Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Finished (For Now)

Part 3 is found here. She's done for now. All-in-all this was a very fun kit. A few closing thoughts on the build: This is a high-quality kit, worth the price, even to the US from the UK. It is well-designed and sturdy, and sections lift off clean during play. With building, it pays to take your time with the kit and listen to yourself about how you want to modify it, if at all. That said, even unaltered it is beautiful. And imposing! This will dominate your average game of Bushido, with a 11"x11" footprint. Verticality will have to be a house rule in some cases, depending on the game system but for Bushido, well, we will have to have a batrep and see how it changes the game. Lastly, after the roof was together, I plan on running a bead of dark caulk underneath where each of the roof tiles meet, to strengthen it just a bit, and keep flex from warping or popping the tiles; just a suggestion.

I am really looking forward to some Bushido games with this... well done TTCombat!

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Build Log 3

Part 2 can be found here.

At this point, the Pagoda is very sturdy, mostly together and I admit that I wasted one night moving figures around on it making ninja noises in the basement. Pretty damn exciting for me. The wife probably died a little inside.

The instructions have the doors either glued open or closed. The doors themselves are 2 parts, a front detail layer of laser cut grey board and a backer to make it rigid. I wanted two things with these doors: 1. keep the detail to let light through and 2. Make them movable.

First I tackled the detail/light issue. That was fairly easy, I simply backed the painted detail layer pieces with parchment, glued with matte Mod Podge and left the original second backer off. Sorta flimsy but ok and beautiful with lights showing through.

Then I spent another night finding a way to make the doors move. I prefer a more forgiving design when it comes to making 6 sets of doors movable.

I finally settled on a design where the door hangs via a metal track on the wall, and a magnet attached to the door, allowing the doors to move around and also simply detach when gamer hands smack around inside the buildings.

My design was mostly because I could source all the parts from what I had laying around and reproduce it over 12 doors. The tracks were size 2 jeweler's saw blades, tooth-down, which happen to perfectly span the width of the walls, sorta like a lintel. I used Mineral Spirits to de-grease the blades and then used, you guessed it, matte Mod Podge to glue down the tracks.

I cut a length of the backer to lag over the top of the door and leave a space for a flexible magnet. Getting them all together only needed some trimming by eye to get the magnets on top of the door flush and square. Flexible magnet ribbon is best for this, about US$3.00 from the DIY. I just had to use Mineral Spirits to get the adhesive off for the super glue to adhere.

So that's it for the doors! The lights are simply flickering LED yellow lights from Amazon placed around the inside of the Pagoda, keep it simple.

Then I weathered the roof but you see it too much in the pics. It warms the grey sufficiently so it looks good next to the trees and such.

I then set about making some planters of flowers using wooden bobbins primed grey and weathered a bit after drybrushing greys to off-white, Woodland Scenics green sponge and flower flock.

So that is pretty much it for now. I plan on detailing the inside of the pagoda at some point, especially after I get a few games in with it.

Up next: GLAMOUR SHOTS and final thoughts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Build Log 2

This is a continuation of part one, found here.

Okay, where we last left off I had the unfinished pagoda separated parts out from sprues, cleaned and wiped with a cheese cloth (aka tack cloth.) This grabs all the soot from the laser cutter and sawdust from sanding parts, which keeps the painting clean.

I marked up the instructions with all my colors
For the record, these downloadable instructions are good overall, just a heads-up that the first floor awning assembly is tricky with the keys for the corners... make sure you dry fit them the right way, they go in a particular order.

Beware. Be read. Be ready.
I decided early on to paint these pieces as I went, thinking that the time taken to paint with rattle cans will save a bunch of grief in the long run. So, all prepped, I took several evenings to spray prime all parts with Rustoleum Grey sandable auto primer and then Army Painter spray colors.

Pro tip, if you are spray painting a bunch of stuff and the day is sunny but low humidity, you can put your painted parts in a dry cardboard box and it acts like an oven to speed up total curing. So, spray paint, once dry to touch, throw that stuff in a sunny box and let it do it's thang. Keeps grit off the dry-down too.

