lauregami's building/progress thread

  • About a week ago I ordered some sprues of WA goblins, halflings, and giant spiders. I got so excited about miniatures between then and now that I've since bought several boxes that I can't wait to arrive - but today my sprues arrived.

    I have experience working on plastic models, but I've never worked on miniatures before today. So I thought it'd be a good idea to track all of my progress in a single thread.

    The first thing that surprised me is the smallness of the 28mm size. I knew how big these would actually be, I'd seen them next to hands and other things, but the "miniature"-ness of them doesn't hit you until you look at them on the sprue. This happened when I built my Nobell Gundam last week, too. The scale was smaller than I remember it being. Maybe something with my eyes.

    But, not discouraged, I started my work. I tore into the halflings sprue, inspired by the Robin Hood-type head, and made an archer. I'm still getting a hang of the coordination that it takes to sort of dry-fit the limbs and such together to figure out how you want them. I think once I get some mounting putty that'll come much easier. More overwhelming was what felt like the infinite potential looking at that halfing sprue. Who could I make up with this? What angle should they be holding their accessories? What do I add on? I snipped off a quiver for my proud archer, and fussed over how to get the arms exactly right to make it look like he was drawing back an arrow. It took me trying two bow-holding arms and both arrow-nocking arms to get it right. And from that and a few dabs of Tamiya plastic cement came the fruits of my labor:

    The very first one.

    Facing off against a seemingly insurmountable foe...

    This is the very first miniature I ever made. It felt different from making a Gunpla. Fewer parts, much easier to construct, all things considered, but I felt really accomplished, like I had, in my own way, created a small little life, with its own personality and intent communicated by the limitations of the limbs given to them. While I was marvelling at my creation, my partner came out and checked on me. Here's my artist's rendition of what happened:

    We're a family now.

    I continued on after this, to make another archer. With the other bow arm I had taken off of the sprue, it was much harder to make it look like it was nocked, so I decided to make the bow look a little more relaxed, and the arrow hand like the arrow was just being drawn. Then I made a trying to adjust the arms I broke the little arrow off of the drawing arm.

    Remembering the fallen...

    I didn't let this discourage me, though. I just snipped off the rest of the arrow and the little bit of fletching visible in the hand, put a tiny dab of plastic cement to soften where I did the cuts, and it looked sort of like they were raising their arm to grab an arrow from their quiver. Perhaps the first archer was the experienced hand, and this one was younger, more cautious, still developing their eagle eye. In experiencing a crafting fear, I overcame it! Once again I felt accomplished. Couldn't really get a good photo of the second guy, but you'll see him in some photos later on.

    Oh, and don't worry about the arrow. The little bits that were cut off went into my "future sprue goo" container:

    Every scrap is put to use. At least, the ones that don't fall to the floor never to be seen again.

    I was very happy with the third halfling I made. I decided I wanted to make something more armored, with the bucket helm. I decided I wanted a halberdier, perhaps there to spot for the archers and help protect the crew in case they enter close combat with an enemy. They turned out really well! I was worried about setting up the other arm that it looked like it was properly holding the halberd, but it wasn't that hard. Here's some pictures of the crew, where you'll be able to see the second archer as well.

    The crew!

    Another photo of the crew.

    At this point I decided I needed to build someone with whom the halflings can square off, so I made a goblin. This time was an exercise in kitbashing: I really wanted to have a goblin with one of the halflings' really long pikes, just because I thought it'd be funny to have a little goblin guy with a huge weapon. This didn't work out as well as I thought it would. For one, all of the goblin arms are sleeveless, so I had to pick a body that looked like it could logically have a single sleeve (why only one? It's fantasy, I guess). Second, the halfling arms are actually shorter than the goblin arms by a significant margin. I was able to make it look somewhat passable by using the halfling arm wrapped around the spear tightly. But this could have gone better. I also inadvertently nipped a little bit of one of the goblin's ears, but I can fix that with a little dab of putty, or keep it that way as it builds character.

    An experiment, neither failure nor success

    Here's the halflings and the goblin facing off!

    My money's not on the single goblin, to be honest

    I'm still waiting for materials to be able to start my paint jobs, so I'm going to spend that time making more minis. Most importantly, I want to make some spider riders. I'm going to need another sprue of goblins to make a second spider rider, though - I may just order a box, to be honest. They're really fun and expressive. I also like the halflings more than I thought I was going to. It'll be fun to do some experimentation, and maybe I'll grab a sprue here and there to do some experimentation. A thought: Since I converted halfling bits into a goblin, maybe I could get some Frostgrave Goblin Wolf Riders and turn them into halflings mounted upon wolves, to face off against the spider riders?

    I am absolutely smitten by this hobby. At this point I'm just making minis for minis' sake - eventually I will probably get into making some armies/groups/etc. But if anyone has any advice or anything, please feel free to drop it here. I will keep this topic updated as I keep building. And I hope that all of your builds are fulfilling, too!

  • Great work! You seem to have a knack for it. It is great hearing the excited enthusiasm in your post. I look forward to following this thread. 

  • Looking good. Do you have an idea as to what you will be doing with them? 

    Are they going to be:

    a) For display? Something cool to put up and look at?

    b) For playing in an rpg, like dungeons and dragons? Or the superior Pathfinder, 1st edition?

    c) For a wargame like Warhammer or Frostgrave?

    d) As a gift for friends and family, or random people who ask you questions on a forum? 
    e) Just a fun way to pass the time. 

    I ask, because it makes it easier for me to organize what I want to accomplish with a ministures project and gives me an idea on where and how I want to store it. I have miniatures that I want to make an army with, but I also have boxes and sprues thst mostly sit around until needed for an rpg. Either way  I think your efforts look good. Can't wait to see more.

