Thursday, 20 February 2014

Triffids Tutorial

Back in Sept 2012 (YIKES has it been that long??) I made some model Triffids from some odds and ends. These models can be seen here. Back then I promised a tutorial but time passed and it never happened, until now. 

So are ready to have a go at building these critter plant thingies?? 

The first step is to go raiding into the kitchen....

You will need the following items.

A plastic Drinking Straw
Some wire plastic food bag ties
A plastic Birthday cake holder
Something to use as a base

In addition you will need some modelling putty and the following tools:
A pair of scissors
A cigarette lighter, candle or matches. 
A screw driver
A Hot Glue Gun.

Superglue can be used in place of a Hot Glue Gun but I find that Super Glue gets everywhere and you end up with all manner of unwanted items stuck to your hands. 

Cut a piece of drinking straw to make the center of the flower. Make sure that this is cut quite a bit longer than required. If it is too long you can easily trim just before final assembly. 

Slide the bit of drinking straw over the screw driver. This will enable you to hold it for the next phase. 

IMPORTANT: The next part will require using a naked flame and a little melting. Take care when working with a naked flame and ensure the necessary fire precautions have been taken. When melting work in a well ventilated area - preferably outside.

You are aiming to melt one end of the drinking straw. Move the straw towards then naked flame with the flame nearer one end. You will notice that it will start to melt a few centimeters from the flame. This is what you want. DO NOT move the straw closer. It will catch fire and you will lose control of the melting. 

Make the naked flame safe once you are done. 

It is an idea at this stage to trim the unmelted  end of the drinking straw with the scissors. 

Trim a bit of the spike off the cake candle holder but leave enough to glue it the stem. Note: If using superglue then it would help to sand down the surfaces of the candle holder to aid glue adhesion.

Now take a few wire ties. These will make the stem. I used six but you can use more if you wish. More can be added at a later stage if you want a thicker stem.

Twist the ties together about a third of  the way up and leave the ends untwisted. Fan one end out. This will make the plant roots/base. 

Twist all the way up but leave some ties out too the sides. These will make leaves.

Twist the leaves at the sides at their base (closest to the plant). Use the scissors to shape the ends to give them a leaf appearance. 

Hot glue onto the base of choice. I am using a plastic Warlord base but a miniature base, washer or coin would also work. 

Now hot glue the candle holder to the stem. Note: At this stage more ties can be added to the stem if desired.

Now hot glue the center of the flower into the candle holder. 

Take some putty and roll it into strands. Twist these strands to give  a fibrous look. 

Now start to wind the strands around the plant stem. They can make extra roots too. 

Keep adding strands until you are happy.

When the putty has cured undercoat, base and paint as desired. 

Soon your tabletop warriors will have a new threat to contend with. 

One of the good things about using cake candle holders is that they come in many different petal designs. This can allow a mix of different plants. These plants are intended to be carnivorous like the Triffids on the silver screen. However if you desired to make normal plants there is nothing stopping you using the heads/candle holders in a upright position rather than at 90 degrees. 

I hope this tutorial has inspired you. If you have a go at making these plants I would love to see them.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Wasteland Wondering

Welcome once again to my weekly miniature and wargaming ponderings. 

Last weekend saw me get my appetite whetted for 15mm stuff with a quick game of 40K RT using my 15mm bits. I think I need to get a few more games of 15mm in. I may later in the year dedicate a month to painting up more figs, terrain and vehicle building. My 15mm terrain pile is somewhat lacking. 

This week has seem me getting to work on my Great Lakes first force - a group of 40K Tallarns. These guys will make up a tribe of honour enslaved warriors that are pressed into the service of the Great Lakes city state. 

Here is a WIP shot of the new tribe - the To-Rags. Apologies for the crappy mobile phone picture

There is more Great Lakes forces to follow as I have some Ramshackle Iron Guard figures that Curtis of Ramshackle game sent me for postage only. These will be more conventional forces for the city. There is a pile of Westwind WWW2 US heads in my spares bin which I will head swap with the Iron Guard figs which had Neo Reich heads. Whilst Post Apoc Nazis do make good bad guys that isn't the kind of look I am wanting. Besides I have been there and done that. 

In my collection I have a great number of plastic Combat Zone figures (by EM4 miniatures) which are sitting there doing nothing. Whilst these figures are not the worst they do have pretty poor looking weapons. Rather than letting them sit there unloved I took a handful and set to work. I put some metal heavy weapon and command set arms on them (supplied by EM4 miniatures). As I want to make more Stalkers and their body armour resembles that worn by veteran Stalkers in the computer games I did some head swaps too. Again apologies for the poor grainy WIP shot. 

These guys will offer some decent firepower at the various Stalker safe houses/bases in the wastes. You never know what horrible mutated monster will arrive wanting a snack. 

