Small Scenics: More Little Boxes …from Mantic’s Mars Attacks (Scenic September ’19)

Mantic Mars Attacks Crates Boxes

Two years ago, I managed to paint all of the boxes from my Mantic Mars Attacks urban scenery. Great stuff, job done.

Then earlier this year, I found quite a few baggies more of the stuff. What could I do but seperate them into some tubs and …entirely forget about them for quite a few months? At least in September, I managed to get them done and out of the way. So following on from both that post two years ago and yesterday’s Incredibly Interesting Traffic Pylons, we have 20 small piles of boxes. To quote myself from two years ago:

They’re a little on the small side, and while they’ll work well as meeples for barricades in games of Zombicide, they feel a little like those annoying foot-high “walls” that videogames use to keep our otherwise athletic heroes from straying outside of the designated play area… They might work better stacks on top of other items to create useful cover, but even as is they make for decent ground clutter.

Sadly, I didn’t manage to get any of the larger pieces of terrain I’d hoped to complete. Looks like Terrain’s getting shoehorned into one of the next couple of months challenges again – gotta motivate myself to get that shiznit done!

Small Scenics: Secret Weapon Miniatures’ Traffic Pylons #1 (Scenic September ’19)

Secret Weapon Miniatures' Traffic Pylons

Well, like the best laid grand plans I had hoped to get some larger, more impressive terrain completed in September, but unfortunately life events and shitty weather conspired to prevent it. I did, however, continue on the Scatter Terrain train, and so I managed to complete the first of what will no doubt be two batches of “Traffic Pylons” from Secret Weapon Miniatures. Basically, I was buying some other stuff from a local retailer, and saw that these were cheap, so I got several bags. Turns out that each bag had 10 of the pylons in it, so I didn’t manage to get them all done. The 25 shown here are the ones done so far, and are about half of the ones I picked up. I’ll paint the others in a month or two. Or work on them slowly when tired after work.

The good news here was that they are/were simple enough to paint, and so during the perios where I was feeling under the weather, or tired, I was still able to plug away at a few of these at a time. Once they were painted, it was gloss varnish, satin varnish, paint wash to grime them up, and then matte varnish. As scatter terrain, and especially being resin they need to be pretty durable, so with that in mind, three coats of varnish isn’t overkill.

So yeah. Not impressive in any way on their own, but they’ll add a lot of that little extra layer of detail to any urban locale in a modern, post-modern, or even many sci-fi tabletops. I do have my Secret Weapon tiles that I’ll be making another pass at once the weather gets consistently better and I have a bit more time from work to work on such things, so let’s all cross our fingers and toes…

Small Scenics: Reaper Bones 4 Fantasy Scenics Fountain, Dreadmere Raft + Mantic Terrain Crate Crystal Formations.

Reaper Bones 4 Fantasy Scenics Fountain, Dreadmere Raft, Mantic Terrain Crate Crystal Formations

A long and paintful title up there, I know – but the stuff in here comes from a couple of sources, they really don’t merit three posts, and I want people searching for this stuff online to be able to see how it looks and turns out with a bit of paint on it. I know when I google models it’s always helpful when I can find painted examples of the things online.

Reaper Bones 4 Fantasy Scenics Fountain

The Fountain got painted because easy wins. I added some green above and below the water to suggest age, moss and algae, and cared enough to use water effects to add some water depth, but not enough to fitz around with finshing line and realistic water in order to make a “working” fountain. So we’ll just call this water stangnant, yet remarkably clear. Just like magic water in a dungeon, amirite?

Reaper Bones 4 Fantasy Scenics Fountain

Not a bad model. It’s made of typically crappy soft bones plastic, but at least it wasn’t warped like pretty much everything else in the “Fantasy Scenics” set. I’m sure their terrain stuff was better in Bones 3…

Reaper Bones 4 Dreadmere Raft

Next up is a raft. Nothing special at all, and once again painted because “easy wins”. This pic shows the underside of it, where I’ve again added a bit of algae-suggesting green to it. This piece came out of the Dreadmere expansion, and is made of “Bones Black” (despite being the same light grey that everything in this KS arrived in). It’s a much, much better material than the original Bonesium PVC, is harder, and took a spray primer and spray varnish. Finally! The drawback seems to be that it’s more breakable, as a couple of my larger models from the KS arrived broken. I’m still slowly doing inventory/QC of the KS because time and tediousness, but I’ll contact Reaper once I’m done and see what they can do for the broken stuff. They’re always been good in the past, at least – and more fragile material or not – it’s a mile better than the original stuff!