  • Oh, and did your partner name their son? :)

  • @lauregami Well heres to a brand new modeller, from one of possibally the oldest at 67 on forum. Heck my friend couldn`t you have picked something larger for your first build, "Halflings " oh boy?. Really glad that your`e enjoying it, and that is the real gain of the hobby. The fantastic release of stress and the joy of the finished build. Should you wish, use human hair for your bow strings, they look great. I can also really recamend the spiders set, so next comes the best bit, painting. Cheers Geoff   

  • Thank you for the kind words, everyone! I'm sure I'll have more updates as I keep building the minis, and I hope to do the hobby veterans here justice. My prior experience working on larger model kits helps, but there's definitely considerations for the smaller scale that I'm learning. One thing I noticed is that I can't just hack things off and then trim down the big chunks of sprue, like I can with Gunpla - the way the sprue snaps off, it can potentially warp or break smaller parts like spears. I'm going to have to trim closer to the piece when I snip things out of sprues. I'll also have to apologize in advance because I anticipate my first paint jobs to be a little shaky. But as I practice, things will improve!

    To answer individual questions:

    @William Redford 😆 No, he didn't name him! But to be fair, I didn't name him either. I think once I am a little more secure in knowing what each mini's "story" is, we'll be able to give them names.

    As to purpose, eventually, I'll have miniatures that fulfil all of these purposes. But for right now, I'm just doing art for art's sake and making things that look nice. When we're able to do TTRPGs in person again, I will definitely use some of these minis for that purpose. I do have quite a bit of experience with Pathfinder! For a while, it was the only TTRPG that was played in my hometown. My usual group mostly plays 5E, which I think works well enough, but I've also played some 13th Age (a setting/ruleset that I liked a lot), and a tiny bit of experience with FATE and Exalted (I really loved the latter setting, more than I expected, but had a hard time wrapping my head around the rules).

    One of my goals is to make minis for all of the player characters in our longest running campaign, run by my friend. It's a 5E game in a post-apocalyptic/weird-west-type setting of his own creation. I could gush about my friend's setting for ages - encountering witch cowboys, giant animated T. rex skeletons, being thrown into the Elemental Plane of Garbage by a vampire who kidnapped my character's sister, and having to brave the pockets of society who subsist off of the filth foisted on them through the trash portals set up by "high society" wizards. It's been a blast.

    Aside from me we've got an aarakocra warlock played by a long-time friend, a changeling monk played by the GM's wife, and a half-elf druid played by my partner. My character is a goblin fighter named Ibex, a brash, rough-and-tumble fighter, and I've had a lot of fun playing her. I plan on getting some Milliput and sculpting her hair to put on a goblin figure. The changeling and half-elf shouldn't be too hard to find appropriate minis for, but I'll probably have to seek something on MMF or onlygames for our aarakocra. Giving these minis as gifts to each of the party members is a great idea, and I plan to do so! Maybe I can get to the point of doing lots of minis gifts.

    Back to minis themselves - while I don't have any particular wargaming in mind, I do have some fantasy skirmish scenarios that I'd like to play out some time. I'm waiting on a box of Lizardmen and a box of Afghan Warriors, and I keep having this scenario playing out in my head involving a mountainous-desert settlement the denizens of which, just like the warriors on whom the box is based, are known for being hardy fighters and expert sharpshooters. People have been known to travel there to hone their skills with a rifle, and the warriors gladly share their knowledge, on the grounds that their pupils serve in the local militia over the course of their training. The reason? Occasionally (but still too often), a group of desert lizardmen with their own arms try to take over.

    The scenario in my head sees a couple of traveling gunfighters (courtesy of the GEG Gunfighters II box on which I'm also waiting) putting their training to use alongside their mentors as they get a taste of protracted combat and learn the true meaning of defending what matters. I'm interested in doing some other kitbashing to see what models would look good with muskets or jezails (maybe goblins with guns? I wonder if I could find a giant scorpion model that I could kitbash a goblin onto as a scorpion rider?)

    I see this as part of a larger, general sort of fantasy setting where swords and sorcery meet up with muskets and black powder. It's been done before, but this is mostly inspired by the lizardmen with muskets. Maybe one day I can converge it all into a setting I feel comfortable calling my own. Though part of it is that I'm worried about stressing myself out with historical detail. If I decide to do a historical wargame, I'll definitely buy a separate box so I can make sure that everything is as accurate as possible, separate from these fantasy minis I'm making.

    @Geoff Maybury Thank you for the tip about the human hair - I have plenty of that to go around! I was planning on just using fishing line if I couldn't think of anything else, but I think a strand of hair will look more like a bowstring.

    I'll keep everyone posted! Thank you again for your encouragement!

  • @lauregami  

    The setting sounds cool. I am a big fan of blackpowder in fantasy. It took some convincing but my RPG group is now as well... or at least tolerates it well enough. 

    Giant Scorpion. Check out Reaper bones.. Not only are they really cheap, but super easy to cut up/convert. 

    Giant scorpion Link

    Also you mentioned a female goblin fighter. I saw this gnome on etsy. A weapon swap with some of your halfling bits (or goblin bits) should be fairly easy. And with the right paint job I think she reads as a goblin. 

    Gabby the gnome link

  • @William Redford Thank you! That giant scorpion looks great! I may very well convert a goblin into a scorpion rider. Gabby the Gnome I think would also be a good starting point to create a model for my own PC.

    I bring some updates right before I go to bed.

    First, I made a couple of goblin infantry to go with the lone goblin. I had some fun building these. The more I build goblins, the more I think the arms are a tiny bit finicky - but I'm getting used to them.

    Oh, no! The axe-clad goblin taunts the halflings with the head of their fallen comrade! Incensed, the halflings put forth a powerful offensive. Though their forces are evenly matched, it looks like the goblins may be routed. Until...

    In comes the commander of the goblins! Rallying her troops, the halflings retreat to fight another day.

    This spider rider was so much fun to build. I followed the guide on the Giant Spiders box purchase page and it helped a lot. I took extra care to make sure the model was relatively balanced. Plastic cement is rather easy to work with. You can make fine adjustments to limbs without breaking things, because the chemical bond is still curing. That fact came to good use when building this unit. In the future, I plan to shave up a bit of sprue and make a banner out of milliput to hang on the spear and convert her into a proper "commander" type unit.

    Thank you all again for your encouragement! I'm going to exhaust all my sprues before my boxes get here, I think. But that's a good thing!

  • Excellent work! I'm a bit the same - most of my miniature making enjoyment come out of kitbashing. I'll often buy a kit just becauseof a cool combo with parts from another kit. 

    But then I have to paint them. Ugh.

