Friday, 11 May 2018

+ Inload: Wandering off the Map +

+ Inload: Wandering off the Map +

The City was in turmoil. In the past week, the so-called ‘loyalists’ to the newly incumbent ‘Sun King’ and the partisans of the deposed and renegade Houses had readily begun to tear the city apart. This was not the glorious war as seen on the battlefields of far-flung worlds, these were down and dirty skirmishes, sporadic and sudden whirlwinds of violence that culminated in the dying bleeding out in the shit and the mud. Buildings were looted and ravaged wholesale by fire so that many streets were now choked with smoke and the acrid tang of burning wood. An early autumn was already fraying the edges of summer, with the haruspices and meteorologicii predicting a bitter winter; if the fighting didn’t stop soon, the cold will claim the lives of those without shelter. Assuming the war or the eventual plague and famine didn’t first.

Baskerville leant with his back against the wall, glaring sideways into the street below through the dirt-obscured first-floor window. Thankfully, the soldiers from either coalition had yet to grace this particular borough, but they were so close now he could hear the clash and crack of their weapons from a few streets away. He cleared his throat gently, if just to remind his companion that he was still there and murmured, “We should have left this world weeks ago.”

“You know full well we couldn’t,” his companion countered in a tired feminine voice, “we were sent here to catalogue the bloodlines for the Mistress. If we had left before it was complete then all those months of research would have been in vain.”

“Given the circumstances, especially with the planetary governor supplanted, by an outsider no less, would make all our research null anyway.”

Sister Martinsthorpe sighed, conceding the point, “caught between a bulkhead and the void.”

Baskerville shifted slightly as the sound of a blackpowder rifle firing reverberated too close to their refuge, his burgundy leather stillsuit almost blending into the wooden beams behind him. An ornate laslock pistol was in his hands in an instant. Their refuge in question was an abandoned single-storey shop belonging to what they had guessed was a cartographer. The owner’s study on the first floor, where they were currently sheltered, was in complete disarray; finished and half-completed maps covered nigh on every available surface. Some of the smaller ones were rolled into pigeonholes, the larger ones crammed into upright stands. Some detailed only the districts of The City, others represented whole swathes of Cepheus.

“We can’t stay here any longer, Sister.” Baskerville rumbled.

“Here in this building, or here on Cepheus?” Martinsthorpe enquired sardonically, as she sifted through some of the more manageably-sized maps at the drawing desk. The sudden sounds of running and shouting from outside drew Baskerville’s attention away from her for a moment. The evening was drawing in, casting the study in a dull orange hue.

“Both. That red ‘X’ I put on the door will only deter looters for so long.” He finally stated. “Maybe we can last another night here, but then we will have to move on.”

“Move onto where!?” Martinsthorpe hissed sternly, slamming a fist down to punctuate her words. “With the only port offworld currently prohibiting egress, we’re stuck here. And with the war escalating, I doubt there will be anywhere safe left in The City before long. Plus our coffers have practically dwindled to nothing and since some of the Houses have been ousted, it’s becoming more dangerous to be an offworlder amongst the locals.”

“Caught between a bulkhead and the void.” Muttered Baskerville, echoing her earlier words.

“The only solution I can conceive of is to lie low until this sorry affair concludes,” she continued undeterred. “That’s not so much an issue for me as there are a few convents on the far boarders of The City, but they would not admit men under any circumstances.”

“I’ll be fine,” he said reassuringly. “I can disappear into the masses much easier without having to chaperone you.”

“You’ll have to try and stay out of the city, Stretton,” Martinsthorpe stated firmly. “Our Mistress was insistent upon being clandestine and it’d be far too easy to get caught up in these events. Find somewhere remote to sit this out, somewhere like….” She paused and shuffled through the maps again. “….ah, Cauldshollow, a small fishing village it seems, a few miles south of the Gerasene Caldera…”

Baskerville noticed Martinsthorpe had drifted off again into thoughtful silence and raised an eyebrow as she shot up off her chair and stalked over to the solitary bookcase that groaned under the weight of several heavy encyclopaedic tomes. She selected one from the middle and returned to her seat, flicking through a number of pages before settling one and reading aloud;

“The Gerasene Caldera measures thirty miles in diameter and has been dormant for over eight-thousand years, yes, this could work,” Martinsthorpe muttered to herself before slamming the book closed with a muted thump. “Stretton, I need you to be at Cauldshollow within three months and wait for the falling star; I’m bringing our Mistress to Cepheus.”

