Little Boxes …from Mantic’s Mars Attacks

These boxes are not on the hillside, nor are they made of ticky-tacky, but they are (almost) all the same.

Ok, this is a scenery post, and a simple one at that, as it deals with a few pieces of minor scatter terrain. A long time ago, I backed Mantic’s Mars Attacks Kickstarter, and amongst all of the stuff that I received (and still haven’t used.. shhh!) was a few sets of the scenery accessories.

Mars Attacks Accessory Pic from Iron Saint’s Children of the Kraken Blog – go visit!

Naturally, I forgot to take a photo of the Accessory pieces before I started on any of this stuff, and Mantic’s photos don’t show them very well. It is in fact a very good gaming set. It turns out that I had four of them. Unless I find another 1 or 2 in boxes someday. I actually started painting the post boxes and rubbish bins back in summer, about 9 months ago, but managed to mess up the salt weathering. So the whole project went into limbo. A few days ago I spotted the box-barricades sitting on my painting desk and so decided to clean them up in a vaguely useful way – by painting them!

All 4 sides of Mantic’s Mars Attacks box stacks.

So here they are. Exciting, no? I kept them as generic as possible so they can work in as many settings as possible, from historicals through moderns, zombipocalypses and to sci-fi in about 28 to 38,000 years’ time. (When most things are still oddly recognisable when compared to nowadays.)

Crates. Probably from Grendel.

I also found a couple of resin crates that had been bought in the 90’s and sitting around part-painted for years, and spent the whole of 10 minutes that it took to finish them as well. I have the attention span of a flea, sometimes… I think they’re probably originally from some set by Grendel/Scotia Grendel, since that’s where most of my really old resin junk originates from.

Mantic Mars Attacks Boxes

Size and thematic comparisons.

Finally, some Zombipocalypse survivors, Space Marines and Dwarves help out with showing the scale and how they fit in decently well with all three disparate types of model. 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.

Scotia Grendel Skull Fountains

Another blast from the past today. Well, not that long ago in some ways and a long bloody time in another.

These scenery pieces, more of the Grendel stuff I picked up in the mid-1990’s sat like so many others in storage for pretty much 20 years until 2013, when I finally got them out and finished them. Sometime around the 8th of August when I finally tallied up a bunch of stuff finished in the weeks before then.

Scotia Grendel Skull Fountains – Front-on.

As with so many of these old scenic pieces, they’re still available in Scotia Grendel’s website: 10010 – Skull Fountains. Amusingly the description on the webstore suggests that to make them particularly evil, you can paint the water as blood(!) I don’t think painting the liquid as water ever actually occurred to me. The paint was the usual greys for stone without any additional brown weathering along with an attempt for a kind of brushed-steel look with a minimal amount of rust, provided by my early experiments with MIG enamel washes. The blood was painted via a mix of GW and Vallejo reds and a touch of orange, with clear red and gloss varnish added after the rest of the pieces were matt sprayed.

Scotia Grendel Skull Fountains – Side-on.

As you can see, they’re drop-moulded and so the back side of them are completely flat and lacking in detail. You can butt them up against a wall, or either side of a dungeon archway or whatever. If you want something less dungeon-ey and more wargame table-y that’s free-standing, I guess you can always butt them up together like I have above.

Scotia Grendel Skull Fountains

A little scene to provide scale for the Skull Fountains.

Edit – After getting a request for scale shots on Dakka, I went out and added this one. They’re a fair bit bigger than they look when in the isolated shots.

Scotia Grendel Ruined Keep & Ruined Gothic Archway

No figures to show off today. The painting’s been going well, but I’ve got to get out and take some more photos soon. In lieu of anything new, here’s some scenery that I painted a long, long time ago and photographed last year.

