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22
Mar

Frostgrave Terrain- Second Work in Progress

Really glad I cut off the roof to insert another floor.

Really glad I cut off the roof to insert another floor. The deck is coming along nicely.

 

Once the third floor had been added I began working on the deck and exterior stairway in earnest.  Got in the new flooring quickly as well as the roof of the middle building.  The pass through on the far end got much of it’s exterior glued on and it’s floor in.  I know I’m going to regret not cutting open the windows on that building before I started gluing things together.  I want to build a covered stairway along it’s exterior side but that is still in the conceptual stages.  If I do it right I won’t have to actually make more stairs just the box they are inside.

 

LongRowBack4

Just enough flooring to move miniatures along.

LongRowBack3

Got the side and back of the pass-through attached so I could work on that floor as well.

LongRowBack2

Back view of the Long Row.

 

To break up the front of the tall building on the long row I used the same stirring sticks as the floors on the exterior.  Of course I thought of that after attaching the balcony (sniper’s nest) so had to work around that.

 

LongRowBalcony

Going to be a great location to place a treasure token on.

Stairs installed along the

Stairs installed along the outside wall.

LRClose

Okay, this end is just about ready for paint.

 

The First Building is done and sealed.  Heck, at the time of this writing it is already put away in the big plastic box in the garage with the bridges and ladders.

 

FGbuildingDone3

Nice result though the blank wall over the ground floor doorway might need a painting or sign or name…something.

Three usable levels though I should have added stairs. What? I like stairs.

Three usable levels though I should have added stairs. What? I like stairs.

 

 

20
Mar

Frostgrave Terrain- First Work in Progress

LongRow2

The Long Row gets timbers and a fancy plastic window. Looks like Banksy has been drawing stairs on the wall.

 

Here’s the opening stages of the one I call First Building.  Not very snappy, I know, but it is an accurate description.

 

IMG_3994

Base coats done.

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Such a calming blue interior.

 

The one I think of as Building Two simply because it was the second one I started working on.  Not sure why but the hole at the bottom of one of the walls didn’t work for me so I patched it up with some lightweight spackling compound.  One of the criteria for the first couple of buildings was that I wouldn’t have to do much construction and could go straight to painting.  As I was already spending the time patching a wall I didn’t see any harm in adding a little more detail but did compromise by making a partial stair.

 

Wall patched and broken stairs installed.

Wall patched and broken stairs installed.

The colors are inspired by one of the original cardboard Mordheim buildings.

The colors are inspired by one of the original cardboard Mordheim buildings in my collection.

 

The Long Row is going to take a lot of planning and work but I think it could become a wonderful piece and add verticality to our battle fields.  I started by rearranging some of the interior walls to make room for stairs, glued in foamcoare where the floors would be as well as gluing the entire thing to a piece of thin plywood.  Narrow, wooden coffee stirring sticks make wonderful flooring but have no strength so get glued on top of the foam core.  The ends of the planks extend past the edge of the foam core which will be painted in dark colors helping with the illusion.

 

LongRowStairs2

Floor is glued in and drying as are the stairs.

LongRowStairs1

Once the stairs dried they were glued in at the same time as the back wall section.

 

I use Tacky Glue for everything because it works on all the materials I’m using, the thickness greatly reduces oozing, and it cleans up with water.  It also remains a little flexible after it dries which I find adds durability to terrain pieces.  I used scraps, off cuts, and found items to build most everything but especially the bridges/ramps and ladders which are assembled largely from the scraps left from working on the buildings. One can never have too many of these items so I will be making many more of them in future.  I even have a short bridge AronBC made and gave me to add to the collection.  I put improvised railings here and there to look good and maybe reduce figures sliding off.  Think I’m going to have to glue some skulls and shields to some future constructions.

 

 

GluingBridges1

Two nine inch long bridges.

GluingBridges3

Twelve inch long bridge

GluingBridges2

A second twelve inch long bridge.

LaddersGlue

Some ladders plus a six inch bridge Aron gave me.

