25 May 2009

Base basics, part 2

I finally had a bit of time to experiment some more with my basing scheme. My typical base color, Apple Barrel 'Territorial Beige', is too dark in my opinion, so off to Michael's we went to find something more suitable. Feawin and I looked at several colors, and in the end we picked 2 - Americana 'Fawn' and FolkArt 'Camel'.

And, here they are - 'Camel' on the left, 'Fawn' in the center, and just for comparison 'Territorial Beige' on the right. To my eyes, 'Camel' is too yellow for my purposes, but 'Fawn' looks like a winner.

This side-by-side comparison confirms that opinion. I do like the comtrast between the 'Fawn' and the 'Territorial Beige', and I might use the 'Territorial Beige' and the base color for any rocky formations when I finally start making some terrain pieces.

One more comparison:

This is a heavily fooled-around-with but still poor pic of the test bases on the felt that will be the terrain cloth for my first games. 'Fawn' actually does look good on the felt, just not in that pic!

After some thought, I decided that I would stick with a slight variation of my usual base decorating strategy, which is as follows:

1. After gluing down the minis, paint the base in the selected color - 'Fawn' in this case

2. Once the paint is dry, spread white (PVA) glue on the base

3. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle various types of basing materials on the glue, starting with the most coarse and ending with the finest grain material.

I considered using a different technique, where the base is coated with the rocks and sandy materials first and then inked/painted up to the desired colors - as exemplified on the Olicanalad's Games page - but I am not a very skilled drybrusher, therefore the old technique is the one that will be used.

Here is the array of material I am considering to use on the bases:

1. Crushed walnut shells - I found this stuff while wandering around the local pet store. It is normally used for bird cages, but it should make a great basing material. And, it is cheap - $10 for a 7 pound bag! The size and sharp edges might be better suited to 15mm rubble, but the color is perfect.

2. Woodland Scenics fine tan talus

3. ?

4. Woodland Scenics fine brown ballast

5. ?

6. ?

The ? materials, unfortunately, are just perfect for the job, but I need to hunt around here for some info on what they are! I purchased most of these items 12 years ago or so, and have held onto them ever since. Some were used on other projects, especially 40K minis, but never in a large scale. I do remember buying the ? materials from a now-closed train/hobby shop in Spokane... I should have the package labels here someplace (I'm a pack-rat for paperwork).

This is an example of what I'm trying to achieve. This is the 'Fawn' test piece from above, with various amounts of the 6 jars of materials as shown above. I like it so far; I might add some bits of light green foliage in the future.


19 May 2009

MMORPG, part 7

Quite a while back, last December actually, Feawin (my wife) and I switched from World of Warcraft back to EverQuest2 as our on-line computer game/time-sink. I have a couple of screenshots from EQ2:

My Ratonga berserker, Ratzenfric, in East Freeport.

Larousse, a Ratonga brigand, fighting undead orcs in The Commonlands

Buffing up, EQ2 style - my wife's Wood Elf wizard, Miraj

My Gnome conjuror, Gnisq, and his Tellurian Soldier pet, in the North Qeynos bank

(one thing about gnomes - I played a gnome mage in EQ, a gnome mage in WoW, and still play a gnome in EQ2!)

Larousse and my wife's warden Anashi in the Sinking Sands on Erollisi Day

Grinding away and having fun still!


04 May 2009

Base basics

My initial order of Impetus-sized bases from Litko arrived recently:

These three bags will be enough for 45 Impetus units! These are very nice bases.

I do have another worry - what sort of adhesive should I use? Having 7 to 10 metal minis on one base will get a bit weighty; I can not hope that, even with the 3mm base, the units will always be handled by the base - some one (probably me!) will pick up the unit by one mini and I would prefer that it not break off. I might need to use the hot-glue gun that is hiding around here, somewhere.

The base color is another item to consider. I typically use craft paints for bulk area painting, but my usual base color - Territorial Beige from Apple Barrel - is too dark from the dry scrub look that I want to portray (it works great for a more temperate area), so some new paints will be on the shopping list.