Scotia Grendel Ruined Gothic Archway

I bought both of the sets mentioned up top around the same time, but I vastly preferred this entranceway “Ruined Gothic Archway” to the “proper” one that came with the set, so this is the one that I ended up painting up to go with the walls. Much more “Gothic” and since the main game this stuff was used for over the years was 40k…

Rear View of Ruined Gothic Cathedral

Imagine my surprise and pleasure at seeing that the rear of the arch piece was void of all detail whatsoever – just a smooth resin piece from a one-piece pour mold. The base was fine, but I decided that I had to do something about the lack of detail on the upper. I scraped out the stonework with a hobby knife, and did my best to weather and stress the stonework using the tools I had at my disposal in the mid-1990’s. So probably the end of a file and a hammer, by the look of things.

Scotia Grendel Ruined Keep wall sections

As can be expected, these walls from the Ruined Keep have seen a lot of action over the years in no end of configurations. Another of the unpleasant surprises from the Grendel Kit once I opened it was the fact that all of those windows were sealed. As in cast-solid. It took my pin vice, a hobby knife and no small amount of time to cut them all out.

Scotia Grendel Ruined Keep ruined towers

As you can imagine, these “ruined towers” have seen a lot less action. Mostly due to being shorter than a Space Marine in height, so not exactly much of a ruined tower in any of their cases. Three or four steps hardly makes a tower, after all…

Scotia Grendel Ruined Keep with Gothic Archway – “Closed” layout.

Here’s the typical “closed” layout I’ve used in games for the entire set. It really could use some more wall sections to look a bit more reasonable.

Scotia Grendel Ruined Keep with Gothic Archway – “Open” layout.

And here’s the “Open” layout that gets used much more often, as it allows models to move through the ruins while taking cover from their enemies. Now that I’ve been gathering and painting a lot more scenery in the last couple of years, I could do a lot more interesting things with these. For example combining them with the WHFB Gothic Graveyard kit, as well as other things I’ve picked up and painted, like those Confrontation brick walls. I need to get some Hirst Arts molds as well, the Graveyard scenery kit looks promising.

Deathworld Fauna – Part 1.1 – Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawler (Leech)

Back in March, I found two out of the three figures from the Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers kit that I picked up bout 15-20 years ago. (Damn that makes me feel old!) Because of the way that things seem to work in my life and on the painting desk, the frog-thing and millipede-thing have been MIA for a couple of months now (they might be in the shed, perhaps?) and I ended up finding the leech-thing, conveniently already glued to a 60mm base with some putty ’round the edges. Not wanting to tool around too much rebasing and agonising over the scheme – since that’s a great way to never get anything finished – I decided to get that sucker painted.

So here it is:

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers Giant Leech

I figure this thing can work just as well as a 40k-sci-fi alien leech as a D&D-style fantasy giant leech. So, you know, whatever. I went with green and mustard yellow since the underside was sculpted with a bit of contrasting texture, so I thought I may as well transfer that to the palette. Same deal with the pinky-purple tongue and the bone teeth, again so they stand out.

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers Giant Leech

 

A nice thick layer of polyurethane varnish on the model keeps it looking suitable shiny and yucky. I also added some Vallejo realistic water mixed with some transparent yellow to create the slime effect on the side of the model where the slime-holes(!) are located, and some realistic water without colouring onto some of the mouth-parts and tongue.

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers Giant Leech

I found that the figure looked too small for its base, and to help fill in the empty space without going overboard – or adding in fantasy or sci-fi-specific extras, I just went for some of the larger tufts that I had sitting around in the packets. Often those are the hardest ones to find a use for and they end up on scenery, since they’re too large for use on almost all miniatures.

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawlers Giant Leech with Warhammer High Elf for scale.

Finally, a big-hat Warhammer High Elf for scale. I should really finish this guy’s unit off. I bet it would take less than half a day if I ever manage to pull my fist out…  Actually, I’ve got some scenery that just needs finishing off that could be measured in probably less than half an hour…

Full disclosure – I actually painted this thing a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get around to posting it. After a pretty productive two weeks or so of painting I’m in a bit of a ..not burnt out, but kinda taking a rest. Also, my wife bought me a PS4 as a belated birthday gift, and so I’ve been running around Mordor after work and on the weekends instead of sitting and painting like I’m “supposed” to…

 

Daemonette Statues, Imperial Fountain

A quick update today. Just a couple of pieces of scenery to share. These three pieces were all done at least 10 years ago, so it’s really a back-catalogue update.

