Getting Hagglethorn Hollow to look the way we want…

I have several projects on the go at once, this means completion is often sporadic but it helps keep things feeling fresh as I try to work on what I am in the mood for. I try to avoid it beginning to feel like work because I will get even less done if I burnout. So it has taken awhile to finish this Hagglethorn Hollow house. On the left is a factory painted one and on the right is a factory painted one I added my personal adjustments to. Now it looks more like what I was expecting.

This piece started with a damaged, or rather poorly cast, basement door on the bottom half.

Given how things have gone with the Kickstarter fulfillment I decided to try to repair it myself rather than try to get it exchanged. I am not a very good sculptor but they say you can only get better with experience so I tried.

I think I did an ok job on the repair and feel I made the right decision but I am clearly not a proper sculptor like the Hagglethorn Hollow designer Johnny Fraser-Allen.

My painting was mostly to try to “clean things up“ and increase he contrast.

Mrs. GG suggested the moss on the thatch roof and did that herself. I think it was the right call and adds some more character to the piece.

Little details like the raven, the bucket and the foliage again help add some more character but hopefully do not overly specialize piece. I experimented quite a bit on this piece to try to get the contrast I wanted, using various different paints, techniques and washes. Several attempts are hidden under newer layers. I still have not mastered drybrushing and I do not highlight as much as other painters. It would be fair to say I rely heavily on washes.

My mate Kuribo gave me a good tip to get a really nice matte finish, which I had been struggling with.

Various matte clear coats had failed to deliver. Army Painter, Vallejo, Acrylic and Polyurethane, spray on and brush on, even the normal Ak Interactive matte clear coat. But Kuribo was right about AK Interactive Ultra Matte.

It even removed the last glimmer of shine on our Toyvian trees.

I love the character in the Hagglethorn Hollow sculpts. They are big and chunky compared to Tabletop World, without the meticulously sculpted fine detail, but there is a Jim Henson kind of charm to the Hagglethorn Hollow sculpts that Mrs. GG and I love. I wish there was more playable space inside. I wish the sculpt was just a little bit bigger to create a bit more playable space on the outside for 25mm bases. But we like these sculpts enough to constantly be on the lookout on eBay for more.

Overall I am really, really pleased with how this came out. I would prefer not having to paint all of our Hagglethorn Hollow buildings but to get an end result I am pleased with is worth the effort.

What do you think? Constructive criticism and advice welcome!

In other news, we finished watching Wandavision and started watching Loki. Wandavision took awhile to catch Mrs. GG but by the end we both were enjoying it.

Like most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies I think my Mother would like it. Perhaps this one more than others for a couple of reasons…. Which will have to be left unspoken until she watches it!

My mate Kuribo has a good writeup about Wandavision on his blog. I highly recommend his blog.

Loki got off to a decent start and we are enjoying it…. even if Loki really annoys me at times, he is just so darned charming as well. It is hard to stay angry at the character.

I decided to introduce Mrs. GG to an old John Carpenter classic, Big Trouble in Little China, a movie I have fond memories of from my youth. It did not age as well as I had hoped.

The cheese was not to Mrs. GG’s taste. But then she did not really like They Live or Escape from New York either.

She seemed to enjoy Artemis Fowl over on Disney+ more….

…. although having read the books she was quick to point out where the movie deviated from the books. I enjoyed it, not so much for the story as for the visuals and the world building. It was a very interesting take on the Fae.

What about you? Did you like these movies? What have you been watching?


  1. Great job on that Hagglethorn Hollow piece! It is a few subtle changes, but a world of difference. Really good job fixing that door, too.The flocking and moss tie it to that gaming mat, as well; the unmodified HH building doesn’t blend that well, but your work makes it seem almost seamless.

    Good results on that varnish. I haven’t used a brush-on varnish in decades, but if I end up with some problematic piece, I’ll keep it in mind.

    Big Trouble was a favorite of mine at the time, but I haven’t seen it this century, I don’t think. Disappointed that it didn’t age as well, but maybe not surprised. So many iconic 80s flicks were very much products of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate!

