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144artist paints Mantic’s Terrain Crate

144artist paints Mantic’s Terrain Crate

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Project Blog by 144artist Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

My Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstart rewards arrived and there is a lot of stuff there. Even though they are cast in color plastic that makes them fairly table ready I want to paint them. I tend to want to paint everything, truth be told but these look to be a lot of fun. Not only is there a lot of stuff there but a huge variety as well so this Project Blog could be going on for a while.

This Project is Active

Peaceful Park Begins

Tutoring 2
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

It’s been a while since I finished any Terrain Crate pieces so I’m happy to say part of Peaceful Park is finished.  I painted it to go with my Wolsung cafe run by Italian halflings.

Peaceful Park Begins
Peaceful Park Begins
There's always a dog hair you don't see until you're editing photos.  Sigh.There's always a dog hair you don't see until you're editing photos. Sigh.
Peaceful Park Begins

Grim Gardens is Half Finished and Terrain Crate 2 has Begun.

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 10
2 Comments

I thought I would take a break from Terrain Crate once I had finished painting all the rewards from the first Kickstart campaign, maybe store the new pieces away for a while.  Nope, as soon as I started going through various packs of miniature terrain I was hooked again.  The new pieces are made of a slightly firmer plastic than before and the detail is sharper.  Plastic bags worth of pieces have been emptied into my soapy water solution, scrubbed, dried, and put into the Painting Queue.

Coming off the Spring Cleaning Challenge and all the urban gardening I had done it is not surprising that the first set to grab my attention was Grim Garden from the Bleakwood Hall crate.  The pieces fit right in perfectly with what I’ve built AND answer my problem of how to replicate tiny lettuce gardens.  No really, I’ve been puzzling that one for a while.  So the gallery is made up of pictures of individual bits while the single images are group shots. Somehow the watering cans got left out of those but I will make sure they are part of the complete documentation once the trees are complete.

Grim Gardens is Half Finished and Terrain Crate 2 has Begun.
Grim Gardens is Half Finished and Terrain Crate 2 has Begun.
Grim Gardens is Half Finished and Terrain Crate 2 has Begun.
Grim Gardens is Half Finished and Terrain Crate 2 has Begun.
Is it insane that the close up pictures make me want to paint their tiny eyes?Is it insane that the close up pictures make me want to paint their tiny eyes?
Must be the gardener in me but in the end I just had to glue some flowers into these as they looked so sad empty.Must be the gardener in me but in the end I just had to glue some flowers into these as they looked so sad empty.

Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night

Tutoring 6
Skill 10
Idea 9
2 Comments

With all the tiny books included in the various Terrain Crate sets I found my imagination going into overdrive.  The open tome with the Temple set was the spark that made me want to create a complete setup of the First Edition Dungeons and Dragons game books that had such a huge impact on my youth, an impact that continues to this day, obviously.  I took one of the book stacks I had completed with a generic scheme and created a tiny Monster Manual as well as a character sheet under the stack. The final parchment I had to paint was perfect for a Chessex gaming mat which left that book to be the Players Handbook. It was my good friend @aronbc that pointed out that I needed to bisect every row I’d painted to really take it over the top.  As usual, he was right. I cut the dial out of the compass to make it into a dice tray. Inspired by “Gerry Can: Blue Stuff  the Basics” I sculpted a spilled dice bag over the quill pen and ink bottle and added a few dice to the tray. Ony when I neared the end of painting did I realize I would need to add dots to some die faces.  Gotta say I got lucky there and I think they mostly read. Not wanting to try and carve or file the soft plastic, I tried to turn the telescope into a couple of markers but in the end gave up and kept it a telescope.

When I was a kid, polyhedral dice were hard to come by and dice bags didn't exist.  It seems like everyone of my generation used a Crown Royal bag which came wrapped around a bottle of whiskey.  Not sure where I got one as my parents didn't drink but that's what I tried to paint this one as.When I was a kid, polyhedral dice were hard to come by and dice bags didn't exist. It seems like everyone of my generation used a Crown Royal bag which came wrapped around a bottle of whiskey. Not sure where I got one as my parents didn't drink but that's what I tried to paint this one as.
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
Dungeons and Dragons Books Ready For Game Night
It was pointed out that I needed a shot showing scale so here are a d20 and a US penny to help with that.It was pointed out that I needed a shot showing scale so here are a d20 and a US penny to help with that.
I'm rolling up a fighter...I'm rolling up a fighter...

