Monday, June 29, 2020

Saga Practice Game: Vikings vs. Islemen (Norse-Gaels)

My army of Islemen advance towards their Viking foes, who have invaded to contest control of the Hebrides Islands
As we hopefully inch closer to having in-person Saga game days or tournaments, Jenny wanted another tune up game with her new Viking army. We'd played one a couple weeks backs, with me using my Picts (Viking Age Scots). I offered for her to choose which army I'd play, but she deferred. I decided to give the Norse-Gaels list another try. I had played it only once before at our Saga Game Days, winning one game and losing the other (see Lord of the Isles Wages Battles Worthy of a Saga).
The armies at deployment, spread out across the board because Jenny rolled "Method C"
My list is composed of seven units, but two are never meant to see combat. I take one point of Levy Slaves and break them into two units of six. This is not a cheesy move for the additional Saga die, but for the Norse-Gael list ability for "Expendable" ability on the battleboard. With this, Heathguard, Warriors, and the Warlord can push fatigue they accrue off onto the levy. The units must be within Short distance, though, so I needed at least two to cover enough of the battlefield that they are within range of the units in combat. For the rest of they army I take 3 points of Hearthguard (broken into two units of six figures), two units of 8 Warriors armed with javelins, and the Warlord.
The opening stages of the battle, with Viking hearthguard advance in the center and through the woods against my right
My tactics were to have the hearthguard be the spearpoint of my army and use the warriors to maneuver around and throw javelins at the enemy (aided by the "Gaels!" ability). One major problem we would run into when facing the Vikings is they can counteract our strengths with their "Odin" ability (which exhausts an enemy Shooting unit) and especially "Loki" - which goes against the core design of the Norse-Gael battleboard. Loki awards the Viking player two bonus combat dice each time an enemy triggers a Saga ability in melee. The whole philosophy of the Norse-Gaels is to trigger a bunch of Saga abilities when entering combat to give them a slew of dice to roll. At best, we'd be helping them as much (or possibly even more) than we were helping ourselves! Note that we ruled that Loki would go into effect EACH time I used a bonus combat dice (that I had to use them separately, one by one). I couldn't play four combat bonus dice off my battleboard and have it "count" as one Saga Ability. Perhaps we were wrong on that.
Slaves-eye view as the Vikings come closer - thanking god for the Islemen hearthguard and warriors protecting them!
So, it was going to be a tough fight, made a little more challenging by the deployment (Method C) which spreads our units out at least one Medium distance from each other. The Slaves are supposed to keep close to the Hearthguard and Warriors, but now they'd have to chase after them. The first clash occurred in the center when one of Jenny's 6-figure Hearthguard units clashed with mine. I geared up on the bonus dice, including a rare one which raised my armor class one. Helped by that, the Islemen won the first exchange of blows. Five Vikings were slain while only three Islemen  were lost. Jenny quickly moved up her Shield Maiden unit to finish off my depleted Hearthguard. I decided to make her pay for that by loading up more dice for the matchup. This time, the Norse gods smiled upon her, and my remaining three figures were eliminated (but at the cost of four shield maidens to her).
Islemen hearthguard in the center bait the enemy to the clash, which their Viking counterparts in front of them accept
The next clash would occur near the woods that guarded my right. My warriors' javelins were ineffective against her second unit of Hearthguard. We stayed outside of their charge range, but within our throwing distance (made possible because they were in a woods). I moved up my second hearthguard unit to oppose hers, and soon they were both hewing and cutting, with the Vikings getting the upper hand this time. My unit retreated, down to three figures. On the next turn, the warriors killed one of their hearthguard with javelins, and then the Warlord charged into the finish them off.
My warlord blocks the Viking hearthguard, who go around him to charge the depleted Islemen hearthguard again
By this time, my left was finally getting ready to engage the Vikings. Opposing them was the Viking Levy Bow, the depleted Shield Maidens, and a unit of Warriors in the center within striking distance. We moved forward and used Gaels! with lots of combat bonus dice to decimate the enemy bowmen, killing half of their figures. The Viking warriors moved forward to avenge them and charged into my javelin-armed warriors. Luckily, our losses were not as bad as they could have been, and we wounded their unit deeply, too. So far, the Slaves had done a good job soaking up fatigue from their betters, and avoiding being shot at or charged.
My weary right wing after driving off the attack of the Viking hearthguard
At this point, Jenny took stock of her losses and decided to begin withdrawing her depleted units - which include all of them except her warlord. One unit of hearthguard had been destroyed, while the other was down to a single figure. Both her warrior units were down to a couple figures, and her archers were at half strength. With one unit of warriors full strength, I held a slight edge, and advanced into the center. The Vikings backed off, and retreated.
Time for the Islemen warriors on the left to join the battle!
It was a bitter struggle, but the Islemen were able to triumph and drive off the Vikings. Jenny felt it was a worse defeat than it was, in my opinion. My army was in only slightly better shape. The Slaves soaking up the fatigue helped, certainly, as well as having two full-strength combat units (warlord and warriors) ready to chew up her depleted ones. We certainly took a beating, too, though. I would not relish facing the Viking battleboard again. As suspected, Loki made things very difficult for us. It was only on subsequent turns after it was used that I could truly load up on combat dice and utilize the Norse-Gaels' typical tactics.
And the warriors answer the call, their flurry of javelins whittling the Viking archers down to half their number