First up, a couple of Daemonette statues. Once again, these are based on some Scotia Grendel (hey guys, send me some free stuff!) scenery. Back in the day I collected my Space Marines and Imperial Army Guard and whatnot as armies, but I also tended to grab anything else that took my fancy just to paint – much as I do today, really. Most of my Chaos figures of the day were procured just to have them, and since I wasn’t a serious WHFB player (outside of my Dark Elves, then Orcs & Goblins), I wanted other figures to be individuals, as I noted in the last post with the Fleshhounds.

So what to do with doubled-up Daemonettes?

Turn them into scenery, of course!

I took a couple of the Grendel pillars, jewellers-sawed a channel out of the tops of them, then glued the model tabs in there with Araldite.

Daemonette of Slannesh. Oldhammer.

Daemonette Standing Stone Statues – front.

Daemonette of Slannesh. Oldhammer.

Daemonette Standing Stone Statues – Rear.

I painted them with pink highlighted into white, and added blue marbling-style veins to them. I thought the pastel look worked for Slaanesh, and yes, there’s a conscious subtext there as well. The bases were originally done in green flock, but several years later when I changed my basing style to the dark brown I painted over it, added the static flock, and also glued a bunch of soft seashells around the edges of the base. I felt that they had the right soft, pastelish, smooth, sensual look to them to fit in with the Slaaneshi scenery as offerings made by the chaos tribes.

More recently, I added the flowers to the bases, to add a little more interest to them. And besides, who said everything Chaos touches needs to be blighted wastelands?

Italieri Fountain, 40k style.

The back side of that Italieri fountain.

This one’s as simple as hell. While perusing a model store years ago I saw this cheap Italieri kit on the shelf. I thought I could use it for scenery, and bought it. One simple assembly, four old-school Space Marine Banner tops (you could easily do the same with easily-available brass etch these days), and a quick base coat and drybrush followed by some thinned down orange paint for rust streaks and you’re golden. And yes, it’s still available today. What I especially like about it on current reflection is that it’s still generic enough (even with the Aquilas) to be used in Historical or Fantasy gaming. Simple, cheap, effective and good looking.

Like me.

Ok, so I’m not as good looking as the fountain.

 

Warzone Resin Scenery and some other Scenery.

No, not the new/current incanation of WarZone by Prodos Games, but 1st/2nd Edition Era stuff. These pieces came out in the same kind of retail blisters that almost all of the Scotia Grendel stuff that I’ve been showing off recently, so I think it’s likely that Grendel made them under licence from Target Games/Heartbreaker, back in the day. These all sat in various containers and boxes for a good decade and a half until recently, towards the end of last year when I pulled them out and decided to paint them, and practice some new techniques.

Entranceway

I did a lot of playing around with Verdigris effects on these. Pretty much figuring out how to do it. I missed that little Dark Legion icon up top of this archway until I was looking at these photos. Maybe I’ll go back and paint it with gold/brass/verdigris.

Inside(?) of the archway. Surely not the outside?

Obviously, I used a lot of drybrushing on these sets as well. I almost always use it on stone, but I usually hand paint and shade things like skulls. In this case, however, they got drybrushed as well, and the starkness actually turned out really well, I think.

Long walls

I also had a bit of a play with weathering powders and Tamiya’s weathering compacts on the bottom of these scenery elements. The compacts worked a lot better than the powders, especially as the scenery needed to be varnished and will be handled a lot.

Short walls

I basically bought one of each set. In retrospect, maybe I should have bought some extra walls and corners, but then, I didn’t have unlimited funds back then, and we tended to spread stuff like this out a bit to use as ruins to fight on and around in 40k and WarZone.

