Last of the Cowfolk

07.15.2020

Here are the last remnants of cowfolk, which is really just 1 since not everyone that wears a hat is from the Ancient West.

First up is Jack Harrison, Adventuring Hero. I didn't realize this was Indiana Jones. Even when the assortment of left arms included a whip. Jack here was my first foray into using Citadel's Liquid Green Stuff. I should have watched the linked video first, because my green stuff wasn't liquidy. For whatever reason, it was half-solidified. I did my best to fill in the gaps when attaching the arms, but it didn't work out too well. In the end, I tried to compensate by painting toward a "ripped sleeves" look. I'm not sure how well that works without me pointing it out, but I've always got to try something new to cover up mistakes. There was a gaping hole in the back of his right armpit, which was begging to become a wound.

I also went with a more dirty, grungy, mayhap "trudging through the wild" look. I went back and forth trying to give the sword/machete/big knife a rusted look. In the end I just quit going back and forth and left it in whichever state it was in.

Number 2 was the true last of the western minis, Texas Ranger Female. Experimentation here was to play around with mixing my own colors, and using a Glaze Medium instead of Thinner. From what I've read, this is basically what Citadel's contrast paints are, and I like those contrast paints. Overall, this one turned out pretty good.



Painting progress chart gets to slide 2 to the Painted column of Reaper minis. And, I didn't get anything new to add to the list so overall progress accomplished! Sure, it's only been a week since the last update, but not accruing more stuff to paint in any time frame can be looked at as a fiscal win.



Another 6 Chronoscope minis have already been primed for when the painting mood strikes. These are all duplicates of previously painted minis. Not sure if I'll have the confidence to compare these against my original paintings to see which direction my skills have gone.

The 3D printer has been running the past few days making improved store front signs for the 4Ground mall. I've gotten the sweet spot on the print bed dialed in - how a glass bed bows up ever so slightly I'm afraid to know. Temperature and humidity are mostly cooperating, although 90° and 85% humidity is cutting it close. I went through the boxes of mall stores that I acquired from last years Oct and Black Friday sales - 25 stores in need of signage. I never go overboard, right?

The end of this week will see an announcement from Mantic Games regarding their next Terrain Crate. Preview pics show hospital furniture, store furniture, and some camping stuff. I'm going to look into the store furniture options. Did I mention 25 mall stores?


3D Printer reaper chronoscape zombie mall

Cowfolk of the Ancient West

07.03.2020

After more than a month of on again-(mostly) off again painting, there's a batch of western themed minis that are wrapped up. There's actually 2 more that didn't make the cut. On 1, I forgot to paint the base, and the other hasn't made any progress beyond getting primed. I'm not in a hurry, and I wasn't feeling a good paint scheme for this one.

Reaper Chronoscope has been my favored mini line for a long while. Quality for the price of their metal minis has been hard to beat, and I would just pick up whatever I could find along the way. Western figures? Sure, I have no idea what game they might fit in but they'll be fun to paint one day. Turns out I was right - although I took my own sweet time, they were fun to paint.

I did a little more prep work this time and scraped mold lines. I got a carried away on "Ellen Stone, Cowgirl", as what I thought was a chunk of errant metal was the stock of a shotgun that had gotten twisted up pretty bad. In the end, I tried painting the whittled stock as a strap to... something. It works if you stand far enough away. Far, far away.

My playing around for this batch was to weather dusters. Part paint, part weathering pigment. Down where the coats would drag and gather up grime I grimed it up. Luckily there were ample web pics of these minis for inspiration. The other play-around was Doc Holliday's stripes on his vest. I'm becoming a fan of brush tip pens for this sort of detail. The details stick as long as the final spray of sealant isn't too close (tends to water down the ink and make it run/disappear).


The painting progress chart shows, well, if you can track down the last time it was updated in April you would see no change overall, as some new releases for the Walking Dead game made it into the backlog to replace these cowfolk that qualify as Done.

I have on my To Do list to wrap up 1 mall store with furniture. I'll see if that's what gets updated here next.


gaming miniatures reaper chronoscape

Still Not Dead Checkin

06.22.2020

I saw the above somewhere on the Facebook and thought it appropriate for me.

Since it's been over a month since I last posted anything I thought I'd check in with the internet. Hobby-wise I've completed nothing. At best I've painted parts of some minis and made most of a 2nd floor mall store. I'm not in a real hurry to finish any of this, so we'll see how long it takes to get something post-worthy on the hobby front.

The highlight of my free time has been playing GTA with Jer. I've been playing GTA5 Online, according to my stats, for 3 years. All of those 3 years were me running around on a private server so as to avoid 13 year-olds sniping me. Now I'm enjoying the mix of showing Jer neat things about the game while discovering what missions can be played with more than 1 player. It's like a whole new game!

