Sunday, 29 September 2013

Some new fodder for the MBW grinder...

More meat for the grinder that is Mattblackgod's world. I am sticking them in one post as I have been bombarding blogger with posts today. 

First up....a new Trog Pain Boy.

Then a gunner for the Trog Trike. I kept him apart so I can use the Trike for other forces if needed. 

The missing Squat Hearthgaurd figure was found at the bottom of a bits box. A mantic weapon was added and he is ready to join his brothers in the defence of Copper Head. 

I am ashamed to say I gave him  quick and dirty paint job. 

Although the Alchemist figure is for my VSF/steampunk setting (he is the starter for my VSF Anarchists faction) I thought he would be a handy, if sinister figure out in the wastelands. He is here to gas your settlement and steal your loot/food/women.

I am of course still working on figures for Utopia City. First up is a very odd character. With crime so high every now and then some nutter takes the law into his own hands. Usually its someone who has been pushed too far. Introducing....


Maybe I should copy right that name? lol

The Purple Avenger flys high between the Utopia City blocks using a jet pack looking for crimes to avenge. He is often very poor at it and usually ends up the victim of crime too. 

Nothing is safe in Utopia and Corporation often try to screw each other. Here is a typical Corporate Spy. 

The figure is a Grenadier/EM4 Corporate spy. He bears a resemblance to a certain early 90's British Prime minister. So I decided to paint him in a similar fashion as the Spitting Image Puppet of that Politician. A lot of grey tones was used in the paint job. There was even grey in the skin tones. 

What does every city need? Non Coms. Meat bags and bullet magnets that get in the way. First up a news team...

Again the figures are by Grenadier/EM4. 

A couple of standers by...

This pair are clix figures. Who knows they could be PIs or a similar organisation. 

New bits for Utopia City/Urban terrain

Some more new bits for Utopia City or my urban terrain.

First up a new Statue....

This is a Halo Clix figure on a old roll on deodorant top. Given a coat of textured paint then painted with cheap craft acrylics. 

The graffiti was done with cheap marker pens. They are all names of other members of the #spruecutters Union on Twitter. 

The next bit of terrain is a low wall.

Simple 5mm blue foam build left over from another project. 

Looking at my urban boards, I think I need some dirt and other rubbish. Another thing to add at a later date.

GW - Garden of Morr

My favourite holiday (well not quite a holiday but it should be!) Halloween is on the way. So with this in mind I dug out a kit Laura (my long suffering wife) got me last year....The Garden of Morr by GW.

This is a Fantasy Scenery kit for those Undead Games of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Me? Well I intend to have some creepy stuff going on in the Wastelands of Mattblackgod's world ( as if the denizens of that cursed world don't have enough problems!). 

I found the kit easy to assemble. It was painted with cheap craft acrylics. A black and a brown wash helped make the detail ping. 

There is some more spooky stuff on the old work bench. Hopefully I will have them finished soon. 

Sprue Cutters Union #10: My Spending Habits

This weeks Spruecutters union post is all about our spending habits. 

I came back to the hobby after a long break and like many of us have mortgage, cars and a wife so I do not spend any where I would like to on the hobby. But then looking at it rationally I don't have time to build and paint everything so its probably better that I don't. To be honest I try not to spend too much on the hobby. Not because I am a tightfist but simply its a hobby and life is often expensive usually when you do not expect it. Wargaming and Scale Modelling can get expensive. I also enjoy the challenges of frugal Wargaming and Model Making.

Now unlike other Wargames hobbyists & #warmongers members I am a bit of a Anarchist. I do not play any one system or game.  I hate games that lock you into one background and will not allow figures from another system. Games are meant to be about fun not generating lots of cash for your share holders! 

I have created my own backgrounds for Victorian Sci -Fi, Post Apocalyptic and Science Fiction from random ideas and what movie, novel or computer game inspires me that week.  This enables me to collect what ever figures I feel fits my creations or that simply inspire me. There is also way too much nice stuff out there to become focused on one setting or ruleset. 

My gaming is Skirmish and RPG based so I collect small amounts of figures for each faction. 12 is usually enough (I can hear the GW Shareholder choking as I type this). I love to look for figures for the special characters that add colour to my worlds/settings.

My mini collection comes mainly from Birthday and Christmas gifts. These are largely GW as my relatives know how to order them. There is also a shop here in Liverpool they can go to. My attempts to educate them that there is other manufacturers out there have so far failed. Although my Good Lady does get me the odd box of Warlord figures & terrain from Amazon. She is a star. 

My actual monthly spends on figures and terrain is limited to materials only. I am lucky that in the early days of Ebay I landed lots of cheap GW figures - mainly Imperial Guard types. 

