Creating realistic vegetation for a tabletop gaming board

Last month, I covered the unreal tabletop fantasy village that Real Terrain Hobbies and Goobertown Hobbies built using buildings from Tabletop World, two Croatian sculptors who pretty much make the best resin-cast fantasy buildings in the world.

Now, Neil of Real Terrain is building a gaming board and terrain features worthy of the Tabletop World buildings that he and Brent so meticulously painted.

Here are his first two videos documenting the process. The first is of him building the actual board, the second is him beginning to add paint, the ground cover, and vegetation. These videos are something of a masterclass in terrain making.

One thing that Neil shares in the second video is a great tip for all miniatures painters and terrain makers. As he begins to put the watered down paint onto his foam rock formations (in gray, brown, green, and black), he has to remind himself that it's going to look kind of awful, like it might not be working, before he's done. This is something that often frustrates and scares newbies. Often, basecoats and early layerings of paint can look bad and you can become fearful that you're on the wrong track. As you gain more experience painting and weathering, you realize that it takes time to build up your colors, and that, for things to look realistic, you need many different colors and sometimes some of those colors look wrong when first applied. Things in nature are not a single color. Your minis and terrain look best when they have a complex of color. Read the rest

The fantastic fantasy miniatures game, Frostgrave, is currently free!

Osprey Games has made the PDF version of their popular game, Frostgrave, free in a gesture of support for self-isolating gamers who might be interested in the award-winning skirmish-level fantasy miniatures game.

Frostgrave is normally a two-player game of wizards and their warbands duking it out over treasure and other spoils in the ruins of the frozen city of Frostgrave. But there have been some solo adventures in the Dark Alchemy supplement and the recent Perilous Dark supplement. As part of their shut-in bundle, Osprey is also giving away Dark Alchemy for free, along with the three solo scenarios from Perilous Dark. You use the code FGV2020 on check-out to get the free deal.

Frostgrave is one of my favorite tabletop miniature games and I can't say enough good things about it. I've never played solo, but I became tempted when Perilous Dark was released. Now that we're all trapped in our wizard's towers, under siege from tiny, glowing invisible monsters, it seems like a good time to give solo Frostgrave a roll. I've got an Explosive Rune spell with "COVID-19" written all over it.

Here's a bit more about the free PDF deal from Frostgrave's creator, Joseph McCullough.

Image: Cover art for Frostgrave: The Wizard's Conclave Read the rest

Watch: Wild hyperreal Hot Wheels and Matchbox car race video complete with announcers

I prefer this to the real thing. The cartoon fun is infectious and, well, nobody dies.

More thrills at 3Dbotmaker, home to 1:64 Diecast Sports Action Racing!

(Jalopnik) Read the rest

Two well-known YouTube game crafters paint up an entire tabletop fantasy village in five days

"Two men, one highly detailed resin fantasy village, and five days to paint it."

If you're a fantasy tabletop gamer, you likely know about Tabletop World, two Croatian terrain makers whose resin-cast buildings are the gold standard in tabletop gaming. Read the rest

Why Star Breach is a sci-fi tabletop skirmish game you should be paying attention to

One of the coolest, most impressive games I was introduced to last year was Wild in the Streets, a free-rules punk, goth, and metal miniatures skirmisher from Slow Death Games. Slow Death has upped the ante on awesome with their latest project, Star Breach. Like WITS, this "multiverse" narrative-style skirmish game has free and simple downloadable rules [PDF] and is miniatures agnostic.

In this play-through video, Gaminggeek discusses his quest for the perfect sci-fi skirmish rules and explains why he thinks Star Breach fits the bill. He ends up giving the game a 9 out of 10.

I have yet to play the game, but I love the straightforward approach to the rules and the ability to play games within the worlds of 40K, Star Wars: Legion, Deadzone, Necromunda, Kill Team, etc, using an alternative rules set. Anyone familiar with these sci-fi universes will recognize "the Hive," "Legions of Mankind," "the Resistance," "the Dark Path," and other thinly-veiled versions of factions found in other popular sci-fi games.

