Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hobby At Its Best

One of the best things about hobby gaming is that at its heart lies a strong sense of community.  Whether that community takes the form of a blog network or a club at a local store, it provides an opportunity for like minded individuals a chance to come together and do something great.

This last Saturday I was reminded exactly how special that opportunity can be and what a group of hobbyists can achieve when they pitch in for a common goal.  On Saturday our local wargaming group, The League of Extraordinary Wargamers, sponsored a day dedicated to refurbishing and painting our local store's wargaming terrain.  After nine hours a small group of us had breathed new life into a ton of old pieces and had done wonders to increase the quality of wargaming for those who visit 31st Century Games & Hobbies.

All in all, eight of us worked from 11am to 8pm rebasing, repainting, and cleaning over forty pieces of desert, rural, and urban terrain.

Our youngest member at the age of fifteen, Dayton works on a piece of desert bluffs terrain.  During the day's painting he learned how to dry brush.

New member Keifer Ware teams up with veteran hobbyist Stew Reed to work on urban terrain.  Keifer found the hobby when he came into the store looking for a model to put on his computer desk while he played the Dawn of War computer game.

Veteran hobbyist Brandon Sherley put his construction skills to work cutting bases for terrain.  The bases will go a long way to protecting foam pieces during everyday use.

As Joe Suber, the owner of 31st Century, demonstrates, we observed strict safety procedures at all times and never ran while holding power tools...

Jeremy Gragg has been hobbying for fifteen years and is no stranger to making terrain.  He and his brother, Jameson, created much of the original store terrain and have mentored younger hobbyists for close to two decades.

Here's a table of our many repaints.  Each piece of terrain got a basecoat, first dry brush, and then second dry brush.  Most of the repainted terrain will be receiving fine detail work in the weeks to come, adding graffiti to ruined walls, picking out engraved details, and adding color to ambient pieces (barrels, spent casings, etc.).

Our pile of completed pieces, which would soon grow to take up a whole table!

Here's the whole group, from left to right, Brandon Sherley, Jeremy Gragg, Dayton, Matthew Ochs, Keifer Ware, and Stew Reed.  Not pictured, but in attendance were also Jon Pelton and Matt King.  A big thank you to all who helped out!

If you're in the area come by and have a game of Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, or Warmachine with the new terrain!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Charon Boatman of River Styx Model Complete

The boatman model is finally complete!

After a few months of putting Charon on the shelf and pulling him back off, it's great to finally have him done.  Only a few more touches will be added during painting (coins and skulls littering the bottom of the boat), but for the most part he's complete.  

Because it has been so long from start to finish, here's a montage to recap his progress.

The basis for the boat were three "U" shaped pieces of cut plasticard and plasticard planks.

A mismatch of planks filled out the decking, giving the boat an ancient, dilapidated look.

Lots of plasticard work went into the creation of Charon's boat, and the rudder was no exception.  The steer shaft started as a tube of plasticard before having green stuff added to make it look like a gnarled branch of old wood.

Charon's undead passenger (recovering vampire in the GW fiction for the Black Coach) started as three pieces of paper clip and a dob of green stuff.

The green stuff shrouds were rolled, tattered, and then finally draped over the top of each model.

To represent the coach's possible ethereal and fly special rules I positioned the boat clipping its base's column, "phasing" through it and elevating it off the ground.

Like most green stuff sculpts, the spirit host on the base started as paper clips before having skulls added to the ends and green stuff along their lengths.

And that's it, he's done.  A few hours of work over a couple of months, and a concept fulfilled from five-years back.  It's truly rewarding to see the idea come to life!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hobby Spotlight: Chris Lewis' Vect & Grey Knights

This week I'm excited to show off some truly exceptional models.  This month the man behind the conversions and paint is Chris Lewis, a local Kansas boy who is putting together some stunning minis.

We like to see great sculpts and conversions at the Monster Lab (after all the blog was founded out of the love of creating 40k and Fantasy monsters) and Chris' Asdrubael Vect is no exception.  His conversion used an assortment of Dark Eldar, High Elf Dragon Lord and mage bitz.  For the orb in Vect's hand, Chris used an air soft BB.

Blade vanes and haywire blasters were the foundation for Vect's power weapon.

Chris used a DE archon resin body and added on a Warrior bit along with some custom green stuff work to accent.

The finished model is excellent and does the fiction and codex entry justice.  Look forward to future posts for completed painted pics of Chris' Vect and other Dark Eldar!

Chris' armies are on either extreme of the paradigm, from the fragile but deadly Dark Eldar to his stalwart and pure Grey Knights.  

Chris' grey knights are epitomized by super sharp lines and clean designs.

The use of heavy black wash on silver gives Chris' models a great amount of depth and the illusion of battle wear and weathering.

Chris didn't miss a detail on his Storm Raven, taking the care to lavish detail on its pilot and gunner.

Chris and his gaming crew have branched out into a large number of game systems, even including Mordheim for Fantasy.

Here he is, practicing for his future career as a t-shirt model and salesperson for the official Monster Lab t-shirt at the latest 40k tournament hosted by The League and 31st Century Games & Hobbies.

Congrats Chris for being nominated as the Monster Lab's Mad Hobbist for the month of May!

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