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Mega City One Spring Clean Challenge

Mega City One Spring Clean Challenge

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Project Blog by jeffersonpowers Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Mega City One could really use a fresh coat of paint. I will (hopefully) finish assembling and painting the Sarissa Precision Judge Dredd buildings, then get a few games in and write up a review and battle report.

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Where has the time gone?

Tutoring 1
Skill 1
Idea 2
1 Comment

Sundancer looked at my project on this week’s Unofficial Hobby Hangout, and in the process reminded me that there are less than two weeks (and only one weekend) left before the Spring Clean Challenge deadline. Why was I thinking I had until June 30? Why have I been spending so much of my hobby time painting Mythic Battles: Ragnarok figures?

Anyway, after Sundancer’s kind reminder I got straight back to work, this time on the smaller rooftop platform and stairs. I did the first, larger platform and stairs some time ago (you can see them in the first entry for this project) and I’m reasonably happy with the way they look, so the challenge here will be to match the look of the earlier piece.

Priming is definitely easier when the pieces are still on the sprue. As usual I’m using Vallejo brush-on primer. Much As I would love to just give these a quick spray, I live in a second floor apartment with no balcony or decent ventilation, and there just isn’t a good place for me to set up for spraying.

After punching the pieces out and filing & priming the edges where needed, a quick drybrush in gunmetal followed by a lighter silver and the pieces look good. Assembling the stairs was actually pretty fun, the steps look tedious but they fit into the rest of the piece really easily.

The floor platform is two pieces stuck together, with slots for the railings to fit in. I learned the hard way when assembling the larger platform that the two layers need to line up precisely for the rails to fit, so I’ve inserted enough rails to line them up properly.

A good vantage point to scan for law breaking activity...A good vantage point to scan for law breaking activity...

The rails are designed to be movable so you can place the stairs at different spots. I had to file down the edge of the floor piece to make it fit in between the signposts on the roof, but I think the final piece looks pretty good.

Now on to repainting the original piece to match the two new ones. The yellow on the two new pieces is a mix of yellow, grey and just a bit of brown. Yellow is very translucent, so I’m hoping if I use it straight from the bottle over the building’s previous grey it will be close enough, and I’ve got time for a quick paint test before I close up for the day.

Where has the time gone?

It looks okay, but a just a little too bright compared to the others, and the yellow covers a lot better when mixed with the grey and brown. Still, this will make a good base coat so I shouldn’t have to do as many layers of the mixed color.

The final phase of this project will be to actually play a game of Warlord’s Judge Dredd on this terrain, which means I need to finish up before the weekend. Wish me luck…

Second building done

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
4 Comments

I got excited about how quickly this second building was coming together, and so didn’t get as many in-progress photos as I would have liked. I went back and forth on what color to paint the shutter doors, but decided on a metal/silver for this one after re-doing the first building’s door in red to match its sign. I am very happy with the results.

Next up I have a rooftop walkway with stairs and railings, similar to the one you can see in the first post for this project, but sized to fit the smaller building. I think I’m going to do the stairs and railings the same as the earlier one, base black with drybrushed gunmetal and silver, but I want to do the floor differently. I’m hoping to give the hint of a checkered pattern similar to what we see in the Hall of Justice map for the Helter Skelter boardgame (middle image in the first post below), but I don’t want to paint in a whole grid, just hint at it here and there. I’m thinking I might cut a stencil to use as a guide.

After that I’ll re-paint the original grey building to match the grey and yellow on the two new ones, and also re-do its rooftop deck to match.

Starting on the second building

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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I need to get a move on if I’m going to finish these buildings and get a game or two in before the Spring Clean deadline. Hopefully this will go faster since I’ve worked out what I’m doing and I’d like all three buildings to look more-or-less the same in terms of color.

This time I’m going to try painting on the sprues (except where over-eager pieces have fallen out). I’m starting with a base coat of cheap craft paint, black where it’ll be dark grey, and white where it’ll be yellow. You can see how poor the coverage on the craft paint is — any money I’ve saved is pretty well wiped out by the time it takes to do multiple coats of paint. I’ll be using Monument Hobbies paints for the actual color like I did for the first building. More expensive paint to be sure, but it leaves a nice flat finish and should only need two or at most three coats.

The yellow marker on the cardboard bits is working great, I should just need to paint in some dark grey for the roof and a bit of silver for the scratched metal look.

First building done

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 6
2 Comments
Welcome to Tasty Bullet!Welcome to Tasty Bullet!

I’ve got all the pieces put together, and I think it looks pretty good.

The Sarissa kit came with a sticker sheet with different signage options, but I didn’t like either of the choices for the larger building. So I made my own sign, cobbled together using artwork from Tasty Bullet, a graphic novel by Jonathan Vankin and Arnold Pander. I think it makes a good name for a Mega City One kiosk, it’s so vague that it could sell anything from ammunition to fashionable clothes to fast food.

