Monday, June 27, 2011

The Gem Saloon... finished!


Whelp, all done!

I started watching the HBO series "Deadwood" a few months ago, and was instantly hooked.  A FANTASTIC series, right in line with some great HBO shows like Rome, The Sopranos, and of course Band of Brothers.

And of course, everyone's favorite character from Deadwood?  None other than the great Al Swearengen.  Just the right combo of charisma, danger, and charm, the proprietor of the Gem Saloon is a real classic.

So!  After seeing that there was a company out there that made an Al Swearengen figure, I thought it might be nice to do a little scene of him!

So... did a scene of him in the Gem, cup in hand.  Ended up using another figure with some green stuff work to stand in for Dan.  Also gave Dan a knife, as well as a bowl of canned peaches.  Grabbed some 25mm bottles, and combined them with a few casks and boxes.  Did some of the signs from the show as well as the Lincoln portrait.  And of course there is the usual blood-stain on the floor at Al's feet... you know he scrubbed at it!

Overall I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  It took a few tries to get the colors right, and even now I feel they are a bit too grey... the Gem is mostly made of newer wood, so I should have gone a bit more "brown" but what can you do.  The planking turned out just fine.  The plaster could have been better, but what can you do... live and learn!

I do have one last bit to do, but I'm a bit torn about HOW to do it... I need to do a nameplate on the front of the whole scene!  The thing is... how do I do it, with a plaque?  And more importantly... what should it say?  Any suggestions, folks?

So... that's it!  Now... what project next?:)

The Gem is juuust about done...

Well, JUST about done... thankfully my good buddy came back from a vacation and was able to turn his attentive eye to the scene before I had finished.  He noticed that the top of the walls around the Gem seem to be plastered over... I had missed that detail!  So I had to go back and do a little work on plastering.  So!  The Gem will be done hopefully by tonight!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Okay... how do I paint THIS?

Okay... so I got the light set... and I am going to paint the lamp on the LEFT hand side, center.  But how on earth do I paint that thing?  I don't even know what colors to use... is the main body glass?  Is it metal?  I have no idea what it even is.  Anyone out there able to help?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Gem gets some color

Hey all!

Okay, got the first few coats of paint down on the Gem Saloon... I did a brown/grey layer, followed by a grey layer, followed by a light tan layer.  I then did a few spots of brown wash (they are more noticeable in the photo than in real life.) I am going to do a few more stains, and then another drybrush to tie it all together a bit, but so far, I am happy with it.  Only one issue; on looking back at pictures of the Gem, the building is very new, so it is a lot more brown than the one I did.  I might need to look at doing something about that.

Any suggestions MORE than welcome!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Special Father's Day edition at the House of War

Howdy all!

Well, it is Father's Day here in the United States, so I thought I'd do a special "Father's Day" post at the House of War... with two main bits involved.

First off... really, it was my father who got me started in the world of toy soldiers.  When I was about seven or eight or so he worked as the head of photography and advertising (or some similar position) for a perfume company.  Once in a long while, on his way home, he'd stop at a hobby shop, and *miracle of miracles!* buy me a box of soldiers!

The first one, if I recall correctly, was a box of Afrika Corps... I believe it was the box cover shown at the top, if memory serves, but I might be wrong... this would have been around 1982 or so... and holy cow I loved them.  I loved the officer, I loved the two-man machine gun crew, I loved the buy with the STG 44... I just loved them all.  And soon enough, not only had I picked out and named my "heroes," but I also gave them all a very rough paintjob, using some black, brown, and flesh colored Testors.  And when I say rough, I mean ROUGH.

Many boxes of toy soldiers followed (the Vietnam Americans and the French Foreign Legion were among my favorites, as well as probably twenty boxes of Zulu) as well as an amazing fort, festooned with cowboys and indians left under the tree, which is pictured on the right.  It is a bit beat up, the hinges are loose, and the flag pole is gone along with a few decorative pieces.  Still, it is a GREAT toy (best Christmas ever, with the bought-at-that-authentic-Japanese-toy-store-in-New-York-City Voltron and the GI Joe Hovercraft being second and third) and I am holding onto it with the idea of passing it on someday (after some repairs, of course.)

Now... having started with my father getting me my first toy soldiers, I am happy to say that my wife and I are expecting our first kid... namely a son, in October.  Exciting stuff, not the least because I will have a son to give toy soldiers to!  So... I am sure I'll be planning toy soldier gifts!  A painted plastic AWI set would be one... I am sure I'll do a teddy bear army too.  Anyway... if anyone has any good ideas, let me know!:)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Al Swearengen

Well, Al has got his paint.  I touched him up and posted a new picture above... overall, I think he turned out just fine.  At first his pinstripes were way too bright, but some black washes really toned them done nicely.

I also finished Dan's hat... I think it looks good, although seeing the picture it looks slightly uneven from that one angle... I'll give it another look.  Found a great knife in a set of plastic Celts that will be stuck in the bar in front of Dan, too... what would Dan be without a knife for killing some coc... er... nevermind.

Dan Dority arrives at the Gem

Hey hey!

Okay, used a figure I got in the set (Tom Nuddall) and chopped him down a bit... took off the bowler, midway through doing a cowboy hat, added some hair and a proper tie... I'll put a knife point-down in the top of the bar, finish the cowboy hat, and then paint him in some darker reds... he should pass for Dan Dority to stand behind the bar, especially as the apron won't be too noticeable.

I also framed out the front and sides of the scene properly.  Next up... well.. finish Dan, I suppose, and stick the knife in the bar:)

The bar is installed in the Gem Saloon...

Howdy partners!

