Friday, March 27, 2009

More ACLtd Progress

Did a lot of Fiddly construction, decided to raise the huge tank up with a lattice work of metal bars instead of a solid base. Slapped a icky coat of green paint and wash on the Tank. Some of the detail of the back wall is shown with the pressure seal door and a few more covers and view screens added. Pipes connecting the green Tank to the vat and into the wall Unit behind it go in tomorrow.

The overhead conveyor track is in place, the basic Cultist skeleton structures are assembled and drying. Hope to hang them on the conveyor line tomorrow also.

Also the Tow Rig for the Model T tow wrecker is done except for the cable and hook, and painting. Have to play around to get a good rust stained look of to much work and not enough preventative maintenance! Cab of the truck is sketched but not cut. The thing that is Really slowing me down is the 70 degree weather and a marvelous garden project..... I blame the wife!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Model T and ACME CULTIST Ltd, Update

Busy with our 2.5 acres and spring time, but finally a breathing space, so back at it. The people at Company B send me one of their Resin cast Model T vehicle chassis. I am making a Tow Wrecker truck out of it and thought that I would post the first shot of the basic rig assembly. Still needs the upper support struts and cable. While I had originally thought that the winch was chain driven off of the back axle, a friend linked some pictures and come to find out that it was Hand cranked with a reduction gear, and large handle 2 men could work. Here is a link to Company B's website in case your looking for Model T style trucks that are usable up to world war 1. I have to fabricate the overhead cab and windshield yet along with assemble the wheels and axles that are in the kit.
Next is the ACME Cultist Ltd. project that is coming along slow but sure. The rough in has the overhead conveyor assembly and the Fluid Reserve Tank pictured in place. The Formulating tank is in place along with the control panels, though I am thinking of adding more bits to the wood backing for the piece. Looking for suitable figures, in the Gaelic line for basic nude with arms at sides, standing figure, going to need about 2 of them, Shopping!! Plan is that all the floor and exposed wall sections will be Tile covered, with stains, mold and sloppy cleaning by the Egor Clean up Specialists company..... maybe put some wall funnel lights up also...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Acme Cultist

There is an age old question of "Mommy, where do cultists come from?" Finally an investigative reporter has stumbled on to the ACME CULTIST COMPANY, Ltd. ! Here is a shot of the first stage of the ACC. Dusty wandered through the construction site that is a subsidiary of the larger parent company ACME INTERNATIONAL. I have roughed in a few of the basic parts and then remembered to break out the camera for a few pics of the In Process part of the project. I'm not going to give away the whole picture yet but safe to say that when your adventure party goes to that small sea side community of 20 people and that night are attacked by 500 cultists, you will no longer wonder where the villain gets his mass of cultists to carry out his whims, though rarely in a very good order or success rate. Next is a close up of the 1st section control panel. I wanted small discs to make the gauges for it along with display monitors but after a lot of time haunting the craft store Beads department I came away with zip for them. Oh! over in the scrap booking department was a sale on Hole Punchers, so I grabbed a couple different sized ones and pulled some clear plastic from their packaging. Click Click Click... I then glued them on as shown to the right. Stuck on a Lever. Still a lot to do on the backing machine and the overhead conveyor system which I have laid out and ready to start gluing. A few other parts that will be in this first part have been assembled along with an assortment of plastic straws saved from various soda cup purchases at assorted fast food and gas station stops. Also some of the basic component parts of your Mark III Cultist, which has replaced the Mark I (Organic, human) and the Mark II (Organic, human brainwashed) with the new synthetic cultist. The plastic skeletons are from a swap meet, the wooden drums were found in a hardware store that had a section of wooden toy trains and trucks section, they were only 69 cents each. Have to find a good generic cultist set of figures now and I can get them ready for when the other three portions get assembled.
More Later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dinosaur Update

and then there is the improved and MUCH SCARY version! I used dried sea urchin spines to make the horns with. Will trim some of the spines short and fix up the Stegadon tail also.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dinosaurs for Pulp Adventure

Found these at a craft store, pre painted with the colors you see them with in the pictures, they are made by Safari Ltd. They were on sale and in the section labeld Baby Dino's but work well for 25mm figure as Dusty shows, my my he is FEARLESS! T-Rex witha six shooter! Talk about Brass ones..