We Have Crossed the Finish Line!

Tutoring 6
Skill 11
Idea 11
2 Comments

The three Campsite sets are finished as well as the Throne Room. I mixed and matched the tents and supplies in the first gallery as I found it more interesting to photograph them that way.  Two of the axe handles on the chopping stumps were already broken off when I got them so were replaced with brass wire.  In the end they look fine.  The Throne Room came out even better than I had hoped and I believe the three pieces of artwork took my own painting skills to a new level.  It is always exciting when one sees growth in one’s own work especially as we artists are notoriously hard on ourselves.  The last two parchments from the Barracks sets aren’t ready to be photographed (I’m working on a little vignette) but the entire Terrain Crate 1 rewards are finished.  Not sure how important that is really but the artificial goal helped get me through this time of isolation so I am thankful for it.

 

We Have Crossed the Finish Line!
We Have Crossed the Finish Line!
I foresee more Terrain Crate painting in your future...I foresee more Terrain Crate painting in your future...

Decision Made

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 8
1 Comment

Even as my Elven Mona Lisa was drying, a big box of Terrain Crate 2 arrived on my doorstep. Even though I have two of the map/parchments to complete I am calling the first set of Terrain Crate complete.  I still have to take pictures of the last three sets of Campsites but will post those soon.

I have decided to just roll my work on the new pieces into this blog rather than start a new one.  I like seeing the progression in my work, if truth be told.  I did think I was going to take a break from terrain pieces for a while but immediately scrubbed two bags of plastic stuff and added them to my painting queue.

Two more boxes of the same size underneath these because there is no such thing as too much apparently..Two more boxes of the same size underneath these because there is no such thing as too much apparently..

Mona Lisa Goes Fantasy

Tutoring 8
Skill 11
Idea 9
3 Comments

Gerry noticed my sketched Mona Lisa during the last Hobby Hangout and I mentioned I call her Mona Elfsa as she would be finished as a fantasy version of Leonardo’s masterpiece. I’ve included my reference as it is so much easier to copy something you can look at.  I wanted a dragon in the sky so knew I would have to make that area a little bigger than in Leo’s but I wanted to match both the style he painted in and the look of age.  He painted in many thin, blended layers, a technique called sfumato so I did the same.  It is a lot like wet blending, to put it in mini painting terms, and, after drawing the rough shapes in pencil, I worked in washes and inks for the most part.  I wasn’t trying to make an exact tiny copy as I have neither the skills nor tools for such an endeavour and I value what little sanity I have remaining.  The key, I find, is to match the main shapes and colors.

I aged the painting once she was complete as I think she will make a wonderful McGuffin for a Wolsung game.

Here is a picture of the original.  His countless transperant layers really paid off as her skin, if you ever see her in person, echoes the transluscence of real skin, almost glowing from within.Here is a picture of the original. His countless transperant layers really paid off as her skin, if you ever see her in person, echoes the transluscence of real skin, almost glowing from within.
I drew the basic shapes in pencil then using two shades of brown roughed in some key color blocks like her hair, face, forearms, and a band across the background.I drew the basic shapes in pencil then using two shades of brown roughed in some key color blocks like her hair, face, forearms, and a band across the background.
The wet pallet really helped keep the thin paints from evaporating in the Northern California dry summer heat.  Here you can see where I added in small sections of color and texture to echo details in the original.The wet pallet really helped keep the thin paints from evaporating in the Northern California dry summer heat. Here you can see where I added in small sections of color and texture to echo details in the original.
The sky is almost done here and the whole thing will need some Earthshade and Sepia to add age..The sky is almost done here and the whole thing will need some Earthshade and Sepia to add age..
Ear added, skin continuing to be highlighted.Ear added, skin continuing to be highlighted.
Final details, including dragon, finished and aging done.Final details, including dragon, finished and aging done.
I think she really came out well, just like I pictured her.I think she really came out well, just like I pictured her.

Who is the Fairest in the Land?

Tutoring 11
Skill 12
Idea 11
2 Comments

A friend suggested the Magic Mirror from Snow White as the subject for the oval picture frame.  I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself but it is mine now.  A little google research brought up a couple of images I could combine.  In addition I found a color chart for face painting the mirror’s face which was a great way to start out.

