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Author Topic: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)  (Read 4036 times)

Offline General Helstrom

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The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« on: August 14, 2006, 11:49:57 AM »
Hi everybody!

Well, I've been away for a while, as some of you may have noticed. What should have been a couple of days' absence turned into almost a couple of weeks. I have a lot of stuff to catch up with, but one thing I wanted to share right now is the castle which is being prepared for the "Goodbye 6th Edition" siege game planned for late August / early September. The plan is to do a three-way siege battle with our regular little gaming circle - Dennis, Frank, and myself. Before you can play a siege you need a fortress, and this stage of the project is now all but finished!

It started when I purchased a Warhammer Fortress on eBay several weeks ago. I mucked up the conversion rates (between Euros, GPB, and US Dollars, there's a lot of room for error) and ended up paying about 15 more than if I had purchased it in a local shop. Narf! But hey, I had a castle delivered to my door all the way from Vermont, which has to be worth something. I also bought a pack of arrow slits.

First of all, the GW Fortress is an awesome kit. It really is. For one thing, it is staggeringly huge. The pictures on the web and in WD do not do it justice - which is odd, considering stuff usually looks bigger in WD. You can merrily forget about placing it in a square in the middle of the table, as the attackers would have no room to deploy! In my opinion, it is well worth its price (blasphemy!).

The one I got was in a bit of a sorry shape though. It had obviously been stored under less than ideal conditions for quite some time, causing some of the pieces to warp, and it had been partly assembled with sticky tape, which had spent a quiet few years making itself a pain to scrape off. The beam which secures the fortress gate was missing, as were the additional doors. Oh well - it was still a fotress, and still a very nice kit, so we were going to ensure it found a good home with us.

First of all we needed to do a little shopping. We needed another wall section so the fortress could be arranged in a U-shape along a table edge, and we'd set our sights on GW's "roughcoat" primer to get a fine-grain texture on the whole thing. The local shop had run out of roughcoat however, so we dropped by a paint store, where we struck gold - and old box of textured spray was pulled from under a table and after the dust was blown off, we were told we could have three cans for 10. Bonus!

We'd established that we wanted to steer away from the classic stone grey fortress, and do something more sand-coloured, so we bought two cans of "rust effect" spray for a nice, reddish-brown basecoat, and a can of fine-texture teal for the second layer. Then we got a couple of bottles of Vallejo Armadillo Khaki and a bottle of Vallejo Off White for the drybrushing. All set an ready to go, we set up a table in the garage of Dennis' parents and got to work.



The first task was to clean the parts up and assemble them properly. As you can see in the picture, we didn't use any of that pansy plastic glue, but brought out the big guns. That's Dennis doing the shooting by the way, I'll be in the next picture (Frank had the good sense to be out of town for the weekend). Next we applied the rust effect spray.



That would be me then (still without a moustache). The rust effect spray turned out to be really, really nasty stuff. Not only did it stink like pestilent hell, it had a very nasty tendency to obscure detail, so we could only apply a very light layer, instead of the complete coverage we had planned. Then it turned out the stuff needed about 24 hours to set completely. D'oh! Lesson learned: Read the bloody labels. We kicked back and watched Serenity, returned to the garage to find the stuff still wet, and decided to let it sit overnight. I stayed the night over at Dennis and his girlfriend's, and the next day we returned in the early afternoon to find it well-dried.

This had been a disappointment so far, but we were here now and by Sigmar we would finish the job. Fortunately, the teal spray went on without problems and set in about ten minutes.



Now things were looking up - the effect achieved by teal-over-rust looked very good for a basecoat. Sadly, we had neglected to properly fill the gaps at the corners of the towers, and had to fix that with the squirt gun, leaving unsighly white edges which - even after painting - would remain a bit of an eyesore for the nit-picker.

Fortunately, the weather was really nice that day, so we took the castle out to the patio for drybrushing and detail painting. Who says wargamers should get out more?



