Friday, 22 April 2022

Grav mules

 Some scratch building today!

Inspiration comes from the unexpected. That can be specially true when you have a deranged mine such as mine and you see things where normal people doesn't.

On a second read, that sentence sounds quite more terrible than I expected. I guess I'd better explain myself.

What do you mean 'it's not getting better?'
 
Dry Paw Patrol stamp thingie from the Suberlings. If you don't see how this can be used for miniature purposes maybe there's still hope for you. Well, it's too late for me. I envisioned two little cargo platforms, a couple of gravitational mules.
You still don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I can't blame you. Just stay with me for a few more minutes.

First mule: I used the upper piece. After removing the sticker, I glued some junk together...

A broken pencil sharpener, a piece from a ballpen...

...and some more random rubbish

As the shape of the vehicle was kind of crude, I thought I could improve it with lollipop sticks.

Patiently collected waiting for their time to come

They should be bars to be glued on both sides

Ugh. Big nope

This is one of those times when the execution reveals you didn't get the right idea. Having the bars like that it didn't look as I expected. Instead of the shape I was looking for, it looked like a weird sci-fi sleigh. Which of course is legit, but it simply wasn't the thing I was after this time. So I took the bars out.

This, however, looked much better to my eyes

Tubes and wires, final touch

This was the basic thing, a tiny platform to carry small goods. A kind of cargo land speeder commonly used on backwater settlemets, that kind of thing.

Let's have a look to what could be done with the other piece. Second mule:

Engine from a 40K Taurox that didn't need the piece anymore.

This time the piece had quite a more interesting shape, it looked more like the hull of some barge or anything, so I thought I should add less bits and leave it more open.

The pole is the rest of the lollipop stick I didn't use for the other mule

I added a light on the front, a holster on the pole, because you never know when you can need a gun on the Dark Millenium after all, and tiny details here and there.

Wires, wires everywhere

I declared myself happy with both and went on the next stage:

Paint time

I painted them at a time, so I could save some time when it came to inks, metallics and so.

For the first one I opted for yellow:

Yellow is always a bad choice, I know!

I used a brown/orange mix for the second one instead:

Luke's speeder colour indeed!

Let's get things dirty!


 Well, not that much! After the inks and dirt, I had to tidy them up a little:


Much better. Now the metallics:


We're almost there! Final touches and...

Ta-daaaa

Ready to take your goods wherever you need, sir

The bases were really simple. I used standard flyer bases, but couldn't use a mere standard transparent plastic rod, as it was too fragile for such a structure. I used a transparent cilinder (coming from a brush case!)

It's not stupid if it works

Here you have the final result:

They look battered, but they are like new

The LGC-576 mule is a popular choice all along the Eastern Fringe of the Galaxy

Simplicity, durabilty, efficiency. Get your own now!

The LGC-841 model is quite a good choice too

You'll want to take your goods through the ash wastes in one of these!

Just a few immersive (yet afwul) final pics:

Come on! We're stuck again! Move your damn pile of junk out of there!

Looks like no one's moving from there in a while

That's right, take that turn slowly...

Rush hour is dreadful on these streets

Can we finally drop the boxes and hit the local tavern?

As you can see I've deliberately kept them out of specific 40K flavour (no skulls, no purity seals...). I think they still work for my Rogue Trader kind of settings, but they can also be used for Firefly, Star Wars or any other kind of generic sci-fi ambientation.

I didn't sculpt or use any mini as a pilot, so I can use them in terms of game. I'm thinking of those narrative games in which you decide to steal a mule and flee from your pursuers, you know, that kind of thing ;)

Well, this is it. These have been enormously fun to build and paint, it was all just an impulse and I'm happy with the results. I hope I don't have these inspiration attacks too frequently, or else I'll keep the rest of my work at a standstill forever!

34 comments:

  1. What awesome cargo haulers Suber, perfect in every way, from colours to details, and every element needs to be there. Great name too, as it screams Firefly, and they look a lot like the skimmers that have appeared in the last two seasons of the Mandolorian.
    I think I may be a little further gone than you, as I could see at least 5 different options with the donor pieces ! LOL

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    1. Haha, thank you so much! The Mule from Serenity is my most obvious reference (now that I think of it, I should have taken pics of the Firefly minis using these!!), but of course these two are enormously basic designs. However, I find them to be funny elements on a board like mine, which also allows you different sci-fi settings :)

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  2. Brilliant! Thanks for all the WIP pictures, really helps to give the idea of how you made it, and it also had that moment when they went from junk with bitz to a vehicle. (for me it was the tubes and wires that somehow did it)

    Do you have cargo that fits them more exactly? Something like a breath mint strip case?

