Post-Apoc Neighborhoods, Part 1

Residential Ranch (Garage LHS) Phase 1 (2)
I finished blocking out the base colors on the outside only.

I chose to begin my post-apocalypse terrain journey with my copy of this kit by Sarissa Precision.  I’m a huge fan of their kits, and I’m happy they’re continuing to add to their Retro Americana 28mm terrain kit line.  If you follow me long enough, you’ll eventually see all of these Fallout-influenced businesses, an entire trailer park, and the rest of the cozy subdivision I’ve just started. Since I built these, Sarissa have also added a survivor shack, a fallout shelter entrance, and various smaller accessories that I’m bound to add to the collection sooner or later.

Residential Ranch (Garage LHS) Phase 1 (3)
So many windows! I lived in an older house with wooden siding and trim, and I hope to replicate some of the weathering I am familiar with.

I did a little research online for some accurate color schemes to use on this quaint little bungalow.  I’ll definitely switch it up a little for the other three similar homes that I have.  I used a wet-drybrush style to get the basic colors on (not as dry as a true drybrush, but hardly any paint on the brush and lots of back-and-forth sweeping motions).  This helped retain the laser detailing, and it gave an already faded/slightly weathered look.  I did something like this on my Wolsung shanty town buildings featured in this blog post, and I was very happy with the results.

Residential Ranch (Garage LHS) Phase 1 (4)
View of the front with the garage detached.

Now I’m to the (first) hard part: getting a good enough weathered effect for the house to pass as part of a nuclear wasteland.  This is new territory for me, so I may not get it right the first time.  I have some ideas, and my husband does, too.  If you have any pointers, feel free to leave them in a comment!

Like all Sarissa kits I’ve ever encountered, the roofs lift off from both the main house and the little garage.  I’m eventually planning to decorate the inside for full immersion, but that is a challenge for another phase of the project.  I already have many pieces of scatter terrain that would fit right in from several different ranges, as well as a bunch that I will eventually receive in the future from the TerrainCrate 2 Kickstarter campaign by Mantic Games.


As always, I’m not affiliated with anyone I link to in this post (although it would be a dream come true), but I like to give you the resources to find what I’m talking about in case you’re interested!


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!

Twisted Buildings, Part 3

Allow me to present the newest addition to my Twisted city: a decidedly whimsical No. 42 Carver Lane house!  My first copy of this building, with a distinctly more serious tone, was featured heavily in my Twisted Buildings, Part 1 post.

Twisted No. 42 Carver Lane 11

My initial, more subdued take on this house:


The bright, cheery shop:


It’s probably no surprise if you had a look at my last post that I was pleased with the color scheme from my first Old Corner Shop.  I decided to carry on with a similar look, using turquoise accents instead of blue, with this newest house.

Here are some additional angles on the new house:


Hold up,” I can almost hear you audibly protest.  “Isn’t steampunk a gritty, dirty, Industrial Revolution-esque setting?  Just what exactly is she doing painting these like this?  Surely she can’t think these are done?!?  Where is the dirt?  The weathering? The dried up tears of laborers returning from the workhouse?”  Well, hold onto your hat, dear reader, because I’m about to blow your mind!

Twisted Rulebook


The world of Twisted is a truly unique steampunk setting centered around the machinations (see what I did there?) of The Engine, an infinitely powerful and ancient entity that shapes the world and lives of its inhabitants according to its own designs.  It can influence the world in any number of ways, and the different factions in the game can tap into its power if they can garner its favor.  The Engine is a little like GW’s Tzeentch in that complicated coincidences and events in the world happen just as planned.  One of the ways that I imagine The Engine keeps the society of Twisted under control is by altering people’s perception of reality.  My inspiration here is from a couple of video games.

