Posts Tagged ‘Warbases’

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The nicer part of town

November 26, 2016

Work on the pirate-y town of Port George continues! You’re likely aware that I have a fair few run-down buildings for my town already, so it’s time for something different. My grand vision is to have two distinctly different sides to Port George. One is the grimy, pirate side that I’ve been building so far, with mainly wooden buildings, plenty of sand and all in all a hive of scum and villainy. The second is a “proper” side – a fairly prosperous British colonial town, with brick buildings, less sand and marginally less villainy, or at least of a different kind.

The idea is that both of these halves should work as standalone towns as well as combining into a larger whole – maybe separated by a river or something similar. With limited time for building terrain, the more uses I can find for things, the better.

Finding suitable buildings was surprisingly challenging, everything looking either too modern, too old or just stylistically off. As with all the historical accuracy in the project, I wanted to strike a balance between accuracy and pleasing aesthetics, with the latter taking precedence if the first wasn’t jarringly off. Again, “what would this look like in a pirate movie?” was a key question.

Eventually I settled on the following:

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Sarissa Precision Chateau. I’ve been eyeing this piece for ages. It’s super impressive, with lovely detailing. A bit too lovely, as I managed to snap some fiddly bits while putting it together. Nothing catastrophic, luckily! This will serve as the mansion of Port George’s governor and will be the centrepiece of the fancier part of town. I’ve added Warbases roof tiling to the roof, obviously not shown in the catalogue image. The levels are separate, so the inside is playable too.

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TTCombat Venetian house. A nice, simple and suitably generic piece. I bought a pitched roof to go along with it. Both roof styles are removable, so if I want to use the building with a roof terrace, that’s possible as well. The line of Venetian buildings – intended for the game Carnivale, I assume – is really nice, and provides me with excellent choices for expanding the town.

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TTCombat Old Town townhouses. Some more TTCombat pieces, these are intended for Malifaux. Both are large, impressive pieces. The TTCombat stuff is much chunkier than the Sarissa building, meaning it’s both clunkier and sturdier – you win some, you lose some. All the TTCombat buildings have separate floors and the interiors can be used for gaming. There are even stairs connecting the two floors in the townhouses, as well as some super chunky furniture. My only gripe with the TTCombat stuff is the massive size of the doors. Even on a very large 28/32mm miniature the doorknobs are around shoulder height. It’s a minor thing and could be easily fixed, but I don’t think I’ll bother. Warbases roofing tiles will be added to the townhouses to unify them with the rest of the buildings.

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Warbases modular #5. The Warbases modular buildings are super simple (and super cheap). I’m thinking of modding this with a portico and some nicer windows and doors. I think it has a tavern look to it, so it could function as a sort of go-between uniting the two halves of the town.

My attitudes towards laser-cut mdf buildings have changed in the past year or two. I used to think very little of them, but after climbing on board the mdf train, I’m definitely seeing the appeal. There’s a huge variety, ample chance for customising and the prices are very decent. Putting them together can be quite satisfying, too!

So, what do you think? Does this look suitably colonial? What do you think of mdf? Does it show that I’ve been alone, writing my dissertation at our summer place in the archipelago, and am starting to crave human interaction?

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Pirate housing

April 11, 2016

I’ve managed to finish another building for my pirate town. This is another one from Warbases – a combination of their single storey modular building and a piece from the lean-to set. I’ve covered them in coffee stirrers, and hidden rough spots with more coffee stirrers. The window sills and lintels are made from matchsticks, and the roofing tiles are laser-cut strips also sold by Warbases. The flowery grass tufts are from The Army Painter and the barrels are from Ainsty.

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I wanted to paint a different colour from my usual fare, so went for a yellow finish. Yellow tends to be a right pain to paint, so I was happy that I could make it intentionally grubby. The end result is fairly pleasing and adds another touch of colour to the table. The building is intended to be fairly generic, representing a typical house in the pirate town.

This piece is my last hobby production for a while, because next Tuesday I’m off for a five week trip to the UK and Ireland with my girlfriend! Plenty of hobby related things in store on the trip, from Salute in London (let me know if you’re there, come and say hi!) to visiting Warhammer World in Nottingham to some pirates vs. ninjas gaming hosted by Paul who runs the wonderful sho3box blog. Add to that all the museums, geeky stores and battlefields, and I’m in for a treat! I will be updating the blog as I go – and as I have time – but understandably no new miniatures or scenics will be finished during April and most of May.

Comments and everything else welcome, dear readers!

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Shabby chic

February 22, 2016

Another finished Warbases building, one of their range of modular, simple pieces. Now, when I say simple, I really do mean simple. The basic modular building is a featureless box with a slanted roof. Of course, this makes it perfect to modify, which is why I bought quite a few. I originally intended to make a Spanish Caribbean style town which is why I bought the original few. My vision changed, but I still wanted to use the buildings of course.