This stage was a breeze. The drybrushing went off without a hitch, as did the detail work. The Vallejo paints proved absolutely golden - the squirty nozzle bottles are brilliant and the paints themselves are very well pigmented (ie. they cover very well). After a few hours of work, we had a nearly-finished castle to be proud of:










To give you an idea of just how amazingly huge the thing is:



(note that the tower corners look better in the real - the camera flash brings them out)

Some work still remains to be done. Dennis will be putting some flock on the castle to simulate moss growth, making it look less "clean", and I will be painting a bunch of shields to decorate the gatehouse and the towers. We also need to build a collection of siege equipment, but I'll be kicking it on Tenerife for the rest of the month, so let's leave that up to Dennis and Frank shall we? :lol:
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Offline rufus sparkfire

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2006, 11:59:33 AM »
Wow! That looks fantastic. My dwarfs would love to blow the crap out of that thing.

Hey, I could still beat up a woman!
If I wanted to.

Offline Clarkarias

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2006, 12:03:45 PM »
I love the fortress.  I really need to paint mine up.  I got mine for $50 CDN at one of the GW auctions (a friend of mine also got one for the same price so we could have a mega seige sometime). 

I love the look of yours General.  Maybe I'll take a page out of your book.  And you're right about it being huge.  Each wall piece is a foot long, plus the towers, makes it a big piece of terrain on a standard board.

As for looking at equipment, we were joking around using a pencil as a battering ram, but I think it's a pretty good idea.  Just drill some holes and put some small rod or dowelling through and you've got a pretty simple log ram!
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Offline redjoey

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2006, 12:07:24 PM »
Looking good General.

Its also nice to hear somebody say something positive about GW.
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Offline ivandegi

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 12:40:14 PM »
Very nice castle indeed !
I really loved the colour.

We also get to see your face too     :wink:

Offline Phydox

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 12:51:41 PM »
Awesome!  It looks great!  Your right, after seeing so many fortress Grey GW advertisements, its refreshing to see a castle done in a different color.  I have a tower that color i use (that actually was a container for  a bottle of alcohol my parents were given.), your pics are inspiring me to do something similar.

We were all wondering what had happened to you and had a "Guess where the General is" contest here at W-E.  The two highest votes were: 1) Stopped in a coffee house and had a piece of bad space cake 2) ordered a pizza with extra mushrooms on top.  You know, of all the voters, i don't think anyone said the General was off building a castle. :-D

Here's a little advise, Its a good thing NOT to use a car battery and jumper cables to encourage people doing home projects with you to work faster, you get more volunteers next time. :-D

Looks like, not only did you have fun doing it, but it came out looking great.  Great job!
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Offline queek

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2006, 03:20:43 PM »
most excellent results.  *applause*

Offline Midaski

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 04:09:20 PM »
WoW - that's pretty good - despite Dennis' help. :wink:

Was that his Marlon Brando look in the drybrushing Pic - or had someone just told him his bases weren't good enough. :wink:
.... and my, you are looking younger GH.

I must admit part of the reason I never bought a GW fortress was I hated the 'grey' plastic look, and yet your finished job bears no relation to their pictured versions.

Super job, and maybe you'll be able to use it again at the end of 7th Edition.

{Maybe I shouldn't have bought all those Hirst Arts moulds ................}
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Offline McKnight

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2006, 04:21:06 PM »
Absolutely amazing! :-D

I like the sandy colour it has!

A shame you paid more than for the retail lol.

Oh and Serenity is a great movie too  8-)
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Offline baldbeachbum

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2006, 05:14:36 PM »
Looks great!  I must see if my local store can order me one. :)

Somehow I pictured you with a mustache. :)
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Offline Racticas

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2006, 07:31:05 PM »
Somehow I pictured you with a mustache. :)

Yeah... a long, blonde mustache and a shaving bowl for a helmet.
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Offline Guvnor

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2006, 08:47:29 PM »
And he hasn't even got the decency to be blond...  :wink:

I want more pics for the newsletter (you promised...) and of the battle its being made for...

Whats the rust effect like? Is it shiny? (you can never tell from pics, or at least I can't).

Lastly, why the green and white doors? There is nothing wrong with them, but I just thought you'd go more with the army colours.
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Offline Ryondaahl

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2006, 10:46:13 PM »
In that colour the Fortress looks just grand General!
I have a still unpacked box somewhere in my 'crapheap', but it's being consolidated at the moment because I am at the verge of moving house. When my new appartement is ready and the Warhammer Room has been opened, I will see if I can make it a setpiece somewhere.

cheers,

Ryondaahl

Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2006, 11:01:58 PM »
Great work. In a colour like that, I would rather imagine that fortress to be somewhere in the barren lands of Estalia, atop a dusty hill, though.

