I’m Back–and Switching Gears

Twisted stairs, lamppost, and stair-steppers.

I hit a hobby slump several months ago after I’d made amazing progress painting so many of my buildings for Twisted and Wolsung.  A combination of factors and just life getting in the way made me take a step back from the blog for a time, but I am eager to get right back into it!

Part of what held me up was not feeling excited to paint a bunch of lampposts (I think I have about two dozen of them), stairs, and boardwalks.  These more tedious pieces all take a lot of paint and a lot more time than I’d like.  My husband and I also still haven’t played a game of Twisted or Wolsung since I started my blog.  Instead, we’ve focused on playing some of our other games (especially Adeptus Titanicus and Kill Team by Games Workshop).  My husband even got his Titanicus battlegroup all painted except for three Knights!  They look amazing!  I have one half-finished Knight…I’m not that great at sticking to painting models.

My husband did an amazing job on his 6mm-scale Mortis battlegroup for Adeptus Titanicus!  He has three Knights left to finish before he expands his force.

Since my last post, we also purchased quite a bit for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare by Modiphius.  We also have quite a bit for This is Not a Test by World’s End Publishing.  I already assembled so many retro/post-apoc. buildings for these two games, and I’m very excited to paint them up so that we can have some amazing games on a great table.

If you’re considering buying the Red Rocket terrain set Battlesystems made for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, your money would be better spent elsewhere.  The playmat (not pictured) is great, but the cardboard terrain is flimsy and won’t last.  I couldn’t even get the rocket to attach properly, and I’m a very experienced terrain-builder.  However, I cannot recommend the ColorED post-apocalypse terrain by Plast Craft Games highly enough.  It is amazing!

I decided to start out with my trailer park and suburb from Sarissa Precision.  I have many other types of buildings (including 99% of the Retro Americana range from Sarissa) and a plethora of scatter terrain/accessories from a variety of manufacturers as well, but they can wait for another day.

Expect to see frequent updates on my quest to create a suitably-weathered trailer park and suburb for the post-apocalyptic wastelands of the worlds of Fallout and This is Not a Test.  Then we’ll see what area of the wasteland I want to tackle next!

Side note: I’m not affiliated with anyone I link to, but I like to give you the resources to find what I’m talking about!

Wolsung Buildings, Part 1

I’m making good progress on my Twisted buildings (I got the two Nouveau Archways done, and I’ve started an Old Corner Shop), but before I give an update on those, I thought you might be interested in having a look at some of my previous work on some related buildings for the Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game.

Wolsung SSG is a great skirmish game by the very talented Micro Art Studio set in a steampunk universe interwoven with magic where several factions vie for dominance.  Just like with Twisted, I first heard of Wolsung SSG  during their Kickstarter campaign.  Several of the game mechanics are quite unique, and this was the first time I had ever seen a standard deck of playing cards being used to affect gameplay in a miniatures game.  I easily fell in love with the Inventors and their adorable robots, and my husband, Alex, was likewise quite taken with the Scylla, a very unique halfling mafia group with ogre thugs to do their grunt work.  And the terrain…

Well, you ought to know by now that if nothing else, the terrain will sell me on a new game.  The range of buildings and accessories Micro Art designed for Wolsung SSG truly made my jaw drop.  The detailed MDF buildings were designed so that you could lift the top off and remove different levels, revealing the inside as additional play areas.  This was my first foray into MDF terrain, and I was truly excited.  This was basically a bunch of dollhouses, but better!

The Kickstarter rewards are now long past delivered, and we’ve had plenty of time to put buildings together and enjoy the game.  Honestly, I’ve been dying to play recently!  But back to the matter at hand: terrain.  At first, I simply removed the pieces from the MDF sheets and had Alex put them together.  He has been a tabletop gamer for most of his life, but I was still relatively new to the idea of putting something like these complex buildings together.  As time went on, I tried painting some of them (I started small, with some of the small ramshackle shacks), and then I got up the courage to build some myself.  I discovered that I love it!

Alas, I still don’t have all of these delightful buildings assembled and/or painted (we do have quite a lot of them), but here is what I do have ready to show.

There are so many ‘XIX Century Shantytowns‘ to show because a set of four was one of the free stretch goal backer rewards during the Kickstarter.  Alex and I backed the campaign on two accounts each in order to maximize our freebies.  You have to save some money when you can in this hobby; it’s just being resourceful.  This is a boutique (read: niche, small-scale, high quality, but a bit on the expensive side) game, after all.  These little cuties were the first Wolsung project I tackled, and they were a joy to paint.  Like all of the Wolsung buildings, the roofs lift off from these tiny abodes in case you want to use the inside space for additional play area.  I still have more to assemble, believe it or not.

These ‘XIX Century Stands‘ were the first MDF pieces that I assembled on my own, and they were also very fun to paint.  I started making some wares to display in them, but I haven’t quite finished that task.  I’ll return to it one day.  After all, as we say in the tabletop gaming hobby: as long as you have unfinished projects, you can never die.

This ‘XIX Century Block of Flats‘ is still a work in progress.  I still have the roof and the inside to paint.  There are even perfect little acrylic windowpanes to glue in when everything is done.  I am truly impressed with how easy it is to lift off, and later replace, the different levels of the building.  I have two more blocks of flats to paint up once this one is finished.

