Have you ever wanted to get a new wargaming miniature but didn't have the money to pay for it? Do you know about miniature wargaming but aren't willing to break the bank to play? Or have you been wanting to try a new army build or race with minimal impact on your wallet? If so, then you've come to the right place!
Here at 40,000 Pirates you can find printable proxies, scatter dice, blast and flamer templates for use in one of the most popular tabletop wargames - absolutely free!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Scratch Build a Crater


This tutorial covers how to make 'rough and ready' craters for your battlefield - they may not win any awards, but they're cheap and can be thrown together with minimal effort. In the end, they'll look something like this:

I think it is worth mentioning that I did not invent this idea, I have merely taken the original concept I found a few years ago, and experimented with it (unfortunately I cannot find the original tutorial I followed). Namely, I have discovered that DVDs are a much better basing material than corrugated cardboard when it comes to paper mache.

What you will need:
- Ends of bottles and cans, some cardboard, or other bits and bobs.
- Scrap paper (or newspaper)
- Old DVDs, a piece of plywood, or thick cardboard.
- Flour
- Water
- Fine sand
- Coarse dirt pieces
- PVA glue

1. First, chop off the bottoms of soft-drink cans, 1.5 litre soft-drink bottles, 300ml bottles, or just use cardboard, and tape it to a DVD (of course, you could use any basing material, but I find that cardboard - no matter how thick - usually bows upward when the paper mache dries). You won't need much tape, the paper mache will secure it properly later. Here is what I used (sorry for the censorship!):

Craters are labelled so you can see how each one turns out. 

The bottoms of 300ml Sprite bottles. 

On the right is the bottom of a 1.5 litre bottle of Coke.

2. Next, mix your water and flour to a roughly 2:1 ratio - that is 2 cups of water for 1 cup of flour. The resulting paper mache mix was fairly runny, but it worked. Tear your paper into strips, dip it into the paper mache, and layer it over the base to form the shape of a crater. (I only used one layer of paper mache, and the base did not bow upward like it usually does with cardboard).

NOTE: I put a sprinkle of salt in my paper mache mix to prevent it from becoming moldy. Honestly, I don't know if it works, but I still do it just in case.

3. Once the paper mache has dried (this could take a day). Cover your craters in PVA Glue.

- Then take your coarse dirt.....

- .... and scatter the larger chunks/rocks/twigs across the surface.

- While the glue is still wet, take your fine sand.....

- .....and completely cover the crater with it. Mound the sand up so it covers absolutely every part of the crater. Then, after waiting a minute or so, shake the sand off the crater.

- Next, water down some PVA glue to a runny, milk-like consistency. Apply this generously over the whole crater.

- Once dry, the craters should look something like this:

4. Of course, at this point you could choose to just use the craters as-is. But a spray of black and a dry-brush of brown makes a decent, if not astonishingly great, paintjob.

(I tried a completely brown scheme with E, but didn't really get the look I was going for!) 

And there you have it, that is how I get my cheap, easy-to-make, and rather expendable craters for the tabletop. I managed to make eight of them over a weekend (it's the paper mache/glue drying that takes up the most time), though I'm sure you could mass-produce much more if you tried!

Until next time, happy scratch-building!

40k Pirate

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to Scratch Build a Chimera - Extra Details

Ahoy thar!

Yes, it's been a while, and unfortunately I can't say I'm ready to get back into the hobby to the same degree. Instead, I will continue the current pattern of posting one or two tutorials a year, and so slowly build up the scratch-building resources available here. Now, onto the tutorial!

I was recently messaged by Dinodew2, who has discovered a relatively simple way of adding some extra detail to the scratch built chimera you can find on this site. His idea was to use toothpicks, lollipop sticks and a hole punch to create hinges, opening gears and rivets. This is his Chimera:

What you will need:
- Plastic lollipop sticks (the kind that have the hole down the centre)
- Toothpicks
- 1.5mm hole punch
- Cereal box cardboard

1- First, cut a toothpick roughly 1cm shorter than the length of the door/hatch edge you plan to add a hinge to (of course, you may need it shorter or longer, depending on personal taste). Glue this toothpick centred on the edge of the door/hatch like so:

- Once the doors, hatches, and raised details are stuck on, you can add rivets. Dinodew2 uses a 1.5mm hole punch to create rivets out of cardboard, and I like the way they look.

2- Creating the 'gear-thingies' near the back door requires a little more effort, but I think the result is far superior to the parts supplied in the template. First, cut a length of lollipop stick roughly 13mm long.

- Then, chop off the pointed ends of a toothpick and insert it down the middle of the lollipop stick, so that roughly 9mm of toothpick extends from the end of the lollipop stick.

- Finally, cut some small disks from the lollipop stick, and glue it all together.

And there you have it, with a little bit of extra effort, you can add that much more detail to your model!

Many thanks to Dinodew2 for sharing your ideas, and taking the effort to send in plenty of WIP pictures and explanations to write up this tutorial. I appreciate it!

Until the next tutorial, happy scratch building!

40k Pirate

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