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Bogs or Fens Done Inexpensively

My 28mm Dark Ages Irish thread their way through my new bog pieces I created for Saga games
 One of the terrain pieces I have not made in years -- since my early days as a DBA Ancients player -- are bogs (or marshes or fens, if you prefer). They are listed as an eligible type of terrain to deploy on the battlefield for games of Saga, so I figured I should probably make some pieces I can use for them one day. This past Winter while shopping at Hobby Lobby, I saw plastic pieces that I thought might work for them.
The inspiration - rippled plastic sheets - two for $3.99 (don't forget to use your free online 40% off coupon!)
They are from JTT Scenery Products Embossed Pattern Sheet line (#97481 Still Water = $3.99). Each pack comes with two 7.5"x5.5" (19cmx14cm) sheets which are clear with a rippled pattern on their surface. I figured that I could either paint the bottom surface of them or find something to glue underneath them that looked like stagnant water. A few weeks ago when I was looking for accessories for my kiosks, I saw in Hobby Lobby's printed paper lines crinkled paper with a mottled green surface. I thought it would look perfect for the underside of the plastic sheet, so picked up two of them (about $1 each). When I got home, I checked, and yes -- I thought they definitely looked like swampy water with the rippled sheet place over them.
The plastic has been cut and snapped into an irregular shape, which is placed over the paper and traced to match
I bought a second set of the sheets, and proceeded to make my bogs. I had to do them one at a time because of the need to keep them from warping (see below). I supposed I could have glued the plastic sheet to thick enough styrene and I would not have had to worry about it. I was running low on styrene, though, so decided to see if just the paper and sheet would make it sturdy enough. The first step was to score the sheet deeply in an irregular pattern with a sharp box cutter knife. Being plastic, it then snapped fairly easily along its score lines.
Paint the surface of the crinkled printed paper with white glue to join the plastic to the paper
Next, I placed the sheet atop the paper and traced along its edge with a ballpoint pen. I cut the shape out going just slightly inside the lines to keep the paper from extending out underneath the sheet. I lined up the paper and sheet with their identical cuts. Then I painted one white (PVA) glue onto the surface of the crinkled paper. I didn't soak the paper -- just enough to allow it to bound with the plastic sheet.
The first of a number of "tamp downs" -- heavy weight placed on the plastic to affix it to the paper (& prevent warping)
The next step would be repeated several times at each stage of the process. I placed heavy objects -- in my case large 8 oz. bottles of craft paint -- on top of the plastic to "tamp down" the plastic onto the paper. I let it dry several hours. I was pleased the white glue dried clear and you couldn't see any signs of it underneath the rippled plastic or on the mottled surface of the paper.