Concave walls

I also had a bit of a play with some MIG rust washes on the metal parts of the wall reinforcements. Not bad, but probably better used elsewhere, or more carefully, as using it in these places became tedious and didn’t allow for the best effect of the realistic rust effects. Well, it could have, if I didn’t have to do so many of them. Looking at the pics I can see small areas I could have focused on to enhance the rust effects, but hindsight, eh?

Convex walls.

I quite like the utility of scenery elements like this. Pretty much everything I bought as scenery back in the day was done so with at least one eye towards using it for 40k. Even scenery that is nominally for Fantasy and other games – The farmhouse seen a couple of posts ago has spent more time on 40k tables than fantasy ones!

Dark Legion/Chaos Throne

Since – let’s face it – this scenery is going to spend more time on Warhammer-game-themed tables than Warzone tables, I looked around for awhile for something appropriate for the banners. Originally, I was just going to paint some runes of Khorne on them, but that seemed a bit too boring. These stars appear to be used by the “Blood Pact” Renegade Guard forces from one of the IA books, but also look generic enough to be more general Chaos than just Khornate. Turned out better than I’d expected, too!

Outer-wall side of the throne piece.

Subtle? Dark Legion? Chaos? Naaaaa!

All of the pieces

Here’s all of the pieces assembled together. You can see why I’d have bought some more walls and corners pretty well here, but in practical use, these pieces will be combined with other resin and stuff, ruined walls and so forth. It will work equally well as scenery for 40k and other sci-fi games (WarZone, maybe?) as well as Fantasy games such as Kings of War, Mordheim SoBH, etc. It’s all pretty Pathfinder/RPG friendly as well.

Stone Stairs

This Spiral Staircase can be useful as a connection piece to higher-up scenery (Fortress Walls, etc) but is also useful for Pathfinder and Role-playing. It’s amazing to be just how much of this stuff is still available!

Staircase details

Some nice little hidden details on the underside of the staircase.

Porticullus

This piece is more useful as a Role-playing element than a tabletop wargame one, in my opinion. I had a play with the new Army Painter coloured washes on the runes above the grate. I could have gone nuts with glowy effects and OSL, but that was a bit too much for something that will be used as a mundane piece of dungeon terrain most of the time. Still available from Grendel.

Sewer grate

I really like this Sewer grate. It had a couple of the oversized skulls that I wasn’t fond of, but my clippers took care of that (one skull went flying through the lounge room and has still not been found!) My big plan for this piece is to use it when playing Helms Deep in LotR SBG or WotR – or Helms Deep-inspired scenarios for Kings of War. Butt it against a castle wall and let those Uruk-Hai sappers loose! Once again, Grendel are still selling this – in a three-pack this time, along with two pieces I painted and showcased awhile back. (about halfway down the page).

Damn, Grendel should be sending me some freebies when you consider the amount of their stuff I’ve been showcasing lately! This is pretty much all stuff I bought years and years ago, during my personal golden era of FLGS gaming in Melbourne, around 1995-2002 – and in most cases never got around to painting until now.

 

Warhammer Fantasy Siege Accessories & Fantasy Scenery

So I finally got my light box set up. It’s not quite as good as I’d hoped, but it’s still a lot better than my previous set up. I took a ton of pics this evening, and so here’s the first batch – some generic fantasy scenery. While in many ways it’s not especially exciting, I’ve decided that I want to photograph everything that I finish this year, and on a wider scale, photograph everything that I’ve painted that is still in my collection.

Here’s the Warhammer Fantasy Siege Attackers models. The Siege Attackers and Siege Defenders boxed sets were released years ago alongside the Warhammer Fortress, as well as a few other kits such as Siege Mantlets and Siege Towers. I picked up both of these, as well as a Fortress and a few extra wall and Tower sections back in the day. Never got any of the others, but ended up with some miscast mantlets which I added to a Nurgle Rhino which I never finished.