 

After struggling with how I would gable the roof to make a platform for the exterior stairs I planned to build I realized most of my problems would be solved if the end building was just another floor taller.  So I cut off the roof and glued in another floor.  Not only did this give me more height and two more windows to shoot out of but the end of the attic was screaming for a balcony.  You just can’t have too many odds and ends for figures to fire from or be shot off of in my opinion.

 

I decided the left side really needed another floor added.

I decided the left side really needed another floor added.

 

A wide flat brush combined with a wet palette makes short work of the bridges and ladders.  Good thing I’ve got plenty more scrap to build more.  We are going to need them.

 

BridgesDone2 BridgesDone1

 

 

 

18
Mar

Massive Cold Front Engulfs DundraCon 2016 or The Gang Plays Lots of Frostgrave

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine's weekend at Dundracon 2016.

The ruins of Frostgrave beckoned over Valentine’s weekend at Dundracon 2016.

 

I try to get to the three closest game conventions each year as they are the best places to interact with most of my oldest friends, meet new ones, and light my creative fires all in one very entertaining weekend.  This time was no exception at DundraCon 2016 (San Ramon, Ca) with the highlight being all the Frostgrave we played.  For those who may not have heard of it, Frostgrave by Osprey Games is a fantasy skirmish game in which players run a wizard and their band of adventurers seeking the arcane knowledge and treasures of an ancient ruined city (think Mordheim) that was destroyed in an icy, magic cataclysm.  It is supposed to be frozen and snow covered but none of my terrain is so I figure there is a brief thaw in the neighborhood.  I was delighted to break out long neglected Mordheim terrain and share figures from my also long neglected Role Playing Miniatures collection.  Learning a fun new game was bonus.

 

Worm1

The worm bursts forth just outside the abbey!

Worm2

Don’t recall which game this photo was from but it looks great and I love the scrum in the center.

 

One table had two gangs fighting it out over the treasures while a giant worm burrowed around under them.  Eventually it burst out and much mayhem ensued.  When we get together everyone pools their miniatures and terrain, especially the terrain.  We all have little projects, okay, some of us have numerous projects that might not fill a three foot square battlefield but added up really look great. Plus I’ll jump at any chance to use the Abbey AronBC built based on a scenario in an old Citadel Journal.  This time he had brought a figure from our ancient youth, a giant millipede and, like myself, he was happy to have it get table time.

 

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower

The necromancer leads his band toward the Silent Tower.

Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

From the opposite direction Lady Mooncrow heads toward one of the entrances to the Silent Tower.

Silent2

While her apprentice, Winterwillow leads her team to a different one and a treasure token.

 

I was ecstatic to game with so many of the beautiful Hasslefree Miniatures I had painted simply because I loved them.  Now they had names and missions. Just to ice the cake, now I really need to paint three from the Unpainted Box to round out the gang.  Who knew I’d need a thief?  The game uses opposed rolls with twenty sided dice for spell casting and combat.  If the caster/attacker rolls higher the number they rolled is also the damage caused.  My first game started out well when I rolled a twenty on a twenty sided die to cast Elemental Bolt at my opponent’s wizard who happened to be in the open from where my wizard stood.  Modifiers, armor figured out and BOOM! One dead wizard on turn two.  We decided to set up and start again because it was about to get very one sided and to have that happen when one is focused on learning a new game seems ridiculous.  Besides, there’s no fun in that.

 

The coffee stirrers represent bridges.

The coffee stirring sticks represent bridges connecting to the central tower. I need to build ramps.

 

The second game was a closer run thing with both of us hugging terrain and taking shots where we could.  The silent tower and it’s connecting buildings are not only a major objective but also a magic null zone so the wizards were quite limited.  A couple of henchmen were taken down here and there but it ended with both wizards deciding discretion was the better part of valor and backed away warily as the gangs hauled in their swag.

 

The Well2

My barbarian covers the escape as the thief and thug haul their treasures off board. The war hound moved up the flank.

