Saturday, July 31, 2010

Black Dog Nose Art

Last night I finished the "nose art" for the Black Dog. I chose a cartoon Doberman because I felt the long narrow nose of the ship reminded me of a Doberman muzzle.

Next I'll be painting the name of the ship either under the cockpit or just above and to the right of the nose art.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Venture Star Prospecting Company

One of the first things I'm going to build for my spaceport/colony project is a prospecting facility. My first thought was to do a full blown mining operation but I decided that would be far too involved and costly at this stage. A small prospecting company doesn't need nearly as much equipment or crew members to be viable.

Here are a few of their vehicles. The large mole machine is a G.I. Joe “Cobra Mole Pod” which I picked up at Wal-mart for about $15.00. I've seen them on-line for a bit cheaper than that but of course you have to pay shipping. I also don't mind spending a bit more on the mole machine because it will be kind of the centerpiece for the whole operation.

The dump truck and excavator are from a “construction” set I picked up at the Dollar General store for about $8.00. It also came with a flat bed semi truck and a couple smaller bobcat type machines. These are not particularly exotic or sci-fi looking but the background of my space colony project is based on our solar system and a future Earth so it's somewhat more practical. I plan to have some hover vehicles but the wheel works quite nicely especially for heavy equipment like this. I feel future Earth style sci-fi should have familiar elements and these will also be able to do double duty in zombie games or other modern games. The cab on the dump truck is a bit smaller than I like but I think it will work out. I plan to pick up one more construction set so I will have two trucks and excavators.

I plan to build a base facility with an office/lab, barracks, a vehicle garage, and small smelting facility. The employees will consist of 10-12 people including crew, administration, and scientist.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finished Shots of the "Sky Sweeper" and some other stuff.

I put the finishing touched on the "Sky Sweeper" a couple of days ago. Here is a shot of it in a Star Wars setting. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. It is converted from a 3 inch scale G.I. Joe toy if you missed my previous postings about it.

Here is another shot with a couple of my other finished toy ship conversions. This terrain is some stuff I made years ago for a Star Wars skirmish game I was working on with a friend based on the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars RPG rules and Necromundia.

I just thought it might be a good time for me to post a pic of my current ship collection; finished, unfinished, and work in progress. I have a few others that will be set up as wrecks and junk ships.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Black Dog painting WIP more "Accents"

I got the yellow accent marks highlighted. They appear pretty chalky here but when I do the wash they will blend better. I still have some details to paint them weathering. I think I'm going to go dig through my old model kits looking for decals I can use.

More Black Dog painting WIP

I finished the first coat of the yellow accents. I think I like the way they turned out. Now I just have to touch them up and weather them a bit.

Black Dog painting WIP "Accents"

I started painting the accent markings on the "Black Dog" today. Took me a while to figure out what I was going to do with them. I didn't want the ship to be all black or look like a regular military ship so I wanted a little brighter color scheme. I've decided to go with Yellow for my main accent lines and will probably use Red for some of the smaller accents. After I get the accents down I'm going to add the markings and the name and "nose art" which will probably end up somewhere on the side of the ship and not the nose.

I'm pretty happy with the way things are progressing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sky Sweeper painting WIP 2

Here is a shot of the weathering on the Sky Sweeper. I kinda feel like I got the wash a little heavy but there's not much I can do about that now. Over all I think it's still going to turn out looking good. I don't think I'm actually going to name this one.

The only thing I have left on this is to finish the canopy and touch it up a bit.

Sky Sweeper painting WIP 2

I've made some progress today on the Sky Sweeper paint job. I think it's coming along nicely. Unfortunately the "Black Dog" is still at the same place it was last update but I think I'm having trouble deciding on the details for that ship so getting something done on this one is actually helping.

I still have to come up with a name for this ship so I can finish it up. I've still got detailing and weathering to do as well. Hopefully I'll get more done on both ships before the end of the day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sky Sweeper painting WIP

I decided to take a break from the Black Dog for a bit to think about the rest of the paint job. I used some plastic card from a "For Sale" sign to cover some places where I cut off the missile pylons. I also made a hatch although I'm not totally satisfied with it. I think it will work though.

