maandag 31 december 2012

Painting the others

Just a quick pic of where I got today, before I'm off to a New Year's party:

Have a nice one!

zondag 30 december 2012

First landmate done?

Well, here is how it looks now:
The main colour is a bit darker, and somehow greener, than I had intended. It is however neat and clean, which makes me nervous about redoing it and messing it up. So I think I'll just keep it this way for now.
Now I just need to reread the last two manga's to see if I can find some markings to add.

It brings my total Appleseed cast to:

zaterdag 29 december 2012

Painting the first landmate

It seemed only right that the first Landmate to be converted also be the first to get painted...

I didn't get farther than just the basecoat today, but here it is:
For some reason the pic seems a bit greener on my monitor. It's actually a mix of the two Vallejo paints you see in the background...
Now I just need to figure out how to shade and highlight it.

donderdag 27 december 2012

Landmate conversions: done.

Well, it seems I survived Christmas... I managed to make my save vs In-laws roll. :-D

In between festivities I finished off the last two grenade packs. Today it was dry enough to go outside with a can of primer:

I just need to wash the recesses where the spray didn't reach with black paint and they're ready to be painted.
The 2 "trooper" Guges will be painted in the 2004 movie white E.S.W.A.T. scheme. For the Guges "officer", I'm still debating between the two tone (metallic?) blue of the 1987 anime or the grey/brownish "covert" colour seen in some colour artwork.
The three OPFOR landmates will get several tones of grey, maybe or maybe not with an accent colour.

zaterdag 22 december 2012

The next stage

<Insert obligatory Post-Apocalypse quip here>

I had some spare moments to do a bit more on the two Landmates today. The Bunny Ears are now reality:

And, as you can see, I've built the frame for the two grenade packs (one is on the table, the other attached to the left Landmate's back), as well as the first set of launcher barrels. On the right of the picture is the pack I originally built for my first Landmate conversion.
I don't have the exact same parts I used last time, most importantly the discs that the barrels should mount on. So I'll need to find an alternate way of doing those, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Oh, and I've done a (solo) playtest of an idea I had for minifig-scaled infantry in Mobile Frame Zero yesterday.
My basic idea was this:
-Each 2 infantry count as a single Frame and they split the dice between them. As such, each infantry in the pair gets 1 white die, and 1 die from every 2-die system (mainly weapons) you choose for the infantry pair. Single die systems (Defense, Sensors) you allocate to one of the pair. (So, if you want both to be armoured, you need to take two Defense systems...)
-To counter the fact infantry only has a single white die (and so often has to choose between moving or defense), I ruled that infantry can't be spotted.
-Infantry activates in pairs (not necessarily the pair you created as a single frame, you can mix as you want during the game).
-It takes 2 infantry to claim an objective.

I played two games, one with both sides having equal numbers of Frames and Infantry, and a small difference in the number and type of systems. The second I played with one side consisting of 2 Frames and the other of 4 infantry to see how they balanced with each other. Let's just say the Frames took a beating in that second game...

Things I ran in to:
-The paired activation results in potentially confusing activation sequences if an infantry pair both target different Frames. Which Frame is forced into activation?
-2 Infantry appear to be more powerful than a single frame, simply because they get to use a larger portion of the dice you roll. And, because of the no-spotting, they can have turn in which they are effectively invulnerable (due to Defense 6).
I'm thinking of ditching the no-spotting rule and seeing how that goes as far as redressing balance.
Also, I'm not happy with infantry lacking ranged weapons suddenly turning into jetpack infantry through gaining a bonus green D8. I may need to knock the bonus movement die down to D6 for infantry.

Now if you'll excuse me, the zombies have closed in again and I need to fight them off. ;-P

woensdag 19 december 2012

Do you like messy workbench pics?

You don't?
Well, you're getting them anyway! :D

Like I said in last post, those Mobile Frame Zero rules had me thinking about my Appleseed conversions again.

I had this duo lying around since at least 2009. They're two Infinity Yu Jing Guijia that I'm converting in police issue/ESWAT Guges Landmates. One was mostly finished, the other was just sawn apart in preparation for the conversion. The above pic shows where they are at today. To get them ready for primer, I "just" need to add the "bunny ear" antenna to their back, and build them their back-mounted grenade packs.