  • @lauregami  Such excellent setting ideas! I envy you having a regular gaming group. Right now it is just Mrs. GG and me for our gaming but we wished we had a regular gaming group. Before Little GG came along we used to larp regularly. Our tabletop wargaming has become a substitute not just PC gaming that I no longer do but also our larping.

    Covid has not helped. My poor German skills have also not helped nor has our physical location in a rural village.

    It is going to be great fun to see where you go with your project.

    For long time I was a fan of blackpowder in Medieval Fantasy... then some of the folks in the UK and German larping community convinced me to join the “no blackpowder in fantasy” crowd. However, more recently I have reverted to my original opinion of blackpowder being cool in Medieval fantasy. 

    If you like blackpowder in Medieval Fantasy I can recommend the Iron Elves series of books...


  • If you're worried about sleeves, you don't need to swap the entire arm. You can drill out a closed fist (or cut off the weapon and drill out whats left) and stick an existing weapon through the hole, or clip things off at the wrist.

    The more I build goblins, the more I think the arms are a tiny bit finicky - but I'm getting used to them.

    Yeah, I wasn't really a fan. They have little contact area, and leave big ugly gaps whichever way you turn them. But hey, nothing a little greenstuff can't fix.

    But then I have to paint them. Ugh.

    From my soul, he speaks.

  • @Blutze Thank you for the tips! I didn't even think of doing transplants like that. My kitbashing game is already improving.

    I was able to apply this idea to my latest builds - I had 2 more halflings left on the sprue before I had exhausted everything at my disposal but the second giant spider. So I converted one of them into a commander:

    I hacked off the tip of a halberd and stuck the lucky chicken on top instead. It looks all right! The two knobbly bits at the commander's feet are bits of sprue I hacked up to use as the supporting arms for the commander's and the spider rider's banners. I'm going to try to clean up one of them a bit with the help of my handy emory boards, but I think the "hacked up" look would look good for the spider rider, so I'll keep one as is.

    Excited at the opportunity, I hacked off the top of the remaining spear and transplanted the halberd tip I had just cut off to make....a very long halberd. I put it in the hands of the last halfling. I feel like I could have done a bit more to differentiate the poses, but I imagine these two are always competing with each other in practice, and the longer weapon is just part of the oneupsmanship.

    Here's a little scene of all the completed minis getting ready to duke it out! I seriously can't wait to paint these. I'm going to use the "zenithal priming" method, using a big brush to put the white over the black primer because I don't have the means to use an airbrush where I am. Then just regular paints, and then covering it with some glazes that work for each part. Rather than seek out washes, I got some glazing medium so I can make up glazes as I wish. I'm just going to take it really slow, decide who I want to paint first, and use the paints I've got to do my best. In the meantime, I've been a responsible hobbyist and cleaned up my sprues:

    Unfortunately, aside from the other giant spider that needs building, it'll be a bit of a dry spell until (1) the remainder of my supplies come in and (2) my first boxes come in. I have a shipment from Great Escape Games coming in, including their Gunfighters II, some Perry European mercenaries, and a couple of Wargames Atlantic boxes that were on sale while I was shopping around, namely Afghan Warriors and Conquistadors.

    I have a shipment from WA that I'm waiting on as well, but I've got to wait until the Lizardmen come in stock for that to be shipped out. I think I might add a box of something on to that - maybe even a second box of Lizardmen. I'm also thinking of spreading my wings out to the sci-fi boxes with some Death Fields Einherjar or the Iron-Core Panzerjägers. TBH, I may wait for the Valkir for that.

    I've got some Immortal Miniatures Spartan Hoplites sprues (I think the commander sprues) on the way from ebay, as well as some women's heads from Statuesque Miniatures, to amass a collection of bits. I'm watching ebay like a hawk for other bits/boxes opportunities, as well, and thinking of pulling the trigger on an order from Victoria Miniatures for more women's heads, cloaks, and a set of paint that constitutes some of my favorite colors.

    That's all for now! Happy crafting, every one!

  • @lauregami Keep the Si/FI bits from the spiders, Iv`e used the one for a speaker for my Eisenkern Panzerjager radio girl. I`ll photo and post later, every thing gets used one way or another. Bye. 

  • @Geoff Maybury Thank you, will do! I've got a little Giant Spider Bits bag and I'm looking forward to putting them to use some time in the future.

    Quick update, not about any particular models but rather reorganizing my working space:

    I got a hold of some shelving which helped clean things up a lot. The left shelf serves as hanging for my snippers and scissors, and has ample space underneath where I have my bits bags and my "terrain stuff" shoebox. The blue case is the hobby knife set, and the shelf is currently used for display/in progress things. The right shelf are paints and other such supplies. I added a new light to the back to clear things up and make pictures an easier task.

    The model being built right now (before I start practicing my painting) is some Gunpla specifically the Gouf Crimson Custom. I've built the regular blue Gouf Custom before, and aside from some different bits you can use to kitbash models together, I believe that the Crimson is identical except for the color. It's one of my favorite mobile suits, and I'm glad to have one to replace the one I couldn't take with me when I moved states.

    Also on the docket is my first proper WA kit! I have some grognards on the way and wanted to supplement the unit with the heavy support/command. I'm looking forward to building the turrets. I've kind of shifted from wanting to do fantasy things to the more sci-fi side. I want to get a few units going in Death Fields/Iron-Core for sci-fi skirmish games and maybe even as proxies for 40K. Grognards could be the Imperial Guard, Cannon Fodder probably as orks maybe? And I'd buy a bunch of Iron Core stuff for the space marines, of course. I'm gonna wait until the Valkir come out for that, though, just like I'm gonna wait for Cannon Fodder 2 to come out to order one box of each.

    I've been thinking about Death Fields a lot as a setting, unestablished as it is, in terms of the topic about wasteland nomads. I have this thought of a race of scavengers who live within the stadium's housing and abandoned areas, ekeing out a living while fighting against the aliens running the games who see them as pests, coming out after games to obtain left-behind munitions and other things they might need to survive. You could even explain away their inclusion as an army as the aliens forcing the captured scavengers to participate in the games. I'm really compelled by this idea, and I plan on gathering some things together to do some kitbashes, probably after I make my Grognards. In the meantime I want to flesh it out more and maybe sketch out some concepts.