      The only thing about that Ultra Matte is that it really is ultra. It can make things too matte, too flat. When I tried it on a Cave Troll it made it look so matte, so dry that it was almost chalky looking.

      How the world has changed since the 80’s. I really am a grognard.


  2. A lot of 80’s movies have so many things in them that are now cringeworthy 40 years later that they can become uncomfortable, especially if one recalls how they reacted back then to the humor or content. Lo Pan and his guys again the Uber truck driver was always a real stretch but I have seen it and the core of the movie holds up, just a lot of the ancillary humor becomes harder to enjoy.

    As for the Hagglethorn redo, I like what you did. I have posted shots of what I have and have considered doing something with them perhaps, but so far they remain factory pristine. I am working on clearing spots for them on some shelves and for all the TTW stuff I will be getting this summer. Some simple washes can do wonders to accent the highlights that often get lost in a plain paint scheme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Dad was a truck driver so I can identify with Jack Burton to some degree, although he was much less competent in fighting than I remember when I rewatched it. His unsafe driving habits made me cringe and remember some of my own bad driving habits 25 years ago. I have to admit I like Kurt Russell though and he can carry an otherwise forgettable character/story.

      Washes are what really take my mediocre painting and turn it into something I actually like looking at, whether it is terrain or miniatures.


  3. Congrats to Mrs. GG on the subtle moss effects, I always tend to overdo such things.
    Big Trouble, like you I enjoyed it but recent attempts to watch it have not been successful. Escape from NY I can watch repeatedly. Maybe Big Trouble is just too out there now for my taste, I do know it has a cult following though. Only thing I have watched new lately is Greenland, end of the world saga with Gerard Butler, nothing to write home about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I tend to overdo moss as well.

      I do enjoy Escape from NY… more than Escape from LA for sure. Snake Plissken is a character I can identify with a lot more today than I could previously.

      So Greenland was uninspiring? I used to really like Gerard Butler but he has not really impressed me the last few times I have seen him on screen. The trailer for Greenland made the story seem pretty far fetched and difficult to suspend disbelief. That said, if it ends up on Amazon Prime or Netflix I will most likely watch it on the off chance it adds something obscurely interesting to movie apocalypse lore.


  4. Definitely enjoying your perspective of the Hagglethorn Hollow builds. I just pulled the trigger on their 3d printable kickstarter for those pieces. I’ve been waiting years since I saw it on Tested.

    With that being said it should be easier to find pieces or even request them to scale them bigger from merchants. Keep an eye on the merchant companies through Printable Scenery next month. There should even be new pieces in the collection from the stretch goals.

    How did Mrs GG do the Moss? I love the look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      We really like the new Hagglethorn Hollow sculpts in the Kickstarter and wish they were available as cast. You are right that there is the advantage of a skilled 3d printer to change the dimensions to better suit 28mm minis on 25mm round bases but we find print lines off putting and the work to remove print lines pretty time challenging.

      The moss is simply PVA glue and a green flock that we won as part of a bigger bulk auction on eBay. Unfortunately I do not know the brand otherwise I would have bought more.


  5. You spoiled me with all of the shout outs, mate! 🙂 I’m really glad that AK Interactive’s varnish solved your gloss problems too. Its been a real lifesaver for me too.

    The latest piece of terrain came out well and you did a great job cleaning up the sculpt I’d say! Your patience and attention to detail with that project continues to amaze me. You will have an excellent collection and board to game on when all is said and done.

    I’m glad to hear you liked WandaVision overall and that it grew on you. I look forward to watching Loki in the future though I imagine it will be a while before I see it since I have a busy summer ahead of me. In fact, I haven’t watched any TV or movies beyond Falcon and the Winter Soldier even if I have The Man With No Name trilogy waiting for me to watch it….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks again mate! I just like to give credit where credit is due. You have been a real inspiration to me.

      Step by step, we get a little bit closer to the table we dream of. This hobby does not reward the impatient.

      Ideally I would be painting rather than watching tv shows but I can only concentrate on modeling for so long. My eyes are not what they used to be and I want to be sure to avoid burning out on the painting, so I pace myself.

      The Man with Mo Name trilogy is a classic.

      Liked by 1 person

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