Tortle Maître D’

18 05 2019

This month’s Paint the Target challenge at Lost Hemisphere is “Hard shells, armor, spikes, carapaces”. To that end, I decided to work on a project I’ve had sitting around for over a year. I’ve had this single mini from Super Dungeon Explore’s Testudo Tower expansion since the first PAX Unplugged—a free mini from a paint and take that I never actually painted.

There really isn’t anything you can do with a single creep model like this in Super Dungeon Explore, so I had been kicking around the idea of modding him into an NPC for my chibi D&D campaign. To that end, I needed to get rid of that bomb first. I used a dremmel just to carve it out quickly. (N.b. be safe and follow all precautions when using power-ish tools.)

Next, I needed to cut his arms off. I knew I’d have to reposition them anyway.

And then, I started working on building up his body.

I used the belly from one of the shells in Caverns of Roxor as my guide here.

Next, I made a cloche out of Sculpey polymer clay. I used a pin head for the handle. I also reattached the arms, after having cut them into two parts—upper arm and lower arm—so that I could change the pose.

I could leave the left arm a little rough because I new the seem was going to cover most of it with a towel. I made the towel by adopting the process for making a cloak used by Aella13 in this video (LINK)—I used this video to help make my own Soda Master Candy, which I hope to get painted up sometime soon.

I don’t have a great glamour shot of my new Tortle Maître D’. I’m still not sure about those two red spots on his head. I might mod them into a bad toupee and pencil mustache. It partly might depend on what the NPC is like in the campaign.

I do like the bowtie, cloche, and tea towel. I think that’s all looking pretty good.

I’m going to call him “done for now.” But we’ll see where he is in six months…

Tutorial: Chibi Cottage Terrain

15 04 2019

So, I’ve blogged about making little chibi houses and chibi igloos for your gaming needs, but there’s another option: chibi cottages. These little things are great for the odd cabin in the woods that may or may not be inhabited by children-eating witches. Basically, throw them in the background of a scenario using the Von Drakk level box, or whatever your homebrew setting is doing in the dark forrest.

First, you start with an Animal Jam Series 4 cottage (available online here). As I’ve talked about in earlier tutorials, you’ll need to hit the piece with a dremel to pull off the logo. (N.b. follow safety precautions with power tools.)

The good news here is that the rounded surface of the roof means that you only have one place you really need to mod. The bad news is that the rounded roof means you’ll need a lot of clean up.

My solution was to make more flowers on the roof with green stuff. I tried doing this in two ways: 1) a press mold based off other flowers on the roof, and 2) sculpting flowers from scratch. Here, the flower on the bottom right is scratch while the others are molded. Additionally, I put flowers on the top where there was a molding divot.

I then decided to prime in green, supposedly to save time on painting. This turned out not to be the case.

The finished cottage will work reasonably well on most forrest boards.

This was more or less a proof of concept here. I’ll probably sculpt all the flowers in subsequent attempts because the press molds never quite come out smooth enough.

Additionally, these little cottages don’t have quite the range of reapplication or mod-ability that the Series 1 houses do, but they will make a cute edition to most any chibi-themed game board.

Tutorial: Chibi Igloo Terrain

28 03 2019

Ever noticed that there’s all these great arctic themed things for Super Dungeon Explore? You’ve got the Deeproot Druid and Angry Bear in the base game, half the Mistmourn Coast box is ice themed (including the Salt mini boss), there’s the Deeproot Wolf Rider, and maybe even the Tusk Raider (if you were lucky enough to snag one).

With all this ice, there clearly needs to be more nordic love for components and terrain. Luckily, here’s a tutorial to help a bit.

Start with an Animal Jam Series 2 Igloo (available on Amazon here or in the toy bin at your local Cracker Barrel).

These little guys have the same problems as the houses I talked about here. They have signage on the front and back that needs to be addressed.

The best way to deal with the back is to hit it with a dremel and grind off the logo. Then, score some lines to match the bricks with your hobby knife. (N.b. follow the manufacturer instructions and safety precautions when using power tool.)

I decided the uniformity of the pattern was a bit too much for my personal chibi aesthetic, and so I then bulked out a few bricks with green stuff.

I also used green stuff to remove cover the small logo on the front.

I then painted the igloo up with a series of blues, starting with a blue primer and moving my way up.

My rational for the blues can be seen here. I have an ice-themed game board that is mostly layers of whites. A white igloo would too easily get lost on the table.

Tutorial: Making Chibi Houses for Gaming

2 02 2019

A quick way to make chibi houses for all your gaming needs is to pick up Animal Jam Adopt a Pet Houses (also available in six packs here).

These little houses come with small critters and key codes for an online game that I’ve never bothered to investigate. If you are child adjacent you might find a use for the minifigs.

This tutorial is using the Series 1 pet houses. Later series look like igloos, huts and cupcakes. I’ll show how to work with other varieties later one, but for now we’ll start with the houses.

These houses are 2″ x 2″ bits of chibi goodness, but they do have some annoying branding you might want to mod. For example, there’s this lady bug on the front of the house.

There’s also the logo on the back, which you will certainly want to remedy.

For the front, you can cover it over with a bit of green stuff or a random piece of weaponry; but usually I put another window. I’ve made an impression of one of the side windows using instamold. I then pressed out a few copies out of fimo clay.

Who doesn’t need a little bit more light in their house?

For the back, a simple solution is to make a large chimney out of foamcore.

I cover the foam core with a thick coat of hot glue to help with structural integrity and protect it against the spray primers I tend to use.

Another possibility is to hit the logo with a dremel and grind the back into something resembling logs.

Or, you could just stick two windows on the back (here with a makeshift overhang to help keep the rain from running in the windows).

Other additions here are stove pipes of various sizes and dormers for additional space upstairs.

Prime them, paint them up, and they’re good to go as terrain for your next chibi D&D game or for blocking line of sight in a chibi wargame.

Rust Tutorials

13 08 2015

The most recent No Quarter painting challenge is all about weathering and battle damage. I don’t imagine I’ll get a suitable submission completed before the Sept 2 deadline, but the challenge got me searching for a better rust tutorial. My best attempt so far has been my plastic Beast 09. But, it still seems to be missing a lot.

One tutorial I found through searching contained a rust wash recipe, while another showed how to use MIG pigments. I might combine the two when I finally get around to painting another heavily weathered warjack (probably Ruin, because I’m working on a 3utcher list).

More as the story develops.

External Link: Millennium Falcon Hack

8 07 2014

There’s a tutorial at A Few Maneuvers on how to put LEDs into your YT-1300/Millennium Falcon. It’s highly unlikely I’ll make this upgrade myself, but dang if it doesn’t look pretty.



Incorporeal Tutorial

16 01 2014

I love the Googles. I was looking for a tutorial on making forest terrain (because I received some tiny trees for Christmas), and ran across a wonderful, completely unrelated tutorial on an apparently abandoned blog called Apartment Wargaming.

Clicking back through the blog I ran into a post on painting incorporeal models. I encourage you to click the link because this is the end result:

I know they aren’t incorporeal, but I might paint my Alexia and the Risen in this scheme (if I ever get around to purchasing them).