Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Progress on my 28mm Dark Ages Village Project- Part 1 inc. Jarl's Longhouse

So as I'm not working today and don't feel like approaching any of my uni work I thought I'd crack on with my attempt at making a 28mm viking village.

This is the progression from yesterday's posts- I'm working pretty quick on this project.

If you intend to follow the Jarl's longhouse build, pre-warning you that you'll be needing to eat a lot of asian cuisine.

Basing materials supplied by Famous Gaming, check them out!

The Jarl's Longhouse pre-paint looks like this:

If you're keen scroll on down!

So Part 1: some wicker style fencing & updates from yesterday!

The kit needed: trusty glue gun with something to stop it dripping on that lovely tablecloth, some chopsticks from Yo! sushi, a length of cut hardboard, some old broken headphones, some wire, clippers and a stanley knife.

added a bevel for realism

chopped the chopsticks into useable lengths, neated em up and cut into them to create a more log like appearance. The ones on the left have been trimmed, see the difference?

Ready for sticking

I tried them in a completely linear arrangement and didnt have so much success so switched to a slightly staggered one. Then glued them all in place with the hot glue.

Cut the wire and headphone leads into strips to represent wicker and other bendy boughs from trees and arrange them between the chopstick posts. Add some hot glue here and there to get it to stick together. Trim off any excess glue with the clippers or knife

Wove wiring in the same way around my corrall, and added a tuft in the corner.

Then based it in with PVA glue, an old crappy brush and a basing mix of different sand grains, old plaster bits and small rock particles. All are available at Famous Gaming on eBay, check out their rubble mix, its awesome. Also based everything from yesterday, and added some fine sand to the walls of the buildings to allow for a plaster effect.

I then moved on to gluing down the thatch roofs form yesterday. I mixed about 70% pva glue to 30% water and put it into a mister bottle, the kind that hair dressers and gardeners use and sprayed it across the roof. You could use pva and a brush but this method is a hell of a lot faster. WARNING: Do this outside unless you like glue EVERYWHERE.

Part 2: Jarl's Longhouse

I like the buildings I made yesterday but I couldnt help thinking they were a bit peasanty and i really needed to get to work on something substantial for my Jarl and his Huscarls to call home.

For this build I used: hot glue gun, scissors, craft knife, scourer pads, a ruler, a cut rectangle of hardboard as a base, 4-8 pins, lengths of 5mm foamboard offcuts and LOADS of chopsticks. 

I used about 35 chopsticks in total. They're the kind you get from Yo!Sushi and Wagamama's, the nice thick ones not the thin crappy ones Tesco give you with their second rate sushi. I hoard these and have finally found a use for them! If like me you go mad for asian cuisine and like log buildings, give yours a wipe and pocket them for later- they only go in the bin otherwise!

On to the construction- The side walls were 4.5cm high and 16.5cm long and the gable ends were 9cm wide and 10cm high to the apex. This was partly dictated to by figure scale but mostly down to what was available in my pile of offcuts.

After sticking in a few pins I was able to see what i was working with. I cut a door into one of the gable ends, using a mini for scale.

I then cut the chopsticks to the correct lengths, trimmed them up to make them look for 'loggy' and hot glued them to the face of the foamboard. The overlaps were intentional to allow for a few interlocking sections later on. Notice the red blotches? Yeahhhhh stanley knives are sharp.

So this continued around the sides, adding glue to the joining areas and leaving the pins in for extra security. I then added two panels for the roof, cut to size. This allowed me to hot glue a chimney made from the square end sections of the chopsticks to the roof. I also used the square ends to add a door frame to the front. The logs down the sides and back were less uniform that the ones on the front on purpose, i wanted a more realistic patchwork kind of look. 

See the plasticard crossed A frame top? Yeah ignore that....

I also glued a thin section between the gable ends and chimney to allow me to create the roof peak.

After deciding the foamboard crossed beams looked a bit out of place on something made of carefully carved wood, i opted to make them again from the squares left over from the beams. This was easy enough, just a bit fiddly to get the crossed areas glued in place.

WIP on the logs and crossbeams

View from the rear pre-thatch

For the thatching I cut the scourer into strips the length of the roof before carefully peeling the strips in half. Also note the extra row of chopsticks on the roof as beams? The scourer fit perfectly with their addition and I dont think they look too out of place.

Then rough up the scourer strips, literally yank on them and pull out bits here and there.

Hot glue gun them into place, starting at the bottom to allow easy layering. Use any small tufts of scouer to fill any gaps, a nice rough appearance is what were after.

I then continued layering until i reached this point, looks pretty good to me! Satsuma.

The village so far! Once its dried fully: painting!

Monday, 11 June 2012

My Dark Ages army at the moment!

So this is my Dark Ages 28mm army as it stands today- 

I'm reluctant to decide upon which army they are just yet- they are looking to be either Kent or Wessex English Saxons or Danish Vikings but either way they're a scandinavian warband looking to cause trouble. 
Theyre designed to be used with the Warhammer Ancient Battles: Shieldwall supplement.

The figures are a combination of warlord games celts and wargames factory ancient germans, celts, vikings and saxons, with one or two gripping beast metal figs. The scale is almost identical between models and they rank up well side by side. Hopefully I'll be adding in some gripping beast saxon thegns in a fierce shieldwall formation, they seem to be very similar in scale too. I wanted some of the celtic and germanic elements in the army as this is meant to represent an early scandinavian army, and be used in games in both Scandinavia, England and Europe. Its a toss up between the ordered saxons or the slightly more unpredicatble and chaotic vikings. ATM the saxons are winning in my mind but heyho.