I had earlier Googled images of bogs and fens and found one that I wanted to try to duplicate. It would have numerous pools separated by strands of marshy land or thick vegetation. I wanted the vegetation to be built up a bit above the surface of the rippled plastic, though. So, I took a bottle of white glue and squeezed out a thick line of it around the perimeter of the piece. Holding the piece over a bin, I poured Woodland Scenics Fine Brown Ballast over the glue with a spoon. The excess was dumped off, and then I place the piece on my cutting board. I squeezed out more white glue for the pattern of solid land dividing the piece into 5-6 pools. Ballast was poured over the white glue and I had my irregular outline, with some pools being larger than others.
A Google image of a fen or bog - I went with green rather than blue water to make it murkier and more swamplike
I flipped the craft paint bottles upside down and placed them back on top of the plastic sheet, tamping it down while the glue dried. I hoped this would prevent warping, which it did fairly well. So, if you do this, make sure your pools are wide enough that your heavy objects will rest upon just them and not extend into the glue and flocking.
Now to add the "solid ground" -- white glue squeezed out onto the surface then covered in fine brown ballast
After the second tamp down, it was time to repeat the process with green grass over the ballast. For the first time, I used 100% white glue and completely covered the ballast. However, the Woodland Scenics Blended Green Turf soaked up the glue and stayed fairly soupy looking. Yes, I know it is supposed to be a bog and waterlogged, but I didn't like the look as much. For the next three bogs, I painted the ballast with a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water instead. I found the turf attached to this mixture just as well, and it provided the look I was hoping for when I planned it. Once again, the piece was tamped down with the heavy paint bottles to keep it from warping.
Yep, another tamp down! Note how I sized my pools to fit the reversed bottles of paint
The final stage was to add pieces of Woodland Scenics clump foliage spaced out irregularly along the "solid" ground. I also added a few flower tufts in there for color. And finally, I glued one marshy looking clump of grass directly onto the rippled surface of the ponds. This would represent vegetation sprouting up out of the bogs. The weights were place back atop the piece again. Maybe I was being paranoid about warping, but I did notice on earlier pieces that it could happen.
Blended green turf and clump foliage has been added (but not the tufts, yet)
Once these were dry, I did what I called the Final Tampdown. This was simply painting the whole flocking, clumps, and flower portions of the piece with 50/50 white glue and water one final time. The paint bottles were put atop the plastic ponds again for the final time and it was left to dry overnight. I should state that I NEVER sprayed a clear coat on the bogs. I worried that this may "frost" the clear surface of the plastic.
Here is my fourth bog getting its "final tampdown" - yes, I was humming the Europe song while I did this!
I was very happy with the result. I now have four bogs, roughly 5"x7", to use for Saga games or whatever. I like how the rippled surface reflects the light of the room in a dappled pattern. I like how the murky green paper looks like stagnant water, and gives a feeling of depth to the ponds. And I like the three dimensional nature of the clumps and the color of the flowers.  I have included a couple photos of my 28mm Dark Ages Irish in and among the bogs to give you an idea of their scale.
My Dark Ages Irish slosh through the fens on their way to attack an enemy

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Lord Gwendawg Welsh Warlord Rebased

