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!

Mantic BattleZones …staircase? (June ’19 Terrain Challenge)

Mantic BattleZones, House Escher Necromunda Original

Yep, well, it’s not the world’s most exciting terrain piece, but it’s something with solid use, both in terms of gameplay as well as making table setups look a bit more …right. As you can see, they’re quite good for practical use. Those Escher models are also the old-school metals, so as long as the figures can balance towards the middle of their bases, they should be right due to the design of the stairs allowing for bases to “nest” underneath them.

Mantic BattleZones

It’s a simple combination of two “triangle” pieces, as well as two “stair” pieces, glued side-by-side to make the staircase a little wider and more accessible to 32mm and 40mm bases. It was a bit of an trial piece to see if I should do more of the same type of thing

Mantic BattleZones Mantic BattleZones

Here it is alongside the Mantic Bunker I completed a couple of months ago. Because of the fairly small footprint, it can also be placed on top of other pieces to connect them to even higher levels, which I think will become more useful as I complete more pieces of scenery. I’m not sure how many more of the staircase pieces I have, and as I said, this did take two of them. So… Whattaya think? Should I put together another couple of these, or should I save the parts for more permanently integrated terrain pieces?

Scotia Grendel 10015: Daemonic Altar (June ’19 Terrain, Neglected Model Challenges)

Scotia Grendel 10015: Daemonic Altar

Today we have a model that’s very much both a Neglected model, as well, as – obviously – scenery. As with the rest of the Scotia Grendel stuff I’ve shown off here over the past few years, I’ve had this piece since the 1990’s but never managed to paint it. I did start it a couple of years ago, but my interest in completing it petered out due to, well, a lack of interest until quite recently.

Scotia Grendel 10015: Daemonic Altar, Balewind Vortex, Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault Arcane Hazards

What turned my interest around was the scheme that I (recently-ish) painted the Balewind Vortex in, followed by the Warhammer Underworlds Nightvault Arcane Hazards. (that’s a bloody mouthful, innit?) The deep blue-greens appealed, and the overall model felt like it woul dbe a good fit in with the other pieces done in the same scheme. So I went with that, and it still took over a month, but I finally got it done at the very end of June!

Scotia Grendel 10015: Daemonic Altar

So now I finally have another piece that can see the light of a tabletop, and as you can see above it fits in nicely enough with the general undead theme that the rest of the similarly-painted GW models have. Done!

Adrian Smith’s HATE – 3D Plastic Trees (June ’19 Terrain Challenge) + Contrast Paint Experiment #2

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

Broadly similar to yesterday’s post, we have my second terrain-based experiment with the new Citadel Contrast Paints. This time on the Kickstarter-exclusive (but the whole campaign was KS-exclusive?) 3D Trees from HATE. Based on how old and gnarled they looked, my initial plan was to paint them with a grey contrast paint to give them the “white-grey” look that very old, dead trees tend to end up with. Unfortunately, the grey contrast paint I tried (I forgot which) did not look good, so a very fast trip to the kitchen sink was required to wash the stuff off and salvage it quickly.

Seeing how nicely they turned out, I do regret not having gotten a second (or third!) set of these, as CMoN really knocked it out of the park with these models. I mean, I’ll live, but it goes to show (yet again) how pointless things like Kickstarter exclusives like trees and wolves and the like are. Hm.. I’ve just noticed that the trees came in a set of 8 in the end, rather than the 10 advertised….

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

So after the clean up of the grey, I tried my plan-B of Wyldwood Contrast Paint. Despite initially not wanting to go with brown trees, this stuff worked really nicely. Following the one-coat of Wyldwood, I was careful not to handle them because the Contrast paint is pretty prone to rubbing off. So out they went for a spray. I followed that with careful touch-ups of the little bits I missed with the Wyldwood, an overall drybrush of bone, grey and a drybrush for the stony ground around the edges of their bases, painting in the skulls on the bases and the exposed wood with bone, another wash over the exposed wood, and then another spray.

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

To finish off, I found they were still a bit shiny (not the contrast’s fault), so I gave them a brush-on coat of AK Interactive’s brush-on matte varnish, and then mixed some of that stuff in with two shades of weathering powders (mostly since I didn’t have the shade I wanted to use) and slapped that on the bottom parts of the roots and the rocks, wiping it off quickly.

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

In the end, I’m very happy with how these turned out. Sure, I only used the Contrast paint as a base, and then followed up with my usual techniques – but that’s how I see them. I’m hardly going to entirely change my ways of painting after all of these years, but I’ll happily adapt some aspects to these paints when I choose to use them. I can credit them for motivation, though – it’s unlikely I’d have gotten around to starting these trees by now without the Contrast paint, and they did make it so that I got them finished in just a couple of days. That alone made them worthwhile for me!

Massive Darkness – Pillars (June ’19 Terrain Challenge) + Contrast Paint Experiment #1

Massive Darkness Pillars

(Mostly)-thinned Contrast Paints provide a “good enough” discount marble effect.

Starting off June’s models in truly underwhelming fashion today – with the set of pillars from the 2016 CMON Dungeon Crawler boardgame Massive Darkness. By all accounts, the game is supposed to be pretty decent, though I haven’t yet opened it to play it. Instead, I’ve finished off the pillars – to be used as pillars in whatever game I happen to be playing that needs pillars. Because pillars.

Massive Darkness Pillars

Serving suggestion.

Paint was pretty straightforward, cleaned up, glued to round 25mm bases with a washed glued underneath to give them a little more stability. They were sprayed with the new GW “Grey Seer” and given a coat of thinned-down Gryph-Charger Grey Contrast paint in a bit of an experiment. With a satin varnish, the slightly-greenish hue and subtle tide marks give them a nice enough marble-ish effect, though a far cry from a “proper” marble look – they worked well enough as a Contrast Paint experiment. I decided not to dirty-up the bottoms of them, so that they can be used as either indoor or outdoor pillars.