TheWell3

Both wizards move toward the magic spring. Ryan’s archers on the second floor made life very difficult. In the end only his wizard was able to reach the center and drink from the magic spring.

TheWell1

No, the henchman isn’t wounded. That’s just how far she got down the stair in one turn with the treasure (the penny). She made it of the board in the end.

 

One of the things I really like about the game is the easy campaign aspect.  It was always my favorite part of Mordheim and Necromunda as well because it encourages me to paint miniatures I might not get to as well as creating character and narrative.  In this case not only did we use my wild boars, bear, and familiars but the Stone Mountain troll finally found a game use, granted my opponent used Wind Blast to immediately push him back off the table but he got on the table.  It also moved the resin toads I’d picked up to the painting table.

 

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more...

Ice toads awaiting basing and final sealant. Should have ordered more…

 

So, a fun system that was much easier to learn than I thought it would be.  The campaign book, Thaw of the Lich Lord looks very entertaining not to mention creatively inspiring. Now I have a list of old figures and projects to dig out and dust off.  Going to to be making buildings, ladders, and bridges for a while.

 

SisterChartruese

My gang’s Templer. She is no light weight and has more than a few kills to her credit.

 

14
Mar

Building a ruined city

Anyone looking for a game of Frostgrave?

Anyone looking for a game of Frostgrave?

My gaming group’s growing interest in Frostgrave was just the excuse I’ve needed to get back to building terrain, especially ruined city pieces.  Ever since the days of Mordheim I’ve loved not only the concept of warbands exploring the ruins of a fantasy city but also creating the pieces that will help illustrate said metropolis.  With plans to combine them, I had assembled the parts to both of Games Workshop’s Witchfate Tor and Ruined Tower models quite some time ago and then set them aside, other projects being prioritized.  In addition, a friend had given me a box full of partially assembled buildings that he and his kids had been working on until their interest drifted from Mordheim. There were some pieces that were really promising and I have pulled them out of the box more than once to contemplate what they might become.

 

TowerTop3

Just about finished but needs some clean up.

TowerTop2

Will make a nice terrain piece on it’s own.

TowerTop1

This may end up the ultimate sniper’s roost.

I started by dusting off and cleaning up the tower sections I had set under the table after priming them black.  I began painting from the top because I figured the top section alone would make usable terrain while I worked my way down to the base.  I love these kits for the thickness of the walls, ease of assembly, full interiors, and wonderful details. This is really Games Workshop at their best and being such is covered in skulls.  Many of them I decided to paint as stone details but there are several places where they look cooler as real bone.  The alcove candles comes to mind.

 

FifthFloor2

Rusty but secure gate.

FifthFloor1

More windows for Ryan to hide archers behind.

FifthFloor3

I love how the broken floor pieces can be glued together to make a solid floor.

 

The two pieces stacked together are already offering height to the battlefield.  Four more floors and it will be perfect for the Silent Tower scenario.

 

TowerTopDone1

Might still need more weathering when they are all done.

TowerTopDone2

I like the red book in an alcove

TowerTopGrowing1

Lots of battlefield potential already.

 

My friend and his kids were using foamcore, balsa wood, and some architectural details from Games Workshop to build their structures.  They were in early stages but had tons of potential.  I decided to start with the smaller, simpler ones as a sort of warm up.

 

FGbuilding1

Simple but the balcony really adds versatility.

Fgbuilding2

Three floors is a great start

Second1

The Mordheim plastic door frame is a nice touch.

Second2

I like the wooden floor quite a bit but think the interior needs a little work.

I call this one the Long Row

I call this one the Long Row

I started drawing my own ideas onto the surface right away.

I started drawing my own ideas onto the surface right away.

 

There are a few more in the box I haven’t photographed yet but I will do so before I start cutting and gluing.  The piece that looks like the front of a small chapel is intriguing and the massive “Lodge” has my imagination spinning.  In addition I stumbled upon an old resin ruined columned temple I had forgotten about.  I better get cracking, KublaCon isn’t that far away.

 

Five candles means the fifth floor, right?

Five candles means the fifth floor, right?