A bit of news

As some of you may know through my website, OSHIRO modelterrain, I am having to take a few months off due to medical problems.

We will be open again in the new year but as a consequence I'm not taking any orders, commission or catalogue for the time being.

This being said, I intend to do several posts on the ever increasing 'Japanese on Mars' project that has being ongoing over on the LAF. Some of you will have seen the work on this project but it will help to post it here as nothing really new will be done for the coming months.

Many thanks



Akira style gaming table

Going to Japan you can't help but notice the almost near future style of the cities, with cramped tower blocks vying for space and a host of bright electric signs.

This type of city has inspired me to do my own version for 28mm gaming and to have it in the style of Akira. For those who don't know what Akira is it's basically a near future, almost post apocalyptic vision of Tokyo with biker gangs, government agencies and psychics. The film is quite a mind boggler but it does have a certain appeal (my paltry synopsis really doesn't do it justice at all).

 For this project I'll be keeping more with what modern Japan (specifically Tokyo) looks like but adding futuristic elements to give that near future vibe.

The first I did was to draw up a simple, generic block of flats. These can been seen all over Japan in differing forms and colours. I'm keeping as much as modular as possible to allow for playability and changing the look of the board.

This a quick shot of a primered set of floors but without the ground floor shop, not very clear at the moment...

This is a view with a test coat of paint and limited weathering. The tiles were marked in the lasered grooves with a technical pen

This is a kit that will be for sale in my catalogue within the next week and below is a slightly better shot showing the top floors. The window frames are left out at this stage to allow for the ease of painting.

The ground floor shop had to be generic and I've drawn up several different designs for shop signs that will hopefully not tread on anybody's ip :-) The kit will come with window frames and glazing.

For the gaming table I will also be trying to light as much as possible and below are a couple of pictures of the shop being lit...

One of the features of modern Japan is the very busy, utility based skyline and I hope to achieve that with plenty of these power lines. This one was a test but I will be making a slightly simpler version for casting purposes.

One of the more different structures is the city parking tower which can be found all over the central areas of Japanese cities. An ingenious solution to the ever increasing lack of space, it's basically a tall carousel on which cars are driven on and then rotated for the next free space (that probably doesn't make much sense).

Below are some group shots of the original block of flats with a second one on the go and the parking tower in the middle.

And what Japanese skyline wouldn't be complete without the obligatory red and white comms tower. This will also be in kit form and could be used in many sci-fi settings.

Last but not least I'll be producing an extensive range of small accoutrements and additions to add to the exterior and interior of the buildings, starting with some air con units. I'll be making some bigger ones to go on the roofs and next will be some shop shelves.

Quite an extensive project as you can see but it has been on a back burner for several years now.

More to follow on the actual board itself in a month or so (after my last show of the year) and more on different types of buildings as and when I get a chance to design and build them.



Off to Japan

Not quite but I've got a samurai commission to show.

It took a little longer than I would've liked but it turned out well in the end :-)

This arrangement has proven quite popular for commission based works and this time the request was to have removable roofs. I used the original templates from the resin catalogue items but cut them out of slightly thicker material to allow for the impression of a decent wall thickness.

I unfortunately didn't really take any decent wip pictures but if look at some of my previous samurai posts you'll get a good idea of the general construction process.

The only slightly difficult part was making the upper roof on the merchants house due to the fact that the upper floor is just about on the same level as the eave line. A rib construction under the tiles allowing for the low floor solved the problem though.

An additions set (JA01) and a small tree were included to add that little bit extra of lived in detail. Below are a couple more shots along with some detail ones.



Construction of Nottingham

As promised, I've got a post about how I made the matt and board for Nottingham castle.

It certainly wasn't done in the normal way but it seems to work and be rather effective. As space is at a premium in the 'cupboard' I decided to use the Mars boards I've made and double them for our Robin Hood project. 

