War World Basing Materials – A Review

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The hobby, in the sense of gluing stuff to other stuff or applying paint to things, and I are aren’t really on speaking terms at the moment. However, I have managed to find time to take a look at a few bits from War World Gaming’s basing materials range.

For those of you who haven’t come across War World, they’re a company based in Pontardawe, Wales, who produce wargaming terrain and hobby materials. You can check out their site here. They do some very groovy stuff including a set of sci-fi force fields which I think can find a use in just about everything game of anything.

But on to the basic materials. I took a look at the Snow Scatter, Summer Rock Rubble Static Grass and Sandy Patchy Grass Tufts.

SnowScatter

I’ve had a fair bit of experience dealing with snow bases seeing as my Ultramarines have them. I’ve tried to other brands including Games Workshop’s. I’ve even tried using a substance designed for yacht hulls that turns fluffy when it gets wet.

The biggest issue with other brands is the powder is too fine so when it comes into contact with PVA it gets over saturated and dries as a dusting of snow rather than a blizzard. There are ways round this, of course, one being to mix the snow and the PVA together to make ‘clumps’ of snow. This works okay but it doesn’t make for very natural looking bases.

War World’s Snow Scatter is more like static grass only much finer. Which means it responds to the glue better and goes on thicker. You don’t feel like you’re shortening your life expectancy every time you use it either. This is a joyous thing because, frankly, up to now working with snow is a massive pain in the arse.

The downside is that the snow clings to your skin like a bastard which means it can get a bit wasteful but because of how fine it is, it can irritate the skin a little as well. That aside, it’s a great product and at £3.50 for a 180ml tub it’s great value as well.

StatisGrass

The Summer Rock Rubble Static Grass is just brilliant. I could beat around the bush but I’d sooner skip to the bit where I tell everyone to go buy it. Whilst I’m a fan of your bog standard static grass it was always the sand that did the real heavy lifting when it came to basing a model. The grass was also, always, far too clean.

The SRRSG (because the actual name is far too long) has a plethora of bits and pieces in there to make it more realistic. I’m not sure if I’d replace sand all together with it but I’d certainly feel more confident about using more than a few spots on a base.

All the different pieces ably simulate the detritus of any real world natural environment. Stones of different shapes, colours and sizes. Leaves, twigs and even a few finer bits of grown grass to give the impression of soil. This adds up to far more natural looking base.

The downside, however, of all the bits and bobs is you’ll need a fair amount of glue to get it all to take which makes making sure your sand is fully set before you apply it. This obviously adds a fair amount of time onto a project that’s all but finished which can be a little frustrating.

However those nice chaps at War World offer a range glues to help you build up your bases correctly. Which, when you think about it, is turning tubs of static grass and debris into its own hobby system. This is not only genius but a long overdue addition to the hobby.

SandyTufts

I’ve always had my reservations about pre-made tufts. Whilst I can appreciate the benefit of pre-made basing materials it always felt like a bit of a cheat. Plus there’s the question of matching the sand of the tufts with the sand on the base.

Plus I have a deep seated fear that my tufts may look like someone else’s…is a sentence I never thought I’d write. But it still stands.

All that said, the Sandy Patchy Grass Tufts are pretty cool. The production value is very high and they peel off their backing sheet with minimal effort. Just in case – you will need glue to stick them to the base, the sticky backing will do bugger all.

Where it gets groovy is tufts can be used to jazz up urban, debris heavy or stone bases. Either stuck on top or tucked into cracks and crevasses. The fact that the static grass is mounted on a backing makes it far more precise to work with. It’s far better than just blobbing some PVA into a cavity between stones, pouring static grass in and hoping for the best.

Then there’s the obvious applications for spicing up terrain pieces and diorama. Just bear in mind that if you’re using the tufts with sand or other basing materials, you’ll need to do some blending so they don’t stand out too much.

At £3.99 for 100 tufts they’re pretty good value and are a very cost effective way of tying an army together.

The War World Gaming basing materials are very impressive with real thought given to how the materials will look on the base as well as how they’ll behave during the hobby process. To top it all off, they’re great value.

Check out the War World Gaming website for more details.

 

Concrete City Base Tutorial

So time for another tutorial! I was looking around and saw loads of different base tutorials but I could never find a good fairly simple one for concrete/city bases! So I thought id have a bash myself and these are the results. As with all of my tutorials I will try to keep the materials readily available and make the process fairly easy!

