28 February 2016

First Spaceship Sculpture

I've been slowly (very slowly) working on several non-gaming sculptures.  Since this is a gaming blog, I've been contemplating starting a new blog to display my portfolio.  Perhaps instead I'll just add a page to this blog.  Until I decide, I'll share a few project posts here.

The sculpting is complete on a 33cm spaceship I've been working on.  The look of the ship is intended to emulate the ships of the 70's book covers (Chris Foss, Colin Hay, Angus McKie, Peter Elson, Fred Gambino, etc.) and I feel the shape succeeds.  I'm now working on painting it; so far I'm happy although the detail is perhaps too subtle.  From across the room it simply looks gray but in direct sunlight the details pop out.  LOTS more painting to go...

Sculpting done; primed for paint 

That 70's airbrush look

In normal light; putty oven in the background

More close-ups

15 February 2016

Terrain from Food Trays

Food packaging from the grocery store comes in all sorts of interesting shapes.  And despite my age, whenever we go shopping all I can think is "wow, that tomato container would make a perfect University Annex building for my 1/300 tank game".

I've had this idea kicking around in the back of my head on how to use the transparent attribute of the packaging to really make the shapes look like buildings.  I tried it out today and it seems to have worked.  Pictures of my experiment are below; you be the judge.

Take a piece of transparent food packaging that has an interesting shape and paint the inside of it.  The inside, not the outside.  To replicate a blue sky reflecting off the windows use blue like I did here.  I think a dull green or gold would work as well.  I used spray paint for this experiment but later I airbrushed cheap acrylic craft paint thinned with Future floor polish on a second food package (not shown) and it worked well.  I'm sticking with the airbrush in the future so I can avoid the nasty solvents in the spray paints as well as mix any color I want.  The packaging in both my experiments was PETE ("Number 1") type plastic by the way.

OK, so when the inner paint dries, place masking tape on the outside where you want the windows.  On a real piece I would have made many more windows that were smaller, to capture the scale but this was just a proof-of-concept.

Once the masking tape is on, spray the outside with your color of choice.  I just went with cheap gray primer here.  When the outer color dries, peel the masking tape off and viola: you have windows.  The outer "wall" color is a dull matte but the window area retains its plastic shine, giving it a realistic glass effect.

I've been playtesting my futuristic micro-armor game using a virtual gameboard; the first few sessions seem to be promising.  Maybe now I can finish the terrain I started so long ago and make some more tanks.  

Proof-of-concept; not a finished piece