Sunday, December 7, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Back from the dead - so to speak

Back from the dead - so to speak.

I have been very slowly working on the teddy bears, but got a burst of something and did a lot on them this weekend.


The problem is that the scale is a bit off - I knew they were big but didn't think they would end up this big. So - the question I have for anyone who would like to venture an opinion - are they too big to use as dire wolves? Here is one with a skeleton for comparison. Feeback is welcome and encouraged.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Ghouls and bears

Ok, finally new pictures. First, all the ghouls. I did one rank at a time to show all the crap they are carrying - it is hard to see in the group shot.

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and a group shot
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And lastly, the 'dollies' for the dancing teddy bears. I took these with a background shot of the bears image that I was going for - these will be on cavalry bases. I have a second set of five as well. Next step is to fill them out with green stuff.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Carpe Noctem: roses

Ok, a few more pictures

First - adding a tube top to a wraith
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Then some more of the roadies - not individual shots, but a group of the 20 that are converted so far
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Then as I was doing the sleeves for the rest of the top hat unit, I had a little green stuff left over, so I took some heads and tried the rose wreathes. These came out pretty good, so I had enough to do 7 of the next unit.



And finally, a big group shot of what the size of this army will be. These are all the trays/bases I plan on having - about half of which will be available to raise. There are no characters yet - but those will just be 4 more infantry bases. (and those are only about half the sprues sitting on my workbench!)

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ok, no pics yet, but I am slowly working on thing. The ghouls are finally finished - trying to come up with ideas for them really kicked my butt.

Now on to the dire wolves - i.e. the dancing teddy bears. My sculpting skills, especially for larger items, are pretty poor. I've had several mis-starts so far, but I think I've got them now. I tried using some modelling 'dollies', but they were too small. Then I tried freehand for the base, but was going through huge amounts of green stuff and not getting anywhere. Then got the idea of using beads. So now I have 10 dummies made from wire and beads made up, in (I hope) the proper positions. Next is to fill in with greens stuff (much easier IMO) than to go from scratch, but we'll see. I'm still feeling pretty intimidated at this point, which leads to much procrastination.

I'm still a bit frustrated that my LGS can't seem to get in a order of 40mm magnetic bases from GF9 - but if they don't have them by next month I'll pick them up at GenCon.

Right now I'm hoping to have them ready for the Marauder's Mayhem in October, since I've miseed Origns, Buckeye Battles and GenCon this year (I'll only be doing GenCon for 1 day, so won't be in the tournament).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Carpe Noctem: More progress

Just thought I'd do a quick update. As I start to finalize my army list, I decided to go with two units of 20 skeletons to start with, and then have enough models to double them in size if things go extremely well. (I still have 8 left on the sprues after these 80 as well!) That means though that I need another 10 in top hats and tails, so I've been working on them this weekend. The 2nd set of 40 are half built - I'm not sure what I want to do with them (aside from the rose garlands). Do I make them basic warriors with shields (and paint a rose logo on the shields)? Most of the Grateful dead pictures of the skeleton with roses are simple head shots. Of course, there is the matter of the roses themselves - haven't figured that one out yet.

I've got 20 ghouls done, have 10 more, and figure I should get another 10. As I convert these, I hate even more them not being skirmishers - it is a real pain in the butt trying to figure out equipment for them to carry - it was simple when I figured a unit or two of maybe 10 - but 40! Lots of speakers. Since I'm using regimental bases, I figure I'll do a few long bases where they are carrying scaffolding or lights. Just trying not to have too many duplicates.

Looking over my wraiths, I figures 3 topless ones was too many, so I put a tube top on one of them.

I've also been building movement trays and getting all the bases for everything (I really like the GF9 magnet basing system, and the new GW movement tray kits). So now I have the bases - pretty soon it will be time to figure out how to sculpt the dancing teddy bears - should be an interesting challenge.

I'm still not sure what to do about characters at this point. I was thinking about getting some empire free company to base them on - as they are the most 'normal' humans out there - but don't really want to buy a box when all I need is 1 sprue. But we'll see.

I'm also still up in the air in on the zombies. I'm figuring 1 starting unit of 20, with 60 more available to raise (since I am going magic heavy anyway). I still have the idea of lighting them up - but am nervous about ordering the lights on the internet not really knowing if I'll be able to get them to work. However I have plenty of work to do before I have to finish those.