The I took the ship apart so I could paint it. The engines are just too complicated to try and paint around.

Here is a shot of the project my wife is working on. A Valkyrie drop ship from Games Workshop. This thing cost about $60.00 but it is a real nice model. We might pick up a couple for general sci-fi games but at that cost we can't buy a lot. That's why I like toys. They are usually much cheaper.

Here is a shot of the ship with the base cote. I think it's going to look pretty cool painted up. I haven't decided what I'm going to name this ship yet. Guess I better get that figured out since I'm going to try and get it painted over the next couple days.

Black Dog painting WIP

I just finished doing the basic hull paint job on the "Black Dog". I did two layers of dry brushing to create the highlights. I tried to make the ship look black but heavily weathered. I think it came out pretty good.

Of course I plan to do a lot more weather and detail painting. I'll be painting in scrapes in the paint job that expose the metal hull and I have a lot of details to paint in as well. I'll also have markings and nose art which may or may not actually go on the nose depending on the design.

Here is a shot with the hatches open. I really like the contrast of the green interior with the black exterior. I think things are progressing nicely and I still expect to be finished by this Sunday. The crew pictured here are just a stand in crew. I chose them out of my collection because they each represent a different major company. I don't know that I'm going to make a specific crew for this ship straight away. It may change hands over the course of the campaign I am working on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Black Dog WIP finished interior!

I managed to get the interior of the Black Dog finished today and the ship re-assembled. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

One thing I am eventually going to change is the extendable ramp. This one is just too long. For now though it will serve it's purpose.

I feel the cockpit re-scaled fairly well and that the ship looks reasonable as a 28mm ship. The engine compartments also turned out nice although they were a bear to paint.

Here is a nice closeup shot of the interior of the hold. I painted it green to give it contrast from the black hull. It also hints at an earlier military use.
Over all I'm really happy with other than the ramp but that's something I can fix later on. I'm also happy with my progress since I just purchased this ship a couple days ago and I've already got quite a bit of work done on it. I've still got some detailing to do and quite a bit of painting but if I keep up this pace I might have it finished by Sunday night.

Cockpit of the Black Dog.

I don't think it was all that clear in my earlier post but the white strip of plastic I glued to the cockpit was to make the cockpit appear more in scale with the rest of the ship.

Here is a shot of the cockpit painted with the first layer. The painting is rough. I will be cleaning it up on the finished model. I just wanted to make it clear for further WIP shots.

Finishing touches on the Black Dog conversion.

I was able to wrap up conversion on the "Cobra Gunship" last night using parts from the Platformer and Hexagon sets from Pegasus Hobbies. This turned out to be one of the easier conversion I've done of a toy to a game model because of the flexibility of those kits. Granted if I didn't already have these kits the cost of this conversion would have been a lot more but I've had they laying around for a while so I used them on this project. I could have probably scratch built what I needed out of cheaper material but this also gives me the advantage of being able to convert another gunship with exactly the same look.

Now on to the painting.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Work in progress on some spaceships.

Today I did some work on two space ships for various sci-fi games. Both are based on G.I. Joe toys currently available at several stores. I feel like I got quite a bit done on both of these ships in just a few hours.
I thought I would go ahead on show the method I use for gluing down the strips of plastic I use to re-scale cockpit canopies. The easiest way to do it is to just glue it in place on one side and let the glue set. Then I glue the rest of it in place. It's much easier to bend the plastic over the curve if you use this method.

Here is a shot of the cockpit after re-scaling. This may not be the "best" way to do this or the way a modeler would do it but it's just for gaming so I'm happy with the results.

I also worked on the "Black Dog" I'm converting from the "Cobra Gunship". Nicer toys like these are often held together with screws which make working on them much easier. Normally I don't go crazy and work on interiors on small ship models but this one was set up really nicely for that kind of thing so I went ahead and decided to detail the hold area and re-scale it for 28mm.

The cockpit on this toy was even easier to convert because of it's boxy construction. Here I've just added some straight strips to reduce the canopy scale.