Star Breach is currently on Kickstarter with a softcover rulebook and sets of special StarBreach dice. You can use regular d6 dice (it's a 2d6-based system), but the official dice are worth it. Read the rest

Black Magic Craft unboxes a full-color 3D-printed Hero Forge miniature

Jeremy of Black Magic Craft managed to get his hands on one of the prototype 3D printed full-color(!) miniatures that Hero Forge is currently offering in their Kickstarter campaign for Hero Forge 2.0.

As you can see from the video, the results are pretty impressive, as are the other miniature design and digital painting tools coming in Hero Forge 2.0. Given all of this gamery goodness, it is perhaps no surprise that Hero Forge's Kickstarter campaign has already racked up over $2 million, with 15 days still to go. Read the rest

Squidmar issues another miniature painting challenge on Fivver

After Boing Boing and other sites wrote about the Squidmar Miniatures video where Emil challenged painters on Fivver to paint a mini for him, the video went viral. Others painters approached him about doing another video that they could participate in and even Fivver itself wanted in on the action.

So, Emil decided to issue another challenge. With $600 provided by Fivver, he sent one mini from the Zarbag's Gitz warband for Warhammer Underworlds to eight painters (I guess paying them $75 each?). This time, he didn't give them any directive beyond using their creativity. For some additional inspiration, he also provided them with a little animated story describing Zarbag's Gitz.

Read the rest

Spectacular, tiny room hidden behind a hinged electrical outlet cover

Japanese artist Mozu makes incredible, miniature dioramas with tiny, winking electronic devices; their latest piece is The Secret Base of Kubito, a tiny workroom hidden behind an electrical outlet. Mozu says of it, "This work, which was born from the delusion that 'If I'm small, don't make a secret base in the wall', and the wifi router that flashes with a glowing TV are all handmade miniature works." (Sorry, wonky Bing translation!) Read the rest

YouTuber hires people on Fiverr to paint his minis

One of my favorite new gaming miniature painting channels is Emil Nyström's Age of Squidmar. In just six months of making videos, Emil has already established himself as a content creator to watch. Not only is he a talented miniature painter and painting teacher, he also chooses fun themes for his channel that go beyond things like painting weapons with non-metallic paint, using a wet palette, and model basing (all of which he's covered).

In the above video, Emil ventures onto the online marketplace Fiverr, finds some miniature painters there, and requests that they paint a single Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine. To make the challenge more interesting, he kept his identity secret and sent them a reference model from Golden Demon painter, Antonio Peña, and asked them to paint a Primaris Intercessor in Imperial Fists colors, one of the most difficult Space Marine color schemes in the 40K universe.

He got quotes in response that ranged from $10 ($25 with shipping) to $110. After several painters bailed, he went beyond the confines of Fiverr and commissioned two pro painters, asking for a $40 paint job from one and a $100 job from the other. He ended up commissioning six painters.

The results across the board were pretty decent. Even the $10 jobs were very respectable tabletop quality. The most impressive for the money ($40) was the model seen above. They even painted a display on the Auspex (Space Marine handheld scanner). This painter also did a two-part video of him painting the model. Read the rest

Huge selection of roleplaying miniatures available for free download, including Falkor and a bear with sharks for hands

Miguel Zavala, who has a Patreon, has created a huge number of 3d printable files for roleplaying miniatures and posted them for free download. It's a delightful selection of oddball Dungeons and Dragons characters, including many inspired by the longrunning Acquisitions Incorporated series:

Read the rest

My new fave Instagram account: miniature models of old Tokyo storefronts

Christopher Robin is a Stockholm designer who makes realistic miniature models of aged Tokyo storefronts. He's got an Instagram account with photos of his work.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Panic working here, lots of stuff left to do and aprox one week left until deadline. Working on the vending machine, added the glass and did some weathering. A real mental workout to figure out how to build this one in the best way, and I can only blame my self since it is I who designed the kit... Also been working on adding more wiring and electric stuff. Also did the roof. Used a very fine grit sandpaper cut into strips and glued and folder. Think it worked out ok. These flat roofs are tricky to get interesting. Now back to work. Stay tuned. #artwork #art #artist #sculpture #mini #miniature #miniartmodels #tokyo #tokyohouse #japanhouse #instaart #pic #picoftheday #progress #scratchbuild #scalemodel #modelhouse #modelhouses #aircondition #rust #hobby #workshop #handmade #handtool #weatheredmodels #weathering