Now I have to get back to my Elven Mona Lisa…

I love the contrasting colors and OSL of this image.I love the contrasting colors and OSL of this image.
I love the flames/mist of this design.I love the flames/mist of this design.
Boy did this make starting easy.Boy did this make starting easy.
Just sketching the basic outline though this will change.Just sketching the basic outline though this will change.
Base colors are in.  Next is blending, highlighting, and smoothing out that black. Base colors are in. Next is blending, highlighting, and smoothing out that black.
Finally some watered down white to create mist.Finally some watered down white to create mist.
Here it is in my hand for scale.Here it is in my hand for scale.

Closing In on the End- Work In Progress

Tutoring 10
Skill 16
Idea 14
No Comments

Okay, I am down to the last few pieces and Terrain Crate1 (plus a few things) will be finished and before TC2 arrives at my house (so far).  Granted these pieces have the potential for the most detail work and have really set off my indecision but I am confident there are only a few hours of detail work left at this point.  So here are the last remaining pieces that are on my table.  In fact, here are some pictures of my table as well.

I haven’t decided if I will call this Project Blog complete when I’m done or simply roll it into the pieces from the second campaign.

The tray of pieces waiting for sealant.The tray of pieces waiting for sealant.
The Painting Table with the last of TC1, note the final tent in the foreground.The Painting Table with the last of TC1, note the final tent in the foreground.
Time for some serious detail work now that the basic blocks of color are down.Time for some serious detail work now that the basic blocks of color are down.
When in doubt go with classics.  The wonderful woven texture is part of the casting so even painted a solid color it would look like thick fabric..When in doubt go with classics. The wonderful woven texture is part of the casting so even painted a solid color it would look like thick fabric..
While the background of the original is covered in a rich texture of plants I wanted to reduce some of that as it would visually complicate the smaller version. By fading them out in the top half it also implies space.While the background of the original is covered in a rich texture of plants I wanted to reduce some of that as it would visually complicate the smaller version. By fading them out in the top half it also implies space.
Rather attractive wall covering, I would say.Rather attractive wall covering, I would say.
Here are the final pieces getting their base shapes blocked in.Here are the final pieces getting their base shapes blocked in.

Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion

Tutoring 11
Skill 15
Idea 14
1 Comment

The fountains from the Temple set were already done and added to my Wolsung terrain collection but the rest of the white plastic pieces had been waiting for my attention.  I painted the half circle steps the same color so I could put them together as a complete disc.  The other two sets I painted differently with one in white stone and the other in grey.  There are two open books in the set, one of which I decided to try and portray a personal holy tome.

There are two of these in my collection.There are two of these in my collection.
Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion
Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion
Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion
Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion
Temple Pieces and My Personal Religion
So here is the original book I was trying to make a tiny copy ofSo here is the original book I was trying to make a tiny copy of
I begin with just the simpest blocks of color, a size 0 Liner brush, and really strong reading glasses.I begin with just the simpest blocks of color, a size 0 Liner brush, and really strong reading glasses.
I skipped the text oval on the back of the original as it adds nothing but visual confusion.I skipped the text oval on the back of the original as it adds nothing but visual confusion.
Considerably smaller...Considerably smaller...
All in all, I think I pulled it off.All in all, I think I pulled it off.

Dark Lord in the Tower

Tutoring 10
Skill 14
Idea 13
No Comments

…and the Dark Lord’s Tower set is complete and it was a big one. Well, big in that it had a lot of parts, everything from a summoning circle to cobwebs to traps that deter any overly curious would be heroes. As I was assembling the parts I realized I had already painted the dark altar and packed it away.  It has now rejoined the rest of the set to mollify my OCD tendencies and can be seen in the photos.  I think the raven on his stand is one of my favorite details.

The all white Temple set is finished and will be posted as soon as I photograph it as I am rather pleased with one of the Holy Books.  That leaves two Campsite sets and the Throne Room to finish off and their parts are all on the painting table right now.  I have a solid idea of what to paint on the hanging tapestry but am still undecided (hard to believe) as to what will go on the two framed paintings.

