Despite the lack of showing so far for Dave Stone’s annual Season of Scenery challenge, I’ve been plugging away at several pieces – both large and small. While I’m still hopeful that I’ll get the larger pieces completed before the end of August, today I’ve got the full Hellscape 3D pack from Massive Darkness to show, that I’ve slowly been getting done – chipping away, sculpt-by-sculpt over the course of July as I worked on ther projects for the whole of these 22 pieces of boardgame scatter terrain.
The first of these pieces I worked on were the Anvils – or “Forges”, as MDII calls them. No prizes for guessing that I chose to work on these first since they looked like they would be quick and easy to paint. The only real problem with them was the fact that after getting three of them to almost-completion, I found that there were four of them in the set…. so I then had to go back and try to match the fourth one to how I’d painted the previous three… These have turned out ..fine. They’re hardly inspiring pieces, after all, but they’ll work ok as set dressing in skirmish games, and also they’ll be pretty good in the actual game.
The next of these are these spike traps. These really give the feel of something that was digitally sculpted and then simply scaled up to fit a game tile space. Why do I say this? Look at the size of those skulls! Then again, the bones are all pretty fine and petite, and way out of scale to the skulls so who knows what the fuck is going on here? Anyway, I hated painting these – so in the end I went with letting contrast do the heavy lifting to get them done and the fuck away from me with just some liquid weathering pigment to finish them. They’ll be fine for use in the game or a boardgame, rpg, etc but I doubt I’ll end up using them for much else in terms of minis gaming…
Next up were these Portals. I wanted to go with “white” bone as opposed to the yellowed bone I often paint models in. These are a very nice sculpt, but still just scatter terrain, so I wanted to trial the combinaiton of Zenithal spraying over black and Contrast on these. I think it worked pretty nicely. I then used different mizes of Contrast paints (and Tessaract Glow) to create the swirly, glowy effects. I did glaze both of them with the old, discontinued GW glazes to reinvigorate the colours which were a bit dull. Sealing these pieces with a nice satin varnbish also served to give the portals a nice sheen which also helped them to pop again. I quite like how these came out in the end and I’m sure you can see why. I may go back and refine the glowy bits on the edge-skulls, though – not 100% happy with those yet. I’m not sure exactly how they work in the Massive Darkness game yet, but I figured that one pair in red and the other pair in green would open up gameplay opportunities in other games…
The penultimate pieces were the Bear Traps. Looking at them, they’re rendered in the form of monstrous mouths. I took awhile workiong out how I should paint them. Initially, I was going to paint them in a discoloured bronze, with verdrigris effects. Like horrible cast-metal implements. A couple of weeks later, while looking at them again, I noticed that the texture of the “floor” of the traps looked like a tongue, or the inside of a mouth. So with the whole “Hellscape” thing in mind, I decided to paint them in organic tones – as monstrous, demonic gums and teeth. It took a lot more work than the metal would have, but for what they are, I think they work and should be a nice looking addition to the board game – even if they won’t be doing double-duty in a historical game of SAGA! (I guess they might work ok in WarCry?)
The final pieces were the Fountains. Pretty straightforward for these – and they served as an test for one way I’m considering painting some of my Stone WarCry terrain – basically a mossy, damp-feeling stone effect. The water was annoying to paint, since I did like the way the dish in the statue’s hands and the pool at it’s feet looked with the greenish stone, but then with the falling water it really did need to be picked out with some colour, so I ended up going with painting the “water” with Vallejo Ghost Grey and going over it with the new Briar Queen Chill Contrast. I then varnished the pieces and then went back over them with AK Interactive’s Water Gel effects to slowly create some splashes at the edge of the “dish” and of course where the water is landing in the bottom of the Fountains before adding some regular water effects to the pools and then drybrushing the foam the next day.
So here we are – 22 pieces of (mostly) good looking scatter terrain – and a full set completed in July for the Season of Scenery. I think one of the most beneficial aspects of these sorts of sets – for me at least – is that they’re low-stakes models, and so lend themselves very nicely to being able to experiment and try new techniques, styles and methods without being a stressful or high-stakes project. Thanks as always to Berkeley for providing scale reference amidst a dangerous environment!