DUST Bunkers (February Terrain ’19)

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat 6x4

My final February pieces today – a set of four Bunkers from the DUST games. They’re basically the Dust Axis Heavy Laser Bunker and the Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, as I picked up wo of each when they were on clearance. I initially sprayed them grey in December, or January? …and then they just sat there for a period of time until one day in February I decided to just get the huge fucking things done and off my scenery painting table, so I went all out on them for the rest of the day, and then a little finishing the next morning, then done.

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker

The base coat is a darkish dirty grey, followed by several layers of drybrushing using (horrible to use) craft paints to lighten them up a little. Next was a round of varnish, followed by painting on some of that Vallejo Model Wash and then wiping it off. One more later of varnish, a little more drybrushing, more varnish, and then a heavy coat of Testors’ Dullcote in an attempt to dull them down.

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker

The doors were sprayed a darker grey, drybrushed a slightly lighter grey, and then a metallic with a subtle bit of rust, and then done. Grates in the middle of each done in a similar way. There are also a (large) number of artillery pieces that go with these (2 each, so 8 arty pieces), but I’ll paint those sometime down the line.

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat 6x4

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat 6x4

As you can see from the tabletop photos, I had a particular idea of how they can all be used – though they’re pretty versatile and could be used in pretty much any biome – from ice/snow to desert to temperate without a problem. I wanted to team them up with my Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat, which I’d planned to do a review of after buying it but haven’t gotten around to doing yet.

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat 6x4

DUST Axis Heavy Laser Bunker, Allies Heavy Phaser Bunker, Deep Cut Studios Beach Mat 6x4

So I just rooted around a little in some of my scenery tubs to get some suitable bits and pieces out to make up a beach invasion table, obviously inspired by Normandy/the Atlantic Wall. I couldn’t find my little trees, and there are of course a whole lot of other small bits and pieces like additional crates, hedgehogs and such that I either couldn’t find or are still WIP, but still, this quick and easy table looks pretty good, if a tad one-sided. It’d certainly be good for a scenario game with infiltrators, sentries and a bit of espionage!

February Terrain Challenge – Sector Mechanicus #3

I have the final piece of this first wave of my Mechanicus Terrain this evening. A piece based on the core of the same pieces as the first one. And of course, the “family photo”, as I’m about to become much busier on Monday, which will slow down my production again no doubt.

As you can see, this piece has a mixture of the techniques used on both of the previous ones. The same “off-white” scheme as the dome, with the grime streaking combined with the rust effect, occasional bit of model-gouging and chipped paint of the first piece. I’ve also managed to get the crackle paint to work properly on this one as well, which gives the chipped paint a nicer, worn effect.

I still have three more “test” Mechanicus pieces that are still WIP, and they’ll have to be my “second wave” of models for these, as I need to clean up where I was working on them now – and none of them are particularly far along. I’m pretty happy with this one overall, but I feel like I also need to mix up the colours further. I’m not going to “skittles” these things, but a bit of Necromunda blue and Industrial Green for some of these pieces I think will work well enough. The trick will be simply to deploy them in “clusters” of the same colour as often as possible, so they look like a cohesive collection of machinery/objects in different areas of the table rather than the mess that will be if I mix them. I’ll probably have to have a few “silver/metal” pieces that I can use to unify everything and intersperse with the coloured pieces.

February Terrain Challenge – Sector Mechanicus #2

As with the first piece of this Mechanicus Terrain, this piece served(serves?) as one of my initial tests – as does the one that will follow this, and the other three that are still WIP. I wasn’t so sure about this piece, so I decided to mount it on a base for extra stability – in this case, an old CD. I guess the drawback of the base is that the piece becomes that little bit less versatile, as it’s now a bit harder to stick on top of a larger piece. With my luck, it’d just get knocked off the table and end up shattering anyway!