I kept the colors on this simple. 3 colors plus weathering at the end (excepting the roof, which was a grey I had laying around.) I used Army Painter colors Army Green, Leather Brown and Necrotic flesh spray with matching brush on paints (which are extremely close matches.) In the end, I used 1.5 cans of spray primer and 1 can of each color, more-or-less.

I used Mod Podge Matte finish to glue everything together, except for the base, which I used Gorilla Glue for extra bond strength. That beautiful base will bear a bit of weight so it is smart to used a stronger glue for that. All parts sprayed together, I proceeded to fit pieces together and glue. Note that with the tabs, it helps to round off the edges to make fitting easier.

Laying up the parts, facade added as well... painting them separately makes for a clean finish.

You better cheese cloth the hell out of the gray board. Test fit looks good. Tip: Use blue painters tape when you glue the roof down. Apply glue, adjust roof sections until they are level and use the painters tape to hold the parts together as it dries. Since the roof parts tend to bend and not line up exactly, the tape really helps pull everything square.

Roof parts primed black then sponge/dapple painted with grays.

Up next, modifying the doors so they move, finishing details, lights, final assembly and glamour shots!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bushido: Prefecture of Ryu Starter Set and New Arc Markers

Here is my painted Prefecture of Ryu set. I tried to make the colors more of the popping kind, such as you'd see in a military parade dress than something field worn. No better way to subjugate the populace than to disembark a large boat, burst into their villages quick step march with gleaming lacquer armor and fatigues which hide bleeding wounds, and remind them all who rules Jwar. Right now, they do.

Okay, laying it on thick. Truth is, the metallic blue really looks great in IRL and lends interest to the minis without a lot of effort. So that's the scheme I went with.

Up next, Kappa and Grey Pilgrim to get the Prefecture starter up to 50 rice, then more Ito to get that to 50 rice. After that? Some Savage Wave as long as my asshole friends leave me alone with all of this Shadow War jive :)

Related to friends who are not assholes, my buddy Joe has made a set of arc markers for all base sizes and I gotta say, it sure beats my old way of doing markers. I re-marked all of my Ito and this finished Prefecture set in about 40 minutes, which is pretty damn awesome. A set comes with all the sizes you are likely to need and handles straight and rounded bases. Just fix a model in there with a dollop of blu tac and you are off! Send him an email if you want to get a set, tell him Yeti sent you:

Monday, April 10, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Build Log 1

Today I received my TTCombat Yu Pagoda. Herein will rest my ongoing thoughts as I raise this beast to the sky for the glory of Clan Ito in GCT's Bushido game. Or for me, to snort. I'll explain.

First Impressions

The pagoda came in a well-sealed flat pack for the flight over the pond to the USA. Looks like everything arrived intact with no breaks.

Instructions were not included so I deduced that they are online somewhere.

Damn this thing smells terrific. Seriously. Laser cut MDF smells like your clothes after camping and I didn't realize I needed it in my life. The off cuts go immediately into a cup so my paint area smells awesome.

Sandable auto primer with Army Painter Necrotic Flesh spray
Army Painter Necrotic Flesh spray without sandable auto primer

One MDF off cut was used to test paint. I sprayed one side with Army Painter primer which the MDF drank right up. Later, I hit that side with some Krylon ultra-flat camouflage paint I had sitting around. Once dried, I coated with Army Painter Necrotic Flesh. Nope! MDF slaked it's thirst through the bottom coat. Closer but no cigar. Facing the inevitable, I ran to the store for some Rustoleum Grey sandable auto primer, same as I use on Forge World models. Sprayed on smooth, calmed to a nice coat and once dry I top coated with Army Painter necrotic flesh. Perfect!

As you can see, models fit on the floor sections well, for the most part. All Bushido models can fit on the wide ground floor level. On the second story only standard or small base models will fit. Given that this building may only see a bit of actual elevated play, I am not totally bummed about that. Seems reasonable that big models hate cardio and skip steps.

The details are good across the pieces so far.

Tomorrow I will start cleaning and laying out parts for glue. Stay tuned!