Dark Lord in the Tower
Dark Lord in the Tower
Dark Lord in the Tower
Dark Lord in the Tower
Dark Lord in the Tower
You gotta love a detailed floor piece.You gotta love a detailed floor piece.
The retail set comes with a big boulder as part of the traps but I had already painted and photographed that with with the traps I received as Stretch Goals so didn't include it here.The retail set comes with a big boulder as part of the traps but I had already painted and photographed that with with the traps I received as Stretch Goals so didn't include it here.
Bye for now...Bye for now...

Closing In On The End

Tutoring 10
Skill 13
Idea 12
No Comments

The final (of three) Tavern set is now complete. I’m calling the three Barracks sets finished as well even though two of the parchments aren’t.  I know what I’m going to do on them; a second Hobbit Map and something else I’m not going to share yet. To be honest, just deciding what details to go with is the hardest and most time consuming part of all this for me.  Every set is finished or on the table except the Throne Room where my characteristic indecision has been a major hurdle. I’m happy to say I think I’ve solved most of it but we will have to see.  A little hint at the end of my next posting.

 

I just got an email saying Mantic’s HQ in England is packed full of rewards while the US shipping center is expecting the containers any day now.  Stay on target…

Closing In On The End
Closing In On The End
Closing In On The End
Closing In On The End
My palantir shows that the cargo ship has landed on US shores. It's only a matter of time now...My palantir shows that the cargo ship has landed on US shores. It's only a matter of time now...

Torture Chamber

Tutoring 9
Skill 17
Idea 12
1 Comment

Another set, Torture Chamber, is complete and photographed.  Fun little bits that really came together quickly.  Good thing too because the email from Mantic said the cargo ship with Terrain Crate2 on board is due to US soil around the 18th of this month. I had a WizKids Ironmaiden figure waiting on the table as well so threw it into the mix as it was a natural fit.

Torture Chamber
Torture Chamber
Torture Chamber
Torture Chamber
Torture Chamber
Torture Chamber
The entire setThe entire set
Not a Mantic piece but she fits in perfectly.Not a Mantic piece but she fits in perfectly.
Torture Chamber

More Progress

Tutoring 9
Skill 16
Idea 15
No Comments

I have now finished painting the last set of Scatter Terrain as well as the second of three Tavern sets.  One of the stretch goals added extra bits of stuff so I have three of these sets. Hmm, wonder if someone I know would want one.  Anyway, I just received an email saying the Terrain Crate 2 rewards on ships leaving China and only weeks from the various distribution centers around the world so I am running out of time to get all these done before the next plastic crack arrives. I started the Temple set that is cast in white as I want to use the fountains in my Wolsung set ups.

Now back to the painting table. These Barracks aren’t going to paint themselves after all.

More Progress
More Progress
More Progress
More Progress

Been A While

Tutoring 8
Skill 16
Idea 13
No Comments

It has been quite some time since I last posted progress on actual Mantic Terrain Crate minis what with the last couple posts actually being of Reaper Bones pieces but that is to be remedied now.  I have been working on this collection, in between other minis, but haven’t been photographing much of it.  Funny how all these little,”I’ll do that later” projects are getting done right now.  I finished off my second cart set which means all I have remaining of the Battlefield Crate is the Campsite collection. I’m looking forward to those, actually because I want the square tents to be decorated in the heraldry of some of my knightly figures.

Next are the last of the Tables and Chairs from the Town Crate.  Not much left in this one either, beyond some from the Guard Room and the Tavern as well as the Throne Room.  Gotta admit to finding the last one a little intimidating as I just don’t know what to do with either the carpet or the wall hangings.  I better decide quickly, Terrain Crate2 just verified my shipping address and word is the rewards will be en route soon.

Been A While
The dollhouse candles actually work out well at this scale as they just look like really big candles and wrought iron holders.The dollhouse candles actually work out well at this scale as they just look like really big candles and wrought iron holders.

Floor Show, 2nd Showing

Tutoring 7
Skill 17
Idea 13
No Comments

I finished off the last two sets of Reaper Bones floor tiles this weekend.  Not sure how I will use them in games yet but I know they will be fun backgrounds for photographing the rest of Mantic’s Terrain Crate pieces.