Next up is the smaller kiosk building, then a rooftop gantry. Then the big decision, whether or not to repaint that first building…

First building done

Progress!

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 4
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Progress!

I did almost nothing that I talked about doing in the previous entry. While underpainting in pink does work well for yellow, it gives the yellow a golden hue. I’m looking for more of a sickly institutional yellow, but I found that mixing in just a hint of black and painting over a light grey base coat is giving me the look I want.

Adding the “scratched paint over metal” look is providing just the right amount of detail, but it’s also taking forever to do. I’ll have to see if I can come up with a faster way to do it for the other building, and when/if I repaint the first one.

I decided not to make the door openable, but I did add a countertop to the service window.

I’ve got the roof assembled other than the sign. the kit came with a sticker sheet with different Dredd-themed signs, but I don’t really like any of the choices for the larger building so I’m thinking of trying to come up with something myself.

Next up: final assembly!

Progress!

Getting Started

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

I’ve taken the huge first step of opening the package for the larger retail unit. It’s pretty similar to the storage unit I’ve already done, but that was quite some time ago so I don’t really remember how it fits together.

It looks like I may have been too clever for my own good in making the door on the storage unit openable. Should I bother doing that with the two retail buildings? If I do it’ll be complicated by the fact that each retail building has two doors: a normal sized door and a wider shutter for the service window. I’m thinking I may make the normal door openable, but either fix the shutter or do away with it entirely. I definitely want at least one of the buildings to have an open service window — I’ll paint the interior in a different color to provide some contrast.

Speaking of color, I’ve decided on yellow for the buildings, and now I’m remembering how difficult yellow paint can be as it tends to be very transparent. On previous Sarissa kits I’ve used cheap craft paint, reasoning that it would take too much miniature paint to cover such a large area. But what I seem to always conveniently forget is that the coverage on those cheap craft paints is pretty awful, so I’m having to spend time on multiple coats. It’s bad enough with grey, but just impossible with yellow which offers no coverage at all.

After giving up on the craft paint I switched to my usual miniature paint, in this case a Reaper mustard yellow that I reasoned would cover the MDF okay. After two coats I’ve blown through half the bottle and coverage is still pretty blotchy, so I’m going to have to rethink.

Getting Started

The kit includes some cardboard pieces meant to provide surface detailing. I tried coloring those with a Prismacolor marker and that actually looks pretty good and goes really quickly. I think a quick drybrush with a lighter yellow will have the cardboard bits looking the way I want them to.

Getting Started

I set aside the project for the day to work on other things, and later on inspiration hit me. I recalled that pink is a good underpaint color for yellow — I had tried this for the first time with some Star Wars Shatterpoint handmaidens and the results were pretty good. Even better, for quite some time Reaper was throwing in a free bottle of pink paint (for breast cancer awareness) with every order, so I have several bottles of pink that I hadn’t previously envisioned a use for.

Later in the evening additional inspiration hit, in the form of this week’s episode of The Bad Batch. Part of the story takes place in a cargo bay with some yellow and grey crates in the background. The shapes and detailing are similar to the buildings I’m working on, and I like the look of them. Plus it would involve painting most of the MDF parts dark grey instead of yellow, which should be a lot easier and quicker.

Getting Started

Rethinking the Mega City

Tutoring 7
Skill 6
Idea 8
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Rethinking the Mega City

More years ago than I care to admit I bought Sarissa’s Judge Dredd bundle, which consists of 3 buildings plus some rooftop gantries and stairs. I assembled and painted one of them but I’m not overly thrilled with the results. I was going for a concrete look similar to what we see in the Karl Urban Dredd film, but in practice I’m finding that it looks a little dull, and I think I overdid it trying to bring out a stippled texture on the MDF. It was a surprising amount of work for a mediocre result.

Rethinking the Mega City
Rethinking the Mega City

In thinking about it, I’ve decided that I want to go for a much more comic book look for the other two buildings. The natural inclination for futuristic buildings is to go with grey and silver, but it’s pretty boring to paint and I’m noticing that they rarely do that in the Judge Dredd comics. I also really like the board for Osprey’s Helter Skelter game (the Judge Dredd version of Wildlands) so I’m looking at at the color choices there for inspiration.

My plan is to build and paint the other two buildings with the new color scheme in mind, and then repaint or at least touch up the one I’ve already done to make sure they all look consistent.

Rethinking the Mega City

The last time I played the Warlord Judge Dredd game was in 2021, and I have a vague memory of it being a little unsatisfying. I remember thinking it was a little tedious that it took four dice rolls to make an attack: I have to succeed at an attack roll, my opponent has to fail their defense roll, I then have to make a damage roll, and my opponent makes a roll to resist the damage. I freely admit that my memory of the game is pretty vague, so I want to give it another try, which will be the last part of this spring clean challenge — I’ll write up a battle report here and do a proper review of the game on my blog.

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