    I got another sprue of WA goblins when I got various paints and washes. I plan to either make another spider rider (I've already made the 2nd giant spider) or experimenting with a scorpion or beetle rider. I plan on making an order to Reaper for some paints, and would like to get some minis as well. I also got those Spartan sprues. They're not enough to build a body on their own (unless I want a bunch of hoplites dual-wielding spears and knives), but there are bits that will be really good for kitbashing, namely the bodies themselves and a lot of little swords that kind of look like knives. Those will be useful for adding flair to models.

    On the way are my heads from Statuesque Miniatures as well as several boxes from Great Escape Games. I'm looking forward to both, which should be here by Thursday. I've also got those aforementioned Grognards which I'm really looking forward to. I want some hooded/gas-mask heads for the scavengers. I'd go with Anvil, but I'm not in a situation where I can safely work with resin without exposing my partner to the unsafe particulates. Sure, I can get respirators, but I don't want him to have to worry about wearing it casually while I hack and file away at resin bits. So I'm gonna try to stick with metal and plastic. Pig Iron and Mad Robot looked like they had good options, and I think Crooked Dice should, too. Also, while it's not the aesthetic I had planned, Victoria also has these plastic-cash "slouch hat" heads that might look good, going with more of a Weird West thing than a Dune thing. I'll play with it.

    If anyone has some good suggestions for gas-mask heads, especially hooded ones, that are not cast in resin, it would be greatly appreciated. That's all for now. Happy crafting!

  • I always find dedicated craft workspaces weird. Me, I play videogames and eat and paint and watch movies and live and build minis all at the same desk...

  • @Blutze I totally get that - I'm most comfortable at my own computer desk, and I'd work there if I had the room. But most of my desk is taken up by my work phone, work computer, and our modem. There are some things I could clear off, though.

    I do have some good news - my painting desires have borne fruit!

    My first built miniature had to be my first painted one. I decided to go with a traditional "Robin Hood" sort of color scheme, red, green, brown. I'm really happy with how the metal turned out, and the fact that I was able to "paint in the lines", relatively speaking - I know I was worried about painting zenithal and such, and I still plan to, but since I've never painted a mini before, I just wanted to get used to working at that scale. Building my skill slowly. Flat colors, painted from the inside out, with a wash on top.

    Speaking of wash - he looks a little messy, doesn't he! This was my first time using any sort of wash (I ended up breaking down and getting a few Vallejo washes), and I definitely did it a little overpowered on the first figure. See the dark spots on the bow? That's not an uneven coat - that's the wash! Luckily, it's nothing that a little clean brush or damp paper towel won't fix. Also, I think an umber or sepia wash would have played better with the color scheme here. The most flagrant mistake is the feet - I should have just painted the whole part, including the hair on the feet, brown, and let the wash work its magic. The hair just kind of looks blobby. I will probably paint brown over it and do that. Either way, I wanted to preserve him in this state, mistakes and all.

    I'm much happier with how my second/painted in tandem with the first model came out, though. The goblin looks great! I'm gonna see if I can get a little more behind that shield (it's a really hard to reach spot with a brush), but I think it looks fine as is, it's supposed to be a dark place, anyway. Much more reasonable use of wash makes a much cleaner and more finished-looking model!

    Also, I spilled flat brown paint everywhere trying to unclog the dropper. I'm gonna keep it on the wet pallet to test if the one that I jury-rigged works out! It was a good experience working with the wet pallet. Things weren't drying while I was working on it. My parchment paper did start ripping a little on the metallic paint, though. I was probably just being too rough.

    I didn't expect professional quality of myself by this point - but what I didn't expect was how much fun I had! It really felt like I was giving these minis life. I look forward to giving myself some further paint projects! I'll probably paint more of the halflings and goblins for practice. and work my way up to the spider rider. She's got a banner, which means I get to play with Milliput! Then I'm gonna start on my Grognards!

    Oh, and don't mind the big splotches of paint near the feet - I'm gonna be basing these minis, of course! It'll all get painted over.

    All criticism, constructive or otherwise, is appreciated! Thanks again for all your support, everyone!


  • I didn't expect professional quality of myself by this point - but what I didn't expect was how much fun I had! It really felt like I was giving these minis life.

    This, pretty much. Its like Dark Souls - losing is learning, and learning is winning. Unless you're not learning, but it seems you are.

    I should probably start posting photos of my paintjobs, but first I'll have to figure out how to make the phone camera consistently do the colors right. Oh and speaking of wrestling cameras, most of your photos are bit blurry. Looks like its focusing on some random white bits, not the grey or the painted areas.

  • Just lovely to read about your first forays into this great hobby. Keep posting and keep us updated!

  • Looking good!

    Some tips that people gave me that helped me improve my painting....

    With washes, the tricky bit is to prevent it from pooling on flat surfaces. This leaves what are commonly called coffee stains. Mrs. GG hates it when we leave coffee stains on our minis so she is much more restrained in her washes. Using a wash medium can help reduce coffee staining as well. 

    When you get to painting the eyes, I find using a brush for the white is generally fine but the pupil is so small a microfine pen sometimes works best. Try to avoid leaving any white above the pupil unless you want the mini to look surprised. 😳

    Zenithal highlight priming is cool, I regularly do it now that I have an airbrush, but it is more important for Citadel contrast paints than regular paints. 

    You are doing great work and I look forward to seeing your continuing progress!

  • @lauregami Painting can be hard, especially with smaller miniatures, but you will that it gets better with experience. When I started painting in 2018 I didn't do much in terms of highlights and such, with my miniatures being too simple to look right. My skills have developed a lot, especially since 2020, but I am still far from being an excellent painter, although I am quite happy with the results of what I can accomplish.

    Usually I try to keep my paint schemes simple, so that I can paint a significant number of miniatures in a consistent way (I currently have over 2000 models assembled and only around 30% of them are painted, so I have a lot of work to do), with slightly more complex schemes being used for characters and other larger infantry miniatures.