Floor Show, 2nd Showing
Floor Show, 2nd Showing
Floor Show, 2nd Showing
Floor Show, 2nd Showing

Floor Show Time1

Tutoring 8
Skill 16
Idea 15
No Comments

Okay, these pieces are from the Reaper Bones4 Kickstart rewards, not Terrain Crate, but I have already shown one of them with Bilbo’s Map and I still have yet to set up a Reaper Bones Project Blog.  So I am posting my progress here as they fit the theme.  There are four different double sided tiles, so eight different surfaces and I have finished two sets.  Some of them look like they were designed to be combined.  While they fit perfectly with my Secret Weapon Dungeon Tiles, they also work well all on their own.

Floor Show Time1
Floor Show Time1
Floor Show Time1
Floor Show Time1
They really do look good togetherThey really do look good together
Floor Show Time1

There and Back Again...

Tutoring 20
Skill 27
Idea 25
6 Comments

As soon as I saw the parchment pieces in the Barracks set I knew what one of them had to be, the map from the front of The Hobbit, or as I think of it, Bilbo’s Map.  As fellow Tolkieniphiles  I think @brennon and @dracs will appreciate this one.

 

I wanted to show it at an upcoming convention, KublaCon but it lacked something all on it’s own.  That’s when I realized I could just Blu-Tac Terrain Crate pieces together to make a nice frame work.  To be honest, there was less of the Blu-Tac showing when I entered it and it has gotten a little messy since.  Add in one Bones4 Dungeon Tile and I had a vignette.  I have to admit that while I am pleased with the display solution it is the map itself I’m proudest of.  It came out better than I thought my old eyes and arthritic hands could muster.  Chuffed to say that despite the BluTac it earned a gold.

Now, what am I going to paint on the other two parchments?

Start with the parchment and basic details.Start with the parchment and basic details.
"Mirkwood" is written with a 0 brush. The key is a clean, fine tip and bristles long enough to hold some moisture.
I actually freehanded most of it after penciling in lines for the mountains, road and forest.I actually freehanded most of it after penciling in lines for the mountains, road and forest.
Here is the piece in hand for scaleHere is the piece in hand for scale
The pieces really work together beautifully.The pieces really work together beautifully.
There and Back Again...
There and Back Again...
There and Back Again...
There and Back Again...
How could I not name the book There and Back Again? It's like they planned it.  Thank goodness for wet pallets.How could I not name the book There and Back Again? It's like they planned it. Thank goodness for wet pallets.
Finally, some 25mm minis for scale.Finally, some 25mm minis for scale.

Finished a Crate

Tutoring 9
Skill 17
Idea 12
No Comments

With completion of the last Mine and Treasury details I have now finished all the pieces that came in the Dungeon Crate. The following two images are the two sides of the contents sheet. The gallery is of these recent pieces.

Finished a Crate
Finished a Crate

So here are shots of the full sets.  Well, minus the white plinth from the Treasury I painted previously as I seem to have misplaced it.

This actually the Wizard's Study and the Library sets as they look so good togetherThis actually the Wizard's Study and the Library sets as they look so good together
Finished a Crate
Note the open spot for the missing plinth.Note the open spot for the missing plinth.
Finished a Crate
Finished a Crate

Forging Ahead Plus Some Scatter Terrain

Tutoring 8
Skill 14
Idea 10
No Comments

The Blacksmith pieces from the Town Terrain Crate are painted and ready for the gaming table.  A neat set full of fun little details from the bellows and pump to the hay bales and horse poop.  I have this vision of the planning meeting with Ronnie standing there, animatedly saying,”You know what no one is making for mins games? Horse poop, that’s what!”  So now they are in my painted terrain collection.

The second gallery is made up of images of the second Scatter set from my Dungeon Terrain Crate.  That means I’m just about done painting everything from that box.  I’d really like to have all four finished before the rewards from Mantic’s second Terrain Crate Kickstart campaign arrive.  Goals.

Everything is ready to shoe some horsesEverything is ready to shoe some horses

It's A Trap!

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 8
No Comments

I am moving through the Dungeon Terrain Crate at a rather steady clip right now.  Several of the sets within are now completely painted (Wizard’s Study, Dungeon Debris, and Traps) while a couple have less than half their pieces awaiting paint (Abandoned Mine and Treasure Room).  The giant boulder was part of the Dark Lord’s Tower box but really belongs with the Traps since the rope and wedge are in there.  I believe the ladder is included to navigate the traps in order to reach the control lever.  The Kickstart rewards came with multiples of all the pieces except the boulder so I will have to take a big group shot once they’re all done.

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