I’m still stalwartly ploughing through the (possibly radioactive) lead pile that is the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter.
Recently I have completed the first of the two Hazmat Troopers from the set. I have deliberately gone with a bright colour scheme for these guys and based them in such a way that suggests they might be ‘lost’ on a mysterious island somewhere, perhaps doing some work for a scientific ‘initiative’.
For the first time in a while I went with the technique of blocking in the base colours and then painting on Army Painter Quickshade dark tone dip. This can be an effective way of shading miniatures providing you are careful to ensure that the dip is mixed well to start with, doesn’t pool too much and spend some time re-highlighting up afterwards.
Next up are the ‘Mutant Hill Mob’, a small band of ‘wacky racing’ wasteland warriors. A lot of skin on display here, which always puts me off a bit, however utilising the wonder that is Citadel Reikland Fleshshade over a dark skintone base and then dry brushing and highlighting up with a lighter tone worked OK.
I also felt that these guys would really benefit from spending the time to properly paint the eyes. A very steady hand was required to varying levels of success.
For the first time I also had a go at using the Citadel ‘blood effects’ technical paint – Blood for the Blood God! This provided a nice glossy and gloopy effect that I used both on some of their weapons and also on their ‘skin conditions’.
I’ve also finished my favourite figure from the entire release, the SLR armed traffic warden attempting to hold the ‘threads’ of society together in post-nuclear Sheffield. I felt like this deserved a scenic base.
Next up I’ll be completely the ‘Road Warrior’, and then possibly dipping into some of the marauders, savages and militia.
I’ve been making some in roads into the huge lead pile that arrived as part of the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter. In true ‘hobby butterfly’ style I’ve just been picking stuff up to paint that I fancy the look of, rather than having any particular plan.
It goes without saying that the figures are as always with Crooked Dice lovely sculpts, with next to no clean up required. For the majority of these I’ve chosen a grey or white undercoat as a base.
In addition to the figures I’ve also been adding in some vehicles to the mix. I got an extra Interceptor in my pledge and have gone for a basic, but what I think is quite effective black colour scheme for this. It was also my first time using the Citadel technical/dry paint rust effect (I forget it’s actual name). Although this looks VERY orange in the pot once dry brushed on it gives a really subtle effect that could pass for both rust and dust.
Finally I’ve completed the conversion of the 1/43rd Teamsterz toy car I have been working on. Post apocalypse Penny has finally got her Compact Pussycat – although I feel to be properly PA we should refer to this as the Kompakt Puzzycat!
Next on the apocalypse painting production line – Science Division Hazmat troopers.
But I might be about to get distracted by dinosaurs!
More work on the post-apocalyptic motor pool as I prepare for my first full game of 7TV Apocalypse.
Never one to start one new project, when I could do two in parallel, I’ve embarked on building the Crooked Dice V8 Interceptor resin kit and also a conversion of a die cast toy. The latter is going to be the wheels for my PA ‘Penelope Pitstop’ figure which along with the Interceptor I picked up as part of the recent Kickstarter.
The (second to) last of the V8 Interceptors
So first off the Interceptor kit. I originally got hold of one of these when they were released last year and made sure I included another in my Kickstarter pledge. This is a really nice, crisply cast resin model with loads of accessories. Taking it’s inspiration from the Mad Max films, the extra bits and pieces allow it to be built in a number of configurations.
I had previously built and painted this as a ‘Main Force Patrol’ police pursuit car from the original Mad Max. Looking back I wasn’t too keen on paint job I’d done, so the chance to built another one and make a better fist of it wasn’t to be passed up.
I’ve decided to go with a much more wastelands ‘last of the V8s’ look for this one, with the addition of the massive rear shield (which puts me in mind of the Death Race remakes of recent years).
Following a soak in warm soapy water and using pound shop superglue the pieces went together really well (with minimal clean up required). I was also left with plenty of accessories left over to use on other kits and conversions.
The Compact Pussycat (with claws)
Despite having a huge pile of figures to paint up from the Kickstarter all of which are excellent, there are a couple that stuck out that I really wanted to get to the top of the queue. One of these was the aforementioned Penny. Now of course, Penny needs a ride for the ‘wacky wasteland races’, so off the the big pile of unused Teamsterz cars it was then.
Using some of the left over Interceptor bits and bits from the stowage set I’ve come up with my own interpretation of the ‘Compact Pussycat’ (only this time with guns)!
Paint job has yet to be finalised, and as I have now got the full boxed set of rules through for 7TV Apocalypse I shall also be shortly stating up this motor.
Having recently taken delivery of both the rules and a huge set of miniatures from the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter I decided I should probably finish off some of my incomplete PA projects before diving into any new stuff.
Back at the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day last summer I came away with a 1/48 scale Tamiya kit from the prize pool. This was a World War II SS-100 aircraft tractor, but I immediately saw the opportunity for some conversion work to make this suitable for the wastelands.
The build of the basic kit was fairly straightforward and I cut some corners in terms of the detail (for example leaving out the interior and some of the smaller body work bits) to make it both more suitable for conversion and more sturdy as a gaming piece.