    As I paint a batch of miniatures at once with the same colours, it can sometimes feel disheartening at first, as I paint X colour, then Y colour and that often seems bad, until I reach the last colour, do some final corrections and shade the miniature, then they seem alive :)

    Building miniatures and especially kitbashing/converting is something I enjoy and I think it helps a lot with ensuring you work on a force you identify with, as it is your own custom set of soldiers that you are working with.

    Experience will help and if you keep building and painting, you will quickly get to an adequate level of knowledge and from then on you can focus on becoming a perfeccionist or simply work at a level of quality that works for the size of your forces (the bigger the force, the less likely it is that perfeccionism will be pleasant).

  • No particular update of my efforts here, I just want to say I am incredibly thankful and grateful for everyone's advice and support. It means so much to have a support system starting in the hobby.

    Sorry about the photos - the phone on my camera is not too great. The focus is not too deep, even when I change it manually, which leads to particularly blurry backgrounds. I'm fine with this for now, because the important thing is the minis, but I'd really like to upgrade my phone soon or obtain a camera made for close-ups. I have a GoPro, which is responsible for the really nice shot of my desk up above, but this is of course a fixed focus camera made for wider and outdoor shots. It's tough to get clean close-ups with it, but now that my lighting situation at the hobby desk is better, I'll keep giving it a try.

    I definitely should have anticipated the coffee stains. I was so afraid of the wash pooling up in the nooks and crannies of the minis, I didn't think about how it would affect flat surfaces. As for the tip with the eyes, I have some Sakura Pigma Microns which will serve perfectly for that purpose. Thank you!

    I've been taking it easy with hobbying the past few days - I have a bad shoulder that unfortunately seems to be getting worse, which limits the amount of bending over that I can do. But even if I can only work a couple of hours a day, this is okay with me. I have no problem working at a slow pace - I'm not getting an army ready for an event or trying to build skills very quickly, just at my own pace. But today I did order a magnifier head strap - I think it's something that jewelers use, but it seemed like it'd be infinitely helpful for me in this situation, especially with detail painting. Five bucks online at Harbor Freight! They're on clearance! (I'm not sponsored.) Got some other tools I needed to - a new set of flush cutters, some little files, a more solid utility blade, some drawers, and a wire brush for weathering foam to look like stone bricks.

    From Michael's I've got a shipment of things for terrain work. Cheap acrylic paints, a little bit of foam block, some cork roll, and a paper cutter. I also got a craft saw, which I understand I'll need for pewter miniatures.

    Both of these were ordered today, but check out my recent hauls:

    First, here's my big auction win: what amounted to an entire box of Grognards (albeit with 3 pre-made models) as well as a decent amount of Raumjagers! This is gonna be a great start to my army, and will perfectly supplement the heavy support box that I already had. I'll be able to use the Raumjagers for sci-fi kitbashing, too! There was also a grab bag of some assorted stuff - a couple of big guys that I think were Games Workshop with big weapons and toolkits on the back, a mounted cavalryman, and some nice looking bases. Great deal!

    Here's my big haul from Great Escape Games! The lady gunfighters I wanted, my Conquistadors and Afghan Warriors, and a Perry box that looked like it'd be good for fantasy kitbashing.

    Next is my haul from Reaper! I got some paints I needed (including a nice violet reds triad, that I'll be using for my Grognards and frankly for a lot of projects), some nice neon colors, and an orange and yellow to supplement the weaker parts of my available colors. I decided to get a bunch of fantasy type minis, including a displacer beast, one of my favorite DND creatures. Though I really should have gotten two to be able to use it effectively. I'll pick up a second on my next round of things from Reaper - and there will be a second round. I love their minis, and can't wait to try their paints.

    Last but not least is my haul from Statuesque Miniatures. This should be enough women's heads to treat me well for a while. The heads are excellently molded and I was worried the "heroic small" would be too large for WA minis, but the size is perfect. I highly recommend them!

    What are my plans now? Well, I was excited to get the start of my Grognards, but I want to get to actually playing games. So, given the fact that I have far more things compatible with fantasy, I think I may invest in Frostgrave stuff and build a nice skirmish group from what I have. I want to do some solo games of it, and see if I can interest my partner in doing some co-op skirmishes. I think it might blend the RPG-wargame elements enough to pique his interest.

    Here's a bonus photo - the nearly-finished Gouf Crimson Custom! The build is complete, but I need to get to panel lining the rest of the model. This was a really fun build - just as fun as the last Gouf Custom I built - and I love the look of the mobile suit.

    That's all for now! Tomorrow I'm going to prime some more fantasy models to prep for painting again. I think keeping my wet palette up with all the spilled brown paint is a lost cause (though the brown paint's still wet on my homemade wet palette!) I have tons of dark brown shades anyway. No discouragement! Happy crafting!


  • I wish Statuesque still sold their old full miniatures. For some reason he decided to just do heads a while back. 

    And they are gorgeous. Though with the recent explosion of plastic 28mm female kits (and all their spare heads), less important than they used to be.

  • That is quite the loot haul! Great stuff. 👍

  • Some minor updates this afternoon! I haven't done any priming yet, because I got sidetracked experimenting with Milliput for the first time. I decided to try and make some banners from them. While my results are flawed, I'm still happy with how they turned out, and think they will be good after some fine-tune and painting.

    Milliput is quite tacky to start out with, but there's a window in the last hour before it starts curing hard where it gets easier to work with. That said, you can tell it's my first time working with it! Looking forward to priming and painting these models. The halfling standard-bearer will have a chicken painted on theirs, to match the decoration atop their banner. The spider, I don't know what I'll be able to manage with how I folded it up to try and emulate hanging fabric, but I think I can print a simple spider, or at least go with a simple flag/banner with some stripes, things like that. I'm going to experiment with some other materials for making banners as well. Maybe regular old green stuff is less tacky?

    Before I can paint the spider rider, I need to base them, because they're going on a 50mm base. So I whipped this up! I used some Crayola Model Magic (tinted brown with a little brown paint still on my wet palette) to give the base some volume, and added some homemade texture paste on top (made from fresh, delicious oven-baked dirt, as well as someglue and a little of that brown paint). Then I added some rocks made from the leftover Milliput, as well as one of the bodies encased in silk from the sprue. Then I put some Woodland Scenics coarse turf on top. I kind of wish I did this after further painting, but I'll be able to paint the parts that need touching up. But I'm really happy with how it turned out, for my first base! Maybe I'll go out and grab some twigs, too.