Offline Kernschatten

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 12:36:46 AM »
Nice job with the catsle. I may need to see if I have enough space for one of my own.
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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2006, 01:17:54 AM »
Wow! Impressive work!

I would like to have the time to be able to do a project like that...

Offline Warlord

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2006, 04:57:15 AM »
Nice. Looked better than I expected when I first read you where planning a sandy colour.

However I can't help but notice the gatehouse and the two sections of wall on either side don't quite join up (colourwise).... I'm guess that is something you are going to look at when doing detail?

Otherwise, fantastic!
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Offline BAWTRM

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 08:13:52 AM »
Great project, great results! Well done Sikko and Dennis!

It actually get's me itching to buy one of those myself but now Ryondaahl says he has one at home himself??

Well, I shouldn't be too surprised, he managed to 'lose' his entire Dwarf army (all metal and huge) in his own room for a period of about 6 months. All the while 'accusing' all the other players of our group that we had probably stashed it away at one of our houses after a game. :-D

Seriously, great looking castle!

I've actually got one of the GW siege towers constructed (and yes, even painted. Got it real cheap too, 25 guilders from a store that was gradually getting rid of its GW stuff) can I play along?  :wink:
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Offline General Helstrom

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2006, 08:45:37 AM »
Thanks for all the comments guys! Time to answer some questions:

- The sandy colour would not look out of place in a more barren or even desert setting, but I don't feel it looks out of place on a classic green table. After all, the stones could have come from just about anywhere. Once there's a little growth on the castle it will "blend in" better as well.

- The green and white on the gates (which will also be on the decorative shields) is a recurring theme in our scenery. Over time it's come to represent the town of St. Oliver, which is where Dennis' greenskins and my Altdorfers tend to lock horns. It's somewhere at the foot of the mountains near Hochsleben, at the mouth of a minor pass. Some of you may have noticed a unit of Knights in my GT army, which was also painted green and white - these are from the Order of St. Oliver, and also hail from thereabouts.

- The rust effect spray is not shiny or metallic at all. It's worth checking that sort of thing in advance though!

- We have a couple of Hirst Arts molds here as well. Buidling a castle out of them would be both immensely time consuming, and the result would be impossibly heavy. I've seen some pictures where a guy cast HA blocks out of resin instead of plaster, which might work,  but still it would be a titanic job. Building a castle from scratch is great if you have a week or two with nothing else to do :-P With the GW kit, you can do it in one day (provided you read he labels on the spray cans before you start, and don't use opne that needs hours to set).

I don't know what Caesar thought when he got to the Ides of March
Don't know what Houdini bought when he went to the store
But I sure do miss the eighties

Offline Dikkemik

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 12:19:25 PM »
Thanks for the comments you guys!

As always I was surprised with what you can do with make-do. We didn't have the Roughcoat, so we settled with something we stubbled upon at the local paintshop. The lighter tone we also bought at that shop was called something like: desert yellow. I noticed this when we already bought the can. This was not what we'd planned for. But then again, we wanted something different...so I figured what the heck, let's give it a go. And it turned out very nice.

There's a lesson here. :-o Try stuff. You can make the most excellent stuff, if you just give it a try. Two weeks past Sikko and I made an armytray for a friend of ours (Klaas Harm, the Slayer-madman) with minimal tools: a piece of wood, polystrene, gluestuff, flock, trees, modelling snow, tape and a few half empty paintpots and cans. It turned out lovely.

Ow, and Frank and I will create some siege equipment and put it up here for ya'll to see.

Cheers,

Dennis.
P.S. My bases are old school and kick ass.
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Offline rufus sparkfire

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2006, 12:24:59 PM »
Two weeks past Sikko and I made an armytray for a friend of ours (Klaas Harm, the Slayer-madman) with minimal tools: a piece of wood, polystrene, gluestuff, flock, trees, modelling snow, tape and a few half empty paintpots and cans. It turned out lovely.


It could hardly be worse than the one he made himself...
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Offline General Helstrom

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Re: The General Returns! (he was out building a castle)
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2006, 01:01:36 PM »
It could hardly be worse than the one he made himself...

Yeah... We were asked to bring that along for him, as he left early and didn't want to carry it around on the train. We forgot and made him a new one. It was an act of mercy.
I don't know what Caesar thought when he got to the Ides of March
Don't know what Houdini bought when he went to the store
But I sure do miss the eighties