Twisted Buildings, Part 3

A new, bright house, and a cobblestone mat!

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.

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Twisted Buildings, Part 2

My most recent painted Twisted buildings: Old Corner Shop and Nouveau Archways

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!

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Wolsung Buildings, Part 1

Take a look at some of my first MDF buildings for Wolsung SSG.

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.

One last thing:

If you’re interested in snagging one or two bargain-priced items for Wolsung SSG, Funagain Games is going out of business and has a very limited quantity of Wolsung items in their Warehouse Liquidation Sale.  I got a few single miniatures, a dice set, and some templates, but my biggest find by far was the Ash and Oak Club Starter 2 for just $1.99!  (#itookthelastone  #sorrynotsorry)  Both Wolsung SSG rule books, one or two individual figures, and a selection of small scenery items, like crate and barrel piles and advertising columns, were still available when I last checked.

For that matter, if you are a fan of Relic Knights, Achtung! Cthulhu, Wrath of Kings, the Batman Miniature Game by Knight Models, puzzles, Eurogames, card games like Superfight, or Funko figures, you might want to check out that sale!  There were many such items listed there for sizable discounts.

Disclaimer: I’m not partnered with or sponsored by any of these companies, but I like to share a good deal when I see one!

Welcome to Hobbyhoo

Get to know me and what I want to bring you here on 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!