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

Covered Mall

03.24.2020

In the time of being socially distant while working from home and avoiding the plague, some more progress has been made on the 4Ground mall. The mall roof section is now done. The only hard part here was matching up the parts with the directions. There were 2 of everything, as there are 2 roof sections, and within each section there are parts that look awfully similar but are sized ever so differently.

I also managed a return to my resized map tiles. Nothing noteworthy to show graphics-wise, but my homemade vise for flattening out the tiles is working well. It's a couple of pieces of wood (shelf cut courtesy of Lord Ford) with some trigger clamps to bear down on everything. Between glue and humidity these things bow a lot, and this seems to help.

I also got the Anycubic Printer back to level and started cranking out interior clutter for mall stores - checkout stands, shelves, trash cans, etc. On Thursday I saw the spool of filament was getting low. I still had the unopened package of filament that came with the printer, but to be safe (in this age of socially distant plague) I went ahead and ordered a couple more spools as I've got a lot of printing planned.

With that said, there may now be a little printing break as I learn/figure out how to edit STL files in Fusion360. All the examples I've found so far are for earlier versions of Fusion with menu options that I don't have.


3D Printer 4ground-mall hobbies

2020 Hobby Prep

01.10.2020

2020, the start of a new year, the chance to get shit done anew, and the chance to dwell on what I didn't get done last year. Well, not dwell too much. My joy of hobby organization and progress is the spreadsheet I've been maintaining for the past couple of years. My pseudo bane is how the details of what I've been tracking kept popping up as incorrect every couple of months. I halfway joke that I've got so much to paint and build I'm not going to get it all done before I die. The truth is I've accumulated more stuff over the years that I'm not interested in doing anything with, and don't really want to do anything with it in the foreseeable future. With that, the 2020 Hobby Project list has gotten pared down to what I want to work on, conceivably, over the next year or two. Maybe three or four.

I spent a weekend and looked at what I've been working on, what I think I will continue to work on, and the things I'd like to work on. From there I tweaked a copy of my hobby spreadsheet to include only those things, and then I double checked the count (my bane) on those things. Now, I've got a list I can trust!

The new 2020 tracking list! Walking Dead, Knight Models, and Star Trek are still on the list. Most other things have gotten combined. The Reaper count is now Chronoscope + the other lines I get random assortments of. One Offs is for the brands that may not go with a game, or I get 2 minis from some company.

This is to be my year to focus more on buildings and scenery. Normally I've been tracking this stuff half-assed by manufacturer, as I was doing minis. Once again, I decided to combine into meaningful categories. Buildings, Vehicles, and Clutter. While Clutter can be almost anything, I've bought some packs of clutter over the years and found out I'd forgotten I even had about half of them. A lot of the clutter goes along with buildings - there's a pack of bank accessories for the TT Combat library that I was planning on turning into a bank.

The last 2 things listed are mainly so I don't forget that they're there. My project in converting my 7½" map tiles to 6" map tiles keeps stalling out - because I forget to do it. The same goes with plastic models. I've been picking up models I think would be fun to make over the past couple of years. I've made 1 - a tank - shortly after I got my airbrush last year. I used to crank out a model in a couple of hours when I was 10. While I don't have to speed build, don't leave stuff in a closet in the shrink wrap for years at a time!

For fun, here's how some of the worksheets are laid out.

Subset of the building list:

Foundry minis, mainly showing because the last batch to complete these is primed:

Plastic models:

Subset (I think) of the One Offs, formerly a bunch of worksheets with a few entries on each:

Most of what's left on the various Reaper lines. There's a couple minis that are pretty well dedicated to being technique/color tests that will never get finished:

Vehicles:

Remainder of Walking Dead boosters:

My big project for the year is the 4Ground Mall. Between 2 sales I acquired enough mall-stuff to build a 2 foot long mall with 2 stories. The bundle 4Ground sells for the mall creates a 1 foot, single story mall. I'm ambitious, it appears. More than half the fun is going to be branding the stores. Instead of printing out and gluing in the graphics that 4Ground provides, I'll scour the internet looking for a Chess King sign to replicate.

Since this, all of this, is for fun and not supposed to be a chore, I whipped up a fun little blueprint for the mall as an alternate way to track what I build along the way. Additionally, I had to go over measurements for what the 2nd floor needed as support just to make sure I'd gotten the right kits to make.

There's other things on my "fun in free time" list. Jerry and I are using Gaslands Refueled as an excuse to play & pimp Hot Wheels cars. I finally played a video game besides GTA and enjoyed it. I have plenty of video games through Steam I've never played, many of which I attribute to a steep learning curve. I've invested enough in base game + dlc that it's time I finally commit to conquering that curve on Arma 3 and Cities: Skylines. A good FPS and another Sim City replacement.

There's other things on my plate for fun, but those are the biggies I've mapped out for the year. Or four.


4ground 4ground-mall gaming miniatures gaslands hobbies reaper chronoscape

Lee & Clem

12.29.2019

Part 2 of Primer Gone Wrong has the web exclusive pack from the Mantic web store - Lee & Clementine from the Walking Dead Telltale game (series?). This booster was originally a convention exclusive, but sometimes it shows up in the Mantic web store as a chance to redeem all those (proof of purchase) points I've been racking up by getting all the boosters. I originally bought this from a guy in the UK via one of the gaming Facebook groups, but the package never made it to me. Adding up the cost of lost packages, price of all the boosters to get the needed points to qualify for purchase, and whatever else was needed for the purchase - I can't remember now if this was points-only or points-plus-fee - this has turned into an expensive set.