Lord Gwendawg rides triumphantly through the field on his new combined warlord base
Early on in playing Saga Dark Age skirmish games, I decided I like the look of the Warlord figure having a couple close retainers with him. I would usually plop down a standard bearer and horn blower next to the warlord and move them together as one. As I paint new warlords, they will all be based this way (although it's fun to include a pet on the base, too, like I did with my Pictish warlord).
A close up of Lord Gwendawg's religious banner - simply line art Photoshopped and printed out
Eventually, I decided that was a pain to move the three figures around and that I should simply rebase the figures. I did my Saxon and Viking warlords awhile back, but for some reason never got around to doing my Welsh warlord - Lord Gwendawg. Until now, that is! This one was simpler than the other two rebasing, as I'd learned my lesson -- DON'T USE BASS WOOD (or anything that might warp)! Lord Gwendawg was on a 1"x2" mounted base, while his bannerman and horn blower were on 1"x1" bases. I peeled off their magnet backings, then epoxied them to a 2"x2" piece of black styrene. This was then epoxied to a 2"x2" piece of magnetic material.
I really like Lord Gwendawg's dappled gray horse -- one of my favorites I've done
I had to reflock the warlord base, though. I'd painted the miniatures up at different points and they had a slightly different flocking scheme. Plus, I wanted to get rid of the lines of the individual bases. I painted the entire base with a 50/50 mixture of brown paint and white (PVA) glue. I dipped the figure in a tub of Woodland Scenics fine brown ballast. Once dry, I painted the ballast with a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water. I sprinkled on Woodland Scenics Blended Turf. After spraying it with Dullcoate, I then added the Blended Grass in an irregular pattern, glued on a few tufts, and he was done! Well, there was one more spray of Dullcoate, but now Lord Gwendawg's new base is done and he's ready to ride into battle with his companions at his side!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Viking Bondi from Footsore Miniatures

My favorite shields that I painted for my Footsore Miniatures Viking Bondi - Thor's hammer and the worm Ouroboros
Awhile back, when Jenny was ordering her Viking army from Footsore Miniatures, I decided to join in on the order. Nearly all of my Vikings have chainmail -- most from Old Glory miniatures. There are some from various other sources, including Gripping Beast. When I am playing Saga Dark Age skirmish rules, I like my opponent to be able to tell the difference between my Hearthguard, Warrior, and Levy class troops. My idea was to have the mail-clad figures be Hearthguard and those without armor the Warriors. With the Vikings, the Levy are obvious because they're armed with a bow.
My new Viking Bondi pillage a Celtic monastery, preparing to loot the church and beehive huts
My plan was to order enough for 24 unarmored warriors, and luckily Footsore produced six packs (4 figs each) of unarmoredViking Bondi. The North America store showed four of those packs on their website, so I ordered those. Jenny chose to order from the UK site to be able to order from their full Viking range, and get the Saga package deal. I had her add the two packs that North America did not have to her order. As it turned out, the North America site was really struggling filling my order. After two months of waiting, I just cancelled the order. So, these eight figures are the ones that arrived (in a week or so) with Jenny's order.
More Viking Bondi from Footsore Miniatures, looking for treasure to steal and monks to capture as slaves
I have seen many others post pictures of Footsore Miniatures on Facebook or their websites, and the figures are indeed cleanly cast and wonderfully posed. There is a great variety among them, which is perfect for a skirmish game like Saga. I am a little disenchanted with the fact they don't come packaged with weapons. By scrounging through my unpainted lead, and chopping the weapons off some figures that had the weapons cast on, we were able to equip her army. I've been told the UK website has weapons packs you can order, but why not just toss in a variety in each pack?
I really like the clothes the front two Vikings are wearing -- the quilted one on the right and animal skin on left
Another thing that turned me off a bit was that the fists that you need to drill out to put in those weapons are rather undersized, in my opinion. The sizes are probably anatomically correct, but when you have to use a pin vice to drill it out and then place a 28mm scale weapon in the hand, a larger fist would make things MUCH easier. Or casting them with open hands, like some manufacturers do. When drilling out and equipping Jenny's troops (and mine), there were a number of fists that cracked and had chunks break off.
More Footsore Vikings prowl through a Celtic monastery - I like the execution of the shield design in the center
Still, the figures do look great when completed. Another thing I like is that they are not festooned with tons of extra equipment. Some don't even have a knife at their belt or a sack for carrying supplies or whatever. In addition to being cleanly cast, they are cleanly equipped, if that is a thing. I like that. Maybe I'm just scarred from painting all those 28mm Eastern Woodland Indians with more straps, bags, sheaths, and miscellaneous stuff festooned on the figure that I appreciate painting a figure that is not over-equipped!
Any monks hiding in their cells are going to be disappointed when these warriors burst in on them
All of the shields are hand-painted, too. I know that decals would look nicer, but I just haven't gotten into using them, yet. The few times I've tried I really struggle with the process of getting them positioned correctly and cleanly. I used a variety of faded colors for their clothes, for the most part, and really like how they turned out. So, if you don't mind drilling out the hands and buying or supplying weapons yourself, they are quality miniatures to add to your Viking army.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New Gang: The Santanas