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    1. Thank you! I still don't have proper cargo, but that of course is something I am meant to solve! :P

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Pretty easy to build and paint, so I declare myself happy :D

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  4. Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! They both are quite crude designs, but I think that's the key, their simplicity. Less is more!

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    1. Thanks! You know, easy and cheap, my way of doing stuff :P

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  6. Those are excellent! Really great shapes and very flexible with their big flat cargo beds.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not sure of when did I first envision these haulers when I got the ink pad in my hand, but those flat surfaces were just asking for something like this. I could have done something with legs or tracks, but the grav thing was too appealing to let the idea go!

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  7. Very cool! They really fit your setting and look at home in the city. I wasn't quite sure about them until you sprayed them with the undercoat, and all the pieces came together really well. The green stuff work is especially good!

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    1. Thanks! Well, I wasn't sure myself either, but that's the thrill of such projects! I fact you can see that I had to take some parts away and rethink were this was heading. That's the best part of it! :D

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  8. Brilliant cargo mules. I am loving the simplicity and trash building elements of these. The bases idea I may have to steal for some of my Sci Fi vehicles.

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    1. Thank you! I believe you can do quite decent stuff with unexpected raw materials :)

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  9. Te han quedado geniales y te pienso copiar la idea, que para Stargrave o Necromunda irán muy bien.

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    1. ¡Gracias! Yo creo que para dar ambientación a pequeñas escaramuzas pueden dar bastante juego :)

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  10. Genius-level idea and execution, they both look suitably futuristic and battered! What a great use of household junk!

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    1. Thanks! You know what you say about one man's trash. In my case my own trash is my own treasure!! :D

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  11. That is simply incredible! To go from such a simple thing to an amazing game piece that adds a lot of flavour to a game. Love it!

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    1. Thank you very much! As I tend to favour narrative games, I hope these two will not only have a role as scenery, but maybe as an active element. Who knows!

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  12. You not only had a great vision of what you could do with such an ordinary plastic piece but more importantly you had the skills to pull it off. I have a lot of ideas in my mind but they almost always never see reality as I have yet to master the necessary skills even at my ripe old age :)

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    1. Oh, thank you very much; but you are kind of the last person I would state as lacking of skills! Your works are unreachable to me, this is just toying with trash! The trash and the brush! :D

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  13. Suber, there's not a thing about these that I don't love. Great work for sure and thanks for the inspirations. I've been thinking of my own build all weekend after reading this.

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    1. Thank you very much! Oh, I'd love to see what you come up with!

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  14. Cuando creía que no podrías volver a sorprenderme, una vez más me equivocaba. Es increíble la capacidad que tienes, para verbuna genialidad, en algo que el resto de nosotros descartaríamos sin más.

    Las fotos en tu tablero vertical son sublimes. Me encanta ese tablero abigarrado, que no paras de llenar y de dotar de personalidad, cada vez que haces algo pensando en usarlo en él.

    Bravo.

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    1. ¡Gracias! Intento darle a todo un toque gastado que encaje en el tablero, un poco con el Mundo de Logan (de Rogue Trader) en mente mezclado con Firefly. ¡A ver al final qué sale!

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  15. Splendid conversion work, unfortunately I was with you all the way,I must ne lost too! Great looking universal grav vehicles ,very Rogue Trader, or Rogue One!
    Best Iain

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    1. Haha, you are lost then! XD Thank you, I tried to do something versatile, less grimdark and more classic sci-fi. As said before, I like to think that these could be used for Star Wars,Firefly or any other number of settings :)

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  16. So what you're saying is, "Paw Patrol" is actually worth a crap afterall? LOL

    Bloody fantastic mate. Your vision has far more depth and brilliance than my own. I bow to your creativity.

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    1. Haha, even Paw Patrol has a place in here :D
      These scratch built projects are usually fun, but this one was relatively simple to do, so it had it all!

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  17. Brilliant transformation of a throwaway toy (even before it was dry) into two fantastic mules! Since this is an old Paw Patrol toy, we would suggest that these platforms carry alien dogs and be guided by a space dog catcher.
    The hobbyist syndrome, whereby we are storing every piece of junk with the thought, "This could come in handy for a conversion / basing / customization!" is dangerous. Your example might prompt us to take something out of the pile of garbage growing in the house and get to work to turn it into something better...

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    1. Thank you! The dog idea is tempting, hmmm... Haha, you are right, my inner Diogenes is sometimes scared of the stuff I store! Would love to see what you build from your derelict pieces!

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