Thursday, February 23, 2017

Building Eylau Battlefield Part 2

     We got more work done on table the last few days. It still feels like we are struggling up hill. Once we get some paint on it I'll feel better. Of course it doesn't help that I'm building 2 tables for Cold Wars, Eylau and Frostgrave. I will start a blog on Frostgrave soon. Eylau is a much bigger project so it is consuming more of my time. 

Ok on to the pics

With the hills cut to shape we now sand them smooth. I'm using a Dewalt Random Orbital Sander, with dust bag. Now this generates a lot of dust, that is not healthy to breathe. We take steps to mitigate this dust. Dust collection, Dust Masks, Air Ventilation. 

 Instead of using the dust bag. We attach a ShopVac hose directly to the sander. The ShopVac also has a cyclonic dust separator to spin at the big particles out of the airstream into a secondary bucket. This prevents the ShopVac dust filter from clogging up.

 Using the sander, it allow us to shape the hills as needed. This helps us make the hills more smooth for game play and more realistic.

The hills are then hot glued to the table.

 The glue sets fast, but we add a little weight for about 5 minutes to get a good bond.

 Once the hills are in place we use light weight spackle to smooth out the gaps where the hill meets the table. This takes about a day to dry.

 All the spackling done.

 We are trying a new method for roads. This tool I made will "carve" or indent the outline of the road into the foam.

 After we have the road network down, we then carve/indent ruts into the roads. I didn't get a close up of that, but we are happy with the results. We felt this gives us a more realistic road than our previous methods.

Now paint is applied to the roads to get it into all the ruts. 

It's starting to look like a battlefield. Next up we have to sand and shape the hills now that they are on the table. Fix the river banks and we can start the main painting effort. 

Stay tuned, Xin/Jeff

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More Treasure Tokens for Frostgrave

I got around to painting up the Treasure tokens from the Barbarian set. I also painted up some other pieces I had laying around, Reaper and D&D Plastics. I really just avoiding making the hard work on Eylau and my Frostgrave board, both of which need to be completed in under a month.

Anyway I love painting up these little pieces. Very quick to do without a lot of thought.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

 Reaper Bones Chest and coins. I added gem stones from Bad Squiddo Games

Reaper Miniatures, Adventuring Accessories: Magic Items. It's hard to see in the photo, but I was going for a skin tone, like the Necronomicon.

Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics, Crystal Ball.

 Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics. Brain in a Jar.

 Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics. Brain in a Jar.

Group photo, everyone saw cheese!

Ok I really need to get back to Eylau and Frostgrave.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Building Eylau Battlefield Part 1

Putting the Cold back in Cold Wars, Eylau, a battle during a snow storm. 

We have started construction on our table for our convention game at Cold Wars. This time we are doing the Battle of Eylau. On February 7th and 8th 1807, Napoleon's Grande Armee and the Russian Imperial Army meet in battle at Eylau in East Prussia.

This is my first post, but we started building back in the middle of January. As always we start this process with a trip to Home Depot to get the insulation boards we need. This time Home Depot let us down. They did not have the pink boards we normally get. The did have pink boards, 4x8 but they were scored about halfway through so they could be broken easily. We didn't want that. We wanted the full 4x8 boards. So this time Lowe Home Improvement came to the rescue.

 Here are 3 insulation boards, 4x8, 2 inches thick. We are pretty sure we will be able to get them out of my basement one we add hills, trees and buildings....about 95% sure.

We will cut 2 feet of each board to give us 3 boards of 4x6 for a table size of 6x12

 Normally I just have 5x8 table set up in the basement for playing. But since we are in build mode, I bring out the extra section, for the extra 4 feet in length. The table hangs off a foot on the sides during the build. I don't have room for a 6 foot wide table.

This book is awesome. It's just maps of Napoleon's campaigns and battles.

It has campaign maps in the lead up to the battle and detailed maps of each of the battles. This is our go to map for the battle.

The boards are cut and we are ready to roll

As in past builds we use colored glass beads to lay out terrain features we want to represent on the table. Rivers, roads, towns, forests, hills etc. Using the beads allows us to shift the placement of terrain till we feel we have a fairly accurate representation of the battle.

 Once we have the placement down, we will outline terrain features in sharpie onto the foam boards.

This pic is a little blurry but you can see the lines drawn.

 We have started carving in the rivers and lakes using a Dremel tool with a router attachment. The router allows us to control the depth of the carve and good hand control for following the rivers.

We still havn't found a dremel bit we like for this. The one we used this time, melted one edge of the rivers. Later when we need to sand a bank into the rivers this is a pain in the ass. The melted foam is hard as a rock.

 We made a big improvement on carving the hills on this build. My wife brought home lots of office stuff her company was throwning out. I got 4 boxes of overhead projector clear sheets. So we lay down the sheets, trace the hill outline on the sheet. Then placing the sheet on a piece of foam, we use a needle to punch thru an outline onto the foam that will be cut. Using a scroll saw, we cut out the hills very quickly.

 Hills getting cut and laid out.

Scroll saw on the right. For a rough cut it's a lot quicker than the Proxxon Foam cutter on the left.

Once the hills are cut to shape, they need to be beveled. We use a Stanley Snap Off Knife. The long blade allows big beveled cuts on the foam. We want to cut as much away as we can, so we have less to sand down with the power sander.

Here we are, ready for sanding. 

That's all for now, more to come...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Something stirs in Frostgrave...

Here is a Pathfinder Battles figure I picked up on ebay. It's an Owlbear from the Rusty Dragon Inn set of pre painted plastic figures. Named Beaky. The Owlbear is a classic D&D monster. Great for terrifying lower level parties. 

I loved the model when I first saw it, as I wanted to add it to Frostgrave. I decided to come up with an arctic paint job to make it fit Frostgrave.

As you can see from the picture, he's a big fellow. I think I will add him to the Cold Wars game in March.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Statues for Frostgrave

I have started contruction on my next big Frostgrave table for a Cold Wars coming up in March. Here are 2 statues that will guard the Harbor entrance. Frostgrave soldiers for scale. Hard to see the aging bronze effect, that greenish patina, in the photo.

More pics to come, Xin

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gnoll Cavalry for Dragon Rampant

Back in December I finished my Frostgrave Gnolls and posted them on Facebook. Someone suggested making Cavalry with them and I thought that was a hell of an idea. So I bought a 2nd box of Gnolls from Brigade Games and I found a Warg Rider box in my unpainted LOTR box(really 2 or 3 boxes but lets not go there). So I was set.

Lead fishing weights glued to bottom of base for stability.

Wargs, sans goblin riders.

Bark chips as rocks. I wanted a rocky wild terrain look.

Gel Medium with sand for texture

I do the bases about 95% of the way first, then start on the Wargs

Wargs Done, expect for tufts and paint touch ups.

I used a painting guide from Scouring of the Shire sourcebook. Easy peasy and looks great.

Picked a few body's that had wide leg stances. Even then I had to use a Dremel on both the Warg and Gnoll.

Painting underway. Using the same colors I used for the other 20 gnoll warriors.

 And done.

So now I have a good start on a Dragon Rampant Army. I will use the rest of the 2nd box to fill out other units. So as always more work to do.

Cheers, Xin