The conversion already done on them consists of the following:
-Arms cut apart at the elbow, to lengthen the upper arm and repose them.
-Sword and fingers of the left hand removed, replacement hand sculpted to hold the gun.
-Head replaced with a plasticard and greenstuff custom sculpt.
-Master arms (from GW Space Marines) added to their torso.
-Magnets mounted in the shoulder bulges (for "bunny ear" sensors) and in their back (for the grenade launcher)

They will be joining this lot:
 That's a prototype Guges in the front, next to Briareos and Deunan (who will, most likely be piloting the prototype... I don't have a Landmate for Briareos yet.). In the back are three terrorist/foreign power Landmates, an officer model in the middle, flanked by two troopers.

Oh, here are a couple of pics of how (once made) the "bunny ears" and grenade pack will fit on the police/ESWAT Guges:

I'm not sure when this lot will see paint...
If I can't get them finished over the holidays, they'll most likely have to wait 6 months or more to be completed, as I'll be away from home during the weekdays the first half of the coming year. Which means weekends will be friends and family time, instead of loner-hobby-time. ;-P

Have a good holiday season, all!

vrijdag 14 december 2012


Real life has been taking precedence quite a bit lately...
I've been looking at my Warmachine again, but have yet to seriously start work on them.
However, earlier this week I stumbled across something called Mobile Frame Zero and my interest was piqued.

Big stompy robots, Lego's and wargaming rolled into one? I had to check this out.
So I took out the family Lego stockpile (I'm lucky, all three of us love the stuff!) and started building some bots, called Frames in the game.
I took the instructions for building the "Chub" Frame, and improvised where I couldn't find matching parts.
Here's what I built:
A Free Peoples force*, consisting of an Officer and two troopers, the latter using militarised construction bots.

The Authority* strike force, again, an officer in the middle, flanked by two troopers.

The next day, I built some filthy mercenaries*. (I was out of co-ordinated colours, and just bashed these together with whatever came to hand...) amd bashed some rudimentary scenery together.
I built all three groups with similar equipment: one heavily armoured officer, with a both melee and ranged weapons, an all-round soldier with some armour (the shield), a melee and a ranged weapon plus a "heavy" trooper with an artillery piece and spotting gear (only the merc heavy got extra armour instead of spotting gear).
(During the test games, giving the artillerist spotting gear turned out to be less than optimal, as sensors are medium range, but the artillery is long range only....)

*: I must admit I didn't read the game's accompanying setting background, but just built and named as I felt like.

These similar load outs caused some fudging when I ran some solo test games, as the rules work on the premise of the various parties not being equally matched... :P

The rules are quick, and once you get your head around them (the rules are very concise, and I feel they could be more elaborately explained to be more readily grasped.) surprisingly fun.
They work based on dice pools of sorts: Each Frame gets 2 generic dice that can be used for anything, plus each extra system installed (additional movement, defensive measures, sensors, etc.) gives you a number of extra dice for specific purposes. Damage is expressed in lost systems and corresponding loss of dice.
Which is extra fun with Legos because you get to physically rip the destroyed system from the little robot!
You can even damage terrain! (Isn't Lego's brilliant?) By the end of the game, your table will be littered with loose bricks and bits of robots, really showing off the mayhem that occurred.

I found I really like the way they handle turn order in this game.
As I mentioned earlier the game relies on asymmetry between forces. It  features here, in turn order, as well as the role you play in the game (defensive or offensive). Essentially, the number of Frames and systems each player has are calculated into a score. The stronger your force, the lower your score.
Getting the highest score means you will fight as the defender, allowing you to start the game in an advantageous position. You also get to go first and take the initiative each turn. Loosing Frames or objectives costs you points, capturing enemy objectives gains you points. The highest score at the end of the game wins.
So the weakest party also get a leg up towards victory by starting higher up the ladder.  Really nice.
The high level of integration of this system into the game seems to make it less flexible with regards to playing scenarios, but I don't have enough experience with the rules yet to judge this, I could be mistaken on this point.

Though the rules are written with Lego's in mind, they could be very easily adapted to any kind of fast paced Mecha warfare such as Gundam. You just need to adapt the measurement stick to the size of the models you're using. Once grasped, the rules are easy to explain, so I expect they would do well as a participation game on conventions too.
They've certainly got me thinking again about some Appleseed conversions I was working on a few years ago. :)

So, in conclusion, if you have a stack of Lego or a collection of Mecha kits gathering dust I can heartily recommend these rules!