I've been concentrating on studying for the Salesforce Platform Developer exam over the last month. 3 months, really, but this last month I finally got a good groove into how elder-me can study and retain.


rambling random

Mall Signs Up

05.15.2020

Since my store sign test went well enough, I decided to go ahead and make all the signs for the first 6 stores that came with the mall bundle. I'm not sure id I've stated it here before, but my goal for these sign frames was to have something non-permanent so I could both switch out store names, plus when I come up with a better idea for how to display store signs I won't have to tear everything apart since these are just held on with sticky-tack.

The store names are mixture of third tier chains you might find in the dwindling days of a mall's existence, plus shops from Grand Theft Auto. For whatever reason, that just felt right.

I learned that the plastic for the larger mall entrance signs was a little too porous for the Elmer's glue I was lopping on. The paper sign ended up with a bit of the wavy, "too much glue" finish. Next time I'll add the glue to the paper instead of the plastic. Since this is all printed in paper and plastic, printing up another batch of each just takes a little set up and time.

Adding in the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, or "e-z clear resin", really helps to keep these from looking like paper in a plastic frame. I was printing the images on glossy paper, but with the Mod Podge on top I don't think I have to do that as the resin gives the glossy look.

Overall, I'd mark this as a nicely decent first pass at signs.


4ground 4ground-mall hobbies

Mall Signs V1

05.12.2020

Over the past month I've been working on the furniture included with the 4Ground mall. There's furniture for a coffee shop, gun store, pharmacy, clothing store, sporting goods store, and a hardware store. All of this furniture is on thick, laser cut cardboard.

I don't like it.

It's finicky, and the pieces don't quite fit together like I want. Things don't seem straight enough. Or flush enough. I'm not sure which. After a month, I've got most of the coffee shop and gun store furniture together. There's also some generic shelves that (can) go in all 6 stores. There's some other shelves that may go inthe clothing store, I'm not sure.

One of my nit-picks is the pieces aren't grouped per store, but in a way to maximize used space when the laser cuts. That's fine, I understand the economics in that. My nit-pick is how pieces fall off/out over time as I shuffle pieces laser cut sheets around trying to find part AE4 when it's not with AE1-3, and all the miscellaneous parts that fall away from their identifiers that I'll have to try and match up later.

Waiting for glue to try between pieces on a 14 piece sales counter takes some waiting time, too.

While making seemingly random furniture, I've moved forward on my test for store signs. My goal was to have non-permanent signs so that I could switch out store names based on my whimsy of the moment. To work well, plus add to the cool factor, I decided to model and 3D print some kind of frame I could stick the store sign in. My first endeavor into printable 3d modelling! In preparation, I'd picked up a few modelling lessons on Udemy during a good sale and had worked my way through about half of them when I had an idea of what to put together in Fusion360. It took a handful of false starts, but I finally had a 2-piece model that should work for what I needed. I then went about fiddling with the damn printer bed leveling off and on for 2 weeks. Interesting thing I learned about my 3d printer in the garage - don't print if it's under 60 degrees. Things don't turn out well. My glass bed is ever so slightly warped up in the middle. I'm not sure if heating the bed makes this better or worse over the time of a multi-hour print, or if it makes any difference at all. As it is, I try to keep most of the printable area as close to the middle as I can, and so far that's been working.

After I printed my sign frame, I went into Paint Shop Pro and made some testing signs for size and resolution. It seems that no matter what resolution I set my images (300DPI) or printer (600DPI) I always get pixelation. Maybe it's the graphics program from 2004? Anyway, I printed/cut/glued and saw that the sign looked about right on the store front.

This was a test sign, so it was ok to mess around with - I didn't bother cleaning up the edges, as part of the test was "will just using chrome spray paint without priming work?" (yes!) One of the things I wanted to try out was to use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to give the feeling of a glass insert on the sign. This stuff was mentioned in a Facebook post for a gaming group where they were putting this on their cardboard tokens. It helped protect the top (images get scratched sometimes) plus gave some depth to the flat cardboard.

Turns out it worked pretty good. The Mod Podge makes for a decent glass substitute, plus it helps cover up some of the pixelation on the print. The other bonus I was hoping for is that it doesn't look as much like a piece of paper stuck behind some plastic.

Next will be properly trimming up the plastic - it was printed with a skirt to help with bed adhesion, but they don't snap off as clean as one would hope. Soon I'll have signs for all the stores.

And then they'll just need some freakin' furniture.


3D Printer 4ground-mall

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