The photos are a bit higher-contrast than IRL, as the base colour of the panels is a light, cream-toned off-white. I thought it’d look good with this as a base, and then given the whole “streaky grime” treatment with that Vallejo Wash, rather than going with the chipped paint look. This kind of “painted” look to the machinery and terrain obviously takes a lot longer than going with bare or rusted metal, so I’m not entirely sure how I will proceed in future once I get past the test pieces that have been started. I do like/prefer this kind of look, but the time investment is pretty huge by comparison. I’ve got one more piece done similarly to this one, with the “cracked/chipped paint” thing from the previous one happening as well, as well as another medium and two larger pieces still in the “metal” stage before I get to assembling any more of this stuff – so I guess I don’t have to worry about deciding too quickly now…

February Terrain Challenge – Sector Mechanicus #1

As part of February’s terrain challenge, I’d hoped to get a ton of Sector Mechanicus terrain done. Clearly, that hasn’t happened, but I have gotten a few smaller test pieces done so far. Here’s the first one I completed. I used the crackle medium again, to see what kinds of effects I could get on this stuff after the recent Ork debris pieces. I also used some Ryza Rust to give some texture to the rust effects in spots. I also used different washes to add to both the rusted and grimy effects (thanks to Dave Kay for the heads-up on those 200ml Vallejo Wash jars!)

On the downside, the spray cans weren’t especially kind to the test pieces that I worked on, with some puckering occurring here and there on some of the pieces (my own damn fault – don’t prime heavy at night!), and I’m not entirely happy with the “speckled” effects of the different layers of the metallic sprays. Even though it’s a bit nitpicky, it’s just something for me to be aware of. On grungy terrain pieces like this one, it all fits in well enough and passes for good enough.

40k 3rd Edition Starter Set Ruins (February Terrain 2019)

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

How excitement! Yeah, I know. These aren’t the most impressive or exciting pieces, but they’ve been hanging around for years unpainted, so I managed to finally get them done and into the terrain cupboard. These actually aren’t the originals from my own 40k 3rd Ed set – I did actually get those done a few years ago.

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

Instead, these came from a batch of second-hand models I got years ago, along with other bits and pieces, including a crashed Aquila Lander missing it’s tail fin. I still need to finish my first one of those first, though (didn’t get it done in Jan of Feb).

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

Being models that I got in a more or less random box is also why some of the pieces were mismatched and (in some cases) missing, so I decided to also build these based on making slightly different corner combinations to the “proper” ones. (And patched the corners with putty!) At this point, years ago, the idea was still to paint them in the same manner as my existing (grey) ones.

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

At some point – last year, I think – I sprayed them in a cream/bone colour. The idea now being to paint them to go with a more arid or desert-y table. At that point, they got forgotten about again for several months until this challenge got them out. As it happened, these were the perfect kind of models to paint while Dad was in hospital again. Simple on so many levels, but an achievable task.

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

Since then, the Sector Imperialis terrain has been released, with the “showcase” pieces being in a similar colour, so I decided to press on with them, and also use them as test pieces for my own take on that style of scheme to – in turn – help me decide how to paint my Sector Imperialis stuff.

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

The paint then was done in a “quick and dirty” manner. Sprayed (gloss) cream from the hardware store. A few details picked out, such as the exposed bricks under the plaster and the grates. The whole lot was then drybrushed with a bone/off-white. Next up was an all-over wash with Vallejo Model Wash (thanks to Dave Kay from Scent of a Gamer for the heads-up on this stuff existing!) followed by a wipe-off while it was still wet, to get that combo wash/stained effect.

40k 3rd Editon Starter Set Ruins

In the end, I have another 5 pieces of smaller-but-modular terrain that are generic enough to again fit into many genres and timelines. I think that they look pretty decent in the shot above with the LotD moving across them. They’ll look even better with other terrain around them in a proper gaming situation!

On an unrelated note, Leonard the Cat appears to have truly gotten a big head due to all of the recent attention!

Army Battle Bridge Set (January Terrain 2019)

So, we brought Dad home from the Hospital again on Friday afternoon, and so a life returns somewhat to what passes for “normal” these days, I spent a bit of time yesterday trying to catch up on people’s blog posts. Today I’ve been out in the shed taking some photos, so that I can bring January to a close and then move onto February’s stuff.