As a farewell, a pic from the opening stage of a test game I played with my 8 year old son:

woensdag 28 november 2012

Long overdue update

Hi Folks,

It's been a quiet time, hobbywise, for me lately.
I've been to Crisis 2012 (Lovely show, much improved by the new venue!), bought and read the new Iron Kingdoms RPG book (will need to play it to really evaluate it, it's so different from what has come before), assembled a few 4Ground wagons and carts (nice kits!) and I've painted this guy:

It's the rogue Warcaster from the Iron Kingdoms RPG line of miniatures.
I had some difficulty choosing a colour scheme for him, so I just settled on bare metal armour...
All other pics refused to be in focus, so no view of his behind, sorry.

The figures behind him are a pair of converted laborjacks that I made well before I started this blog. Plus a Gobber mechanik. In the background is lurking a barely started Arcane Mechanik (from the Iron Kingdoms miniatures line as well).

Okay, then, one more picture, because I've kept you waiting so long:
The one and only Warcaster Charioteer! :-D

woensdag 3 oktober 2012

Run Miss Muffet, RUN!

Well, it turns out it wasn't the second batch of Orc or Wolf I ended up painting....

Light was problematic again, so two pics, one under natural light (in the shade, it was suddenly sunny) and one with flash:

I tried to give the spiders a natural seeming patterning on their abdomen, but sadly it just turns out as mottling to the eye. Still looks rather nice though...
As a nod to the old WHQ art, I did two spiders with a skull patterning on their abdomen, did you spot them?

donderdag 20 september 2012

Done with the Orcs!

They're finished!

A quick snap:

As it was already evening, I had to quickly find the place in the house that still had the best light...

After hesitating a bit on wether or not to add gore to the blades, and a suggestion on a forum to make the blades rusty instead, I ran the decision by the misses (after all, they're her figures in the end).
She decided she wanted them rusty. So rusty it was.

The rust was a new thing for me, never done that before. I'll need to take a fresh look in the morning, to see if I'm fully satisfied with this attempt, or if it may need some tweaking. (I have a vague feeling the blades may be far too rusty compared to the rest of their kit. But I need to take some distance first, been staring at them too hard the last hour or so.)

Quick snap...

...of the Orcs as they stand at this moment on the painting table:
The wash is drying on the skulls as I took this picture.
All that is left to do at this stage is: finish the skulls, the fletching on the arrows, and the two shields on the right. Once that is done, the base edge is painted (I always leave that for last) and they are done!
Then it's on to batch two of the big greenskins... But maybe I'll paint Wolf or another character first.

woensdag 19 september 2012

A little painting, a little fun.

Just a little update, nothing picture-worthy however...

Now that my lovely Dwarf lady is done, I've resumed work on the Orcs for my missus' Warhammer Quest set.
I've made a start on the leather parts (boots, quivers, pouches). Once those are done, I need to do 2 bows, 2 shields and add decorative checkered bands, etc., before these first 6 are done.
While paints and washes and such are drying, I'm using the time to continue making bases and assembling some skeletons for my own Dungeoneering collection.
Nothing really exciting, but I just wanted to show that I'm still (semi-)actively working on them.

Okay, okay, I'll add a picture anyway. You deserve as much. ;-p
Over the weekend I dug out some corridor sections I have on perma-loan from a friend. I wanted to see if I could adopt them for WHQ. Sadly they don't entirely fit my needs, but while they were out, I thought I might as well have a bit of fun with them:
Cleaning the halls; A lot more exciting if you're a Dwarf...

zaterdag 15 september 2012

Dwarf done!

Here she is, all painted up:

Due to a little bit of wandering paint I ended up doing a thin corrective glaze of her skin colour over certain parts, including her freckles. This improved the "leopard spots" quite a bit, toning them down to believable freckles.

And here is her face/torso in fault-amplifying close up...

So, next up: the Barbarian...
Looking forward to that one as well.

(As you can see Tael, I took your advice on the background... Thanks for the insight!)

donderdag 13 september 2012


For lack of a better title...