Mantic Terrain Crate Crystal Formations

Here we have some little crystal formations from Mantic’s Terrain Crate KS. Have I said “easy wins” enough times here? The crystals were painted with Old-GW Putrid Green (similar to Moot Green, but lighter – from the original hex-pot days), then gone over with Warp Lightning from the Contrast Paint range. Afterwards, I lined the edges with putrid green again, and then went over those lines with a really thinned yellow. It turned out okay, I think. 

Reaper Bones 4 Fantasy Scenics Fountain, Dreadmere Raft + Mantic Terrain Crate Crystal Formations

Here’s a second group shot that is also a scale shot. Because I realised there was really no useful scale reference for any of these things in the previous photos. Enjoy! 

While none of this stuff is super-exciting, it’s all pretty decent and pretty versatile, fitting into pretty much any fantasy gaming setting from Warhammer to LotR to D&D, as well as grimdark 40k. The raft and fountain could even be used in some historical games, depending on the period.

Small Scenics: 21st Century Toys Mortar Emplacement into 40k-ish Sandbag Emplacement.

21st Century Toys Mortar Emplacemen, 40k-ish Sandbag Emplacement.

A long. long time ago.. as the song goes.. I was at a place across town here, looking at a place that sold Dragon 1:6 scale figures. it must have been in the 1990’s. While I was there, I saw a 1:36 mortar emplacement set going cheap. Being who I am, I thought it could be turned into scenery, and so I picked it up to do so. Regular readers will know the story from that point, where I never got around to doing anything with it, then eventually started on it, you know the drill.

So a week or so ago, I finished it off. It’s maybe not the best I could have done, but given that it’s been doing nothing for the best part of two decades, having it finally completed isn’t exactly a bad thing…

21st Century Toys Mortar Emplacemen, 40k-ish Sandbag Emplacement.

I mean, it looked okay, as is. Except for the rise and indentation where the mortar’s baseplate stuck on. I had to both cut that piece off and then putty it over, to give a flat area where miniaturemans can stand.

21st Century Toys Mortar Emplacemen, 40k-ish Sandbag Emplacement.

So here we are. Nothing spectacular, certainly nothing Awesome, but another bit of terrain for the table, finished!

Mythic Battles: Pantheon – 3D Terrain Set – Trees + Contrast Paint Experiment #5

Mythic Battles: Pantheon - 3D Terrain Set - Trees

Some time ago, (bloody hell – a year ago!) I showed the completed Ruined Pillars from the Conan Boardgame Kickstarter. Pretty small and simple things, but then they’re tokens for a boardgame, and so they can’t be too large, as they need to allow for miniatures to also fit onto the segments. These trees follow very much the same cues. Hence their sizes are pretty small, though they’ll also work in a pinch on a wargame battlefield. 

Mythic Battles: Pantheon - 3D Terrain Set - Trees

Once again, my plan for these trees was for an overall bleached, “dead tree” look, but unlike my previous attempts, where it just didn’t work using Contrast Paints, the detail on these ones was very much condusive to allowing me to achieve the dead and bleached effect I was after. I only used Contrast on the wood of the trees, though – bases were done in the traditional manner. The set came with six each of two sculpts of tree. I felt that the hunched over “C” trees allowed for more variation on their bases than the more upright ones (they’re a bit too small to be a proper Tree of Woe!) I haven’t shown all of each type here, because frankly, they’re not that interesting as individual pieces. And yes, that’s a glue line just above the base on both types of tree. That was one of the things that led to these being unpainted for literally more than six months. 

Mythic Battles: Pantheon - 3D Terrain Set - Trees

Puttying over all those joins was something I’d planned to do, but the thought of doing so was (and still is) SO tedious that it put me off doing anything at all with them for the year that’s passed since I finished the pillars. I’ve got more than a dozen Wargs backed up for the same reason. In the end, what got them painted was a combination of another thing to trial the Contrast Paints with (along with the inherent promise of getting them done quickly) along with a willingness to finally just say “fuck it” to the idea of puttying all them joins. So quite literally – the time not spent on these is the time that has instead allowed me to complete those Slayers what I’ve been posting up here in the past few days, as I was working on both in an overlapping manner in July. Figure painting time is very much a zero-sum game. Now I just need to work out why I keep painting those Shadows of Brimstone models when I could be painting Stormcast or something – probably because it’s nice to have easy wins and not care too much from time to time…

Mythic Battles: Pantheon - 3D Terrain Set - Trees

I have noticed, as I write this post up and insert the photos – that I forgot to add the touch of weathering powder to their bases at the end. I guess I will have to go back and add it (since it comes after final varnish), but again – fuck it – I’m still counting these as July-completion models. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the story is with the duplicated photo from the top one – this one’s a scale reference if you look carefully!