Originally they were a welsh celtic warband for the Age of Arthur supplement, but the total lack of armour in the army was driving me crazy and as my own beard grew thick and untamed I felt the call of the vikings. I'd like to think ive modelled them in such a way that I can still field a large amount of my army as a celtic force if it was required.

My army is made up of:
a general on foot (gripping beast king penda)
a army standard bearer on foot (gripping beast king penda's banner)
a pagan priest/ druid (radagast the brown from the GW LotR range)

That's it for characters at the moment but i intend to be adding a few more in soon.

62 infantry in light armour with a mixture of hand weapons, shields, spears and double handed axes
92 infantry in cloth (no amrour) with a mixture of hand weapons, shields and spears
16 skirmishing archers on round bases in war of the ring movement trays
16 skirmishing slingers (if playing certain armies) on round bases in war of the ring movement trays
14 skirmishing javelin throwers on round bases in war of the ring movement trays

The entire army is mounted on Renedra bases, a mixture of 20mm x 20mm squares, 20mm x 100mm strips and for skirmishers 25mm round bases. 

Basing materials supplied by Famous Gaming, check them out!

I still have about 40 unarmoured infantry to make into bondi & thralls or ceorls & geburs, bringing the total to at least 240 men. Not a bad start!

Characters- usually mixed into the army units, Penda and Radagast in a large chunk of Thegns or Huscarls works nicely!

Half the army...

... and the other half

And from above!

Time for some much needed painting!

Dark Age Buildings for 28mm wargaming- Part 1

Hey, so for this post I'll be showing some of the buildings I've been working on for my 28mm dark ages wargames. 

Theyre a mix of wattle & daub, log and thatch buildings made to represent scandinavian buildings from around 900AD

Unfortunately I hadn't taken any pics of the work in progress to get to the stage the models are at in the first pictures, but I'll cover them in a later post :)

Both the main shell of the buildings and the bases are made form 5mm foamboard. 

These are actually scraps left over from my brother's Warhammer 40,000 bunker set he sells at Famous Gaming (check him out!) but can be bought at most craft and modelling stores. They're cheap enough online too.

The building is a gable ended long house with vertical sides at about the same height as a figure. The door may look small, but you wouldn't want big doors in the freezing north! I added some beams to the roof for support and to give it a more scandinavian feel. The card on the foamboard was peeled off so a rough plank pattern could be ethed in around the model.

This is the equipment and materials needed for the roofing: hot glue gun, scissors, scourer pad without sponge and a building without a roof

The scourer sheets were 4 for 99p in a local discount store- a great bargain and addition to any scenery maker's workshop! These ones were thick enough to be peeled in half to allow for extra layers and wispy bits to create realistic clumps. Also helped to fill all the pesky holes.

I cut the sponge into strips just about an inch and a half x the length of the sponge, which happened to be roughly the same width of the building. Give them a it of rough treatment to ruffle the edges and give them a more natural look.
  Then add hot glue to the vertical side and the cross beams and layer on the scourer trips. Once both sides were layered and dry, I thought it looked like it needed some kind of ridge beam to contain the thatch so I added a few spare foamboard rods and chopped into them a bit to turn them into planks.

Added a few more tufts here and there to give it a wilder look, some gaps will be filled later with a pva and fluff coating.

Ready for painting and a PVA wash to keep all the fluff in place.

This is a triangular house. Judging by a few sources these seemed a popular structure in the dark ages, as people would store their possessions in the corners and then sleep up against them. Would also be a good foodstore.

I began trying to thatch it with the tufts cut form the shower scrubber used in the crop field build- What a ballache! Definately worth switching to the scourers!

I proceeded to cover the building in layers in the same way as the first building, adding extra fluff to fill gaps. 

Finally, this is the beginning of a corral or vegetable patch to go with the buildings. Its just a section of 5mm foamboard, cut with a bevel edge and some cocktail sticks chopped and hot glued in. Soon to be based and either filled with modelled veg or some pigs. On the hunt for some cheap small farmyard animals!

Crop field scenery project for 28mm Dark Ages wargaming- Part 2

Okey doke so this is the second part of the post following my attempt at making a crop field for my 28mm dark ages gaming. After making the crop tufts earlier, I then went to my nan's for a cuppa and found she was throwing out some horrendously tacky placemats. Horrendously tacky placemats ideal for turning into scenery bases! So I'll be using one of them for this build, along with the tufts from before. Theyre about 6mm thick, fine corkboard with a card backing so shouldn't warp but are easy enough to get through.

^thats the parts I started out with + a glue gun

THE IMPORTANCE OF BUYING GOOD TOOLS. I picked this up in poundland and it broke almost right away, what crap! 

So I switched to this much more robust stanley knife. The rectangles at jaunty angles on the board were  from me testing the size of unit bases against the whole mat to check whether it would be worth making one huge field, but I decided that that would be just too big for realistic gaming. I then marked out two rectangles and cut into them. If you use a similar material for yours dont expect to get through it in a single cut, I repeatedly scored mine with quite a bit of force before I got through.

Until it reached this stage.

I hate scenery with a 'step'. What crop field has a neat step up all around it?? None Ive ever seen. So i added a rough bevelled edge around the perimeter with my craft knife.

I then remarked the size of two unit bases- one 100mm x 80mm renedra movement tray, and one war of the ring infantry movement tray full of archers. its important to mark down the size of your units or else you cant fit them in- it may seem obvious but so many people make these mistakes!

Then arrange your tufts around the base as you like! Glue them down with a hot glue gun when youre happy with their arrangement.  I have purposely left gaps between the crops for an easier time when i base and paint the model

Both pics show some of my vikings sat happily amongst the crops ready to strike!

Ready for basing & painting!