    I already based several models, and I'm going to add some assorted details before I prime them. A little bit of Model Magic will go a long way, and it's really easy to whip up texture paste.

    I'll keep you all posted! Happy basing!


  • A little bit more progress today. These models aren't quite finished, but I'm still happier with them than my last set, and happy enough to post in-progress photos.

    Here's the goblin with the severed head. This one needs a finished base, as well as touching up on some of the skin parts and a couple of other places. But I'm getting better at getting paint cleanly on the model, all things considered. I'm able to get much smaller details, like the red on the chest panel and the hair of the severed head. I used a sepia wash that I watered down with water and glaze medium. While it worked out very well on the head and well enough on the metal, making it look sort of tarnished, I may go over the goblin themselves with black wash.

    Here's the nearly-finished base for my spider rider. I like the way the mummified body turned out for the most part, but I'm going to sponge over the bloody bits to lower their intensity. This was also my first time drybrushing! It's a bit extreme in some places, but after a couple of times I started getting the hang of it. Looking forward to putting on my spider rider, after I whip up some moss texture paste and hit all of the rocks with it.

    Here are some other bases I did some painting on. You can tell I was getting better at the drybrushing here. The little robot model here is a Gundam Artifact Domtropen. They're a line of smaller models with lots of detail packed into a less-articulated package. This one's going to get primed, painted, and based with an urban theme. I bought it (and most of my Gunpla) from Gundam Shoppers Network, a store I highly recommend if you are getting into the hobby.

    That's all for now. I'm just going to keep improving my painting. I'm getting better with every stroke! Happy drybrushing!

  • @lauregami Well... you are an enabler... thanks to you I went and ordered a Gundam Artifact 009 Zaku III, and a Gundam Artifact 008 Dom Tropen. I dont really know anything about Gundam, but these looked cool. Anyway... ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!

  • @William Redford Oh, that's wonderful! Thankfully the Artifact models are very affordable, they're about the same price as a comparable-sized miniature. I'm waiting on a Rick Dias from the 1st series, but would also like to order a Zaku 3. I plan to use them in sci-fi skirmish games, like if I get into Stargrave. They might also be interesting to bring onto the Death Fields.

    A couple of tips for the Dom Tropen..the Artifact models are gorgeous, but they can also be a little finicky. There were a couple of times where I had to widen peg holes with my hobby knife, so that they were large enough to fit in some places. There's a particular fitting I believe in the leg parts, a plastic piece with a peg hole in the middle, where you'll have to shave off some of the edges curved inward so that it fits around the outside pegs.

    I also had to use Tamiya extra thin to close some of the gaps, as sometimes they just wouldn't close all the way. If you take a look at Dom Tropen's left knee in that picture I posted, you'll see an example. I'm gonna go touch that up after work today. Just let it flow in there and press the pieces together for about 15 seconds, pretty standard stuff. The right arm construction is also a bit finicky. You'll need to put the rocket launcher hand into the arm before you close the arm pieces together. The instructions are, unfortunately, a little confusing.

    I'd also recommend bracing the model, especially if you plan to use it for play. The arm articulation is cute, but I just flowed plastic cement into the joints where the arm joined up, so it would maintain its position. The weight of the rocket launcher can put some strain on the hand, so I also recommend bracing it with plastic cement where the rocket launcher meets the shoulder. The beam saber attaches on a single peg and definitely needs plastic cement to stay in place. It's entirely cosmetic - no fancy Gunpla hands here.

    It's a finicky model, but the results are gorgeous! And all things considered, the plastic is quite easy to work with, soft enough to make shaving off gates a breeze. Though the gates are quite close to the sprue, to make adequate room on such small runners.

    Please do report back on your Artifact builds!

    Postscript: I don't know a ton about the Gundam series itself, having only seen a couple of works from it, but I highly recommend the first "Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt" OVA ("December Sky") to anyone, even non-Gundam fans.

  • @lauregami Will do... But my wife pointed out that her friend's son is in to Gundam, and is in the hospital... So she may be annexing my models. :( I was surprised that she actually knew the name Gundam... as she is not a hobbyist at all. 

  • The work never ends! I've got some further updates!

    First, here's a paint job that's not finished, the halfling standard-bearer. If anyone has any suggestions for this one, please let me know. I like what I've got so far, but I don't love it. I decided I wanted to try my hand at yellow, because I'm going to have to use it some time or another. It definitely takes multiple coats, but I think it will look really good after a wash! This one needs better colors on the helm feathers, among other touch ups. The banner is going to be a chicken - maybe that will push it into "love it" territory. And, of course, it needs a base. Speaking of bases...

    The final spider rider base looks nice, I think, but a bit busy from the top. The mummified corpse looks a lot better with the blood splotches toned down and a sepia wash on top. But look at how those small bases turned out! I'm really happy with myself on how great they look. It was my first time using moss texture paste for all of these. I think in the future I'll make the paste a little moister, but it still looks like pretty good moss. These are going to be for the small spiders, which I primed today and will be gluing on along with the spider rider (which I still need to prime).

    It's hard to decide what to do next in this hobby, because everything is so fun! I'm going to keep building my painting skills (I think it's time I start incorporating highlights and shades into my paint jobs). I've had some painting woes lately because I found out I haven't been using enough water in my wet palette. It was essentially a less-dry palette. Thankfully this is an easily fixable problem! In addition, I'm seeing some weak spots in the big batch of brushes I got before. Namely, I need some actual detail brushes. None of the brushes I have are small enough to do efficient detail work. I plan on ordering some soon, but if anyone has any suggestions here let me know.

    In general want to focus on my Frostgrave crew as well as making suitable enemies for that game. I've been deciding what school should be my wizard's primary one. Chronomancer seems powerful, but Enchanter really speaks to me. I like the idea of a salt-of-the-earth spellcaster who started out as a carpenter and, out of a desire of wanting more out of their creations, just sort of picked up things like magically creating constructs. So I think I'm going to go with an enchanter. In the end, I'll be playing solo/co-op, so I'm not too worried about the balance of power.