After the stable, I wanted to build something a bit more fancy, yet in the same run-down style. That’s where the in-game story for the building started. I’ve found that much the same as with miniatures, providing a mental backstory to a building helps me make it more interesting and detailed. As the whole idea of my town is that it’s a British trading outpost that has slowly slid under pirate control, I figured that there would be some fancier buildings for the officials and other upper crust types. This building was maybe once owned by the local magistrate or a rich trader. After being taken over, it has slipped into decay a bit, but is still impressive.

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I wanted the building to look both shabby and impressive at the same time, so while I made it plastered (to set it apart from most of the other buildings that will have wooden exteriors) I made sure to make the plaster cracked and the nice blue paint faded and dirty. I added a balcony from Warbases and put in some extra decoration using coffee stirrers, and made supporting and decorative columns from barbecue skewers. The balcony and the window frames and shutters were all painted white, but heavily weathered in keeping with the run-down look. I also added a small patio from squares of card, but made sure that stones were missing and some misaligned. The roofing was done using the laser-cut sheets available from Warbases.

While I wanted the building to look worn, it needed to show that whoever was inhabiting the place still appreciated it. The next few steps also came from necessity.

First up were the windows. While I’ve now bought windows with smaller panes, the original ones were great, big, abyssal black holes in the walls and didn’t look right. I solved this by painting in some curtains. It makes the house look more lived-in, plus provided an extra touch of colour.

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Next were the balcony detailings. I had done the coffee stirrer bits quite quickly, resulting in pretty rough gaps at the balcony corners. This was easily remedied by putting in some nice flowers flowing down over the gaps. They also made the balcony look much more lavish. In order not to make it look too fine, I used small plastic barrels by Renedra (procured through Bad Squiddo Games) as flower pots.

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As a final touch I added some details around the place. The bales of cotton and other goods (by Ainsty and Renedra) in front of the building are intended to be a non-subtle show of wealth, while various patches of grass and the vines creeping up the wall just add a bit of colour.

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I’ve already got a suitable tenant for the building, a female pirate by Reaper Miniatures that I also picked up from Bad Squiddo. I’ve already dubbed her “pirate queen” in my head, so this should be a nice, shabby palace for her!

Photo © Reaper Miniatures

Photo © Reaper Miniatures

This piece took plenty of work, so I’m happy to say I’m satisfied with the result. Comments welcome as always!

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Finished stable

February 6, 2016

I’ve finished painting the Warbases stable shown in a previous post. I added a small crate and a barrel from Reaper’s Bones 2 set, kindly donated by my friend Joonas, plus some sacks from Ainsty. In the painting I went for a coloured, but severely weather-beaten look. The idea was that this used to be a nice little green stable with blue door frames back when this was still a respectable little town somewhere in the Caribbean. Now, with the addition of pirates and the lack of both horses and upkeep, it’s showing its age and is mostly used as a storage space.

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For a long time during the painting I wasn’t really happy with it, but to my great surprise it really came together in the end, especially with the basing. In its finished state, I quite like it! It has also in my mind confirmed that the quite simple and plain Warbases stuff can be made into very nice terrain pieces without too much work.

Comments appreciated! Also, because it would be crazy not to squeeze in a stable-related pun, here’s a great song from the 90s:

 

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Stable building

January 25, 2016

Any pirate town needs buildings, as it would hardly be a town otherwise. I picked up a bunch of building blanks from Warbases to give my pirates places to live in. The Warbases building blanks are just that, blanks. They’re dead cheap, but there’s very little detailing or texturing. I ordered them as a sort of test: if I could make them look nice without too much work, it would be a great investment. If not, it wouldn’t be too expensive. To be exact, the stable block in this post isn’t part of the building blanks. There’s a bit more texturing and detail, but it’s still quite a simple build and at £6 very inexpensive.

I wasn’t really happy with the outside texturing, so I went to work with good old coffee stirrers. After covering all the walls, I used the excellent roofing slate strips from Warbases to add detail to the roof. As I wanted something extra, I hacked a hole into the roof (it was fairly easy as it’s quite thin MDF) before gluing it down and attached a few stirrers inside. When attaching the roofing strips I made sure to scatter some tiles around the hole, and the collapsed end result looks quite nice in my opinion.

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I used cut-up matchsticks to build the door frames, and glued in the doors that came with the set. I carved the detail a bit deeper than the laser-cut originals to make sure it shows up when painted. The support beams in the front didn’t attach to the roof neatly enough to my taste, so I added some matchsticks to make them a little more sturdy.

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The baseplate came with the kit, and I simply flocked it. Once the whole thing has been painted, I’ll add some detail next to walls such as barrels and meal bags. Looking to slap some paint on today, so we’ll soon see how it turns out! This also means that I might need to buy some more minis to go with it. A smith, maybe?

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