An expensive set that I hosed down with runny primer.

This was my chance to concentrate on 2 figures, 3 if you count a zombie with an animal I didn't recognize at first. Lee and Clem have a pretty standard color scheme thanks to the video game. Blues for Lee, pinks for Clem. Red hues don't normally cover well for me, so this would be a good test. One thing I've started to do while painting is going back and touching up errant smears, usually by (re)painting white. And then I smear the white, so I go back over it with the color I was trying to apply. And of course I smear that, so back with a line of white. Eventually I decide something is good enough. Clem's backpack was the example of this exercise this time. Most of Clem got repeated paint applications. In the end, there's no telling how many times I equivalently painted that one.

With Lee, I tried a customized brown for his skin. It was a half-accident. I had 2 shades of brown on my pallet and a section of each streamed into a mix. Wondering what the worse that could happen might be, I mixed them properly and had a pleasant surprise as to how well it worked. Lee's supposed to have a Fire Axe. Given that I was fighting my "cover with reds" on Clem, I didn't want to wage that battle on another front, so Lee got an old fashioned regular-metal axe.

The poor, forgotten zombie was chowing down on a deer. When I first looked at it, I didn't see a deer. I saw a boar/pig. Pigs have bright pink flesh, so that was the first coat on the poor animal. It wasn't until the flesh coat was completely on that I saw how it didn't look right. Nope, not a pig. It's a deer. I suck at painting animals! How am I supposed to salvage a deer from a pig? About 4 shades of brown of varying thickness will cover up that I have no idea what I'm doing. Also, I was applying the 2nd shade before I noticed the deer-was-pig had a stub of leg resting on top of the zombie leg. That wasn't a piece of the zombie!

Deer-pig with leg-hoof I thought was part of another body. To be honest, anything that qualified as "passable" in the end would be good enough for this one.

And in the end, everything worked out ok. Not my best work, but not my worse. Overall: average.

The painting progress chart... well, I think it's still a little screwed up. Every time I update it, I come across a box that has 3 minis instead of 2. Or 2 boxes I never counted. 2020 may be the year of a proper inventory.

I may get 1 more batch of minis painted before the new year. Next year will have a plan for what to hobby. Should have a plan. Might have?


gaming miniatures hobbies walking dead

Lovemore Defective Primer Agency

12.19.2019

About 2 months ago I finished painting some bikers and crows. Then things got busy. Actually, I primed a batch of minis and then things got busy. This past week things slowed down a little and went back to paint that primed batch.

As much as I go on about painting minis here, I like to think that over the years I've gotten better. Most of the time I comment on the things I should have done better while usually getting lucky enough to point out a gem or two of technique that I managed to do better than the last time. This is not one of those times.

When I picked up the first mini to paint, I saw how bad a job priming I did. I harked back 2 months and remembered that I was priming when I shouldn't have. It was humid. Wet Alabama humid. This makes for a more runny primer. The can was also almost out of primer. This too leads to runny primer. Put the 2 together, I was going to get doubly runny primer. 2 months after priming, I saw how crappy double runny primer was.

This batch was not my normal random assortment of Reaper Chronoscope minis. This batch was the Wargames Foundry Lovemore Detective Agency. I'm not sure what Black Friday sale I picked these up on, but I remember lucking out on the prices + 5 minis per pack. The sculpts on these are a little more angular than I've gotten used to. Angles and super moist primer isn't a good combination. My favored method of using washes and contrast paints doesn't really like angles either.

This batch was doomed from the onset.

I muddled through and painted them "done enough". I didn't know what to do with the bases - usually my favorite thing to work on to bring back a paint job I'm not happy with, but the bases didn't cry out to me for anything special. Road/pavement with a splotch of grass was what these got. Bases are one of those things that's easy to come back to after the fact. Months after the fact, even.

I'm also still getting the hang of the new blog pic camera/lightbox. There's too much wasted space going on in those pics!

The painting progress chart got it's update. It's mostly moot, as I've decided that the new Marvel: Crisis Protocol game looks too cool to pass up. I bet I go the Walking Dead route and have 100 minis still on the shrinkwrap on shelves before I start painting anything.

Next up, as part of the Primed 2 Months Ago batch, are the Lee and Clementine web exclusives for Walking Dead. I'm going to see if focusing on just 2 figures will help cover up the crappy priming job. I'm also trying to decide if next year should have an overarching goal or theme. Jer and I are talking about playing Gaslands (which Christian & Co. managed to finally play, ironic timing or what?). Being us, it's more an excuse to play with Hot Wheels and glue bits on them, while making up some new scenery. Maybe we can get a game in by October?

There's also all the (MDF) buildings I've got on shelves to put together. Not just the 4Ground Mall, either. I'm trying to conscript Jer and Keith into helping convert one of the 4Ground multi-story buildings into a dice tower. Which may or may not have lights in the windows.

There, I said it. Now pressure from the internet will force movement on all of this!


gaming miniatures hobbies wargame foundry

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