Next shot shows some of the others that I found there. I suppose I could put on longer horns and plates to make them look more fierce but for 97 cents each I think they rather look good, although the two tone Allasaurus is a bit odd looking, suppose the hunter will go to his doom saying "odd colors on that one eh?" while it charges down on him..... I expect that I will hit them with a bit of a matt spray finish as they are more than a bit shiny. Other than that they are good to go into my Safari Hunter collection.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Wierd Mad Science Machine

Over on Lead Adventures is a post to another wonderful Mad Science Laboratory:

I found it very involved and detailed as well as a great paint job, scroll down and see all the various pieces.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Brass Gizmotronic

Shoving some stuff out of the way in the storage area I stumbled up an earlier construction I used in a VSF meets Western Gunslingers. The base over all was part of a plastic boxing support for a piece of telephone gear, a service guy left it after setting up some phone line thing.. got all technical sounding. I covered some punch out holes with thin styrene sheets, odd plastic punch outs etc. Next I added some pipes, Valve wheels out of drive and idler bogie's. The 4 gauges I had just in a bits box, no idea where I got them but figured that such a mighty machine needed something to warn the operator when its function entered the RED ZONE.... and other trivial information!

The upper tower pieces are made from TV antenna plastic bits (from a hardware stores TV antenna parts selection, fabulous variety of shapes there). The clear part are spray bottle sprittzer covers saved from past purchases. The ball at the bottom is something from Epic 40K lander pod, all mounted on a 20 x 20 thin metal base. Plastic coffee straw for the center part. I would like to thank Dusty for tireless efforts of removing all the blood splatters and ichor from the Gizmotronic after its last encounter, in which he managed to find out that standing where he is in this last shot was really a BAD idea!

While building it I added bits and more, then finally Stopped as I needed to get it painted and ready for use. I suppose a Mark II will be more involved.

And there you have it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1912 Truck Project

Just found this model truck today, only problem is that its 1:24th scale. It has entered my TO-DO list to reduce it to 1:48th or so for Dusty's 25mm size to be more compatible.

Having an actual model should allow me to scale it down and then cast my own, varying the type of bed and over head cab detail to fill in a role of differing types of trucks. I expect to have a degree of difficulty but that's what makes it a hobby. Not sure that the interior of the cab may allow for the seating of figures, but that simply adds to the challenge. Got the figure at Big Lots, dug around but did not find any other styles of vehicles or even a tractor. Still have to take the time to do graph drawings and then to the table saw and belt sander to do a lot of the shaping. Might shop around for a suitable tire edging and then cut down the rim size of those on the truck to a usable size to keep the spoke pattern. So at first glance ; engine, chassis, bed, seat/dashboard and top along with 4 tires. Going to employ the KISS methodology, Keep It Simply Stupid. Oh yes! you do not have to model in seat belts! there's a time saver for sure!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Scenic Building Material

Here we have Dusty standing between 2 pieces of Foam Rubber, the one on the right is a tube piece with a hollow center, the piece on the left is from a similar tube cut in half. The thickness of the foam rubber is only 1/4 inch. In the next picture I place a pair of Pliers on top slowly to get the pic and not endanger the fearless Dusty. Notice that the full tube collapsed while the half circle on the left is standing with a minor dent.!! Originally I was thinking of making a small bridge and thought that the half circle would provide me with the shape I needed to form the arch, then apply brick or rock to the other edge and in general build up from there. But. The foam rubber buckled easily.... Hmmm... Foam rubber, diluted PVA.....I saturated the foam rubber with diluted PVA and stood on end on a piece of wax paper so it would not glue itself to something. And waited. A full day, it was still a bit soft, moved it to direct sunlight on a windowsill, wax paper and all. Next day nice and firm! Hey, you could cut it with a knife, nice and straight! And the surface is great for making a stucco type coverage!! And its strong to! Last photo shows it supporting the pair of pliers by itself.
So, by using really thin pieces of foam rubber and saturating it with Diluted PVA... DPVA !! tired of typing Diluted, leaving it on wax paper to dry, if it will not lie flat, then another piece of wax paper on top and a Light weight on top of it that is not as large as the piece of foam rubber so the edges are open, park it in the sunlight and leave it. Each day you can check to see if it will remain flat if you take the weight off. If not, reduce the size of the weight and peel back more of the wax paper.
So, thinking about that, a Large Cone, wrapped in thin foam, shaped and tacked in place with a few pins, then soaked DPVA, wrap in wax paper to make the foam conform to the cone shape and the wax paper can be taped down to hold it, no weight required. Set in the sun for a few days, then remove a shaped foam Cone that you can cut easily, apply any texture or paint to. Will be giving this idea a definite go.
And there you have it.