Using some of the conversion parts made available by Crooked Dice and a few bits and pieces from the spares box (including some 1:1 scale car body mesh) I gave it a suitably shabby and cobbled together PA look.
I completed the build last year and it has sat on my hobby work bench ever since. Inspired by the arrival of lots of lovely figures from the Kickstarter I was spurred on to finish painting and weathering it.
Basecoat was a from a spray can (Plastic Soldier Company Olive Drab) with a few suitably muted block colours used for stowage. The exception being the fuel tanks on both the original kit and the conversion parts which I picked out in red.
Weathering was completed using a thinned down wash of Army Painter Strong Tone wash and chipping was done using a dark brown using the sponge technique (a cross between dry brushing and stippling using a piece of foam). The gunner was picked out in blacks and greys – the gas mask giving him an almost SAS look.
All in all I’m pretty please with the overall result. It was quite a quick, but I think effective paint job. I’m also thinking that this vehicle would go really well with the ‘Mutant Hill Mob’ cast, so I think they are going to move close to the top of my 7TV Apocalypse to-do list.
A few months ago I waxed lyrical about some inspiration for post-apocalypse gaming and in particular the Survivalist novels of the 1980s by Jerry Ahern. As fulfilment of the Crooked Dice 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter gets closer I’ve decided to revisit this irradiated world where men were men, women were women, guns were cool (and overly described repeatedly in the prose) and the red menace was real.
As a reminder this pulpy post-apocalyptic novel series racked up over 20 titles telling tales of the titular Survivalist, John Rourke and his adventures following the nuclear devastation of World War III and a subsequent Russian occupation. In case you had forgot our hero had the following traits:
Survival and wilderness expert
Super-sensitive eyesight (so has to wear mirrored shades ALL the time)
Motorbike rider (almost exclusively always a Harley Davidson)
Smoker (because it was respectable in the 80s)
Fluent in multiple languages
Irresistible to women
His middle name is Thomas (yes really)
This guy is crying out for the tabletop!
So two things to do. Find a figure to represent this alpha male in 28mm scale, and stat him up for 7TV.
Miniature choice first! Rourke has many weapons of choice, but the most iconic are his ‘twin Detonics Combat Master .45, shoulder holstered pistols’. The novels are very focused on the exact name, model, calibre and so on of the various weapons being used, in fact arguably more effort is put into the description of military hardware and material than is expended on characters. But I digress, the key thing is I had a couple of sprues of the old Wargames Factory Male Apocalypse survivors laying around and a quick snip round with the clippers and plastic glue and I had the vested, shade wearing, pistol wielding post-nuclear survivalist I need.
In terms of the stats, I used the excellent fan built Agency Casting Tool for 7TV to produce a suitably matching profile for 7TV. I based the core profile on the generic Action Hero, but made a few changes to the attacks and special abilities to match the unique range of skill our hero has. With a star quality of Burst of Action coupled with Blown Clear, Hard, Fight Back and Lucky as base special effects for this profile I felt we were nearly there, I swapped out Lucky for Medic (as previously mentioned Rourke is of course also a fully trained MD, and he’s so damned good he’s no need of luck).
The only problem I really came across was how to represent the ‘twin Detonics’. 7TV doesn’t have any rules for dual wielding; the 2 shot ability most pistols have doesn’t really cut it as it simply allows more than one shoot action to be taken a turn. What I wanted was double the fire power in just one attack. After some head scratching I decided to swap out the standard pistol from the Action Hero profile with a high powered pistol from the military weapons list. This gave me a boost to the strike value and still gave me the 2 shots option, but I didn’t really think that it still represented that balletic gun play action I was after. Rather than invent any rules I think I solved the problem but adding the ‘Deadly’ effect to the attack profile. This would allow me to chuck in an extra attack dice, so to me gave a nice approximation of the extra punch you might get from firing two pistols at once.
Of course non of this came cheap. Following the rules in the 7TV Producers Guide for customising profiles has led to John costing a chunky 15 ratings (points). The vast majority of stars in 7TV only cost 10. However as I’m sure you can appreciate our Survivalist has a very unique set of skills and is in effect a one man army, so I’m not too worried about this.
With 7TV Apocalypse due out in March John will be getting some action soon I’m sure. Might even build him his ride if I can find that Project Z bikers sprue anywhere…..
One of the great pleasures I get from the hobby is the chance to view everything through the hobbyists eyes. So when I am out shopping (ostensibly for real word stuff) I’ve always got half an eye on what I could use for the latest project on the tabletop. I’ve written before about my ongoing love of re-purposing toys for gaming and toy shops are a great place to start. However I never overlook what might be lurking in the local discount store, Poundland or craft supplies shop.
Although I have an airbrush I also make extensive use of spray cans to undercoat and basecoat miniatures and models. There is a lot to be said for the convenience, particularly of the Army Painter coloured sprays of quickly and effectively getting minis to the table. That said one of the areas that people often overlook are the basic colours used for undercoating (black, white and grey). Yes you could shell out a tenner (or more) on some Games Workshop or Army Painter sprays for this, but the basic car primers you can get from places like Halfords or even the pound shop are in most cases just as good or even better (just be careful to avoid the gloss versions). I’d highly recommend the matt black Halfords own brand cans, they give a really nice flat finish on most surfaces and are good value for the amount you get).