Small Scenics: Secret Weapon Miniatures’ Scrap Yard(?) Corner Piece.

Back in December 2013 I picked up a couple of the “Bag O Crap” sets occasionally offered by Justin at Secret Weapon Miniatures. These are generally models who have failed his stringent QC process, and are sold off in these bags every so often. What you’ll get is a mystery! So I got a bunch of bases that I’ve stil not used – some with obvious bubbles and miscast issues, and others that I can see absolutely no issies with. I also got a few nicer large pieces of terrain. A destroyed tank turret, a flipped truck, a Star Wars-ish generator, and this (no link, it doesn’t appear to be listed on SWM’s site anymore!) The turret and truck are painted, the Generator is in a box somewhere. I thought I’d posted the painted turret and truck sometime, but apparently not? I’ll find them and post a pic sometime in the future.

Despite being a nice piece in a lot of ways, it’s got some seriously severe print lines, obviously from the master model’s original print before it went to resin casting. This gave it a really grainy texture which made it a pain to paint – along with all of the detail present. The result was that it got worked on here and there, now and then, over the course of the 5 1/2 years I’ve had it until a week or so ago when I had one of those “fuck it – get this thing out of here” moments and knuckled down and completed it over a couple of sessions.

Let’s see what happens next…

As with quite a few other pieces, I did not enjoy the painting process of this one at all, but I’m happy with the finished product. It’s got a lot of versatility in how it can be used, it’s large, and it looks good. And most importantly, it’s bloody done!

Small Scenics – Dragon Statues, Moria Well, Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble.

Dragon Statue Terrain, Lord of the Rings SBG Moria Well, Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble

Today it’s a combined post of a few different small scenic items I’ve finished this month.

Dragon Statue Terrain

First up are a pair of dragon statues. These are actually from one of those Vietnamese “Variety Stores” (aka Junk shops) that are common in my area. They sell a wide variety of things, from cutlery to tat to tools and other random stuff, usually very cheaply, and pretty much all imported from China. I imagine that many places around the world have something similar in heavily multicultural areas. My mum actually got these for me a few years ago, since to a woman her age, this stuff all looks pretty much the same, whether it’s a GW model or an expensive Sideshow statue, or something that cost two bucks from a Vietnamese shop.

Dragon Statue Terrain

At the time I gritted my teeth and thanked her, and then stuffed them into a plastic tub to maybe turn into scenery one day down the line. I found them a few weeks ago while looking for Ork artillery, and remembered them, and so got them out and painted them in her memory. Nothing too special, just a bit of highlighting, shading and weathering. I left them just a little dirtied up, and more importantly unbased so they’d maintain a generic enough look to work inside a dungeon, in a temple, or outdoors and exposed to the environment. I’m glad I got them painted, and the table will have a little bit of her on it whenever they’re in use. 🙂

Lord of the Rings SBG Moria Well

Next is a bit of the Mines of Moria boxed set put out by Games Workshop back in 2005. This was the third update of the SBG rules after the Return of the King set had run its course. I’ve gotten all of the other bits painted over the years, but this one still had a tiny bit left to do in it, so it was basically overlooked rather than ignored. I did rebase it onto a 60mm round, and added some flagstones made from thin card in order to make the piece a little better looking and more useful on the table. 

Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble

Finally, we have a few more bits of my Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstarter pledge. Basically six little rubble piles. These had been sitting around for months and bloody months, primed black and slightly tacky. I found them next to my light box the other day and brought them inside to knock out. I think I’d planned to strip them back and start again, but I only remembered that after I’d completed them. Just simple drybrush jobs here, though the broken wood was done with Contrast Wyldwood over painted-on Wraithbone. All finished – as with everything elsein this post – with a little bit of weathering powder. I’ve varnished them with Reaper’s paint-on sealer and let that dry and cure for a day before going over it with AK Interactive’s Matt Brush-On, and they’re not tacky again yet. Let’s hope that stay that way!