Bioshock is one of my favorite video game franchises, and one of my favorite sequences in the franchise is when you get to play as a Little Sister in Bioshock 2 and see the world through her eyes.  As a Little Sister, you see what is in reality a decaying and gruesome environment as a stunning, bright, and somewhat trippy paradise.  The dead splicers the Little Sisters harvest ADAM from actually appear to them as angels, making their constant chatter about such things finally make sense.  They are little girls, after all, and this altered perception helps them to do their job without being traumatized.  Sometimes my husband and I joke that our cat has “Little Sister-vision” when he seems to be obsessed with nothing.  Who knows what he can see in his little kitty mind?

Another instance of this type of altered perception in a bleak and depressing video game world is in We Happy Few.  Admittedly, I have never played this game, but I’m an avid Twitch and YouTube viewer, and let’s plays are one of my favorite things to watch.  In We Happy Few, the populace are kept docile and surface-level “happy” with the hallucinogenic drug Joy, provided and in many cases forced on them, of course, by a dystopian government.  When your character in the game takes Joy, you have a very different, brighter, and more whimsical experience of the world around you.

All of this is to explain that my vision for Twisted is that The Engine alters people’s perception of the world around them so they believe that they live in an idyllic, cheerful place.  By giving them this view, they will continue to work hard, feel satisfied, and be blissfully unaware of The Engine’s influence and plans for them.  I think I have executed this vision pretty well so far.  I realize it isn’t for everyone, but I want you to know that I have put some thought into it.

And now, by popular demand, due to dwindling counter space, because these buildings deserve to be observed in their proper habitat, and without further ado, here is the complete-to-date Twisted city perched lovingly upon a delightful vinyl cobblestone mat by GameMatz!

much cobble.  very stone.  so city.  such Twisted.  wow.


If you’re dying to see some Twisted miniatures to go along with all of these buildings (or you are at least vaguely curious to see them), then please send your good vibes toward my husband, Alex, who has agreed to start painting some up.  Why aren’t I going to paint some myself?  Am I truly horrible at painting miniatures?  Is MDF the only medium with which I can create?  Nah, I’m actually pretty good at painting minis.  The reason I am, of course, is Alex!  He has been gaming and painting much longer than I have, and he always gives me just the right guidance if I’m stuck or frustrated when painting a model.  I will definitely paint miniatures again, but he’s a lot more motivated to do it right now.  I’ve really regained my painting mojo with these buildings lately.  My table full of assembled but unpainted Twisted terrain is looking more and more empty.  This blog is keeping me motivated, and I can’t wait to see the project completed.

Next up: I would like a bit of a reprieve from full-sized buildings, so I’ll take a stab at my Twisted Staircases and Twisted Walkways.  If I’m feeling especially motivated this coming week, I’ll also paint up at least some of my Twisted Street Lamps.

After that: I’ll finish up the last two shops and the last two houses.  I also have two absolutely adorable gypsy traveler caravans (in bow top and ledge styles) and a truck from Sarissa Precision to paint up and add to the city.

Twisted Buildings, Part 2

I’ve been rather motivated to work on my lineup of assembled Twisted buildings lately, so I’m ready to post a nice photo update.  If you missed my first Twisted Buildings post, please check it out!

I am very pleased with the way my first Old Corner Shop turned out (I have two more waiting for paint).  Although Twisted takes place in a steampunk setting, which can often be portrayed as gritty and dirty, Demented Games put a unique, whimsical touch on their world that I interpret as you see here.  I’m not exactly a lore expert (in my house, that’s my husband, Alex), but I also have a few story-driven reasons for my view of this world.  I’ll address those in a future post.

I wanted to paint the two Nouveau Archways the same because I picture them as being public structures, and it makes sense that the city would design them to look alike.  I didn’t really intend it, but Alex pointed out to me that they kind of resemble a certain set of golden arches.

My Twisted city is really starting to take shape!  I’m running out of space on the kitchen counter; I’m going to need to start photographing the buildings on our gaming table with our cobblestone mat.  We have this 4×6 vinyl mat by Gamematz.  We have four different vinyl mats from them, and we really love them.  As long as you treat them with care, they work beautifully.

Next up: another No. 42 Carver Lane.  Last time, I went with a hunter green/gray combo.  What colors should I go with?

Thanks for checking out my latest projects!  Keep on hobbying!


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!