The Station That Plays The Hit


The last couple of weeks have felt productive, but I don't really have much produced to show for it.

First up is the 4Ground Tyre Store, which has been rebranded to a local radio station. I have no need of a tyre store as I have a perfectly good full service gas station that seems to be stocked with plenty of tires. Maybe even tyres. While gluing everything together it hit me that much like the other 4Ground building that I turned from whatever it was into a vacant building for lease, I could tweak this one to my needs also. After a quick meeting with Jerry to go over the list of what the city needed, neither of us could remember anything past "radio station" and thus, radio station it was. There's no interior details yet. This was one of those times to just get the outside glued together for when the detailing inspiration strikes (hopefully) later.

My side trip into quirkiness is trying to make a semblance of an antenna out of scrap pieces of the kit, just to have something to stick on the roof that might help say "radio station" a little better. Maybe I should have tried making an antenna out of tyres?

I'm taking some PTO this week, so I'm playing around more than usual. Since I like setting up for games more than actual playing, I took an evening and set up scenery for a Walking Dead game. This is the first time I've used the map tiles printed via DriveThruCards. Even more importantly, it's the first use of the frames from Michaels for holding them. Frames which I think I purchased around Black Friday 2019. Luckily, it seems to work! With the help of some rubber shelf liner on the backs at the corners, the frames don't slide around and hold everything well. I can even throw in some scatter leaves under the glass if I want to, which I realized after I'd sorted map cards and put the glass back in 16 frames.

I was worried about light glare for times I wanted to take pics. There's glare, but in a happy accident the road sections almost look rain-wetted. The one, maybe major, drawback is the bevel of the frame above the glass. This will raise/tip anything that crosses the frame border. Right now, it's not bothering me too bad. We'll see if I try to move to some type of border clip to replace the frame down the line.

With the map setup on the kitchen table, I'm going to play a little solo Walking Dead with some tweaks to the rules now that I've gotten the rules compendium and don't have to cross reference between umpteen supplements. The crux of what I play will be testing out those tweaks and see how they work (if they work, I'll pass on good news next time). My tweaks focus on a loose campaign style of play, with bigger maps (duh) than the 20" x 20" standard the game uses. I've got 4 ft per table side and more than enough scenery to fill it up... I want to use it!

4ground scenery

80s Retro TV Minis


This latest batch looks to have a lot more stuff than when I normally post an update, but the majority of what's included didn't take much work.

The minis were a flashback to the 80s thanks to Studio Miniatures. First up are not Crocket and Tubbs, from Miami Vice, with their white shoes. After that are not the A-Team. I've got to admit, I had fun with not Mr T when painting these up. I used less (maybe no) washes on the clothes on this batch. My washes tend to over-shadow and darken all of the clothes, which I didn't want on these. As such, I played it safe.

During some down time during the week, it was too cold and snowy to seal the above minis or prime whatever the next batch was going to be, so I dug out some little MDF kits and put them together. From Christmas 2019 (maybe 2018) was the 4Ground playground pieces Keith got for me. It took all of about 10 minutes to punch and glue together the swing set and see-saw (or is it a teeter-totter?). Afterwards I added in some grass flocking since these will likely end up in neighborhood back yards instead of an urban playground. The light poles came from Sarissa Precission, and are close to the same quality as the plastic light poles I've gotten in the past, but much more affordable! After the fact, I saw that the MDF on parts of these light poles could have used some sanding, but as they are should work well enough. I may add some weathering effects later, but just plain, simple light poles is what they'll be for now.

Next up on my hobby list: Are the new map tiles going to work out?

4ground gaming miniatures studio miniatures

Mini Church


In the miniature world of terrain and buildings, I've got a lot more to make than just the 4Ground mall. The mall is a huge, multi-year project that I keep telling myself that I'm in no hurry to finish. If you base that timeline on when I first started purchasing pieces of the mall back in Oct 2019 I'm taking that timeline to heart. I'm in nor hurry, no reason to rush, and I want to enjoying the process of putting it all together. With that comes a need to take a break and do something different every once in a while.

One of those "not-mall" buildings I picked up was Rev Johnson's Church. It reminded me of the kind of churches Pawpaw preached at. This is also one of those buildings I want to customize depending on (1) how it turns out and (2) if the customizations I have in mind will actually work. They're not big customizations, so don't get too excited. First up, though, is putting the kit together.

And that gives you the basic church. There's fencing and a cemetery included in this bundle, but I'm saving that for another time. With the final result here, I think my little customization ideas will work. Part of those ideas needs the garage to warm up enough for the 3D printer to be cooperative.

And that's how my hobby timelines get strung out.

4ground gaming miniatures scenery

Unthemed Batch O Minis


Another random batch of non-game affiliated minis. Like the Scooby Gang, this batch was also cast by Hasslefree Miniatures. I'd forgotten how much I like their casts. There's the right amount of detail, usually there's no too much in the way to get all of he (important) details painted.

A little more careful prep helped. I washed the metal minis before doing anything - one of those steps I skip 95% of the time. I primed on a humid day. It may have actually been drizzling outside, but the primer stuck well enough and didn't run. I mainly stuck to contrast paints on these, too. I think contrast paints work well with fabric, although dark streaks covering large areas (backs, mainly) are more prone than I care for.

This was also my best batch of eyeballs. I read a Facebook post of someone explaining how they paint eyes and I was already pretty close to that method. Since I normally prime everything white, starting at the whites of eyeballs should be a natural thing for me to do. After priming, paint the pupil. If the pupils don't line up, paint white over them and try again. If the pupil spills over - it's a little hard for me to type that with my eye phobia - just clean up the part(s) you don't want. I've gotten better at going over mistakes along the way, normally dabbing a little white at whatever color has gone beyond its line. Cleaning up pupils that way, instead of trying to add those dots to eyes close to the final step, sounds much more feasible. And, it turns out, it is!

I again veered away from making everyone white, which for some reason makes me a little nervous each time. Skin tones came through a little mottled, but that was for everyone. Skin was giving me a fit on this go around (again). Overall, it turned out to be a good batch. Outside of the prep work of washing and priming, it only took a day to paint everything. A day of PTO I was taking, and it was an enjoyable and relaxing day at that.

Here's a who's who:
Vince - Kind of a biker gang guy, with his sleeveless leather vest-jacket.
Sgt Spanner - Basically a Capt America knock off.
Kristen - I'm not sure what she's supposed to be doing. Maybe hiding a gun behind her hair?
Frank Cisco - It's really Dirty Harry. Punk.
General Sinclair - Always in need of another unarmed military looking guy. "General" seems ambitious though. He looks more like a colonel, or maybe a major, to me.
Gina - Hasslfree has 2 sculpts for Six from Battlestar Galactica. This is one. The other is still in my TBD pile.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree

Be Kind, Please Rewind


The latest mall addition is a good old fashioned video store - Blockbuster!

When putting away the Scooby gang last time, I noticed my box for non-game specific minis is almost full. But fear not, I've got an empty box sitting at the ready.

4ground-mall scenery

Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?

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