Venus Cone Trees

Taking a different approach to trees for Venus, I decided to try a palm tree idea from a couple of other sites about using chewed pine cone cores for a palm tree. I picked up a bunch of the chewed pine cone cores from a downtown park where the proliferation of tree squirrels helped me out, nasty litterbug fur balls that they are.

Assembly consists of base, liberal use of hot glue to get cone upright. Next was the green plant narrow leaves from the Grass clusters that come on a grid matt, cut and hot glued into the existing notches. Start high and work down as far as you care to go. I figure the animal life probably feeds on the lower areas so left them bare. GREEN MOSS for the litter at the base of the trees.

It seemed a bit bare, so I dressed it up by adding the purple flower cluster to the the top. Hmmm I could put fruit at the base of the purple flower cluster, or add spikes along the lower portion instead of leaving it bare due to grazing.

Over all, with the materials assembled this project generated 15 trees in about 2 hours. The materials had slowly accumulated from other things I had assembled and constituted Left Over stuff, the pine cones I had picked up one day when I happened to spot them in that park. I always cruise through toy departments and parks with an eye to finding conversion parts or landscape materials.

And there you have it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Venus Palm Trees

Heres my take on Venusian style palm trees made from some plastic flowers with long pointy flat leaves. The leaves are hot glued onto the top of thin piece of oak branch , harvested from a tree on my property. I simply put the trunk in a small vice and rotate the assembly slowly as I hot glue one frond after the other. I pointed the first fronds down some, then out right and then up a bit so they would hang a little. Some tiny leaves of the same design were put poking out the top to give the feel of new growth. Probably shorten the height of the trunks some, but it is easier to shorten than make taller! To the right you can see the foliage coverage better. Leaves were untouched for the shine of healthy green, though I am thinking of maybe a wash of purple, to alien-ize it a bit more.

Overhead shot of the trees to show the way they are glued down. Some nice coverage over all.
And there you have it.

Venus Pond Scum

Plant life on the jungle planet of Venus grows FAST! Rains can be torrential and then everything turn steamy and the ponds dry up in days. So I made this piece to the right as a Venusian Pond. During play it is encountered and if someone or something actually tries to move across it, its density is diced for, something like 1-4 its Water, 5 its rough ground for all the tangled plant matter, 6 it has a native hungry life form in it that sees you as part of its food chain! The base is a large single piece of light weight plastic, though several scrap pieces could be glued together to make the base, after all they are going to be covered completely. The base was painted in a light green color.

Next, these plastic plant bits were pulled off their sprues and then clipped to single leaves. Each leaf was attached to the base with hot glue and over lapped. A few round balls will be scattered about to give it a bit more character and perhaps a reed type plant stick up here and there, or are those really reeds and not some sort of antenni?? Stores flat, very light weight, takes abuse well, no paint on the plastic leaves, water plants are shinny by nature. And there you have it.

Rocky Hill Sides

There comes a time when you realize that not all hillsides are smooth with grass. There are several approaches to model this, the picture is my chosen approach. I have, in the past, done the more often seen; Styrofoam shaped with a hot wire or Sharp knife, painted and dry brushed, alla Warhammer 40K scenics you see pictured very often. I strive for more detail than a piece Styrofoam though. Yet, Styrofoam is the core of this hill. I reverse engineered my process to take a couple of How To pics on the steps I take to do this style.

A base is essential since the rock side is crumbling with weathering. Block is roughly shaped and glued with pva to the base and left to dry, your going to handle it a lot when your on the next step.

Have a rough idea if the entire hill is rocky or just a slope side or even just exposed areas of the hill, as in a ravine that has eroded open. When the core is secure and solidly in place, time to break out some rock molds. I use woodland scenic molds, they are durable and you can cast any type of material into them, at least I have used plaster, 2 part resin and pressed oven bake clay in and gotten good results. If your pouring a material into the molds you don't have to fill each part, leave some poured only part way to get thin rock facings to go along with the major looking versions. This gives a greater variety for the price of one molding sheet.