The boards are 50mm deep as the Martian canal is this depth so there's plenty of space to play with on the underneath of the boards and as most of the Mars boards are plain it seemed a waste to leave them untouched.

I stared off with a rough layout of the castle parts that had already been done to allow for the positioning of the moat.

Firstly, two cut outs on two sides of the board were cut out to represent the cross section of the moat. Then, the interior of the underneath of the Mars board was built up first with a 30mm layer following the course of the moat and given a rocky texture by basically ripping out small chunks of the foam. On top of this a sheet of6mm acrylic was cut to fit inside the board but with two tabs where the moat crosses the edge of the board.

Then the final top layer of thin foam was cut and shaped to size for both sides of the moat. Before any of this was stuck down the acrylic was painted underneath with a browny green wash and the same wash was applied to the moat bed and sides. After this was dry it was stuck to the bottom foam layer with copious amounts of thick superglue and left to dry for a couple of days. Once dry the top layer was applied in the same way and left to go off.

An extension from the none castle side was made under the water out of styrene sheeting to allow the drawbridge to lower, as the drawbridge can only be a certain size this extension of the ground was needed (it will make sense in a photo later on). 

Once the top was thoroughly stuck it was given a coat of sand but not where the castle sits as it makes it much easier for transporting. When dry, the sand was washed with dark brown ink and drybrushed up to try and match my existing boards.

Here you can see the extension from the ground towards the gate and before the top layer was applied and sand etc added.

Greenery was added here and there and inside the castle walls was painted brown with limited grass in the corners. THe drawbridge was made from balsa and I am in the process of making a couple of small loops that the bridge lowering chains will come through. The drawbridge will remain removeable for ease of transporting.

Below are a few shots of it complete and hopefully very soon I'll be making another board that will extend the castle down one side.



Riding through the glen...

I've got some more progress on the Hollywood Hood project that I posted about several months ago.

As this is a long term project (like so many others) I keep coming back to it when the muse descends. Those of you who frequent the LAF will possibly have seen this but here are some of the better photos of different terrain items and figures that have been completed so far. Not much wordage I'm afraid (maybe that's not a bad thing) just pictures to enjoy :-)

Any questions feel free to ask but I'll be doing a post later this month about the castle and how I did the most etc.



Just a little more oil...

A smallish post today showing the limited progress on a small project a couple of are doing on LAF. Gladiators!

I must admit, this one took me by surprise when it got mentioned but as always I was collared hook, line and sinker :-)

The rules are a play test list by one of the members of LAF and are proving to be much fun (swing on over to have a proper shufty) with never two matches the same.

My Ludus is owned by Bibulus the Flos (a given name...) and is a small arena in the provinces. The basic board is a lasered plate with 30mm across the flats hexes scored on with a gap between them, these are then covered in sand and painted a suitable sand colour.

The sides are bendy MDF and will be enclosed by the rest of the arena, seating etc. I haven't quite decided on the layout yet for the rest but I'd like to include some other elements, like quarters for the gladiators and some rooms for the lanista... We'll see.

For the moment I only have two members of the Ludus but I'm hoping this is going to change soon. First off is a retarius.

And secondly we have a Thraex.

They are 40mm Battle Honours and although the sculpting certainly isn't the best they will do the job :-)



Down in China town

Well, not quite :-)

A nice little commission that's been ongoing for a short while is a set of six Chinese shops from the latter half of the 19th century. I was lucky enough to get a couple of period photos from the client and they gave me the basis to work from.

Made from different layers of acrylic for the frontages and just a simple box construction for the rear they were rather fun to make. I'll be making some more for myself at some point soon when I get back onto doing the Boxer Rebellion.

Here are a selection of photos of what's gone on so far. I'll take some proper shots when they are all complete (and when I've finished my decent backdrop).

The detail fret work is either a simple mesh with various bits cut out for a Chinese feel of lasered acrylic. The roofs are Wills pantiles sheets which work fine until I get my own tile sheet sorted.