The materials you will need:

1. Oven Bake Clay (I use Super Sculpey Original personally)

2. Sand

3. Your bases

4. 1 Small Plasticard sheet(optional)

5. Black Primer Spray

6. Dark Grey and Light Grey paints

7. Yellow and White Paint(optional)

8. Toothbrush (this is optional but make sure its a spare one!)

9. An Oven

10. A little bit of Flour and a Rolling Pin

11. PVA Glue

12. Scissors

13. Super Glue

A little information on the oven bake clay first. I use Super Sculpey personally and the best way to describe this product if you’ve never heard of it is that its like plasticine in consistency. You can work the clay as much as you like and when you are happy you bake it in the oven to make it go hard.

Getting Started

You need to work the clay in your hands until it comes a little more workable, make sure you’ve got a good palm sized ball, when you’ve worked the clay and its a nice ball you want to take the flour and dust your worktop. When you have dusted the worktop take your rolling-pin and roll out the clay until it’s about 1mm in thickness, the flour is so that when your turn the clay or try to pick it up it wont stick to the side and tear.

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Now when you have done this you want to put it in the oven. The time and temperature you bake the clay at will vary on the brand you use. For Super Sculpey its 130C and 15 minutes for every 6mm so I baked my sheets for 6-7 minutes, while the sheets baked a took the time to make multiple sheets

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The sheets will be hot when they come out of the oven so take great care when handling them, they will also be slightly malleable still as well so I chose to lightly apply a rolling pin again to smooth out any curls.

Next step is to take the sand bases and PVA and stick the sand to the bases do a full coverage on the top of the bases, most of this will be covered later but its best to cover the whole base like so.

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Now you’ll need to wait for these to dry or if you are impatient like me bake the bases on a very very low temperature in the oven, I use the very first heat setting if you do this too high you will melt the bases so be careful!

Hitting the Road

Now when everything is dry and cool you want to take the sheets of hardened clay and break off a base sized piece and use your scissors to trim the piece to size but putting in jagged lines and nipping at the sides to give a broken look. To vary the bases up gently take your scissors and cut the piece in half in an uneven pattern, gently do this and remember where you cut as you’ll want to glue these pieces next to each other in the base like so…

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Now you’ll be able to feel the texture of the clay and you will notice its not entirely smooth which will give us a nice textured finish, when the glue has dried then spray all the bases with your black primer making sure you get a full coverage.

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Its time to start applying paint now so take your darker grey and cover all the edges of the clay including all the sand areas, you can apply this however you want I used an airbrush personally for the short amount of time it takes.

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Next we want to take our lighter grey and apply it to the centre of the clay sections again I did this with an airbrush but you could do the same with a sponge or by drybrushing the colour on, this will give us a two toned look and make the bases start to pop a little and not seem so flat.

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As you can see the bases now look a little more alive and natural if you want you can stop here but lets take things a little further and make them a bit more vibrant so we want to take our small plasticard sheet and cut out some road marking shapes I cut out a long section and some smaller ones to act as road markings as you can see this will make a stencil to apply over our bases with the coloured paint

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Now take the stencil and apply you paint through the stencil gently as if you use too much you will get run offs and smudges on to your bases, once you’ve done this wait for the paint to dry and use the toothbrush to scrub the colours to give the lines a more distressed and worn look

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That’s all there is too it! you can leave the edges of the bases grey to tie in with the top or paint them black for a little more definition, i paint mine as I have all my base edges black, and here is a picture of what they look like with models on.

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I hope you liked the guide and thanks again for reading!

Mark / LemonPainting

 

Ichiban Painting Kickstarter – The Closing Moments

The Games & Gear / Ichiban Painting Kickstarter has less than 45 minutes to go but we thought we’d give it one last hurrah to see if they can break the £90,000 mark.

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It’s hugely satisfying to see someone from our community benefit from the passion and devotion of that community in such a positive way. Having spoken to Hugo on and off during the campaign he’s been blown away by the support and faith people have shown in him and his product. He never imagined the project would approach 3000% of the intended target.

So if you have a few spare moments – for there are only moments left – and you fancy a shiny new set of brushes then go here.

If you need some convincing, check out my review of the brushes here.

