did however get to meet some (but not enough) of the followers of this blog, and others I have known on-line for some time - notably Sally (but not Kev) from my favourite company Hasslefree miniatures.

I'd like to pass on an enormous thanks to Mike Thorp, creator of Twilight for the space on his stand and the warm and helpful welcome he and his small army of helpers gave me on the day. It was great to feel so welcome by people I'd never met before or at best exchanged emails with! I wont try and give everyone a name check as I am sure I shall forget and therefore insult someone!

I took along the laser-cut Pryn-Gul tower which I am sure you are all fed up seeing pictures of recently, and spent most of the day with it on the Twilight stand. Time there was separated more or less equally giving out Pringles, demanding that gamers gave their money to the twilight guys, explaining laser cutting, and eating Pringles (note to self the BBQ flavour ones are pants!).

So, if you came over to see the twilight stand and said hello, and especially to those of you that mentioned you'd seen the blog and the pictures, and those of you misguided enough to say i was a genius (yes, there was more than one)... THANK YOU. I apologise in advance for not remembering who you are - it was a blur of happy faces!

Almost every one who showed any sign of slowing down past the twilight stand had a tube of Pringles pushed at them, or was offered the unpainted Pryn-Gul Tower to fondle. I think I was one of the few people at the show that was encouraging people to touch the product, as several people refused in case they broke it - so much so that i took to banging the model against the table edge or dropping it on the floor to demonstrate it isn't that delicate!

Once "encouraged" to stop and chat everyone had something constructive to say. It does seem as though the idea of something you build yourself, doesn't cost as much as resin, allows you to configure it modularly and means you don't spend days cutting shingles is a hit! The idea of buying building kits not covered in skulls (I refuse to finish that word with a z) or twin headed eagles was also appreciated. I could have sold a couple of dozen kits on the day if I'd had the time and conviction to get them made in time.

A few common threads of discussion were.
  • Are you going to do sci-fi?
  • Do you do other scales?
  • Can I just buy a sheet of lasercut shingles?
  • Can I just buy a sheet of Windows?
  • How about High Elf buildings with lots of lattice work?
As I tried to explain to everyone on the day the answer to all of these questions is "Yes, very probably, eventually, maybe."  and not necessarily in that order.

There were only two questions I gave a flat "no" repsponse to. The first was the guy who asked "can you do me a large Aquilla Eagle to put on the front of my 40k Imperial Guard Fortress?" To be fair it was less a "no" and more a "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo!" for far to many reasons involving originality style and the desire not to get sued to mention here. The second was the guy that asked me if I could send him the CAD drawings of the kit so that he could print them out and make the model from cardboard for nothing. I managed a straight "no" there... Wasn't I behaving well?

This is very much a hobby venture for me, and something I am learning about and growing as I go, so you may have to be patient. I got into building kits and was inspired by the World of Twilight game and imagery, so that's what I started with, and why all the starting models are cylindrical! I hope to make a small range of interchangeable models and kit bits which allow you to build table top terrain to support that game or other fantasy settings. Along the way I suspect I'll do some other stuff too, so if you have suggestions or requests then leave comments. You never know what might spark my interest! You might have to be patient though.

I have decided that I will be getting the Pryn-Gul tower into production fairly quickly, and I will also be making "building bits" sheets of components to help scratch your own buildings!

I've put a couple of concept pictures that we had up as posters at Salute just cos I've waffled on more than I expected in this post, and it needs some pictures to break up my rambling text! But the following picture is very early work in progress I've not shown before. It's an external spiral staircase designed to fit to the Pryn-Gul Tower (Made from a mini pringles tube). I'm uncertain whether to make this closed or open... suggestions?

Anyway, thanks to all of you that came and Ooooh'd and Aaaah'd over the tower and for your constructive comments and support. I hope to have production news for you soon.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XV - All wrapped up and ready to go.

Spent some time taking some good promotional pictures of the completed building for printing... here's a sneak of the best of them with plenty of photoshopping to glam it up a bit!

Click for a bigger pic (so you can spot the bad painting that so far i have been disguising with indistinct photographs)

The model is now very carefully wrapped in a lifetime supply of bubblewrap and ready to go to Salute.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XIV - Fluttery Goodness

Flags made from flattened out metal toothpaste tube, with decals and then folded carefully. The quality of the print onto the decal paper was not as good as I hoped but I think this works. Also its still shiny as I haven't matt varnished it yet.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XIII - Decals

To finish off the Furbarnii tower complex I have built I decided to add some imagery with a couple of home made decals. I thought If these turned out ok then I would add them to the kit.

The first is my take on the Furbarnii empire symbol that Mike Thorp the creator of Twilight suggested over on the Forum of Doom. This prints at 25mm by 30mm so its pretty small compared to what you see here. Its going to be used on a hanging pub-like sign on the side of the tower. You can see the bracket for it just above the lean-to on the right hand picture on the previous blog post.

The second is again taken from images within the game, this time a copy of the shield from the Fubarnii Knight - particularly this paint job by Ben Brownlie, again from the FoD. This Prints out at around 60mm by 40mm and forms the flag which adds the final finishing touch to the flag pole on top of the main tower.

This second Decal is the largest single one I have ever made so am not looking forwards to trying to slide it on to some thin metal sheet and then bend it into a fluttering flag shap - wish me luck!!

As always comments gratefully received.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XII - Pryn-Gul Tower complete

Well, not quite finished ... still have the runes on the terracotta tiles and the door fixtures and fittings to do metallic. The wood grain is good at arms length and i have convinced myself the colours work too, I do need to use a drafting pen to plack line some plank edges on the larger expanses of wood grain though.

As ever, click on the pictures for much bigger views.

These models will be on display on the Twilight stand at Salute 2010!! See you there!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Twilight Scenery XI

Still WIP, but a lot more progress on the additional building on the other end of the bridge. I am still putting off painting wood grain on all the exposed beam work... not looking forwards to that!

(Remember you can click the pics for a much closer view!)


EDIT : A few hours later....

I finally plucked up courage to begin the frankly ludicrous job of wood graining all the exposed beams...

The objective with the wood is to get away from the often seen "very brown" wood colour. that looks like the wood has been stained and varnished to within an inch of its life. I wanted to capture a hint of the dull greyness of bleached out wood, and a little greenness to try and emphasise the organic nature of the buildings. (I tried a test with various more pronounced greys and hated the contrast with the stucco colour.)

So I decided on this drab shade (Foundry triad 12). I also wanted to show the grain of the material (Mike and I discussed for a while whether the beam work would be wooden or stone, having chosen wood I wanted to show that unequivocally). Also I hoped that the highlight would also lend a hint of that weathered wood colour. My painting style errs towards being somewhat cartoon- and caricature-like, so I'm looking for the impression of wood at games table distances rather than detailed realistic wood. ( a little like the slates I showed in an earlier post.)

What do you think?
  • Do the colours work?
  • Is the grain over done?
  • Does the grain add to or detract from the model?

Any of you expert wood painters out there - I'd love some pointers.