When I get gifts of cash for Xmas and Birthdays or when life throws me a bit of luck I use some of it for models and minis. Where I can I sell on older unwanted items in my collection and use the cash for the hobby. Another way of generating cash for my hobby is to make terrain as a commission for folks out there. 

A lot of of my collection was generated by writing articles for the Combat Zone Chronicles. You get store credit with EM4. Worth a try if you like near future figures or the Combat zone game. 

So lets get to the nitty gritty. What am I willing to spend? 

Figures wise I baulk at anything over £3.50 a figure for metal or £2.00 for plastic or resin. I may push it a bit further if a feel I really need a figure. But if it is too much I will try to find a cheaper online trader or I will grab a cheap figure and convert it. In some ways these conversions become some of my favourite figures in my collection. 

For Vehicles I am willing to go a little higher but my limit is £20. It shocks me that a Judge Dredd figure on a bike from Mongoose is £25! My other approach for vehicles is to take a cheap kit, build model or toy and to convert it into what I need. Often it works out a lot cheaper. Again I limit it to £10 to £20 for a donor kit. 

Converted Cars sweet box into a Post Apoc run around - Fallout style!

A converted 1/35 M113 into a Post Apoc scavenger vehicle. This kit cost £10 in a sale. 

A Post Apoc technical converted from a toy. 

Another option I follow is to scratch build the vehicle from found junk. Here is a few examples of my work. 

A scratch built 15mm buggy. 

Scratch built Triffids. 

A VSF/Steampunk British Steam Walker on Mars. Made from a pill bottle and a bits box delve. 

A Grav Tank built from a dead computer mouse. 

A deodorant stick bottle and bits bot dive Sci Fi Speeder in my pirate colours. 

Terrain/Scenery follows pretty much a similar vein spend wise with me usually building from junk rather than spending on fancy resin or plastic. I will pick up resin bits if it grabs me or I need it to finish a model off. 

Rules expenditure is also applicable to the Wargamer. I usually go for cheap or free rulesets that allow me to do what I like/need with my games. My limit on a rule set or addition is usually £15. I have quite a bit of experience writing rules so I tend to write my own. 

Rules I play include: Babylon's Burning (now gone), Combat Zone, 40K Rogue Trader, 40K Necromundia, Nuclear Renaissance 2 (Free or book), Skank/Warlord 2085 (Free), Wastelands Meltdown (Free) and Neutron York 3000


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

The Combat Workshop
Yet Another Scale Modeller
Motorsport Modeller
Jay's Scale Model Adventures
Migrant's Wanderings
David Knight's Weblog
Scale Model Workbench
Scale Modeling My Way
The Eternal Wargamer

Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

40K Necron Barricades

I made these Barricades as a commission for a mate on Twitter. They are intended for a 40K Necron Army. 



Made from blue foam. The runes where a bitch to carve in. All painted sealed and give a nice glowy paint job on the runes. 

I wish I had remembered to get better pictures before I posted them. 

Some WIPs...

Just a couple of WIPs of thing I am working on....

Halloween is on the I got on with a GW Garden of Morr...

Not much left to do. A wash to tone it down and static grass. Better pictures to follow. I may look into making extra graves. I want a Halloween game this year. 

I was left alone unsupervised yesterday so I went on a terrain building binge. 

A mix of Sci-Fi Frontier World, Sci Fi Post Apoc and Sci- Fi Urban terrain. I guess it would have been easier to say Sci-Fi terrain. Its mostly junk from the recycled bin. Cardboard packaging, old gift cards, tool box insert, a bit of washing machine packing, plastic drinking straws, a old cassette box, wire mesh, corrugated card and cereal packing card. In fact the poster board bases and plastic bases I am using as windows are the only bought items. 

The card packaging was reenforced with builders spay foam. I had to cut the excess back to make it fit on the bases. 

All they need is basing and some paint. I may look in the bits box for stuff to add a little more detail. I feel the building with the circular feature on the top may benefit from a comms array or turret of some description. 

I am planning a new character for the recent campaign I have had the Stalkers from Asylum City involved in. Introducing Professor Steel and his steam powered Combat suit. 

This was a old Andriods toy. The head was cut off and a torso from EM4 combat zone inserted into the hole. I plan to build up the front with putty and to add weapons. The Prof built the suit to help him survive the dangers of the wastelands of Mattblackgod's world. 

Sprue Cutters Union #8 - My paints.

Once again I am fashionably late to the party (again). A mix of real life and my damn portable device being near impossible to create a blog post with. Anyhoo enough of my grumbling and on with the blog post.

This weeks Sprue Cutters Union theme is to talk a little about what paints we use.

Firstly for me the hobby involves the collecting, (sometimes) converting and painting of plastic, resin and metal wargames figures.

Back in the day I used enamel paints on my models. I even used it on the first figures I bought (shudders). I found enamel obscured the detail too much on a 28mm figure. 