Well, I've continued work on the Gem... Al will get his paint tonight, but for now Tom Nuttall is standing in for the big boss. 

The back bar was made out of various bits and pieces, with the underside left empty... I'll stick a few bottles, casks, and boxes down in there.  The bar is solid, but I figure you'll rarely have the chance to see inside.

I am going to do some framing on the base itself... right now it is just rough.  I haven't quite decided yet how I will do that, but we'll see.

Just so folks can see, here is one of the still shots I'm using as reference.  Now, not everything will be exact, because some of it would be hard to do, but I should have the signs and all of that pretty well done.

Anyway... more when I have done it!:)

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Deadwood" scene started

Howdy folks!

Well, now that I finally finished my Space Wolf project, I can move on to the next one... namely, my scene from the HBO show "Deadwood" of Al Swearengen at the bar of the Gem Saloon.

I did a wooden base for it.  I then did the floor, wall, and front.  I may do a little frame out as well.  I put a large column in the back, and will do a few little simple decorative details.  Then I've got to make the bar and the area behind it... I want to wait until I get the bottles to make them, however, so I know how wide to make it... I'd like to get at least two bottles deep in the back!

Anyway... more coming tomorrow.  If you have any suggestions or comments, please do share!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Space Wolf Terminator Squad... DONE!


Well... my 40k Space Wolf Terminator squad is finally done!

I wanted to start this project a long time ago... when these minis first came out!  However, after being lazy and not ordering them for a long, long time (the expense was also a bit much I thought, and continue to think...) I finally broke.

I knew sort of what I wanted... a squad of five Wolf Guard, mounted on cool bases, with the commander having a pet white wolf.

So!  I got the set, picked up some bases, threw them together...

I wanted to do them all in grey tones, with the weapons being in a lighter beige/grey mix.  I really wanted them to be simple, simple figures.

I also had to do a few beards out of greenstuff... I think they look fine, but I learned from the first one to the third one!:)

The wolf for the captain is from a pack from Ral Partha... there are a bunch of left-overs now, and I have nothing to do with them!  I actually had to do a bit of sculpting around the wolf, as the base was impossible to cut off... so I had to make the stone precipice he is standing on out of green stuff.

I did two with close combat weapons and two with storm bolters... obviously I didn't go with a really powerful game setup (no Cyclone) but I liked the look... simple and mean.

Also, I didn't do any Space Wolf insignia... I like to think of them as more armored warriors of old.

I liked the back of the guy with the claws... I put the wolf tail talisman on him almost as if he attached it to represent an actual tale!:)

Anyway... I am happy with how they turned out.

Anyone have a guess what their approximate value would be?  I don't think I'll sell them, but I would be curious to know!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Space Wolf Captain and his pet are dipped

Okay, dipped.

So... I still need to do a white drybrush over the wolf and the white portions of the figure, and do eyes and teeth.

I'll also paint and grass the base.

Then I'll do the leash.

And then, after a spritz of matte varnish, the five man squad is done!  I'll get some group shots then.

Okay, bottles purchased

Hey all!

Thanks to some recommendations from a few folks, I did manage to find some great bottles and other accessories for my Gem Saloon scene.

I bought a pack of the wine bottles, a pack of the spirit bottles, and one thing of glasses/wine bottles... I'll probably trim some of the glasses down to make shot glasses.

I also bought a pack of their mixed lights... I figure that I can use one of the lanterns, the candle in the jug, and the stand-alone candles in the scene.

All of this stuff was courtesy of Black Cat Bases.

There isn't a lot more I have to track down... gotta make a few little bowls for the peaches that Al likes so much... then make a little frame for the Abe Lincoln portrait that hangs over the bar... I already have, I think, some little barrels to serve as casks... then I just need to get a LOT of wood for planks!  I do have to think about how the PAINT the whole thing, though... do I just stain it all?  I think I'll have to actually paint the whole thing.  I am nervous about being able to achieve the dusty look I want... this will be a good challenge.

The Space Wolf terminator is done, btw... just got dipped.  Now I just have to wait for him to dry.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Last of the Space Wolf captain for tonight...

Okay... should have the paint done tomorrow... can then dip, and then do the stand... then gotta wrap the leash on, and it's ready to go!

Space Wolf Terminator Captain gets more paint...

A bit more paint on him... might be done for the night, but one more night will be enough to finish the two figures.  Then dip, do the base, and varnish... then on to Al!

Work underway on the last Space Wolf terminator...

Well, the first couple of colors are on... the termie isn't glued onto the base, as I want to finish both him and the wolf and then dip them... then I'll do the base, and then glue everyone together.  I really want to finish this guy so I can get on to my Deadwood scene!:)

I do have to figure out what color I want in the inside lining of the cloak... any suggestions?  They are VERY grey figures right now... should I go with something TOTALLY different, like an orange, to really make the boss stand out?  Or something somewhere in the same palette... like a grey-blue?

25mm bottles and jugs?

Hey all!

Well, in anticipation of my Deadwood scene (which will be set at the Gem Saloon) I find myself in dire need to bottles.  25mm bottles and jugs, to be exact, to put behind the bar.  I could make them out of green stuff, I suppose, but I was wondering if anyone knew of any place that sold them?

I've GOT to finish my last Space Wolf termie so I can get cracking on this!  Can't wait to paint ol'Al...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last Space Wolf Termie ready for paint

Well, the captain of the squad is done... wolf is mounted on the base, where he will get painted... the figure will get paint too, and then be attached.  I just wonder about what order to do the leash in... but I'll figure it out when the time comes:)

Anyway, when I start painting I'll take a few more shots from different angles.