The leader of my Hispanic street gang, Julio, proudly sporting his gang jacket emblazoned with The Santanas' logo
Even though I had painted up nine street gangs as part of my Mean Streets project, something was missing. I'd recently done punk rockers (Indianola Mohawks). I had a martial arts gang (Linden Daos), an African-American gang (Eastmoor Kings), motorcycle gang (Sons of Thor), and a West-side working class white gang (Hilltop Highlanders). However, I had no Italian or Hispanic, leather jacket wearing, "classic" TV gang.
Cruz has tattooed the gang's "S" onto his ample beer belly and keeps his leather jacket unzipped to show it off
So, as I sat looking at the remaining eight figs from my purchase from Casting Room Miniatures, I noticed most had obvious leather jackets. My original plan had been for them to be a heavy metal gang and call them the Head Bangers. However, the chance to do a classic gang with their logo emblazoned on the backs of their brown leather jacket was too good to pass up. I decided to go with a Hispanic theme, and remembering my high school days that rock guitarist Carlos Santana was popular, I decided to go with the gang name, The Santanas!
Margarita looks like she's been around the block once or twice, and "packs heat" to deal with those who give her grief
Once that decision was made, I realized I had a problem. Back when I began painting the Indianola Mohawks, I decided to be efficient and do the flesh tone on both gangs. I did them in a mix of Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic. Oops. They needed to be ALL Hispanic. So, the first project was to darken up the Caucasians and lighten up the African-Americans. There are a range of skin tones with Hispanic people in the United States, of course, just like any other ethnicity. So, I actually liked how the skin palette, so to speak, turned out.
Intimidating-looking El Lobo carries his bat with him everywhere, always ready for a rumble
Next up, I made the decision to go with brown leather jackets over black ones. The Warriors in the movie of that name have brown ones, as (I believe) do the The Wanderers in the more light-hearted movie of the same name. What symbol, though? I Googled Carlos+Santana+symbol and scanned through the hits. There was the musician's trademark, swirly capital "S." There was also a few Hippie-trippy wings in the drawings, too. So, I sketched out Santana's swirly S with wings on it, and liked how it looked. Even more importantly, I was really pleased with how it came out on the back of the jackets!
Ramona takes no crap from anybody, and needs no weapons. She'll wallop you upside your head with her meaty fists!
I had an epiphany, of sorts, while painting The Santanas. And that is I HAVE to use my lighted magnifier when I paint details. I'd always been irked with how the tops of my paint brushed clanked against the mirror as I was painting. In a fit of anger, I snapped off the top half of my tiny, detail brush and was like..."Heyyyy...this works!" So, I think the logo turned out as good as it did because I am using my magnifier religiously on detail work, now.
Mańana's figure began life as a hippie protestor, but I turned him into something more menacing with jewelry chain
Two of the seven figures I was painting did not have leather jackets, though. One of them appeared to have a sleeveless "wife beater" -- sometimes called a muscle shirt. I used paint to turn that into a leather vest, instead. The other was too obviously a t-shirt to do anything with. So, on of the gang members isn't wearing his leather jacket. So, I painted the logo on the back of the shirt, instead. I was tempted, for a moment, to paint Santanas on the front. Then I realized that I am not that skilled to do so. Not even close! The figure has a Rastafarian style haircut, headband, and actually turned out to be one of my favorites from the gang.
Jeffe's sleeveless t-shirt was morphed into a leather vets, and I added a knife to turn the peace sign into V for Victory!
I haven't talked about the actual REAL first step, yet -- silly me! Modifying the figures from Tedious Hippie Scum (one of the packs I bought) or Leather Gals and Boys (the other) into a mostly-armed street gang. The Leather dudes I didn't have to do anything to at all -- bare-bellied Cruz already had a chain, El Lobo carried a baseball bat, Margarita concealed her pistol, and Ramona and Julio brandished their fists. The two hippies needed modification, though. Jeffe was given a knife in his right hand (I guess the two fingers doesn't mean peace, it is "V" for Victory!). I modified Mańana by giving him a length of jewelry chain between his outstretched hands. I was very happy with how it turned out.