The cute dwarf from previous post got her hair done:

(In this context, doesn't "Orange Fire" sound awfully like an actual product name for hair-dye? Vermin Brown, less so, I hope!)

I'm quite pleased with her so far, she certainly has the "natural red head" effect I was aiming for.

She's got a nice glare as well.
But it seems to scare Mr. Camera, as he refuses to focus properly on it....

Now all that's left to do is not botch her clothes and axe... ;-)

I skinned a dwarf

...and I liked it, I liked it! (Sorry about that...)

As in:  I started painting my Dwarf Dungeoneer for the generic Dungeoneering project today. And I started with the skin...

Here she is, with painted skin:
I'm quite pleased with the way her skin and eyes turned out. So I sat back and admired my handywork for a bit.
And then I did this:

Because instead of dyed, I want her to be a natural redhead, freckles and all.
I know they look more like leopard spots in this larger than life picture...  That was, however necessary for them to be visible as individual freckles at normal viewing distance (instead of as just a dirty brownish smear).
So, next on the painting program is the hair...

donderdag 6 september 2012

A little sidestep

Yesterday I realised that the past two months, everything I had painted was an Ork. First thing in the painting line (because still unfinished from last time) were.... more Orcs. :-(
Both are "production line painting": having several similar models on the go at the same time.
I decided I needed a little intermezzo, to clean the palate as it were...
A little single figure painting, giving one model my full attention. And certainly something non-greenskinned!

So I prepped these two lovely figures:
 They're Wolf (b) and Hayden from Hasslefree Miniatures. Lovely figures, beautiful sculpts, full of personality. Made by absolutely wonderful people to boot!

The bases are made by fitting a sheet of  milliput green-grey to the bases. Once hard I scored the knotwork and seams for the floortiles with a sharp sculpting tool. The sheet was then popped from the base, so I could break and distress it. The great thing about milliput green-grey is that when  you chip it or grind broken edges together, you get a texture very much like stone. After that I superglued the fragments back on to the base.
Here are some shots that show the bases a bit more:

At the moment I'm still considering adding some hair to Wolf, he's awfully bald at the moment...

woensdag 5 september 2012

Ork Stormboys; Done.

Which means the painting table is now clear to continue on Warhammer Quest....
Here are the mooks:

maandag 3 september 2012

Good to go!

Whew! Just finished clipping and cleaning all the Warhammer Quest figures from their sprues. So we are now officially able to play the game! Hopefully, that will also be an incentive to actually keep painting at a steady pace...
Anyway, here they are:
Any figures you don't see here are either already painted, or in the process of being painted.
Except for the Goblins, they're hiding in the back like the sneaky gits they are:
That's all for now....

zondag 2 september 2012

What I've been up to...

Well, in July, I had painted that large Ork mob. In august  (after 2 weeks of holiday, couldn't bring the hobby stuff) I've been working on a unit of 10 stormboys.
But sadly that seems to have stalled out just before the finish line.... (I still need to do the Nob's skin and the detailing on the remaining Stormboys, but I just can't bring myself to actually sit down and do it.)
Here's the group of five I've managed to finish:

So, what have I been up to instead of painting Orks?
Corridors and their denizens, apparently.
I've been busy taking the misses' Warhammer Quest miniatures from the sprue. That way we can at least play the game until I get everything painted. And I will save some time when I get around to painting them... No more cleanup before primering! Straight to paint! :)
As an extra, I've also been mulling over the (un)feasibility/insanity of building 3D Quest terrain... (I know, I just can't help myself!) I've got some ideas, but I'm not ready to share them yet. First I need to decide wether I'll go ahead with this or not... A.k.a.: Try to talk myself out of it.
Which in turn meant Ive also been eyeing my Space Hulk 3D notes and references again.... (Sigh... I'm not making this easy on myself, am I?)
Through this, I've also encountered another SH3D blog I hadn't seen before: Check your corners. Take a look, he builds pretties!

See you next time!

donderdag 19 juli 2012


As in, I made a ruin....