For undercoating or priming figures I tend to use either GW Undercoat or Miniature Paints undercoat. These are Acrylic water based paints I brush on. It all works well for me. I have never been a fan of using car primer in Aerosols as I tend to find that the basecoats do not go on well over the top.

For base coating, washes and detail I am still with the Acrylic paints. I have a wide selection of GW paints, some dating back 20+ years. I am a fan of the older paints as even after 20 years they are still as good as the day I bought them. The newer GW paints are also used but I tend to find that they have a habit of mysteriously drying up in the pot if left unused for a long period of time.

Coat D Arms is another brand I like to use. It is the original GW formulas from 20 years back (or so I have been told) and it seems to work well on miniatures. I am slowly buying these as they are better value than GW and don't dry up.

Vallejo are another favourite. They come in dropper bottles to there is less waste. I find that these paints are thinner and are great for several coats to build a colour. Unlike the others they also come in a variety of colours suited for Historical collectors.

For the bases I try to use Miniature Paints. They are cheap and thicker than the others. I do not have enough MP paints to do a figure so I cannot say how they would look when finished.

I used to varnish my figures but I find now that after time it goes off colour. It has put me off using it. Instead I touch the figure up when needed. Unless someone else has found a decent miniature varnish?

That said I do tend to put a coat of thin gloss varnish on shiny surfaces such as polished boots/leather or PVC/Rubber clothing.

For vehicles I use Car primer to prime. Its not too bad if the acrylic runs as I can sand it back. I then use MP, GW or Coat d Arms to the top coats. I don't use a air brush. Maybe I should look into getting one?

Terrain is the same as vehicles paint wise. Although for larger pieces I tend to use cheap Craft paints (Deco Art) or even cheaper emulsion in tester pots.  I tend to prime using car aerosols.

Foam based terrain gets primed using Artist's Black Gesso Acrylic. It also helps seal it. I tend to mix white PVA glue in a 50:50 mix with the Gesso for a extra sealant/hardener. You can use car aerosols on it after this but be warned, if you miss a spot it may melt it.

The other trick I use for terrain is the old textured mix. I mix 50% Gesso, 30% PVA glue and 20% fine sand. It then makes a nice textured coat. Great for making that bit of plastic or polystyrene  packing foam look like concrete/stone. I have also found it handy on for heavily corroded surfaces such a shacking in Post Apocalyptic or urban setting.

A recent addition to my terrain making armoury is Galeria Matt Varnish. Wargames models get handled a lot so a little extra protection couldnt hurt. I just hope it doesnt discolour with time. I may even give it a go on a test figure to see how it works. 

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

The Combat Workshop
A Scale Canadian
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Jay's Scale Model Adventures - New to the Union!
The Eternal Wargamer
Migrant's Wanderings
Scale Model Workbench

Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Spure Cutters Union #8: My world in Scale.

This weeks Sprue Cutters Union theme is my world in Scale - or how does your hobby effect your day to day life? 

Like the other members of the Sprue Cutters I at first thought it didn't. But then I took a step back and a long hard look at myself. 

Firstly my hobby is not just the model making element. It includes figure collecting, painting and converting. There is also a story element to my hobby as I create background stories for the Characters and Worlds I am creating. I am always looking for ways to build great looking table visually. 

For instance this game shot has a mix of resin terrain, toy playsets, model accessories and terrain made from junk. 

The same goes for this game shot. 

When wondering about I often spot something that may be used as a Sci-Fi building or other item. I am guilty of collecting all manner of junk to process into models. 

Bits of old pens can be weapons, motors, industrial junk or the hull of a star ship. The same goes for other items. Cheap Razor blade handles, plastic gift cards, Pringles tubes, plastic tubs, cardboard packaging, polystyrene packaging ...the list is endless. 

Junk such as this....

Or this...

The hobby has made me stop looking at mundane items and start looking at its potential in the various scales I work in. It has also made me a horder of such junk although I try to chuck stuff out if it hasn't been used with a 12 month period. I say I try. 

When dead electronics turn up I am straight into them. Ripping out bits that can be used in a model. They are great for coils, small cogs and other items. However I must warn you to take care, I am a Electrical and Electronic Engineer so I know what I am looking at. 

Always follow safety precautions when dismantling electrical or electronic items. There are items that can hold charge even after it has been unplugged. 

When I am out and about I keep an eye open for cheap toys that can be converted into something for the table. Thankfully I have not yet succumb to mugging small children for toys. That's is where I draw the line and will go seek help. 

At work in those moments when boredom sets in I find myself thinking about the Characters, the backgrounds, histories and other details to bring the hobby to life. Or I am staring at the meeting table thinking "I could make a awesome games table out of this!!" 

