Monday, November 22, 2010

Acklay and Aliens game

I'm making a free miniatures survival game, where colonial marines play out different survival scenarios against hordes of aliens. I'm using Imperial Cadian Guards and two types of Tyranids from the Warhammer 40k miniatures range. Then I came across this Acklay figure while cleaning up the house. I never use it (doesn't exactly fit in with stormtrooper and rebel base fighting) and I realised that it's the same style of alien as I'm looking for, for my survival game. Sort of a Starship Troopers feel to it.

I don't have the Tyranids I'm after yet, so I thought I'd try out my idea for a sinister bug-alien paint scheme, inspired by the Aliens movies, and painted up the Acklay. I like it, so I'm going to buy some more Acklays to be a third class of alien in my survival game.

I painted it Chaos Black, then applied a wash of watered down white paint over it, then painted all the spiky bits, eyes, etc, a bone colour. I used some objects from the Warhammer 40k Basing Kit to decorate the figure's base, and glued fake grass on it.

Anyway, here's the repainted and based Star Wars "Acklay", converted into a Mauler Alien! (Lord of the Rings spearman was thrown in the photo for scale)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Figure-bases part 3

After looking at them for a while, I decided to apply a dark wash overthe rocks, dirt, and the feet of the figures, so that where they met the grass, they would become more defined. This also brought out more colour in the rocks and dirt patches, making them more visible, which I think I like. (sorry for the slight blurriness in the photo)

and a low photo. I think it looks less like the figures are attached to plastic circles now :) It's a pity there is still a very slight rise around the base edges, meaning a line of shadow circles it. I was hoping the grass would touch and 'blend in' with the table top.

Figure-bases part 2

Well, the greenstuff seemed dry to touch, and hard, so I ended up going ahead and gluing stuff onto them instead of waiting 24 hours like I am supposed to.

I started by painting the base black, then gluing gravel in patches.

Next, I painted it all a dark brown.

Then some drybrushing

and lots of grass

Finally, onto the table to see if it blends in with the grass battle mat

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. This is my first attempt at doing a detailed looking base for a figure, and it's okay, but I suppose I will get better at it with practice. The only problem is that the fake grass I glued onto the bases is a slightly lighter tone to the mat, so they are a little brighter, and thus, stand out a little bit more than I had hoped. However, I'm quite pleased with the absense of a visible plastic ring around the base, and quite like the look of it being flocked all the way down to the table.

more figure-base experiments

Okay, a while back I was trying to figure out how to have proper scenery-based figures, like in other table top miniatures games, with the idea of having swappable bases - so a figure could be pulled off its base, and stuck on a different one, depending upon the type of terrain being played on.

That experiment didn't work well. So, now I have a new idea. Instead of swapping bases, I'll just buy more figures, and have matching sets of figures, based for different types of terrain that I play upon - indoors, grass, snow and rocky wasteland.

I also want to make the figure's base blend into the terrain better. I don't like that there's a big round ring of plastic around the outside of the base. So, my first experiment was to flock the sides of the base, and see how that looked.

What I noticed with this, is that it looks much better, as there is only 'ground' beneath the figure. No black plastic or painted plastic band around the outside of the figure's base. I quite like this. However, it is still a clearly visible vertical edge around the base... So, I'm working on experiment two now. Using green stuff, I've made sloping edges around the base of some miniatures. The idea is that the base slopes down naturally into the tabletop, and when flocked, I am hoping the base will appear to 'grow' up out of the table top!

Here's a photo of the green stuff. I have to leave it for around 24 hours to make sure it is completely set, before flocking and painting them. I can picture in my mind how I want them to look, and I hope it works out :) No more vertical edges around the miniatures' feet! As I had some prepared green stuff left over, I stuck it on the bases to form some rocks.

Basing figures this way means they can't be stuck on a 1" grid map, but they should be perfect for gridless tabletop gaming. I'll post again tomorrow or the day after, to show what they look like finished.