Outside of casting -a lot of casting- the past few weeks have been centred on all new games and miniature lines. I’ve played Gaslands, I participated in two painting challenge and contest, the first for Gangs of Rome, the second for Deepwars, and this is not the end of it, au contraire. I have been eyeing the miniatures and artworks of Anyaral: The World of Twilight for many years now, but always put aside ordering some for a lack of funds, or opponents. However, the painting and hobby contest they have launched some weeks ago now finally got me over the fence.
They have 3 categories: Best Painted Force, Freestyle, and The Painted PreePree. There is no way I’ll have the time to order a force and paint it, so that one I put aside quickly. However, the Freestyle category covers terrain, and I’m always interested in cool terrain projects. The PreePree category covers all their small critters, so I made a small order for some critters and a bigger models that will hopefully get here in time, if Salute didn’t completely drained them of inventory.
Planning and sketching
Browsing through all the ressources I could find, I gathered a small collection of inspiring sketches and painting. Judging by the artwork, the inhabitants of Anyaral seem to make a lot of use of balloons as a mode of transport. Their look and the building challenge spoke to me, and I hatched a plan. Here are some of the official art pieces I based my project on.
I started doodling on my notepad, and after some iterations got a global view and some close-ups that I was happy with, consisting of a balloon attached to a two-story tower near some trees. The whole project is pretty ambitious, and I’m getting short on time. I’m going to concentrate on the balloon first, and depending on how much time is left when I get there, I’ll either just use a single tree as the terrain base, or build the tower. You can now see my own sketches.
Before starting the real building, I wanted to find a way to make the balloons light, but still have a canvas look to them. Best material for light weight is the white foam balls you can get in the craft section of dollar stores, but that foam texture is really apparent when painted. After looking at stuff in my workshop, I found some drywall tape with a canvas look. The grid on it is too big and the material not flexible enough, but it gave me the idea to try the same thing but with cheese cloth. You can see the look it gives, using two layers of cloth and a layer of watered down glue.
For the basket, I’m still not sure what exact look I want to give it, but I at least can start on the interior. I made a sketch using a Relics miniature with the right size of base (while I wait for the Twilight minis to arrive). I rescued some balsa from an old unfinished project and started cutting and texturing for a wooden plank floor.
Next, I’ll try to paint my test balloon, and if it works, will progress to the triple-balloon assembly. I’ll also need to decide how I want to make the walls of the basket, and start working on the boiler and propeller.