When out and about I find myself trying to take in detail of the buildings around me. The wear and tear.  The weathering. If I have a camera I take pictures. I often find myself dreaming of making them in scale.  One day I actually built a model inspired by a place I worked at....

When I have time I one day hope to walk along the Docks of Liverpool taking pictures for inspiration (I blame them on my passion for industrial buildings). 

I find myself trawling urban exporlation sites such a 28 Days Later for inspiration on old ruined buildings. 

So yes, I am a addict to the hobby and it effects my waking life. I love it and dont care! *pulls tongues*

Thanks for reading...

Being part of the union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

The Combat Workshop

Scale Model Workbench

Migrants Wanderings

The Eternal Wargamer

Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Finally, if you would like to join the Union, look here. All you need is a blog and a passion for the miniature modelling and collecting hobby. The Union Members are a varied bunch with a broad range of hobby experience, so we all have something interesting to bring to the table, regardless of our hobby background.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wasteland Wondering

Its been a busy few weeks for me. 

For the past few weeks my social life has been hectic and work has me chasing my own tail at times. Long hours and a long drive are not a good combination. Every time I wanted to do some hobby stuff I have been too tired or there not enough time. I even fancied doing some creative writing of a post apoc vein but even that got sidetracked by lack of time and energy. 

My Wife and I to see two fantastic live acts (live music is one of her passions) - the Eels and Cairo Emerald. If you like a spot of live music I recommend them both. 

Hobby wise very little has been happening. I joined a blog carnival called the Spruecutters union (well you know, you will have been reading my nonsense). Every week there is a hobby related subject each blogger writes about while promoting the other blogs. That is fun and makes me think about what I do and why. I have come to the conclusion I am quite mad!!

Model wise I have knocked together a couple of smaller bits for my sci fi urban table. I hope to get them finished soon however there is four half painted figures on the work table that have been there for a month now. Time and energy seem to be at a low. Its the old curse for our hobby isn't it? 

I made a start on a Tamiya 1/48 WW2 Crusader III tank. I got bored with the individual tracks and put it to one side. To fiddley for my tired eyes (what sadist thought it was a great idea to make tanks with individual track pieces?). That was two weeks ago. When I get to it I hope it to become a Post Apoc battle wagon for the Black Daggers. 

As Halloween is on the way I decided to put together the GW Garden of Morr kit. The kit went together nicely. I wouldn't mind more walls and railings from the set. When I get a minute I want to get it painted. I plan a Halloween game or three and this set would make a nice centre piece.

I have Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires in my mini collection. So I guess there will be some poor souls fighting them all off. Maybe I version of the film Dog soldiers with Mega City 1 Judges instead of British Soldiers? Any game ideas greatfully received. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Spruecutters Union #7 Your Siginificant Other

UPDATED - 08-09-2013

The week's Sprue Cutters blog theme is all about Our Spouses/Other Half/Significant Other and how they see & react to our hobby. As I missed last weeks post I thought I would get in early.

When my Wife and I got together I wasn't into the hobby. I was a crazy on a Motorbike. One eventful day about 10 years ago I got back into the hobby. It started by converting Hotwheels cars into Post Apocalypitc roadsters for the Axels n Alloys game. 

I am not sure what my good lady thought back then about my hacking up toy cars. I did notice her looking at me somewhat bemused. To be honest I think she thought I had lost my marbles (again).

The discovery of my old 40K Rogue Trader miniatures and a whole world of amazing 28mm near future/post apocalyptic figures. My wife tolerantly put up with my new obsession. At first she thought I had lost my mind when I started collecting junk to make Sci-Fi Scenery for my figures. She was surprised when the junk emerged as a building or other bit of scenery.
These days my Wife supports my strange hobby. To be honest I support her hobbies and interests too. I am happy that my Lady can see the art in my figure painting and model making. I am lucky in that she buys me model figures, kits and paint sets as gifts. To allow us to spend time together I am allowed to hobby on a TV table in the living room. I try not to make a mess or use anything smelly (glues & paints! I am not insane enough yet to use bits of stinky things out of the bin!). My lady even supports my junk collecting and will pass me items she thinks will work.

She even likes to try playing Wargames. She has a great tactical ability and lucky with the dice. When I need to discuss a model idea, figure colour scheme or even background fluff details my wife lends me an ear. I don't always follow her advice or ideas but we often have a laugh during the discussion.

I am a very very lucky man (and I am not just saying that in case Laura reads this! ha ha). My Wife is a Gem who supports my madness. Laura is a real keeper. We are a team. I love her tons and couldn't live without her. One day I hope to be able to scratch build something amazing for her she can display proudly with her ornaments. 

I hope the other Spruecutters Union members are as Lucky.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

The Combat Workshop

David Knight's Weblog
Migrant's Wanderings
Yet Another Plastic Modeller