Anyway, I digress. On a recent lunchtime wander round my local Boyes store (one of the few places in the UK outside of specialist gaming shops that stock a good supply of Vallejo paints), I happened across these…
Stone effect aerosol sprays in a variety of colours. I had a few years ago used one of the these in a dark grey to provide a tarmac like surface to a game board I was building, but like many projects a few years back didn’t see it through to the end. However having recently bought a Bastion Stronghold (Z2014) from Amera Plastic Mouldings for use as a ‘wasteland’ fortification for post-apocalypse gaming (and potentially a bit of Kill Team / 40k on the side) I had an idea…..
Amera have been on my radar for a while. They produce a range of vac formed plastic terrain and scenery aimed at both the wargames and scale modelling (dioramas) markets. Their products are good value and in many cases substantial in terms of size. One of the downsides of using vac-formed plastic however is that the surface details of larger pieces tend to be very flat and lack texture. If only there was a quick and easy way to apply a textured finish, maybe to emulate concrete or pebble dash to my recently acquired ‘post-apocalypse’ stronghold?
So having put two and two together I started work. After the recommended wash in warm soapy water I gave the whole piece a black undercoat. After leaving this to dry I applied the first coat of stone effect. I had chosen ‘bleached stone’ as my preferred colour of sprays as I though it would match an arid PA wasteland type setting.
Matt Black Halfords paint from a can (it is still wet here but dries to a very flat matt finish)
Undercoated bunker roof ready for texture!
First thing to note on the stone effects aerosol is that it is under quite high pressure and comes out very forcefully. It became quite apparent early on that this meant I was going to have to be very patient, do a number of thin coats and wait for each to dry properly. Repeated application of layers on a surface that was not yet dry just ended up moving the stone effect paint already laid down around.
First layer of textured paint (initially looks a real mess)
Note masked areas which will be painted silver and ‘rusted’
What also became clear was that the black undercoat was not working. The light ‘desert yellow’ / ‘skeleton bone’ like colour of the spray was being overpowered by the dark base. To rectify this, once the first thin layer was applied and was dry (after about 15 minutes) I gave the whole model a full all over spray of Citadel Averland Sunset (a darkish yellow). Building subsequent layers over this was much more effective.
Once I’d completed about 4 or 5 coats using the stone effect I had a good covering and a good scale approximation of either pebble dashed concrete or sandstone.
Where to take it from here? I knew I definitely wanted to weather this down, especially as it was intended to be a wastelands style outpost, but simply dry brushing a highlight over the stone effect would perhaps make it too light. I could of course have left it there, the effect was good enough for ‘basic tabletop standard’, but I was keen to take it further.
I also wanted to ensure that the stone effect paint was protected, so rolled the weathering and protection into one by painting on Army Painter Quickshade Strong Tone. I’m a big fan of Quickshade; not the dipping method, rather painting in the same way as a shade or wash. Normally with miniatures following an initial drying period the shade ‘pulls back’ into the recesses of the model and you can ‘dab’ up any excess with a brush. With this scenery piece there weren’t really any recesses into which to recede so I had to work hard not to show brush strokes in the finished effect. I achieved this using swirling motions with a cheap large brush.
At this stage it did not look good!
At this stage, to be honest, I wasn’t very happy, it looked like I had dulled down the stone effect too much and the natural gloss of the Quickshade kind of made things worse (albeit I knew I was going to have to dull this down with a top coat). A quick dry brush back up of Army Painter Skeleton Bone seemed to retrieve the situation, but I was now left with a much darker piece than I was originally intending.
I was on the verge of going back to the drawing board, when I thought about maybe rather than weathering this up as an arid desert stronghold, I could shift my post-apocalyptic mindset more towards a ‘nature reclaiming the landscape’ scenario. To that end I liberally applied some green washes and made use of an old bottle of Modelmates mould effect I had.
With the addition of some flock, tufts and overgrowth I was much happier with the final result. The metal supports and door were painted silver and then (probably overly) weathered up using again a Modelmates rust effect. Finally the whole thing was sealed with a couple of thin coats of Testors Dullcote.
All in all I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I’d highly recommend Amera Plastic Mouldings as a cost effective and striking alternative to other options for tabletop scenery. Using the textured spray paint added that extra level of detail, but required some patience. As they say, you learn from your mistakes.
This finished piece will hopefully be finding it’s way into a game of 7TV Apocalypse soon.
Much of my recent hobby activity has been around the modelling and painting of 28mm scale post apocalypse figures and vehicles. This was inspired by my involvement in the beta testing of 7TV Apocalypse which is now coming towards it’s conclusion on Kickstarter.
Currently over three times funded, but with plenty of good stuff still to be unlocked I’d heartily recommend backing this (if not so we can please unlock the Alien Invaders (‘Visitors’).
The campaign is running until 9pm (GMT) on Tuesday 6th November.