This is not one of my usual "trying out new things" painting posts. This is just sharing some pics of the last batch I did. Not every painting session has to be a dive into learning and trying to get better. It's ok to just whip something out, too.
Around March of last year, 2 things of note happened in my hobby related world. Mantic Games no longer had the license to The Walking Dead, and 4Ground was ceasing production/folding into a parent company.
Walking Dead has been my go-to for the last couple of years when I actually follow through on playing a game. I like the rules, as they allow for quick play time and can be expanded to whatever depth I want (so far). Mainly, it feels like a good base on which to build house rules for most things I would play. Being a fan of the franchise, I've also gotten almost everything for the game as it came out and enjoy painting the minis. If my spreadsheet is to be trusted, I've painted 197 minis from the game.
Mantic had a sale (last March) for what was remaining in stock for their Walking Dead game(s). I went in and ordered whatever I was missing, most of which had made their way to Mantic's 3D printed product instead of old fashioned cast-in-molds. Once everything arrived, there was a missing part here and there which the company managed to eventually replace.
With all of that said, I now have everything I'm going to get for the Walking Dead game. Unless I go to eBay for the Negan and Governor special sets, and the last time I looked those were asking for more than $100/set. Not worth the price for my circumstances. But the point this ramble is getting to is that I really should finish painting what I have for the game. I came close to having everything painted, and then a new wave of minis was published. The only other "game" I've painted is Zombicide Invader. I could double the painted-game count!
Outside of that last-March purchase, I've got duplicates of minis I've painted before. These are the last of the mold-instead-of-printed minis. I grabbed 3 packs and primed them... and didn't keep track of "who" they were. Normally I would make a note of the cards, or google the stats and match up with the pics, but since the game isn't published any longer that info requires a little more digging to share here. And in the end, it doesn't matter who these guys are supposed to be. I've already painted them once and they're in some past post. Now, they can just be "Walking Dead Folk".
4Ground, makers of the mall I worked on for a year or 2, had been under threat for closing down for some time. Around last March, they announced a going out of business sale, also some things might still be available from their parent company (Tymeagain). This was going to be my last chance to get their product. Thanks to lots of planning, I had about everything I could think of for the mall. They had other lines/scales that always interested me. The church I have came from their Old West line. I came across some buildings under construction in that line and thought they would be interesting to fit into my minis city. Just the framework of a building could fit into most eras. I ordered 2, a large and small commercial building. Each was nice and straight forward - floor, 4 walls, and then fitting 6 triangles together for a removable roof. Looking at them afterward, they'll easily serve as under construction houses, strip mall shops, and other things of that ilk.
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!
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.
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.
October/Black Friday 2019 my big purchase was the 4Ground Mall. After a month or two I finally started putting the mall together, and by the middle of April the basic mall was built sans any content. I knew filling out the guts of the stores would be the big time consuming part of this project. That's ok though, I'm not in a hurry. This was intended to be a long term project. That was part of rationalizing the cost for this.
Now, after another 6+ months, I can claim 2 stores as complete (enough) to qualify as mall tenants.
You can tell I play too much Grand Theft Auto when the 1st mall store is named after a store in the video game. I didn't want to stick with the options printed up in the provided mall directions, I'm much too quirky for that. The Ammunation store was thought to be mostly done a few months ago, but after looking at what I how I had decorated the store, it just didn't feel right. The first change was the entrance sign. Although I like the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to add depth to the sign, it looked like a cheap key fob. The Mod Podge was just me over-engineering what I wanted, so version... technically, 4... was just a piece of clear transparency film over the sign graphic printed on card stock. A lot more miscellaneous clutter was added in to help give the store a little life and personality. The room in the back will have some personality added later - right now it's just got gun-themed posters I would imagine gun-nut me would put up.
2. (Sara's) That's So Art
One of the top 3 coolest Christmas presents I ever received were the Hero Forge minis from Sara last year. Since last year, Sara has stood up her booming custom art business to the point where SHE HAD NO TIME TO TOP LAST YEARS PRESENT. I made sure to express my dissappointment and how I took the lack of notice and personal attention as a personal affront. Just to make her feel worse, I turned one of the mall stores into her art shop, complete with me and Tyler looking around.
Unfortunately, Sara didn't fall for my personal affrontedness and just commented on how cool it was.
Now I can claim a little hobby progress from the past few months. Not a lot, but some. Salesforce certification studying got in the way a lot more than I intended.
I've been working on a pharmacy for the mall, but I keep finding my ideas for setting up the interior aren't working well enough to follow through on. Another iteration is primed to try, literally. Maybe this one will work well enough to build upon.
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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