I'll get some more pictures - when there is something to take pictures of (nobody wants to see 40 half assembled un-converted skeletons, or a bunch of movement trays).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Corpse Cart

Ok, some more pictures.

First the corpse cart. For my army, this is a souvenir cart, selling t-shirts and posters.



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When I did my Ogre Kingdom army I found that making options truly optional saved a lot of money on multiple models, as well as making it easy to mark wounds on multi-wound models. So for the corpse cart I did this with the balefire / unholy lodestone option.

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The torches / lanterns will be used to indicate wounds (i.e. removing one for each wound).

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Next are my Cairn Wraiths. These are the groupies for the band, led of course by a Banshee. The wraiths are converted from DE harpies.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Carpe Noctem: roadies

Well, I think I have the unit of 30 skeletons done. I decided to only do the sunglasses and hair on the champion to make him stick out. I hope to get pictures up soon (maybe tonight).

Finally got the book on Friday so I can figure out my list. I also picked up a corpse cart and box of ghouls. I like the model of the corpse cart - too bad I'll actually NEVER be able to use it in my army. Not that I won't have the unit, but the model just doesn't fit at all. So I'll have to convert something for it - not sure yet what that will be or how I'll do it yet, still thinking on that.

Started working on the roadies (the ghouls). I picked up a blister of boxes and barrels from Woodland Scenics as some of the stage equipment to have them hauling around. I'm trying to figure out how to make some 1/25 to 1/28 scale guitars for them to carry (as well as the characters).

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Ok, as promised, some more WIP pictures.

First, I think I'm done with the skeletons. 30 in tuxes, tails and top hats. I added the standard, and put hair and sunglasses on the champion, as it was about the only way I could think of to have him stand out of the 'chorus' line.

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And a close up of the champion. Shame the frames on the glasses got hidden in the hair.
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Now the roadies. I need to pick up at least one more box, if not two. Of course, it would help a lot if I would actually make a list to build to. However 30 does sound like a good number, if not to start with then at least to expand to.

Of course coming up with ideas for equipment for them the carry is a bit of a challenge. So far so good though.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Carpe Noctem: some progress, no pics

No new pics yet, but I finished the left sleeves and cuffs on the tuxes - the right arms are next - going to be easy as I'm just going to cut down spears as canes.

I'm still undecided about doing the tennis shoes on the skeletons or not. As well as sunglasses. I need to check the hobby store again for tiny hole punches (I know they have a smaller one than I have) to see if that will work. I'm figuring on using old paintbrush fibers for the hair.

Of course, the rate I seem to be working on these lately then the army should be done by about the time the next 8th edition army book comes out (what, 5 or 6 years) :). I really need to light a fire under my butt if I'm going to have anything ready for this summer. I'm hoping the release of the new book next month, and finally being able to build an actual list will help to get me going on this.

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Still no new pics, but did the sleeves and canes for the right arms, just need the cuffs on these (maybe Wednesday night) and I'll get new pics up.

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Ok, finally some pics with the sleeves and cuffs done.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Carpe Noctem: New release ideas?

no progress lately, but I'm looking for ideas. With the release coming up next month, I'd like to maybe have a Varghulf. However, I'm having a real hard time thinking of how to convert one that would fit the theme. Does anyone have any suggestions? Teddy bears are already taken for the dire wolves, so that is out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Zombie lights update

Zombie lights update - Well I picked up some mini (not labelled as such, but I think these are about "Grain of Wheat" size (there is also "Grain of Rice" and "Micro-flame", but I haven't been able to find these except for on-line, and I want to try things before committing to buying enough for the unit) bulbs, and these will work (and found some very cheap - $3.99 for 10!). But I also found that the power I hoped to use won't be enough - hearing aid batteries just aren't strong enough. So I'll have to go either AA or AAA batteries - which now means I need to find a way to hide them, since I can't imbed them in the base like I'd hoped to do with the hearing aid batteries. I also got a few from a model railroad store - but these I couldn't get to light at all (they were 12 volt). They aren't very bright, but I think that may be more due to the power than anything else - if I use a few more batteries then they should look better. The thing I have to watch out for is buring them out - because they won't be easily replaceable (if at all).