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Sculpting Tutorial - Ruffs

Wow, okay, so I've been asked to make a tutorial on sculpting ruffs (well, actually I offered to see if there would be any interest and people said yes) after posting some recent photos of my nascent Chaos Cult for Necromunda.

So yeah, what follows is only the way I do it, there are others who probably sculpt ruffs differently, but this is the technique I use.

Step 1 - Choose your weapons

The tools I use to sculpt ruffs are; A single-edged sculpting blade (GW make their own, but this one is from a set bought at Hobbycraft about ten years ago and the head is about a third smaller than GW's). A scalpel with an unnotched blade (mine is a Swann-Morton, but any scalpel with a straight-edge should be fine). Finally, a cone-headed silicone sculpting tool in a 0.5cm nib (I picked these up in a set of five for a few quid on eBay and they are magic as they have more give on them than their metal counterparts allowing for a 'softer/smoother' sculpt), but if you don't have one, it's not a vital necessity.

Step 2 - The putty

Lately, I've been using an amalgam of greenstuff and Milliput (sculpts like greenstuff, but cures rock hard like Milliput). Don't worry if you don't have Milliput to hand, you can just use greenstuff with the same effect. If you fancy trying your hand at Milliput for the first time when trying this, a note of caution; Milliput is an IRRITANT, when handling it in its raw form (before it has cured fully), ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Do NOT touch any 'soft' body part (eyes, lips, tongue, armpits, genitals, butt crevice) before you have washed your hands. Do NOT eat the Milliput in it's raw form. Keep away from children.

Firstly, make four equal sized balls of the epoxy (yellow and blue for greenstuff, yellow and grey for Milliput). Mix them together separately and roll them into two roughly equal tubes. Leave them to settle for a minute or two before twining them and mixing them together (you may want a little water to lubricate this part) until you get a uniform pale green. Leave it to settle for a further twenty minutes.



Prepare your helpless victim (freshly decapitated before preparing the putty). I drilled a hole though roughly the centre of where I plan to pin the head to. I always superglue bits together, even if they're plastic as I find it less messy than poly cement (that's just a personal preference). However, it is worth marking the centerpoint and you'll see why in a moment.

Step 3 - The rough

Roll your putty out into a short, fat sausage and then wrap it around in a small doughnut, using the drill point as a central marker. Using your sculpting tool, square off the doughnut, so that it looks more like a Polo Mint, making sure the inner circle is also squared off and roughly equal around. Let it settle for five minutes or so, so that it can retain it's shape a little better. For the next part, I used my cone-headed silicone tool, but feel free to improvise. Gently push the putty towards the center, leaving a little of the edge remaining, until you have create a small concave bowl, with the pin hole as the center. Again, leave it to settle for about five minutes.


Step 4 - The ruff (part 1)

From this point onwards, the only tool I used was the scalpel, but feel free to improvise as needs must. Using the scalpel, gently mark out the four compass point to the center. You don't need to push hard, you don't need to reach the bottom like you're cutting cheese, you just need to gently score the surface, pushing very lightly towards the center-mark. Then follow onto scoring the center of each quarter. Then scoring the center of each segment again. And again, scoring the center of each segment for the final time, until you're left with what looks like an upside-down mushroom. Some of you may not feel comfortable with the final round of scoring, don't worry, it doesn't need to be perfect.



Step 5 - The ruff (part 2)

Next, you will want to push at the edges of your mushroom with your scalpel, using the scoring on top as a guide. These will form the top-down ripples for your ruff. You will want them to join up with the scoring on top, but not all the way to the bottom (see photo). Repeat this all the way around the ruff, tidying up where you see necessary. This final part is the most tricky of the lot, as you need to score the bottom-up ripples of the ruff. Repeat the procedure as before but inversely (so start marking at the bottom to near the top - see photo).

Finally, tidy up as you see necessary and once you're satisfied with the end result, leave to cure fully overnight. Hope this helps!

Спасибо за прочтение

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Hobby Goals for 2018

INQ28 - Finish writing up the setting and building/painting the miniatures for the INQ28 game.

AOS28 - Finish building and painting my Huntsman crew for a game in the future. Convert and paint up a warband for Shadespire.

Frostgrave - Finish at least three more of my Elven Exiles.

Necromunda - Paint up my Giger-Spyrers. Paint up both my Beastman Bounty Hunter and my Pit Slave. Convert up the new iteration of my Goliath Gang (Pandemonium Riot). Finish sculpting my special character.

That's it! Nothing too taxing for this year to fit in with my diet and lifestyle changes.....