Daily Archives: January 15, 2016

Making Frostgrave’s Harbor, Part I

Chris Palmer    Last year at a  wargame convention flea market, I was lucky to find some ships which inspired me to want to construct a waterfront area for my Frostgrave games.  The first of these was a model of a ship under construction.  The second was a lot of old pirate ships.

Wooden model of a ship being built. There was one figure on the model that indicated it was scaled for between 15mm and  20mm sized figures. With enough of the scale specific stuff stripped away, I thought it would do fine service for 28mm figures.


Simplistic pirate ships.  I’m not sure what they’re made of; it looks a lot like the kind of foam insulation you squirt from a can.  I decided to keep the painted ones for they’re intended purpose, but the unfinished ones were destined for the Frostgrave docks.

 The wooden model was very old apparently, as many of the glue points had dried out, and there were a lot of bits that had fallen off it.  This didn’t bother me, as I already had thoughts of making it look like the ship in the beginning of the first National Treasure movie

A close-up of the “Charlotte” from the movie, National Treasure

And a wider screen-grab of the ship.

     Luckily, I had a friend with a bandsaw who was able to make the wooden ship into a waterline model.  He also was able to cut one of the foam ships in half to give me the ability to use it for two different half-sunk ships.  He also was kind enough to cut out a base for the waterline model to sit on.

     At this point, I’ve got the all the hulls ready to paint.  I added broken mast stumps to all of them, and used some of the extra bits from the big ship to add a bit of detail to the decks of the smaller ones.  I also made a couple crates to put in the ice around the smaller ships.
    I decided, since the base of the large ship would be snow, to paint the base white separately, and then spray the ship.  I’m not sure if I’m going to go with black or a dark brown.  Likewise, I’m not sure how the foam the pirate ships are made of will react to spray paint, so I think I will give them a coat of paint by hand, and then spray over that.

      Hopefully, I will get a chance to do some spraying later today.

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Bones II: Three Armored Skeletons

Chris Palmer

     Last week I finished these three armored skeletons from the Bones II Shambling Dead set for use in my Frostgrave games.  I had hoped to post these last Thursday (but didn’t finish them in time), then I was so busy yesterday I forgot to finish up this article, so I am posting them today.

      I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.  I then glued the figures to white-primed 1" fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then glued the bases of the figures to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.
      I began by painting all the skeletons Black.  When the Black was dry, I drybrushed them first with Americana “Buttermilk”, then with Crafters Acrylic “Light Antique White”.

  I then painted their armor, the sword, axe head, and spear point, as well as the shield, with Americana “Walnut”.  I then added splotches of Crafters Edition “Spice Brown”, and then some lighter splotches of  Accent “Golden Oxide” to give the impression of rust.

    I then finished up the rust effect by drybrushing the rusted surfaces with Folk Art “Gunmetal Grey”.   Next, I painted the garment remnants on the first skeleton with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue, the second skeleton with Apple Barrel "Apple Blue Spruce"for the bottom and Apple Barrel "Apple Maple Syrup” for the head piece, and the third with Anita’s “Burnt Sienna”.  I then highlighted the first with Americana “True Blue, the second’s bottom with Folk Art "Hunter Green”, and the third with Reaper MSP Bones “Cinnamon Red”.   I then painted the rocky bases with Americana “Neutral Grey”.

     I then dry brushed the rocky bases with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, followed by Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.   Then I did the boots on the second and third skeleton with Americana “Asphaltum”.  After painting the boots, I painted the spear shaft and axe handle with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, then did the sword grip and any belts or straps the skellies had with Americana “Charcoal Grey”  When these were dry, I gave the boots, spear shaft, axe handle, sword grip, and the head cloth on the second skellie, a wash with GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.  I also applied a wash of GW “Badab Black ” wash around the tops of the boots on the second and third skellies to give the impression of them being open and having depth.
       When everything had overnight to dry, I gave the figures a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  That afternoon I flocked the base with Woodland Scenics “Snow” flock.  The next day, I sprayed the figures with Testor’s Dullcote.

     I recently had a discussion with a follower of this blog named Jici, in the comments section of this recent article I posted featuring a couple skeletons, about the quality of my skeletons.  While perfectly suitable for the gaming use I intend them for, I’ve never been a hundred percent happy with them because, as Jici, pointed out, the heavy initial drybrushing obscures a lot of the detail.  So, I’m going to work on a couple skeletons for next week, using a method Jici recommends, using a white base first wth a black wash, instead of my usual method of black undercoat with a white drybrush.  I’m interested to see how it works for me.

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