In fact, I was incredibly happy with how The Santanas turned out. This will be my last gang for awhile. I now have ten, which is more than enough for the games I'll be running (whenever we get to meet in person to run games again!). Hope you enjoyed The Santanas!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Two Kiosks for my 28mm Cityscape

Smith's Smoke Shack, my latest 28mm MDF building...and there's Mr. Smith in his Notre Dame shirt behind the counter
I often like to modify my 28m MDF Sarissa Precision buildings, but on my latest two constructions, I took that to extremes. I had purchased two of Sarissa's Victorian Newstand/Market Stalls awhile back, and finally got around to building them. One of them I planned to keep as a newstand or bookseller. But what to do with the other one, to add variety? Why not a tobacconist (or as we'd say in modern day America, a "Smoke Shack"?). I liked the idea -- it seemed like something you'd see on the streets of an inner city.
The Morning Crower and its newspapers and magazines (weighted down with resin bricks, of course!)
The buildings went together fairly easily, as most Sarissa products do. Unlike most of its buildings, though, it does not come with a base that the walls slot into. That actually made it a bit trickier, but I managed with no significant difficulties. Later, I would add a styrene base of my own, but not right away. I wanted to keep the bottom open to make it easier to add inside decoration.
Smith's Smoke Shack is a popular stop for inner city denizens, as Ramona of the Santanas eyes the candy jar
Before any decoration, though, was painting. I have to admit, I do dislike Sarissa's tendency to put incised lines as decoration on its products. As I get older, my eyes and hands get less dependable. I often have a hard time painting all those straight lines! I've decided to go back to using my magnifier attached to my painting desk, and took my tiniest brush and snapped off half of its length (it kept banging into the magnifier). My golf pencil sized brush is SO much easier to use with the magnifier, now. And, I am happier with my straight lines now that I am using the magnifier.
The Morning Crower's tacky 3-D 1970s sign features a rooster reading a giant book
I went with a dark red and cream for the smoke shack (thinking Marlboro colors), and for a change, an orange and green for the newstand. After my usual spray priming with Krylon black, and going over it with 50/50 acrylic black paint and water, I painted the two colors on each of the buildings. At this stage, I decided to replace the boring roofs Sarissa provides, and use some corrugated bass wood. On top of that, literally, I decided to do a 3-dimensional sign. These were big in the 70s and 80s (think the Frisch's Big Boy statue). For the Smoke Shack, obviously, it would be a pack of cigarettes emblazoned with the logo. For the newstand, I searched through my plastic, wood, and bead bits, but nothing jumped out at me. I decided since people read newspapers in the morning, and roosters are the symbols of mornings, I would put a rooster on the roof.
Margarita of the Santanas hangs out next to the side door...eyeing the large cans of cola to quench her thirst
Ah, you say, the modifications to the newstands have begun! I also decided that I wanted counters for my newstands. Actually, I added these before I began painting. I used triangular wooden molding as the support for the counters. I'd have a long one in front and two smaller ones at each side window. The counters themselves would be leftover bits of MDF from previous constructions (I always save leftover, "popped out" bits, no matter how small). I trimmed the counters with an X-acto knife to make them angled on each end. With the fancy roofs and the scratch-build counters, I was pretty happy with how the kiosks were looking.
Cruz is a little upset that the Crower doesn't show his favorite comic books in its list of items for sale
But was I satisfied? Of course not! I needed things to put ON the counters! So, I headed off to Hobby Lobby one afternoon. I knew their dollhouse accessories had sodas and various other things, so hopefully some would size out all right. The main thing I was looking for was something small and rectangular for packs of cigarettes to be placed on the Smoke Shop counter. I can wander the aisles of Hobby Lobby for hours, and I threaded my way through the building gathering things and wishing I had snagged one of the plastic baskets. After more than $30 worth of purchases, I had stuff to use as my accessories for the kiosks (and other ideas I had for my 28mm modern city).