The main structure is resin, I added the base and the loose rubble and pieces of wall on the floor (the original resin item just had the two standing walls, without any debris at all... Very unnatural looking):

dinsdag 17 juli 2012

Mob is done

Well, the Ork mob, I showed the first batch of two posts ago, is finished. That's 26 more bodies for my Waaagh!
Here they are:
Again, apologies for the cellphone cam, camera still needs fixing/replacing. But it's just not high on the priorities list. Mortgage and food first, and all that.
All in all, I'm satisfied. Tried some (wash-related) trickery to speed up the painting a bit. It seems I have found a satisfactory balance between speed and quality.

vrijdag 13 juli 2012

ZAP! Fzzzt...

I almost had a DIY electrostatick flocker today...
A while ago I found some instructions to make a static grass applicator from an electric flyswatter and a small sieve. So today, I set to work making one. The instructions were clear and easy and I had it together in no time. :-D To be on the safe side, I built the low-powered version, because it meant less (no) messing around with the circuit board, plus it meant not overriding a safety feature.

On to testing!
I prepped a piece of plasticard with wood glue, stuck the ground pin into the glue, and fired her up. The LED in the handle lighted up cheerfully, grass went through the sieve, contacted the glue below it.... And stood up nicely!
However, when finished, I accidentally touched the ground clip with the sieve. That made a pretty, blue, ZAP!
I thought nothing of it, assuming electric bug zappers were supposed to go ZAP. I mean,  the instructions for the DIY static grass build even noted that you needed to discharge the thing in this way, if you built the high-powered version. So it should be harmless, right?
On the next base: Glue applied, ground stuck in, LED glowed happily... But gone was the standy-uppy-magic!?
Ripped it open again, checked all the connections I made, all was well.
Re-assembled it, tried again. LED works fine, but no magic...again.
So, as it didn't work properly anyway, I decided to convert it over to the high-powered version after all and see if that would change anything.
And it did!
Now the LED wouldn't light up anymore as well.... :-C
So here I am, with a nice, shiny, new, static-grass-applicator-shaped inert object. 

Still can't figure out why it failed on me.
I don't think I did something wrong building it, it wasn't that difficult, and the instructions were clear.
Best guess is that either the ZAP shorted out something important after all, but all the components seemed intact.
I could just have had a faulty bugzapper, I didn't test it before the conversion to static grass applicator (I didn't like the idea of having atomised bug-gore in my basing).
So right now, I'm debating with myself: Do I assume faulty goods and get another bug zapper? It's only a few bucks after all. Or do I chalk this one up to experience and leave well enough alone?

Luckily, my 6th Ed 40K rulebook arrived yesterday, so I won't have to get bored while deciding the issue. :-D
I'm off to the couch for a nice read....


woensdag 11 juli 2012

Proof of life

It is true, I still exist...
It's just that over the last month real life hit, and it hit hard.

At the moment, in the light of 6th edition, I'm doing a bit of work expanding my Ork army for Warhammer 40k. (and hoping, unlike 5th,  I get more than 2 games played in this edition...)
Quite some time ago, a friend gave me a WIP scratchbuilt buggy for my Ork army. Last week I finally got around to finishing and getting it ready for paint:

All I had to do to finish it was build the front wheel suspension, add the crew, the left-side exhaust and fuel barrel. Oh, and add some Orky glyphs.
The twin linked Rokkit launcher is magnetised and can be swapped for the twin linked Big Shoota I originally got with the scratchbuild.

I also started paint on an extra unit of Ork slugga boys:
This is just the first batch (of 3), the second set of 9 boys is on the painting table at the moment. When those are finished, it's just 6 boys and a Nob left to do.
With this mob, I'm trying to get some more speed in my painting, aiming for a good look as a unit, instead of paying a lot of time and attention to individual models. So far, it seems to work reasonably well. I'm not suddenly super fast, bit at least I'm not (as) glacially slow anymore. And at the same time, I'm satisfied with the quality and look of them.

woensdag 6 juni 2012

Putty Pushing Progresses

Yesterday I started the first phase of building up the undersuit on the 90mm Hellgate London Templar sculpt.
Here is the front:
Again, silly phonecam doesn't know where to focus... sigh.
And the start of the rear:
Here it is, cleaned up, some detailing and ready for the oven!
All in all, I found the Fimo rather fun to work with, no working time, so I can take as long as I like to get stuff right. Which means I can figure out stuff, see what works for when I start with putties that have a limited work life.

Today I've finished his left arm, that will eventually hold a shield. It's cooling from the oven as we speak.