A post shared by TokyoBuild (@tokyobuild) on Sep 29, 2019 at 8:14am PDT

[via Nag on the Lake] Read the rest

Fantastic thematic wall displays for your gaming miniatures

On Game Terrain Engineering, Jim Kelly posted this great tutorial on building a wall-mounted display for your lovingly-painted fantasy miniatures collection. The display, while looking quite elaborate and substantial, is little more than a cheap wooden picture frame, some foam board, and lots of time and hot glue. The Archdevil Moloch statue in the middle was 3D printed. That is, of course, optional.

Months ago, well-known dungeon crafter, DM Scotty, posted some similar wall displays on Facebook that used a printed image on their back walls (relevant to the theme of the minis on display) and simpler shelving. Scotty's might be an overall better solution for displaying your minis in a less busy but still thematic way. Jim admits that the lighting/viewability of some of the miniatures on his dungeon-themed display is not the best. He’s considering adding LED lighting.

I am definitely going to build some of these displays. With all of the time I’m putting into painting minis these days, I don’t want to hide my hard work away in cases when it could be enjoyed by others. I think this is a really fun way to do it. I can’t wait to plan out and create thematic frame-displays for my Frostgrave, Gaslands, Blood Bowl, and All Quiet on the Martian Front minis. For displaying years of collected Warhammer 40,000 armies? We’re going to need a bigger boat.

BTW: The latest D&D game book, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, includes the exiled Archdevil Moloch in its bestiary, with great artwork, background, and stat block. Read the rest

Great advice for those getting started in miniature painting

I have been a tabletop/roleplaying gamer, off and on, for most of my life. Miniature modeling, painting, and terrain building have always been my favorite aspects of this wide-ranging and very maker-friendly hobby. As I've given in even more completely to my game-related obsessions these past few years (I may be in line for an intervention), painting minis has become my daily go-to activity for relaxation, creative expression, and escapism. I pretty much live for my painting and modeling sessions each night.

I'm really enjoying focusing on painting and trying to get as good at it as possible. I am currently painting up a bunch of Frostgrave wizard warbands, adversaries, and terrain, several teams for Gaslands (and suitably Mad Max-ian terrain), and the recent plastic OGRE miniatures.

After several years of nearly daily painting, I can now look back on my experience with some sense of what I did wrong. I was struck when I saw this video on Miniac because Scott touches on most of the key tips and cautions that I would share at this point.

Besides what he listed, I would add a few of my own.

You really only need one good brush There is a trap that new or inexperienced painters fall into of thinking that they need a different size brush for each type of painting operation (e.g., a size 1 or 2 for base coating, a 0 for highlighting, a 00 – or ridiculous sizes like 5/0 or 18/0 – for painting eyeballs and super-detailing). Read the rest

Modelmaker creates base with cool explosions made of cotton balls

Want to take your modelmaking to the next level? here's a cool way to make dynamic bases with lit-up explosions. Read the rest

Enjoy this daily delight of miniature origami

Ross Symons wanted to improve both his photography and origami skills, so he challenged himself to create a fun photo of one of his miniature origami each day, something he started for fun in 2014. Read the rest

This mini fireworks stand has real working explosives

Not sure what inspired Mav Vasquez to craft this miniature fireworks stand but I'm glad he did. He not only took the time to make each tiny papercraft firework look realistic, he also made them fully functional. Yes, each one is packed with powder and blows up!

Want to make your own? See his behind-the-scene photos over at Imgur.

Though, for $155, he'll make a replica of the stand for you (although its fireworks won't be functional).

(MAKE) Read the rest

Watch: Sculptor brings back Freddie Mercury in 7.5 inch form

Sculptor Juliana LePine takes plastic vitrox clay, slaps some on a skeletal figure, and creates a tiny version of one of rock and rolls’ defining figures. Sculpting Freddie Mercury has a creepy Westworld vibe, but the process leads to a model pretty damn close to the Queen frontman. The large teeth and Live Aid 1985 outfit are what helps brings the piece together. Read the rest

More posts