It is tempting to modify them all to make a new army (as I have mentioned I have loads of them). I am not too sure what yet but no doubt inspiration will hit some time in the future. 

If time permits later today I may get a Utopia City gang warfare game in using the Skank ruleset. Fingers crossed. 

Thank you for reading and until next time Take Care out there! Oh and don't eat glowing snow!! 

Monday, 10 February 2014

The battle for mining station 376

I fancied getting the 15s out for a game at the weekend. I decided to use the old 40K Rogue Trader ruleset as it is the only rule set I have with rules for spiders. Is there something that Rogue Trader doesn't cover? As this is 15mm I ran the rules in cm rather than inches which I find gives the correct scale for these figures. 

Anyhoo - on with the action. Warning - this is going to be picture heavy!

Location: Grim's World

Mining Station 376 has been silent for many days now. In the Capitol concerns are growing for the miners. Frontier worlds are dangerous places. It is not uncommon for Bandits or Pirates to raid remote stations and towns. 

Mining Station 376

Some of the Colonial Marines are dispatched to the Station 376 to investigate. 

The marines de-buss leaving the driver with the APC. Due to cut backs there is nobody manning the APC's weapon system. Besides this is probably a routine job. Transmitters go down regularly.

The Marines search the deserted Mining Station. Where are the miners? No signs of weapon damage. What ever happened here clearly the Marines missed it. 

Suddenly the motion detectors pick up movement. Movement all around and moving quickly. Nervously the Marines ready their plasma rifles. 

Giant Spiders appear from holes all over the mining complex and rush towards the Marines hungry for more food. It is strange. These critters have never been recorded on this world. 

"Lets ROCK!!" The Marines open fire. Plasma bolts smash the Spiders turning them into smoking steaming wreckage. 

The Marines slowly pull back from the giant spiders trying to keep distance while laying down fire. 

The Spiders keep coming. They know no fear only HUNGER! 

The Marines fire kills another two spiders. But most of the fire goes wide. 

Yet more spiders arrive driven by hunger.

The APC starts rolling to evac the Marines. The driver curses the high command for not supplying a gunner. Those missiles would be a great help right now. 

A spider pursues the First Squad. 

A well aimed shot fries the spider! 

The Second Squad's shooting improves cooking more spiders with searing hot plasma. 

The spiders advance unrelentless, hungry....

Some spiders stalk their prey from above. 

Yet more arachnids arrive. There must be a massive nest nearby! 

The  First and Second squads combine fire wiping out all but one of the spiders in that swarm. 

And the spiders keep on advancing.... Where is that damn APC??

The APC races into the compound, the spiders spotting it.

Behind the Second Squad something moves....

Quickly the spiders close on the Marines. A vicious close combat ensues. The Marines know that they cannot afford for the spiders to knock them to the ground. Combat knives slash at the spiders. 

Most of the second squad fall to the spiders, the spider venom proving too tough for a human to endure. 

The first squad holds their own. Determined to keep his men alive the Sarge joins in the struggle against the eight legged fiends. 

Meanwhile the APC thunders towards the stricken Marines. Can it get there in time? 

The remaining Marine of  Second Squad gets a unwelcome surprise from behind. Two spiders attack him. 

Sadly the bite kills him out right. The spiders start to fight over their prey. 

The spiders overpower most of the first squad including the Sarge. One spider managed to kill two marines at once. Scary these critters. 

The APC thunders closer to the remaining Marine, spiders all over it. The spiders start to damage the machine. Will it be tough enough to make it through? 

The Marine manages to kill his spider attacker. The APC is close but still going too fast. 

The APC squashes a spider making a line for the remaining Marine. 

The APC makes a hard turn slowing down. The turn throws spiders off the APC. The Marine runs forward hoping to catch a lift as the APC passes.

The Marine blasts the spiders off the APC. 

The spiders are back quick as lightening. The Marine roars and launches an attack on the Spider. 

The remaining Marine falls to a spider bite. 

As the remaining Marine the APC driver panics and tries to escape. But the spiders are all over the APC causing more damage. The driver is now worried the APC wont make it. 

Despite trying to out run them the spiders keep up with the APC. 

A few turns throws the some spiders off but more spiders keep coming. 

There is only one spider left on the APC but there are many spiders close. 

The APC finally gets clear of the eight legged fiends and thunders away, the driver the only Marine left. 

This was a good game and quite tense at times. A few dodgy dice rolls soon threw the Marines into the dark smelly stuff. Next time I must remember to supply the APC with a gunner. Those missiles may have made a difference. 

Originally I was going to play this with colonists first. I am glad I didn't. Shotguns and pistols would not have made much of a difference. 

The Marines are GZG NAC Marines, the APC a pound store toy and the spiders are Halloween confetti.