Warhammer Siege Attackers set.

The two pieces in the lighter shade of wood (the wheeled ram and the metal-capped carried ram) were painted years ago. The other pieces were painted recently as part of sorting through my models and seeing them in a box unpainted, and then deciding to knock them out quickly. I’ve got a bunch of Uruk-Hai siege gear somewhere from the LotR sets which I should do the same with.

(Most of) the Warhammer Siege Defenders Set

My Defenders set is missing a few bits and pieces. The cauldron is missing the cauldron piece (I have the side supports), the rock dumping flat platform thing (I think I saw it recently), and the big rock.

Warhammer Siege Attackers Box

Warhammer Siege Defenders Box

Here’s a couple of box pics for posterity. I’m planning to paint that Warhammer Fortress finally, as well as the extra bits, and I also picked up another Fortress from GW Mail order recently, as to my great surprise they were still stocking it. Well, it turned up as a shipping box filled with the components in individual baggies rather then in the original box. But now I’ll have a decent sized castle when I assemble the new pieces, do some putty work on the old ones and then paint the lot of them. Then I can repaint and detail my original Mighty Fortress. Does this middle-era count as Oldhammer? Probably not, it’s got to be from around 4th-5th Edition WFB. But then again, close enough! I’m hoping to get some specific use out of these siege toys via Kings of War and the Lord of the Rings SBG, but they can certainly make for a cool background and scenario in almost any game we can play on the table…

Scotia Grendel Resin Hero's Grave

I didn’t recall who made this model, so I looked it up and again found it on Scotia Grendel’s website – but I got it 10-15 odd years ago, got it mostly-painted, and then never quite finished it. It may have also come with a casket. I’m not sure. I’ve got one or two resin caskets sitting around unpainted, but not sure if any came from/with this kit. Anyway I finished it up about a month or two ago, and now it’s done and chalked up to 2014’s credit!

Scotia Grendel Resin Hero's Grave

Here’s the rear view. The Warhammer-cross gravestone was a separate piece that had to be glued on. The rear of it had no detail at all, and so I added a thin layer of putty and did the best I could at the time to try and add something that would fit. If I did it today I’d use grey stuff and press-moulding and so forth, but I’m not going to change it. It looks a little rough, but it’s one of those things you’d never really notice unless you were told about it. I suspect now that a lot of the area I added static grass to back then was originally supposed to be simply-sculpted dirt. Ah well.

Another piece of resin scenery from the same era, and again finished a month or so ago. Once again, not sure who created this model initially. Again, Grendel would be the front runner, but I couldn’t find it on their modern website so who knows? I’ve based this one on a drink coaster and added a vampire model from …early Reaper? Ral Partha? Grenadier? Dunno. I’m sure it says under the base, but I’m not about to pry her up. It’s the same figure I also used on one of the pillars I showed a few posts ago. No verdigris this time. Need to keep them a little distinct.

I painted the little fungus things in a deep red mostly because I wanted to avoid whites, greys and bone shades. When I eventually get hold of a couple of the Citadel Graveyard sets, I’ll use some deep red flora to tie it in.

Another piece of scenery I got back in the day. I really bought quite a lot in the several-year period around 1994-2005 or so, and then very little for a long time after – until recently. No idea who made this one, of course, but it’s a nice little piece. Hollow resin. I think it was about $20. It’s a little small for Warhammer models, so I suspect it’s a “proper” historical scenery model.

Just the sort of thing I’d buy more of, if I saw for the same price now. This was actually painted back when I got it, so no 2014 credit here. Obviously this can work well in Fantasy or Historical games. The blue struts are perhaps a little garish for a lot of historical games, and if I were to paint this today, they’d probably be brown, but hey!

Remember those barrels that were in that other post? Well, I found the last one of their set, finished it, and have now photographed it. These will make good scenery for large-scale fantasy battles, smaller-scale fantasy skirmishes, roleplaying/dungeon bashing or even Historical games, such as use in Bolt Action.