    As far as gathering enemies, I'm probably going to do lots of sprue shopping and lots of runs through Reaper Miniatures. I have WGA skeletons and lizardmen boxes waiting in the wings and will probably order something else appropriately villainous. I need another displacer beast, and will be picking up several things. Anyone have any suggestions?

    And speaking of the WGA lizardmen, any suggestions for fantasy weapons for them? I know there are some on the WGA sprues, and I really appreciate that there's so many gun options for them (I still want to make that skirmish scenario of Afghan Warriors defending a settlement from invading lizardmen), but I want a little more variety. I was going to get at least a sprue of Frostgrave snakemen to help with that, but it sounds like I need to level up in terms of kitbashing. Cutting off weapons at the hand, things like that, so the lizardmen have different weapons while still holding them in their distinct hands.

    If anyone has any thoughts on anything above, let me know. Hope everyone is doing well!

  • It depends on what kind of aesthetic you want for the Lizardmen. My favorite options are to kitbash with Games Workshop Lizardmen, North Star Ghost Archipelago Tribals and WGA Aztecs. I am not super keen on the North Star Snakemen weapons but you may prefer them. 

  • If you want your lizards with spear and shield, or sword options but don't like the tribal or Aztec look, consider pretty much any kit with bare arms. Among the WGA kits, there are some suitable arms in the Dark Age Irish. I'd also consider Perry Madhists and Zulus.

    Plus you could do hand transplants onto Lizardman arms. It's a pretty simple conversion - just join at the wrist and once it's solid, add a bracelet to hide any join.

  • @Mark Dewis the dark age Irish have a ton of interesting bits, but keep in mind they don't have any left hands (or arms) since those are molded to the bodies. 

  • Arms can be amputated ;)

    But in this case, I am talking about cutting the hands/weapons from another kit and swapping those onto lizard arms.

    Also, the Lizard left arms can hold shields from other kits, regardless if their bodies have seperate arms or not. 

  • Hey everyone, apologies for the lack of updates! I've been working on some unrelated projects. I started painting one of my Gunpla, but I tried priming it in gesso. It's a little blobby in some places - gesso is great for miniatures, but I think it just doesn't work as well on larger surface areas. So I'm gonna grab a bottle of Vallejo or Badger grey primer for my gunpla work. Gundam Shoppers Network is having a build contest going into August, so I'm really looking forward to getting started on that!

    Here's most of my materials gathered for the build. The contest is for a build of any Entry Grade model, an affordable price point with a surprising amount of detail and articulation. They're great for customization and kitbashing. For this build I had in mind something inspired by Final Fantasy Dragoons - a highly-mobile mech with big thrusters and a lance/shield. I'm also going to be painting it up in a color scheme inspired by FF4's resident dragoon, Kain Highwind. Oxford blue and purple with white/off-white/yellow highlights!

    I'm also working on a writeup that fits this model into Gundam's Universal Century. Within the narrative, Anaheim Electronics manufactured a "first lot" of prototypes of the RX-93 ν Gundam prior to the events of the Char's Counterattack OVA. My thought is that the Earth Federation would have bought these models, which performed well above expectations, for use by ace pilots in the space combat special forces, ECOAS. This one would be a designer suit sortied around the same timeframe as Gundam Unicorn, commissioned by a pilot who favored flashiness and close combat.

    I'll post the writeup and my contest entry when I'm finished with both. I'm having a lot of fun with it, doing a Borges type of thing where the writeup is a dossier on the suit that exists in-universe, and makes reference to fictional in-universe sources, like EFSF military historians and snippets of radio communications intercepted by activist groups. I'm having a lot of fun with it!

    Other than that, I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't done a lot of minis work. But I have been doing other things to prep for my Frostgrave games! Here's the piece of terrain I've been working on: a nice little shack! It's still in progress.

    I'm really happy with how this has been turning out. I'm especially happy with the shingles, which I did one-by-one. The paper cutter I got has been a godsend in making strips of cardstock for use as wood type paneling. I've also used some cardboard for larger planks of wood. I was worried that the corrugation would be distracting, but in the more finished parts it actually looks all right!

    That said, you can tell the chimney needs some straghtening up and perhaps some lamination to cover the corrugation there. I'm going to be making a stone facade for that, of course, but I'm not sure how I will yet. I have some materials with which I can work, though. Aside from that, I also need to add some paneling to the awning, and add some detail and flora. Perhaps a couple barrels or boxes. I was thinking a little container on the side of the shack with some carved-up sprues, to serve as a container of firewood.

    I'm gonna be putting down some model magic to make the ground a little uneven, gluing down some dirt, mossing up the roof with some texture paste, and of course, adding flocking. I'll be painting everything up too, of course! I got some cheap acrylics just for terrain use, and I'm happy I'll be able to use them soon.

    This is going to be part of the first "map" of the Frostgrave campaign. I understand that a lot of traveling groups set up shop in abandoned buildings and such. I imagine my group would come across this settlement, overrun by goblins or some other kind of enemy, and once they set up shop it'll serve as their home base. In the shack perhaps they'll open up a tavern for adventurers to rest their heads. Or perhaps I'll make a larger building like a barn that could be more easily converted into an inn of sorts.

    The creative juices have been really flowing lately! I hope they have for you, too. That said, I don't see myself getting a ton of work done lately. Monster Hunter Rise's expansion pack, Sunbreak, is coming out this week, and that's going to be taking up a pretty significant amount of our lives. Any Monster Hunter players here that will be playing on PC? Feel free to get a hold of me!

    I am going to be looking forward to some developments for minis, though. The Cannon Fodder ladies are coming out very soon, and I don't think I'll be able to resist. I'm going to need a couple of boxes! Then I'll have two armies for when I'm running my own "Death Fields" games. Really looking forward to making a DF pitch! I'm thinking mine will be one of the smaller regional stadiums, with audience chairs enclosing the actual play area and modular terrain that gets beamed in or transported in from below.

    That's all for now! Hope everyone is doing well!