So here I have a scattered collection of rock pieces I cast, notice that some of them are very thin. I lightly sand the backs and since these are in resin, I wash them in soapy water to get any residue that did not fully dry, old resin.., ready for gluing.

So here we are with the basic piece of core Styrofoam covered with glued on pieces of rock. Do not worry about gaps, after the rock pieces are completely dry you will use a caulking gun to shoot paintable caulk into the gaps. Use a fat stylus rod or your finger to make sure gaps are filled. Once it is fully dry, maybe a day sitting on a shelf .. the caulk needs a lot of time if its very thick to cure enough that water base paint will not melt it, its time for painting. Standard painting tips that you can find on many sites apply. Base coat dark and then dry brush lighter and lighter shades on up till your satisfied with the look. This includes the fallen rocks that you glue to the base of the rock face (cliff) with some sand or kitty litter added with pva glue for the crushed rock that occurs when the pieces fell and smashed to the ground.

This final shot is from the piece in the original picture, from the very front, but gives a good finished view of how the final painting goes over the entire piece. If the back of the hill is grassed and slopes away, simply paint or glue plus flock and its done.So, there you have it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pine Tree Update

My Rule of three indicates 3 or more colors to make my scenic pieces stand out. So looking at my tree trunks for my Pine Trees, I noticed that they were mainly Redwoods, time to hit the colors. So consulting my pictures from a camping trip up in the high sierra's I decided to darken the remaining trunks to a more Cedar and Douglas Pine trees colors. I may take a few and do them in very light grey of dead trees and bare branch them. Hmmm *puts on the to do list*

Probably a bit to much light on the second photo but they are about 2 shades darker. Since they had no bases attached I used the tipped cookie sheet pan to put the thinned water base paint into the edge groove created when you prop the cookie sheet at an angle. Then I placed the trunks into the thinned paint, rolled them, place them up on the edge of the sheet to drip dry. After half an hour or so I move the trunks slightly to get the tips of the trunks out of the puddles that form while they were dripping.

So here is a better picture of the color change, the trunks on the left are original color; redwood, the trunks on the right are Cedar Pin color , also sub subs in for Douglas Fir. When they are fully dry its back to the hot glue branches on pile to be done, which is currently still at the top of the *to do list*.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Venus Jungle Trees

Inspired by Tom Terrific's jungle post I dug out my Venus Jungle Trees for a how to on the way I made them. I wanted Huge trunks, Really big, to be different from all the other twist wire type trees and typical Tree From Plastic Plants that I usually build. The heart of the tree is a Dixie cup, I didn't have a large one on hand for the assembly pics but did have a medium one to use as an example. I liked the cone shape of the cub but of course it has a waxy surface that not much will stick to for more than a bit, let alone paint will just run off its water base. To beat the problem and get something going I covered a cup in masking tape and noticed immediately that it would not go around smoothly. Hah! Shaping the tape as it went on I could form the start of ground rootings. These gave the trees a more "real" semblance that they were rooted to the the ground, and the tape sticks really well to the wax surface, in turn providing a surface that you can glue and paint on with ease. Using short pieces of tape, which work much better than a long continuous piece, you build up the effect as shown in the picture below.

On the picture to the left is the final layer of taping to the top. Next I got out the Hot Glue gun and built up some extra roots on the tape. I used a Large Hot Glue gun for the extra rooting that I applied over the tape seam edges of the Ground roots. Next I applied some caulking from the Kel Seal tub. The tear seams of the tape add texture as I use the Kel Seal, or any latex paintable caulking to smear over the surface. Tapping the gooey surface with your finger puts lots of texture / paint catching surface coverage to the side of the tree trunk. Still no base at this point, so I was tempted to carve out a hollow and then glue some Floral foam up inside so as to give a 3 dimensional hollow area, but skipped it for now, but is well worth a follow up sculpt. The tapping, hot glue and caulk application area a matter of minutes to do, you can of course do singles or mass produce them. A smear of Kel Seal on the top and touch of paint to it all makes the growth on top fill out better and gives a better surface to glue it all down with more .. Hot Glue!