Unfortunately the pictures are a bit yellow but hopefully the difference in tone etc will be apparent. I've also altered the sizes ever so slightly to help break up the monotony.



Edo period buildings

Having recently been to Hakodate on Hokkaido got me in the mood to make some Edo period buildings. The town itself is full of Edo history, it being one of the major ports to open up when Japan came back onto the international scene and there are several excellent examples of preserved buildings just waiting  to have models made of them.

First off I started with a simple kura (storehouse) from the period. Brick instead of the usual plaster construction. This, like many of the buildings I will be releasing in the next few months, is in kit form. I haven't got a picture of the kit parts as this one is the first to see if it went together (it did, rather well :-).

It will be a sort of multi media kit as the roof tiles are resin but are cut to shape and already stuck to the roof plate so there isn't any real difficulty.

Like all the kits I produce, the roof is removable.

Just got the windows to shortcut out and it's good to go :-).

The next one I've started is quite possibly the first proper 'department store' in Japan, certainly in Hokkaido. All the goods would have been sold on the ground floor and the upper floor was for storage etc. Again, this will be multi media and will also have a wooden floor attached to a floor plate to give better texture. More pictures over the next week or two as it gets finished.

I've scaled it down since I made this one as it was a little on the large side and a bit impractical for cutting etc.

The figure is from Bac Ninh miniatures who will hopefully be adding to their range very soon. When this happens I'll be able to play something from the Boshin War or Satsuma Rebellion :-)



Army painter

Not the product but a little project on the Lead Adventure Forum.

The idea is to paint an army unit a month to try and clear the backlog of unpainted figures (a problem that the vast majority of us suffer).

I think there are about 20 people taking part with many varied armies being done. My choice to start the Games Workshop Dogs of War figures I've had lying around for a good many years. Excellent figures by the Perrys (there are figures by other sculptors but I'm not so interested in them) of pike and crossbow armed units with the galloper gun in support.

At the moment I have done a 'unit' of ten and will continue to do so but I might up it to 15 or even 20 a month as I have a fair few to get through.

First unit as stated and I'm rather pleased with the result, a simple colour scheme and bases. I also have the idea to use them as a free company in our Game of Thrones games.

Leader chappy (obviously).

And the standard bearer. I did think of doing something a bit more special for the banner but realised that I probably wouldn't finish it.

I can't find the picture of all the figures I have to do which might not be a bad thing...

The next ten are primed and I will make a start on them tomorrow.



And now the terrain for the figures

Following on from my last post about War of the Roses and Game of Thrones I mentioned that I would post some terrain relating to it. This time has now come (albeit rather later than intended).

The first piece, which is complete, was actually started about 12 years ago I think just after when I finished university. I only finished it a couple of months ago so this makes it the longest running project of mine (so far...).

It was meant as a tower house for my GW Empire force (back when I still used to play GW) but now it will certainly suffice for a holdfast for Game of Thrones and a tower house for the War of the Roses at a push. The details are a bit more on the fantastical side but I think I can get away with it.

The tower is made from card with the walls being 1.5mm mounting card and the bricks from thin, normal card. They were all stuck on individually along with the roof tiles and it was rather therapeutic to do :-)

Nothing special about the painting but I did give it a bit more weathering than normal to give it a windswept look.

The other piece that I'll be doing is a Peel tower. This one is based on Dalton castle on the Furness peninsular (about four miles from my home town) and I believe it's the most southern Peel tower going but I may be wrong.

Just the basics for now but I should be putting the details on at some point over the next week or two.

It's from a cast Wills sheet so there might be a few bubbles in it but they shouldn't be too noticeable.

Both are based on 160mm diameter discs and the idea is to make some simple surrounding walls with a corresponding hole to allow both towers to be swapped round depending on what we decide to play.

The style of the walls (as with most things I need to do) is undecided as of yet but it'll be a choice of wooden palisade or simple stone. Only time will tell :-)