House Cleaning and a New Long Term Project

Busy, busy, busy.  This week has been about preparation for more projects.  The state of my hobby area has gotten…oh let’s say out of hand a little.  I realized that my hobby was taking over not only the front porch and the living room but now it was starting to spread throughout the house.  Whoa, time to reel things back in a little bit.  So after some planning I decided that more shelving would be needed and this is what we’ve come up with:

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and this:

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Now this might not seem like a big deal but if you knew what it looked like before you would know the magnitude of this weeks undertaking!

I also picked up a nice little gem at the thrift store.  I cannot find much information about it online other than it is some kind of architectural drafting tool cart.  Now I can organize some of the stuff that has been cluttering my workbench and open up some space.

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Also, something exciting for this week is the beginning of a new project that has been floating around in my jellyfish brain for about a year.  On my commute to work the last few weeks I’ve noticed an intriguing old tree stump along the fence line of a rural intersection.  So the other day I finally stopped to check it out.  Well, I’ll the picture speak for itself:

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What the hell are you going to do with a giant root ball Night Owl?  Well, I’ve always wanted to make my own version of an Elven Tree of Life.  Disney World has one in the Animal Kingdom park at real scale that is pretty impressive. Mine won’t be that big. I’ve been looking for the perfect piece to start with and just haven’t found it yet.  Maybe this is the one? It needs a power wash and some cleanup but I have hope for this project.  A little spruce up (did you see what I just did there?) in MS paint and maybe I can give you an  idea of what I’m looking to do:

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A few waterfalls, some rope bridges, some lacey gazebos, hanging lanterns, mushrooms, and little forest creatures hidden everywhere amongst the tree.  This will be a scenic display board for my wood elf army.  28mm elven archers all over.  I envision almost an ISPY type piece that a person could look at for 30 minutes and still find things that they didn’t see before. Ambitious? Yes, probably, but hey – why not?  As I said this will be a long term project that I’ll update here off and on between my weekly posts when there is significant progress to pass along.  Stay tuned…!

Thanks,

Night Owl

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Dollar Store Statues

This week I’ve been working on some smaller terrain pieces and thought I would share a little how-to tutorial dealing with statues.  Around Christmas time my local dollar store has a selection of nativity figures.  I always try to grab a few of the wise men figures for projects like this.

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I use a CD for a base, some 4″ tower Hirst Arts blocks, sand, flock and glue.

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I prime the blocks, statue and CD then I weather them with a mud wash consisting of water, Future floor wax, paints and inks.

Glue them to the CD and let them dry for a few hours.

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Next I glue a base of sand.  Then I start building up the layers with different colors of flock and grasses.  I’ve learned the key to realism with foliage is to work in layers.  One layer is fine but a half a dozen layers just gives it that extra wow power.  I added a few vines to the statue itself and sprinkled some fall colors on for a final touch.

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There you have it – easy dollar store statue terrain.  Give it try and spice up your war tables.

Thanks,

Night Owl

 

Age of Gods Board Game

This week I decided to take a break from some of my bigger projects and break out a board game that I picked up on the cheap back during the last Black Friday sale. It is called Age of Gods by Asmodee Games.

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The first thing I noticed was the vibrant artwork on the board itself (I’m a sucker for this) and the amount of tokens.  Did I say tokens? 151 punch tokens (24 races) and 50 wooden tokens as well as 84 cards.  This is a fantasy based world so we have orcs, dwarves, pirates, barbarians, lizard-men, and so on.

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This isn’t really a review as you can find those elsewhere on the interwebz but more of an overview.  Each player is one of twelve gods that oversee the world.  Each god has very different abilities. There are 9 turns in the game in which races attack the territories next to them. You randomly get a race card every other turn (turns 1, 3, 5, 7) and you want to aid these races. You can choose to expose this race and reap the benefits of the card or keep it hidden and bluff.  In a surprise mechanic you cannot control your own races once they’re exposed.  Instead, you control the other races.  During turns 2, 4, 6, and 8 the weaker races attack in what’s called the Revolt of the Minor Races.  This phase of the game is kind of crazy.  After seven turns you start “betting” on which races will overcome others. Victory is achieved by adding up victory points after 9 turns.

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This isn’t at all what I expected this game to be.  This isn’t a strategic or analytical war game.  Combat is solved by a single dice roll.  There are no hit points, no armor classes or saving throws.  It is a territory control game with a twist mixed with bluffing and betting.  It is random chaos and it’s fun!  A nice surprise euro-type and a good light “war game” for a family of 4 or 5 or a gaming night gathering.

Thanks,

Night Owl

DIY Hex Battle Board

The project for this week is a hex based battle board.  From the first time I played Heroes of Might & Magic and Disciples PC games I have wanted to make miniature tabletop versions for myself.  Outside or ordering 2 inch hexes from a laser cutting company I have looked up and down to find something to make hexes with.  I finally found something!  The other day at Hobby Lobby I stumbled upon a 2 inch paper punch (bonus – it was 40% off all paper punch products!).  I also got a roll of 3/8 inch cork board.  Simple, I’ll punch out 2 inch cork hexes and glue them down.   Well things didn’t go so well.  I broke the plastic handle on the punch on the first test on card stock.  Turns out it is only rated to cut 65 lb. card stock or less.  So what do I do with a broken paper punch? Take it apart of course!

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So what can I do with this?  A trip to Home Depot found us a 2 ‘ X 2’ piece of pink foam.  And thus we begin with a new project.

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Just like using a cookie cutter at Christmas time.  Some advice – take your time.  I used a T square to line up my vertical lines.  I also started in the center and worked my way out one row at a time.  I did get a little off somewhere as the corner hexes differ a quarter inch from the edge but no big deal.

Next, I painted on two layers of water glue mix, letting the first dry before applying the second of course.

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Then I found some house paint from the garage and added some sand texture, mixed this up and gave it a liberal base coat.

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Then some spray paint and dry brushing for the finished product.  This board is a lot more olive green than these pictures show.

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And finally, with some Reaper Bones miniatures for scale.

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I still need to find some 1 inch trim to frame the edges for protection.  Total cost for this project was about $15  since I already had the texture sand and paint.

Till next time.

Thanks,

Night Owl