In addition to the Hobby Lobby accessories, I went online and downloaded images of newspaper front pages and magazine covers from the 1970s. I resized them in Photoshop and printed them off at my local Office Max. I also made several signs for the kiosks themselves. I decided to call the newstand "The Morning Crower" and the tobbaconist "Smith's Smoke Shack." I have been naming my buildings after gaming friends of mine, so it was a no-brainer to name the tobacconist after my longtime (smoker) friend, Steve Smith.
El Lobo is feeling lucky and is planning on picking up some lottery tickets from Smith's Smoke Shack
The newspaper front pages were folded in half, and 4-5 copies of each were stacked up on the counters. Most of the magazine covers were glued directly to walls of the structure (including four on the interior back wall), but I glued copies of Rolling Stone and Time on one of the side counters. As a final touch, I glued a resin brick from a pack I'd purchased at a hobby store atop each pile of newspapers or magazines to keep them from "blowing away." One of my Hobby Lobby purchases was a pack of books from their doll house line. Pretty much everything in the line was oversized, but I glued a row of them to a scratch-built bench and attached it against the far wall.


Which reminds me, prior to placing all of these accessories, I wall papered the interior walls. Another of my purchases was half a dozen styles of patterned paper to use as either wall paper or floors for my buildings. I measured and cut each to size, then traced through the outline of the windows while holding them in place inside. This made them very easy to attach by simply painting the inside wall with white glue and placing the trimmed and sized patterned paper in place.

Another of my purchases were tiny glass jars with cork stoppers. I thought they'd make great candy jars. I found a bottle of incredibly tiny, colorful pareils -- used to decorate cupcakes, but looking for all the world like colorful gumballs or jaw breaker candies. I filled two jars up with these, sealing them with a blob of white glue. Another couple jars were filled with the tiniest pop-outs of laser-cut MDF that I had saved. Their dark brown color and rectangular shape made them look like chocolates, in my opinion. See! Don't throw anything away...haha!
Jeffe asks for a copy of the Columbus Dispatch to see if his gang, the Santanas, is mentioned in its pages
While sorting through my MDF pieces, I found lots of slightly larger rectangles that were perfect for packs of cigarettes. That meant I didn't need the beads I'd bought, but oh well. I placed the rectangles in rows on "trays" (also MDF) and then painted them in white and green and red  to resemble cigarette packs. At this point, I decided to add a kiosk patron. I have a handful of 1/72 white plastic civilians used (I think) for architectural models. I took two of the seated ones and created a chair or stool for each using wood or MDF bits. I couldn't resist painting the tobacconist to look like my friend Steve -- down to his dark blue shirt with "ND" Notre Dame logo. Yes, in addition to his bad habit of smoking, he is also a Fighting Irish fan. Tusk-tusk!

Bit by bit, I began gluing down the accessories with white glue. Once I had my miniature Steve sitting inside his kiosk, looking out over his packs of cigarettes, candy, and soda cans, I decided he looked a little lonely in the interior. I put an MDF shelf I had constructed and primed, but never used in a store model, up against the back wall. On the shelves were cigarette cartons -- once again, rectangular MDF pieces painted and covered with printed images I'd downloaded.
Cruz agrees that Smith is one of the smoothest kiosk operators he's run into in Columbus
I am really happy with how these kiosks turned out! I probably spent more than twice as much time on the accessories to trick them out and make them more colorful, but these are the kind of details I think my players really enjoy. Although these buildings won't cover much space on the tabletop (as you can see by the 28mm figures for scale, they will go a long way towards bringing my cityscape to life!