Realm Gate

The original before up-cycling.

So part of my recycle and re-use efforts included this “gate”. Originally made before Age of Sigmar existed it was inspired, and poorly so from the Stargate series, and served as nothing more than an objective marker on the tabletop.

AoS of course incorporated the idea of gates between the realms as a central tenant of the new Lore and thus I decided to not just recycle this model, but rather up-cycle it and add some “bits and bobs” to enhance it’s over all look.

Inspiration: Here. (it took me ages to re-find this image to give credit where credit is due. NTS: get better at bookmarking.)

Although I have supported a number of 3D model Kickstarters (Printable Scenery) that included Realm Gates or Portals, I decided to use the inspiration above and create the extra bits I needed using SketchUp and then printing my own embellishments. Thus all the metal pieces, cogs (the small one is Lego), and Dwarf Runes were printed then painted: using Black, a dry-brush of Plate-Mail, a liberal dabbing of Typhus Rust, followed by another dry-brush of Ryza Rust, and then some edge highlights of Plate-Mail (all paint colours are Citadel or Army Painter). The stone work is Hirst Arts, either regular Plaster of Paris or Woodlands Scenics Hydrocal, and the timber bits are simply cut and shaped balsa wood.

I probably went a little heavy on the rust, but I wanted it to look like it was rarely used, or even abandoned. The ramp and bridge section are a separate model so I could swap this out for something less damage if I had the inclination, but again I like the ruined and damaged look that Age of Sigmar sort of inspires. This is probably one of what will only be a 2-3 fantasy specific elements, but I did enjoy the challenge of melding the Hirst Arts with 3D printing, and did give me lots of other ideas for future projects.

Hirst Arts – Recycling

So a long time ago, if you measure time in wargaming terms, I dabbled with Hirst Arts Moulds, and to be honest, my efforts were less than what I would have wanted them to be, though to be fair, 3D printing has changed the way I look at the bricks and their possibilities. The buildings I created sat for a long time under the wargaming table (when I had one) and then later in various archive boxes after I moved to be closer to my fiance.

Recent thinking and a desire to not waste was created has meant I spent much of the last few weeks recycling old buildings, breaking them down, cleaning the bricks up, and repurposing them for new ideas and a better understanding of how such could be utilised.

Recylcing: Most of the Hirst Arts bricks I have, are either HydroCal or simple Plaster of Paris. The later has surprised me in its resilience to being immersed for days in water to break down the PVA bonds I used to assemble the buildings originally.

The process of recycling means soaking the building in a bath of water, then waiting *, pulling the bricks apart back to their original units, then rinsing them a few times and letting them soak again and repeat two or three times. The stubborn PVA that won’t break down or refuses to rinse off, is wiped/scrubbed off using a towel (a cheap one purchased for the purpose that can be repurposed for thatch after I am done…hindsight I should have used a cheap scrubbing brush.). The bricks are then left to dry for 24hrs or more (I live in the tropics so AC is a helpful must) before being stored for re-use.

I did consider that it would be quicker to just recast the moulds for the bricks I needed, but there was something about just throwing the old buildings out** that just didn’t sit right, and while I will have to cast certain moulds to give me the exact pieces I might need I have more basic bricks than I can use for quite some time.

The plan is a series of ruined walls, reminiscent of maybe an abbey or monastery for Saga, and my 28mm Dark Ages, with some extra add ons that would not look out of place for my AoS Dwarves & Undead. Oh. and a huge “shout out” to Bruce Hirst for his amazing moulds, they are simply amazing, and really very simple to work with, though they are only scaled for 25/28mm so that is a consideration. (I wish he would do the sandbags mould #340 in 1/72)

New creations coming soon.

* See I keep saying wargaming is a hobby of waiting.

** Storage has or rather will become an issue in the not too distant future.

New Bedfellows

I am not someone who usually pigeonholes war gamers into the Historical and/or Warhammer buckets*, since I am not old enough to really be a grognard of the old school, nor am I young enough that my pathway into the hobby was solely through Nottingham. Rather I came to hobby from RPG’s, chiefly D&D, after two of my High School History/English teachers led a few friends through the classics of Fantasy Literature, to D&D and then into 1/72 plastic Napoleonics, the loop back to fantasy armies happened a bit later with Fantasy Warriors box set, rather than the Warhammer route, though I did play Warhammer Role-play, and was familiar with their products from the time I purchased White Dwarf and it was not a simple “in house advertisement” but rather a general RPG magazine devoted to the entire hobby in general.

I mention this as way of a little background, since I came to a realisation the other day, that was not bought on by COVID grouping restrictions or such, but rather through the simple act of rearranging my figure cabinets to accommodate more figures, or rather accommodate them in a more logical and space efficient manner, I am in danger of becoming a collector rather than a gamer, and I am not sure how I feel about this?

And while there is nothing wrong with being a collector, and some of the blogs I follow fall pretty comfortably into the “painter and collector” basket, I have always thought of myself as a war gamer…so with that in mind I turned towards finding “real life” opponents…and yes, current COVID restrictions on meeting make this even more challenging, not to mention that scale, period, and to be honest likability** of one’s opponents all contribute to the experience that makes up the hobby.

So this will mean dipping my toe a little deeper back into the Fantasy/Sci Fi bucket of Wargaming, as it seems to be one of the preferred gaming periods in Singapore, apart from Flames of War, but I really have a too large collection in 20mm for WW2 for me to contemplate getting into 15mm as well, and I have never really embraced the rules philosophy of FoW, though I have tried a few times.

Also given that my regular D&D group also has an AoS “fanatic” in its core group, I have an easy opponent in the offering, and one who understands that showing up with “beer and snacks” is almost more important as showing up with an army, painted or not.

* I tend to believe if you move figures around a simulated battlefield, roll dice and consult modifier charts to determine success and failure, then it is a war game. Any negative talk of one side of the hobby or the other only brings the collective whole down rather than lifting it up. My 1.5 cents.

** A number of years ago I found an opponent who seemed to “fit the bill”, they had an interest in Wargaming, even going so far to have a professional job relating to it. But after 3-4 games I found that the experience with them was not the fun experience I was looking for, and I simply stopped inviting them over to game. Ok, in truth it was not fun because they broke the first rule of social gaming: “Bring Snacks”. Meaning they were happy to come and game on my table with my figures, while being equally as happy to eat my snacks, and drink my beer, never once supplying a polite contribution.

So remember to bring snacks…or even amber beverages.