I'm thinking of putting them in the movement try - but I don't want them to interfere with game play (i.e. they can't be sticking out the back etc). One alternate could be some type of square centerpiece that hides the batteries - but I'm not sure what would fit into the general 'crowd' image I want. If I go underneath, then at least part of the try will have to be raised to fit them - either the entire tray, or just the back (make it sloping, like lawn seats?). The other option would be to have the power supply completely external to the tray, with a plug for display, then uplug them for game play. That may be the best way. Hmmmmmm - bit more thinking now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Carpe Noctem: No LEDs :-(

Unfortunately I don't think the LED idea is going to work - the ones I've found are simply too big. At is interesting that I think I've found some mini-bulbs (like from mag-lights) that could work, without some of the other requirements (like needing resistors etc). However the other issue is that all the ones I've found are about $2.00 - $3.00 each - and when I'm looking at 40 of them, this is starting to look to be a bit pricey. Also, I'm not sure how to hide the wires either. So I haven't completely abandoned the idea, I haven't done any more on it yet.

As for the right hands on the skeletons - those will hold canes. I probably won't do the hook end, more likely just plain straight black with a white tip on the top. I'm thinking like the old Vaudeville tap dancers etc.

Carpe Noctem: Top Hats done

Ok, top hats done - now to work on the arms. I have to wait until at least tomorrow to do more, once the arms are nice and solid, to either do the other arms or the sleeves. I will probably use plasticard to do the cuffs, like the lapels, as it will be easier than trying to sculpt them (for me at least). I don't know if I'll do the canes (that is too easy, simply cut down spears) pointing down or to the back at this point. I also haven't decided if I'm going to do hair or shoes either.

With the new army rumors going around, it looks like my idea for groupies is going to have to change - but not radically. I'm now thinking of doing a unit of wraiths as groupies - and picked up three blisters of dark elf harpies (2 per blister) to convert to groupies - cut off the wings (without ruining the arms) and I'll have six topless chicks.

Don't know about the roadies however. The new hunched over ones could actually work (though I have 6 blisters of the old ones), carrying amps etc on their backs. I may do them with an empty base every other one though, to space them out a bit (the base will be equipment, etc). Just thoughts.

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Ok, some new pics - tophats and arms. For the tophats they are simply thin plasticard that I used a hole punch on, then cut off the tops of the skeleton heads. Then make a roll of greenstuff, wait until it had dried about 2/3 of the way, cut it into sections and glue on.

Most of the arms are actually off of Tomb Kings sprues - they have the open hands for their archers. I have a bunch of tomb kings stuff because several times now I have won a tournament with product as the prize, and they didn't have skeletons of zombies, so I took Tomb Kings for skeletons. So I got a Battalion box of Tomb Kings when I won "Favorite army" at the 2007 Marauders Mayhem, and another box of Tomb Kings Skeletons (and empire soldiers to use as zombies) when I won the Warhammer tournament at GenCon 2007. Anyway, I liked these arms better, just for the open hands. I need to make sleeves now, as well as the right arms.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Something more

Finally did something more today - started on the top hats. I hate the waiting - I need a big rope of green stuff to cure up so that it doesn't get all bent out of shape when I cut it (for the hats). I'm looking to see if I can find a tiny hole punch to make the sunglasses now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Carpe Noctem: Paint her up

Well the Golden Zombie competition made me get up off my lazy butt (at least slightly) and paint her up.

There are some details I like a lot, and some other parts I'm not that thrilled with. The overall skin is ok, not sure what I'm going to do unit wise though. Maybe pick up some flesh wash, my son loves the look of it. I do think the nipples came out good without being too much. The finger and toenails didn't quite look as good as I want - I like the foot but making them individual right now just doesn't quite look right
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The tramp stamp on the back isn't what I want either - but I need to pick up a new fine brush for the details - and my freehand painting really sucks. Plus at this level I'm not sure how much I can even paint on for it to work.
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The heart tatoo on her ankle I thought was a nice little detail.
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I'm still working on figuring out how to really do the tie-dye for the shirt - this will need to be across all the rest of the unit.
Meanwhile, I've got the bodies done for the first skeleton unit (the picture was before I finished the last 8 figures):
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I thought of using plasticard to do the lapels. Next is either the arms or the hats - not sure which to do first.