The Shell Case does Salute – Reece

Salute 2014

As the 12th April comes ever closer and the prospect of another day filled with nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of the UK’s best all-round gaming show (and with the recent trend with Games Day, arguably just the outright best) fills our every waking thought (especially Mat’s – it’s his first time and he’s really quite excited), the members of The Shell Case team attending Salute this year (sorry Ashley, next time maybe?) have taken time to reflect on their hopes and expectations for Salute 2014.

Here are Reece’s Salute hopes and dreams:

Reece

What do I want to do at Salute? Mostly I suppose I don’t want to freak out about the size and number of people and spend the day dithering. Aside from that though, I’ll be looking out for skirmish games that catch my eye and getting the Demo games in. As much as I love large-scale battle games, with my piles of unpainted models, I feel a little less guilty getting into games that require a half-dozen models a side at most.

Plus, I’ve found that there is a bit more variety in small-scale games, with makers less likely to have sanded all the edges off, leaving slightly crazy things like models fainting from dehydration or being able to ricochet bullets off of walls, that sort of thing.

I’ll also be looking about for books to do with Warmachine, now that I’m on a PP kick. I may even pick up some of the tie in novels to see how they read. Oh and Infinity, Dead Man’s Hand, The Horus Heresy and Heresy Miniatures and…

And goes without saying that I’m looking forward to hanging out with the rest of the team and chatting with the #warmongers at the Meet Up.

The Shell Case does Salute – Mat

Salute 2014

As the 12th April comes ever closer and the prospect of another day filled with nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of the UK’s best all-round gaming show (and with the recent trend with Games Day, arguably just the outright best) fills our every waking thought (especially Mat’s – it’s his first time and he’s really quite excited), the members of The Shell Case team attending Salute this year (sorry Ashley, next time maybe?) have taken time to reflect on their hopes and expectations for Salute 2014.

Here’s what Mat had to say:

Mat

MAT BUY TOYS! Sorry that was slightly involuntary and besides Rob did warn you [Yes I did, but perhaps not well enough if people are actually reading this. –Rob].

So yes this is my first Salute. It’s not my first event however: I have attended Games Day in bygone years but then I had bugger all disposable income. And it was a pure Games Workshop event and I’m reliably informed that Salute is nothing like. Other than it involves toy soldiers. And as some of you may realise, I’m really hot for other companies’ miniatures and games anyway right now so, bring it:

  1. I will be partly attending this year to perform my duties as an ambassador for The Shell Case and chatting with some awesome peeps, who do know I’m coming. As well as taking photos for The Shell Case. MAT BUY TOYS! Ahem. Sorry.
  2. I will definitely be heading over to see Andy from Heresy Miniatures we’ve been getting a bit of a Necromunda itch here, and he does some brilliant miniatures for a Delaque gang. MAT BUY TOYS! I’m so sorry, I don’t know why that keeps happening.
  3. After reading Ashley’s article about Saga I’m thinking of checking that out, along with Maulifaux which I have developed a warm squishy place for. And Godslayer. And Dreadball. Honestly my list is endless. I don’t know if I’ll part with my cash on these… Yeah, whatever.
  4. I do have a few other bits on my list that I definitely want to purchase…MAT BU- Sorry! Sorry! X-Wing toys for my growing Imperial fleet are a must. Some bits for my Tau force providing I can find a bargain, and I’ll be hitting up Forge World for a tasty Battlesuit. I also want to find some models for my Beastmen Mordheim Warband. I don’t want to have to use the standard models.
  5. #warmongers meet is going to be pretty cool and I’m looking forward to putting some faces to names.
  6. I’m just really looking forward to hanging out with The Shell Case crew and spending a day looking at all the shiny. MAT BUY TOYS! ARRRGH!

[The Shell Case would like to apologise for Mat. Really we would. His mother also got in touch and extends her sincerest apologies also.]

April 5th 2014 – International Tabletop Day

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One of the most spectacularly wonderful things about being a geek who games is being part of a wide, vibrant and varied community that organises some brilliant events.

We’ve got Adepticon on right now and Salute in a week or so, and this Saturday, 5th April it is International Tabletop Day.