Back when Amazon US still delivered to Australia, I picked up four 2-packs of “Army Battle Bridge Set” – which are basically from the “PVC Toy Soldier” genre – since they were (reasonably) cheap – at least by Australian Standards. So in January, I finally got around to painting them. Pretty simple overall – I did three in bare (rusty) metal and two more in my custom “Necromunda Blue” spray. And then rusted them up a bit, too using washes and powders. I also edged four of them with some hazard stripe decals that I printed off, for more Necro-feels.

And here they are, as I’d use them. The new Sector Mechanicus terrain is very nice and all, but there’s always a place on my table for simple ramp-bridges that can be placed between any suitable elevated pieces. I need to finish off more of those! These also have the added benefit of being able to fit in with pretty much any game from WWII through moderns through to post-apoc and at a variety of scales – rather than looking like they really only fit into the 40k-verse.

This concludes my (belated) January posts. Next up will be my personal round-up, and then I’ll get the community round-up done as soon as I can…

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape (January Terrain 2019)

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Today we have a terrain piece that I picked up back in 2014, though the piece dates back to (at least) 2009. My reasons for getting it were no doubt tied to the triad of having recently (at the time) purchased my own home, the price (a surprisingly cheap AU$30.75 from my local GW source) and the fact that it looked pretty simple, so it should be a doddle to paint up quickly, right?

I lost that skull & crossbones sign long ago!

Well, we all know how well that last point goes, all too often. So long story short, it’s been sitting a corner of the War Room for several years, trees assembled, side hatch glued on, both top hatched glued on and broken off due to flimsy design, and sprayed a lovely shade of gloss brown.

Sprue Shot taken from 2009 review on Johns Toy Soldiers Blog.

So getting this thing done, along with quite a few similar projects was part of the impetus of January being Terrain Month (I’ll probably repeat it next year as well – so bloody many terrain kits to assemble and paint!)

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

My personal brief, from way back in 2014, was to paint the kit in a generic enough way so that it could be used regardless of which forces were fighting over the tabletop. This immediately meant that the Rhino needed to be painted as a burnt-out husk, so as to avoid being in the livery of any particular force. The same applied to the bits of Space Marine scattered around the piece (a couple of helmets, a backpack, a bolter).

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

So I did what I do now – look up a ton of reference pictures. I wanted the trees to look like the husks that are left after a bushfire, so an ashy grey. That also meant that I needed to make the dirt on the ground look suitably ashen. One of my reference pictures showed an AFV that had been destroyed in Ukraine, and it was severely rusted out. I thought it looked pretty effective, so I now had a new direction for my Rhino husk. Burnt out, and then rusted over time.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Given that the Rhino now had been there for long enough to rust out, this meant that a decent amount of time had passed since whatever explosive/shelling incident had caused this terrain piece to become. So this meant the additional of a subtly small addition to the entire piece. Spots of new growth. Again, reference photos provided the inspiration.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Unfortunately, the matte varnish has left a bit of a sheen that comes up in photography – especially with the extra lights turned on the table. It’s not quite as bad in person. But before all of those finer details, the first thing I needed to do was to finally complete the build, by filling that gaping hole to the tabletop left inside the rhino, between the hatches.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

I’d tossed up various ideas to fill it over the years, and my best option was to mount the whole piece onto an MDF placemat, though it wasn’t quite large enough to have the whole, oddly-shaped piece fit. There was still a bit of overhang. Luckily Krautscientist’s recent WIP post on the Crashed Aquila Lander and a deceptively simple solution to that piece’s gaping hole to the tabletop (apparently a common issue with their kits of that vintage) provided me with inspiration on doing the same to my own long-neglected one of the same kit. After doing that (hopefully to be painted soon!) I immediately decided to do the same, simple trick to this model using some textured “small tile” plasticard for visual interest.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

It was a little trickier due to the lack of contact points underneath – there’s a lot of plastic cement, greenstuff and superglue underneath, and the floor isn’t parallel to the roof – but it works.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Now, finally the kit is complete. Now, could I have spruced the thing up by adding additional details and such? Of course! But since that’s always the case, these things become a bit of a triage situation, where you need to weigh up whether it’s worth the time to do so. And I’ve got SO many more terrain kits to take on that I’m happy to finally call this one done and dusted!