  • @lauregami Try PVA glue soked tissue, for flags bannners and tents. Works a treat, I once used to it for long coats and tabards as well. I`d start with a tent,  "TP" in style . Paint a tissue with flesh, and light brown paint. and PVA glue. Draw a circle mark a door flap, if you wish cut and fold back, Shape on a cone, use cocktail stick at centre, for the pole, go the same, but with a rectangle for "biv" style tents, usually greens or Karci half or more the cocktail stick depending on tent size. For banners use a paper template. paint the colour of choise. Finally best little tool I`ve had for washes, helping hands, a magnifying stand with 2 or 4 clips, to hold the figure in place, at any angle, then with a small brush just wash the section no runs.

  • Thank you for the advice on the banners! I think that'll look a lot more convincing than trying to do them in milliput. It was still a fun experiment!

    The bad news is I still haven't done much craft work lately. The past couple of weeks I was having some severe neck and shoulder pain, which was keeping me from any kind of craft work. While my shoulder's still a little bad, I think I've found a partial cause. My pain greatly lessened when I stopped tying my hair back. I've noticed my scalp is sensitive lately, and apparently there's a condition where tying your hair back can really strain the upper body. Not diagnosing myself with anything, but it got me to try out going with untied hair, and it's been helping so far. Still, I've been careful, limiting my craft work to an hour or two a day.

    Unfortunately, the couple weeks slump has caused me to lose some of my inspiration in choice paralysis and fear of messing things up. I looked at the kits for my Gunpla kitbash project and it just felt daunting. I looked at the little cabin I built and was just afraid of messing it up by trying something or painting it wrong. I could start my Grognards, but I'm really looking forward to the Cannon Fodder women release. A combination of the usual discouragers and excuses.

    But today, I did start on something, a sci-fi dungeon tile. I plan on building some paneled floors that could be used for generic sci-fi paneling, with derelict spaceships in mind. I have a very broad, done-before idea for a solo sci-fi wargame based in ecological horror, where fungi/moss/other plants from Earth have spread around the galaxy, and there are groups that have to go into these quarantined/abandoned ships to examine, get samples of the flora, etc. My goal is to be like one of my crafting idols, Bill Making Stuff, but with moss and flowers instead of rust. But I want to have plenty of rust, too.

    Here's the dungeon tile. It's not very inspired, yet. I'm going to add more foam rubble and maybe try to make the paneling a little more weathered, with a little foil ball. I don't know what I was going for with the mesh, but I'll work with it for now. I do really like working with the sculptor's mesh, you can cut it with scissors. Maybe the center will have a lighting effect and the light will be broken around the rubbled corner. I'm going to play around with the tile, and play with it whether it turns out "good" or not. That's what's stopping me - worrying about being "good" or not.

    I have got some good news, though. Can you tell what it is? I finally have a better indoor camera! Upgraded to a better phone. Hoping to show off much clearer photos of minis.

    If I can churn out one or two tiles a day, that'll be 24 tiles in less than a month, which should cover a 2ftx3ft space on the table, adequate for solo games. I'll be making other things like shipping containers and such, which I'm looking forward to doing. Nice, stackable terrain. I also plan on making some terrain out of some of the plastic mech models I have, and hoping to experiment with kitbashing.

    All of that, and I'm looking forward to making things again. If anyone has any advice on the dungeon tiles, let me know. Hope everyone's doing well!

  • @lauregami  
    It is often hard to understand whether something we are building is going to look nice or not until it is finished and it can often be demoralizing, but the important thing is to keep experimenting with things until you are happy with the result.
    You will make mistakes from time to time and improve your methods which is essentially just the normal learning process with everything, kitbashing and DIY terrain included ☺️

    I personally think your tile looks great already for a simple sci-fi tiled floor and I am sure it will look great once painted.

    I like your concept of a set of difficult locations filled with plants, fungi and the potential dangers of a place fully reclaimed by nature in some form.

    If you want to give some more usefulness to the mesh, you might twist/cut some of the bits, in order to make it look like the floor broke in that area and the metal mesh that was used before the cement/filler was poured onto the ground broke as well. Just be carefull with leaving dangerous spiky bits in areas that can cause you to get hurt.
    Metal grids are often used to reinforce concrete floors in real life, so it might be useful for torn/damaged floors. Small pieces of stone are also mixed with cement for foundations/floors, so you can also have small rocks coming out of any broken section of a floor.

  • @lauregami I agree with @GreenScorpion . The tile looks really good already. With my own games I have never really gotten in to terrain building. For wargames I have always played at other peoples places or at places that had terrain on hand. For RPGS I always considered 3D terrain to get in the way and be more bother than useful. Though I have since changed on that opinion. I got a bunch of Bones Terrain in KS4 that I finally used in a game. The players really liked it and its what prompted me to buy in on Bones 5... which sadly does not have a ton of terrain choices. 

    I have kind of been in a slump too. I have a ton of minis on order but no idea when they will arrive. (Mierce, Black Scorpion, Midlam apprentices and soldiers, Blood and plunder KS, etc etc). And my landsknechts are on hold while I wait for bases...

    The Bright note, and the point of all this rambling is I decided to make some maps for my current Pathfinder game. I am not an artist, but figured "why not"... So if something is boring you are you arent feeling it, try something else. Sometimes being creative in one way may inspire you to go back and do something different with your current project or approach it in a new way... 

  • @lauregami @William Redford You know what, both of you, I think that our hobby lives in flowing waves. Sometimes building, sometime reading, painting, lost in design, what ever we do, trick I`ve found is to take stock and enjoy the moment. Bill with those lovely maps, you with the dungeon tile, me wolf things? and reading, to hot to paint. Long as we have a fuffullment that what maters. Lauregami you`ve grown  since you started on this forum you`re a wargamer now, what say Bill? Cheers both. 

  • @lauregami if you are still looking for lizardmen boxes, McDougall designs has a few in stock.


    Your models look excellent! I would like to suggest round bases for your infantry to be glued to. probably 25mm rounds for most of them.


    I love how you posed the spider rider!

  • @lauregami  Missed your thoughts and pictures, post some soon, please.

  • @lauregami yeah, 2 weeks since you posted anything and a month since you updated this thread. You are slacking! :)

  • @lauregami Eh come on to the forum, even if it`s just to chat to us, we are all missing you  come over to, Man can`t live on bricks alone, if you only want to chat we`ll listen. 

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