The open area on the side of the ship had a boxy bench seat where you could set a couple of three inch figures. Of course this took up a lot of space so I cut it out and covered the holes with these pieces from the Pegasus Hobbies Platformer kit.

Here is a shot of what the hold area looks like after conversion. I should be able to stand several miniatures in the opening or put some light cargo inside. My next big hurdle is the side hatch. You can't see it in this pic but there is a lip on the end of the hatch which looks odd for 28mm scale figures. I plan to make a pull out ramp out of platformer bits that will extend to the ground and look a lot nicer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Black Dog

Well I picked up another G.I. Joe toy aircraft today at the local Wally World. This one is the "Cobra Gunship" and it cost me about $25.00 which is more than a lot of the toy ships and aircraft I've acquired for conversion but still much cheaper than most wargame models. In fact you could triple the price before you found anything close from Games Workshop and this model is a good deal bulkier than the Valkryie for instance.

I plan to use only the front half of the cockpit as this ships cockpit and I plan to add a strip of plastic half way down the side windows so that only the top part of the front will be the models cockpit when the conversion is complete. This should scale the model nicely for 28mm which is the scale I use for sci-fi roleplaying and miniature games.

A lot of G.I. Joe "aircraft" actually look a lot more like space ships than airplanes. There are no wings on this ship and the tale is minimal which suggest a lot of the same design elements of various sci-fi dropships and shuttles.

This ship has a lot of elements that are missing on a lot of toy ships. For one thing it has landing skids which is a major bonus if your not an expert modeler. I hate making landing gear and even though these aren't elaborate they look good enough for my purposes. I have a pet peeve about gamers who try and turn all their vehicles into realistic scale models. We aren't building dioramas after all we are building game pieces that are going to be handled sometimes roughly. Building fiddly bits like "realistic" landing gear is just a sure way to have those landing gear snapped off during a game. It's not a matter of if it will happen but when.
Another cool features of this ship is the big hatch on the side and the interior. I'm going to try and cut the bench seat out and put a new floor in so I can get a bit of a cargo hold in there. The hatch itself will also require a bit of modification to bring it to ground level but I think it will be worth while.
There are also compartments that open and show engine detail which will be cool for "repair scenarios" and the extra detail it provides. Also should I pick up another version of this ship I can strip the hatches off to make the ship seem more "used" and run down. Perhaps a ship that requires so much repair that whoever owns it decided to just remove the panels. Kind of like the Y-wing starfighters exposed engines for those of you who are uber Star Wars geeks.
I plan to paint the ship black with yellow or orange accents. I'll also paint a moon on the nose with a black dog head as the nose art. I plan to name the ship "The Black Dog" which is a double reference to the Led Zepplin song and the character Jet Black from Cowboy Be-Bop. I'm not a big Anime fan but Cowboy Be-Bop is just great sci-fi especially if your a tramp freighter fan like me.

I hope to have this ship together soon along with the Sky Sweeper Jet conversion.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

100th blog post!

Well here I am at my 100th post and there isn't that much to post about. My gaming this year has been spotty. Either I'm playing 4 our more sessions a week or I'm going a month without a game. Unfortunately I've made very little progress on the miniature game front. Just a few days ago I assembled 8 Bretonian Men at Arms for Wahammer and Warhammer Roleplaying but that was the first time I've touched any of my miniature tools since January.
The biggest problem is that even though I've moved into a somewhat larger house there isn't a good spot to set up a painting station. I need to get some AC in the garage so I can start working on terrain but I need to get approval from the land lord to remove a window because all the windows in this place open sideways. The other problem is that my son is now 18 months old and toddleing around the house like a whirling dervish so it's hard to work on things while he is awake and I can't leave them out when I'm at a stopping point. Like all kids he loves the “little people” and would like nothing more than to get them out and play with them. I've considered retreating to my local game store to work on things but since I live out of town now that's a major trip.
Anyway enough boring excuses. One way or the other I need to get back at it. I am of course still buying minis because as you know it's an addiction so I really need to start working on them again. My plan is to try and get back on track with some of my running projects especially the space port. Hopefully I'll finish unpacking and get the rest of my stuff up and running.
Wish me luck.