To the left is a fast coat of Flat Brown that is not dry yet, from Rustoleum spray can. But I wanted the texture of the bark to be really visible so the wet shot. You could of course use any color you wanted to give it more of an other world feel, but then having some of the items "look" familiar while the rest is strange, I think, hooks the players into the terrain a bit more. Next would be to dry brush some highlight colors and attach to a base of your choice. I used a stiff plastic with beveled edges but hit a snag when I realized that I didn't want to just flock it with the usual green, as I too was seeking more of an alien setting. So, wandering about in the garden supply section of a Orchard Supply store I came across a bag of GREEN MOSS for hanging basket potting. As it was only a couple of dollars I figured to give it a go and see if it would look good as dead leafy matter under the trees. I brushed some contact cement onto the base, plunked a large amount of the moss onto the base and pressed firmly all over the base, let it dry for an hour and then pulled off the excess and hit with some diluted pva glue to hold it down. Over all I feel it gives a nice effect. I have to go back and add a few fallen blueish fruits to the ground as litter, maybe paint them a bit blackened as they rot , some split or chewed might also fit the scene.

The toppings of my trees were what you see, the green plastic leafy stuff with the purplish beads representing I have No clue but came apart easily. I then took a bit of purplish paint and gave a dry brushing to all leaf edges, this to give them more in common with the "fruit" of the trees. I envisioned them as the Date Trees of Venus. I glued the fruit masses to the top of the Dixie up to cover most of it, then hot glued the branching's in as seemed to fit and fill out in most all directions. A few tiny leaves were hot glued directly onto the trunks lower down for character. You can see how the moss filled out the base here in this picture, Dusty must be detained by something as he didn't make it into this picture for some reason, hmmm perhaps friendly natives??
Ah, there he is coming out from behind that tree, mystery solved, but also showing a full sized tree. My Rule of 3 is that any scenic piece needs three colors to set it off from being just a plain piece. The Green Purple and Brown is a good start for meeting my minimum of 3. the Sprig of yellow and orange at the very top like a flower stamen gives it a bit more character with out taking away or overpowering the piece. A rather involved piece with more time spent figuring where to place the clusters and leaf branches than assembling the trunk and bases. More of the fruit clusters were added After the branches were all complete so that there were not Gaps in the foliage over all coverage.
And There you have it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brick Wall, the Hard way

So, I found a Rectangle hole punch, 1/4 " by 1/8 " at the local craft store. I have wanted to do my own brick walls for later period buildings but didn't want to bake clay brick and the assorted plastic kit bricks were not very appealing. Next, using Card Stock, and lots of persistent grip strength, while watching a dvd you Snick Snick Snick............ until you think you would welcome madness!

I had used the back of the card stock for spraying scenic bases and such for some time, hence the greens and browns on some of the bricks. The bricks scale for 28mm really well. Next using a marked piece of card stock and a long pin I spread a bit of contact cement and then stick a brick with a pin to lift it and press it into the glue, another stylus would push it down and allow me to pull the pin out. I left tiny gaps on all sides as my final plan is to make a casting mold off this for one story buildings. The first mold will destroy the original card stock wall but I am making it larger than I need. I have a large belt sander available to shape it as I need, so I am taking my time when I work on it to try and get it just right. I have maybe another 2 or 3 rows to go. The piece is 8 inches long. I think I will hit it with a shellac spray to help seal it from the molding material. Oh yes, there is Dusty doing what he does best, no not shooting, lending scale reference :)
And there you have it.

Where It All Happens Update

My hobby room, typically refereed to as the Cargo Bay has been updated. A friend bought a house and removed the base cabinets from two rooms which he as glad to donate and get rid of. After cleaning and a flat black spray coat, the 3 cabinets look more uniform, to to mention, 1 had been White, Med Brown and Dark Brown. So the assembly to the left took on new dimensions as the table bench it had been with Tote's for storage underneath became Bench top work area and cabinet bulk item storage area. All the finished terrain was reorganized by period into the totes and stored in the garage game area. I was really pleased with the increased separation and storage options this gave me.

Followed by a couple of hours sorting mix materials that had crept into the wrong plastic storage containers. Invariably I did toss a lot of older scenic proof of concept pieces. And there is no proof that anyone died in the completion of this rework!

About time to go through the zillion old figures stored in the multi drawers pictured to the right. Wooooh, Petal Throne Muglavians to paint! Enough for a Fantasy Rules army too! *scribbles note on the to do list*

And there you have it.