Friday, November 11, 2011

Been away for a while... :-(

I've been absolutely consdumed by my day job most of this year, so I haven't been doing much in the area of gaming or model building...

I've been running a D&D 4e game on Thursday nights and using store bought minis for the most part. I occassionally print out encounter maps and mount them to foamcore, but even that has been few and far between.

We're running Witchlight Hermatage right now and I want to do a spiffy map without dropping the cash on the Dungeon Tiles - while they are AWESOME, I am totally broke!! Fortunately I have access to a large format color printer at work and Visio!

What I did was capture the map image from the PDF I got through D&D Insider and import it into Visio. I stretched the image up to make the grid full size. I then created a 1 inch square with no fill and arrayed it to cover the entire map image...
Set the plotter to my default printer, adjust the page size. print out 2 copies, delte the grid and print a third copy.

I used the gridless copy at the end of our first session for when the characters first get to the hermatage and nothing significant is happening.

The two gridded copies are going to get mounted to foamcore.

I'm going to try to do that this weekend and take pictures to show the process so I can do a write up.

In the mean time I am using some Warhammer Skinks as the Brachmarsh Lizardfolk because I had purchased them last year to build a baby dragon for the Coppernight Hold Dungeon Delve and hadn't gotten around to doing all of them yet - that's a whole different build post.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dreadnaught stretching part 2

I managed to finish off Brother Captain James' dreadnaught last night...



I cut the aluminum tubes a little shorter and drilled completely through the knee so I could use a much longer central pin to be the major structure for every thing.


Part of doing that included seperating the knee from the pelvis and drilling the holes in the penvis to receive the pin.


I took some thick(ish) copper wire and wrapped it in very thin wire (red magnet wire) to recreate the hydraulic lines. You can see a finished leg here:
The new hydro lines are glued into the holes i drilled previously where the original hydro lines were.

And both finished legs...:

Mounted to the pelvis:

And the finished Dreadnaught - about 3/16" taller:


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taller Dreadnaught?

Brother Captain James came to me on Monday night at Battle for Salvation and asked me to do a conversion for him. He wants to make his dreadnaught taller!! he wants to add about half an inch total to the leg, to keep the overall balance of the piece, I'll have to add length above and below the knee and replaces the hydraulic lines.

I'm not 100% when comes to ID'ing models, but I think it's an old Venerable Dreadnaught...


First thing I did was cut through the three outer hydraulic piston shafts to the foot and then the inner (thicker) piston shaft and my finger! But ONLY on one side!!


I then drill holes into the hydraulics on the leg and foot bracket to accommodate a copper rod that is much smaller than the piston shaft. I often use paper clips to do pinning, but in this case I have some aluminum tube that is very close to the shaft diameter and the copper rod I have slips right inside with almost zero extra space.



It’s tricky to keep the bit centered on the hydraulics and drill in along the center, but it’s worth going very slow!! After I drill in a comfortable distance (a good 3/32” of rod in the hole), I cut of just the piston shaft and leave the outer housing!

Using the uncut side as a base measure, I used 0.001” accurate calipers to measure the exposed piston shafts and added ¼” and cut the aluminum tube to length. I then cut some of my copper rods and slipped them into the holes in the foot bracket and leg.

You’ll notice that the center shaft is a bit larger, but I had some larger rod and tube that is a close match.

I similarly cut away the hydraulic lines and drill into the ports. The bit would have been easier if I had cut through the leg above the knee, but that increases my risk of dropping and losing parts while working the project.

The hydraulic lines will be replaced with either copper rod or thick paper clip wire that has been wound with very fines “magnet” wire to recreate that ridge flex-shaft look. The replacement part will be bent and cut to fit and the starter holes will be enlarged as needed.

I haven’t nailed down exactly how I plan to increase the thigh length, but I have a couple of ideas I’m mulling over..

Hopefully I'll managed to get the finishing update in a day or so and not have another 2 or 3 month.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Lately I've been working on casting some scratch built Daleks in 28mm for use with Doctor Who rules I found over at

I have about 30 Daleks, but I still need to make the arms for them.
Once finished, I'll have around 45 Daleks and with about 2/3 of them I'll be able to switch out the top half to a flaming wreck version. I may add some plastic card slats to some to make these Mk 1's into Mk 3's.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

trohpy project

I delivered the trophy components today at lunch and my friend was practically exstatic about them!!

I need to get pics of the originals and hopefully a pic of the finish painted trophy so I can post them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wargames Illustrated

I just picked up 5 or 6 issues of Wargames Illustrated at Compleat Strategist in NYC on Saturday. I'm really liking the magazine so far. The $8 cover price is prohibitive, but less than Games Workshop's White Dwarf and the content ranges all genre's , scales, figure manufacturers and rules publishers...

Issue 260 comes with a sprue of 2 figures in 28mm by the Perry brothers - early 1800's riflemen and there is a painting article and a "how-to" for a quick and dirty conversion from English to American enlistment.

I just finished a two-part article spread across issues 262 and 263 about the introduction and usage of firearms in Africa during the 1860's. Some very interesting tid-bits about how inaccurate the early arms were and how the natives learned to countered them.

I know there was some early concerns when Battlefront initially bought a controlling interest in WI, but from what I can see they have NOPT turned the mag into WD for Flames of War. There is a FoiW article in each and every issue (and often two), but the mag is from from dominated by the content for just that one game. Every issue I have in hand has at least 4 articles on games for other time period (none of which Bf covers) and one has an interview with Rick Priestly from GW.

Overall, I think the mag is well worth a preview!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

scenic bases

I have been kicking around the idea of making and selling scenic bases for a few months now. Lately I have been working on making some originals and nailing down various lines of base styles. Right now I think I have about 17 different styles between 1 inch squares and 1 inch rounds and maybe about 25 different originals with variations of patterns (skewing and sanding).

My thought is that I will probably go into production in January, do a preliminary run that will get painted and then start advertising. I need to decide if I am going to do an e-bay store or try to set-up a website with a cart system.

I just did a Google search for "scenic bases" and didn't really like most of what I saw. Most of them were selling 5 bases for $5, which is probably less than $1 in materials... I know there is profit to be had, but I'm betting that the business is slow going!