“What is International Tabletop Day Rob?” I hear you all cry. Well, gather round and I will tell you a tale of valour and intrigue, oh wait, wrong blog post. Sorry about that, where was I? Oh yes, International Tabletop Day. Well in a nutshell it’s a world-wide tabletop gaming extravaganza, where anyone who wants to can organise and register an event through the Tabletop Day website. The site then serves as a really clever discovery tool for anyone wanting to find an event local to them. There’s a great map-driven interface so you can see whereabouts all the events are near and far and find something that will entertain you for the day.

I, for example, happen to be in Munich for the day and a quick search reveals that there will be two events local to me, one organised by the “Toytown fan group” and the other at a place called “Funtainment”. I will be trying my level best to get to one of them just to see what’s going on and join in the gaming fervour. At the very least I’ll be taking a couple of games in my luggage to play with my family; my daughter is hooked on Labyrinth at the moment and I think I’ll be slipping my copy of Boss Monster in there as well.

Phil and Mat will be X-Winging it up all day and they’ve registered their event through the site, so go find them and shout ‘pew-pew’ noises in their general direction, they’ll bloody love it. Mat also said he’s going to try to spread the good word about the hobby a little closer to home by teaching his wife how to play Dreadball. Anything that encourages understanding and appreciation of the hobby (and potentially gives  you more freedom to spend!) is all part of the fun of the day.

Ashley is of course already caught up in the mega-maelstrom that is Adepticon (she laughs at our one-day gaming feebleness!), and will be playing Necromunda, or Saga, or Lord of the Rings. Or all three, though presumably not simultaneously. I assume that Adepticon (it is registered on the site) will be the largest playing group on the day, would be interesting to get the official word from the organisers on that front.

Reece informs me that he’ll be starting out his celebration of all things tabletop by doing unspeakable things to his washing machine. Rock and roll. Sounds like the afternoon will definitely improve the awesomeness quotient of his day with a spot of painting Lizardmen with his wife and then rounding the day out with a bunch of friends playing Zombies and Space Hulk – now that’s more like it!

So far there are over 2,300 events registered world-wide, which is seriously impressive, including well over 250 in the UK. So, if you’re hitting up your FLGS on Saturday, get them registered on the site so that the world knows you exist!

Follow events as they unfold by looking up @TableTopDay and @GeekandSundry on Twitter and lots of folks seem to be using the #TableTopDay hashtag already.

I love stuff like this, it reminds me just how huge our community is, and how wide the range of options is for participation in tabletop gaming. It also shows the world and celebrates what a social and sociable group we are and that we have bags of enthusiasm for welcoming new people into the gaming fold and dragging those who are already playing one lot of games into intriguing and exciting new gaming formats.

Want to find out more? There’s a video for that:

The Shell Case does Salute – Phil

Salute 2014

As the 12th April comes ever closer and the prospect of another day filled with nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of the UK’s best all-round gaming show (and with the recent trend with Games Day, arguably just the outright best) fills our every waking thought (especially Mat’s – it’s his first time and he’s really quite excited), the members of The Shell Case team attending Salute this year (sorry Ashley, next time maybe?) have taken time to reflect on their hopes and expectations for Salute 2014.

Here’s Phil’s thoughts:

Phil

This’ll be my third consecutive Salute and my third representing this site. It’ll be the first, however, that I’ll be going there with (most of) my newly assembled team of writers. My focus this year will be much more around building some links with all the various companies attending so we can bring you better content across a broader range of games.

I’m also looking forward to catching up with the likes of Mike McVey, the guys from Amera & 4Ground, Wendy from West Wind and Jed from Antenociti’s Workshop to name but a few.

The hobby fund is a little light this year thanks to a few unforeseen expenses so I’ll be keeping things focussed, although with Black Library not in attendance I’ll save £30 or so. There will be the mandatory, if modest, purchase from Forge World, a couple of A-Wings, if I can find them, and then the rest can go on childish impulse buys. As I’ll be on a budget I’m thinking of putting the Khorne Daemon Prince off in favour of the Legion Praetors as I’ve been wanting to update my Ultramarine captains for ages.

Obviously I’m looking forward to the #warmongers Meet Up. It’s always great to see familiar faces and put new ones to familiar Twitter names.

Myself, Mat, Lee, Neil, Reece & Rob will all be there with TSC shirts so please do come over and say hi. And the first 10 who do will get an exclusive pin badge. Just because we’re nice like that.