There are some assembled but so far unpainted pieces as well, but I’ll save those for another day.

Disclaimer: I’m not partnered with or sponsored by any companies mentioned.

Welcome to Hobbyhoo

Just ‘hoo’ am I, and what can you expect from Hobbyhoo?

My name is Jen.  I love owls, and other any cute or interesting animal, really.  I’m a weary high school English and history teacher by day and an eclectic hobbyist by night.  This isn’t a recent development; I’ve been finding unique creative outlets to engage in my whole life. 

My early hobbies included music (I’ve played the piano since I was five years old) and anything artistic that I could get my hands on.  As a young girl, I was always drawing or coloring something or creating some kind of silly one-woman radio show using my cassette tape recorder.  My parents got me every kind of instrument they could get their hands on so I could express myself.  I even had a huge accordion that we found at a yard sale.  In a box somewhere in my parents’ garage, there is some surviving video evidence of me playing it while prancing around happily in my front yard!

I made beaded jewelry for myself and my friends and always presented homemade crafty gifts to my family members at Christmas.  As I got a little older, I enjoyed writing short stories and song parodies and making stop-motion videos of my action figures and Barbie-sized dolls with my parents’ huge video camera.  (Agents Mulder and Scully were always up to something intriguing!) 

My grandma often included me in her creative hobbies as well, including having me help her pin her beautiful quilts together when she could no longer get down on the floor to do it herself.  I eventually followed in the footsteps of my grandma and my mom and learned to crochet…I never did quite catch on to knitting, though!  About three years ago, I learned to sew by making an adorable lap quilt with my mom, and this past year, my dad spoiled me with an amazing Janome Skyline S7 sewing machine to help me run wild with my new-found love of quilt-making.  My biggest problem now is keeping my spare bedroom clean enough to use it effectively as a sewing room!

When I got married, I discovered that I enjoyed cooking.  Especially baking.  It’s not a stretch of the truth to tell you that I’m very well known for my chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve been making them for almost fifteen years now, and they never go amiss.  (I’ll post the recipe the next time I bake them…I’m always happy to share it!  They don’t always turn out for other people, though.  I think the secret ingredient is love.)

Ever since my husband, Alex, introduced me to tabletop wargaming in 2003, I have also been completely enthralled with the myriad miniature worlds associated with this hobby.  I’ve always been a sucker for tiny things.  I dreamed of a dollhouse filled with perfect little furniture (and I even bought one about ten years ago, but it was so much work to assemble it, and I honestly wasn’t up to the challenge at the time!).  It makes sense that the aspect of wargaming I’m most drawn to is buildings and other terrain.  Don’t get me wrong; I love playing wargames, and I think miniatures are amazing, but terrain is where it’s at for me.

Alex and I play so many different games that it’s difficult to fit them all in to our schedule, but it’s still great fun!  Like most people in the hobby, we have more than a lifetime’s worth of assembly and painting ahead of us, but that’s just part of the fun as well.  I have so many things I’d love to share with you, and by posting them to the blog, I hope to get some added motivation to complete many of the projects that have fallen by the wayside when life has gotten in the way.

Here are some of the things I’d like to share with you here on Hobbyhoo:

  • Finishing assembly and painting of various MDF terrain, including:
    • Wolsung buildings, walls, and stairs (by Micro Art Studio)
    • Twisted buildings, stairs, and lampposts (by Demented Games and Miniature Scenery)
    • Various Fallout-inspired retro/post-apocalyptic buildings (mostly by Sarissa Precision)
    • A few bits and pieces by 4Ground
  • Painting up plastic buildings, including modular Mantic kits and more
  • Painting around a metric ton of resin and hard plastic scatter terrain, mostly post-apocalyptic (by various companies)
  • Learning new techniques and painting up a LOT of minis.  To give you a small idea:
    • Our larger tabletop game systems include Warhammer 40k and 30k/Horus Heresy, Age of Sigmar, Kings of War, Beyond the Gates of Antares, Dropzone Commander, and Black Powder.
    • Our smaller tabletop game systems include This is Not a Test, Strange Aeons, Deadzone, Wolsung, Twisted, Blood and Plunder, Frostgrave, Pulp Alley, Rogue Stars, and SAGA.
    • I know I’m forgetting something!
  • Showing off some cool and unique table setups and offering recommendations
  • Battle reports
  • How to play and/or a look at some of our many miniature-heavy board games/hybrid games, such as:
    • Shadows of Brimstone
    • Mythic Battles: Pantheon
    • Zombicide (many iterations)
    • Dark Souls
    • Conan
    • Warhammer Quest (all types)
    • Dungeon Saga
    • Star Saga
    • Dreadball
    • Battletech
    • Robotech RPG Tactics
    • X-Wing
    • Imperial Assault
    • Star Wars: Armada
    • Super Dungeon Explore
  • Tabletop news
  • Interesting new Kickstarter campaigns
  • Unboxing pending Kickstarter deliveries
  • Storage solutions (this is a huge issue, as you probably know if you’re still reading)

Later on/occasionally, I’d also love to share some of my other hobbies, such as:

  • Sewing
  • Baking
  • Jewelry-making
  • Miscellaneous crafts, like ‘diamond paintings’ (paint by number with rhinestones)
  • Writing fiction

Thank you for your interest!  I hope to provide you with great content for years to come!